Lord of Mysteries 2: Circle of Inevitability -
Chapter 43 Frank
As expected, the loop has repeated… Lumian wasn't surprised to hear Aurore's answer.
This was the third cycle he could recall. Combined with his own experience and the mysterious lady's pointers, he had a preliminary conclusion:
The time limit for the loop is until the twelfth night.
The spatial range of the loop is Cordu Village and its surroundings.
Characters in the loop are restricted from killing the padre.
These are the three key points of the loop…
At this thought, Lumian looked at Aurore and asked thoughtfully, "Grande Soeur, if you wrote a novel about a time loop, where would you put the key to undoing it?"
Aurore looked Lumian up and down in confusion. "You suddenly asked such a question and even called me Grande Soeur obediently… Did you come up with a new story to deceive others?"
"I guess so," Lumian replied sincerely.
Aurore frowned and thought for a while before saying, "From a novelist's perspective, or rather, from the perspective of normal logic, the most critical part of the cycle is definitely the final scene. This is because it is both the end of this cycle and the beginning of the next cycle. It is the button that connects the end and the beginning. Without it, there is no way to turn the flow of time in a straight line into a closed circle.
"Think about it. The loop reverses, so there will always be a first time. Something must have happened at the last moment to cause time to restart."
Twelfth night? Lumian agreed with his sister's guess about the twelfth night. He nodded and asked, "Then why can't the most critical part be the first day of the loop? Shouldn't we ask why the loop starts at this moment?"
Aurore chuckled and said, "Making a short story to deceive a few people temporarily is your forte, but when it involves this kind of content that requires strict logic and rich knowledge, you aren't capable of it.
"The reason why the first day of the loop is the first day is perhaps due to the power or energy that causes the loop. Proceeding past the last day will end up overlapping this day. This is like why a loop probably doesn't cover the entire world, but some localized area. It's not that it doesn't want to, but it's incapable of doing so."
Lumian had actually considered this possibility. He just hoped that his knowledgeable sister would come up with a different answer.
Aurore thought for a moment and added, "If the loop is not a completely closed circle, where there is still interaction between those inside and outside the loop—for example, information inside can be transmitted, and people outside can enter but not leave—the first day of the loop might start from the day the outsiders happen to enter, so that when the loop is repeated, they don't have a 'position.' Of course, it can also compel the outsiders to do something they will do subsequently on the originally eventless first day. There are too many ways to make up similar stories."
Lumian's eyes lit up when he heard that. He wanted to praise his sister loudly.
He suspected that the entry of Leah, Ryan, and Valentine caused the cycle to start on the afternoon of March 29th.
If that was the case, the twelfth night might have already turned into the tenth or ninth night. Of course, it might also have originally been the thirteenth night that turned into the twelfth night due to the 'intrusion' of the outsiders.
These were all possibilities that Lumian needed to verify himself.
He completely agreed with his sister's deduction. He believed that something must have happened on the twelfth night to cause the loop to happen. Only by figuring out what happened at that time could he find the key to undoing the loop.
Therefore, Lumian decided not to trigger any abnormalities in this cycle. He also found an excuse not to join the procession and stay until the twelfth night.
But he couldn't do nothing. Time wouldn't allow it.
Unless Lumian broke out of the cycle after experiencing the twelfth night, he would have to make the best use of time for the next cycle.
A complete cycle lasted twelve days. After that, the probability of the outside world discovering any abnormalities in Cordu would increase exponentially. Lumian had, at best, one complete cycle or less to resolve the problem.
If he wanted to stop the abnormality in one cycle, he needed to have enough information and a sufficient understanding of the entire village.
Lumian couldn't help but mock himself. Not only do I have to avoid triggering the abnormality, but I also have to investigate the problem.
What was the difference between this and a clown walking on a tightrope at the edge of a cliff?
Wanting both wasn't something good.
Aurore saw that he didn't speak for a few seconds and seemed to be making up a story. She waved her hand and said, "I almost forgot to make dinner!"
"Wait a minute," Lumian said with a solemn expression.
Aurore immediately clicked her tongue. "I smell mischief."
Lumian said bluntly, "Aurore, uh, Grande Soeur, actually, we've already fallen into a loop."
"Heh, you've just learned the trick and you're already using it on me?" Aurore was both angry and amused.
I guess people need to be trustworthy at times… Lumian sighed silently.
"Can you at least listen to the story I made up first? Why don't you score me while we're at it?"
Aurore looked outside at the bright sky.
"That works too."
Lumian began from the time he met Leah and the other outsiders. He spoke as if he had a general outline, claiming that he had maintained his consciousness in the dream and entered a unique ruin. Through hunting monsters, he obtained a Beyonder characteristic and became a Hunter.
He didn't hide the matter about the thorned ring pattern that sealed his chest because it might involve the key to the time loop. He had seen the same symbol on the padre, and killing the padre had caused time to restart.
