Within the palace hall.
Su Chen sat on the throne, silent and in deep thought.
He remained there, motionless, so immersed in his thoughts that he seemed to tune out everyone around him.
Li Chongshan called out Su Chen’s name a few times, but he only received a vague grumble in response.
Everyone knew that Su Chen was mulling over something complex, so they gave up on trying to get his attention.
This persisted all the way until dusk. Gu Qingluo walked over, sat down beside him, and softly said, “There are some things that you might not be able to understand just by thinking about it harder. Why don’t you take a break? Here, try some of this Clearheart Lotus Seed Porridge I made for you.”
Su Chen shook his head. “You know that this is not what I need.”
Gu Qingluo said with some displeasure, “I personally prepared this for you. Even if you don’t need it, you’re going to drink it.”
Su Chen chuckled wryly. “You probably made it like this, right?”
Flames casually leapt to life above his hand, heating the bowl of porridge in his hand and causing it to boil fiercely.
For cultivators like them, it was beyond trivial to personally prepare a bowl of porridge.
Gu Qingluo was extremely unsatisfied with his reply. “Oh, so the fact that I personally made the porridge for you isn’t enough? Do I have to exert myself until I’m exhausted to demonstrate my sincerity?”
At this point, Su Chen and Gu Qingluo were quite comfortable with each other. “Of course. If it’s too easy for you to do, then its value obviously decreases. On the other hand, gifting me something that was challenging for you to accomplish is much more precious to me.”
Gu Qingluo laughed. “Sorry to disappoint, but there are very few things that I find difficult to do.”
“Then what about tearing down the Barrier of Gods?”
Gu Qingluo was stunned.
She glanced at Su Chen. “You mean...... that old beggar......”
Su Chen nodded. “It’s just a guess of mine. If he does indeed originate from that side, then that would explain many things.”
Su Chen pulled out a jade circlet and calmly passed it over to Gu Qingluo.
This was the same jade circlet that was hidden deep within the Mother Goddess Sect. After the Harpies surrendered, it had finally fallen into Su Chen’s hands — they would not have been able to keep it a secret anyways, as nothing would have escaped Su Chen’s consciousness sweep.
Gu Qingluo took the jade circlet. Her eyes began to widen in shock as she read through its contents. “So it’s just as you guessed.”
Su Chen and Gu Qingluo already knew quite a bit of what was recorded on the jade circlet, so they weren’t that surprised by the secrets it revealed. However, it did serve to confirm their suspicions, and it also provided them with a couple extra details, which allowed them to fill in some of the blanks in their knowledge about the gods.
Even so, Gu Qingluo was still rendered speechless to see their speculations confirmed by this new source of information.
“So...... not only are we their slaves, but we are also their descendants,” Gu Qingluo softly muttered to herself.
“That sounds about right,” Su Chen replied.
“But what does any of that have to do with the old beggar?” The words had only just come out of Gu Qingluo’s mouth when she realized something, and her eyes widened in shock. “You can’t possibly mean......”
Su Chen gently nodded. “Do you not think that this is a very real possibility?”
Gu Qingluo’s jaw dropped.
If Su Chen’s guess was accurate, then they would truly be stuck in a difficult situation.
She had a hard time wrapping her head around all the implications of what she had just read. After a long time, she simply shook her head and said, “The members of the Gu Clan live for so long that there are an incredible number of generations before me that still live. I have grandfathers, grandfathers of grandfathers, elders, and even elders of elders. Did you know that trying to remember all of these titles is a massive headache? Most of the, time we just simply things to just ‘grandfather’ and ‘Elder.’”
Su Chen was quite amused by the way Gu Qingluo thought about things. “I don’t think that’s a problem at all.”
“Fine. Then let’s talk about a different issue,” Gu Qingluo said with a straight face, “This...... elder...... of ours, what is his goal?”
“That’s exactly what I was wondering about earlier,” Su Chen replied calmly. “But before we can answer that, we need to consider another matter.”
