Chapter 237 Fate and Variable
Perhaps knowing he couldn't get the answer he wanted from Greem, the youth didn't wait for one. He turned and ran out of his hiding spot.
One hour later, at a slum at the bottom of the mountain, Greem finally met the man behind the youth.
It was an old man with a black cloth wrapped around his eyes.
Greem couldn't ‘see’ any trace of magic circulation about him, nor sense any powerful mental flux. Yet for some reason, a sense of respect surged within his heart when he saw him.
A sage? A diviner? Or a prophet?
This blindfolded old man lived in a small and tiny grass shack.
Greem had seen numerous odd characters in the nearby alleys on his way here. These people looked exactly like that youth that led him here. There was nothing remarkable about them on the surface, but their weak bodies always hid a powerful, volatile-yet-suppressed strength.
Moreover, it was evident that these people were hiding near the shack, closely guarding this blindfolded elder.
This blindfolded old man was obviously an important figure amongst the 'heretics' of this plane!
Greem finally understood how the skinny youth had so easily found him. With someone like this… pointing the way, even his arrival must have been well within the opponent's expectations.
Greem really despised these fellows that spent their days looking into fate and the future. Even though they had the unique ability to communicate with the plane, it was considered as a commonly seen elementium magic. Their tricks and powers couldn't be stopped or deflected by any means.
As such, no one dared offend an adept with divining powers in the World of Adepts. Otherwise you might die without even knowing the cause!
"Welcome, guest from another plane! I am Mas."
The old man introduced himself as such. He didn't use the hostile word 'invaders' in his speech. Rather, he used the neutral 'guest'. This fully expressed his desire for a cooperative relationship!
"It's a pleasure to meet you here, Mr Mas. I am Greem, an adept from the World of Adepts. I'm sure you already have some understanding as to my purpose here, don’t you?" Greem swept his hood behind his head and revealed his face before politely performing a proper adepts' greeting.
Mas betrayed a bitter smile when he looked upon Greem's young and handsome face.
"We have already tasted the godly might of the Lord Great Adept in your base. That little kid Goth tested his patience and was reduced to ashes by your Great Adept. Even people like myself were involved in the planar backlash and lost our eyes! Lord Great Adept can counterattack an enemy thousands of miles away through the planar level– that is more than enough to deserve our respect!"
Greem was slightly shocked, but he didn't show it on his face. He continued to sincerely look at Diviner Mas.
Sage, diviner, prophet. These titles referred to the same group of individuals, but the change in the title matched the difference in their abilities.
Sage. Almost all that started practicing divination had this title.
They didn't always get feedback when they connected with the planar consciousness, and even when they did, the feedback they got would be chaotic and fragmented. These people were able to divine fortune and misfortune and were more likely to walk down a path beneficial for themselves.
Diviners were even stronger than sages. Almost every single one of their divinations were able to result in feedback from the planar consciousness. That said, the feedback was mostly limited to themselves. The amount of information they got from the feedback would also be related to the amount of power they had.
These people had an elementary mastery over the power of fate, and were able to peek at fragments of the future through the planar laws. They commonly became the leaders of their race or clan and enjoyed an extremely respected status.
Prophets were even more terrifying.
They were often casters with immense power themselves. Not only could they see the future, they could even use their powers to distort or even change the flow of fate to some extent. It was because of this skill that adepts who were also prophets were extremely terrifying existences, even in the World of Adepts.
Thus, even though Greem had no talent for divination, his background in the World of Adepts and the superior knowledge he possessed allowed him to see through the depths of Mas' powers.
In truth it was completely out of Greem's expectations that Mas was able to develop into a diviner under the witcher-knights’ cruel suppression.
These people might not have much in the way of combat or attack skills, but they had the tremendous ability to see through the functioning of the planar laws. They were like eyes suspended above the long river of fate, gazing coldly at the men engulfed within.
To Greem's understanding, there were plenty of diviners in the Silver Union back in the World of Adepts. They willingly gave up their magic powers, all in order to get a better look at the river of fate. They hid within the Silver Union's Diviners' Tower and never took a step in the outside world. Yet they still knew of everything happening everywhere on the Continent of Adepts.
