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Chapter 196 Wind and rain rise from the black stone
So it could not be changed.
And if there was no such thing as fate, then naturally there was no such thing as going against heaven’s will to change one’s fate.
Chen Chang Sheng read the final passage on Wang Zhi Ce’s notes and stayed silent for a long time. It was hard to determine his mood; he looked somewhat happy but was actually frustrated at the same time. Wang Zhi Ce’s words struck like a lightning and thundered in his sea of knowledge, but unfortunately, it was not a spring thunder so there was no way to expect spring rain and moisten the earth, on the contrary, it was more like a ringing bell in mind and helped him sober up from the false dream that was fabricated from a false hope.
This passage indeed had a very powerful impact on him, but did not have much significance either – no, not only on this note – he was also relying on the formidable willpower he had fostered from his confrontations with life and death experiences over a period of past few years. He did not stay quiet for long and calmed down. He began to think calmly and came to a conclusion that this was not the end of his adventure in Pavilion of Ascending Mist.
When this pavilion was constructed, his master Taoist Ji was already an important figure in the capital. Whenever a hero was seriously ill or on the verge of dying, his master was the one appointed as a doctor for them. Then, his master was bound to know some of the secrets and would certainly not make him enter this pavilion, after going through so many untold hardships, just to read these notes.
He rolled the notes and forced them into the hilt of his short sword and looked at the lid placed upon the box in the green stone wall. He was looking at those inexplicable, complicated and dense copper wires and buttons. He could not help but feel that the scene indeed reminded him of a vast starry sky. But he did not stay immersed in that and put out a hand to pick the lid up and forced his short sword’s hilt inside.
The length of Wang Zhi Ce’s notebook was certainly not small but Chen Chang Sheng realized that he could easily fit the hilt inside and the box had hardly been filled by the small hilt. What was going on? It seemed like a big tree was swallowed in less than one foot of surrounding area. As if a mountain was sucked into a small black hole and sent into another world. Under the gentle illumination of legendary luminous pearl, this scene appeared somewhat strange.
After having done these two things, he reached into the green stone wall, put his hand into the box and began to carefully explore the insides, sure enough, after a moment, he found a black stone.
This black stone was smaller than half the size of his finger. It had a perfect round shape and based on the touching sensation on his fingertips, he could feel its toughness and smoothness.
Chen Chang Sheng sat down in a corner and lifted the black stone in order to position the luminous pearl right behind it. He began the careful observation of this black stone. He was satisfied because Wang Zhi Ce’s memoir wasn’t the only thing hidden in the Pavilion of Ascending Mist.
The black stone had a glossy surface without a trace of cracks or scratches anywhere. It had a misty black color on the inside and very much looked like a stone dipped in jet-black ink. But it looked more like the night sky without stars. He continued to stare at it for a long time and felt as if there a sea of ink inside it and was fluctuating, giving birth to different types of variations and transitions from bright to dark reflections.
Chen Chang Sheng’s vision fell on the black stone and felt like seeing a drop of the black sea.
The black sea or perhaps the starry sky….
His consciousness suddenly arrived in the night sky.
And in the night sky that previously appeared jet-black, innumerable stars lit up all of a sudden.
He felt the same way when he had ventured into the infinite space in search of his fate star. He was in an altruistic state right now and his consciousness was drifting in the universe, roaming freely among the sea of stars. He did not know for how long he continued to drift like this before finally reaching a very remote part of the universe and saw a small red star.
Chen Chang Sheng calmly looked at that star and felt very tranquil because it was his own fate star.
His fate star looked healthy, filled with vitality and kept on disseminating its bright and pure light throughout the universe. From its appearance, it was easy to predict that it was not going to extinguish anytime soon.
He suddenly realized something.
Even if he died five years later, but this star would still remain lit.
This fact comforted him a bit but also gave birth to a sense of loss and sorrow in his heart.
There were innumerable stars all around in space.
He looked at those stars and found them hanging in the space while indifferently looking back at him, or perhaps looking at his small red star.
He suddenly felt uneasy and was attacked by flocks of intense fears. He had a similar feeling when he was looking at the portraits in the Pavilion of Ascending Mist when had felt like those heroes were looking at him.
They seemed alive even after dying countless years ago.
These stars were silent but seemed to be telling something to him.
His spirit which was presently in the form of his consciousness did not know that at this time, his body was still in the Pavilion of Ascending Mist, sitting against the green stone wall and was very stiff like a statue.
The black stone that was firmly clutched in his palm suddenly began to shine brilliantly and became very bright, giving birth to an infinite amount of light and heat which were not only able to penetrate the doors and windows of the pavilion, the heat actually began to invade his body.
He began to sweat profusely but his sweat was instantaneously evaporated and finally changed into a ball of white mist around his body.
An indescribable strange fragrance formed a blockade to keep the ball of mist intact and also stopped it from spreading out.
An unspeakable and wonderful aura suddenly appeared from the depths of that black stone and entered his body along his fingers. The aura circulated within his body and eventually fell into his sea of knowledge.
A loud explosion occurred in his mind and its sound was much more intense than the thunderclap that happened a while ago when he read the last passage in Wang Zhi Ce’s notes.
This gave rise to countless storms in his sea of knowledge as if trying their best to open the dome.
His eyes kept trembling, faster and faster, while more and more sweat continued to seep out of his body. This caused the white mist to become thicker and more concentrated, until finally enveloping his entire body.
