Whether it was blue butterfly or Zhi Guan, they both looked at him, waiting for an explanation. Even though they had seen the same thing as him, they couldn’t figure out what he had deduced from there.
Tong Chen hadn’t expected them to do so either. In a way, he was able to perceive how things were connected more easily than others. Maybe it was because he didn’t look at the surface of things but could only slowly form an image of them in his mind. It gave him a different perspective that others lacked.
For a moment, he wondered how to explain though. It seemed obvious after having figured it out but where to start? After a moment, he turned to blue butterfly. “Your own ability, what do you think is its underlying principle?”
Blue butterfly’s brows twitched. He had asked her a very similar question just a while ago and she already hadn’t been able to answer then. Now, she didn’t know either. Although then, he was only asking about her own ability so she could at least say something. “Well, it’s traveling, isn’t it?”
Tong Chen nodded. “But how do you travel?”
Blue butterfly’s brows drew together. They all knew so she wasn’t sure why he wanted her to say this. Still, she trusted Tong Chen so since he asked, she would respond. “By stepping into the dreamscape and walking in any direction, I move through the real world outside in the same direction at the same time. Only the distance is different and one step could equal a hundred outside.”
Tong Chen inclined his head. “Then what do you think the dreamscape is?”
Blue butterfly’s mind churned. Tong Chen wouldn’t be asking this if there wasn’t a deeper meaning to it. What was the dreamscape? “Well, it’s a space I created myself. It’s … similar to the realms high-ranking cultivators can establish but it’s also different because others can’t …” She trailed off, her gaze wandering over to Zhi Guan. Yes, usually, people couldn’t enter but now, she knew that this wasn’t always the case.
Tong Chen smiled. “Others can’t enter at will save for some very specific exceptions.”
Zhi Guan’s brows rose. Suddenly, he seemed to understand what had happened previously at the southern chasm. Apparently, he had done something that shouldn’t or rather couldn’t be done. Well, he could. That sure gave him something to think about.
Tong Chen didn’t continue to ask and instead explained what he had thought of. “A realm is located in a different dimension but linked to ours by external means. If you cut the means, the realm can continue to exist but we won’t be able to go there from here.”
Blue butterfly nodded. Indeed. She had once thought that maybe she would be able to do so after her ability grew further but so far, she hadn’t been able to. She wasn’t sure why. Maybe … “Could it be the dimension used to create realms and the dreamscape is different?”
Tong Chen shrugged. “That is a question you can likely answer better than me. I have simply been thinking that the fact that a realm and your dreamscapes being part of another dimension might tell us more about the abilities than we’ve previously thought.”
Blue butterfly felt like she was slowly grasping what he meant but she couldn’t quite put it into words. Her gaze traveled through the room she had created and she slowly thought about what her dreamscape really was. “The dreamscape is in another dimension as well but it doesn’t need to be tied to ours. I alone am able to keep the connection. When I leave though, the dreamscape disperses which is what is different from a realm.”
Tong Chen nodded. “Yes, as long as the dreamscape is there it is tied to ours and can be entered and exited through the means tying the two of them together.”
Blue butterfly tilted her head, her brows tightly furrowed. Then, she pointed at her nose. “Me? I mean … my ability?”
Tong Chen nodded. “Yes. I assume that Zhi Guan is somehow seeing the ability reflected in our dimension. That is why he can do it on his own without your help while the rest of us need to be pulled in and pushed out.”
Blue butterfly gave a hum. What he said sure sounded logical but … “So is this an ability on its own or not? I feel like you were still insisting that he didn’t have one.”
Tong Chen smiled. “That is the thing: I still don’t believe that this is an ability. Maybe we have seen abilities in a way that is too narrow but to me, they were always something that could make an active difference in our world. What Zhi Guan can do … it’s not like that.”
Next to them, Zhi Guan inclined his head. He also didn’t think that he had some kind of ability. “I would say this is just like a person’s comprehension ability. Everyone has it and can comprehend things but the degree is different. Maybe my … perception or whatever this is, is simply higher than that of other people.”
Blue butterfly wasn’t sure if she should accept this explanation. After all, this wasn’t as simple as Zhi Guan seeing her dreamscape. If it was just that, she wouldn’t be so weirded out. No, he could interact with it and that was different.
Tong Chen could imagine what was going through her mind so he added his thoughts on that. “Of course, right now, we can’t be sure of these things but I believe that the reason why he can enter is much simpler than you might think right now.
“Think of what we said about other realms: The entry point is clearly marked by outside means. In the case of your dreamscape, the ability is the entry point but the whole dreamscape is suffused with it. Thus, each part of the dreamscape becomes a possible point of entry and exit. As somebody who knows where the dreamscape is, Zhi Guan is simply able to make use of that. Others might indeed be able to do the same so … in light of what is currently going on, the two of you should probably practice a bit. Maybe there is a way to bar entry into the dreamscape despite this. Otherwise, I’m afraid we have finally found your ability’s drawback.”