Chapter 2/6 (7)

While only 6 chapters are supposed to be published this week, I promised you guys in June that I would keep the rate at 7/week minimum for the rest of 2018.

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“The real Mt. Olympus?” a cold jolt went through Yang Chen. What is this? Was there ever a fake Mt. Olympus?

But Yang Chen knew, there had to be a reason that Yan Sanniang asked, which led him to filter through his memories to find any name similar to Mt. Olympus other than the one in Greece.

The entire map of the world was imprinted in Yang Chen’s mind. He could name every peak and every trench in the world, but after several thorough searches, he came to the conclusion that there just wasn’t a different Mt. Olympus.

Questioningly, he asked, “Grandmother Yan, you wouldn’t be describing a certain molehill in the middle of nowhere right? There’s no way I’d know.”

Yan Sanniang grinned and pointed to the sky.

Yang Chen gazed up to the overcast sky, where nothing but gloomy dark clouds could be seen. Frustrated, he asked, “Sky? What about the skies?”

Right the next moment, an idea burst through his head. Yang Chen exclaimed, “Could it be that you meant… the Mt. Olympus of Mars?!”

“Exactly,” said Yan Sanniang with a smile.

Yang Chen stood there foolishly with his mouth wide open, not sure if he should laugh or cry.

Anyone who knows astronomy would not be surprised about the presence of another Mt. Olympus located in this solar system.

Mt. Olympus of Mars is widely known as the greatest volcano ever discovered in the solar system.

It is shaped like a shield, with a total land mass encompassing a surface area larger than the United Kingdom, with its height towering up to 3 times that of Mt. Everest!

“Grandma Yan, are you telling me that the gods of Olympus were all from the Mt. Olympus of Mars?” Yang Chen questioned while shaking his confused head. “So basically, aliens?”

“Aliens?” Yan Sanniang nodded, and said, “You could call them that, but for us the cultivators of China, they are better known as mutants.”

Yang Chen glared at Yan Sanniang, looking calm as ever. He was speechless. It took what felt like forever for him to finally speak up. He mumbled, “Are they really from Mars? Are they really Martians?”

Yang Chen felt like he was starring in a science fiction movie, because what else could really explain the paranormal things that happen to and around him. Well, my life is already extraordinary enough, so what’s so surprising about the gods being Martians?

Yan Sanniang saw the weird look on Yang Chen’s face this whole time. She knew it would definitely be hard for him to take it all in, she sighed while she decided on a tough decision. She slowly told the entire story from the beginning, everything she was taught by her master from generation to generation.

Tens of thousands of years ago, the earliest of men were still barely sentient. They were known as the primitives.

At the same time in the boundaries of China, however, existed a group of people, who had made groundbreaking experiences. They were enlightened with knowledge that put them ahead of the rest and were able to cruise through the odds of mother nature; they understood the natural laws and developed cultivation methods that empowered mankind to the next level.

What could be described as a verdict of fate allowed this small group near the great lands of China to create one of the earliest recorded civilizations.

In other words, these people were regarded as gods and immortals in the myths of the Chinese civilization. But as stories and myths went, there were always multiple versions of the same story. Regardless, they all referred to the same group of people.

Those were the primordial precursors of China. They abided by heaven’s will and put their minds and souls into cultivating their skills, hoping to one day uncover the roots of the Dao, and didn’t interfere with the dealings of mere mortals.

Time flew by and a millennia passed until the day everything changed for those people!

At that time, the Earth’s sky was filled by a shower of shooting stars, with most striking the Eurasian plate.

The precursors of China were unaware about the origins of those. It wasn’t until much later did they discover them when some fell within the vicinity of the China. Those beings, although in different dressings, looked no different from the people of Earth.

These people however were emboldened in their superiority and showed no respect towards the primitives on Earth.

The primitives saw these people descend from the skies and immediately regarded them as gods. The truth was that humans had always revered anything of celestial origin, so knowledge about those celestial people wouldn’t be relevant at all.

However, these outsiders from the skies despised the primitives due to their low intellect. They found no use for them, so they slaughtered and massacred the lot! They would spare animals over humans!

As animals were better at reproducing than humans, they were more valuable as livestock than filthy human beings, who were nothing but wastes of resources.

Seeing those foreign occupants land on the great lands of China and butchering their kin enraged the precursors of China!

Possessing the cultivation abilities for over a thousand years, they were now masters of the world as they would have put it, far exceeding the abilities of mere mortals. A clan of well-trained grandmasters, with a swift hand, was more than capable of decimating the tyrannical foreign occupants. They subsequently returned the favour that the invaders came with, leaving them in ruins of the dead and fear for the living, cleansing the lands of China of their influence!

The forefathers of China did not take long to notice that these foreign invaders were not without their special abilities. They could cross into parallel spaces. Upon destruction of their physical selves, they were able to shift their consciousness through a strange portal of space and time and go through a process called rebirth...

But, in the eyes of the forefathers, the abilities of the foreign race were far inferior to theirs. After all, they had uncovered the source of Dao while the foreign beings were merely adopting the modus of strength from the surrounding environment. There was no competition to begin with.

