The feeling that stillness was all, all too familiar. It presented a plethora of dread and trepidation within the mind, body, and soul. When it arrived, accompanied by a sound that seemed like chaos and order clashing in an ultimate battle for supremacy, Wei Wuyin had felt it.
’A…ga…in?! ’ This was not the first time that Wei Wuyin had experienced an abrupt sensation of stillness within the world, but both times before had been distinctively different. Despite this, he knew that only the Heavenly Daos or a force rivaling it could enact such fierce control over creation.
The first time was when he faced the Heavenly Punishment of the Heavenly Daos for executing Yuan Longshi. At the time, Kratos and Eden had acted and allowed him to regain his freedom. The ungodly force present then had been forcefully expelled from his mind and body. He had remained unscathed after. In fact, he had benefited as his Bloodline of Sin seemingly absorbed the power within the Heavenly Punishment and converted it into Karmic Luck.
The second time was during Su Mei ’s Mortal Star Astral Tribulation. Somehow, she had created an event that even he couldn ’t explain. The force present that turned the immediate area, not the entire world, into a still picture wasn ’t done by the Heavenly Daos. That power was so fierce, so forceful that Kratos and Eden had used every means to eject it from his body.
This time was slightly different, but he felt an air of familiarity similar to Heavenly Punishment. It was definitely an act of the Heavenly Daos. The only difference was the lack of hostility. He felt as if he wasn ’t the focal point, but a bystander. Furthermore, it was far, far stronger than either event before.
It was unprecedented! Even Kratos and Eden could only keep his awareness. He was unable to do anything but think. Not even move his eyes or breathe. Just the ability to think required everything they had and more to the point they didn ’t even communicate. He could acutely feel them acting out with 120% of their strength.
From what little he could observe, he saw everything had entered a state of sudden pause. From the air particles to the ambient mana. His Celestial Eyes was still active, allowing him to perceive the aspects of the world in vague detail. He knew that something major to the extreme was in the process of happening.
Unlike before, he remained incredibly calm and quietly waited. Only curiosity at the timing and reasoning for this situation to happen flooded his thoughts.
A melodious sound echoed nine times in a consistent rhythm. When the final sound was released, Wei Wuyin was met with a sudden burst of blindness as an indescribably bright golden light was abruptly lit in the dark void above. It outshone the three suns! He felt as if his eyes had been scorched entirely out of their socket, as if he had witnessed an event that he shouldn ’t have!
This blindness was temporary as his eyes that were seemingly incinerated by the light had instantly returned, the formation inscribed within the eyes seemed to contain a wisp of everlasting! Before he could register the immense pain from his eyes or the sudden return of them, he felt a trembling course through his spine.
An explosive eruption that was louder than anything he ’d ever heard. He became instantly deaf, his vision had turned black in an instant, but he swiftly regained his consciousness. The sudden changes were too much, too drastic, too confusing! He wanted to complain, but to who? The Heavenly Daos?
This sound! This was a sound he recognized and understood most, including the pinch that followed. If he could, he would turn to his Bloodline of Sin tattoo that was imprinted onto his right arm. If he could see it, he would see that the dark-red symbols started to brighten! It wasn ’t nearly as intense as the golden light, but it didn ’t seem too inferior in essence!
His entire body ignited! A faint illusory flame engulfed his entire body. It seemed to be rebellious and dark, tainted with the quintessence of free will and true sin. It endlessly burned, yet did not leave a single scorch mark on his flesh. He quickly realized it was burning something else entirely, not him.
The Heavenly Daos power!
His eyes soon regained its ability to move, then his right arm, then his tongue, and followed by the rest of his body. As the sensation of motion returned, he remained utterly calm and inspected the world around him. It was all still in a state of pause—only he could move.
”Why free me this time? ” He asked himself as he hadn ’t understood the purpose, but he was shocked to realize that he couldn ’t hear his voice. With the particles of the world still, even sound couldn ’t travel!
But his question still remained. The last two times, his Bloodline of Sin tattoo didn ’t act to free him from being frozen or to correctly perceive reality. That was purely the contribution of Eden, Kratos, and his Alchemic Stars of Mortal Spirituality. However, now it had taken action. This baffled him.
Looking upwards, he was immediately shocked by what he saw. In the vast Dark Void, he saw an impossibly long slit. It stretched from one end of his vision to the other, but as he tried to turn to glimpse more, it seemed endless. It was as if the Dark Void was a painting spanning a trillion miles and a single brush stroke that crossed through it.
