”… ” His level of skepticism was quite high as he lifted the book and saw the ordinary characters inscribed in its hardened surface: The Celestial Eyes of Spiritual Divinity, the Records of Fuxi.
Wei Wuyin frowned. This name felt both familiar and unfamiliar. He flipped open the book and proceeded to reach each character on the front page. Immediately, he was welcomed by an esoteric and eccentric diagram that seemed to depict the sky, heaven, rivers, mountains, marshes, earth and flame. But they were divided, disjointed yet oddly harmonious.
The first words read: ”Let there be fire, let there be words, let there be safety, let there be prosperity, and the future of the known. ”
His heart shook intensely, and his vision felt as if he was plunged into a body of yellow water. His lungs felt tight and breath was struggling to escape, but he couldn ’t breathe no matter how hard he tried. Within this world of water was a light. When his silver eyes met this light, his eyes shook and the world fragmented and shattered into an infinite amount of pieces.
’A flame? ’
His thoughts were said and the world returned to normal, but his hands were shaking without end. He couldn ’t think or focus.
Closing his eyes, he recalled the experience of pain that dwelled upon his mind since that day with Ming Shufeng.
…survive in darkness, life passes…
…survive in darkness, life passes…
…survive in darkness, life passes…
The horrific, inhumane degree of pain that plunged him into an indescribable terror resurged and his hands that trembled only intensified, but his thoughts became focused and stable.
After a deep inhale and a powerful exhale, he regained himself. Opening his eyes, his silver eyes remained clear and without a hint of taint. ’That was the yellow river… ’
If it was someone else, perhaps they would be shocked by the existence of the Yellow River, but not him. He had read the Scripture of Sin and understood the intricacies of Hell. While the Yellow River was not specifically Hell, it surrounded the Eighteen Levels of Calamity that tortured sinful souls until total cleansing.
The Yellow River was a segue for souls of the deceased. It was the location said to store souls, allowing them to exist there and await their time for reincarnation. But the Yellow River shouldn ’t be something he could see or experience, yet he did.
”What is the origin of this book, and who is Fuxi? ” He muttered quietly to himself. After calming his thoughts entirely, he continued to read the book in its entirety, but he experienced no more sudden immersions of imagination or intent. Instead, it detailed the story of Fuxi and the Cultivation Method for the Celestial Eyes of Spiritual Divinity.
According to the book, Fuxi was a benevolent entity that loved humans. He was a teacher, the most prominent and illustrious teacher of humanity, and gave them instructions on how to create fire to warm their bodies, cook their food, and light the darkness. He taught them how to fish and hunt, to grow and sustain themselves amidst a barren world. He taught them how to perceive the future so that they would no longer fear the future.
This was all it described.
”Fuxi… ” He committed this name to memory. After spending several hours to inscribe every syllable and character of the book into his sea of consciousness, he calmly closed the book and slid it across the counter. ”Thank you, ” after those words were said, he left.
When he left, the lady placed her book down and looked his way. Her eyes were curious and contained a faint trace of interest. ”Did he see? ” Her words were said verbally yet not a single ounce of sound was heard by those surrounding her or Wei Wuyin. When he left, he hadn ’t turned around.
”Silver eyes…? ” Her eyes flashed briefly before sending the book back to the shelf. She returned to her book, giving it her full attention.
Wei Wuyin left the Martial King ’s Dao Pavilion and was met with an unexpected, populated scene. It was already night, with the three suns ’ orbit being perfectly positioned to enable night. In truth, the Myriad Monarch Sect experienced night once a month at most, and today was that fated day.
In front of him was his pegasus being restrained and kept quiet, its legs were bound by shackles. There were at least ten thousand people all over, and that was merely on the ground. In the skies, aerial beasts floated and circled about containing tens or even dozens of people on their backs. These individuals were all peering down with interest.
The ten thousand numbered crowd were a mix of disciples and elders. He could see scarlet, white, black, and multicolored robes littered throughout. Their auras were also varied, with some at the Qi Condensation Realm while a few at the Astral Core Realm.
He frowned slightly, lifting his gaze to see a hulk of a man gripping a chain that led to his pegasus ’s shackles. He stood upon the air with an imperious gaze and wild air. This man was donning a scarlet robe, indicating his status as a member of the Extreme War Mountain.
Wei Wuyin didn ’t show any fear, walking forward with utter calm as he regarded the man in the sky. ”You can let go of my pegasus now. ” His words were uttered with the most even cadence imaginable, as if this was an expected scene.
In truth, Wei Wuyin was truly calm and without a hint of ripple in his heart. The only thing he felt was a tad bit displeasure at his pegasus being chained. While it wasn ’t going to be his primary mount, it was still an affront to his name by binding his beast.
As the age-old saying suggests, before acting against the dog, one should first consider their master.
Gu Hao coldly snorted. He yanked the chain that he held, a surge of worldly power sent itself into the restrained pegasus. It caused the pegasus ’s organs to rumble, spitting out blood and kneeling on the ground; It was severely injured.
