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The steps were level and wide, with small markings engraved upon them, these weren’t patterns, they were only for the purpose of avoiding slipping. Though the stone steps were long, the sides didn’t have any railings or ropes, akin to arriving at a deep abyss.
Yet walking upon them, it was very stable, as if one would never err in their steps, perhaps, this was intended as guidance and protection for later generations, from those who had constructed these stairs all those years ago.
Staring at the never-ending stone steps, they still had to have a moment of conclusion; Chen Chang Sheng quietly and calmly walked on, after a long period of time he finally arrived above the night sky.
At the end of the steps was a flat space, in the centre was a pavilion constructed of wooden beams and stone bricks. This building covered an extremely vast area and was also extremely tall, but due to being far away from the ground and humanity, it appeared extremely lonely.
Staring into the far away dusk; within what could be sighted, only the Platform of Sweetdew’s form could be seen; the legendary Luminous Pearls gave off a faint brilliance, looking as if they were lamps.
Within the entirety of the Imperial Palace, or even the entire Capital, apart from the Platform of Sweetdew, his current position was the highest, being able to see all the streets and alleys of the Capital; at times when the weather was good, it was even possible to see the faraway Ba Willow, but Chen Chang Sheng did not observe and appreciate the faraway surroundings, that’s because it was currently deep into the night and it was not possible to see features on the ground clearly, more importantly, he was currently not in the mood for appreciating the view.
After his gaze was retracted from the Platform of Sweetdew, it fell upon the solitary structure and didn’t shift, his expression didn’t change, yet the emotion in his heart had already started to become tumultuous.
From Xi Ning Village to the Capital; thousands upon thousands of storms.
He had finally arrived before the Pavilion of Ascending Mist.
The Pavilion of Ascending Mist didn’t have a name plate, didn’t have any lanterns, neither were there any splendid decorations. All it had were beams of wood alongside green stone walls that carried a natural sense of austerity. Not a single ray of light, making it appear all the more silent.
The entrance also did not have a lock, as if all one had to was to push and it would open.
Chen Chang Sheng stood before the doors, remaining quiet for a moment, settling his nerves and mood, it wasn’t until his breathing had become absolutely stable that he finally raised his hands and placed them upon the doors. He lightly pushed forwards.
There wasn’t any creaking, smooth to the point of resembling a leaf alighting upon water. The Pavilion of Ascending Mist’s doors slowly opened, a ray of light gushed out from the crevice between the doors. Following the gap’s widening, more light spilled out, falling upon his body and clearly illuminating his face that had been mildly startled.
The light that spilled out from the pavilion was white in colour, illuminating his still slightly young looking face to the point of making it resemble jade; due to this, his brows appeared all the darker, heavily resembling lines of ink drawn from a brush.
Chen Chang Sheng couldn’t understand. Why was it so bright within, with so many rays of light? Why couldn’t any of it be seen from outside previously? Could it be, that all those windows are fake?
While thinking of these things, he actions did not become slow; the doors were opened to about a foot wide, he raised his foot and crossed the doorsill, entering, entering the Pavilion of Ascending Mist.
As his left foot had just touched the floor, the doors once again closed behind him. He involuntarily turned his head around to look, after seeing the tightly closed doors he became momentarily silent. He could vaguely deduce that he was now the same as the blazing white light that was within the pavilion, in that it was also no longer possible for anyone outside to see him.
Looking at this from a different perspective, from the moment he pushed open those doors and entered the pavilion, he had been separated from the real world.
That thought only took a moment. He turned his head back around, looking forwards, all he saw was a glow of splendour.
Within the Pavilion of Ascending Mist, there were no lights, neither were there tallow candles or Luminous Pearls. If those doors and windows had some sort of array on them that could completely block out the sun, wind and sound, then at this very moment, it should be pitch black, and what of the light that had previously leaked out of the door, where had it come from?
He closed his eyes, heading towards that blazing white light, due to the light being too piercing, he couldn’t see clearly as to what was inside, neither could he see the much rumoured portraits of distinguished government ministers. He was just akin to a moth that was flying towards the flame of a light, only being able to rely upon the most instinctual, or perhaps basic of feelings, heading forwards.
Yet, he had only stepped forwards a single step, and was forced to stop.