Before he could observe it further, it closed and vanished. With it gone so abruptly, he felt at a loss as his heart raced like ten thousand horses on adrenaline. It was as if he had just witnessed a glimpse of Heavenly Daos abilities. It felt as if the fabric of time, space, and reality had been cut open.
He hadn ’t even noticed that it wasn ’t just the planet that was frozen, but even the three suns and all the planets within the starfield had been frozen as well. They were like exquisite sculptures.
While Wei Wuyin was lost in his thoughts, his right arm started to move on its own. It pointed his index finger upwards, drawing him out of his trance, he followed along with his gaze and witnessed a ball of seemingly golden light shot across the dark void like a comet. Then, the symbols on his right arm started to pulse as if it was sending or receiving a signal from somewhere or something.
A light projected from his right arm, landing a few meters away from him, and started to take form. A figure that he hadn ’t expected to see had once more appeared before him. Even his silver eyes bulged uncontrollably as he recognized this figure! The existence that began all this!
The Black Skeleton!!
It was pure black and wore a pristine white robe over its truly bony self. It still had a hood and stood with its arms crossed against its chest, just like how he had first seen it. But it lacked its physical aura that had once left him breathless. Instead, it was faintly semi-transparent and didn ’t seem to actually be here. For some reason, a breath of relief left his chest, despite being unable to breathe at the moment.
The Black Skeleton stared at Wei Wuyin. Its sockets honed onto his existence like a predator which gave him a faint chill.
”The Heavenly Daos are fair, yet unfair. Those it favors are Blessed, able to live far and long, thrive in all worlds, topple all obstacles, and are gifted with the right to become rulers beneath the endless stars. However, for those who act against it, for those that sin, it delivers misfortune and injustice, forced to grovel and struggle for life. Its rules are its rules. It is NOT our rules, NOT our Dao! ” The Black Skeleton started to speak, but it felt more like a pre-recorded message that didn ’t have much life within. Despite that, Wei Wuyin felt the faint dark flame engulfing his body start to surge, seemingly resonating with those words.
”However, there are times when those so-called Blessed meet calamities they can not avoid, even with the immense support of the Heavenly Daos by their side. A series of personal choices induced by their own free will that cause these favored to die an untimely, unpreventable death. If their fortune is lacking, they will move onto the next. BUT, if their fortune reaches heights envied, they will not be reduced to dust by their folly. A second chance will be given!
”A second chance to change their fate; to change their future! Reincarnation does not exist, unless the Heavenly Daos decide that it does! What you have witnessed, Inheritor of Sin, is the act of Temporal Reincarnation!! ”
”… ” Wei Wuyin ’s heart raced even greater as the Black Skeleton began its speech. Reincarnation does not exist, unless the Heavenly Daos decide that it does?! What type of…
What is this Temporal Reincarnation? He just witnessed this?!
But the Black Skeleton wasn ’t capable of giving him time to process all this information, as it simply wasn ’t really here. It continued.
”You now have a choice, Inheritor of Sin! Affecting time is a form of self-mutilation by the Heavenly Daos, it is wounded! An opportunity and a misfortune for us sinners! Those reincarnated are Blessed, protected with massive amounts of karmic luck, but their foreknowledge of events leaves you in a vulnerable state. You can kill the reincarnated, taking their karmic luck value and the piece of damaged Heavenly Dao for yourself or allow them to live!
”However, be warned! Even with all the Karmic Luck stolen or gained from the Calamities of Hell, they can kill you! You will not be warned nor helped by the Heavenly Daos, but they will know of you, of your ’possible ’ future, of your ’possible ’ opportunities! And they will be able to claim your luck as their own, even those similarly favored will be at risk! Do not become a victim. ” The Black Skeleton explained in the most solemn voice he had ever heard in his entire life.
The Black Skeleton remained silent for a moment. But it added with the first hint of genuine emotion, ”I will say this: we are the owners of our OWN fates! We DEFY! We RESIST! We PERSIST! WE SIN!! You do not have to kill, you do not have to die! It is your choice to make!
”…It always will be. ”
After those words, words that seemed to have originated from the true Black Skeleton, it vanished. The dark flame and bright light from his tattoo started to fade as well. He looked upwards to see the golden comet soar across the Dark Void before landing on a planet a few minutes later.
He had become lost in his complex thoughts during this time, observing this golden light that contained a piece of the Heavenly Dao and what seemed to be a Reincarnated Blessed. A Blessed from the future! The last few words the Black Skeleton said resonated with his mind ceaselessly, but he still felt unsure.
What he was sure about was that this Reincarnated Blessed, this Reincarnator, was an incalculable factor…
A factor that might very well be the end of him.
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