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Lu Mīn and Dun fi travelled widely. They avoided populated places, and ate what they could find.

When Se-Lim was absent they rested, huddled together, or, when occasion permitted, by a warming fire. 

Often they travelled only a short distance, Lu Mīn dedicating the majority of his time in the position of Go-na, practicing the Signs. 

With great effort, he performed more feats: disappearing and reappearing in different places, causing light to shine where it should not, even growing and shrinking in size and changing his appearance. 

Dun fi watched. One time in Se-Lim’s absence he dared to speak: 

—Do you see the Authorities in the Signs?—

—I do not think so.—replied Lu Mīn.—I see what may be their work, like the way one recognizes Lai-se orchards from a forest, or a dwelling from a cave.—

Dun fi thought about this. Then he spoke again. 

—So the Authorities create the Signs?—

It is possible

Perhaps 

It is the One 

Who creates the Authorities. 

Deep are the mysteries here.

One passage, Lu Mīn and Dun fi met a group of Na-Shime, hunting far away from the paths. 

The group was rowdy from too much sweet Lai-se. They approached the pair in a familiar fashion, offering their food and drink liberally. 

Dun fi accepted happily, for he missed the food from the community. But Lu Mīn ate and sipped little of the Lai-se. 

When asked how a pair should find themselves so deep in the wild-land with so little equipment, Lu Mīn answered first. 

—we were out hunting and had a surprise.—

The group of Na-Shime accepted this explanation, asking them to describe their community, so that they might help them return. 

Lu Mīn described a great community with tall buildings and walls, with towers having seven levels and sharp spikes above that containing seven golden orbs each, a community with more people than could be remembered, and a constant humming sound of activity both in Se-Lim’s presence and absence. 

—You are from Ku-Na-Zem and did not name it so?—said a hunter in confused bewilderment.—what a curious thing.—

—He thought our minds are soft from too much Lai-se—said the hunter’s companion with a laugh.—His arrow falls close to the target!—

At this, the hunter’s face, already the colour of Se-Lim at the end of His passage became a darker hue and slammed a closed hand into his open hand. 

—I will teach this young one not to address his betters with such a lack of respect!—

The hunter made to strike Lu Mīn. But before he could land his blow, he was swinging high in the air, held by Dun fi. 

The hunters drew their weapons at this. And Lu Mīn spoke calmly as he raised a hand towards Dun fi.

—Show us the way, and we will be gone.—

One of the hunters pointed his sharp Wakat away from Dun fi, in the direction darkening from Se-Lim’s absence. Dun fi lowered their companion, who spluttered to recover his inner wind. They backed away, and soon they had separated.

—How did you know how to describe Ku-Na-Zem? —

—I have heard about a great many things by now,—replied Lu Mīn.—but many of the details, I saw in the Signs.—

Lu Mīn continued: 

It is not good 

To bear false words 

For false words beget false thinking

False thinking begets wrong action 

And wrong action begets suffering. 

Still there are times

When necessity weighs heavier than a wrong. 

Knowing like from unlike is the key to making progress.


[7] Lu Mīn and Dun fi continued their journey in peace, following the way shown to them. In a very few passages they found a path, and eventually they stood before the gates of Ku-Na-Zem, staring at the Golden Towers Lu Mīn had described to the hunters. 

—It is more magnificent than I had thought possible.—said Dun fi.—how long do you intend to remain here?—

—I am searching for someone—replied Lu Mīn.—Someone who knows the Signs.— 

Dun fi refrained from speaking more, but followed Lu Mīn through the crowded streets of the new world with the aid of the sounding of Lu Mīn’s golden bell. 

Through the remains of Se-Lim’s passage they walked, Lu Mīn entering dwellings, examining people and objects without regard to the appropriateness of his actions. His unkempt appearance and smell caused many to sneer at him. Some shopkeepers grabbed their floorwhisks to beat him away, but they put these back upon seeing the angry appearance of Dun fi close behind.

Finally they reached the Great Water. Dun fi gaped in awe at the wide horizons reaching out, bathed in the light of Se-Lim. Never had he occasion to see so much at once.

Lu Mīn spoke.

Here is the End

And the Beginning

And the Middle

All is not all, 

Until it is one. 

The pair left Ku-Na-Zem with Se-Lim’s absence, the better to find a place to rest in the nearby Wild-lands. 

Having no coins and little chance of finding much to eat, the two went to their rest hungry and more tired than ever before. 

