The doors to the Hall of Fate opened to reveal an empty s.p.a.ce within.
There were beams of light shooting across the deep emptiness, reflecting upon several metallic components.
As Predica and Habsburg walked in, the flowing lights in the chamber increased in number. The scenery inside the hall slowly became visible as well.
There was a strange machine floating in the emptiness, surrounded by countless tracks arcing around the central point and moving at different speeds. Some would intersect in certain places but these complicated tracks would never collide.
It was hard to say how the apparatus was powered or why it was moving. The mechanism looked simple enough, but the profundity within was something even Habsburg couldn’t figure out. He would feel dizzy just from looking at it for too long.
Predica sighed. “I must admit, the power of nature is extremely miraculous. I would’ve never imagined something like this fate apparatus would exist. It can operate on the mysterious force that exists within the void and reveal to us the lowest layer of fate’s trajectory.”
Habsburg endured the discomfort and studied the trajectory in detail, realizing certain things during this process. “His Majesty refused to use any form of steam machinery or origin arrays throughout the years. Is it so that he can control the power in the depths of the void?”
“Exactly.” Predica nodded.
Habsburg said thoughtfully, “Does he plan to… take the next step?”
Predica smiled wryly. “It’s not just His Majesty, who doesn’t want to take the next step? Aren’t we all the same? Unfortunately, our bloodline and power also act as our restraint, our ceilings have been destined the moment we were born. How can it be so easy to find something that can replace our bloodlines? The only one who has succeeded throughout the millennia must be the one who fell in the new world.”
Habsburg went silent for a while, apparently unwilling to continue this topic. “Perhaps a subst.i.tute is easier to find in the new world?”
Now, this was a common agreement among the Evernight experts. Unexpectedly, Predica said, “Actually, the power we need might not be in the new world, nor is it in our Evernight World. Maybe we’ve been walking the wrong path for millennia. You’ll understand once I introduce a young friend to you.”
Predica called out into the emptiness, “Anwen!”
A door opened in the void s.p.a.ce and in walked Anwen. Through the half-open door, one could see the miraculous s.p.a.ce inside. There was only a floor but no ceiling, nor was there anything else apart from the table, chair, and an array of complicated machinery. There were at least thousands of gears within the mechanism. Simply thinking about their movement gave one a headache.
It wasn’t just Habsburg who was gazing at the machinery inside; even Predica seemed curious. Anwen scratched his messy hair and said helplessly, “Ah, it’s like this… I’ve been requiring a lot of computational power lately, and my demonic energy isn’t quite enough. That’s why I had to build that thing to help me with my calculations.”
Habsburg nodded, still gazing expressionlessly at the complicated machine. Even with his power as the Flaming Crown, he couldn’t figure out even a portion of the machine’s rhythm, nor did he understand what Anwen meant by computation. Didn’t all Evernight experts rely on sensing and understanding their bloodline to advance in rank? The name of this process itself was something he had learned from the humans.
The sensing part was easy enough, but why they attached such importance to understanding was a mystery.
In Anwen’s case, origin power was apparently more than just an energy to be channeled. It could be quantified and calculated?
Fortunately, Habsburg had shot a stealthy glance at Predica and saw that the latter was also puzzled. That made him feel much better. It would seem that Anwen was a… special case and not because vampires were particularly dumb. Even the demonkin great prophet had no idea what Anwen was up to.
Seeing Predica and Habsburg’s expressions, Anwen scratched his head again and began explaining what exactly he was doing. After all, it was only because of Predica that he had gotten this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work in the Hall of Fate.
Even as the Young Lord of the demonkin race, Anwen understood that he should be taking responsibility for his sponsor.
“Actually, I’m still not at the stage where I can explore the unknown… wait, listen to my explanation!” Anwen immediately noticed the killing intent in Predica’s expression.
Predica said, “Fine, I must hear of it, and it just so happens that Habsburg is here to listen as well. You’ve used three years’ worth of the hall’s funds, yet you haven’t even begun your primary job. I do wonder what you’ve been doing.”
