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The Luminous pearl was place in front of his feet, close to the wall, causing rays of light to travel upwards from below; the short sword that was pierced into the wall had its shadow drawn out, reaching all the way to the ceiling, as if it was a black pillar.
Inch by inch, the short sword slowly cut into the wall, gradually being swallowed. Chen Chang Sheng grasped the hilt and focused upon the point of contact between the two; his breathing slowly hastened and his expression become increasingly nervous.
His concentration was focused upon the sword, as if he was walking on a night path that didn’t have any lights, unknown as to what he would encounter ahead. This feeling of being completely in the unknown: apart from trepidation, a sense of unease ruled.
Finally, the short sword conveyed back to him a clean and clear feeling; it had sharply and deeply pierced into the wall by half a foot, touching upon some sort of hard object. Chen Chang Sheng stared at the wall in front of him, staying quiet for a moment, then once again applied force, affirming that the sword would have difficulty penetrating any deeper.
He felt slightly bewildered, not knowing as to what the object within was made of, that even his sword was unable to pierce it, at the same time, he also confirmed that the object was what he had been looking for.
He released his left hand and raised his arm, using his sleeve to wipe away the sweat on his forehead, he then once again grasped the sword hilt. This time, he didn’t try to penetrate deeper, but began to move about on the surface, relying solely upon the feedback from his hand; the short sword slowly cut open the hard and robust green stone wall, apart from the lightly floating stone fragments, not a trace of any other sound could be heard.
The short sword quietly cut away, travelling across the green stone wall, traversing without end, until finally returning to its starting position.
Upon the wall, a complete outline had been carved out, Chen Chang sheng looked at the outline, feeling that it was very familiar looking, he then remembered, the area outside of the Dallying Forest seemed to have the same appearance.
He pulled out the short sword and got slightly closer to the wall, he used the sharp tip to deeply penetrate and slightly widen the gap, and then carefully began to pull it outwards, constantly prying.
This location was the wall to the right of Wang Zhi Ce’s portrait, following his motions, a whole block slowly came out from the wall at a hair-width’s length at a time, all the way till a bulge that could be detected by the eye protruded from the wall.
After an unknown amount of time, the distance between the green stone that had been carved out and the green stone wall, was already around half a palm’s width. Chen Chang Sheng returned his sword to its scabbard, then used both hands to hold the green stone’s two opposing flat and smooth ends; taking a deep breath, his True Essence slowly dispersed to various points in his body, he then transferred his energy to the space between the wall.
An extremely low and faint sound of grinding could be heard, under the soft light of the Luminous Pearl, stone fragments flew up at a faster rate as an extremely uneven block of green stone was slowly pulled out from the wall by him.
The green stone wall had a hole cut out from it, deep within, a box could faintly be seen, the box was embedded within the wall, just from sight, it was clear that it would be hard to separate, but it should be possible to take off the lid from the box.
Within a place such as the Pavilion of Ascending Mist, there was actually this kind of contraption; to actually have such a mysterious box concealed. Whose handiwork was this back when the pavilion was constructed? Who had the ability to do this?
If this scene was to be seen by someone, it would definitely cause a large tremor within the Zhou Empire, perhaps even being traced back for hundreds of years, with some aristocratic clans experiencing trouble that can threaten their very existence.
Chen Chang Sheng didn’t know as to who had placed the box within the pavilion. Back when the pavilion was being constructed, day and night, countless overseers kept check on the construction, how did that person manage to hide away from the gaze of countless others and in the end, Taizong Emperor’s divine gaze – Chen Chang Sheng only knew that within the wall of the pavilion, there existed a box he required.
The colour of the box that was concealed within the wall was quite dark in colour, the outermost lid was easily taken off by him, revealing the real box that was within.
All that could be seen was that the top of the box had a lot of copper wires, between the wires there were a lot of intricate copper buttons, looking upon this, it looked extremely complex; it was at the centremost position, that the mechanism to open the box was located.
Even children within the Capital, upon seeing these copper buttons and wires, would be able to guess what they were; they were the most popular 9 chains puzzle (Chinese rings) in the Zhou Empire, only, they were multiple times more complex, actually seeming to be comprised of 17 sets of chains.
The 9 chains puzzle is the same as the labyrinth in the dallying forest, both were games used by Wang Zhi Ce all those years ago to whittle away the time and relax his mind while studying, but both were also extremely good for training the strength of divine sense and mathematics; only, 9 chains was often seen, but 17 chains was extremely uncommon, with the difficulty of solving it being also vastly different.
Chen Chang Sheng didn’t have any hesitation, he stared at the extraordinary complex copper wires and began to calculate, his gaze constantly rested upon some copper button or other, he then started to move his hands to arrange the wires, his fingers constantly plucked amongst the wires, as if he was playing the qin (zither), constantly gathering the copper wires and buttons to one location.
This process took an extremely long time, until, after a long while, he saw a corner on the box’s south western side become blank. He took a deep breath, his left hand’s ring finger left the copper wire, all that could heard was a light ringing; the wire that had been arranged by him began to automatically move, the pattern constantly unravelled and reformed, heading towards the centre.
This was the process of the puzzle being solved. Requiring a very long period of time before you would know if it was solved or not, there was also the possibility, that only in the end, would you find out that you had solved it incorrectly, at that point, you could only start over again.
Apart from waiting, there was nothing else to do, it was only then that Chen Chang Sheng noticed a lot of sweat had already appeared on his head, upon raising his arm to wipe it, he saw the previous sweat stains. He unwittingly felt a little startled, he gave a bitter laugh and shook his head, then took out a handkerchief from his sleeve and carefully wiped clean the sweat on his face.
Seeing the constantly shifting patterns, the copper wire and buttons, he remained quiet and wordless.
He didn’t know as to whose handiwork this contraption was; was it Wang Zhi Ce or was it someone else? As for him knowing that there was a box within the green stone wall, he only knew of its existence, but didn’t know why it existed.
Taoist Ji was the one that had informed him of all these details.
Before coming to the Capital, Chen Chang Sheng had always thought that his Master, Taoist Ji, was a regular Taoist; at the most, someone that was skilled in medicine. Currently, after experiencing so many things, he naturally understood that his Master was definitely not a regular person, perhaps even having another persona.
Those few classical tomes and scrolls on The Way at the old temple at Xi Ning, were all works from before the great edits; in terms of the vastness of the collection, they could possibly be compared with that of Li Palace’s. How could a regular person possibly collect so many dao scriptures?
He grasped the short sword and looked towards the portraits of past virtuous forebears on the walls, then shook his head. How could a regular person possibly know what kind of secret was being hidden within the Pavilion of Ascending Mist? Even just this short sword was extremely un-ordinary.
It was precisely because Taoist Ji had told him, if he wanted to go against heaven and change his fate, then he had to enter the Pavilion of Ascending Mist and find the related secret. Therefore, upon arriving at the Capital from Xi Ning, his aim was to enter the pavilion.
His fate isn’t good, wanting to live past the age of twenty, there are only two methods – either cultivating to the realm of Mysterious Divinity, or defying heaven and changing his fate.
These two methods appeared extremely unreasonable, because they were basically impossible, but when compared with each other, the latter had a slightly better chance of success, because amongst the populace, there had always been a legend of going against heaven and changing one’s fate.
How could one achieve defying heaven and changing fate? Firstly, you had to understand what fate is. He looked at the copper chain that was currently unravelling while quietly pondering; could it be, that his fate is stored within?