Volume I : The Flood
Chapter 34 – Horus’ Wrath – Part 2
“The superior deities might be watching over this world, observing their worshipers displaying their love and devotion, and watched them choose their own fates. I have fortunately obtained the power given by the gods, which I will use to defend the majesty of my god and the Empire. I think this is my fate. My dear god! I have never betrayed you!”
“However, the deities aren’t the only ones who have wills. I’m surprised at Bair’s power and courage. I am still wondering where it comes from. I tried to persuade him to go back into the embrace of the Shrine when he went by Cape State. But I failed. Bair told me that mortals can also become deities, the gods lie to everybody, we were all fooled.”
“Horus, my dear almighty god! I admit that I cannot hide my curiosity. I told Bair ‘please don’t seduce me’. I have already refused the devil’s temptation. But is the desire for immortality really the devil in our heart? I wish I could have the answer, even if the cost would be instant death. Is it this temptation that has lead to Bair’s self destruction?”
“I want to see Bair confirm this, so I let him and Troni leave Ejypt through Cape State. Although I couldn’t have stopped him alone, it was true that I didn’t try my best. He is my clansman, and he has saved my life. I couldn’t make up my mind to challenge him in a life-or-death fight.”
“Nevertheless, when I heard the god’s voice today, and received the order along with me peers from the capital and Memfis, I know that my fate is coming. I’ve learned the message magic under Bair’s guide, through which I have left a mark on Troni’s tiara the day they passed by — why have I done that? Is it really the god’s will that has decided my fate?”
“I have to depart in secret. I am not allowed to say goodbye to anyone. I know clearly that I can never come back here, no matter because of my god or Bair.”
“This staff belongs to the Horus Shrine of Cape. You who are lucky enough to obtain it, please return it to my shrine. Let the god have what belongs to the god. I don’t want to owe anyone anything in my whole life. Being able to read my message, you must be a mage. I have left three scrolls along with my staff, which are my personal gift to thank you for what you are going to do.”
“I also leave a ring. It belongs to my family. Please bring it to my family in the Cape State. You will have extra reward for that. I leave my testament in the ring, telling my descendents how I have decided to reward you. When you come to the Horus Shrine in Cape to return my staff, please go to Lord Drick and ask him to invite a supreme mage good enough at spatial magic to take out the testament in the ring, and read it to the public. Lord Drick is trustworthy.”
Supreme mage Nero’s last message ended there. The voice was so vivid, as if he was still alive and was telling Amon this message himself right beside him. This message couldn’t be fake. Along with the oral message, some other information flowed into Amon’s mind, which was an introduction on the three scrolls mentioned in the message. They were exactly the three ones that were not labelled.
Of the three scrolls, the slimmer one with silver handles was called “Space Turbulence”. It could break spatial restrictions or distortions, thus very useful as an escaping method when besieged by spatial magic. However, once released, “Space Turbulence” would create numerous spatial cracks that could also hurt the caster himself, making it a highly dangerous supreme magic. But when released by magic scroll, the caster didn’t need to expend too much magic power, and he could use other spatial Magic Artifacts to protect himself.
The other one, shorter, with golden handles, was called “Message Annihilation”. It could breach any message magic. It was served as a destroying magic. Sophisticated message magic could not only be used to preserve and deliver a message, but it could also be used to make camouflage, disguises and traps, which “Message Annihilation” could destroy completely.
It seemed that this supreme mage was well planned when he set out to chase Bair. He knew that Bair was proficient at spatial and message magic, so he brought with him specific scrolls targeting Bair which he made himself. For some reason he didn’t use them in the battle. Perhaps there was no time or no need for him to use it when he finally faced him.
The magic sealed in these two scrolls were both supreme magics. Although theoretically it didn’t cost the user’s magic power, it had requirements on the users as well. The user had to be at least an advanced mage to open the scroll and lead the magic power to cast the magic inside. As for the last grey scroll, Nero didn’t introduce it in the message, but told Amon that if he returned the staff and his ring to Cape according to his final message, he could inquire the records in the archives of the Horus Shrine to learn the process of him making this scroll. He had left the proper arrangements in his testament in the ring.
However, Nero specially emphasized that the grey scroll was extremely rare and precious, that its value surpassed the sum of the staff and the ring, and that nobody should use it before fully understanding how it was made.
After reading this message, Amon was lost in his thoughts. Besides the message hidden in the staff, this mage left another testament in his ring. So his ring should also be a spatial Magic Artifact that could hide things. What Nero had also pointed out was that, when he returned the staff to the Horus Shrine of Cape, he should find Lord Drick, the governor of Cape to invite a supreme mage who was good at spatial magic so as to open the ring and read the testament to the public.