—Next passage will bring him.—said Lu Mīn with confidence. 

But the next passages followed the same pattern, with no change—except that Lu Mīn and Dun fi grew more and more weak without nourishment. 

—We must find a way to get some food.—spoke Dun fi, on the fourth such passage.—perhaps I could hire myself out for work while you continue to search.—

Lu Mīn shook his head slowly at this.

All conditions 

Hunger 

Tiredness

Thirst 

Every type of longing 

Are generated from Within. 

They have no Existence 

Except in Thought 

Follow the Way

And they reduce in strength. 

Dun fi considered this for a time, but eventually decided that Lu Mīn had finally lost his sanity and would now require looking after. He resolved to follow his own considerations in the matter, the better to care for them both. 

So upon rising to the new passage, he joined Lu Mīn to the entrance of the community, and then bid him good bye, saying he planned to reunite with Lu Mīn when Se-Lim was finishing his journey. 

Lu Mīn simply nodded and the two parted. Dun fi searching for a project that needed his help.

It was not long till he found a crew working on the broken roof of a tall dwelling. 

—That won’t do.—said Dun fi to the crew.—would you take me in to help your cause? All I ask is a couple coins and the chance for my companion and I to eat and rest in peace. 

—Surely we could use one as big and strong as you.—replied an old, curled up Na-Shime directing the progress.—you will be compensated for your efforts. But you look ragged as it is. First take some food, then get to work.—

Dun fi did so, gratefully. 

As he hunched over the most delicious waterfood he had ever had, the Elder Na-Shime  enquired about him and why he was in such a difficult situation. 

—I followed a companion from my community here.—Dun fi spoke amiably.

—To follow someone through great difficulties and hardship speaks of a great love and respect.—replied the Elder.—He must be quite a friend!— 

Dun fi began the work and helped with great skill and enjoyment. His fellow workers were kind and grateful for his presence. 

Se-Lim’s passage was coming to an end as they finished the roof. Dun fi was sharing a cup of Lai-se, laughing and listening to the others when he heard a surprised voice behind him.

—You have found him!—exclaimed Lu Mīn.

Dun fi looked surprised back at his companion.

—Found who?—

But his response never reached Lu Mīn’s ears, for all his senses were focused upon the Elder na-Shime. 

—I have seen you in the Signs.—said Lu Mīn to the na-Shime.

—So it is.—replied the Na-Shime, coldly.—but your companion has seen me with his own eyes and helped me fix my roof.—

—So it is.—Lu Mīn looked at Dun fi with a detached face.—A stronger and a more noble one has never seen the light of Se-Lim.—

The elder Na-Shime softened at this.—Well spoken. I have promised him to feed and give you shelter in return for his help. I will not leave my word unfulfilled.—

The elder Na-Shime called a younger one forth from the group of workers, pulled out a silver coin and asked him to find the fattest Waachi left in the market.

Then he spoke solemnly to Dun fi and Lu Mīn. 

—Let us bid Se-Lim a good journey with a cup. —

The Waachi was brought inside and the four made their way to the Elder Na-Shime’s dwelling. 

—Your kindness is great.—spoke Dun fi, as they made themselves comfortable in the dining place of the dwelling. 

—It is a just reward for fixing my roof!—replied the Elder, pointing to the corner of the dwelling that had been repaired.—I speak truth, without your assistance it would have taken several passages to fix. Now, my guests, enjoy yourselves and fulfil every desire, for I can see such a hunger has not been seen since the Long Drought.— 

—You saw the Long Drought?—asked Lu Mīn incredulously.—It was many, many cycles of passages ago.—

—It was.—replied the Elder. He propped himself up to speak more.

I could tell you much more

I have witnessed actions

Powers

And Achievements 

That no Living One has seen. 

The birth of Land from the Great Water

The forming of the High Places

All that is 

All that was 

And Some of what will be 

Are in the Signs.

Lu Mīn’s face flushed with anticipation to hear someone speak who was so aware of the Signs. 

Blessed Elder,

Gokhanse,

I have seen some things

In the Signs. 

I saw you. 

I wish to know All things 

About the Signs. 

If you are willing;

I will sit at your feet. 

The Elder Na-Shime responded:

—For the pleasure of having your friend, Dun fi, here to help me in various tasks, and to set you on a better path, I will accept.—

Continue reading The Life of Lu-Min - Part 6