What Jing Jiu wished to do confirmed Zong Lizi's guess.
Jing Jiu looked at the milky way in the night sky while standing by the window. "I'll sleep for a while," he said suddenly.
No one could play the game nine days in a row without any rest and didn't feel tired even if the person was made of steel.
Though Zong Lizi thought of this, she was still surprised to see Jing Jiu walk into the bedroom and lie on the bed.
The reason she was surprised was not because it was her bed in the bedroom, but because Jing Jiu had always lain on the chair on the deck and never stepped into the bedroom.
Most of all, she didn't expect Jing Jiu to fall asleep not long after he had lain on the bed. She knew that he was actually asleep even though she couldn't hear the snoring and grinding of his teeth.The way he slept at the moment was different from when he closed his eyes in the underground apartment and on the deck.
What had happened?
Zong Lizi opened the gaming compartment and found that Jing Jiu hadn't turned off the interactive system yet. She followed the instruction and chose the third person experience model to connect to the system. The contents of the game started rewinding and playing back.
A brand-new world lay in front of her.
Everything in this world, including the green peaks, endless ocean of clouds and the sea under the twilight, seemed to be both real and surreal.
The reason it appeared surreal was because the scenery was more beautiful than she had imagined.
The reason it appeared real was because the world occupied by the Cultivation practitioners and imagined by the humans should look like this.
It was obvious that the Twirling Rain Company had invested a great deal in the game "The Path Toward Heaven".
She had read novel of course. She looked at the scenes curiously and guessed what the place was in the novel.
Gradually, the strange scenery corresponded to those in the novel.
This place turned out to be the peaks of Green Mountain.
This was Zhaoge City.
It was the Fruit Formation Temple.
This was the Three-Thousand Nunnery.
Was that the vast white snowland? Why didn't she see the lonely peak?
In addition to the sceneries, the most important part was of course the people.
Zong Lizi followed the characters created by Jing Jiu to many locations and saw many of them. It was then that she found that Jing Jiu hadn't interacted with any player doing the internal testing, and that he had selected the individual format.
He had gone to the places and met those people who were the characters in the game.
And he didn't talk to any of them.
According to the design of the internal testing of the game, the characters in the game wouldn't heed the player save for glancing at him a few times silently if the player didn't interact with them.
It seemed that Jing Jiu didn't care about this.
All he wanted to do was find the people in this world and then sat by them for a while.
This was what he wanted.
He listened to the zither music at the Three-Thousand Nunnery.
He listened to the ringing of bells at the Fruit Formation Temple.
And he listened to the cries of monkeys on Green Mountain the whole night.
He was surrounded by different people when he did these.
The blood red flying sword reddened the sky.
The greenish bamboos made the manor cave looked more tranquil.
A pair of long legs swung above the ocean of clouds.
The windows of the Daoist hall were open as the wind and snow occurred.
The purple flowers bloomed in Taichang Temple.
The sound of bone flute could be heard vaguely.
He was accompanied by some people on these occasions.
Zong Lizi opened her eyes wide to look at these people.
She knew who these people were.
She felt ominous.
It was then that the morning sunlight shone on the Three-Thousand Nunnery.
The door of the gaming compartment opened.
The morning sunlight shone on the lake in the distant and the windows of the suite.
Zong Lizi rubbed her eyes, which were a bit red.
She had spent the whole night watching the play-backs of the previous nine days. She was tired and also slightly moved.
The light screen sprang out as the bracelet quivered. It was an email from the Twirling Rain Company, signed by the CEO personally.
Having read the email, she came back to the suite and found Jing Jiu was awake.
Like what he had usually done, Jing Jiu lay on the chair on the deck, as if nothing had happened and he hadn't slept in the bedroom.
"The Twirling Rain Company said that your initial design is perfect, and the players of the internal testing are excited and ask if you're willing to give them the copyright," she said in a soft voice.
Jing Jiu thought that he should ask those people if it had something to do with the copyright of likeness.
Some of these people were dead, but more of them were still alive. And yet…he had left Chaotian more than one hundred years ago and had no idea how many of them had died already.
Zong Lizi uttered a faint "hmm" when she found he was a bit distracted.
