When Ning Tianya saw the little fellow, the little fellow was in the midst of pottering about busily . He was in front of a ball split down the middle into black and white that had been hung up, staring at it deep in thought as if a grown man .
Wearing his split pants, he got into a superbly bold pose, bending his legs into a mock-sitting position as his eyes stared straight ahead .
In front of him, that hanging black and white ball swung about leisurely .
At his hip, a tiny little lump was also hanging and swinging about leisurely .
Although the little fellow’s expression was very stern, this situation honestly made anyone who laid eyes on it unable to become serious .
Although Ning Tianya was a little troubled, he couldn’t help wanting to laugh too . Suppressing the urge, he walked over to the little fellow .
“Cough, little bastard…” Ning Tianya was exasperated . He had already walked to and fro in front of this fellow quite a few times, but he actually acted like he wasn’t there .
“Shhh~~~” The little fellow raised a finger, signaling for him not to speak .
Ning Tianya stopped in his tracks at once .
Reaching his arm out, the little fellow pointed to the side with the air of one who brooked no defiance and said fiercely, “Stand at the side and don’t make any sound . ”
Ning Tianya glared at him, feeling as if his eyes were about to throb furiously .
All of a sudden, a poot could be heard . At once, Ning Tianya held his breath, a strange look on his face .
The little fellow heaved a sigh . “Why must you fart everyday when you’re so young? Even though you won’t find this smell terribly unbearable yourself, it’s still very embarrassing when others are around . ”
Right away, Ning Tianya’s countenance turned even weirder, as if he had swallowed a fart alive .
Honestly speaking, even though that fart earlier was a little smelly, Ning Tianya could still bear with it . However, these words of his seriously made Supremacy Ning rather unable to tolerate…
“What are you doing?” Ning Tianya could only ask him seriously .
There was a look of deep contemplation on the little fellow’s face . “Take a look . ”
Ning Tianya looked over accordingly . Then, he shook his head at a loss . “Hmm?”
“Look…” The little fellow said mysteriously, “Isn’t this… very visual?”
Ning Tianya’s brows furrowed . He tried his best to think about it from the perspective of the Great Tao, only to conclude… What kind of visuality was he talking about?
He shook his head in puzzlement .
The little fellow looked at him with great dissatisfaction . “Look at it — Doesn’t it look very much like a ball?”
Ning Tianya swallowed hard .
Then, he rolled his eyes intensely .
Look like a ball? What I want to do the most right now is to kick you out like a ball!
That is a goddamn ball right from the start!!
“This is a ball!” The little fellow’s smooth and delicate face, so tender as if water would ooze out if it was pinched, formed a deeply contemplative look as he said, “But this is a world!”
“A world?” Ning Tianya stared at him .
“There’s black as well as white on it . ” The little fellow said dispassionately, “Just like how there’s day and also night in life, as well as life and death . Just like this universe where there’s heaven and also earth, Yin as well as Yang!”
“Oh?” Ning Tianya involuntarily turned his attention to this little black and white ball and observed it carefully .
The surface was indeed split down the middle into black and white . There were only two colors on it — black and white — just like two large strangely-shaped fishes with an eye each .
“But when all returns to its origin, life and death, Yin and Yang, heaven and earth, black and white, the north and south are all on the same little ball,” said the little fellow with his childish voice .
Ning Tianya suddenly felt as if he had been struck by lightning .
These words, to a regular person, would probably make one think this way —”What’s the big deal? That’s how it is right from the start . These words are very normal!”
But Ning Tianya was different .
He had already half-surpassed life and death . When he heard these words in this instant, all his attention was hooked .
Life and death, Yin and Yang, heaven and earth — They were all here!
One lived and also died here; whether alive or dead, he would never break away from this domain!
What did this explain?
Ning Tianya suddenly felt like he was in somewhat of a trance .
A regular person’s trance might have been because his mind was in an unsettled state, but Ning Tianya’s trance, at his level, was typically a sign of impending enlightenment .