Did it mean that it would be very hard to open the ring? He asked the trustworthy Lord Drick to be the notary to make sure that his testament could be fairly executed and that his family would abide by his will. Nero had already left these three scrolls as the reward for returning his staff. What reward he would give to the finder of his belongings for returning his ring to his family? Amon was curious, but sadly he couldn’t find out himself.
He played with the grey scroll in his hand for a long while. Nero stressed that this scroll alone was more precious than the staff and the ring added up. But if his testament wasn’t fully executed, no one would be able to obtain the instructions. If no one knew how to use it, it would be just an unrecognizable, useless scroll that no one else could use. Amon didn’t fully believe this. Suddenly, he thought of a possibility. Perhaps this supreme mage was worrying that the finder of his belongings wouldn’t act as he wished, so he intentionally left out the information about this scroll.
Amon’s guess was right. The grey scroll wasn’t to be used under any circumstances. If the one who found this scroll did not help Nero fulfill his last wish, and just keep everything for himself, then the moment he used the grey scroll would probably be the last moment of his life. It was the most precious magic scroll that Nero had ever made, the pinnacle of his lifetime of experience and skills. It couldn’t be measured with wealth because its usage was unique.
Being a poor miner’s son in a remote town, Amon hadn’t had the chance to hear Nero’s name. Born and brought up in Cape City, Nero was the oracle of the Horus Shrine of Cape State. He became a supreme mage not long after he passed the age of twenty, people praised him as “Nero the genius”. He also became the best producer of magic scrolls in the entirety of Ejypt. He was so obsessed with magic scroll making that he devoted too much time and effort into it. Perhaps because of that, forty years after he became a supreme mage, Nero still couldn’t ascend to the next level.
Cape was the communication center of the nearby countries, and was of great strategic importance. Opposite of it was the Syah State of the kingdom of Hittite, guarded now by an eighth-level supreme mage. Thirty years ago, Cape was also guarded by a supreme mage — Nero.
Among the different forces that had taken part in the battle, Cape’s high level magic forces were the most severely damaged in the chase thirty years ago. Since it was the closest state to where Bair had last appeared, the number of mages and warriors called up were the highest of all the states. Most of them, including Nero, the oracle, didn’t come back. The Empire of Ejypt was already really strong, it had subdued the Hittites under its foot through war. There were no threats on the borders in the last thirty years. Moreover, no supreme mage wanted to constantly stay in this remote town. Therefore, there had been no supreme mage in Cape ever since.
In the current day, Rod Drick was the governor of Cape and also the oracle. He was not a supreme mage, but was capable and competent governor though. However, the “Lord Drick” mentioned in Nero’s last message wasn’t him, but his father. While the governor of a state was appointed by the Pharaoh, it was practically hereditary in most places.
Anyway, Amon admitted that it was highly improbable that he could figure out what the grey scroll was in a reasonable amount of time. The way this played out, it seemed that Lynk couldn’t have Nero’s staff. Whether he was going to return the staff and the scrolls to Cape, these things could be useful for him in the future. Amon put the scrolls and the staff back into the bone, and shook out the aforementioned ring.
The ring looked normal at first glance. Simple, round, bronze by the look, it had no decoration other than a circled-five-point-star-like formation engraved on the outer side. Amon hadn’t paid much attention to it when gathering the objects in the cave, storing it as a small accessory. When he took it now in the hand, he found it unusually heavy, almost as heavy as a thick iron shield.
Having the experience of dealing with spatial Magic Artifacts, Amon knew that there was something stored in the ring. It definitely contained much more than a testament. Amon found it funny that he himself, a humble third-level sorcerer, could possess three precious spatial Magic Artifacts. But he was still unable to see the things inside the ring, and was also far from being able to access the Ventussalte given by Crazy’Ole. The bone was the only one that he could barely use, but not even to its fullest degree.
All of them were rarities that most mages longed for. It was a waste that they were owned by Amon. Who knew how many people would burn with envy had this fact been divulged.
This accident didn’t distract Amon for long. After a thorough check, he picked another staff for Lynk. The staff he chose wasn’t inlaid with special parangons, but with seven standard ones in a spiral. And its material was quite unique such that Amon had no idea what it was made of.
It wasn’t easy to embed parangons in staffs, and it wasn’t the more the better. The actual process was very complicated. The craftsmen had to wisely design the formation so as to maximize the magic effect. The more complex the design was, the more it demanded on the base material and the maker’s skill. This staff’s maker must be an adept. Amon tried it and found that it could largely amplify the casted magic and increase his casting speed.
However, it didn’t exceed Amon’s expectation. It was far less amazing than the bone, and was obviously not a match to the other staffs he had. In Amon’s opinion, it suited a beginner like Lynk well. Before he could realize, Amon was already used to living in peace with these wondrous rarities that could dazzle most of the “high lords”.