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【书籍搬运】2920, Evening Star (v12) 2920,夜星月(卷十二)

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原文:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:2920,_Evening_Star_(v12)
翻译:refsil

2920,夜星

2920年,夜星月,1日
晨风省,石树城(Balmora)

冬季早晨的太阳光穿过在窗子上的霜,Almalexia睁开了他的眼睛。一位老医师带着微笑放了一张湿毛巾在她的头上。在旁边一张椅子上睡着的是Vivec.医师跑进了一旁的小房间端来一杯水。

“您感觉怎么样,女神?”医师问道。

“感觉像是睡了很久。”Almalexia回答道。

“确实。十五天了,”医师说道,碰了碰Vivec的手臂。“大师,醒来,她说话了。”

Vivec坐起来,看到Almalexia活着而且醒着,他的脸上现出了笑容。他吻了一下她的前额,并且牵过她的手。终于,她的身体又是温暖的了。

Almalexia突然打破了平静:“Sotha Sil—-”

“他很好,”,Vivec回复道,“又在什么地方搞它的机器了。他也想留在这里,不过他意识到他可以钻研他那奇特的魔法来更好的帮你。”

城主出现在门口。“抱歉打扰了您,大师。但是我想告诉您您最快的信使昨天深夜朝帝国城走了。

“我本来要去和皇帝在六日签订停战协定,所以我让他去传递延期的消息。”

“你在这里帮不了我,”Almalexia说,努力站起来。“但是如果你不去签协定,你会把晨风省置于战争之中,或许又一次八年战争。如果你今天带着护卫赶去帝国城,也许你只会晚到一两天。”

“你真的不需要我在这里?”Vivec问道。

“我知道晨风更需要你。”

2920,夜星月,6日
Cyrodill,帝国城

皇帝Reman三世坐在他的皇位上,打量着接见室。这是一幅壮丽的景象:银色的丝带从椽上垂下来,燃烧着香料的炉子在角落里熊熊燃烧着,Pyandonean(这是个地名?)的风蝶扫过空气,唱着它们的歌。当火把被点燃并且仆人们开始扇风的时候,这个房间会变成一个闪耀着光芒的梦幻之地。他已经能闻到厨房的香味了。

宰相Versidue-Shaie和他的儿子Savirien-Chorak滑进了房间,都带着Tsaesci的头饰与珠宝。他们金色的脸上没有微笑,不过本来就很少有。皇帝仍然向他信任的顾问问好。

“这个也许会打动那些野蛮的黑暗精灵,”他笑起来。“他们什么时候会到?”

“一位Vivec派来的信使刚到,”宰相严肃地说。“我想陛下最好独自见他。”

皇帝收起了笑容,对下属点了点头表示同意。门打开了,Corda女士走进了房间,手里拿着一张纸。她关上了背后的门,但是没有抬起头去看皇帝的脸。

“信使把信给了我的夫人?”Reman怀疑地说,站起来去拿信。“这真是奇怪的传递信息的方式。”

“但是这封信本身是很正统的,”Corde说,望着他的一只完好的眼睛。在一个令人眩目的动作后,她把那封信插进了皇帝的脖子里。他的眼睛睁大了,血流下了黑色的纸。那张纸上是空的,除了一个小小的黑色标记,莫拉格帮的标记。它掉到地上,显出藏在它后面的她正扭着的一直切到他喉骨的小匕首。皇帝倒在了地板上,无声地喘息着。

“你需要多久?”Savirien-Chorak问。

“五分钟,”,Corde说,擦掉手上的血。“如果你能给我十分钟,我会双倍的感谢你。”

“很好,”宰相对着跑出接见室的Corde的背影说道。“它应该是一个蛇人,这女孩拿刀子的手法真是不一般。”

“我必须去准备我们的证明,”Savirien-Chorak说,消失在一条只有皇帝十分信任的人才能知道的秘密通道里。

“您还记不记得,陛下,”宰相微笑起来,看着地上濒死的人,“当你叫我记住“你们蛇人有很多好看的动作,但是只要我们的一击命中,你就全完了。”时,你看,我的确记住了。”

皇帝吐出一口血,勉强吐出了一个字:“蛇。”

“我是一条蛇,陛下,从内到外。但是我没有说谎。的确有一位被vivec送来的信使。看样子他会晚到一点了,”宰相消失在秘密通道里前耸了耸肩。“别担心你自己。我很确定食物不会太差的。”

Tamriel的皇帝在他被装点成豪华大厅的的接见室倒在了血泊中。他在十五分钟后被守卫发现。Corda已不见踪影。

2920,夜星月,8日
Cyrodiil省,Caer Suvio

对穿过森林的道路质量连连道歉的Glavius领主是第一个在Vivec和他的助手到达时欢迎他们的人。一条燃烧着的灯组成的线装点着围绕街道的无叶树,摆动在温和但寒冷的夜风中。Vivec能从里面闻到简单的宴席和十分悲伤的曲子。那是一首传统蛇人的冬季颂歌。

Versidue-shaie在前门向Vivec问好。

“我很高兴您在到达帝都前收到了消息,”,宰相说着,把他的客人带领到一见宽阔,温暖的客厅。“我们处于一个困难的转变时期,对于现在,最好不要在帝都处理我们的事情。”

“没有继承人?”Vivec问道。

“没有官方的,虽然有几个远房亲戚在争夺皇位。在我们解决这个问题时,至少贵族们暂时决定了我能接过我后来的主人的工作,”Versidue-Shaie示意仆人拿两只舒服的椅子放在火炉前。“您希望我们现在就正式签订停战协定或者先吃点东西?”

“你想要签皇帝的停战协定?”

“我像皇帝一样做任何事。”

2920,夜星月,14日
Tel Aruhn,晨风

Corda,带着赶路而沾上的一身灰,扑进了夜母的怀抱里。她们拥抱了一会,夜母抚摸着她女儿的头发,吻着她的前额。最后,她从她的袖子里拿出一封信递给Corda。

“这是什么?”Corda问道。

“从宰相那来的一封信,写了他对你的技术很满意,”夜母答复道。“他保证寄给我们报酬,不过我已经给他答复了。皇后已经为她丈夫的死付了我们足够报酬。Mephala不会让我们贪图我们不需要的东西。你不应该因为一次谋杀获得两份报酬。”

“他杀了Rijja,我的姐妹,” Corda平静的说。

“那么应该由你来完成这一击。”

“我现在要去哪里?”

“当我们神圣的工作者太出名而无法继续时,我们将他们送到一个叫Vounoura的岛上。坐船最多不过一个月。并且我给你的藏身之处安排了一座庄园,“夜母擦掉女孩的眼泪。“你会遇见很多朋友,我知道你会在最后找到平静和快乐,我的孩子。”

2920年,夜星月,19日
Mournhold,晨风

Almaexia看过了城市的重建。这些市民可真有灵感,她在走过新建筑坐落在焦黑,破烂的老建筑上的骨架时想到。连植物都显出了显著的恢复力。在曾经的主大街上的被摧毁的Comberry和roobrush残余里仍然还有生命。她能够感受到它们的脉搏。春季到来,绿色将会穿过黑色。

公爵的继承人,一位拥有出众的智力与坚定的Dunmer勇气的男孩从北部下来接过他父亲的地盘。这片土地不只将生存:它会变的强大宽广。她能比她看到现在还强烈地感受到未来。

在她最确定的事之中,她知道Mournhold会永远成为至少一位女神的家。

2920年,夜星月,22日
帝国城,Cyrodiil

“Cyrodiil血脉已经死亡,”宰相对聚集在帝国宫殿讲台下的人群宣布道。“但是帝国还活着。我们敬爱的皇帝的远亲已经被皇帝深信的大臣们裁决为不够资格坐上王座。我,作为Reman三世的一位无私的与坚定的朋友与大臣,被认为应当以皇帝之名继续治理帝国。”

这个Akaviri停顿了下,让他的演说传到众人的耳朵里。他们仅仅在寂静中注视着他。雨洗过城市的街道,不过太阳在短时间内缓和了冬季的风暴。

“我想说清楚我不是要拿过皇帝的名号,”他继续道。“我曾经是并且也将是宰相Versidue-Shaie,一位被友好的欢迎到你们的国家的外族人。保护我的新家园将是我的责任,并且我保证将不知疲倦地致力于此直到某位比我更好的人接过这份重担。作为我的第一件行动,我宣布为了纪念这个历史性的时刻,在晨星月的第一日,我们将进入第二纪元。如此,我们哀悼帝国血脉的失落,同时展望未来。”

只有一个人对这些话鼓掌。Senchal的Dro’Zel国王真的相信这会是Tamriel历史上最好的一件事。当然,他的精神很不正常。

2920年,夜星月,31日
Ebonheart,晨风

在城市之下Sotha Sil用他神秘的钟表机械锻造了未来的烟雾弥漫的洞穴中,某件意料之外的事发生了。一个油腻的泡泡从机器中冒出来消失了。巫师的注意力立马被转到它与被它激发的连锁反应上。一根管子向左移了半英尺。一个踏板被跳过了。一个线圈反绕起来,开始向反方向旋转。一个活塞开始左右移动,因为Millennia突然开始右左移动。没有东西损坏,但是每样东西都变了。

“现在没法修好它,”巫师安静地说道。

他抬头看向天空。是午夜。第二纪元,一个混乱的年代,开始了。

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Book Twelve of 2920, The Last Year of the First Era
Evening Star
by Carlovac Townway
Volume 12 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire

 Editor's note: In the game, the dates of Book 12 are all written "Sun's Dusk" and not "Evening Star," even though the title is entirely correct. UESP has corrected this flagrant typographic error at the cost of modifying the original.
 1 Evening Star, 2920

Balmora, Morrowind

The winter morning sun glinted through the cobweb of frost on the window, and Almalexia opened her eyes. An ancient healer mopped a wet cloth across her head, smiling with relief. Asleep in the chair next to her bed was Vivec. The healer rushed to a side cabinet and returned with a flagon of water.
“How are you feeling, goddess?” asked the healer.
“Like I've been asleep for a very long time,” said Almalexia.
“So you have. Fifteen days,” said the healer, and touched Vivec's arm. “Master, wake up. She speaks.”
Vivec rose with a start, and seeing Almalexia alive and awake, his face broke into a wide grin. He kissed her forehead, and took her hand. At last, there was warmth again in her flesh.
Almalexia's peaceful repose suddenly snapped: “Sotha Sil --”
“He's alive and well,” replied Vivec. “Working on one of his machines again somewhere. He would have stayed here too, but he realized he could do you more good working that peculiar sorcery of his.”
The castellan appeared in the doorway. “Sorry to interrupt you, master, but I wanted to tell you that your fastest messenger left late last night for the Imperial City.”
“Messenger?” asked Almalexia. “Vivec, what has happened?”
“I was to go and sign a truce with the Emperor on the sixth, so I sent him word that it had to be postponed.”
“You can't do me any good here,” said Almalexia, pulling herself up with effort. “But if you don't sign that truce, you'll put Morrowind back to war, maybe for another eighty years. If you leave today with an escort and hurry, perhaps you can get to the Imperial City only a day or two late.”
“Are you certain you don't need me here?” asked Vivec.
“I know that Morrowind needs you more.”
 


