"Spiritual experiences raise the question, 'What is real?' and 'How do we know it is real?' For two centuries, reality was synonymous with objectivity, but that is no longer adequate. Today theorists are questioning the validity of our senses, and asking if the way our mind works limits our perception and knowledge of reality. The unanswered questions have become, 'Is there anything "out-there"?' and 'Will our knowledge of it ever be complete?'"
— Sara Horsfall

After a tulmultuous day starting with a rude metaphorical awakening and ending with mixed thoughts about the same, the next thing Edgeworth finds himself aware of after drifting to sleep is being at the sealed mouth of a small, very gaudy mausoleum — its walls are bright magenta with white and grey marbling and it has a few bright blue, gold-bordered long plates set in it with gold writing in a script the prosecutor doesn't recognize. What is clear, however, is that something within is pounding on the slab sealing the tomb, and cracks are beginning to form...

Edgeworth stares in horror, then quickly heads over to a pair of large stone bars. Even one proves heavy for him to carry, but fear seems to be spurring him to drag it towards the failing seal anyway.

Edgeworth vaguely becomes aware of a sense of a separate, detached sort of sense of analytical curiosity about the situation, still somewhat disturbed but notably less fearful than his own natural reaction...

Edgeworth: Wh-what the...?
Althea: I'm afraid I cannot read the name on the inscription; do you know who or what we're facing here?
Edgeworth rests the bar he's been dragging against one of the perches for them. Yes.
Edgeworth begins the arduous task of sliding the bar into place...

The pounding from within continues unabated.

Althea: Then you have the advantage in this situation; there may be little I can do to assist.
Edgeworth doubles over to catch his breath once the first of the two bars, the lower one, is in place.

What reason do you have to fear me? This time, failure truly isn't an option.

Edgeworth goes pale.
Edgeworth looks around frantically for some way to get the second stone bar high enough to slide into place...

If the premises my actions rested upon are no longer false, then the entire logic problem is transformed, is it not?

Edgeworth: OBJECTION! You presume too much in assuming that those premises are or will soon become true!

Hah! Do you really think that choosing not to trust what you know will bring more criminals to justice? There's no longer any point to being fettered!

Althea: Curious... I'm guessing this relates to one of your traumas, but if I didn't know better, I'd think I was watching some sort of mythic struggle against some sort of villain, rajah, or anti-deity figure from your religion play out...
Edgeworth just glares hatefully at the door.
Edgeworth: It began and ended with trauma, but hardly constitutes one in itself.
Edgeworth peers. Also, I appreciate the fact that you do know better.

Edgeworth becomes aware of a sense of amusement at that mental comment.

Edgeworth glowers, then takes a step back and forces himself to calm down somewhat. He puts his finger to his temple briefly, then looks to the space between the remaining stone bar and the seal...

A shallow ramp leading from the bar to a point two feet up the side of the tomb entrance appears even as the pounding of its occupant continues, causing a magenta chip of stone to fly from the cracking stone.

Edgeworth winces with wide eyes at the cracking sound from the door, then hurries to begin dragging the stone bar up the ramp.

What's the matter? Out of counterarguments?

Edgeworth hisses. "What justice is there when one makes oneself the whole of the law?! Even superior knowledge must itself be proven!"

And if the truth cannot be proven as well as you can know it, what then?

Edgeworth leans the bar against one of the higher holders. "That's impossible! Inevitably, the truth will find its way —"
Edgeworth recoils as the door is struck from within again, leaving much larger cracks.

OBJECTION! If you were to simply wait, what would a criminal do with that time?! You needn't fear that I would convict innocents anymore — we can know!

Edgeworth: OBJECTION! Our job isn't to act as a vigilante, but to make the truth known! Even if such methods are as reliable as you presume, it is my duty to find ways to prove what I've learned, and my responsibility to allow it to be challenged!

Responsibility? To allow the ignorant to overpower the truth? Don't make me laugh!

Edgeworth takes a deep breath, then finally heaves the second stone bar into place. "The truth is far stronger than that, at least in the hands of those with the strength to wield it."
Edgeworth hops down from the side of the ramp, then turns to the door and points. "What else does my acquisition of this new potential prove, if not that I possess that very strength?! There's no need to abuse such power when using it within our rightful bounds will suffice!"
Edgeworth quickly pulls his badge from his pocket and holds it aloft; the area is bathed in pale blue light punctuated by white and light blue clouds that fade in and out of existence. "I demand that you return to your death at once!"


