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Duwei picked up a candle, thought for a moment then took a weapon from the wall. Though considering the little body he currently had, he chose a short sword. Then he took a few new candles and put them in his pocket.
Duwei stepped into this hidden room. The faint candlelight could only light up two to three steps of space. Luckily Duwei’s higher spirit power allowed him to be better aware of the surrounding.
This was a secret path inside the wall, both sides were stone walls. The whole path was covered in dust. Even though tried his best to move softly, he couldn’t help but stir up the dust.
He would ocassionally step on some small rocks. Duwei moved forward cautiously under the flickering candlelight.
Luckily this place seemed to be ventilated. Even though the candle was flickering, it didn’t go out due to a lack of oxygen.
After a while, he reached a set of stairs. Narrow spiral stairs leading down. They were also made of stones and appeared crude, but at least they felt solid enough. Following the path down, Duwei reached a small door after thirty steps.
The metalic door was rusted. Duwei tried to turn the handle but found out the door was locked. He sighed then remembered that line from the book shelf.
“The drinking gourd is the key...”
Duwei thought for a moment, then looked around with the candle. Finally he found a picture on the ceiling. The picture was carved into the ceiling. He could barely made out that was a sky map. Although he was not well versed in stars, he still found what appeared to be the Big Dipper.
The ceiling was a bit too tall for him to reach. He started studying this map witht he candlelight. As a candle was burning out and he was about to light up another one, he suddenly thought of an important question.
Key? What a joke! If this secret path are to be discovered, then even if that person doesn’t have a key, couldn’t he just get some tools to brute force open the door? If so then the key wouldn’t be too important. Yet that hint specifically indicated key. There must be a different meaning.
In other words, it wasn’t possible to open the door without the key. This key probably wasn’t a literal key.
Duwei sat down to think for a while. When he stood up again, he jumped and hit the ceiling with his short sword.
Duwei’s eyes lit up! This sound was a little airy.
He bent down and found a crack on the ground. Then stuck his sword in the crack and stood on top the sword. His hands could barely reach the ceiling now.
The ceiling was covered in a thick layer of dust. He groped for a while and could feel the Big Dipper felt different from the other places. He tried some methods like knock, twist, turn, etc.
Finally he turned some place and one of the star moved. Along with a crackling sound, the floor on the corner sank. A path appeared on the ground leading downward.
Duwei jumped down from the short sword with a smile. Just as he thought, it was all a trick. Duwei was sure his speculation was correct. The rusted door on the side was just a disguise. The real secret was not on this door. If whoever came here didn’t know the hint of the Big Dipper, then he wouldn’t be able to find the real secret.
Duwei was sure the real secret lied in that new path. He walked over to the path. The entrance was very narror, it could barely let a person in. The inside was dark, Duwei lit a candle and threw it inside. He could see the stairs weren’t deep, it’s just about two to three meters tall. This was probably a secret room.
He waited by the entrance for a while. When there didn’t seem to be anything unusual inside, he cautiously walked down the stairs.
This was a concealed room, the sides were stone walls. On the wall were a row of chests, most of them locked and rusted. In the middle of the room was a stone stand.
The height of the stand reached Duwei’s waist. There were a lot of decorations carved on the stand. The center was a big circle with stars on the side.
Duwei inspected it a little but he couldn’t figure out anything. Then he moved his attention to the chests. Most of these chests were locked and the locks were rusted. After some effort he found one that wasn’t locked! The only one not locked.
Inside it was a stone casket with the Roland emblem carved on it. Duwei took out the casket and opened it up. Inside the casket was a scroll. The scroll was filled with words and a hexagonal jewel fell out from the scroll.
Duwei patiently lit his third candle and started reading the scroll.
“Dear reader. You must be an descendant of the Roland family. First you must know one thing. This letter was written by your ancestor. And I am the wife of the Roland family’s seventh chief, Star Reader Saimer.”
