Qin Mu felt a little uncomfortable, and he was quite unwilling to ask Red Deity Qi Xiayu for a boat.
The day he was surrounded by the celestial heavens, the four deities had joined forces to stop him, and Red Deity Qi Xiayu hadn't shown him any mercy.
Although Qin Mu was able to understand Qi Xiayu's situation and knew that she had a very elaborate plan that required her to be hard-hearted, he ultimately still felt somewhat uncomfortable.
He wasn't a saint, not like Woodcutter.
Saint Woodcutter was able to abandon all emotions and only do things in pursuit of his interests. He was able to make decisions after a calm and rational analysis of advantages and disadvantages.
Woodcutter had never taught him before, so he was unable to be purely rational.
Woodcutter had only taught Eternal Peace Imperial Preceptor. As for Qin Mu and Wei Suifeng, he had merely let them grow on their own and didn't pay any attention to them.
Qin Mu collected himself and said, "In that case, let's go ahead and meet Red Deity."
"Master doesn't want to see you."
Qi Jiuyi continued, "When you were in High Heavens Divine Sect, I already contacted her. Master said that she doesn't wish to see you, but she can let you borrow the phoenix ship to use for some time. However, when you reach the celestial heavens, she will take it back. The phoenix ship should be here soon."
Qin Mu let out a sigh of relief. Red Deity Qi Xiayu was most likely feeling some guilt, and she was trying to avoid the potential awkwardness between them if they met.
"Young Master, the phoenix ship is here!" A god walked into the palace and bowed.
Qi Jiuyi took the first step and walked out. Qin Mu followed after him, his heart stirred, and he inquired, "Brother Qi, Red Deity is still in the Primordial Realm and hasn't returned to Southern Heaven?"
Qi Jiuyi replied, "She hasn't returned. She said that she wanted to search for an enemy and arrest the scum named Li Youran. That Li Youran commits all sorts of evil. In addition, there are still the remaining dregs of Founding Emperor, which she has to stay behind to search for…"
Only then did he recall that Qin Mu had once mentioned that he was a descendant of Founding Emperor, and thus he felt a little apologetic. However, upon seeing Qin Mu's expression, his words didn't seem to have made him unhappy.
Although he and Qin Mu had fought each other viciously countless times, their relationship was born out of these fights, and he was also full of admiration for Qin Mu. In addition, there was another layer of ties through the dragon qilin. Thus, in his heart, he didn't think of Qin Mu as an outsider.
The phoenix ship was one of the few rare precious artifacts capable of freely crossing through the world barriers of the various worlds. The hull of the ship was forged with an unknown material. On the exterior of the ship, there were phoenix wings, and its flying speed was astonishing. Many times, when strong practitioners of the celestial heavens wanted to go to the lower bound, they would borrow this ship from Red Deity Qi Xiayu.
Qin Mu followed Qi Jiuyi up the ship. Onboard were thousands of celestial troops and generals of Southern Heaven who were controlling and driving the ship.
"This ship is a treasure of the Emperor's Throne. Its speed is unparalleled, but it requires extensive magic power to activate. Thus, it requires more than six thousand soldiers to activate it."
Qi Jiuyi gave the order to head towards the celestial heavens. The more than six thousand celestial troops and generals activated the phoenix ship, which flew into the sky, slowly increasing its speed. On both sides of the hull, incomparably magnificent phoenix wings gradually unfolded, giving off brilliant lights and vibrant colors, wrapping the entire ship in rays of light.
The phoenix wings had a myriad of brilliant colors. After unfolding completely, the wings slowly vibrated, and the speed of the phoenix ship increased steadily.
Qi Jiuyi continued, "Although my teacher's ship isn't the only precious artifact that can travel through the world barriers, it's the most comfortable one. Onboard this ship, one doesn't have to worry about being affected by the turbulence caused by space."
The speed of the phoenix ship increased tremendously, but it was extremely stable onboard the ship. When all of the phoenix wings of the ship vibrated together, its speed finally reached its maximum, and with a buzz, it vanished from the Primordial Realm!
Qin Mu stood at the head of the ship and watched as it tore through space. Space resembled innumerous strips of gorgeous lights, and the precious ship was traveling at an immeasurable speed through these strips of light.
The speed of the phoenix ship had exceeded what Qin Mu was aware of, making it evident that Red Deity Qi Xiayu truly had extraordinary abilities.
Sakra Buddha had always wanted to cultivate to the Emperor's Throne, even borrowing techniques from Brahma Buddha. However, the gap between Emperor's Throne and Numinous Sky was akin to a heavenly moat. No matter whether it was knowledge or foundation, there laid obstacles that were impossible to overcome.
