Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Time flew by, and ten-some years went by in the blink of an eye.
In the northwest, amidst howling winds, a vast human army swept across the earth.
All of the soldiers were fully armored, their bodies radiating unprecedented power.
This was the strongest army the human world could muster, many times stronger than even the united army in the war that had happened years ago.
At this time, a golden-armored figure stood tall, his red cape flapping in the wind.
"The day has finally come!"
Wang Chong sat atop the White-hoofed Shadow and exhaled.
The human world was currently prosperous and powerful, far more so than in any other dynasty, perhaps even more than any other civilization in history. But Wang Chong had something that he couldn't put down yet: the otherworldly invaders.
In human history, the otherworldly invaders would always appear at set intervals and start a large-scale invasion, destroying civilization again and again.
Their origins had always been a mystery.
Before dying, Heaven had revealed a little about them, and through the Stone of Destiny and the river of time, Wang Chong was able to see a few things, but he never had the full picture.
Those otherworldly invaders and the world they originated from were seemingly special existences that surpassed time.
Meanwhile, for Wang Chong, the human world was united, all its peoples under the same dynasty. If the otherworldly invaders were not taken care of, the same doomsday would happen again and again.
Even if they were able to get through this time, it didn't mean they could get through the next, or the one after that, or the one after that…
"The time is ripe. It's now time to end everything."
Wang Chong's eyes flashed, and his expression quickly hardened with resolve.
"Is everything ready?" Wang Chong said.
"Your Majesty, everything is ready. The spatial passage can be opened at any time," the Formation Elder respectfully said.
Wang Chong gave the order, and a moment later, with a fierce rumble, a massive formation activated. A moment later, a spatial passage ten-some li in diameter opened up in front of the army.
On the other side was a dark, cold, and mysterious world brimming with death energy. The moment this passage opened, cold energy rolled out, instantly sealing the area around the teleportation gate in thick ice, and the ice began to spread with astonishing speed.
The other world!
Wang Chong and everyone who had taken part in the decisive battle immediately knew that this was the world the otherworldly invaders had come from.
Everyone became agitated.
Wang Chong pulled out the Xuanyuan sword and pointed it at the sky.
A moment later, with loud war cries, the human army led by Wang Chong charged into this unknown world.
This was the first time in decades that an army had ever charged into the world of the otherworldly invaders, the first time in human history!
With a massive rumble, countless soldiers disappeared into the passage.
Dark, cold, silent!
This was a world abandoned by the gods!
Here, everything was frozen, even the flow of time. All that was here was a ground covered in bones, a frigid energy, and the army of otherworldly invaders.
Unlike the orderly human world, in this vast world, all of the otherworldly invaders were either standing on the ground or on horseback, but they were all scattered across the world. The vast majority were fixed in place like statues, and only a few of them were randomly wandering around.
Those numerous crimson eyes in the darkness were terrifying to behold.
There was no day or night here, and time always remained in this state.
Without the slightest warning, a powerful pulse of energy rippled through the darkness.
With the sound of cracking joints, several nearby otherworldly invaders seemed to sense something and turned their heads to the pulse of energy.
Their crimson eyes were filled with confusion as if they didn't know what was happening. This was because nothing like this had ever happened before.
Before these otherworldly invaders could react, swish! A golden spear flew through the air and penetrated through the head of an otherworldly invader, the enormous energy nailing it to the ground.
Rumble! A massive spacetime passage appeared in the sky, and infinite light washed over this dark world.
Furious war cries broke the stillness of the world, and in a few short moments, the human army flooded in through the passage.
The earth groaned as the hooves of countless horses thundered, brilliant halos beneath their feet. The otherworldly invaders closest to the teleportation gate were the first to be struck by the charge, the energy of the impacts surging into their bodies and breaking them apart.
Confusion, chaos, shock…
The numerous otherworldly invaders clearly didn't understand what was going on. Many of them were slain while still just standing around as if their minds had crashed.
