Chapter 622: Infiltration

When Hu Latu noticed Yang Qi studying their surroundings, he said, “These are a set of ancient ruins, Milord. They were once a rite center belonging to the ancient legion of gods. Eventually, one particular god-spirit fought another and the place was destroyed. In the countless years that have passed, the ruins were further degraded to the state you see around you. That said, Milord, don’t underestimate these crumbling palaces, continents, mountains and the like. They’re filled with deadly power that would kill an ordinary person the instant they entered. In fact, that's one reason why the Brahman Society built its headquarters in this region.”

“Yes, I can see that this place is full of ruined godrelics. Sadly, if I tried to absorb the godliness from here, it would attract the attention of the Brahman Society, so I’ll have to leave them for now.”

Off in the distance, he saw a divine likeness over a hundred and fifty thousand kilometers in height, hovering in space. Originally, it featured over a thousand arms, ten thousand eyes, and hundreds of heads. But now, many of the arms, eyes, and even heads were gone, possibly stolen by looters. [1]

It was an ancient, desolate statue that would cause a feeling of deep veneration to rise up in anyone who looked at it. Yang Qi could sense boundless godpower and godliness within it, hidden so deeply that no one would ever be able to extract it. In fact, most anyone who tried would likely be destroyed by the statue’s godliness. He would have simply taken it for himself, if it wouldn’t have caused such a big scene.

He saw continent after continent, most of them roughly the same size as the old Rich-Lush Continent, many of which were filled with ancient god formations. Although none of the formations were currently active, they also contained deathless godliness.

‘If I get the chance, I'm going to take all of them,’ he thought, shaking his head in disappointment. Following the emissaries, he headed deeper into the ruins.

RUMBLE!

At a certain point, they reached a raging river that sliced right through the spatial tempests, so long it was impossible to see its end. It was a river, not of water, but of the liquefied magical laws of space-time. An immortal who was thrown into a river like that would be melted away into nothing without any hope of ever being resurrected.

Hu Latu waved his hand and a boat appeared, which they leaped onto and headed down the river.

“Milord,” one of the emissaries said, “this is the Brahman River, although it’s sometimes called the Flow of Space-Time. It’s very powerful. We don't know the specific details about how it was created, but we do know it was left behind by a mighty god-spirit from the ancient era. The only way to measure its length is to use that unit of measure from the ancient mechanical civilization, the light-year. This river is how we get into headquarters.”

“Incredible! It’s so majestic!” Yang Qi could sense mighty, invincible power within the river, and knew that if it were to be categorized as a god item, it would definitely surpass the level of lesser, common, and greater godly items. It would definitely be at the consummate level. And whoever wielded it would be able to kill Godmyths.

“Is this another of your natural lines of defense?” Yang Qi asked.

“No,” Hu Latu said. “It’s actually one of the most powerful signature god items of the Brahman Society. However, it's not possible for a single person to wield it. It would take a host of Godmyth patriarchs to draw on its power. With that level of strength, it would be possible to exterminate an immortal world with complete ease.”

“Wow,” Yang Qi said. “That’s incredible. From what I can sense, the essence of the Titan Emperor Heaven doesn't count for anything compared to this river.” 

“You’re right. Beyond the Brahman River is the fifth ranked Brahman Immortal World. As you probably know, there are as many immortal worlds as there are eternal sands in the universe, and they're organized into thirty-three ranks. Every three ranks counts as a step. The Titan Emperor Heaven is the lowest-ranked type of immortal world, whereas the Hanging Heaven, Black Sand Heaven, and places like that are second ranked. Most immortal worlds within the Thirty-Six Thousand Immortal Worlds Coalition are in the second or third rank. That’s why the Brahman Immortal World is able to control them.”

“So that’s how it is.” Slowly, Yang Qi was starting to understand the bigger picture. “Is that the Brahman Immortal World up ahead?” 

In the distance, there was an enormous floating world that surpassed any other immortal world he had ever seen. There was no way it could be anything other than the fifth rank Brahman Immortal World.

Even more things clicked for Yang Qi upon seeing it. If the Brahman Immortal World was a city, then the Titan Emperor Heaven, Black Sand Heaven, Five Blooms Heaven, and similar immortal worlds were like hamlets or towns outside that city.

