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【书籍搬运】2920, Sun's Dawn (v2) 2920,日晓月 (卷二)

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原文:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:2920,_Sun%27s_Dawn_(v2)
翻译:sevil
校对&修正:nihilee

第二部:日晓

日晓月,3日,2920年
亚蒂姆,夏暮岛

索塔·希尔看着他的学徒一个接一个浮上绿洲华木树顶,从它高耸的枝头上摘下一颗果子或一朵花,随即以各式优雅姿态落回地面。他赞许地点了点头,享受着这段时光。据说在古代希拉班亲身做模特雕成的白浆塑像矗立在峭壁上,俯瞰着海湾。淡紫色的猫前花丛在微风中来回摇摆。更远处,是海洋,以及亚蒂姆与夏暮岛主岛间若隐若现的边界。

“总的来说,还不错,”接过最后一名学生放在他手中的果子后,他宣告说,又挥挥手,所有果实和花朵就都回到了树上。他再一挥手,学生们便在术士身边围成了一个半圆。他从白袍上取下一只直径约一英尺的纤维状小球。

“这是什么?”

学生们了解这种测试。他们需要在未知的物体上施放一个鉴别的咒语。每个学徒都闭上双眼,在真实领域中想象小球的样子。它的能量有一种独一无二的共鸣,一如一切有实体与无实体的事物。那是它的镜像,它的映像,相应的轨迹,真实的意涵,和谐宇宙中的一支歌,空间织造中的一段纹理,所有存在中一直存在,也将永远存在的一个方面。

“小球,”一个名叫韦勒格的年轻诺德说。有几个更年轻的学徒咯咯笑起来,但大多数人皱了皱眉,包括索塔·希尔。

“如果你非要当个笨蛋不可,起码也得有点幽默感吧。”术士低声咆哮,随即看向一个表情困惑的黑发艾特莫少女。“莉拉莎,你知道吗?”

“是踏浪球,”莉拉莎不确定地说,“鱼人踏脚用的。在他们结束克、克、克莱、克莱维纳辛态之后。”

“‘卡维纳辛态’,不过答得已经非常好了。”索塔·希尔说,“那么,告诉我,那代表了什么?”

“我不知道,”莉拉莎承认道。其他学生也摇摇头。

“对事物的理解是有层次的,”索塔·希尔说,“普通人用眼观察事物,用自己的思想方式解释事物。熟于古道、熟于赛伊克与秘术的人,能够看清事物,依其所处的恰当位置来鉴别事物。但若想理解事物,必须更进一层。辨识一件事物,不仅要依据它的位置作用,还要依据它的本原,才能理解它代表的含义。而针对此物,这小球确实是踏浪球,是由分布于大陆西部与北部的水生种族鱼人所创造的一种物质。在他们的一生之中,有那么一个年头,他们走上地表,度过卡维纳辛态。在那之后他们回到水底踩踏,或者说,吞食掉地表居住所需的皮肤与器官。然后他们就吐出这样的小球。踏浪球。鱼人的呕吐物。”

学生们带着恶心的表情看着小球。索塔·希尔总是很喜欢这一课。

日晓月,4日,2920年
帝都,赛瑞迪尔

“全是些奸细,”皇帝坐在澡盆里咕哝着,盯着自己脚上的一处突起。“我身边全是些奸细和卖国贼。”

他的情妇瑞嘉替他刷着背,双腿环在他的腰间。这么多年过去了,她早已懂得何时应当感性,而何时应当性感。当他陷入如此情绪时,最好是表现出平静、安抚且诱人的感性。并且,除非他直截了当提问,否则一句话也不要说。

而他正是这么做的。“你说,一个家伙踩了皇帝陛下的脚,然后说‘我很抱歉,陛下’,你怎么想?你不觉得‘请您原谅,陛下’更恰当一些吗?‘我很抱歉’,这听起来好像那只杂种蜥蜴对我是他的皇帝感到很遗憾一样。就好像他希望我们跟晨风的战斗打输一样。听起来就像这么回事。”

“怎样处置他才合您意呢?”瑞嘉问道,“您要杖责他吗?如您所言,他只不过是魂栖城的战争酋长罢了。吃几跟棍子能教他学会留心自己的脚下。”

“如果是我父亲,就会让他吃顿棍子。如果是我祖父,就会把他杀掉,”皇帝嘟囔道,“但我不介意他们统统在我脚上踩上几脚,只要他们尊敬我。并且不密谋反对我。”

“您总得相信些什么人呀。”

“只相信你,”皇帝微笑道,微微侧身给了瑞嘉一个吻。“还有我儿子朱历克,我以为如此,尽管我总是希望他能更谨慎些。”

“您的议会,还有执政者呢?”