Even after that, his eyes were closed and shaking at a very high speed. The reason behind this was the loud thunder that resounded throughout the sea of knowledge and gave birth to innumerable scenes in his mind.
The first scene unfolds into a magnificent temple used for teaching purposes and the ambiance was densely bright. There were hundreds of statues of priests kneeled down on both sides of the grand hall. All of them appeared humble while showered in the bright ambient light.
In this overly bright hall, an old man was standing on a high platform chanting a loud prayer while facing the starry sky. He was wearing a scared robe and tightly holding a divine scepter in his hand. The sacred crown on his head looked magnificent as well. In front of the platform, a slightly fat middle-aged man was on his knees and a sacrificial ritual was going on. The projection of starlight was descending on his body while a majestic exceptional aura was returning to the sky from his body.
Also, in the depths of the sky, there were some changes going on. These changes were very subtle; some stars were losing brightness to become slightly darker as if a moth just stretched out its wings to block the sun. And some stars were shifting from their initial positions, though only a minor distance – almost equivalent to the thickness of a hair strand. The scope of these changes was so small that it would be difficult even for a glorious stargazing pavilion to observe them.
In a certain section of the night sky, stars were moving while their brightness was also changing. In other words, countless subtle changes were taking place at the same time, and during that period, an invisible structure was gradually condensing on the purple star that was positioned at the center. Slowly and gradually, the purple star reached a gorgeous purple glow, and then suddenly released an infinite burst of purple light.
This purple star was actually the Emperor Star and the changes that occurred just now had a great impact on the world. Thirty thousand soldiers headed east of Qishan and conquered 17 cities in one fell swoop. And contrary to everyone’s expectations, Emperor Taizu eventually conquered Luoyang and capital city and officially ascended the throne.
In the later years, when Hundred herbs Garden incident occurred, the silence of the night was shattered and the starry sky was torn to pieces. Once again, the positions and brightness of the stars had gradual changes while the bloody fratricide continued to terrorize the capital all night. In the end, Emperor Taizu lost all his outstanding sons except one, who turned out to be the reason behind all this.
Several years later, when Emperor Taizu was bored of games and beautiful maids, he stood in the garden under a shed that laden with vines. He was watching the stars in the sky with a bitter smile on his face.
That purple star was still dazzling in the sky, however, it no longer belonged to him. Now it belonged to his son Qi Wang who later became famous for his filial piety. The history would later remember him as Emperor Taizong of Zhou Dynasty.
The galaxy continued to change, especially that portion where those famous 24 stars awaited their fate. They had been illuminating the world since ancient ages, but in a short span of few decades, these stars released all their vigor and brightness.
These 24 stars used to be so brilliant but no one noticed that they were surrounded by arches with the purple Emperor Star in the middle. It had already quietly changed its position and brilliance.
The demon army’s disastrous defeat brought victory and peace to the human world and to celebrate this and show gratitude to the war heroes, the whole capital witnessed the construction of the Pavilion of Ascending Mist. A skinny artist was bent down on the ground and painting a portrait with a somewhat demented look on his face.
Emperor Taizong’s dearest empress fell ill and died. Her elder brother who was actually Zhao State’s Duke, and was ranked first among the heroes, committed suicide on an order from above, but the history books described the death of these siblings as a result of some common disease. Zheng State’s Duke was the only hero who might have dared to accuse Emperor Taizong but also died of illness. The empire’s most loyal general named Qin Zhong also died from some unknown reason, but people say that he was very happy at the time of his death and had no complaints.
Zhou Dynasty was in its most prosperous times when the heroes were gradually dying.
Autumn season had greeted the capital city. In the evening, Wang Zhi Ce attended the funeral of a colleague then silently entered the Pavilion of Ascending Mist. He looked at the portraits one by one and finally arrived in front of his own portrait. He quietly looked at the portrait of himself, smiled then spoke few words as if to bid the final goodbye to himself in his own funeral and that too in advance.
He hid a box in the green stone wall next to his portrait then turned around to depart.
Wang Zhi Ce walked out of the pavilion. There was a smile on his face but he did not say anything.
Chen Chang Sheng opened his eyes and woke up. At that moment, the white mist suddenly converged into a thick group of mist and collapsed. Well, that was how it would appear to the naked eye because of the high speed of this phenomenon, but in reality, the condensed mist fell on his body, passed through his clothing, and seeped into his body through the pores in his skin.
When the white condensed mist returned to his body, it immediately transformed into a kind of river stream that again branched out into countless creeks and began to nourish those great dry valleys. Then these creeks advanced toward the massive rift at the terminus of the sierra and fell into the abyss without producing any echo or sound.
Suddenly, the white snow clouds filled the entire blue sky and snowfall began. There were numerous fluttering and dancing feather-like snowflakes which slowly and gradually descended on the barren wasteland and turned it into a vast expanse of whiteness.
In addition to that, wind and rain came from all directions, striking vertically and horizontally, starting from the blue sky and ending on the earth, meanwhile producing rustling sounds and also weaving a constant rhythm in the chorus of air and water. The entire scenery appeared very magnificent.
(TL Note: ZTJ is now a Main project. I will try my best to give justice to this great novel. Novel Saga Team will soon make an announcement regarding the details. I would like to thank readers for being patient till now.)