But very quickly, like blood had been spilled into the middle of a pack of sharks, the innumerable otherworldly invaders in this world smelled the special scent of the human army and roared.
Gray-white halos erupted from the feet of the otherworldly invaders, and they rushed at the human army in frenzied waves.
Bellows and roars came from all parts of the other world, and the entire place became restless.
The human army did not back down in the slightest against this vast army of otherworldly invaders. On the contrary, their bodies erupted with fighting intent.
Who said that the human side could only be passive?
It was now humanity's turn to strike back against the otherworldly invaders!
After several decades, the human army had completely changed.
As the army charged, dark golden triangular awls, ten-some feet long and covered in mysterious symbols, were thrust into the ground, one after the other. There were three to a group, each group instantly forming a small formation, and these numerous small formations joined together to form a chain formation.
As the formation activated, an invisible energy spread out, instantly scattering the terrifying cold energy. In this world of the otherworldly invaders, the human army had created a 'purified land'!
The most powerful trait of the otherworldly invaders was that terrifying and ever-present cold energy. Even their terrifying vitality that allowed them to survive mortal wounds was connected to this energy.
If the cold energy could be removed, a zone created that the cold energy could not enter, the otherworldly invaders would be greatly weakened.
This was the result of the last ten-some years of research in the human world.
Thus, those dark-golden awls had been created.
For this operation, the human world had produced nearly ten million of these awls, capable of creating a vast 'purified land' in the other world.
And this was not all. Furious bellows and gouts of flame erupted from the human army, the flames starting as tiny glows and rapidly rising to a height of several hundred to several thousand feet. Ultimately, these flames transformed into terrifying black and red monsters made of high-temperature flames.
It was none other than the Ifrits!
The otherworldly invaders had cold constitutions, and ordinary weapons had very little effect on them. But Ifrits were different. These were the only creatures that could naturally counter the otherworldly invaders.
Ifrits were the product of the Landeshunger civilization and had been developed specifically to counter the otherworldly invaders. Alas, they had ultimately failed, and their countless Ifrit experiments had been extinguished, condensing into black crystals that were scattered across the subterranean world in eternal hibernation.
After the unification of the human world, Wang Chong had once more paid a visit to the Landeshunger ruins. Using the power of time, he had successfully gathered clues and secrets that allowed him to uncover the Ifrit creation technology of the Landeshunger and perfect it.
With the unique power of the Ifrit King, Wang Chong was able to create more than one thousand Ifrits. Led by the Ifrit King, they created a special Ifrit army.
Horses neighed as countless otherworldly invaders charged a towering Ifrit and surrounded it. But with a hiss, the giant Ifrit punched at them with a gush of flame. Several dozen otherworldly invaders were engulfed in the flames and began to burn.
These flames were extremely effective against the otherworldly invaders, and even their horses shrieked from the pain inflicted by the fire.
A few moments later, the otherworldly invaders exploded into ash from the Ifrit's attack.
But for the otherworldly invaders, the fiercest attack still originated from the human world's army.
Halos resonated and metal clattered as halo after halo erupted from the feet of the soldiers, at least ten to each soldier. Defense, attack, agility, Earth, Fire, Water… there were all kinds of halos, each one cultivated almost to the maximum. This was an army that was truly armed to the teeth.
In terms of strength, these human soldiers were at Profound Martial Tier 7, even Tier 8, which was formerly the average cultivation level of a general in earlier human armies.
The Xuan-Huang Link Formation, the Ten Charges Ten Victories Formation, the Nine Provinces Universal Formation, the Nine Dragon Blood War Banner… the Nine Cauldrons of the Central Plains… They had brought countless methods to counter the otherworldly invaders.
Amongst all these powers, the Nine Cauldrons Division was undoubtedly the most effective against the otherworldly invaders. Unlike the hundred-thousand-some soldiers of the Nine Cauldrons Division of the past, Wang Chong and the Formation Elder had succeeded in linking the entire human army to the Nine Cauldrons. Even ordinary swords and sabers were infused with this power that countered the otherworldly invaders.
