48 Hours a Day
Chapter 334 - Eighteen Years of Waiting
Chapter 334 Eighteen Years of Waiting
“So, you want to know more about mythology now, huh?” Father Zhang was a little surprised, “I thought you lost interest in such things after you graduated from sixth grade?”
The four had finished their dinner, and after cleaning up the tableware, Mother Zhang and her father were going through some old photos in the study room. Outside, Zhang Heng and his dad were in the living room, eating fruit while watching TV.
“Okay, what do you want to know? I will try my best to tell you everything I know. Just go ahead and ask me questions,” said Father Zhang after picking up an apple and taking a bite.
Zhang Heng silently pondered for a moment.
“Is there really a god in the world we live in?”
Father Zhang almost choked on the apple he just swallowed. He coughed twice and asked, “What’s the matter, do we really have to pretend that you are still a sixth-grader?”
He took a sip of water to soothe his throat.
“I remember us discussing this a long time ago. Although your mother and I are theology majors, we do not have any beliefs. In fact, I am interested in mythology, but only the history and humanity parts of it. Your mother… well, she is just interested in all the weird stories. She likes to travel around, take pictures, and taste food in the name of the archaeology of religion and cults. If I remember correctly, her master’s thesis was about the diet of medieval believers.
“From my point of view, the so-called myths are just stories written by mortals, just like fairy tales, but myths are for the adults. For example, ‘Odyssey’ was said to be written by Homer, a blind poet in ancient Greece. And we all know that the book’s theme was about the Trojan War. There weren’t only mortals, but there was also the demigod, Achilles, the Sun God Apollo, and Poseidon, God of the sea.
“But in reality, the Trojan War was the only actual historical event. The rest are Homer’s artistic add-ons. Academicians generally believe that even if Homer was real, there were no proper historians in the era he lived in, which was in the ninth century BC. At that time, no one paid too much attention to history’s authenticity. Thanks to that, people concocted their versions of history and incorporated real events with myths and legends. Hence the birth of Odyssey.”
Father Zhang paused, “In fact, if you properly study the system of myths and legends, you will find that they all have their origins. Usually, these tales are passed down verbally, constantly evolving based on the society they originated from. For example, Celtic mythology originated from Celtic folklore and was influenced by ancient Rome and Christianity. If the stories in it were real, why then would they be influenced by the civilization of the time? Greek and Roman mythology are typical examples.”
Father Zhang continued while gnawing at the apple. “Roman mythology was completely born out of Greek mythology. Many gods have different names because of different pronunciations. As for their legendary tales, they are all the same. How could this stuff be true?”
Zhang Heng was silent. Whatever his father told him matched what he thought about mythology. But then again, where did those so-called gods come from? He met an ancient Celtic god in his Black Sail quest. Other than that, there were also the supernatural creatures he encountered in the real world. If the legends about them were all made up, how on earth did they exist in the real world?
Zhang Heng remembered the man named Einstein he had met at the Apollo Training Camp quest. Judging by what he said, it seemed that he was on the same level as the man in the Tang suit. However, he didn’t feel that he was connected in any way to the myths and legends. As for the game items he saw at auction, some of which obviously products of modern society… Zhang Heng decided to put this question aside for now and asked one of the most pressing issues in his mind. “How about gods that have something to do with time?”
Father Zhang raised his eyebrows, “The god of time? Indeed, there are gods related to time in many mythological systems, but the most famous is the protogenoi in ancient Greek mythology, Chronos. He is the supreme god worshipped by Orphism. It symbolizes the first cause that transcends everything. He existed before everything began, and is the supreme god in the ‘Twenty-Four Sacred Narratives.’ He also possesses power above all things. He doesn’t have a physical form, but he sometimes appears in the image of a snake, a three-headed man, a cow, or a lion. He is, however, better known as the image of an old man, usually described in modern artworks as an old man holding a sickle.”
“Old man, does the old man look like this?”
Zhang Heng took out an old photo from his pocket that he picked up after cleaning the study and put it on the coffee table in front of his father.
Father Zhang was taken aback when he saw the photo, quickly picking it up.
“Huh… Where did you find this photo?”
“You have participated in many research projects, and mom takes lots of pictures all the time. Why did I only find this after I searched the entire room? Where are the others?”
“That’s because we lost a sled and four sled dogs at the end of the research. They fell into a hole on the ice along with all the things on the sled. That included our Kodak. We tried out best, and in the end, we still failed to rescue the four poor little guys, let alone the things on the sled. As for Mr. Time, he was the sponsor of the expedition, but we haven’t seen him for more than ten years since it ended.”
Although his dad tried his best to maintain a relaxed tone, Zhang Heng could sense that his heart wasn’t as calm, especially after he saw the photo. His pupils were contracted, and clearly, he was hiding something. However, what surprised Zhang Heng the most was that the incident didn’t seem to involve Mr. Time.
Later, when Zhang Heng’s father talked about Mr. Time again, he had relaxed and had settled into a more comfortable position. Zhang Heng didn’t quite understand why his father would lie about the film. Even grandpa knew about this expedition. In other words, he was the only one in the whole family who had been kept entirely in the dark from the project. The question was, why did his parents get rid of the photos, and at the same time, reluctant to talk about the expedition to Greenland 18 years ago?
What happened on that island in the Arctic Circle, and what did it have to do with him? He was only a year old at that time. If the strange man in the Tang suit had met his parents 18 years ago, he obviously didn’t choose Zhang Heng 18 years later based on appreciation and coincidence.
Instead of seeing it as a random encounter, it looked more like a meeting that the mysterious man had been waiting for 18 years.