Duwei was surprised by this opening. Saimer? He knew there was an ancestor that was very interested in Star Reading and even married a Star Reader. The tallest tower in this castle was built by that ancestor for his wife to observe the stars at night.
Duwei didn’t expect this letter to be from that Star Reader.
He continued with the letter.
“When you are reading this letter, I hope you can understand that what you are about to face is something with considerable risk. You will perhaps open a forbidden door, and behind this door is a forbidden domain out of reach by humans. At the same time, this is also the achievement of my research. If you are prepared to take the risk, then take this jewel and search the room for an opening. Insert this jewel in it and you will receive all the information I left behind. To be certain that this inheritance does not go to outsiders, you will need the blood of a Roland. Drip your blood on the jewel and it will lead you to my message.”
At the end was an extra line, “Will the great Roland family prevail. Because of my husband, I fell in love with this family. Your ancestor Saimer Kila Roland.”
Duwei finished reading and was shocked. According to what he know of the family history, he had a deep impression of Saimer Kila Roland. The wife of the seventh chief and a famous Star Reader. She was revered in the field of Star Reading. Duwei’s first teacher Mr. Rosia was also a Star Reader. The few times they mentioned her, he was filled with respect towards her. He also mentioned that Saimer was the greatest Star Reader in the past two hundred years.
The more important reason that this name left a deep impression on Duwei was this Star Reader was someone who loved her husband deeply. The ancestor that she married didn’t live long. He passed away at fifty. And she killed herself in that tower he built for her the third day he died.
Before she died, she carved a line on the tower. “Because of love, we will live forever.”
These last words made Duwei remembered her.
Duwei bent down and started searching for the opening without hesitation. It didn’t take long for him to find it. He cut his finger and dripped a drop of blood on the jewel. Then put the jewel in that opening. Then took two steps backward.
Suddenly the decorations on the stone stand lit up. The room became as bright as during the day. To a point that Duwei couldn’t open his eyes.
These light gather together and formed a pillar of light. Inside the pillar was a human figure. This figure had the size of a real person. Though not a real person, an illusion that looked very real.
Then he remembered something important! This legendary Star Reader was also a great magician. What just happened in front of him was obviously some magic.
As the light began to dim, Duwei could finally look with his eyes. He could make out the figure inside the pillar of light.
A woman dressed in a red robe, with silvery long hair, a beautiful face, tender eyes, but that pair of black eyes gave Duwei a feel of strangeness.
“The one that opened the message, I am your ancestor Saimer Kila Roland.” This illusion spoke. “This is a magical message I left before I died. This magic circle will need that jewel and the blood of a Roland to activate. Since you can see this message, then you are the descendant of the family and you can obtain my secret.”
Duwei looked at the woman in front of him with shock. She could use a magic circle and passed down a magic for over a hundred year. This kind of magic talent belonged to a great magician.
“I don’t know how many years it has passed, or how much mana is left inside that jewel. So listen to every word I say. Because I am afraid there isn’t enough mana to activate this magic circle a second time.”
The illusion said. Even though Duwei knew this was only an illusion, he still nodded to it.
“First I have to explain, what I am about to give you, may bring you unlimited amount of profit or trouble. Because this is the achievement of my whole life’s research, no one knows about it other than my husband. Since you can come to this point, you probably has a fair amount of knowledge on Star Reading, at least on stars. First I have to tell you a crucial fact, all the Star Readers in this world are wrong! Every one of them are wrong! Because Star Reading is not only a method of telling the future based on observing the stars. Even though everyone thinks of it as a divination magic, but I have to tell you it’s a type of powerful and profound magic. Star Readers shouldn’t be just scholar with knowledge of the night sky, nor fortune tellers. Real Star Readers should have power that rival a magician. If magicians can borrow power from the nature like wind, and fire, then why couldn’t Star Readers borrow power from the stars? We could even go further than that. Because I discovered a power even magicians couldn’t master, and that is the law of the universe.”
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