As the voice's cry fades, the cracks in the seal on the mausoleum's entrance repair themselves with a light crackle, and the stone bars Edgeworth hauled into place turn to steel.

Edgeworth lowers his badge again, sighing in relief.
Althea: It would seem you're already beginning to mend fading wards of your own. I'm pleased to see you're getting better at coping with nightmares yourself...
Edgeworth: This is an old enemy, intimately known — one I've already defeated before.

Althea awakens less suddenly than usual, not going through her usual brief phase of disorientation, but quickly grabbing her notebook and starting to write.

Tikra looks over from the room's small table. "I gather your visions today are of a less disturbing nature?"
Althea: In full context very much so. Though it does still attest to the frequency with which our extraplanar visitor is subject to nightmares. I bore witness, and my awareness felt even stronger than in past occurrences, but ultimately he didn't require any guidance from me. Despite facing someone he feared deeply, he seemed to have the matter well in hand.
Tikra nods. After several moments, she adds, "Does this stronger awareness portend greater frequency and intensity of visions? I recall you were becoming concerned with how often your visions fell upon his dreams..."
Althea slows down in her writing somewhat. "...I do not honestly know. It has proved somewhat fortunate thus far, but a point could easily come when such a phenomenon may go beyond being useful... though I may for now be able to help him to grow and survive new dangers, if this continues I may become needlessly privy to things neither of us would want me to know..."
Tikra: Are there no others you could seek guidance from on this matter?
Althea halts her pen, frowning in thought. "Circumstances beyond my control make contacting my own mentor problematic... And clairvoyance is not a subject that greatly understood in Khorvaire... it is not, however, an entirely unknown matter, and the Library should have some literature on the subject I have not yet perused..."
Althea: Moreover, visions are not a matter exclusive to psions; those versed in divination by either arcane or divine means may have insight on the matter...
Althea: However, to fully avail myself of the Library's resources could pose some problems with keeping on schedule at this point...
Tikra: I will assist you.
Althea sighs and shakes her head. "I cannot ask that of you."
Tikra: You did not ask. I offered, freely.
Althea shakes her head. "You know as well as I do, that distinction is irrelevant here."
Tikra shakes her head. "I care not whether the Zil judge such things proper; your need is genuine, your intentions pure, and you would not hesitate to render such aid to one in similar need without any concern to what you might be owed."
Tikra: I already owe a debt I can never repay; what use should I have for demanding a balance from others?
Althea shakes her head and resumes writing. "I suppose there's no use arguing the point... ...Thanks."

Edgeworth's awakening that morning is likewise less than sudden. Once he's ready, he doesn't hesitate to head to the Korranberg Archive, having concluded that it would probably be a safer place to continue his efforts to extract his first spells from the incalculable vastness his mind was overwhelmed by yesterday. However, the prosecutor does take a deep breath before entering the first basement of the Archive, the previous day's notes in hand. After all, he wasn't the only one to suffer that day...

