“You’re here?” That man was still smiling especially warmly, as though he knew that she would appear.
Zhu Yao took a deep breath. “Black Tortoise.”
He smiled even more kindly, as he stretched out his hand to wave her over. Zhu Yao simply felt a formless energy pulling her towards him, and then, she landed on the gigantic tortoise head. “You should be calling me father.”
“…” The corner of Zhu Yao’s lips twitched. She felt that recently, cheap parents could be picked up from anywhere. “If you’re my father, then who’s my mother?”
His face stiffened, and then he helplessly shook his head, as though he couldn’t do anything about her. “You… Haah. My race has always been birthed by the heavens and nourished by the earth, so what mother is there to speak of?”
Then what face do you have to make me call you my dad!? It’s not like you’re Li Gang¹ either.
“I have a question!” Zhu Yao returned to her original form and released her own godly aura, transforming into phoenix flashing with lightning sparks. Raising one of her claws, she asked. “Why do I look like this?” Wasn’t a Black Tortoise supposed to be combination of a tortoise and a snake? For example, the thing beneath his feet had the shape of a turtle, while his human look was transformed into by the snake part of his body.
Black Tortoise smiled. He simply reached out a finger, and tapped on her forehead. Her mighty and tyrannical phoenix form earlier, in an instant, turned into a green-skinned tortoise.
“The phoenix is your illusory form. The form you have now is your true appearance.”
“…” Zhu Yao stretched her head to glance at the turtle shell, and instantly felt like crying. This dumb-looking body! I rather be a bird!
“It’s not easy for our race to be birthed, and furthermore, we’re naturally good at transforming. Only when we have truly matured will we draw out our true forms.” Black Tortoise lightly explained.
As expected, not even a moment later, she regained her phoenix appearance. Zhu Yao immediately turned back into her human form.
“The first person you met during your birth must have been a phoenix, and thus led you to taking up an illusory phoenix form.”
Zhu Yao recalled that the first person she met when she broke out of her egg shell was indeed the Phoenix Clan’s Little Sixth, and her lightning phoenix form must have been a result of her own sword intent. Fortunately, the thing she first saw was not a worm or anything strange.
“Second question.” Zhu Yao stretched out two fingers. “About the words found on the revelation: ‘Nirvana and rebirth. Banishment and return. Everything will begin with a profound beginning. Everything will end with a profound end.’ What do they mean?”
Black Tortoise’s expression sank. After a while, he let out a deep sigh. “This is a rather long story. Do you know that other than this world which we reside in, there are many other unknown places outside of it?”
“Of course!” Zhu Yao nodded, she came from the Divine Realm after all. “The Three Thousand Worlds.”
Black Tortoise was startled for a moment, and his face was filled with astonishment. Right after, he looked relieved, and continued. “But these three thousand worlds were actually a single whole.”
“Ah?” She didn’t know about this.
Black Tortoise waved his hand, and the surrounding white fog was slowly dyed with different colours. What surfaced were scenes of moving pictures, as though someone had suddenly displayed a 3D movie with special effects in front of her. Within the boundless world, various races which she had never seen before flashed past her eyes.
As the movie played, he described each scene one by one.
Zhu Yao listened for exactly half an hour, before she was finally able to understand the entire situation. It was simple. This was a tragedy brought upon by an approaching huge war. In that one single world, the ancient Gods were at the top of the pyramid. They reigned peacefully for many years, but suddenly, an opposition appeared one day – the Devils. Their abilities were comparable to the Gods, and their methods of doing things were extreme, frequently bringing about terrorist attacks.
The ancient Gods thus began suppressing them. But, the opposing party was like an undying cockroach, not only did they grow even more arrogant, their numbers grew as well. The ancient Gods sensed the impending crisis, and hence, the Gods and Devils began a full-blown war.
However, at that point in time, the Devils had already gained sufficient might. Though the ancient Gods had obtained the final victory, they had paid a miserably painful price. More than half of the Gods had fallen, while the Devils were merely sealed, and they continued to exist like timed bombs.
