Klein looked at dark-blue gelatinous liquid, finding it hard to describe it as either a block or cup of liquid. He swallowed his saliva and said in great difficulty, “Am I to drink it just like that?
“Is there no need for any other preparations? Like a ritual, an incantation, or a prayer?”
Old Neil acknowledged tersely before saying, “Preparation? There is. Get a cup of Intis Aurmir grape wine, suck on a Desi cigar, then whistle a relaxing tune, and dance a upbeat court dance. You can do a tap dance if you prefer that. Finally, play a round of Gwent cards…”
When he saw Klein’s expression turn dumbfounded, Old Neil laughed and summarized what he had just said.
“If you feel nervous.”
…You are quite humorous, aren’t you…? The corners of Klein’s mouth twitched as he resisted the urge to draw his gun.
He put his cane down and extended his right hand. As though he held something heavy, he raised the opaque cup. The smell of the potion was faint and seemingly ethereal.
“Lad, do not hesitate. The more you hesitate, the more nervous and afraid you will be. That will only affect the absorption that follows,” said Old Neil with his back facing Klein. It was as though he had said it casually.
It was unknown when he arrived by the nearby water basin. He turned on the tap and washed his hands.
Klein nodded silently and took a deep breath. Just like he was back when he was a child, he pinched his nose and drank it like medicine. He moved the opaque cup to his mouth and tipped his head, drinking it down with a gulp.
A cool and smooth feeling quickly filled his oral cavity. It then flowed through his gullet and into his stomach.
The sticky, dark-blue liquid seemed to grow out thin and long tentacles, bringing stimulation and coldness to every cell in Klein’s body.
He could not help but convulse as his vision rapidly went into a blur. All colors seemed to saturate. The reds were redder, the blues were bluer, and the blacks were blacker. The rich colors blended like an impressionist painting.
Klein had seen such a scene before. It was back when he was questioned by the Spirit Medium, Daly.
At that moment, his vision became a blur and although his mind felt light, it was clear. He felt like a castaway floating in the sea.
Slowly, his surroundings turned discernible. All the colors returned to their original as a grayish and blurry fog emanated.
Around him were bodies he found difficult to describe. There were transparent objects that did not seem to exist. Deep down, there were clean light clusters of different colors. The light seemed to possess life or contain immense knowledge.
This is a little similar to what I saw during the luck enhancement ritual… As Klein instinctively looked down, he realized that ‘he’ was still standing in his original spot, body convulsing.
Suddenly, he came to a realization, causing his consciousness to sink abruptly and fuse with him.
The fog quickly dissipated as the colors restored to normal. The bright, clear halo and the inexistent objects instantly vanished.
The scene in the alchemy room returned to normal, but Klein felt his head swell. He felt like it was being yanked apart. Whatever he saw had countless afterimages. His ears were overwhelmed by an ethereal murmur.
“Hornacis… Flegrea… Hornacis… Flegrea… Hornacis… Flegrea…”
Klein felt a stabbing pain at his forehead as he quickly had thoughts of causing destruction to vent the discomfort in him.
He frowned and hurriedly shook his head.
“Is your vision abnormal? Are you also hearing things you did not use to hear?” said Old Neil, at his side with a concealed smile.
“Yes, Mr. Neil, what should I do?” Klein tolerated the intense mania and asked.
Old Neil chuckled.
“This is the resulting seepage of the potion’s energy. You lack the means to control it. Alright, do as I say. Think of an object in your mind, something common. Make it simple and easy.”
Klein quickly focused as he envisaged his own halved top hat woven from black silk. He recalled the feeling when he touched it and its exact shape.
“Place all your focus on it. Keep repeating that while creating the outlines. Does it feel a little better?” Old Neil’s voice penetrated into his mind like a serene song.
Klein turned his focus bit by bit to the imagined top hat. He felt the murmurs subside into a whisper before they vanished. The afterimages he saw also stacked upon one another and no longer appeared a blur.
“Much better,” said Klein after calming his mind of chaotic emotions and having exhaled.
He looked down at his body and discovered that nothing abnormal had happened.
He moved his limbs and with half-anticipation and half-doubt, asking, “I succeeded? I’m now considered a Seer?”
Old Neil pulled out a mirror-like mercury plate and shoved it in front of him.
“Look at your eyes.”
