Embers Ad Infinitum - Chapter 589: Ideas Are Very Important

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Chapter 589: Ideas Are Very Important

Jiang Baimian surfaced from the shimmering water surface in the Sea of Origins and once again saw the island that had stopped her in her tracks.

This island was like a mountain submerged in the sea. Rocks protruded from its surface, mixed with holes that led deep down.

Over the past few days, Jiang Baimian would faint irresistibly as long as she stepped foot on the island—even before she entered the caves.

After staring at it for a moment, she began to recall her two unconscious encounters in reality. She constantly told herself that most of the corresponding fear she felt during her Awakening experiment had been eliminated.

She then conjured an item—it was a doll wearing grayish-green camouflage. Its face was different from normal. It had no facial features, and a mirror was embedded in it, reflecting Jiang Baimian’s face.

Jiang Baimian focused on the doll in her hand, and her eyes suddenly lit up like the stars in the night sky or shattered mirrors illuminated by moonlight.

She used Stimulation Disorder on herself the next second and modified her fainting reaction to the stimulus.

This only lasted for a minute at present, but it was enough for Jiang Baimian—who would fall unconscious for up to ten seconds after she stepped foot on the island.

After her attempt to use a mirror to cast the two abilities—Stimulation Disorder and Item Agnosia—on herself failed, Jiang Baimian tried many different methods but still failed. She later considered the fact that her domain was called Shattered Mirror and included the mirror back into the plan.

She had obtained inspiration from the True Self Church’s idols and teachings. She specially created a doll that resembled her and used a mirror to act as its face. Therefore, Jiang Bohemian would have the strange feeling of seeing her true self every time she took out this doll and looked at its head.

She finally completed the step of influencing herself with Stimulation Disorder and Item Agnosia by relying on this feeling. She then pushed open the door that led to the Sea of Origins from Star Cluster Hall.

This also made her increasingly certain of the effects of the psychological cues while digging into her Awakening abilities. She believed that she would no longer rely on the specially-created doll through training, allowing her to directly use a mirror to affect herself.

There was a high chance that she wouldn’t even need mirrors after she entered the Mind Corridor.

Once she completed the ‘modification,’ Jiang Baimian didn’t delay any further and swam toward the island like a fish.

She reached out with her left hand, propped herself up, and silently leaped out of the water. Following this, Jiang Baimian quickly sat down in front of a cracked, greenish-black boulder and conjured a laptop.

She wanted to reenact the scene from the Awakening experiment.

A song soon echoed. “Do you remember the dreams of your youth?

“Like a flower in eternal bloom;

“Accompanying me through the wind and rain;

“Watching the impermanence of the world;

“Watching the vicissitudes of life[1]…”

Jiang Baimian listened to the familiar melody and lyrics, leaned back against the greenish-black boulder, composed herself, and waited for her coma to arrive.

Darkness occupied her vision before long, and silence ruled her mind.

She unconsciously fainted.

In the boundless darkness, specks of light surfaced in the distance, dyeing the area red and awakening Jiang Baimian’s consciousness.

Her eyelashes twitched a few times before she slowly opened her eyes.

Unlike the previous few times, she didn’t see the company’s ceiling or the top of the jeep after she woke up. She also didn’t see a blue sky dotted with white clouds or a starry night sky.

In front of her was a sky above the Sea of Origins that was shrouded in thick fog.

It worked… Jiang Baimian was delighted. She immediately straightened her back and remained sitting in her spot.

As she was previously unconscious and no longer had the consciousness to maintain the items she had conjured, the laptop had long disappeared. The song had also stopped at some point in time.

Jiang Baimian laughed self-deprecatingly. “Listening to music is still useful after all. It is deserving of Hey’s dedication to it…”

To her, the song’s role was more of a form of motivation—a form of psychological cue—than to wake her up directly.

Jiang Baimian didn’t return to the real world immediately. She stayed and checked the area to observe the island’s complete appearance.

“Why are there so many caves?” she muttered to herself in confusion. She then had a guess: “It represents the Seven-Aperture Heart from the Investiture of the Gods?”

Just as she said that, she mocked herself. “Isn’t this a little narcissistic? Uh… I can’t say that I’m petty, right? Pui! This island’s appearance is definitely a manifestation of my inner fears. It’s a form of distortion!”

After muttering for a while, Jiang Baimian returned to the real world.

Upon seeing her open her eyes, Bai Chen casually asked, “How was it? Any obvious effects?”

