650 Creators Temple 3

 A majestic-looking temple appeared in front of them as they stepped through the Gates of the True Self. Its pillars were a few thousand feet high and a few hundred feet wide, with thick clouds coiling around their upper portions and the temple's ceiling. It was truly an impressive sight.

When they were inside the temple, Link saw that both sides of the temple were lined with countless statues. These massive statues were all frozen in all kinds of postures. One seemed to be roaring at the heavens; another was locked in a striking posture, with a battle-axe held behind his head in his hand. Some of them had serene looks on their faces. The same white columns of cloud wound through the gaps between their arms and bodies, giving them a dignified, almost unearthly air.

Even a Legendary Magician would have a hard time bringing into existence a temple of this scale along with the statues it contained. The entire building seemed to have been given form by hands that had not belonged to any mortal.

The two of them then flew approximately 25 miles through the temple. All of a sudden, a round stone which seemed to be glowing with a blue light appeared in the heavens before them.

The stone had a diameter of around 16 feet. It floated like an insignificant speck of dust in the air, but Romeon suddenly stopped 2000 feet away from it. Not at all familiar with his surroundings, Link too came to a halt alongside Romeon.

Then, Romeon said, "This is the Stone of Creation, the core of the entire temple. Doesn't it look small and almost within arm's reach?"

It did seem to be within 2000 feet away from where they were. Link could probably reach it in a single bound. However, Romeon would not have asked such a question if things were as they seemed.

"Is something the matter?"

Smiling, Romeon replied, "I can't really put it in words. You'll just have to fly towards the stone to know exactly what I'm talking about. Don't worry, it's quite safe, though the journey may tire you out a bit. I've tried many times to reach it before, but I just never had the power to accomplish such a feat.

Setting aside his misgivings, Link began to fly towards the blue stone by himself.

At first, he thought he would be able to reach the stone in a single breath. However, after flying for a while, he sensed that something was not right.

As he flew on, he noticed that the Stone of Creation was gradually expanding until it filled his entire field of sight. He turned around and saw that the temple's pillars and its statues, which had seemed to stretch into the heavens back then, were now mere infinitesimal points on the ground behind him. He then looked at himself and realized that he too had shrunk to the size of a grain of dust.

Strangely enough, despite the fact that Link had flown for almost an hour, he felt that he was no closer to the blue stone in the sky than before. If anything, he sensed that he was pulling further and further away from it as he flew on. Before, he was still around 2000 feet away from the stone. Now, it seemed to be a few hundred thousand feet away from him.

Am I flying away from it? Is this spatial magic? But I didn't feel any ripples in the spatial fabric around me. Link could not wrap his head around what was going on.

If it were not for the fact the blue stone was growing larger and larger before him, Link would have already lost his will to press on towards it a long time ago.

Link flew on under these curious circumstances for more than three hours. At that point, the blue stone had completely filled Link's vision. Behind him, Romeon and the temple were nowhere to be seen on the ground.

Link was now under the impression that he was a mere speck of dust floating across the empty vastness of the Sea of Void, with the massive Stone of Creation looming before him. Whether he would be able to reach it at all was anyone's guess at this point.

As he flew on for what seemed like an age, something happened.

The blue stone before him had vanished. In its place was a mirror. Ripples spread out across its pond-like surface, before subsiding completely to reveal an unperturbed reflection.

With his dragon sight, Link was able to see what was reflected in the mirror. He had the impression that he was looking down at an entire world tens of thousands of miles up in the air.

Link soon realized that an entire world was indeed reflected on the mirror's surface. On this new world, there were continents and oceans stretching into the horizon. Vast cities sprouted across its continents, boasting majestic, yet peculiar-looking buildings. He also noticed that some of these cities were floating in the air like massive floating islands.

Looking closely, Link realized that this world was at the pinnacle of magical innovation, far beyond anything Link could even imagine.

If this was supposed to be what magical modernity would look like in this universe, then the Firuman realm he had been living in all this time was no more different from an era where people still lived in mud huts and hunted animals with hand-made spears. This new realm also seemed to be thrice the size of Firuman!

"What is this place? Could it be the ancient epic that the game's mission was referring to?" Link frowned at this. He was still flying towards the mirror.

Just as he pondered the scene before him, suddenly, another change occurred. This time, a huge meteorite fell from the sky, landing squarely on one of the largest continents in the mirror's reflection.

The meteorite was 300 feet wide. Upon impact, it set off a massive explosion, decimating an entire city within seconds. People from neighboring cities came in from all corners to put out the fire before it could spread any further. Soon, the meteorite's core was discovered in the middle of the crater.

Link strained his eyes at it. The core was an unevenly shaped piece of rock with a diameter of 20 inches. Its material seemed to be of extraterrestrial origin. It was mostly white, like a piece of jade. However, unlike most pieces of jade, it was giving off a black smoke-like aura.

It then fell into the hands of an important-looking Magician with incredible power.

The Magician brought the stone back to his magical laboratory and began researching and experimenting with its properties in order to draw out its full potential.

Finally, a familiar-looking, six-toothed gear was brought into existence by the Magician's hands.

At this point, something clicked in Link's mind. However, he continued watching the scene in the mirror unfold before him, in order to have all the facts in his hands.

In the reflection, after completing the gear, the Magician began infusing his power into it in order to test out it. The gear continued drawing power from its maker without any sign of stopping. There was no turning back at that point. In order to see his experiment through, the Magician kept on finding new sources of energy for the six-toothed gear to feed on. Finally, tragedy struck.

There was a sudden flash of white light before him. When it subsided, Link saw that the Magician's entire city had evaporated completely, along with the Magician himself.

Light surged out in every direction. It seemed to intensify more and more as it spread out. No one could stop it. Anyone who tried to was simply erased from existence.

As the light spilled forth, Link saw something resembling a dragon escaping into the Void. He then saw a powerful Magician sacrificing himself in order to split open the realm! He also saw demon-like creatures spilling out into the Void.

In this world of infinite light, the six-toothed gear slowly rose up in the light and then vanished into the Sea of Void. Back in the evaporated city, Link could see that not everyone had perished in the catastrophe.

Link saw a young man lying on the ground, unconscious. To his surprise, he realized that the man resembled Nozama. After the gear of light had vanished in the sky, he regained consciousness. His eyes were then glued to the sky for a long time.

Link stared at the young man. He then noticed that he was grasping a black stone in his hand. The stone seemed to be issuing a black aura, which continuously seeped into the young man's body. His eyes gradually turned red throughout the entire process.

Looking closely at the black stone, Link realized that it was a mass of black impurity left behind by the meteorite's core.

Could it be that this is what prehistoric Firuman used to look like? But how on earth did all this end up here in the Creator's Temple in a realm so far away from Firuman? Could it be due to the six-toothed gear? Link grew even more bewildered.

Just then, the reflection of prehistoric Firuman on the mirror suddenly disappeared. A pristine blue background appeared in its place. Three balls of light floated in it. Two of them were white and black respectively. The third one was completely devoid of color.

Link strained his eyes at them. In an instant, the game system tagged each of the balls of light before him with their corresponding labels: the Portal of Light, the Portal of Darkness, and the Portal of Truth.

Beyond their names, no other information about them was given to Link.

A message from the game system then popped up in his field of vision:

Choose the portal that you wish to enter.