Jing Jiu recovered his senses and said, "Do whatever they want with it; but don't blame me if they will encounter troubles in the future."
Zong Lizi couldn't figure out what troubles they would encounter and found he had been a bit weird lately. "Are you okay?" she asked after a moment of hesitation. Jing Jiu uttered "hmm" while looking at the morning sun on the verge of leaping above the crust of the planet.
Zong Lizi took the courage to tell Jing Jiu, "I know you have written the story and have a deep affection for the characters in it; but…you shouldn't dive too deeply into the story and become emotionally involved in it."
Jing Jiu spun his head around and shot her a glance. "What do you intend to tell me?" he demanded.
"I'm afraid that you can't distinguish the real from the illusory world."
Zong Lizi rubbed her hands nervously while adding, "Those people are the characters you have created and are not real, no matter how real you feel they are or how close you feel to them."
The experience of the gaming compartments, especially the latest model, became increasingly more realistic. Those with a mental deficiency would opt to stay in the game for a prolonged period of time, and it was also harder for them to distinguish the real from the virtual world.
"I'm not a crazy man," said Jing Jiu expressionlessly.
"But I found you sitting with those characters silently in the game; it's a bit weird," said Zong Lizi in a low voice.
Jing Jiu said, "They might be unreal in this world, but they are real in the other world."
Zong Lizi couldn't understand what he said. She asked curiously, "You sat with the former emperor for a day, and you did the same with Liu Ci, Yuan Qijing and the Immortal Taiping; you sat with the Young Zen Master and the disciples of Shenmo Peak plus Zhuo Rusui for half a day. You sat with a nameless monk for a while. In the end, you sat with Lian Sanyue for three days…But why didn't you sit with Zhao Layue a little longer since Jing Jiu and she were the closest in the novel?"
In Jing Jiu's mind, the Little Layue would ascend for sure, and they would meet in this world sooner or later; as such, there was no need for him to sit with her for a prolonged period of time.
Finding Jing Jiu had fallen silent again, Zong Lizi thought that she had said something inappropriate. She turned around and went to the bathroom to wash her face and brush her teeth.
The steam caused by the hot water clouded her beautiful face.
She looked at her own reflection in the mirror as she was brushing her teeth. She had finally made up her mind and turned to walk out of the bathroom.
"I'll go to the Main Planet in a few days."
She wouldn't be able to express herself clearly if she were brushing her teeth, and she wouldn't be heard clearly either.
It was evident that she intended to conceal her emotion by doing so.
In the last few days, her nervousness and uneasiness were due to this fact.
Because if the two of them separated, it was unclear when they would see each other again.
She intended to ask what his plan was, but he had been embroiled in the game the entire time. It was truly frustrating.
"Together," said Jing Jiu.
Zong Lizi was taken aback before she recovered her senses. After making sure she didn't hear him mistakenly, a surprised and joyful expression showed in her eyes. "Are you going to the Main Planet too?" she pressed while holding the toothbrush in her hand.
Jing Jiu uttered "hmm".
Zong Lizi knew that his trip to the Main Planet was not for the purpose of accompanying her…at least he wouldn't go there just to accompany her. "What are you going to do there?" she asked curiously.
"To find someone," said Jing Jiu.
Zong Lizi was aware that he had been looking for that person the entire time. "That person lives on the Main Planet? Have you actually found him? What are you going to do next?" she asked in surprise.
Thinking of the gunshot on the square and the assassination in front of the praying hall, Jing Jiu said without hesitation, "I'll kill him."
Thinking of the conversation she had with Jing Jiu nine days ago, Zong Lizi had almost spat out the toothpaste foams in her mouth.
"Not," Jing Jiu added quickly.
Zong Lizi closed her mouth fast enough to swallow the foams.
The Museum and the Art Gallery in Shou'er City were suddenly closed today. All the visitors were asked politely and resolutely to leave the site.
It was claimed that a department of the Administrative Bureau would practice the fire drills so that no notice had been given ahead of time.
Seeing the foams on the square, the visitors who were driven out from the site shook their heads in resentment, thinking that some important figures would visit the sites.
Hearing the complaints, someone remarked, "Concealing the fact using fire drills indicates that they know what they're doing is inappropriate. There is nothing we should feel dissatisfied with."