Klein focused his gaze and saw that he was wearing a black top hat. His outline stood out and his facial features looked normal. Apart from having his face covered in sweat, he did not seem different in any way.
He followed Old Neil’s instruction and carefully looked at his eyes. Only then did he discover that his brown eyes had deepened quite significantly. It was so much deepened that it was like the night—one in complete darkness. It felt so deep that it could absorb the souls of others.
Normally, dark brown pupils are easily recognized as black. Without looking very carefully, even Klein himself would not have noticed.
“This is a physical manifestation of the potion’s powers. When you learn Cogitation and how to converge your power, your eyes will return to normal.” Old Neil smiled as he reached out his right hand. “Congratulations, our new Beyonder, our Seer.”
“Thank you.” Klein reached out his hand and shook it. “Mr. Neil, when can I learn how to Cogitate?”
“You can learn it now. The initial steps of Cogitation is relatively simple. It’s even more so for Beyonders,” said Old Neil with a smile. “Just now, producing an object in your mind to divert your attention and turning the energy seepage inwards is actually the first step to Cogitation. Try doing it again.”
Klein closed his eyes and once again, his mind depicted the halved top hat.
His concentration seemed to be more easily focused than before. Soon, random thoughts that surfaced would quickly vanish, leaving the hat’s outline.
“Let your brain go somewhat blank. Exchange the object you imagined. Use something that does not exist in this world, an object you imagine completely out of thin air.”
“You have to follow this rule. Only by doing so can you enter Cogitation, only then can you exceed the concept of ‘I.’ The limitless ‘I’ will be become one with the universe, giving you the ability to see and understand the truth. You will obtain knowledge only you yourself can understand. In the domain of mysticism studies, it’s called a Mystic Experience,” said Old Neil using a pacifying tone. “You just need to listen to the descriptions that I’ll get to later. What’s most important is to enter Cogitation.”
Something that doesn’t exist in this world. Imagine something completely out of thin air… Would things from Earth count? Klein attempted using an earthy-green intercontinental missile he saw on television. He replaced the halved top hat with this long and thick missile.
However, regardless of how he outlined it or imagined it, he ultimately only ended up focusing his attention.
It doesn’t seem like it will work… Klein had no choice but to let his imagination run wild. He
outlined a sphere of light and then many similar objects, gathering them together.
The spheres of light stacked upon one another. It felt like an object of fantasy. Klein’s thoughts gradually turned ethereal and afloat.
His body and mind calmed down. The objects that did not seem to exist, the fog with the bright clusters of light, and the complex colors appeared once again. They floated in the sky in close reach.
He extended his spirituality inch by inch as he looked down at them quietly. He sensed it and took it in.
“Very good. As expected of a Seer. You entered Cogitation very smoothly. You are just slightly worse than me back then. Slightly,” said Old Neil with a chuckle. “In that case, I’ll begin teaching you the most common, easiest to grasp, and most useful ability in the future in mysticism. Spirit Vision!”
He switched off the gas lamps one after another but opened the door to the alchemy room. It made the spot where Klein was dark, but not to the point of failing to make out silhouettes of objects.
“Alright. in your present state, raise your hands and place them in front of your eyes. Your index fingers need to face each other, but they are not to touch.
“Open your eyes and keep them open until you are accustomed to the darkness.”
Klein completed each step according to Old Neil’s description. He saw the silhouettes of his fingers and the surrounding objects.
“Actually, you should be lying down to let your body be entirely relaxed. But since the effect of your Cogitation is not bad, let’s continue.” Old Neil laughed. “Focus your gaze on a spot behind your hands. It has to be behind. Then, slowly move your fingers and maintain the same pose without touching them. Also, do not pull them out of your sight.”
Klein calmly listened to it and cast his gaze at an empty spot behind his palms. He then slowly moved his index fingers within his vision.
Once, twice, thrice… Suddenly, Klein saw a fiery-red color in between his fingers.
“Eh…” He let out a sound.
“You see color? That’s right. That’s the initial step to Spirit Vision. The color you see is your aura,” said Old Neil with a chuckle. “No rush. Do it a few more times. After stabilizing it, look elsewhere. I’ll also take this opportunity to explain to you the different meanings of the different colors.”
“Alright.” Klein moved his fingers back and forth while having his vision trained on the fiery-red.
