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Han De very felt tired. Once the woman and the boy got closer, he was able to get a good look at the duo, and the stowaway grandpa within the boy. It was a classic setup.

Hot sugar mommy harem candidate and the MC walked into the treasure. Quite literally. Sebastian had already destroyed every single trap and formation in the sect, everything there was up for grabs.

'They're gonna die anyway, and since they aren't demonic cultivators, there's no need to find beef with them, right?'

Everyone here was going to die. Soon. If they were even real that is.

When Han De thought about it, everything seemed simple. If he were crazy, or if he were still in the heart tribulation, there wasn't anything he could do anyway. He could only go with the flow and see what happens.

If this was real, then he had very big, very immediate concerns. He needed to deal with them, and he needed to deal with them yesterday.

This was the core of his original contingency plan anyway. Keep safe. Observe. And go with the flow. Unfortunately, this was easier said than done.

'Alright, nothing matters, focus.'

Han De didn't realize he had started pacing around the sect.

'First, the System. Its agenda is unknown, and its control is pretty significant. I should keep writing the diary, and include every single change that goes on with the System.'

Han De couldn't stop using the System, it was his lifeline and the reason how he survived thus far. Naturally, a few evil System templates popped off in his mind, but he couldn't make his own System fit any of them. Was the System trying to turn Han De into a cultivation vessel? Was it preparing his body so that some super-ultra-ancient-primordial-heavenly-whatever-demon could possess him?

There was plenty of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, but there wasn't any concrete data.

<Sebastian, refresh my memory, how did the tribulation go?>

This was only a confirmation, a question so that Han De would leave no stone unturned. However, Sebastian fell silent for the second time. There was no immediate answer. Han De couldn't help but hold his breath while he waited.

<|I apologize, young master… With my current condition, I can speak 7 words about the tribulation before my soul is extinguished by the heavens.|>

Sebastian was filled with regret. It had a chance, but it couldn't serve its young master properly. Clearly, this question was a punishment. The leviathan started preparing itself. Resisting the heavenly punishment was different than going through a tribulation. The response would be fast, and ruthless. It needed to be at its best, otherwise, not even 3 words would be possible.

<The memory of this body isn't ideal. Since the tribulation was irregular, don't say anything.>

Its young master's words startled Sebastian. Was it really due to an imperfection of the new body? Sebastian could only answer that with no. While the imperfection may be real, that wasn't all. This was a warning at the same time. A being like the young master would have meaning within meaning.

'What the F#$% man, since when talking about tribulation invokes punishment?!'

Han De had tremendous respect for the heavenly tribulation. If he needed to bow, he would bow. If he needed to kneel, kowtow a thousand times, and beg for forgiveness, he would definitely do those things! Heavenly tribulation wasn't a joke!

Realizing what had happened, and what could've happened sent a chill throughout Han De's spine.

Summoning heavenly tribulations with mere words was the bane of Han De's existence. Truly. Back in the sect, he had nearly summoned one due to his middle-school grade physics knowledge. While he didn't focus on it at the time, it was actually a traumatic experience for Han De. Not dwelling on it was a conscious choice! A tactic to prevent unfortunate accidents!

What if he sleeptalked about the fundamental forces of the universe? What if he had a dream about browsing Wikipedia about black holes, and some unrelated dream cultivator was there to see it? Would the heavenly tribulation care about the technicalities of being unconscious at the time? What if he answered someone without thinking? Would there be a rule where reflexive responses wouldn't count if the word count was under a certain threshold?

Han De couldn't help but feel vexed. Just a second ago he really wanted to learn about what had happened in the tribulation, but now he never wanted to hear about it ever again. In a way, the System had done him a huge favor. Probably. Maybe.

'Ok, let's drop it. This isn't a good line of thought. Nothing good will come out of investigating this tribulation. Moving on…'

The second, and the most immediate issue, was the imminent destruction of the planet, or what remained of it.

<Sebastian, bring me to the access point of this ancient world array.>

Since he had already confirmed there was an MC with a genuine grandpa, he didn't need to stay there. Perhaps he could gain something by status-checking every inch of the access point.

Surroundings changed and Han De found himself in the same pure white room as before. Without delay, he started status-checking the floor. Then the wall. He even stepped through the air and status-checked the ceiling. And came to a sad realization that all of them showed the same thing.


[Vital Ten Thousandth Liege of the Heavens Jade Slate]
[Standard interface jade of incomplete world arrays. Made from 99.99924% pure sage jade.]
[Notes: Approximate age is 417.21548 billion years.]


"Are there other access points besides this one?"

|No. I apologize young master. This Sebastian's cultivation isn't strong enough to bring young master into the origin core.|

Han De held the urge to sigh. He wasn't fond of hearing about treasures that had nothing to do with him, but of course, he had to ask.

