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【书籍搬运】Breathing Water 水中呼吸

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原文http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Breathing_Water

水中呼吸

作者 哈莉尔 米尔玛

他穿行于巴尔非尔那干燥、拥挤的街道上,处于这么多的陌生人当中让他十分高兴。还在维威克的码头的时候,他可不是这么籍籍无名,大家都知道他是个走私者。但是在这里,他可以是任何人,可能是个下层小贩,甚至是个学生。有些人甚至会在他经过时推开他如同在说“我们也不想无礼的提醒你,你不是这儿的人。”

瑟莱恩·雷拉斯没在任何一间旅馆,但是他知道她就在某处,也许就在某间租屋的窗后,或者为了某些法术或者什么的奇怪配料正在拨弄一个粪堆。他知道一点女巫们的事,但她们总是让人觉得行事过于怪异。由于这个偏见,他差点错过了这个从井中取水喝的老丹莫女人。这过于平凡了,但是他从她的长相认出她就是瑟莱恩·雷拉斯,强大的女巫。

“我会付钱给你。”他对着她的后背说道。“如果你教我水中呼吸的秘密的话。”

她转过身来,笑着,湿漉漉的嘴都咧得横跨了那饱经风霜的脸。“我没法在水里呼吸,孩子。我只会喝水。”

“别糊弄我。”他生硬的说:“要么你是瑟莱恩·雷拉斯并将教会我水中呼吸的法术,或者你不是。就这两种可能。”

“如果你要学水中呼吸,你要学会有远比这多的可能性,孩子。整个变化系都是关于可能性,改变模式,使事物成其可成。也许我不是瑟莱恩·雷拉斯,但是我能教你如何水中呼吸。”她擦干了她的嘴。“或者可能我是瑟莱恩·雷拉斯而我不会教你。或者也许我能教你水中呼吸,但是你学不会。”

“我会学会。”他简短的回应。

“你为什么不去法师公会自己买个水中呼吸的法术或者药水?”她问道。“这是通常的做法。”

“这些都不够强大。”他说:“我需要在水下呆很长一段时间。无论你要什么我都愿意付,但是不要有问题。我被告知你能教我。”

“你叫什么,孩子?”

“那是个问题。”他回复。他名叫萨林恩·温洛斯,但是在维威克,人们都叫他收费人。他的工作,就像人们叫的一样,当走私贩进港后他按赃物价格的一定比例收取费用,再上交他在给卡莫那帮的头目,他则再从这笔费用中提成。实际上到头来很小的一笔钱。他自己手头几乎没有多少钱,而他把所有的都给了瑟莱恩·雷拉斯。

课程从那天就开始了。女巫带着那个被她简单的叫做“孩子”的学徒来到海边一低处的沙洲。

“我会教你一个强大的水中呼吸术。”她说:“而你一定要精通它。如同所有的法术和技能一样,你越是勤于练习,你就掌握得越好。即便如此也是不够的。要想真正完全的精通,你必须明白你正在做什么。这可不像用刀做出一个完美刺击那样简单——你还得知道你在做什么以及为何这么做。”

“这是常识。” 萨林恩说道

“是的,当然。” 瑟莱恩说着闭上了她的眼睛。“但是变化系法术全是关于非常识的。无限的可能性,打破天空,吞下空间,与时间跳舞,于火上成冰,相信虚幻的也可变得真实。你必须学会宇宙的规则然后打破它。”

“听起来……很难。” 萨林恩回应道,并试着保持面无表情。

瑟莱恩指着海水边缘快速穿梭的小银鱼:“它们也没理解,但它们在水里呼吸得好好的。”

“可这不是魔法。”

“孩子,我对你说的就是这个。”

接下来的几周,瑟莱恩训练了她的学生。随着他越来越理解他所做的,以及越来越多的练习,他在水里能呼吸的时间也越来越长。直到他发现他施放的法术足够长到其所需时,他感谢了女巫并向她告别。

“我还有最后一课要教你。”她说道:“你必须学会期望是不够的。世界终会终止你的法术,无论你有多棒,无论你有多想。”

“这一课我乐于不上。”他说道,然后即刻离去,结束了这趟短暂的旅程回到维威克。

码头还是老样子,同样的气味,同样的声音,同样的人物。他从他同事那里了解到,他的老板已经找了个新的收费人,他们之前还在寻找走私船莫罗德龙号,不过他们已经放弃再见到它的希望了。而萨林恩早已知道他们见不到了,他很早以前就看到它在码头沉没了。

