As the sun rose over the ocean, its golden rays illuminate the turquoise waves.
Miao Yi's long and arduous journey by ship had taken him three whole months to reach the Sea of Constellations from East Arrival City. Whereas with Yao Ruoxian carrying him and flying, it had taken them only a night's journey to fly across the boundless ocean.
The red light of the transcendent artifacts that could be seen at night were now subdued by the light of day, and only two gray spheres could be seen.
The two gray phantoms soared through the skies, eventually landing on the seashore.
As Yao Ruoxian, Miao Yi and Charcoal descended on the ground, the two gray phantoms swiftly solidified into two black bar maces. With a simple wave of Yao Ruoxian's hand, they were stored away in his storage ring.
Following Yao Ruoxian's gaze, Miao Yi turned to see the seamless blood-colored clouds in the distance.
He couldn't be more familiar with this. It was precisely the view of the Boundless Secular World.
"Finally, back in the Celestial Nation." Miao Yi spread his arms out and stretched his waist towards the golden sea. It was rather comforting to have the sea breeze blow against his body.
"This is not the Celestial Nation. It's the Boundless Nation!" Yao Ruoxian scoffed.
"Ah!" Miao Yi looked around at his surroundings with a shocked expression on his face, "Why did you bring me to the Boundless Nation?"
"You only said the Boundless Secular World. You didn't specify you had to go to the Celestial Nation."
Miao Yi asked curiously, "You are a Boundless Nation cultivator?"
Yao Ruoxian slowly narrowed his eyes, as he seemed to have remembered something. He asked, "I'm just a loose cultivator. You're a Celestial Nation cultivator?"
"That's right…. So you're a loose cultivator!" Miao Yi was a little proud of himself. Even if his own cultivation was any lower, he was still someone with a proper status and background. As long as he could make a proper living for himself, his future was not something a loose cultivator could compare to.
But he soon remembered that his own little life was in the hands of the other party. It was best not to be too arrogant. Looking at the Boundless Secular World in the distance, he hurriedly changed the topic and asked, "The Boundless Nation also has a Boundless Secular World?"
"Stop overreacting! One look and I could tell that you've never really gone out much!" Yao Ruoxian gazed at the Boundless Secular World, and slowly said, "The Lower Realm is mostly taken up by the ocean, and the countless islands within it are mostly monopolized by those Behemoths that have cultivated who knows how many tens of thousands of years. Whereas the two largest continents are similar to crescents, and are under the control of the Six Sages. The Celestial Nation, Buddha Nation, and Boundless Nation control one of the 'crescents', as the three nations are neighboring countries to one another. The Celestial Sage Mu Fanjun, Buddha Sage Cang Lei and Tao Sage Feng Beichen - none of them wished to cede control of the Boundless Secular World, and have fought each other a few times because of this. But as they always fail to reach a conclusive victory, they eventually decided to compromise, placing the Boundless Secular World at the central point of the three nations, and divided their own territories respectively.
"The Lower Realm….. The Higher Realm….." Miao Yi muttered as he stared at the Boundless Secular World.
He had heard of this before. As to why there was the phrase of Lower Realm and Higher Realm, the Boundless Secular World also played a part in it.
For someone who had originally lived in the Lower Realm, they wouldn't know their own world was called the Lower Realm. Only when the hundred thousand celestial troops and generals had descended forth to hunt the Great Devil a hundred thousand years ago, and as a result created the Boundless Secular World - did everybody realize that there were greater forces at play, and a greater realm beyond their own. Hence, they started calling their home the Lower Realm, and the place where the celestial troops and generals had come from the Higher Realm.
But the Higher Realm had always been the stuff of legends. Word is that the Six Sages wished to ascend to the Higher Realm, but even with the Six Sages' cultivation of roaming through the vast galaxies, they could not determine where exactly in the universe the Higher Realm was located. It was truly because the universe is too vast and endless. It was not something the Six Sages could casually traverse with their capabilities, which was why they could only admire the stars and sigh in dismay.
"So the Devil Nation, Ghost Nation, and Yao Nation control the other 'crescent'?" Miao Yi asked.
Yao Ruoxian nodded and replied, "If we were to head west from the 'crescent' that we are on, when we reach the tip of the crescent, we'll be at 'Flowing Clouds Dune Sea'. After crossing Flowing Clouds Dune Sea, we'll be at the other 'crescent', which is also where Devil Sage Yun Aotian, Ghost Sage Situ Xiao, and Yao Sage Ji Huan reign."
