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Chapter 119: Three Dark Clouds (Part 2/2)

Translator: Strivon

To know the whole, one must first see. One must simply see.

His old methods of clairvoyance were unable to break free from the stereotypes of the old interpretations of the world. He had followed the old conventions obediently as he expanded his domain. He had taken into account the endurance and processing power of his body when it came to receiving large quantities of information.

However, after switching to new interpretations, all he had to do was draw! These drawings were casual whole impressions reproduced from his senses and memory. All he needed was to grasp one or two characteristics of living movement so it was fine to synthesize them through concise strokes.

This was the difference between sketching and speed-sketching. This was the difference between meticulous brushwork and freehand brushwork.

Luo Nan generalized his Life Sketches into two components, speed-sketching, and configuration. Speed-sketching should be done first and foremost. This was the core where the whole of his ideas resided. This was the true direction of application.

Before the whole composition could be confirmed, carved details, no matter how true, would likely be warped and absurd when looked at with the whole. Just like with the out-of-place disorder with his star atlas. 

"The whole! The whole!"

Luo Nan emphasized to himself in a hypnotic manner. He closed his eyes then reopened them. Then he closed them again. By doing this, he was able to forget his old observational methods. His thoughts and consciousness were able to expand outward and reach new heights. He was able to go further beyond and to broaden magnificently. 

Right now, the range of his clairvoyance was like the contraction and expansion of a heart, like the rise and fall of a tide. It contracted. It expanded. It swelled. It receded. The changing frequency was growing faster and faster. The changing spectrum was growing larger and larger. It was truly like a great river bursting through a dam; it flooded all around, flowing freely. It was like the shattering of an iron mold; stereotypes and conventions no longer existed.

There was an instant when Luo Nan felt his body and soul about to be scattered into the void. It lasted until his dark chains trembled. The power of his ‘My heart’s a prison’ format appeared and only then was he able to draw himself in.

At the same time, the range of Luo Nan's mental senses was restored to the apex value of when he was in his out-of-body state. It reached eight hundred meters and after a few breaths of time, the radius exceeded one kilometer. It was expanding endlessly. The entirety of Frost River Reality, including the three buildings supporting this indoor amusement center, and even the surrounding area was within the range of his mental clairvoyance.

Fuzzy constellations appeared one after another. They represented everyone in Frost River Reality. It was not just the few who were near Luo Nan. It included Frost River Reality, Baze, seven Oblatum Knights, nearly a hundred trapped civilians. They represented people outside of Frost River Reality. It included the police officers above the three buildings supporting Frost River Reality. It included the thousands of civilians crowded around and watching. They were all totally integrated into Luo Nan's star atlas.

Stars bright like diamonds formed this constellation system. There were also shadows that were hard to see with the naked eye and there were also hazy and turbid dark clouds.

The shadows were the building construction, furniture, equipment, decorations, and other useless dead ends. The dark clouds were living outlines of people who were hard to analyze within a short period of time. 

Though Luo Nan lacked the ability to depict them, the contrast between motion and static, inanimate objects and living beings, awareness and unawareness evoked a marvelous and exquisitely consistent relationship.

Brightness and shadows interweaved. Light and darkness matched together. Emptiness and substance alternated... Under each other's influences, each and every constellation, shadow, and dark cloud had their boundaries with each other be gradually blurred. They weaved amongst each other, strewn at random. However, their trajectories were clear with rules and laws behind them. In the end, they formed an endlessly snaking star river of splendor. The river unfurled itself. 

It was without a doubt that this was the most profound and magnificent scene Luo Nan had ever drawn in his life. It possessed a nearly inexhaustible amount of layers and marvels.

If he had the chance, Luo Nan really wanted to mesmerize himself within these layers to ponder and savor over every detail. But today, he would not immerse himself within. He just used an independent, separated, detached, and wonderful point of view to capture and draw the compositional outline of this star river scene.

As a whole, it was quite appropriate to describe what he perceived as a ‘star river’.

It was as if Luo Nan was standing at the dead center of an enormous galaxy. The starlight was sparse in the area he occupied but surrounding him were three enormous and bright spiral arms unfolding out. They accurately represented the number of living beings in Frost River Reality and the three buildings it was connected to.

However, there was also a hazy dark cloud entrenched at the end of each of the three spiral arms. The three dark clouds obstructed the starlight. They even interlinked channels between the dark clouds. The channels drew out a region of turbid darkness that pressed heavily atop the star river. The darkness even permeated within. It was hard to see their true identities.

It was without a doubt that the three dark clouds represented the positions of the First Oblatums of the secular side in the Order of Justice. Looking at the current situation, it seemed that his previous judgment was true.

