― There are few things we could try, every one of them dangerous and uncertain, answers the Dreamer finally to your question.
― Well, our fate is sealed if nothing is done so I accept the risk.
― I understand what you say, but perhaps you do not comprehend completely the step you are about to make. You are a rare flower among your folk. A blossom of a shine I haven’t seen before. If something goes wrong…
The Dreamers comes closer. His presence is overwhelming, his anxiety the most real thing you have ever felt. He touches your dream-hair all so lightly but you do not commit and the moment passes. You nod, eyes radiating with almost fanatic certainty.
― All right. The easiest form of dream lore we can use is to affect the lives of others through their dreams. Something I do to keep my threads in working order. But to accomplish this you need to delve deep into the dream-world of the subject you are trying to alter. And doing so you risk losing part of yourself, becoming intertwined with the dream-presence of the subject. With practice you could eliminate this threat, but there is no time for it now. But before we can even start, we have to get out of your old home and back to where you were. Close your eyes.
You do as he says and immediately feel a familiar tug in your innards. You experienced the same sensation before when you moved together in the Real Dream. Instinctively you open your eyes. You find yourself moving slowly through some patch of thick forest near Paisvien.
― Keep your eyes closed Riddle-solver, that way we can travel faster.
― How do I slow us down? Isn’t it possible to travel instantaneously in a dream.
― It is, when your subconscious guides you. But then *you* can’t really control where you are going. Normally it takes years to understand the freedom of the dream when sleeping in a lucid state. So just bear with me, close your eyes and stop controlling and we can travel faster.
You do as you are told. Even though you are bit irritated of the lack of control you have, this is still something. A concrete fact, piece of knowledge that you perhaps can master one day. A deep feeling of passage fills your soul as you focus on letting go of your own will and just following the powerful, guiding desire of the Dreamer.
― You can open your eyes now, he says. ― And brace yourself. As soon we will see what you are made of. Unfortunately soon.
You do so and notice that you are besides the campsite of the bravos now, basking in the so tender moonlight. It is an eerie feeling to notice your own, sleeping body lying there, curled next to a big rock, like instinctively seeking for shelter in vain.
Fere seems to be on watch at the moment, and the other three twitch and mumble in their restless sleep. Their forms are clouded in a black haze, like an unnaturally dark fog that blocks the light of the moon and makes their features almost unnoticeable. A primitive, crawling sensation fills you when you observe their features.
― Why can’t you guide them? You suddenly realize. ― You have done so before, as you stated.
― I can, but can’t you remember, I can only guide three people at a time in this fashion. And there are four of these wretched men here. I can make that one fall asleep but you will have to choose, which one of them will you take. They have all been soiled by the Anti-Dream, as I stated, so it will be dangerous. You will probably have to fight to stay yourself regardless of the choice you make, yet it might bear some significance as you will be digging deep inside his past and who he is to make him your puppet for the time being.
― But how am I to accomplish this? You have taught me nothing that could prepare me for any of this.
― You are wrong, Riddle-solver, we’ve had many lessons already. This will be your first Dive, a journey to the deep realms of dream without anyone guiding you. I guess you feel small and unprepared and I would lie if I would say that this is not the case. But still, this is one of the natures of dream itself. It can be controlled, reasoned and dissected to a point, but in the end the element of the subconscious and the innate Shine is always present, always unmeasurable, random and surprising. You must trust your instincts and remember what I have told you in these brief moments we have been together. And, if this is our last meeting I would like to say …..
His voice trails off as you suddenly feel his insecurity. It is just a moment, and then he is again calm and distant like a dream-god.
― Who will you choose?