Edgeworth appears solemn and distant as he approaches the table where Dil currently is.
Dil is giving his translation of Edgeworth's notes from the previous morning a final once-over with a frown.
Edgeworth clears his throat.
Dil looks up from his work and grins weakly. "So you're not going to dismiss me after all?"
Edgeworth seems too ashamed to look directly at Dil, even in the mouth as usual. "I... um, believe it would be a grave error, yes."
Edgeworth: I may find being opposed frustrating in the heat of the moment, but it's entirely necessary that someone do so — and thus far, you've shown yourself to have some aptitude at it.
Edgeworth: Furthermore, I feel it necessary to reiterate that I recognize how inappropriate it was for me to draw any sort of parallel between your perspective on these matters and the complete ignorance of some of my world's most backwards cultures.
Dil half-smiles. "I don't know that you need as much help as you seem to think you do, but I'll grant that your apology sounds sincere."
Edgeworth's relief manifests in the form of taking on a more businesslike demeanor. "I'm pleased to hear that. If it pleases you, I have further writings from the latter half of yesterday — my impressions of yesterday's, er, experience, and some further clarification of the modes of thought employed by modern civilized peoples in my world."
Dil shrugs and shakes his head in apparent imitation of the prosecutor. "It doesn't need to please me — remember, information like that is your payment for the help we're giving you."
Edgeworth frowns in concern even as he places his notes on the table. "Is there nothing more that I can do?"
Dil shakes his head. "That you'd consider? Not unless you can cure someone else's nightmares..."
Edgeworth: Now that he mentions it, Althea did explain this before...
Edgeworth: Doubtful, though not entirely impossible depending on the circumstances.
Dil's eyes light up.
Edgeworth notes Dil's use of the helmet before explaining further in English: "Without getting into detail, I once was haunted by a recurring nightmare myself. However, it was based on a mistaken impression. The catalyst that allowed that nightmare to begin to fade away was to learn the truth behind it."
Dil smirks. "I don't think that applies exactly to this case, but it does tell me a little more about your relationship to your faith — and maybe how to apply mine to the problem."
Edgeworth raises an eyebrow.
Dil shrugs. "I don't think you'd appreciate it exactly, but you have given me an idea of another way to approach his problem."
Dil: And that's really more than I hoped for.
Edgeworth smirks, then steps back to make his usual sweeping bow. "Then I'll be on my way downstairs to prepare for dawn. If there's anything that can be done to ensure my safety as my investigation continues, I would appreciate that assistance."
Dil: About your safety... you should be checking your own readiness to try again first. Not everyone is ready to withstand the divine the day after they first touch it, after all.
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "By what means do you propose that I determine such a thing?"
Dil: Well, to continue the analogies from your notes from yesterday morning? Check the condition of the roads and your gear.
Edgeworth hesitates awkwardly, then nods. "...Very well."
Edgeworth closes his eyes for a moment...
Dil smirks.
Edgeworth is quiet for a full minute, then his eyes pop open with surprise as he inhales sharply.
Edgeworth: How... how is that possible? The holes blown in the side walls were...
Edgeworth stares into the distance, stunned. ...They're screened in. As though somehow, they've scabbed over — not as they were, but as they need to be.
Dil: ...You're ready, aren't you?
Edgeworth blinks as he's addressed, then looks to Dil resolutely. "Indeed."

After having a tall glass of water while Dil makes some additional preparations downstairs, Edgeworth heads down to the fourth basement and the unmarked room near the end of the hall within it. He finds that there's now several blankets laid out flat atop one another in the center of the room.

Edgeworth glances down. Hmm. I suppose that's better than nothing.
Edgeworth takes his spot in the center, facing east once more... and smirking. Having allowed the status of that "place" to set in, I suppose it should come as no surprise. It is, after all, an aspect of a rather resilient man — indeed, a symbol of perhaps the most resilient aspect thereof.
Edgeworth looks to the illusion-masked eastern wall with determination. Now, however, is not the time to bask in my own strength, but to put it to the test!
Edgeworth taps his temple and smirks. After all, now that I've some idea of how to proceed, I have an investigation to continue.
Edgeworth spends a few minutes slowing his breathing and bringing himself down from his high before his eyes finally drift closed...

After several minutes, a hint of light appears at the simulated horizon...

Edgeworth's eyes twitch slightly, as though he's begun to have a low-key dream.

The light in the east swells over time...

Edgeworth's countenance begins to look uneasy, as though the 'dream' had gradually taken an unpleasant turn.

At last, the sun peeks over the horizon...

Edgeworth's eyes half-open, revealing only whites, as he passes out and collapses onto the layers of blankets below him.
Edgeworth breathes easily, his now-still eyes reflexively closing again.

Meanwhile, as the sun continues to climb above the horizon, Illyvalen makes her way hurriedly along the streets of Korranberg. Despite her efforts at haste, it takes the young gnome nearly thirty minutes to traverse the remainder of the distance to the Archive. Stepping into the first basement, she quickly scans the room before making her way directly over to Dil.

Dil seems not to notice Illyvalen's approach, being rather distracted by his own amazement at a few pages of English...
Illyvalen: Um, uh, is he here...?
Dil: Huh?...
Dil looks over to Illyvalen. "Oh! Hello there. He is; he actually dropped off what he wrote with the writing materials you took..."
Dil looks back to the papers. "I'm not sure where to begin translating something like this."
Illyvalen nods, and looks around the basement once before and then back, seeming slightly alarmed. "Uh, he didn't, I mean, he wouldn't have tried again already, would he...?"
Dil stands. "I did have him check his own readiness first."
Illyvalen doesn't seem very reassured by this.
Dil: But now that you mention it, he's been down there a little too long, hasn't he?
Dil frowns. "He should have been done half an hour ago, successful or not."
Illyvalen: Shouldn't we check on him, then?!
Dil starts towards the stairs down. "We should."
Illyvalen follows Dil.

