Feather and Dream
“A trip to the astral plane is like a sea voyage during the era of exploration. Few people successfully found new continents, returning with gold. Most just ended up as skeletons buried deep under the sea.…” Leylin sighed.
He left the binding room and came before the astral gate, a grey feather appearing in his palm. This feather looked very ordinary, with nothing different about it, as if it was a regular feather from a bird.
However, Leylin knew how unordinary it was. The feather had been a gift from the owl which had come from the crack between reality and dreams.
“Dreamscape is in actuality another world of dreams. I wonder if I can make contact with it using the astral gate.”
Before this day, Leylin had already used the A.I. Chip to scan the feather multiple times, performing many experiments. However, he’d had no results.
The results showed that this was the most ordinary of feathers.
Now, with no other ideas, he decided to use it in an interplanar experiment, hoping to link to Dreamscape.
In the boundless astral plane, the two most powerful worlds he knew of were the Magus World and the World of Gods.
Of course, due to the ancient war, both of these worlds had been weakened, though the Magus World was now gradually regaining its former glory.
Dreamscape was the strangest and most mysterious world! Time and space were misleading and the place was filled with various indefinite laws.
Things that were obvious and followed common sense did not exist there. In other words, everything was topsy-turvy, and it was a world with no real laws.
Even the ancient Magus World had been taken aback when met with the invasion by Dreamscape. Of course, it was also due to this very instability that Dreamscape’s attack had started strong but sputtered out.
“Though it’s full of all sorts of strange things, that’s an opportunity for me!” Leylin’s eyes gleamed. Other worlds had existences that abided by objective laws. Personal growth required much time and energy there.
However, anything was possible in Dreamscape. If he wanted to obtain the most strength in the shortest amount of time, he would have to go in there and try his luck.
Of course, he had to be prepared to return with no benefits.
‘A.I. Chip!’ Leylin commanded inwardly. When he had entered, Leylin’s soul force had long since taken control of all the apparatus and energy sources here, and then handed it over to the A.I. Chip to manage.
Though Leylin had set up a spirit genie here, that was just a ruse. How could such low-levelled programs match up to his A.I. Chip?
[Beep! Energy source beginning preparations. Routes detected to be normal. Rate of wear and tear at 0.0017. Beginning connection with astral gate] The A.I. Chip quickly intoned. Along with its robotic prompt, all the apparatus in the laboratory activated methodically. The rays of light and the sounds combined to form the most splendid of symphonies.
Under the control of the A.I. Chip, Leylin’s usage of everything in the laboratory was as fluent as him using his own arm.
[Astral gate has been engaged!]
In the laboratory, the stone gate emanating weak starlight rumbled, being covered by blue light in the form of flames.
Countless mysterious links were generated in the flames, and the void crumbled, revealing the shadows of innumerable unknown places.
A river of light was formed entirely out of blue stars that were the shadows of these foreign worlds, majestically surging into the darkness unknown.
“No matter how many times I see this, I can’t help but praise it…” Leylin murmured as a glint of fervour shone in his eyes. After his advance to the Radiant Moon realm, the form of this astral gate before his eyes had been changed as well, and his exploration of the astral plane had become more thorough.
A great, ancient aura was being transmitted from the astral gate, and Leylin immediately turned serious as he closed his eyes, sensing everything attentively.
Bits of blue starlight covered his body, and with the passage of time, the rays on it grew more solid, to the point that they resembled actual flames.
Within the point mass, the crescent that was his truesoul abruptly emanated clear rays of light. It seemed to have absorbed something from the astral plane, in the process becoming more pure and dazzling. His soul force that had been supplemented greatly by the phoenix egg seemed to be rinsed and purified as it completely stabilised.
“The mysteries of the astral plane, and its resonance with the soul…” Leylin’s eyes seemed different as he opened them, “I need a complete harmony between my soul and the rest of the world. Once I reach the realm of that fusion, the next step will be to synchronise my soul with the astral plane. No matter what path to power I use, at the end it still feels strangely familiar, like I’m coming back home…”
It was great that this experience strengthened his truesoul. However, when he glanced at the astral gate the elation on his face turned into a wry smile. The blue flames on the surface of the gate had shrunk to about half their original size, and part of the astral stones outside had lost their lustre, becoming fragmented.
