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Xu Yangyi was motionless. The situation confronting him was remarkably strange. The voice didn’t hear his response and was struck by urgency. “You can see me… I know it! You can definitely see me! Don’t go… answer me…”
He didn’t respond.
A monochrome space coupled with an unnatural voice. Were another substituted into these circumstances right now, they would’ve already been so frightened that their courage would’ve shattered to pieces!
“Don’t ignore me! Don’t… I beseech you, sir… I harbor no malice…”
The voice seemed to weep and complain, neither male nor female. In all evidence, the voice was likely at the peak of joy since no one had entered this monochrome world for so long, even if Xu Yangyi wasn’t speaking.
After no less than five minutes, Xu Yangyi finally said, “Who are you? Where is this place?”
The voice let out an exceptionally happy cheer, its timbre wavering. “I-I’m the Realm Spirit! The Realm Spirit! Y-You really can hear my voice! Boohoohoo… hahahaha!”
“Realm Spirit?” Xu Yangyi said and furrowed his brows.
“Yes, yes! I don’t know what that is either, I only know that a woman came here a very long, long time ago… she…” the voice trembled, “was so terrifying… She was practically a celestial… Omnipotent… She carried a scent of strong spatial traces… just like… just like… she had finally reached this place after venturing through countless planes of existence.”
“No…” the realm spirit’s voice seemed to pause. “She wasn’t completely a woman. She… said she was a demon… and when she came, she came in her demon form… yes! That’s right! A demon! She was a monster! A great monster!”
Xu Yangyi didn’t reply straightaway. That was right… it seemed that someone had come here a long time ago.
“What monster was she?” As much as he could, he used words that everyone would be able to understand.
The Realm Spirit’s voice obviously began to stutter, “I don’t know… I didn’t see… but it was an insect… so enormous… I’ve never seen such a huge insect! She was a little like a butterfly, but she had a dragon’s horn! And a phoenix’s feathers! The eyes of a qilin! Her entire butterfly form had traits from all kinds of legendary creatures!”
Xu Yangyi gasped coldly.
Were this two years ago, Xu Yangyi wouldn’t have been able to guess who it was at all. Yet now, he could almost instantly confirm who this figure was!
Butterflymother Southflower, one of the Eight Great Demon Kings!
She was suppressed for all eternity at the Kunlun Mountain Range’s Death Valley! She was the Jade Firmament Demon King, equally as famous as Xiaoqing!
“Yes… her specialty was in the possession of another’s body and traveling through dream realms. That’s why Zhuang Zhou and the Dream of Nanke existed. That’s how Southflower’s arrival is explained.” He took a deep breath. “The Myriad Waters Demon King and the Jade Firmament Demon King. I already know two of the Eight Great Demon Kings’ names. One is a Kun Peng and one is a Dragon-Phoenix Butterfly. I wonder what kind of monsters the other six are…”
The Realm Spirit was none the wiser to Xu Yangyi’s thoughts and continued rambling, “Her hoisted wings were no less than ten thousand meters in size… Where she descended, a city was ruined…”
Xu Yangyi quietly listened. After an unknown passage of time, he then asked again, “There’s another cultivator here at the same stage as me, haven’t you seen him?”
“No, but I can feel it,” the Realm Spirit quickly said. “You and him… are the strongest people in this world! You and him are the only ones that can sense me. I tried contacting him, and he might be able to feel me as well… but if he doesn’t come here he won’t be able to see me no matter what.”
Then why can I see you?
Just as this question made a full loop in Xu Yangyi’s mind, realization seemed to dawn on him, and he recalled something. With a casual swipe of his hand, a crystal hexagonal prism appeared in his hand. This was an item he had gained from Zhuang Zhou’s remnant soul back then.
“Do you recognize this?”
“No… but I can sense that greater demon’s aura on it.”
