Chapter 349: To the Cloud (Part 1/3)
This gray-white glow of paint became motivation in Luo Nan's perspective. He couldn't help thinking, Can it be? Can the circumstances back then be recreated without using the external neuron?
Luo Nan wanted to know more, and his mental senses naturally expanded, allowing him to discover that his soul strength was constrained—it was constrained within the atrium, unable to breach outside no matter what he did. It just revolved within the atrium, its speed rapidly increasing.
Soul strength didn't possess kinetic energy, nor did it really have vectors to speak of. These were just philosophical elements discussed within the Society. Luo Nan was unable to give an accurate definition, but whether it was an illusion or a genuine sensation, his soul strength undoubtedly appeared in such a state.
He thought about the practical physics course he took in middle school. He had seen a particle accelerator. It accelerated charged particles in a vacuum using electromagnetic fields. The particles accumulated more and more energy, before ultimately colliding with each other.
This was what Luo Nan felt right now.
His soul strength was constrained in this way. It revolved at soaring speeds, forming and sustaining wave after wave of tremendous psychic pressure. The pressure was so much that the line between the mental and the material gradually blurred. This was a structure of the mental plane, and it forcefully revealed itself in prominence.
Thousands of layers of curtains soared, following the surge of psychic pressure. They warped one after another; distant ones pulled closer, and close ones cast afar. It looked like one great mess, but for some reason, after several changes, the thousands of curtains actually interweaved to form a stable structure. No matter how warped the mental plane became, few changes occurred in the main section... although it was still complicated to the point of madness.
"This scene seems familiar…. Stop!"
Luo Nan gave up analyzing with firm resolution. The deeper he sank into the mental plane, the more he came to know the complexity of its mysteries and secrets. They were endless, enough to wring one's mental energy dry. Luo Nan really didn't have the energy to think from different angles.
The cycling speed continued to increase, catalyzing Luo Nan's soul strength to some kind of limit. His perception on the mental plane quickly began to crumble, and soon he lost perception of the cycling, of the psychic pressure, and so on.
The corresponding thoughts were annihilated. It was akin to a skyscraper whose structural frame was erased, immediately causing it to collapse and fall apart.
Luo Nan instantly fell into a sheet of chaos.
If any bit of consciousness still remained under these circumstances, then only existence itself was probably all that was left.
The world went still before exploding apart!
There was an indescribable period of time. It might have been a second. It might have been an hour. But Luo Nan was completely unaware of what happened during that time.
By the time his basic perception was restored to him, he just sensed the weak feeling of existence as one of the few things remaining. The feeling took on the form of incomparable greed, and it rapidly expanded. It took all ability of thought and perception that had been lost, and seized them back completely, digesting them anew.
The endlessly rising psychic pressure disappeared without a trace, and Luo Nan's soul turned light and calm, transparent inside and out.
Everything was being restored. Everything was improving. But everything changed into something different.
In fact, a whole new world appeared before Luo Nan's eyes.
The gray-white glow appeared once more, acting as the universal background, drawing blurry and hazy silhouettes. Soon, the silhouettes became discernible. They were mounds and mounds of clouds. Coils and coils of mist. The hail-fire of ice crystals. And between the pressed and torn cracks of clouds was a blood-red flowing glow, as if a conflagration burned in the area below.
Luo Nan stared at it all, taking the time to confirm that it wasn't an illusion, that it wasn't a memory, that it was occurring in this very moment. This was the scene collected by his mental senses.
He had seen a similar scene in the past. Though the process had been different last week, he had looked down from above to view such a scene. He had gone deep within, for a short, yet incredible journey to the cloud!
Success! This was it!
Luo Nan wanted to wave his arms and yell in exhilaration, but this was something he couldn't do as a soul. He could only settle for the next best thing. He welcomed the astral winds wrapped in the ice crystals of his memories.
Wait, where was the wind?
Luo Nan discovered the anomaly at last. He tried to control his soul body to enter the endless cloud layer before him, but he was unable to get even a millimeter near no matter how much he exerted himself. It seemed as if a piece of invisible glass stood before him, cutting the two areas apart.
Then more problems came out.
Luo Nan discovered that he was unable to engage in an all-encompassing view with his soul. He was constrained to something like a bird's-eye view. The sensation of the invisible glass together with this view made it all feel like he was sitting in an airplane. The thick glass window separated him, leaving him only to gaze at the boundless sea of clouds.
If Luo Nan never had that first experience, he would probably praise the marvelous scene before his eyes. But there were no ifs in this world; there was only reality. This situation of immobility, of being trapped, was absolutely not what Luo Nan desired!
Moreover, this led to another problem. Right now, he wasn't in the atrium of Gear. He also hadn't moved to the cloud world. Then, where was he?
The thought barely formed, and Luo Nan felt some irresistible force repelling him. It took him, who was infinitesimally close to the cloud world, and smacked him down over and over. Then the world spun before his eyes. He couldn't help his scream, and by the time he snapped out of it, the world changed back to its most normal appearance.
He had returned to the atrium within Gear.
"Oh my... god!"
The middle obscenity and thought were forcibly erased by Luo Nan. He had nothing to say toward his mother's masterpiece. He was just pissed off with himself.
He returned to the normal world, and his all-encompassing senses returned as well. They covered Gear from inside out, taking the structure of the atrium and the gathering energy flow into his clairvoyance. He saw everything to the finest detail.
So my senses are sharp this time? Luo Nan gritted his teeth in frustration. The range of his mental senses simply exploded, driven by his emotions. They broke away from the constraints of the atrium. There was no wall blocking them, but there should be some sort of retaliating whiplash for his actions!
The feelers of his mental senses extended fifteen kilometers out in the blink of an eye, reaching toward an area that was twenty kilometers away. They easily covered the entire campus of Acumen College, bringing Cloud City Water Village and most of the large activity area within their perception.
Luo Nan was shocked when he snapped out of his minor emotions. This wasn't the directional clairvoyance he used atop Ocean Sky Cloud City. This was an omnidirectional radiation.
A radius of twenty kilometers. That was a range of over a thousand square kilometers. The entirety of Pingjiang District was just that large!
The space was enormous, climbing up to the heavens and digging down to the earth. The sheer amount of information from the living beings, even if from simplified Life Sketches, was of a terrifying quantity. It was an astronomical number.
There was an instant when Luo Nan felt he was about to explode. He used all his efforts to constrain his out-of-control mental senses, seeking to reduce the impact. But soon he received the latest feedback.
The impact seemed quite illusionary?
The information that should have come did come, but the expected impact didn't occur. The soul simply engulfed the large quantity of information, digesting it, like drinking a glass of plain boiled water.