Chapter 16 “Intractable Problem”
“The celestial bodies of the night sky, the positions of the stars, the boundless mysteries. Their positions will change bizarrely along with the passage of time, and these changes have always been considered some kind of message bestowed upon humanity by the goddess. People often believe that astrologers are the only people specializing in the interpretation of these riddles that the goddess set aside for us.
But this is all wrong!
The stars contain boundless power. This power, compared to what we can see, compared to an immense storm, a rushing deluge, a blaze overflowing the sky, it’s even more formidable than this! Even so formidable that in the end…… it made me doubt.
Could such a vast power really be created by the goddess?
In addition, these stars seem to have been suspended in the sky since ancient times! Since long, long ago, even further back than we know about, even to the extent that it might be further back than the creation of our world!
Then were these stars still truly created by the goddess? According to all the books I’ve been able to find as well as religious records, wherever stars are mentioned, the ruling theory is: “When the goddess created this world, the stars were put in place as decorations to make the night beautiful, and so that the goddess could change their positions whenever there was a message for the world, so that these changes could enlighten humanity.”
Yes, according to these theories, the stars were created along with our world as accessories for the night …… but, was this really true?
Six years ago when I was thirty four, there was a change in the pattern of the stars, one night a star fell below the horizon. All the astrologers did their utmost to determine just what hint the goddess intended for us with this phenomenon, but I began to choose another path……
According to the direction the star fell in that night, and consulting all possible materials, I decided to search for that fallen star! I spent more than three years, tracking all over the north of the continent, until at last I found it!
While speaking, Seimei raised her hand to extend it from within her gown. Opening her palm, she raises a fist sized piece of dark stone with her fingers.
“This is the ‘fallen star’ I found. Look, on the surface it seems to be basically a chunk of rock! Of course, this piece in my hand is only a fragment. What I found was something as big as a house. Moreover, the terrain on where it fell had a gaping hole due to the impact and a ravine was carved into the landscape as a result of this. From the ashes lingering at the scene, I can tell there had been an immense wildfire. Such destructive force, perhaps only the most powerful forbidden spells could rival it.”
Du Wei sighed in admiration.
With Du Wei’s insight, this female master astrologer called Seimei was truly extraordinary!
At least she had the courage to raise questions about the lofty words spouted by everyone…… and in some respects; she even came close to the facts!
“It’s hard to imagine that what is called the stars, are only immense chunks of stone. Even more importantly, this piece of rock is completely different from any substance known in this world! It’s solid and brimming with a kind of magic absorption power…… I’ve spent a lot of time inquiring its makeup with many alchemists, and even some aged ironworkers, but not one of them recognized this new ‘substance’! In other words…… stars basically aren’t from our world!” Seimei’s image began to flicker a bit, clearly a sign that the magic power was running out. Du Wei hurriedly roused his spirit, praying that the remaining magic would last a bit longer.
“From then on I began to question every document that speaks of the goddess creating this world. If you say the goddess created this world, gave life to it, gave day and night to it, and the four alternating seasons …… Then tell me, who actually formulated all these laws? Was it the goddess?
I’ve spent practically my whole life studying the stars, and finally I’ve discovered that what is called ‘the changes of the stars in the sky are riddles left for humanity by the goddess ……’ is an absurd theory! I spent ten years recording and studying the positions of a few stars, researching them every night for ten years and recording their positions.
And gradually, on some nights when the sky was dark and hidden behind dark clouds, I was unable to see the stars with the naked eye. In times like these I could only search for some other method…… I thought of magic…… Since magic can be used to respond to even the tiniest changes in nature, then shouldn’t I be able to feel the changes of the stars using magic when I couldn’t see them?
Finally, it was then that I discovered the power of the stars! And if I could use this power, then just like how magicians drew power from nature…… I could draw strength from the stars!
And after discovering this, I could then on sense the power of the stars. I became astounded!
That was…… The power of the stars couldn’t just be sensed at night!
Even when the scorching sun stood right overhead, I could use meditation to expand my spirit’s sensitivity and feel the existence of the stars! They’re right in the sky, whether it be day or night! It’s just that in the daytime their lights are obscured by the intensity of the sun!
After ten years of constant recordings, I eventually discovered the position of these stars would change a bit; the changes were actually all cyclical! All of it is like a loop! For example a star that’s in the east in the summer, will move to the west during winter. Then by the new year, the star’s position will revert back to the east…. All evidence points to a repeating loop, a cycle!
Consequently, this absolutely wasn’t in any way for the goddess to enlighten humanity! It’s even less of a riddle for humanity! It all repeats according to a certain set of rules —— the rules of the stars! The law of the stars!”
Seimei’s image gradually weakened, these were the last moments before the magic was exhausted.
