Chapter 35: Eight Gates of Truth and Falsehood (4)

An Fei was ruthlessly thrown to the ground, her body thudding heavily against the crystal floor. As she raised her head to glare at the aggressor, the girl could see the agitated cluster of golden light recede back into the book’s pages.

Looking at her fingers that had reddened and radiated a blistering pain, the girl didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

She really wanted to hunker down and sob, but what would that do?

Restraining the impulse to curse, An Fei slowly stood, directing a heavy stare of resentment towards the book that had thrown her onto the ground and nearly seared her fingers.

Dusting off her dress, the girl huffed and strode towards the bed, whipping out the book tucked underneath the folds and beginning to read.

Soon, all sounds ebbed within the library, the rustling of paper being the only reminder of livelihood.

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“<Spiritual Cultivation> defines the process of refining the body of the mortal soul, granting immense physical abilities and attunement with the surrounding environment. Forcibly ingesting the atmospheric spiritual qi and converting into spiritual essence within the body’s dantian, one may obtain prided abilities and control over the basic attributes of creation and destruction. “

“At the pinnacle of <Spiritual Cultivation>, one may possess the potential to partake in a stable, conditionally infinite lifespan and strength…”

Finished reading, An Fei closed the black book, placing besides her as she drifted off into thought.

Her gaze landing onto a random bookshelf, the girl followed the entire trail of books from beginning to end with her eyes, only to realize that a more apt way of describing her scenarios, was an ocean of books.

Her mouth agape in astonishment, it took quite a while for An Fei to recover her thoughts.

…Pa!

And when she did, it was to raise her hand, curl her fingers into a tight fist, and slam it down onto the black book!

“All you give me is fragmented knowledge!” the girl screamed in a halting voice, each word accompanied by a fist planted onto the book’s cover.

“Giving me knowledge whenever you feel like it, is it so fun leading me around by the nose!? Watching me stumble and cry like an idiot, does that please you!?”

Grasping the book by the front cover alone, An Fei slapped the book onto the bed before hurling it towards the crystal floor of the platform with all of her strength. Ignoring the pale violet light emitted by the book when it landed onto the ground, the girl buried her face into the pillow, refusing to gaze at it any longer.

…if by this point, that she still refused to accept how things were, then An Fei could only admit to being completely delusional without a chance of recovery.

The armory with the vast array of weaponry, the medicine gardens with the various plants and herbs, and the library that she was currently residing in. Each and every single article within those locations all emitted a colored light that embodied a physical sensation, be it hot or cold.

Furthermore, she would be bodily harmed when attempting to contact them, be it physically rejected, or experience a horrid amount of pain.

Contact with an object that didn’t emit a light or visible aura did not invite any harm or aggression, but those artefacts with the unusual lights all responded as if she was their natural enemy.

Not to mention, the fact that she was even in such a location, be it either the Flowing Wind Residence or the crystal throne room, was completely surreal and incomprehensible.

At first, An Fei had thought everything was a dream after waking up for the first time.

The themed clothing and objects that reeked of history, the mannerisms of those around her, the girl had treated it as a dream or perhaps a nightmare, whilst her actual self still remained within the sewer pipe defenseless to her father’s cruel antics.

Hence, other than eating and sleeping, she had done absolutely nothing else other than what was deemed necessary or to test the limits of the environment.

But over the past few weeks, she had continuously been imposed on by the fact that everything around her was fake even if it seemed real.

Every sensation, every experience, and every moment seemed far too realistic to be considered a hallucination or dream.

The mannerisms, emotions, and behaviors of the maidservants, Second Uncle-turned father Wei Xuan, or even An Fei’s hated enemy An Yan Yue, who now manifested in the form of Wei Yan Yue, all were seamless and without the subtle discrepancies within what would normally constitute a dream.

Although she had never advanced to a profound extent in her education, An Fei could still retain enough knowledge and logical ability to deduce that she was no longer in a place she tenderly called China.

Nor was she standing on ground that people commonly acknowledged as ‘The Earth’.

Different nations necessitated and adopted different rules and regulations. Different worlds adhered to different natural laws. It was more so that the changes were far too sudden for her to considerably adapt.

Within her memory, no living being or object could naturally radiate a steady radiance, especially that of multiple colors.

What existed before her directly contradicted such a deeply engrained article of information within her mind.

Nor should weaponry or books radiate light or openly adopt aggressive behavior towards her presence if she dared approach them.

And how was there possibly a crystal that upon mere contact, emitted a different colored light and sensation depending on the presented object?

The clash between the ‘principles’ and ‘laws’ of science and common logic and what she saw before her exacerbated within An Fei’s mind, creating an intense pressure and pain within her mind.

The pain caused her vision to glaze over, and the girl numbly latched onto the corners of the pillow with her fingers, burying her face even deeper.

Soon after, harrowing and piercing screams echoed within the seventeenth platform of the ancient library, the volume of the sobbing increasing with each throb of pain.

Whether the screams were of a yearning to return to the past, discard everything and remove all conflict, or of pain, nobody would ever know.

Wiping her eyes dry after an unknown length of time, An Fei gave a heartfelt glance towards the pillow besides her. The white cotton pillow had been stained by her tears and defiled by her soulless screams, and yet the girl only felt that it was the most wonderful object in existence.

No longer plagued by the acute pain or distressing thoughts, she hugged the pillow to her chest and slowly stood from the bed, staggering to the roughly discarded book.

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Gazing at the aged, black book that appeared to have sustained no damage whatsoever, An Fei thinly smiled before picking up and returning to the comforts of the bed.

Opening it to the last page she had touched, the girl could see the exact paragraph she had read just hours earlier, the characters written in a bold yet peaceful style.

The characters were neither submissive nor domineering, simply existing alongside of creation as embodiments of knowledge.

No matter which perspective she took when she read the information contained within the book, An Fei could only determine that the book was not written by a human, or perhaps one who had never learned what emotions were.

With a sigh, she thumbed the pages for a brief moment before flipping to the end of the book.

Carefully scrutinizing each page, she reaffirmed that the rest of the book was completely blank, not a single character of information displayed on any of them.

“The Sanctum of Eternity…” the girl mumbled, a certain thought drifting within an arm’s reach. “Four Gates of Truth, Fourth Gates of Falsehood, and one of Eternity mandate the cycle of time… So why were there ten corridors?”

Her brows creased into a deep frown, An Fei fiercely dug through her memories as she attempted to recreate the scenario of the crystal throne room in her mind. The expansive hall, the throne of sky-blue crystal, and the peculiar corridors or gateways, whatever they were.

Five on the right wall, five on the left. Ten in total, yet the black book within her hands that described accurate information to her when it wished to, had only described nine.

What did the tenth gate entail? An Fei thought that there was a major clue that was hidden from her and yet directly before her, but wasn’t sure exactly what it was.

Taking a deep look at the extensive row of bookshelves that seemed to contain an answer and yet vivaciously denied access, An Fei sighed a final time before picking up the book and tucking it back into the folds of her dress. Giving the pillow an affectionate pat and setting it down on the bed, the girl strode towards the edge of the platform, where the excruciatingly long ladder stood directly to her right.

How to get down? Did she really have to… climb all the way down?

She didn’t know if it was on a moment of impulse or if her mind had its control wrested away, but the scene before her morphed into a dark tunnel with a modicum of light, the rungs of the ladder to her right whizzing past her body…

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