DEEGWWArchaeus

Book 28, Archaeus Region, Chapter 1 – The World Within the Archaeus Region

The Archaeus region was the core of this entire alternate universe. According to legend, it was the place where this universe itself had originated from, and it was filled with both danger and opportunity. Every single World-level cultivator would be berserk for the chance to enter it, and even Daolords would vie for the chance.

Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!

Five streaks of light flew into the cloudy mists at the borders of the Archaeus region, delving deeper and deeper inside.

“Can you sense it?” Skyfire Brightshore sent a rather excited mental message.

“Yes.” Firesurge nodded.

“What a unique sensation.” Heartlord Solewind nodded as well.

“It truly is quite marvelous.” Prince Greatjoy sighed in amazement.

Ning was amazed as well as he carefully attuned himself to these sensations. Ever since he had flown into the Archaeus region, he had been able to sense an invisible aura of power which completely covered the entire region. This power was the power of the Archaeus region itself. If the five of them didn’t have access to an Archaeus medallion, they probably would’ve been instantaneously crushed into dust. They could sense that this mighty power originated from some place at the very heart of the vast Archaeus region.

“That direction, there.” Skyfire Brightshore pointed towards the distance. “That’s the place we need to go to.”

“The heart of the Archaeus region.” Ning and the others all nodded.

The star maps had included a detailed path from the transversal conduit to the Archaeus region. However, after they actually entered the Archaeus region they would have to depend on their own senses to advance towards the heart of the region! The center of the Archaeus region was a place which every cultivator dreamed of entering. Perhaps the journey would result in some adventures that would test them and allow them to grow more powerful and evolve, but the center… that was the place where the true transformation would occur.

“Gentlemen, same rules as always. I’ll be the one to teleport us,” Prince Greatjoy sent mentally.

“Alright.”

“Sorry to trouble you, brother Greatjoy.”

Ning and the others did not decline. It must be understood that the Archaeus region was most likely as large as the entire Endless Territories. To go from the border regions to its heart would probably take trillions of years if one wished to physically fly through it.

It must be remembered that Ning had long ago sworn a lifeblood oath to reach Vastheaven Palace within a single chaos cycle. Chaos cycles, however, were extremely long and were calculated in the trillions of years! Thus, Ning still had plenty of time.

Whoosh.

Whoosh.

Prince Greatjoy produced a flying vessel which Ning and the others then entered. Prince Greatjoy took personal control over the vessel, sending it hurtling through the Archaeus region at high speeds as he teleported again and again. Every single spatial teleportation allowed them to cover an extremely great distance. Given Prince Greatjoy’s mastery over the Dao of Spacetime, roughly a hundred teleportations would be enough to allow them to traverse a single territory.

In the ‘normal’ universe, territories were located extremely far away from each other. The distance between two territories could be a hundred times greater than the size of each territory.

“Based on what my senses are telling me… the heart of the Archaeus region is quite far away from us. If we keep teleporting like this, it’ll take us at least ten thousand years to reach it,” Prince Greatjoy said. “That is assuming, of course, that we don’t encounter any dangers. In reality, this place will be full of danger.”

“Let’s just keep advancing step by step,” Solewind said.

“We’ll fight fire with fire,” Ning laughed.

Whoosh.

The second day after they entered the Archaeus region. They had just performed yet another spatial teleportation. When the shuttle came to a halt…

“Quick, look.” Prince Greatjoy’s face tightened.

“Eh?” Ning and the others looked over. Ning stared past a faint layer of mist and was able to see an utterly enormous continent floating in space. Although there was a barrier of mist between them, Ning was still able to see out to a distance of a billion kilometers. He instantly saw that this continent had a few figures residing within it. He was able to make out a few dozen figures in total.

“Cultivators?” Ning frowned.

“Dozens of them? Why are there so many?” Prince Greatjoy was surprised as well.

Based on what they knew, one had to have an Archaeus medallion in order to enter the Archaeus region. This was true even for weaker cultivators like Elder Gods, Ancestral Immortals, True Gods, or True Immortals. Anyone who didn’t have a medallion would be crushed by the power of the Archaeus region.

There were very, very few Archaeus medallions. They had spent a thousand years travelling through many different territories, and as a result they had come to understand just how rare these items were! Logically speaking, it should’ve been almost impossible for them to encounter large numbers of cultivators bearing Archaeus medallions because of how rare those things were and how vast the Archaeus region was. They had only expected to encounter other cultivators after they actually entered the heart of the Archaeus region.

“Something doesn’t make sense. They… they give me an odd feeling.” Heartlord Solewind shook his head slowly. “It feels as though the invisible power of the Archaeus region is protecting them, rather than oppressing them.”

“Right. That really does seem to be the case.” The others quickly noticed this as well.

They had entered bearing Archaeus medallions, and so the Archaeus region did not harm them. However… those dozens of distant figures were actually being supported and protected by the power of the Archaeus region.

“They are moving very slowly,” Ning sent mentally. “In fact, they are flying at ridiculously slow speeds. Most likely, even average Empyrean Gods and Celestial Immortals would fly much faster than them.”

Whoosh.

The vessel slowly advanced towards the borders of that vast, levitating continent. Ning and the others all flew out of the vessel.

“Let me take a look.” Heartlord Solewind stared hard at a nearby figure who was merely three hundred million kilometers away. He sent an invisible wave of heartforce out to completely cover that figure.

“He is very weak. He’s an ordinary mortal who hasn’t even undergone the Celestial Tribulation. Strictly speaking, he would be considered at the Wanxiang level,” Heartlord Solewind said.

“A mortal?” Ning and the others were all surprised.

In the Three Realms, it was said that after surviving the Celestial Tribulation, one would be ‘no longer subject to the rules of the Three Realms and the fetters of the Five Elements’. Prior to overcoming the tribulation, one would be constrained by the rules of that world. These people were referred to as ‘mortals’ by powerful cultivators!

“Are there actually mortals who live here in the Archaeus region?” Ning and the others were all puzzled.

“Let’s take a look and see,” Heartlord Solewind said. He took a single step forwards, causing the space around him to shimmer as he teleported three hundred million kilometers and moved close to that distant mortal lifeform.

“Let’s take a look as well.” The others all teleported forwards as well.

……

Daoist Rainskill was riding on a magic treasure as she engaged in careful exploration. She could be considered a beautiful woman who was quite famous. In just a hundred short years, she had reached the Core Formation stage.

“I’m now in the deeprest reaches of the Western Wastes.” Daoist Rainskill was extremely cautious. “I hear that at the end of the Western Wastes lies the endless chaos storms. I’ve never seen the chaos storms before. I was lucky enough to be teleported deep into the Western Wastes… I can’t waste this chance to check it out.”

Suddenly…

A bald man dressed in fiery robes suddenly appeared in the air directly above the marsh in front of Daoist Rainskill. Moments later, several other figures appeared as well. There was a youth dressed in deep blue robes, a white-robed youth carrying a sword on his back, a black-robed man who wore a crown on his head, and a youth with long, crimson hair. All of them looked extraordinary.

“What? They can actually teleport straight into the Western Wastes?” Daoist Rainskill was badly startled. The Western Wastes was a chaotic place that was quite close to the endless chaos storms. Space was extremely unstable here. Only the ‘Grand Cultivators’ were able to teleport in places like this.

“Rainskill pays her respects to you all, seniors.” Daoist Rainskill was extremely respectful.

“We wish to ask you some questions.” Solewind smiled.

Without even realizing it, Daoist Rainskill began to relax. In her heart, she began to view this man as person who she completed trusted. “Ask away, senior.”

“How large is this continent? How many living beings does it hold?” Solewind asked.

“This place is the Northspring Continent. It is unimaginably vast and holds countless living beings,” Daoist Rainskill said. “The number of cultivators and monsters in this place is numerous beyond count, much less mortals and ordinary beasts.”

Ning and the others exchanged looks, all rather surprised. There were actually countless living beings here?

“But this place here is the Western Wastes. Space is distorted here, making it impossible for mortals to survive in such a place. Only cultivators would dare to delve deep into this place,” Daoist Rainskill said.

“What is the highest level of cultivation in this continent?” Solewind asked.