A spear thrust out, piercing through the body of an otherworldly invader. In the past, this sort of wound would have been insignificant, and the stabbed otherworldly invader might even use the chance to kill the human soldier. But this time, the otherworldly invader's body stiffened, and then an invisible energy caused its flesh to drop from its bones and caused it to topple to the ground.
In this dark world, swaths of otherworldly invaders were cut down by the human army, completely turning into corpses.
Furious roars resounded through the army. By absorbing the energy of the otherworldly invaders, the Ifrits seemed to reach a threshold. Viscous embers spread out from their bodies, sprinkling across the land. As each seed hit the ground, it would turn into a being of fire, which would rapidly grow until it became a new Ifrit. This process repeated, and as more and more Ifrits appeared in this world, the darkness began to give way to light.
An endless rout!
Without the advantage of their undying cold energy, these otherworldly invaders were just ordinary soldiers, and when it came to training and coordination, they were far inferior to the human army.
Countless otherworldly invaders were felled, and countless more rushed in, trying to charge up in formation. But the constant charges of the human army obliterated them, slicing them into small groups that were exterminated.
Suddenly, a heaven-shaking bellow of rage came from the depths of the dark world, and powerful pulses of black energy swept out. Even the Ifrits were affected, the flames on their bodies dimming and flickering.
The God of the Other World!
Upon sensing this heavy pressure and thick death energy, the Demonic Emperor Old Man and Wushang Village Chief turned grim.
This chaotic and destructive energy, as vast as a sea, was far above the Grotto Heaven realm, at a truly shocking level.
There was no doubt that this was the god of those otherworldly invaders!
The words Heaven had said before his death were not wrong. There was more than one ruler, more than one God of the Other World, in this realm.
"Wrath of the Universe!"
At this tense moment, a bellow came from the heavens. In the sunless sky of the other world, three enormous figures manifested. In a flash of light, three swords made of shadows descended, and explosions rang out. A moment later, with unwilling screams of rage, those Gods of the Other World were wiped out of existence.
"His Majesty! It's His Majesty!"
The human army erupted with cheers. It was obvious that only the Human Emperor was capable of so easily killing those three Gods of the Other World.
After a long, long while, the battle concluded. The bodies of the otherworldly invaders carpeted this dark world, their bodies rapidly decaying, darkening and shriveling. There was no chance of them reviving.
After this battle, the world was bright and brilliant due to the light radiated by countless Ifrits.
Through this war, the Ifrit numbers had swelled to one hundred thousand. Scattered across this world, they became the greatest source of light for this world.
"Only one last thing is left."
With the battle over, Wang Chong rode the White-hoofed Shadow up to the front of his army and peered into the distance.
"All of you, wait here. I will be back soon," Wang Chong suddenly said.
"Yes, Your Majesty!" the generals respectfully answered.
Wang Chong spurred the White-hoofed Shadow forward, and at the end of this world, he saw a silvery light. This was a long, wide bridge of ice.
Beneath the bridge of ice was not solid ground, but the infinite void.
Wang Chong stepped onto the bridge of ice and advanced. Chill radiated from the surface of the briduge, but it was quickly dispersed by Wang Chong's power.
The only sound on the ice bridge was the sound of hooves against the ice.
No one knew where the ice bridge led, only that its end was beyond the mental senses of martial artists. Only Wang Chong could vaguely sense something.
As he advanced, there was initially nothing on the bridge. Gradually, however, Wang Chong began to see bodies. While many people might have seen these corpses and seen nothing in them, Wang Chong had recognized what they were at a glance.
There were giants, dwarfs, and bull-headed people amongst these corpses, as well as sea beasts, six-armed Asuras, and other mythical creatures. Of course, there were also many humans, but their clothes were completely different from any worn back in the human world.
There were not many of these corpses at first, and they were scattered across the ice bridge. But as he proceeded farther along the bridge, more and more corpses appeared. By the end, there were mountains of corpses, so many that Wang Chong was forced to have his horse float in the air in order to advance.
