After eating and drinking, they moved on.
It seemed that the current topographic structure of the island had undergone a lot of changes. When they went north to fulfill the instructions given by the codex, the landscape was full of forest. But now, the terrain was more elevated with less forestry. This made Cui Zuojing wonder if opening the door with Bes’ magic gemstone had activated a machine of sorts, which changed the structure of the island to a certain extent.
The path ended after four to five miles. Cui Zuojing looked around and saw a stone with an eagle carved on it.
He smashed the stone and took two steps back. Amid rumbling sounds, a temple slowly rose in the distance.
The codex with information regarding the eagle was still with Allen. They didn’t know if this meant anything, but at this moment, they didn’t care so much. They headed for the temple.
As they got closer, the appearance of the temple became clear. The temple was built very similar to an ancient Greek pantheon. The front had sixteen columns nearly 20 meters tall propping up the towering roof. Because the temple rose from the ground, it was covered in dust and loose soil, but this didn’t compromise its majesty.
Each column was engraved with intricate relief sculptures and scripts. Cui Zuojing brushed his palm against the engravings, marveling at the exquisite workmanship.
Cui Zuijing made a full circle around the temple and finally returned to the front entrance, where he founded crooked scratches on the inner side of a stone column.
The scratches was an English sentence.
I bless the dead.
“Look at this.” Cui Zuojing pointed to Dong Zheng.
Dong Zheng carefully brushed his hand over the words and said, “Despite the scratches and corrosion, it looks like the British expedition team left behind a translation.”
“Looks like it. Anyway, we don’t understand hieroglyphs, so this makes it more understandable.” Cui Zuojing looked around. “Isn’t that a good thing?…Do you want to go in?”
“Let’s go in and take a look.”
They reached the entrance, which had sealed double doors made out of stone. The special texture looked the same as the door inside the cave.
There was a row of gaps in the middle of the door, where the corresponding key would be needed to open the mechanism. Without speaking, they began to search separately.
Dong Zheng found a square stone slab with A carved on it in the crack of a stone, and he also found a slab notched with the letter B in the withered grass. Cui Zuojing also found another slab with an A on it.
They held the three stones up to the gap and judged that the width and height matched. Based on the length of the gap, there should also be another fourth stone slabs.
“It must have something to do with a myth. The chances of making a wild guess on our own and being correct is like a blind cat meeting a dead mouse.” Cui Zuojing was tired and sat on the steps to rest.
It was a bright, sunny day with no clouds for thousands of miles. The rising sun was shining directly on the sea and the small island, quickly making people feel the scorching heat.
Dong Zheng also sat down beside him. “What should we do? We have to enter this place.”
“It would be great if Old Lin was here. If we let him guess, he might directly guess right.” Cui Zuojing sighed, missing Lin Hangzhi. He wobbled to the side of the temple and added, “Then, there is only one simple and direct method left.”
He knocked on the temple wall, listening to the echo, and found a relatively weak spot. He attentively stopped and unhurriedly tightened his grip on the Tang Sword.
The power contained in every cell of his body gathered.
He directly inserted the Tang Sword into the wall, as easy as cutting tofu. After a few cuts, a hole about ten centimeters wide opened up in the temple wall.
The scabbard was lost in the underground cave. Cui Zuojing hung the sword at his waist, raised his hand, and wiped the fine sweat from his forehead. The stone used to build the temple was very hard. The sharper and stronger he had to make the weapon, the greater the load.
The stone bricks were layered entirely on top of each other, without cement or other building material. Once there was a gap, it was much easier to pull out the surrounding bricks.
Dong Zheng began to pry out the stone bricks piece by piece. After Cui Zuojing rested for a bit, he also came to help. Once he’d rested his body, he was quite energetic.
A profoundly subtle fluctuation was coming from inside the temple.
Dong Zheng frowned and felt the sensation that had been wandering elusively in his kernel since the battle with Hydra suddenly awakened.
It was a very mysterious perception, like a guide in the dark.
He paused in the middle of prying out a brick, and then he began to subconsciously speed up his movements. To Cui Zuojing’s surprise, he suddenly stuck his arm into the gap.
Dong Zheng’s arm fumbled in the air until his fingers brushed against something.
In an instant, the lavender protective shield in his kernel world turned a deep blue. The various data and crawlers that were moving in an orderly fashion along the information highway suddenly froze without warning, as if a pause button had been pressed.
At the same time, everything stopped processing.
There was chaos in Dong Zheng’s mind. As if he’d lost his spirit, he leaned down and looked into the temple.
A silent explosion rocked through the kernel world. In a split second, the data stream shot out in a straight line, quickly radiating to every corner of the kernel. Chaotic, messy lines appeared on the protective shield, until it gradually cleared and spread across the entire sky.
Like a cobweb, they intertwined and enveloped the entire kernel.
Dong Zheng groaned. He knew without a doubt that something was wrong and that he should immediately move away, but he couldn’t control his body at all. His eyes remained open, unbidden, looking into the temple.
A bright yellow light glowed on the altar.