This was because he felt an extremely terrifying presence, the presence came from every location in the pavilion, coming from every single ray of light; that presence was austere, holy, bloody and tyrannical, having countless different characteristics, yet they all had a common essence: that of being powerful, unimaginably powerful.
That powerful presence fell upon his clothing, fell upon his brows, boring through his skin and flowing into his blood vessels, directly entering the deepest parts of his organs; with only an instant, it had completed a cycle.
Chen Chang Sheng had no way of resisting this presence. Before this presence, he was akin to the most pitiful ant, with no way to react, even lacking the ability to muster the courage to resist.
The presence cycled through his body, without and within, multiple times, but didn’t bring him any harm, however, with only this contact, his divine sense had begun to violently become unstable, if it was to continue for slightly longer, his sea of consciousness would break, being directly crushed into dust by the presence.
Luckily, the presence didn’t persist for too long a time, as his toppling structure within was fast approaching the moment of touching the ground in collapse, it suddenly changed into a gust of wind, lightly and lithely leaving his body, disappearing out of sight.
It had only been a moment, yet Chen Chang Sheng’s clothing had already been soaked through with sweat.
He composed his mind, then continued to raise his steps and move forwards, luckily, on the landing of his second step, there weren’t any other strange events, unlike the previous, where it was as if he had placed himself in the midst of a cruel battle.
The light was still intense, he narrowed his eyes and headed for the brightest and most intense location, he could vaguely see within his sights a light that resembled a blossoming flower, understanding that it was probably the source.
He extended his hand and reached for that blazing flower of light, upon coming into contact with his finger, it wasn’t burning, but cool, very pleasant; his fingers traced it upwards, finally tightly clenching it within his hand.
Under his grasp, the light immediately receded, the incandescent building gradually became dim. He narrowed his eyes and could, with much difficulty, clearly make out some paintings, until finally, everything became normal.
It was only then, he found that he was grasping a torch within his hand.
The material of the torch was neither gold or jade, but closer to glass, yet it wasn’t clear. The surface was of a milky white colour that had countless dots which glittered akin to crystal, within each dot, it seemed as if they contained vast amounts of energy.
The torch was the blossoming flower of light from previous, after being grasped by him, the light gradually receded and coalesced, becoming this current visage, only leaving a white flame at its tip.
That flame wasn’t fierce, but very beautiful, akin to fireworks during the day, hard to properly distinguish, but able to create a crisp and imposing sense of something striking through gloomy skies.
Chen Chang Sheng looked at the torch and vaguely remembered that he had once seen in the Scriptures of The Way, some records. Very long ago, on the Banner of Hundred Armaments, the demon race had a divine armament that was called Fireworks of Daylight. Could it be, that this torch is that legendary divine armament? Back when the conflict was still ongoing, it was seized and brought back to the Capital by the generals of Emperor Taizong?
With a thought as such, he felt the torch in his hand becoming very heavy, he was then reminded that he was currently already standing within the Pavilion of Ascending Mist, standing within humanity’s glorious history.
He subconsciously looked around the surroundings, all that could be seen was that the pavilion contained nothing, no tables, no chairs, only the very centre had a prayer mat, causing the building to appear all the more spacious and empty, perhaps even a little lonely.
This building didn’t resemble a place for people to live in. In truth, the Pavilion of Ascending Mist wasn’t used for residing in, but was used to venerate portraits – the tens of portraits that were up on the grey walls.
Chen Chang Sheng raised the torch and headed towards the wall, standing before the first painting.
That portrait was of a middle-aged aristocrat, three heavy lines of facial hair, eyes full of smiles, but the distance between the eyes was slightly wide, giving others a feeling of detachment, this was an illustrious individual with the mantle of a hero, the Duke of Zhao.
Seeing this outstandingly famous elder brother-in-law of Emperor Taizong, Chen Chang Sheng became silent for a moment, after paying his respects however, he didn’t dwell too long, moving onto the others.
The second portrait was of the Prince of Hejian, Chen Gong. The third was of the Duke of Lai, Du Ruyu. The fourth was of the renowned Duke of Wei, while the fifth was of the Duke of Zheng, who had an even more renowned wife…
Before these portraits, Chen Chang Sheng respectively paid his respects, but didn’t still his steps, that was until he arrived before the eighth portrait. The expression on his face finally had some change.