Book 27, Chapter 8 - The Archaeus Region

Desolate Era

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As the almighty Hegemon used his true form to chat with the blazing beast, something else was happening at another part of the imperial palace, a place where there were thirteen royal thrones.

One of the thrones was as white as snow. The other twelve were golden in color.

A white-bearded, snowy-robed old man with six horns was seated atop the snowy-white throne. The other twelve golden thrones were occupied by twelve golden-armored figures, and Daolord Woodflower was one of them.

“I have summoned you all because there is something I wish to discuss with you.” The six-horned, white-bearded old man smiled. “As you all know, my race just gained a new member. This kid was born with exceptional innate gifts, and in a thousand short years he’s managed to escape the abyss below the Astral Islands. Even amongst my Imperials, he is a rare breed who stands at the very top.”

“Congratulations, Hegemon.”

“I am confident that this child shall soon reach the ‘King’ level of power in your clan.”

“The Brightshore Imperials have gained yet another expert.”

The twelve golden-armored figures belonged to the Twelve Palaces, and they all spoke some words of flattery. Still, these words were also words of truth. The dark abyss below the Astral Islands was reserved for tempering and training new members of the imperial race. Generally speaking, the new members of the race had been wandering the outside world alone and didn’t really have any good teachers. Most of them needed to spend a long period of time in the abyss before overcoming its trials. In addition, the Imperials were so few in number that every new addition to their race was a cause for celebration. A new Imperial who was exceptionally talented was even more precious.

The almighty Hegemon beamed merrily. Clearly, he was in an excellent mood. “This young fellow is so talented that I wish to send him into one of the alternate universes.”

“Alternate universe?”

“An alternate universe?”

The faces of the twelve golden-armored figures turned pale.

“Hegemon, none of us have ever been to that place before.” They all began to worry.

“Don’t worry,” the Hegemon said. “As you know, when I was meditating on the Dao of Spacetime, I once discovered traces of a completely different universe within the flows of spacetime and opened up a transversal conduit to it. Our two universes have different essences, which has an impact on my transversal conduit. Only those below the Daolord level of power are able to enter… but I was able to let my will slowly seep into that alternate universe and seduce some of its local lifeforms to come to our universe. Quite a few World-level cultivators from that universe have passed through my transversal conduit to come to our universe. I’ve gone through their memories and have learned quite a bit regarding that universe.”

The Hegemon had discovered an alternate universe, had opened a transversal conduit to it, and then had been able to force his will through the conduit, even though he himself wasn’t able to pass through it.

The almighty Hegemon’s powers truly were quite terrifying!

“But… that’s still an alternate universe.” The twelve golden-armored powers were all quite wary.

The ‘Endless Territories’…

It was a place that was so incredibly vast that it was still filled with many places which no one had ever explored. Many who broke through to become Eternal Emperors eventually left to wander the territories, only to never be heard from again. However, in the eyes of the greatest powers this infinitely vast region known as the ‘Endless Territories’ was actually merely just a single ‘universe’.

Each universe had its own prime essences. An ‘alternate universe’ referred to a region which seemed similar but which had its own set of prime essences. For example, the prime essence of the Dao of the Sword in this universe would be different from that of the alternate universe. Thus, one could easily sense when one was in an alternate universe, as even the prime essences would be different.

“When I sent my will into that alternate universe, I was able to scan quite a few chaosworlds close to the exit of my conduit,” the almighty Hegemon said. “I’ve been watching this universe for many years, and now know quite a few things about it. There aren’t that many differences between our two universes. The main difference is that cultivators in the Endless Territories are spread out across many different organizations, but the alternate universe has a single unified power ruling over it.”

The Hegemon continued, “In the alternate universe, there is a place known as the Archaeus region. Countless cultivators in that universe deeply desire to enter the Archaeus region, and even many Daolords dream of having a chance to enter it. However, only a tiny number are able to enter it… but those who enter and then come out alive again are all strengthened dramatically.” The almighty Hegemon let out a sigh. “Although it might be a bit dangerous, cultivators who live in perfect safety will get soft. They won’t be able to make it far on their paths.”

“When you live on the edge between life and death, you’ll encounter many dangers but also encounter many miracles. The young fellow’s level of talent is so great that it is rare even amongst members of my race. I’ve prepared quite a few dangerous regions for him to test himself against, and the Archaeus region of the alternate universe is the first place and an extremely important place. If he can survive it, he’ll definitely have undergone utterly earthshaking transformations. In addition, once he is able to unify the mysteries of both our universe and the alternate universe, his future potential will be truly unlimited,” the almighty Hegemon said.

The twelve golden-armored experts grew increasingly interested as they listened to the Hegemon speak.

It was true that the path of cultivation had to be a path filled with danger. Only by experiencing more things and seeing more wonders would one be able to walk farther along one’s path. For example, if Ji Ning had always trained by himself without going out adventuring, how strong could he possibly become? It was due to his adventures that he had first gone to the Allgod Estate, then to the Brightshore Kingdom. This was why he had grown so strong, so quickly.

