Volume I : The Flood
Chapter 33 – A Cat’s Melancholy – Part 2
Looking at the intact artifacts, Amon thought of Metatro. He didn’t have a decent set of armor. And Lynk didn’t have a real staff, just a parangon on a bone.
Amon waved the rib around and activated it with his magic power, focusing on every artifact on the ground. In less than a second, all artifacts were connected with the rib, then disappeared! He had succeeded!
At the same time, Amon let out a short cry, and fell to his knees, dropping the rib onto the ground. A sharp pain lanced through his shoulder. The rib had suddenly sharply increased in weight, nearly dislocating his shoulder. If he had let go the rib an instant later, his forearm would probably be broken by the downward force. Even a third-level warrior like Amon, whose strength could allow him to kill an ox in one punch, was unable to hold it for more than an instant in his hand.
But the bone had dropped to the ground as lightly and noiselessly as if its weight had never changed. This feeling was so unreal. When it was in Amon’s hand, Amon felt the weight of all the things inside. It seemed that the weight was only exerted on the one who touched it!
No wonder Bair had said that a third-level mage could only use it in a theoretical manner. There was a reason that spatial magic was an independent branch of supreme magic. As of yet, Amon was unable to reach this realm.
At least Amon couldn’t carry the bone like this, so he had to take the items out. Still kneeling, Amon reached out to touch the bone, activating it with magic power. He could feel a large space connected to him through the bone, where all the objects lay. He focused on them one by one to take them out of the bone, till the space was empty and the bone was light as a feather again.
Standing up, Amon meditated a good while with the bone in his hand. Finally he decided that, since he couldn’t take everything with him, he would start with the best ones. He put in the objects one by one, till he could carry no more. Being a third-level warrior, his strength allowed him to take quite a bit.
He didn’t recognize many of the items, nor did he have enough time to carefully examine them. He only picked the intact ones, including two whole sets of armor, four swords, a shield, three javelins, two axes, three staffs, eight magic scrolls and even nine standard parangons. As the last of his collection, he took Troni’s tiara into the bone too.
These things added up to far heavier than a commoner could carry. Amon could barely hold the bone in his hand, but he tried an experiment. He carefully slipped the bone into his bag, and loosed his hand. As he expected, the bag’s weight didn’t change much. It meant that the weight he felt was psychological, the bone’s weight didn’t increase as much as he had felt, otherwise the bag would drag him down now.
It was troubling that the weight of the objects in the space was only imposed on the one who touched it. Fortunately it didn’t impose that weight on nonliving things, otherwise he would have had to carry the weight all the way. When it wasn’t expanded to a boat, it could still store a lot of things, except living beings. Amon had already verified that when he turned the boat back into the bone, the five Ironbacks were automatically thrown out to the ground.
The experiment was over. Amon took out the bone again and pointed to the Gods’ Tear in the air. As he wished, the golden glowing parangon disappeared from the air and appeared in the hidden space of the bone.
The cave went completely dark again. Then Amon heard the roar from the Ironback and sounds of water striking on the rocks. Amon hurriedly took out the parangon and fixed it in the air again. The cave was filled with gentle white light. The Ironbacks ran into the cave through the aisle. They were all wet.
The moment Amon collected Gods’ Tear, the transparent wall at the entrance outside disappeared. A wall of water flooded in, devouring the Ironbacks. Frightened, these ignorant beasts rushed in to notify Amon.
As Crazy’Ole had said, Bair was most skilled in message magic and spatial magic. No one could compare to him in those area in the Empire. The “cliff” was a magic space he had created using the Gods’ Tear. It was a camouflage, an insulation and a seal at the same time, leaving everything happened encased in the mountain, till Amon’s arrival.
It was already getting dark. Amon didn’t want to drive across the flood when the storm was still strong. Besides, exhausted from using magic all the time, he really needed a good rest and deep meditation. The cave plunged into darkness again after he had taken the Gods’ Tear back. Amon spent the whole night in silence, sitting on the altar, with his back to the wall with carved characters.
