For years, young Vallia had been traveling all over the world in search of what she calls a "true contradiction": something that is both true and false, something that is both good and evil, something that is both truth and lie.
She was a gifted talented young lady who can taste abstract concepts with her tongue. By licking an object, she can immediately deduce any abstract concept that might have been imbued in it.
At one case, she helped a housewife detect her cheating husband by licking the husband's clothes.
At another, she helped deducing a complicated murder case by licking evidences, enabling the detective to reduce the number of suspects down to one.
Even though she did not put on a price tag, she always got paid decently by anyone who requested her services.
Vallia was at the Heddwich village, still in her mission, as she rented a small house for a temporary stay. Her skills became viral in a short notice, and people lined up to request her help.
The crowd gathering in front of Vallia's house caught Teacher Alderman and Cathal Glens's attention.
"So the rumours are true? This lady can lick truth and evil out of objects?" Asked the teacher.
"Apparently. Has this piqued your interest, teach?"
"More or less. But I'm more interested in why she did all this for free. She could make a luxurious living by licking stuffs alone, I daresay."
"Should we give her tongue a try?"
"Your wording makes it awkward, Cathal, but I understand it in this context. Very well, let us proceed."
Noticing Alderman's presence, the gathering villagers cleared a way for both him and Cathal. "It's Teacher Alderman! Make way for His Highness!"
"Please. I'd rather stay in line, for I am no royalty." Alderman hesitated.
"No, Your Holiness. You have done countless services for all, and this is but a small action to honour your deeds."
The commotion attracted Vallia's attention as she walked outside her house. She noticed people making way for Alderman and Cathal.
Ever the kind lady, she walked toward the duo and greeted them with a friendly smile. They got all the attention from the surrounding people.
"Your highness," she bowed. "How may I serve you?"
"Please, such formality is unneeded. I am but an ordinary teacher, and Alderman is the name I go with. This is Cathal, my venerated student."
"As you wish, Teacher Alderman. My name is Vallia Ebenzeit."
"Now is it true that you can taste things like truth and stuff?" Cathal handed her his hat. "Can you try it on this?"
"With pleasure." Vallia licked Cathal's hat. Her looks showed pleasure and a triumphant face. "This tastes like...devotion. Your hat is ripe with conviction and determination.
I can see now, you are a devotee to your teacher. You swore him your very life, you revere him and you swore to be his shield."
Everyone was amazed, especially Cathal, who immediately took back his hat and wore it. "You're right. The rumours are true, Teach!" Cathal grabbed his teacher's hand and hinted at Vallia.
"Here, try your skills at my teacher."
"But why must it be by the hand?" asked Alderman.
"I don't mind. It is an honour to serve you physically, teacher."
"Why do both of you seem to agree on making awkward wording choices?"
Instead of licking it immediately, Vallia kissed Alderman's hand and used her tongue slightly, making it less awkward. But as she "tasted", she stepped back in awe.
Her gaze affixed at the teacher, with a wondrous look on her face. Her body trembled, she fell to the ground. Cathal rushed to help her stand up.
"This is...what I've been looking for in my life!" She claimed in excitement.
"My lifelong search has fulfilled! I have found what I've been seeking for years! Praise the holiness, now I am fulfilled!"
Alderman raised one of his eyebrows. "I'd more appreciate it if you elaborate your claim, young lady."
"You, teacher. You are an embodiment of both light and darkness. You are ripe with vast, immeasurable wisdom, but my search looks for the true contradiction.
Something that embodies two opposing concepts. Within you, it exists. You are both light and darkness. You are both heavens and abyss. You ripe with both good and evil.
You are what I'm looking for!"
Alderman tilted his head down and stared to the ground sharply.
Cathal noticed this, he noticed his teacher was rather dead serious, something he almost never see from his laid-back, relaxed and wise teacher.
But the teacher, noticing Cathal's concern toward him, returned with his usual smile. "Yes, Vallia, you are correct. As Cathal said, the rumours appear to be true.
Throughout my life, I admit I have been both. The experience aids me in educating my beloved students so that they make the right choices for their lives."
"But this is...immense. Your wisdom is ageless, so vast, so boundless, so extensive. You have been in the root of darkness, and in the peak of light.
You have experienced all what life and death have to offer. How old actually are you?"
"I lost my count a long time ago."
"I see now. Your real self is not a human. You are an ancient deity who was denied divinity, as the evil and darkness resides within you.
Yet, you successfully balanced light and darkness, hence you gained, and chose, your human form. You are ageless."
Alderman just showed her a smile. "Correct."
Everyone there, including Cathal, gasped. Some showed disbelief, some showed amazement. "Teacher? Is that true?" Asked his student.
"It's futile hiding or lying to her, yes?"
"This is insane. I've been with you for however long we both know and I just know this now, from a person whom we just met? Why are you so secretive about yourself?"
"Cathal, one day you will know all about me. The more we travel and spend our time, the more gradual my personal information you will know.
When the day comes, perhaps my mantle as a teacher will I pass down to you, and most likely, my days will be numbered."
Vallia bowed down. "Teacher Alderman! I beg you, please let me be your disciple! My thirst for truth and knowledge is so dire, I wish to uncover the mystery of true contradiction in this life!"
Alderman paused. He thought of something that piqued Cathal's interest, then he came up with these words, "I would love to accept you, under one condition."
Vallia rose to her feet. "I will fulfill whatever request you ask of me."
"Confident. I admire that.
My request is that in fourteen days, you will use all your experience and findings to argument this statement: there is a saying that all existence is the result of contradiction.
You can, and will, use the concept of dialectical materialism and link it to your lifelong experiences and findings to attempt to argue that statement. Will you proceed with my request?"
Vallia paused, then nodded in confidence. "It is my honour to have accepted your challenge, and I shall fulfill it flawlessly."