As years went by, people gradually came to believe that the Lower Lands was part of the God Realm, and that after undergoing divine tribulation as an immortal king, you were a god.
In truth, that was a misunderstanding.
The true meaning of “god” was someone with a godhead, and you couldn’t be considered to have truly entered the God Realm until you set foot on the Divine Mountains.
The rest of the “God Realm,” the lower lands, was nothing but a halfway point.
The God Realm was ancient. If you really tried to calculate how long it had existed, the answer would be in the hundreds of millions. However, the history of the modern God Realm started from the Great War of Demons and Gods, when the first God Emperor, The North Star Emperor, established the lay of the land.
The God Realm was divided into nine great Divine Mountains, which for all intents and purposes, were eternal.
Each Divine Mountain was led by one of the God Realm’s nine great emperors.
Each great emperor was a peerless existence within the God Realm. No one knew for sure which of them was the strongest. In the view of outsiders, they were roughly equal.
However, the leader of the nine great emperors was the God Emperor of the Central Divine Mountain, Zhou Wu. His might awed and terrified the myriad citizens of hte God Realm.
The Northern Divine Mountain was actually composed of a vast, limitless sea, the Sea of Innocence. Its waters flowed down frown the mountain, flowing into tributaries throughout the Lower Lands.
Of course, the mountain wasn’t entirely seawater; there was also some dry land.
The ascension pool of the Northern Divine Mountain was guarded year-round by a team of eight. The teams alternated, swapping out every year. They waited by the pools to welcome freshly ascended supremes.
Currently, this team was gathered together and chatting idly.
“We’ve been really unlucky lately! I heard from my bros on the other divine mountains that they’ve seen a massive increase in ascenders, yet it’s been years since our Northern Divine Mountain has seen any new arrivals at all.”
“The Northern Divine Mountain’s location isn’t so great; most of our territory is underwater. It’s normal that supremes wouldn’t choose to come here,” snorted a man slightly older than his companions. “All I can say is that they’re short-sighted. Do they really think it’s so easy to enter the Four Directions Pagoda or the God Emperor’s Palace?”
“Sh!” One of the others hurriedly hushed him. “You have to call it the ‘Four Directions Palace’ now. Why are you still calling it a ‘pagoda’?”
The Eastern Divine Mountain’s Four Directions Pagoda kept its name for tens of thousands of years, but then, a few thousand years ago, Great Emperor Bi’an changed it. It was now the “Four Directions Palace,” and furthermore, Bi’an insisted his subordinates refer to him as “Your Majesty.” A lot of people noticed that he was styling himself after Zhou Wu.
However, neither Zhou Mo nor Bi’an were figures ordinary folks could afford to criticize.
The older man realized he’d misspoken and hurriedly shut his mouth.
At that moment, steam rose from the ascension pool, and the soldiers instantly stopped their conversation.
“A supreme is coming.” The only woman in the group arched her brows in surprise, and the others looked over at the pools.
Watching over the ascension pools was extremely dull. Their only form of entertainment was moments like this.
“How many people do you think it’ll be this time?” said one of them as they watched the steamy mist rise from the pool.
“How many could it be? Given the amount of energy, it’s three at most,” said another. Then, suddenly, the mist surged up. It whirled around the pool, growing many times over and enshrouding the entire area in mist.
“This… I’m afraid this must be at least a dozen people!” They looked at each other. Although welcoming a ten plus supremes at once wouldn’t affect their wages, it’d be something to brag about over dinner.
“What’s the current record for most people welcomed at once?”
“It seems that the Eastern Divine Mountain’s Four Directions Palace holds the record at twelve people.”
“We might set a new record this time!” As they chatted idly, the mist over the pool grew even denser, and the teams’ eyes glowed even brighter.
“This…. So many people ascending all at once… do they all know each other? If that’s the case, the Horse Bandits are really in for it this time.”
Organizations similar to the Horse Bandits existed on all nine Divine Mountains.
They existed for the purpose of robbing freshly-ascended supremes of all their treasures. It’s worth noting that recent arrivals were far weaker than the average citizen of the Divine Mountains, so almost forty percent fell at the hands of such brigands.
However, the core forces of the Divine Mountains didn’t get involved. The Horse Bandits were organized, and according to rumor, their leader was a diviner. If the Divine Mountain’s leadership got involved, they’d suffer heavy losses. As a result, the Divine Mountains had never fully eliminated this evil, but every faction had their own methods of handling them.
“You can’t say that. After all, they’re just ascenders, and they haven’t received any systematic education in using their divine power, and they’re just earth supremes. No matter how many of them there are, they’re no match for those jackals.”
They all had different opinions. Finally, one of them sighed. “Fortunately, this group is lucky. The academy begins student recruitment next month. If they can endure just a few more days, they’ll be able to live on.”
“Hey, why worry about all that? Our only job is to welcome them.”
The others nodded. Bandits and the like were none of their concern. All they had to do was smoothly welcome ascenders and give them a brief overview of the Divine Mountains’ affairs.
As for whether they lived or died, well, that had nothing to do with the guards.
Everyone ascended this way. If they fell to the Horse Bandits, they could only blame their own lack of destiny.
Right now, all they cared about was just how many ascenders were hidden within that mist.
“So this is the Divine Mountain?” Ye Zichen stood by himself in the pool. He’d actually appeared a little while ago, but just after he arrived, he felt limitless divine power pouring into his body, purifying his imperfect divine power.
If his power before ascending was a “one,” then his current power might even be a “ten.”
“Arriving at the Divine Mountains is miraculous, as expected. This plane is on a far higher level of existence than the Lower Lands. Even with my current power, I can’t spread my divine awareness more than a thousand meters, nor can I fly.” As Ye Zichen looked around and muttered to himself, the surrounding mist gradually dispersed.
“It’s dispersing, it’s dispersing! How many people do you think are inside” said the shortest of the guards excitedly.
“Right around twenty people, I think.”
“I think it’s over twenty.”
They all chimed in, sharing their respective opinions as they focused intently on the mist dispersing from the pool. It billowed outward and gradually dispersed, bit by bit.
“Something’s not quite right!” One of the guards blinked. “It doesn’t seem like a group of ten or twenty at all!”
The rest of the team furrowed their brows. When the mists parted completely, they saw Ye Zichen standing there, staring-wide eyed at them. He was even waving to them.
“Hi, you guys,” he said. “You…. Were you waiting for me?”
The entire team was dumbfounded.Previous Chapter Next Chapter