Qin Mu had a weird feeling when he looked at the seemingly endless graveyard.
There were seemingly three totally different worlds in the 33 heavens of Carefree Village. The old officials of Founding Emperor were filled with displeasure, complained a lot, and were self-ruinous, while the new generation enjoyed life and was extravagant.
Yet, the Qin bloodline was fighting with their lives for the sake of Carefree Village's safety.
This was too ludicrous.
'Carefree Village is deformed or, in other words, has fallen apart,' Qin Mu recollected.
A deteriorated Carefree Village where the Dao hearts of the older generation collapsed as they abandoned their original vow to protect the citizens. As for the newer generations, they lived in and were addicted to endless luxury and carefreeness.
Meanwhile, the Qin family defended Carefree Village to the point of self-ruination because they felt ashamed towards the citizens and the older generation on top of their desire to guard Founding Emperor's glory and Carefree Village's peace.
"Were you guys afraid that I would be buried here like my ancestors, which is why I wasn't allowed back here?"
Qin Mu shook his head. The Carefree Village he had imagined had already collapsed and ceased to exist. He felt that the sacrifices made by his ancestors to protect Founding Emperor's glory and Carefree Village weren't worth it at all.
"Founding Emperor cut half of the Paramita World then to establish Carefree Village, which offended the masters of creation. Today, we built the Paramita Youdu to bring peace to both sides."
Qin Mu said to Qin Hanzhen, "From today onwards, no son of the Qin family will need to fight the masters of creation to defend the glory of Founding Emperor."
Qin Hanzhen shook his head and walked forward, saying, "The future generations will still fight to the death for Founding Emperor's glory. Carefree Village is this way. Even if we leave Carefree Village, isn't the outside world another Carefree Village?"
Qin Mu followed him, and they walked past one grave after another. They felt peaceful due to their emptiness. The deaths of his ancestors and the war against the masters of creation made him laugh and cry, but he couldn't do both.
He could only shake his head.
Ever since he matured, he had searched for Carefree Village bitterly. Ultimately, what he got was a mere mirage.
It was hard for one to understand him unless one was in his shoes.
As they got closer to the King Zhen Residence, the number of graves decreased. There were younglings there cultivating hard.
They were likely the younger generations of the family. They were about the same age as Qin Mu. Some were older, while some were younger by a few years.
There were only dozens of disciples of the Qin family, but their training was harder than everyone else's in Carefree Village. They ground their corporeal bodies, vital qi, and consciousness as if they were ascetic monks.
A lot of the newer generations of Carefree Village only cared about enjoying themselves. It was rare to see people cultivating so hard.
Qin Mu stopped to look and asked Qin Hanzhen, "Is this all that is left of our family?"
Qin Hanzhen nodded and said, "Yes. Who still feels that you are royalty after being a hundred generations apart from the emperor? Only you think so, only you insist on this piece of pride. If one doesn't work hard, one will die brutally when the masters of creation attack. It was only when Fengqing returned that we relaxed."
Qin Mu looked at them for a while, and Qin Hanzhen summoned a girl and said, "Siying, this is your cousin."
That girl was sweating before she used her vital qi to steam all of her sweat. She looked at Qin Mu curiously before saying, "He's obviously the masters of creation's holy infant. He was very scary! He made many people cry! I was so scared, I cried too."
Qin Mu smiled and retrieved a drop of the primordial liquid, then visualized a pearl and sealed the liquid inside. He gave it to her and smiled. "If you wear it around your neck, it will help you in your cultivation."
She accepted it and ran away to cultivate.
"Siying is the youngest in the family. She's your uncle's posthumous child. She's barely ten years old. I'm the one teaching her now."
Qin Hanzhen said, "Let's go home. I will take you to the ancestral shrine to worship your ancestors."
Qin Mu nodded. The King Zhen Residence wasn't big. It wasn't extravagant like the Dragon Alteration Heaven either, but the ancestral shrine was large. Princess Consort Zhen and Shu Jun waited for them outside as Qin Hanzhen led Qin Mu in. He saw memorial tablets arranged in an orderly fashion, which created a large sacrificial altar.
This place was solemn with a heavy atmosphere.
Qin Mu followed Qin Hanzhen as they kowtowed and offered incense.
Qin Hanzhen took out the Qin family register and inquired, "Shall I add your name in?"
Qin Mu hesitated before rejecting him. "I am going to fight Founding Emperor. Before that, I can't appear there. After that, I still can't appear in it."
Qin Hanzhen was stunned.
Fighting Founding Emperor equated fighting the family's ancestors. Qin Mu couldn't fight him as the one-hundred and seventh descendant, for it wouldn't be filial of him.
After that, Qin Mu would be a master-deceiving and ancestor-destroying rascal that shouldn't appear there. He should be weeded out of it.
"Do you really want to go this far?" Qin Hanzhen couldn't help but ask.
"After that, you can never enter this place. After you die, your grave can't be in our graveyard. You will become a lone ghost with no one from the family worshipping you!"
Qin Mu smiled and said, "Carefree Village can't wake up if I don't fight him. Founding Emperor wishes for it too, he wants to be beaten out of Carefree Village. I can't disappoint him."
He smiled. "I am a catfish let into the pool that is Carefree Village. He wishes for me to revive the dead pond here, not to stir things up in order to get the disappointed fishes to be active again, to get the fishes drunk on their dreams to wake up. I have to do my part as the catfish."
Qin Hanzhen was silent before warning him, "Founding Emperor is very terrifying."
"I know. I saw the mark he left behind in the Great Void when he fought Celestial Venerable Huo. Celestial Venerable Huo's cultivation was stronger, but his blade injured him anyways."
Qin Mu said, "Amongst the ten current Celestial Venerables, Celestial Venerable Huo may not be the strongest, but he isn't the weakest either. To be able to cause Celestial Venerable Huo to leave behind a Great Dao imprint and be injured, Founding Emperor's power is above my expectations."
Qin Hanzhen said, "His power goes beyond his Sword Dao. It may be his greatest strength, but his divine arts are just as strong."
Qin Mu nodded and said, "When I met him in the first year of the Dragon Han Era, he was matchless in sword skills and divine arts. When I angered Mistress Yuanmu by severely injuring Celestial Venerable Hao, he used his divine arts to break out and save me. The marvels of it impress me to this very day."
Qin Hanzhen went silent for a moment before saying, "You should leave, I can't have you here."
Qin Mu bowed before leaving.
The sunlight outside stung his eye. Qin Mu blocked it with his hand and looked back. The Qin family's ancestral shrine looked solemn. It served the ancestors of the family, but he could never enter it again.
He looked at Princess Consort Zhen, bowed to her, and walked out of the King Zhen Residence with Shu Jun.
Princess Consort Zhen looked at his back and opened her mouth, but she didn't say anything. Qin Hanzhen came to her side and stood with her as she lay on his shoulder in a strengthless manner.
"I guess Mu'er will never return again," she whispered.
Qin Mu looked at the Qin family disciples cultivating hard and walked by them.
"Cousin—" That little girl named Qin Siying waved at him.
Qin Mu waved back. This place had the warmth of home, but he could never stay there.
He took Shu Jun with him through the graves of his ancestors. As they went, Qin Mu took some dirt and stored it in the Qin word land.
Shu Jun was perplexed. Qin Mu, in return, smiled and said, "When I die, I can't be buried here, but there must always be dirt from my home on my grave."
They reached the thirty-third heaven, which was where the Founding Emperor Celestial Heavens was.
The various officials of the celestial heavens were already there, quietly waiting for this battle of the Celestial Venerables. Their corporeal bodies were large, and they stood at various corners of the celestial palace. They silently watched him walk through the Southern Heavenly Gate and between the solemn-looking palaces and halls. He walked through the Celestial Street and passed by the Jade Stage and Jade Pool on his way to the Jade Capital.
The Founding Emperor Celestial Heavens was arranged in the same way as the Dragon Han one, but the Dragon Han Celestial Heavens was simpler in decoration. The realm wasn't as vast either. However, in terms of luxury, the former was far more luxurious than the latter.
After all, this was Carefree Village, a part of the Paramita World. It was way easier to visualize and create things here than any other place.
Qin Mu didn't use any divine arts and walked a step at a time. Although the Founding Emperor Celestial Heavens wasn't vast, it still took awhile for him to walk through.
He looked like an earnest seeker of the path as he examined things every step of the way. He was examining his moral compass, not the celestial heavens, however.
There were no masters of creation here aside from Shu Jun, for it was something between the two of them. The masters of creation wouldn't interfere in things that didn't involve them. They had no need to witness their duel either.
