Chapter 47: Human Reasoning
Renaissance Palace was Eternal Star City's tallest and most important building located at the center of the city.
On the 34th year of the Calendar of Eradication, during the later years of Tormond the First's reign, he copied the style of the Ancient Empire's Capital of Triumph and built this palace. It had six walls surrounding a half-pyramid-shaped palace. After that, at least six supreme kings had expanded or renovated it, with countless craftsmen giving the palace and its walls a classical as well as mottled color. After six hundred years, these gave the palace a look like it had undergone great changes.
After its two hundred and twenty-five steps was the Hall of Stars, supported by twenty-four large pillars. It was large and wide, specially meant for convening the meetings of the Council of National Affairs. The alfresco northern side of the hall overlooked the Star Plaza outside the walls — the Central District's largest business square. At the south, there was a conference room used for the Imperial Conference. In the center was a huge business hall that could cater to large noble assemblies.
At this time, two people were sitting on both sides of the table in that Imperial Conference Room. Under the light of two Everlasting Lamps, the atmosphere was heavy and quiet.
The 39th Supreme King of Constellation, the robust Kessel the Fifth put down the report in his hands. He then lifted his head to look at the weary noble opposite him.
The Suzerain of Cold Castle, Guardian Duke of the North, the forty-nine-year-old Val Arunde narrowed his eyes and looked back at the king.
As one of the Six Big Clans of the Kingdom, Val seemed less like a noble. This was mostly because of the scar that stretched from his chest to his chin. He had neat and short, shaved hair, making it almost unable for others to tell that his hair was dark brown.
Val looked different compared to the other Constellatiates. He had black eyes and a sharp gaze. The bridge of his nose was high and his lips stuck out. He had a thick stubble. The man looked craggy. His chain-mail armor still carried the chill of the North. From time to time, water would drip from the melted frost.
On his chest and shoulders were the white Eagle emblems of the Arunde Family, leader of the Six Great Clans, which had been guarding the North since the time of the Ancient Empire. The eagle was lifelike and had a snowflake in its mouth. It looked at Kessel with its talons spread out.
The Iron Eagle, Duke Val Arunde was closer to a soldier fighting at the frontlines as opposed to a pampered aristocratic suzerain.
"This is an impressive present for my forty-eighth birthday, Duke Arunde," Kessel coldly said.
Val looked up without any signs of weakness. He stared angrily at the king. "So what? Are you going to have me take responsibility by killing me here? The Heirless Kessel?"
Thales had a hard time believing it. He could even hear his own heart beating irregularly.
Looking at Morat's eyes, he bitterly thought to himself. 'What can I hide then?'
"Young Sir, there is no need to be overly surprised." Morat gently stroked his staff which looked as ordinary as his staff. "Did you know that I have already seen a lot of people with your current expression?"
Morat revealed his badly damaged set of teeth and laughed horribly. "From criminals… to even the King."
"Hahaha…" Morat laughed.
'I'm against such a man... such a terrifying person…'
Thales' state of mind was in complete chaos.
'I might as well just—'
At this moment...
A voice whispered in his ear.
"This guy has been lying to you all dis while."
Thales was shocked.
He slammed the table with his hand. The sudden appearance of the young voice shocked him.
Morat laughed and gazed at him with a strange look in his eyes.
"Do not be wwackwess. Wight now, only you can hear my voice."
Thales grabbed the corner of the banquet table tightly and stared closely at Morat, timing his surprise at the sudden voice perfectly with his fearful reaction to Morat's mind reading.
"He does not know how to wwead minds!" A certain loli's young and tender voice entered his ears.
'He does not know how to read minds?'
"However, he can spot a wie," the mysterious voice added.
Thales strongly suppressed the confusion in his mind and closed his eyes tightly.
He then recalled his memories.
"Qiren, the research objective of psychology is focused on the behavior and psychology between individuals. But our research objective is focused on the behavior and psychology of the group. There is a vast difference between the two." The old professor smoked from a pipe and blew out the smoke. He looked at Wu Qiren, who was flipping through the first draft of his thesis and feeling annoyed.
He then smiled and slowly said, "However, there is one thing that is common. Human behavior and psychology has always been unpredictable. They are miracles that cannot be fathomed, predicted, much less be said to possess certain patterns. Faced with such a miracle, we researchers must be modest."
"You also know that attempts to encompass all of human social phenomena with one or more macroscopic theories has long been criticized as being riddled with problems. This is because there has never been a way to thoroughly explain human reason."
The flashbacks from his past life faded like a tide, diffusing into his already huge bank of memories.
Thales suddenly opened his eyes and took a good look at the Black Prophet, who was waiting for his reply.
