Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
On a fateful day in 2020 CE, a certain post suddenly went viral on a specific campus forum.
The viral post contained a video.
In that video, a young boy, who looked to be around 17 or 18, suddenly sprouted branches out of his body. Within seconds, he had morphed into a humongous tree.
"What the freak was that?! I'm shook. What special effects did they use? That's freaking impressive!"
"It's so far-fetched that it puts our local dramas to shame. Save some dignity for our national TV, at least, thank you very much!"
"I'll bet on a pack of Spicy Strips that these are not special effects. Don't even bother asking me why I know this. As a professional special effects artist, I am certain that this was not something created using special effects!"
Within a few short hours, the view count of the thread had exceeded 10,000. Many tried to visit the original site after it went viral, only to be greeted by an Error 404 notice when they followed the link.
However, these strange videos simply marked the start of more bizarre things to come. As though someone had flipped the switch on the supernatural overnight, people began to witness all sorts of strange phenomena.
Someone swore that they saw a person growing a pair of wings out of the blue. Not only could he fly, but he could also control thunder and lightning. It was not unlike Lei Zhenzi—the legendary God of Thunder.
"Lei Zhenzi, my foot! Try any harder and your lies may even reach the skies."
"No, he's already up there, right by the side of the Sun!"
"Show me some pictures, and then we'll talk. Get something to back your claim at least, even if you're spreading rumors!"
Some even swore on their lives that they experienced an immense increase in strength overnight. It felt as though they were a ferocious general in ancient times, unstoppable on the battlefields.
All sorts of peculiar posts and videos appeared overnight, and they all disappeared before the break of dawn.
It was like they had never appeared, yet many already felt an inkling that something had fundamentally changed.
However, no one knew that an unprecedented period—later known as the New Era—was about to begin.
Deep in the forests of the suburbs of Fu City, Min Province, a man sat on a smooth, flat boulder with his legs crossed.
It was a young man, seemingly in his early twenties, with delicate features. He wore a white tee, black straight pants, and white sneakers. He was just a common young man you could easily find on the city streets.
However, the air he exhaled did not dissipate like any other human's. Instead, it lingered around his nose as two mini dragons, bobbing in size with his every breath.
After a while, the young man slowly opened his eyes. The two dragons faded away as he did so.
What breathtaking eyes! Clear, crystalline yet almost too bright, they shone with the brilliance of two suns. The light in his eyes took a moment to subside and finally returned to normal.
When fixed on a face that was slightly above average, those black eyes greatly heightened his overall handsomeness. His delicate features immediately became unforgettable.
And it was time for sunrise. Sunlight broke through the clouds, showering its first rays on the young man. The blanket of gold made him almost sacred.
The young man shook his body slightly. The dew that formed on him after a full night of cultivation instantly vanished without a trace.
"No wonder they called the Taixu Origin Power the origin of all spiritual arts. The strongest heavenly skill co-created by many Celestial Lords during ancient times. It leads the practitioner directly to the Original Supreme Energy. I can't believe that one night of cultivation was all it took to clear the basic stage of core foundation!" the young man finally said. "Too bad that I've already mastered my legendary power when I obtained this art. There was no chance that I would maim my cultivation and start over again back then!
"I never dreamed that this was how I would practice the Taixu Origin Power." The young man let out a wistful smile.
He was, after all, the youngest Celestial Lord in history, once hailed as the legendary cultivator by the world of cultivation.
A Celestial Lord was a title given only to the strongest beings in the borderless universe across tens of thousands of heavens and realms.
And his previous incarnation—Lu Xuan—was one of them!
Alas, several Celestial Lords had joined forces to kill him, lying in wait for an assassination attempt. The battle lasted for ten days and ten nights. The devastation they caused almost tore the heaven and Earth apart. In the end, he was still no match for those celestial Lords. Although he did manage to kill one of his attackers, he succumbed to his injuries, and his cultivation disintegrated with his death.
However, he never thought that he would travel back in time after his death to a time when he was still a young man.
Lu Xuan found himself at the onset years of the New Era. The Spirit Qi of the Earth had just been reawakened, and many more years would need to pass before Earth became the holy land of cultivation among the countless realms and civilizations.
However, blessing and misfortune always go hand in hand. Returning to his youth meant a second chance to reboot his cultivation. In his past life, he had no choice but to hop sects as he cultivated. While he did learn many different arts, it was undoubtedly detrimental to his cultivation.
If not for his cultivation talent and unusual encounters, he would never have become a Celestial Lord.
Now that he had lost all his cultivation, he was granted a clean slate to practice the Taixu Origin Power—the strongest origin power that ever existed.
"However, the Taixu Origin Power was harsher than I expected. This spirit source with ebbing spiritual powers was completely drained within a single night!"
Others may be clueless, but Lu Xuan, who returned from the future, knew better. The current Earth was undergoing a renaissance of spiritual force. In simpler terms, spiritual energies on Earth were experiencing the tidal pull of spiritual forces. The ebb and flow of spiritual forces resulted in an unequal distribution of spiritual energy concentration in different areas.
