Shao Xuan stood in puzzlement, planning to quickly defeat his opponent when a giant crack appeared in front of Yi Xiang. A chunk of relatively intact ice broke off from the land and floated along the waves. More and more ice pieces broke off from the piece he stood on, getting thinner and thinner and breaking apart quickly. IN a second, the ice layer that could hold a giant beast now barely held a human.
The piece of ice beneath his feet slowly disintegrated until it could no longer hold him above water.
“That world, it was not just a world of consciousness. It connects the past… to the future. Do you… know anything about that?”
As he spoke, Yi Xiang had started to sink. When he uttered the last word, he had already completely sunk into the seawater.
When Yi Xiang sank into the water, Shao Xuan no longer sensed his presence, not even the fire seed like he had disappeared on the spot. Unless he dove into the ocean himself, he would never be able to find Yi Xiang, dead or alive.
The ocean beasts were all dead animals without their own consciousness or olfactory and visual senses, they could not be used to track him down.
After sensing his surroundings once again, he still could not find Yi Xiang so there was nothing to chase after.
‘He’s scarily good at slipping away,’ thought Shao Xuan.
However, Shao Xuan was severely fatigued too and felt like a beast was stomping around in his head, for it hurt a lot. Running after Yi Xiang would just make his condition worse. He was not as experienced in controlling giant reanimated corpses like him, forcing it would just backfire. He did not want any backfiring here.
He stopped controlling the beasts, about to rest but he quickly noticed the changes in his surroundings when he gave up control.
White flames erupted from within the beast bones, and in the blink of an eye, the flesh and skin that used to be impenetrable towards blades and ice all disintegrated into ash.
The giant beasts as large as mountains disappeared into ash before Shao Xuan’s eyes.
The black herd of animals from various places suddenly turned to grey ash, all that was left were Yi Xiang’s enslaved reanimated corpses, who did not change at all.
Shao Xuan did not understand what just happened, all he knew was that every beast he enslaved self-combusted and turned to ash from the white flames.
The layer of snow was long gone from the battlefield, only sparse patches of ice remained. The ground was mostly brown from the exposed soil, but this brown was soon covered in white again from the ashes.
The giant beast Shao Xuan previously rode also turned to dust, even the hardest teeth and claws became nothing.
Everything as far as the eye could see was covered in white.
Spotting something, Shao Xuan strode over, the ash beneath his feet crackling with every step like snow, though not as cold.
When he arrived, he looked at the protrusion from the ground and wiped away the layer of grey.
It was a chunk of ice, probably fallen from a collapsed ice mountain. This chunk had luckily escaped the fate of being stepped on so it was preserved and not melted due to the cold weather.
What attracted Shao Xuan’s attention was the thing in the ice.
A clump of grass.
Not sure how long it had been sealed inside though.
The clump of grass straw was as large as a watermelon, a golden yellow and clumped together messily. Shao Xuan could see the messy fibres sticking out of it.
There was evidence of it being cut, the cross-sections messy. It did not look like it was cut by a blade, more like it had been bitten off.
Shao Xuan put his palm on the ice so it melted slowly, soon revealing the clump of grass.
A normal plant would be destroyed but it remained in mint condition out of the ice.
When he picked it up, he found that it had a strange texture, it could not be broken from gentle tugging either.
Shao Xuan had never seen grass like this before, perhaps it lived in a place without people or was long extinct.
This clump was made up of several blades knotted tightly together. Taking them apart required some effort. Then, he braided them into a rope.
When Shao Xuan looked at this length of straw rope, Yi Xiang’s last words echoed in his mind.
It was not just consciousness, it connected the past to the future?
Where is ‘past’? What is the ‘future’?
Although he did not know what Yi Xiang intended when he said this, Shao Xuan still thought about it. He felt like he would discover something if he could peer into the past and future somehow.
He looked down at the completed straw rope in his hand, grinned, then sat on the ground to make knots.
