Chapter 139: Tai Chi Ball (Part 1/2)
The skies were already dark, and the daoguan did not have many lit lights inside. The front courtyard was quite lively though; there were students and parents moving back and forth under the lighting. As they made their way to the middle courtyard, Luo Nan found a sparse amount of people. The lit lights within the winding corridor caused this courtyard to become dusky.
Xue Lei brought Luo Nan up the right winding corridor. They reached the back courtyard. It was a sheet of pitch-black darkness. They could not see a single person. The lights of the winding corridor, and the spray of light from the bustling city outside could not reach here.
"There aren't generally people here," said Xue Lei. Then, he pointed at the pitch-black wooden building ahead. "We're here. That's the mind study."
The wooden building appeared long and wide under the dusky lighting. It seemed to take up over half of the back courtyard. Luo Nan did not quite expect this. He had thought Xue Lei was talking about a study room or something when Xue Lei mentioned the mind study. He never thought it would be this large and this spacious. It was big enough to be a training ground.
They walked into the mind study, and Luo Nan confirmed that this was likely once a training ground. Beneath their feet was the installation of soft and beautiful cork material. They took off their shoes and walked on it. It was very comfortable. Yet, it was certainly left unused now. There were many random objects placed inside, and the layout was quite casual. It looked a bit messy.
A low table was placed near the entrance, and there were a few cushions as well. There was even a tea set on the table and a small stove next to the table to boil water for tea. It was all very clean, neat, and tidy. It looked like people came here often.
Xue Lei turned on the lights, which only covered the area next to the entrance. This caused the layout further inside to appear duskier and messier with shadows looming everywhere. It looked a bit creepy.
This environment slightly embarrassed Xue Lei. "Normally, the gym master spends his time here. This place is a bedroom, a study, and a living room. There is also a sundries room. They're just not separated here."
Luo Nan wondered out loud, "Why?"
"The gym master said that he's impatient and has a lot of rage. He needs a vast space to clear his mind. He's more likely to get sick if he's smothered. Of course, typical people like us don't do this..."
Upon saying this, Xue Lei rummaged out a tea kettle and other objects used to receive guests. He turned on the stove to boil water, but then, his wristband began vibrating when he put the kettle on the stove. He looked at the message and tapped his head. "Nanster. How about you first sit here for a bit. I need to go help out my fellow disciples. Sorry, man. Sorry."
"You do what you gotta do."
Luo Nan certainly did not mind. Between them, they had a friendship that ascended lives. There was no need to be this polite, but Xue Lei felt that there were truly no words that could describe his feelings. His hands came together in a bow, and he rushed away.
Looking at this, it seemed that the gym was really lacking people...
Luo Nan was a bit surprised. The gym master had to be a billionaire in order to open a daoguan in Boshan Building. Why did he not hire a few more trainers? Or maybe business was thriving too much that they couldn't meet the demands?
Luo Nan recalled his impression of the path he walked to get to the mind study. He felt that there were not that many people in the daoguan. It did not matter whether it was the back courtyard or the middle courtyard. There were not that many people. This place was not lively.
Yeah. This was a bit weird.
He did not think too much about this. The water had yet to boil. He just stood near the entrance and watched the dark scene. There were not that many classical-style buildings like this in today's Xia City. The daoguan was located in the bustling business district. People streamed endlessly above his head and below his feat, but within this courtyard, the clamorous sounds of people were blocked off. This was truly the best place to get some peace and quiet within a place of noise.
Two antique-style humanoid stone lanterns were alight outside the mind study. The orange rays illuminated the doorway of the mind study, the corridor, and a small area of the courtyard.
A gust of wind blew, and leaves rustled, floated, and fell. Luo Nan only saw it now; there was a large tree in the middle of the back courtyard. It was so thick that two people could not wrap their arms around it. He could not tell what type of tree it was at first glance. He just felt the edge of the lights reach out, as the shadow of tree swayed. It was beautiful, secluded, and quiet. And the slight rustling sound from the wind purged his heart and mind. The seat of his emotions were washed clean, but serene thoughts were born from the silence.
Luo Nan stood beneath the wooden awning outside the mind study. He was in a trance for a time, and the sound of boiling water behind him startled him awake. He walked back inside and brewed himself a pot of tea.
He was young after all. His thoughts and feelings were fickle. Those faint yet discernible thoughts just now had quickly dissipated, and he sized up the furnishings inside the mind study. This large open space possessed many functions simultaneously, and it made him very curious. He held the teacup, and his gaze flitted over the various arrangements in the room. There were some places where the light could not reach, and he could not see those areas clearly. He automatically used his mental senses.
The automatic clairvoyance had a range of a dozen meters or so and enveloped the area surrounding the doorway within. This perception was so meticulous and did not spare dust particles.
And so, Luo Nan discovered that this place was quite clean. It was not spotless, but it was swept often. There was a bit of order hidden within. It seemed that the arrangement of the random items was naturally divided into relatively independent areas. The first impression Luo Nan got was not that of disorder and messiness.
In other words... Luo Nan's mind went at ease. He thought of the old-fashioned character that was the gym master. Such a person would not go so far to make their residence a big mess.
Luo Nan grew curious upon understanding the situation inside. There was an order to the messy layout. How were functional areas represented and differentiated?
"It's all books in the surroundings. Hmm. There's also a pillow. That there should be the study."
"There's a futon and its further inside. Could that be the bedroom?"
"There's just decorative items there. Looks like some of them are over a year old. They're collections. This is the sundries room..."
Luo Nan carefully went through each and every location and found pleasure in doing so. His gaze roamed around and back. He had more or less went around in a circle. Suddenly, he stopped.
Not to far away from the entrance was something large on display. It was an enormous sphere so big that only a grown man could wrap his arms around it. The sphere was placed on the ground and was nearly half a person tall. It seemed to be made of metal. It looked very heavy. There was not anything else around it, and it looked quite towering.
Luo Nan could not think of its purpose for a time, so he simply walked over to examine it in detail. He felt a subtle chill assault his face, as he got closer. He touched it with his hand, and it felt ice cold. No doubt about it; it was made out of metal.
Was it hollow or solid? If it was solid, the wooden floor here might not be able to support it.
Luo Nan looked below the metal ball. There was a bowl-like tray placed there, and the metal ball rested inside. It looked quite stable. He pushed out with his hand; no movement. He added a bit more effort; this time it worked. The metal ball was largely displaced within the tray, letting out the sound of friction.
The sound was exceptionally clear within this empty and quiet room. Luo Nan panicked, and he rushed to stop his hand. But somehow, the way the ball and the tray were connected in this structure made it so that the metal ball began to roll a bit in the tray with just a bit of force. The vibrations were so much that the floor below began to shake.
The rotating metal ball rubbed against Luo Nan's fingertips, and he was able to feel bumpy marks on the ball. There seemed to be intermittent lines and painted colors!
This was completely unexpected. A slight rotation of the sphere had brought up a blurry pattern... It was even luminous too!
The style of the pattern was a bit strange.
In his moment of bafflement, Luo Nan suddenly felt the blurry pattern being raised higher a bit.
At first, he thought it was a misconception due to the rotation of the sphere, but the sound of friction from the rotation disappeared. The rotated pattern continue to rise until it reached his chest.
Luo Nan lowered his head. All he saw was the connective portion between the metal ball and the tray. He did not know when they separated. This sphere must weigh at least a hundred kilograms. Luo Nan could not see anything supporting it, yet it floated above the tray, as it spun and rotated.