The Keeper of Ancient Knowledge
The strange man sent his companion, an older boy, on an errand, began talking with Lo Si when the lad did not return. He was kindly to Lo Si, and asked him unusual questions:
"Why are you visiting this town?"
"Because my parents often talk about it, and I wanted to know what it was like."
"What if I were to tell you about it?"
"That would be very kind sir, but I also need to see it; and know what it feels like."
"Would you like me to show you around? I could explain how this town works."
"Yes Please! Do you know where they make sticky rice pancakes with syrup, my parents are always talking about them, and they're yummie, but nobody knows how to make them. [whispering to the back of his hand] There's a secret
ingredient you know..."
And that is how Lo Si met the Keeper of Ancient Knowledge, a chance meeting, but one that would change the course of history. The older boy mentioned above, was not a good student, and was greatly relieved to be allowed to end
his studies. The Druid [properly Deru] showed young Lo Si around town, their talk being animated. Later, the Sage took the lad home, formally asking to take him as apprentice. Lo Si had a very good memory, something essential for
His parents were honoured by the visit of one so learned, and his mother revealed their family came from a long line of Druids of times past. She showed the elder keepsakes and talismans that were of deep significance. Some days
later, as prearranged, the Druid returned, and he left with Lo Si as his new apprentice.
They travelled to Grimwaldi Rinns, the young man occasionally taxing the elders patience by asking a seemingly never ending stream of questions. That Lo Si always remembered the answers was gratifying, and an unusual bond
developed between the pair.
Although teacher of the Imperial and Royal children, the Deru seldom stayed in the dormitory made available to him. Instead he preferred a quiet room in a nearby inn, often drinking a little after his day was done, and occasionally
Lo So heard the sounds of a female coming from his masters room; Lo Si was offered a broad education, his master not being married.
When his master was teaching, or otherwise engaged, Lo Si was left to his own devices, and made friends with the innkeeper's daughter, Da Phai Nai. She was a couple of years younger, but full of fun. They got on very well together,
and later, as he grew through adolescence, he found her outgoing nature attractive, and fell in love with her.
Their romance was not a secret, but neither was it widely known. He proposed marriage, and Da Phai Nai accepted with delight; probably the happiest moment of his life. Officially, like most Keepers of Ancient Knowledge, Lo Si was
technically 'married' to the Empress at age sixteen. It was considered a bureaucratic ploy, until Da Phai Nai was due to take the female Trials of Passage. Lo Si sought leave by the Empress to marry his love, which was immediately
rejected, and he was ordered to marry the Seer Elect, Won Long.
Lo Si and Da Phai Nai were distraught, but there was nothing either of them could do, except occasionally meet in secret. As a consequence, Lo Si felt as if a cold stone were embedded within his heart; Da Phai Nai's heart became
a stone—at least until Jack and n'Gnung broached her defences. Lo Si supported both her and Sun Kist, visiting them at the hot springs often during the early years, and bringing with him gifts and treats. Later he became sorely
troubled with arthritis and visited less often.
The Empress ordered that Lo Si be married to Won Long, a female he did not know, nor particularly like. They produced one offspring, Weid Noi, and that was the most they could tolerate one another. With divorce impossible,
they made the best of life and eventually became friends, although each of them was often away from home for long periods.
Psychology is important. It is reasonable to assume that if Lo Si had been a happy person in his home life, supported, not constantly denigrated by his wife, then he may have unlocked the secrets of such things as 'the wheel'.
Nevertheless, he was continually harassed by Won Long, she always trying to emasculate him, scolding him for wasting his time making model carts; by so doing, she in turn restricted her ability to See clearly; her powers weakened
by her intense dislike of her husband's former betrothed.
In the meantime, Lo Si was given druid tasks to complete, which he accomplished with aplomb, and taught the old ways. Like sages of old, Lo Si learned how to pass down all the Tribe's knowledge by word of mouth, to the next generation.
By then his master had died, and Lo Si had his own apprentice. Ju Lo is next in line, both his children already studying to take their place in time. Deru, the leader's title, is regarded as the elder person of greatest wisdom.
The knowledge of the Druids comes from Mother Nature (Gaia in her goddess form), and studying the cosmos. It is mainly scientific, if of an older epoch, and is independent from that of the Ancestors. A leader of the scientific arts
would be entitled Deru, Sage, or Magus: Druid.
Lo Si explained,Book 1, Chapter 17 "Yes, but Druids from an exceedingly distant past, one more than thirty thousand years ago.
Druidæ to be precise, are central to our culture, which is why my title is Deru, and that of the Seer and her apprentice, Weid. When you combine those two words into one sound, you get ‘deruweid’, hence druid. Either sex can
hold either position, although traditionally the aura of Deru is male, meaning stalwart like a tree, in truth and steadfastness. Weid contrarily, being representative of the female, embodies the ability create new life, and to see
the future, but more in a prophetic or philosophical sense. The combination of male and female in union is the concept underlying that of Druid. By extrapolation, this refers to the harmony of life and creation itself."
Druids are interlinked with philosophy, theology, cosmology, astronomy, the passage of time, the study of Gaia, and the ways of the world and nature. Seeing, divination, and augury are also part of Druid heritage, as represented
by Seers Won Long and Weid Noi.
What Deru Ju LoBook 3, Chapter 14 highlights is that the balance of power between male and female must remain about equal for any society
to progress. If one or the other gender takes undue precedence, the society becomes unbalanced, and will eventually implode. More importantly, the path towards personal enlightenment will become obscured, if not impossible to determine.
Lo Si, the Man
The Keeper of Ancient Knowledge is plagued by doubts concerning the secrets of ages past. His memory is infallible, his mind retaining all the history as handed down through ages immemorial. He is also a ladies man, having at least
two offspring, each by a different partner, and possibly more? Book One intimates he may be having and affair with Bu Te, or be her father. This is never resolved in the text, especially given his domestic arrangements, and his
wife's dislike of physical union.
The truth is that neither is correct. Lo Si and Bu Te are very good friends; he advised the girl during a bad period of her life, and the two grew to greatly respect one another. Their relationship was always platonic, like
that of uncle and niece.
Lo Si is wise and foolish by turns, but a solid ally who can always be counted on, despite being one of the oldest people on the island. For instance, he was the key advisor when they fled to The Outlands and begin redeveloping
the village. He kept an overseers brief, advising Jack on some matters, and teaching n'Gnung how to organise the workforce.
Lo Si has a place set aside in his heart for Da Phai Nai, whom he always wished he had been allowed to marry. Like her, he feels a bitterness deep inside, but unlike his once betrothed, this manifests as a yearning to experience
the simple pleasures of life.
At the age of sixteen, Lo Si was already an advanced Keeper of Ancient Knowledge; his life's work seemingly preordained. He took over duties as teacher of the Imperial and Royal houses, became engaged to Da Phai Nai. This
was his secret reason for not marrying at age sixteen, although it was several years until the then Empress discovered.
Although Jack instigated rejuvenation for both Lo Si and Wong Long, they refused further treatment because of their beliefs. To them, accepting further regeneration was sacrilege to their unconditional heritage; birth, procreation,
and death. Nevertheless, Lo Si becomes renewed to pass on every scrap of knowledge to Ju Lo, and often his children also; and much of this is recorded for posterity. It is clear the times of ages past have swiftly moved on within
his lifetime. Such is the power released with the Prophesy being proven correct.