Chapter 6: The Great Dark Age
Translator: Strivon / Ash Editor: Geoffrey / Lancent
Li Yao’s eyebrows trembled; his complexion was somewhat grave. The period of “the Great Dark Age” was the most important phase in the development of the Cultivator Civilization. So much so that one can say the Great Dark Age divided civilization into two periods — the “Classical Cultivation Period” and the “Modern Cultivation Period”. This was an extraordinarily typical question. Although everyone knew about it, it was not easy to give a comprehensive answer.
Muttering deeply for a moment, Li Yao’s thoughts coursed with electricity and were spoken telepathically, flying upwards, “The cultivators of the ancients held an eternal life without death as their ambition, creating a matchless Ancient Cultivator Civilization that was full of splendor. They established from the Refinement and Foundation stages to the Orichalcum and Monad stages… until the Tribulation Ascension and True Immortal stages. These are the ascending stages in their system in order to gain immortality. Moreover, to advance bravely on this strip of path means to unceasingly break through the limits of life and stride towards the endless sea of the stars.”
“When Ancient Cultivator Civilization was at its peak, the Greater Thousand Worlds were established one after another by Ancient Cultivators. They constructed ancient transmission formations to run through the endless sea of stars, allowing for travel at will between stars and worlds. They’d reached a level where they began exploring the ultimate mystery of time!”
“With the continuous evolution of the Ancient Cultivator Civilization, the Ancient Cultivators became more and more powerful, their lifespans grew longer and longer, and the amount of resources they seized grew larger and larger.”
“When the Ancient Cultivator Civilization was in its early stages, there were only several hundred Orichalcum stage cultivators and dozens of Monad stage cultivators within the three thousand worlds. The “Apotheosized Devils of the Old” and the “Tribulation Ascended True Monarchs” were unheard of. On dozens of worlds, only one may appear after thousands of years. They were an existence that was few and far between.
“But when the Ancient Cultivator Civilization reached its later stages, the number of high stage cultivators exploded massively, multiplying factor by factor like a geometric series. During this time, there was a saying: ‘Monads were numerous like dogs and the Apotheosized were happy to walk them.’”
“And so, there were numerous high stage cultivators, all needing tremendous amounts of resources to cultivate. Additionally, more and more cultivators reached the penultimate stage to immortality. Their craving towards resources also reached — an endless bound!”
“In the beginning, it was possible to satisfy the avarice of the high stage cultivators through the exploitation of resources on the Greater Thousand Worlds. But after ravaging resources over the course of thousands upon thousands of years, after discovering nearly five thousand worlds and spending an entire millennium, the Ancient Cultivator Civilization came to find not a single new existence of a Greater Thousand World.”
“A world is limited, but the demands of cultivators are boundless — the Ancients spent a millennium in order to understand this truth. Naturally, civil war broke out as cultivators contested over the natural resources.”
“A three-thousand year civil war swept across all the Greater Thousand Worlds. Ancient cultivators that could conjure profound magics and transform nature engaged in slaughter on every star! Planets flamed and the ancient transmission formations were destroyed. Crystal battleships detonated one after another, and the high stage cultivators who claimed to be immortal fell one by one. The ‘Orichalcum Seizers’ and the ‘Old Monad Devils’ were like the mortals they had once treated like ants, turning into worthless cannon fodder. They disintegrated into scattered ash and smoke by the assaults sufficient to cause the annihilation of planets. ”
“Over seventy percent of the Greater Thousand Worlds were destroyed during the later stages of the civil war, and countless Greater Thousand Worlds had their connections severed from the Master World. Over 90% of the high stage cultivators turned to ash. The remaining low-stage cultivators struggled at death’s door in the midst of ruin.
“It seemed like the civil war was about to collapse, likely ushering the dawn of a new peaceful era — until an ignorant cultivator genius on an unknown Greater Thousand World invented a ‘Small Playful Invention’.”
“Historical records of this cultivator genius's name and sect had long been lost. His refining methods had also been swept away by the winds of time. Modern society calls what he invented — the ‘Fiend God Virus’!”
“Perhaps his thought process was very simple: since there weren’t enough soldiers, why not create something that could enhance the combat abilities of spirit beasts to replace cultivators in the battlefield — after all, there was seemingly no end to the number of spirit beasts!”