After the tyrannical actions of these extraterrestrial invaders towards the primitive humans, the forefathers believed their gifts of enlightenment bestowed upon them gave them the responsibility to defend the planet that they were born in.

As such, the cultivators banded together and traveled to every corner of the world in high spirits to take on the foreign invaders and cleave them clean.

In the end, the leaders of the extraterrestrials, pleaded for mercy in the faces of the forefathers in fear, begging for the rest of them to be spared.

According to them, they originated from the neighbouring red planet, which had recently been devastated by a cataclysmic asteroid collision, rendering it inhospitable. They had no choice but to mass migrate to the neighbouring planet of Earth.

The truth was that the ones who had made it to Earth were the best of the best from Mars, as only the cream of the crop with the best control of the laws of space could make their way to Earth. Many were caught in the sheer strength of the radiation from space and died before ever reaching.

Bestowed with the fact that these foreign invaders were pitiful people victimized by the destruction of their homeland, the precursors of China came to a consensus that a complete eradication of them would be extremely inhumane. With the bulk of the foreign invaders already wiped from the face of the earth, they agreed that the remaining few be allowed to be kept alive on several conditions.

Then and there, the precursors put up a stern warning for the alien mutants: to never take a human life, and to never step foot upon the lands of the country ever again, or face extinction.

Given their relatively high level of civilization, the mutants were allowed to stay in different regions of the world but with one condition: to assist the local primitives in a push to promote civilization.

The mutants agreed to the terms given to them under immense fear, and decided to seek a mountain peak in Europe and named it after their home, Mt. Olympus. The rest of the 12 mightiest mutants, went on to become the prominent figures in Greek mythology.

As these mutants settled down and started with the goal of supporting local humans with building civilization, human intelligence gradually improved. The humans then started to worship them, eventually conferring the term of ‘gods’ upon them. Naturally, excluding China and its territories, they became the mythical gods for various civilizations.

Originally the mutants were faithful that the current safe haven that they had adopted was a gift from the heavens. As long as they did not infiltrate the borders of China, the terrifying cultivators would leave them alone.

But as time went by, the mutants realized that their propagation on this planet was distressingly low, which they believed might be due to the different environment between Earth with their home planet.

Even though many years passed, they had only managed to reproduce in low numbers.

The mutants continued to age as they tried to find a way to boost their proliferation, but it didn’t work. In fact, most of them were unable to reproduce.

They eventually realised that their extinction was nearing sooner than all of them had hoped! Their home planet Mars was not hospitable anymore, and anything significant hope for life was light years away and out of reach.

Fortunately, they discovered that besides being able to control parallel spaces, they possessed another impressive ability: reincarnation. It could be used on humans!

The discovery left them both with joy and concern. The good news was that the strongest and most capable amongst them, particularly those referred to as gods, could limitlessly utilise their divine consciousness to reincarnate as a regular mortal!

However, the process of reincarnation was finite for those with weak mental power. After reincarnating only two to three times, they would find themselves lacking in divine consciousness, a far cry from the amount needed to reincarnate once more.

What distressed them even more was that by doing so, they were essentially killing ordinary humans and taking over their bodies.

Every time they reincarnated, the chosen human being’s consciousness would be replaced by that of the god, and the original human soul would cease to exist. Ultimately, that particular person would die from within, leaving nothing but the husk of its former self.

Eventually, the gods of Mt. Olympus decided to enter the borders of China, to earnestly plead to the cultivators to be allowed to reincarnate, promising to further human development and civilization.

The forefathers considered all the progress mankind experienced thanks to the mutants throughout the past decades and debated the topics amongst themselves. They believed that it had more pros than cons, considering the significant roles they had in the lives of many primitive humans.

Therefore the forefathers came to a conclusion to allow mutants to conduct reincarnation anywhere other than in China. However, they were to restrict their use of space laws. The forefathers beckoned them to abide by the rules of the Treaty of Gods.

After all, upon the reincarnation of these mutants, there was always a possibility that they might use the laws of space on humans to obliterate them every time they got into conflict. This would tip the balance of the world.

Henceforth, from that moment onwards, every conflict between the gods was modulated by the clause that forbade the use of spacetime alteration.

The few that disregarded the Treaty were decimated by the forefathers with zero mercy. Ever since then, nobody dared to challenge the signed Treaty.

As time passed, humankind accumulated much knowledge thanks to its wise leaders and entered the age of prosperity.

Naturally, in homage to their homeland and culture of Mars, the mutants left their mark in various points of history, with examples like the Great Pyramids that resembled their shelters on Mars, and the naming of Mt. Olympus in Greece. Feats which ancient man and their technologies would never have been able to accomplish.

As for these mutants, as generations come and go, their numbers decrease exponentially to the point that only the mightiest among them, the Twelve Olympians with unbound power, survived into the modern age.

The gods eventually faded into myth and obscurity.

As for the forefathers of China that had been repressing the mutants, they too did not withstand the test of time and had vanished together with history. However, one clan with the name Hongmeng had managed to survive through the years, and those who achieved Xiantian Full Cycle and immortality joined the clan and hid themselves from the rest of the world.

