Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The platform lowered. It descended slowly, until it came to a stop before a stone door.
“Is this the entrance to Phoenix Shelter?” Han Sen was delighted, thinking he might have found it.
He looked at the many vines that draped the doorframe. They looked undisturbed, which told him Holy-Sword Emperor had not yet arrived. Or, if he had, the spirit had not come this way.
Han Sen summoned Sword-Furnace spirit. Treachery and danger might have lurked ahead, so he thought the spirit could make a fine decoy.
At Han Sen’s command, Sword-Furnace pushed the door open. Nothing out-of-the-ordinary occurred, it just opened like any average door might.
Beyond the door rested a stone staircase that descended a very long way down. Eventually, the stairs took a turn. What lurked at the bottom, Han Sen could not yet tell.
Along with Bao’er, Han Sen stepped inside. Sword-Furnace led the way, and after some time venturing down, they arrived before a palace.
Surprisingly, there had been no danger, and nothing inherently peculiar stood out to them. Even the door of the palace seemed normal.
The door was ajar, and from what he could see from where he stood, there were many copper items inside. There was a furnace, a ding, and a number of statues; all wrought from copper.
Going inside, he noticed statues on either side of the entrance hall. They all depicted birds. There was a peacock, a crane, a sparrow, and even one of bees.
The walls had mosaics and plaques, with themes and designs all revolving around birds. Across the ceiling, there was a painting of a grand purple peacock. Across the tiled floor, there were many illustrations of cranes.
It was like a museum, dedicated to birds and birds alone. An image of a bird adorned everywhere that Han Sen looked, and even the pillars of the hall were decorated with pictures or carvings of them.
Han Sen wandered around the palace for some time, but strangely, he did not come across a single image of a phoenix.
“Is it because Phoenix Emperor resembled a phoenix, anyway?” Han Sen guessed.
Aside from the statues and the other bird-based decorations, there did not seem to be anything of value. The only thing of note was the throne.
“Phoenix Emperor must have sat right there. But why do only paintings and statues remain here?” Thinking of this, Han Sen then told Sword-Furnace to examine the throne more closely.
The throne was engraved with a number of bird illustrations, just like everything else in the palace. After Sword-Furnace had finished investigating the seat, Han Sen decided to sit on it.
After Han Sen sat down on the throne, it suddenly seemed as if the statues before him were alive. It seemed as if they were there, ready to obey him.
“This Phoenix Emperor dude had taste,” Han Sen thought.
It was strange, to imagine Phoenix Emperor spending so much time and effort to merely be able to sit there and enjoy the artwork and the feelings they elicited.
It was a unique sensation, but it was only achievable by sitting down on the throne.
With Phoenix Emperor’s power, he could have most certainly gathered a flock of genuine birds. It was weird to see such focus and time given to the creation of fake ones.
Han Sen continued sitting on that throne, observing the birds in a new light. Eventually, though, his face turned dim.
Following a tingling sensation, the birds did indeed start to look more and more alive. Eventually, he was stricken with the feeling that the birds were about to fly towards him.
Everything seemed so real. They may have actually been statues, but they were shaped, sculpted, and built in a way that was as convincing as a real bird.
And what’s more, no bird looked alike. They each had a personality, despite being constructed objects. Many might have appeared rather similar, but there were minor variations to make even those stand out from their inanimate peers.
“Was this his study room, maybe?” Han Sen felt as if he had learned something, through this idle observation.
Han Sen had once learned Heavenly Go and Seven Twist, which he later combined into Aero. This technique was associated with birds.
After watching the birds for a while longer, he felt as if they were somehow related to the self-taught Aero talent.
By simply watching the birds before him, he felt as if he was given a greater understanding of Aero. He was learning a lot about birds, all by simply watching them. He realized there were many things about birds he had never seen or even considered before, and it was like his mind had breached a veil, and he’d now be operating on a higher plane of existence. He was in a different world now.
“I didn’t know I could do that,” Han Sen thought, considering the new options that were opening before him.
Han Sen then focused his attention and examined every bird individually. They weren’t alive, but every time he looked back to a bird he had previously looked at, it would seem different.
Han Sen stood up to take a better look.
Before Han Sen sat on the throne, he hadn’t noticed anything peculiar about the hall. After sitting on the throne and standing up again, his perception of everything had changed.
It was like a 3D picture. At first, the image of the hall was plain and meaningless.
But now, looking closely, it was as if a lock had been broken. He could see things differently, from a multitude of different angles.
The hall, of course, had been designed better than any 3D image ever could. Its depth was unparalleled, and you’d discover and learn a number of new things, depending on where you stood.
Everyone had a different personality, and everyone saw things differently.
The birds were this way, as well. They all looked unique, and when he looked at them from different angles, he felt differently about them.
Han Sen did not know how others felt, but he felt as if he had just entered a treasury. It was a treasury of knowledge, and what he had learned about Aero there was different than anything he could ever learn from reading a book.