A star chart very familiar to Wu Qi appeared before his eyes.
He saw the seven stars that formed the Big Dipper; the six stars that formed part of the Sagittarius; the planets that formed the solar system, including Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Saturn, and many others. This was a star chart he was so familiar with that he could draw it out with his eyes closed. He stared at it in a daze, realizing something incredible was about to unfold right before him.
Looking at the star chart, Prince Chang Qin said indifferently, "Since the Ghost Realm is locked down, then a detour through the world of mortals will serve. Over the years, we have deployed many chess pieces there. Some were destroyed, but some are still working as intended. You will return to Pangu Continent using one of the routes. No one will be able to stop you."
While smiling, he gave Wu Qi a look and said in a warm voice, "You are new here, so those Ghost Kings and Ghost Saints will not notice you. Their attentions are drawn more toward my subordinates, their old acquaintances. Also, as they haven't come in contact with your aura, they cannot track you with any mystic arts. Therefore, if you go back to Pangu Continent through the world of mortals, you have a 90% chance of success."
Wu Qi looked at Chang Qin and asked, "What is the world of mortals?"
The prince frowned slightly, and his face turned a little unsightly. After a brief moment of silence, he shook his head and began to talk.
In the ancient times, many Great Saints had joined hands to create the human race. As they had used the bloodline essences of countless divine beasts and divine fowls as the raw materials, the human race was naturally the paragon of all creatures; who inherited the Great Dao of Heaven and Earth and whose destiny was fused as one with the heaven and earth. They were supposed to be the rightful masters of this world.
But, humans were born weak. At that time, Pangu Continent was ruled by the Gods of old, the formidable divine beasts and divine fowls, and the mighty beings born in the chaos. And because humans were the paragon of all creatures, their blood essences were the tonic that could provide great nourishment to these rulers, and their faith could help some mighty beings in condensing their Nascent Divinity for their cultivation.
So, after the humans were created, they were either captured, killed, devoured, kept in captivity, or bred like cattle. In short, the fate of early mankind was very tragic.
Then came the battle between humans and Gods that Wu Qi already knew of. With great perseverance and determination, the ancestors of mankind led the weak human race to rise in Pangu Continent, where the lands were still a vast wilderness at that time. As times passed, they became stronger, and eventually killed and expelled all those formidable Gods and mighty beings. Among them, the humans who maintained the unity of the human race had cultivated cultivation techniques like the True Body of Heaven and Earth Scripture Wu Qi was cultivating. They were powerful without losing the root of mankind.
But, one group of humans had comprehended the ways of cultivating through observing and studying the mystic arts and divine abilities of the ancient Gods and various mighty beings. They devoured natural energy, stole the destiny of heaven and earth to feed themselves, damaged the Heavenly Dao to complete themselves, and damaged all things under the heaven to fatten themselves. Those who fed on clouds and winds to cultivate their souls and fleshly bodies formed the Immortal League, while the ones who formed indestructible relics and cultivated the golden bodies formed the Buddhist League. Those who gave up their fleshly bodies and used their souls to absorb Yin energy formed the Ghost League; and those who tortured their fleshly bodies with all kinds of mystic arts, or tortured their souls with all sorts of cruel methods, or gave up their souls, had formed different unorthodox leagues such as the Fiend League.
No matter the Immortal League, Buddhist League, Ghost League, Fiend League, or all the other unorthodox leagues, they were collectively called the Three Thousand Great Leagues in the ancient times, and were all divided from the human race. In the beginning, those of the Three Thousand Great Leagues cared for the human race, and they fought through bloody battles with their own kind, going through countless battles that could destroy the world. In the end, they defeated those mighty Innate Gods and formidable beings; they killed those they could, suppressed the ones they could, and expelled those they could. Eventually, Pangu Continent was ruled by the human race.
At that time, not only did the Pangu Continent belong to the human race, but billions of stars in the outer heavenly realms made up of countless fragments of the continent were also ruled by them. Human beings, immortals, buddhas, and others coexisted peacefully, and jointly ruled this wonderful world.
But as time went by, the orthodox human experts grew old and eventually died, while those immortals, buddhas, ghost cultivators, fiend cultivators, and the likes continued to live with their endless lifespans. As they watched their former comrades, companions, and friends die of old age, they finally realized that they were different from these 'ordinary humans'!
They were no longer the ordinary, fragile, short-lived, and insignificant humans, but had become a brand new race! Because of their endless life, they gradually took the leadership of the human race. After all the Elders of the human race who were of their generation died of natural causes, they became the ultimate leaders of the human race, taking their superiority for granted.
Eventually, something that was unacceptable to all the humans happened!
Part of the cultivation techniques the immortals, buddhas, and those who ruled the human race came from the Gods and mighty beings who had either fallen, or were suppressed or expelled. Because of that, they gradually discovered that the human race was not only their mother race, but the human blood essence, soul, and faith could provide them with great magical effect.
The Immortals found that they could obtain all kinds of wonderful cauldrons from amongst the humans—girls with wonderful body constitutions who could greatly enhance their cultivation bases. Some even discovered that girls with pure Yin body constitution could help a Heaven Immortal break through the realm of Gold Immortal, or make a Gold Immortal break through the bottleneck of Primordial Immortal.
