Chapter 666: Jue Di’s Condition

    Chapter 666: Jue Di's Condition

    The moment he was sure they were alone, Lan Jue dialed his father's number into his communicator. He told Jue Di everything that had transpired.

    "These creatures are highly intelligent. She was probably testing you." Jue Di said once the story was finished.

    "Dad, when you faced the alien in the Starfields we learned how strong they were. You are the most powerful human in history, is it possible universal protogenia will rebound on you, too?"

    Jue Di was silent.

    Lan Jue's heart skipped a beat. His father had always been good about replying to his questions. This time, though...

    Jue Di took a deep breath. "I wasn't going to tell you and your brother, but now that you've asked it's time. Yes - once a human reaches a certain degree of power the universe attempts to restrict them. You will begin to sense it once you achieve Nirvana. What we call the Infinite is just the beginning, a bottleneck to immortality. However, with no Immortal Realm there is no way to protect ourselves from the universe. The immortal of ancient days had reached heights the universe could not sustain, they surpassed the limits of this reality and hid in a place that kept them safe.

    "This place was the Immortal Realm. No one knows how this pocket reality came into being. They say it was created by a being of immense power. As more and more immortals rose to prominence, this realm was no longer able to hide them from the repercussions of defying natural law. In the end, it collapsed. The immortals perished, or perhaps found some other way to hide their power from the cosmos. The Immortal Realm went by many names; Olympia, Heaven, Western Paradise... they all described the same thing. A place of safety for beings that could no longer live in the same reality as everything else.

    "None of the ancient books spoke of it, but after years of experience I know that those who came to achieve immortality - be they sages, Buddhas or what have you - were unhappy. Every day the pressure of their stolen existence bore down on them, forcing them to live in cramped seclusion. I was blessed with talent and a potent lineage, and when I was your age my search for power was undeniable. I was determined to be the strongest human to have ever drawn breath. I achieved this, but when I did I began to sense something wasn't right.

    "When I achieved Nirvana I began to sense a darker part of reality pressing me. OF course I did not care at the time. I pressed back and found my way into the Infinite. I began to feel the danger, but my potential would not be stopped. I could not simply stop cultivating and halt progress. I came upon the border of mortality, felt myself forced against the barrier.

    "In the old world when a being reached my level of power they had to face tribulation lightning. Surviving meant entrance into the Immortal Realm. It was said that when the Immortal Realm was first created the danger from tribulation lightning was not so terrible. Only once the Immortal Realm could no longer bear the power within it did the lightning became truly terrifying. Only the truly strong could survive, for only the truly strong could help the Immortals maintain the reality they'd built for themselves.

    "Now it's different. There is no immortal realm, and I must rely only on myself. Tribulation lightning has faded into legend, but the rejection I feel from reality is real. Every time I use my powers the universe can feel it and attempts to suppress what it senses as an aberration. It seeks to destroy me by consuming my life force. This is the reason why I hid away on Ziluo, cutting myself off from the rest of humanity. I had to take every precaution not to reveal my strength. But over the last couple of years I have felt I can no longer subdue my powers. It leaks, taking my life force with it. Under these conditions I have perhaps only three more years before my time in this reality is over, and only if I don't use my powers."

    Although Lan Jue had guessed at his father's danger, hearing it struck him like a ton of bricks. He hadn't known his condition had become so bad.

    "Then, when you fought the aliens..." His voice trailed off.

    Jue Di answered, his smile evident in the sound of his voice. "A true man has responsibilities he cannot shirk. You think I'll let the universe tell me what to do?"

    "What can we do? How do we stop it?" Lan Jue asked.

    His father's voice was solemn. "If the Immortal Realm is truly gone, then I don't have the power to create one myself. My choices are limited; I can find a way to extend my life, or continue to this way until it claims me. I am close to what we call Immortality, but I need enough power to contend against universal protogenia and survive. I don't have this power. However, if I were somehow able to break through and uncover the secrets of the Immortals, death would not take me so easily.

    "I've been thinking a lot about what I experienced in the Starfields, against the alien planet. Whatever it was possessed the power of an Immortal. Those beasts couldn't be called Immortals, but it possessed the strength of one. It must have some way of defending itself from universal elimination. However, during the fight it didn't give chase, likely for the same reason I can't show my real power. It would be destroyed just like I would."

    As he listened, a thought crystallized in Lan Jue's mind.

    He perked up. "Dad... what if you could command more power than the greatest immortals? Could you resist the universe then?"

    "The ancient texts seem to suggest it," Jue Di answered. "For instance, one of the Three Pure Ones could do so. I'm sure that somewhere in existence there is this power, but it isn't me. Perhaps you two, the younger generation could try. It's likely that whatever method the alien is using to protect itself from obliteration takes a great deal of energy. They must continuously consume to keep from being destroyed. Approaching you as a mate was probably an attempt to perfect their own DNA. They're a truly frightening race - strong and smart."

    Lan Jue's voice was low, hard. "It seems an all-out war with these creatures is inevitable, and that means we'll need to face their false immortal. Do you have a strategy?"
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