“In order to explain the minor apocalypses,” Bai Xinghe said, “Liu the Prier found endless ancient books and notes and carefully studied the ancient Cultivators’ experiences. He realized that all the ancient Cultivators who suffered apocalypses shared the same feature.”
“What is the feature?” Li Yao asked solemnly.
“They are all unparalleled experts!” Bai Xinghe answered.
Li Yao was rendered speechless. Of course, it was the experts who were struck by the apocalypses. Normally speaking, only those who were at the peak of the Nascent Soul Stage and about to enter the Divinity Transformation Stage were likely to experience apocalypses.
He had never heard of a Cultivator in the Refinement Stage suddenly being hit by an apocalypse while walking on the street. That would be hilarious.
Why would the ancient people named the level above the Nascent Soul Stage the ‘Divinity Transformation Stage’?
Because they believed that the Cultivators in the peak of the Nascent Soul Stage would be tested by the apocalypses, and those passed the test would become deities and gods. That was where ‘Divinity Transformation’ came from.
“In the last years of the ancient Cultivation world forty thousand years ago, all the Sectors were engaged in a war,” Bai Xinghe said. “The tyrants also rose up and attacked each other. It was truly an era of chaos!
“Therefore, Liu the Prier studied the Sectors during the period as the entire universe. He considered every Sector to be an independent civilization.
“Then, Liu the Prier discovered that, when two Sectors were at war, the more developed Sector was not necessarily a sure winner.
“On many occasions, a single super expert was enough to twist the situation of the war!
“The super experts might have been the humblest person of his Sector, but they seemed to be blessed with unimaginable luck and simply skyrocketed miraculously!
“For such experts, they would run into anonymous experts who would teach them techniques when they were on the street, find ancient secret treasures when they fell off a cliff, and when they bought a random pet, they would find out in the end that it was the best beast of the best beasts!
“It was like that the wheel of fate had decreed that they should emerge and change the world!
“Therefore, Liu the Prier called such people ‘Children of Destiny’.
“In the research journal, Liu the Prier listed three examples.
“Long Fentian, the second son of a minor family in the Dark Fire Sector. His family went bankrupt, his father was crippled by his enemy, and his own fiance broke up with him. There couldn’t be a more miserable person in the entire Sector!
“However, within a few years, the man rose to fame miraculously and became the best expert of the Dark Fire Sector. He distinguished himself in the war between the Dark Fire World and the Crescent Moon Sector by slaying the seven top experts of the Crescent Moon Sector by himself. In the end, he helped the Dark Fire Sector defeat the Crescent Moon Sector, whose overall capability was ten times higher!
“Ye Xinglong was originally an unknown soldier in the coalition army of the Cultivation sects of the Windy Sun Sector. At that time, the Windy Sun Sector was involved in a chaotic war among dozens of Sectors. It was the weakest of all the participants of the war and could have perished at any moment.
“But this guy, Ye Xinglong, boasted unbelievable charm and made countless beauties of many other Sectors bend for him. Not only did he sleep with the beauties of various Sectors, he also accrued abundant resources and techniques through the girls. In the end, he rose from a private to the commander of the coalition army of dozens of Sectors!
“Xiao Han used to be a servant of a small sect of the Furious Flames Sector. It was said that he was a cripple whose veins were all broken. But he had an extremely rarely-seen talent that allowed him to communicate with ghosts. Wherever he went, he could always meet countless ghosts and discover the techniques and the information about ancient treasures through the ghosts. He also quickly rose to fame in only several decades and helped the Furious Flames Sector defeat almost a hundred Sectors. At the end of the First Civil War of Cultivators, the Furious Flames Sector became the well-accepted ruler of the world!
“The Dark Fire Sector, the Windy Sun Sector, and the Furious Flames Sector were all insignificant Sectors before those people appeared. They were essentially ‘underdeveloped civilizations’. Yet, because of the miraculous rise of the ‘Children of Destiny’, they crushed the Sectors that were far stronger and more developed than themselves!
“Based on that finding, Liu the Prier put forward the last half rule.
“During the competitions between high-level civilizations and low-level civilizations, the former is unassailable in general, but there are factors that can change the outcome, which are the Children of Destiny.
“If a Child of Destiny who boasts unbelievable luck emerges in an underdeveloped civilization, it is possible that the civilization will pose a certain threat to a highly-developed civilization, if not completely defeating it!
“Therefore, even if a high-level civilization is faced with a harmless low-level civilization, since the former does not know if a Child of Destiny will suddenly appear someday, it will simply choose to destroy everything!
“But since the samples for observation are too few and restricted to the civilization of human beings, there is no telling whether or not the rule applies to the entire universe. Therefore, it is only a ‘half rule’.”
Li Yao found it hard to believe. “Luck? I don’t believe in such things.”
“Neither do I,” Bai Xinghe replied. “You may just consider such a phenomenon as ‘possibility’. It’s like the lottery whose winning odds are one billionth. But after billions of tickets are sold, somebody will win the lottery sooner or later. It is not because the guy is particularly lucky but because the mechanism of probability takes effect.”
