Chapter 452: The Two Generations
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Hearing the thunder, Lucien looked outside the window. It was already early morning. The soft dawn light was a bit fuzzy in the drizzle.
Turning off the magic circles and alchemical facilities, Lucien walked to the window with a cup of tea in his hand and pushed the window open. The refreshing, moist air came directly to his face.
What a lovely day.
Thinking of the paper titled New Alchemy that he just finished, which was actually a compilation of dozens of papers, Lucien took several deep breaths of the fresh, cool air and then said to himself in low voice,
“Here comes the era of head explosion.”
The realm that they were stepping into was strange and unimaginably queer, diverging completely from human being’s intuition. The query brought by that ‘cat’ would trigger a brainstorm for every arcanist.
In the Kingdom of Electromagnetism, the magnets were crumbling, the electric currents disappearing. The bolts of arc light in the sky had joined the lightning. Together, they struck the ground and the protection shield of the magic tower.
“Is this the end… Sir?” Barek looked out of the drastically shaking window, and he saw the many black cracks appearing on the shield.
Suddenly, the electric currents in the sky joined together and turned into a giant electric snake. It slithered all the way up along the magic tower and opened its mandibles wide. As the bolts of lightning in the sky were absorbed by the snake, its body had swelled up to its limit.
The snake exploded abruptly, filling the space with silver-white fireworks. Whether visible or invisible, the electromagnetic waves suddenly became prominent in the entire space, like the magnificent tides of an ocean.
Starting from the middle, the waves seemed to broke into small pieces. But the shape of the waves was maintained.
However, this spectacular scene lasted for not even one second. Before Barek realized what he saw, it had completely disappeared.
The collapsion had stopped. The Kingdom of Electromagnetism survived. However, evidence of the terrible destruction was everywhere. Less than ten percent of the electric currents and magnetic field were left, and there were even terrifying black holes in the air.
A long sigh followed.
“Sir…” Barek was worried, as he knew clearly that a legendary archmage’s demiplane was the reflection of his own cognitive world. Witnessing what had happened to the demiplane, Barek knew that his teacher’s cognitive world must have experienced something very bad.
Wearing a wig and gold-rimmed glasses, Brook walked down from the stairs. His face was abnormally dull-red. He shook his head, and said, “there’s still no way for me to fit the light quantum hypothesis into the wave theory.”
“So the result…” Barek asked subconsciously.
Brook said in a low spirit, “although I was mentally prepared, the fact that the experiment result perfectly matches the hypothesis was still a bit hard for me to accept. Thus, my cognitive world was shaken. Then I tried to understand the hypothesis from another perspective and combine it with the wave theory to reconstruct my cognitive world, yet I cannot find the breakthrough point.”
Barek was not young anymore, but now he was still caught in a great panic. “Sir, your cognitive world has…”
He could not say the words out.
“Has broken and solidified.” Brook rubbed his forehead, revealing a hint of fatigue and helplessness.
Barek knew how this worked, but he still could not believe it. He was even more shocked and grieved than Brook. “So Sir… You can’t make any further progress anymore?”
“That’s right.” Compared to Barek, Brook appeared to be quite calm. He shook his head self-deprecatingly and said, “I have to be grateful. Three years ago when I first saw Evans’s light quantum hypothesis, if it had not been the limited experiment conditions, I would have done this experiment right away. If that had been the case, my cognitive world would have collapsed completely, and the Kingdom of Electromagnetism would have been destroyed thoroughly, together with half of Allyn. Fortunately, because of the mental preparation and the feedback of the experiments in the past years, I’m still alive.”
The collapse of a legendary archmage’s half-solidified cognitive world could be powerful enough to affect the main material world.
Therefore, Brook was not exaggerating. If the Kingdom of Electromagnetism had gone down, half of Allyn would have indeed been buried with its falling. What was needed to say here was that Allyn was a city with the protection of the most powerful Mythals in this world, and if this were to happen in other cities like Rentato or Aalto, the entire city together with the surrounding towns and manors would have been completely devoured by the explosion of the electromagnetic storm.
“Bloody Evans!” Barek flared. Although he knew that this was not Lucien’s fault, he could not accept this emotionally.
Brook waved his hands; his face had turned from dull-red to pale. “If he was insisting on an absurd belief, I would definitely fight him until the last second. However, the experiment result has proved his hypothesis, which means I am the one who’s wrong, and I am the one who’s too obsessed with my own incorrect belief. In this case, shall I hate this world for not existing as how I wish?”
Although his cognitive world had broken and solidified, Brook still maintained his manner.
Brook was completely different from Fernando, whose feelings and emotions were always intense, but there were two things that they shared in common: the reverence towards the unknown, and the passion for arcana.
“But…” Barek still could not accept the reality. His brows knitted together bitterly, as if he had been the one who had lost all the hope for making any progress in just a few hours.
Brook walked to the window in the living room with his hands folded behind. “This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Barek. For me, there is indeed desperation, but there’s also hope. In this great setback, there is also chance.”