“First, you have the Qi Condensation stage. Then, you have the Foundation stage. Next comes the Core Formation stage… and the highest stage is the ‘Tribulation’ stage,” Daoist Rainskill said.

“The highest stage is the ‘Tribulation’ stage?” Solewind followed up on this. “There are none stronger than the ‘Tribulation’ stage? What happens after the tribulation?”

“After the tribulation, you ascend, of course!” Daoist Rainskill said, “You ascend to the Immortal realm. There’s no way back from there.”

“Are there any continents aside from the Northspring Continent?” Solewind asked.

“There are. If you go through the ancient transfer arrays, you can reach some other continents,” Daoist Rainskill said. “From our Northspring Continent, we can reach an incredibly distant continent known as the Blackfiend Continent as well as a place known as the Astral Ocean. I don’t know about any other locations.”

“Alright.” Heartlord Solewind nodded slowly, then looked at the others. “Let’s go.”

Ning and the others nodded, quickly disappearing as they left this place.

“Eh?!” Daoist Rainskill felt her mind go blurry for a moment. “What the hell? I actually started to daydream in a place like this?” She had no recollection of her meeting with Ning’s group at all.

“But… I feel very comfortable right now.” Daoist Rainskill felt a very comfortable feeling permeate through her entire body.

“What?! I’ve reached the peak of the Core Formation stage? And why does it seem as though my body has been completely transformed?” Daoist Rainskill was now truly stunned. What she didn’t know was that Heartlord Solewind had given her a glance as he left, bestowing a small parting gift upon her.

As for Ning’s group, they now stood once more at the margins of this vast continent.

“I never would’ve thought that the Archaeus region can give birth to living creatures as well,” Ning mused softly.

“Any environment can potentially give birth to living beings,” Solewind sent back. “The almighty Hegemon captured quite a few cultivators from this universe but was only able to learn a few things about the Archaeus region. It makes sense that there is a great deal of information we were unaware of.”

Ning and the others nodded.

Just now, they tested out the process of teleporting some people from the estate-worlds they held. They had all brought out people who had committed tremendous sins and were viledoers. Unexpectedly, all of them were able to survive here in the Archaeus region.

“Just now, that young lady spoke of ‘ascending’ to the Immortal realm after the tribulation.” Prince Greatjoy’s eyes narrowed. “As you all know, once you overcome the tribulation you’ll escape the rules and confines of a world. That means you will no longer be protected by the Archaeus region itself. Without an Archaeus medallion, you’d be instantly crushed to death. Most likely, those ascendants all ‘ascended’ to certain estate-worlds which are probably under the control of major powers who live here in the Archaeus region. In other words… it is very likely that behind this continent is a Daolord.”

“A Daolord?” Ning and the others nodded.

In the Three Realms or other chaosworlds, those who ascended and became Immortals or Gods would still be able to come and visit the mortal lands. However, here in the Archaeus region there was no coming back from ascension. Clearly, this was all due to the power of the Archaeus region, which ensured there was no way for them to return. If they wished to survive, they would only be able to do so by living in estate-world treasures.

Ning’s group naturally wouldn’t worry about them… but Daolords were definitely worthy of their attention and concern!

Book 28, Archaeus Region, Chapter 2 – Spatial Tempests

“It’s also possible that I’m just overthinking things,” Solewind said with a laugh.

“Mm.”

“There may be many things in the Archaeus region unknown to us.” None of them dared claim they knew everything about this place.

Did the mortals of the Archaeus region go to a Daolord’s estate-world after ascending, or did they go into some other special place? None of them were certain. Still, they had to remain vigilant. Given their current level of power, battles against Daolords were still quite risky for them.

“Let’s go,” Prince Greatjoy sent. Ji Ning and the others re-entered his flying vessel, then quietly and stealthily departed from this enormous continent and continued their journey via teleportation through the Archaeus region.

One year. Ten years. A hundred years…

The five of them continued to advance carefully. The Archaeus region truly was the core of this entire alternate universe, the place from which everything had first arisen. This place was filled with countless marvels and dangers as well as quite a few precious treasures. Ning’s group, however, didn’t dare to be too greedy. They did their best to avoid as many danger zones as they could, but they still encountered trouble on quite a few occasions.