Habsburg couldn’t help but ask, “What do the hall’s yearly funds look like?”
“Roughly enough to build three Lava Castles.”
Habsburg no longer said anything and merely paid attention to Anwen. He wanted to know how the man had managed to spend in three days the resources he had to acc.u.mulate for hundreds of years.
Anwen felt rather pressured under the gazes of the two top experts. He gathered his senses and said helplessly, “I can explain, but you guys must be patient. What I’m about to say isn’t… very easy to understand.”
Habsburg possessed the composure befitting of a crown prince, but Predica was notorious for being narrow-minded. His face almost turned green, and there was a hint of anger in his eyes.
Anwen immediately realized he had misspoken, but it was too late to take back the words. All he could do now was think of a way to salvage the situation. It wouldn’t be easy to convey the countless numbers and abstract diagrams into an easy-to-understand summary.
“There are many types of origin power in our world. To be precise, the darkness origin power manifests in many different forms, and what we control is only a handful of them. The bloodline power we know of actually corresponds to a specific form of origin power.”
This was common knowledge from the top-ranking experts of Evernight down to the children who had just started school.
Anwen’s topic took a sharp turn. “There are even more forms of origin power that people do not know of. It could be, no, I’m quite certain that the origin power we have grasped is but a tiny fraction of the whole. There are countless other manifestations that we do not know about, some in this world, some lying undiscovered in the void.”
After leading with this concept and noticing that the duo could follow his topic, he continued, “We can split origin power into essence and manifestation. From a certain perspective, darkness origin power is the manifestation of a deeper essence.”
The demonkin’s old habits began surfacing at this point. When he started throwing out complicated formulas and diagrams, Predica had no choice but to interrupt, “You haven’t told us what exactly you’re studying.”
“It’s like this, if we want to break the shackles of our bloodline, we must search for new forms of energy. To be precise, we must find other forms of manifestation. Only then will we be able to find a new path that suits us. The Black-Winged Monarch, or rather, the Lord of Evernight’s path is not compatible with us.”
Predica and Habsburg nodded seriously. They had believed that there was no path forward for the experts of Evernight, but Anwen had ignited a flicker of hope for them. Origin power wasn’t just divided into daybreak and darkness, to begin with. It could exist in countless forms.
“In short, we need to find more energy forms or rather the states in which they exist. However, the realms in which most of these energy forms reside are far beyond our sensory range. There are certain forms that we can never sense via normal methods, their existence can only be theorized. This makes it extremely difficult to prove their existence, but this is a necessary step that cannot be avoided. The only way we will understand our bloodlines and break through the shackles is to understand more about origin power.”
Habsburg and Predica grew increasingly excited. The great prophet’s hands were even trembling as he asked, “Don’t tell me, your work all this time is…”
“Yes, those machines were designed to help me find these origin power manifestations, and they’re almost complete!” Anwen’s voice was bright and clear.
Predica seemed at a loss. He glanced at Habsburg and saw that the man’s flaming crown was on the verge of flickering out.
“Wait…” Predica tried to calm himself down. Even if he was going to erupt in anger and beat up Anwen, he could wait a while until he had gotten things clear.
“So you’re saying you haven’t begun searching for these origin power forms. You’ve only been building the tools to search for them?”
“Well, we have to sharpen our axes before cutting wood,” Anwen replied philosophically.
The great prophet’s anger fizzled out, feeling that fate was messing with him. He roared, “You spent enough resources to cover a quarter of the Blacksun Valley war and occupied the fate apparatus for half a month… just to build these… tools?”
“I’m still building them,” Anwent corrected.
“And you’re not even done?!” The gentle prophet spoke in a volume he had never used in his life, almost tearing the void in the process.
Anwen shrugged. “Well, the money is gone now. Are you going to stop me from completing them?”
Predica’s expression immediately turned dark. He had no choice but to allow Anwen to complete his machines at this point.
However, he was a great prophet after all. He immediately caught Anwen’s weak point. “Fine, I will keep funding the project, but if you can’t find those so-called energy forms…”
“What then?” Anwen felt uneasy.
“You will be fully responsible.”