Note from Deathblade: I rarely do this, but I'm going to suggest a soundtrack for this chapter. Click here for the music, then have fun reading!
The hand which had grabbed Lord White and was pulling him up out of the Mountain and Sea Realm suddenly became entangled by some invisible power which forced it to grind to a halt. An enraged roar then echoed out from the 33 Heavens to fill the ears of all cultivators down below.
“Mountain and Sea Realm, what are you doing?! Do you truly dare to start the war early!?!?”
All of the Mountains and Seas were completely shaken. Even the cultivators of the Seventh and Eighth Mountains and Seas who were locked in combat, as well as those in the Sixth and Fifth Mountains and Seas, all went quiet.
Fighting ceased, and all hearts felt enormous pressure weighing down on them. And yet, the main feeling was that of confusion.
All of a sudden, an ancient and icy voice echoed out through all of the Mountains and Seas, filling the minds and hearts of all cultivators. “All ye in the Mountain and Sea Realm... I am the will of the Mountain and Sea Realm, its spirit automaton....”
Each and every cultivator in the Mountain and Sea Realm could hear the voice as clear as crystal.
“Oh so many years ago, there was no Mountain and Sea Realm in the Vast Expanse. There was only the Paragon Immortal Realm, standing tall and eternal within the flow of time. It led the 3,000 Lower Realms, and all of its cultivators were Immortals....
“But then... catastrophe struck....
“The 3,000 Lower Realms... rebelled. Other foreign powers threw the Immortals into chaos, slaughtered the Imperial Lords, and exterminated the Dao bloodlines. The Paragon Immortal Realm fell....
“Paragon Nine Seals... created the Mountain and Sea Realm, forging new lands to keep the memory of the Paragon Immortal Realm alive. That is how the Mountain and Sea Realm came to be....” The voice of the Mountain and Sea Realm echoed out, filled with a strange power that suffused the entire Realm and poured into the ears of all cultivators. Even as the Mountain and Sea Realm spoke, the cultivators saw images in their minds. Visions.
Within those visions were images of the true events from the past. They were images that seemed to spring up from the very souls of the people who saw them, drawn up by the voice which filled their minds.
Within those visions, the cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm, regardless of the level of their cultivation bases, be they Qi Condensation or Dao Realm, could clearly see the Paragon Immortal Realm of yesteryear. They saw the peace and tranquility there, and then they saw the 3,000 Lower Realms rebelling. They saw the terrifying foreign powers invading the Paragon Immortal Realm. They saw... the Heaven-shaking, Earth-shattering war which resulted.
They saw countless cultivators dying miserable deaths. They saw many who, in their last moment of life, would shout that they would live for the Immortal World, and that they would die for the Immortal World. Then those cultivators chose to self-detonate and end in mutual destruction with their enemies.
The cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm saw the blood of their ancestors in the visions. They witnessed the glory of the Paragon Immortal Realm, and its fall. They witnessed the countless corpses and brutal carnage that stretched out into the starry sky.
Everyone began to tremble as the voice of the Mountain and Sea Realm slowly faded into the background. What filled their minds were the images that had been hidden in their blood and in their souls, images that revealed to the trembling Mountain and Sea Realm cultivators, their true origins.
They understood. As of this moment, everyone understood!
No one doubted whether the images might be illusions. On an instinctive level, they knew that their visions were real. It was as if these images were memories, memories of their ancestors that were embedded in their souls and in their blood. From generation to generation, those memories were passed down, indelible and impossible to wipe away!
It was as if they could hear the shouts of their ancestors coming from within their own blood.
“Never forget! We are the people of the Paragon Immortal Realm!”
“Fix our former glory into your hearts!!”
“Our children and grandchildren, all generations, must forever remember that our true enemies are the 33 Heavens, and those beyond the 33 Heavens!!”
“They are our enemies now, and will be our enemies to time indefinite!!”
A massive roaring sound exploded out into the minds of all the cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm. The visions left them trembling, their eyes bloodshot, their blood and souls surging not only with the memories passed down by the ancestors but also... with their rage and madness.
They saw the collapse of the Paragon Immortal Realm, they saw countless deaths, they saw the starry sky become a sea of blood, and they saw the vicious brutality of the rebels.
Death... endless death....
Eventually, the visions began to change. After seeing countless almighty experts from the Paragon Immortal Realm give up their lives for the sake of family and homeland, they saw Paragon Nine Seals create the precious treasure that was the Mountain and Sea Realm. He knew that he would die in the process, but he didn't care. To stop the war, to protect his home, he created the Mountain and Sea Realm.
He took the broken remnants of his people and placed them into the Mountain and Sea Realm. There, they multiplied and became many, and eventually life once again thrived. Gradually, a new Immortal World came to be.
However, the war was not over!
Everyone was trembling, even Meng Hao. He already knew about all of these matters, but he had never seen the visions. However, his eyes were bloodshot, not because the rage and hatred of his ancestors, but rather... because he did not wish, and was not willing, to allow his own people to wade through the same sea of blood he was seeing in the visions.