"Origin core?"

|It is the heart of the ancient world array, a primordial artifact. But powerful restrictions are protecting it.|

Yet another urge to sigh came to Han De, but he successfully resisted it.

'I guess today's theme is to leave no stone unturned. Fine. Maybe I can status check it or something.'

"Bring me close to it, as close as you can without harming this body."

<By your will young master.>

Everything went dark in an instant. Han De had to blink a few times for his eyes to get used to the environment. They went from a pure white room to outer space. Stars, various nebulae, distant galaxies, were present from every angle.

At first, Han De thought they were standing still. But, he could feel a slight pull from behind. When he looked towards that direction, he realized those were far away 'plates' as Sebastian called them. Their pull was getting weaker, while another, much, much stronger pull towards the center was getting stronger.

Han De looked and looked, but he couldn't spot anything.

'Uhh, wasn't this a Dyson's sphere? Where's the frickin' star at the center? Was it really just a huge array?'

That… seemed a little disappointing. His un-Xianxia-like wish of wanting to see a Dyson's sphere seemed to be just wishful thinking!

Sebastian and Han De traveled towards the center for a while. This made Han De appreciate the size of the ancient world array. It also made him think about the power of space. He felt that he could use this power to teleport, wherever he wanted, whenever he wanted. This voyage through the void filled in the gaps from getting teleported around by Sebastian. Unexpectedly, the results weren't to Han De's liking.

'Holy S#$%, isn't this way too dangerous? I'm supposed to hurl myself into some inaccurate coordinates I found through gravity? F#$% man…'

The diameter of the ancient world array was huge, but a day still lasted 24 hours. He couldn't feel it before while on the surface, but now that he was inside the array, he could feel the speed at which the plates were rotating. Han De inadvertently shuddered. How the hell everything was able to stick to the surface without getting blown away, he had no idea.

Under these circumstances, using the power of space was like attempting to pinpoint a city, on a standard-sized globe that was rotating 50000 times per second. With a needle.

Han De was convinced once more. Cultivators were deeply disturbed people.

|Young master…|

<… Hmm? What is it?>

|We… have arrived at the origin core's perimeter. The restrictions that were previously present are receding.|

'Hold up, what?'

Han De immediately resorted to his 'Strange Phenomena' flow chart, but he didn't need to go through the motions to know the result.

Get the F#$% out. No exceptions.

To say that Han De's alarm bells were ringing would be an understatement. This was the exact situation that he would go out of his way to avoid.

'S#$%, do I have enough air? Did Sebastian bring enough air?!'

And yet, even though he was panicking, he couldn't find it in himself to order the retreat. Each time he came close, infinitely close to ordering Sebastian to take him away, he would stop himself from doing it.

'I should just get the F#$% out…'

<Proceed.>

Han De immediately regretted sending that voice transmission. But what was done was done. This way he won't be able to quit and run away.

Probably.

The pull from the center was getting even stronger now. The previously unseen restrictions were also starting to become visible. Even with Han De's Nascent Soul senses, it was obvious that their speed was slower. At the same time, Han De noticed Sebastian's presence was slowly becoming weaker.

'Ah S#$%, I knew it, this was a mistake. S#$%...'

Without any warning, a giant black sphere appeared out of nowhere and completely overwhelmed Han De's senses. By the time he came to, Sebastian's presence was completely gone. Even the faraway gravitational pull from the plates had disappeared.

Did they approach too fast? Where was Sebastian? What happened?

|Young master?|

Though the voice reverberated in his head, Han De still looked around out of habit and saw Sebastian, safe and sound on his right. Maybe he was imagining it, but the leviathan seemed to look concerned.

'This black sphere seems to be interfering with the Reality Sense. Not good.'

<I'm fine, is this the origin core?>

Sebastian nodded.


[Artificial Spiritual Jade]
[Shielding of the Origin Core. Made from 99.99999% pure spiritual energy.]
[Notes: Approximate age is 0.00141 cycles.]


Naturally, Han De used his status check from a safe distance. He tried to use his spiritual sense to find an entrance, or something irregularly shaped so he could use the status check, but nothing stood out. Finally, he touched the sphere with his spiritual sense. Physical touch was out of the question, but spiritual sense was acceptable!

The space itself shook. Being a Nascent Soul cultivator, Han De could finally appreciate this phenomenon in its full glory. And started cursing inwardly nonstop.

A second later, blinding light and massive heat along with it assaulted Han De's senses. He felt Sebastian's shield all around him, but it seemed the leviathan's intervention wasn't enough. Han De forced himself to look around, to find the cause. Then he finally saw it, felt it.

'F#$% me, is that a black hole…'

A jade slate appeared out of nowhere and hovered right in front of Han De. At this point, status checking had already become a reflex.


[Vital Ten Thousandth Liege of the Heavens Jade Slate]
[Standard interface jade of incomplete world arrays. Made from 99.99924% pure sage jade.]
[Notes: Approximate age is 417.21548 billion years.]


