After Chu Zhengqing expressed his opinion, yells and curses echoed nonstop. The excited believers of Chaos were even trying to approach Chu Zhengqing and challenge him.
The guardians, including Li Yao, hurried to block the frantic crowd.
Li Yao more or less understood why Yuchi Ba had asked a newcomer such as himself to protect Chu Zhengqing.
Judging from his boldness in making groundbreaking declarations, if an avid believer of Chaos were to work as his guardian, it would certainly have been difficult for the guardian to refrain himself from punching Chu Zhengqing’s face.
“Master Chu,” Yuchi Ba said coldly. “Let’s focus on the issues at hand for now. If the corpses really belonged to the believers of Chaos forty thousand years ago, what is your opinion about the cause of their death?”
“Loss of rationality for some reason and self-harm,” Chu Zhengqing said. “Many poisons, venomous gases, and even soundwave attacks that I know can achieve the result.
“However, as to whether the poisons and the venomous gas were released from the outside world or generated inside the Mausoleum of Chaos, it cannot be decided for now.”
Right then, a researcher in a white robe approached Yuchi Ba and whispered something into his ear. Yuchi Ba nodded in approval, apparently greatly relieved. “We haven’t detected the constituents of any poison or venomous gas in the air, the soil, or the corpses.”
“Not yet.” Chi Zhengqing smiled and said, “Master Yuchi, it seems that our preliminary assumption was right. Judging from the scale of the first floor of the Mausoleum of Chaos, the vastness of the building is unimaginable for us.
“Both in the official history books and in folklore, Chaos never seized the supreme power to rule over all the three thousand Sectors. Then, the purpose of such an underground must’ve been much more than to offer sacrifices or to demonstrate his power.
“In other words, this place was probably a research center or a secret base for Chaos, with both military and experimental purposes.
“Right now, our biggest questions include: what was Chaos exactly? Who were his enemies? What kind of magical equipment, weapons, or soldiers had he been studying in this place to deal with those enemies?
“Right. Perhaps the Blade of Chaos is only interested in the last question.
“However, before we move to a deeper level, I feel obliged to remind you one more time.
“Both the Blade of Chaos and Elder Nether Spring are doing everything you can to crack the secrets of Chaos. But as you can see, such a gory massacre has already been unfolded before us when we have not really gotten close to the secrets yet.
“Are you really ready to get your answer, one that might not be what you really want right now, or even is completely opposed to what you have believed in?”
Yuchi Ba took a deep breath and declared, “Yes, we are ready. Let’s go to the second floor.”
While they were studying the skeleton throne and the dead corpses, the specialists of ancient architecture and rune arrays had basically determined the rough structure of the second floor. As rune arrays were activated one after another, the center of the temple trembled slightly, and running gears could be heard deep below the ground.
Suddenly, enormous black pillars rose up from the ground.
They were the lifts leading to the second floor of the mausoleum of Chaos.
Judging from the overall structure, the Mausoleum of Chaos could be divided into three to four planes. However, the second floor took up even vaster space than the temple. The terrain inside the second floor was extremely complicated and had been split into different zones.
While the specialists were testing the lifts, Li Yao could not help but ask Chu Zhengqing, “You mentioned that ‘Chaos’ might have been a human being, didn’t you? What is that all about?”
Chu Zhengqing and his daughter glanced at him in surprise. Seeing no fascination or frenzy typical of a believer of Chaos, Chu Zhengqing pondered for a moment and asked back, “Have you ever heard the story of mankind regarding the birth of the demon race?”
Li Yao blinked, not sure whether he should give a positive reply or a negative one.
Chu Zhengqing mistook his hesitation for confusion. He explained quickly, “According to the history of human beings, forty thousand years ago, a Cultivator invented a type of gene drug named ‘Demon God’, which could accelerate the evolution of normal animals and transform them into strong demon beasts.
“However, during the refinement of demon beasts, the evolution went out of control. Many demon beasts walked through the journey of evolution that took human beings millions of years in only decades, ending up with intelligence that was on par with that of human beings.
“They were later known as the demon race.”
Li Yao swallowed hard. “Is it true?”
“Of course not. Or rather, not entirely,” Chu Zhengqing said. “After forty thousand years, we have such a profound understanding today about biochemical technology and gene theories that we can even produce biochemical brains that boast unparalleled computational ability. But still, we cannot endow true intelligence to demon beasts. How could the ancient Cultivators forty thousand years ago have achieved that in only less than a hundred years?
“But the human beings’ theory has its own merits. Perhaps, if we combine the theories of human beings and the demon race, we will be able to get a glimpse of the real history.”
“Combine the theories?”
Li Yao thought quickly and breathed fast.
“Exactly,” Chu Zhengqing said. “Maybe, forty thousand years ago, there was indeed a human being who developed a powerful biochemical drug that allowed the mutation to a certain degree inside animals.