The next moment, Ning Tianya felt himself entering a fascinating state of being .
With rapt attention, Tie Yang, with a strange light in his eyes, watched Ning Tianya sink into a sort of primal chaos state of being .
After a long while, he murmured to himself, “I wonder if it’s because the people in this world are too impoverished or if it’s because their aptitude is too good? In the other world… Everyone in the streets is full of supreme theories, yet they treated them merely as beginner textbooks… Other than studying and becoming literate, they can’t think of anything else . ”
Sighing heavily, he murmured, “How could thousands of years of painstaking efforts of those who came before us exist merely to let one become literate?”
“The heavens against the earth, rain against the wind, land against the sky… How could they be mere innocent pairings?”
“The heavens are black and the lands yellow, the early primitive stage of the universe… Could these be beginner literature that only elementary school children can read while adults stay away from it?”
“Once a treasure is exposed to all as though a common brick, it ends up looking as if there is no value in it… What a shame . ”
Ning Tianya seemed to have experienced a dream .
In the dream, he saw a complete cycle of his life from the time of birth till his death; born here, bred here, and died here .
From start to end, he was in a strange circle . He remembered all the events from when he was alive, as well as possessed clear memories of everything that happened after his death . For a while, he couldn’t help but compare his life and death . Yet he felt bored to death and he heaved a heavy sigh .
As he sighed, his mind cleared up .
In front of him, a brat wearing split pants staring at him with his clear and bright eyes .
When Ning Tianya’s eyes met with this pair of eyes that was free of even the slightest impurities, he suddenly felt a sense of shame coming over him .
He had experienced too much filth in his life . Now, as he looked upon such pure and clean eyes once more…
“Your aptitude is not bad . ” The little fellow sighed . Glaring into Ning Tianya’s eyes, he asked, “You broke through earlier, right?”
“No…” Ning Tianya was rather flushed with embarrassment . Being told by a one-year-old toddler that his ‘aptitude was not bad’… Cough, to Ning Tianya who was tens of thousands of years old, it was a seriously intriguing feeling .
If he had really broken through, then that would be fine and all . But the problem was that… he didn’t .
Which made it rather hard to justify .
“You didn’t?” The little fellow’s eyes bulged out of their sockets, as if this outcome was also greatly outside of his expectations . “You clearly benefited, but you actually didn’t break through? Even that eunuch Feng Qiliang broke through by one level when he first heard it…”
Ning Tianya was so miserable that he wanted to smash his head against a wall .
I’m the goddamn awe-inspiring number one expert, but in the eyes of this kid, I can’t even compare to a eunuch!
As if he wanted to throw up blood, he retorted, “What cultivation level is Feng Qiliang at? And what level is this old man at? If we were to draw an analogy, Feng Qiliang only needs a grain of rice to break through while this old man needs an entire rice field to do it! You little…”
When he reached this part, he suddenly shut up .
Damn it, what am I saying all these to a one-year-old baby for?
“That’s true . ” The little baby nodded seriously . As he nodded, the little chicky in his crotch also swayed to and fro . Then, he said seriously, “Your cultivation can soon be considered rudimentary…”
Ning Tianya clamped his mouth shut, his temples throbbing, as though all the blood in him was about to rush to his head .
I’m about to be rudimentary…
Do you goddamn know that this person who’s ‘about to be rudimentary’ in your eyes is the current number one expert in the world of the Nine Heavens?!
“Is your father really Chu Yang?” asked Ning Tianya in exasperation .
The little fellow rolled his eyes in contempt . “Do you think other people qualify to be?”
Ning Tianya wanted to faint once again .
“This crown prince is well-versed in his studies and accomplished in his martial arts . Kind and wise, I will descend upon the world as a ruler in the future and bless the world with fortune for years and years to come as I unite the martial world!” The crown prince declared seriously . “Other than my father, who else is qualified to have a son like me?”
