Chapter 229 – Seeing the Truth for the First Time
The seventeen monoliths turned into thousands upon thousands of lines, then into innumerable points. These points had no rhythm nor reason, like ink drizzled over a white sheet of paper. It was a design that no one could possibly have seen before. Then, how was it that it seemed so familiar? Chen Changsheng silently thought that the feeling that this design gave him was like something he had often seen, yet it was something that he had never closely examined. In the end, what exactly was it?
The monolith inscriptions had already been simplified into countless points. In his sea of consciousness, that invisible sheet of paper only contained countless points. No matter how he saw it, they were just points.
Points, points, points…the points of stars in the sky?
Even though he was still in self-observation, he seemingly felt that his lips were somewhat dry.
Because he was excited.
The design formed by the monoliths of the front mausoleum…could it perhaps be the starry sky?
In the next moment, he confronted his own speculation with intense doubt and suspicion. It was because the points that he saw in front of him were too numerous, even more numerous than the stars in the night sky. If one said that the Heavenly Tome Monoliths of the front mausoleum had something to do with the starry sky, then on the contrary, one would also say that the starry sky was more monotonous than the design on the monoliths.
According to the most simplistic logic, there was no reason to use an even more complex design to portray an even simpler object. Even more importantly, if the Heavenly Tome Monoliths of the front mausoleum truly did portray the starry sky, then there was no further way to simplify it. Unless, these monoliths portrayed many pieces of the starry sky.
Yet, this world only had one starry sky.
Chen Changsheng pondered this in silence for a long time, then after pushing around an idea in his mind for a while, several lines slowly began to appear between the numerous points. If those lines were used to describe the movement of the points along their orbits, then, of those countless points on the design, some of the points were at different positions in time. Then all this could be easily resolved all at once.
Yes, it should be this way.
However, this forced him to face another problem. This problem was even harder to address. It could even cause the situation to become even more arduous.
Because the stars could not move.
The brightness of the stars could subtly change, but their positions in the night sky were eternal and unchanging. This was a truth that had been proved countless years ago. The star charts drafted by the countless star observatories of this continent did not have the slightest difference. The focus of their observations was completely concentrated on the brightness of these stars.
There had never been anyone who dared to question this standpoint, because this was a truth testified by countless people over a countless number of years. Just like how the sun would always set in the west. Just like how the moon was always in some faraway place that only demons could see. Just like how water would always flow to places of lower elevation. This was a truth that could never be overthrown.
When he was reading Wang Zhice’s notebook in the Pavilion of Ascending Mist, that had been the reason why Chen Changsheng was uncomprehending and doubtful of the method of changing fate by changing the position of the stars. Even in that fantasy that he saw with his own eyes that Purple Abstruse Emperor Star subtly shifted the positions of the stars around it, he still did not believe it, because that was a fantasy, and not a truth seen with his own eyes.
It was just… Xun Mei’s notebook had mentioned multiple times that to view the monoliths was to see the truth, but he had viewed the monoliths of the Mausoleum of Books for several decades and yet had never encountered the truth. In the end, in order to ascend to the summit of the mausoleum and see the truth, he paid his life as the price. Then, in end, what sort of truth did Chen Changsheng want to see? What was the truth? Was what he saw with his own eyes the truth?
Chen Changsheng left his self-observation.
He opened his eyes and looked up at that monolith which truly existed.
It was late in the night, but there were still many people around the monolith hut. It was not what Chen Changsheng had thought. Tang Thirty-Six, Zhexiu, Gou Hanshi, and the rest had never left. They had remained to watch over Chen Changsheng as he attempted to comprehend the monoliths. From early morning to sunset, right up until the stars shone in the dark night sky.
At dusk, they had seen Chen Changsheng spit out blood and were very concerned.
Then they saw Chen Changsheng ball his hands into fists and arch his brows, as if he had realized something and became excited.
Now, they finally saw Chen Changsheng open his eyes and wake up.
Tang Thirty-Six stopped holding his breath and was prepared to walk forward, but then he stopped.
Because he realized that Chen Changsheng had not seen him.
Chen Changsheng was still staring at the monolith, still comprehending the monoliths. His mind was so devoted, that it moved their hearts and made them not want to disturb him.
Chen Changsheng had already viewed this monolith for twenty days.
In the morning light and the glow of the sunset. In the shower of rain and in the clear sky; he had viewed this monolith in all sorts of environments, and the changes in the monolith inscription were engraved in his heart.
He had also seen this monolith under the starlight, and he had not seen any place on it that stood out.
Tonight, the stars were as brilliant as ever, no different from any of the previous nights.
Yet, his eyes suddenly seemed to glow.
That light originated from a very thin and inconspicuous line in the lower left corner of the monolith.
There was nothing special about this line. It was just that its position and angle were just right so that the starlight coming down from the night sky would reflect off of it and into Chen Changsheng’s eyes.
So his eyes glowed.
Twenty days of single-minded observation and contemplation had already drawn him very close to the truth. Tonight, this smattering of light finally allowed him to understand everything.
If the lines upon the monolith could reveal themselves and hide themselves with the natural light, then they could become countless characters and pictures. Then where did the brightness in the stars come from? It was because the stars moved. Only, if the stars could change position, how was it that no one had ever been able to see it?
The seventeen monoliths once again appeared before his eyes.
When those monolith inscriptions were superimposed over each other, the lines on the last monolith seemed to connect in many places with the lines from the first monolith.
At the very least they appeared to do so in his eyes.
In reality, there was still a large gap between those lines.
The reason why what he saw with his eyes was different from reality was because his line of sight was perpendicular to the surfaces of the monoliths.
The surfaces of the monoliths were the starry sky.
When people on the ground looked up at the starry sky, because the stars were simply too far away, one could believe that, when viewing the stars, one’s sight was always perpendicular to the plane where the star resided. Then, if that star moved forward or backwards, those people would be incapable of seeing it because they stood on the ground. They could only see that the star had grown dimmer or brighter.
Yes, this was precisely why.
Chen Changsheng withdrew his vision from the monoliths. Only then did he realize that there were quite a lot of people around the monolith hut.
Tang Thirty-Six looked at him in concern. “Nothing’s wrong, right?”
Chen Changsheng said to him, “The positions are relative.”
These were the first words that he had seen in Wang Zhice’s notebook back at the Pavilion of Ascending Mist. It was only now that he understood their true meaning.
Tang Thirty-Six did not understand why he had so absent-mindedly said these words. He subconsciously responded, “And then?”
Chen Changsheng thought it over, then he pointed up to the sky filled with stars. “Don’t you see? The stars can move.”
There was complete silence around the monolith, not a single voice could be heard. Everyone thought that Chen Changsheng had tried to comprehend the monoliths for too long and his spirit was exhausted to the extreme, so his mind was somewhat unclear. Yet for some reason, seeing his earnest appearance, they were struck with a sense of unease, as if something terrible were about to happen.
Ji Jin sternly scolded him, “What nonsense are you saying!”
“Yet, they really do move.”
Chen Changsheng calmly said, his tone and expression were incomparably confident.
Because this was the truth.
This really was the truth.