They never participated in conflicts or abused their powers. They continually and dutifully did their jobs as the eyes of fate. Day in and day out, they transcribed scrolls and organized their notes. They worked hard, writing down every single thing that they managed to divine, then stored them in hidden rooms within the Tower.
Many powerful adepts had to personally visit these powerless 'madmen' to clear up confusions about the past. They used their most precious, valuable knowledge and resources to obtain a chance to enter the Tower and do away with their doubts.
But now, when a diviner from another plane stood before Greem, he couldn't help but start wondering.
Would he be able to see his future path to power if he used the eyes of this other-world diviner?
Diviner Mas started chuckling as Greem's mind was contemplating the idea.
"Sir Greem, don't count on me to help you. Every prophet is tightly bound to the plane they were born on. Even if I drained all of my strength, I would still never be able to extend my vision to a place as far away the World of Adepts."
"But did you not divine my arrival?" Greem asked, confused.
"That is because you are now in this plane and away from that Great Adept!" An expression of frustration appeared on Diviner Mas' face, "If you continued to stay by the side of the respected Great Adept, I would never dare to cast my vision anywhere near. However, when you left Greenland Forest, the path of your fate crossed mine. Thus I was able to see you and the purpose you bear!"
"Sir Mas, as a man of powerful ability from this plane, do you not feel repulsion and dislike for my identity?" Greem thought for a moment before asking this difficult question.
"Fate! What is fate? Most people misunderstand and believe that we rule above fate. That we can change fate because we can see through it. Diviners that hold such thoughts hardly ever survive." Mas paused for a second here, as if he just thought of someone or something.
It was a while later before he returned from his memories and continued, "In truth, these people are all mistaken. Even the most powerful prophet in this world is ultimately a slave of fate. No one can be the master of fate. Fate is a shackle, tightly chaining everyone and everything together. The path of everything's fate is silently revolving around certain rules and laws. There is no possibility of breaking out of that."
Greem listened silently.
"What is fate?
“This is a question whose answer every prophet has sought for their entire lives, to no avail.
“Some prophets believe that fate is a certain end that results from the systematic operation of all the rules and laws in the world. As long as all the conditions remain the same, there will only be one result. When the numerous results, ends, and conclusions accumulate, they form fate.
“Meanwhile, some prophets believe that fate is a unique force that exists independently, outside of the ordinary rules and laws. Even though it coincides and walks along the current world most of the time, it also concurrently and continuously changes as it does so. The river of fate is winding and extends to infinity. It might even be divided into many levels, filled with unpredictable variables at every level. Thus the direction of the river of fate’s flow is also ever changing. It is also accepts and admits new factors.
“This viewpoint clearly puts fate on an extremely high pedestal. It believes that fate is one of the most superior, powerful, and highest-order force laws in the multiverse. This higher-order law is not something that ordinary and inferior creatures can hope to control or manipulate. The only thing they can do is to understand and accept it, then use it to their advantage.
“In all seriousness, every single person, every single substance, and every single elementium within the multiverse has their own unique fate. And this fate, this path they are to walk on can become more or less certain, more or less strong, and more or less definite with the existence of the fate’s host, as well as the multiple factors in the multiverse.
“However, if a plane chooses to go into isolation, then everything within the plane would become fixed and predictable. At a certain point, even the plane's fate itself will become predictable!
“Thus every planar world has to admit outsiders intermittently if they do not wish to become a stagnant pool of water. In doing so, they create variables for the fate of the plane. It's just that most of the time, even the plane's power of fate cannot determine whether this variable will be a beneficial or harmful one."
Greem's body couldn't help but tremor as he listened to this other-world diviner's enlightening knowledge of fate.
At this very moment he felt like he vaguely understood the reason he had accidentally appeared in the World of Adepts.
Possibly, maybe, perhaps… he was one of the 'variables' the World of Adepts had drawn in from the multiverse!