“Aster, I’ve been meaning to ask when you usually meditate,” Rowan asks.
“I…” I hesitate to answer, “I forgot. Before coming to Aevita’s temple, I have never meditated before.”
“You should get used to integrating it into your daily routine,” Bob says shaking his head, “meditation is the core ritual that enables us to use the spirits’ blessings.”
“I will do that,” I answer.
“I’m confident Rowan will make sure you do. Don’t waste that strong blessing you got. We’re done with dismantling, shall we help with carrying everything inside?”
“Rowan and I could handle that on our own,” I answer, “but since you’re offering, it would be rude to decline.”
We take the meat and fat and I lead everyone to the shuttle. Ruby and Dohal gaze around in awe. Bob looks around in a more subtle manner, but his eyes still dart all over the place.
“This is looks like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” Dohal says.
I open the freezer and put the meat I was carrying in it.
“This feels even colder than it is outside,” Bob states.
“The colder it is, the longer you can store the meat,” I comment.
“This doesn’t use ice to cool down,” Ruby states, “couldn’t you build the ice house with this?”
“Theoretically, that would be possible. Sadly, I can’t,” I answer, “I don’t have the tools and materials required to make it. You can see the walls and door of that unit aren’t made from wood or wool. Without it, wood and wool are the next best for keeping the cold inside.”
“I see,” Ruby says, “it’s good to see what could be…”
“I can see you’re eager to improve on it, but I think it’d be better to finish building it before we try improving it,” Rowan says.
“You’re right. I’m going back. See you later at the feast.”
“We’re going as well,” Bob says, “I’ll contact you when I need to measure you to fit the cloak.”
“See you later,” Rowan and I see off the others.
“We have some time,” Rowan states, “how about we meditate for a while?”
“Alright, alright, I get it, I shouldn’t neglect meditation.”
We make our way to the shuttle and sit down. I close my eyes and try to calm my mind. Inhale. Exhale. Breathe in. Breathe out. The familiar warm yet cold sensation gathers in my body again. It’s possibly just my imagination, but I think I can feel the energy circulating through my body. It tends to flow along the major blood vessels, but in some places, it flows even though I’m sure there are no blood vessels. I might be wrong about it, but it’s possible I have just dozed off in biology class when those were mentioned. I’m getting sidetracked. Focus, Aster, concentrate on your breathing. Breathe in. Breathe out. Inhale. Exhale. Breathe in. Breathe out. Inhale. Exhale.
I open my eyes to glance around. Rowan stands in the door.
“Welcome back,” he says, “for a person, that usually doesn’t meditate, the duration of your deep mental state is quite amazing.”
“Duration? How long have I been meditating?”
“Several hours. It’s bad to wake people from deep mental focus, so I went ahead and prepared the meat with uncle Nell for the feast. It’s about to start.”
“That long?” I stand up, at least I try, but my legs have fallen asleep. Rowan helps me get up.
“Do we still have time for a walk?” I ask. I do feel slightly hungry, but I really need to stretch my legs.
“We should be able to make it.”
We start walking around the village.
“Say, how do you achieve that deep meditation?” Rowan asks.
“I don’t know. I just concentrate on my breathing and the feeling of the blessing seeping through my body.”
“The feeling of the blessing in your body?”
I describe everything I experienced while meditating.
“I’ll try that next time, thanks.”
“I’m not sure if it helps, but you’re welcome.”
We’re back at the main plaza. It seems most of the villagers are present. Rowan and I take our seats.
“This is certainly an unusual situation…” the elder says, “I can’t remember when we last had two feasts this close together. As such, there’s not much to announce. But I heard Nell has prepared something special for today. I’m looking forward to tasting his creation. Enjoy the feast!”
We toast and begin eating. The meat prepared with the new recipe is very tender. The juices of the meat blend so well with the sour sweetness of the spices that were added to it. I think the sweetness is from honey. Is this just by letting it seep in the mixture he brought over? I should ask him about the recipe!
“With that smile on your face, I can tell you like it,” Nell states.
“It goes well with the mead,” I answer.
The rest of the evening is quite uneventful, except for Ruby and Tom to announce they will be working on the ice house. Everyone is excited about the prospect of being able to store food into the winter. It seems, there are people that have a blessing that allows them to produce ice. So if it’s finished by summer, there’s no need to wait till winter to fill it with ice. But apparently, the amount of ice they can produce isn’t that much, that’s why they haven’t used their blessing to keep food cold.
“I feel awkward asking this, but what kinds of blessings do the spirits give?” I ask.
“Let’s talk about common blessings first,” Rowan explains, “Aevita’s domain is wind, Favol’s domain is water, Therbea’s domain is earth and Cryaci’s domain is fire. If you receive multiple blessings, they can create a mixed domain. For example, there are some people that can freeze water. Those people have received the blessings of both wind and water.”
“Then, there are rare blessings,” the elder continues, “not much is known about these. Many people that receive them don’t even know how to make use of those in their daily life. You know Tom, he got Therbea’s rare blessing.”
“I see,” I answer, “thanks for the explanation.”