GOLDHORN CONTINENT - APRIL YEAR 9989 - ABOVE THE CREATION FORMATION
A white semi-transparent circular platform rested up above the clouds. It emitted a soft warm glow and gave off a slight thrumming sound.
Suddenly, two figures wrapped in the same white light being emitted by the platform burst through the clouds. It was possible to see that one figure was dragging the other. The dominant figure landed gently on the platform, still holding the second figure. The light encasing him dispersed revealing an amiable looking old man. The man proceeded to gently release his grip on the figure in his hand, a lean but strongly built youth with dark green eyes, who crumpled down onto his knees and coughed up a huge mouthful of blood.
“Whoa now, you alright kid.” The old man said as he kneeled down next to the youth. His voice sounded young despite the clearly ancient body it was coming from. He reached out to the youth and a golden light was emitted from his hands. When the light touched the youth his previously pained expression seemed to ease up.
The Youth looked up at the elder. “Thanks for saving me from those chains back there senior,” and with that he proceeded to get down on one knee and crossed one arm over his chest “I Hishima hereby swear by the laws that govern the heavens that I will strive to aid senior in any way possible as soon as I have saved my loved one,” the youth shouted in a determined voice. On his home continent this posture was one that would be assumed when one was trying to show the utmost sincerity to another individual.
“Heh, heh, laws that govern the heavens huh. That's actually the only reason I saved you kiddo” A strange glint appeared in the elders eyes as he looked at Hishima. “Hey kid, aren’t you wondering what those chains that tried to kill you right now were?”
“Junior is naturally curious” said Hishima, still maintaining his respectful posture.
“Then I’ll explain everything to you, but I’ll have to start from the very beginning. After I've finished you can decide what you think about the so called laws of the heavens yourself” The old man had a smile plastered on his face, as if he was anticipating Hishimas reactions to his following words. It was also quite clear that he had been in this exact same position with other individuals before.
“Hmm, lets see. As you know cultivation is the process of absorbing the world's energy that surrounds us and refining it to a form where we cultivators can use it as we please. The energy takes the form of levels of a tower in our dantian. The dantain is the space within our bodies that stores this energy and it is located around our abdomens.
This energy has many names, qi, aura, mana, whatever… but the point is they are all the same thing, energy belonging to the world around us.”
“Junior obviously knows this sir” Hishima said, still maintaining his respectful tone to the old man, but wondering why he was mentioning the basics.
“Good good. Now then, in terms of cultivation we are supposedly limited by two things: bloodline and talent. The maximum a person can progress in their lifetime is three levels of cultivation. However that doesn't mean everyone is a mere generation three cultivator. Instead, we can learn and acquire the maximum cultivation level the previous generation of our family has gotten to, and we then build as many layers limited to three on top of that. Let’s take the Blackweight Family as an example. Their founder was able to progress two layers of cultivation in his lifetime. His sons and daughters were able to reach the second layer of cultivation via their fathers teachings, and they then built a further three layers on top of that to reach the fifth layer of cultivation. At that point the Blackweight family would have been known as a fifth generation family”
Hishima interrupted and said: “Senior, this young one already knows all of these things. The only things you have left out are that it is extremely rare for an individual to even be able to build two layers of cultivation beyond what the previous generation reaches.”
A cold glint emerged in the old man's eyes: “Kid, you want me to throw you off this platform and be done with you”
“No, no, no just pretend this little one said nothing great sir,” Hishima screeched in a nervous voice. A fawning smile emerged on his face “please continue your preaching wise sir.”
The elders eyes returned to being warm and a friendly wide smile once again emerged on his face. It was as though his cold persona from moments ago had been a facade. “Ha, ha seeing as you value these old man’s words so highly I’ll continue. Now then kid, I have a simple question for you… why is it only possible to progress three levels of cultivation? Why can’t we build higher???”
“Isn’t it simply that cultivators do not have the capability to understand beyond three levels of cultivation” asked Hishima confusedly. This was common sense, general knowledge something anyone who knew anything about cultivation would know.
“Think about it kid, if a cultivators father was a founder and developed the families first three layers of cultivation, then the cultivator them self built a further two layers for a total of five, then said cultivator has knowledge of five cultivation levels. He’s already broken your theory”
“But said cultivator had help from his father to comprehend the first three layers. That's why He was able to progress further” replied Hishima.
“That’s still wrong, no matter what the cultivator has knowledge in his mind of more than three layers. Therefore your argument has fallen through” The elder looked looked at Hishima with a smirk “the real reason is all to do with a families founder”
“Their founder?” Hishima looked at the elder questioningly.
“Heh, heh, heh indeed. If one is born with no family background in magic one is known as a 0th generation. The only way to get rid of this status is for you yourself to become a cultivator. These first generation cultivators are known as founders. But there’s only one way to become a founder.”
