Chapter 230 – Tonight, the Stars Are Brilliant
The entire area around the monolith hut was in an uproar. Chen Changsheng’s words challenged a truth that had never been questioned. The question was how was it that the stars could move? This was really too ridiculous. Not a single person believed it, and even Gou Hanshi could only arch his brows. The sense of unease in the people’s hearts disappeared without a trace, replaced with ridicule.
Chen Changsheng was not surprised by their reactions. He knew that he was definitely not the first one to realize that the stars could move. At the very least, Wang Zhice had shown in his notebook that he had long begun to think in that direction. Then, why did the Daoist Canon have nothing on this matter? That was because this sort of matter was impossible to prove. When cultivators determined their Fated Star, everything that they saw was with their spiritual sense and could not be taken as proof. It was only evidence if they could fly up to that unfathomably distant starry sky and transmit everything they saw to the people down below.
Chen Changsheng had no means to prove that the stars could move, and so to say that he had “realized” it would not be right. Rather, this was only the speculation that had arisen from his viewing of the seventeen Heavenly Tome Monoliths of the front mausoleum. It could also be considered as the enlightenment he had obtained from comprehending the monoliths—It was impossible to convince people with speculation, but it was enough to convince himself. This was because it was in line with his idea of beauty, as well as the fundamental way in which he viewed the world.
At least for now, it was enough for only him to believe that the stars could move. As for whether people could believe it or not, he did not care.
He lifted his head towards the brilliant stars in the sky and said nothing more.
The stars in the night seemed to be eternally unmoving, but in reality they were in constant motion, sometimes forwards and sometimes backwards. From time to time, the distance between the stars and earth would grow larger, and from time to time it would grow smaller. The distance and angle between the stars was constantly changing. It was just that the starry sky was simply too far away from the observers on the ground. It was too difficult to perceive the subtle changes in angle from where they stood.
If the seventeen monoliths of the front mausoleum portrayed the positions of the countless stars, as well as the orbits they traveled upon, then how could this picture be compared to the true starry sky?
He lowered his head and closed his eyes, once again entering his sea of consciousness to observe the monolith inscriptions.
The seventeen monoliths arranged themselves into a straight line before his eyes once more. The monolith inscriptions were superimposed upon each other in the air, and then the countless intersecting lines became countless points. He used his consciousness to have the image disassemble then reform itself. Gradually, those points began to move along those lines, slowly and smoothly, adhering to some indescribable law.
The image was a star chart. Countless star charts, each from a different time, one after another flitted before his eyes.
The endless variations of the stars, with time as their axis, ceaselessly moved before Chen Changsheng’s eyes.
The stars moved through the night, and the traces that they left were chiseled into the monoliths, which eventually became the monolith inscriptions of the Heavenly Tome Monoliths of the front mausoleum.
From the ground, even though the stars moved back and forth, they always remained in fixed positions. As a result, this ever-changing star chart necessarily could only be obtained by observing them from some other angle.
Time passed slowly, but in reality, an innumerable number of years had passed, upon which he finally arrived at the final star chart.
Logically, this star chart should have portrayed the current position of the stars in the true sky.
Yet, for some reason, the stars on the star chart occupied a completely different position from the real stars in the sky——In the final moment, if the result and the expected outcome were different, many people would receive a massive shock, even so much so that they would begin to doubt their premise; however, once Chen Changsheng’s heart was set, it would not waver.
He looked at the final star chart, then after a long period of silence, lifted his right hand and began to gently pull at the edges of the star chart.
The star chart was a reflection of the truth, so obviously it could not be a plane, but rather it was a cube.
Along with the gentle pull of his fingers, the side of the star chart noiselessly and slowly began to revolve, its side facing the front.
This was yet another new design. On it were still countless stars, yet they seemed much more solemn and constant.
Chen Changsheng opened his eyes and once again looked up at the night sky.
Over there was a brilliantly starry sky.
When the new star chart in his sea of consciousness was placed over the real starry sky, there was a region in the southeast corner that was a perfect fit.
There was not a single star out of place. Every star on that star chart found its matching counterpart in the sky.
This sort of feeling was very beautiful, and very shocking.
For a long time, Chen Changsheng found himself speechless.
Then he thought of even more things.
In Wang Zhice’s notebook, he had brought up a question about this starry sky.
In the long stream of history, countless worthy predecessors had brought up similar questions.
If the fate of man was truly hidden within this same starry sky, and the stars were eternally unmoving, then it was naturally impossible to change their fate. Then in the end, why did man struggle and strive?
To the understanding of humanity, the starry sky was always that solemn and serene, always that perfect. It was like the Heavenly Dao or fate, set up on high, unable to be glimpsed at.
Tonight, Chen Changsheng understood that to be solemn did not mean it was rigid. True perfection did not mean being eternally unchanging.
As the stars could move, their positions could also change. The distance and angle of one’s fated star with other stars were naturally also changing.
If those connections were the traces of fate, then was that not essentially saying that fate could be changed?
On the back of his notebook, Wang Zhice had written these words so forcefully that he penetrated through the page: There is no such thing as fate.
Yes, there simply was no such thing as a fixed fate.
With a huge bang, it rumbled through Chen Changsheng’s sea of consciousness.
He had deciphered the thing which had plagued him for so many years, the hardest thing to dispel on the spiritual level for him.
He had deciphered his own personal Heavenly Tome Monolith
The spiritual strength that he had obtained from comprehending the seventeen Heavenly Tome Monoliths began to affect the actual world.
In the distant night sky, the specks of starlight were intimately connected.
Within his sea of consciousness, on the star chart made up of monolith inscriptions, all the points began to light up and glow.