Ghost immortals rejoiced on discovering that they could strengthen their souls by devouring human souls, and strengthen their cultivation bases by devouring human flesh and blood. In addition, they were able to gain greater power by torturing and killing humans. Negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, and anger became the source of their mighty power.
Fiend immortals were also delighted to discover that the human body and soul were a treasure trove. They used the most brutal means to torture the human body and soul, disintegrating the three spiritual and seven physical souls and using them to form all kinds of fiends, bringing themselves countless fiend incarnations that gave them an unparalleled divine power. In the end, various cruel means such as forming a sea of blood and extracting the human marrow had become the necessary techniques of the Fiend League.
As for the buddhas, they did not need human flesh and souls to do anything. Except for a handful cultivators of the Esoteric Buddhism who needed excellent cauldrons, other cultivators of the Buddhist League only needed the tremendous power of faith from their believers to form relics and temper golden bodies. A Buddhist cultivator with hundreds of millions of believers might become an Arhat or even a Bodhisattva in a short time, while one without believers would need to spend countless incarnations in painstaking meditation to achieve the same result.
Humans had inherited the Great Dao of Heaven and Earth, their destinies fused as one with the heaven and earth. Therefore, in the view of these cultivators, including the immortals, buddhas, and the others, humans were protected by the Heavenly Dao. In other words, they could take advantage of humans to obtain the Virtue bestowed by the Heavenly Dao. The Virtue was incredibly amazing and had endless benefits, such as helping to ward off mental demons and heavenly tribulations.
As a result, some cultivators began to breed humans as if they were cattle, using various means to fish out Virtue from them! For example, a cultivator would just have to find a barren land where the humans were having difficulty in growing crops because of drought and bring them a rain with magic; he or she then would be bestowed with Virtue!
The world of mortals was a breeding ground like this!
Using the bodies of 99,999 slain ancient Gods and mighty beings as the materials, the strongest 108 ancient Buddhas and 124 Primordial Immortals had joined hands and spent an eon of hard work to create the world of mortals!
'There is a world in every grain of sand, and there is a mortal realm in every flower.'
Through the perfect combination of Buddhist magic and Daoist divine power, the world of mortals, a breeding ground used to breed humans for personal gain, was created.
The Earth where Wu Qi was born was a part of this world of mortals. As to how many worlds of mortals there were, that number was only known to the ancient almighty experts who created them. But, after spending years in observing the worlds of mortals with his Mirror of Kunlun, Prince Chang Qin had discovered 840 million of such worlds!
All 840 million worlds of mortals existed together like Earth.
Those ancient almighty experts had compressed, shattered, twisted, and pieced back together the space in which the Earth lay. In fact, the Earth which Wu Qi was familiar with was not the only that who existed in that tiny space, as there were 839,999 other Earths. They coexisted in the same space, revolving around the same sun and with the same moon revolving around them, while the carefully arranged stars illuminated the 840 million worlds of mortals at the same time!
But, the humans in every world of mortals could not interact with those in the other worlds!
It was as if there were multiple dimensions; all 840 million Earths existed on the same spot, but the living beings in each world could never get in touch with those in the other worlds!
There they lived and died, going through all the worldly events of the mortals in between. The stories about Pangu Continent, about the ancient Gods, and the origin of the human race existed in their myths and legends, although somewhat inaccurately. These were the memories inherited in their bloodlines, and could not be completely removed by those almighty experts even with supreme mystic arts. Bringing with them these fragments of memory, the memory about Pangu Continent and their ancestors, these humans struggled for survival in the mortal worlds, giving birth to generation after generation.
Under the gaze of mighty immortals and buddhas, these humans who had been taken away from their Mother lived lowly existences like cattle!
Their history was made by those immortals and buddhas, their development was controlled by the immortals and buddhas, and their rise and fall were planned by the immortals and buddhas at will!
Whenever the humans of a certain mortal world entered high civilized period, where the power they possessed was about to pose a threat to the immortals and buddhas, these creators would launch the 'apocalypse' to completely destroy the civilization without the slightest hesitation. Then, the humans, who were thrown back to their primitive state, would have to redevelop on top of the ruins of the previous civilization!
On the Earth where Wu Qi was born, civilizations destroyed for this reason included Atlantis and the legendary ancient divine kingdom of Kunlun. Even the Mayan civilization, whose remains could still be found in the jungles of South America today, were destroyed because their Oracles had suddenly awakened their bloodline of Heaven-god, which gave them the strength to break the barrier of the mortal world and discover the real world.
Wu Qi was sweating all over, and his body was trembling.
"H-ho-how could they do this?" he bellowed furiously.
The 840 million worlds of mortals were discovered by Chang Qin over the years. No one knew how many more such mortal worlds were there, and no one knew how many humans were being played like toys by those immortals and buddhas. How could they do that? They were once humans as well, so how could they be so cruel to those who shared the same origin with them? How could those almighty immortals, buddhas, and other experts do such an inhumane thing?
Prince Chang Qin looked gently at Wu Qi and said, "So, many years ago, we began to make some arrangements in the mortal worlds. The ancestor of King Yue Feng, whom you serve now, was one of those responsible for carrying out the plan. As a matter of fact, both King Yang Shan and King Yue Feng are our people!"
Wu Qi looked at Prince Chang Qin. The prince's eyes were filled with a warmth that was enough to dispel the chill that rose from the bottom of Wu Qi's heart.