“一群奸细和一条蛇。”皇帝大笑着说,又吻了吻他的情人。当他们开始做爱的时候,他耳语道,“只要你是真心,我就能掌握整个世界。”

日晓月,13日,2920年
哀伤要塞,晨风

图娅拉站在镶宝石的漆黑城门前。风在她身边呼号,但她什么也没有感觉到。

一听到最宠爱的情人怀孕的消息,公爵顿时暴跳如雷,将她驱逐出视线以外。她一次又一次试图见他,但他的守卫每次都把她赶走。最后她只能回到家中,将一切向家人和盘托出。如果她当时撒谎说她不知道孩子的父亲是谁就好了。他可以是一个士兵,一个旅行者,任何人都好。但她告诉他们,孩子的父亲就是公爵,因多瑞尔家族的成员。然后他们做了她明白他们必须做的事情,因为他们都是骄傲的雷德兰家族的一员。

在她的手上,她的父亲流着泪烙下放逐的印记。但公爵的冷酷无情伤她远远比这更深。她望向城门外,望向宽广的冬日平原,望向扭曲、沉睡的树,望向没有飞鸟的天空。晨风再没有哪个人会收留她了。她必须走向远方。

她迈出缓慢、悲伤的步伐,开始了她的旅程。

日晓月,16日,2920年
森夏尔,亚尼坤纳(现艾尔斯维尔)

“怎么了?”注意到了丈夫不快的情绪,哈萨玛王后问道。大多数年份里,每到情人节行将结束时他都是兴致勃勃,在舞厅里与所有的宾客跳舞。但今天他却早早地回了房。当她在房中找到他时,他正蜷在床上,皱着眉。

“那天杀的诗人讲的那波利多尔和艾萝莎的故事把我烦透了,”他低吼道,“他非得那么扫兴不可?”

“但那故事的真相不就是那样的吗,亲爱的?他们不是因为世界的残酷本性才毁灭的吗?”

“不管真相是什么,他做了件倒霉事,讲了个倒霉故事,我再也不想让他这样做了。”德洛’泽国王从床上跳起,眼里黏乎乎的尽是泪水。“他们说他是从哪来的来着?”

“我记得是瓦伦林地最东边的吉佛戴尔,”王后颤抖着说。“亲爱的,你要做什么?”

德洛’泽轻轻一跃便出了房门,跳上通往他塔楼的阶梯。就算哈萨玛王后知道她丈夫要做什么,她也没有试图去阻止他。他最近行为捉摸不定,多少有些狂想,甚至偶尔还会疯病发作。但她绝没有想到他的疯狂,以及他对那诗人和那关于凡人身上罪恶与执拗的故事的厌恶,能有多么深重。

日晓月,19日,2920年
吉佛戴尔,瓦伦林地

“我再说一遍。”老木匠说,“如果三号房间放着黄铜,那么二号房间就放着金钥匙。如果一号房间放着金钥匙,那么三号房间就放着黄铜。如果二号房间放着黄铜,那么一号房间就放着金钥匙。”

“我明白了,”贵妇说,“你已经说出来了。一号房间放着金钥匙,对吧?”

“不对,”木匠说,“我再从头说一遍。”

“妈妈?”小男孩拉着母亲的袖子,出声道。

“等等,宝贝,妈妈在谈话呢。”她说,努力思考着谜语。“你说的是‘如果二号房间放着黄铜,那么三号房间就放着金钥匙’,对吧?”

“不是,”木匠耐心地回答,“如果二号房间放着金钥匙,那么三号——”

“妈妈!”男孩叫喊道。他母亲终于抬起头。

明亮的红色烟雾正涌入城镇,吞没一座座房屋。一个红皮肤的巨人大跨步地走在前方。那是迪德拉莫拉格·巴尔。他面带微笑。

日晓月,29日,2920年
吉佛戴尔,瓦伦林地

阿玛莱西亚在泥地中停下她的骏马,让他从河里饮水。他不愿喝,甚至像是厌水甚重。事情很不对劲。他们自从哀伤要塞出发,一直以最快的速度前进,他不可能不口渴。她下马走向她的随从们。

“我们到了哪里?”她问道。

她的一名侍女抽出一张地图。“我想我们原本是在接近一个名叫吉佛戴尔的城镇的。”

阿玛莱西亚闭上眼睛,又迅速地睁开了。她看到的影像令她无法承受。她的随从们看着她,而她捡起一块碎砖和一片残骨,紧紧地握在胸口。

“我们必须继续向亚蒂姆前进。”她轻声说。

这一年继续流入了初种月。

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Book Two of 2920, The Last Year of the First Era
Sun's Dawn
by Carlovac Townway
Volume 2 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire


3 Sun's Dawn, 2920

The Isle of Artaeum, Summurset

Sotha Sil watched the initiates float one by one up to the oassom tree, taking a fruit or a flower from its high branches before dropping back to the ground with varying degrees of grace. He took a moment while nodding his head in approval to admire the day. The whitewashed statue of Syrabane, which the great mage was said to have posed for in ancient days, stood at the precipice of the cliff overlooking the bay. Pale purple proscato flowers waves to and fro in the gentle breeze. Beyond, ocean, and the misty border between Artaeum and the main island of Summurset.
“By and large, acceptable,” he proclaimed as the last student dropped her fruit in his hand. With a wave of his hand, the fruit and flowers were back in the tree. With another wave, the students had formed into position in a semicircle around the sorcerer. He pulled a small fibrous ball, about a foot in diameter from his white robes.
“What is this?”
The students understood this test. It asked them to cast a spell of identification on the mysterious object. Each initiate closed his or her eyes and imagined the ball in the realm of the universal Truth. Its energy had a unique resonance as all physical and spiritual matter does, a negative aspect, a duplicate version, relative paths, true meaning, a song in the cosmos, a texture in the fabric of space, a facet of being that has always existed and always will exist.
“A ball,” said a young Nord named Welleg, which brought giggles from some of the younger initiates, but a frown from most, including Sotha Sil.
“If you must be stupid, at least be amusing,” growled the sorcerer, and then looked at a young, dark-haired Altmer lass who looked confused. “Lilatha, do you know?”
“It's grom,” said Lilatha, uncertainly. “What the dreugh meff after they've k-k-kr-krevinasim.”
“Karvinasim, but very good, nonetheless,” said Sotha Sil. “Now, tell me, what does that mean?”
“I don't know,” admitted Lilatha. The rest of the students also shook their heads.
“There are layers to understanding all things,” said Sotha Sil. “The common man looks at an object and fits it into a place in his way of thinking. Those skilled in the Old Ways, in the way of the Psijic, in Mysticism, can see an object and identify it by its proper role. But one more layer is needed to be peeled back to achieve understanding. You must identify the object by its role and its truth and interpret that meaning. In this case, this ball is indeed grom, which is a substance created by the dreugh, an underwater race in the north and western parts of the continent. For one year of their life, they undergo karvinasim when they walk upon the land. Following that, they return to the water and meff, or devour the skin and organs they needed for land-dwelling. Then they vomit it up into little balls like this. Grom. Dreugh vomit.”
The students looked at the ball a little queasily. Sotha Sil always loved this lesson.
 


4 Sun's Dawn, 2920

The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

“Spies,” muttered the Emperor, sitting in his bath, staring at a lump on his foot. “All around me, traitors and spies.”
His mistress Rijja washed his back, her legs wrapped around his waist. She knew after all these many years when to be sensual and when to be sexual. When he was in a mood like this, it was best to be calmly, soothingly, seductively sensual. And not to say a word unless he asked her a direct question.
Which he did: “What do you think when a fellow steps on his Imperial Majesty's foot and says 'I'm sorry, Your Imperial Majesty'? Don't you think 'Pardon me, Your Imperial Majesty' is more appropriate? 'I'm sorry,' well that almost sounds like the bastard Argonian was sorry I am his Imperial Majesty. That he hopes we lose the war with Morrowind, that's what it sounds like.”
“What would make you feel better?” asked Rijja. “Would you like him flogged? He is only, as you say, the Battlechief of Soulrest. It would teach him to mind where he's stepping.”
“My father would have flogged him. My grandfather would have had him killed,” the Emperor grumbled. “But I don't mind if they all step on my feet, provided they respect me. And don't plot against me.”
“You must trust someone.”
“Only you,” smiled the Emperor, turning slightly to give Rijja a kiss. “And my son Juilek, I suppose, though I wish he were a little more cautious.”
“And your council, and the Potentate?” asked Rijja.
“A pack of spies and a snake,” laughed the Emperor, kissing his mistress again. As they began to make love, he whispered, “As long as you're true, I can handle the world.”
 