Han De felt like his skin was getting roasted. The heat was too domineering, and the intense gravitational pull didn't help. Either he was going to get burnt to a crisp, or he was going to be pulled apart atom by atom.

How could a higher being, and a leviathan at that, not be able to block the effects of a black hole? This was preposterous! He sneaked a peek at Sebastian, but it seemed the leviathan was fine. Han De frowned, did the effect of his bloodline disappear?

Between all the panic, Han De only needed to look at his hands to understand what was going on. Even though he felt like he was being cooked, his skin still had the same milky white tone. Even though he felt like he was being disintegrated bit by bit, there was no reaction from his clothes.

The black sphere did interfere with his Reality Sense, it wasn't surprising that the black hole would affect it as well. It's just that Han De forgot about it in the heat of the moment!

Meanwhile, the jade slate lit up, and crisp-looking words appeared.

/Confirmed recognition from the Origin Core.

Activating esteemed guest mode./

The pain had already exceeded Han De's threshold. At that moment he only wanted one thing with his entire being.

'I need to get the F#$% out-'

Before he could finish his own thought, Han De and Sebastian, along with the jade slate that suspiciously looked like a Xianxia iPad were transported out of the black sphere.

'-of here!'

The intense pain had disappeared completely. Han De thought it was Sebastian that did it and gave him a mental +1. The butler's timing was truly impeccable this time!

|I apologize, young master, Origin Core has transported us several billion li away and I couldn't stop it. The restrictions have been put back in place once more. Do you wish to go back?|

'… We were… kicked out?'

Han De shook his head to convey a negative response to Sebastian. If a higher being can't stop the teleportation, that place should be a death trap. While Han De did want to undo the seal and prevent total destruction of what remained of his homeworld, he wasn't going to sacrifice himself in a vain attempt.

Once he calmed down a little bit, he retraced his steps.

'Hmm. A black hole. Right.'

Meanwhile, the screen of the jade slate went black and a faint text appeared in the middle.

/Meticulously crafted by Pan Zhi./

'Uhh… Why does this look like a Xianxia iPad?'

That one slowly faded away too, but the name Pan Zhi lingered for a few more seconds. Then a simple password prompt appeared.

After the initial surprise, Han De couldn't help but appreciate the style of this Pan Zhi. He also felt like he encountered this name somewhere before, but before he could search through his memory, the Xianxia iPad flashed, a small 'Incognito Mode' text appeared on the upper right corner, then came a giant block of text.

/Welcome to World Array #00011764483

This array program was designed and created by Pan Zhi. That's me. Yes, this is Pan Zhi speaking, or maybe writing? Either way, this message was left by THE supremely amazing master, which is me.

I designed and created these world arrays to alleviate my... loneliness... across the vast emptiness of the cosmos. Its design is so marvelous that explaining it would take a couple centuries just to introduce the basic models. And the goal of that design is to recreate the culture of my homeworld. More or less.

You, who gained the recognition of the Origin Core are my inheritor, so to speak. The Origin Core is an energy core that was widely used in the primordial era. The design of the world array cannot be complete without it. My modifications could only be considered as primitive scratches compared to the primordials themselves, but the results are adequate.

Despite all my attempts, I couldn't get a single Origin Core to recognize me as its master. Yes, the perfect me wasn't so perfect after all. In all honesty, I'm not expecting anyone to read this message. Probably only a primordial could end up reading it. In that case, F#$% YOU!!/

The following 5 paragraphs were filled with expletives. Han De just skimmed through for research purposes.

/Anyway, juuust in case you were able to achieve the impossible and gained access to the lower-level functions of the Origin Core (as a normal person with a functional brain), I'll leave some instructions, and advice.

The deepest flaw of the world array is the spike of spiritual energy that happens just after the initial start of a cycle. The root cause of this is the inadequate control over the Origin Core. In extremely simplistic terms, the core 'heats up' after working for a long time and has to eject some of that energy to maintain its stability. If you have studied the spiritual energy tides you should be able to guess what is going on.

Honestly, I don't have a solution for this crap. The only idea I can come up with is regulating the output of the Origin Core, which is impossible. I can't believe I've wasted the remainder of my lifespan to solve this. I'm a divine alchemist!! Not some boorish array master!! F#$%!!! I should've invented an aphrodisiac that can't be purged or purified and left that as my legacy instead!!

Anyway, the password is 'P4n_Zh1_is_your_d4ddy!' without the quotes. Add the first six hundred digits of the 977424th noble number, interlace that with the last thousand digits of the 39441st noble number according to the reverse lotus pattern, then evenly distribute them in between the words. You have 3 tries before you get locked out. Good luck you piece of S#$%.

Edit: I left the aphrodisiac's formula in the vault of array #0000000435./

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