Somewhat disappointed, Xu Yangyi nodded. His expression was solemn. “I don’t care who you are, and I don’t want to waste words with you. Right now, I want to know how to leave this place.”
“I know… of course I know.” The Realm Spirit began to chuckle nefariously, “No one understands the Clearcloud Realm more than me… The Sky Burial Festival… Do you know why…”
Big bro! At this time, a voice suddenly rang out in Xu Yangyi’s mind. Leave this place, that thing is up to no good!
Xu Yangyi’s gaze slight flashed. Zhao Ziqi had actually awakened now. Without the slightest hesitation, he quickly reined his spiritual sense back in, and his eyes snapped open.
Swoosh! In the next second, the Sky Restriction on the air below him promptly activated. At some unknown time, he’d already walked into the sky. The instant his eyes opened, however, seemed to complete the transformation from “illusory” to “reality”, and he plummeted down from several hundred meters above.
“In a flash, true and false switched places. Clearcloud Realm… how many secrets are you hiding?” Xu Yangyi sighed and lightly snapped a finger. A flapping noise came from his back, and two giant wings of qi fluttered and unfolded. He slowly began to glide from midair.
Unbeknownst to Xu Yangyi, though, his invisibility technique had lost effect at some time. Numerous crowds below cried out in alarm and shrieked, looking to the sky in excitement. At the very least, only high spirit-masters had the slightest chance to glide in the air! And 99% of the present people had never seen a high spirit-master!
“Quickly, take a photo!”
“Hurry up and take a photo! Post it on the internet!”
“Fuck me… It was worth it! So worth it! Coming to Baizhai City this time was so worth it!”
A police officer took off his sunglasses and said in shock, “No way… that’s… a high spirit-master?!”
“Am I seeing this right?”
“Hurry up and take a photo! This isn’t something you can catch in years!”
“Are we going to go chase him? The constitution says…”
“Hehe… you can go, but I won’t be joining you in on the fun. That’s a high spirit-master.”
Xu Yangyi simply ignored this clamor. There was no restriction on power in a realm of low marital power. Whatever he wished to do followed. To tell the truth, he and that other Foundation Establishment cultivator not assassinating the leaders of each nation for fun could already be considered quite upright of a cultivator from a higher realm.
After ten-odd minutes, he sailed over to the entrance of a coffee shop. Stunned in silence, a woman holding a cup of coffee watched him descend from the sky. A crash rang out, and the cup of coffee in her hand fell down and shattered into many pieces, amidst her dumbstruck state.
Xu Yangyi cast a spell and became invisible again. His sudden disappearance caused the beautiful woman to shriek and immediately pass out. He then asked out loud, “Ziqi, are you up?”
Mhm. Zhao Ziqi’s voice carried a strong nasally quality, just like he hadn’t woken up. Afterwards, he stared blankly and said incredulously, Big bro, you reached Foundation Establishment?
“Yup,” Xu Yangyi laughed.
Silence. After several seconds, Zhao Ziqi said respectfully, I pay respects to Senior.
“What are you doing?” A deep crease formed between Xu Yangyi’s brows. “You don’t need to act like that.”
“No buts.” Xu Yangyi put a stop to the subject, “Ziqi, what did you mean just now? From before…”
Mhm? Junior… I don’t understand. Zhao Ziqi still didn’t risk being too candid and replied softly, Before… Brother Xu… that thing just now. Maybe because he hadn’t anticipated that someone would be able to enter, and since he hadn’t seen anyone for too long, he wasn’t able to control his emotions. I could sense it, though… he wanted to get you to go somewhere. And that place is really dangerous.
I’m not sure. Under Xu Yangyi’s several cold glances, Zhao Ziqi forced himself to choke back on the terms “junior” and “senior”. Presently, he couldn’t help but say doubtfully, Although I’m sleeping, I can still sense a few things outside… I never knew that Lesser Thousand Realms were actually real...
Xu Yangyi said indifferently “You had me accept Tian Guotao in the past?”