'It is time for the crucial moment,' Morat Hansen thought silently. He narrowed his eyes with interest and looked at the little boy in front of him.
'However, looking at his appearance, does he really have something critical that Yodel is keeping secret?'
Morat held on tightly to his walking stick. 'Good. Let us see how many more lies he can tell.'
Morat's purpose today was not just to verify Yodel's claims, but to also find clues regarding the newborn Mystic.
Morat breathed in the sweet air. 'Truly a luxurious and decadent smell.
'The most important thing is to meet the new king and develop his respect as well as reverence towards the Chief of the Secret Intelligence… and also his dependence and obedience towards us. One "assertive" king like Kessel is enough. That is the only way Constellation can shine brilliantly in the darkness.'
Morat thought to himself with satisfaction.
"Wisten to me, speak carefuwwy," Loli's lisping voice softly said in Thales' ear.
He does not know that the Mystic has spoken to you.'
'He only knows what he said himselw. I cannot speak anymore o welse he will notice. Take care of yoursewf, awwy."
The serious revelations from the voice had made him feel a lot more relaxed, but it never returned after that.
Thales sucked in another big breath of air. Although he still looked afraid at that moment, his heart had already regained some confidence.
'It is just another game,' he told himself.
His gray eyes continued to refocus and they were finally fixed on Morat, who was in front of him.
His mind, which was frozen in shock and fear started to work again.
'First, let us sort out the available information.
'Morat is lying.' Thales made this judgement after the loli's reminder.
'First of all, I met the Mystic.'
'Second, the Mystic talked to me.'
'Third, the Mystic found out that I would be the next Mystic.'
The secrets that Thales needed to hide were these three progressive layers of information.
'The problem is, Yodel knows about all three layers of information. If Yodel had told Morat everything, then Morat would not be here at all. The one awaiting for me would have been what Asda called the legendary anti-mystic weapon.'
'I should not have doubted Yodel. From Red Street Market to Vine Manor, he did everything he could to ensure my safety,' Thales told himself while feeling regret in his heart.
'"He does not know that the Mystic has spoken to you." The voice said Morat does not know that the Mystic has spoken to me.
'This means that right from the beginning, Morat only knew the first layer of information and the rest of it were lies to draw me out.
'I fell for his trap. I was scared out of my wits, and probably got conned into revealing the second layer of information.
'"He only knows what he said himselw." The voice also mentioned that Morat only knows what he himself was saying.
'One confirmed fact is, Morat knows that Asda has found a new Mystic!
'But, not more than that. Yodel only told him half of the third layer of information. Morat does not know who the new Mystic is.
'"He does not know how to wwead minds!" Since Morat cannot read minds, it means that the pinching of his nose bridge to deploy his psionic ability was just a lie. He used it to trick me!
'He was able to see the image of the Air Mystic in my mind... I was really stupid. Asda has not changed his appearance for hundreds of years. How would the Secret Intelligence not know what he looks like?
'It was the same for the ball of energy in Asda's hand. The air-wall is Asda's signature skill.
'He likes to squash people into balls of flesh. After the battle at Red Street Market, those "meatballs" must have been discovered.
'As for it being pitch-black at Red Street Market that night, it is simply nonsense! Even a Class Five Police Officer could say this after an investigation!
Thales frowned and bitterly thought, 'This man's "mind reading" is just skillful use of available information to allow himself to fake being able to read minds. It is an illusion to scare me, to make me submit.
'Now, it is time to verify this.'
Thales looked up in fear and trembled slightly. "Lord Hansen. Since- since you know how to read minds, why do you still ask me? You could just go ahead and read my mind directly..."
Morat smiled and held his walking stick. "I would not be so bold. The minds of those who have had their minds read will become more or less injured. In the end, you are still my future master."
'Yet, you still dared to do it earlier?' Thales snarled in his heart.
"But, if you want to save some trouble, I can follow your wishes and enter straight into your mind. I will try not to hurt—" Morat smiled and stretched out his left hand towards Thales.
Thales waved his hand in a panic. "No, no, no! No need! I might as well tell you directly."
Looking at Thales, Morat shook his head mockingly.
'After all, he is just a seven-year-old.'
"As you command." The Black Prophet lowered his head, the corners of his mouth curled up slightly.
At this point, Thales was certain.
'He tricked me! He tried to trick me again! I called his bluff! Why did you not go to the Dark Night Temple with such good acting skills? However…'
"However, he can spot a lie." This statement made Thales especially careful.
'An incomprehensible, wicked, human lie detector that should only exist in sci-fi novels?
'In other words, in front of the Black Prophet, I cannot say an outright lie. I can only give partial truths to conceal the critical truths.
'Partial truths…' Thales lamented in his heart. 'Why did I not study in the Department of Journalism?'