Qin Mu couldn't help but exclaim in admiration at the speed of this ship. From this ship, one could see Qi Xiayu's abilities. Then he recalled the enmity between Sakra Buddha and Qi Xiayu, and he thought to himself, 'In the world, there are many strong practitioners of the Numinous Sky Realm but few strong practitioners of the Emperor's Throne Realm. Perhaps the biggest reason for this is that going from Numinous Sky to Emperor's Throne is as difficult to achieve as climbing up to the sky.'
Sakra Buddha had created the Sakra Scripture by himself. However, if his technique was compared to Brahma Buddha's Boundless Calamity Sutra, the gap of knowledge and foundation between the two techniques wasn't one that could be bridged by cultivation.
Although Qi Xiayu might be inferior to Brahma Buddha, she was still a lot more powerful than Sakra Buddha.
The phoenix ship traveled through space, and after an unknown period of time, it finally came to a gentle stop. It had traveled into the depths of space and arrived in the middle of a vast starry sky.
Qin Mu stood at the head of the ship and looked out. The stars within the skies were abnormally bright and resplendent, and there were beautiful strips of light between each one, like chains that connected all of the stars within the starry sky.
It was the real starry sky, not just a sky map.
"That's the Strength Heavenly Star, one of the thirty-six heavenly stars. In the center is Strength City, which is also known as the Jade Qilin Star."
Qi Jiuyi continued, "If you look at it from a different angle, you will be able to see that the Strength Star has the form of a jade qilin ancient god. Strength Star Sovereign of the star gods was born from Strength City."
The dragon qilin got excited, and he laid at the head of the ship and looked out. "So that's the birthplace of the ancestors of the qilin god race? Strength Star Sovereign was born there?"
The phoenix ship was traveling extremely fast, and very soon, they were facing the front of the Strength Star. Looking from a distance, the stars were interconnected by the star chains, and they precisely formed the shape of a qilin.
At the center of the interconnecting brilliant star chains was an extremely vast god city made of jade.
Qi Jiuyi hesitated for a moment before he said, "There are many species of qilin. Strength Star Sovereign was a jade qilin, the most esteemed species of qilin. Apart from this, in the Primordial Realm, there were the spirits of the five elements of water, fire, gold, wood, and earth, which gave rise to the Five Great Qilin Ancient Gods. As for whether Second Brother is a descendant of Strength Star Sovereign, that isn't something that I would be able to know."
The dragon qilin's expression darkened.
When he was born, he was already able to control the qilin sacred flames. Evidently, he was of the bloodline of the Primordial Realm's fire qilin and had no relation to the bloodline of Strength Star Sovereign.
The phoenix ship traveled through the star clusters formed by the thirty-six heavenly stars, and they saw the various large-scale god cities that were located at the center of the respective stars—Leader City, Knowledge City, Leisure City, Brave City, Majestic City, Fierce City, and so on.
The form of each star also varied. The star chains surrounding them formed the shapes of the various ancient gods. They were quaint-looking, vicious, and indescribably sinister and terrifying.
The forms of the stars were also the forms of the ancient gods, so one could imagine that those ancient god sovereigns must have also looked like that.
"Those god cities are where the soldiers are stationed."
Qi Jiuyi continued, "In this attack of the Primordial Realm, of the celestial troops and generals that were mobilized, most of them came from the various great god cities of the heavenly spirits and earthly fiends stars. The armed forces of the celestial heavens headquarters, as well as the thirty-six celestial palaces and seventy-two throne halls, weren't mobilized at all."
Qin Mu felt his heart tighten. The celestial troops and generals from just the heavenly spirits and earthly fiends stars had already utterly defeated the Primordial Realm. The power of the celestial heavens was truly unimaginable!
The phoenix ship then flew by the clusters of the earthly fiends stars, traveling through the stretch of starry skies with no end in sight.
Suddenly, they arrived in a shattered starry sky. Broken pieces of land and stars floated amongst the starry sky, and the phoenix ship flew by the wreckage.
Qin Mu looked towards Qi Jiuyi and asked, "Brother Qi, what is this place? Why is the starry sky shattered here?"
Qi Jiuyi replied, "It's the Blood Rust Zone of the celestial heavens."
"Blood Rust Zone?"
"The Blood Rust Zone is the ruins from the prehistoric period. It has existed for a very long time, since before the Dragon Han Celestial Heavens. I heard that it's from before the rise of civilizations."
Qi Jiuyi continued, "As for how it came about, I have only heard a few rumors. One of the rumors says that there was a civilization here during the ancient primordial era, but it was later annihilated by the ancient Celestial Emperor and his followers. Thereafter, it was the era of the ancient gods. Thus, the ancient primordial era is also referred to as the prehistoric period."
The phoenix ship flew by an enormous planet, which was extremely tranquil and revolved very slowly. It was only when the planet revolved to face them that Qin Mu realized that it was actually a skull.
