Chapter 12: The Clairvoyant
It was a building of the late baroque period, it’s exterior displaying an array of elegant and distinctive arches, each one unique. The entire structure resembled a giant, open conch shell.
Following the line of the building’s crest, a sign hung. A sun, with the words COFFEE scrawled beside it.
The sun represents the day, so it was only natural that this very special structure full with the scent of eighteenth century French art, was called… Daybucks Coffee.
The interior was furnished with delicate-looking and attractive furniture which employed a curious asymmetrical technique. The theme was one which involved conch shells, hillstones, whirlpools and S-shaped arches. Rolling grass and unfurling flowers, lingering and intersecting, creating an organic whole. The ceiling and cambered walls join seamlessly, the rounded edges bearing a mural.
In order to imitate a natural style, the building was also constructed using mismatching materials which resulted in a multitude of inconsistencies. The walls were painted in vivid shades of lime green, pink and rose red. The architraves are mostly painted gold. The interior paneling was made up of delicate wooden lattice, surrounded by lace with a light colored Oriental brocade at it’s heart.
There sat the Coffee Master, clad in a white shirt and brown overalls with a cup clutched in his hand. Tenderly he took a sip.
The sound of thunder rang out, and the coffee in the Master’s cup trembled, nearly spilling free. A shocked expression on his face, he hurried to the window and looked towards the skies.
“A cloudless thunderstorm, with lightning from an undarkened sky. What overwhelming ability! Is this his power? I had no idea he commanded a force such as this. I fear to know what he encountered to make him lose control in such a fashion.”
This was a room without any unnecessary furnishings, of a size perhaps half that of what could be found in Zeus’ Jewelry Store. If it weren’t for the wooden door facing Skyfire Avenue, it was unlikely people would believe it was of a caliber to match the other shops along the street.
The shop wasn’t available for public use, instead intended for guests only. Within the room was a single long table of simple construction, square with four straight legs and a disconnected surface, and around it ten seats made of tree stumps.
Whether table or chairs, all shared the same texture, each carved out of a thousand year old preserved wood. If one were to look carefully at the grain, they would see either a multitude of strange faces, or a dense collection of spots akin to leopard skin. Thick, thin, ordered, messy, straight or crooked, all were present. Black lines were in the majority, but chocolate brown and red stripes were also visible. Scented Rosewood, from Previous Era Hai’nan.
The table top, however, was over five thousand years old. The Wine Master once said he would be willing to trade everything he owned – with the exception of what was in his Wine Vault – for that table, but the offer was refused.
Beside the table, by the window, the Gourmet stood looking up at the sky. The incessant bolts of light played across his craggy features. He chewed absently on a soda cracker, his eyes narrowing during a lull in the blasts.
The Old Gothic Winery.
The Wine Master also stood by the window, Eva dutifully standing at his side. He looked out over the sky, then looked across Skyfire Avenue towards the shop marked with a lightning bolt. He gently shook his head.
“Master, i-is that…” Eva asked in a timid voice.
He lifted his hand, cutting her off. A dull silver light shone, and all sense of foreboding melted away. Eva, too, no longer felt anything strange, walking towards the window and thoughtfully looking towards Zeus’ Jewelry Shop.
A streak of lightning raced across the sky over Skyfire Avenue, and the skyscrapers around Skyfire Avenue reflected a dull golden light.
A palatial building in the baroque style loomed, it’s exterior bathed in gold leaf. Schematically it was shaped like an olive, with an emphasis on it’s decorative domed ceiling. It’s façade exhibited a separated pediment, the entablature curved, and the walls alternatively concave and convex. It’s adornments were ample, lending to an intense shadowy effect. It was the largest building on Skyfire Avenue.
The building bore no sign, but anyone with a Skyfire Emblem knew it to be Skyfire Museum. Inside was housed many treasures, available to view for a fee to anyone with an Emblem. However, it was only open to visitors from sunrise to sunset.
Within, an old man quietly stood. He was tall with rugged features, his true age difficult to discern. His eyes were blue, deep, and clear as though capable of reflecting the universe itself.
He was clad in a magnificent robe of white silk. It was covered in silver embroidery, threaded with precious gems. On his head was worn a peaked cap, and his right hand bore a large ruby ring.
A silvery light crept over him, and suddenly another stood beside the old man; the Wine Master in noble regalia.
“You’re nervous,” the old man said with a smile, his eyes never straying from the window.
The Wine Master nodded his head slightly. “I’m afraid he’ll change everything. Three years ago when he arrived, he almost immediately became one of us. He certainly displayed enough taste and ability. In these three years he’s blended well, but his power… it’s… “
Calmly the old man interceded. “Too strong, yes?”
The Wine Master silently nodded.
The old man turned to face the Wine Master, his sky blue eyes bright and sagely. “He is one of us. When we sanctioned his appointment to the Skyfire Council, he became an inseparable part of us. Regardless of what hardships he faces, we are his family.”
“Can you see his future,” the Wine Master asked.
The old man shook his head. “No. But I can sense the Thunderbolt’s integrity.”
The Wine Master continued, “With his disposition, so clearly infuriated, I’m afraid we might encounter some problems. Should we help him?”
The old man chuckled. “There’s no need. If he were originally someone who habitually brought trouble upon others, we would not have taken him in. Let nature take it’s course.”
Finally, a smile crept upon the Wine Master’s face. “Being a little bit of a troublemaker isn’t such a bad thing, I suppose. At least now he won’t come and drink all of my cherished possessions.”
The old man laughed. “Next time call on me. Although I can’t drink much, the taste reminds me of those olden days. Unfortunately I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to help you find where another bottle is kept.”
A light shone in the Wine Master’s eyes, but soon he asked with helpless tones, “Is it truly alright to use divination to find wine, Master Clairvoyant?”
With a small smile, the Clairvoyant looked at him. “How could it not?”