Chapter 288: Returning to Rich-Lush

To Yang Qi, being in the space-time wormhole felt like being inside the body of some archaean worm. The passageway moved constantly, making it difficult to keep one's bearings. Of course, the twitching movements inside wormholes were what facilitated the actual travel to other planes.

One thing was for certain: as soon as he entered the wormhole, he could tell that he wasn’t in the Quake-Dawn Continent anymore.

In ancient times, enormous worms would eat space itself, and their passage left behind sprawling passageways. Later, powerful individuals used divine abilities to imitate the way that those archaean worms burrowed through space, to create what in modern times were called wormholes.

Only individuals in the Great Sage level or higher could create wormholes. When it came to Great Sages, they could create wormholes that led to planes similar to the one they inhabited, or lower planes. But Demi-Immortals could create wormholes leading to higher-level planes.

Considering that the Quake-Dawn Continent was a mid-level plane, and the Rich-Lush Continent was a lower plane, traveling from one to the other via wormhole was fairly safe. At the very minimum, it was relatively certain that the wormhole wouldn’t collapse.

A collapsing wormhole would eject those inside of it into scattered locations in the void, where they could theoretically remain lost for all eternity. If they were lucky, they might be able to randomly encounter some plane of existence, but if not, they would eventually waste away into death.

That said, Yang Qi wasn’t really worried about that possibility. With his Angel Wings at their current level, and the help of the Grand Emperor's Pagoda to fix onto spatial coordinates, he could get to the Rich-Lush Continent from anywhere, albeit with extra time and effort.

The wormhole convulsed, moving the silent mercenaries along through it. They were all attempting to conserve energy, and were thus refraining from even speaking. They wanted to be completely ready to take action if necessary.

As for Yang Qi, he hovered along cross-legged, using his Sovereign Lord True Energy to probe the five phases spirits.

Right now, he didn’t dare to unseal them, because there was a high possibility they would flee. However, he could use his Sovereign Lord True Energy to at least check and see if they had something in them similar to the heaven-demon seed.

Before long, he came to be convinced that there was indeed something in them. It made sense; there was no way that the Grand-Wilds Mansion would simply give him something so incredibly powerful.

As he was going about his cultivation, the white-garbed young man named Chaoguang neared and said, “Captain, I was wondering what higher plane you might hail from.”

He seemed completely at ease, and not worried about a thing. While everyone else was conserving energy, he was wandering around and looking at things left and right. He actually didn't seem like a mercenary at all, but rather, more like a tourist.

On the surface, it seemed like he was striking up a conversation with Yang Qi out of sheer boredom. However, Yang Qi’s intuition was telling him that there was something very unusual about him, including some immense power that he was keeping well-hid.

“I'm afraid I’m not at liberty to talk about that,” Yang Qi said. “What are you wasting energy for? Look. Everyone else is working on their cultivation. What happens if a fight breaks out?”

“They can do whatever they want, and so can I. Life is a wonderful thing, so why waste it on boring things like cultivation? What would be the point of that?” He yawned. “Your cultivation base seems profound enough as it is. So why not just chat with me for a bit? Who knows, we might end up talking about matters of enlightenment.”

Continuing with his internal work, Yang Qi chatted casually. “I'm currently a Space-Void Legendary. My main goal is to build up five phases vital energy, convert it to the preheaven version, and then reach the Five-Phases Transformation. You’re a Half Sage, standing right on the verge of the Great Sage level. Considering how much more advanced you are than me, what could we possibly have to chat about?” 

“Five-Phases Transformation? Oh, that’s a foundational transformation. It's heavily connected to the Yin-Yang Transformation, you know. Both of them are very important to the Legendary level.” With that, he began to chant some sort of song: “Five phases, yin and yang, double what you seek. The blazing sun and shining moon both orbit the spirit peak. A host of heavens, a hundred apertures, the gods attend court. Ever seeking enlightenment of death and life’s mystique….”

It was a profound song with many lyrics, and was very thought-provoking. As Yang Qi listened to it, his heart began to pound as he realized that it was giving him new ideas. Eventually, he was stirred to his very soul, as though this song contained profound truths about a great dao.

“What song is that?” he asked.

“It’s a song composed by some unknown expert who lived in the ancient Yore-Wilds Continent. It’s called Ballad of the Dao Testimonial. I go traveling a lot, and one time, I found it carved into a cliff. Every time you reach a cultivation bottleneck, sing that song, and before long, you’ll break through. It has over five hundred lines in total, each one seven characters long, and they all have profound meaning. However, if you think about them, and try to decipher their meaning, they can link you to a great dao. Captain, if you’re interested in learning the song, I can teach it to you.” [1]

“No, that’s fine. It’s your secret technique, and a boundless daoist scripture. A gentleman doesn’t steal.” Although Chaoguang’s song had stirred Yang Qi on a deep level, he wasn’t particularly motivated to acquire it. His godly-class energy art was profoundly domineering, and at its core was hard and unyielding. After all, it was the foundation of the halls of heaven in which the legion of gods resided.

