Jiang Chen stayed in Miracle City for just one night. He checked out the next day, leaving Hua Ming with enough spirit stones and means to survive before discreetly skipping town.
He also bought a map of the neighboring seas and marked the location of Hell King Island. Miracle City was the closest major city, but there was still close to two hundred thousand miles between the two.
The journey was a dangerous one, especially when one reached the radius a few thousand miles around the island. That was no man’s land. Most cultivators avoided going through the area.
“Young master Chen, this spirit must thank you for all you’ve done for me. If I can complete my rebirth, I promise to pay you back with all of my strength.”
The Vermilion Bird greatly valued its oaths and the bonds he shared with others. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have stuck to its guarding duty for so many years, just because of a promise to the Primosanct Sect.
“We’ve been through hell and back together, Senior Vermilion. Don’t be a stranger. I believe that the collaboration between us two make a perfect storm. It benefits both of us.”
Vermilion Bird guffawed. “Well said! Heroes are rare among the human cultivators, but they’ve never gone extinct. You, Jiang Chen, are the great hero of this generation and one that rivals the heroes of ancient times.”
Jiang Chen was in grand spirits. “Hahaha! This junior will put aside my humility for once and accept your compliments!”
He perched on the back of Vermilion Bird as they flew over the ocean, engaging in pleasant conversation. The tranquility and peace relaxed him.
In the human domain, he had a lot of baggage to bear. There were many things to consider whenever he acted. Now that he was here at Myriad Abyss Island on his own, Huang’er was his only concern. He could stay true to himself and do whatever he wanted to do. Gone were the constant reservations that wrapped around him.
It felt good. Liberating.
He was as free as fish leaping over a vast ocean, a bird soaring through the boundless sky. He would remain fearless even if the skies caved and the earth fractured. Moreover, he could feel his cultivation progress accelerating after arriving on Myriad Abyss Island.
The density of spirit energy on the island far surpassed that of the human domain. It was the perfect cultivation environment.
He’d broken through to mid great emperor in the last battle. After months of diligent cultivation and improving his state of mind, inspiration flowered, pushing him into a stage of rapid growth. He was one step away from reaching advanced great emperor realm. that, he would aim for peak great emperor.
Once he refined an Emperor Supremacy Pill, Jiang Chen felt that he could reach peak great emperor within a year. Then came the most significant turning point in his pursuit of martial dao: empyrean realm would be within reach.
Reaching this level meant grasping the laws of heaven. It meant being acknowledged and recognized by the heavens and earth. His martial dao would enter an entirely new stage, an entirely separate height of existence. He would have the right to peek at the heavenly planes.
Even the strongest great emperors could only be considered cultivators of the mortal world. They were, at most, the best of the mortals. Reaching empyrean realm was a stamp of approval from the heavenly dao itself.
Jiang Chen felt an immense surge of anticipation. There was a whole new world and future excitements waiting for him.
“Young master Chen,” Vermilion Bird called out, derailing Jiang Chen’s train of thoughts. “This spirit lived in Sacred Peafowl Mountain for some time. I heard the others say that you were mentored by a mysterious master when you were young. Is this master of yours from Myriad Abyss Island?”
“What do you think?” Jiang Chen asked wryly.
Vermilion Bird huffed out a self-deprecating laugh. “I usd to think so, but now, I’m not so sure.”
“Oh? What do you mean?”
“You’re already at Myriad Abyss. If you had such a teacher, he’d have left you with some way to contact him. After all this time however, I haven’t seen you contact anyone. Even if you did have a master before, he can’t be from here. Am I right?” Vermilion Bird was very observant.
Jiang Chen was a little embarrassed for concealing the truth. He sighed. “As you’ve said, senior, I have no mysterious mentor on Myriad Abyss Island. That is simply a white lie I tell.”
“Ah, as I expected.” Vermilion Bird sighed. “That’s strange. How can someone from a mortal kingdom know so much? Where is your knowledge from? I have this feeling that you didn’t grow up in Myriad Domain at all. I don’t even think that you belong to this world...”
Jiang Chen was quite shocked. The Vermilion Bird sure had sharp instincts.
He was quiet for a long while before responding. “Senior, after I was caned on the king’s orders in the Eastern Kingdom, I seemed to have gone to hell and come back. When I regained consciousness, something had awakened in my brain. I suddenly had a lot more knowledge.”
