Keyboard Immortal Chapter 2196: Netherworld Book of Life and Death

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Chapter 2196: Netherworld Book of Life and Death

The Necropolis Emperor didn’t reply directly, and asked a question in return instead. “How do you view these celestial beings?”

Zu An muttered to himself, “Celestial beings? They're immortal and all-knowing, of course…”

“Wrong.” The Necropolis Emperor interrupted him. “Firstly, even though celestial beings live for a long time and are practically immortal in the eyes of mortals, it is not the same kind of immortality that mortals believe exists. Even though their lives are long, there is still an end. Your human world has the deterioration of heaven and man. Even though the term is slightly inappropriate in this case, it is a similar concept. Once celestial beings approach the end of their lives, their bodies manifest many signs of decline. That is also why immortal medicines are so precious across the endless realms.”

Zu An was shocked, exclaiming, “Immortal medicines are useful even for immortals?”

“But of course,” replied the Necropolis Emperor. “The legendary Jade Lake Peaches of Immortality, the Ginseng Fruit, the fruit from the Garden of Eden; these legends from the human world are all immortal medicines. Celestial beings are all incredibly powerful humans or lifeforms of other species. There are even some nebulas or other abstract ent.i.ties that can gather and become celestial beings. They are strong enough to create or destroy worlds, and these individuals often end up being seen as deities.” ??ee????o?el.?o?

Zu An’s eyes narrowed. He hadn’t expected even things like nebulas to be able to become celestial beings. Still, it wasn’t all that surprising. Weren’t the twenty-eight constellations ancient legends of Chinese mythology? It was just that at the time, the people had thought that certain celestial beings occupied those constellations. Now, though, it seemed possible that those deities were just the incarnations of the constellations themselves.

Just then, the Necropolis Emperor continued, “Secondly, no celestial beings are truly all-knowing. Even though every single deity has their own divine abilities to learn about many things, none of them can reach true omnipotence. There are endless divine abilities in the world, and there will always be some beings of the same level who can screen off some mysteries of fate and cause errors in judgment. This is precisely where the saying 'the great dao has fifty paths, and the heavens overflow forty-nine paths; no matter what kind of a situation it is, there is always a chance of life' comes from. You must firmly remember this point, as it might be helpful to you in the future.”

Zu An was surprised. No wonder he had always felt that prophecies and destiny were extremely mysterious, and yet he never completely trusted them. So he would really be able to change them…

The Necropolis Emperor continued, “Even though the Three Pure Ones[1] are powerful, if both the Celestial Emperor and the Buddha worked together, it wouldn’t be too difficult to fool them. After all, even mortals know the concept of 'one day in heaven is one year on earth'. Even after many years pa.s.s in the human world, it might only have been an instant in the heavens.”

Zu An asked curiously, “The so-called heaven, is it in a black hole? Otherwise, why is there such a huge difference in time?”

He recalled some science fiction movies of his previous world, such as Interstellar. The main character’s group had only spent less than a day on a celestial body around the black hole, and yet when they returned to their s.h.i.+p in normal orbit, they found that their companions had already waited for them for decades. It was because of different gravitational forces causing time to flow differently in different locations.

“Black hole?” The Necropolis Emperor couldn't help but laugh. “That is what some scientific civilizations explain it as, but they are just special kinds of worlds. Once you become powerful enough, you can take a look yourself.”

Zu An became more and more curious about the outside world. He suddenly thought of something and continued, “I encountered multiple Celestial Emperors in some secret dungeons before. Even though I never personally met them, I heard many rumors. I wonder, are those Celestial Emperors the same as the one we're talking about now?”

He had encountered some ancient legends in the Xia Dynasty secret dungeon. There was a Celestial Court there, and there seemed to be many Celestial Emperors in other legends too. The various lineages seemed to be quite messy and confusing, so he hadn't even been able to figure out who was the real Celestial Emperor.

“It is normal for you to have doubts, because the current Celestial Court is not the Celestial Court of the first generation.” The Necropolis Emperor’s expression grew serious. “Like the human empire, the Celestial Court has also faced many wars and power struggles. Dynasties change; the defeated gradually scatter away, being replaced by the victors. After countless years, this kind of thing has already happened many times.

