Chapter 3.1 – Underworld God
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Adelos’ spirit passed through the chaotic fog and pressed forward in search of a grey little bell. Suddenly, a ringing sound echoed in his ear.
Must be the bell echoing from an endless distance.
Following the sound of the bell, Adelos found himself standing above a noble and simple-like ancient hall. Inside the main hall, a man stood with dignified ambiance, dressed in a dark violet mystical robe and a longsword tied to his waist. In one hand, he held an ancient-looking gray bell while the other played with a big black bow leaning against a furniture.
The man in dark violet looked over to where Adelos stood. The corner of his eyes smiled warmly. “At last, you have come.”
Adelos brows creased, somewhat puzzled, wondering why suddenly, a rough, rugged voice echoed from behind.
“Tai Yi, you’ve appeared…”
Adelos turned his head and saw groups of eight figures; one a woman, and the rest, men.
Their postures, aura, and appearance differed from what he was commonly familiar with. Their eyes weren’t deep-set nor protruded, but more prominent with a sharp angle to them, and curved like a teardrop.
Yes, they were somewhat unique.
The woman wore a pure-white plain dress while the other seven dressed themselves in shabby loose-fitted clothings wrapped in animal hides. The weapons in their hands were also somewhat unusual, almost primal looking.
“Like fire and water, they cannot be tolerated, and they could not tolerate us. Zhu Rong, I truly did not expect you’d remember Gong Gong. After the eight of you left traversing through a different realm, Gong Gong perished. Tell me, why do I not see Zhu Jiu Yin and Di Jian? Could it be… there is a problem with the opening of the rivers of space and time?”
Zhu Rong’s figure walked out of the darkness that covered his visage. His body was covered in flames. Under his foot were two fiery dragons coiled around his body roaring softly.
“Eight of us was enough to kill the gods.” Zhu Rong said bluntly.
He shaped a ball of flame and directed it towards Tai Yi, the man in dark violet.
Adelos turned his head.
The ancient gray bell in his hand emitted a gong tune and echoed throughout the vast space. With the flow of time, the ancient gray bell grew bigger, a sudden mere illusion and he only became conscious of the room’s darkness.
The ball of flames lighted the vast space and Adelos found himself standing before a beautiful woman wearing a pure-white plain dress, her gaze as cold as ice and like the wintry aura. The woman’s orbs, a pool of ice silently looked at Adelos with a curious deep look.
Adelos immediately reacted at the sight of the icy woman’s figure who fought against countless of gods.
He bowed respectfully. “Adelos greets the Underworld God.”
The woman nodded in satisfaction. “You know me.”
Then, she smiled coldly. “I am Xuan Ming. You are not a native of this realm. You should have knowledge of me and my name.”
Adelos smiled bitterly and shook his head. “Back then, I lived a life without traces of gods and demons. Their existence lies in the annals of legends and myths. If they existed, then I have forgotten. I was ignorant and cannot tell which is true and which is false.”
The myths of the ancients and their tales were complicated and an intricate thread.
Shaman God… Winter God… Rain God… Underworld God… they were all mere titles Xuan Ming held.
“We are created from the blood of Pangu, ruler of all laws beneath heaven and earth. You have also seen it. After the conflict with Tai Yi…”
She paused, eyes blank and emotionless yet her voice carried hints of grief and sadness.
“Many of our brothers and sisters died, gone, vanished in thin air. Only I survived. I am now but a mere soul.”
Adelos breathed deeply and hurriedly asked. “There are many things I do not know. How did I come to this realm? Is it… is it the bell?”
The goddess herself was willing to speak of her bitter circumstances and histories of the past and he all the more eager to understand.
“Yes. That is the Chaotic Bell of Tai Yi. Carnage and havoc ravaged our realm, wrecking everything in our path. In the end, we annihilated one another to the bitter end.
“At our very last breath, Tai Yi, whose blood covered his body whole used a technique to reincarnate. My brothers and sisters, they sacrificed themselves so I may live. Now my physical entity is gone, only the soul remaining intact.
“I am unaware… unsure how long has passed since then. Hou Tu, Di Jian, and the Zhu Yiu Yun brothers with the help of the Cycle of Reincarnation and the rivers of space and time, you and I were brought to this realm.”
Xuan Ming paused, lost in thought. Who knew the bitter pain and sadness she’s gone through till her final moments.
“The laws of this realm… if compared is somewhat to similar to our own realm. Given time and if fated to be, I may be able to restore my physical entity. As to why you are chosen… I am not too sure. Maybe it is fate, maybe destiny led you through this place, but I only know your body was ruined, unable to preserve. It looked irreparable to no point of return.”
Tongues of jarring shock filled his body whole. A sudden sigh of surprise escaped his breath. Did he not sleep well and peacefully before reaching this godly realm?
“You mean… I was actually dead at the time?”
Xuan Ming nodded. Her eyes played silence like an instrument the world had never seen. Then, she spoke. “We live together in this space. I hope we are able to help each other. Though I am unable to go out, I can feel the animosity and pressure arising. Pray, you’ve been here for a few years, would you allow me the honor of telling me of this realm?”
Adelos smiled lightly, a twinge of helplessness seen in his eyes. He revealed to her the gods’ current state of affairs including all myths and legends he read of this ancient realm.
“I had not expected you come from a good background. This is just as well and convenient. You should be able to improve your strength.”