Gods And Planes(3)
The Duke’s question only brought calm to Richard’s heart— he was completely prepared for it. He placed his teacup down with a smile, “You’re only betraying the pantheon, not Faelor itself.”
This answer greatly surprised the Direwolf Duke. Even though he worshipped his ancestors, something that went against the gods, he was still essentially on the same track. The ultimate goal of worshipping one’s ancestors was to allow their spirits to transcend mortality, becoming deities themselves. When someone in the family ignited their godfire, this worship would naturally transform into the worship of a god. Thus, even Bevry held the gods in high esteem. He was just unwilling to put aside his dignity and interests for a god who was not related to him by blood.
The gods were above everything— everyone in Faelor understood it. It was the same belief held by primitive gods who had not figured out the myriad planes.
“The gods you speak of,” Richard responded to Bevry’s puzzled gaze, “are merely powerhouses who have aligned themselves with a law. These laws depend on the plane they reside on, and these fellows who take control of them through the faith of mortals can only be called parasites. They are no different from the majority of humans, mere attachments to the plane. How could they possibly be above the plane itself?
“The only reason the gods claim to be above Faelor is that it supports their own agenda. If Faelor is destroyed, these parasites who feed off it will die as well, but even if the gods are destroyed Faelor will continue to exist!”
The Duke was an experienced, knowledgeable man. As an ambitious leader of his family, the profundity of his knowledge would astonish most people. However, he had never thought of things from the viewpoint Richard just demonstrated.
In a land ruled by the gods like Faelor, any public heresy would end with one burnt at the stake. The Direwolf Duke was at odds with the pantheon, but on the whole it was just internal strife in the same camp. Bevry himself placed the pantheon in high regard, even higher than Faelor itself. However, some consideration led him to understand the irrefutable value behind Richard’s words.
And yet, there was an easy method to deal with such irrefutable facts in the teachings of the gods: whether Richard’s words were true or not, he would still be burnt. There would be no other reply, no chance for him to hold a debate.
Bevry lightly knocked on the table for a while before finally raising his head, “Whatever I choose, this is an extremely difficult decision. I would like to add a small weight to the balance. Come, follow me; there is someone I want you to meet.”
Kars and Olar were left behind in the lobby, with only Richard and Flowsand following the Duke. Bevry brought them along a maze-like path, guards popping out from hidden alcoves everywhere to greet him with a bow.
Deepcliff Castle was Bevry’s permanent residence, but the interior wasn’t cosy at all. In fact, it was full of fortifications. A single, isolated courtyard in the upper levels contained a five-storey building that housed the Duke’s entire family.
Normally, Bevry’s kin would rather visit the beautiful countryside than spend their days cooped up in this cramped castle. Only the Duke himself spent most of his time here, occasionally heading out to the mountains to hunt with his family or attend important events. The layout of this castle allowed Richard to peek into a corner of the Duke’s heart. This was a wise man, courageous and firm of will…
Opening a dark door, Bevry walked into a dark, moist passageway. This hidden path was long and narrow; it felt like a gentle downward slope, the walls growing damper the further they went. Richard silently computed his bearings, discovering that this passage actually led to the belly of the mountain this castle was built on. However, he didn’t feel particularly threatened; the Duke had no need to wait so long to kill them. He had no way of putting up a fight if that was the man’s wish.
The passageway finally opened into another heavy metal door, revealing a vast space behind. This was a courtyard constructed in the interior of the mountain, several rooms illuminated by magic light reflected in the waters of an underground spring.
Bevry was extremely familiar with this place, opening each door along the journey and showing the two what lay within. A majority of the rooms had countless scrolls, books, and other papers randomly scattered about. There was an endless amount of data and pictures everywhere; all familiar to Richard but supposed to be highly abstract knowledge on Faelor. Some of them were theories that still needed proving, but at his level it was all common knowledge.
Magical mathematics was one of the basic foundations of runecrafting. In a plane like Faelor where runecrafting was yet to be discovered, this foundational field wasn’t well developed either.
Richard picked up a piece of paper and was astonished by what he saw. This paper had some illustrations with basic planar geometry. The biggest use of planar geometry was in the construction of portals to other planes! Even in Deepblue this was a profound subject, abstruse and difficulty because one had to understand the workings of time.
A breakthrough in planar geometry in this backwater… Even if it was simple guesswork, whoever had come up with it was a rare genius. This was just like when he had read Essien’s diary, far beyond the means of Faelor.
However, careful thought reminded him that this wasn’t strange. This plane was large, developed and prosperous. There were hundreds of millions of residents here, so there were bound to be geniuses among the rest.
It wasn’t long before Duke Bevry opened the last door, the one that was the deepest in. This was a room that was a few hundred square metres in area, the walls filled with bookshelves with a large desk in the centre of the room. A magical light was shining down from the ceiling, making the entire room glow splendidly.
A white-haired old man was sitting at the desk, scribbling non-stop. He was making calculations after calculations, evidently thinking of something.
He didn’t even raise his head in response to the noise from the door, “Is it mealtime already? Alright, just set the table in the next room.”
“Perrin, I wanted to introduce you to two new friends.” The Duke’s voice was expectedly calm and friendly, showing true sincerity.
Perrin turned around, glancing over both Richard and Flowsand. He then returned his gaze to the paper in front of him, speaking impatiently, “Alright, I saw them. You can all leave now. You know how precious my time is, Your Grace. If there is no special reason, please don’t disturb me. I’m at the brink of a breakthrough, this is a crucial moment!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Styles
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA