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But in the next second, the gun in the woman’s hand vanished into thin air, as if it had suddenly sprouted wings and flown away.
“Don’t!” At this time, Uncle Long roared out ahead. Just as he shouted, though, his voice began to tremble again. One could even hear the sound of his teeth chattering. “Don’t… I beseech you sir… d-don’t harm the young miss…”
There was no confrontation, no crossing of swords.
Xu Yangyi’s mere spiritual sense sundered the old man’s and Uncle Long’s hearts to resist.
“Got a cigarette?” Xu Yangyi looked at the woman. Like a marionette, the girl took out a pack of cigarettes, but just as she was about to take a lighter, Xu Yangyi rubbed his hands and a fireball sparked at his fingertips. He lit the cigarette.
“Ma… Materialization?! Isn’t this materialization?!” The woman shot up to her feet, her voice sharp. With a following thud, she knocked against the roof the car, but didn’t cry out in pain. She looked at Xu Yangyi with an incredibly frightened gaze.
Xu Yangyi took deep drags of the cigarette, and the familiar flavor uplifted his mind. He laughed at the woman. “I don’t want to kill anyone, and I don’t belong to any clan, either. I’m only passing through, just a passerby. I found you guys basically out of coincidence, don’t you believe me?”
The woman fell into a daze for three seconds. Afterwards, her eyes quickly brightened, and she gently bit her red lips. Her icy-cold face finally bore a trace of spirit that a young girl should’ve possessed. “I didn’t think so a little while ago… but I do now.”
“So young… There are no more than three people in the country that can perform materialization… Someone of your status, sir, wouldn’t make things difficult for me…” She shakily grabbed onto Xu Yangyi’s hand and softly kissed his fingertips. “I am Li Wanxue, the heir of Baizhai City’s largest spiritual force supplier, the Li Clan. Are you well, spirit-master?”
A wave of warmth spread from his fingertips. The rosy lips were extremely supple, moreover carrying a tinge of watery gloss, and rose up from Xu Yangyi’s slender fingers. His gaze slightly narrowed.
Male instinct almost caused Xu Yangyi to take his rough finger and sketch the curve of Li Wanxue’s elegant chin. Perhaps… nature would take course, and his finger would enter her small mouth, sweet and soft like jade, and fiddle with her nimble tongue…
But, he only lightly tapped the crook of Li Wanxue’s mouth. Now wasn’t the time to think about these things.
Li Wanxue didn’t resist in the slightest. In this minute, she had almost completed the transformation from a headstrong woman to a demure one.
“Baizhai City?” Xu Yangyi pondered and said, “I’ve never heard of that place before.”
Li Wanxue blanked out. Xu Yangyi caught her expression and immediately asked, “Is it famous?”
“Yes…” Li Wanxue softly pursed her rosy lips. “It’s… the capital city of the State of Shangchen.”
“State of Shangchen?” Xu Yangyi’s brows furrowed tightly. He’d never heard of this name at all!
Could it be… that this was really a place privately set aside for cultivators?
From the movements of Uncle Long and the old man just now, he could see that qi existed here. They had even said “spirit-master”. In the same vein, this could’ve been the address for cultivators in this place. Regardless…
His murmured to himself, his finger softly tapping the car seat.
If this was a place that cultivators chose to gather, then how could the qi be so feeble?
These people… Xu Yangyi motionlessly swept his gaze at Uncle Long and the old man outside. His own cultivation transcended theirs on all accounts, and they actually didn’t address each other as “Fellow Daoist”. On the contrary, though, everyone was the same?
Everything here seemed the same as the cultivation world he was familiar with, but in fact was isolated by something invisible and unexplainable.
“Where is the State of Shangchen located on Earth? Do you have a map?”
“Earth?” Li Wanxue’s large, beautiful eyes blinked. “I… don’t know what you’re saying, sir.”
