Chapter 65: A Nasty Little Joke of Epic Proportions (9)

The instant her feet touched the smooth and warm surface of the sky-blue crystal floor, the girl released a groan of comfort.

Not even bothering to watch the scattered shards of the eternal plains dissipate into light, An Fei plopped her body onto the ground, lazily stretching her body in pure bliss.

The warmth emitted by the crystal that comforted both the body and soul, could not, and would not be traded for another regardless of the tempting offer.

Allowing an enormous yawn to ripple across her countenance, An Fei slowly gathered herself into a standing position. Her gaze inadvertently landed onto the crystalline throne, and the tattered black book resting on the right armrest of the throne.

Regardless of where she disappeared from the mysterious realm of sky-blue crystal, she and the book would always reappear in the throne room.

Though slightly confused and curious, An Fei strode towards the throne, her fingers reaching out to grab ahold of the book.

“Just… what could you be?” she wondered as she stroked the leather cover with her thumbs.

Not long after, the girl sat herself down onto the throne and adjusted herself into a comfortable position, opening the book to read from the first page once again.

The throne room of crystal gradually returned to a state of natural tranquility, the only sounds being a young girl’s light breathing, and the soft rustling of pages.

“Absorb the atmosphere’s essence into the mortal body, refining the physical manifestation into an elevated status,” the girl softly read, her vision illuminated by a gentle, golden glow emanating from the nearby crystals surrounding her body.

The pages on the book illustrated a detailed diagram of a human’s body, depicting each organ, meridian, and acupuncture point with an accompanying page number that provided further detail.

Of how much information would be provided, the girl was unsure, but it was obvious that compared to its previous appearance, the contents of the book had expanded by an unimaginable degree.

From a collection of loosely defined concepts and terms, the information displayed was much more detailed and organized, bringing forth a huge sigh of relief.

“Confine and assimilate the atmosphere’s essence with the soul, performing an inseparable fusion to attune the soul with the natural currents and phenomena. This practice, though highly adopted by mortals, is considered taboo for all fixated existence. For in exchange of unbound and indeterminate strength, the practitioner offers up the freedom of the soul, to be permanently deprived of traversing the Bridge of Helplessness.”

“When obtaining an unjustified gift from nature, one must offer an equivalent exchange, oftentimes unbalanced towards the practitioner. The ability of mortal souls to experiencing cleansing at the Bridge of Helplessness is critical not only to the practitioner, but the standing authority managing the individual precincts.”

…precincts?

A standing authority?

An Fei frowned as she rapidly flipped through the book’s pages from beginning to end, yet little to no information other than the title was displayed before her eyes.

Irritated and bitter that she was being withheld of what seemed to be significant information, the girl released a sigh of resentment before lifting her gaze to glance at the throne hall below her feet.

She shouldn’t complain, for the book had provided an equal compensation to her grievances at the beginning.

“Treatments of unbalanced enhancement of meridians within the mortal body. Observe the <Jade Spring> technique at the fifteenth Archive and the <Treatment of Meridians and Ligaments> at the eighth Archive.”

“Treatments of malignant symptoms and general injuries non-fatal or critical. Observe <General Medicine>, eighth Archive.”

“Analysis of spiritual herbs and medicines. Observe <Spiritual Herbology>, <Herbal Refinement>, and <General Botany>, twelfth Archive.”

Not only did the book provide detailed diagrams and descriptions on the location, functions, and major weaknesses and limits of each major meridian channels, organs, and the meridians and acupuncture points within the human body, several sentences at the last marked page spanned a list of general subjects of interest, from martial arts to growing spiritual plants and observing the changes in the sky and earth.

Additionally, each topic was accompanied by a register of which book or tome to reference for further review.

Simply put, in An Fei’s perspective, the book had transformed from a pile of utter rubbish and nonsense to a serviceable source of information.

Though there were still major discrepancies and oddities in the information presented on the snow-white pages, its functionality had magnified by several times over.