At first, Aurore was still smiling, thinking that her brother had come up with a creative story. But as she listened, her expression turned serious. There was a lot of knowledge that Lumian shouldn't have known.
When Lumian said that he had become a Beyonder, Aurore raised her right hand and massaged her temples.
Her light-blue eyes instantly became deep, but there was no figure reflected in them.
She looked at Lumian for a while and nodded slightly.
"Your Ether Body has undergone a huge change. Your life force and physical state are much stronger than ordinary people. Your Astral Projection has changed to a certain extent, but not much… As expected of a Hunter who's better at hand-to-hand combat than spellcasting… I can't see the symbol and the related changes, and I don't dare to look deeper…"
Aurore pouted and asked in confusion, "Don't tell me you deliberately made up such a ridiculous story to make me accept your becoming a Beyonder?"
This was a typical Lumian modus operandi.
Lumian didn't explain and directly talked about the mysticism knowledge that the lady had imparted to him.
Of course, he only briefly mentioned the name and did not elaborate.
This was not because he was very moral and principled about not telling his sister before obtaining the lady's permission. Instead, the other party was clearly very powerful. If he leaked precious knowledge and angered her, the time loop might be resolved, but they would die.
"Indestructible law… law of convergence… acting method…" Aurore was dumbfounded.
Aurore was stunned that her illiterate brother in the field of mysticism had grasped such incomparably precious knowledge.
It had been more than five years since she became a Beyonder. At first, she had relied on Emperor Roselle's diary to join that organization. Her pathway was a symbol of knowledge in the field of mysticism. From time to time, she would be pursued by knowledge, allowing her to master the acting method, the Law of Beyonder Characteristics Indestructibility, and the Law of Beyonder Characteristics Conservation, the three cornerstones of the Beyonder world. Therefore, she thought of herself as a Beyonder with insufficient experience but sufficient knowledge, miles ahead of most of her peers.
Now, her brother, who had never come into contact with mysticism, could actually mention such terms. Furthermore, he knew about a law of convergence of Beyonder characteristics that she didn't know about!
This eliminated the possibility that Lumian had peeked at her witchcraft notebook.
As a Beyonder of the Mystery Pryer pathway, Aurore suppressed her desire to know the specifics of the law of convergence as she looked at her brother. She asked in puzzlement, surprise, and worry, "What did you pay for that lady to teach you this knowledge?"
The potion formula was even free of charge!
She sized up Lumian again, from top to bottom, then from bottom to top, trying to find out what was missing from him.
"Nothing," Lumian laughed self-deprecatingly. "That's why it's terrifying. I don't even know what price I'll have to pay in the future. Yes, I suspect that it has something to do with the symbol on my chest and the dream ruin. That lady probably wants me to unravel the corresponding secret."
Aurore tersely acknowledged, "Continue."
She waited for the rest of the "story" with a serious attitude.
Lumian talked about the owl, the anomaly during Lent, and the siblings' experiences during the second cycle. He also talked about how the cycle would restart the moment they attempted to leave Cordu.
Aurore listened carefully and muttered to herself in disbelief, "Either I've been hypnotized by you and told you everything, or time has really entered a loop…"
She began to believe Lumian because she had named her "Integrity Brooch" herself, and there was no record anywhere. Unless she told her brother herself, it was impossible for Lumian to know, and she had no impression of it.
Lumian struck while the iron was hot.
"I can also prophesy that the three foreigners will appear at the Ol' Tavern at night. I can also prophesy that the padre is having an affair with Madame Pualis tonight. I can also prophesy that the shepherd, Pierre Berry, has returned to the village. There's something wrong with the three sheep he brought with him…"
The more Aurore listened, the more serious she became. After a while, she said, "The three foreigners entered the village in the afternoon while we were practicing combat. After that, we rested and didn't go out at all. Yes, in the combat class in the afternoon, you were still an ordinary person…"
She accepted Lumian's time loop theory.
If it were anyone else, Lumian would have laughed and said, "You believed it! Ha! You believed such a ridiculous story." But in front of Aurore, he was very restrained.
He then suggested, "I'll go around the village now and see if I can gather more information."
"I'll also use my 'eyes' to look around, but there are huge restrictions and it's very dangerous. I'm not sure I'll gain anything."
Lumian waved his hand, indicating that he understood, and walked out the door.
As Lumian took a few steps, he looked back at Aurore's figure standing in the kitchen. He immediately thought of the scene of Aurore pushing him to safety among the countless undead and felt an inexplicable pain of separation.
He subconsciously asked, "Grande Soeur, why did you adopt me in the first place?"
Aurore grumpily replied, "I didn't want to either!
"I was just kind enough to give you some food, but you kept following me. I couldn't shake you off, and you even obediently helped me do all kinds of things. My heart softened for a moment, and… who knew that you would grow into this!
"Do you know how hard it was for a young girl to raise a child like you?"
Lumian wanted to thank and praise her, but the words were stuck in his mouth, as if they wanted to rush to his eyes and nose.
He turned his head and walked back into the village.
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