Old Neil thought for a moment before saying, “To put it simply, the mainstream way of mysticism is to split non-physical parts of a human into four levels. At its core is the Spirit Body, which is also everyone’s basic spirituality. There is a school of thought that believes all biological creatures have spirituality and have a Spirit Body.
“I’m not sure about anything else, but to Mystery Pryers, the goal of Cogitation and the method to increase our strength is directed toward the Spirit Body.
“Outside the Spirit Body is the Astral Projection. It is the means for the Spirit Body to communicate with the spirit world and with stellar space. It’s considered an external manifestation of the Spirit Body. Besides, it will be directly related to your personal ambition and your prevailing emotions… The scenes you see after consuming the potion are scenes your Astral Projection sees when it wanders through the spirit world. That world does not obey the laws of the physical world. It involves exceeding the concept of ‘I,’ the limitless ‘I’, and the Universe’s ‘I.’ The past, present, and future might be stacked upon one another and that is the source of divination.
“In the spirit world, what you see is just an imagery, a symbol. You have to interpret it to understand its actual meaning.
“Divination and many magic spells are cast through the Astral Projection.
“Do not mistake its relationship and differences with a Spirit Body.”
One is just a body and the other is for form… Klein continued looking at the aura in between his fingertips and made the simple conclusion.
“Further out will be the Body of Heart and Mind. From this point forth, it will combine with the physical body… It involves your brain and is an overall manifestation of your inferential abilities, your analytical abilities, your observational abilities, and identification abilities. Some potions will mainly raise this. Quite a number of magic spells target it as well.”
Old Neil explained in relatively great detail, “The outermost layer is the Ether Body. It is a manifestation of your vital energies and physical form.”
“The aura color you see is an external phenomenon of your Ether Body. In other words, apart from the spiritual bodies, ghosts, and specters you can see directly with Spirit Vision, it might also include certain existences that should not be seen. You can also see the Ether Bodies of others or their auras. From their thickness, brightness, and color, you can determine their health and emotional state.
“When your Spirit Vision improves and you grasp more mysticism knowledge, you will be able to discover even more details. You can even determine the lifespan of others.
“By the way, the emotional state I mentioned would also manifest itself because of your Astral Projection. When you go higher in Sequence, your Spirit Vision will reach a relatively high stage. You can even be able to see someone else’s Astral Projection. That way, you will learn even more things. This is a level only Seers and Mystery Pryers can attain.
“Some fellows even claim that the strongest form of Spirit Vision allows one to see anything in any place, including the past and future. However, I’m skeptical about it.”
It sounds quite powerful… Klein was almost turning eager.
Old Neil coughed and continued, “Let’s return to the Ether Body and the colors of the auras. Your limbs and parts that are required in motion will appear red. Your head and brain’s surface will appear as purple. Spots that excrete waste will appear orange. The digestion system will appear as yellow. The heart and other regulatory systems will appear green. Your throat and other parts of the nervous system will appear blue. An entirely balanced body will make a body be cloaked in white… That is a symbol of health.
“Once it turns dark or the thickness thins, the color will change. That indicates that the corresponding spot has turned problematic. It means it’s in a state of exhaustion or illness.
“In addition, the inner layer of the Astral Projection represents prevailing emotions. Red means passion and excitement. Orange means warmth and satisfaction. Yellow means happiness and extroversion. Green means calm and peace. Blue means coldness and stillness that one is in thought. White means brightness, an eagerness to improve. Dark colors mean worry, sorrow, and silence. Purple means that spirituality is taking control of the lead, coldness and estrangement…”
Klein silently memorized the information and stabilized his initial Spirit Vision.
“Good, you can look at other objects.” Old Neil did not speak further as he nodded.
Klein slowly turned his head and looked at Old Neil. Indeed, he saw different colors in different parts of his body. The aura was both thick and thin at different spots. The purple color at his head was brightest and his limbs’ redness was relatively dark. The overall whiteness to his body was somewhat faded as well.
Indeed, he’s getting on in age… Klein made a silent comment to himself.
Only with what he saw did he feel that he had become a Beyonder!
“I am now a Beyonder!”
He shifted his gaze and carefully sized up Old Neil when suddenly he saw a translucent pair of cold and ruthless eyes without any brows in the void behind him!
This nearly illusory eyes were staring at Old Neil intently, as well as him!
This… Klein shuddered as he gapped and said, “You have a pair of eyes behind you!”
Old Neil was taken aback before he forced a smile.