“He succeeded. The beasts that were catalyzed by the Fiend God Virus, countless once-docile spirit beasts, were transmogrified into terrifying machines of slaughter, becoming war machines known as Fiend Beasts. They did not tire. They did not falter. They appeared to be undying!”
“In a short 10 years, this cultivator genius relied on his army of Fiend Beasts to unify his Greater Thousand World. His Fiend Beast army numbered a hundred million strong. Cultivators of other worlds discovered what he had done and each began to refine their own ‘Fiend Beasts’.”
“In a hundred year’s time, Fiend Beasts became the main forces of the cultivator civil war, emerging in every nook and corner within the sea of the stars.”
“Unfortunately, all of the cultivators failed to realize two key issues.”
“The first, the ‘Fiend God Virus’ possessed an extremely powerful self-replicating ability and was violently contagious.”
“The second, while the ‘Fiend God Virus’ raised the fighting power of the Fiend Beasts, it also continuously increased the intellect of the Fiend Beasts at a rate that was imperceivable at first. Within a hundred years of savage blood-filled battle, a tremendous number of 10 billion fiend beasts had undergone catalyzation. A ‘Fiend Race’ possessing intellect surpassing mankind was born!”
“Eventually, on the final day of the three-thousand year civil war — the Fiend Race awakened!”
“All of the Fiend Beasts within the sea of the stars rebelled nearly simultaneously against their masters, as if they were being conducted by an existence of terror. The cultivators, who had been hiding behind closed doors living like royalty for ages, stood not a single chance against the experienced Fiend Beasts. Additionally, the Fiend Beasts grasped the technology and skills of cultivator human society!”
“Spirit countries were razed to the ground one after another. Entire sects were utterly extinguished. Within a hundred years, the Fiend Race ferociously hunted down the cultivators that managed to escape their net within the sea of the stars. The once high and lofty cultivators were now like stray dogs. They hid in the dark regions and cracks in space-time of the sea of stars, living in endless terror, unable to carry on.
“The next 30,000 years in its entirety was humanity’s ‘Great Dark Age’. Within this infinite darkness, the Fiend Race established a tremendous ‘Fiend Beast Dynasty’ and all of mankind was reduced to being lowly slaves. They lost their dignity. They lost their pride. And they lost what was most valuable of all — the right to cultivate!”
“It lasted three millenniumsthirty-thousand years, an entire three millenniumsthirty-thousand years! The old days lustered with glory where the Ancient Cultivator Civilization ruled the boundless sea of the stars. However, it was like a castle of sand, destroyed by the raging waves, with no trace left behind! The descendants of the high-level cultivators of the days of old, who possessed “an eternal immortal life”, could only rely on the most powerful primitive methods of reproduction, reproducing in great quantities, striving to ensure the preservation of their race!”
“The Great Dark Age ended only after the passing of 30,000 years due to internal power struggles within the Fiend Race; they constantly had conflicting views which split their society. Only then was humanity able to take a faint breath of opportunity. Cultivators launched three ‘Cultivator Revolutions’ from the shadows under the relentless efforts of countless cultivator geniuses. They set up a ‘Modern Cultivator Civilization System’ completely different from that of the Ancient Cultivator Civilization. Only then could they walk anew on the surging road of cultivation, reviving this road of glory!”
“Under the guidance and tenacity of the unprecedented ‘Supreme Emperor’, humanity was able to excavate a great number of the vestigial remains of the Ancient Cultivator Civilization and was able to found twenty ‘Guilds of Provenance’ anew once more. A thousand years of blood-filled battle passed and the humans achieved prosperity. Mankind became the rulers of the endless sea of stars once more; Modern Cultivator Civilization had achieved a shining and thriving reprieve from annihilation!”
“Ten thousand years have passed since the end of the ‘The Great Dark Age’. And an entire forty thousand years have past since the collapse of the Ancient Cultivator Civilization. The present is currently the best age of cultivation history; it's the year forty thousand of the Cultivation Era of endless glamour!”
While Li Yao was pondering over the final passage, a countdown had appeared in the sky, representing that the examination was coming to a close, leaving him no choice but to abandon his thoughts on continuing to expound on the “Supreme Emperor's” life. He spoke a few factual sentences without much thought, ending the passage in a rush.
In nearly the instant the final word emerged in his mind, the entire world collapsed with a loud bang and shattered into butterfly-like fragments. Li Yao was ejected by a tremendous force, his vision blossomed, and his consciousness returned back to the classroom.