“From what I can gather, the Barrier of Gods should be a wall that separates the Primordial Continent from the Origin Energy Sea. This barrier makes it impossible for anybody to travel between the two, which is why the gods still have no way to return to this world.”
“Mhm.” Gu Qingluo nodded her head.
This was not much of a secret. The names, “Barrier of Gods,” and “Eternal Treaty,” made it quite clear that they were the main obstacles to the gods’ return.
In fact, the Barrier of the Gods was most likely what was actually restricting the gods, while the Eternal Treaty was an agreement that the gods had reached with each other.
And ten years from now, the Barrier and the Treaty would both lose their effectiveness.
Su Chen continued, saying, “Since there’s a barrier separating the two realms, there shouldn’t be a path that connects the two. However, that’s not entirely true. For example, the Mother Goddess Sect can communicate with the Mother Goddess. In addition, the Moon God was able to absorb divine power from the Flying Moon Emperor. And the Lord of the Dreamrealm was even able to openly do business in the Primordial Continent through his Dreamrealm. From these rare but very real examples, it is clear that the gods have never given up on this world. In fact, they have even used a variety of tactics to insert themselves into our world so that they can continue to influence it.”
Light flickered across Gu Qingluo’s eyes when she heard Su Chen’s thoughts, and she nodded repeatedly.
“Obviously, however, either the Treaty, the Barrier, or both, restricts their power. The Moon God, the Mother Goddess, and the Lord of the Dreamrealm could all only use a small portion of their full power. The Mother Goddess can bestow Divine Feathers, the Moon God can create Sovereigns, and the Lord of the Dreamrealm can exist in the Dreamrealm with the caveat of being unable to kill anyone. And while they are able to influence our world through various methods, their actions also reveal their current lack of strength.”
Gu Qingluo seemed to somewhat understand Su Chen’s point. “They’ve gained an advantage in some ways, but they’ve also lost out in others. The Lord of the Dreamrealm is likely incredibly powerful, but before the Barrier of the Gods collapses, he will be unable to kill even a small chicken. The same goes for the Moon God and the Mother Goddess.”
Su Chen then said, “What if the old beggar is one of them?”
Gu Qingluo raised a finger in protest. “But he’s attacked and harmed people!”
“But if you look closely at his actions, he has only harmed people who are extremely weak and possess little strength,” Su Chen said.
The story of the old beggar had spread far and wide at this point. However, for some reason, everyone that the old beggar had attacked was extremely weak.
In fact, this Blood Boiling Realm cultivator that the old beggar had attacked was actually the strongest target to date.
This was likely related to the Barrier’s decline.
“Some loss, but also some gain.” Gu Qingluo slowly restated her earlier aphorism. “They’ve never shown themselves or their true power, but they are constantly acting behind the scenes, creating butterfly effects that alter the natural course of events. Why do I feel like this is similar to something that you can do......”
“Blood clones,” Su Chen quickly interjected.
Gu Qingluo’s eyes lit up. “Yes, blood clones!”
Su Chen’s blood clones could walk across the continent in his place, but they had their own limitations. For instance, they were typically much weaker than Su Chen, and the duration that they could persist for was also limited.
If the old beggar was truly a human, then his manifestation in the Primordial Continent was most likely a clone of some sorts.
Also, each god had their own unique abilities.
These abilities were extremely important in how they broke through the Barrier, and they were also why each of them influenced the continent differently.
Apart from these abilities, it was also apparent that each of these gods had extremely different goals.
So why would the old beggar do what he did?
What exactly had he been studying for tens of thousands of years? What was he waiting for?
These questions stumped Su Chen.
But there was one more thing that made Su Chen suspicious.
“Why would he say that to me?” Su Chen muttered out loud.
“What?” Gu Qingluo didn’t understand what Su Chen was pondering.
“He only appears every so often, which means that it’s probably quite difficult for him to send his clone over here, right? If that’s the case, then he should have said something with actual value. Would he really waste such a rare chance to visit this world on praising me? Don’t you think that this doesn’t make any sense?” Su Chen said.