13 Sun's Dawn, 2920

Mournhold, Morrowind

Turala stood at the black, bejeweled city gates. A wind howled around her, but she felt nothing.
The Duke had been furious upon hearing his favorite mistress was pregnant and cast her from his sight. She tried again and again to see him, but his guards turned her away. Finally, she returned to her family and told them the truth. If only she had lied and told them she did not know who the father was. A soldier, a wandering adventurer, anyone. But she told them that the father was the Duke, a member of the House Indoril. And they did what she knew they would have to do, as proud members of the House Redoran.
Upon her hand was burned the sign of Expulsion her weeping father had branded on her. But the Duke's cruelty hurt her far more. She looked out the gate and into the wide winter plains. Twisted, sleeping trees and skies without birds. No one in Morrowind would take her in now. She must go far away.
With slow, sad steps, she began her journey.
 


16 Sun's Dawn, 2920

Senchal, Anequina (modern day Elsweyr)

“What troubles you?” asked Queen Hasaama, noticing her husband's sour mood. At the end of most Lovers' Days he was in an excellent mood, dancing in the ballroom with all the guests, but tonight he retired early. When she found him, he was curled in the bed, frowning.
“That blasted bard's tale about Polydor and Eloisa put me in a rotten state,” he growled. “Why did he have to be so depressing?”
“But isn't that the truth of the tale, my dear? Weren't they doomed because of the cruel nature of the world?”
“It doesn't matter what the truth is, he did a rotten job of telling a rotten tale, and I'm not going to let him do it anymore,” King Dro'Zel sprang from the bed. His eyes were rheumy with tears. “Where did they say he was from again?”
“I believe Gilverdale in easternmost Valenwood,” said the Queen, shaken. “My husband, what are you going to do?”
Dro'Zel was out of the room in a single spring, bounding up the stairs to his tower. If Queen Hasaama knew what her husband was going to do, she did not try to stop him. He had been erratic of late, prone to fits and even occasional seizures. But she never suspected the depths of his madness, and his loathing for the bard and his tale of the wickedness and perversity found in mortal man.
 


19 Sun's Dawn, 2920

Gilverdale, Valenwood

“Listen to me again,” said the old carpenter. “If cell three holds worthless brass, then cell two holds the gold key. If cell one holds the gold key, then cell three hold worthless brass. If cell two holds worthless brass, then cell one holds the gold key.”
“I understand,” said the lady. “You told me. And so cell one holds the gold key, right?”
“No,” said the carpenter. “Let me start from the top.”
“Mama?” said the little boy, pulling on his mother's sleeve.
“Just one moment, dear, mother's talking,” she said, concentrating on the riddle. “You said 'cell three holds the golden key if cell two holds worthless brass,' right?”
“No,” said the carpenter patiently. “Cell three holds worthless brass, if cell two --”
“Mama!” cried the boy. His mother finally looked.
A bright red mist was pouring over the town in a wave, engulfing building after building in its wake. Striding before was a red-skinned giant. The Daedra Molag Bal. He was smiling.
 


29 Sun's Dawn, 2920

Gilverdale, Valenwood

Almalexia stopped her steed in the vast moor of mud to let him drink from the river. He refused to, even seemed repelled by the water. It struck her as odd: they had been making excellent time from Mournhold, and surely he must be thirsty. She dismounted and joined her retinue.
“Where are we now?” she asked.
One of her ladies pulled out a map. “I thought we were approaching a town called Gilverdale.”
Almalexia closed her eyes and opened them again quickly. The vision was too much to bear. As her followers watched, she picked up a piece of brick and a fragment of bone, and clutched them to her heart.
“We must continue on to Artaeum,” she said quietly.
The Year continues in First Seed.

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