The mental devil was dazed for a long time. After it thought everything through, it was trembling as violently as Li Yao.
“It—It must a coincidence,” the mental devil said in a low voice.
“If the transliterations such as ‘romance’ or ‘logic’ are coincidences, how do you explain the following words?” Li Yao said coldly. “I’ve fought with the federal army and the Cultivators more times than I can count. Every time we are grasped by desperation, people always use two idioms to boost the morale—’break the cooking pots and sink the boats’ and ‘fight with the river to our back’!
“I didn’t feel too strange about those two idioms before, but on second thought, do you not feel that it is horrifying?
“Where does the idiom ‘break the cooking pots and sink the boats’ come from? It comes from an ancient general named Xiang Yu in the Chinese culture on Earth who smashed the cooking pots and burnt the boats, declaring to his army that there was no retreat, during the resistance against the Kingdom of Qin. Eventually, he crushed the magnificent Kingdom of Qin, thereby leaving the tale of ‘breaking the cooking pots and sinking the boats’!
“As for the idiom ‘fight with the river to our back’, it is about another famous general named Han Xin, who deployed his army right in front of the river during a battle. It was also a method to encourage the soldiers to fight hard in the desperate situation because they had nowhere to retreat. In the end, he secured a victory, hence the idiom!
“It means that the two famous generals named Xiang Yu and Han Xin appeared on Earth first before the two idioms ‘break the cooking pots and sink the boats’ and ‘fight with the river to our back’ came into being!
“You and I boast the memories of the earthling Li Yao. So, it is not strange that we know the two idioms. But what about other people? Why are other people aware of the idioms that come from Earth?
“There are more popular idioms than ‘break the cooking pots and sink the boats’ and ‘fight with the river to our back’ in this era. For example, there are also ‘taste the gall on the hay’ and ‘call a deer a house’… All of them are common idioms that people use on a daily basis, but they are based on the tales from Earth. Are they simply coincidences?
“Also, stocks, network, government, army… all those notions exist both on Earth and in the world of Cultivators and have the same spelling. How incredible is that?”
After hearing the words, the mental devil began to scratch its head hard.
After scratching for a long time, it suddenly slapped its thigh and declared, “It’s simple. Let’s go to the Spiritual Nexus, find an online dictionary, and check the etymology of the idioms such as ‘break the cooking pots and sink the boats’ and ‘fight with the river to our back’. Let’s see how they are described in the dictionaries!”
Li Yao’s eyes suddenly gleamed. He immediately felt that he was foolish not to have come up with the idea earlier.
He hurried to turn on his crystal processor and looked for the most official online dictionary. He typed in ‘logic’ and hit ‘Confirm’. The meaning of the word ‘logic’ immediately popped up on the light beam.
“Logic, originally meaning ‘the word’ or ‘what is spoken’, but coming to mean ‘thought’ or ‘reason’, is a subject concerned with the most general laws of truth and is now generally held to consist of the systematic study of the form of valid inference.
“There is no universal agreement as to the exact scope and subject matter of logic, but it has traditionally included the classification of arguments, the systematic exposition of the ‘logical form’ common to all valid arguments, the study of inference, including fallacies, and the study of semantics, including paradoxes.
“The word ‘logic’ originates in the ancient language ‘Tianzheluo’, which was spoken in the Heavenly Philosophy Great Sector fifty-five thousand years ago. It is said to be related to a certain alien civilization who communicated with each other telepathically, but the theory cannot be confirmed…”
Li Yao and the mental devil looked at each other in bewilderment.
What was the meaning of that?
According to the explanation of the dictionary, the word ‘logic’ was not from ancient Greek on Earth but an ancient language called Tianzheluo in the so-called Heavenly Philosophy Great Sector?
Li Yao thought for a moment and typed in the idiom ‘break the cooking pots and sink the boats’ and hit ‘Confirm’.
“Break the cooking pots and sink the boats, a metaphor that one must secure the victory of a war without considering retreating. Cooking pot: a large piece of equipment for cooking food on or in.
“In the middle phase of the era of ancient Cultivators fifty thousand years ago, the saying ‘burn the boats and break the pots’ was already recorded in the ‘Great Changes in the Army’, one of the classics at the time, to demonstrate the spirit of fighting to the end even if it meant death, but it was not passed on as an established idiom yet.
“At the end of the era of ancient Cultivators forty thousand years ago, in the middle of the first civil war of the world of Cultivators, a great battle took place in the Dawn Moon Sector and the Desolate Dragon Sector. The Dawn Moon Sector was on the winning side, and the Desolate Dragon Sector was retreating in panic. Many Cultivators fled to other lands on divine boats.
“Xiang Feitian, commander-in-chief of the seventy-two sects of the Desolate Dragon Sector, gathered all the divine boats in the Sector and burned them to the ground, after excavating the core magical equipment and crystals on the vehicles. The assets were then crafted into new weapons. Eventually, the magnificent enemy was defeated!
“Henceforth, the tale ‘break the cooking pots and sink the boats’ gradually spread out!”
