Chapter 137 Legacy (Part 2)
A drop fell on top of the book as Daichi’s eyes blurred. He reached towards his left eye as he felt a tear running down his cheek with a confused expression. His chest felt heavier than it ever had and his breathing became labored as he re-read those same words over and over again.
Daichi ignored the few two stray tears that had fallen from his eyes, he didn’t dare think about what he was feeling. He’d felt hollow for so long.
He felt… but he hadn’t let himself experience a true emotion in so very so that what he was feeling now felt too foreign to him. He pushed back against the flood of emotion welling up and threatening to come pouring out. Even as those emotions leaked through.
His fingers kept tracing the words “I’m sorry” as he re-read the words several times. After a few times he realized the words were a darker shade of red than the others, nearly black even.
‘These words…’ The words were a darker shade of red, nearly black by comparison to the others. Daichi’s fingers traced the letters one by one as he wondered how many times his father had written the words.
‘He must have written the words over and over on top of one another…’
Gradually his breathing became more steady as he regained his composure and burst out laughing.
Tears streamed from his eyes as his laughter filled the courtyard. He wasn’t sure what he was feeling or how he felt about what he’d read. In fact he wasn’t even sure whether an apology meant anything at this point. He looked like a lunatic with a smile so out of place as tears poured down his face. A mix-match of human emotions displayed by someone that looked as tumultuous as he felt.
“What good is an apology as you approach your death!? Being forced into a corner and feeling regret, what good is that? Life is for the living, and if he truly needed that much to feel shame, then it’s as good as meaningless!!” but his words felt hollow even to himself.
Still, the smile on his face didn’t waver. Daichi was rational by nature and he acknowledged that even if his father’s words didn’t change anything now. He wasn’t going to be petty.
‘He died without having ever known whether the book would ever reach my hands. It was just as likely that it was truly left for the child he’d left behind here.’ But his actions betrayed his thoughts. He still hadn’t turned to the third page.
Daichi wanted to just ignore the words in the book as nothing more than a dying man’s meaningless remorse and nothing more… ‘Men always regret when facing death.’ He thought to himself.
But a nagging feeling was holding him back…
Eventually his thoughts got away from him as he began to wonder why his father wrote the book in his own blood.
‘There were numerous ways to hide the book from others, and if he truly meant for it to be kept in the family he could have simply given it to his new wife or child.’
That small nagging thought was the sliver of hope that kept Daichi wondering whether he truly did write the book in such a way that it could perhaps one day make it into his long lost son’s hands rather than being kept hidden away in secret as a family treasure somewhere.
Daichi’s fingers hadn’t stopped tracing those same two words until he finally brought himself to stop and move them to the edge of the page.
He felt like a mess in a way he hadn’t his entire life, but regardless of whether he took the words to heart or dismissed them. He had never once doubted his father’s intelligence. Even with how their relationship had developed, he’d still held a deep respect for Seiichi’s intelligence. The theories that Seiichi developed and way of thought regarding how he viewed the world were things he’d once respected and that was something that had never diminished.
Instead of spending more time on how he felt and trying to figure out something that felt foreign to him, Daichi turned the page and decided to throw himself into the ideas that Seiichi had left behind. He found it far easier to study the abstract than understand his own emotions. One was a comforting and enjoyable experience the other a foreign and murky mess.
“I’ll judge the sincerity of your words on the merit of your ideas.” He whispered, unsure of whether his words were directed at the book before him or himself.
With eyes glued on the next page, Daichi began reading the words left in the following pages as his eyes gradually became larger and larger. The confusing emotions from before were temporarily cast aside as his amazement and wonder overwhelmed everything else.
The more he read the more enthralled he became, he re-read every word more than once making sure to fully understand the hidden meaning, afraid to miss something and leave behind even the smallest sliver of knowledge.
There were only ten pages, but they entailed a theory.
A story about how their world no longer existed.
Seiichi believed that they now resided in a world that was but a collection of fragments, pieces of worlds all jumbled into one large plain of existence. That Lumea City was once a sacred grounds not merely because of the knowledge it held, but because there was a secret hidden within the walls of the library with clues so clear that any one would see if they merely took a step backwards. Seiichi coming from a city far different from Lumea, had slowly been allowed more and more access to the library and academy grounds after the calamity. He’d slowly formed a theory based on what he’d considered obvious, a startling obvious question that hung in front of everybody’s faces.
