768 Grand Cultivator?In the ancient times, Earth was filled with powerful beings.
There were giants that stood as tall as mountains, primordial beasts that could swallow a star and gods that walked the earth while carrying the sky on their shoulders.
In the east, those powerful beings were called Sages, while in the west they were called Saints. Some of them even reached the Nascent Soul realm. There were also extraterrestrial races that settled on earth because of its abundance of Spirit Qi. In the jungles and forests, Spirit Water sprouted from the ground, nurturing potent Spirit Medicines. Even ordinary humans during that time could live up to two hundred years.
Earth at the time was the center of the galaxy and a sacred land for cultivators. It was even much larger in size.
However, ever since the big shift, Spirit Qi was depleted and things changed on earth.
"That change was not natural, something caused it."
The Artifact Spirit's voice became serious.
"The Heavenly Lords would have prevented the earth's downward trend if Spirit Qi depletion was the only factor. They could cast the Starry Sky Grand Array to draw energy from space down to earth. They could also open a portal to another world and tap into its energy. However…"
Spirit Artifact's gaze became heavy.
"As much as they tried, they couldn't stop the earth from dying. That's when they suspected that the changes were unnatural. Some forces were sucking the earth dry.
"The Heavenly Lords in the east and the True Gods in the west had both arrived at the same conclusion.
"They suspected that a treasure of unprecedented power was going to reveal itself. It has been absorbing the Aether Qi of the planet, depleting the earth's energy.
"When suspicion became conviction, a war between all the factions on earth began. The deadly scourge of war was spread across the galaxy, killing countless innocent lives.
"As Sages in the east fell like flies, so too had the saints in the West."
The Spirit Artifact lowered its head as it became quiet.
It was apparent that the memory about the war still haunted the Spirit Artifact.
"So you guys fought for something that no one has ever seen?" Chen Fan was amused.
"Although no one knows what kind of treasure it is, everyone was convinced that it's extremely powerful. Many Heavenly Lords suspected that it is a Divine Treasure," the Artifact Spirit explained.
Chen Fan giggled but kept quiet as the Artifact Spirit continued.
"After the war, a powerful foe invaded the earth.
"The powerful foe was from outer space and it wasn't human. They possessed extremely robust physiques that allowed them to traverse space. They were also extremely vicious and savage, lacking any humane traits. We suspected they had been drawn to earth because of the treasure.
"In the end, we repelled the invasion but at a very high cost. The earth was in ruins after sustaining so much trauma, and the treasure was nowhere to be seen. The Heavenly Lords finally made the call to move to another galaxy. My Master Heaven's Equal ordered me to stay behind and guard the Path of Heaven. I was to report to them if there was an invasion on earth or when the treasure finally revealed itself. However, I have been waiting for over a thousand years and nothing has happened yet.
"The people of Kunxu were the disciples and heirs of the Heavenly Lords who forgot their origin. It's not their fault though. We erased all signs of our existence from this planet before we left. "
The Spirit Artifact then told Chen Fan the location of the Path of Heaven before he retreated.
Chen Fan was left alone in the chamber, reflecting about this conversation.
The sages on earth claimed that the Artifact was a supreme treasure despite knowing practically nothing about it. However, Chen Fan registered something was amiss.
Only a few treasures could come out of a planet, a Star Core being one of them. However, a Star Core needs billions if not trillions of years to form, instead of a few thousand. Meanwhile, The Earth was reduced to a dead planet in a very short period of time. It reminded Chen Fan of something he was very familiar with.
Chen Fan narrowed his eyes.
In space, many overlords would use a planet to create a treasure similar to a Star Core. However, he would have to be at the Soul Formation level to pull it off. Such powerful figures were a rare sight in the universe.
In addition, Chen Fan knew that the Earth was located in a relatively secluded area of the universe. In the past eons, it had only seen two powerful cultivators: Cangqin and himself.
"If a Soul Formation cultivator used the earth to create a Star Core, the Golden Core and Nascent Soul cultivators on earth would never notice it. It was outlandish for them to think they could get their hands on the treasure."
Chen Fan sneered.