Li Yao thought for a moment and found the explanation irrefutable.
Pondering briefly, Li Yao finally thought everything through. He said, “So, the minor apocalypses are weapons to ‘exterminate’ the Children of Destiny?”
Bai Xinghe nodded and said, “Even if the ‘Child-of-Destiny Rule’ does not exist, it is undeniable that all the experts slain by minor apocalypses are the essence of mankind and the best of their generation, isn’t it?
“So many unparalleled experts failed to pass through the test of the apocalypses. It was an unbelievably heavy loss for the human beings!
“If the apocalypses did not exist and they continued their training, they might’ve been able to invent more techniques and secret arts. The civilization of mankind might be hundreds of times stronger right now!
“If we consider it from that point of view, the minor apocalypses have indeed slowed down the development of our civilization. That is definitely categorically true.”
Li Yao felt goosebumps rising on his skin. “Do you mean that, for tens of thousands of years, countless strong civilizations have been watching over us silently and wiping out the experts among us in order to eliminate the possibility of our development?”
Bai Xinghe shook his head and replied, “According to the notes of the ancient Cultivators, the methods of attack of every apocalypse and their outcomes were different. They did not seem to be arranged by the same civilization.
“However, it is not very logical that hundreds of other civilizations have been monitoring the civilization of mankind all the time. After all, a hundred thousand years back, the civilization of mankind was still in the primitive phase. There was no reason for so many powerful civilizations to be coveting us.
“Therefore, Liu the Prier made the judgement that the minor apocalypses were not set to attack us on purpose but released by a civilization a long time ago with certain conditions as the trigger and spread all over the universe.
“When one of the conditions is met, the apocalypse will be activated and launch the attach automatically.
“It means that the minor apocalypses only attack randomly. Some of us are only unlucky enough to run into them.”
Li Yao found it confusing. “Why?”
“The universe is too vast,” Bai Xinghe explained. “Even if civilizations similar to mankind or even far more advanced than ours do exist, they must be very far away from us. It is possible that they are millions, if not billions, of lightyears away from us!”
Li Yao nodded. It was quite true.
When the civilization of mankind was in its prime, it had crossed through a large area of the universe and conquered a lot of alien species. But most of the species did not have a systematical civilization.
In the ancient classics, the alien species were sometimes referred to as elves, goblins, and gnomes. In fact, they were merely natives of foreign planets.
In the vast territory that human beings had explored, there was not a single civilization as developed as that of mankind. Therefore, if such civilizations did exist, they must have been extremely far away from mankind.
“Let’s say the two civilizations are a million lightyears away from each other,” Bai Xinghe said. “When the hostile civilization sensed the civilization of mankind, it immediately launched a powerful apocalypse at the speed of light, which marched toward the civilization of mankind unstoppably!
“But it would still take a million years for the apocalypse to arrive, wouldn’t it?
“A million years!
“Think about it. It took us only a hundred thousand years for us to evolve from creaking monkeys to what we are today!
“Imagine where we would have been in a million years. Would we even be scared of the so-called ‘apocalypse’ by then?
“Chances are that we would even have calculated the trajectory of the apocalypse and found a way to counterattack!
“For the civilization that launched the attack, was it trying to kill a civilization, or was it trying to get itself killed?”
Li Yao nodded his head. The points seemed pretty solid.
“Therefore, the more reasonable approach would be to release countless ‘minor apocalypses’ after setting certain hibernation and wake-up conditions. They would float in the endless universe aimlessly and slowly. When some of the conditions were met, they would be triggered immediately and perform the attack! That way, it would be faster, more reasonable, and less costly.
“Why did the apocalypse only visit the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators who were breaking into the Divinity Transformation State in the world of ancient Cultivators?
“I assumed that, when a Cultivator summoned all the spiritual energy in the peak of the Nascent Soul Stage to break the threshold of the Divinity Transformation State, the immense spiritual waves that they released might have been perceived by a ‘minor apocalypse’ that happened to be drifting nearby. It would then be activated immediately!
“In the world of ancient Cultivators, there was also a theory called ‘integrity quotient’. It was said that, if a Cultivator did good things such as helping the weak and the poor, they would avoid the fate of the apocalypses. Some people even claimed that a certain great man of an honorable sect who had accumulated enough positive karma was safe and secure when he tried to break into the Divinity Transformation State without suffering from any apocalypses.
“Hehe. The real reason is much simpler. The guy was lucky enough that there happened to be no minor apocalypses near the Sector he was in when he was trying to break into the Divinity Transformation Stage!”
Li Yao clapped his hands and said, “That is a very reasonable explanation!
“The major apocalypses are ‘strategic weapons’ of a civilization. They are costly and difficult to be launched. After all, they are powerful enough to destroy a planet and even a Sector. I believe that, even for the alien species that are far more developed than mankind, they cannot launch them randomly.
“The minor apocalypses, on the other hand, are ‘tactical weapons’. They are cheap, easy to utilize, and very inconspicuous. Therefore, they launched as many as possible without caring about anything, all in order to stall and even block the evolution of other civilizations!”