After some time, at the end of the ice bridge, in the middle of a sea of corpses, Wang Chong saw that thing—or perhaps it was better to say 'that creature'.
This was because Wang Chong sensed vitality from this enormous being.
This was a mountainous lifeform. It had no head, no feet, and no eyes, but its body was covered in pitch-black cavities, and it contracted and expanded like a beating heart.
The frightening wail of an infant could be heard, and Wang Chong saw a giant ball of flesh slide out of one of the pitch-black cavities.
This ball of flesh was dripping with blood. The moment it hit the ground, its form began to shift. The outermost 'embryonic membrane' swiftly sloughed off, revealing a human form within, possessing crimson eyes, a half-decayed body, and an aura of extremely cold death energy.
This was clearly an otherworldly invader!
Wang Chong immediately understood that this massive lifeform that was hundreds of thousands of feet tall was the originator of all the otherworldly invaders, their mother.
Seemingly sensing the threat of Wang Chong, the massive mother began to frantically pulse, more and more balls of flesh emerging from its cavities.
It seemed to want to swiftly create another army of otherworldly invaders to protect itself.
Wang Chong shook his head and indifferently said, "It's useless!"
While this lifeform had no head, hands, or feet, Wang Chong could sense that it had a soul. This was a true lifeform, and Wang Chong was sure that it could hear his voice.
Wang Chong glanced at the newborn otherworldly invaders, and without even moving, he sent an enormous pressure down that caused those otherworldly invaders to explode into clumps of blood and flesh before they could fully mature.
"Just give up. You're no match for me!" Wang Chong said, floating in the air.
As if he had cast a spell, that massive lifeform on the other side stopped moving, and even the ceaseless flow of balls of flesh came to a stop.
After what seemed like a second and like countless epochs, that enormous lifeform began to speak with a slightly panicked voice.
"No, this isn't how it should be! This universe should be destroyed!"
"Truly as expected…" Wang Chong muttered, seeming to speak both to the lifeform and to himself.
"Answer me. Why did you appear here, and why do you want to destroy the human world again and again?" Wang Chong coldly questioned.
The world fell silent, and after a long while, the massive lifeform spoke.
"Because this is our duty!
"Let me go?"
The massive lifeform began to plead for its life.
"I am merely carrying out my duty. Even if you kill me, you cannot change anything.
"Weren't you seeking the truth? If you let me go, I can tell you whatever you want to know…"
"There's no need!"
Wang Chong shook his head and grinned.
"It is better if I find some truths myself."
Rumble! Time seemed to stop as a beam of Sword Qi swept through the air, slicing the massive lifeform in two.
A moment later, the massive lifeform exploded into a deluge of gore.
Wang Chong was calm and unruffled. He quickly swept his gaze over the ground, ultimately resting on a small crystal in the middle of the remains.
This was a glassy shard that was about the size of a fingernail. It appeared extremely similar to Wang Chong's Stone of Destiny and was infused with universal energy, but it was of a completely different nature.
Wang Chong's stone represented destiny, but Wang Chong sensed that this shard represented pure destruction that transcended all other energies.
Merely interacting with the energy in this shard would snap the meridians and shatter the soul of a half-step Divine Martial expert.
Even Wang Chong had to rely on the Stone of Destiny to render himself immune to this unique destructive energy.
Wang Chong lifted up the shard and sent it into the Stone of Destiny.
A split-second later, the Stone of Destiny erupted with light, and that familiar voice rang out in Wang Chong's mind.
"The final mission is complete. Unlocking seal. User has obtained the ultimate privilege. Revealing the final secret of the universe!"
As if he had been taken back to the beginning of the universe, Wang Chong saw an explosion of infinite light. At the same time, his soul was pulled into the Stone of Destiny, drawn into another, massive dimension.
There, Wang Chong saw the entire universe.
