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Tower of Myriad Immortals

2

Chapter 2: The Tower of Myriad Immortals

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Joo-won's heart raced as he stood before the massive doors of the mysterious tower. They were unlike anything he'd ever seen—shimmering and otherworldly, reflecting the sky's ever-changing hues like some kind of cosmic mirror.

 

 

 

"Whoa," he breathed, reaching out to touch them.

 

 

 

His fingers met cold, unyielding metal. No way he was breaking through that.

 

 

 

The haunting melody that had led him here drifted from somewhere inside, but how was he supposed to get in?

 

 

 

Joo-won squinted at the doors, noticing weird symbols etched into their surface. They seemed to dance and shift before his eyes, making his head spin.

 

 

 

Suddenly, a voice echoed in his mind, making him jump.

 

 

 

"Who dares approach? Speak, mortal, and name your lineage!"

 

 

 

Joo-won's mouth went dry. What was he supposed to say to that?

 

 

 

Before he could stammer out a response, a warm light washed over him. It felt alive somehow, like it was checking him out.

 

 

 

"Ah," the voice rumbled, sounding weirdly smug. "A halfling, born of the Harmonizer of Elements."

 

 

 

"The what now?" Joo-won blurted out. He'd never heard of any Harmonizers, but something about it tugged at the back of his mind, like a half-forgotten dream.

 

 

 

"This," the voice continued, ignoring his confusion, "is the Tower of Myriad Immortals, the secret of the universe forged during the ancient wars between light and dark. Only the divine keepers may enter its halls of power and ancient knowledge."

 

 

 

Joo-won's head was spinning. Divine keepers? Secrets of the universe? Ancient wars between light and dark? This was way more than he'd bargained for when he'd followed that weird music.

 

 

 

Just as he was wondering how the heck he was supposed to prove himself "worthy," a strange instrument appeared in front of him. It looked kind of like a fancy harp, with gleaming strings stretched across an intricately carved body.

 

 

 

"Uh, I don't know how to play whatever this is," Joo-won started to say, but his hands seemed to move on their own.

 

 

 

His fingers danced across the strings, weaving a melody that was both familiar and completely alien.

 

 

 

The air around him hummed with power, and the massive doors began to glow. A shimmering pathway materialized, leading into the depths of the tower.

 

 

 

Joo-won took a deep breath. "Well, here goes nothing," he muttered, stepping forward.

 

 

 

The moment he crossed the threshold, darkness enveloped him. But instead of being scary, it felt... educational? Information flooded his mind—snippets about the tower's layout, its treasures, its purpose.

 

 

 

As his vision cleared, Joo-won's jaw dropped.

 

 

 

He stood in a massive library, shelves stretching farther than he could see. One section held glowing plants straight out of a sci-fi movie. Another had rows of weird metals that seemed to pulse with energy. And was that an honest-to-goodness alchemy lab?

 

 

 

"Holy crap," Joo-won whispered.

 

 

 

The voice in his head chuckled.

 

 

 

"Indeed. All the knowledge of the ancients, at your fingertips. Of course," it added, sounding annoyingly smug again, "how much you can actually understand depends on what's in that head of yours."

 

 

 

Just as Joo-won was trying to wrap his head around the whole "cosmic library" thing, something small and fluffy popped into existence right in front of him. He blinked, rubbed his eyes, and blinked again.

 

 

 

"Is that... a teddy bear?" he muttered.

 

 

 

The creature looked like someone had taken a stuffed animal and brought it to life, minus the ears. Its button nose twitched as it stared up at him with beady eyes.

 

 

 

"Uh, hi there," Joo-won said, feeling a bit ridiculous. "You wouldn't happen to be the librarian, would you?"

 

 

 

The fluffy thing—a dokkaebi, his brain helpfully supplied—squeaked out a response in a voice that was decidedly less impressive than the booming one from earlier.

 

 

 

"Sorry, kid. No all-access pass for you just yet."

