Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Immediately, Yang Kai began recounting the entire story. Starting from the moment he entered the Star Boundary, to his arrival at Blue Feather Sect, to meeting Wu Meng Chuan, to being ‘gifted’ the Heaven Devouring Battle Law for helping the latter escape from his imprisonment. Afterward, Yang Kai went to the Shattered Star Sea, killed Wu Meng Chuan, and perfected the Secret Art for his Embodiment.
He told Yang Yan everything without concealing anything from her.
Yang Yan listened quietly. Sometimes, her eyebrows furrowed together. Sometimes, her brow relaxed. Only when she finished listening to the entire story did she turn to look at the Embodiment, which had been summoned by him, with a thoughtful look on her face.
The Embodiment had been standing nearby all this time. Yang Kai originally planned to release the seal on his dantian, undergo the Demon Transformation, then summon the Embodiment to fight the feather-crowned man together, but Yang Yan had appeared at the very last moment to stop the fight, so the Embodiment lost his role as a trump card.
“So, are you saying that your Soul Clone is the one that cultivated the Heaven Devouring Battle Law?”
“That’s right.” Yang Kai looked at her with some caution, “You’re not going to destroy his cultivation, are you?”
Then again, the Embodiment did not have a physical body nor any meridians to speak of. There was nothing she could do to him even if she wanted to, unless she smashed him to pieces.
“Using a Stone Puppet to cultivate the Heaven Devouring Battle Law…” She circled around Embodiment several times with a curious and amazed expression on her face. It was as though a new and novel toy had appeared in front of her, “How did you come up with that idea?”
“It was just a lucky coincidence.” Yang Kai laughed, “Back when Wu Meng Chuan taught me the Heaven Devouring Battle Law, I could not understand his motives, but I instinctively felt he had some hidden agenda. However, the Secret Art was so profound and powerful that I was reluctant to discard it outright, so I tried letting my Embodiment cultivate it. Who could have known that I’d stumble upon such great fortune?”
Yang Yan nodded, “It might not be a coincidence, but an opportunity. Members of the Stone Spirit Clan are born with a body of stone, so the way their emotions or desires manifest are vastly different from those of flesh and blood. Moreover, their Innate Divine Ability allows them to easily refine and reject all kinds of impurities. Letting him cultivate the Heaven Devouring Battle Law may have been the best choice possible.”
She knew about Stone Spirits, as well as the drawbacks of the Heaven Devouring Battle Law; thus, she had a vague feeling that the Heaven Devouring Battle Law was practically tailor-made for Stone Spirits. It wasn’t a cultivation technique that was suitable for anyone with a fleshly body.
Wu Kuang might not have been born a cold and ruthless killer, but by cultivating the Heaven Devouring Battle Law, his mentality had distorted over time. It made him look at all living creatures like they were ants, or worse, food. For that reason, he was capable of destroying countless Star Fields for the sake of his own power.
On the other hand, there was no need to worry about a Stone Spirit in that regard. Its Innate Divine Ability allowed it to refine and reject all impurities it absorbed, so it would not be affected by them at all.
“No wonder all those who cultivated the Heaven Devouring Battle Law back then encountered uncrossable bottlenecks. It turns out that they had to devour another person who cultivated the same evil cultivation technique as the key for them to break through those shackles.” Yang Yan’s beautiful eyes flickered as many things suddenly made sense all at once to her.
Yang Kai was surprised, “Were there many who cultivated the Heaven Devouring Battle Law?”
“It happened many years ago.”
The ‘many years’ she was referring to wasn’t just several hundreds of years or thousands of years. It was something that happened over ten thousand years ago! Wu Kuang was the creator of the Heaven Devouring Battle Law, but such a Secret Art was highly coveted. Who knows what happened back then for the cultivation method of the Heaven Devouring Battle Law to become so widespread that people with malicious intentions obtained it? There were even Emperor Realm Masters who destroyed their cultivation just to start over again with this Secret Art.
