Book 6, Breaking Through the Cocoon, Becoming a Butterfly, Chapter 3 – A Tempest Outside the Straw Hut
“Senior, since you said that I have less than a ten percent chance of passing through the Wargod Hall’s challenge, why should I make the attempt?” Ji Ning said. “In addition, Immortal Juhua gained the greatest benefit from this Stellar Hall. I’m quite curious about it.”
As he spoke, Ning stepped into a room.
As for the treasures of the Treasure Hall? If he couldn’t touch them, what was the point? Immortal Juhua himself had only acquired a single Immortal-rank magic after having become a Loose Immortal.
“Best to take things one step at a time.” Ning knew his own limits.
He left the Treasure Hall and headed out through a corridor.
The Treasure Hall was at the frontmost part of the corridor, while the Stellar Hall was at the rearmost.
The old black bull followed while speaking constantly. “The Stellar Hall contains within it miraculous profundities, and by training within it, it is much easier to gain insights into the Dao. If you aren’t carefully, you’ll easily lose yourself in training…it seems as though in the outside world, you were rather frantic. I imagine you must have important business to attend to. Don’t let yourself become lost in meditating on the Dao within the Stellar Hall and delay your important affairs.
“Ah!” Ning was startled, then hurriedly said with gratitude, “Thank you for the reminder, senior.”
He had nearly caused himself to miss the critical affairs coming up!
Although meditating on the Dao was important, if he lost one or two days meditating on the Dao, by the time he woke up and left…it would all be too late.
“No matter what.” Ning instructed the old black bull. “As soon as the sky grows dark in the outside world, if I’m still in the Stellar Hall meditating on the Dao, then I would like to ask you to immediately disrupt my meditation and awaken me, senior.”
“If the sky grows dark in the outside world? That means only twelve hours are remaining.” The old black bull said.
“Right, twelve hours! If I begin to meditate on the Dao…at most allow me to meditate on it for twelve hours.” Ning said hurriedly. “After twelve hours, immediately awaken me.”
Based on Ning’s calculations, generally speaking, Zifu Disciples who were flying on magic treasures would be able to travel a hundred thousand kilometers in a day. But of course, that was normal flight; if they didn’t rest and didn’t sleep and also didn’t worry about using up their elemental energy, one could fly nearly two hundred thousand kilometers in a day. Swallow Mountain, in turn, was only a few tens of thousands kilometers in size…a roundtrip to see the other disciples of Snowdragon Mountain and return with them would take…
As Ji Ninefire had said, most likely just a day or two!
Ning would only be able to spend twelve hours meditating on the Dao. He absolutely couldn’t afford to go over!
“Don’t worry at all.” The old black bull raised his head, looking like a guard. “Once twelve hours pass, I will immediately awaken you! We spirits of magic treasure…will never forget tasks that are assigned.”
“Thank you, senior.” Ning laughed, then headed to the main entrance of the Stellar Hall.
It was different from the other three halls, which all had large bronze doors. The gate to the Stellar Hall was seemingly made out of wood, and it emanated an ancient, natural aura. The old black bull, seeing Ning inspect the towering wooden door, murmured to himself, “This is the Ageless Bluefire Wood which only exists in the Nine Hells. It is a precious, spiritual wood which is very useful in making Immortal-rank magic treasures, but it was used to make a large gate.”
“Is it possible to dismantle the gate?” Ning was curious.
“If it was, Immortal Juhua would have done so long ago.” The old black bull said, resigned. “This gate is part of the entire Aquatic Manor; it is part of the entire magic treasure. There’s no way to move it at all.”
Ning stroked the wooden gate. The wood was covered with a cold, abyssal light, but when touching it, it felt warm and gave off a comfortable sensation. Ning sighed emotionally…the Ageless Bluefire Wood which only the Nine Hells possessed? Alright, then…these were things which he had never even heard of before the old black bull had introduced it to him. He had experienced too little.
“This really is…” Passing through the corridor and through the wooden gate, Ning felt breathless. The sight in front of him completely stunned him. “This really is utterly inconceivable. The works of a god. The works of a god!”
In front of him, in the distance, was a large mountain. The mountain was filled with life, with a large number of trees and other vegetation growing everywhere. At the base of the mountain, the life suddenly disappeared; it was an area were virtually not a single inch of grass would grow. Only very occasionally, within a patch of strewn rocks, would one see a few strands of grass. At the base of the mountain, there was a straw hut.
In front of the straw hut, there was a creek. The creek flowed down from the mountain, and it winded downwards in a curvy path, constantly flowing. It was only in the area wherever the creek flowed that some wild grass could occasionally be seen. The other places were virtually all covered with wild, desolate stones.
In midair, there was one enormous, brilliant star after another. The starlight filled the world, causing every place to seem rather illusory.
“Can it be that this is an entire world?” Ning couldn’t help but say.
“It is its own dimension.” The old black bull followed him in and sighed, “This is a dimension which the first master created within the Stellar Hall! This dimension is connected with the gate of the Stellar Hall. Thus, when we stepped through it, we entered the special space. I’ve heard it said that some great powers of the ancient past were able to create an entire dimension within a single grain of sand. The first master most likely had this ability as well.
Unfathomable! Although when he was young, he had heard of some legends, such as ‘Houyi Shooting the Son’ and other such legends, when had he ever seen them in person? After all, those things were a long, long distance away from him. As for creating a dimension? Generally speaking, people created a dimension, then an estate within their own dimension.
The Aquatic Manor was itself a separate dimension…but the secondary halls actually were able to once again merge with another dimension. Although Ning didn’t understand it too well, he understood that accomplishing something like this was an incredible feat.
