Ancient paths were left behind from archaic eras; some too old to have historical records.
These paths made it easier for traveling between the three worlds, at least to a certain extent.
All in all, a forceful trip to these other two worlds required immense power or a cornucopia of resources. Ordinary experts had no way of fulfilling these requirements.
Normally from Myriad to Imperial, one would need to be an Amaranthine Eternal to start. That’s the very basic condition to reach the gate, not counting the dangers looming ahead.
As for Imperial to Immortal, people believed that it starts at the realm of Everlasting.
Only progenitors were freed from these prerequisites. Because of this, normal people, sects, and even systems didn’t dare to think about crossing the boundaries.
However, these ancient paths made it much easier, allowing unqualified masters to have a chance.
Cultivation became increasingly harder at the later stages so some Eternals would never be able to go up to Imperial or Immortal to broaden their horizon. Thus, the ancient paths increased their chance.
The world had several speculations about the various paths and their eras.
Some said that during the olden days, Three Immortals were connected by these ancient paths, resulting in plenty of intercommunication. For some unknown reasons later on, something earth-shattering happened and these paths collapsed, leaving only a few behind. These broken and incomplete paths became far more dangerous than before.
Li Qiye and the emperor made it to the entrance of one - a remnant galaxy with destroyed stars as far as the eye can see.
Everyone could tell that a great battle happened here. Though the combatants were unknown, their destructive capabilities were as clear as day.
The actual entrance looked like a great mountain floating among the stars. Half of it has been broken down but this didn’t seem to diminish its grand stature in the slightest. It resembled a super star hanging in the sky.
Broken stone steps led up to a tiny cave that could lead to a different world.
“The old records state that during the ancient eras, it was very easy to travel between the three worlds. Judging by the scale of these steps, there must have been tens of thousands of people traveling between Imperial and Immortal. Now, only a few of these paths are still usable.” The emperor spoke while walking on the steps.
“It’s not bad.” Li Qiye said: “The separation actually allows for fair competition and the spread of prosperity. Otherwise, one clan will rule everything. That’s not necessarily a good thing for development.”
“Makes sense.” The emperor somewhat agreed.
With perfect routes, the native systems from each world would have trouble developing. The three behemoths of Imperial wouldn’t exist because stronger lineages or any random progenitor would take over and reign over them.
In that scenario, the space for development would be greatly pressured. Nine Secrets or the Li wouldn’t have risen to the same level as they were now.
“Maybe the supreme existence in charge of everything thought about this issue. Thus, these paths weren’t broken from a sudden development, just part of the plan.” The emperor’s eyes narrowed.
“Maybe, maybe not.” Li Qiye chuckled: “No one knows what goes on behind the scenes for this matter. Plus, separation might also serve as danger mitigation.”
“What danger are you referring to, Dao Brother?” She asked, aware that anything that Li Qiye bothers to bring up would be a big deal.
“I don’t know but a few beings do. They are purposely shrouding it though so the rest of the world lives in ignorance, unbeknownst of the great danger.” Li Qiye smiled.
“The higher-level beings?” She wasn’t far from becoming a progenitor and had knowledge of important matters.
“No one can say for sure. For you and the rest, this is a beautiful world. But for a few existences, it is only a meal.”
“A meal…” The emperor’s heart skipped a beat.
Very few things in this world could scare her now due to her current level. However, Li Qiye’s words have successfully intimidated her.
She was no fool for she was a top emperor with incredible intelligence. She instantly came up with a bold and terrifying conjecture.
Her twelve palaces didn’t shield her from fear. In fact, anyone coming up with this hypothesis would be frightened.
“Ignorance can be happiness, same with a short life.” Li Qiye stared at the horizon: “What you see and know are beautiful; unaware of the true terror. That’s why you can live in happiness. Once you find out just how grim it is and how helpless you are, that’s when the mental torture arrives. And when you try to change it, further torment will come too. That’s why regular people can be so happy. For example, an insect had no knowledge of the sky falling down. They are satisfied just by filling their stomach.”
“The peace we have now is thanks to guardians like you.” She softly said.
“No, not I.” Li Qiye shook his head: “As I’ve said before, I’m just a passerby. The current situation stemmed from the efforts of numerous sages and supreme beings. They threw away everything for this cause. Their action is moving and worthy of respect.”
“Right, the present is thanks to them.” She nodded in agreement.
The two eventually made it into the narrow cave. The emperor shouted and derived the grand dao’s power.
The ground became bright with bricks assembling together to form a dao portal. They quickly exchanged glances before heading in.
Inside the portal were more floating stone steps spanning across the void. They have been here for who knows how many years? Virtually impossible to tell their originating era.
Each stone step had archaic runes carved on them, clearly done by an incredible master.
Why? Because they were still bright and clear, successfully withstanding the test of time.
As they traveled farther in, they saw erupting volcanoes, evil flames blotting out the area, endless oceans with a drowning affinity…