It was a skull that was massive beyond belief!
There were many similarly massive skulls in the Blood Rust Zone. They floated together with the destroyed stars around the starry sky, which was dull and without light. If one wasn't careful, they would bump into them.
The phoenix ship decreased its speed while traversing through this area. Qin Mu stood at the side of the ship and looked outwards. An enormous piece of land floated by the top of the phoenix ship, and on that land, there were still some ruins from the prehistoric civilization.
Qin Mu raised his head to look at it and saw that the palaces on the land were grand and striking. Tall and huge pillars swung by the top of the ship, and there were also imposing god statues on the land. Behind these god statues, there were enormous circular rings.
"These rings resemble the wheels of light that form at the back of one's head after one receives blessings from the ancient gods."
Qin Mu was astonished. Having various wheels of light behind the head should have been some sort of tradition from the era of the ancient gods. When he returned to the first year of Dragon Han, he had seen that many ancient gods and half-gods had these sorts of wheels of light at the back of their heads.
The most eye-catching amongst them were the Seven Celestial Venerables.
The Seven Celestial Venerables had all received blessings from the ancient gods, and thus they had the most wheels of light and halos at the back of their heads. Celestial Venerable Yu, especially, had countless layers of abnormally complicated-looking wheels of light at the back of his head. After all, he had received blessings from all the ancient gods.
Of course, it wasn't only the Celestial Venerables who had halos and wheels of light at the back of their heads, the ancient gods would also bless their own descendants.
In the early years of the Dragon Han Era, the ability to give blessings wasn't limited to the ancient gods. Half-gods with strong cultivation were also able to give blessings.
After researching the runes of the ancient gods' Great Dao and the blessings of the ancient gods, Qin Mu was also able to give blessings to others. To him, there weren't many secrets in the ability to give blessings.
However, the god statues in this area of primordial ruins suggested that the tradition of ancient gods giving blessings wasn't started by the ancient gods but was, in fact, something of the prehistoric civilization.
Qin Mu questioned Qi Jiuyi, "The prehistoric civilization of the Blood Rust Zone, could they cultivate? How did they cultivate?"
Qi Jiuyi laughed. "Cult Master Qin, I said that there being a prehistoric civilization was just a rumor. But rumors are just rumors and cannot be taken seriously, so why are you investigating this so seriously?"
Qin Mu was even more serious now. "If one is serious enough, there are no affairs of this world that cannot be uncovered. Since the Blood Rust Zone existed in the primordial era and civilization once existed there, then the structures of this civilization must have areas where we can draw lessons from. It's worth exploring. We can stop by and do some research."
Qi Jiuyi didn't know whether to laugh or cry. "Cult Master Qin, my teacher only let you borrow this ship to get to the celestial heavens quickly, not for you to roam about leisurely."
Qin Mu laughed. "We are just going to take a look, and it won't take much time. Brother Qi, aren't you curious about prehistoric ruins like this Blood Rust Zone?"
"Not at all!" Qi Jiuyi replied resolutely.
Even though he said that, he still ordered the soldiers to slow the phoenix ship down. With a grave expression, he said, "Cult Master Qin, we can take a slow spin around this Blood Rust Zone, but we definitely cannot stay here for long! After all, it's a prehistoric ruin, and we don't know if there are any dangers around! In this place, every year, there will be some reckless fellows from the celestial heavens who end up dead!"
Qin Mu nodded and smiled. "Don't worry, I only want to take a look…"
Suddenly, his expression changed slightly. He stared straight at a broken piece of land that was floating by and hurriedly retrieved a geographical map from his taotie sack. He checked the map and raised his head again to look at that piece of land that was floating nearer and nearer.
Qin Mu chuckled. "Can we stop the ship on that piece of land? My senior brother left something for me there."
Qi Jiuyi flew into a fury. "You just said that you only wanted to take a look, and now you are taking back your words! Qin brat, don't think that just because you're close to my second brother that I'll let you do as you please. Back then, when I went to the lower bound on Black Deity's orders, it was to capture you! To tell you the truth, I have tolerated you for a long time!"
Qin Mu looked to the dragon qilin, and the dragon qilin coughed and said, "Third Brother, since Cult Master wants to go there to take a look, you should just let him."
Qi Jiuyi could barely suppress the anger within him, but he still forcefully pushed it back down. He replied coldly, "If you die there, don't blame me! This map of yours… eh?"
He widened his eyes as he looked at the geographical map in Qin Mu's hands and then raised his head to look at the nearing piece of land ahead. With an expression of puzzlement, he asked, "Why do you have a geographical map of the Blood Rust Zone? You really have a senior brother who left something for you here?"
Qin Mu felt a little uncomfortable, and he was quite unwilling to ask Red Deity Qi Xiayu for a boat.