Arc 2: Chapter 17: Scrying

Having brought Abgere to our side, albeit temporarily, I leave the room we have given him to rest and try to take some rest myself.

That is when my eyes fall on the devil mask that Abgere is always wearing. It is kind of revolting for me personally. I mean, it reminds me of Abyss, even though he is actually far from the devil.

I hate what happened to him. I hate the reputation of the lord of evil that he got. I hate Ozyllus for everything that he did. If this mask should remind me of anyone, it should be Ozyllus. He is the real devil, isn’t he?

And yet,

Ethan: “Even Abyss wasn’t as great a person as you think he was.”

This man says so with a straight face.

Kais: “…?”

Ethan: “I can tell you were thinking about that guy.”

This man owes a lot of Abyss too, doesn’t he? I don’t know how indebted he feels towards him but he definitely would hold a good opinion of him. On the other hand, I know for a fact that he hates Ozyllus just as much as I do. So, how come he says something like that like it’s a fact?

Despite feeling annoyed by his words though, I can’t bring myself to refute him. Maybe that is because, deep down, I realize they are true.

Kais: “What do you think would have really happened all those years ago that allowed Ozyllus to deceive people like that?”

Just how can one pull of such a great deception and not be caught for 1000 years?

Ethan: “Quite regrettably, I have to say that I have no idea.”

He does actually look seriously dismayed by the fact that he does not know.

At the end of the day, these expressions are what ensure me that this man bathing in the sea of unpredictability is really on our side.

Sona: “That seems like an interesting conversation.”

Sona walks towards us out of, what she has labeled as, her room. Ethan smirks and asks,

Ethan: “So, despite how big my house is, it doesn’t have enough rooms for you all to stay in separately. That being the case,”

Yeah, I think me and Sona both know what he is going to ask next.

Ethan: “You two wanna share a room?”

Hah!

Kais: “As tempting as that sounds, we have other things to do.”

Ethan: “I actually don’t really think we have anything to do at night.”

He is really pressing our buttons even knowing that Sona loses it faster than some people do. Well, if nothing else, I have to praise his bravery.

Ethan: “Hah! But anyway, back to the topic,”

Seeing Sona staring at him with a little red glint in her eyes, he quickly changes the subject. Well, if nothing else, I have to praise his instincts.

Ethan: “We were talking about what might have really happened all those years ago, I think.”

Yes, that’s what we were talking about.

Sona: “Although I don’t have any real clue either, I have been curious about one thing.”

The glint in her eyes disappears as the conversation comes back to the topic and Sona starts speaking in a moderately serious tone.

Sona: “In the war that happened back then, many died, right? How could anyone believe that all of it was Abyss’ fault? How could WE believe that?”

Thinking back on it, it seems pretty foolish that we believed in such lies. It’s as if there was a force compelling us to not look at the ugly, dark and somewhat obvious truths of the past – and we were complying.

Ethan: “I was an 8-year-old shell of a boy with little-to-no knowledge about the ‘legends’ of the past when I found out the truth of everything. That is why, I can’t relate to having ever really believed in all those stories.”

Despite having the chance, Ethan is mocking us in any way. That alone is a testament to how much importance he gives to this topic.

Ethan: “To me, they were always stupid legends filled with hypocrisies and lies that I didn’t understand why the supernaturals believed in.”

True. He wasn’t an idiot like the rest of us. But, if we are on the subject,

Kais: “Actually, there was once a time that Barry told me that everything in the legends is a matter of interpretation. He told me that if I interpreted the legends in some other way than most people do, I might find some things the world would not let me believe.”

It is one of the many things that hold far too much meaning now but when it was told to that 6-7 year old kid, it didn’t have any meaning at all. It was only boring gibberish of an adult.

Sona: “He said that to you too?”

Oh, so he told her as well.

Sona: “Back when he told me that, I didn’t care enough to try to understand it. And soon, the whole incident of my village happened. After that point, I became too obsessed with revenge to stop and think about anything like that.”

I see.

It makes sense since she would have had even less time to clearly think about it.

We only knew each other for 6 months before the incidents 12 years ago happened. Everything Barry told her, he did so within those 6 months while I had been hearing his lectures since much before.

Thinking back on it, weren’t the incidents that affected us so much for our entire lives all really on the same day. Barry massacring those people, Sneha losing her peers and teachers of the temple she was a part of in that massacre, Ethan being made a witness to it and given the Eyes of Truth and Sona’s village being slaughtered and her being taken to ‘talk’ to Ozyllus. And now that I think about that, it’s also obvious how the incident with Barry directly connected us all except Sona.

That is probably why Ethan’s research on us exceeded his research on her and she became an unpredictability for him back on the island.

Ethan: “Wait!”

Suddenly, his expression grows grim as he says while contemplating,

Ethan: “Tell me what he said again to both of you, in his exact words.”

Seeing his expression, neither of us plays around as we start hoping for him to figure something out. Therefore, Sona starts.

Sona: “‘The legends might not be as true as they look. Who knows what lies between the lines that carve up the history? Therefore, they could be a subject of interpretation. If you interpreted them in a way others don’t, you might find truths the world won’t let you believe.’”

