Book 23, Chapter 3 - Stars

Desolate Era

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Lord Cui said, “When you became apprenticed to Subhuti, your previous parents were still alive. I helped them change their fate, allowing them to live to be a hundred years old before passing away peacefully. They then were reincarnated into another blessed world; naturally, their lives were calm and smooth.”

Ji Ning nodded slowly.

To be able to live a century in peace was a good thing.

“Reincarnated into another blessed world?” Ning was puzzled about this.

“Mother Nuwa set up many minor worlds in separate pockets of spacetime. All of them are blessed lands,” Lord Cui explained. “Even after the Six Paths of Reincarnation were destroyed, the process of reincarnation in those blessed lands was not disrupted in the slightest. Those who die in a blessed world shall be reborn into another blessed world. It might be Earth or it might be a different blessed world.”

“But didn’t I end up being sent to the Netherworld Kingdom?” Ning asked.

“That’s because I chose you,” Lord Cui said. “All those blessed worlds are linked together, but I selected you as a person who was suitable for Immortal cultivation. However, those worlds are all too small; they aren’t really suitable for an Immortal to grow in. That was why I teleported your soul directly to the Netherworld Kingdom.”

Now, Ning finally understood.

No wonder!

No wonder he had never met a single person who had been reincarnated from Earth. So it was because Earth was a ‘blessed world’; unless something special happened, no one from Earth would ever be reincarnated into the various major worlds.

“I wonder if the blessed worlds will be able to survive after this tribulation.” Lord Cui slowly shook his head. “Oh, right. I heard that you slew the Four Thearchs of the Primordial Ruinworld?”

“Yes.” Ning nodded.

“You should have acquired their treasures, yes? Take a look and see if they had any star maps,” Lord Cui said. “Star maps are maps that record the various paths that exist through the primordial chaos. We’ve killed quite a few alien Outsiders since the Primordial Era. The more powerful ones such as Rahu or the Lord of All Things, as well as their True God and Daofather subordinates. We’ve acquired quite a few star maps from them, but the more star maps the better.”

Ning was startled for a moment, then chuckled. “I haven’t sorted through them yet. Please wait a moment, Lord Cui.”

Star maps…

The primordial chaos was vast and endless, filled with opportunity and danger. Even a small place like the Three Realms had dangerous places such as Earthmoan Mountain or the Endless Sea. The primordial chaos naturally held far more terrifying dangers within it.

Even a World God could get lost if he or she just flew around blindly, and it was even possible for them to die in a particularly dangerous area. That was why one had to have star maps to journey by. Mortals needed sea charts when navigating the seas, and Fiendgods needed star maps to navigate the primordial chaos. The reason why they were called ‘star maps’ was because the primary method for long-distance transportation in the primordial chaos was through spacetime transfer arrays!

The primordial chaos was simply too vast; to slowly fly or teleport through it would take far too much time. Spacetime transfer arrays, however, were ancient constructs that had existed in the primordial chaos since time antiquity. They used stars and planets as their foundation, with the stellar bodies being forged together to form spacetime transfer arrays! One could instantly travel from one spacetime transfer array to a different, distant array.

Through repeated array transfers, one would be able to quickly reach the desired location!

However, since the spacetime transfer arrays used giant stars and planets as parts of the array, the maps that showed the various paths and connections between them were known as ‘star maps’.

“Some Immortals or Fiendgods memorize then destroy every star map they see,” Subhuti said. “Others keep them intact and trade them to others. This is why we managed to acquire a few star maps from the alien Outsiders we have slain. However, we’ve generally found that the more powerful an Outsider is, the better the star maps in their possession are.”

“Found one.” Ning suddenly revealed a look of delight. He waved his hand, producing a metallic scroll. He unfurled the metallic scroll, allowing it to sparkle with spots of light.

“Every single spot of light represents a spacetime transfer array.” Subhuti pointed at the star map, clearly quite familiar with these things. “These unremarkable little dots here represent chaosworlds.”

“Three spacetime transfer arrays, seven hundred and twenty-one chaosworlds,” Ning said softly.

“How crude.” Fuxi shook his head.

“It is pretty crude. It seems the person who owned this star map was fairly low in rank.” Lord Cui shook his head as well. This was the star map which had been in the possession of Thearch Darkstill. When he had first joined the Lord of All Things, he had been quite weak; at the time, it was quite impressive for him to be able to acquire even a crude star map.

“Follow me, Ji Ning.” Lord Cui looked at him. “I’ve acquired quite a few star maps since the Primordial Era. I’ve put them all together into a single large star map. Let me take you to it.”

“Oh?” Intrigued, Ning hurriedly followed behind him.