The trip down to the third floor, through it, and down to and through the fourth is brisk and unobstructed. In the unmarked prayer room, Dil and Illyvalen find Edgeworth still peacefully unconscious on the layered blankets in the center of the room.

Dil sighs in relief, smiling sadly. "I thought those might be necessary..."
Illyvalen hurries over to Edgeworth, examining him.
Illyvalen: Hmm... I think he just passed out.
Dil nods. "I thought that was the most likely outcome. Even as fast as he learns, I didn't think he'd be able to focus his awareness enough on this attempt."
Illyvalen looks back towards Dil. "Do you have some towels?"
Dil: We do. Do you need them wet or dry?
Illyvalen: A wet towel should do for now, preferably warm.
Dil: All right, I'll need a few minutes for that.
Illyvalen: I'll stay here.
Dil nods and heads out of the room...

Though it takes five minutes for Dil to complete the necessary effort, he does eventually return with a warm, wet towel for Edgeworth. Ten minutes after that...

Edgeworth: ...nngh...
Edgeworth twitches.
Illyvalen: How do you feel?
Edgeworth rubs his forehead weakly. "As though aspirin would be useful."
Illyvalen: Fortunately I don't think you need a healer, but you should probably rest for a while.
Edgeworth grits his teeth. "How many times must I suffer before it grows clear whether or not this endeavor is worthwhile?!"
Illyvalen looks toward Dil.
Dil shrugs. "I couldn't guess, but you're actually past the hardest part if it helps to know that. It's all downhill from here — it's just still a bumpy hill."
Edgeworth pulls himself up to a sitting position.
Edgeworth: Hmph. "Bumpy" indeed; it was a struggle to endure even tiny slivers of that force for very long.
Illyvalen: You must have weathered it pretty well to have merely passed out and then recovered so quickly, though.
Illyvalen: ...though I'm not sure I can understand throwing yourself back into this the very next day...
Edgeworth checks his watch. "Is it such a strange thing to go to great lengths for the sake of the truth?"
Illyvalen: There are times for action and there are times for rest...
Dil: I would've been more surprised if you hadn't, really. I thought I might have to stop you if your soul hadn't healed properly yet.
Edgeworth gives Dil a deeply disapproving glare.
Illyvalen: This 'evidence' isn't going anywhere, and getting yourself hurt in your impatience isn't going to speed anything up. Now lie back down and get some rest. Um, if you please...
Edgeworth stands. "I'll be fine. I simply won't be able to focus on reading or anything of the sort until this headache subsides."
Illyvalen sighs and shakes her head. "At the very least I suppose you can't do anything too stupidly risky until tomorrow... At this rate, I suppose you probably will be ready by then..."
Edgeworth smirks smugly. "Your recognition of that is appreciated."
Dil frowns at Illyvalen. "I would have tried to stop him if it was that bad an idea to try it today..."
Illyvalen frowns. "I don't approve of recklessness, but I can usually tell when someone's hurt badly or not..." Turning to Dil, she adds, "I'm just afraid that maybe you couldn't have... and if he could try more often, he would, even if he was still hurting..."
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "Do keep in mind that I wish to keep my ability to function mentally intact. I would be nothing without that."
Dil smiles in relief. "Well, good — it's nice to know that I could have stopped you if you'd reacted in a way suggesting you weren't ready."
Edgeworth taps his finger on his arm. "So you were, in fact, gauging my own reaction to my findings when I assessed my own status?"
Dil grins. "Right. You probably wouldn't have known what I was looking for then, and there would've been clear differences. I would've tried to talk you out of it if you were disturbed or unsurprised by what you saw..."
Dil: The reactions I expected from you if you'd already healed from yesterday were different — awed surprise like you showed, or smugness.
Edgeworth looks down his nose at Dil at the mention of that second possibility.
Dil: That you were amazed was actually a good sign — that meant it was more likely that you'd healed into a new form.
Edgeworth: Your supposition is correct — those walls that had been destroyed were replaced by... er, I don't believe I've seen any sign of the applicable invention here, but the purpose is perhaps more relevant than the form.
Edgeworth: Essentially, an entirely different sort of wall had emerged in their place, one which affords far less protection from the elements yet still serves as a barrier against most creatures and other solid objects.
