Qiang took a deep breath to calm himself. At this point in his second life, he had been cultivating for seventy years, a speck of sand in the lives of the most powerful cultivators of this universe, and hell, even in his past life. But seventy years was still enough time to have gained many insights into the Great Dao, what cultivators saw as the origin of all things. Those who spend their lives studying the Great Dao literally cultivated the very meaning of life and every one of it’s aspects. This included life, death, spirit, energy, all of the elements, and even emotions. There was an aspect of the Great Dao in almost all things. Most warriors cultivated in the lesser war-like Daos, such as the Dao of the Sword, and weapons of conflict. Some cultivated in the Daos of nature, or even in emotional Daos, such as the Dao of Love, or the Dao of Hate. There were Daos dedicated to the arts such as dance and music, even calligraphy. There were Dao’s of formations, spells, even blood.
Above these lesser Daos there were also Greater Daos such as the Dao of Constellations, or the Dao of The Sun and Moon, as well as the Dao of Fortune and Fate. Even higher were World Daos that included the Dao of Creation, the Dao of Samsara representing death and rebirth, the Dao of the Soul, The Dao of Destruction, and the Dao of Force. The highest Daos known were called the Universal Daos. These Daos included the Dao of Primordial Might, The Dao of Universal Karma, The Dao of Chaos, The Dao of the Abyss, The Dao of the Great Firmament, and the Dao of Great Divinity. Most mortal cultivators only ever reached enlightenment in the lesser Daos and those with great talent cultivated the greater Daos. Those who reached the realm of immortality could master the greater Daos, and touch upon the world Daos. Those who had the potential to reach past immortality and into godhood would master the world Daos, and seek understanding in the Universal Daos. But only the truly powerful cultivators, those who could create worlds and rule over the universe itself could master the Universal Daos.
Many would only focus on one or two Daos of any given level, because it was difficult to split one’s time and understanding among many different Daos. Focusing on too many Daos would make it near impossible to master a single one. Qiang was one of those who thought that was total bullshit, though Qiang was also special. Being the son of the Hindu God Brahma, known to be a three faced, three souled, three lived deity, Qiang inherited much of his father’s essence. This allowed him to not only cultivate the path of three lives, which consisted of Man, Buddha, and Demon, but meant that he had a supremely strong soul. For cultivators, having strong souls was even more important than having strong physical strength. A strong soul meant that you could cultivate in much more potent techniques, and comprehend them far faster than those with weaker ones. Qiang’s powerful soul allowed him to cultivate and master a technique called Myriad Divine Thoughts.
The Myriad Divine Thoughts technique allowed a cultivator to split their souls, as well as their minds. Those who cultivated this technique at it’s lower levels would be able to split their minds and souls a few times, giving them an advantage over others, but it’s power would be limited, and each split would only be a fraction of the whole. However, those with supremely strong souls and true talent could cultivate the Myriad Divine Thoughts technique to it’s master levels, and even master it to the universal levels. This would allow them to split their minds and souls into countless splits, and each split would be just as powerful as the original. This supreme technique would allow a cultivator to master multiple techniques, and walk multiple paths of cultivation at once. Whatever one split knew, all splits knew. If someone cultivating the Myriad Divine Thoughts technique knew the proper skill, they could even create Karma twins, a second or even third body for themselves, and insert a split into it, allowing that split to fully walk it’s own path of cultivation with each step shared by the original, as well as any other karma twins. It was a truly divine technique.
Thanks to this, Qiang was able to grow by leaps and bounds during his seventy years of cultivation. He currently had two karma twins. He remained as a man, while one karma twin lived as a Buddha, and the other as a Demon. Qiang continued living his life of cultivation, growing stronger and enjoying his path. His Buddha twin secluded himself and cultivated the path of total enlightenment alone. Qiang’s Demon twin lived an uninhibited life of destruction, growing stronger by walking the hellish path of a devil. Currently Qiang the man was enjoying life as a guest elder of the Sky Dao Qin Clan. When he had first come to the Skylark continent, known as the third strongest of the nine dark continents, he had stopped at a great auction held by the Azure Dragon Sect, known for their stranglehold over the trade and auction house businesses. Because Qiang himself came from a trading family, he had been able to spot many of the Azure Dragon Sect’s unsavory practices, and had not only ruined a slew of their plans, but had gained a tremendous profit while causing them a massive loss.
The Azure Dragon Sect could not stand for this and sought to kill Qiang for insulting them in such a manner. To them Qiang was nothing but a weak piece of trash. In this world, cultivation was broken down into realms, and each realm was broken further into nine levels. The first three realms of cultivation were known as the Body Refinement realms, the Warrior realm, the Berserker realm, and the True Warlord realm. Each of these realms had nine levels for a cultivator to traverse, strengthening their physical bodies with each level surpassed. Most cultivators started out as normal humans who used simple techniques to absorb and cultivate the Qi of the heavens and the earth. The body refinement realms are what got a cultivators body ready to actually manipulate and use those energies. These early realms were what a cultivator used to build up their physical prowess, and their inner meridians, a kind of circulation system in the body a cultivator used to circulate the Qi of the heavens and the earth through their body in order to grow more powerful.
