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REALM 145

 

Chàng Bo was happy, actually ecstatic, but frustrated at the same time. He felt like he had won the lottery yet he couldn’t remember which lucky numbers he’d put down to win, it was a small irritating feeling. If getting points was this easy he would have done it ages ago, but what did he get them for? Was it reckless driving? No matter how Chàng Bo racked his brain he didn’t think he’d done anything unusual.

Chàng Bo was unaware that a flying car was a strange thing to see, and he also underestimated how impressionable humanity was, and thus didn’t realise the repercussions of his actions.

Unable to understand how he’d gained those points, he thought for a few more minutes as the car rose higher in the sky. When it had floated high enough to see all of Beijing  Chàng Bo stopped the car and began to whisper a spell.

Chàng Bo was a quasi cultivator and mage, he knew both practitioner techniques and spells, he personally preferred magic spells for their range and variety, but he also enjoyed the strength and physical endurance of a cultivator.

Most practitioners could only pick one or the other because splitting one’s attention between two paths was practically suicidal for the average practitioner. Some Cultivators may know the odd or random spell and some Practitioners knew the odd body cultivating or attack technique, but it was rare for them to be on both paths fully and train in both. Training in both was not only time consuming but it also put a toll on the soul, mind, and body. A toll that could lead to early death and horrifying pains and disabilities. Only if one had significant resources and crazy talent would they even dare do this. Chàng Bo had been born wealthy and had had access to endless amounts of resources since young. He also had high talent as well as the Sovereign System, so he could easily achieve what other practitioners could only dream of.

The spell he whispered was a Clairvoyance spell, this spell could only be used by Celestial mages. It drew on the energy of the stars. It caused celestial energies to gather and point towards whatever you were looking for as long as you had an image of it in your mind. There is a saying that every living creature is made of stardust, as long as they have carbon and celestial essence in their bodies than Chàng Bo could easily track them down using this technique.

Silver light gathered and fell on a single spot in Beijing. Chàng Bo smiled to himself as he opened the car door and flew into the sky. He twirled his fingers and sent the car flying back to Mao Lu’s house, it would be too much hassle bringing it with him. 

He flew towards Zhao Detong’s apartment.

_________

POTENTIAL STAGE

Mao Lu opened his eyes.

He was now lying in a river made entirely of stars. It glowed iridescently in his abyss of space, it was hot yet the counteracting ice essences made it cold. As the silver, blue, red, gold, and purple stars flowed, Mao Lu was lost in the endless waves. He was but a small figure in the mechanisms of his own universe.  

Surrounding Mao Lu’s River of Stars were huge people, they danced and sang songs as they rested along the riverbed. If one looked closer they’d see that these people weren’t just people, they were planets. Their skin had different hues of colour, atmospheres extended from them. In some, there were clouds and specks of greenery, they were planets with land and only sky. Others deep blue skin, they were planets with endless oceans, some were entirely green and others had only specks of green. This was a community of planet people that danced, rested and ate, next to the River of Stars.

When Mao Lu had forsaken convention and started again, he decided that he’d make a universe that was entirely his own. A universe that defied the rules of his own universe, a universe that was the epiphany of the sublime, the higher realm of aesthetic. That’s when the idea had come to him. Gaia, the mother of Earth, the Titan of Titans from mythology. This spurred the thought; why couldn’t a planet be alive? Why couldn’t a planet be as living as those that lived on it?

In his community of planets, he’d made a variety of different types, there were the planets made entirely of the ocean, some made entirely of land, others that lacked resources and some that were abundant with it. Mao Lu had watched as his planet people had grown. They enjoyed leisure and comfort as they rested at the River of Stars where they were naturally drawn to, and slowly yet steadily, they were building their own civilisation around the river. And as they grew and evolved so did the habitats that lived on them.

As Mao Lu watched from afar he wondered what he should do with them, he’d made this endless river and these people but he felt like there was so much more he could do.

He wanted his grand design to be functional yet artistic, he wanted his people to live happily. If he gifted his Planet people with awareness and intelligence, would they become sinful and impure like Eve had when she bit that apple? If he gave them development and intelligence wouldn’t that be a gift?

Mao Lu watched as a large Planet man made entirely of land, had grown a tree-beard, the Land Planet Man ripped out the largest tree and casually dipped it into the river of stars. When the tree truck touched a hot Star it immediately caught on fire. Seeing this fire the planets became hyper. Laughing and cooing as they crowded around the Land Planet Man and watched as he burned the tree. Mao Lu was surprised, he didn’t need to gift them with intelligence, they were like children, they were learning on their own they were discovering and with time they would become more developed.

As everything continued, and the Planet people continued to evolve, Mao Lu made them a world in his abyss. He made several tributaries of light that branched out from the River of Stars and into the abyss making everything starry and illuminated. He made soft clouds of nebulae that could be used as beds, seats and homes.

Again and again, Mao Lu was surprised by the intelligence of his creations. They made their own language to communicate with each other. They began developing with the materials he’d given them and made convenient tools out of the nebulae, soon there was a market amongst them, they even discovered how to procreate. Mao Lu taught them none of this, it was simply their instincts taking place.

With time Mao Lu could see life forms developing on the planets. Some of the planets saw them as lice and took baths in the River of Stars to remove themselves of the life-filled pests that were beginning to develop on their bodies, but others realised that there was life being made on them, and they realised their movements were affecting what was slowly developing on them. Mao Lu watched in amazement as some of the planets sacrificed themselves, folded their legs and sitting still and stationary in front of the River of Stars. Shutting their eyes forever, so that the life forming inside of them could remain safe.