Her voice became incomparably grave: “The Temple tells us that the stars are a riddle and enlightenment set aside for humanity, my conclusion is that the stars move according to a set of fixed rules and have no correlation to any divine riddle. The Temple tells us that the stars are decorations left in the night sky; my conclusion is that they exist not only at night, that even though their light can’t be seen with the naked eye in the day, they still exist. The Temple tells us that the goddess created this world, my conclusion is that the stars are made of a type of rock never before seen in this world.”
This great female astrologer raised her head, speaking her final conclusion: “I have begun to doubt whether the stars were created by the goddess at all…… and finally, I have begun to doubt what is called…… Goddess!”
Looking at her image, Du Wei felt his heart brimming with respect for this woman! Ever since coming to this world, this was the first person he had encountered with the courage to call into question and challenge the common sense and authority of this world!
Compared to those people who set their mind on the belief that ‘the goddess created everything’, this woman who dared question common sense and challenge authority, and who even spent her life researching it, had earned Du Wei’s complete admiration and respect.
“My life’s work is all hidden in this room. I give all the things in here to you. But that door outside is a diversion I left behind, if the people coming here didn’t understand the hints about the stars, then all they could find is that door, behind it are just some worldly valuables, while here, is my true legacy, Seimei Rowling!”
Suddenly the light flickered and began to dim, the female astrologer’s image gradually becoming vague, her voice weakening:
“For my final advice, in that oil painting hanging in the study is a magic creature of my devising, I sealed it in the painting for it to become your guide in learning all of this. When learning all the things in this room, you will require its help and guidance. For security purposes, I haven’t recorded any of the star magic spells I created on paper, but left them with that magic creature. You must unseal it from the painting.
My child, even if I don’t know how long it will be until you find this place, I believe that the great Rowling clan will definitely produce a genius in magic. You should understand that all my life’s work and study, by questioning the authority of the goddess, definitely won’t be accepted by this world! Especially those in authority, they will even more ardently use any means to eliminate it. Since I’m unable to hand down all of this honestly, I can only use clandestine methods like this.
I have enchanted that magic creature so that it will only come to life at night, and will lie dormant in the day…… He-he, like this it’s just like the stars, invisible to the naked eye in the day. Moreover, only people with strong spirit power will be able to notice its existence. I believe that since your spirit power is strong enough to come here, you will be able to become a remarkable magician. I impart all that I have learned about star magic to you…… Remember this incantation; you can use it to undo the seal on the painting above. After it has been released, it will unconditionally follow your every command…… And the rest is all up to you.”
The female astrologer slowly declared her last incantation, each letter pronounced distinctly, at the same time making a few finger seals with her hands…… Du Wei diligently remembered everything, and afterwards…… with a small sound, the light abruptly flickered and faded away!
The room immediately fell into darkness, and Du Wei hurriedly lit the candle. After inspecting the room, he decided there was nothing to be done and carefully returned from where he came, crawling through the secret passage.
Du Wei was completely covered with dust by the time he came back to the study. Fortunately, in the room was still that pile of dusty ledgers, and so the dust wasn’t at all difficult to explain.
Closing the secret bookshelf door behind him, Du Wei finally stepped in front of that painting: “I went inside and saw everything, including her last words.”
The eyes in the painting seemed to relax, then entreating.
Du Wei clearly understood what it meant and smiled: “You want me to unseal you? Eh, I already found the incantation she left behind. Only, clearly there was a small mistake…”
Du Wei smiled wryly.
The first clue that Seimei left behind was the painting! But only a person with strong spirit power could notice it! And people with strong spirit power were almost certainly sorcerers! Even if they weren’t, they could still learn magic!
A sorcerer was required for Seimei to pass on her star magic. As a result she left behind this kind of game.
If people didn’t notice the oil painting then it was because their spirit power was insufficient, and they didn’t have the talent for magic.
And those who saw it could learn magic…… Afterwards, they could learn that incantation from Seimei and use it to undo the seal on the painting!
But perhaps even an astute person hadn’t expected that after all these years the Rowling family would produce a freak like Du Wei!
He clearly possessed surpassing talent for spirit power! But from top to bottom he didn’t have the slightest bit of talent for magic sensitivity!
In other words, Du Wei had no way of using that unsealing incantation Seimei left behind, no way of undoing the seal on the painting.
Without this magic creature Seimei left behind…… Perhaps he would be unable to learn Seimei’s star magic because all the spells were left with the creature in this painting!
It seemed to be an intractable problem, right?
Du Wei couldn’t help but make a wry smile.
Clearly he had found a vast treasure, he had even opened the door, but he couldn’t step inside. Such a feeling was truly helpless……
Suddenly Du Wei’s eye brightened…… hadn’t he captured a magician?
That fellow who only had the ability to use the lowest level magic could use the top notch ‘instant casting’, then perhaps……
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