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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Tree leaves of blackish-green color were dancing with susurration in the breeze. In the meadow, Lin Sheng was lying on his back, slowly opening his eyes.
“Such a lifeless place.” He sat up with a blank face. Asides from the rustling of the leaves, there was not a single buzz from any insects, birds, nor wild animals. He checked looked down to check his body. Black workout suit and sneakers—he wore this outfit before going to sleep. Nearby, the black sword, with which he had been familiarized, was planted slightly angled in the ground.
Lin Sheng got to his feet, walked up, and retracted the black sword. The soft soil made pulling the sword out effortless. He held the sword before his eyes and found that the edge of the blade was full of chips, the tip had broken off, and the section near the hilt was slightly twisted. Swinging the sword in his hand and feeling it awkward, he sighed. But he did not discard it. Instead, he took it with him and made out where he was. Those many fragmented memories that he had acquired did not contain any knowledge that could help him survive in the wild.
“Going up to the higher ground will never go wrong.” After determining the direction, Lin Sheng headed up the slope. He wanted to go to the castle that he saw from the air before, as the things that he was looking for could be there.
As the wind rustled in the trees and swayed their branches overhead, it sounded as if waves were hitting the shore. Lin Sheng trekked in between the trees, slowly making his way up. He stumbled up a slope and climbed up the rocks along the vines. By going around the waterfall with strong current and threading on a jungle path, he could make his way up the dangerous cliff. Using the black sword as a walking stick, Lin Sheng made the climb all the way up. Occasionally, he could hear gravel under his feet fall off the cliff into the dark gorge below. He leaned his back as close as possible against the rock wall surface, glancing down occasionally at the seemingly bottomless abyss while inching to the left. He was going sideways because the path under his feet was only a palm-wide. It was the only way.
The biting cold mountain wind blew in the face, but Lin Sheng gritted his teeth and pressed on. Something started to perplex him; he had been in the dream for a long time, yet he did not feel like he was going to wake up any time soon.
The higher he climbed, the colder the air became. The towering trees in the surroundings had turned from brown into grey with their canopy covered in white. There was also snow on the ground.
Standing on the mountainous path, Lin Sheng firmly planted his black sword in the frozen ground and looked up at the massive castle above. As clear ice completely covered the winding track leading to the castle, he had to thrust his sword into the frozen soil to stabilize himself on the slippery surface. Otherwise, he could have slipped and plunged down the cliff.
Lin Sheng looked as water vapor from his breathing quickly dissipated in the air. Right now, all he could hear was the whine of the frosty wind, which sounded as if the blowing of the horns in his ears, completely masking other sounds in the surroundings. The mysterious, massive, grayish-white castle standing silently in the snow seemed to have disappeared against its white backdrop.
Lin Sheng looked back down and continued trudging up along the icy path. He was almost exhausted. But luckily, his landing spot was not far from the castle. Had it been farther away, it might take him an extra day or two before he could reach his destination.
Half an hour later, Lin Sheng landed on the edge of the vast plateau where the castle was. Leaning on his sword, he panted looking at the castle. In front of the entrance, the steps, covered in black ice, were glistening with a faint blue light on the sharp edges.
The entrance, brown and in an arch shape, was flanked by a pair of statues in the form of the upper body of two nuns. They wore hoods with their arms folded in front of their chests looking down at visitors with a pair of gentle eyes.
Just like the castle, the material of the statues was gray stone. Oddly, there were faint tear marks that looked like dried blood under their eyes.
After taking a rest, Lin Sheng slowly walked toward the castle. The strong wind on the plateau sounded as if someone was roaring in his ears, breaking his eardrums. His ears were getting frostbite from the stinging cold air. He came before the castle and glanced up at the two nun statues. As he held his sword and walked up the stairs, the clear ice crackled under his feet. Standing in front of the entrance, which was at the height of three persons, he reached out to push it open. But the door did not even budge a bit as there the entire door, and door gap had been frozen in ice.
The cold was unbearable, and Lin Sheng was only wearing autumn attire. Since he could not open the front door, he looked around and quickly found a black handle on the wall to his right where there was a large keyhole below the handle.
“Can’t get in without a key?” Lin Sheng frowned. He tried to pull the handle, and just as he had expected, it did not yield. Coming back down from the steps, he began to walk around the castle wall. Soon, he found a spot under a low window from where he could get in. It was a black, metal iron door, ajar with a rusty padlock still hanging on the handle, and open to a small yard on the flank. He took a deep breath and walked in. Inside, weed had taken over the yard with overgrown wild white vines covering the wall. Grass struggled in the cold, trying to stay above the snow, but it seemed bleak.
He passed through the yard and came before a side entrance. The door creaked open slowly as he pushed it, revealing a dark, long passage laid with red carpet. He stepped inside and prowled along the over twenty-meter-long passage, at the end of which was a small hall that looked like a lounge or something. A fireplace, an ornate chandelier light, a rocking chair, and the gray blanket on it, and two harps under the wall were the main things in the hall.
Lin Sheng saw a small red book covered in dust on the rocking chair, opened and placed face-up on the blanket. The page on the left had a title clearly printed in Ancient Rehn:
” The Proverbs of Eternal Light, below which was a line of scrawled text: God, please tell me what to do. I will pray and pray all day and night. Even though I recite the proverbs and light surges in my body, I still feel incredibly fearful.”
Further below was the main content.
” Weed out the evil and spread the light. Light is not God. It is neither power, weapon, nor walls. It is my heart, my spirit, the cohesion of everything of me, and the only mirror in my heart. I am determined and steadfast with an unyielding spirit. My heart is my eyes, by which I can see the light. And my light can illuminate the soul! My heart is my living soul, and it is holy. When I am fearless, light will shine on everything.”
“Should I?” Lin Sheng felt an urge to recite the passage, and he knew he would not die for real. He was far more reckless in the dream than in real life.
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