Miao Yi asked somewhat curiously, "Who has the highest cultivation among the Six Sages?"
Yao Ruoxian shook his head and answered, "They should be almost the same, but some people say that Devil Sage Yun Aotian was slightly stronger than the rest. However, the Six Sages view one another as enemies and suppress each other as they coexist together. If Devil Sage Yun Aotian wished to rule the realm on his own, the others would join forces and knock him down, which is why the six of them have continued to maintain a balance. So many years have passed since. How would those with low cultivation like us know which of the six of them was stronger and which was weaker? They are not something we could even come into contact with. Well…"
Thinking back, he suddenly changed the topic and said, "Why am I sharing pointless banter with you? When was it turn for a lowly White Lotus Third Grade cultivator like you to care about matters of the Six Sages?"
Miao Yi wasn't bothered in the least, and chuckled, "Senior is very well-informed. This junior wishes to learn from senior's experience."
Yao Ruoxian scoffed, "What's important is that you help me get some of those bug eggs right now."
Miao Yi shrugged his shoulders helplessly as he pointed at the sun rising over the ocean, "There's no moonlight during the day. No moonlight means it's impossible to lure out the Hell Mantis. We'll have to wait for nightfall."
"Then we'll talk it over again at night." Yao Ruoxian turned back to look at Charcoal, and could see it chasing after a group of crabs that were running away on the shore. When it caught up to one it would stomp it into the sand with its hoof, then lowered its head and ate it, swallowing it in two gulps. It seemed to be having fun.
A more brutal way to play was that it would spread its two front hooves into an 'eight' chinese character and press on two crabs. Then it would turn back to look and raising its rump, it would spread its two back hooves and form an upside down 'eight' character as it pressed down on another two crabs. Seeing that it was dead on target, it happily twirled its tail twice.
But with its body weight, those crabs that were under its hooves… were most likely already turned to pulp.
Yao Ruoxian had never seen a dragon steed with such a behaviour before, and could only grimace resignedly as he watched. He flicked his giant dirty sleeves, then sat down cross-legged and said, "After that battle with Yuan Kaishan, I've suffered some internal injuries. Not to mention carrying that fat thief over such a long distance, my transcendence energy has taken quite a heavy toll. I could very well use this time during the day to recover a little."
Miao Yi hurriedly asked ahead the thing he had been thinking about the entire trip, "Didn't you promise to refine a suitable transcendent artifact for me?"
"I believe I mentioned that I would refine for you after you helped me obtain the tiny mantids, wasn't it?"
"You can't!" Miao Yi anxiously cupped his fists and said, "Senior Yao, I am an honest man, and have always been forthright with my thoughts. You have a much higher cultivation than I do. If I were to break my promise, I wouldn't be able to escape. But I can't do anything to you! If I were to fulfill my end of the bargain, and should you choose to escape, I wouldn't be able to chase after you even I wanted to."
Yao Ruoxian couldn't be bothered with him. Tossing an Orb of Will into his mouth, he faced the ocean breeze, and listened to the rhythmic crashing of the waves as he meditated cross-legged and started to recover the transcendence energy that he had spent.
Miao Yi saw there was no point in saying anything else. He took a gander at his surroundings, and it seemed that there wasn't much of a chance for him to run away.
Not that it seemed like it - there wasn't a single chance at all!
He could only obediently sit at Yao Ruoxian's side. He also tossed an Orb of Will into his mouth, then crossed his legs to meditate and slowly refined it.
When it was noon time, Yao Ruoxian slowly retracted his arts and stood up. He had already replenished the transcendence energy that he had spent using the Orb of Will.
Miao Yi immediately opened his eyes, kept the Orb of Will away and jumped up, once again asking excitedly, "Senior Yao, it's still quite early now. Since there's still a long time to go before nightfall, why don't you take advantage of this free time to help me refine the transcendent artifact?"
"Do you think refining a transcendent artifact is as simple as cooking a meal? You want me to refine a transcendent artifact for you after such a short cultivation? Fine!" He extended his arm, and made a hook with his finger, "Even making a meal requires ingredients. I won't ask for payment, but you wouldn't ask me to help you fork out capital as well, would you? Whatever you want to refine, first bring me the materials."