“However, the drug was not enough to generate intelligence equal to that of mankind inside the mutated animals. Therefore, it could not play a decisive role in the wars.
“Just think about how difficult it is to give an animal the intelligence equal to a human being!
“However, it is much simpler if we change our mindset.
“If we cannot give the wisdom of human beings to animals, how about we give the bodies of the animals to human beings?”
Li Yao was dumbfounded, feeling that his throat was dry.
Yan Zhengqing continued. “You don’t know human beings, especially the ambitious, insane Cultivators among them. If a certain drug can boost the combat ability of an animal by ten times, turning the animal into the toughest of its species, then at least one in every ten thousand Cultivators would not be able to resist the temptation of injecting the drug into themselves.”
“That means” Chu Feiyin finished her father’s conclusion for him. Young and aggressive, she seemed to be particularly fond of the devastation on the faces of the believers of Chaos. “The demon race is probably the descendants of mankind. They are just a different type of human beings who have cracked part of the gene strands and activated the primeval form because of the Demon God Virus injected into them.”
Li Yao hesitated for half a second, wondering whether or not he should really put on a devastated face.
But the bewilderment on his face right now was already indicative enough of his shock.
He did not close his mouth until three seconds later. He stammered, “Howhow do you know?”
“We do not know,” Chu Feiyin said. “That is just a hypothesis. This is how we do our research. When we find a strange phenomenon, we throw out a hypothesis to explain it, until new evidence that we find proves it or disproves it in the end.
“Different types of demons, and even demons and human beings, have no reproductive isolation and are able to have children.
“The elites of the Blade of Chaos can even change between two or even multiple forms freely.
“The newborn demons, whichever clan they belong to and regardless of whether they are silver-blood or black-blood, are alike to the infants of human beings. The features of the demon race will not show up until they gradually grow mature.
“All this evidence supports our hypothesis that human beings and demons share the same origin.
“However, we are still lacking conclusive proof. That’s why we accepted the offers of Elder Nether Spring and the Blade of Chaos, eventually ending up in this place. We are here to look for an answer, to find out what we are exactly.”
Right then, the lifts leading to the next floor were activated. Bright blue lines popped up everywhere on the black pillars, splitting and interweaving into flower-like rune arrays.
Li Yao gritted his teeth and asked, “Since you worked for Elder Nether Spring before, you must’ve seen him in person, right?”
Chu Zhengqing eyed Li Yao suspiciously.
“Have you told your theories to Elder Nether Spring?” Li Yao asked. “Did he believe you or not?”
Chu Zhengqing nodded and said, “Elder Nether Spring is definitely not the most broad-minded demon, but he is truly very smart and certainly a specialist in the studies of Chaos.
“In fact, I often discussed with Elder Nether Spring. Even the hypothesis that human beings and demons share the same origin was come up with and perfected by us together.
“Without the funds, resources, and support that Elder Nether Spring provided, we wouldn’t have learned as much about the Mausoleum of Chaos at all.”
“Elder Nether Spring was a co-proposer of the same-origin hypothesis?” Li Yao was completely startled. “I don’t understand. Ifif your theory is true, and demons are just human beings in a different form, what is the meaning of the war between us and the Heaven’s Origin Sector?”
Chu Zhengqing’s eyes suddenly turned sharp.
Li Yao blinked and lowered his head. “I’m told that a lot of demons have been killed in the war, and more are being forced to leave their homes as refugees. Even me and my sister ended up being slaves because of the goddamn war. I’m also told that the Heaven’s Origin Sector is a vast place, and human beings there boast quite a high capability, too. We might not be able to completely occupy the Heaven’s Origin Sector even if the entire Blood Demon Sector is drained.
“Before, I thought that human beings and demons could never live in peace, and we could not cease fighting even if the last drop of our blood was shed.
“However, if even the big shots such as Elder Nether Spring partly agree to the hypothesis that human beings and demons are the same, what’s the reason for the two parties of the war trying their best to destroy each other?”
Chu Zhengqing laughed. All his wrinkles were pushed together, making his face look like an old tree that had grown for ten thousand years.
He patted Li Yao’s shoulder softly and said, “Your name is Bloody Claw, right?
“Bloody Claw, you are too young. Maybe in your eyes, a war needs a reason. We are demons, and they are human beings. That’s why we have to kill each other.
“No. It’s not like that.
“In the era of ancient Cultivators forty thousand years ago, there were no demons, but human beings still fought against each other for tens of thousands of years until they initiated an ultimate war that almost destroyed all three thousand Sectors.
“Later, in the Demon Beast Empire thirty thousand years ago, humanity declined, and the demon race rose to the peak. However, demons were still attacking each other incessantly. The demons killed in the civil wars because of the change of dynasties were much more than those killed by the sabers and swords of human beings.
“This is the truth about wars,” the old demon said casually.
“Wars never change, and wars do not need a reason.”