Unfortunately, those who cultivated the Heaven Devouring Battle Law found themselves stuck in the Third-Order Dao Source Realm with no hope of advancing to the Emperor Realm for the rest of their lives. It wasn’t that they had made any mistakes while cultivating or that the Secret Art they had obtained was flawed. It was simply the special nature of the Heaven Devouring Battle Law. Even Wu Meng Chuan, who was Wu Kuang’s descendant, had been stuck in the Third-Order Dao Source Realm for many years, let alone others.
It was simple enough to break through that bottleneck. They only needed to devour another person who had cultivated the Heaven Devouring Battle Law to the Third-Order Dao Source Realm, assimilating everything that belonged to that person. It was like raising the strongest and most venomous insect by stuffing many of them into a jar and letting them kill each other until only one survived. The last one standing was the only one with the hope of achieving glory.
There were two reasons why Wu Meng Chuan had taught Yang Kai the Heaven Devouring Battle Law back then. First, it was used as a condition to entice Yang Kai to rescue him from Blue Feather Sect’s Bone Prison. Secondly, it was to cultivate a target that he could devour in the future. Unfortunately for Wu Meng Chuan, Yang Kai was a cultivator from a Lower Star Field who was completely clueless about the reputation of the Heaven Devouring Battle Law. That was how Yang Kai managed to resist the temptation of learning the Secret Art.
Most natives of the Star Boundary would have jumped at the opportunity to cultivate the Heaven Devouring Battle Law, which would in turn result in a tragic ending.
After Wu Kuang, nobody else managed to advance into the Emperor Realm even though they cultivated the Heaven Devouring Battle Law. It caused many to wrongly believe that the Secret Art was flawed or that Wu Kuang had not passed down the true Heaven Devouring Battle Law, that the true cultivation method was lost with him in the Shattered Star Sea.
As time went by, the Heaven Devouring Battle Law gradually disappeared from memory and nobody tried to cultivate it anymore.
All of a sudden, Yang Yan recalled something else. [If the Heaven Devouring Battle Law has such sinister conditions, then who did Wu Kuang devour back then for him to advance further in the cultivation of his Secret Art? There must have been another existence that also cultivated the Heaven Devouring Battle Law. Perhaps… There was an unknown story behind it all, but too much time had passed for it to be traced back…]
She then lifted her head to look at Gun-Gun again and hesitated, “Is this… The Artifact Spirit of the Sealed World Bead?” She was familiar with the Sealed World Bead as it was hers originally, an artifact she had brought to the Star Field from the Star Boundary back then. When Yang Kai acquired it later, she left it in his possession; however, she never expected it to change so much in the short time they had been separated. Not only did it give birth to an Artifact Spirit, but it also evolved to have a nature that relished in devouring.
“Yes!” Yang Kai laughed, feeling proud. The Sealed World Bead had been in his hands for many years and helped him out of trouble numerous times. In addition, it provided him with many insights into the Dao of Space. For that reason, he valued it greatly. Now that it had given birth to an Artifact Spirit, it felt as though he had gained a son.
Suddenly thinking of something, Yang Kai scratched his head awkwardly and asked, “Are you going to take it back?”
“What would you do if I really tried to take it back?” Yang Yan glanced sideways at him.
He waved dismissively at her, “Fine, fine, take it.”
[It was originally hers anyway.]
Yang Yan was stunned as she had not expected him to agree so readily.
“But, there’s something you need to promise me. You can’t destroy its spirituality. I might have used it as a proxy to display the Heaven Devouring Battle Law, which resulted in it gaining sentience, but it has done nothing wrong. If you can agree to that, then I don’t mind returning the Sealed World Bead to you.”
After barging into Grand Desolation Star Field and devouring as many Cultivation Stars as he could, the space of the Small Sealed World had expanded many times over.
At the same time, Yang Kai gained a deeper understanding of the Dao of Space.
Yang Kai had the feeling that he could now refine a world and condense it into another Sealed World Bead now; therefore, it wasn’t something he couldn’t part with if Yang Yan really wanted to take it back. In the worst case, he could just make his own and transfer the Immortal Tree, Firmament Tree, and his other treasures out of the Small Sealed World and into his new creation.
