Book 1, Chapter 38

Tokoyo’s file download paused at seventy-three percent while the machine processed something it wasn’t sure about. He watched it in silence, chewing on the end of a pen. The files he had requested were sizable; they were comprised mainly of information on his brothers, and there was certainly and excess of that.

It had taken him more time than he had hoped to compile the data he wanted, but he had received no communication from either of his brothers to hurry him. This pleased him.

Progress on the file download moved up to seventy-nine percent.

He was certain that these files would not give him any answers. At best, they would add only an obscure part to the picture his imagination was already painting for him. He spit his pen out on the desk and tented his hands in front of his face.

“All seven.” He spoke aloud, forming the words deliberately. His voice did not resonate in the cold of his office. “Seven Shards. Seven days in a week. Seven sins, cervical vertebrae, celestial bodies visible to the naked eye. The fourth prime number, if you count one.”

Eighty-seven percent.

“Four horsemen. Four noble truths. Four nucleobase types, cardiac chambers, fundamental forces. The first composite number. The first perfect square.”

His eyes were no longer focused as he muttered

“Square root of four is two. Two things in a pair. Moon and sun. Male and female. Positive and negative energy. Plus neutral energy makes three. One and two are four’s proper advisors. One and two are three. Three sides in a triangle, three triangles in Solace.”

Ninety-four percent.

His gazed at the three intertwined triangles stood out bronze against the paint above his office door, the symbol of the world’s most advanced city. The city where the seven Shards had appeared.

“Seven eventually breaks down to one,” he added absently. “Seven Shards and one god equal the end.”

He picked up his pen and unconsciously began to twirl it between the fingers of one hand. Things always worked out the way they were meant to; he knew that better than most. He wondered who else had known.

One hundred percent.

He now had the first piece of the puzzle.

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