“Young master Chen, can it be that you’re a god incarnate?!” exclaimed the bird.
“What do you mean by that?” Jiang Chen played ignorant. The senior was very close to the truth.
“It meant that you may have been a god in your past life. For some reason, you needed to reincarnate and start anew. Such beings slowly recover their past memories after awakening. They’re often genius with unimaginable potential. In the beginning, they seem just like any of the others. Once their abilities present themselves, these people continue to grow until they become legends.”
The Vermilion Bird grew more and more excited as he spoke. “That must be it, young master Chen! You haven’t recovered all your memories yet. Once you’ve fully awakened and know who you were in your past life, you’ll understand everything. You’re the reincarnation of a god! Hahaha! Young master Chen, I can’t believe it!”
Vermilion Bird was completely convinced. It couldn’t be swayed otherwise.
“Thank you for the auspicious words, senior. If I really am the reincarnation of a god, it’ll be a good thing for both of us.”
“Of course, it’ll be a good thing, a great thing!” The divine creature sighed. “Do you know, young master Chen, that very few human cultivators could enter the divine realm even in the ancient times? There were a few demigods, but the ones who could acquired full divinity were extremely, extremely rare… I’ll say that there might be gods on Myriad Abyss Island, but not more than a handful.”
Jiang Chen agreed with him. He didn’t think there would be a large number of gods on Myriad Abyss either. The Divine Abyss Continent belonged to a regular plane. It wasn’t even a minor heavenly minor plane, much less a full-blown one.
A material plane couldn’t accommodate that many gods.
Every plane had its own rules. Once a large enough group of gods came into existence, the plane would automatically be promoted to a minor heavenly plane. Or else, the gods would be called into a higher plane by the rules. Their presence otherwise would cause the plane to expand or even collapse.
“Senior, how high did your cultivation rank in the ancient times?” Jiang Chen had always been curious about this. Now he had the opportunity to ask, he couldn’t resist bringing it up.
“As a descendent of a divine spirit creature, I was among the strongest beings in the ancient times. Nevertheless, there were others who were stronger. My battle strength rivaled that of a demigod. But my cultivation base was ninth level empyrean realm.”
The Vermilion Bird and Jiang Chen didn’t have to hide anything from each other.
“Ninth level empyrean realm is a great achievement. Perhaps after completing rebirth, you’ll comprehend divinity and break through to become a demigod!”
Being a demigod placed one between ninth level empyrean realm and the divine realm. It made one a half step away from becoming a full god. It was more difficult to cross that threshold than compared to other realms.
Almost no peak empyrean experts could reach this halfway point, let alone cross it and ascend to divinity. Out of ten thousand ninth level peak empyrean masters, perhaps five would reach the half-step point. However, there might be none who could enter the divine realm.
It was difficult to reach demigod status, and next to impossible to enter the divine realm.
A demigod cultivator could easily deal with 3-5 ninth level empyrean masters. They could even easily slaughter peak empyrean masters. There had been very few gods even in the ancient times, making the status of a demigod a wondrous achievement.
The Vermilion Bird was remarkably powerful for being able to rival a demigod. Even on Myriad Abyss Island, it would encounter very few opponents. It could do whatever it wanted unless a god came after it.
Of course, that would require Vermilion Bird to recover its peak condition after rebirth. It was hardly the ancient times now. There was no guarantee that it would be able to recover anywhere near its full strength, and even more of an unknown if it could surpass that. Even Jiang Chen wasn’t sure about that.
Vermilion Bird smiled. “If my rebirth is a success, then I’m confident I’ll be able to recover my peak form again. That won’t happen overnight, however. It’ll take time for my strength to come back to me. It may take five to ten years, or even more than a hundred years. Nonetheless, as long as I am successfully reborn, I’ll be able to instantly crush anyone under great empyrean realm.”
That pleased Jiang Chen. “Your rebirth won’t fail, senior. Your luck has turned for the better. I believe that it’ll be a great success.”
“Haha, thanks for your auspicious words.” Vermilion Bird shared Jiang Chen’s confidence.
Its only concern had been to find the right location for rebirth. Now that a good location was within reach, success was guaranteed!