Chapter 231 – The Enigmatic Black Stone, the Perfect Starry Sky
Even a Saint like the Pope was unsure of Chen Changsheng’s current situation. This was due to the fact that from the very beginning, Chen Changsheng’s method of cultivation was different from everyone else’s. He had walked a path that no one else had ever walked before. He had already dispelled what many cultivators considered to be common knowledge or even rules. There were so many bizarre things on his path that would be hard to believe.
Before he had even undergone purification, he had already begun doing meditative introspection, thus having a close encounter with death and almost returning to the stars. However, he received the assistance of the Black Dragon and was able to survive that harrowing encounter. Later, in the Grand Examination, he once again found himself in dire straits, but amidst the autumn rain, he was able to break through into Ethereal Opening. He had originally thought that he was still taking in starlight for purification, but in reality, he had always been at opening his Ethereal Palace.
From beginning to end, he had always used methods that exceeded his own level of cultivation.
It was just like an infant that had not learned how to walk, yet was already trying to run, or who did not have the teeth to learn words, but had already began to memorize the Daoist Canon. Or perhaps it was like someone who did not have the strength to lift a sword, but was already attempting to learn how to fight. These were all extremely dangerous things, and so were all the things that Chen Changsheng had attempted. If he did not have such fortuitous encounters, he would have died long ago.
Starlight rained down upon the Mausoleum of Books, illuminating that meadow into a snow-white cloth. Chen Changsheng sat in front of that broken monolith, his eyes tightly closed. His sea of consciousness and the starry sky above both shone as the universe harmonized with his body. The countless stars in the night sky gazed down on him. They watched over him as he who was still at Ethereal Opening began to undergo Star Condensation ahead of time.
The qi emanating from his body continued to rise, continuing to stretch out in all directions. Like the sharp sword-like edges of that monolith, this qi cut towards the heavens. The invisible radiance of the stars accompanied the starlight and fell upon the roof of that hut, falling upon the monolith, and falling onto his body. It flooded into his body without end, bringing with it the slight chill of the night wind.
If he could break through this mountain pass, then his future prospects would be limitless.
Accompanied by the chilly night wind, many people arrived outside the Mausoleum of Books.
The Six Prefects of the Orthodoxy had come with Mei Lisha standing at the lead.
The head of the Tianhai Clan had also come.
Jin Yulu had come
Mao Qiuyu had come.
Mo Yu had also come.
They did not enter the mausoleum. Relying on their powerful spiritual senses, they silently observed the event which occurred in front of the broken monolith.
The distance left before Chen Changsheng broke through that mountain pass was not too far.
However, nobody knew if he would really succeed in breaking through, and if he did break through, to what degree he would succeed.
Within his body, the gate of his Ethereal Palace had already begun to slowly open. The clear waters that wrapped around his Spirit Mountain were, at the moment, ceaselessly flowing, with it flowing faster and faster. As the water became faster, it created many whirlpools, which caused the dead leaves littering the mountain path to float into the air, beating against the stone steps before the gate. Although all this had been done without a sound, in truth it shook one to the core.
The Ethereal Palace sat in the center of the Spirit Mountain, while the Spirit Mountain sat within the waters of the lake, which were at the very moment, being transformed by the radiance of the stars.
The radiance that entered his body continued to increase and the lake grew increasingly restless, almost as if it was about to turn into a vast ocean.
At any time, the dam could burst, even though this floating lake had no dam.
In time with the fluctuations of the lake, countless rays of light were refracted and reflected back and forth under the surface of the water. The rays of light gradually became purer and concentrated, eventually gathering together and becoming sparkling points of light, almost like stars.
The vast sky of stars of the night appeared in Chen Changsheng’s mind, which then appeared within this lake. Every star’s position was precisely where it should have been.
It was just that this starry sky gave a sense of incompleteness, that somewhere, there was something missing.
This piece of the starry sky made up the seventeen Heavenly Tome Monoliths of the front mausoleum.
However, the front mausoleum formerly had eighteen monoliths.
The last monolith had been broken, so naturally its monolith inscriptions no longer existed.
Chen Changsheng had not seen those monolith inscriptions, so naturally the star chart in his spirit would still be missing that piece.
If that gap in the starry sky was never filled in, then everything would stop.
In the plaza of the Li Palace, the Pope gazed towards the Mausoleum of Books, raising his hand to block out the night and the starlight. After a moment of silence, he said, “It would be better if only that monolith were still there.”
On the Dew Platform, the Divine Empress looked into the night. With an apathetic expression, she thought to herself, missing that monolith, how could today’s mausoleum still be the same Mausoleum of Books from the past?
Many years ago, Zhou Dufu viewed all eighteen monoliths in one day. Then for a reason, the reason for not wanting others to be like him, he took away a monolith.
From that day on, people began to speak of the seventeen monoliths of the front mausoleum.
After many years, Chen Changsheng was the closest to comprehending the full meaning of the monoliths of the front mausoleum.
The problem lay in the fact that he had no means of viewing that broken monolith. As a result, it was very likely that he would only be this close to the truth forever, never able to touch upon it.
Seeing the starry sky slowly taking shape in the lake, Chen Changsheng instinctively sensed that this starry sky was still incomplete.
He knew that what he was missing was the monolith inscriptions on the broken monolith.
He silently pondered this, unable to find a solution. He went on a mental journey of ten thousand miles, but found no monolith.
Gradually, his spirit became increasingly disordered, even somewhat muddleheaded.
Just then, the dagger at his waist began to fiercely tremble.
A black stone appeared amidst the wasteland.
This wasteland was covered in a blanket of snow. This snow was the true radiance of the stars.
Chen Changsheng was oblivious to everything. He did not know what was going on in the outside world, nor did he know about the changes inside his own body.
That clear lake, suspended in the sky, absorbed and condensed countless rays of light, which becam incomparably translucent.
If one looked at the lake from above, it would seem just like a massive glass pearl.
The curved surface of the water was so smooth, that it could magnify the scenery.
Under the lake, the black stone was magnified to an incredible size.
In the Pavilion of Ascending Mist, when Chen Changsheng had touched the black stone, he had an out-of-body experience. He knew that the black stone was certainly no ordinary object. It could even be the key to defying the heavens and changing fate. He had even given it a close examination, yet in the end he could not find anything special about it.
That black stone was small enough to be held in his hand. It was gentle and smooth, its surface not having the slightest crack.
If he were to open his eyes now, he would certainly be extremely shocked.
Only when the black stone was magnified many times would one be able to see that the surface of the black stone was covered with countless extremely thin lines.
Those lines were extraordinarily complex, like the traces left behind by water. They had no pattern and they absolutely could not have been artificially carved into its surface.
If one examined it closely, one would perhaps feel that those lines were similar to the inscriptions on the Heavenly Tome Monoliths.
The black stone suddenly began to glow, just like it had back in the Pavilion of Ascending Mist.
The fine lines on the surface of the black stone also began to glow.
The lines projected onto the lake became glowing rays of light.
Then those rays of light acted just like the other monolith inscriptions, unceasingly condensing and turning into countless points of light.
Every point of light was a star. Countless points of light converging in one area was a small portion of the starry sky.
The incomplete starry sky in this way was completed in such a way.
There was a hum.
Chen Changsheng’s sea of consciousness quaked.
The countless stars within the lake simultaneously flared with light, consolidating into an extremely thick pillar of light which landed on the gate to his Ethereal Palace in the end.
Nearly a month ago, back in the Tower of Purging Dust, the gate to his Ethereal Palace had been opened halfway. Tonight, this pillar of light, made from the radiance of the stars, finally smashed that gate completely open.