For example, the final sentence at the end of the page obtained An Fei’s interest and anticipation and refused to relinquish its grasp.

“Optimal spiritual cultivation technique for the practitioner, observe the <Eternal Sanctum>, seventeenth Archive.”

The <Eternal Sanctum>.

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The same <Eternal Sanctum> that was denoted within Grandfather An Xiang Yang’s departing letter, and the same <Eternal Sanctum> that had appeared in the book for an innumerable amount of times.

Reading the string of characters multiple times until they were ingrained deeply within her mind, the girl finally stood from the throne.

If she could view the contents of this <Eternal Sanctum>, then perhaps she could finally obtain a clearly defined idea of the mysterious realm of crystal’s purpose and function. Not an overview provided by someone else, but a judgement obtained from her own reasoning.

Before she could only speculate, but now, the book had explicitly confirmed her suspicion.

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Furthermore, the both the book and her grandfather had identified the tome as the optimal spiritual cultivation technique, fulfilling her sudden and awkward interest towards cultivation.

Hence, with the thought that she wasn’t going to lose out regardless of the outcome, the girl quickly strode down the dozen steps to stand before the second ‘Gate’ to the left of the throne.

In her haste, the girl forced open the door and rushed inside, her enhanced physique providing sufficient stamina and momentum to reach the door containing the great library of the Sanctum of Eternity, the Archive of Time.

She was not aware that upon reading the book this time, the symbols above the first two metallic gates had lost the dense mist that obscured the vision of those attempting to decipher its knowledge.

Nor did she discover that each gateway, particularly the tenth gateway, was experiencing an excruciatingly gradual but inevitable change.

Her steps were light and nimble as they entered the great library within the second corridor, the a sweet smile displayed on the girl’s countenance. All of it, however, came crashing down the next instant as a thought struck her mind.

Did she have to climb those ladder rungs all over again?

Each and every single one of the one thousand, two hundred and thirty-eight rungs, she had to surmount them all to reach the seventeenth floor?

A surge of dizziness and the desire to vomit reverberated within An Fei’s body, and the girl’s stomach heaved as her fingers clawed at the lectern’s crystalline surface for support.

Her legs repeatedly lost strength at the mere thought of repeating the mind-numbing self-torture with such a short period of reprieve, and the girl nearly gave up on everything at that spot.

“Please be something there, please be something there…” An Fei groaned as she scanned through the aged, black book with a crazed fervor.

To her dismay, there wasn’t any information regarding a shortcut to travel between the various platforms of the Archives within the book that had just, mere moments ago, become an important treasure within her heart. Completely disheartened, the girl aimlessly flipped the pages of the open lectern, a moody aura rolling off her body.

However, An Fei discovered that, perhaps by chance or pity, that the lectern before her eyes possessed an indescribable gift. Burning the words into memory, the girl hugged the black book to her chest.

A single step back from the center of the lectern towards the door.

A turn to face the wall on the right.

On the leftmost corner, three sharp raps on the crystalline surface.

The moment her fist left the sky-blue crystal, the golden light illuminating her vision shifted into a brilliant, pale-blue radiance.

With a sudden jerk of her vision that nearly caused the girl to topple over, An Fei felt the ground abruptly vanish and reappear within an instant.

When her vision returned to normal, the girl looked up to discover the etched number ‘One’ glaring at her gaze.

Slightly relieved and yet fearful at the same time, An Fei gathered her body to remain within the golden radiance before daring to touch the crystalline wall again.

Somehow, the girl had the unsettling premonition that in the circumstance that she did fall over, and her body was not bathed in the golden radiance during the transfer…

She would most probably not experience a remarkably great ending.

Sixteen equally terrifying and anticipatory brushes with a gruesome death later, the girl had stepped back into the seventeenth Archive of the Library of Time. The familiar scenery displayed before her eyes as she stepped into the platform, though it brought forth a wave of tumultuous emotions, there was one dominant thought that refused to leave her mind.

Damn accursed book bound in twine radiating a pale golden light, she was going to make it pay!

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