6 Evening Star, 2920

The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

The Emperor Reman III sat on his throne, surveying the audience chamber. It was a spectacular sight: silver ribbons dangled from the rafters, burning cauldrons of sweet herbs simmered in every corner, Pyandonean swallowtails sweeping through the air, singing their songs. When the torches were lit and servants began fanning, the room would be transfigured into a shimmering fantasy land. He could smell the kitchen already, spices and roasts.
The Potentate Versidue-Shaie and his son Savirien-Chorak slithered into the room, both bedecked in the headdress and jewelry of the Tsaesci. There was no smile on their golden face, but there seldom was one. The Emperor still greeted his trusted advisor with enthusiasm.
“This ought to impress those savage Dark Elves,” he laughed. “When are they supposed to arrive?”
“A messenger's just arrived from Vivec,” said the Potentate solemnly. “I think it would be best if your Imperial Majesty met him alone.”
The Emperor lost his laughter, but nodded to his servants to withdraw. The door then opened and the Lady Corda walked into the room, with a parchment in her hand. She shut the door behind her, but did not look up to meet the Emperor's face.
“The messenger gave his letter to my mistress?” said Reman, incredulous, rising to take the note. “That's a highly unorthodox way of delivering a message.”
“But the message itself is very orthodox,” said Corda, looking up into his one good eye. With a single blinding motion, she brought the letter up under the Emperor's chin. His eyes widened and blood poured down the blank parchment. Blank that is, except for a small black mark, the sign of the Morag Tong. It fell to the floor, revealing the small dagger hidden behind it, which she now twisted, severing his throat to the bone. The Emperor collapsed to the floor, gasping soundlessly.
“How long do you need?” asked Savirien-Chorak.
“Five minutes,” said Corda, wiping the blood from her hands. “If you can give me ten, though, I'll be doubly grateful.”
“Very well,” said the Potentate to Corda's back as she raced from the audience chamber. “She ought to have been an Akaviri, the way the girl handles a blade is truly remarkable.”
“I must go and establish our alibi,” said Savirien-Chorak, disappearing behind one of the secret passages that only the Emperor's most trusted knew about.
“Do you remember, close to a year ago, your Imperial Majesty,” the Potentate smiled, looking down at the dying man. “When you told me to remember 'You Akaviri have a lot of showy moves, but if just one of our strikes comes through, it's all over for you.' I remembered that, you see.”
The Emperor spat up blood and somehow said the word: “Snake.”
“I am a snake, your Imperial Majesty, inside and out. But I didn't lie. There was a messenger from Vivec. It seems he'll be a little late in arriving,” the Potentate shrugged before disappearing behind the secret passage. “Don't worry yourself. I'm sure the food won't go bad.”
The Emperor of Tamriel died in a pool of his own blood in his empty audience chamber decorated for a grand ball. He was found by his bodyguard fifteen minutes later. Corda was nowhere to be found.
 


8 Evening Star, 2920

Caer Suvio, Cyrodiil

Lord Glavius, apologizing profusely for the quality of the road through the forest, was the first emissary to greet Vivec and his escort as they arrived. A string of burning globes decorated the leafless trees surrounding the villa, bobbing in the gentle but frigid night breeze. From within, Vivec could smell the simple feast and a high sad melody. It was a traditional Akaviri wintertide carol.
Versidue-Shaie greeted Vivec at the front door.
“I'm glad you received the message before you got all the way to the City,” said the Potentate, guiding his guest into the large, warm drawing room. “We are in a difficult transition time, and for the moment, it is best not to conduct our business at the capitol.”
“There is no heir?” asked Vivec.
“No official one, though there are distant cousins vying for the throne. While we sort the matter out, at least temporarily the nobles have decided that I may act in the office of my late master,” Versidue-Shaie signaled for the servants to draw two comfortable chairs in front of the fireplace. “Would you feel most comfortable if we signed the treaty officially right now, or would you like to eat something first?”
“You intend to honor the Emperor's treaty?”
“I intend to do everything as the Emperor,” said the Potentate.
 