After the three body refinement realms where the three Qi consolidation realms which included the Ethereal Martial Realm, the Ethereal Master Realm, and the Ethereal Sky realm. These were the realms where a cultivator became intimate with the laws of heaven and earth Qi. As they rose through the levels of these three realms, they would continue to refine Qi with their bodies and their souls, gaining profound insights and full control over the Qi refinement processes of their choice. By the time the Qi consolidation realms were truly mastered, a cultivator was ready to begin transcending their mortality, and thus came the three Transcendent realms. These realms included the Sky Lord realm, the Sky King realm, and the Sky Emperor realms. These three realms were where a cultivator became not only with the Qi of the heavens and the earth, but the very laws of heaven and earth. Mortals were bound by the laws of nature, but those who mastered the Transcendent realms of cultivation could merge their beings with these laws, and in doing so surpass them. Those who surpassed the laws of nature and defied the heavens truly transcended mortality and became immortals. In order to become an immortal, Transcendent cultivators not only had to surpass the laws of nature, but endure the anger of the heavens in the form of a great tribulation. These great tribulations usually came in the form of whatever element or natural force that the cultivator was weakest against. For this reason, many cultivators spent many years at the Sky Emperor realm in order to make sure their foundations were as solid as possible in order to successfully surpass the great tribulation.
Once the great tribulation was surpassed, a cultivator truly entered the Immortal Foundation Realm. These realms included the Threshold Immortal Realm, the True Immortal Realm, and the Demigod Realm. While in these realms, a cultivator didn’t just surpass the laws of nature, but start to define and create their own laws. Using the laws of nature, the heavens, and the earth as a basis, immortals could start to build their own personal laws, binding them to their essence and truly begin to cultivate the greater Daos. One wasn’t truly considered a powerful cultivator until they reached the Immortal Foundation Realm.
After the Immortal Foundation realm was the World Realm. The World Realms included the Earth Saint Realm, The Earth King Realm, and The Earth Emperor realm. At these realms a cultivator has mastered their personal laws and developed a god core. A god core was where a cultivator could begin to use their personal laws to create a world of their own within themselves. When a cultivator used their god cores to create their own small worlds, they could begin to merge these worlds with the power of the great Daos and use that power in battle, as well as create more profound laws that ruled the small world they created. Earth Saints could create small worlds, Earth King’s could create minor worlds, and Earth Emperor’s could create major worlds. The more profound one’s understanding, the more stable their world. Truly talented world level cultivators created worlds that were even inhabited by humans, other cultivators, as well as animals and magical creatures. There were realms above the World Realm, such as the Manifestation realm, the Firmament realm, and even the Universal realm, but the Skylark continent’s peak was the World realm, and the most powerful lords were peak level Earth Emperor’s. Some were on the cusp of becoming Manifestation realm cultivators, but none of them had been able to step over that threshold.
The Azure Dragon Sect had always been trouble, but as one of the peak powers of the Skylark continent, not many would every cross them. They had three Earth Emperor elders among their ranks, the most of any other power except the Golden Fae Clan who were a neutral force that did not interfere in anything outside of their lands, and the Crimson Sky institute who were a school and not a true force, but also had three Earth Emperors and many Earth Kings as well. Qiang had been minding his own business when he had come to an auction that had listed a Golden Bell artifact he was interested in. This artifact held a profound Buddhist power that seemed to call out to him. He had won the bell using many rare resources he had come across in an ancient temple world he had traveled through on his way to the Skylark continent. He had become quite rich after leaving that ancient area. Much of what he had gained he didn’t truly need, so he had chosen to auction most of these things off in order to get things he truly needed. Thanks to the riches he had put up for auction, Qiang had been treated as a V.I.P, and his identity had been anonymous. The high bids he put up for items he wanted, however, drew the attention of many major powers who had come to the auction. Many wanted to meet him, thinking he was either some powerful Earth Emperor level cultivator, or at the very least someone with the backing of a major power.
Though he ignored most of the people who wanted to meet him, there was one young woman who pleaded with him to trade one of the items he had gained. It seemed that it was something she needed to save the life of a loved one. Though Qiang had uses for the item in question, a crystalized flower with rare soul strengthening properties, he was surprised by how sincere the woman was and how far she would go in order to gain the flower, even offer herself to Qiang as his wife. Her desperate pleas brought ridicule from the other powers gathered, but Qiang ignored them all and agreed to meet with her after the auction. Many of the powers were angry that he had ignored their requests to meet, but would meet with the woman instead and immediately began to plot. After the auction, Qiang honored his words and met with the woman, finding out that she was the young princess Qin Meng of the Sky Dao Qin Clan. Her clan was a rival of the Azure Dragon Sect, who sought to humiliate her at every turn. Qiang always hated people like them, and decided to teach them a lesson. He had noted many underhanded practices during the auctions held by the Azure Dragon Sect, and brought them to light. This was a massive slap to the face of their sect not something they could let stand. When Qiang made a deal with Qin Meng and left to become a guest of the Sky Dao Qin Clan, the Azure Dragon Sect began to gather support from some of their allies, planning to not only get their revenge on Qiang, but also use this chance to destroy the Sky Dao Qin Clan as well!
– End Part One –