With Dong Zheng blocking the hole, Cui Zuojing didn’t know what he saw, but the feedback from the prisoner link told him that something was wrong with Dong Zheng. He raised his hand to grab Dong Zheng’s shoulder and pull him away. “What’s going—”
The moment his fingers touched Dong Zheng, that small external force finally broke the tentative balance. The data stream smashed through the firewall and violently rushed out of the kernel into the outside world, creating a shock wave of explosion that radiated destructively in all directions.
Cui Zuojing was the closest to Dong Zheng, and so he was the first to bear the full brunt of it. He head felt as if it had been stunned stupid. For a moment, all he heard was a sharp, howling sound. His whole body became unresponsive, to the point that he couldn’t even control his breathing.
After a few seconds, the howling disappeared, and the world became silent.
Dusts drifted down from the temple as it swayed unsteadily. Fine cracks climbed and spread out from the small hole, while an invisible and powerful wind bent the grass blades, pressing them into the ground. The leaves clung tightly to the branches, barely managing not to be swept away.
All of this appeared like a silent film in front of Cui Zuojing’s eyes. He quickly understood that it was not because there was no sound, but rather, it was simply that he could not hear it.
Dong Zheng continued to stare closely into the hole, and the storm that erupted from him became increasingly more violent. It was astonishing that such an alarmingly vast amount of energy could come from a human body.
But Cui Zuojing understood that this was overloaded.
In desperation, Cui Zuojing stretched out his hand with great effort. Gritting his teeth, he slapped Dong Zheng’s face hard.
Dong Zheng’s head shifted to the side. He staggered, and the light finally disappeared from his sight.
But he didn’t notice at all. He was still completely immersed in his kernel world.
Dense lines formed dark and light patches of colors, intertwining to obscure the entire sky.
Dong Zheng stood on the information highway, while countless data streamed past him. He looked up, studying the lines that seemed to be outlining something.
It seemed to be a temple.
Meanwhile, outside the kernel world, the cracks spreading out from the hole quickly covered the entire temple wall. As Cui Zuojing watched, it became more and more precarious.
The energy fluctuation that erupted from Dong Zheng’s body not only did not abate, but it seemed to become even stronger. He stood facing the wall, completely motionless. No one could see what he saw within the bright light of his kernel world.
Even Cui Zuojing couldn’t resist such strong mental interference. An unbearable dizziness swept over him, making it difficult of him to see what was in front of him. Even the control over his own body gradually slipped from his grasp.
He finally couldn’t withstand it anymore and fell to his knees on the ground.
Inside the kernel world, the outline of the temple solidified. Hundreds of steps descended from the sky, and Dong Zheng walked them step by step, growing ever closer to that magnificent golden temple with statues of angel and demon gods guarding the door.
After ascending the last step, Dong Zheng finally stood on the platform. There was a naked statue with a sword in one hand and shield in another. It had a blue face and fangs, but angel wings stretched out from behind it.
A line of words was engraved on the sword in his left hand.
“I bless the dead.”
On the right was the engraved words “Everything will be destroyed.”
Dong Zheng vaguely felt as if he’d seen this sentence before from somewhere, but at this moment, he could only focus on what was in front of him; nothing could distract him.
He raised his hand and pushed open the heavy temple door.
Lights radiated through the gap.
[Naive Bayes algorithm, loading complete. ] (1)
Outside, the strong mental fluctuation made Cui Zuojing felt as if he’d lost his soul, as if his mind had disappeared somewhere, like it’d never existed at all.
The temple could no longer withstand the cracks, and it collapsed.
The mental fluctuation that had the strength to destroy everything seemed to have alarmed something in the distance, provoking a deep and angry roar. A fierce wind blew from the west, through half the island, blowing the leaves off of shrubs and branches, and slamming them into the stone wall and Cui Zuojing’s back.
As Cui Zuojing knelt on the ground, he watched helplessly as Dong Zheng’s figure became buried under layers of tumbling stones and flying dusts, until his vision grew dark, and he finally lost consciousness.
What could an unconscious person do?
He’d completely lost all consciousness and was unable to respond to the stimuli from the outside world. Even his breathing and heartbeat had become weak, just like someone indulging in a long and deep sleep.
When Cui Zuojing struggled out of his state, there was only a cloud of chaos in his mind.
He couldn’t open his eyes, and he couldn’t move his fingers. But, he could feel sensations faintly.
There was the hard ground underneath his body, indicating that he was lying on his back. And. something cold dripped on his face.
Was it rain?
What had happened to him?
Cui Zuojing tried hard to remember, but the moment he strained his mind, his brain felt an unbearable pain, as if he’d been hit by a heavy hammer. He wanted to groan from the pain, but he couldn’t make a sound at all. He could only give up thinking, allowed his whole body to empty, and continue lying down.
He didn’t know how much time had passed. Maybe a minute, or maybe an hour. Just when he was about to lose consciousness again, something soft and warm landed gently on his forehead.
It was like a feather had fallen there, resting and refusing to leave for a long time.
Cui Zuojing was a little confused. What had fallen on his face?
He was also afraid that it might be a bug. He struggled to open his eyes to see, but he couldn’t move at all. After a while, the touch voluntarily left, leaving a faintly moist trace that felt slightly cool under the breeze.
Cui Zuojing was in a daze. After a long, long time, before he lost consciousness again, he finally realized in hindsight…
It might be a kiss.
Darkness swept over him.