“Finally, a vessel is the subject of the spell. Although the spell doesn’t necessarily have to fill the whole vessel, it should never overflow from it. Once the spell exceeds the vessel, the vessel will break, and the spell will also fail to initiate eventually.”
“What actually happens when it exceeds?”
“If the vessel is an object, it will only break as a result. But if the spell was initiated with a person as the subject, that person might end up with serious injuries or even die.”
Eugene gave a silent nod as she listened. According to Berothy, there were many risks for one to consider initiating a spell. It was much akin to chemical experiments which involved the handling of dangerous material. For instance, there was a danger of explosion should one conduct the experiment without a proper knowledge of the materials and their exact ratios.
“Is there any spell you could possibly demonstrate perchance?”
Berothy answered in a resolute tone which sounded more like a firm refusal.
‘I bet Berothy is related to the ancient tribe in some ways.’
Eugene remembered that she was given no more than a shake of head from the storytellers whom she had asked the same questions to. Their response was, however, quite understandable since the spell was never a knowledge that was commonly known to the public. But seeing that Berothy had managed to answer her questions without a hint of hesitation, there was a high chance that she was in fact a descendant of the ancient tribe. If not, she still could possibly have special relationship with someone from the tribe, perhaps like a master and disciple.
Berothy didn’t seem like a person who would likely submit to coercions as she strongly reminded Eugene of Aldrit, who had refused to yield even in the face of death. When that crossed her mind, Eugene realized she might as well give up in urging Berothy to speak any further. In fact, what she had been told so far was already beyond her expectation. Eugene couldn’t be more amazed to hear this much about the spells from the old lady.
“Thank you. You really have been a great help. I’ll see to it that you would be rewarded regardless of what your grandson had already received. You are free to leave now.”
Eugene said as she motioned to a servant standing afar.
When the servant approached as if suggesting following her, Berothy rose to her feet, looking puzzled. At first, she couldn’t believe that she was given permission to leave so easily since she had expected for conciliation or even threats to follow.
Berothy, who had just turned around to follow the servant, turned back around and told Eugene with a determined look on her face.
“I’ve heard that Anika, such as yourself, is able to have an audience with His Holiness at any time.”
“If so, I’m sure His Holiness would be able to tell you more than what I know.”
A slight frown promptly creased Eugene’s brow.
“What do you mean by that?”
“The power of both divinity and spell shares the same root fundamentally. Seeing that you have summoned me, you must have thought they were different after all. If I may be so bold, I’m sure your doubts will clear up once you start seeing them as the same thing.”
After Berothy took her leave, Eugene turned to gaze at Kasser, who had sat through her conversation with Berothy in silence. He then began to mutter as he stroked his chin.
“Divine powers… Is that how they are linked?”
“What are divine powers?”
“There’s a ceremony which Sang-je holds once in a while to demonstrate his holy powers to the citizens of the Holy City. It involves something like making pillars of light to descend from the sky or to make music play itself in midair.”
Eugene couldn’t help but burst out laughing upon hearing that.
‘What’s all that about? Some kind of special effect? He clearly had been deluding people with his spells all along.’
Coming to that conclusion, Eugene confidently concluded that Sang-je could never be someone who was sent to speak for God.
Hitasya was being driven to some place with her father in the carriage. Not only was it dark inside without the windows, but she also almost felt like she was trapped since it was so cramped inside. The poor girl had to sit closely together with her father throughout the whole ride.
When the carriage had finally slowed down to a stop, the door was opened from outside. Hitasya, who had alighted from the carriage after her father, looked around her surroundings as soon as she got off.
[Make sure you take a good look around your surroundings, Hitasya. I’m sure then you’ll be able to picture the place again from your memory, even at a later time.]
As her grandfather advised, Hitasya took great care to remember even the smallest details of the surroundings which unfolded before her eyes. However, the single-story building, which looked queer from the outside, didn’t seem like it was livable in the least. Nonetheless, she tried to engrave the gruesome sharp points on the fences surrounding the building and even the little pebbles which were scattered all around the floor like dirt, into her memory.
Meanwhile, Hitasya cleverly feigned fear and looked around as naturally as she could, as if she was only doing it out of the fear of being in an unfamiliar place.
Thas bent down and placed his hand on his daughter’s shoulder as he pointed to the building with his other hand.
“Do you see that door?”
“You must walk to the door all by yourself. And as you wait by the door, someone will open it for you from inside. Once you get inside, you will then be carried further down into the dark underground. Do you think you can be a brave girl and go inside without crying?”
Fear registered on Hitasya’s face when she was told that she needed to go inside all by herself. However, she was quick to shake off her fear and answered her father with a firm nod.
“I’ll be waiting for you here. I would never leave without you returning so don’t worry.”
Thas kept his gaze fixed at the back of his little daughter as she walked toward the door. Watching his daughter had somehow reminded him of the very day when he had walked down the same road, decades ago.
He never realized back then that he was in fact a hostage and was sent down under the pretext to meet the elder. But despite having learned all the truth by now, there was no way he could put a full stop to this vicious cycle of tragedy where he had to send his own daughter as another hostage.
There were so many things for him to ask if only he could meet with the elder once again. However, no one was granted the exception along with the age limit which was strictly abide.
[Humans have the tendency to form a conspiracy when two come together.]
The reason for the age limit was entirely because children still lacked the power to make their own judgment. In other words, it was practically impossible for children to actually ‘plot a scheme’, to put it in Sang-je’s words.
‘That sly fox.’
The clenched fists of Thas trembled with anger as he helplessly wondered just how much longer he must be played into the monster’s hands. He had never been more resentful at his own powerlessness than today.