Dil smiles. "So some kind of mechanical ward, in other words."
Edgeworth peers at Dil. "I wouldn't call the invention which lends the new walls their appearance a 'ward' in the sense that you most likely mean. It's little more than a fine mesh of metal fibers."
Dil: But you recognize that it's just symbolic in this case, right?
Edgeworth half-frowns. "Unavoidably so."
Illyvalen seems a little confused by the nature of the conversation, but avoids interrupting for now.
Dil frowns. "Does it bother you that much?..."
Edgeworth rubs his forehead. "Meaning is only supposed to precede form when one communicates — and even then, one must be certain that one has properly interpreted the facts before one chooses to speak!"
Dil grins. "But it is communication — things you're telling yourself as best you can."
Edgeworth takes a breath as though preparing to shout, but ultimately just groans and holds his head. "In other words, still more intuition."
Dil shrugs. "Remember, you are going to have to rely on it a lot."
Edgeworth: I still cannot regard it as necessarily reliable or trustworthy.
Dil: When it comes to understanding your own soul or your relationship with the divine, though, you really don't have much else.
Edgeworth looks disgusted. "Must you continually refer to a mythical aspect of living beings?"
Dil looks bewildered. "'Mythical'?"
Illyvalen: ...hasn't Althea explained some of this stuff yet...?
Edgeworth recrosses his arms. "What would there be for her to explain?"
Illyvalen: Uh, the nature of certain planes and how mortal souls interact with them...
Dil: And the ways Khyber dragonshards can be used in advanced magic related to them, too.
Edgeworth: In short, you claim that there's evidence of such things in this world.
Dil: Weren't you forced to face what little evidence there is of them in your world too?
Edgeworth clenches his teeth. "Nrrrgh..."
Illyvalen: I could tell you some of what's generally known, but really Althea's probably the best person to ask, she's studied the planes a lot...
Dil: Not to mention, a lot of what most people look for in religion is something better to believe than assuming the worst from what little we know.
Edgeworth glares. "In other words, precisely the tendency I despise in the religions of my own world!"
Illyvalen: ...would it be any better if they just believed the worst possible interpretation instead...?
Edgeworth: If that turns out to be the truth, then yes.
Dil winces at the coldness of that statement. "If it helps to know, not every religion is like that. Some accept things at face value and see it as a problem to solve."
Illyvalen looks away. "You say that as if you had some basis to know that any other possibilities are remote..."
Edgeworth frowns. Is what's thought to be known of the matter so terrible?...
Edgeworth: I merely insist that indulging in fantasies and untested assumptions brings us no closer to the truth.
Illyvalen: ...then isn't there a problem with what you just said?
Edgeworth: I see no contradiction. What is proven ought to be believed, what is refuted ought not to be, and speculation is no substitute for either.
Illyvalen: Didn't you just say it was better to believe the worst if it's true, even if you can't prove it?
Edgeworth: No.
Dil shakes his head. "I think when he said that he was taking the effort to prove things one way or the other as a given. He's not really someone who'd consider anything less."
Illyvalen: Then is it really so bad to believe something and be wrong, if the truth is still being pursued regardless...?
Edgeworth glowers. "Absolutely — such presumptions about the basic nature of reality are obstacles to that very pursuit!"
Dil smirks. "Unless you're going out of your way to counteract them, right?"
Edgeworth's expression darkens further. "Which such people refuse to consider!"
Dil: That doesn't make your personal quest to argue your way to higher truths sound very promising, you know...
Edgeworth: Hmph. Do you honestly expect me to enter such a debate without first preparing a case based on logic and evidence?
Dil chuckles. "Maybe if you were provoked..."
Edgeworth fumes, then storms out of the room.
Illyvalen sighs and shakes her head.
Dil shakes his head as well. "That was kind of a low blow, I know, but it was for his own good..."
Illyvalen: I suppose if he's just going to do the same thing either way, I might as well get back to the Library...
Dil nods. "Good idea. He'll get more rest without anyone to argue with."
Illyvalen blinks, confused for a moment, then shakes her head and sighs again. "...yeah."