Because the strength of the Gods and Devils were too powerful, they brought about irreversible destruction to the world. The Heavenly Dao displayed its earth-shaking fury, and the world began to collapse. The end of the world began, and the Gods had nowhere to return to.
At this crucial time, Black Tortoise was born, and it even possessed a Godhead. Though his godly energy was not comparable to that of an ancient God’s, he had an astonishing transformation ability, and could transform into mountains, seas and rivers.
The Gods saw their ray of hope. They decided to gather half the godly energy of all the surviving ancient Gods, and with Black Tortoise’s innate ability, create a world to accommodate the Gods who had been punished by the Heavenly Dao. However, Black Tortoise’s Nascent Spirit had fallen into an endless slumber.
In order to beg the Heavenly Dao for its forgiveness, the Gods had even more so trapped the Devils, the source of all evil, within as well.
Hence, this world was referred to as the Banished Land by the Gods.
Ever since then, the Gods had been protecting the seal. However, this still did not stop the Gods from falling, until a single one remained.
Millions of years later, when the ancient Gods were about to be powerless in stopping the Devils, a crucial change appeared. The God Races began to emerge. The dragons, phoenixes, and qilins, the three races consecutively awakened their Godheads. As though they were birthed to especially fight the Devils, their bloodlines carried the effects of suppressing Devils. Furthermore, they even had an innate sense of enmity against the Devils.
And, the collapsed world back then had turned into three thousand independent, small worlds.
Everything was beginning to develop in a good direction. Until…
Black Tortoise woke up.
“Isn’t it better if you’re awake?” Actually, if Zhu Yao could say it, the most unlucky fellow was Black Tortoise. The moment he was born, before he could do anything else, he had to create this world for the Gods, which thus lead to him falling into a deep slumber right after. He did not get to experience anything at all. Now that he managed to wake up, why did he still carry such a saddened look?
Black Tortoise shook his head. “The godly energy of the Gods had allowed me to create a world, and had also made me fall into an eternal slumber. My main body has already integrated with this world. This world is me. In the first place, I shouldn’t wake up for all eternity, but now that I’m awake, it can only mean…”
He reached out his hand to stroke her head, and lightly said. “Child, I’m going to die soon. This world is already reaching its end.”
“…” Zhu Yao felt a deep pain in the depths of her heart, as she fiercely widened her eyes. This was the first time she felt that the three letters ‘bug’ on the tortoise head were so piercing to the eyes. She finally knew what was going on with the bug this time. However, she had rather not know anything at all. This was evidently a dead end.
In the past, all she had done were to clear bugs. But this time, she had to save the world?
“Everything will begin with a profound beginning. Everything will end with a profound end. This world began because of me, so naturally, this world will end because of me as well.”
“Is there no other way to stop it?” Zhu Yao really never expected that she would truly witness the end of the world so soon. In the past, when she was fixing those bugs, she would see the scenes of the end of the world in her precognitive dreams, but never had it been so immersive like this one.
“If we’re talking about stopping it, there’s one.” Black Tortoise lowered his head, and looked straight at her.
Zhu Yao was startled for a moment. “Me?”
“You’re a Black Tortoise as well. Your appearance, is an opportunity bestowed by the heavens to this world. But…”
“She can’t do it!” A cold male voice suddenly interrupted his words, and a white figure flashed before her eyes. Yue Gu suddenly appeared beside her. His face still had that bland expression, yet, it unexpectedly carried a hint of cold intent. He looked a little like her master now. “You have seen it for yourself back then. Her godly energy is simply insufficient to sustain this world. Even if she inherited your godly energy, it’s impossible.”
Black Tortoise’s expression grew even heavier. Yue Gu’s words were indeed true. However…
“At the very least, she can sustain it for a period of time.”
“This will not stop the world from ending either.”
“But other than her, there’s no other way.”
“This shall be her own decision. You should respect her.”
“But she is also…”
“Black Tortoise.” Yue Gu said with a solemn voice. “This world will be destroyed in the end.”
“…” Black Tortoise lowered his head, as though all of his energy had been sapped away. “However, I can’t just stand idly by and watch as…”
“Umm…” Watching the two people who had already sunk into an extreme conflict, Zhu Yao weakly raised her hand, and successfully drew their attention.