“Huh?” Li Yao and the mental devil both scratched their heads hard. So to speak, the incident ‘break the cooking pots and sink the boats’ had nothing to do with Xiang Yu, either, but was done by an ancient commander of Cultivators named Xiang Feitian!
This—this is too unbelievable!
Li Yao typed in another few words. Some of them were transliterations such as ‘sofa’, and some of them were idioms from ancient Chinese culture such as ‘taste the gall on the hay’.
But then, Li Yao discovered that the unique vocabulary from Earth in his memory could all be found in the dictionary, except that the words and idioms had totally different origins!
Not entirely convinced, he switched to a few other online dictionaries, but other than the difference in details, the results were basically the same.
It meant that both the transliterations such as ‘logic’, ‘romance’, and ‘sofa’ and the idioms such as ‘break the cooking pots and sink the boats’ and ‘fight with the river to our back’ were all part of the native language for the world of Cultivators. They had their own well-recorded etymology and were not plagiarized from the civilization on Earth.
Confusion descended upon Li Yao.
He pondered for a long time before he triggered a blank light beam and wrote two words on each side.
On the left side, he wrote ‘the Earth Civilization’. On the right side, it was ‘Cultivation Civilization’.
Below the titles were words that were almost identical.
“Pangu, Nuwa, dinosaurs, logic, stock, government, stars…”
After finishing everything, Li Yao turned on the faucet and cooled down his burning brain with the icy December water. After taking more than ten deep breaths, he calmed himself down and said, “Let’s analyze it now.
“Assuming that the ‘Earth Civilization’ that the previous Li Yao lived in and the ‘Cultivation Civilization’ that the current Li Yao is in are two different, irrelevant civilizations, everything will not make sense.
“Look at the words I wrote. From Pangu to logic, from stock to federal government, all of them are used in both worlds.
“Even the language we speak is basically the same as what was spoken in the Earth Civilization.
“One or two words might be coincidences, but how could it be a coincidence that the entire language system is identical?”
“So,” the mental devil said, “it is possible that the ‘Earth Civilization’ and the ‘Cultivation Civilization’ are deeply connected to each other in a certain way. Or rather, the ‘Earth Civilization’ might be part of the ‘Cultivation Civilization’?”
Li Yao frowned. “Can it?”
“Of course!” The mental devil nodded firmly. “Think about it. The Earth Civilization is claimed to have a history of millions of years, but it never developed at a high speed until several thousand years ago. The Chinese culture that we were in is said to have lasted more than five thousand years, but it’s still just five thousand years!
“The Star Ocean Imperium collapsed ten thousand years ago. Is it possible that ‘Earth’ was once a Sector in the Star Ocean Imperium that lost connection with the other Sectors in the chaos of war? After that, the Cultivation Civilization in the world might’ve been lost. After thousands of years of groping in the darkness, human beings there slowly created a civilization of a different kind. That might be the case, right?
“If that’s true, it will be not strange that both sides are aware of concepts such as ‘Pangu’ and ‘Nuwa’. They belonged together in the beginning after all!”
Li Yao pondered for a moment and slowly shook his head. “Unlikely. There are three suspicions points.
“Firstly, if Earth was really a Sector of the Star Ocean Imperium in the past, why was there not any spiritual energy at all?
“Yes. We’ve seen a lot of worlds where the spiritual energy was low, but it can’t be so low that it doesn’t exist at all, right?
“There were more than six billion people on Earth. Let’s say the odds of a Cultivator being born are one in a hundred million. There were bound to be dozens of Cultivators even so!
“But the truth is that there was no such thing as spiritual energy in the history of Earth. There was never a Cultivator, either.”
“Says who?” the mental devil argued. “Of course, there were spiritual energy and Cultivators on Earth. In the western history, there were Jesus and his apostles, who revealed all kinds of miracles. In the middle ages, there were tales of werewolves and vampires. In the eastern history, there were also almighty people such as Zhang Jiao and Zuo Ci, who could allegedly change the weather and enslave ghosts. Stories about zombies were passed on, too. Were they not Cultivators?
“Don’t glare at me. They might all be made up, but as the saying goes, there are no waves without wind. If they did not have the notion of ‘Cultivator’ in advance, how could the people have fabricated the omnipotent persons?
“Moreover, even if everything that I said is false, the super ugly woman you saw in your dream must be real, right? Wasn’t she a Cultivator on Earth?”
Li Yao was lost for words for a moment. After recovering from his daze, he continued. “Secondly, even if the Earth Civilization was truly part of the Cultivation Civilization, the words such as ‘logic’ and ‘stock’ only came into being in the past two thousand years, at which point Earth should not have been connected with the world of Cultivators. Why is it so coincidental that all the tales in the world of Cultivators were repeated in the history of Earth?
“As for the third suspicious point, it’s the Vulture Plan. What was the so-called Vulture Plan referring to exactly? Whether Earth was related to the world of Cultivators or not, there were never major catastrophes on Earth at the beginning of the twenty-first century. What was the threat that was ‘too dark and too strong’?”