Illyvalen makes her way back to the Library of Korranberg and resumes her studies, but she's clearly lacking her usual energy, a point not missed by Althea as the two discuss findings; eventually, the halfling puts her own notes down and sighs.

Althea: C'mon, out with it. What happened?
Illyvalen: Um... well, I guess you did kind of warn us he could be a pain and all... I just kinda didn't realize...
Althea: Something he said bothers you?
Illyvalen nods slowly. "Maybe not exactly what he said, but the whole feeling of what was underlying it..."
Illyvalen: It's bad enough he seems to want to push himself hard enough to make all of us worry...
Illyvalen: ...but I think maybe he hates the idea of people having hope... or something like that...
Althea raises an eyebrow. "That's a new one. What brought that impression about?"
Illyvalen: Well, he was objecting to how Dil was talking about things, and kind of implied that he thinks souls probably don't exist... I wondered aloud whether you hadn't explained... certain matters regarding that, and Dil brought up a few things, and he started on about all this stuff about how terrible it was for religions to offer comforting ideas about death and how believing the worst is okay if it's true but believing anything else is bad because it's an obstacle to the truth...
Althea: Death is a difficult subject for a lot of people for a lot of reasons... and I've told you already of the problems he has with religious beliefs...
Illyvalen: Yeah, but... how are his assumptions any better? I don't think he even knows yet what we actually do know about it, and he's already throwing around stuff about the truth and...
Illyvalen trails off, seemingly at a loss for words.
Althea: He's still got a lot of growing left to do; I think it's still inherent to his thinking that religions will deny even what's proven to keep their views intact...
Althea: I think you just need to try to be patient with him...
Illyvalen sighs. "And then Dil pointed out that I was just egging him on and getting him worked up without realizing it... after I was already worried about him not resting... I guess my going over there to check on him in the first place was just kinda useless..."
Althea: You shouldn't blame yourself. You did what you felt was best, and he isn't an easy person to really understand. I don't think he wanted to hurt or offend you, and I'm certain he knows you don't want to hurt him... Sometimes situations just don't turn out ideally.
Althea: Besides, I suspect he'll be in a much better mood by the concert tomorrow.
Illyvalen nods. "I guess. He did say he was coming to the chess meet as well, but that was before this morning's argument..."
Althea: I doubt he'll miss it over that. It seems like one of the few ways he feels he can unwind here.
Althea: I won't be able to make it this time, but it might be best if you met up with him and talked about something entirely unrelated to death or religion.
Illyvalen nods. "I guess so..."

Meanwhile, Edgeworth has been enjoying a bit of tea to cool down from the argument and allow his headache to weaken, then writing about his experience this morning, even as Dil struggles to make sense of the prosecutor's writings from the later part of the previous day. When Edgeworth finishes writing this time, however, it's not with his usual satisfaction, but with a sigh and a frown...

Dil looks up from his struggle upon hearing that sigh. "What's the matter?"
Edgeworth shakes his head. "It's a personal matter."
Dil: You've probably noticed by now, but some of what you've had to share to help us understand what you represent is personal. Really, that goes for this kind of journey generally, especially when you don't have anyone else's framework to work with.
Edgeworth sighs again, this time more out of frustration.
Edgeworth: There is a level on which looking back upon today's effort is... dissatisfying.
Dil: ...Huh. If you could explain, maybe it would help.
Edgeworth peers over his shoulder at Dil. "And whom do you propose it would help?"
Dil shakes his head. "Does that really matter?"
Edgeworth rubs his forehead. "Under the circumstances, I suppose it doesn't."
Edgeworth: Though I'd rather not broadcast my despair.
Dil nods. "So it's that bad..."
Edgeworth: I was able to endure that aspect of existence for as long as I did because I was able to limit its influence and my viewpoint. ...And yet, the latter is the opposite of what I pursue. While I realize that I'm only one man and incapable of shouldering the entire burden of truth alone...
Dil: ...it's not enough. Right?
Edgeworth stares off into the distance grimly. "Precisely."
Dil smirks sympathetically. "Well, that raises a question: what can be done about that, by whom, and how?"
Edgeworth turns his head aside and grips his elbow. "...I don't know."
Dil considers whether to say anything more for a minute, then just shakes his head with a frown and returns to consideration of Edgeworth's previous writings...
Edgeworth remains in his current position for a couple of minutes, then releases his elbow and stares down at what he just wrote for a minute more. After a moment of hesitation, he begins to add to it.

