Chapter 57: A Nasty Little Joke of Epic Proportions (1)

The Immortal Realm could always be considered a mysterious realm.

For those who had just birthed as an immortal, those who had long since witnessed the chaotic shifts and turns, and even those who had watched the Realm from an embryonic stage, all could only describe the Realm of Immortals with a single description.

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Limitless.

Mysterious and vast to the extent that even after billions of years of constant exploration, not a single inclination of a frontier had been discovered.

And most of all, the Immortal Realm seemed oddly keen on massacring its inhabitants, but pulled back at the last second without reason or empathy.

The concept of time in the Immortal Realm was exceptionally loosely defined, and it was completely reasonable to declare that the notion of time didn’t even exist.

Even the weakest, most pitiful immortal would possess undisputed authority over the passage of time in his domain, nevertheless the control over matter and creation.

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The laws of creation, time, energy, none were applicable within the Immortal Realm.

However the immortal desired, the Realm complied, as even the most atrocious figments of imagination were displayed and perfected to an infinitesimal degree of detail.

It didn’t matter whether there was any logical reasoning required behind a manifested object or concept. As long as there was the imagination, the resultant naturally formed.

Thus, the Immortal Realm was considerably lawless, yet within that chaotic spiral existed a natural, binding order that maintained stability to a certain degree.

And in such a ridiculous and seemingly nonsensical Realm, was a corridor of sky-blue crystal.

If An Fei were to ever explore its interior, the girl would immediately identify the corridor as pertaining to one of the mysterious ‘Gates’ within the realm of crystal.

Floating aimlessly in the void whilst changing spatial coordinates at stochastic intervals, the corridor weaved through the fabric of space to visit the fringes of the Immortal Realm.

Perhaps it had traveled through the uncharted territories of the Realm, though nobody could be certain.

The floors, walls, and even the ceiling within the corridor was constructed by a dull crystal with a sky-blue lustre. The smooth translucent surface of the crystal made for a natural feel, though few could appreciate the beauty well concealed beneath the opaque core.

Lacking any source of light, the corridor was naturally submerged in darkness. Once stepping into the infinitely long pathway, not even the arms and legs could be seen.

Though if one could manage to pierce through the natural laws manifesting the suppressive darkness, they would be awakened to a massive shock.

On either wall of the corridor were numerous, seemingly infinite monoliths of crystal. The material was of the same composition as the crystal comprising the walls, floor, and ceiling, only a shade darker and slightly brittle to the touch.

The monoliths stood tall, a rectangular pillar spanning a height of five meters each, though not quite as half of the corridor’s height.

The pillars reflected a sense of longing, solitude, and… peace.

Closer examination would only reveal that each monolith housed an indistinct figure, a swirling mass of illusory smoke. The hazy cloud moved at an incredibly slow pace to the extent that each particle comprising its loose form could be accurately perceived at any given time, even without the usage of visual aids or techniques.

The clouds appeared in many colors and hues. Some were of a blend of scarlet and azure lights, others were of a single, dominant color with several hues near the fringes; a small minority of the hazy figures were of a shade of a gray color.

These monoliths were socketed alongside either wall of the corridor, the surface of the monolith aligning perfectly with the sky-blue crystal’s edges to create a snug fit.

The corridor reflected serenity and tranquility.

The darkness was suppressive yet yielding.

And the monoliths… reflected a powerful, imposing aura of solitude and madness, yet were peaceful at the same time.

Not a single speck of dust could be found within the corridor, nor could any inclination of a breeze exist within the dark pathway leading to an unknown destination.

The interior of the mysterious crystal corridor that drifted in the Immortal Realm was the true embodiment of peace and tranquility, until…

Creak.

A soft sound akin to the faint shattering of glass suddenly resounded throughout the corridor’s length, decimating the atmosphere of gentle isolation and stillness. Amongst one of the multitude of monoliths, a hair-like line ran through the crystal surface.