“Travelling to the creation formation at the centre of the continent” Hishima chirped in.
“Correct. This is what you, boy, have been aiming for these past few months. You came here to start cultivation in order to take back your little Maaya or whatever.”
Hishima blushed but decided not to interrupt or deny the elders words.
“Question number two kiddo, who set up the creation formations???”
A look of befuddlement filled Hishima’s face. “What do you mean who senior. It’s not possible that any being set up the creation formation. The creation formation is the size of an entire territory, and supposedly contains such boundless spiritual energy that even the younger generation of the Goldhorn family, the rulers of the continent, legendary hundredth generation family members come here to train and absorb energy. The creation formations on every continent were naturally formed by the universe itself, no???”
“WRONG! You’re right that the creation formation contains monstrous levels of power, which just goes to show how monstrous the ones who set it up are”
Hishima’s eyes shone as he said: “Could it be, the legendary thousandth generation families only spoken of in legend set it up?!!”
At this statement the elder paused and looked at Hishima with an incredulous look on his face. “Your joking right, those children couldn’t even set up a subsection of a subsection of a subsection of the creation formation. No. The ones who set it up where the millionth generation families”
The elder paused as if to relish at the sight of Hishima’s befuddled face “Heh, heh, heh. No matter how many times I do this, looking at kids shocked faces when they hear that millionth gen families exist is the best.” He gave an evil grin, “anyway yes, millionth generation families exist. And if puny thousandth gen families are able to impress you than you can imagine the power millionth generation families hold. Moooore than enough to setup the formation beneath us”
Hishima’s mind was starting to blank out. He himself was merely a 0th generation. To him even tenth generations families were leviathans “So… so how do the millionth generation families link to us only being able to build three layers of cultivation???”
“The millionth generation founders were some of the first cultivators ever. When their families were powerful enough, they set up the creation formations to help more people cultivate. But at the same time they wished to keep their positions of being the most supreme powers. They wanted to help individuals cultivate in order to have more sources of income, from all the offerings these new cultivators would have to give them, but didn’t want them progressing to a stage where they might be a threat.. To balance out increasing their sources of income and not angering these new cultivators into uprising, a solution needed to be found. The solution was what you saw today kid, the chains of the creation formation”
Hishima suddenly shook, remembering the massive thirty metre thick, hundred kilometer long chains which had tried to squash him like an insect mere minutes ago. If this senior hadn’t saved him, those chains would have succeeded in taking his poor little life.“Those chains were trying to kill me. Are you telling me most new cultivators are killed or something?”
“No, no, no. That wouldn’t make any sense. Those chain’s purpose is to instil their power into the blood of any founder cultivators. This power ensures that a cultivator can never build higher than three levels. As all cultivators obviously share the blood of their founding ancestor, they too are unable to progress past this three layer limit. This method ensured that it would be impossible for any others to surpass the millionth generation families, but progression in cultivation was still possible so no-one could complain. Furthermore ordinarily those chains are invisible and people dont even know they are being limited or that the creation formations are man-made, so no-one bothers the millionth gen families. Not that they could anyway”
“Then why were they trying to kill me??” Wailed Hishima “I was just trying to establish a couple layers.”
“Well the thing is boy, you have quite good talent. I reckon without the chain suppression you alone could build twenty to thirty layers of cultivation by yourself.”
Hishima froze. Then gave off a slightly mischievous and arrogant grin, “well, well. I always knew I was something special. I can't help it that the heavens love me. I’m just too amazing.” With that Hishima put one hand to his head which he began to shake left and right slightly. He still had a massive grin on his face and seemed to be pitying all the individuals of the world who, in his eyes, clearly paled in comparison to his awesomeness.
“Don't get cocky you little brat. Kids belonging to thousandth generation families have to comprehend ten plus layers of cultivation a day or they’d never make progress. As for you, in your entire lifetime you’ll be able to develop a maximum of thirty layers. You’re actually quite pitiable”
Hishima looked like he’d had a bucket of ice thrown over him. His grin was gone in seconds. “It doesn’t matter anyway” he sighed and looked down through the platform at the clouds. “With those chains in the creation formation in place, it looks like I won't even be able to create a first layer, let alone thirty.” He again sighed, this time even deeper.
“Oh don't worry about that kid. I can help you get around the chains.”
Hishima looked up excitedly. “Really senior.” Hishima had long since stood back up from his kneeling position, but as soon as he heard these words of hope from the old man he rushed to get into his respectful oath taking position once more. “Senior, as long as you help this lowly one reach even the third layer of cultivation, this lowly one will proceed to save his loved one and then rush to your side and serve you till the end of my days.” An almost worshipful gaze was being given off by Hishima.
“Hmm, your loved one Maaya huh. I actually have bad news about that.”
