All Bai Yunfei saw at first was a glimmer of light before it receded away to reveal a completely different landscape than the room Bai Yunfei used to be in.
No longer were they in one of the rooms of the Underworld School. He wasn't even standing on the ground anymore. No, he was high up in the air in a vast expanse of a different world.
Three kilometers beneath him stood a large range of mountainous trees. Above him was the azure sky and white clouds he was accustomed to. There weren't any harsh winds as he expected for being at such a height, but rather, a nice gentle breeze Bai Yunfei could hardly even described as being anything other than 'comfortable'.
"Is this…the Core World?!"
No matter how prepared Bai Yunfei felt like he was, the sight in front of him was still something to behold.
"That's right. This is the Core World." Xiao Fang's voice called out to them.
It spoke again, this time with a haughty air.
Turning his head, Bai Yunfei watched as the image of a small stone appeared.
Admittedly, Bai Yunfei had been quite curious about the shape Xiao Fang chose to be. "Xiao Fang, why is your image that of a stone? Why not something of your own choosing? And if you don't mind me asking, are you a male or female?"
"I am the spirit of the Core Stone, of course I'll choose to look like it." Xiao Fang replied, somewhat taken aback by the question. "This is my 'original' form. As for my gender…I was born from the Core Stone, not a spirit that was sealed into it afterward. I have no gender."
"Born?!" Bai Yunfei cried out, "Are you saying you were formed from within the Core Stone?! The stone gave birth to a sentient spirit?!"
If Xiao Fang were to have a face that could show expression, it would surely be giving Bai Yunfei a derisive look at such a question. "What's so strange about being born a sentient spirit? Did you think sentience can only be derived from living beings? In the ancient past, the world was filled with spirits. A blade of grass, a tree, a lake, a stone. Everything had a soul, a spirit. But when the world's energy began to flow irregularly, many forms of sentient life started to die out. A few lucky sentient spirits managed to survive the disruption, and I am one of them. It was nearly ten thousand years before my first master, Tianhun, found me and created the Core Stone from my being. That is how I became a Regalia."
Seeing the gobsmacked expression on Bai Yunfei's face, Xiao Fang carried on. "I know what you're thinking. 'Why have I never heard of everything have a spirit before?' That was from a time long past. An ancient past more than ten thousand years ago. Several thousand years ago, the world saw to it having less spirits. Two thousand years ago, there were hardly any objects that could be given sentient life. Tianhun scoured the continent in his process of Sainthood, and not even a trace of new spirits being birthed could be found."
"I…I see…" Bai Yunfei slowly nodded. "You mentioned something about a sealed spirit, what are those?"
"By sealing the soul of a living being into a soul armament, they can become a spirit of the armament. Many soul armaments used to have a spirit in them, but almost all of them have disappeared in the last several thousand years. Most of the Ten Great Regalia are examples of those soul armaments with a soul sealed into them afterwards. We used to be sprinkled across the continent as inheritances throughout time, but Tianhun gathered us together.
"Inheritances…" Bai Yunfei repeated. "Xiao Fang, how much do you know about the soul cultivators in your time? According to what you've said so far, it was common for soul cultivators to have soul armaments with spirits inside of them. Why are there so few now then?"
A detailed history of the continent had only started just two thousand years ago since the founding of the Tianhun Empire. Prior to that, any historical records was either lost or destroyed.
"I don't really know much, but it's probably five thousand…no, six thousand years ago. There was a world-wide disaster. The soul cultivator world practically collapsed with so many of the strongest dead, and humanity was a whole went nearly extinct. Though humanity managed to rebuild after that, it's a lost era with practically nothing left from before almost."
This was an explanation that made Bai Yunfei feel so ignorant about the world, like a frog that knew nothing but the world that was the well it lived in. This was the first time he heard of such a history. Everyone he spoke to before had only ever mentioned that the history of the Tianhun Continent had a few thousand years at most.
Recollecting himself with a sigh, Bai Yunfei slowly digested the information he was given and then looked down to the world beneath him.
"Ah, I've been meaning to ask. I was sent to a mysterious place back when I was in Black Cloud Valley and then relocated on the other side near Crushed Stone River where the pocket was. Was that your doing?"
"Yes, that was me. I spent nearly a hundred years to create that pocket to have such a large area. It just so happened that an entrance to the pocket was in the middle of Black Cloud Valley. I remember a small snake having reached the pocket a while back and took in a bit of the Extreme King Pill fragrance I had in the furnace before I threw it out…I felt Sentinel's aura at that time and was excited. I didn't even have time to ask though before you took out that class seven soulbeast. I was afraid of the pocket collapsing so I threw you out as well."
"Ah…" Bai Yunfei replied, he had finally an answer to yet another question that had been on his mind.
"The Core World has to have about five hundred kilometers, no, five hundred and fifty kilometers now, right? Am I standing at the center? Where is the edge?" Bai Yunfei asked.
"The edge? It's the curtains of chaotic space. I'll take you there."
Sooner than Bai Yunfei expected, the world in front of him exploded in light before he was brought to another place in the Core World.
In front of him was a curtain of prismatic light with nothing else to be seen slightly before it.
Looking at the scenery, Bai Yunfei asked, "The edge is the space in front of us, right? Then what's with the area before it?"
"This is the area where you just expanded." Xiao Fang explained, "But the landscape couldn't be created so quickly and from nothing. So it's a blank space for now, you can develop it later."
"Uh…how can I develop it?"
"The earth, mountains, plantlife, and all that." Xiao Fang explained. "You can just bring that stuff in here from the outside and I can turn this area into something similar."
"Oh, then I'll make sure to do that soon enough." Bai Yunfei nodded. "It looks really weird without anything being here. Let's go back to where we used to be."
"Okay, no problem."
Again, Bai Yunfei's world exploded in light before he was brought back to where he was when he first entered the Core World.
"Is this the center of the Core World, Xiao Fang?"
"It is, why?"
"We were just at the edge of the world, so isn't that saying…you teleported us through such a large distance in no time at all?!"
"What's so strange about that? This is the Core World, my world. What I want, I do. What I wish, I will. I can even make my own laws. Instantaneous travel is nothing."
Bai Yunfei was thunderstruck by that line. Though he remembered seeing the ability to 'create his own laws', Xiao Fang confirming it was still something unbelievable. "You're saying…you can create your own Planar Laws in this world?! In other words…you are the equivalent to a 'god' in this world?!"
"It's not a wrong thing to say that I'm like a 'god' here, but it's not completely right either. I can't create my own 'Planar Laws'. This world isn't a proper 'plane' of existence to be begin with. It's a world formed within a dimension, I can't change the Law of Truth, so things such as dying from old age cannot be changed. In short, I can only change laws that relate to the Law of Energies."
"Oh, I see…" Bai Yunfei nodded. This was something that would need further research. But now was the time for the even bigger question…
"Xiao Fang, where are all the soul armaments, soul skills, treasures and all that?"
Author Note: Dear readers, for the sake of painting a clear picture, let us assume the Core World has a radius of about 500 kilometers. Combined with the increase of 15% to its stats, that means the Core World will have an additional 15% increase to its area. Some readers might argue that this way of measuring is incorrect, but to think any more about the specifics of the area would make it a bit too hard to understand. Please don't pay too much attention to this tidbit.