A handsome young man sighed as he chewed on a stalk of grass and looked toward the horizon.
"Wu Long, ah Wu Long. And you are called 'God' by so many people? How laughable..." he said out loud with a self-deprecating smile.
He sat on a cliff near a mountain peak and watched as the beautiful scenery around him was consumed by darkness as the space itself cracked and broke into pieces.
What he was witnessing was a once-in-a-billion-lifetimes event, so rare that it could be counted on one hand throughout all of cultivation world history: the destruction of a minor world. It was also the first of its kind that did not happen naturally and was instead induced artificially, as normally even the most powerful people in all of Seven Boundless Worlds combined did not have the ability to completely destroy an entire minor world.
Unfortunately for him, the fee for viewing such a rare show was his life, as one had to be inside the said world to witness its collapse, and even as powerful as he was, he could not survive the collapse of the world he was in.
The reason he was in this situation was because he was betrayed. His own disciple disclosed the location where he was going to attempt a breakthrough, and his most powerful enemies conspired to use a unique and priceless treasure to destroy the minor world to bring him down.
In fact, the treasure in question was suspended above him, releasing a massive amount of energy in formless ripples, destroying this world. It was one of the Four Primordial Artifacts, the most powerful artifacts in the known universe, an ancient and exquisite jade pagoda, that was currently covered in cracks. Only the self-destruction of such a powerful treasure was able to cause the demise of this minor world.
To kill one person, a treasure of this caliber was sacrificed and an entire minor world was brought down along. This showed how wary of him were his enemies.
Suddenly, a voice entered his ears. He looked behind him to find a plain-looking woman in her thirties standing not far from him.
Wu Long was not surprised to see her as he knew that she lived in a bamboo hut near the peak of the mountain he was sitting on. And he could sense her approaching the moment she stepped out of her dwelling.
"My apologies, my lady. When I asked if I could use your mountain to cross my tribulation, I did not expect to bring a calamity to your peaceful life here." Wu Long said with an apologetic look.
"Don't worry about that, I guess you could say that you brought some excitement along." The woman replied seemingly unconcerned about the destruction of the world around them. There was an apathetic look in her eyes that seemed to be filled with inexhaustible boredom.
Wu Long pondered about the mysterious woman as he could not figure out her identity. When he first met her while looking for an ideal spot to cross his tribulation, as feng shui and abundance of Spiritual Qi were very important for such occasions, he thought of her as a mortal woman. He could not sense any Spiritual Qi or aura of a cultivation technique, not even a hint of any power. Even the most powerful people in the Three Divine Realms, the last great realm of cultivation could not hide their cultivation in front of him so he did not doubt this judgment.
He of course thought of how odd it was for a mortal to be able to live out here in this secluded minor world with no other people living in it, but she could very well have accidentally fallen into a wormhole and be stranded here, so he decided not to bother with it as he was not very interested in the affairs of mortals, especially since she declined when he asked her if she needed any help.
But seeing her so casually brushing off the situation somehow got him to think that this woman was not so simple.
"Excitement? Haha, well, I guess dying along with one of the Four Primordial Artifacts could be called exciting. At least I can brag about that." Wu Long said with a wry smile.
"Four Primordial Artifacts? Hahahaha, young man, there are only Three Primordial Artifacts, and their power is far beyond this toy here." the woman laughed softly, seemingly hearing a good joke after years of boredom.
Wu Long widened his eyes in surprise when he heard her reply. He stood up, throwing the stalk of grass he was chewing on away, and faced her.
"You mean to say that this pagoda is not a Primordial Artifact?" he asked in bewilderment.
"Of course, did you think that youngster could detonate one of the Three Primordial Artifacts? Not even what you call a True God can do such a feat. This here is something created by the hands of men, while the Primordial Artifacts existed long before stars were formed in this universe, let alone humans." the woman casually said as if talking about the weather.
Wu Long could feel his heart trembling, who is this woman that seemed to know information that exceeded the common knowledge of the cultivation world? She also called the Emperor of the Heavenly Phoenix Empire, one of the most powerful and influential people in all of the Seven Boundless Worlds, as well as one of the oldest human Gods in the known universe a 'youngster'.
The woman looked at Wu Long, and despite the latter's ability to look composed regardless of his true thoughts she seemed to notice the bewilderment in him and smiled. She then looked at him a bit more deeply, and he immediately felt as if she could see through him completely, all his secrets and thoughts, his entire existence laid bare before her. This feeling greatly shocked him as he had not felt like this for so long that he forgot how it felt.