Kais: “Yes, that’s exactly what he told me too.”

Ethan: “Hmm … ‘the world won’t let you believe’, he said?”

I and Sona nod.

Ethan: “That’s odd.”

Ethan being confused – something that happens very rarely is happening now.

Kais: “How?”

Ethan: “In many old legends, the world is considered eternal and truthful. However, it is considered to still die many times.”

I think I know what those legends he is talking about say. It’s something about how the world will always exist but the various things that represent life on it will not. For instance, when dinosaurs died, one could a world died with them. But then, it was reborn by the birth of other species that again populated the whole planet. If humans die and some other species then evolves on the planet and starts following new steps of evolution, it can be called another death and rebirth of the world.

Ethan: “And you know who is famous for deaths and rebirths in the legends?”

Well, yes, I see where he is going with it.

Sona: “The legendary bird, Phoenix.”

And Phoenix is the title given to the leader of Vermillion, currently Reid Vezalius Rosevelt.

We also know for a fact that Vermillion has been around since Ozyllus and Abyss’ days as well as that they have a lot of secrets that they are trying to hide from everyone, including us.

Ethan: “Do you think I am jumping the gun here? Because I think I am going to interrogate Rosevelt for hours if possible.”

Sona: “No, I think it makes perfect sense to think that way.”

Of course it could be a coincidence but I don’t think it is. I also think Ethan’s line of thinking is leading us to the correct person to ask.

Ethan: “I had some intentions before but now they are tripled to certainty – we need to get to Rosevelt and make him talk. If anyone in the world knows anything about the Psychic Library or the past that we are unaware of yet, he is the one.”

I nod. Sona nods. And then,

Sneha: “The atmosphere sure seems tense.”

Sneha walks in the room – the living room – where we are having this conversation and says before anyone tells her what we are even discussing,

Sneha: “Abgere thinks he knows of a way that can help us find the Library.”

Taking all of us by surprise, Sneha continues in a somewhat curious tone,

Sneha: “From his expressions, he doesn’t seem to be talking bullshit either. You might wanna hear him out.”

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Abgere: “On a mission alongside Ro, I had come across a woman I believe to be a seer. Actually, I had known her for a while but it was on that mission that I found out that she was a seer.”

Despite his serious expression, Ethan chuckles as he hears that.

Ethan: “A seer, seriously?”

Abgere: “Yes, I know how it sounds. But you have to know that Scrying is an ancient technique that is believed to have been forgotten in this day and age. However, what if, just like you claim the legends are, the whole thing about Scrying being forgotten is also just a myth, a lie or a cover story to hide something.”

I’d make sense if that’d be the case.

Ethan sighs and looks at me as he asks,

Ethan: “Scrying is a psychic ability, isn’t it?”

Yes, it’s the ability you often see old hangs in fiction using by putting their hands on a crystal ball and telling a person’s future or their current location. We need the later application but not for a person, we need it for a library.

Ethan: “So, can you do it?”

Kais: “What!?”

Ethan: “Can you Scry?”

Kais: “I … doubt it.”

Ethan: “Then I doubt this woman Abgere ‘believes’ to be a seer is a real deal, either.”

After a moment of silence because of the out-of-the-world logic that Ethan has just spouted, Abgere asks,

Abgere: “And how is this guy not being able to Scry and that old hag being a seer connected?”

Ethan: “Well, this ‘guy’ right here”

He points at me as he continues,

Ethan: “is supposed to be the man capable of using all the psychic abilities in the world, no, universe. If he can’t Scry, no one can.”

… Yeah, I don’t know what to say.

And I don’t know what to do about Abgere looking at me with an expression of surprise that says, ‘This guy!?’

Ethan: “I’ll have you know Abgere, our Kais here is quite the madlad,”

He looks at me with a smile, and then he looks back at Abgere as his smile fades away,

Ethan: “or will be someday.”

Abgere: “Hah!”

Abgere, seemingly annoyed, says,

Abgere: “I don’t care about what you guys think of each other but the person I am talking about is a genuinely powerful psychic and not some cheapskate.”

Sneha: “I don’t know. It’s hard for me to believe in Scrying. I don’t think anyone can do something like that.”

Abgere: “Well, that clearly shows that you have never met a truly capable psychic.”

Gabriel: “I’m one of the 10 Hellfires, you little shit, and even I can’t use Scrying. It’s all a bunch of nonsense.”

Gabriel says with a confident and serious attitude. Abgere replies in a mocking one,

Abgere: “I guess that’s why it’s so easy to kill one Hellfire after another, because even you guys are second-rate.”

Gabriel: “Okay, you just crossed the line there!”

Gabriel tries to attack him but is stopped by Sneha putting a hand in front of him. He clicks his tongue in annoyance as he looks at Abgere with a face full of fury.

Abgere: “Of course that means that everyone other psychic who is not even on your level will be even worse than second-rate.”

‘A little help here, man?’ I request.

‘Yeah, sure.’ The voice inside me assures me.

Sona: “You might regret saying all that, Abgere.”

Sona says with a smile akin to that of someone who is going to watch a movie they have been excited to see for a while.

