Way of Choices

Chapter 196 – The Eight Storms of the Cardinal Directions Rising from the Black Rock

No, naturally there was no way of changing it.

If there was no such thing as fate, then naturally there would not be anything like revolting against the heavens or changing fate.

Chen Changsheng stared at the final part of the diary, and he stayed silent for a long time. It was hard for him to put his feelings into words, as he felt relieved, but even more disappointed. Wang Zhice’s words were like thunder, rumbling loudly in his sea of consciousness. However, it was a pity that it was not thunder from spring, and it had no way of causing springtime rain that moistened the ground. It was more like an alarm ringing, causing him to wake up from his fabricated hope.

This part was really powerful, but for him, it did not have any meaning at all——no, there should be more than just this diary. Chen Changsheng’s willpower had developed from the past several years of resisting life and death circumstances; therefore, he did not spend much time to calm down. He was determined that this was not everything the night had to offer in the Pavilion of Ascending Mist.

When the Pavilion of Ascending Mist had first been built, his master Daoist Ji had already become an important figure within the capital. When those honored subjects were heavily ill and about to die, his master had helped treat them, so he naturally knew even more secrets. Having him enter the Pavilion of Ascending Mist through countless hardships definitely was not just to read what Wang Zhice had written.

He shoved the diary he had finished reading into the hilt of the short sword. He looked at that box on the green stone wall, and he looked at the indescribable bronze wires and densely packed buttons. The more he looked, the more he felt that the image of the box seemed to be extremely similar to the vast sea of stars in the night sky. He was not mesmerized by this sight, so he stretched out his hand to pick up the box. He also put it into the sword hilt.

The diary and box were not small, and no matter how you looked at it, it seemed impossible to shove them into the sword hilt. However, it was exactly in such a manner that he forcibly shoved them in. It was like a huge tree with a circumference of one foot being swallowed by quicksand or a mountain being sucked into another world through a black hole. Under the soft glow of the Luminous Pearl, this scene looked somewhat strange.

After finishing these two tasks, he reached into the green stone wall with his hand and carefully felt around the box. As expected, he found a black rock after a short while.

This black rock was about the length of half a finger, and it was slightly tenuous. Just by looking at it, he could discern its hardness, and his fingertips verified this feeling while touching it.

Chen Changsheng sat in the corner and raised the black rock in front of the Luminous Pearl. He examined it closely——if this black rock could be hidden away together with the diary by Wang Zhice in the Pavilion of Ascending Mist, it was definitely not an ordinary object.

The surface of the black rock was smooth and bore the likeness of fog. The surface lacked any cracks, and it was entirely pitch-black like ink. However, it was even more like the sea on a starless night. There was clearly nothing on the surface of the black rock to look at, but he stared at it for a long time. It was as if there were undulations of ink-like waves, producing countless different shades of black.

Chen Changsheng’s gaze landed on the black rock which was like a black sea.

The black sea was the night sky.

His consciousness arrived within the night sky.

The night sky, which was originally pitch-black, suddenly began to glow with countless stars.

At this moment, he looked just like that night when he determined his Fated Star. He had entered a unique selfless state of nothingness, willfully floating in the night sky and freely flying through the stars. After an indeterminate amount of time, he saw that a small, red star had appeared in an area extremely far away in the night sky.

Chen Changsheng serenely gazed at that star, feeling extremely comfortable, as if that star was his Fated Star.

The star was peaceful and healthy, overflowing with life, constantly spreading pure and bright rays of light, and not like it was about to be extinguished at all.

He suddenly realized something.

Even if he really was going to die in five years, that star would yet continue to shine.

This fact gave him some comfort, but afterwards, it caused him even more disappointment and grief.

In the surrounding space of this red star, there were countless other stars.

He stared at those stars and realized that those stars which hung in the night sky also stared coldly and peacefully back at him. In other words, they were staring at that small red star that belonged to him.

He suddenly began to feel disturbed, and an extremely strong feeling of fear grew within him. It was just like when he had seen those portraits within the Pavilion of Ascending Mist. He always felt that the people within the portraits stared back at him.

Those people were already dead, but it seemed as if they were still alive.

These stars could not speak, but they seemed to want to tell him something.

His consciousness did not know that his body was still currently within the Pavilion of Ascending Mist, sitting with his back up against the green stone wall. He was extremely stiff, just like a sculpture.

The black rock he held between his two fingers suddenly became extremely bright, emitting countless rays of light and heat. Those rays could not penetrate the doors and windows, and only his body could feel the heat.

Chen Changsheng who was inside the Pavilion of Ascending Mist began sweating nonstop. The sweat was instantly vaporized, and it became a cloud of white mist wrapped around his body in the end.

The cloud of white mist also carried a type of indescribable, bizarre smell, which was luckily trapped by the edges of the mist, not letting a single bit out.

An indescribable, fantastic aura arose from deep within the black rock, and it entered his body along his fingertips. It passed through his ethereal palace (heart), finally landing in his sea of consciousness.

A loud sound rumbled in Chen Changsheng’s sea of consciousness. It gave him a different feeling than the one he had experienced previously after he had finished reading Wang Zhice’s diary. This rumble of thunder was even more like real thunder.

Countless stormy waves arose in his sea of consciousness, as if it was about to rip open the ethereal opening.