“…?” Barek did not get it.
Brook lifted his right arm and opened his hand. “We don’t know if the God of Truth really exists, but except for the Him, there are only four who have managed to reach the level of Alterna from the legendary level in history — the Lord of Hell, the Will of Abyss, the mysterious existence in the World of Souls, and the Pope. The first three were said to be born with this power, just like the God of Silver Moon.”
“But Sir, didn’t the previous Popes also reached this level?” Barek asked.
Brook coughed a bit, and then answered, “to me, the Pope is only a symbol, a symbol of ‘the Speaker of the God of Truth on this world’ , not a specific existence. The pope uses the power of the God of Truth to reach the next level. Therefore, the name behind the title is meaningless. All the previous Popes and the current one should be counted as one.”
“It’s true.” Barek nodded.
Brook looked at his half-destroyed kingdom and said in the same gentle voice, “… From the legendary level to demigod is a journey beyond arduous. In the past thousands of years, only the Popes succeeded relying on the power of the God of Truth. The many great geniuses like the Sun King and my teacher all failed to progress any further. Although they are setting out to seek the falling pieces of Alterna and the mysterious existence in the World of Souls, I don’t see much hope in finding anything that really helps.”
“Therefore,” Brook paused a bit and drew the conclusion, “stopping here at this level isn’t something urgent and serious.”
Barek released a sigh of relief. He knew that his teacher was right. Although Mr. Brook’s cognitive world had broke and solidified, he was still an archmage at the climax of the legendary level, whose power was only inferior to that of the three demigods who never really showed up. And even if his cognitive world was intact, he could not advance further.
“There is desperation, for sure, but this could also be a chance…” Brook’s voice lowered, “In this experiment, I saw the great flaw of the wave theory of light. When I figure out why there is this duality in the electromagnetic waves, perhaps I can rebuild my cognitive world and even make a further breakthrough.”
Hearing his teacher’s words and seeing that his teacher was still the same ambitious and positive facing the horrible setback, Barek recalled the great respect he held when he first became Brook’s student. It had been years, and the respect was always there. Brook just mentioned the Sun King and Mr. Douglas as examples of great geniuses, but in Barek’s mind and in many Congress arcanists’ minds, Brook was also a genius who was no less powerful and intelligent than the two.
Brook deconstructed the ancient magic system and built the vast kingdom of electromagnetism. He obtained the title of grand arcanist before reaching fifty and then became a legendary when he was eighty. No one would ever doubt his giftedness.
“Sir, are you going to publish the experiment result?” Barek asked.
Brook nodded. “Yes.”
“But…” Barek was afraid of a mass head-explosion incident.
Brook sighed. “I am the founder of the wave theory of light, and also one of those who completed it. That’s why my cognitive world still broke and solidified even after three years of preparation. The other arcanists will not suffer this bad like me after these three years. In the worst scenario, their cognitive world will be just severely damaged.”
“There are those who are extremely stubborn…” Barek still hesitated.
Brook’s voice became cold. “It’s been three years. If now their heads are still going to explode, giving them another three or even thirty years will not change the result. Stubbornness has merged into their cells and blood. But the development of arcana and magic will not wait for them to change their mind.”
“If Lucien Evans wants to become a grand arcanist…” Brook continued rather seriously, “… he has to march forward stepping on the exploded heads, scattered brains, and river-like blood. These will finally become his ladder for ascending. Sometimes, this is even crueler than a true war.”
Brook was totally qualified for making the statement. He was the one who caused the previous mass head-explosion years ago.
“I’ll go and organize the data then. The introduction part will be left for you, Sir,” said Barek. He felt a chill creeping over his body.
Brook nodded lightly. “Go ahead. I’ll take a rest and do the next experiment.”
“What experiment?” Barek was confused.
Brook laughed a little as if he was mocking himself. “Since the light quantum hypothesis matches the result of the experiment, now we can treat light as the complex of particles. A particle should not only carry energy, but also momentum. I am going to bombard different matters using the newly discovered X-ray to see if the momentums are changing.
“I never expected that I was going to be busy with proving the particle theory…”
In Lauren’s magic tower.
Manuel and the rest of the students were waiting anxiously. Suddenly, the strident alarm went on.
“Accident in the lab. Call master, call master…”
“No response, no response, inspection activated…”
“No toxin released, no cursing, no dangerous creatures… Lab door has opened…”
The cold and indifferent alchemical life’s voice filled the hall.
Manuel and Diana exchanged a look between each other and in the next second, they were already on their way rushing to the lab. Entering the lab, they saw the scene that they would never forget in the rest of their life:
The body on the ground was wearing that grey magic robe which they could not be more familiar with. However, the head was missing. The entire space — the walls, the operation desks, the piles of paper, and the energy shields on the magic circles — was covered with mixed red and white bloody stains as well as tiny bone pieces. The smell of blood overwhelmed them.
On the chest of the boy, there was the ninth-circle and the nine-star badge, as well as the Ice & Snow Medal and the Silver Moon Medal.