Almost at the same time, the stars above the Mausoleum of Books also seemed to grow several times brighter.
In the even more remote depths of the sea of stars, where perhaps even the powerful spiritual sense of a Saint would be unable to perceive, a red star began to exude a boundless radiance.
This was the true radiance of a star, a radiance that human eyes were incapable of seeing. A strand of this starlight fell upon the Mausoleum of Books.
The people around the monolith hut were all stunned, not knowing what had just happened.
In the next moment, they were all shocked beyond compare as they realized that Chen Changsheng had disappeared from his place in front of the monolith hut.
Like a cool breeze, like a strand of starlight, without a noise, coming and going unhindered.
Chen Changsheng had vanished from the Reflecting Monolith. Momentarily, he appeared before the Cloud Piercing Monolith.
He paused at the Cloud Piercing Monolith for only an instant before his body once again disappeared, appearing before the Bent Osmanthus Monolith.
Soon after, he appeared at the River Guiding Monolith, then the Fowl Language Monolith, and then the East Pavilion Monolith.
For only an instant, he appeared before each of the monoliths of the front mausoleum, then vanished just as quickly, finally arriving before that broken monolith.
His eyes were still shut, oblivious to everything. He simply did not know what was happening.
Tonight, a strange phenomena occurred in the sky.
To the naked eye, it seemed that the many stars in the sky did not get any brighter, but many people knew otherwise. A little later, even the common people were able to realize this amazing fact.
If one star got a little brighter, it would be very hard to tell, but if all the tens of thousands of stars of the entire southeast region simultaneously became slightly brighter, what sort of scene would that produce?
The starlight illuminated the Mausoleum of Books, and it also illuminated the entire capital.
The streets and alleys in the late night seemed to return to daytime.
The Dew Platform was closest to the night sky, so every detail of it was brightly illuminated. The night pearls at the edge of the platform seemed dim compared to the illuminating starlight.
The Divine Empress stood at the edge of the platform, looking out into the boundless sea of stars. Her expression was somewhat surprised, even dignified.
She did not think that, with his temperament, Chen Changsheng would sit before the monolith hut to comprehend the monoliths once more. She did not think that Chen Changsheng would actually be able to be like that man, deciphering the entire front mausoleum and attracting countless rays of starlight. She still did not believe that Chen Changsheng would be able to do what that man had done so many years ago.
As the present was no longer those days of the past, the Mausoleum of Book was no longer the same mausoleum that it had been in the past.
The starlight spilled through the window and onto the table, causing the memorials that were faintly yellow from the candle light to be bathed in white. The words upon the memorial also became much more distinct.
Mo Yu raised her eyebrows and looked out the window. In surprise she thought, perhaps he really comprehended those Heavenly Tome Monoliths?
South of the city in Bitter Rain Alley, there was a government office. This government office seemed very plain, but in the eyes of the people, it was especially sinister, because this was the office of the Zhou Dynasty’s Ministry of Personnel.
Tonight, the sinister atmosphere of this office was somewhat dispersed by the purifying starlight.
Zhou Tong walked into the courtyard, using his hand to bring the veil of his hat down, so as to block out the radiance of the starlight. He slightly frowned, somewhat displeased.
The words Prince Chen Liu had said to Tianhai Shengxue were incorrect. He had not been waiting outside the mausoleum for Chen Changsheng.
Even if Chen Changsheng had obtained the first rank of the First Banner during the Grand Examination, in Zhou Tong’s eyes, he was still an unremarkable nobody.
Yet now, as he looked up at the night sky filled with brilliant starlight, he finally began to think differently.
In other words, this sky full of starlight left him with no other choice but to put this youth in his focus.
Since the starlight filled the human world, illuminating houses and courtyards alike, it naturally would also illuminate that well near the New North Bridge.
In the past two days, the dirt at the bottom of the well had been freshly dug up. A strand of miserable yet obstinate starlight penetrated into the gloomy world.
The starlight illuminated that red mole on the small girl’s face, yet it was incapable of dispelling the coldness about her.
Luoluo stood beside the railing of the top floor of the Education Palace’s hall, when suddenly she looked up at the sky.
The night here was fake, the stars eternally unmoving, and yet they had no vitality.
She felt something, that Chen Changsheng was, at the moment, doing something extraordinary.
She turned to Jin Yulu and said, “I want to go out.”
After a moment of silence, Jin Yulu replied, “Your Highness cannot help him.”
“Teacher does not need my help.” Luo Luo confidently said, “I want to go to the Orthodox Academy to wait for him and congratulate him.”
The starlight illuminated the Mausoleum of Books, and it also illuminated the capital.
The Li Palace basked in the pure and holy starlight.
Several thousand priests and students from various academies came out to the plaza and the Divine Avenue. They ceaselessly prayed to the stars in the sky with expressions of absolute piety.
In the deepest depths of that hall.
The Pope looked as the starlight that leaked through the cracks of the roof and fell upon the Green Leaf, and on his aged face appeared a loving smile.
Mei Lisha looked outside the hall to view that snow-like starlight, and said with deep emotion, “It’s just like that day.”
The Pope knew that he was speaking of that day that Wang Zhice comprehended the Dao and broke through. On that night, the entire capital had also been bathed in light.
Tonight, the image from that day once again appeared.
This sort of image had not been seen for several hundred years.
Mei Lisha suddenly creased his brow and questioned, “Is this Star Condensation?”
The Pope replied, “No, he is still at Ethereal Opening.”
Mei Lisha asked, “Then why are the stars so bright?”
The Pope thought it over, then said with some hesitation, “Perhaps, he used a Star Condensation method to continue on Ethereal Opening?”