But to ensure the continuation of the forefathers’ will, every 5 years, one Hongmeng messenger would be elected to observe the world from afar. They would prevent the destruction of China, and contain the Twelve Olympians so long as they were still alive so that they wouldn’t forget the existence of the cultivators and step out of their bounds.

… …

Initially, Yang Chen was completely flabbergasted as the story was told. But he soon got the bigger picture and understood the situation.

It was no wonder the previous Pluto or any of the other gods didn’t bring it up to him. They were the mightiest few that arrived on Earth, but were also the most pathetically repressed beings on the planet for the last tens of thousands of years!

That was nothing but humiliation for the gods!

They were left watching as their own kin diminished in numbers, helpless to the situation. It didn’t help that they stood absolutely no chance against Hongmeng, with their one and only resort being to steer clear from the borders of China, avoiding them at every turn, and abiding by the Treaty at every cost.

Yang Chen more or less understood why those fellows led such frivolous lives. Christen went on to be an artist and was probably the best of the bunch. Apollo and Artemis were into incest, and Ares continued to pick fights like a madman wherever he went.

Regardless of who it was, to live without dignity for tens of thousands of years as your closest kin died off would make life seem like it wasn’t worth living.

All the enjoyment that a single soul could experience had been savoured. At that point, nothing was worth looking forward to anymore. They were no better off living than dead.

For instance, Apollo and Artemis were scumbags that never did good in the eyes of Yang Chen, but what he never took to notice was how pointless their lives were. That alone was why they stirred up trouble wherever they went. It was just for the heck of it!

The previous Pluto built Zero and slaughtered countless, but I guess that wasn’t his key motive. He was just hoping to find a successor in the masses, so that he could relinquish himself from this misery, thought Yang Chen.

The successor—Yang Chen—might not be a full-fledged Martian, but at the very least kept all twelve Olympian seats occupied in some way or another. He would have contributed to that, however slight.

However, it was all thanks to the God’s Stone that Yang Chen got the chance to experience space manipulation and reincarnation, but why hadn’t Yan Sanniang mentioned anything about it at all?

Yang Chen paused for a bit while staring at Yan Sanniang.“Grandma Yan, I understand your story about our history, but I do have a question. As you mentioned, the remainder of the foreign mutants, the 12 main gods, are stuck in a loop of reincarnation. Why, then, would they still be interested in fighting for the God’s Stone? I know some of the basic abilities of God’s Stone. According to what Aphrodite said to Apollo and the rest, Athena, Ares and many others have all fought for the stone before; could it be that the stone was the key to resurrecting their clansmen?”

Yan Sanniang saw Yang Chen’s query from a mile away and replied, “The answer to that question, I’m afraid, is not mine to give. After all, I’m not a member of the Hongmeng clan. The God’s Stone is a one of a kind item, and the ones who knew the true functions and meaning were long gone. If it really does possess such importance, Hongmeng would never let it fall into the hands of mutants, unless Hongmeng too has no understanding of its abilities. Or, they believe that it wouldn’t pose much of a threat to warrant any action in the first place.”

“You aren’t someone from Hongmeng?” Yang Chen said with suspicion written all over his face. “Grandma Yan, I remember that you said those who have achieved the Xiantian Full Cycle would have to join Hongmeng. With your cultivation, you would have made it past that level by now right?”

Yan Sanniang gave a bitter smile and said, “Young Master Chen, things happen for a reason, and I’m afraid that the explanation for that will have to come another time. What needs to be said has been said, and my intention was to enlighten you with the knowledge of the gods—that their abilities are unrivaled across all parts of the world, but in the boundaries of China, it cannot be used. If the Hongmeng messenger took note of it, it would be catastrophe for them.”

Yang Chen naturally understood the severity of this. He knew for a fact that Yan Sanniang was not lying at all. With his current ability he had no chance against her, so he might as well go along with her plans and reach the Xiantian Full Cycle; even if the main gods decided to use reincarnation, they would still be obliterated by Hongmeng. If he caused trouble in China, that was it for him.

I don’t fear death, but I’m still young and have countless women by my side! There’s no way I would allow myself to die just like that!

In the 20 years I’ve lived, when have I ever been backed so far into a corner? Even though I want to kill them, I can’t afford to piss them off now! This is just so suffocating! Yang Chen, grumpy and annoyed, wanted to ask for the boundaries of which he could flex his muscles, to act out his temper without offending the lot, but words just kept getting stuck by his throat!

Why should I avoid them at all cost? What makes them so much more special than I am? All they did was overcome the Xiantian Full Cycle. I can do it too!

Screw that thought, I would be stronger than them if they didn’t bully me with numbers! I just won’t believe that they are the strongest in this world!

Since young I fought according to the laws of the jungle. The strong feeds on the weak. When was I, Yang Chen, ever afraid of anyone? But why is my subconscious warning me to hide right now?

After he thought about it through and through, his eyes glimmered with realization. He looked at the waning elderly as a sinister intention flashed through his eyes. Smirking, he said, “Grandma Yan, there are some things that I might need to consult you about...”