When the sun was about to set and it was getting gradually darker outside, butler Walter ushered Wang Shu inside to wash up and prepare for his father's arrival.
Wang Shu remained as silent as a mouse the whole way back to his room, his expression dazed and unfocused and it wasn't clear what he was thinking about. The young butler was getting uneasy and a bit concerned for the young master. Unaccustomed to such a meek attitude, he suspected that Oliver was feeling unwell, but due to his pride, he kept silent, enduring his suffering on his own. He hesitated a few times before his concern overwhelmed him and voiced his distress.
"Young master, are you feeling alright?"
Wang Shu sobered up at the man's inquiry, looked up at him with undisguised wariness and confusion before nodding slowly. He didn't dare to talk for fear that the stranger would notice something amiss. He himself is still not quite sure of what had happened. He died then found himself in a different place, inhabiting the body of a kid still wet behind the ears whose title is the young master of what he assumed is a prosperous family courtesy of the extravagant residence. Such an unbelievable phenomenon isn't unheard of in the Azure cloud continent and the existence of different planes is also a well-known fact so Wang Shu wasn't as much shocked as he was confused. Why and how did he transmigrate?
Based on his limited knowledge of the afterlife, one's personal destiny is the result of its own karma. As such their soul would be reborn in a different realm of life as another life form in an endless cycle. That is of course until attaining the spiritual liberation if ever one realizes self-knowledge and the true nature of reality. Such pursuit is in line with the Dao that Wang Shu spent his entire life trying to grasp.
His master's first lesson was "When an embodied being transcends, they are released from birth, death, old age and pain. They attain immortality, as in the final release, a state of utter bliss and contentment, the true enlightenment. To embark on this spiritual pursuit should be your only purpose". the words he took as doctrine and abided by his entire life resonated in his mind at this time.
The concept of reincarnation still doesn't explain why he retained his past life's memories. Is Oliver really his reincarnation? or was he someone completely unrelated to him? And if so what is their connection?
Oliver's memories seem very vague as if Wang Shu's presence overwhelmed Oliver's sense of existence making him close up on himself in the deepest, darkest corner of the subconscious.
Saying so affirms that Oliver and Wang Shu coexist together. Are they the same soul after all?
Then the reason he retains his memory is due to his accumulated spiritual energy. That must be why he felt it draining of his body before his death. In this case, it's still not clear why would his cultivation assist his rebirth but not resist the tribulations and help him avoid death altogether. Well, he died already so it is not that pressing to figure that out for now.
If the hypothesis of reincarnation is valid then Oliver and Wang Shu share the same source of consciousness, the same soul's origin, in which case retrieving Oliver's memories would be easy.
He only needs to meditate and try to absorb them to find out. Fortunately, they reached their destination.
Butler Walter noticed his young master's thoughtful appearance and chose to remain silent. Since Oliver said he was fine, there is nothing more he could do but hope the young master's illness isn't acting up. Although the kid's temperament is irritable and unlikeable, the butler never minded and often indulged him. Who wouldn't be angry and desperate knowing they could die at any moment? Where was he to vent his frustrations and fears in the face of a doomed future?
They soon reached their destination and the butler dutifully opened the door for his young master, stood aside with an elegant demeanor, head slightly bowed, one hand behind his back and the other in an inviting motion. The whole set of movements were obviously practiced and refined and Wang Shu marveled at the sophisticated etiquette of his attendant.
The room which Wang Shu assumed was his, was quite incredibly vast and extravagant. It was bathed in calming earthy tones, but contrary to what one might expect, it looked anything but boring. A huge bed suspended in mid-air that looks very fluffy and comfortable. An intricately designed fireplace lit with a multicolored fire that oddly enough emits no smoke and makes no sound, only a vague sense of warmth could be felt seeping to one's soul relaxing the mind and body. A big set of windows that seem to take up the majority of the wall facing the bed though because of the dark outside Wang Shu wasn't sure of the view. The room was fairly lit with dangling glowing pearls of various sizes more dazzling than the stars.
Wang Shu stood in a daze looking around with a baffled expression. Thankfully, the butler went to fetch him a change of clothes and missed his young master's bewilderment upon seeing his room. It couldn't be helped though, everything looked beautiful and novel.
After schooling his expression, Wang Shu followed the butler who came back holding a set of neatly folded, expensive-looking clothes and led him to the adjoining bathroom. After helping him remove his clothes and settling in the bathtub, the young butler sensibly left, awaiting his young master's emergence outside. He of all people knows how self-conscious Oliver was about his emaciated body and learned early on not to ask him whether he wanted help washing up.
Wang Shu heaved a sigh at last and relaxed his aching muscles in the warm scented water. He closed his eyes and started absorbing Oliver's memories.
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