He had once sworn a lifeblood oath to seek out and locate Vastheaven Palace. Although World God Northrest had left behind a very large and detailed star map for him, it was of no use! World God Northrest had been fleeing for his life, and so he ran about randomly, jumping through every array he found. He fled so quickly that even he himself wouldn’t be able to find his way back. Thus, the large and detailed star map he left behind represented a place that was extremely far away, very deep within the primordial chaos. For now, it would be of no help to Ning.

“So they compiled all the maps into a single giant star map? I hope there are a few places which connect to the places marked down in World God Northrest’s star map. That will make traveling to Vastheaven Palace much easier,” Ning mused to himself. Still, he knew this was unlikely. World God Northrest had arrived in the Primordial Era and had stayed in the Three Realms for a long period of time, yet had been unable to find his way back home. It was likely that there were no known intersections after all.

A short while later, Ji Ning, Fuxi, Subhuti, and Lord Cui arrived in front of a different graceful wooden house.

Lord Cui waved his hand, causing a metallic scroll to immediately fly out from inside the wooden house. The metallic scroll unfurled on its own while rapidly expanding in size. It hung in the air like an enormous painting, more than three hundred meters long. It was filled with countless tiny specks of light, and in the very center of those countless specks of light there was an enormous, blindingly brilliant sun-like dot.

“This is the star map we compiled.” Lord Cui pointed towards the giant star map and smiled. “It holds all the information from the star maps we acquired from generations of Outsider invaders. During the Primordial Era, when Mother Nuwa adventured through the primordial chaos, she encountered an alien Outsider who called himself Chissa. She slew him and acquired his extremely detailed star map. Most of the information in the star map we compiled came from this ‘Chissa’.”

Ning was surprised by what he saw. This was an extremely detailed star map!

“This star map records a total of twenty-one spacetime transfer arrays, as well as 86,112 chaosworlds.” Lord Cui sighed in amazement. “When I first found out how many chaosworlds the endless primordial chaos contained, I was shocked as well.”

“More than eighty thousand chaosworlds…and our Three Realms is merely one of the more remote ones.” Subhuti sighed as well.

Ning, however, was just surprised at how detailed the star map was. He wasn’t surprised at the number of chaosworlds, because he had received a similarly detailed star map from World God Northrest long ago.

“This star map has a total of twenty-one spacetime arrays and more than eighty thousand star maps. It covers a very large amount of space…but the star map which World God Northrest gave me doesn’t have any overlapping stars at all.” Ning mused to himself, “It seems that finding Vastheaven Palace really will be difficult. Fortunately, I have an entire chaos cycle to make the attempt.”

“Look.” Lord Cui pointed at an unremarkable speck of gray light located at the very northernmost part of the map. “That little speck right there represents our Three Realms.”

“That’s where the Three Realms are?” Ning was surprised. “Then it should be easy for us to travel to the other chaosworlds.”

“No.” Subhuti shook his head.

“It won’t be that easy.” Fuxi shook his head as well, pointing towards that section of the star map. “Magnify.”

Lord Cui nodded, causing the star map to be magnified a hundredfold. It became thirty thousand meters long, and the area including the Three Realms was now much more easily visible.

“This place holds the Three Realms.” Fuxi pointed at that gray speck of light. “Ever since the Primordial Era, the alien Outsiders have only invade from one direction. All of them came through this ‘spatial vortex’ located right here in order to come to our Three Realms.”

“The Three Realms is actually located in an extremely dangerous and inhospitable region. The only way one can reach it is by going through this spatial vortex here.” Fuxi pointed at another location.

Ning took a carefully look while memorizing everything.

When journeying through the primordial chaos, finding a safe route by which one could travel was extremely important.

“Still, the fact that we are surrounded by danger has helped to protect us. It has made it difficult for alien Outsiders to reach us; they have to risk their very lives just going through the spatial vortex before they can reach the Three Realms,” Fuxi said. “This is why we’ve encountered so very few alien Outsiders since the Primordial Era.”

“Spatial vortex?” Ning was puzzled. “Did Mother Nuwa leave via this spatial vortex?”

“Yes.” Fuxi nodded. “To reach the Three Realms, you must go through the spatial vortex. To leave the Three Realms, you also have to travel through the spatial vortex. If you are able to safely reach the other side, it’ll be easy for you to travel to the other chaosworlds.”

“And what’s this enormous, sun-like spot located in the center?” Ning pointed at the enormous spot of light located in the center of the star map.

Fuxi, Subhuti, and Lord Cui all stared at the enormous spot of light, their eyes blazing with excitement.

“That? That’s known as the Badlands Everworld,” Lord Cui said softly.

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