Jiang Baimian smiled. “It worked.”

“That fast?” Long Yuehong—who was in the back row—exclaimed.

Clap! Clap! Clap!

The weak and dizzy Shang Jianyao still insisted on clapping.

Jiang Baimian snorted. “You call that fast? I’ve been on this island for almost three months!”

“I mean, you succeeded so quickly just after a change of plan,” Long Yuehong quickly explained.

Jiang Baimian sighed with emotion. “Therefore, it’s sometimes purely a problem with the train of thought. If we change our train of thought, a difficulty might not be difficult.”

“That’s right, that’s right.” Shang Jianyao strongly agreed.

After ‘educating’ her team members, Jiang Baimian looked at Long Yuehong and smiled charmingly. “I can’t wait to experiment to see how much stronger my abilities have become.”

Long Yuehong hesitated and said, “Me?”

“Do you think Hey is up to it? He’s half-dead now.” Jiang Baimian explained methodically and patiently. “We can’t have Little White do it, right? She has to drive.”

Bai Chen immediately interrupted. “It’s about time to switch to Little Red.”

“Let me do it.” Long Yuehong instantly made a decision. “It’s not a big deal anyway.”

Bai Chen pursed her lips and didn’t say anything in the end.

She found a relatively open area and got the jeep to stop.

In the next few minutes, Jiang Baimian tested the changes in her three abilities. The final outcome was: originally, Spatial Hallucination could only affect one person at a maximum range of 15 meters. Now, it could affect four people at a range of 20 meters. The ability was the type that had its effects disappear once stopped.

Item Agnosia’s range had increased from 10 meters to 13 meters, but it could still only affect one target. Furthermore, the target would only misrecognize one item at a time. For example, Long Yuehong only treated the canned food Jiang Baimian threw as a bomb and subconsciously rolled to dodge. It lasted for a minute at present.

Stimulation Disorder was still the modification of one related reaction to a target at a time. For example, Long Yuehong chose to close his eyes when he heard the sound. The duration increased from one minute to one minute and 20 seconds. The maximum range was ten meters.

Overall, Jiang Baimian’s abilities had improved by about 30% after clearing this island of fear. There were also slight differences between her abilities.

The soil gradually became moist when they came close to the Lake of Wrath, and the vegetation became increasingly lush.

After every winter, the paths that were opened up had to be ‘developed’ again.

The Old Task Force suffered a round of attacks—a mutated atavist bird. It had a large body and astonishing flying speed. It knew how to pick up rocks and throw them at people like a helicopter with relatively unadvanced equipment.

However, there was no need for Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao to do anything. The team also didn’t use the exoskeleton or bionic artificial intelligence armor. Long Yuehong only needed to play bait for a short while before Bai Chen found an opportunity to shoot it in the head.

After her genetic modification, her marksmanship had improved to a terrifying level.

“How do we eat this?” Shang Jianyao stood beside the gigantic avian monster and raised a question that left one deep in thought.

Once on shore, one prays no more; he looked forward to some game meat not long after his dizziness subsided.

Before Jiang Baimian could answer, Shang Jianyao clenched his right fist and punched his left palm. “I’ve decided—stew it entirely in soup!”

“Where are you going to find such a large pot?” Jiang Baimian scoffed. “It might not even fit a grill.”

As they discussed, Bai Chen suddenly said, “Two cars are approaching.”

The terrain was open, so she could discover them a few hundred meters away.

Shang Jianyao was immediately ‘terrified.’ “Could this be their pet?”

Jiang Baimian couldn’t be bothered with him and said to Bai Chen, “If they insist on entering a 150-meter range, ensure some distance between us by issuing a warning with a warning shot.”

The reason she limited it to 150 meters was that Shang Jianyao could exert his influence once they were in that range.

The two cars that had come had been modified to the point that it was almost unknown what kind of cars they were originally. Machine guns were mounted atop them, and flags fluttered on both sides. Although their frames were gray, they were spray-painted with pictures of blood, organs, and half-naked humans.

This reminded Long Yuehong of the modified vehicles and motorcycles in the North Shore Mountains’ advance base camp. They had unique, varied personalities—a sight to behold.

In an extremely oppressive environment, humans definitely needed a way to vent their feelings.

The two cars also seemed to discover their presence and began to turn to the side, prepared to circle around the Old Task Force.

At this moment, someone in the car ahead shouted in surprise, “Bai Chen?”

[1] Price of Love, Lee Tsung-Sheng.

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