”Oh god! Gu Hao is not a character one should offend! ”
”Tch, what did we expect to happen? Gu Hao isn ’t here to bring this new Sky Noble into the fold with gentle methods. ”
”Miao Yu would ’ve been gentler, haaaa… ”
Wei Wuyin didn ’t frown. He lifted his arms and fixed his sleeves a little, straightening out his robes while seemingly unaffected.
Gu Hao coldly said, ”I represent the Grand Axis Faction, led by the Sky Noble Ji Muzhao of the Extreme War Mountain. This is an invitation to join our faction, leading the Myriad Monarch Sect to greater heights. ”
Gu Hao ’s words might seem like he was inviting, but it was a blanket threat.
Wei Wuyin finished straightening his clothes and said, ”Ji Muzhao? Alright. He ’s the chicken. ”
”…What? The chicken? ” The crowd was startled by Wei Wuyin ’s words, unsure of its meaning.
Gu Hao frowned and coldly snorted. ”Will you accept or do I have to invoke Imperial Combat? ”
Wei Wuyin thought about Imperial Combat. According to orientation, Imperial Combat was generally used to settle matters between disciples, but it can be taken to an extreme. Those of the same rank can ’t refuse a challenge of Imperial Combat, and the challenging party can set the initial terms. The challenged party can set a date, location, and their own terms which can not be refused.
This was how most things were settled, but very rarely do people enact it because the difference amongst those in the same rank wasn ’t very high. Those who were Mortal Common disciples were all experts at the First Stage of the Astral Core Realm, the World Sea Phase; those at the Earthly Elite were all experts at the Second Stage of the Astral Core Realm, the Sky Ruler Phase; those who were Sky Noble disciples were all at the Third Stage of the Astral Core Realm, the Soul Idol Phase.
While the differences between phases were incredibly massive, nearly insurmountable without extreme differences, but within the same realm, there were very little differences unless one was an absolute elite. Furthermore, those who had a higher degree of combat strength to surmount a realm would be given a higher rank by special exemption, so this made things fair.
However, Wei Wuyin was originally a Sky Noble and thus could be challenged by other Sky Nobles or their subordinates by proxy without the ability to refuse. This was why many were startled by his decision to descend. His arrival was a storm that would cause all sorts of blood and rain to descend. In fact, Miao Yu was already a casualty of this event.
”Unfortunately for you, I ’m not a Sky Noble. ” Wei Wuyin calmly stated, looking at Gu Hao.
”What?! Not a Sky Noble? Was his status revoked? ” The crowd went wild with speculation, and a mixture of guesses flew, but no one thought of the truth.
Gu Hao shrugged. If his status was revoked, they ’ll still bring this young Alchemist to their side by challenging him or using force. After all, he was an Earthly Elite and can freely challenge Wei Wuyin still, unless he became a Mortal Common disciple.
”Make your choice, ” Gu Hao ’s aura continued to dominate as she looked down upon all heaven and earth, including Wei Wuyin.
Wei Wuyin nodded. ”I, Wei Wuyin, challenge Gu Hao to Imperial Combat. My terms for victory are not relevant, as I invoke Death of Self. ” His words rippled as he retrieved a golden token and lifted it upwards, a faint trace of light shot into the sky.
”I Invoke my right as Heavenly King of Extreme Creation Mountain to force this challenge! ” Wei Wuyin ’s voice was loud yet unfathomably calm. Just as his words finished, a figure flashed into existence. It was an indistinct figure, but its power warped the world and pressued the hearts of the crowd. They couldn ’t even reach as their breaths were stuck in their lungs.
”Imperial Merits must be exchanged for a forced challenge. 100 Merits! Do you accept? ” This voice was grand and boisterous, imposing and filled with boundless authority.
’A Heavenly King?! He called a Prime Imperial Sage?! ’Gu Hao was deeply shocked. He easily understood the implications of this.
”I accept! ” His golden token light dimmed and flashed, its points went from 9,000 to 8,900.
The reason Wei Wuyin had to force this challenge was because a lower rank disciple can refuse an Imperial Combat challenge from him, and Gu Hao might try to run away, regroup and survive for a little bit longer.
But Wei Wuyin wasn ’t willing to breathe the same air, live under the same sky, or exist in the same sect as Gu Hao for a second longer. His act of injuring his pegasus might not have caused him to react much, but this was no different than spitting in his face. How could his rage be small?
”If Heavenly King Wei loses to Earthly Elite Gu, then all Imperial Merits, rights, and life or death matters will be handed to the other party without any interference! You may begin. ”
A spherical field the size of a kilometer erected by the Prime Imperial Sage ’s power, separating the crowd from Gu Hao and Wei Wuyin. The pegasus was brought away as well, the chain dispersing and ensuring that Gu Hao no longer had control over its life or death.
Wei Wuyin calmly smiled, ”You got your wish. If you defeat me, you can make any request, my life is yours. But if I win, well… ” That smile turned into a grin, ”Next year will be the anniversary of your death. I ’ll be sure to show respect by enjoying a bottle of fine wine for your sacrifice. ”
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