The Chronicles of the 7 Great Libraries
Book 1: Epilogue: The birth of the greatest genius. The mountainous wind blew through the window, clearly with the muffed sound of...
Epilogue: The birth of the greatest genius.
The mountainous wind blew through the window, clearly with the muffed sound of phi lao(1)’s tree lines. The faded pendulum clock rang its copper bell. It was 15 minutes before midnight.
In a small room, Teacher Thường(2) got up on his bed. He then opened the faded lim-wooden wardrobe to find his tidily-hung dark blue ao dai. Slowly and without hesitant, he changed his wearing pajama into the áo dài(3), tied his hair and covered his neck with a scarf. Then, he looked at the copper mirror hung on the wardrobe, fixed his tunic and stroked his beard. In the mirror, he looked like a fifty year-old Confucian teacher with a face having felt the hardship of life; his eyes were bright and strict as he made a sweet smile. Once in a while, he stroked his gray-spotting beard.
All of that dressing took him 5 minutes. Exactly at 10 minutes to 12, there was someone knocking at the door. And it was exactly 3 knocks. Needless the Teacher to respond, the door was opened, and walked into the room was a teenage boy wearing properly a black áo dài, and rounding his arms to bow his teacher. Teacher Thuong nodded his head as a way to greet him.
-Thiên(4), let me borrow your abacus.
The teenage boy quietly sighed, his hands were upholding a calculator to hand it over the teacher. He had reminded his teacher for so many times, yet the elderly was too stubborn. Teacher Thường always called this device an abacus, even though he had told him that this was a calculator. Perhaps to him, this calculator and the abacus of his age was no different, they were all for calculating things. The two men, a teacher and a student, walked out of the room. The teacher turned off the lights and then walked away by following the dark hall, while one hand was touching the calculator. Thiên followed him.
-One hundred three thousand sixty-two hundred calculations. You seem to do some extra maths today.
Thiên was quite shock, but fast to calm himself down. He had never stopped being surprised whenever his teacher talked about the numbers. He could sense it, that five fingers of the teacher were still stroking the buttons.
-Dear teacher, I met some quite hard math problems today. The more I calculated, the more excited I felt, so for a sudden, I had used all my day calculating and still just had worked out half of it.
Teacher Thường slightly smiled. The two continued to walk quietly to a stair. This stair led to the terrace. From the building terrace, they could see the whole view on the mountain top and a faraway city. On the terrace placed a telescope. The night sky was silent, wind blew softly.
It had been a daily routine, every day at midnight, teacher Thường would wear an ao dai, walked on the terrace to observe astronomy, despite in whichever weather.
-Dear Teacher, I want to ask. Why…
Before Thiên could ask, Thường had answer:
-Why am I borrowing your abacus everyday? Don’t be so surprised, I have seen you wondering for a long time, and yet, haven't had the courage to ask, so I just guess that out now. An abacus is like human, without training continuously, it will be corrupted. My abacus has been kept in a place for too many years, I afraid it has forgotten its instinct. Yours, however, is being used a thousand times a day, its calculation may not be divine, but is the most efficient.
Calculations are supposed to be only right and wrong, are there even such things like divine and efficiency? Calculators only need battery to run, does it really need to be training? Thiên was stupefied. A barrage of questions was running inside his head. As a specialist Mathematics Bachelor, he had followed Teacher Thường for researching for a couple of years. His Math Project was also about to finish, but he started to feel curious about his teacher, not only a specialist Professor with Doctor degree in Mathematics, Teacher Thường had also achieved many high certificates in application Math including Astronomy, Palmistry, Yi Jing(5), and even Philosophy.
20 years ago, he was known for the name great teacher Vô Thường(6), placed as the Best Astrologist, the one who could see through everything in life, for years by many popular magazines. Having been hidden in a long time, suddenly 3 years ago, he ran across Thiên's room to borrow his calculator, then led him onto the terrace to watch the stars, and showed him every unusual signs of the earth, which were the knowledge Thien did not understand, because they were out of his specialist subjects.
Since then, everything had been a matter of course. Thiên was wondering, for what reason that suddenly made his teacher…
That Thường suddenly called out made Thiên shocked.
-You have been watching the sky for long. Why don’t you tell me what is strange in the sky today?
Thiên was quite for a while, to observe the sky. The first day of month, no moon, no clouds. Shining above were all the stars. So high was the summer sky. Softly blew the wind. Rusty was the phi lao tree’s line. An airplane was heading through the sky, roaring its noisy engine. And after that, all were back to their normal forms.
-Dear teacher, I don’t understand much, I just can see that today is very peaceful, with no single Unusual signs.
Thiên hesitantly answered, and waited for his teacher’s answer. Teacher Thường was also stumbling and stopped talking for a few seconds.