"Young man, you have inspired curiosity in me for the first time in a long... long time. I can see that despite desperately trying to accept your fate there is a desire to fight against it and yearning for life. I am curious how someone like you who seems to have lived a long and fulfilled life still keeps the heart of a young man." she said with a smile on her face.
While she looked plain, there suddenly appeared an indescribable charm to her when she expressed a bit of emotion.
Wu Long felt mesmerized by that smile, something that does not often happen to him, who have tasted countless beautiful women in the Seven Boundless Worlds.
For a moment, he even forgot the bewilderment he felt from her words.
Seeing that dazed look in his eyes, the smile on the woman's face deepened as she felt amused for some reason. She then proceeded to walk up to him.
"Haha, young man, as a reward for making me interested, something that I did not consider possible anymore, I will give you a precious gift. But it is entirely up to you if you can seize the opportunity that it entails", she said in a soft voice as she stood right in front of him.
" Wha-" Wu Long quickly snapped out of it, but it was too late, the woman suddenly moved forward, and her soft lips touched his, and his vision rapidly blurred.
"I hope you will be able to entertain me a bit more, young man." he heard as his consciousness slipped into oblivion.
On a cliff observing the destruction of the beautiful scenery around the mountain, stood a plain-looking woman in her thirties, as white particles scattered before her fading into nothingness.
The woman touched her lips and smiled, her appearance suddenly beginning to change. Her features slowly filled with unworldly beauty, and her figure became the masterpiece of the heavens. Her plain white clothes did not take away from her appearance, instead, the simplicity of the clothing accentuated her beauty. The white color seemed to be purified even further under her aura, and it gave her the feeling of a goddess, untainted by the world.
"Ahh, it feels so wonderful to not be bored, I have longed for this feeling for so long that I forgot how great it is..." she said with a nostalgic look at the horizon wrecked by the chaotic destruction, and then smiled mischievously "maybe if he can entertain me enough, I can give him even a more special reward, hahahaha..."
By the time the wave of destruction reached the foot of the mountain, she had already disappeared from the spot she was standing on, leaving only lingering laughter and a cracking exquisite jade pagoda on the verge of explosion...
Wu Long snapped his eyes open and sat up from a lying position.
For a moment a confused and disoriented feeling flashed in his eyes as he gasped for breath, his whole body soaked in cold sweat.
'Where am I?'
'What is happening?'
Countless questions and thoughts rushed through his muddled mind which seemed to be sluggish due to coming out of a deep slumber in mere moments. And then, a sharp light flashed through his eyes as he took a deep breath instantly calming himself down.
He ran through his memory, and to his surprise, learned that he was currently a sixteen-year-old Outer Court disciple of a dual-cultivation sect named 'Yin Yang Unity Palace'. He was brought into the sect by an Outer Court elder about 5 months ago, with no recollection of what happened before that. His name was still Wu Long, and he even looked exactly like himself when he was 16.
His cultivation base was at the second step of Body Transformation Realm, a little worse than most kids at the age of 10, and as good as someone who was just taking his first step on the road of cultivation.
The last foreign memory he recalled was being bitten by a highly venomous snake while on a group mission to look for medicinal ingredients on a mountain relatively not far from the sect.
After recalling all of this, he was dumbfounded, as he could not comprehend how he ended up in this situation.
'What did that woman do to me? Who is she?'
Just as he was about to organize his thoughts, the door to the room opened and a middle-aged man walked in. He then noticed Wu Long sitting on the bed, and he looked at him with a relieved expression.
"Disciple Wu, thank heavens the medicine worked, how are you feeling?"
Wu Long quickly recognized the man as an Outer Court elder working in the Medicine Hall from his new memories. He then decided not to linger here and find a quiet place to organize his thoughts.
"Elder Zhi, I am okay, thank you. I still feel a little weak, but that should be normal after such deadly venom so I would like to return to my living quarters to recuperate."
Elder Zhi looked at him somewhat surprised and nodded his head.
"Yes, in fact you are quite lucky as the antidote for this venom works only on four out of ten victims, but as long as you managed to wake up, you are completely out of danger, you may go."
Wu Long nodded and went to his house that he recalled from the new memories, while Elder Zhi went to the center of the sect looking genuinely relieved.