There were other such ‘cities’ in the various other planes of existence that made up the universe. As for which immortal world existed at the top of the pyramid of other worlds, and oversaw them all, Yang Qi wasn’t sure. Maybe it was the Tusita Heaven, maybe not. He knew that the Tusita Heaven was one of the thirty-third ranked immortal worlds, but surely there were other thirty-third ranked worlds. And it seemed likely that not all of those worlds were equal.

“Milord, we’re here. Soon, the guard tasked with receiving incoming emissaries will notice us.”

After thirty-three days and nights on the river, a shore was visible ahead. When they were noticed by the people on the shore, a host of smaller crafts shot out onto the river toward them.

“Halt!”

Several black-robed individuals became visible on the smaller boats, their garments embroidered with golden dragons that seemed to indicate that they occupied special positions. When they got close enough, one of them said, “Hu Latu! So, you’re finally back from the puny Titan Emperor Heaven. How come so few of you have returned?”

“Well, if it isn’t Brahma Mountain-River,” Hu Latu said. “We accomplished our mission, but suffered a huge setback and lost some team members. That said, we understand the dangers of going on missions like ours. You never know when you might get killed.”

Brahma Mountain-River burst out laughing. “Well said, you piece of trash. You were sent to investigate a situation in the Titan Emperor Heaven, and now you’re back with your tail between your legs? Considering how many people you lost, I bet you’ll end up imprisoned with your energy arts crippled. Our Brahman Society has suffered major losses because of those power stones! The Mechfolk used to recognize brahmanints as the currency of the Thirty-Six Thousand Immortal Worlds Coalition, but now they only sell mechas for power stones! You were supposed to figure out who was responsible and arrest them! Well? Where’s the culprit?”

“Arresting people is the job of the Hall of Law Enforcement!” Hu Latu shot back. “Since when is that our responsibility?”

“If you refuse to do things the easy way, we’ll do them the hard way! I'm placing you under arrest and taking you to the Hall of Law Enforcement immediately!” Brahma Mountain-River reached out with both hands and slid them through the air to form a circle. As he did, brilliant green light shone out in all directions.

Cardinal Grand Brahma Punishes the Wood God Energy Art!” 

Yang Qi immediately recognized this as one of the five major godly-class energy arts of the Brahman Society.

Hu Latu snorted coldly. “I never thought a nobody like you would try to show off so much!” 

He placed his palms together, then threw his hands out in opposite directions, causing fire and water to swirl out and wipe the brilliant green light out of existence. Then he stepped forward and struck Brahma Mountain-River so hard he fell down into the river below.

Aaaiiiieee!”

Screaming, he struggled to fly out of the water, coughing up blood as he stared at Hu Latu. “You… you can actually cultivate fire and water!? How is that even possible? You have the Cardinal Grand Brahma Punishes the Fire God and Water God Energy Arts? And you’re not dead? This defies reason!”

“Did you really think I would remain stuck in my cultivation forever?” Hu Latu said, feeling very pleased with himself. “While I was away, I succeeded in mastering a boundless energy art that can combine the glories of water and fire. And I also acquired the fourth lineament on my dao heart. Soon, I’ll have a fifth! The elders are going to find out about this, and when they do, I’ll be named a genius!”

With that, Hu Latu led Yang Qi to the shore, looking very imperious the whole time.

Nobody on the other boats moved a finger to stop him.

Only after he was gone did some of the other people on the boat look over at Brahma Mountain-River. “Young Sir! Are you alright? That Hu Latu might have failed his mission, but he advanced his cultivation by leaps and bounds. There’s no way the elders will punish him if he can cultivate both water and fire!”

“Damnation!” Brahma Mountain-River grumbled. “Fire and water cultivation. Only the higher-ups in the Brahman Society are allowed to study one of the five godly-class energy arts, and it has to conform with one’s own constitution. People who can simultaneously cultivate two are the kinds of consummate geniuses who only come around once every ten thousand years! What good fortune did Hu Latu come across? I refuse to accept this….”


1. I vaguely remember a reader some time ago complaining that the idea of a statue/entity with an absurd number of heads and arms was unrealistic. It’s not. This kind of iconography is common in the religious world of the East. Here’s one example, and here’s another. Obviously the Chinese fantasy novels exaggerate the numbers, but the general idea is the same.

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