“Long time no see, Su Chen. I am very pleased with your growth. However, you are running out of time. Be sure to use it wisely......”
That was what the old beggar had said to him through his Blood Boiling Realm vessel.
While he had said the truth, it was also a seemingly useless message.
Why would the old beggar spend so much energy just to offer him some praise and encouragement?
That made no sense.
This was the real question that was eating away at Su Chen.
Was there some deeper, hidden meaning behind the beggar’s words that he was missing?
But no matter how long Su Chen mulled over these words, nothing came to mind.
When Gu Qingluo heard Su Chen’s explanation, she frowned before remarking, “That is a bit strange. It kind of sounds like he was specifically trying to urge you to use your time wisely. In other words…… He’s on our side? He’s against the gods returning?”
Su Chen nodded. “It seems to be like that for now. But, obviously, that can’t be all. Because his statement is still useless and a waste of effort if that’s all he wanted to say...... Even without this reminder, I still would have diligently continued to make my preparations. This statement has no practical value.”
Gu Qingluo scratched her head in confusion. “Then I have no clue. His words don’t seem to hold any other meaning.”
Su Chen decisively replied, “There must be. There has to be. He wouldn’t do something that pointless.”
Gu Qingluo wondered, “Then why wouldn’t he just tell you directly?”
Su Chen replied, “The Eternal Treaty must be restricting what he can and cannot say.”
The Barrier of the Gods prevented the gods from invading, so the Eternal Treaty must restrict the gods in another fashion. Combined, the two greatly reduced how much the gods could influence the Primordial Continent.
Even so, some of the gods, who had alternative motives and goals, had continued to search for opportunities to bypass these restrictions.
The Lord of the Dreamrealm, the Moon God, and the Mother Goddess were no exception.
This beggar’s actions were also in line with this hypothesis.
Throughout the past tens of thousands of years, he had done many small things that, combined, had significantly altered the course of human history.
Quite a few of the heroes that had emerged throughout the years had been affected by his actions.
Obviously, these heroes had not lived up to the old beggar’s expectations, which was why he continued to appear every now and then......
“I am very pleased with your growth......” Su Chen murmured yet again. Suddenly, his eyes lit up. “He’s telling me that I’m going down the right path.”
“What path? Resisting the gods?” Gu Qingluo asked.
“No!” Su Chen stood up as he was struck by enlightenment. “The path of strengthening the human race by itself! He wants me to lead the human race to avoid strengthening ourselves through all of these things!”
“Away from what, exactly?”
“From bloodlines and the gods themselves!” Su Chen exclaimed excitedly. “He placed his first hopes in Li Daohong and gave him the Attendant’s Brain. He also placed his hopes in Long Pojun and gave him the Blood Fiend’s Bone. His reason behind doing so was not for them to rely on this power, but rather for them to use it to obtain a new power from a completely different system!”
Gu Qingluo murmured, “But they only used that power to satisfy their own desires. On the other hand, you......”
Su Chen smiled slightly. “Yes, I did it. That’s why he told me that my actions so far have been right. No, that’s not all he told me — more importantly, he let me know that this is the right way to fight against the gods.”
Suddenly, Su Chen’s heart was filled with confidence.
Because he was reminded of a phenomenon that he had seen quite recently.
When the immortal energy had devoured the divine power!
So that was what the old beggar had been waiting for?
This was the right path for the human race to take.
The old beggar had come all this way to let Su Chen know that he was on the right path, and that he needed to continue forging onwards.
The old beggar had been waiting for tens of thousands of years for this to happen.
He had scouted out countless potential seedlings, hoping that one of them would eventually grow into a giant tree.
And Su Chen was the tree that he had been waiting for.
“So that’s what he wanted to tell us......” Gu Qingluo murmured, her eyes shining with joy and hope.
“That’s not all. His words also told me one last thing,” Su Chen muttered. “Something that I was never able to fully understand until now.”
“What is it?”