The ball shaped glass was filled with water, and floating gently on the water was a little boat made from a thin bronze plate. There was a candle in place of a sail upon it, lit by the fire left over from dinner. The little flame lit the entire room in a bizarre manner, through the spherical glass and the refraction of the water.
Once the flame flickered, the light in the room would sway along with the ripples imprinted upon the walls.
No matter which city guild it was, it was forbidden to work with candlelight during the night. On one hand, such a measure was for the practical purpose of preventing a fire; on the other, they felt it was a mystical power or something to create a lamp using water.
It would have been great if those who deemed this to be a superstition would imagine, how it would be like for a craftsman to focus on making a leather shoe as the flame flickered silently. The scene devoid of anyone, shadow of the tools placed on the workdesk, the corner where the wooden boxes were stashed aside, the equipment piled upon. There could be unimaginable things like spirits and fairies, beings that would befuddle the human heart, hiding in such darkness.
In this world, anything would change.
It was easy for humans to become inhumane.
The alchemist Kusla was reading an ancient technical book under such a light.
The binding was old, and there was a foul stench. The handwriting was extremely illegible; it seemed the scribe was treated no better than a slave, and wrote this with the will of wanting to pass on such ancient knowledge to the descendants.
The end of the book was stained in blood-like blackness, and the words written on it were “Let our souls be liberated from this suffering, and our souls to find rest.”
He could imagine the arduous conditions the scribe had to go through, the summer heat, the winter cold, his pen tied to his trembling fingers as he engraved each word one by one. This kind of writing was such that a mistake was irreparable, and was.a form of ascetic. Many fanatical believers took up the pen, wanting to punish themselves to approach the feet of God, even if it was a little. The anguish from such a job was causing their bodies to writhe along with the words, and after this privation, what was left behind was the words that contained ancient knowledge.
Being a person who lived in the world of knowledge and seeking, Kusla found some amusing congeniality with their unselfish praise and anguish. It seemed they wanted to convey their thoughts about why they had to suffer seeking what they wanted through these words.
Most likely, this mysterious looking light was the cause of such thoughts.
Kusla showed a little smile on his lips, and reached for the grape wine on the table, only to suddenly notice something. It was already so late that due to the cold, the dinner leftovers on the table had a white layer of fat coagulating upon it. Though Kusla was somewhat unwilling to call the latter his partner, he other alchemist Wayland had been spending a long time in the town for a long time.
There was also a person beside Kusla, having fallen asleep, drunk after tasting some wine.
Even in the midst of the alluring orange light, the whiteness of this mysterious girl was still as ou as ever.
She was dressed in a habit, and it was said that she was admitted at quite a few monasteries. However, surely she was not a real sister, for she fell drunk in an alchemist’s workshop at a time vegetation remained in slumber.
Her clothes, skin and hair were all white. If her closed eyes were to be opened, one would be able to see an intriguing green. When coupled with the face befitting an ice sculpture, one could even assume her to be a magical puppet created by an alchemist.
The girl in slumber also had a unique, conspicuous characteristic.
She leaned upon Kusla, her head resting upon his shoulder. Perhaps she was unused to the sleeping posture, for those unique characteristics were twitching from time to time.
In this alchemist’s workshop full of strangeness, decorated by skulls, the crystals shone within, and the ancient aged manuscripts–there was one of the seven deadly sins as recorded upon the Bible, the symbolism of the devil. The girl had ears of a beast, and she was a heretic, half human , half beast.
However, Kusla did not think her existence would cause a calamity in the world, nor that she was something rumored to appear at the end of the streets. At this moment, the girl was weeping silently in her sleep; only a person with a heart would cry.
Kusla moved his hand that was reached out to the grape wine towards her head, seemingly patting upon it.
He did not wipe her tears away, for no alchemist would be able to erase the tragic past this girl suffered.
That was why as an alchemist, Kusla could only protect her as much as he could.
He moved his eyes upon the ancient manuscript.
The candle continued to sway upon the water.