No, it was not just the entire universe. In this space, he could see universe after universe, and each universe had a different energy. There were forty-nine of these universes in total.
Even though Wang Chong had mentally prepared himself, he was still shaken by this sight.
This was no simple simulation. Wang Chong could sense that these distant spinning universes actually existed.
"The number of the Great Dao is fifty. The heavens possess forty-nine, and one is missing!"
The Stone of Destiny's emotionless voice rang out in Wang Chong's ears.
"In the infinite void, what you call the primordial chaos, there are forty-nine universes in all, but none of this is eternal.
"The number of the Great Dao is fifty, and the one that escaped represents not merely limitless variables, but also a universe that has been wiped away. Thus, at set intervals, a new universe will come into being within the primordial chaos, and correspondingly, a universe is bound to be wiped away.
"All lifeforms are born, grow old, and die. The same is true for universes."
In this way, the Stone of Destiny revealed the greatest secret of the universe to Wang Chong.
Rumble! As the Stone of Destiny spoke, the void shifted. Wang Chong saw a spiralling universe suddenly emerge in the empty darkness, and elsewhere, a mature universe began to flicker like a guttering candle, and then go out.
One after another, birth and death… This happened in the primordial chaos again and again.
Wang Chong was stunned. Wang Chong had long ago known about the number of the Great Dao being fifty, with the heavens using forty-nine, but he had never known this to be its true meaning.
A single universe contained countless parallel dimensions and innumerable lives, but all of them were just destroyed like that.
"Do you understand now?"
Seeming to understand what Wang Chong was thinking, the Stone of Destiny spoke again.
"None of this is unchangeable. Any aging universe on the verge of destruction has one chance to escape oblivion, and it is for this reason that the Stone of Destiny exists.
"The universe is a composite lifeform created from life and will. Any life has the desire and will to live, and the universe is the same. The strength of a desire of a universe to live determines the final chances of a universe's survival.
"This is why you were chosen!"
Wang Chong was so stunned that he couldn't speak.
"I had already selected nine people, but they all failed. You are the last chance this universe has for survival. If you failed as well, this universe would ultimately die, and all life within it would be wiped away!"
Wang Chong peered into the endless void. He saw a newborn universe, and he saw a universe that was shrouded in shadow.
"So, those otherworldly invaders, and this thing in my hands, are the things used to destroy these universes, correct?" Wang Chong pensively said.
"Yes. You may call it the 'Stone of Destruction'," the Stone of Destiny said.
The mention of the Stone of Destruction caused the scene to shift once more, and Wang Chong saw a crystal appear in the center of the void.
This stone was extremely similar to the Stone of Destiny, but it was pitch-black and seemed to absorb light.
A moment later, the shard in Wang Chong's hand flew into the air and disappeared into the Stone of Destruction.
At almost the same time, boom! An enormous will rippled through the universe and reached Wang Chong's location.
"Fool! Puny being! What does it matter if you managed to escape once? Destruction is ever-present. Even if this universe escapes, another universe will be destroyed, and after a long time, my strength will once more descend upon this universe. All you have done is put off the inevitable. You have resolved nothing!"
As the Stone of Destruction spoke, the void rumbled and the universes trembled. This destructive energy was enough to stifle any soul.
Wang Chong couldn't help but be shaken by this, but a moment later, he smiled.
"Every living being has some worth in its existence. This universe has me, and while other universes do not have me, there will naturally be others who will appear."
The Stone of Destruction was clearly surprised by Wang Chong's words. They had clearly not been the answer it was expecting.
"Is that so? I'm looking forward to it."
With a cold laugh, the will of the Stone of Destruction disappeared.
As it disappeared, Wang Chong saw other figures appear in the void. It seemed like there were other powers in this universe besides the Stone of Destiny and the Stone of Destruction.
But Wang Chong simply laughed and got a hold of himself. His mission was done, and what came next was for another epoch, was the story of someone else.
"It's time to head back."
In a flash of light, Wang Chong disappeared.
Hypersheep325, Starve's Notes:
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