-That’s right. There are nothing Unusual at all…
But then he turned back at Thiên.
-Do you know what should be called an unusual? They are the weird stages of things. Things have to move, react and change so the Unusual can be happened. But in fact, things are always moving, reacting and changing, so the Unusual is not unusual at all. They are, actually, necessities. Without any of the Unusual…- The Teacher suddenly became taciturn - is the most horrific thing that could happen!
Thiên was staring at the teacher. He might not make any high achievements in Philosophy, but the highest score in Logistics was enough to make him think long of what teacher Thường had just said. Plus the serious face of him, he felt sure that he would see something incredible, unimaginatively horrible tonight.
Teacher Thường had stopped talking, he slowly turned back at the telescope. His hand was touching the calculator’s buttons simultaneously. Through the telescope, he carefully observed the constellation, mouth was muttering the calculation without touching the calculator, just stroking over the numbers. His ears were highly listening to all the sounds. His nose was smelling the air. His skin was feeling the blow of wind. A ringing bell could be heard from a church in the village under the mountain. It had been 12 o’clock.
Nothing was wrong. Everything was exactly at where they were supposed to be. Even all the stars were exactly at their mathematical formations. The wind was still blowing. The tree lines were still rustling. The birds were still finding food. Human was still existing… Only on the high sky rooftop, a cloud was mildly evaporating, creating a soft light line.
-Thiên! Everything had their own errors. The moment when there are no errors, the probability for that to happen… is how much?
His voice had no more gently and clearly like before. Even Thiên himself also felt his head empty. Teacher Thường kept talking as if he was monologue.
-Astronomy and Anthropology, either of them is a side of the mirror. The stars on the sky above don’t have any connection with human’s life, but the probability happens on the sky is also the chance of events happening to human (*). The one who is born in the moment everything is in their rightful states, when all the probability alive is in set, that person… that person must be The Fortunated One! The greatest talent with the most unbelievable luck. Just afraid that… that… the fate of this world, turning for the better or the worse, is in the hand of this child…
Teacher Thường headed up in a long smile. “Studying for my whole life, I at last, at last, have lived to this date to see The Heaven’s Fortune!”
Suddenly, in the sky evaporating a dark cloud which is growing bigger and bigger, the wind blew more furiously.
“So… this is the Universe’s Punishment for me being able to see through the Fortune.”
-Thiên, run away now!
Teacher Thường hurriedly shouted, hand started typing a line of calculation on the calculator. Each numeral line was flying out of the calculator, flowing in the air, making colorful lights. Each of these lines started to circulate around Thường, their lights interfere with each other, making a star map.
This star map stimulated the 60 constellations in the universe.
The Map of 60 Constellations!
After achieving Doctor degree, humans now could fight against the world.
But, in front of the Punishment soon to hit down, could Thường fight against it or not, is something he did not even know. He just knew that, he needed to protect Thiên.
- Run, you idiot! And live! You must find him. You must find the Fortunated One!
That day, villagers from the mountain downhill could hear the thrilling thunder strikes on the mountain top.
One minute past twelve that night, in the first of July in the year 6000 of The Calendar, on a countryside mountain top, The Great Teacher Vô Thường, former Professor of the National College of the Great South(7) Empire, Vice President of the Empire Scientific Community, founder of International Yi Jing Community had passed away.
Also in 12 o’clock midnight, in July the 1st in the year 6000, inside the walls of Great South Royal Palace, the sound of a newborn could be heard.
A first-hand product, hope everyone will support.
(*) Based on the theory of Carl Gustav Jung, founder of the Psychoanalyst study, which he assumed that reading tarot cards is to simulate the probability which then can analyze to human’s fate.
(1)phi lao/ fi˧˧ laːw˧˧/: Casuarina-tree.
(2), (6) Vô Thường/vo˧˧ tʰɨə̤ŋ˨˩ /: a Vietnamese male name which is very abnormal. It is how Vietnamese call the concept "impermanent" in Buddhism, which is deeper or even boundless in meaning . A person with this name may have a thoughtful and insightful mind.
(3) áo dài/ aːw˧˥ za̤ːj˨˩/: a traditional dress of Vietnam, used to be worn by both men and women, but now only women wear it.
(4)Thiên/tʰiən˧˧/: a Vietnamese male name meaning "sky". In the original book, which is written in Vietnamese, the word "Thiên" was the beginning vowel for other words, like the phrase "The Fortunated One" was actually "Thiên mệnh", "The Punishment" was "Thiên Kiếp", and "Heaven's Will" was "Thiên cơ".
(5) The I Ching or Yi Jing also known as Classic of Changes or Book of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination text and the oldest of the Chinese classics. The Vietnamese form of this was: "Kinh Dịch".
(7)Great South was the name of the empire, the continent in the story was also in the south hemisphere of globe.
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