Part 1 Special Episode: Four Years
(TN: This is a special/extra that should be read after chapter 33.)
Xiu woke up and found himself in a silver-white enclosed space with no entrance or exit. He remembered being sucked in by that door.
As Xiu got up, a foreign body attracted his attention and he noticed that he had some papers in his hand – it was the pages that had been torn from Du Ze’s book when they were separated by the door. When they were in the reverse side of the continent, Xiu had opened that book and read until the second page before Du Ze woke up.
Xiu hesitated for a moment, then examined the pages.
The whole space was quiet. The only sound came from Xiu turning the pages, but the gnome’s tiny ears, hidden in his flaxen hair, became tinged with crimson.
Suddenly, a blue light swept over the room and a small figure appeared. Xiu unthinkingly hid the papers behind his back. The figure was short and had pointed ears, showing that he was a gnome. The gnome smiled at Xiu.
“Welcome to the Gate of Wisdom, child.”
“It’s really a work of art,” the gnome exclaimed as the examined the mechanical puppet. “There’s no difference between this mechanical puppet and a man.”
He tiptoed to touch the head of the mechanical puppet. “If it has feelings then it’s no different from real people.”
The gnome looked at Xiu: “You are the most gifted child I have ever seen.”
Hearing the praise, Xiu did not show a happy expression and he just asked: “Can I leave?”
“Of course, child.” The gnome waved his hand and a metal bracelet engraved with three stars appeared in front of Xiu: “This is the highest mechanical certificate I can give you. In fact, you are already a five star mechanic. After you get out of here, you can take your work to the “Severity” plaza to upgrade your star rank – I suggest that you get five stars so you can take five-star materials from the “Foundation” plaza.1
The gnome rankings use stars. There are a total of 7 star ranks. Depending on the gnome’s star ranking, they can get the corresponding star level material and command the corresponding star ranked mechanical puppet.
Xiu took the bracelet and the metal chain automatically clasped itself on his wrist. The gnome stood opposite him. This time his smile looked more spontaneous and less programmed.
“Congratulations child, you are ready to graduate.”
When Xiu came out of the Gate of Wisdom, he saw Old John guarding the door. The old mechanical puppet saw Xiu and the blue lights in its eyes glowed with delight.
“Welcome back.” Old John looked at the bracelet on Xiu’s wrist: “Three stars already? Looks like our new little Master is very good.”
Beside them a machine beeped. It seemed to agree and cheer. Xiu glanced around him but did not find the person he was looking for.
“Where is he?”
Old John’s blue lights flickered and his voice was full of sadness.
“There is one thing I have to tell you …”
The little Phoenix stood at the top of the wheel of time, languishing. It occasionally pecked the golden outer ring of the wheel of time as though trying to get the big guy to return its “Mother.” Suddenly, a small figure appeared in its field of vision and the small Phoenix issued a tender cry, bouncing up and down on the wheel of time.
“Chirp, chirp, chirp!”
Xiu stared fixedly at the wheel of time. All the numbers and runes were brightly lit, which seemed to indicate that it was functioning. He stretched out his hand and pressed on the wheel of time.
That person … is in there?
Xiu turned around and scanned the information and records that were on the ground. His amber eyes flashed with a hint of ruthlessness.
I’ll pull you out!
Rachel stood at the top of the metal pyramid, overlooking the huge space. Even she felt an indescribable thrill and shock.
This is the legendary space eye. 30,000 years ago the gnomes built this metal pyramid to block the space eye. Since then, the reverse side of the continent had not had access to the “channel” to the Chaos Continent.
Rachel chased the clues which led here. The mechanical puppets in the Death Swamp brought them a little trouble, but those machines could not stop the Thunder Regiment’s footsteps. They went to the Lost Land, entered the pillar of light, and received a great surprise.
The “channel” that had been blocked for thousands of years was finally open again.
Rachel glanced at the space eye below and took her men away. If no location is indicated, the space eye will transfer each person into a random place on the other side. She had to go back and get ready for the space eye. In addition, she was going to spread this exciting news across the reverse side of the continent.
The demons have waited too long. Now it’s time for them to return to the Chaos Continent.
The little Phoenix flapped its wings. Its feathers have grown out and it no longer flies like a drunk man, clumsily bumping into things. Old John smiled. If one did not know that he was a mechanical puppet, one would mistake the smiling, brown-haired mechanical puppet for an ordinary man.
Xiu changed the obsolete mechanical puppet’s shell so that Old John could more easily look after the baby Phoenix. Old John fed the small Phoenix, and then looked at his small master whose head was still buried in the research data. Xiu’s food had already become cold.
As a race, gnomes are curious and stubborn. Old John often thought that if only they were not so curious, they would not have perished. And if they had not been so stubborn, they wouldn’t have suffered so much pain.
Xiu put down the report in his hand. No matter how many times he looked at it, no matter how many tests he did, he always arrived at the same conclusion: he had no way of controlling the wheel of time.
According to the Gnome Research Report, the wheel of time is an artifact through which you can access the law of time.
Xiu looked at the huge wheel of time, revealing a strong determination2 in his eyes.
Since it is an artifact that is activated, it must have a master. So who is its master?
- The gnome city is based on the Kabbalah Tree of Life and the plazas represent the 10 Sephiroth. Gevurah – “Severity” and Yesod – “Foundation” are the ones the gnome mentioned.
- Literally “unwillingness”