“I really wonder who the first owner of this Aquatic Manor was.” Ning said to himself.
“Come, come, come. The ‘treasure’ is within the straw hut.” The old black bull urged.
“The straw hut?” Ning strode forward by a few dozen paces, quickly arriving at the straw hut. The straw hut was at the base of the mountain, a seemingly very ordinary straw hat, and with stone furniture inside.
After entering the straw room…Ning was stunned. He saw that on the table of the straw room, there were multiple tomes, all of which were black. Ning couldn’t recognize any of them, and so he opened one. On the surface of the books, there were some beautiful Fiendgod characters: [Stellar Scroll] [Stellar Scroll 2] [Stellar Scroll 3]….there were forty three scrolls in total.
“This is…?” Ning stared at these books.
The old black bull explained, “These are the manuals left behind by the first owner. The name of it is the ‘Stellar Hall’ and there are a total of forty three parts.
Ning lifted up the Stellar Scroll and flipped through it. The pages were black, while the words were in golden Fiendgod strict. The contents were rather puzzling as well…it felt like hastily scribbled notes! There wer like casual recordings which described personal feelings! Ning originally had taken them to be profound books and was rather surprised.
“If you want to read!” The old black bull said hurriedly. “At a simple glance, there are no mysteries and nothing mysterious to the contents. But if you fully read everything…you will discover how extraordinary it is.”
Ning, startled, picked up the [Stellar Scrolls].
“Go outside the room to read. Sit on that stone bench over there.” The old black bull said. “Read aloud!”
“But I don’t recognize Fiendgod characters.” Ning asked. Although he could recognize Fiendgod characters at first glance, and understood which human words matched each Fiendgod word, the two were different languages after all.
“Just use your own race’s language to read. That is what Immortal Juhua did in the past.” The old black bull said.
“Right.” Ning held the tome in his hand and walked out of the straw hut. He seated himself at the stone table, where the first master might have sat countless years ago and where Immortal Juhua might have sat as well.
Ning flipped open the book and began to read.
“Today, Chang came to pay his respects to me…” Ning began to read, puzzlement in his heart regarding these casual personal recordings.
His voice rang out.
Every single sound was very ordinary, but once the words were read out, the sound of the large number of words connected…in a manner that was like a song, capable of moving a person’s heart, causing pain, amazement, sorrow, and more. The sounds of these words were unfathomable; just by reading them out, the sound of these words seemed to contain a ringing, miraculous power…
Slowly, they drew Ning into a unique world.
When he became absorbed with seeing this world, Ning forgot that he was holding the [Stellar Scroll] in his hands. He stared at the countless stones of the desolate region, at the creek filled with life energy, as though seeing a pair of ‘Daos’. Daos filled with boundless profundities. Even the small grass which was growing out carried another sort of Dao within it.
Ning raised his head.
The stars in the sky were brilliant. Each of them were incomparably bright, and they each gave Ning a different feeling. Suddenly…Ning stared at one particular star, one which caused Ning to feel familiar and intoxicated by it.
Ning seemed to be once more lying ont hat little boat of his, drifting atop Serpentwing Lake.
He also seemed to be in his mother’s arms…
That longing, that warmth…it filled his entire heart.
The old black bull stared wide-eyed as it watched. “Truly inconceivable. This this this this…he actually completely read nearly the entire first scroll before halting? This Ji Ning really is at quite a high level of understanding. He was actually able to read so many characters. Most likely, he’s become emeshed on an extremely deep layer.”
The old black bull understood this very well.
This book was nothing more than a sort of ‘guide’, guiding the consciousness of practitioners on an extremely deep level to gain certain insights. The more words one read, the deeper a level of insight gaining one would reach! But of course…how much one would gain from it would depend on how many experiences that person had built up normally in life. Good preparation was the key to success; only by normally accumulating experiences would one have sudden insights.
“Which star is he looking at?” The old black bull saw Ning raise his head to stare at the sky. He couldn’t help but feel curious “According to what Juhua said, every single star contains a different Dao.”
A calm smile was on Ning’s face, as though he were by the side of his mother.
That smile contained an inexhaustible charisma…when the old black bull saw Ning’s smile, he seemed to feel even his own heart grow warm.
This was a form of longing.
A mental warmth.
“Sword.” The old black bull stared.
Ning rose to his feet, leaving the stone table. He pressed his forefinger and middle finger together into the shape of a ‘sword’, then began to brandish them about in training swordplay within the Stellar Hall. This was a type of swordplay that contained inexhaustible, endless longing…Ning didn’t release any rays of sword-light, nor did he use any elemental energy; this was seemingly a very ordinary display of swordplay.
But it made the old black bull sense the boundless longing contained within it.
The old black bull was able to sense the surrounding Serpentwing Lake area. He knew that over the past few years, Ning had gained insights into many hints regarding the True Meaning of the Dao, the majority of which belonged to a longing-type sword intention.
“It changed.” The old black bull instantly saw how Ning’s swordplay had become purer.
In the area around Ning, who wasn’t using any elemental energy at all in executing this swordplay with just his fingers, suddenly appeared drops of rain. One drop of rain after another came to form, and they constantly fell. The rain fell nonstop, landing atop the scattered stones…and Ning, in the center of the rainstorm, was like the favored son of the rain, which surrounded him and protected him.
“This this this…” The old black bull stared. “Accumulated effort which results in sudden rewards!”
The accumulated hints of insight into the True Meaning of the Dao which Ning had gained over the past five years, at this moment…finally made a qualitative breakthrough!
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