“Third question.” Zhu Yao cleared her throat, and raised three fingers. “Um. Since both of you understand that there’s already no saving this world, then why don’t you consider moving houses?”
Black Tortoise: “…” There’s actually this method as well?
Yue Gu: “…” Why didn’t I think of this?
The two people both had dumbfounded expressions, as though they couldn’t believe that a problem which was a dead end in the beginning, was solved with just these few words.
“That’s still impossible!” Black Tortoise suddenly frowned again. “According to my knowledge, several million years ago, the sky and earth split into three thousand worlds, yet not a single one of them was stable. Every single one of them could have collapsed at any moment.”
“You already said it yourself, several million years have passed. There might be worlds that have already stabilized?” Those worlds at the very least would be more stable than this one, alright?
“Even if that’s the case.” Black Tortoise was still a little worried. “Presently, Yue Gu is the only remaining ancient God. A lone person’s strength is simply unable to open the World Crossing Heavenly Door.”
“What if I’m included?” Zhu Yao once again raised her hand.
“You’re saying…” Black Tortoise widened his eyes.
Zhu Yao nodded. “Since I won’t be able to sustain this world even if I inherit your godly energy, what about using the energy to open the World Crossing Heavenly Door?”
“This method is plausible.” Yue Gu looked towards Zhu Yao, yet, his expression sank. “But forcefully opening the World Crossing Heavenly Door goes against the will of the Heavenly Dao. When that time comes, you will definitely suffer a backlash from the godly energy. You…”
“We can talk after we open it!” Zhu Yao waved her hands without a mind. Dying or what not, she was already used to it. There’s a possibility that she could even return to meet her master!
Under Zhu Yao’s persuasion, Yue Gu and Black Tortoise had acknowledged her home moving plan. Actually, Zhu Yao was very confident in the plan this time. Since there was a bug in this world, that proved that there’s an opportunity to fix it. She did not dare to say that it had a hundred percent chance of success, but at the very least, there was hope of surviving.
But, the location to open the Heavenly Door was a little tricky. This entire world was formed by Black Tortoise, and every inch of the world was a part of his body. However, the opening location had to be where his Dantian was located. The Dantian was where godly energy was being stored, and Zhu Yao could only inherit Black Tortoise’s pure godly energy from there, in order to open the Heavenly Door.
But after asking about it, she found out that it was actually located near the Nether Abyss. For the Dantian to be situated at such a dangerous place, Zhu Yao could really get drunk right about now.
Left with no other choice, Zhu Yao could only follow Yue Gu towards the Nether Abyss. Recalling that Shao Bai was still over there, Zhu Yao had a faint feeling that things wouldn’t be as successful as she would want it to be.
“No need to worry.” Yue Gu stroked her head. “Your teacher will naturally prevent any Devils from approaching.”
Zhu Yao raised her head and looked at his serious expression, and could not help but ask. “Teacher, since you have long known that I’m a Black Tortoise, why didn’t you tell me?”
Yue Gu’s hand paused for a moment, and a while later, he solemnly said. “Your teacher feels that… you should have the opportunity to choose your path.” No matter if she was the next cornerstone-like existence for the sky and earth, he wished that she could decide on her own.
“Then what if I really possessed the necessary ability to sustain the sky and earth, but am unwilling to fall into slumber?”
“I will respect your decision.” He unhesitatingly said.
“Because…” Yue Gu slightly lowered his head, and forcefully stroked her head. “You’re my only disciple.”
A long while later…
“Yue Gu, you really look a little like my master now.”
- My father is Li Gang: This was a meme that got quite popular due to a viral incident. In 2010, Hebei province of China, a drunk driver hit two university students, one died while the other suffered a fractured leg. When security guards went over to culprit, he shouted: “Sue me if you dare! My father is Li Gang!” Apparently, Li Gang was the deputy director of the local public security bureau. This incident became viral on the net, and made many people angry. In the end, the drunk driver was sentenced to six years of prison, and had to pay compensation to both families. For more detailed information about this case, you can visit this link here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Gang_incident