Three First Oblatums. They were all here.

Well, he had found the most important targets of this night.

The expansion of Luo Nan's mental senses was still continuing. This lasted until the limit of its distance broke through two kilometers. Only then did the expansion rate begin to attenuate.

The enormous star river scene had already covered three bustling blocks of the city. The highest elevation it reached was to the high altitude traffic layers. The lowest it penetrated was to the enormous underground sewage system of the city. The Life Sketches that represented living beings were in the tens of thousands. The number of stars was nearly impossible to count.

Of course, from Luo Nan's perspective, the pure void or inanimate objects were the meaningless regions of shadows. They were meaningless unless he chose to expend a lot of his energy, change his observation methods, and meticulously use his clairvoyance.

Luo Nan felt pressure once again at this time. There was a mutual influence between the stars; they were affecting each other. An enormous tension was ultimately formed within the depths of the star river and far too much redundant information was formed as well.

The gigantic dimensions of the river had naturally increased the amount of information he received and the planar area he could access. Though he did not actively sense them, the enormous plane of life confined to Xia City was like the myriad of galaxies of deep space. Their lights radiated over. 

After a moment of consideration, Luo Nan actively reduced the radius of his sensing to be 1500 meters. He continued to shrink the range until it reached approximately a kilometer. This was to precisely have the whole building complex of Frost River Reality and its connected buildings incorporated within. Things were going steady so far and there was enough tolerance for error.

The dazzling star river flowed silently, light splintered, and shadows shifted. A fuzzy and subtle relationship was maintained with the faint starlight projection from further away.

Upon fixing his clairvoyance range, his spreading power was retracted and his sense of detail grew even sharper. They affected each other and began to fine tune one another. Inharmonious nuances were spontaneously influenced, allowing Luo Nan to tear through the chaotic masses without the need for direct observation.

However, the dark clouds located on top of the three buildings remained thick and solid. It was hard to observe through them... Well, at least two of the clouds were like this.

The last cloud had accumulated quite the surplus of mass. Thick could not even describe it, yet why did Luo Nan get a sense of familiarity from it?

Luo Nan had a plan in mind. He withdrew his mind for now and he tried to put his hands in his pockets due to habit. He was completely focused and had forgotten that his arms were being gripped by Xue Lei and Cat Eyes. When his hands did not move as he expected, his forearms swung down and were flung a bit too far. His hand smacked into a place that was quite buxom and elastic. There was a faint sound.

Cat Eyes instantly turned to look at him at this very moment. Though they were in the darkness and the brim of Cat Eyes' hat covered her eyes with dark shadows, her gaze flashed with an aura as cold as ever before. The sting from her gaze forced Luo Nan to squint.

However, the most important thing was to fish out the object from his pockets. It was true that his hand was touching the cloth of some pants but its pockets did not belong to him. Luo Nan tried to move his hand away, rubbing the surface a few times but he was unable to move his arms where he wanted to. He could only face Cat Eyes and say,

"Let go for a moment. I need to get something from my pockets."

At this moment, Luo Nan seemed to feel Cat Eyes' grip on his arm grow a bit stronger but in the end, she let go without saying much.

Luo Nan was finally able to put his hands into his pockets and take out the metal box with the downloaded Human-Faced Arachnid Exoskeleton Armor. He weighed it in his hands.

Cat Eyes' hand noiselessly stuck back to his upper arm at this very moment. She maintained her hold over him and spoke with a barely audible whisper, "Do you need help?"

Luo Nan looked at Cat Eyes again. Her gaze was still clear and cold but the vague silhouette of her mouth was in an unreadable curve within this dusky darkness. Her lips hooked slightly into a very contradicting smile but there was a sense of a never seen before novelty to it. He had the impulse to take up a pen and draw just by looking at her.

Luo Nan blinked his eyes but he nodded after a short while. "Okay. Can you help me break open this box?"

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Chapter Synopsis:

Luo Nan no longer goes into great detail in his clairvoyance and his sketches. Instead, he looks at the whole and speed-sketches. He first makes a general outline and will fill in the details later.Luo Nan's range of clairvoyance increases greatly as he makes this break-through; all of Frost River Reality and the surrounding three blocks are under his observation. A star river appears to be unfurling on his star atlas. It is a galaxy with Luo Nan acting as the core.Luo Nan percieves three spiral arms unfolding out from the center with dark clouds linked at the end of each arm. The Three First Oblatums are located within the dark clouds. Luo Nan feels a sense of familiarity from the dark cloud with the most mass.Luo Nan thinks of a plan and he retrieves the metal box containing the Human-Faced Arachnid configuration. He intends to break open the box and asks Cat Eyes for assistance.

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