“Earth…” Xu Yangyi’s brows knitted together again. He kept on feeling they were separated by some layer, but he hadn’t figured it out for the time being. “America? Asia? Any of the oceans?”
Li Wanxue looked at Xu Yangyi in astonishment. She didn’t know how to answer. She recognized these words split apart, but didn’t understand them whatsoever once placed together.
Her rosy lips opened a few times and shut again. Due to her nervousness, her chest was rapidly heaving up and down. Xu Yangyi took in her appearance, and an inconceivable thought abruptly rose within his mind!
“Listen up.” His voice became a few shades deeper, and he gritted out, “Tell me, is this place…” His foot pressed down on the floor of the car, actually sinking down because of his raging emotions. “What is the land under our feet called?”
“The Clearcloud Realm.” Li Wanxue finally understood. Xu Yangyi’s gentle press just now had caused the modified car to move, bringing her heart to tremble afterwards, and she quickly answered, “This place is called the Clearcloud Realm! That’s the continent we’re on!”
The Clearcloud Realm!
Xu Yangyi imperceptibly rolled his gums. The incredible premonition on his mind had gradually solidified. He slowly raised his head and stared into Li Wanxue’s eyes. She started, but forced herself to coolly match his gaze, not daring to look away.
Merely the rising and falling of her generous bosom betrayed the apprehension of her inner heart.
“Have you ever heard of ‘Earth’?”
“No,” Li Wanxue swiftly answered.
“Think carefully. You haven’t heard of China or Beijing?”
“I’m sure I haven’t.” Li Wanxue thought to herself and shook her head positively and respectfully. “I’ve never heard of these names.”
Xu Yangyi took a deep breath, his gaze fiery. “Then… what about planets?”
“No… that word’s not in any book.”
Xu Yangyi studied her for several seconds and nodded.
From the beginning, he hadn’t seen stars or moonlight. Right now, he was no longer on Earth! A guess bubbled up in his mind, an unimaginable guess!
“Earlier in the past… some people speculated there were other planets besides Earth… but Xiaoqing actually went and sent me to another planet!”
“No… not planet, but ‘realm’. This word is a saying of Buddhism’s Three Thousand Realms and all kinds of recreational works. It’s also a saying of a greater plane enveloping countless minor ones…” He closed his eyes, his chest moved up and down, and his hand squeezed tightly.
“In that case… is the Clearcloud Realm a so-called Lesser Thousand Realm?!”
“Earth is a master-plane, an actual Greater Thousand Realm?”
He slowly opened his eyes and softly breathed out. This was merely a conjecture… It seemed totally inconceivable, but as Sherlock Holmes had once said: once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
Apart from this theory, he just couldn’t think up of another reason!
He contemplated and asked again, “Let me read information on the Clearcloud Realm.”
A wisp of surprise flashed through Li Wanxue’s eyes, but she properly concealed it afterwards. She then took out a cell phone. Xu Yangyi didn’t obstruct her. In front of him, she couldn’t pull of any tricks.
Very quickly, Li Wanxue handed over the phone. “Please look, sir.”
Xu Yangyi took the offered device, but he couldn’t help but take a deep breath upon his first mere glance.
“The Clearcloud Realm has an area of 27,000,000 square kilometers. There are seven states. Because the continent is irregularly shaped, it drifts within the universe. There aren’t any similar continents surrounding it, but a landmass called Hou Yi provides all life for the entire Clearcloud Realm with heat and light.”
“The Clearcloud Realm has already been around for 600 million years, experiencing a realm orbit to form a period. From the periods of the High Ancient Realm, the Primordial Ancient Realm, the Eminent Life Realm, and to the early stage of Hou Yi several million years ago. Presently, the Clearcloud Realm is going through the middle of the Hou Yi period. According to scientific speculation, the middle Hou Yi period will last for approximately 20 million years.”