Everything else didn’t matter.
Yang Yan simply laughed, “I was just asking. You don’t need to take it seriously.”
This was an independent Sealed World, so if one was not proficient in the Dao of Space, it was pretty much useless. Taking it back would only result in the Sealed World Bead collecting dust in some corner. Otherwise, she would not have left a treasure like this to Yang Kai.
Still, she solemnly declared, “Use it with caution!”
“Also, don’t devour the other Star Field anymore. If this matter escalates to the top, it will only cause trouble for everyone,” she said while pointing at the boundless darkness.
“One more thing, don’t ever reveal the Heaven Devouring Battle Law to the world when you return to the Star Boundary one day. Otherwise, you will be bringing trouble down on yourself.” She warned him with a stern expression. She was willing to believe in Yang Kai and his Embodiment, but that did not mean that others would. If the Iron Blood Great Emperor knew that there were people in this world cultivating the Heaven Devouring Battle Law, he would be the first to attack. The rage of a Great Emperor was not something Yang Kai could withstand at his current realm.
“I know.” He nodded, secretly sighing in relief. [I’ve finally managed to get through this hurdle.]
Hesitating for a moment, he asked, “Can I ask you something?”
“What is it?”
“What was the cultivation of that guy just now?”
She didn’t answer his question, choosing to reply with one of her own instead, “What do you think?”
“Great Emperor!” Yang Kai answered quickly. That was not some illusion or figment of his imagination. The feeling he got from the feather-crowned man was similar to when he was facing a Great Emperor.
The reason that man ended up with his pride wounded was that his strength had been suppressed here and because he had been looking down on Yang Kai.
If Yang Kai had met that man in the Star Boundary, he had the feeling that he would not have any power to fight back whatsoever.
Yang Yan smiled and shook her head.
“What?” Yang Kai looked shocked, “He’s not a Great Emperor? Don’t tell me he’s just a Third-Order Emperor? No, that can’t be, a Third-Order Emperor would not have such strength.”
“He is not a Third-Order Emperor either.”
Yang Kai was utterly dumbfounded, “Don’t tell me there’s another Realm between the Third-Order Emperor Realm and the Great Emperor Realm!”
“There’s no such thing. It’s just that that person… Is both a Great Emperor and not a Great Emperor at the same time!”
Yang Kai was confused by her words, “What do you mean?”
“How should I put it…” She pondered for a moment.
If any other First-Order Emperor had asked her this question, she would not have answered as sometimes, knowing too much without the strength to back it up could become a kind of obstacle in one’s cultivation journey. However, Yang Kai was no ordinary First-Order Emperor. With the power he had shown just now, he was more than qualified to know about this.
“Think of the world as a giant bottle, one filled with sand and the stones which represent cultivators. The capacity of the world as a bottle is limited.”
A corresponding image appeared in Yang Kai’s mind and he soon nodded slightly to indicate for her to continue.
“All the living creatures exist inside the bottle, each one insignificant on its own, but as a whole, they can fill the entire world. Furthermore, the larger the size of the clump of sand or stone, the stronger the power that person wields. In other words, the Great Emperors are the biggest stones inside the bottle!”
“And there is only space for ten such stones?” Yang Kai revealed a look of inquiry.
Yang Yan smiled in response, “Correct. The bottle might be large, but it can only accommodate ten stones. It can’t hold a single stone more than that. That’s why there have only ever been ten Great Emperors at once since ancient times. Regardless of how much time passes, this number will never change. However, that isn’t to say that there are only ten stones inside the bottle. Other powerful existences have surpassed the Emperor Realm but cannot receive the recognition of the World. These people are Great Emperors, but at the same time, they are not Great Emperors. From a cultivation standpoint, they are in the Realm of the Great Emperors, but due to the limitations of the bottle, they cannot become true Great Emperors.”
“Like that guy?”
She smiled at those words but did not reply.