“Of course, not every time resulted in both sides being unable to coexist. There were situations in which the two sides compromised and coexisted. For example, the underworld was a place where I was the absolute ruler, but later, King Ksitigarbha rose to power. Neither of us was able to defeat the other, so we reached a certain compromise. King Ksitigarbha acknowledged my position as sovereign of the underworld, while I permitted him to establish his altar and preach his scriptures to guide and transform the souls of the deceased.”

Zu An was incredibly shocked when he heard that. He remembered what the White and Black Guards of Impermanence had told him before. “You and King Ksitigarbha should be the two unspeakable beings above the five ghostly emperors, right?”

“That’s right.” The Necropolis Emperor nodded slightly. “But once you leave my special s.p.a.ce, you cannot mention these taboo names, or else it will bring tremendous harm upon you.”

“I know.” This wasn’t the first time Zu An had received such a reminder. There were all kinds of emotions running through his head.

So my old friend was a being of this level! Then who was my ‘past’ self?

“When an individual is too weak, there are no benefits to knowing too much. It will only bring forth completely needless disaster,” the Necropolis Emperor said seriously. “This is all that I can tell you. There are many things that you need to personally experience and explore on your own.”

Zu An was already used to this and couldn't help but say with a smile, “I guess it’s fine. Then what kind of rewards are there for pa.s.sing this trial? Since we're old friends, you better put some effort into it.”

“You’re still the same as before, never content with being on the losing end,” the Necropolis Emperor remarked.

A book suddenly appeared in his hand; it was pitch-black with some mist circling around it. An extremely dense deathly energy emanated from it and could be sensed even from far away, but there was also a powerful aura of life inside. The two entirely different attributes had actually been combined together into one object! It really was beyond Zu An's comprehension.

Then, with a gentle push, the book flew up to Zu An. Its pages opened up and mist surged. All manner of scenes flickered inside.

“This is the Netherworld Book of Life and Death. The one who owns this is the ruler of the underworld. Henceforth, your words represent the will of the underworld.”

Zu An was shocked. “I can’t accept something this precious! Besides, what will you do if you give this to me?”

The Necropolis Emperor sighed. “Old friend, could it be that you still cannot tell that I already pa.s.sed on a long time ago? My current self is but a fragment of lingering will. Once I have pa.s.sed this item onto you, I can be fully at ease.”

Zu An was now truly shocked. “You're the ruler of the underworld. Even you can die?”

An ordinary creature’s soul would enter the underworld once they pa.s.sed; in the Necropolis Emperor died, wouldn’t he just return to his own territory? How could someone like that die?

The Necropolis Emperor smiled. “Didn’t I already tell you that even deities can die? I am naturally no exception. Right now, I am quite happy that it is indeed as the prophecy stated. You successfully pa.s.sed my trials, and I have even more confidence that you can change predestined fate and defeat the true enemies.”

Zu An immediately felt a sense of unease. “Who are those true enemies you're talking about?”

The Necropolis Emperor shook his head and didn’t explain any further. Instead, he said, “Old friend, share another drink with me.”

For some reason, Zu An suddenly felt something akin to the pain of eternal separation. He knew that the Netherworld Emperor's soul could be on the verge of disappearing. Thus, he didn’t interrupt, and instead helped the Netherworld Emperor pour a cup to send him off.

The two touched cups, but then the Necropolis Emperor suddenly thought of something. “Right, I have used my ability to hide the secrets of heaven and managed to pa.s.s on the Netherworld Book of Life and Death to you, but there are some other old friends who are waiting for you outside. You must defeat them and go through the motions. I reckon that it should not be too difficult for you.”

1. Also known as the Three Divine Teachers, the Three Clarities, or the Three Purities; these are the three highest G.o.ds in the Taoist pantheon. They are regarded as pure manifestations of the Tao and the origin of all sentient beings, along with the "lords of the Three Life Principles", or qi. They were also G.o.ds who were a.s.sociated with the sky, the earth and the underworld. They were thought to be able to control and have power over time in various ways. They were sometimes seen as literally the "Past, Present, and Future". ?

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Keyboard Immortal Chapter 2196: Netherworld Book of Life and Death summary

You're reading Keyboard Immortal. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): 六如和尚, Monk Of The Six Illusions. Already has 130 views.

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