Mao Lu watched as they became more civilised, he watched as they grew bigger, as a divide built in the community between those who cared for the potential of life within their bodies and those that didn’t. Mao Lu watched as fighting occurred between them, some used the stars and drifting meteorites to create weapons. Wars were fought. Planet people killed each other due to differences in ideology and with this fighting came an increase in development. These planets were killing each other, and finding more and more advanced ways to do it. Others wanted to protect themselves and found advanced ways to defend. As this occurred technology improved amongst the planet people.

Mao Lu was amazed at the universe he had created began to change as well. The stars used as weapons made big explosions and this developed other nebulae which evolved to became other planets, and thus a new race became appeared.

This new race was treated like a deformity as they were planets with various shapes that weren’t human shaped like the original Humanoid Planet People that he’d made. This created a new regime, a lower class. Mao Lu watched in amazement as class systems occurred among them, discrimination and even slavery. Regimes rose and fell. Wars came and went. The population of the Planet people grew endlessly large, far beyond Mao Lu’s expectations.

There were so many times when Mao Lu just wanted to intervene but he stopped himself even when the tragedy was taking place, simply because he was stunned by the development and curious about what it would lead to.

Some planets had intelligent life forms grow on them and Mao Lu watched as these life-forms built ships and began travelling out of the bodies of their planets, and they made new homes or travelled outwards. Some planet people treating them as pests, others welcoming them. Continuously society changed and continuously culture changed. Millions of years went by and Mao Lu saw the endless cycle of civilisation. Everything had changed so much compared to his original design. It took his breath away.

“So this is life” he couldn’t help but think. It is nature’s cycle to destroy itself and rebuild, it is life’s cycle to do the same. Every existence is doing it whilst trying to search for some function, some higher purpose. Yet everything coexists in a harmony, everything has its role in the midst of all this dysfunction.

When ideals of justice and natural law come to play, existence becomes more complex but the fundamentals remain the same.

Mao Lu thought about the deaths of the villagers in his previous trial, he thought about the wars and the injustice that happened all over the place. He had thought about how he’d whined, saying it was unfair. Everybody was always crying for a god to save them from this travesty, but the travesty was existence itself. This cycle this tragedy was probably seen so often by the creator, it wasn’t unjust, it was unfair but it was natural. All disaster wasn’t something to complain about, it wasn’t the end, it was simply the beginning of something new.

Mao Lu felt enlightened he should be more resolute, he should have been more steadfast in the past. Death wasn’t an end, only a beginning. From watching all of this Mao Lu’s heart hardened.

From now on he would not hesitate, not in anything.

_____________

Realm 145

Chàng Bo followed the celestial rope made from his Clairvoyance spell and hummed to himself as he entered Zhao Detong’s apartment building.

He easily bypassed the entrance door security as he made his way to the elevator, the celestial rope pointed to one of the highest floors, floor number 15.

As the elevator went up, Chàng Bo found himself staring at the Gold sword Hypnos had given him. He stroked it softly. This Sword was likely gifted to him by the previous incarnation of Mao Lu. It was a sweet gift.

Now that he looked at it closer he felt like there was something strange about this sword.

Hypnos had called it a Quintessence blade. Chàng Bo had heard of that word somewhere before. He thought for a second and then he remembered; a famous practitioner named Halbert Quinn had made the Essence table several millions of years ago, the essence table was like the periodic table but for practitioners. Chàng Bo had had to study it when he was young.  It was one of the first things a practitioner should learn about. It was the hierarchy of Essences.

In the table, at the top, was the core Essences. Not many knew what the core essences were but Halbert Quinn had stated in his book ‘The Hierarchy of Essences’ that: “The core essences can’t be seen or wielded by Practitioners, they are only for the elite, that being the Gatekeepers. But if I were to hazard a guess, I believe these essences are the core of all. They are creation, destruction and time itself.”

Many believe that Halbert Quinn’s guess about the core essences was correct, as shortly after his book was published and spread across the universe, he was mysteriously assassinated. Many took his book as bible and believed that he was killed because he was right.

In the Hierarchy of Essences, Halbert Quinn had placed Time, Creation and Destruction as the top three. After the core, he put the Royal Essences, which were the basis of all other Essences. The royal essences were Celestial Essence, Life Essence, Flame Essence, Water Essence. And then from those four everything branched out and there were a variety of lesser essences. For example, celestial essence created carbon essences, and created material essences, Flame essence made heat and light and the list goes on. That’s why among Practitioners, those that could control the big four were usually seen as High tier or royal practitioners.

In Halbert Quinn’s book though, there was another type of Essence that he mentioned. He claimed its existence was possible but he was unsure if anyone would ever find it or prove its existence. It was an essence that was supposedly the source of all essence, the lifeblood of existence itself. He called this Essence ‘Quintessence.’

If Halbert Quinn was right than Chàng Bo was holding a sword that had the lifeblood of existence itself inside of it. How did the previous Mao Lu get ahold of such a thing, and to even dare make such a powerful force into a romantic sword gesture, it was crazy. The energy coming off of it made his skin feel both hot and cold, it filled him with a buzzing sensation of energy.

“DING…..”

Chàng Bo’s thoughts were disturbed when the elevator doors opened. The moment the metal doors slid backwards the Sovereign System started screaming in his head, alarm bells went off like sirens in his eardrums.

“ALERT…ALERT…ALERT” Flashed on the screen.

“TWO ENDLESS PLAINS SCIENTISTS ARE HERE!!!! ALERT TWO CREATORS CREATORS ARE HERE!!!”

“LEAVE NOW!!!”

 

………………..

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Alexia Barrett

Journalism student at Cardiff University. Aspiring Broadcast Journalist, Foreign Correspondent, and Novelist.

November 2019
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