The rest of Edgeworth's morning is filled with an attempt to finish reading the book about domains, though he has difficulty concentrating on the task at first. By the time Althea arrives with her usual packed lunch, however, Edgeworth is only a few pages short of finishing.

Althea heads over to Edgeworth's table. "How are things coming?"
Edgeworth looks up from his reading momentarily. "Well in some respects."
Althea nods. "I won't be able to stay for too long today, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to skip the chess meet as well."
Edgeworth: Hm. A pity...
Althea: I did encourage Illyvalen to go. She seemed a little down when she got back from the Archive; I'd suggest steering clear of this morning's subject matter when you see her.
Edgeworth nods, looking back to the book. "Understood."
Althea: I think I understand your situation well enough to grasp some of the difficulty there, but if there's anything you'd like to have cleared up... Illyvalen wasn't entirely clear on how much you discussed, just that the fact that I haven't discussed Dolurrh with you was probably relevant.
Edgeworth: ...It was called to my attention that there is some degree of proof of the existence of souls in this world, and it slipped my mind for a moment that they're even a valid topic of discussion to begin with.
Althea nods. "We know some things about the nature of souls, and various religions posit on matters beyond what we know... The main thing we know is that, barring extraordinary circumstances, the souls of the dead end up in the plane of Dolurrh."
Edgeworth frowns with reluctance. Presumably, the extraordinary circumstances she cites include the advanced magic Dil mentioned.
Althea: Dolurrh is an empty gray waste, resistant to magic, and very dangerous for any who go there... There are accounts of rare cases of people venturing into Dolurrh to rescue souls of the dead for resurrection, but there is a very significant risk of becoming trapped there and suffering a fate not dissimilar to that of the dead...
Althea: Souls in Dolurrh... gradually lose their memories and identities until they fade into oblivion...
Edgeworth's expression firms even as he puts his finger to his temple. "Hence the dread."
Althea: Thus, while it is possible with extremely potent magic or other means to revive the dead, time is a significant factor in successfully resurrecting someone, and some methods expose those taking such action to great risk...
Althea: Not only is there the chance of a living visitor becoming trapped and suffering from the same fading, until they become a shade, but there are also entities who oppose efforts to return the dead to the realms of the living, such as maruts, a type of inevitable concerned with maintaining the inevitablility of death.
Edgeworth crosses his arms.
Althea: Aside from trying to return souls from Dolurrh, there are ways of trying to prevent them from getting there in the first place. The Aereni have the Undying Court, and others, particularly the Blood of Vol, may make use of undeath to preserve themselves. There are also spells that can bind souls into Khyber dragonshards...
Edgeworth taps his finger on his arm. "Dil mentioned that approach in passing."
Althea: Beyond that, religions speculate, but no one truly knows whether anything meaningful becomes of faded souls, or if there is any real escape beyond undeath, deathlessness or trapping oneself in an object, all of which have significant drawbacks...
Edgeworth: Speculation that presumably some cling to with a tenacity that only proven fact deserves.
Edgeworth's tone is disdainful.
Althea crosses her arms. "Would you have the defense lack faith in their case when you present your doubts?"
Edgeworth seems undeterred. "While it may be a necessary component of defense, faith alone will not suffice."
Althea shakes her head. "You still speak as though faith is for a select few who can meet your challenge. If you're going to try to deny people hope, at least establish the hope is false first."
Edgeworth's lips quirk in annoyance. "How much patience for the irrational do you expect me to extend?"
Althea: Ideally, enough to avoid insulting everyone whose preconceptions on the likely disposition of the unproven don't happen to match your own.
Edgeworth begins to smirk, but this quickly changes course to a frown and a raised eyebrow.
Althea calms somewhat and sighs. "I know you've been through a lot recently, and that some very significant revelations are only mere days old... but you are going to have a lot of difficulty if you can't find a way to be... at least diplomatic with people who have very different beliefs and dispositions. Especially if you want to try to convince them to engage productively in truth-seeking efforts with you..."
Edgeworth's frown deepens on one side. "Given the lack of apparent obligation that a court setting would have, your words ring quite true indeed."
