Nevertheless, it still belonged to the Academy of Light. This was a route less traveled due to the danger within.
During the opening of Sacred Mountain, the academy had warned all students to not risk passing through Beast Garden. Of course, they wouldn’t stop the suicidal ones from trying either.
Ordinary students heeded this warning. Plus, they have never heard of anyone coming back alive after going there.
The strong ones didn’t want to take the risk either. The light power there was too strong and made it virtually impossible to leave after entering.
As time went on, one would stop thinking about leaving too. It culminated with death and truly returning to the system.
Of course, this was a nice way of putting it. To be frank, it was a brainwashing process. At the last stage, those affected would be willing to offer themselves to be part of the system.
As the black bull put it, dying there was akin to strengthening the dao foundation of the academy, adding another support brick. Or, to put it inelegantly, they would become fertilizer for the dao source.
A vast plain came after Sacred Garden. The weak wouldn’t notice anything special here. However, after a certain power level, some would see that this entire plain felt like an illusion. The grass swaying to the wind and the mountains scattered about were fake.
With a supreme gazing technique or enough power, they would see that they were standing on a planet of light.
Light emanated from the bottom and has manifested into reality. They turned into the various entities seen here.
There might be an unbelievably powerful heart of light at the bottom of this place. Its beats derived everything here.
Walking on this plain meant walking on the surface of this light planet. This was the reason why the bull said it didn’t belong to Sacred Mountain. They were indeed two separate worlds.
However, if one couldn’t see this reality, they would just think that they were walking on a peaceful plain. The breezes were so pleasant and comforting as well.
Something out of place was the presence of bodies. However, there was no fear or astonishment.
Some kneeled on the grass; others meditated in the caves or below the cliffs…
They died in a very peaceful manner and faced the same direction. It seemed that they died during their happiest moment and left the world without any regrets.
Who knows how long ago they have passed away? Perhaps millions of years. Nevertheless, these corpses didn’t decompose. Their clothes and flesh remained intact. In fact, not even a speck of dust got on them.
Maybe that they carefully washed and prepared for death in a ceremonial fashion before departing this world. That’s why they looked like statues right now instead of corpses.
Upon closer inspection, those strong enough would find that these corpses have turned to light. Their clothes and flesh were made of light particles.
“The extremes of both light and darkness are evil, only an art to entice others and turn them into followers. They only serve to push one’s own goal.” Li Qiye sighed and shook his head.
He clearly saw through the mysteries and profundities of this place. It was the same as Buddhist Funeral Plateau in essence; only the forms are different.
They weren’t that different from the darkness since their final goal was to strengthen themselves.
The biggest difference was that the light and Buddhism, at least in the beginning, represented mercy and compassion. Who knows if this goodness served to make the mastermind feel better or for the sake of everyone else?
On the contrary, the darkness was filled with cruelty and greed resulting in blood and murder.
“Ultimately, the two affinities are pathways for one’s ambition. They won’t save the self or everyone else. It doesn’t matter if his title is Desolate Saint or Samsara Wild Ancestor, he is still fundamentally the same.” Li Qiye murmured. [Ref] Finally, confirmation about this. Looks like there was an error with my raw then which created a lot of confusion[/ref]
The long trek on this plain didn’t move Li Qiye at all. The illumination of the light was ephemeral compared to his dao heart.
A peak eventually appeared before him, not that majestic and grand in appearance. Strangely enough, its very presence diminished the qualities of everything nearby.
The great mountains and lofty rivers around this place didn’t matter at all. This peak was the real master of this world.
It could look down on the ages despite its humble height. It seemingly experienced millions of years of torments while being strengthened by immortals.
This was the toughest peak of them all. The sky could fall down and it would still pierce through the firmaments. The strongest merit laws and sharpest treasures couldn’t leave a single dent.
A True Emperor couldn’t stand straight before this peak and would need to droop down.
“Incredible.” Li Qiye praised, able to tell that this was a peerless dao foundation.
In front of this mountain was an old tree. Time has left its mark on the barks. Unfortunately, this land seemed to be infertile so it didn’t grow much at all through the years.
It looked normal enough but a powerful emperor with their heavenly gaze would notice that it was a supreme bodhi tree, freed from the limitation of time.
Each leaf and branch emitted the holiest light. This particular light had similarities and differences compared to the light of the system.
The light of the system was actually full of enticement, wanting to convert others. The light from this tree seemed so calm and benevolent, capable of embracing everything.
It didn’t matter if one was a worshipper of the light or not, it would still embrace them. This tender embrace didn’t discriminate at all against betrayers or those wanting to leave.
Two words would pop up in one’s mind after seeing this light - compassion and forgiveness.
Only the real masters could see through this bodhi tree’s nature. An ordinary cultivator or mortal would only see an old tree.
“Click! Click! Click!” One could hear chiseling sounds disturbing the serenity of this place. A careful listener would notice its special rhythm and order.
Li Qiye didn’t leave Sacred Mountain after leaving the ancient courtyard. He directly cut through Beast Garden to reach an area not under the jurisdiction of Sacred Mountain.