“I… find myself convinced.” A trace of dejection appeared on Lu Shenhous face. “We are all part of life, so why do we seek to set ourselves apart from others and look down on them
“We would then find ourselves completely isolated at the end of everything. What a lonely existence,” he sighed, “I finally understand Xuan Yuan, Ling Weiyang, and Bai Qiaoju, and why they did what they did. They too viewed themselves as part of the greater circle of life.”
Qing Yu looked at Lu Yun, who remained silent.
“My name is Zhi Guangji,” he suddenly voiced his real name. “I am already dead, but became an akasha ghost because I nursed great resentment.”
Lu Yuns heart skipped a beat. An akasha ghost!
Those entities had weighed heavily on his heart for a very long time, and now Lu Shenhou—er, Zhi Guangji professed himself to be one of them!
What were akasha ghosts Or rather, what turned into them
Only by thoroughly understanding them could he target his actions accordingly and find a way to counter them. Hed heard of the name Zhi Guangji before, it was one often mentioned with Ling Weiyang and Xuan Yuan.
“This is the Immortal Myriadtree. In the time before Emperors Fall, the three founders read the cadence of immortal dao from this tree and created it that way.” Instead of discussing akasha ghosts with Lu Yun, Zhi Guangji opened his hand to reveal a sapling. The Immortal Myriadtree was also known as the second greatest spirit root of the rankings, listed beneath only the Chaos Lotus.
The time before Emperors Fall had been one of countless great daos illuminating the heavens. Human dao was the greatest among them, ruling over the world and reigning supreme over all other great daos.
It was in that age of glory that the immortal dao appeared, that the three founders were inspired by what they comprehended from the spirit root. Accepting the Immortal Myriadtree, Lu Yun nodded gently.
“If the second greatest connate spirit root bears the cadence of the immortal dao, then the greatest spirit root… the Chaos Lotus…” he murmured subconsciously.
“They extracted the cadence from the Lotus Root and melded it into the immortal dao. What the Immortal Myriadtree holds is just the prototype.” An extremely mysterious look appeared on Zhi Guangjis face and he waved a hand.
Lu Yun discovered with immense shock that his longtime rival seemed to have isolated this patch of space from the world. Time had stopped; everyone apart from the two of them were frozen in this moment of time—Qing Yu included.
“Now, Ill use the last tendril of my strength to tell you the greatest taboo beneath the heavens: the secrets behind Emperors Fall and akasha ghosts.” His words had just echoed when the sky turned blood-red. Desolate howls and anguished wails rose while horrifying ghost faces appeared in the sky, snarling as they pounced on the duo.
“Away with you!” Zhi Guangji whipped his head back, his face ghastly white and his features beginning to blur. They turned into a ghost face drawn on a piece of paper, one that seemed to be both crying and laughing at the same time.
An akasha ghost! That was what hed turned to.
The color in the skies instantly receded, bone-chilling cries and terrible faces immediately disappearing. Clear blue skies returned above them.
Zhi Guangji maintained the appearance of an akasha ghost and his voice began to fade in and out.
“Human dao is what it is because humans created it. The brand of humanity is imprinted on it, so all other lifeforms must take human form to cultivate it. Immortal dao is the path of all life because all of their brands are imprinted on it.”
Down in hell, cross-legged in front of the Karma Tree, Ge Long lowered his head with a soft sigh.
At the foot of Mount Xuanhuang, Zhi Guangji looked at the towering mountain in front of him. “In those times, the rhythm and rules of the world were exceptionally clear. Life was plentiful, and great emperors arose from any race that could cultivate.
“A certain special existence felt that there were too many great emperors in the lands, so she commenced a great slaughter across the universe. However, someone stopped her not long after she began.”
Lu Yun shifted uncomfortably; hed heard of Carmine Eternals great feats before.
“The brand of a race can be found in the great dao wielded by their great emperor!” Zhi Guangji declared gravely.
A dreadful speculation rose in Lu Yuns mind. Ge Long had once done something tremendous, something that shook the world and terrorized all life. Itd been so devastating that he didnt dare speak of it even now, while Lu Yun had long surmised who the old servant was.
“Those great emperors, ah those great emperors, they too were pathetic worms in the end. A lifetime of cultivation was served on a silver platter to another. The battle of Emperors Fall was a massacre conducted by the three founders of immortal dao and a few other personages to butcher all of the great emperors in the land, so that strands of their great dao could be stripped fresh from their bodies to be incorporated into the immortal dao!
“A myriad of great emperors perished and oceans of blood were not enough to describe the carnage. Dying in the keens and wails of the universe, those great emperors grew strong again from their resentment.
“However, their resentment was so strong that it took control of them instead and turned them into akasha ghosts to haunt the newly born immortal dao. That bloody path you see upon the void realm isnt dyed with the blood of later geniuses, but from the blood of great emperors!
“Oh, this bloody immortal dao!
“People tried to stop the battles of Emperors Fall, of course. I was one of them, and I died for my troubles. They extracted my great dao as well and melded it into the immortal dao, so I too became an akasha ghost. I am the only one who can break free of the immortal dao and walk the world.
“Akasha ghosts are the ghosts of the heavenly dao. Once our great dao became part of the immortal dao, so did we become its akasha ghosts.” Zhi Guangji reached out and caressed the mountain in front of him.
“When all was said and done, they recorded all of the great dao theyd stolen onto a piece of bronze, which is why bronze later became the sacrificial metal for immortal dao…” Zhi Guangjis voice grew softer and softer, fading along with his figure. The backlash for revealing such a secret was patently enormous, and his life brand was slowly disappearing.
“You are willing to sacrifice your great emperor replica for the sake of all life, and Xuan Yuan, Ling Weiyang, and Bai Qiaoju went to their deaths for the sake of future generations… But not everyone possesses such a selfless heart…”
“I have one more question!” Lu Yun quickly raised. “Why did the three founders create immortal dao, and why did they use the great daos of all the great emperors to strengthen it What is the immortal dao to the world”
“Hahahahaha—“ Zhi Guangji roared with laughter. “Because life and the world will continue on only when they flourish beneath an immortal dao that belongs to all life!
“But what does the survival of all beings and the corruption of the world have to do with those august, hallowed great emperors…
“It turns out we were the ones in the wrong. In the end, we are all a part of life.”
His body suddenly exploded like a popped balloon, then vanished without a trace.
“Now that you know about this matter… bury it deep in your heart.” Ge Longs voice sounded deep in Lu Yuns mind.
“Youre right,” the young man murmured. “There is no such thing as good or evil in the world, and nothing about whos right or wrong. Its just really… all a matter of perspective. To the heavens, what difference is there between a great emperor and a grain of sand”-