Chapter 27: The Ape in the Dream
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Maggie
One month passed quickly.
The Kai Yuan Martial Arts School finally announced the date of the enrolment test, with the venue being the Guang Ling Valley in the city's eastern suburb.
As soon as the news was made public, all the Martial Disciples in the Kai Yuan Prefecture became excited. Furthermore, a constant stream of Martial Disciples could be seen flowing into the city.
Meanwhile, the Feng City's sheriff issued an exceedingly strict martial law which stipulated that all Martial Disciples had to behave themselves and not create disturbances in the city. The law was to be in effect from three months before the enrolment test, and would not be removed till three months after it. Offenders would be punished according to their misconducts, i.e. lighter offences would be punished by forcing the offender to wear heavy armour for the duration of the law, whereas the offenders of heavy crimes would be executed right on the spot.
Groups of rather imposing-looking armoured soldiers began to appear on various streets of the city, each one armed with a spear and a bow.
In response to this, gangs and clans also began to manage their members strictly, forbidding them from trifling with Martial Disciples from the other districts.
On the other side of the city, Shi Mu had not left his suburban manor during the past month. He would practise the blade and fist arts during the day, and sleep soundly through the night. It seemed as though he had really thrown away all intentions of taking part in the enrolment test.
A young white ape was having a good time with ten grey apes on a mountain, jumping and chasing each other over the hilltops.
At dusk, when the sun began to set, all the grey apes went to a huge stone cave to sleep. The white one stayed outside the cave because he was still quite energetic. He climbed up a large tree on a certain hilltop, without any difficulty. Once he had reached the top, he sat down on a small branch and looked up to watch the silver moon in the sky. He was sitting there completely motionless when something shocking happened.
The white ape had just barely been sitting on the branch for a moment when glittering white lights began to faintly appear in the night sky, flickering like glow-worms.
The white ape blinked his eyes, and his black-and-white eyes turned golden!
Although there was no wind, the dense dots of white light began to move by themselves. The lights began to flood towards the ape's golden eyes, as if they were an endless ocean of light.
An inexplicable sense of comfort penetrated the ape's body, making it grin broadly and dance excitedly on the branch.
Peng! A loud noise was heard.
Shi Mu woke up in his bed, sweating so much that his entire shirt was soaked. His face was ghastly pale, as though he had been exercising fiercely.
"The seventh time! What is this dream trying to tell me? I've had the same dream for seven days in a row. I know something is up now!" Shi Mu murmured to himself.
He wiped the sweat on his forehead, and his eyes seemed quite lacklustre.
He had been having the strange dream every night for the past seven days. In the dream, he would always turn into a white ape, jumping in the woods and chasing after his companions. It seemed as if he was the leader of the whole pack.
However, the previous six dreams had always snapped when he, the white ape, would go to rest with his companions in the cave. It was different this time, as he stayed outside the cave and subsequently climbed a branch. That was when the strange scene had taken place.
"What is this about? Could it be that the 'blood of the stone monkey' is causing trouble inside my body? It could be possible, because I am dreaming of an ape. It never happened before I acquired Qi-Sensing. Could my break-through be the reason for this?" Shi Mu sank into a thoughtful mood.
Just then, he looked up and was shocked to find that the paper windows which should have been sealed had been blown open by the wind. The moonlight was coming through the window, almost covering his entire bed. He had no idea when this had happened.
Instantly, Shi Mu was reminded of the moon he had seen in his dream. His colour changed as he made the association.
The next moment, he was up and out of his bed. He walked up to the door, pushed it open and walked outside.
The yard outside his room was illuminated because of the moonlight. Raising his head, he looked up and saw a half moon in the sky. The moon was different tonight than usual, and he felt that it seemed more majestic and serene than normal. He stared at the half moon for a long time, and then lowered his head, and glanced at the yard again.
There was an old half-dead tree in one corner of the yard. It seemed to be a little over seventeen meters tall, and only a few leaves remained on it. The tree was obviously dying.
Shi Mu narrowed his eyes and closely observed the half-dead tree for a while before an idea dawned on him, driving him to walk up to the tree.
The thick trunk was easy for Shi Mu to climb. He reached the top of the tree without any difficulty, and then rested his feet on a thick branch and sat down on it. As he raised his head, he realized that his posture right now was exactly the same as that of the white ape's in his dream!
Shi Mu could not believe his own eyes! From this angle, the moon seemed somewhat bigger and brighter.
Shi Mu waited for something to happen.
However, nothing happened as time flowed on.
The young man smiled bitterly to himself, mocking his own foolishness. Who would wake up in the middle of the night and climb a tree, imitating a beast instead of sleeping? If the servants saw him, they would think he was a lunatic.
With this thought on his mind, he prepared to jump down from the branch.
However, a deafening sound boomed in his head just as he was about to move. His whole body froze, as if it had been glued to the branch. His eyes were involuntarily locked on the moon.
Shi Mu had begun to question his own sanity by now.
He began to go into a strange, dreamlike state... he turned into the white ape from his dream again, and his eyes were wide open so they could receive the falling glittering lights from the sky. At this moment, he felt an intense burning and a refreshingly cooling sensation in his eyes simultaneously.
Unlike the previous dream, his mind was perfectly lucid even with the body of an ape. He was conscious of the fact that he was in a dream.
What frightened him was the fact that no matter how hard he tried, he was unable to move his body even an inch. It seemed as if his consciousness was now confined inside the ape's body. He was terrified, but Shi Mu had no option but to stay on the branch.
After a certain amount of time had passed, the ape finally moved, and it seemed as if he'd gained control over the ape's body.
Shi Mu was overjoyed by this, but before he had time to try and move the ape's body, a loud booming sound made him subconsciously close his eyes.
When he reopened his eyes the next moment, he was dumbstruck to find himself still on the branch, looking up at the sky.
However, he was now in his human form and his shirt was wet with morning dew. The sky was beginning to turn bright, and the high moon from before was only faintly visible.