Long Ai didn't possess the Endless Slumber Scripture by chance. She had prepared it a long time ago, in anticipation of this day.
Han De felt that suffocating pressure once again. He just gained 13000 Profound Points, his biggest harvest by far. Then, not even an hour later, he was looking at a 5000 Profound Point scripture. How could he stay indifferent after getting slapped in the face with coincidence after coincidence?
'Keep safe. Observe. And go with the flow. Keep safe. Observe. And go with the flow...'
Han De glanced at his great-great-grandmother before taking the tattered golden page into his hands. He could not read the strange symbols at all. While that didn't stop him from using the System, he knew that this was a test from Long Ai.
However, Han De was not in the mood to pretend to ask for help. Long Ai's words reverberated in his head. Could he afford to let his soul collapse just to hide the System's abilities? He had already screwed up by displaying his divination scripture before, so what if he comprehended a soul cultivation method?
[Endless Slumber Scripture (Mortal I)]
[Comprehension: Beginner (0/1)]
[Stage: 1st Stage of the Qi Condensation]
[Profound Points: (-5382) 13850 -> 8468]
The first mythical [Weak] scripture he had learned, was practically useless at the beginner comprehension level. None of it made any sense. Granted, it was the first soul cultivation method, and the first [Weak] power level scripture that Han De had comprehended, but the fact that it was so useless was simply remarkable.
He needed to breathe with his soul? How the hell was he supposed to do that?!
Han De acted decisively.
[Endless Slumber Scripture requires 348 Profound Points to reach the Intermediate level]
'348… Not bad, I still have 8468, what are mere 348 points? Nothing.'
[Comprehension: Intermediate (0/16)]
[Profound Points: (-348) 8468 -> 8120]
Han De had a premonition, and he didn't like it.
[Endless Slumber Scripture requires 674 Profound Points to reach the Advanced level]
[Comprehension: Advanced (0/667)]
[Profound Points: (-674) 8120 -> 7446]
Now, he was getting somewhere. The connection with his soul was just starting. The Nascent Soul realm was the beginning; the Spirit Origin realm was the crescendo. No wonder he didn't have a clue about the state of his soul.
'This should be good enough for cultivation, I can start right now…'
Han De was a natural hoarder in RPG games. The type that would kill the final boss without using a single potion, even though he had tens of thousands of them in his inventory. The urge to stockpile was just too strong. What if he needed all those potions, magic scrolls, weapons, and even gold at a later stage? What if there was a hidden boss?
Therefore, Han De the Gamer, had an overwhelming urge to stop the Profound Points expenditure here and now. Unfortunately, the glare from Han De the Survivor was too intense for any of the Han De variants to handle. His inner battle was brief, but it had far-reaching consequences.
[Endless Slumber Scripture requires 1107 Profound Points to reach the Master level]
[Endless Slumber Scripture requires 6161 Profound Points to reach the Grandmaster level]
[Endless Slumber Scripture (Mortal I)]
[Stage: 1st Stage of the Qi Condensation]
[Profound Points: 178]
Long Ai wanted to test the limits of Han De's comprehension. Since she was here, there was no need to worry about his soul collapsing, she could prevent that on her own if necessary. But just as she expected, Han De found that thought unacceptable.
According to Long Ai's understanding, Han De took pleasure in overcoming challenges. He thought the sword arts of his sect were poor, so he created his own. His family hid the divination scriptures from him, so he created his own. His family kept the higher realm cultivation methods a secret, so he created his own, then redid his cultivation from scratch. The pattern was too strong and obvious to ignore.
As expected from her great-great-grandson that achieved half-step ascension. This was the heart of a cultivator. The temperament of a true master in the making. A true Long in the making!
Naturally, Long Ai noticed Han De's inner struggle, and watched the sight with interest. It was impossible to stay unaffected when there was a catastrophic imbalance in one's soul. Something that even experts of her generation would find troublesome, yet Han De seemed to be managing just fine.
Just like how Han De didn't cower when he saw Long Ai, just like how he had a mysterious and dangerous pressure around him, the fact that he wasn't going insane right now, was yet another abnormality added to the pile. The list seemed to grow by the minute. Not even Long Xiu could read those symbols without mentally preparing herself for a year.
Han De completed his review of the Endless Slumber scripture. There was a marked difference between the Starfall Scripture [Extremely Weak] and the Blazing Sun Scripture [Very Weak], surely there should be some difference between [Very Weak] and [Weak] too. Perhaps due to not having any other soul cultivation method though, the Endless Slumber looked very normal. Suspiciously normal in fact.
'I guess Immortal Sentinel also feels normal even though it is [Very Weak]. I don't have any other divination method to compare it to.
Wait. This isn't important. How could I forget?!'
If Long Ai were here, that could only mean one thing.
Han De looked at his surroundings, yet he couldn't spot any sign of mass destruction that he was afraid of. How could that be? Wasn't the sealing formation tied into the ancient world array, and destruction of one meant the destruction of the other?
Long Ai didn't need to read Han De's mind to guess what he was thinking. If she did ask why Han De cared so much, he would use the excuse of being filial to one's home. Then he would point out the karmic debt he would incur if he didn't do anything. If she were insistent enough, he would give the real reason after muddling the waters with dozens of fake, but plausible answers.