A cold light grew brighter in his eyes. He was amused by the stupidity of not only the ancient cultivators, but also the mysterious mighty figure who used earth as his tool.
"Earth is my home planet. I shall rend your soul from your corporeal body and scorch it in the sun as punishment for what you have done."
Chen Fan's words were icy and his gaze was sharp.
However, he wagered that it would take a while for the Mighty figure to reveal himself.
Be it be the Ancient Cultivators, or the Ancient Mayan race, neither of them had returned to earth. Chen Fan reckoned that the mighty figure would take another hundred years to return.
He also recalled the experience of his last visit during his past life. The time of his visit would take place two centuries later.
He had already reached the Soul Formation realm during that visit and his mind was not on the well being of earth, but his old friends. He scanned the earth quickly and found that the earth's Spirit Qi had completely dried up. The Earth was dead.
Chen Fan finally knew who had caused the death of his home planet.
Only HE could erase his track from the earth so cleanly that no one would even know of his existence. Worse, HE had also covered up the birth of a star core from the rest of the universe.
"But… the Lord Master must know about it. He is a Perfected Immortal… nothing could have escaped him. Why didn't he tell me?"
The thought brought a hint of concern into Chen Fan's eyes.
The Spirit Artifact had given him many pieces of revealing information, it motivated Chen Fan to work harder toward his goal.
"I'm going to head to the portal once I recover. I need more resources in order to reach the Golden Core realm. "
Chen Fan then entered a secluded cultivation.
He had assigned the cleaning up of Kunxu to the Fire Spirit King and other Earth Level Deities who sided with him. As Chen Fan's disciple, Qi Xiu'er made important decisions on his behalf.
Once he had assigned a task to everyone, Chen Fan entered the Yuntian Palace and locked its gate.
He wasn't only badly injured, but using the Art of Reincarnation six times had taken a toll on him. He would require at least two years of recuperation to fully recover. In his last attack, the Blade of Time had also consumed a large portion of his life force.
"Luckily, I still have these Spirit medicines. They should speed up the process."
Chen Fan glanced at the pile of spirit stones and pills.
Chen Fan knew that the Cloud Thearch had a cache of divine medicine somewhere; otherwise, he wouldn't have been able to live for so long.
Chen Fan sat on a rock and started the Swallowing Divine Power. Many spirit stones cracked open, releashing patches of light that rushed into Chen Fan's system. Nourished by the Essence Qi, the Azure Thearch Longevity Body recovered rapidly.
A faint golden glow surfaced on Chen Fan's body.
Chen Fan's broken bones and torn muscles started to heal and strengthen.
The process should have taken three years if not longer, but with the help of Spirit Qi, it sped up significantly.
Three months later, Chen Fan was already out of his secluded cultivation.
He looked like a new man when he came out of the palace. Energy coursed through his veins while golden flames glowed vibrantly around him. There was no sign of trauma. However, the touch of grey in his hair remained. The loss of life force was irreversible.
Qi Xiu'er's face was lit up with glee when she saw Chen Fan's face. However, Chen Fan's wrinkles and grey hair saddened her.
"Don't worry about me. Don't you think I aged well?" Chen Beixuan cracked a smile. To him, this appearance was just one of his many masks.
In his past life, he had entered the tower of time by accident and became a white-haired elder. But he recovered from that nonetheless.
Qi Xiu'er scoffed under her breath, but she had to agree that Chen Fan's mature look was also very well appealing.
He looked as if he were in his early thirties; the strands of grey hair and his tenacious body gave him a different charm, compared with his former teenage look. Even his family members would have been taken aback by the change.
Qi Qingwei and the Princess of the Southern Kingdom gawked at Chen Fan in shock.
Lu Yanxue held a smile on her face. Regardless of what Chen Fan looked like, he was the same person to her.
Qi Xiu'er gave Chen Fan a sidelong glance and asked, "Master, what are we doing here in Heavenly Capital? Everything is in ruins now. A few Sages are hiring contractors to build another city on top of it. We will call it the North Mystic City."
Chen Fan linked his hands behind his back and ambled to the inner city gate. He gazed at the ancient city wall and said, "Didn't you ask me where the Path of Heaven was?
"It is here!"
Everyone was caught by surprise.