This alternate universe… it was a place which most likely no one in all the Endless Territories had ever visited!

When the almighty Hegemon had created his transversal conduit, it had been limited by the differences in the laws between the two universes. As a result, only those below the Daolord level of power could use it.

“Hegemon, will members of the Twelve Palaces also be permitted to go?” Daolord Thousand Waves suddenly asked.

“Right, Hegemon. The Twelve Palaces have quite a few talented World-level cultivators as well.” Daolord Puregood of the Palace of Fire was a man with a full red beard, and his face was red with excitement right now.

If the Hegemon was going to send one of his own clansmen into that alternate universe, it meant that he probably felt confident in his clansman’s chances. It must be understood that the Hegemon was extremely protective of his clansmen. The entire reason he had founded the Brightshore Kingdom and developed the Twelve Palaces was so that there would be more protectors for his race! Given that the blazing beast was an incredibly talented member of his race… although the Daolords didn’t know much about this ‘Archaeus region’, they felt certain that it would be a good place. They naturally had to try and win a chance for their people to enter it as well.

“I’ve invited you all to come here precisely because of this matter. Over the course of countless years, I’ve managed to seduce many World-level cultivators into entering our universe, and I managed to acquire a number of Archaeus medallions from them. You must have an Archaeus medallion in order to enter the Archaeus region… but of course, that’ll only be enough to gain entry. You will still have to face and overcome all the dangers inside the region itself,” the almighty Hegemon said. “I’m not completely confident in the young fellow’s chances, which is why I’ve come to ask you for your help. I would like for the Twelve Palaces to choose four other World-level cultivators to accompany him.”

“I have five Archaeus medallions. That means a total of five World-level cultivators,” the almighty Hegemon said. “Choose four from the Twelve Palaces. They shall work together with that young fellow of my race, and they’ll all stand a better chance as a result.”



They all nodded.

The Brightshore Kingdom was one of the supreme organizations of the Endless Territories, after all. If they were only permitted to choose four World-level cultivators, they would most assuredly choose freaks that were strong enough to defeat ordinary Daolords of the First Step. If they went into the alternate universe, they most likely would stand a good chance of overcoming the Archaeus region.

“Just four, Hegemon? Can’t we bring a few more?” Daolord Thousand Waves immediately said.

“Hegemon, just four… it’ll be a bit hard to choose.”

“Just four for all twelve of our palaces? Our Palace of the Saber alone has more than eight Saberlords at the World level.” Everyone present began to feel a bit frustrated.

The almighty Hegemon simply said, “Bertulu and Eastcult are peerless geniuses, the likes of which even our Brightshore Kingdom only sees once in countless eons. In addition, both of them are most likely preparing to become Daolords soon. There’s no need for them to go.”

The twelve golden-armored figures all nodded in agreement.

Bertulu and Eastcult could be said to have reached the true apex of power for World-level cultivators. There was no point to them tempering themselves at the World level any longer, especially Bertulu. Even prior to joining the Twelve Palaces, Bertulu had already reached the utmost peak of what even geniuses could reach. Eastcult, at least, had only reached that level after joining the Palace of the Saber and training in it for a period of time.

“The two of them are exempted. Aside from them, any member of the Twelve Palaces who have been acknowledged by their respective pagodas shall be considered,” the Hegemon said.

The Twelve Palaces each had a forest of pagodas. The one in the Sword Palace was known as the Forest of Sword Pagodas, whereas the one in the Fire Palace was known as the Forest of Fire Pagodas. The names were all fairly similar, and the concepts were the same; the World-level cultivators in the Twelve Palaces had to reach extremely high levels of mastery in a relevant Dao in order to be acknowledged by the pagodas.

The Sword Palace only had six Swordlords. As for the Saber Palace, it had eight Saberlords. However, since Eastcult was excluded, it only had seven.

“Aside from Bertulu and Eastcult, the Twelve Palaces have a total of sixty-six World-level cultivators who have been acknowledged by their respective pagodas,” Daolord Thousand Waves said. “How are we supposed to choose? Four out of sixty-six! I imagine all of them would badly desire to enter this Archaeus region.”

A chance to enter an alternate universe… it truly was a chance which, once missed, might never come again.

“No rush. That young fellow has just recently returned from the Astral Islands’ abyss. I need to teach him quite a few techniques first,” the almighty Hegemon said. “I’ll keep a close eye on him. When he is fully prepared, I’ll choose the four strongest cultivators.”

The almighty Hegemon waved his hand, causing a series of images to appear in the empty air around him. A total of sixty-six scenes appeared, with the sixty-six candidates having appeared within them. These were all candidates who had been acknowledged by their respective pagodas.

And of course… Ji Ning wasn’t one of them.

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