Ning Tianya coughed a couple of times and suppressed the urge to spray blood from his mouth . “Is the window open?”
The little fellow replied mysteriously, “This crown prince never goes through the window . I’ve always been open board and straightforward; I only go through the main door!”
After a long time…
Inspiration suddenly hit Ning Tianya . “Surely you’re not the reincarnation of some ultimate expert?”
The little fellow glanced at him contemptuously . “Did you see one?”
“One?” Ning Tianya was taken aback .
“I’m talking about that tree!” The little fellow said impassively, “That tree is the world and that pond the underworld . That region is the netherworld and that bridge is the passageway of humans and ghosts . ”
“Humans were originally a speck of dust that didn’t amount to anything . As the water of the underworld flows into the passageway of humans and ghosts, the past life of a human steps onto the first level of the world . Only then does he start to possess a consciousness and begins his struggle . ”
“No matter which level one climbs to, just by relying on one’s strength, he can never shake off heaven! Therefore, no matter which level it is, in the end, only demise awaits him… After his demise, he reenters the otherworld . No matter how high one has gone when alive, at that point, he would only be returned to his most primitive state by the waters of reincarnation… Which is to say, only dust that does not possess consciousness is able to go round and begin again!”
“Thus… Under such strict and stringent law and regulation of the universe, the reincarnation of so-called ultimate experts is no different from a typical infant! How can they… possibly be as much of a genius as me?”
Ning Tianya’s brows drew together tightly . “But this sort of thing definitely exists!”
“That’s because… due to external factors, they are able to retain a bit of their true soul!” The little fellow went on disdainfully . “However, making use of external factors to retain one’s true soul is ultimately not the same as one’s own innate ability . Thus… their future accomplishments are limited!”
Without waiting for Ning Tianya’s response, the little fellow smiled peculiarly . “This world has already existed for a hundred thousand years . Among the experts of each generation, is any of them who reached the pinnacle the reincarnation of an ultimate expert?”
Ning Tianya was stunned!
Regarding the reincarnation and rebirth of ultimate experts, Ning Tianya had heard of it when he went to the Nine Heavens Imperial Court . He could also be certain that it truly existed . But… according to what he knew, it seemed like there really wasn’t anyone like that among the few sovereigns who stood at the apex of the Nine Heavens Imperial Court!
“One’s inherent nature and conscience… are their strongest weapons! His original self itself is the sturdiest precious raft to cross the secular world!” The little fellow was filled with disdain for the concept itself . “Borrowing the power of external factors, be it artifacts or medicine… wouldn’t work! Where do spiritual artifacts come from? They are forged by humans! Where do elixirs come from? They are synthesized by humans! Where do heaven and earth come from? They are pioneered by humans! Borrowing the power of external factors and abandoning even one’s original self… how can they possibly reach the pinnacle!”
Ning Tianya was horrified and shaken .
He asked humbly, “May I ask the crown prince, what skill technique are you cultivating with that tree?”
The little fellow smiled . “That is the skill technique of Innate Origin . Making use of every source of innate origin in the universe, extracting its essence and discarding the chaff, attaining the Great Tao, and establishing one’s innate origin!”
Ning Tianya felt as if he had understood something .
“If that tree were the world, then the tree is still very small . ” The little fellow said in a profound and unfathomable manner, “When one looks upon the tree when he is in the water, the tree would be the world . But one must know that while being in that position, outside of that world, there’s still the very broad and vast sky…”
Ning Tianya suddenly recalled — That tree was only a small existence in the pond in the imperial garden . On the other hand, outside of it, there was the entire palace, the vast Lower Three Heavens, the Middle Three Heavens, Upper Three Heavens and the Nine Heavens Imperial Court!
In that case… in this cosmic universe, was the Nine Heavens Imperial Court also just as small and insignificant as this tree?
 This line is the first line of ‘Book of Changes’, an ancient Chinese divination text and the oldest of the Chinese classics
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