14 Evening Star, 2920

Tel Aruhn, Morrowind

Corda, dusty from the road, flew into the Night Mother's arms. For a moment, they stayed locked together, the Night Mother stroking her daughter's hair, kissing her forehead. Finally, she reached into her sleeve and handed Corda a letter.
“What is it?” asked Corda.
“A letter from the Potentate, expressing his delight at your expertise,” replied the Night Mother. “He's promised to send us payment, but I've already sent him back a reply. The late Empress paid us enough for her husband's death. Mephala would not have us be greedy beyond our needs. You should not be paid twice for the same murder, so it is written.”
“He killed Rijja, my sister,” said Corda quietly.
“And so it should be that you struck the blow.”
“Where will I go now?”
“Whenever any of our holy workers becomes too famous to continue the crusade, we send them to an island called Vounoura. It's not more than a month's voyage by boat, and I've arranged for a delightful estate for your sanctuary,” the Night Mother kissed the girl's tears. “You meet many friends there, and I know you will find peace and happiness at last, my child.”
 


19 Evening Star, 2920

Mournhold, Morrowind

Almalexia surveyed the rebuilding of the town. The spirit of the citizens was truly inspirational, she thought, as she walked among the skeletons of new buildings standing in the blackened, shattered remains of the old. Even the plantlife showed a remarkable resilience. There was life yet in the blasted remains of the comberry and roobrush shrubs that once lined the main avenue. She could feel the pulse. Come springtide, green would bolt through the black.
The Duke's heir, a lad of considerable intelligence and sturdy Dunmer courage, was coming down from the north to take his father's place. The land would do more than survive: it would strengthen and expand. She felt the future much more strongly than she saw the present.
Of all the things she was most certain of, she knew that Mournhold was forever home to at least one goddess.
 


22 Evening Star, 2920

The Imperial City, Cyrodiil

"The Cyrodiil line is dead,” announced the Potentate to the crowd gathered beneath the Speaker's Balcony of the Imperial Palace. “But the Empire lives. The distant relatives of our beloved Emperor have been judged unworthy of the throne by the trusted nobility who advised his Imperial Majesty throughout his long and illustrious reign. It has been decided that as an impartial and faithful friend of Reman III, I will have the responsibility of continuing on in his name.”
The Akaviri paused, allowing his words to echo and translate into the ears of the populace. They merely stared up at him in silence. The rain had washed through the streets of the city, but the sun, for a brief time, appeared to be offering a respite from the winter storms.
“I want to make it clear that I am not taking the title Emperor,” he continued. “I have been and will continue to be Potentate Versidue-Shaie, an alien welcomed kindly to your shores. It will be my duty to protect my adopted homeland, and I pledge to work tirelessly at this task until someone more worthy takes the burden from me. As my first act, I declare that in commemoration of this historical moment, beginning on the first of Morning Star, we will enter year one of the Second Era as time will be reckoned. Thus, we mourn the loss of our Imperial family, and look forward to the future.”
Only one man clapped at these words. King Dro'Zel of Senchal truly believed that this would be the finest thing to happen to Tamriel in history. Of course, he was quite mad.
 


31 Evening Star, 2920

Ebonheart, Morrowind

In the smoky catacombs beneath the city where Sotha Sil forged the future with his arcane clockwork apparatus, something unforeseen happened. An oily bubble seeped from a long trusted gear and popped. Immediately, the wizard's attention was drawn to it and to the chain that tiny action triggered. A pipe shifted half an inch to the left. A tread skipped. A coil rewound itself and began spinning in a counter direction. A piston that had been thrusting left-right, left-right, for millennia suddenly began shifting right-left. Nothing broke, but everything changed.
“It cannot be fixed now,” said the sorcerer quietly.
He looked up through a crick in the ceiling into the night sky. It was midnight. The second era, the age of chaos, had begun.          

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