There were only the old guards of Founding Emperor present. The Dao Master of Founding Emperor's Dao Sect, Su Maiqing, Sun Guardian Yan Rinuan, the four assistants—Fang Youji, Gao Baixun, Zhou Jingmeng, and Zhou Xunfang—and other old gods from various departments all watched Qin Mu as he approached the Jade Capital.
They were visibly expectant as they rubbed their palms. Yan Rinuan was sharpening his blade and gradually eradicating its rust.
Besides them, there were new gods as well. They were in the Jade Capital, which was the most luxurious place there. Some of them were happy that Qin Mu was here, while some whistled. Others were restless.
Qin Mu pretended not to see or hear them.
Qin Hanzhen and Princess Consort Zhen brought countless Qin family disciples as well. They had complicated expressions as they watched Qin Mu walking through the streets of the Jade Capital from the Vermillion Bird Gate to the Gate of Heaven Influence.
The Gate of Heaven Influence stood tall, and in front of it was the Web Cover Palace Numinous Sky Hall, the grand hall of the emperor that symbolized his absolute authority.
Under the gate, Qin Mu stopped, turned around, and bowed to Shu Jun, saying, "Please stay here, Divine King."
Shu Jun returned the greeting and stopped beneath the gate. He watched Qin Mu as he climbed the stairs towards the Numinous Sky Hall.
After an unknown amount of time, he was in front of the hall.
In it, an emperor sat on a throne. Upon his arrival, the emperor stood up.
Founding Emperor took off his imperial robes and folded them nicely, placing them on his throne. He then took the crown on his head and placed it on his robes.
He lifted the Carefree Sword on his waist, and with one "zhnng" sound, the Carefree Sword was drawn from its sheath. With a light tap, the sheath was placed on the hall's pillars.
The sword light was bright, and it illuminated the entire hall, which was filled with sword shadows.
He watched Qin Mu as he entered, quietly anticipating him. His figure stood there, unmoving, just like his Dao heart.
Despite the passage of time, his original aspirations hadn't changed.
Qin Mu walked to him, smiled, and said, "It has been a long time, Qin Kai."
Founding Emperor smiled back. "Mu Qing, it has been a million years. What did you see coming from the Supreme Emperor Heaven?"
"I saw the corruption in your celestial heavens."
Qin Mu retrieved his sword pellet and shook it. It became a divine sword that resonated in his hands. Qin Mu flicked the pellet, and the sword vibrated relentlessly. He leisurely said, "Your intentions in moving here were good, but only you could persevere in keeping your aspirations. Your old guard couldn't accept defeat and let their Dao hearts fall into pain and bitterness. They can't carry this burden like you. They will only be angry and hate you. They are not you."
Founding Emperor nodded and said, "I suppressed any dissent and moved here out of my own volition. The blame is on me. What else did you see?"
Qin Mu said, "I saw that your Founding Emperor reform failed. People's hearts have collapsed and crumbled. When you decided to move here, the reform had already failed. All you are left with are the superficial things."
Founding Emperor nodded. "In the Founding Emperor Era, serving the people as gods was the country's founding principle. I gave it up, allowing them to have no such duty, causing the reform to fall apart. The blame is on me. What else did you see?"
Qin Mu continued, "I saw that the new generation lacks any spirit of reform. All they do is indulge. They lack bloodthirst and the ability to fight. They can't innovate. A great abyss separates the young and the old. They are not you."
Founding Emperor agreed, "The blame is on me."
"I even saw how our family's bloodline died for your decisions, one generation after another."
Qin Mu sighed deeply and continued, "They are not you. They can't become you. All they can do is make up for your mistakes with their lives."
Founding Emperor was silent before admitting, "The blame is on me."
"I even saw how you want to go out, but how you can't, for the only one who can do so is you. Everyone else here can't. They can't walk out of Carefree Village. They are burdened by you, so you can't walk out either."
Qin Mu shook his wrists and changed his swords. They pointed at the ground as they drooped. Qin Mu plainly said, "Qin Kai, allow me to break the Carefree Village in your heart!"
The Web Cover Palace Numinous Sky Hall fell apart. Giant buildings slid down slopes from the top of the stairs, and giant pillars and boulders rolled down as sculptures and paintings were pulverized!
On the Numinous Sky stage, Founding Emperor's sword pointed towards the ground as he smiled and said, "Mu Qing, I have been waiting for you for a long time. Please."
Qin Mu's pupils contracted as he returned the favor. "You too."
Qin Mu had a weird feeling when he looked at the seemingly endless graveyard.