Althea: ...the process you're going through right now I realize is especially trying. If you... simply need to vent, it might be best if you approached me privately for it as we have time... though I am trying to keep to a tighter schedule to make sure we can make our departure reasonably soon...
Althea frowns somewhat. "I suppose I'm not making the most practically useful offer in that regard, but I don't know that I could really recommend anything else..."
Edgeworth side-eyes Althea. "Do you really perceive me as merely expressing rage apropos of nothing?"
Althea: I think you've been taking your frustration with your overall situation itself out on your teacher, at the least...
Althea: Illyvalen getting upset I can partially write off, granted she is a little on the sensitive side... but you're a bit on the abrasive side yourself...
Edgeworth glances aside. "I will admit a tendency towards habits to minimize unnecessary socialization."
Althea: ...
Althea offers merely a silent, unimpressed stare, her arms still crossed.
Edgeworth: Given that I've never been one to enjoy or willingly indulge that which serves little purpose, and I'm used to that being found in abundance yet have found less of that sort of thing here, I suppose those habits are... ill-fitted to the situation.
Althea sighs. "That's not really what I'm talking about in this case."
Edgeworth crosses his arms. "Neither am I the sort to bare my soul for the sake of garnering others' pity."
Althea: But you are the sort to turn a lot of things into a fight... to find fault readily, and ultimately to seek individuals as proxies to accuse when you feel something in your situation is wrong. Or do you truly hold that all your aggression toward Dil stems from his failings as a teacher?
Edgeworth: Er...
Edgeworth's frown shifts from cold and disapproving to awkward.
Althea: It's been especially apparent since you've started trying to contact the divine.
Edgeworth shakes his head. "His performance has been inconsistent. On the first of those days in particular, he explained matters quite poorly with no excuse beyond poor planning."
Edgeworth hmphs. "On later days, I found myself to have been given less information than I would have preferred, though at least in those cases he was ready to defend his logic."
Edgeworth: Today, however, I can fault him for nothing.
Edgeworth: And I'll willingly admit that on the whole, he's been far more helpful than not.
Althea sighs and shakes her head. "For someone who claims not to believe in perfection, you certainly seem to expect something similar from others..."
Edgeworth winces, then glares... though there's still unease reflected even in that.
Edgeworth: Perhaps he deserves more credit than I've been inclined to give...
Edgeworth: There are certainly ways in which I find him difficult to trust, but on the other hand, he has displayed enough competence to be noteworthy.
Althea: ...if there's nothing else to discuss, I should be getting back to the Library.
Edgeworth looks aside again. "...Very well. I'll be headed that way shortly myself, but there are small matters I must attend to first."
Althea stands, leaving the lunch she packed on the table, and heads toward the stairway leading above ground.
Dil looks up and over at Althea as she passes by. "You didn't really have to defend me, you know."
Dil is half-smiling despite his words, however.
Althea: I don't know; I think it might be necessary to keep him grounded somewhat... And it does seem like his attitude has been getting a little out of hand recently...
Dil: I don't know; earlier, his growing realization of his limitations was starting to eat at him...
Althea: A lot's eating at him. He... doesn't seem to handle that well...
Dil nods... "And between what he said earlier and what I overheard now, I really don't think he's comfortable with confiding in anyone else."
Dil: Not that that's surprising...
Althea's voice takes on a worried tone. "...honestly, at this rate, it wouldn't surprise me if I found out even more detail anyway by way of more visions... He had another nightmare, albeit one he seemed entirely on top of this time... I've always been prone to unusually frequent visions, but never this frequently centered on anyone or anything specific..."
Althea: I don't think I've had a vision that didn't involve him since I met him, really...
Dil frowns. "That doesn't sound natural..."
Althea: Mm. I'm going to have to try to look into it as well, though I don't have a lot of time to spare for it, unfortunately... But if it keeps up, it could eventually get problematic...
Dil nods, then looks back down at his work. "Meanwhile, I need to figure out how to approach what he wrote late yesterday. It's not as easy to translate due to the technical terms for things we've never even imagined..."
Althea: Let me know if you need me to round up some scholars from the Library for perspective...
Dil smiles. "Thanks."