在一个没有月光的晚上,他施放了法术然后潜入了汹涌的紫色波涛中。他保持着事事可能的想法,书会唱歌,绿色是蓝的,水就是空气,每一次划动每一次踢水都把他带向那艘满载宝物的沉船。他看到前方了莫罗德龙号幽灵般的阴影,它的桅杆被深海水流如风般扬起。他同时感觉到他的法术开始渐渐失效。他能无视真实的在水中呼吸足够长的时间来回到水面,但却不够长到可以抵达沉船。

第二晚,他再次下潜,而这次法术更强了。他能看清船的细节,暗影遍布,沉淀的灰尘。船体撞上暗礁的破损处,里边的金子发出诱人的闪光。但是他感到真实正在逼近,他必须回到水面。

第三晚,他已能进入驾驶舱。路过的水手尸体已经肿胀,被鱼啃咬成了碎块,他们已无生气的眼睛凸出,嘴大大的张开。他们要是会这个法术的话,他曾短暂的想到。不过他的脑子更多的被地板上散落的金子,以及那些漏出金子的破损箱子所占据。他正考虑着如何尽可能的装满他的口袋,但是一个结实的铁箱子似乎预示着更多的宝物。

墙上有一排钥匙。他把每一把都取下来,试着去开启箱子的锁,但是都打不开。应该还有把钥匙没找到,萨林恩环顾了下房间,钥匙能在哪呢?他注意到离铁箱子不远处,有一具水手的尸体浮动着如同跳着死亡的舞蹈,他的手中紧紧地抓着什么东西。正是把钥匙。当初船开始沉没时,这名水手显然是奔着这个铁箱子去的,不论里边是什么东西一定非常值钱。

萨林恩用水手的钥匙打开了箱子,里边全是碎玻璃。他不停的翻找直到摸到什么硬的东西,然后拔出了两瓶似乎是红酒的东西。想到这酒鬼如此的愚蠢,他笑了。对这个水手来说这些显然比起莫罗德龙号上的所有财宝更为重要。

突然地萨林恩·温洛斯感到了真实。

他没有注意到这残酷的,永不停歇的世界逼近了他的法术。他在水中呼吸的能力正在渐渐消失。没有足够的时间回到水面了,也没有足够的时间做任何事。随着不断的呛水,冰冷的海水灌满了他的双肺。

几天后,正在码头工作的走私者们偶然发现了溺毙的前任收费人。在维威克的水域发现具尸体并没有什么值得注意的,不过值得作为他们酒后话题的是他为何手拿着两瓶水中呼吸药剂却能淹死。

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Breathing Water
by Haliel Myrm
Lessons on water breathing