‘How can this place, have been created by anyone from this world if no one in the recorded history of this world can do or understand the things left behind or do something similar themselves?’
That question led Seiichi to hypothesize that Lumea City was either a place that was never from their world, or created by people that were from somewhere else.
Such an obvious thought made him wonder what ‘gods’ truly were.
‘Are ‘gods’ born ‘gods’ or do they become them? If they become gods, were they once human? Can anyone or anything become a god? Is it a title merely given to those that exceed the boundaries of human ability and understanding or is it something anyone/anything can become by truly becoming one with the universe and gaining it’s acknowledgment’
The startling information to Daichi is that Seiichi himself was chosen by a ‘god’. Years after the calamity Seiichi had been wandering outside of the barrier for no particular reason than wanting to smell the fresh air free of ‘hypocrisy’ when he’d been approached by a voice. He never saw anything, but he felt the presence. The voice introduced itself as a god of light and sun, of fire and brilliance. He then proceeded to explain what would be expected of Seiichi after becoming ‘chosen’ only to be gravely shocked and disappointed by Seiichi’s flat-out refusal.
At that point in his life he wanted nothing more than penance. He’d already been weighed down by the guilt of abandoning his son and failing his first wife. He wanted nothing more than to absolve himself by not making the same mistakes twice, by doing for his new son what he failed to do before. Therefore, he refused the god’s offer with no hesitation.
That encounter had triggered a profound change in his way of thinking. He was approached by an entity calling itself a ‘god’ but it wasn’t all knowing, all powerful. It needed the assistance of a mortal, it claimed to the god of something, no different than someone with a specialty. It displayed emotion, and wasn’t beyond reproach. That encounter had become the building block for Seiichi. The first step that led him down a path to theorize how one might become a ‘god’.
Daichi like a ravenous wolf who’d spotted the most gullibly-delicious red-hooded little girl in the world couldn’t stop himself from turning the pages in haste, as he found what he was looking for. The theory Seiichi left behind regarding the path to becoming ‘gods’.
Staring at the theory beneath his eyes Daichi held his breath ‘He truly was incredible. I can’t take that away from him.’
Even before reading the words, he knew their value. He understood why his father would never allow himself to leave this information for just anyone to read. If he was correct, and it was a theory that held merit then it would be a weapon of mass destruction, a walkthrough to those after him on becoming all-powerful. If it was accurate, then perhaps not even reaching the level of a god would be necessary to enslave a kingdom, a society or perhaps a corner of the world even this one.
On the other hand, even if it was wrong… If it held even a trace of a truth. It could perhaps be the inspiration that someone needed to create an accurate blueprint to such an outcome. That was perhaps no better than the theory itself being right. Perhaps worse since it would no longer be in the hands of those who could read the book to decide the fate of it’s knowledge.
If it was wrong, he would be judged a heretic within Lumea. Perhaps even disgraced in such a way that his entire legacy, any living descendant bearing the Seishin name might be dragged through the mud or even killed due to their lineage.
The words written were power themselves. Whether true or not and Daichi could understand as much. That was why Seiichi would take such precautions as writing the book in blood, and then bind the blood to the pages in such a way that only his descendants could read his words. In fact, the more he thought about it the less certain he became that the apology at the beginning was meaningless. The more he thought about it the more he couldn’t help but wonder whether the book truly was written as penance for his failure as a father. Daichi couldn’t help but wonder whether the apology wasn’t the words at the beginning but the theory itself.
Once he thought up to that point he couldn’t stop his hands from trembling that he had to stop himself from reading any further. He put the book down and walked away from it. He began pacing back and forth within the small hut, as he lied to himself ‘I just want to see the rest of the hut. I just want to see the rest of the courtyard. I just want to see what secrets this space holds. I just want to figure out how the mana in this place can be so thick.’
Anything to distract himself from what he knew was inevitable. He knew he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from reading the rest of the book, he knew he had a need to read the theory, the theory written on the last two pages of the book. He knew it… But he didn’t want to do it. He was at odds with himself and he wouldn’t admit it, because deep down he understood that reading that theory now, would be akin to accepting his father’s apology.
And… He wasn’t sure he was ready to do that.