Volume III : The Divine Emissaries
Chapter 79 – The Blessing from Isis[1867 words]
The rest of the message contained knowledge about supreme magics. Different from how he had explained primary and advanced magics, Crazy’Ole didn’t provide a thorough list of all the supreme magics. Rather, he merely summarized them as an introduction. He quickly outlined the key aspects of the different types of supreme magics, and then moved on to a detailed explanation of spatial magic, message magic, elemental magic and a few other types of magic he had specialized in.
Supreme magics were complicated. They demanded deep understanding of magic power and high proficiency in utilizing it. Not every supreme mage could be an expert in every type of magic. As an eighth-level mage, Nietzsche wasn’t the greatest in magic practice. However, he was definitely a top scholar in the study of magic. He was well versed in almost every field.
Crazy’Ole could never have expected that Amon would have such convenient “access” to documents on supreme magics. He gave a brief yet excellent introduction that covered the essence of every type of magic he knew. Even for those he was not very good at, he made up for it with his collection of notes from other supreme mages.
If Amon had to explore everything by himself, it would take him years to understand and verify the knowledge through comparisons and research. But Crazy’Ole had already done it, albeit because he had wanted to solve the secret of the gods. To Amon, it was a unique treasure.
Savouring the new information, Amon came up with a plan to practice supreme magic. He would use Crazy’Ole’s system as the core structure and extend it with what he could learn from the Archive. The only problem was with the practice of body arts. Since neither Crazy’Ole nor Bair had been a top warrior, Amon would have to find his own path.
Although they were living in the same shrine, Amon didn’t have much chance to see Maria. He could only see her on certain occasions like ceremonies and festivals. The Adoratrice was always the center of the crowd, while Amon could only watch her from a distant corner. Other than that, the life of the Adoratrice never crossed with that of a watchman.
The Adoratrice didn’t need to personally go to the Archive to borrow files. She would simply order her servants to bring the documents to her. Technically speaking, it also wasn’t necessary for Gabriel to come to the Archive. But nevertheless, she had still visited the Archive several times recently. And each time, she went to borrow documents from the room Amon was currently guarding. She claimed that she came to borrow them on behalf of the Adoratrice, and that this was a task which was too important to be left to others.
Amon somehow felt that it was an excuse. Maria was probably using the opportunity to check if he was doing well, although this could just be his one-sided imagination. All of the documents Gabriel borrowed were among the most precious ones. Amon didn’t have the right to handle them himself. They were all locked in special boxes, and the keys were kept separately by different senior priests. Only in the presence of a watchman could the keys be gathered to open the corresponding box.
Of course, Gabriel held a higher status than a senior priest. She simply came with all the keys and opened the box in front of Amon. The last time this supreme warrior came to return a document, she even had a short conversation with Amon, asking if his wounds were fully recovered. Amon was still undergoing the process of transformation, and his strength was gradually increasing.. He reported the condition of his body honestly.
Gabriel was surprised. She said that she would find some time to have a longer conversation with him on the practice of body arts. It was an exceedingly welcome opportunity for Amon. He expressed his sincere thanks to Gabriel, and he also casually asked about the document the Adoratrice was reading. Gabriel claimed that it was an extremely important document for someone at the threshold of becoming a supreme mage.
For mages wishing to ascend to the seventh level, the test of “Faith’s Confirmation” awaited them. It was potentially the next test Amon would face on his path of practicing the power of two sides.
But he had to confirm it by himself.
A document that was extremely important to becoming a supreme mage, even for the Adoratrice? What could it be? But Gabriel seemed to be hurrying to leave. She just left the box and the keys to Amon, telling him to hand the keys over to the senior priests after locking the box and returning it. After she left, Amon naturally took the liberty of reading the precious document for himself.
It was a document written by the previous Adoratrice of Isis. To his surprise, it said nothing about magic practicing, nothing about the test. Rather, it was a collection of songs of praise. The then Adoratrice praised Mother Isis with magnificent words and sang of her pious love and adoration for the goddess. It talked about Mother Isis helping the poor of Ejypt, fighting against monsters and invaders, teaching King Horus to treat his people well and guiding the Adoratrice to put all of her doubts to rest. Even though he was not a believer of Isis, Amon was deeply moved by the text.