The crack was nearly imperceptible, the magnitude of damage infinitesimal to the extent of being undetected even with close inspection. However, as if signaling the prelude of an imminent, drastic transformation, a faint pulse of divine essence seeped out from the crack, exposing a malicious intent.

Creak… Creak…

The faint pulse emitted from the crack multiple times, the hair-like line expanding its length a millimeter at a time. The pulse of divine essence quickly dispersed the instant it was exposed to the air within the corridor, yet the frequency of the pulses only increased, a flickering light gleaming from the deepest recesses of the monolith.

Creak… Bang… Bang. Bang.

BANG!

Once the thin crack had spread across the entire width of the crystal monolith, the pulse of light abruptly ceased, only to give way to a furious shift of momentum.

The entire structure of crystal shuddered and groaned as the powerful impact struck not only once, but multiple times at the same exact location.

As the sounds of hammering steadily rose in intensity and frequency, the surface of the monolith exploded, releasing the indistinct, colored cloud into the interior of the corridor.

Bang! Bang!

As if on cue, five other monoliths positioned nearby similarly began to display the mysterious and dangerous phenomenon, spiderwebbed cracks spreading across the crystal surface.

Though the darkness prevented any view of the damage experienced and weathered by the rectangular pillars, the cacophony of chaotic hammering was more than sufficient to guess what was going on.

After the passage of what could be considered several hours, five other formless, hazy clouds joined with the solitary, indistinct figure to float around in the pathway.

The individual clouds soon began to rapidly expand, then contract into a single point before repeating the process.

Each repetition brought forth a colored light that gleamed faintly but surely within the encompassing darkness, the radiance increasing in intensity and variation with every cycle.

Under the passage of time, the six clouds had condensed into intangible spheres of light that repelled the suppressive, bleak absence of luminance that shadowed the corridor’s length.

Gold, violet, silver, scarlet, azure, and teal spheres of light hovered around aimlessly, the emitted radiance fluctuating in intensity and aura.

Domineering and imposing.

Reticent and placid.

Wise and impulsive.

The storm of auras soon enveloped the interior of the corridor, the spheres of light combusting into individual stars that blazed in the solid darkness. The overpowering radiance emitted from the stars’ core exploded forth, washing over the surface of the sky-blue crystal.

The light exuded from the six stars only continued to increase, until the length of the corridor visible to the eye had been luminated by a cheery mixture of colors. Naturally, the monoliths were exposed to an observer’s vision, revealing a dreadful yet imposing scene.

Each monolith contained a figure. Be it human, angel, demon, or some living creature, a unique entity was confined within the sky-blue crystal monolith. Sealed behind numerous layers of strengthened barriers, not a single fluctuation of life ebbed from the rectangular pillars.

Some of the figures possessed weaponry held in a posture appropriate for combat, producing a frightening and imposing aura.

Some were domineering and overflowing with brute strength, some were refined and elegant, and a few radiated a dense, bloodthirsty nature.

As if wholly undisturbed by the sudden reveal of the monoliths’ secret, the six stars continued to spill the colored radiance into the corridor, inundating the pathway with an unstoppable torrent of light. The intensity of illumination and seemed to surpass a tolerable limit, and the stars began to cave in on itself.

The stars of light whose core was of the size of a basketball, compressed into a single point of a distinct color, before vanishing entirely. The radiance similarly abruptly dissipated into a bleak emptiness, yet the tension in the air not only remained the same, only that it was increased by several folds.

…BANG!

From where the six stars of light were last observed, six explosions of light of an intensity far exceeding those previously observed rampaged throughout the corridor. As the six-colored radiance spilled forth, six dense clouds began to coalesce on the surface of the crystal floor.

The color of the clouds matched that of the radiance but appeared several shades darker.

The cloud of violet light was the first to respond, soaring upwards in an expanding plume. When the cloud of light finally dissipated, a pair of violet irises gazed down the length of the pathway, as if attempting to perceive the unknown, obscured destination.

- my thoughts:
The first chapter of Volume Two: A Cultivator's Plight. Enjoy! ...by the way, that doesn't seem to be a description of someone An Fei knows...
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