The Ballad of the Dao Testimonial was different. It was a method of leisure and freedom, like a divine dragon gliding through the highest heavens, filled with the profound mysteries of a great dao. If he actually used it, and mastered it, he was worried that it might have a negative effect on his Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth.

“You’re so polite, Captain!” Chaoguang said, chuckling. “But, why not share good things amongst each other? That way we can all benefit. Captain, whatever energy art you practice, it seems unusually profound. How about the two of us share some of our secrets with each other?”

Yang Qi didn’t feel like beating around the bush. “What’s the point of us comparing notes when we have different daos? You walk the path of ancient immortals, free and unfettered. But I walk a different path. Why would I go about undermining my own energy arts?”

Chaoguang flashed a wide smile. “Captain, it seems to me you have a weak will. A strong-willed person wouldn’t worry about being influenced in such a way.”

“Say what you want. But considering how much lower my cultivation level is than yours, it's only natural for me to be weak-willed by your standards. It’s something that I’ll improve slowly but surely, by becoming stronger and reaching a higher level.” Yang Qi wasn’t particularly pleased with how he had worded things. After all, he had essentially admitted to being weak-willed. Of course, the truth was that he was anything but weak-willed.

“Alright then, Captain,” Chaoguang said, looking at Yang Qi with flashing eyes. “Well, I won’t bother you any longer.”

“Fine. Go work on your cultivation. We’ll end up in a fight sooner or later, and you need to be at peak readiness.” With that, Yang Qi closed his eyes and ignored Chaoguang.

However, he was now fully on guard.

The few lines of the Ballad of the Dao Testimonial that he had heard were still echoing in his head, and he simply couldn’t drive them out.

As he attempted to continue working on his cultivation, he found that his thoughts were being affected, and that he was feeling more free and unfettered. Actually, it ran completely counter to the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, which was domineering, fierce, unyielding, and explosive, and pertained to the Sovereign Lord Himself.

All of a sudden, he realized that he felt sluggish, and that he couldn’t focus his thoughts.

‘Something’s wrong. It’s definitely that Ballad of the Dao Testimonial! Maybe it does conform to a great dao of ancient immortals, but it’s affecting my soul! This Chaoguang is no simple fellow, that’s for sure.’ Yang Qi’s eyes snapped open as a holy hymn suddenly resonated in his mind, a choir of countless voices all singing together. “The glory of the Lord, boundless and paramount; omniscient and omnipotent, the will of the Lord; only this is True, the Lord’s words….”

RUMBLE!

Immediately, the Ballad of the Dao Testimonial was driven out of his mind. In that moment, Yang Qi was the one and only Lord, He who existed above the legion of gods, the Sovereign Lord, the source of what was True in the world.

“I am the Truth, the one and only Truth. Because of Me, nothing else in the world is true and real.” Yang Qi took a deep breath. He had just been baptized by true energy, and was now more confident and strong-willed than ever. He was the Lord, and he was Truth. Compared to him, everything else was a heretical dao. Only he was true and real.

This was the domineering true energy of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth. How could the glory of the Lord tolerate blasphemy? Not even great daos had the right to do that. The glory of the Lord did not need advice and tips from other sources. I am the Truth, and all other wills shall conform to me.

There was now no trace of the Ballad of the Dao Testimonial in him.

All of a sudden, he felt a keen desire to do battle, something that came from his very will. After all, had he succumbed to the Ballad of the Dao Testimonial, he would have fallen, and would have betrayed the glory of the Lord.

After all, he himself was the Lord.

When Yang Qi drove the Ballad of the Dao Testimonial out of him, Chaoguang shivered, and his face drained of blood. ‘His willpower is so strong,’ he thought. ‘It’s like he's the only thing in existence. It almost seems like the will of the legion of gods! My Ballad of the Dao Testimonial was left behind by an ancient immortal, and was transformed by me into an energy art. Once I sing it, it should infiltrate the soul of the listener, and brand them with a great dao. From then on, their dao should be under my control. It's an unfathomable and ancient song, a tune used to pass on a dao. It should even affect the mind of Great Sages. I could have passed on my dao to him… but he drove the Ballad of the Dao Testimonial away….’

All of a sudden, Chaoguang felt profoundly unsettled. Before he could do anything else, rumbling sounds filled the wormhole.

Several of the mercenaries rose to their feet.

“What? What’s going on? There’s fighting?”

“We've arrived at the Rich-Lush Continent! Look, there it is up ahead. It really does have a curved heaven and flat earth! It’s not spherical! So, this is what a lower plane looks like. Oh, look! It’s surrounded by fiend-devils! A whole cloud of them!”

Yang Qi rose excitedly to his feet and looked further into the wormhole. There, he saw a huge continent floating in space-time, with a curved heaven covering it over.

It was the Rich-Lush Continent.

‘I'm back….’ he thought, his excitement building.


1. Sorry, I wasn’t able to keep my translation to seven words per line, not if I wanted to make it rhyme. Which I did. Somehow, I managed to maintain the rhyme scheme of the original, which is AABA, and at the same time, keep most of the general meaning.

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