Even if one didn’t believe in the existence of Isis, he had to admire the faith and spirit of this Adoratrice. Faith had a power of its own — this was what Amon felt when reading the text. But what did this have to do with the test? How would this help Maria or inspire her to become a supreme mage? Amon was still contemplating it.
Gabriel had said that she would find some time to discuss the practice of body arts with Amon. However, Amon didn’t see the supreme warrior even once in the following month. But then the yearly Hapisidis festival began, and Amon realized what Gabriel had been busy with.
The Hapisidis festival was when the common people would pray to Mother Isis and receive her blessing. Of course, Isis herself wouldn’t appear during the ceremony; it was the Adoratrice of Isis who would actually deliver the blessing. Thirty-three years had passed since the last time the city of Memfis had witnessed the blessing of the goddess. The reason was obvious: there was no Adoratrice. Even in the first two years after Maria became the Adoratrice, the Hapisidis hadn’t been held since the Adoratrice was still too young to perform the blessing.
The festival mainly consisted of dancing and singing and drinking. But at the end of the ceremony, the Adoratrice would appear at the grand square in front of the shrine and give out blessings on behalf of the goddess.
The grand square was indeed large. It could accommodate tens of thousands of people. Most of the citizens of Memfis gathered in the square. There were also farmers, shepherds and other people from nearby cities joining the crowd. Maintaining order in the square was a challenging task. Even the watchmen of the Archive were called to help, Amon included among them. As an advanced warrior, he was given a javelin and stationed in an area near the altar.
The blessing rituals began when Maria came out of the shrine, wearing a golden crown and holding her divine scepter. She mounted the stairs up to the altar. A formation was raised by the priests around her. A bell rang, and the people in the square prostrated themselves towards the altar. Maria slowly raised the scepter, murmuring. A beam of golden light issued forth from the tip of the scepter and shot into the sky. A huge golden ring of light materialized high up in the air, then descended to only a few feet above Maria. The resplendent glow from the ring of light steadily extended and painted the sky a vibrant golden color. The people in the square were all astounded and felt awed by this spectacular scene.
The beam of light had already disappeared. The Adoratrice was still holding her scepter high. A bell rang once more, and countless opalescent grains of light gently drifted down from the golden sky. It was like snow under vague moonlight.
This was the Blessing from Isis. Maria had previously used it to cure Amon. Now, she performed it on tens of thousands of people. Every grain of light was a unit of magic power that could heal wounds and illness, ease pain and fatigue, restore vitality, and bolster one’s strength, faith and courage. The Blessing from Isis, this miraculous magic, was the reason that the people of Lower Ejypt had chosen to worship the goddess. It was also the symbol of the Isis Shrine.
The magic was deliberately amplified by the magic formation around Maria and the dozens of priests behind the altar. Still, in order to spread it to tens of thousands of people and ensure that all of them would feel the magic effect, the main performer had to be a supreme mage. Maria had succeeded. She managed to become a supreme mage before the most important festival of the Isis Shrine. From this moment on, she would be seen as the true Adoratrice. No one would ever be able to deprive her of the holy title.
Amon was among the beneficiaries as well. Prostrated on the ground, he received the comfortable feeling from the sky. Out of everyone in the square, he was the most familiar with this feeling. It was like gentle caress, bringing peace to the mind. The effect was certainly less remarkable than what he had received on the bank of the Nile, but this time, everyone in the square was experiencing the same feeling as he had before.
Everyone in the crowd was silently prostrated, some even were kissing the ground. Suddenly, Amon had a strange premonition. He bounced up from the ground and hurled the javelin in his hand high into the air.
Physical strength superposed with magic power, Amon’s strike could rival that of a supreme warrior. The javelin flew through the square with a sharp buzz, wrapped by faint silver light, seeming like a scared fish darting deep into the water. It struck precisely at a thick black arrow. The arrow was about two feet long, and it was shooting straight at the Adoratrice standing on the altar!
The dim and dark arrow was hit by the silver javelin. With a sound like waves crashing over a reef, the javelin actually sprang away like a toothpick!
More incredibly, the arrow didn’t even change its course! It seemed to pause for an instant, then continued shooting at the Adoratrice.
The people in the crowd were all face-down, prostrated. The priests were behind the altar. No one else saw the arrow. A third bell-ring sounded at the exact moment the javelin hit the arrow. The collision was perfectly covered by the ring of the bell. Everyone was unaware that the Adoratrice was in the midst of being assassinated during the sacred ceremony!