Yang Chen sighed and shook his head. “I get it now. History is just propaganda for both sides. Both sides only narrate what benefits them. Maybe that person wasn’t lying. She just might’ve been told the story in that way. Perhaps that version of the story has been passed down for generations within Hongmeng. Their own ‘victory in history’.”

“Well you’re right in that sense. Everything you were told is just a bunch of nonsense.” Christen was not buying it. “Maybe, just maybe, among the pioneering generation of China, there really was a presence far exceeding our imagination.

“However, when we first arrived here on Earth tens of thousands of years ago, the spiritual energy on Earth was already at its trenches.

“The Hongmeng cultivators at that time were hardly even close to their ancestors. At best, they could only reach Tribulation Passing. There might be tens of thousands of them, but so was the case for us. Why would we be afraid of them?

“Besides, the twelve of us main gods could reincarnate for as long as the universe exists. As for the Chinese cultivators, once they’re dead, they’re gone. With so many things making them so insignificant to us, why would we still fear them?”

Yang Chen frowned as doubt clouded his mind. “Wait, but that’s not right. The last time I took on Ares I actually broke his frozen space with True Qi. It seems evident that Chinese martial arts could actually retain the laws of space.

“How then could you feel that the odds are still in your favor? Furthermore, now that I’ve broken through Xiantian Full Cycle, I feel that my True Qi has far improved from what I had felt before. I’m not talking about multiples of one or two, I’m talking about the laws of space not even being a threat to me anymore. You were saying that there were dozens of original Hongmeng members at Tribulation Passing, so it only made sense if their cultivations were beyond mine. Were Zeus and Athena really that much more powerful than them?”

Christen suspiciously glared at Yang Chen. “Hades, from whom exactly did you get this bunch of garbage from?”

“What do you mean?” Yang Chen felt slightly uneasy from the gaze from that woman.

“Hmph.” Christen snorted and rolled her eyes. “You truly underestimate yourself Hades. I’m just going to ask you this one question. The cultivation in which you practise, how many alive are capable of that?”

Yang Chen took to himself to have a deep thought, recalling what Abbess Yun Miao once said. “Well I was told that… the martial arts I’m cultivating is called Endless Resolve Restoration Scripture originating from Shushan. Ever since its existence, there have been only a handful of people who have cultivated it due to the high requirements in physique quality and understanding. After the elder who had guided me passed away, I’m certain that I’m the only one alive practising this technique.”

“Exactly,” Christen replied. “You assume every form of martial arts in China has the same power level. Even among the same Soul Forming stage, there exists potent and inferior forms of martial arts. The technique you practise is far superior to nearly all other forms. This also means that your starting line has already exceeded most cultivators in the Soul Forming stage. Did you really think that breaking Ares’ spatial powers is that easy? That everyone in your level could do it?”

“So what you are trying to say is that… even if we’re all in the same stage, be it Soul Forming or Tribulation Passing, our capabilities can differ vastly?” Yang Chen was instantly enlightened by her explanation.

How did I miss that? It makes sense. Even if there are countless stages in the realm of cultivators, being in the same stage doesn’t necessarily mean our power levels are similar, does it?!

The art of battle was not solely dependent on one’s cultivation level. There were other factors such as skill, precision and strategy!

After a sharp reminder by Christen, Yang Chen led himself to an eventual discovery, that he had always seen cultivation stages and combat ability as one and the same!

But it was hardly Yang Chen’s fault for his misunderstandings. After all, while Ling Xuzi and Yan Sanniang were both in the Soul Forming stage, they simultaneously possessing adept power levels.

That was directly correlated with Ling Xuzi’s appointed position as a Hongmeng Messenger, as well as Yan Sanniang’s role as the private protection for Yang Gongming.

But it was exactly because of that, Yang Chen had always thought that all cultivators in the Soul Forming stage were equal. He realized that it was Yan Sanniang herself who had yet to see the bigger picture!

Christen casually continued, “Hades, let me tell you this. Tens of thousands of years ago, eighty percent of the cultivators within the Soul Forming stage had only but mediocre power levels. Their True Yuan could only be described to be more or less that of the space powers of our divine citizens. Many a time they’d utilise the elements of nature to put up a fight against us, but truthfully, only a few hundred at most would actually deal any level of threat towards the twelve of us main gods.

