Beastmaster of the Ages - Chapter 1544
After a quick stroll around, Tianming found that it was a barren land devoid of life. Huge cracks could be seen across the ground. They looked like they were so deep that one could reach where the fusion formation used to be. The lower one went, the darker and colder it was; this was definitely abnormal. For worlds that had a nova source, the closer one came to the core, the hotter it was, making it ill-suited for habitation. Once Tianming reached rock bottom, he confirmed that the star had been emptied out. The location where the nova source should have been was empty, leaving behind a gaping hole of eternal rot and decay. He saw a rusted weapon on the ground. When he pulled at it, it broke.
“There seems to be signs of battle. The nova source of this world didn’t naturally burn out, then. It was taken.”
The war had probably happened at least a million years ago. There wasn’t a single blade of grass to be seen on the star.
“Wars in the astralscape are terrifying,” Feiling said with worry. War seemed to always be close at bay. Nova source was the key sustenance to all things living. Once it started running out, denizens of other astral worlds would be forced to take it from others by means of force and conquest.
“Wars in Orderia seldom involve genocide or senseless massacre of the people, but wars between astral worlds don’t care for the lives of noncombatants….”
The laws of the universe were cruel indeed, and small factions often had to submit to the whims of larger ones. Even Orderia, as prosperous as it seemed today, would eventually have to contend with the fate of becoming a dead star. If that happened, even the lifeforms of the Flameyellow Continent that relied on its light to live would die out.
“The weak dying out in favor of the strong seems like a universal constant. The only thing we can do is strive our hardest to protect ourselves.” Those were the epiphanies he had come to. He took out the Solar Wheel and buried it in the core of the star. “It should be far enough from Orderia here. I still eventually have to go back there, anyway, so keeping it on me only poses the risk of letting it fall back into the hands of the sun emperor. Better off just burying it here and let it die with this star. People shouldn’t be setting foot here anytime soon.”
Perhaps Tianming was the only visitor of this invisible dead star in millions of years. Even he probably wouldn’t be able to find the Solar Wheel again after leaving the star. “Farewell, foreign world.”
He buried the wheel and returned to his ship before taking off once more. Since he no longer knew where they were, he chose a random direction to cruise in. He knew that cultivation would be the key, for now. Only by mastering even more moves would he be able to gain control of more functions of the ship. Thus, their long cultivation voyage had begun.
It wasn’t as boring as it sounded. With his beloved back with him and the energetic Ying Huo around, his mood was always pleasant. However, everyone still felt the creeping angst of being lost in the vast astralscape. The more worlds they passed by, the more insignificant they felt. In the grand scheme of things, nothing seemed to matter.
“For all we know, these astral worlds could be grains of rice for some higher being. Cultivators like us might just be ants that flock to the rice. To those beings, our petty little wars don’t matter, but to us they’re a matter of life and death. It’s all too real for us.”
During the battle at the Myriaddragon Mountains, Tianming had absorbed too much Omnisentient Will, especially after the Ninedragon Army began seeing him as the Ninedragon Emperor and their mental support. The things he had seen made him understand the path of rulership even more, allowing his Imperial Will to grow further, though he hadn’t had a chance to focus on cultivation to catch up. Thankfully, he had nova source from the saplings to spare. Eventually, he broke through to the ninth level of the Constellation stage.
“Feng used pills to defeat Long Renshe, and he’s still slightly more powerful than me in terms of level. Based on my power now, though, taking care of a rare level one solarian genius like Long Renshe should be easy for me.” As long as he could rival a solarian in power, he would be on the same level as some seniors that had cultivated for centuries, or even a thousand years.
“Let’s keep on going.” If he still hadn’t at least reached the peak solarian level by the time he returned to Orderia, he would have no chance against the sun emperor. Only by running could he buy the time to grow powerful enough.
Though the voyage was initially a rather stressful one, he eventually grew used to the tranquility of the routine of playing with his lifebound beasts and spending time with Feiling. From time to time, he would take her to the front of the ship to look at the stars ahead. There was a beauty to the silence as well.
“Once we’re stronger and able to adequately defend the ship, we’ll be able to roam anywhere we want.” His dream was to experience all kinds of cultures, their delicacies and their sights. Eventually, they grew to like this cruising lifestyle. The further they traveled, the higher the density of stars grew, which was a sign that Orderia was located near the periphery of the universe. Conversely, that meant that the risk of running into an astral war rose the closer they came to the central area. The spot with the most rice would get the most ants, after all.
One day when Tianming was going to take Feiling to watch the stars, she pointed ahead and asked, “What’s that?”
Tianming turned to look. “How beautiful… it looks like a flower of stars.” The flower seemed as large as a nova source. It slowly rotated and let out colorful lights, making for quite a bewitching sight.
“Let’s go and take a look.” The closer they grew, the brighter it appeared.
“It’s best you don’t approach it. That’s an astral hole,” the Archaionfiend said.
“It comes about as a result of the destruction of a fusion formation, which causes the nova source of a star to implode and eventually swallow up the rest of the world due to contractions within, forming a structure that isn’t too dissimilar to a saint spring. It contains a nova source within, but it’s uncontrolled. It looks beautiful, but it could easily tear the ship apart.”
They had learned of yet another weird thing that existed in the universe. Could people really survive contact with a rampaging nova source?
“Without the fusion formation, the nova source takes the form of a lifespring, eh…. So it’s like a gigantic vortex. Could such a world have cultivators?” Tianming asked.
“Of course! As most of the life on that world would perish from the implosion, those that remained are the ones capable of surviving such a catastrophe. At the very least, they’re ascendants. That’s how you get worlds without mortals.”
Tianming looked at the beautiful flower as he contemplated the Archaionfiend’s words. “The astralscape is truly wondrous.” As he spoke, he piloted the ship toward the astral hole.