“The Clearcloud Realm hangs alone in the universe. There are no neighboring continents in the surroundings. The outer ecology is extremely abundant. The Clearcloud Realm’s surrounding universe produces a kind of presently unascertainable buoyancy, causing the entire Clearcloud Realm’s seawater float in the air. At the boundary of the Clearcloud Realm, you can see a vast ocean. It is called the Endless Sea. Each year, numerous poems, writings, shows, and films are born there. By passing through the Endless Sea’s tens of thousands of kilometers will one arrive at the edge of the Clearcloud Realm.”
“In that place is a dark universe. The more you approach the center of the Endless Sea, the lighter gravity’s effect becomes. The fringes of the Endless Sea are in a state of perpetual weightlessness…”
Xu Yangyi closed his eyes.
On the cell phone… the Clearcloud Realm was an immense continent! One without curve!
Clearcloud was a continent more or less the size of Asia, floating through the desolate cosmos. If he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes, he wouldn’t believe it at all!
“Has anyone gone below the Clearcloud Realm?” he asked his next question.
Underneath the picture of the Clearcloud Realm were a countless number of stone pillars.
“No,” Li Wanxue said softly, “No one can go under the Clearcloud Realm. Once you go underground by about 300 meters, it’s like hitting an invisible barrier. No matter what machines are used, it just can’t be broken through. It’s unknown why satellite filming always comes out grainy.”
That was enough… there was no point in continuing his line of question…
Presently, Xu Yangyi could nearly confirm with 70% probability that the Clearcloud Realm was one of the Lesser Thousand Realms!
This was a cultivation realm! While the mortal world was searching for aliens, the cultivation world had already discovered that Earth was a master-plane! It was a mystery how many Lesser Thousand Realms were subordinate to it!
Did the people of these worlds know that they were only subordinate-planes?
Had any of them reached Earth? Just like ascension in novels?
“Hehe…” he suddenly began to laugh. His eyes snapped open and he looked to the vast night sky. “Xiaoqing, oh, Xiaoqing… this really is the cultivation world’s greatest secret… and also the final secret!”
“Only the Core Formation cultivators and their close confidants might know about this top secret, right? Once it gets out, it’ll completely change the cultivation world’s worldview! It’ll even cause old monsters like Daomaster Liang who were secretly hiding to come out… Lesser Thousand Realm, Greater Thousand Realm… if that’s how it really is, then where are the other Greater Thousand Realms? And once one Greater Thousand Realm and another clash… what kind of outcome will happen?”
“No… there are still many questions. No one risks confirming that the Clearcloud Realm is Earth’s Lesser Thousand Realm. Maybe… it itself is the Lesser Thousand Realm of another master-plane! No!”
With two denials, a sudden dawn of light finally came upon him. In an instant, he confirmed that if such a shape like the Clearcloud Realm was indeed a Lesser Thousand Realm, then it was bound to be one of Earth’s 3,000 Lesser Thousand Realms!
He hadn’t forgotten… the Clearcloud Realm was currently in the middle “Hou Yi period”! He moreover hadn’t forgotten that their language was similar! And he hadn’t forgotten that there were cell phones here, as well! Cities! The developmental speed was about the same! The models of buildings were so similar!
There were too many identical points.
“What’s next is the only major question that remains…” He gazed into the sky and smiled faintly. “Who… brought these things in?”
“Was it decades ago… or centuries? The culture is so similar, so the time definitely isn’t too long.” He stowed his gaze and looked at Li Wanxue. “Let me see development information on the Clearcloud Realm.”
“Yes.” Li Wanxue obediently took back the cell phone, but all of a sudden her eyes stilled. In moments, her pupils began to turn lax!
Her mouth opened wide, and her skin paled at a visible speed, yet strange veins climbed over her face! At the same time, extremely weak qi spread from her seven apertures and started to dissipate in the air.
1. “Headstrong strong woman to a demure one”. Here, the actual text is “From an American woman to a Japanese one”. I couldn’t quite understand this, but I believe the author is playing on stereotypes.
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