“But seriously though, I can’t believe you were stupid enough to believe that we were the losing side. If that was actually the case, why would the Chinese ancestors draw the line within the borders of China and surrender the rest of the planet to us? It was obviously because they were aware that a prolonged war would benefit neither side, which prompted them to acknowledge our arrival. It all makes sense, doesn’t it?”

Yang Chen nodded. It was undeniable that his prior knowledge on this incident was hardly logical. Back when Yan Sanniang explained the story, he genuinely never brought himself to interpret the narration.

As for the reason the main gods were never reincarnated as a Chinese citizen, it was undoubtedly to evade a reincarnation upon their ‘sworn enemies’. Furthermore, the offsprings from the mortal flesh with the humans were never found within the grounds of China. A perfect example was Judy from Blue Storm, the one who was slaughtered at the hands of Yang Chen. She was in fact a descendant of Christen from one of her many reincarnations.

Since he was already in deep thought about the whole scenario, he was immediately caught with a tricky incident, as he frustratedly asked, “If that’s the case, why did Ares find my martial arts peculiar and foreign back when I was sparring with him? Hadn’t he been fighting since millennia ago?”

“He did? Then what did you say to him?”

“I said… it was a form of Chinese martial arts.” Yang Chen, upon finishing his sentence, instantly discovered a certain something as he burst into laughter. “Oh I see it now. The cultivators you all had interacted with were at bare minimum of the Soul Forming stage. They all use True Yuan, while during my fight with Ares, all I could cultivate was True Qi which feels and sounds different.”

Dumbfounded, Christen stared at Yang Chen as if he was a different person. “Hades, do you mean that… the technique you practise, even before it reached the status of True Yuan, managed to break through Ares’ frozen space?”

“What do you think? Pretty good right?”

Christen bit on her lip as she replied with a tinge of jealousy, “Well it’s pretty decent to say the least, even amongst the legendary Tribulation Passing cultivators. I can say hardly anyone possesses a combat style as mighty as yours. It really does prove the point that your starting point is much higher than anyone else’s.”

As she was praising him, a flash of distress raced across her face as she stomped her foot in mid air. “No! Hades, there is little doubt that you’ll eventually reach the Tribulation Passing stage, and by then you could potentially start inflicting harm on Zeus and Athena. You are not allowed to turn on us, you hear me? I’m asking you to stay neutral at the very least.”

Yang Chen was confused. “Why do you keep bringing up Zeus and Athena, are they really that terrifying?”

Christen sighed as she stoically explained, “All I can say to you is, amongst the twelve main gods, Ares might have a lust for blood and war, but at the end of the day, he is undeniably the weakest of us. He was included amongst us only by the skin of his teeth. He hopes to hide it by picking fights with people. It’s the only way he can keep people from underestimating him. Next up, would be me, my power level is close to Ares’.

“The last time I told you that you had impressive comprehension about the laws of space, I was clearly calling a bluff, because I didn’t think it’d be a good idea to break your confidence. I didn’t want you to lose faith. But the truth is, the gap between all twelve of us are indeed leagues apart.

“As for the remaining gods, the two you’ve met, Apollo and Diana, are far ahead of us too. They just never felt the need to show it in your presence.

“It was without mention the mastery of the preceding Hades, along with Poseidon and few others. As for Zeus and Athena, like I’ve been mentioning thus far, if it was not for Hongmeng’s despicable scheme, a head-to-head battle would ultimately overwhelm them, and China without a doubt would be in our hands.”

Yang Chen’s heart sunk. He understood that tonight had been a valuable exposition in his favor, but it undoubtedly struck a huge hit in his confidence. He started laughing softly. “I’d never have imagined that our spatial powers had nearly the same advancement potential as Chinese martial arts.

“Even with the assistance of any divine weaponry, it would still be the laws of space, wouldn’t it? I’m sure you know that when a cultivator breaks through the Soul Forming stage, it would mean that they have ‘gone beyond the three realms’, exceeding the bindings of space. How would you deal any damage to them then?”

Just when Christen was about the explain, her facial expression turned ugly. “Neptune?”

Yang Chen too felt a force of energy vigorously vibrating from east and west. It was clearly the commanding presence of a god, and it was nothing like he had ever experienced.

Neptune… wouldn’t that be… POSEIDON?!

“The newly appointed Hades, since you don’t seem to be too fond of the ‘laws of space’, why don’t we have a duel? Let me show you what the laws of space truly are…”