Chapter 140: Arc 3 Epilogue
DONG DONG DONG
A harmonious bell rung continuously as a bustling crowd of humans were steadily trickling into a mountain on a narrow path. Although hiking up a mountain may prove to be a difficult task for many, none of these individuals had a hard time. In fact, they were treating it like a casual stroll while chatting with each other.
“Another summon … didn’t we just had one not long ago? Does the Saintess have nothing better to do these days? Right after summoning us to announce descending into the world inside the artifact from those cultivators of the Dao of Books, she now goes on to make a ruckus after coming back to descend into it again after she has broken through. Is she crazy? I was just getting to the good part of the new AC game, too …”
“Hush! Don’t let those from the regulation committee hear you. Do you want to lose your cultivation? It’s so difficult for us to chance upon cultivation in this modern world where science rules. Since we suck at studying, this was our only chance of being on par with those using science. Don’t accidentally destroy your own road by insulting the Saintess!”
“Ooi, it’s not like I’m stupid! I was actually the most brilliant genius in my class when I was studying to become a surgeon. Just that an accident occurred which damaged my hands so I had no choice but to drop out, believing that I would be disabled for life. But now after I healed them through cultivating, I can go back and work to become a doctor anytime!”
“Tsk, that story again. Like anyone would believe you. Everyone here belongs to those who have talent for cultivation but no talent for science. Did you believe you could have both? Ha! It’s just as believable as that one idiot’s story of how he paid for the life support for a paralyzed man for a lifetime instead of paying to have the man treated.”
“Ahhh, whatever … you won’t believe me even though it’s the truth. But seriously, why do we have to come gather and watch a show when they could simply send this to our devices over the internet. Even if they can’t broadcast it on Y*ut*be, they can still have a private video call or something …”
“Pei, don’t fall for the trickery of those from the Dao of science. We won’t have any privacy even if they say we do! That’s why we have to do this secretly in person as we can’t let them know our Saintess is delving into the world of stories again …”
“Eh? With the advanced technologies nowadays, won’t they discover us anyways since there is so many of us gathering at one place?”
“*cough* … uhh .. no they won’t.”
“Eh? Why not?”
“Cause … just cause … the power of plot!”
“Very convenient, I like it …”
The group continued to banter as they gathered in a carved out area inside the mountain where a palace was built. Then, they watched the cultivators from the Dao of Books negotiate with those from their sect. Of course, it was just a formality as the real negotiations were probably already done behind the scenes. Fortunately, a deal was reached and the Saintess was allowed to descend for a short time to stabilize her cultivation. Then, they watched as the Saintess was sent into the artifact, the world of stories, once more …
“Uhh … doesn’t it seem like we are some one-dimensional side characters thrown in to pad the word count?” a cultivator below whispered before he was glared at by all those in his surroundings.
A shooting star swiftly fell from the sky and landed in a forest, destroying some trees, but it unnoticed by all. From the crater caused by the landing, a fair hand reached out as a young teen girl climbed out. The girl glanced at her young body with no cultivation before she le out a sigh. The girl then bit her lips as she stared towards the direction she needed to go. An intangible power, that she couldn’t control, flowed around her before gliding forward as if it was serving as a guide for her. However, even without the power, she already had an inkling of where she wanted to go.
The girl arduously traveled through the overgrown forest and after some time, she finally made it out. She could see a city in the distance nearby and she knew her destination was just on the other side of the city.
Not long later, the girl was strolling through the city as she glanced around curiously at the people in the bustling city that had no traces of its former destruction. A trace of nostalgia arose in the girl’s eyes as she recognized some familiar buildings, yet most buildings along with the people were already unfamiliar. It was unknown how much time had already passed, but the continent inside the story had already recovered from its devastation long ago.
It wasn’t long before the girl reached her destination. A trace of melancholy arose in her eyes as she stared at the small, familiar temple in front of her. She quietly strolled into the temple, yet wasn’t welcomed by anyone. As she strolled down the familiar hallways, she head the mutterings of an old man from a room. She couldn’t resist taking a peak into the room to see a familiar old grandpa meditating on the bed. As if he detected something, the old grandpa’s eyes snapped opened as he looked around, yet after a while, he sighed, “It is but our fate of being born under the pen of others …”
He then closed his eyes once more as he couldn’t notice anything unusual. The little girl stared at the old man with a sad smile before she continued down the hallway towards the back garden.
Her steps slowed as she walked into the garden that was no longer filled with blooming Lover’s Hearts as its caretaker was long gone. All that was left was a chasm and the overgrown wildlife in the garden. A slab of stone stood strong within this forest of plants as a stone statue of a man did his job well in guarding it, allowing for a small area around the stone to be devoid of overgrown plants.
The girl’s eyes trembled as she stepped up to the statue. She gently stroke the stone man’s familiar face as a trace of happiness appeared on her face. She recalled her memories with this man. Although he was fictional, she could not forget him, not even after she returned to the real world. Stabilizing her cultivation was an excuse as she knew her cultivation will never be stable without him. Her heart already doesn’t belong to her alone.
The girl then began to slowly lift into the air as her body began to turn into specks of light. The girl knew that her time was up, but she was unwilling. She reached out her hands and hugged the statue tightly as tears began to form on her eyes.
“I will always be waiting for you, no matter how long it takes … so, please … wake up. Wake up, my squishy.”
With her final words, the girl burst into specks of light, but not before leaving a single tear drop behind. The tear fell from the air and landed on the stone statue’s face before slowly sliding down until it disappeared, as if it was absorbed by the statue.
It was then, the statue trembled. Cracks began to appear all over the statue as flakes of stones seemed to peel off the statue, revealing the one who had hid from the world. The gray began to fade as it was replaced by the force of life. The world trembled as the statue’s eyes shivered. Then, they snapped open.
To be continued … in who knows how long.