The Happiness God muttered in consternation. Within the Three Realms, dragons were nothing more than myths. Serpents were the apex reptiles. And not just dragons. Phoenixes, golden crows, great rocs, none of those mythical races possessed actual representant. Devas and demons therefore dubbed them as the product of humanity's vast imagination.
Never did the Happiness God expect Cloud to mention such a race. And hearing his inquiry, Cloud ignored his "clearly" delusional siblings to shift his attention back onto the Happiness God.
"There is no harm in saying it. Indeed, in a long-lost era, dragons, phoenixes, and all those legendary creatures that now only exist in mortals' myths did roam the world. In those days, mortals chafed under the tyrannical rule of the immortal clans. Of course, there was nothing they could do.
But the immortals were not much better off, because above, invincible tyrants stood to suppress them all: The Empyrean Dragon Race and their lord, the almighty Empyrean Emperor, Celestial Slaughter."
Cloud explained with the recollection of those accursed days flashing within his eyes.
"In those times where existences at the Overlord and the Warden's level lied in the hundreds, none could challenge the will of Celestial Slaughter, the mightiest Empyrean Dragon of all eras. A pity that he incurred eldest brother's hatred, but failed to destroy him while he still could. The natural result, you can guess."
Cloud pursued before returning his attention onto Night.
"You, Moon, sister-in-law and I all witnessed their fall. In this era, only one remainder of them should exist, and we know full well where he is. How could you possibly make such an absurd assumption?"
Cloud asked while shaking his head, and Night's frown finally dispersed. Indeed, that wasn't possible. But then again, weren't they all proof that someone destroyed in body and soul could still reincarnate given the right conditions?
Meanwhile, following his Death Transcendence, Konrad unwittingly broke through the shackles of the Three Realms to land within a paradisal world of mountains and rivers where peace and serenity lay in every breath.
Within that world of eternal peace, Konrad stood alone, with none to disturb his stillness, until in a twister of white light, a bald monk in saffron robes appeared.
Seeing him, Konrad's eyes contorted into a frown.
He asked in disbelief for never could he forget the contours of that "buddhist" monk's face. Indeed, it was the monk that examined him within the Tower's seventh floor when he underwent false incarnations and trials to mend the flaws in his Dao Heart.
"I told you. If one day you sought Grand Liberation, we would meet again. And now, though you don't realize such is its name, that is what you seek."
The monk replied, and his ordinary-looking eyes opened to lock on Konrad who stood puzzled by his words. Following the instant he achieved Transcendence, Konrad's next step was to use his newfound abilities to create a new cultivation road for himself, one independent of the Three Realms' Four Steps.
But before he could seek further, he landed in this place. Was that…the so-called Grand Liberation?
"Grand Liberation is a step barred to non-transcendent existences. You need to reach the step and have the will before the gate to me opens. Since you have both, I appeared to you. Now that you achieved Transcendence, you should have a full understanding of what that means, first reorganize your thoughts."
The monk urged while remaining seated in a lotus position.
Without delay, Konrad closed his eyes and peered into his new pool preternatural knowledge. In a flash, vast knowledge filled him, and he understood the monk's words.
"Grand Liberation," an insurmountable step for those that sought Supremacy. In all realms and verses, cultivation was a path established by either Realm Wills or a controller behind the scenes. Such cultivation paths were referred to as False Bridges, for indeed, cultivation was nothing more than a bridge.
First step, to become a Saint, second step, to become a Sage, third step, to become a God, fourth step, to become an Overgod. Those were the Three Realms' cultivation paths, the False Bridge that forever stood within the palm of its master, the one referred to as …the System's True Owner.
There was no malice behind providing a False Bridge, because only Transcendent Existences had a chance, a tiny chance, of creating their own bridge and cultivation path. Without a False Bridge, the people of the Three Realms simply couldn't cultivate.
However, there was malice elsewhere! Bridge quality!
The Three Realm's cultivation bridge was weak! At least, when compared to other possible False Bridges, it was several steps below! Moreover, all who stood on this Bridge existed within its owner's will and could not escape his control!
But as a tradeoff, the Gods of the Three Realms all possessed eternal life, without having to face tribulations.
Konrad's eyes opened, returning onto the monk whose cultivation base still eluded him. No, it didn't. There just wasn't any cultivation base to see.
"Now that you understand, you should also realize that before you can form your bridge, there is another step you need to cross."
The monk began.
"I must reach Nascent Insight in the Principle of Infiniteness."
Konrad replied nigh-instantaneously. And hearing this, the monk nodded.
"Indeed. Though you don't have to master it, in order to create the first steps of your bridge, you need to understand Infiniteness. As your understanding progresses, you can create more steps. Though, I must warn you. Throughout the Omniverse, across those zillions of years, only eight individuals crossed this step. Others with the potential died trying to."
The monk cautioned. And even without those warnings, Konrad knew the task daunting. There were three layers to Supremacy, all disconnected. The first was All Transcendence. The second was mastery of the Supreme Principle of Nothingness, and the third, mastery of the Supreme Principle of Infiniteness.
Success in any of those layers granted the cultivator the right to call himself Supreme. With two layers, they could call themselves High Supreme, and with three, the unrivaled title of Almighty Supreme was theirs.
Alas, none possessed the last.
The Supreme Principles were not laws. They existed before them.
And now, as Konrad recalled the words from the First Cultivation Step he heard within the Tower, their meaning became clear to him.
"In the beginning, there was one, one produced two, two produced three, and three produced all things."
In the beginning, there was Nothingness. Nothingness produced Infiniteness, Infiniteness produced the Laws, and the Laws then birthed all things!
Therefore, those three forces stood beyond all cultivation principles as the true paths to Supremacy.
And now, in order to create his own bridge, Konrad had to reach Nascent Insight in Infiniteness. Without delay, he sat crossed-legged, and connected to all the laws in the omniverse to see through the veil of their roots, understand Infiniteness, and forge his Cultivation Bridge!