This wasn't a bad quality and gained Long Ai's tacit approval. Keeping one's intentions secret was an often overlooked aspect of longevity, especially among the lower realms.
|Some of the remaining continents will drift away, some will collapse, and some will collide with each other.|
Long Ai collapsed the space she had created. From beginning to end, Han De didn't feel the existence of a separate space. Only after he reconnected to regular space, he noticed the very subtle feeling of falling. He couldn't explain it, if it wasn't for the Reality Sense, he would have even ignored it. The thought of feeling the 'plates' drift away was absurd, but, he knew it was real. Probably. Maybe.
Han De frowned, this was something way above his paygrade. He was only banking on disabling the seal and protecting the array long enough to evacuate some people, but now that all of that was over, he had nothing.
"Can anything be done?"
Even while asking he knew there wouldn't be an answer for that.
'F#$%... It's not like I can ask her to create a new array from scratch. This is a supermassive space structure, not a generic spiritual energy gathering array…'
Long Ai meaningfully smiled, but her meaning couldn't penetrate Han De's anxiety.
Would Han Shan, his grandfather, attempt to save people if he asked? The answer was a solid no. Han Shan was a cultivator, not a self-sacrificing monk. At least, that's what Han De thought. Neither he nor the cultivation idiot would think to ask something like that, therefore the real answer was unknown.
'She wouldn't happen to have an ancient turtle beast laying around, would she?'
While Han De's mind was struggling with processing the events, his eyes wandered. And eventually, stopped on Sebastian. The floating snake that had the texture of a stone statue. His butler, who was a higher being, and a leviathan at the same time.
<… Can you carry the remaining continents on your back?>
'No, that was a stupid thing to ask, he isn't a turtle. I should start cultivating my soul and forget all about this…'
Han De couldn't see it, but Long Ai raised an eyebrow. She was ready to transfer the inhabitants as a favor for her great-great-grandson, all he needed to do was ask. It was a trivial matter for someone of her cultivation. But this was fine too. Long Ai approved Han De's way of thinking and his way of doing things. There were benefits in using a leviathan like this.
Sebastian was glad that it didn't have sweat glands, otherwise he would've created a new sea in the last few minutes. It couldn't even blame its previous life for encountering two unfathomable monsters in a row, since it did not have a previous life to begin with.
Though Sebastian answered with a voice transmission, it knew there was no way to hide the transmission's contents from a monster like Long Ai.
<|Of course, young master. But it is not possible on this plane, where I can only exert a fraction of my power.|>
F#$%! That's actually possible?!'
Carrying was different than maintaining, a factor that Han De immediately recognized. How about air, gravity, sunlight? What about a protective atmospheric shield? Life was finicky about these details, especially mortal life.
<|If young master allows transference to the netherworld, then it would be a trivial matter.|>
Han De glanced at Long Ai, then back at Sebastian. He couldn't help but feel a bit silly and embarrassed inside.
Could a higher being handle these things that easily? He… realized he wasn't sure. The power curve that he knew spiraled out of control quickly after the Immortal Realm. Anything above the Transcendent Realm was anybody's guess. Han De didn't even have cultivation methods for those realms.
Could it be that he assumed there was a problem entirely because of his limited point of view? Was he… acting like… a frog in the well?
The fact that Han De didn't gasp right there was all thanks to his training. All those times spent in front of a mirror, imagining various situations, attempting to fully control his body language, all that effort was now coming in clutch.
Both Sebastian and Long Ai felt the fluctuations in Han De's mood. Both of them interpreted his doubt as doubts in Sebastian's ability. For the former this was par for the course, since Han De was unaccustomed to lower beings such as Sebastian. For the latter, it was also par for the course, since Han De was only a Nascent Soul cultivator, and a very new one at that, it was natural for him to not know the power of higher beings.
In reality, Sebastian couldn't simply mount the plates on its back. Because although it was a higher being, the origin core was still a vastly more powerful treasure that was directly linked into everything related to the ancient world array. But Han De couldn't know that.
It was Long Ai that did all the work, and she was the one that took the origin core for safekeeping. And she was the one that broke uncertain the silence.
|This Sebastian of yours should be able to take care of a small task like this.|
Han De nodded and made a dismissive gesture at Sebastian so the butler could start its thing at once. Han De also noticed that his great-great-grandmother called Sebastian by name, which meant that she interrogated the netherdemon butler, somehow, at some point.
Sebastian disappeared without delay, leaving Han De with mixed feelings.
'Wasn't everything got solved too quickly? All I needed was to say the word to Sebastian all along?'
Han De felt there was something seriously wrong with these developments. Everything seemed to going his way. Even the crisis of his soul was introduced and solved within a matter of minutes! There was no tension, no payoff! Which… was actually a favorable development! Really! Han De really didn't mind things working out for once!
But, he couldn't shake off that feeling of dread. Everything was too convenient. Way too convenient.
Both Long Ai and Han De suddenly stared at the same point in the distance. Someone was coming in, fast. Before Han De knew it, the spiritual energy stabilized far above. Even though it was so far away, Han De could sense that it was like a mosquito compared to Long Ai. The power of his great-great-grandmother was simply too domineering.
Long Ai's rank in Han De's 'Thighs to Hug Tightly' list increased tremendously and comfortably settled on 4th place, surpassing the vast majority of the MC variations.
A voice that was filled with anger and hatred roared throughout the skies. If it wasn't for Sebastian's intervention, the mortals that heard the voice would've perished. Thankfully, the leviathan had used its authority to prevent such an incident scenario. Even if this wasn't the netherworld, this much was possible.
Han De felt there was a pair of eyes looking at him.
This was probably the father of the cockroach. Han De almost flinched after hearing the man's next words.