While leaning against the green stone wall, his eyes flickered nonstop, moving faster and faster, and he also began to sweat more and more. The white mist surrounding him also grew denser and denser to the point of even covering up his face.

Deep within this white mist, his eyes were tightly shut, but they still trembled at a high speed. After the springtime thunder had rumbled through his sea of consciousness, countless images appeared.

He was inside a grand church that had light everywhere. Countless churchmen all knelt on the ground, and there were hundreds of sculptures on both sides of the church, which seemed very modest under the light.

Deep within the wave-like light, an elderly person with divine robes and a divine crown tightly grasped his divine staff. He prayed loudly towards the multitude of stars in the sky above the church, and a slightly plump, middle-aged male knelt in front of the divine throne. After the ceremony of offerings continued, a projection of starlight fell onto him. At the same time, an abnormally majestic aura returned to the starry sky from his body.

There were changes in the deepest parts of the starry sky. These changes were so small, that some stars had become slightly darker, as if the wings of a moth had just blocked part of the sun. Other stars moved slightly from their positions, even if they only moved by a sliver of hair. Even the oldest stargazing platform would have encountered extreme difficulty to detect these changes. Even the Council of Divine Ordinance could not.

In the night sky, stars moved, darkened, or paled. The countless, tiny changes combined at one spot, and the formless structure of power also experienced some change. The centermost star was faint purple, and it slowly began to glow brighter. Its glow became denser and more beautiful until its purple had reached the extreme. Afterwards, an extremely bright light suddenly burst forth.

It was in such a manner that the Purple Abstruse Emperor Star had appeared. In the mortal realm, the armies of Tianliang State had left the Fork Mountain from the east, taking down seventeen cities in one breath. They seiged Luoyang and seized the mausoleum of the capital, where Emperor Taizu was formally enthroned.

Years later, horrifying sounds of killing arose in the Hundred Herb Garden, and the quiet night was broken. Those stars which once had changed in position and brightness slowly began to darken. Blood flowed like a river, and brothers killed each other. In the end, out of all of those outstanding sons of Emperor Taizu, only one person survived.

Many years later, after a game of cards and after fooling around with many beautiful female servants, Emperor Taizu arrived under the vine canopy, and stared at those stars in the night sky. His face revealed a painful smile.

That Purple Abstruse Star in the night sky continued to dazzle people’s eyes. However, it already no longer belonged to him, but to his son, the famous Prince of Qi known for his filial piety. He was also the current Emperor Taizong.

The galaxies continued to experience change, occupying the twenty-four constellations of region of Central Wilderness It seemed like it was about to expend all of the energy it had gathered since the ancient times in a few short decades.

The brightness of the twenty-four constellations were so dazzling that people did not even realize the Purple Abstruse Emperor Star, which had been surrounded by these constellations, had already begun to change its position. Although it had only moved by a sliver from the ground’s perspective, it actually had already shifted north. It directly approached the darkness of the night sky.

As the great Demon army suffered a crushing defeat and returned north, the human world became peaceful. The Pavilion of Ascending Mist was built in the capital, and a skinny painter lay on the ground, painting nonstop. The expression on his face seemed a little deranged.

Emperor Taizong’s most beloved and revered queen had passed away from sickness, and the queen’s brother, the honored subject who had the first portrait in the Pavilion of Ascending Mist, Duke of Zhao, committed suicide on the sovereign’s orders. However, in the history books, he died for the same reason as his sister, the most commonly seen disease of River Luo. Closely afterwards, the only person in the world who was brave enough to argue with Emperor Taizong, the Duke of Zheng, also passed away from an illness. Qin Zhong and Yu Guan who were the most loyal to Emperor Taizong also passed away from an unknown reason. However, they died very peacefully, and it could even be said happily, without a single complaint.

The Zhou Dynasty flourished, but these famous subjects and divine generals instead began to wither away slowly.

During a particular late autumn, after participating in the funeral of a fellow subject, he walked silently into the imperial palace and arrived at the Pavilion of Ascending Mist. He looked at the portraits on the wall, and finally arrived in front of his own portrait. He stared silently at himself within the painting. It was as if he was participating in his own funeral in advance, and he had even laughed and said the words “As if you were still alive”.

He hid a box into the green stone wall beside the portrait before turning around and leaving.

The Wang Zhice in the painting watched as Wang Zhice walked out of the Pavilion of Ascending Mist, smiling without saying a word.

Chen Changsheng opened his eyes and woke up again. In that moment, the cloud of mist that had always surrounded him suddenly dispersed. It was as if it had just collapsed. It landed on his body at a speed, which could not be seen clearly with the naked eye. It passed through his academy uniform and entered his body through the pores of his skin.

The mist originally was his sweat, so after it returned to his body at this moment, it had transformed into a watery substance. It formed countless small streams within his body, moistening the dried up river valley from the Grand Examination. Afterwards, it dropped into the deep, final chasm of the broken mountain range without a sound to be heard.

The skies of the snowy plains where he had overheated in the fight against Gou Hanshi began to snow. The snow was like goose feathers, fluttering about lightly and gracefully. It seemed to be slow, but extremely fast at the same time, causing the entire wasteland to once again become a vast expanse of whiteness.

Afterwards, the Eight Storms of Cardinal Directions rushed in from all sides, perhaps horizontally, perhaps vertically, or perhaps from the ground underneath. They produced a very slight pitter-patter, striking the lake water that floated in midair. It was an incomparably magnificent sight.


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