The best way to learn anything required surrounding yourself with the brightest, most intelligent individuals you could find. To that end, Melchior had, upon arriving in the city by the sea, sought out the very brightest minds, sharpest intellects, wisest theologians and most gifted linguists, no matter how uncouth or socially inept they might be... and invited them to dine. In the months that followed, he collected, or rejected, from the thousands of young nobles who had migrated here from all points of the compass to either study or party... or both. Melchior soon found himself the unofficial leader of an elite core of local and international misfits, and gatherings at his spacious accommodations quickly became a weekly tradition. Many among this fraternity of colleagues had been born to royal lines and dynasties, but that heritage had not factored into his winnowing process. In fact, quite a few “members” were the sons of artisans and craftsmen who had been sent, at significant expense to their families, to glean such knowledge or “secrets” as could be applied to enhance that family’s craft or trade... and fortunes.
Now, whenever a puzzling question arose, Melchior need not spend days, or even months, nosing through the archives stored in the dry, dusty, hand-hewn tunnels under the main “Royal Library”, or the nearby Serapeum Temple Library, or even the Library of the Cesarion Temple across town. He need only turn to one of the many gifted guests at his table and ask. If that scholar did not know the answer, invariably one of the other attendees did... or knew where to find it quickly. Thereby, all of them contributed to, and benefited from, this co-op of knowledge. A human compendium of nearly encyclopedic information, neatly cross referenced over bread, lamb and wine.
The information Melchior required just now resided in Gaspar’s head. It seemed to be taking longer than usual to extract it, but still far quicker than searching on his own.
“Patience,” he repeated. Gaspar was attacking the ribbon which bound another scroll. Perhaps it would be best to wait until the next day to continue the search. With light streaming in through the skylights, and perhaps a few others to help search.... assuming the others could translate Aramaic, a little used, nearly archaic language of the Hebrew people.
But something told him this was important, and that time was critical. To whom it was important, or why, he had no clue. Perhaps all would be made clear when Gaspar refound the obscure referen...
“Here!” the little man exclaimed. “I have it. It is right here. See?” His finger pinned the scroll to the desk at a certain place. “Right there.” He was grinning now. “I told you I could find it, huh.”
“Yes, but what does it say. You know I can’t translate that.”
“It says, ‘The oracle of Balaam, the son of Beor, and the oracle of the man whose eye is opened, the oracle of him who hears the words of God and knows the knowledge of the Most High, and who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered.’ Melchior, this next part is in quotes, ‘I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, and a scepter shall rise from Israel, and shall crush the forehead of Moab, and undermine all the sons of Seth. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir, its enemies, also shall be a possession, while Israel performs valiantly. One from Jacob shall have dominion and shall destroy the remnant from the city.’”
The two men stood over the scroll in silence for a long moment before Melchior spoke. “So what does it...”
“I have no idea,” Gaspar interrupted. “Just because I can read this, doesn’t mean I know what it means. The first part is obviously an introduction to the second part, and the second part is obviously prophetic and refers to an individual in the future. But beyond that...? The person we need to...”
“Balthasar,” inserted Melchior.
“Yes. Balthasar may know.”
Giving your heart to others by listening to their heart
When you grow a leader who values people you help the whole world