Big bro! All of a sudden, Zhao Ziqi grew excited, If my guess isn’t wrong… there’s a big problem with this place!
Not waiting for Xu Yangyi to reply, he continued animatedly, Big bro… I’ll give you directions, go where I say! If my guess isn’t wrong, the things in the Zhao Clan’s ancient tomes might be real! After all, even a Lesser Thousand Realm showed up! This thing’s existence isn’t an impossibility, either!
Xu Yangyi didn’t ask more. “Let’s go.”
Following Zhao Ziqi’s instructions, he gradually discovered that the qi density was getting stronger and stronger. However, as the density level increased, the level of activity subsequently got lower and lower!
“How much farther?” On a building, Xu Yangyi took easy steps and glided across like a bat.
Zhao Ziqi’s voice echoed in his mind, Soon, there’s still about 2,000 meters.
“Ziqi.” Xu Yangyi didn’t want to be estranged with the little brother he’d gone through trial and tribulation with. “Do you feel that the qi keeps getting ‘dead-er’?”
Yeah. According to reason, the stronger the qi, the greater the liveliness. The qi in Baizhai City is so dense now, but there’s actually no movement. It’s just like… a flower growing on the water’s surface… Zhao Ziqi deliberated his wording, Big bro… if my theory is real… I think w-we might discover something really bad!
In the wake of Zhao Ziqi’s instructions, Xu Yangyi soon arrived at the destination.
In front of him, he circled a row of tall hotels. A wide clearing suddenly welcomed him. He glided onto the roof of a hotel and was faced with a great sea that stretched as far as his eyes could see.
The sky-blue ocean surface was like the most elegant blue diamond, yet at the moment… a vast number of coffins were drifting atop it! There was no sunshine, sandy shores, or bikini-clad girls on the present seaside. On the contrary, there were jam-packed crowds, each person cupping a candle in their hands.
The elegant sky-blue color could no longer be seen, instead replaced by fields of oppressively black deathly silence! The expanse spread out by thousands of miles and completely filled the the sea surface of the entire North Sea harbor!
This… was the Sky Burial Festival!
The decennial Sky Burial. Those who passed away in the past ten years numbered in the millions and tens of millions! Granted that Xu Yangyi’s spiritual sense extended 10,000 meters, he was physically unable to see an end in sight!
Blue skies and white clouds, jade waves like a wash, millions of coffins drifted and flowed with the ocean tide, forming the reaper’s painted scroll. Everyone who witnessed this scene all felt shocked to their core.
And yet, all of this qi was coming from these coffins! Each coffin emitted a feeble thread, yet millions of them shaped a qi environment comparable to Earth! Even Xu Yangyi was absent-minded for a brief moment, yet he immediately felt strong doubt.
“A man’s death is akin to a lantern extinguished. These definitely aren’t empty words. If one dies, qi is immediately given back; how can qi be stored? Don’t tell me…” His gaze chilled. “Living people… are all inside these coffins?”
Millions of living people!
No longer was this a sky burial; this was a living burial!
As if he’d guessed the thought in Xu Yangyi’s heart, Zhao Ziqi’s voice was somewhat shaking in excitement, No… they’re all dead… all of them are dead… no, there are no living people in the Clearcloud Realm!
1. Zhuang Zhou and the butterfly. This story has already been elaborated on. The Dream of Nanke is a somewhat similar tale. A man falls asleep at a tree and dreams that he passes the imperial examinations in the top spot. He is then promoted to the Emperor’s court and accomplishes many great things. He even marries a princess. Eventually, the Emperor puts him in charge of military affairs, something he has no skill in. Because he has no skill, the country faces great losses. His father-in-law, the emperor, punishes him and strips him down to nothing. The man then wakes up and sees a colony of warring ants. Upon seeing this ant colony, he realizes the futility of accolades and honors, and retires to a life of hermitry.
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