Roughly 1308 years after they had entered the Archaeus region, they encountered an extremely powerful Daolord! They had come incredibly close to dying that time!

They had been teleporting through space using their flying vessel when all of a sudden, they discovered a green-robed Daolord had suddenly appeared a few billion kilometers up ahead of them. This Daolord was quite ugly, with white eyebrows hanging down all the way to his chest. He was leisurely strolling through the emptiness of space, but when he saw Ning’s flying vessel appear a look of murder appeared in his eyes.

That glare alone gave all five of them a sensation of tremendous danger.

“Leave right away.”

“Flee!”

“Quick!”

All five of them could sense death impending.

“Ahh!” Prince Greatjoy furiously sent his vessel into an immediate teleport. Swoosh! Right after his vessel disappeared, a sharp thread-like streak of light lashed through the empty space where the vessel had been.

“Hmph.” The green-robed Daolord’s gaze was cold as he relased his godsense to inspect the surrounding area of a trillion kilometers. “They ran quite quickly. I wonder which master they are apprenticed to.” The green-robed Daolord let out a cold snort, then walked away and disappeared from the scene.

Although that interaction had been a very brief one, Ning’s group remained terrified by the memory of it.

“That Daolord was definitely at the Verge of the Daomerge! Although Daolords are quite rare here in the Archaeus region, there’s still more of them than World-level cultivators. Many World-level cultivators have entered then exited the Archaeus region, with almost none of them actually staying here for an extended period of time! Given how vast the Archaeus region is, we have a much higher chance of running into Daolords than into other World-level cultivators.” Solewind shook his head. “Still, I never would’ve thought we would run into a Daolord just a thousand years after entering the Archaeus region. Worse, it was a shameless Daolord who immediately moved to attack us and steal our Archaeus medallions. Thank goodness brother Greatjoy was here.”

“That old bastard was very powerful. If I had been just a bit slower, we wouldn’t have been able to escape.” Prince Greatjoy also felt fear at what had nearly happened.

“It was all thanks to you, brother Greatjoy.” Ning was still petrified as well. If they had actually been forced to fight… even though Ning had those four guardian golems protecting him, there was no way he would’ve been able to defeat a Verge-level Daolord.

That near-brush with death had caused their souls and truesouls to all quiver with terror.

……

To be in a ‘relaxed’ state or to be in a ‘tense’ state where you straddled the line between life and death were two completely separate concepts.

You might spend multiple chaos cycles in a relaxed state without making any improvements, but just one or two life-and-death adventures might be enough to result in dramatic gains in strength! To live a peaceful life for countless years, or to straddle the line between life and death as you reached for greater glory and greater heights? Clearly, the majority of cultivators chose the latter.

More than 2800 years had passed since Ning’s group had entered the Archaeus region.

……

Boom!

“Charge!”

“Let’s charge through!”

Ning’s group of five were all aboard their flying vessel, using all their power to resist.

They were surrounded by countless spatial tempests, and their flying vessel was being tossed about by the spatial storms like an ordinary vessel might be tossed about by giant waves. They were completely unable to fight back as the spatial tempests pressed them forwards nonstop.

Ning’s group was still trying their best to resist, and Ning himself sent out an enormous streak of sword-light to tear a spatial tempest apart.

Firesurge sent out enormous waves of water to crash out against those spatial tempests.

Skyfire Brightshore had been growing noticeably more powerful ever since he had entered this alternate universe. He was now working alongside Firesurge, and the two were combining their skills in fire and water.

Greatjoy and Solewind were doing their best as well.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The flying vessel was still being buffeted and tossed about by the spatial tempests.

“Won’t work. We can’t charge through.” Prince Greatjoy shook his head. “The difference in power between us and these spatial tempests is too great. These spatial tempests are simply too violent. Even my control over spacetime won’t be enough to calm them.”

“Ugh.” Firesurge frowned.

“Let’s just go with the flow, then.” Solewind chuckled. “This isn’t exactly the first time we ran into something like this.”

Ning nodded as well, then laughed, “These spatial tempests won’t always maintain such a high level of strength. If we just follow the flows, eventually we’ll reach a spot where things calm down.”

The Archaeus region was filled with many dangers, and they had encountered spatial tempests on quite a few occasions by now. Although Ning, Solewind, and the others all had certain trump cards they could use, these naturally occurring phenomena really weren’t worth the cost.

They ended up following the flows of the spatial tempests for nine more months.

“The spatial tempests are actually growing stronger and stronger.” Prince Greatjoy continued to helm the flying vessel through the storms, seeking a relatively easier ‘path’ for them to traverse.

“Everyone, look over there!” Prince Greatjoy suddenly called out.

“Land.” Ning and the others turned to stare as well, only to see an utterly enormous continent hanging in the void just past the spatial tempests.

“There’s actually land here? Hopefully this continent will have actual people living on it.” Ning and the others revealed looks of delight.

A short while later, Ning and the others all descended upon the great continent. The edges of this continent were surrounded by strange whirlpools of power that continuously weakened the spatial storms that swept towards the continent. By the time they made it a few billion kilometers into the heart of the continent, things were completely calm.

“An ancient, major power has passed by this continent before.” Ning’s group advanced through a desolate desert. This place was still considered as being part of the ‘border regions’ of this continent. The environs were quite harsh and not suitable for life.

Heartlord Solewind raised his head and stared off into the distance. “I can dimly sense that this entire continent is covered by an enormous formation which is diverting the power of those spatial tempests. This formation must’ve been left behind by a major power.”

“Yes, a major power has been here.” Prince Greatjoy stared towards a place roughly a billion kilometers away. “This continent is filled with countless living beings. It is very likely that this continent holds a spacetime transfer array.”

“Haha, it’ll be much easier for us to leave if we can move through a spacetime transfer array.” Ning laughed.

“Remember that time from five hundred years ago, when we were trapped in that sea of fire and unable to escape? In the end, we discovered that there was actually a continent located deep within the sea of fire.” Skyfire Brightshore couldn’t help but reminisce about this. “That continent was also filled with many living beings, and it also had a spacetime transfer array. It even had an estate left behind by a Daolord. Thankfully, that Daolord had left long ago, and so we were able to easily enter the spacetime transfer array and reach a different area. It actually shortened our journey considerably.”

Ning and the others all nodded. By now, they had spent nearly three thousand years in the Archaeus region, and they had accumulated a great deal of experience.

The Archaeus region was filled with countless continents that were in turn filled with many living beings. Small continents were generally ten billion kilometers in size, while larger ones could be a trillion kilometers in size! There were often traces of ancient major powers having passed through these places, albeit very few of them would actually set up residence. There was no point in living alongside ordinary mortals, after all.

However, virtually every single continent with living beings on it had a spacetime transfer array!

Ning’s group, however, didn’t dare to randomly use those arrays without doing some careful investigations. They’d rather continuously teleport through the Archaeus region than accidentally run into a reclusive Daolord who was residing within one of those continents!

“I hope things work out this time,” Ning sent mentally.

“Don’t worry, Darknorth. Even if there are Daolords residing in this continent, Daolords often go into closed-door meditation sessions that last a million years or more. We’ll move in and depart immediately. There’s no way we’ll be unlucky enough to run into one,” Greatjoy chortled.

“Just be careful, everyone. Don’t randomly send out your godsense to search this place,” Solewind warned.

If you swept a region with godsense, you might be able to discover a Daolord… but that Daolord would also discover you!

……

Ning’s group of five advanced through the continent, quickly reaching a place which was bustling with life and activity.

This place was a city known as Thousand Mountains, a place where the eight major sects of the region all recruited disciples from.

In the city of Thousand Mountains resided an old freak known as ‘Old Demon Qi Xiu’. He truly was the number one expert of this region, superior to all others in the eight major sects. However, he was a very low-key figure who very few people knew about.

“Patriarch.” As the Old Demon walked out of his room and through his estate, quite a few servants and retainers would call out to him with respect when they saw him.

“Ugh. This world places enormous restrictions on my power.” The Old Demon’s gaze drifted off into the distance as he stared at the mountain ranges outside the city of Thousand Mountains. “And yet, I really just can’t bear to leave…”

“Eh?” The Old Demon’s face suddenly turned pale. Five figures had suddenly appeared next to the lake nearby him. They were Ning, Solewind, and the others.

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