Crux points erupting spiritual energy in all directions characterized every Spiritual Ebb that ever happened on Earth. They often discharged enough spiritual energy to blanket an area with more than a hundred-yard radius from the source.
These crux points were none other than spirit sources!
And now, Lu Xuan was standing directly on a spirit source.
The world had just undergone a Spiritual Ebb. However, every ounce of spiritual power that erupted from this sprit source has been absorbed by Lu Xuan, who arrived here before the ebb. They fed to his cultivation of the Taixu Origin Power.
Otherwise, it would be impossible for Lu Xuan to clear the stage of Core Foundation in just a night. One should know his previous incarnation had taken several years to establish the Core Foundation.
"The era of spiritual reawakening is the best era for me!" Lu Xuan stood up and stated, "However, to my once sworn enemies, your nightmares have just begun!"
In his past life, people honored him as the youngest Celestial Lord in history. However, his cultivation journey was all but smooth-sailing. Riddled with failures and setbacks, he had made quite a fair share of sworn enemies along the way.
However, he was not in a hurry to exact revenge. The day would come when he settled his scores with them, one by one.
"The sun is up. Time to head home!"
A light leap from the boulder was enough to propel his body several yards forward. After a night of cultivation, his physique has been changed from head to toe. He has broken free from the constraints of the human body.
Agile like a panther chasing wind!
To the current Lu Xuan, the once dangerous and precarious mountain routes now looked no different from well-paved roads.
Halfway down the mountain, he began to hear intermittent cries for help.
Lu Xuan stopped at once and followed the cries. He soon arrived at an abandoned factory.
That was where the cries were coming from.
"Please, I beg you to save my brother. He has heart disease. Please save him!"
More panicked cries for help drifted out of the warehouse.
Peering in from the decaying windows, Lu Xuan immediately saw a woman in her early twenties. It was a beautiful woman with porcelain white skin, her makeup perfect and exquisite. She was dressed in a black floral blouse, a pair of straight-cut pants, and sneakers. An expensive-looking formal purse hung from her shoulder. Her long straight hair flourished at her shoulders, giving her an air of exceptional elegance.
However, this woman was currently tied to a chair. She looked extremely anxious.
Beside her was a young child who looked no more than eight, also tied to a chair. It was easy to see their similarities. He must be her brother. The child was taking sharp breaths as his face flushed red, and he looked like he was in pain.
A man in his thirties stood in front of the young woman. He was well built, tall, and muscular. This middle-aged muscle head glared at her fiercely.
He threw a slap across the woman's face, which quickly swelled.
"Try making another sound. I'll rape and kill you!" that middle-aged man threatened viciously.
That woman sensed his menace and froze in fright. However, she quickly shook off her fear and began pleading once again.
"Please, I beg of you to save my brother! Aren't you guys doing this for money? My dad will definitely pay up. Please, save my brother first. He cannot die!" She could not hide the desperate plea in her beautiful eyes.
"Well, I guess I could consider saving him. So long as you make me feel good!" A lewd smile spread across that middle-aged man's face.
However, before he could finish, he felt a heavy blow to the back of his head. He slipped and tripped forward, almost falling on his face.
Instinctively, he shot a murderous glare at his attacker, only to turn meek the instant he saw who it was. It was a young man in his late twenties of average build. He looked mild-mannered with a pair of glasses above his nose.
However, the murderous glare in his eyes was enough to chill a man to his bones.
"If you wish to die, die alone; don't drag us into your mess. Keep your hands to yourself. This woman is not someone you can touch." The young man added eerily, "Daring to disrupt Boss's plans. How many lives do you think you can offer to quell Boss's anger?"
The menacing middle-aged man deflated the moment that the young man mentioned their boss. He quickly paled, as if recalling something horrendous.
"You can have all the women in the world once we get our hands on the money. Boss is the only one who decides whatever that may happen to this woman. You're courting death!"
"Right, right, right. You are absolutely right!" the middle-aged man said, nodding in hasty agreement. "We'll take off once we get the money tonight!"
Only then did the young man nod in approval. He instructed, "Seal her mouth. Although it's usually quite deserted around here, we must not slip up at this crucial time. We must be cautious. As for that brat, so be it if he dies. We'll have the money once Boss returns. Why bother ourselves with his life?"
The young man scoffed, his tone laced with chilling apathy and utter disregard towards human life.
That middle-aged man quickly pulled out a cloth and stuffed it into the woman's mouth. He then laughed, "So what if someone passes by? Consider him or her unlucky to pass by at this time. I'll crush their skull!"
That middle-aged man's face scrunched into an ominous smile as he showed off the bulging muscles on his forearm.
"Boss promised to teach us that breathing technique once we finish this job. We'll have a chance to become one of the Awakened!" A tinge of excitement flashed past that young man's eyes as he pushed the glasses up the bridge of his nose.
"Well, you guys can kiss that chance goodbye!"
A clear voice came from outside the abandoned factory. Immediately after, a figure kicked the warehouse door open.
The worn-out door came crashing down as the force proved too much to bear.
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