Hishima became frantic when he heard something might have happened to Maaya “What, what is it great sir, is she hurt? Did the Cyanbright family do something to her? Did she get lost somewhere? Did she run away and they tracked her down? Are they starving her into obedience?????”
“Calm down, calm down kid” the old man said. “Your little wife is perfectly fine at the moment. It’s a future problem she’s gonna face”
“What is it? Please speak.” Hishima exclaimed, still very frantic.
“Well, from looking at your memories it seems that your little friend is a super genius. At the mere age of twelve she’d already developed two further layers of cultivation. Now at the age of eighteen she’s halfway through developing her third layer. Without the suppression she might have been able to develop a full hundred layers just by herself. Heh, heh… she’s much more talented than you.”
Hishima calmed down slightly and said: “That doesn’t mean she’s in any danger right. It’s just a shame she’s being suppressed.”
“Normally no, she wouldn’t be in any danger. However unfortunately the reaper period is about to begin.”
A chill felt like it was jolting down Hishima’s back “Reaper period??”
“It’s another technique used by the millionth families in order to ensure stability in their rule. Every couple of thousands of years, they use the creation formations to release a massive spell which covers the entire continent. Every outstanding individual will either fall sick and die, have an accident in cultivation and die, or somehow encounter extremely misfortunate circumstances and die. Did you notice what those three situations had in common?”
Hishima’s eyes darkened as he understood what this meant for the fate of his precious one. He slowly lowered his head as if trying to look through the clouds at the creation formation. His voice became a mere whisper as he said: “Senior, that means that… Maaya, she’ll die soon. Actually no… the millionth generation families will try to kill her??”
“Correct” affirmed the elder “however I’m willing to offer you a route out. The whole reason I saved you is because I want you to join me in resisting the millionth generation families. Me and many others who have found out about the millionth gen families ways are moving to stop and fight back against them. I’ll help you cultivate kid, then you grab your little wife and meet up with me. You’ll make a fine soldier against the millionth gens and you get to be together with your loved one. It’s a win-win situation right.”
“I REFUSE!” shouted Hishima suddenly as his head snapped back up from looking at the clouds. It was possible to see that his eyes were bloodshot and that he was emitting a dense killing intent.
“Oh” the elder muttered. His amiable aura receded as his cold persona returned “are you not satisfied in some way punk. I saved your ass and offered you your ideal life and that's still not good enough.”
“That’s not it senior” whispered Hishima again in a voice that could sever nails and chop iron. “It’s just that I refuse to become a mere soldier. That wouldn’t be enough for me. After all, these millionth gen bastards dared have intentions of harming my Maaya” With those words the killing intent that surrounded Hishima seemed to intensify “I NEED TO PAY THEIR KIND INTENTIONS BACK FULLY MYSELF!”
The elder froze in place and gave Hishima a stupefied look once more. “Ohhh, I've never seen someone react like this before. Kid youre refusing the easy choice and aiming for a colossal, almost impossible task.” The elder gave Hishima a sharp look “I can help you…. But are you sure about this kid?”
“I made an oath promising to make Maaya my reason to live. Anyone who therefore even thinks badly of her…. MUST DIE” With those words rain started to pour down from the heavens and lightning seemed to be beginning to form. It was as if Hishima’s emotions were affecting the weather itself.
“Heh , heh, HEH, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA, kid, you’ve caught this old mans attention, it is my good fortune to have encountered you. I can feel your resolve and I’m willing to help. Originally I planned to make you a soldier and make that Maaya girl a general when you brought her to me, but what the hell, your determination has interested me. GUESS I’LL JUST MAKE YOU A GENERAL THEN” By this point the elder was shouting in order to get his voice to be heard over the rumbling thunder and crashing rain.
“LISTEN KID, IN ORDER TO MAKE YOUR FOUNDATION I’M GONNA NEED TO BREAK THE CHAINS OF THE CREATION FORMATION BELOW US AND USE THE CREATION FORMATIONS ENERGY TO FORM YOUR FIRST LAYER. THAT’S GOING AGAINST THE SO CALLED LAWS THAT GOVERN THE HEAVENS YOU WERE RAVING ON ABOUT EARLIER. WHAT’S YOUR RESPONSE KID?”
Hishima paused and thought of all the things he had learnt about the greater world. “THE LAWS OF THE HEAVENS ARE THE LAWS OF THE MILLIONTH GENERATION FAMILIES. BUT THOSE LAWS ARE UNJUSTLY TRYING TO TAKE WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME. THEY ARE TRYING TO BIND MY FATE. THE ANSWER I GIVE IS THIS. FATE CANNOT BIND ME. I REFUSE TO LET IT BIND ME. SENIOR, DESTROY THOSE GOD DAMNED CHAINS!”
“PUAHAHAHAHA. GET READY THEN KID.” And with that the surrounding lightning converged upon the white platform, which brightened and brightened and brightened as it accumulated power until, “ping”. It broke apart…….