Chapter 670: The Transcendent Region
“Even an expert can’t help but feel the passage of time when they reach the end.” Jiang Chen lamented as he stared at the pile of dried bones. He could very much imagine this person as an expert who’d moved unhindered in the Divine Abyss Continent countless years ago. At the very least, he must be a reputable person in the Paramount Realm.
However, those who were not acknowledged by the heavenly dao would only live limited lifespans, even if they called themselves emperor cultivators. Those who were not acknowledged by the heavens were only mortal, no matter how long of a lifespan they possessed. If one was mortal, it was inevitable for their lifespan to have an end.
Jiang Chen put away the Ming Tuo relic and said sincerely, “Senior – well, it’s not like I’m losing anything by calling you a senior. I have received your Ming Tuo relic, and buried your body. I hope that you have successfully entered the cycle of reincarnation and will be reborn.”
Jiang Chen pushed down the mound of soil to fill in the pit and buried the old corpse.
He had spent quite some time sidetracked by this, so he didn’t dally, continuing on his way without further ado. Although it was but a tiny episode in his life, one he’d profited from, Jiang Chen couldn’t quite shake the melancholy that had gripped him. Seeing that body had caused him profound sorrow, one that only a likeminded person would share. The powerful memories of his past life and the millions of years he’d lived through elicited a thick sense of discrepancy in Jiang Chen.
It was only now he realized what an unnatural act his father had done in his past life. The Celestial Emperor had somehow managed to prolong his son’s life for millions of years, even though Jiang Chen was unable to cultivate. One couldn’t describe just how much of a defiance of the natural order this act was. “The cataclysm must have occurred because Father prolonged my life for over millions of years, despite possessing a disabled body. He must’ve deeply angered the heavens.”
It was only now Jiang Chen finally remembered this particular question. He’d been but a mere mortal in the past, but a mere mortal like him had somehow lived for millions of years. How was this possible?
It’d all been thanks to his father engaging in skullduggery, harnessing the very powers of creation to forcefully prolong his son’s life. Although his father had been the Celestial Emperor who’d ruled over the heavens, the heavenly dao couldn’t be overcome easily even by the Celestial Emperor. Even further, his act of defiance had bought Jiang Chen millions of years.
Jiang Chen’s heart brimmed with regret and pain for his father. He might not know how the cataclysm had appeared, but there was no doubt that his millions of years of life had also brought his father ill fortune. It was something that had never occurred to him in his past life. But, faced with that old emperor realm cultivator’s body, the realization had finally struck.
A mortal would always have a limited lifespan. In life, that body had been an emperor realm cultivator. He might even have been a Titled Great Emperor. But in the end, he was just a mortal. The final destination of a mortal was simply a pile of white bones. Jiang Chen reminisced about his past life as he thought about those bones. He was supposed to have transformed into a pile of white bones a long time ago, but he’d somehow managed to live for millions of years.
“Father…” All sorts of indescribable feelings welled up in his heart. His father was the only person who could have been this amazing and selfless in the entire world. For his son, he had been willing to defy the heavenly dao. He had even been willing to suffer the cataclysm. For a long moment, Jiang Chen experienced an unspeakable pain in his heart.
He walked for an entire day before he finally felt a bit better. He also reached the second level of the Paramount Realm. There, he discovered another presence around him, a Walkabout Sect disciple. Rather than showing himself, Jiang Chen chose to evade the other, continuing deeper in the Paramount Realm.
As he shook off the negative feelings, Jiang Chen quickened his footsteps and followed the directions from the jade token, arriving at the third level of the Paramount Realm several hours later. The third level wasn’t that much different from the previous two levels. However, there were obviously more areas of rebirth and many more legacies in this place.
Jiang Chen had already run into two such places along the way. However, both spots had obviously been dug up. Nothing of value had been left behind, and even the tombstones on which teachings had been etched had been destroyed.
“Sigh, human nature is ultimately selfish. They got what they wanted, but they weren’t willing to share it with someone else. It looks like there were at least three tombstones that expounded on martial dao, but not a single one has been left intact. They had all been destroyed by their inheritors.” Jiang Chen sighed softly. He too understood that this was just human nature; the normal state of the world of martial dao.
The fewer the inheritors, the more valuable the inheritance. On the other hand, the more legacies there were, the less valuable they actually became. After all, why should they share what they’d obtained with someone else? It was obvious that preserving one’s own inheritance as their exclusive secret was better than sharing it with the world. Even if the heir’s talent was average, and they might not be able to plumb the depths of what they’d acquired, it was still better to have the inheritance die in their hands than passing it to someone else.
No matter how frustrating it was for Jiang Chen, there was nothing he could do about it. This was the black mark that plagued humans, the despicable underbelly of human nature. It was fortunate then, that Jiang Chen wasn’t interested in legacies. He had plenty of secret techniques in his memories. But he never cultivated his techniques blindly. He always took his current cultivation into consideration when choosing the techniques he needed to cultivate. Recklessly choosing techniques to cultivate would only result in wasted time, let alone the possibility of successfully cultivating it to begin with. Given the pile of divine arts lying around in his memories, he would only consider an inheritance if it was particularly attractive. Otherwise, he had no interest.
In fact, Jiang Chen liked things like the Ming Tuo relic even more. It was tangible, useful, and contained the life essence of an emperor realm expert. If a sage realm expert could refine this relic, they could absolutely directly ascend to the emperor realm. This was the best shortcut available to rise to the top in a single step.
Of course, Jiang Chen wasn’t interested in this type of shortcut. After all, the power he could obtain from refining the relic was ultimately not as attractive as the power he could cultivate himself. Moreover, there was a certain amount of risk in refining a relic. If the energy of the relic was too powerful, it was possible that it might create a backlash for the sage realm expert. It wasn’t as if Jiang Chen had no hope of ascending to emperor realm. In fact, he had absolute confidence that he could break through, so there was no need for him to use such a method to pursue the emperor realm.
“Likely not even Palace Head Dan Chi would be willing to use such a method to ascend to emperor realm.” With Jiang Chen’s understanding of Palace Head Dan Chi, he understood that the palace head was a man of great ambition. He would rather desire to cultivate his own way to the emperor realm. On the other hand, for those such as Elder Yun Nie who were destined never to ascend to the emperor realm might find this kind of item to be extremely attractive. Of course, those were just Jiang Chen’s assumptions.
Relics like these might not necessarily be relegated just for ascending to emperor realm. If one slowly absorbed and refined the life energy within the relic, a cultivator would still be able to enrich themselves. That is, if they weren’t looking to ascend to emperor realm. However, it would result in an excessive loss of spirit energy if used that way. It was a rather wasteful use of a precious resource.
Jiang Chen arrived at the edge of the outskirts two days later. Going any further and he would arrive at the inner region. It was obvious that he was the fastest among all those who had entered this place. No one else had reached the entrance of the inner region yet. Without a moment’s hesitation, Jiang Chen entered.
After entering the inner region, Jiang Chen could sense that the amount of life-force inside the inner region had deeply fallen. It had already been quite weak in the outskirts, but the inner region was almost completely bereft of life force. Even Jiang Chen experienced a slight sense of discomfort. Thankfully, a cultivator’s powerful life-force enabled them to acclimate to this change easily. It wasn’t a problem to hold out here for at few months.
“No wonder this horrible place is called a place of rebirth. It’s obviously no place anyone would easily come into.” Jiang Chen said knowingly. This was how a place of rebirth should be. If anyone could enter a place of rebirth, then it was almost unavoidable that the dead’s eternal slumber would be disturbed.
For some reason, Jiang Chen recalled Palace Dan Chi’s words soon after he entered. “You may be able to find an expert’s place of rebirth and inheritance in the inner region. However, you may not find anything in the transcendent region.”
Jiang Chen laughed wryly, “It would seem that Palace Head Dan Chi took the chance to linger in the transcendent region before. It’s just that he found nothing there.”
When it came to the inner region, it wasn’t exactly littered with inheritances either. The chances that one might find an inheritance weren’t high. From past experience, there wouldn’t be more than ten people out of a hundred who would find an inheritance. Sometimes, there would even be just two or three people who came out profitable. There were plenty of empty places of rebirth. At least half the people who entered this place would find those bare places of rebirth instead.
An empty place of rebirth naturally had had their inheritances taken by someone else already. Since someone had already inherited the legacy, there would be nothing else left behind. Therefore, as the number of inheritances dwindled, it became harder and harder to find one as well. After all, it was a nonrenewable resource. The more it was used, the less it became until it was ultimately depleted. However, no one could tell exactly when it was going to be fully depleted.
Jiang Chen’s consciousness was powerful, and his perception was at least several times stronger than the other geniuses. However, even with his consciousness, he still wasn’t able to find a true place of inheritance so far. This showed just how difficult it was to find an inheritance.
Jiang Chen had been walking in a straight line all this time, without dilly dallying for too long in any place. He hadn’t searched through the place very thoroughly either. If he were to thoroughly search, it was very likely that he might discover a place of two with his level of consciousness. However, deep inside Jiang Chen’s mind, he thought that his final destination should be the transcendent region.
In his personal experience, the stranger a place was, the likelier that a secret was hidden somewhere inside it. Palace Head Dan Chi had told him that there was nothing in the transcendent region. In that case, Jiang Chen was certain that there must be something inside this transcendent region. Otherwise, there was no way the Paramount Realm would have a place called transcendent region or something. It looked noticeably more impressive than the outskirts and inner region.
The fact that Palace Head Dan Chi had found nothing didn’t mean that there were nothing there. It might just mean that Palace Head Dan Chi simply didn’t possess enough skill to spot it back then. That was the line of thinking Jiang Chen was following, whether or not it was actually the truth.
“There might be some inheritances inside the inner region. However, while it would be nice to gain one, it’s not an insufferable loss to me if I missed out. On the other hand, there must be some kind of secret hidden inside this transcendent region. Since I’m already here, I must check out this region.” Jiang Chen had made up his mind not to search inside the inner region. Instead, he headed for the transcendent region straight away. Following the directions, he moved through the inner region at full speed. On the fourth day, he arrived at the outer limits of the transcendent region.