14 Mindscape

With my eyes closed, I could feel the wind on my face, gentle like the touch of a lover and the warm sunlight against my face while the chorus of birds welcomed me in this new day.

Toc toc! "Zin! Zin! Wake up, all the new disciples are gathering in the plaza you should go to as well."

"Huh? Ohh... "Hearing the familiar voice on the other side of the door, I recalled where I was. It has been three days since my arrival in the sacred soul sect. Changing into my sect's robes I walked down the stairs as fast as I could, greeting my fellow senior brothers and sisters along the way.

"Oh I'm here. Xin Zhan, just what is happening? I'm the only new disciple in my dormitory so I didn't know about anything happening in the plaza." Leaving the dormitory, a young man with long black hair welcomed me before pulling me towards the main plaza. "Zin, we have to go! I heard the sect master is appearing in today's event together with the sixth and fourth elder."

"The fourth elder, really?!" I suddenly froze the moment I heard about the fourth elder. He's not only the fourth of the sixteen elders, he's also the great Mystic Artisan and the best blacksmith in the entire Central Region of Esethia.

Being a blacksmith myself, I couldn't wait for the chance to impress the fourth elder and become his disciple.

As we headed to the plaza, a pair of disciples wearing the robes of an outer disciple like myself attracted my attention. The youth seemed even younger than I, his creamy white skin and babyface made complete contraste with the tall and well built muscles.

Xin Zhan noticed my gaze and murmured in a low voice. "Oh I heard about him. He is the aboriginal that has been admitted in the school with the highest physical punctuation in the last sixty years. I think his name is Ka something, Kal... Kallen, Kallen Umbra is his name. As for the other one..."

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Following Xin Zhan's stare, I finally noticed the pretty girl. Her long hair was tied in a ponytail and her slightly tanned skin gave her a more sporty look.

"That is what a aboriginal really looks like, not the delicate and baby-face this Kallen has. From what I know they both came from different villages within the Ironwood Forest and arrived a little more than two months ago."

At this moment, everything changed. From the massive and impressive Sacred Soul Sect's plaza, I was now on the bottom of a dark pit with a smell that could only be felt in the depths of Gehenna.

"Ahhhh!" Behind me I could hear a young man with bloodshot eyes as he embraced the soulless body of a young girl about his age. It was the young man Kallen and the girl he saw with him on that day.

Around me weren't just disciples, but newborn babies, elderly people, pregnant women, all of them were thrown together in this hell hole. I could feel a strange force gripping my soul and trying to force it out of my body.

Moans of pain and desperate cries rescued in that dark abyss of death and despair. Inside that hellish place, the image of an beautiful young lady in white appeared in every corner of my mind and I couldn't help but feel regret.

Together with a thousand others, I could feel my consciousness fading out like the last moments of a candle before the fire extinguished.

...

Within the endless darkness around me everything else seemed to vanish, and only countless little stars seemed to exist besides me. At the same time, all the knowledge and experiences lived by the young blacksmith Zin flooded my brain.

From what felt like second I became from a complete beginner to an experienced blacksmith. I could also feel his emotions. Slowly, my hand reached out to my heart.

Experiencing that hell not just once but twice wasn't something wanted. For a long time my body wandering in the darkness.

"What should I call this place?" Within all the information on my mind I knew this same wasn't just some dream. Staring at the stars, I recognized a thin yellow star not that far away as the others. Its aura was the same as I felt when I was inside that man's body.

"Yes, this place is the interior of my brain. This is my Mindscape and every star I can see within the darkness was in fact the fragments of those who died on that day."

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