Chapter 319 The Art of Divination
There was an empty arcane room.
There was nothing else here apart from a remarkable and mysterious array on the floor.
"Not even a chair to sit on."
Alice pouted as she grumbled. She slowly walked before the array and bent to examine the patterns.
It was a purely defensive array. Once it was activated, the entire room would be on lockdown. Alice didn't need to worry about any interruption from the outside while she commenced with her advancement!
Alice inserted her magical emblem into the array. In doing so, she could obscure everything. Even Greem, the owner of the room, would no longer be able to sense or see what happened in here.
Everyone had their secrets. Even if Alice had already accepted Greem as her master, that didn't mean that she would give up her rights and privacy.
The defensive array slowly started to activate. Faint light surfaced on the walls, the ceiling, and the floor. The room severed all connection to the outside world.
Alice sat crossed-legged in middle of the room. She started taking out all of the resources and items she needed to use for the ceremony and placed them by her side. With her smarts and a powerful memory, she could instantly recall the position of all the items with absolutely no errors.
These items were all placed within her reach to make it convenient for her when she needed them.
She had placed the consumables mostly to her right. There were a total of seventeen or eighteen different herbs and medicines. They were either used to increase Physique, enhance Spirit, or to calm her mind. Every single item and potion had a unique application. All of them could increase her chances of a successful advancement.
The items placed in front of her were magical tools that were related to the ceremony. The most obvious one was a crystal altar. The other things were situated around it.
Adepts were an arcane group whose origins were full of primal, savage, and ignorant voodoo practices. Tens of thousands of years of development had passed, but some of the details still retained the style and trappings of their ancient arts.
The adepts of the past had conducted extraordinarily bloody and cruel human sacrifices. They killed the people of opposing tribes and bathed in their blood to obtain strange but powerful abilities.
The adepts were a lot more civilized now and used all sorts of materials to replace the blood and flesh of living beings. However, the ritual was fundamentally still the same.
Restoration food and potions were on her right.
After all, the advancement ceremony was a long and trying process for most people. Even those who managed to advance would be utterly exhausted, if not grievously wounded. Thus, the post-ceremony recovery was something that needed attention as well!
Having placed everything where it was supposed to be, Alice softly removed her long robe and revealed her body.
The transparent effect had already extended to her chest.
She could still sense the parts of her body below her chest. She could also move her body as she wanted to. However, she couldn't see those parts of her body nor touch them with her hand. The skin near her chest had also become semi-translucent. She could see the blood vessels, muscles, and the heart inside her body.
The energy pollution from the spacestone was still ongoing. In fact, there were signs of the contamination speeding up.
Alice had no reference for what she would become after being entirely polluted by the spacestone. However, ever since she received her magical tattoo, the aura of intangible fate had become increasingly clear.
Every time she wondered about the nature of the spacestone's pollution of her body, a terrible feeling would course through her body. Alice even vaguely sensed that this was the World itself rejecting her existence.
Perhaps this was the most obvious hint that fate could give her!
Since she was confident that this change was a malignant one, there was no need to hesitate. Alice had to use this advancement ceremony to stop this change to her state of existence.
Thus, Alice started to feast without hesitation.
Saro, Primal Worm, Underground Fire Pulp, Vurg Potion, Purple Watershroom.
She ate all sorts of things and couldn't help but let out a burp after she finished.
The powerful effects of the various items started to course through her body, stimulating her physical body as well as her mind. Alice gripped her fists and silently endured the barrage of life force that charged and crashed through her entire body.
Her blood started to boil.
Alice's face flushed bright red. Drops of sweat flowed down her head. She seemed like she was at her limits.
She had been disadvantaged because of her weak Physique. Even with so many resources to strengthen herself, the flood of energy within her body had already exceeded the limits of her control by far. Thus, the sudden boost in her body's fundamental attributes not only provided her with a false sense of endless power, but they also continuously damaged and repaired her internal organs.
Alice endured the ferocious pounding upon her body and grabbed a bag full of magical crystal dust. She spread the dust and drew a magic circle with it. She cautiously placed the crystal altar within the circle and lit up four candles on each corner of it.
When she had prepared everything, Alice knelt before the altar. She silently started to reach for the complex and profound Law of Fate.
The magic circle was to cut off the interior from the outside.
The circle had no start nor end. It represented permanence. The inside edge of the circle was considered a place beyond ordinary time or space. The altar within the circle had its own temporal and spatial structure.
