A New Priest.

                                                             --To Be Added To.--

Morning. A cascading feather undulated down on to the face of the High Priest, restricting the flow of air through his beak's nasal cavities. "Aaachoo!" He awoke, glaring up at the evanescent purple shade of the sky. It was moving into a blue hue. The colouration that symbolised the transition into the colder months. "It'll soon be the cold months. That means that since that fateful day, I've been a priest for four moons and I still do not feel as if I belong. Under these judgmental skies, I cower beneath the branches of a tree, lying in the shadows." As he gathered his thoughts, he spread his magnificent sextuplet of wings and took off. 

Today, he had the day off. He was completely free from his responsibilities as head priest and was free to do what he wanted. He felt like jubilating. But he, instead, withheld these temptations and settled for a stretch of his wings around the skies of Japonica. He collapsed the secondary set of wings and relinquished some control over the flight. He simply allowed himself to be drifted off to a sporadic location. He soared over the beatific and puffy clouds of the Great Ascension (A horizontal wall of multi-coloured clouds reflecting the ever changing light of the sky), over the Mountains of Serendipity and through the Mists of Eminence to prevail at the precipice of the continent, except for the fact that we was several miles higher than the Continental Breach that was the great divide between the nations, his eyes captured the image in perfect clarity. "This world, so divided in pride. If I could, I should change this. Someday." He stretched his broad wings once more and made sure he was well balanced in the air before shooting off in the opposite direction. In his restfulness, he had slept for most of the day. He now had to return and make preparations for tomorrow's ritual to the Great Spirit. 

The statues were in place under the Altar of the Stone just outside the Temple of the Trees. The trees hummed a simple song as the breeze blew through the branches. The leaves encircled the altar daintily as they left the trees and several insect like creatures gathered to carry them off for food and shelter. The gathering of the inhabitants of the Temple of the Trees would soon occur. Everything was in place. The violet sun gleamed down atop it and caused the reflective leaves to gleam in its presence. "You've outdone yourself with the setting!" A slightly stocky Salii had arrived and seemed to be in awe. "I couldn't have prepared a better location myself!" Homura knew who this was. "Well, I appreciate the compliment!" He returned jokingly. Humor was never his strong point when stressed about the inevitable ritual he would have to perform. He covered for this by gathering a large bundle of leaves and throwing them at his new arrival. "Hey! What on Japonica was that for?" Retorted Menno as Homura laughed, hoping that this covered his earlier dry attempt at humor.

Menno was a low ranking religious Salii in the hierarchy of the Land of Trees. He retaliated by gathering some earth and was a second away from throwing it projectile style when he was interrupted from behind. "I hope you do not intend to dirty the altar BEFORE the ritual, Menno!" This was Sluyitt, a creature considerably different to a Salii. He was shorter than most Salii and was mostly brown fur. But he was as magnificent. His back was littered in a patterned fashion with small, multicoloured feathery appendages that were mostly stored inside the body but could be contracted to form what would appear as a series of undulating tails, each around five foot long. He had an almost completely flat yet rounded face and a pair of brilliant blue eyes and a pair of strong tails that were constantly protruding from his rump. "N-No! Of course not! We were just having some fun is all!" Replied Menno, in a tremulous voice.

Sluyitt took his place at the circle and gestured for Menno to do the same. Sluyitt was often seen as a tad moody and to the book, but Homura knew different. The other creatures of The Temple of the Trees began to collaborate under the stone ring that formed the highest section of the altar and the ritual began. 

"Here we stand today, beneath the almighty circle of stone. A universal symbol accepted for its meaning of constant revival and reincarnation, the beginning and end of time forever biting each other's tails. We stand here today to honour our home and all that it brings us. We thank the Great Spirit for all that it has given us and we hope and offer unto it that it may continue to do so." Homura lifted a two foot tall metal urn that had been decorated intricately with images of Salii and other creatures in days of old performing their worship to the spirit of Japonica. "With this, I would ask that each of you would offer a tribute of your gleaming tree sap to given anew unto the earth of the planet, to be recycled by the insects and once again to become the lifeblood of the trees." He walked clockwise around the circle, each time holding out the urn to the next creature to give their part and accepting each amount gratefully, in spite of the size of the contribution. Some creatures that had formed the circle were only able to offer a small amount while stronger, larger creatures offered most of the surplus.

 When he had finished his round of the circle, he placed the now nearly overflowing urn on to the altar and once again began to speak. "All of nature regenerates and recycles itself, we bring this fact into light with this ceremony and we help the cycle along its way. With this, we are helping to perform the duties of nature." The group that encircled Homura each spoke out now, having memorised the ritual perfectly;

"The cycle of life begins again, the circle of life we must defend. 

From tiniest seed to greatest tree, we allow our planet to live, to breathe.

With the giving of life comes greatest joy, the forces of good we now employ.

With every wish and every hope, the beauty of the ancients we now invoke,

to bring about a renewal of life and to release the energies of daily strife!" 

 After the ritual came to a close, the members of the circle disbanded and either flew or traipsed / trundled home. In the distance, to celebrate the day's celebrations, a singing had arisen. The beauty that it held was phenomenal. It cascaded over the hills and mountains, brightening the hearts of the creatures so magnificently that it instilled a feeling of ostensibly irreversible peace over the land: 

"Dream of the petals, 

The solace of freedom. 

All of your troubles are settled, 

You're cushioned by your wisdom. 

 

Close your eyes and open them 'morrow, 

Birds will sing an end to your sorrow. 

 

The air will caress you, 

The ground is your bed. 

The mountains will sing to you, 

On the skies you will tread! 

 

Fragrant seeds are floating in the air, 

Untied by their woes and flying without a care. 

 

The trees will protect you, 

The flowers will hide you, 

Lay down your head now, 

Nothing left to abide to.  

 

Close your eyes and open them 'morrow, 

Birds will sing an end to your sorrow. 

 

The warmth of the sun, 

The laugh of the streams, 

Your troubles are long gone, 

Sleep beautiful dreams!" 

 

The End

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