Kais: “Abgere!”

Abgere: “What?”

As he looks at me, I look back at him and say,

Kais: “I didn’t know that two days later will be your birthday.”

Abgere: “What!?”

Kais: “I also didn’t know that your mother was a poor collage graduate who got used and thrown away by Julius Rome.”

Abgere: “Why you-”

As he tries to hold my collars, I hold his before he even covers half the distance,

Kais: “I also didn’t know that you were raised in slums and came to find out about the supernatural part of the world through meeting that old hag you just mentioned now.”

Abgere: “Uh?”

Kais: “I also did not know that the old hag was your aunt, your mother’s sister, as you later found out yourself on the very same mission you found out about her being a seer. Hmm, makes sense why you are so defensive of her right now.”

Abgere: “…!”

I let go of his collar and he just stares at me in shock. Sona smiles and enjoys the show from the side and Sneha and Gabriel look at me with surprised expressions.

Kais: “Well,”

I say, turning to Ethan,

Kais: “It seems like I can actually Scry, can’t I? My bad for not realizing this earlier!”

After a second or two of silence, Ethan muffles a laugh and says,

Ethan: “Alright, I guess Scrying exists. Our psychic here can do it after all.”

All I did was ask within my brain for help learning this ability and, the person inside me, the ‘devil’, was happy to help out. And so, I now know how to Scry.

Kais: “That said though, I have yet to master this ability. It might be good to visit this old ha-  I mean, Abgere’s aunt.”

Ethan: “Oh, sure. Let’s do that then.”

Ethan says with a smile.

*******************************

Well, as Ethan said before, I have the ability to learn all the psychic abilities that have ever existed. And so, I will NEED to learn them. Hopefully, I won’t always need Abyss to inject the basics of the abilities into my brain. That is not a very healthy process and should be reserved for extreme situations, which I realize this was not but well, I really wanted to shut Abgere up.

Though, I suppose, I do kinda regret not just asking Abyss whether Scrying exists or not and getting the situation under control. I just had to go and tell him to inject me with knowledge and skills. I am paying the consequences of doing that now.

Kais: “Shit!”

I curse as my back burns while I lay at the sofa of the living room.

And in order to distract myself from that pain, I my best to think about things relevant to the situation.

From my knowledge, there are about 60 psychic abilities in the world. Some are considered ancient and forgotten arts like Scrying and some are ‘in-trend’, for the lack of my ability to come up with a better term, like teleportation or psychokinesis.

On an average, a Volcano-level psychic knows about 10 abilities and has mastery over 2 or 3 of them.

Walter Schmidt, according to the rumors, knows 50 psychic abilities and has mastery over 15 of them.

I know 20 abilities but have mastery over only two – Aura Reading and Teleportation. I mastered them in the time I had to wait for Sona to bring a jet to the island. I need to master other abilities as well as learn new ones.

I need to become as strong as possible, because our enemies are not going to be Volcano-level psychics. They are going to be almost Walter-levels of crazy and the tricks and gimmicks that work once will never work again (probably).

And so, while I think Abgere was trying to mock us a little too much, I have to agree that I am not that amazing in reality. But, I need to be.

Sona: “Kais!”

Kais: “Yes?”

Sona: “Why do I get the feeling you are thinking of something pretty boring?”

Kais: “…”

That’s because I am, I almost answer with that. But no, better not to say anything in response to that question.

Sona: “Anyway, do you really think a seer would be able to figure out the location of the Library.  I mean, that’s not how the ability works, is it?”

Now that we are not in the same room as Abgere, Sona is openly questioning it without caring for anyone’s feelings getting hurt. So, I answer quite frankly too.

Kais: “No, there’s no way that a seer will just be able to tell us where the Library is. Scrying is only good as long as it is used on/at some person. It has little value if we are trying to find an inanimate object and no value at all when we are trying to find the location of something like the Library.”

Sona: “Then,”

She sits on the sofa as she asks,

Sona: “Why are we going through with this plan? Isn’t it useless?”

Kais: “Almost useless.”

I say as if correcting her.

Kais: “What we will ask that seer to find is a person with memories related to the Library. If she really has mastery over this ability, it won’t be a problem for her. And so, we will know who we should go to and ask about the library. It’s not the greatest thing in the name of a trail but it is something that can set us on the right path.”

Sona leans back as she contemplates about it.

I know why she is hesitant.

Even though I now know Scrying, I can’t really be confident that this plan would work. It still somehow sounds ludicrous for everything that seers do to be possible in reality.

Still, what other choice do we have? The one other thing we can do is go to Reid Vezalius Rosevelt and ask him like we were thinking about doing before. But, from the image I have of that man, I doubt he’ll tell us anything. And he’s pretty damn powerful so getting the information out of him forcefully would be pretty hard too.

That is why I think we should go with Abgere’s suggestion on this one.

Well, that, and there’s also the fact that our head of strategy has gotten a bit anxious and less confident in himself ever since he found out that this Bronzer guy could be working against us.

I don’t know what kind of person Bronzer is but I wouldn’t underestimate him, not if he is dangerous enough to make Ethan Kales lose confidence.

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