Alice had the bloodline of the Witch of Fate. Her power didn't come from some deity or powerful adept. Instead, it was from the Branch of Fate that had ultimately merged with the planar laws of the World of Adepts.
More frankly, the bloodline powers of the Witch of Fate came from Zithermoon 'Meisa'.
Once upon a time, the Witch Queen led thirteen powerful witches and together they created the Northern Witches, forging a place for themselves beyond the cold and desolate land of ice and snow in the north of the continent. They had cut through jungles and paved new roads. Countless witches had paid with their lives to wrestle land from the hands of forest creatures, magical creatures, mutated monsters, and corruptors. They erected one adept's tower after another and eventually, the Kingdom of the Northern Witches came to be.
Then, the 'Upheaval of the Adepts' happened. All Great Adepts above Fourth Grade were forced to leave the plane, never to set foot on the World of Adepts again.
The world consciousness of the World of Adept had suitably opened up some of its world laws in exchange for the adepts' departure. Great Adepts that had reached certain heights of power could leave their markings within the laws of the world.
To ensure that the legacy of the Northern Witches would always exist, some witches chose to stay when the Witch Queen left with her entourage of powerful subordinates. These witches merged their body and soul with the laws of the world.
In doing so, the legacies of the thirteen witch branches became part of the world's laws. They no longer needed to worry about their legacy vanishing!
Thus, if Alice wanted to advance, she definitely shouldn't go down the path of an ordinary adept. She shouldn't accumulate knowledge, then strengthen herself, then form her adept core and communicate with the planar laws. The witches walked a completely different path of inheritance!
The laws of the world contained the knowledge and power they required. What they needed to do was use their bloodline to win the approval of the laws and receive recognition from the world consciousness.
As such, Alice prayed zealously before taking out a crystal dagger from the pile of items. She stabbed it into her open palm, then extended her arm forward and let the blood drip onto the altar to paint it scarlet.
A bright silver radiance covered the entire altar the moment her blood fell onto it.
The magic circle made of crystal dust caught on fire as well.
Countless silver chains reached out of nowhere and started to wrap themselves around Alice's half-vanished body.
Alice trembled while her body started to shake intensely.
A flood of knowledge and witchcraft legacy started to surge into Alice's mental world through the materialized chains of laws. The speed at which they moved seemed like it would rend Alice apart!
Alice's frail body shook and shivered. A trail of blood streaked from her eyes. Her facial muscles distorted from the endless agony.
A gigantic scale forged of concentrated silver light slowly appeared in her mind. It stood before her like a sacred and magnificent entity.
An unusually commanding voice boomed out in the air.
"Fate! ! ! Fate! ! ! Fate! ! !"
"Obey the laws of fate. Abide by the ancient covenants. I shall present unto you the legacy of fate.
"And what do you intend to exchange for this legacy?"
Countless books and knowledge crystals appeared on one side of the gigantic scale when the voice spoke. The scale instantly fell towards one end, leaving the other hanging high in the air.
Alice's mental projection appeared before the scale. She looked at the massive hill-like scale and spoke firmly, "I am willing to exchange my everything for it."
The very next second, her frail body appeared on the other side of the imbalanced scale.
Sadly, her existence was like a feather. It didn't even shift the scale by a tiny bit.
"Your power is insufficient to take away all this knowledge, therefore…"
As the booming voice spoke once more, the books and knowledge crystals on the other end of the scale started to decrease at a visible rate.
The massive scale remained unmoved after removing half of the items.
They continued to decrease.
Every time one of them was removed, Alice's heart would bleed in pain, but there was nothing she could do about it.
Soon, only a dozen books remained of the mountain of books.
Only now did the scale tremble. The two sides started to shift.
The needle at the middle of the scale started moving.
The needle was still moving, but there was still a sizeable distance before it reached equilibrium.
The needle slowly neared balance.
Quick, quick, quick. Please.
Alice gripped her fist tight and willed the scales to tip faster.
Finally, a blinding silver light flashed within Alice's mental space when the scale returned to equilibrium.
"Congratulations, candidate of fate. You have successfully obtained a gift from fate. Please accept it graciously!"
At this point, only a single book remained on the other end of the scale.
The Art of Divination!
Editor Ryu: When they talked about the 17 herbs and medicines next to her, I almost read it as 11 herbs and spices.