Eventually, the voice of the Mountain and Sea Realm once again echoed out, seemingly sighing, seemingly reminiscent, and yet filled with obsession and towering hatred!
“Most of the 3,000 Lower Realms were destroyed. In the end, only 33 remained. They sealed the Mountain and Sea Realm, and they... are the 33 Heavens which hang over all our heads.
“On this day, the Lord of the Seventh Mountain and Sea has rebelled, as has the Lord of the Sixth Mountain and Sea. After the passage of countless years, that most ancient of wars, is starting again....
“And it will be a war of complete extermination....”
As the voice rang out into the minds of the cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm, the visions changed once again. This time, they saw the battles which had been fought recently in the Eighth and Fifth Mountains and Seas!
They saw cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm killing each other, and they saw the rebellion of the Mountain and Sea Lords!
When the cultivators from the other Mountains and Seas saw this, their eyes were shot with blood. As for the cultivators from the Eighth, Seventh, Sixth, and Fifth Mountains and Seas, their minds felt as if they were being struck by lightning. All of the cultivators on the various battlefields were struck mute.
They began to shake, and their eyes filled with grief. All of them felt like screaming from the bottoms of their hearts:
Wrong! We were wrong!
There should never have been any Mountain and Sea Wars. Even if their own Mountain and Sea Lord rebelled, they would not!!
They were cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm, and they all carried the blood of their ancestors. Their enemies were not the people of the Mountain and Sea Realm, but rather, the 33 Heavens!!
One cultivator after another began to cough up blood, and many even shed bloody tears....
The cultivators from the other Mountains and Seas were filled with bitterness, and couldn’t even speak. Everyone was unprecedentedly quiet. As of this moment, the visions, coupled with the somehow familiar feeling rising up in their blood, caused the hatred for the 33 Heavens which existed in their souls to become incomparably clear.
Finally, at long last, they understood everything.
“I am only a spirit automaton. The decisions about whether or not to fight, and when exactly to fight, are not mine to make. Therefore, I hereby request that all cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm tell me what you wish to do.
“Do we fight now? We are not ready, but then again, neither are our enemies. Or... do we wait? Years from now, both sides will be prepared, and then we can fight.
“All of you... tell me your wish.” After the will of the Mountain and Sea Realm finished speaking, it went completely silent.
The entire Mountain and Sea Realm was quiet. Everyone stood there silently, thinking, contemplating whether or not to fight.
If they fought, they would have the advantage. If they did not fight, they could spend more time preparing.
The right to decide did not lie with the will of the Mountain and Sea Realm, nor with the 33 Heavens. Instead, it lay with the people of the Mountain and Sea Realm itself. The silence caused the people of the 1st Heaven up above to suddenly grow very nervous. Even the Outsider in the golden armor felt his heart pounding.
He could never possibly have imagined that forcing the Mountain and Sea Realm's hand in this way would have such a result. Based on his understanding of the people of the Mountain and Sea Realm, he had been convinced that they would choose to wait and prepare. But now... he wasn’t sure.
“Dammit!!” he growled, his heart racing. The 33 Heavens were in no way prepared, which was in fact, one of the main reasons why they had incited internal friction by means of the Sixth and Seventh Mountains and Seas. They wanted the Mountain and Sea Realm to be in chaos. Then, they could spend years preparing, and by the time the two mysterious forces backing them arrived to wage war, they would fight alongside them in an ultimate and final battle.
However, even as the golden-armored Outsider stood there, shaking inwardly, a voice suddenly rang out in the Mountain and Sea Realm.
That voice crackled like thunder, ringing out from within the Fourth Mountain and Sea to fill the starry sky. It was only one word, but it then gave rise to a chorus of responses from that same Mountain and Sea!
That voice belonged to none other than... the Lord of the Fourth Mountain and Sea, Ksitigarbha!
It was one word, one completely domineering word, filled with ultimate decisiveness!
An explosion of voices filled the Fourth Mountain and Sea, joining Ksitigarbha’s voice. The Fourth Mountain and Sea was going wild, and the cultivators there began to roar at the top of their lungs.
Next, the Lord of the Fifth Mountain and Sea threw his head back and roared.
After that, people began to cry out in the Third Mountain and Sea and the Second Mountain and Sea. Killing intent exploded out, shaking the starry sky.
Next, an ancient voice suddenly echoed out from within the First Mountain and Sea.
The entire starry sky, the entire Mountain and Sea Realm, was aboil. Countless voices joined together from all parts of the Realm. As they echoed about boundlessly, they were joined by a voice from the Ninth Mountain and Sea, which belonged to none other than Ji Tian!
As the Mountain and Sea Realm shook, Meng Hao’s grandfather, the Lord of the Eighth Mountain and Sea, who sat atop the Eighth Mountain, fully opened his eyes. When he did, power exploded out that shook the starry sky, and caused the Heavens to tremble. Shining light like the stars emanated out from his eyes as he slowly rose to his feet. Then, his voice booming like thunder, he spoke a single word.
Chapter 1314: FIGHT!
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