Leylin froze before asking the A.I. Chip, “A.I. Chip! How long was I out of it for?”
[Beep! Host has been standing for 2h 34min 12s.] The A.I. Chip answered faithfully.
“So much time has passed already…” Leylin shook his head and suddenly came to a realisation, “No wonder most of the energy from the astral stone reserves has been consumed…”
He now knew why Morning Star Magi did not use the astral gate to train their souls. There was no other reason than that it was too extravagant. Leylin had prepared a lot of astral stones for this experiment. He had merely been a little absorbed in feeling the aura for a short period of time, and this had happened.
If he were to be caught in a trance for a while longer, he might just use up all the astral stones here. The amount of astral stones here was something many Morning Star Magi took decades to earn, and would use over ten years.
Since the effort put in and the rewards were not proportional, it was understandable that this method had been discarded.
“Even Breaking Dawn Magi will find it painful to engage in such an extravagant method of training. Even they might not be able to keep up with the cost…” Leylin shook his head and produced the grey feather.
The soft feather fluttered and, following a breeze, slowly flew through the air towards the blue flames of the astral gate.
“What kind of world is Dreamscape? Is this attempt going to be useful?” Leylin seemed slightly nervous.
Using the feather as a coordinate and throwing it into the astral gate was something he did with no other option. Whether he succeeded or failed, the feather would completely disappear, which was why he was rather apprehensive.
*Pu!* The moment the edge of the grey feather made contact with the flames, there was a wondrous change. Large amounts of blue fire crawled onto its surface, and with a gentle sound they began to flash. The owl’s feather burned to ashes in the flames.
*Rumble!* As if gas had been poured onto them, the flames rose several metres high, being coloured a bright orange.
The whole stone gate began to shake, as if it had been linked to some immensely powerful existence.
‘Have I succeeded?’ “A.I. Chip!” Leylin called out lowly.
[Record of data from astral gate complete. Beginning search of coordinates…] The A.I. Chip’s emotionless voice rang out, and the flames grew more intense.
The shadows of countless worlds came into view and quickly slipped away, flashing past in front of the astral gate allowing it a mere fleeting glance. Leylin, whose soul force was linked with the astral gate, seemed to see a very mysterious world.
On the exterior, numerous dream worlds formed a long starry river. The world itself was like a twisting hourglass, full of mystery and a feeling of asymmetry.
“Is this Dreamscape?” Leylin muttered.
However, this scene did not last for long. A piercing warning sounded. [Warning! Warning! Astral gate undulations have grown unstable. Recommended action: Halt search!]
“Are you kidding? I’ve only just seen the edges of Dreamscape, and haven’t been able to deduce the coordinates…”
Leylin’s eyes were fixed on the scene in the astral gate as he muttered, “Faster. Faster!”
Cracks appeared on the surface of the astral gate, but the scenes behind were gaining more clarity. Leylin didn’t bother with the change as he took several steps forward.
*Rumble!* At this moment, however, the fissures on the gate expanded, forming large explosive ripples that swept Leylin within.
The virtual image of Dreamscape immediately disappeared. Amidst the explosion, Leylin’s roars could be heard, “No, damn it! I just needed a minute, or even half a minute! With that, I can completely determine the coordinates of Dreamscape!”
[Host’s laboratory has exploded. Handling using emergency plan number 3. In process of stabilising space. Allocating usage of rank 2 rune.] The A.I. Chip’s robotic voice rang.
With its operation, groups of robotic puppets went ahead, coordinating with the spell formation and beginning to clean the rubble in the laboratory.
A neutralising water current that carried the piercing smell of disinfectant was sprinkled from the ceiling of the laboratory, drenching everything.
In just ten or so minutes, the rubble in the laboratory had been cleaned, and the radiation from the other world had been isolated.
At the heart of the explosion, Leylin stood expressionlessly, a black layer emerging on his body. He had not sustained any injuries in the explosion.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter