Chapter 868: Mang Qi's True Origin
"You, a foreign being from outside the realm, are asking me, a cultivator of the Divine Abyss Continent to save you from the Great Formation of Heavenly Soul Confinement? What a great scheme," Jiang Chen mocked.
Mangji only smiled wryly without argument. In an instant, the air between them grew stiff. In the darkness, neither man nor beast spoke. It was a beat later that Mang Qi sighed softly as it spoke. "Jiang Chen, when you've lived to my age and been in this situation, perhaps any edges, any opinions you have would have already been worn down by the endless ebb and flow of time. Nonetheless, since you have brought up this matter, I feel that I still have to defend myself a little. Would you be willing to grant me this chance? You can choose not to listen."
Jiang Chen wasn't tyrannical to the point of denying the creature speech. He calmly replied, "Say your piece."
Mang Qi nodded. His eyes shone with the bleakness of the endless currents of change. "It is as you say. I am from another realm. Most of those been bound here by the great formation are as well. It's just that there are differences even within the foreign realms. The only ones who truly invaded your Divine Abyss Continent are the demon race. The rest of us are merely their puppets, mercenaries under their manipulations. Our homes have long since been seized by the demon race. Our people, our children are mere cannon fodder and sacrificial pawns coerced into forced conquest across the endless planes! You can see me as a foreign being, but the ones invading your Divine Abyss Continent are actually the demon race."
This speech by Mang Qi was not too long, but its meaning was clear.
"You are puppets of the demon race?" Jiang Chen furrowed his brows, half-believing Mang Qi's words.
"That's right. We're all victims of the demon race. Being trapped in this formation by the heavyweights of the Divine Abyss Continent is our just desserts. We carry neither hate nor vengeance towards your Divine Abyss Continent. Because to you, whether we came here voluntarily or not, we are still invaders. It is natural that we should be trapped and killed. However, the real source of evil springs from the demon race. The instigator of this war is the demon race. It's this greedy and aggressive evil race!" Mang Qi's eyes flashed with boundless hate as he said his. The fires of rage in his gaze seemed to have blazed without rest since an eternity ago. "You may question me, doubt me or even hate me. And you're right in doing so. To you natives, we are no doubt invaders. From your point of view, anyone who encroaches upon your homeland is an enemy or a bandit."
Mang Qi sighed lightly. There was a dreamlike quality to his voice as he mused, "I had a family and a homeland. My home was a incredibly beautiful place. The various races there might have occasionally disagreed and fought, but everyone lived in peace. That is, until we were discovered by the demon race. With them, they brought endless destruction. They ravaged my homeland, eliminated countless races, rounded up every warrior and sent them on forced conquests whenever and wherever they liked… Who knows how many places like my homeland the demon race have razed? I must commend the heavyweights of your Divine Abyss Continent for their strength. At least they can withstand the the demon race's invasion. Even under such onslaught, you can stand firm against the destruction of your homeland…"
Jiang Chen was curious. "Haven't you been trapped underground? How do you know that my homeland hasn't been destroyed?"
Mang Qi laughed bitterly. "That's because you don't know the extent of the destruction the demon race can wreck. If they successfully dominate this realm, then how could there be any traces of your human bloodline left? How could the human race continue on until today? And how could you be standing in front of me?"
With the strength of the demon race's bloodline, they did not simply occupy any place they invaded. They assimilated the place starting from the bloodline and finally changed every race into denizens of the demon race. If there were races that could not transform or integrate into the demon race's bloodline, they would be turned into slaves or tools of war. Otherwise, they would all be killed.
"Mang Qi, I'll believe you for the time being. I only want to know, just how many heavyweights have been sealed by this formation? And how many of them are members of the demon race?" Jiang Chen knew too little of the distant past. The records of the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect hadn't mentioned too much either and had almost no details. Clearly, since there had been no one left in the Ancient Crimson Heavens Sect to return, there would naturally be no substantial records. Jiang Chen wished to take this chance to thoroughly understand everything.
Mang Qi shook his head. "Not a single one is a member of demon race."
"What do you mean?" A flash of distrust crossed Jiang Chen's face.
"The only ones in the formation traps are puppets like me who have been forced into combat. I don't know exactly how many of us there are. Nor do I know how many are still alive. I only know that in the initial battle, the heavyweights of your Divine Abyss Continent had given their all to construct such a terrifying seal, in order to lure us to this place and trap us within the seal. In that battle, the demon race had only pulled strings behind the curtains. None of them actually fought."