The storm raged on the next morning, the thunder’s roar never seemed to cease. The aisle was inundated, the outer cave was exposed, and the platform was totally under the water. The sky was dark under the heavy clouds, but Amon could still recognize the silhouette of the far mountains.
Amon expanded the bone to a large boat again. Carrying Schrodinger and the Ironbacks, he started the journey back through the flood.
No one broke the silence on the way back. The boy, the cat and the ironbacks, each of them had their own concerns. The invisible boat slowly floated on the torrents. The items Amon had taken the day before were piling up at a corner in the boat. Amon had thought that Schrodinger would be very interested in them, since it had been so excited when running into the aisle. But he was wrong.
Amon found that there was something wrong with the cat. It looked sad. Schrodinger used to be lazy and gluttonous, but Amon had never seen it being so sad! Amon was unaccustomed to dealing with a cat soaked in melancholy.
Crazy’Ole had died, and it was confirmed that Bair had died thirty years ago. It definitely wasn’t good news. Although Amon had gotten the information he was looking for, which was great for him, his face was full of sadness. He desperately wanted to talk to someone but he could find no one to talk with. So he spoke to the cat, “What’s with you, Schrodinger? You look sad. Are you sad for Bair and Troni too?”
The cat sat on the front of the boat as if it had heard nothing, as Amon’s words flew by like a gust of wind.
Amon continued to ask, “Did you fail to find something you were looking for, Schrodinger? Can you tell me about it?……And maybe you can tell me your own story too? How come you know the hieroglyph writing?”
Schrodinger still gazed forward sadly, as if Amon was a mass of air.
After a long thought provoking silence, Amon chose to bring out his conjecture, “Schrodinger, are you a deity? Why can’t I feel your existence through [Detection Eyes]?……Or, have you been sealed in a cat?”
Schrodinger sneezed, then lay down to take a nap. It chose to completely ignore Amon.
At last, Amon became desperate, “Are you hungry now, Schrodinger? You haven’t eaten anything since last morning. Let me prepare something for you!”
Schrodinger showed no reaction. Instead, the King Ironback sneezed and glanced at Amon, making a snoring noise. There was no food in the boat. What material could Amon use to feed his cat? The Ironbacks?
It had been a day and a night since God Amon had suddenly left the village. Lynk and his clansmen were worried. They didn’t know where he had gone, so they waited at the entrance of the village from the early morning. Lynk was panicky, as if he had lost some of his most important things.
When noon was close, somebody suddenly cried out in surprise, “Look, it’s the god’s cat! The holy cat!”
At distance, a melancholy cat trailed out of the woods at a lazy pace, ignoring the crowd. Lynk went out to it carrying his bone staff, but all of a sudden bounced up and ran backwards, leaving a frightened scream.
Five huge Ironbacks came out of the woods in a line, in the middle of which strode the King that had almost killed Lynk. But now these beasts looked strangely different. They crept slowly behind Schrodinger, like five docile kittens.
The screaming “fearless” headman caused a panic in the crowd. Some even were running back to the cave to get weapons. But then a voice arose, “Don’t be scared. These Ironbacks are under my control now. I brought them here!” Along with the voice, Amon walked out of the woods with his iron staff.
The screams in the crowd turned into a resounding cheer. Lynk, who was running back to the crowd, turned around and shouted, “Oh my god! You are finally back! We were all waiting for you! You brought us a miracle!” Delighted as he was, Lynk didn’t dare come close to the beasts, making a detour to reach Amon, fear still on his face.
Amon said, “I had something to do in the flood, and saved their lives when passing by. Don’t worry for me. Come with me, I have something to talk to you about.”
After the clansmen went away, Lynk followed Amon to his house. He ordered his men to bring some roast antelope that they had hunted the day before. The meat was nicely roasted with various spices, sending out a great scent. Amon first gave a dish to Schrodinger, then invited Lynk to sit down and eat together.
The Ironbacks tamely stayed outside Amon’s house. The cavemen all ran far away from them. Even Lynk was dragging Amon’s clothes when entering the house, not dare to take one more step away from him.