It was true that the heads of the Museum and the Art Gallery and all the personnel were driven out, to say nothing of the regular visitors of the sites. None of them dared express their discontent. It was because they knew that it was the female priest who would come to visit the sites.
The Museum and the Art Gallery in Shou'er City enjoyed an enormously important status in the Human Federation of the Milky Way, and were almost on a par with those on the Main Planet.
It was because the female priest on the Stargate was responsible for inheriting the arts.
These two sites were under the ownership of the priest financial group.
"The power corresponds to the duty, which has been often mentioned by the previous saints."
Standing next to Jing Jiu, the female priest continued in a low voice, "I've thought sometimes that the female priests should have spread the knowledge of the distant ancient civilization they've memorized to the others. What we're doing might be irresponsible for the humans. In the eyes of some people, such conduct on the part of the female priests is for the purpose of maintaining their own status."
This was not a sophisticated topic, but it was an in-depth analysis. Many scholars in the human society had discussed and debated the topic for many years, and the female priests had also borne a great deal of ethical pressure. But no explanation had ever been offered. It seemed that the female priest didn't even know the origin of the rule herself.
She wished to get a clarification from god.
Jing Jiu was not interested in the topic. He pulled back his gaze from the oil painting of sunflowers and asked, "Is the original one on the Main Planet?"
"Yes," said the female priest. She didn't press the topic further. "The painting should be somewhere in the ruins of the distant ancient civilization. Only that one knows the precise location."
When the female priest of the Stargate and any other female priest on the other planets mentioned the female priest on the Main Planet, they would all call her "that one"; it sounded a bit odd.
Jing Jiu turned to head toward the Museum.
The Museum was even quieter than the Art Gallery. It was probably because they were deep in the storage room behind the thick walls.
The female priest showed a calm expression on her face when she looked at the Mecha of the distant ancient times half way submerged in the dirt and in the huge glass container.
She of course knew that this Mecha was an important collection of the museum, and she was not surprised that Jing Jiu had found it. She explained in a soft voice, "Every priest has inherited a significant remain of the distant ancient civilization. This Mecha is the collection for the priests of the Stargate."
Jing Jiu looked at the Mecha quietly for a long time.
It occurred to him that this Mecha, like a flower, would be able to bloom if it were planted in the dirt and watered.
On the contrary, the painting of sunflowers in the Art Gallery was more like a Mecha, brazen and carefree.
"This Mecha was found among the remains of the distant ancient civilization at the Sanlin Star Region. It was manufactured at least two hundred thirty thousand years ago. The surface of it is badly damaged, none of the painting is left. Since we don't have a better preservation method, the most we can do is seal it off with its surrounding environment, which is the glass container you see here."
The female priest said this softly.
"Is this the only mecha found there?" asked Jing Jiu.
"The distant ancient civilization was a long time ahead of our society; so it's even hard to preserve the alloy that can resist the erosion effectively up to now."
Looking at the Mecha laying in the huge glass container, a sympathetic expression showed in the eyes of the female priest.
What puzzled Jing Jiu was the fact that this Mecha had well preserved components judging by its outside condition even though it was indeed badly damaged. If it was a product two hundred thirty thousand years ago, how could it survive all these years? As far as he knew, the bones of those large demons at the bottom of the Gathered-Soul Valley had even turned into powders after a prolonged period of time.
The female priest said, "The ruins of the distant ancient civilization where this Mecha was found is a bit special. It's assumed that is was the tomb of an emperor, which is very large and deep in the underground. It was insulated sufficiently from the outside."
Jing Jiu felt even more baffled as he looked at the Mecha in the glass container.
The technology of the distant ancient civilization was much more advanced than that in the Federation of the Milky Way; but this Mecha was evidently more backward. It still used the multi-flow engine for its power.
It was well known that the Federation of the Milky Way had abandoned this ineffective design two thousand years ago.
Why did the emperor of the distant ancient civilization use this backward Mecha as his burial tribute?
And why was this Mecha preserved by the female priests of the Stargate who were usually responsible for inheriting the arts.
"That one explained to me back on the Main Planet. She said…"
The female priest could tell he felt baffled. Thinking of the occasion more than thirty years ago, she continued softly, "This Mecha is an art by itself."
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