This news was extremely unexpected. Mang Qi continued, "If you don't believe me, you can extract my blood and bring it to an expert for confirmation. Then you'll know that I don't carry the demon race's bloodline."
Instead, Jiang Chen raised an eyebrow. "Since the demon race forced you to fight, why did they not assimilate you?"
Mang Qi forced a laugh. "The demon race are an arrogant bunch. All along, they've believed themselves to be the most outstanding, the most distinguished race in the universe. As such, they're exceptionally proud of their bloodline. Not everyone is qualified to inherit their so-called bloodline assimilation. We were only their puppets of war. From their point of view, we weren't even good enough to receive their bloodline."
"Are you serious?" Jiang Chen was dumbfounded.
"Actually, that is only the arrogant prattle of the demon race. In reality, despite the strong invasive ability of the demon race's bloodline, the universe is too wide and there are just too many races. Not every race's bloodline can be so easily taken over. Many races are too difficult to assimilate, nor do the demons choose to assimilate all races. Normally, races with strong offensive abilities that are good at close combat possess strong bloodlines. They're gifted with a natural resistance against the demon race. For example, you humans aren't all qualified to inherit the demon race's bloodline. Instead, they will select some stronger bloodlines to assimilate. With generation after generation of endless multiplying and assimilation, the demon race will achieve their goal of replacing the original bloodline."
Jiang Chen understood quite a bit about the demon race from his previous life. Some of this information he was aware of but there were some parts that were new to him as well.
"Then, you're one of the races that the demon race couldn't assimilate?" Jiang Chen asked.
Mang Qi sighed. "If we're talking about bloodline assimilation, they can assimilate me over my dead body. Even if I've become a puppet of war, I can at least still latch on to the string of hope that one day, I can return to my hometown and rebuild my home. If I lose even my bloodline, I will have completely turned into a zombie. What right do I have to return home with a sullied bloodline?"
It was clear as day that this Mang Qi had very unique feelings for his family and hometown. To him, they were obviously saintly existences.
"That means you want to leave this place not in order to incite trouble, but in order to return to your homeland?" Jiang Chen felt that his question was a little superfluous but asked anyway.
"Yes." Mang Qi answered very sincerely, "I can swear a heavenly oath to you. It was definitely not my intention to come here. Nor is it my intention to retaliate against your Divine Abyss Continent upon leaving this place. The endless flow of time has worn down every ambition I ever had. Now, I only have one desire and that is to return to my homeland. Even if I can only glance at it before dying the next second, I will pass on with a smile." As he said this, Mang Qi's eyes glowed with a divine light, the flow of intense feelings of sincerity.
Jiang Chen also felt sorrow in his heart. From what he had observed, this Mang Qi was not lying. He immediately nodded and replied earnestly, "Thank you for explaining things to me. The previous agreement will is still in effect. Should I gain the power to in the future, I will definitely bring you out of this place. However, leaving the Divine Abyss Continent will also not be easy."
Mang Qi's eyes revealed rays of delight. "As long as I can leave this seal, I would at least have regained my freedom. As for when I can return home, that'd depend on luck. As long as I'm still alive and my body is my own, there is still hope for me to return to my homeland. Wouldn't you say so?"
As long as there was freedom, there was hope. Without freedom, everything was just empty prattle.
"Yes. However, at my current level, I cannot bring you out from this formation. You can only remain here for the time being."
"That's alright. It's fine. I've already waited for countless years. What's impossible about waiting a while longer? Jiang Chen, I have a premonition. If I am ever able to leave this place, the person who sets me free will be you and no one else." As a creature that had existed since ancient times, Mang Qi possessed powerful instincts. When it first sensed Jiang Chen's existence, it had felt that this boy was different from the rest. It had sensed some traits that were not from this world on the human boy's body. When it saw Jiang Chen again today, the changes to Jiang Chen's body within a mere ten years were astounding. This only reinforced Mang Qi's opinion.
"Since you're that confident in me, then wait a little longer. Similarly, I also hope that you're not playing any games with me."
Mang Qi hurriedly replied, "Nowadays, there is only my home on my mind. I think of nothing else. That's right, what made you return here to visit me?"
Jiang Chen recounted the situation in the world outside. Mang Qi knew nothing about the Divine Abyss, nor was he too interested in its matters.
"You said you want to go to the desolate wildlands?" Something in Mang Qi's eyes shifted when he heard this.
"Yes. The Requiem Wood, have you heard of it?" Jiang Chen asked. The moment this question left his lips, Jiang Chen discovered instead that Mang Qi's expression had instantly turned extremely ugly and deadly serious.