Everything around him gradually faded, the white replaced by darkness. When everything turned dark, he once again saw countless light dots like stars in the night sky. It was the world of consciousness.
Shao Xuan did not know what these light dots were. He stood watching the star-like dots surrounding him like a river of stars.
The twinkling dots aggregated into an immense force, its magnificence could be felt.
The darkness was now replaced by light, becoming blurry, then his murky surroundings finally became clear again.
He was no longer in that dark world surrounded by light dots. What he saw was a world of colour.
Golden grass like the ones he saw surrounded him but it was no longer the small clump he saw.
He turned to see two eggs as tall as himself lying on the grass. Not far away was a wall surrounding himself also made of grass.
Was he in a… nest?
In the next moment, his observations confirmed his guess. Forget about the eggs, there were several giant bird-like beasts pecking and chasing each other near him. They were different from birds, closer to the pterodactyl than the modern bird. However, it did not have wings or feathers.
As he pondered, he realised his field of vision was changing, and as if he was lifted into the air, he left the ground and his field of vision widened.
This is a forest, an ancient forest with trees as tall as the sky.
Suddenly, the fierce beasts with no feathers ran hysterically, shaking the ground as every branch trembled.
An even bigger, ferocious giant beast stomped through the place, its jaws dripping with blood. There was a struggling animal in its mouth, it was about less than a third of its size.
Shao Xuan could recognise it, he had pulled these giant beasts out of the ground after all. Although it was a different one from the beasts he enslaved, they were of a similar kind.
His field of vision zoomed out. Further away, there were giant beasts that did not exist in the modern era. Beasts with giant bone plates on their backs, bone armour on their heads, tails like spiked clubs, necks as long as snakes… all the animals he previously summoned appeared before him.
Shao Xuan even saw figures slipping through the grass stealthily. Although he could not see them, Shao Xuan knew that those must be humans, though in this era, humans were just one of the animals on the lower part of the food chain. The way they ran frantically from a beast that was not even the largest of them all was an indicator of their tough lives. Flaming Horns would have hunted this giant beast down already.
Shao Xuan understood now. He was looking at the past, from a long time ago when the fire seed did not exist.
Although he could not truly touch anything, he could feel the humid warm climate here. Giant creepers climbed up the trees, which were also covered in moist moss. Unknown insects flew past Shao Xuan, including gigantic mosquitoes similar to the giant dragonfly he once rode.
Passing through the dense forest and over a mountain, he saw a flock of giant birds. No, not birds!
As they spread their featherless wings, Shao Xuan recognised them as the animal he saw from the ice! But these beasts did not have long tails.
The largest ones were almost similar in size to the largest giant eagle at Eagle Mountain!
In the air, a figure with a protruding crown on its head swooped past, crying out. On land, all its mates who were crawling in search of food or feeding suddenly gave up their prey, or held their prey in their mouths, extended their giant wings, then took off. The leader then led the entire group far away.
More and more flying figures took off, some flying from the mountain, others from the forest or the ocean surface. They gathered in the sky, blocking out the sunlight. Some smaller flocks of flying animals also took off behind them.
This was not an event involving a single species, but many, many flocks!
Like a long headless dragon, the larger animals flew in front, then the animals flying behind became smaller and smaller. Those smaller ones who flew too fast would be killed by the larger ones in front.
At the end of the formation, Shoa Xuan saw a familiar figure. The group of animals flying at the tip were identical to the pterosaur he picked up from the ice1
The formation of multiple species took off from land and flew towards the open ocean.
They flew for a long time, leaving the land far behind themselves. Blue ocean could be seen in all directions. The unit in front descended slightly, maintaining a moderate distance between themselves and the ocean surface. The flying giants with protruding crowns let out a strange cry from their hard throats. In the beginning, only the leader cried but very soon, the entire flock cried. Every group started to cry in a cacophony of different voices. While it seemed random, upon closer observation, they seemed to be crying in the same rhythm.