He walked through the dry, crowded streets of Bal Fell, glad to be among so many strangers. In the wharfs of Vivec, he had no such anonymity. They knew him to be a smuggler, but here, he could be anyone. A lower-class peddler perhaps. A student even. Some people even pushed against him as he walked past as if to say, "We would not dream of being so rude as to acknowledge that you don't belong here."
Seryne Relas was not in any of the taverns, but he knew she was somewhere, perhaps behind a tenement window or poking around in a dunghill for an exotic ingredient for some spell or another. He knew little of the ways of sorceresses, but that they always seemed to be doing something eccentric. Because of this prejudice, he nearly passed by the old Dunmer woman having a drink from a well. It was too prosaic, but he knew from the look of her that she was Seryne Relas, the great sorceress.
"I have gold for you," he said to her back. "If you will teach me the secret of breathing water."
She turned around, a wide wet grin stretched across her weathered features. "I ain't breathing it, boy. I'm just having a drink."
"Don't mock me," he said, stiffly. "Either you're Seryne Relas and you will teach me the spell of breathing water, or you aren't. Those are the only possibilities."
"If you're going to learn to breathe water, you're going to have to learn there are more possibilities than that, boy. The School of Alteration is all about possibilities, changing patterns, making things be what they could be. Maybe I ain't Seryne Relas, but I can teach how to breathe water," she wiped her mouth dry. "Or maybe I am Seryne Relas and I won't. Or maybe even I can teach you to breathe water, but you can't learn."
"I'll learn," he said, simply.
"Why don't you just buy yourself a spell of water breathing or a potion over at the Mages Guild?" she asked. "That's how it's generally done."
"They're not powerful enough," he said. "I need to be underwater for a long time. I'm willing to pay whatever you ask, but I don't want any questions. I was told you could teach me."
"What's your name, boy?"
"That's a question," he replied. His name was Tharien Winloth, but in Vivec, they called him the Tollman. His job, such as it was, was collecting a percentage of the loot from the smugglers when they came into harbor to bring to his boss in the Camonna Tong. Of the value of that percentage, he earned another percentage. In the end it was very small indeed. He had scarcely any gold of his own, and what he had, he gave to Seryne Relas.
The lessons began that very day. The sorceress brought her pupil, who she simply called "boy," out to a low sandbank along the sea.
"I will teach you a powerful spell for breathing water," she said. "But you must become a master of it. As with all spells and all skills, you [sic] more you practice, the better you get. Even that ain't enough. To achieve true mastery, you must understand what it is you're doing. It ain't simply enough to perform a perfect thrust of a blade -- you must also know what you are doing and why."
"That's common sense," said Tharien [sic]
"Yes, it is," said Seryne, closing her eyes. "But the spells of Alteration are all about uncommon sense. The infinite possibilities, breaking the sky, swallowing space, dancing with time, setting ice on fire, believing that the unreal may become real. You must learn the rules of the cosmos and then break them."
"That sounds ... very difficult," replied Tharien, trying to keep a straight face.
Seryne pointed to the small silver fish darting along the water's edge: "They don't find it so. They breathe water just fine."
"But that's not magic."
"What I'm saying to you, boy, is that it is."
For several weeks, Seryne drilled her student, and the more he understood about what he was doing and the more he practiced, the longer he could breathe underwater. When he found that he could cast the spell for as long as he needed, he thanked the sorceress and bade her farewell.
"There is one last lesson I have to teach you," she said. "You must learn that desire is not enough. The world will end your spell no matter how good you are, and no matter how much you want it."
"That's a lesson I'm happy not to learn," he said, and left at once for the short journey back to Vivec.
The wharfs were much the same, with all the same smells, the same sounds, and the same characters. His boss had found a new Tollman, he learned from his mates. They were still looking out for the smuggler ship Morodrung, but they had given up hope of ever seeing it. Tharien knew they would not. He had seen it sink from the wharf a long time ago.
On a moonless night, he cast his spell and dove into the thrashing purple waves. He kept his mind on the world of possibilities, that books could sing, that green was blue, that that water was air, that every stroke and kick brought him closer to a sunken ship filled with treasure. He felt magicka surge all around him as he pushed his way deeper down. Ahead he saw a ghostly shadow of the Morodrung, its mast billowing in a wind of deep water currents. He also felt his spell begin to fade. He could break reality long enough to breathe water all the way back up to the surface, but not enough to reach the ship.
The next night, he dove again, and this time, the spell was stronger. He could see the vessel in detail, clouded over and dusted in sediment. The wound in its hull where it had struck the reef. A glint of gold beckoning from within. But still he felt reality closing in, and he had to surface.
The third night, he made it into the steerage, past the bloated corpses of the sailors, nibbled and picked apart by fish. Their glassy eyes bulging, their mouths stretched open. Had they only known the spell, he thought briefly, but his mind was more occupied by the gold scattered along the floor, the boxes that contained them shattered. He considered scooping as much he could carry into his pockets, but a sturdy iron box seemed to bespeak more treasures.
On the wall was a row of keys. He took each down and tried it on the locked box, but none opened it. One key, however, was missing. Thalien [sic] looked around the room. Where could it be? His eyes went to the corpse of one of the sailors, floating in a dance of death not far from the box, his hands tightly clutching something. It was a key. When the ship had begun to sink, this sailor had evidently gone for the iron box. Whatever was in it had to be very valuable.
Thalien [sic] took the sailor's key and opened the box. It was filled with broken glass. He rummaged around until he felt something solid, and pulled out two flasks of some kind of wine. He smiled as he considered the foolishness of the poor alcoholic. This was what was important to the sailor, out of all the treasure in the Morodrung.
Then, suddenly, Thalien [sic] Winloth felt reality.
He had not been paying attention to the grim, tireless advance of the world on his spell. It was fading away, his ability to breathe water. There was no time to surface. There was no time to do anything. As he sucked in, his lungs filled with cold, briny water.
A few days later, the smugglers working on the wharf came upon the drowned body of the former Tollman. Finding a body in the water in Vivec was not in itself noteworthy, but the subject that they discussed over many bottles of flin was how did it happen that he drowned with two potions of water breathing in his hands.

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