 

 

 

Joo-won's face fell. "Seriously? But there's so much cool stuff here!"

 

 

 

The dokkaebi shrugged its tiny shoulders. "Tower rules. You only get to see what your brain can handle. Right now, that's... well, let's just say you're starting in the kiddie pool."

 

 

 

"Come on," Joo-won groaned. "I was hoping to check out those ancient alchemy books!"

 

 

 

"Patience, grasshopper," the dokkaebi chirped. "Learn the basics, level up your noggin, and who knows? Maybe you'll be brewing up cosmic smoothies in no time."

 

 

 

Joo-won sighed, but nodded. "Fine. Where do I start?"

 

 

 

The dokkaebi's expression turned serious (well, as serious as a fluffy bear-thing could look).

 

 

 

"This place is no joke, kid. Tread carefully, keep learning, and don't do anything stupid. Now, what's first on your study list?"

 

 

 

Joo-won's mind raced. As cool as all this cosmic knowledge was, he couldn't forget why he came here in the first place. His family's land, poisoned and dying... that had to be the priority.

 

 

 

"I need to learn how to cleanse my clan's land," he said firmly. "Is there anything here that can help with that?"

 

 

 

The dokkaebi tilted its head, then snapped its tiny paws. A hole opened up in midair, and something small dropped into Joo-won's palm.

 

 

 

"Consider this your welcome gift," the dokkaebi said. "It's a seed from the Lotus Victory Tree."

 

 

 

"A... tree seed?" Joo-won asked, feeling a bit underwhelmed.

 

 

 

The dokkaebi rolled its eyes. "Not just any tree, genius. This sucks up toxins like a vacuum. Plant it, and its roots will spread out, cleansing a huge area."

 

 

 

Joo-won's eyes widened. "That's perfect!"

 

 

 

"Hold your horses," the dokkaebi warned. "There's a catch. Once it's done its job, it produces a fruit. Super powerful stuff – could even take down a god. But someone's gotta eat that fruit within 100 days, or all those toxins get released again, even nastier than before."

 

 

 

Joo-won gulped. "Oh."

 

 

 

He stared at the tiny seed in his hand. It looked so ordinary, but it could be the key to saving his family's land. Of course, it could also unleash a disaster if he messed up.

 

 

 

"So," he said, trying to sound more confident than he felt, "where do I learn how to not screw this up?"

 

 

 

The dokkaebi grinned (which was a little unnerving on its fuzzy face). "Follow me, rookie. We're heading to the Alchemy Temple scrolls. Time for Magical Gardening 101!"

 

 

 

The Origin of the Tower of Myriad Immortals

 

 

 

Long ago, in a time beyond memory, Heaven and Hell waged a war that spanned eons. Entire universes were born and died in the wake of their cosmic conflict. When at last the dust settled, both sides sought a way to ensure lasting peace.

 

 

 

Their solution? A marvel beyond imagination—the Tower of Myriad Immortals.

 

 

 

It was a living repository of knowledge, drinking in the wisdom of ages like a sponge. From the mysteries of the Lost Era to the first moments of creation, the Tower held secrets that even the gods whispered about in awe.

 

 

 

As news of this cosmic wonder spread, it caught the attention of powerful beings across all realms. Gods, immortals, and creatures of legend all turned their gaze upon the Tower, drawn by the promise of its hidden treasures and forbidden knowledge.

 

 

 

But such power couldn't be left unguarded. Here’s the Harmonizers of Elements—a race uniquely suited to protect the Tower's vast secrets. With their mastery over the fundamental forces of creation and their unparalleled skill in the ancient arts, they became the Tower's eternal guardians.

 

 

 

The Harmonizers wielded abilities that blurred the line between magic and science, their very blood singing with the power of the elements. They took up their sacred duty with pride, sworn to keep the Tower's knowledge safe from those who would misuse it.

 

 

 

And so the Tower of Myriad Immortals stands. It waits, perhaps, for the day when one worthy enough might unlock its greatest mysteries.

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