'Why is it so dark? Am I dead already? Hm, I can feel my body but... Arghhhh! What is this splitting headache?'
He slowly opened his eyes and sat up only to find out he was in a dark cell that seemed like a prison.
He slowly got up while clutching his head and looked around and finally at himself. His clothes were torn and shabby, as dirt covered his body.
'Wait...Did I survive the fall? No...that's impossible. This place...my clothes...'
Suddenly some images and events were pouring into his mind non-stop, like playing a video recording of his whole life.
'Wait...these memories...are they even mine?...everything seems different. Then was my last twenty-five years of life a dream? Never...how can those unforgettable memories be a dream.'
Through his memories, he found out his name was Damien Godwin, coincidentally the same first name as in his previous life. He was the son of the Patriarch of the Ward Family located in one of the cities in one of the Four Empires of the Rising Sun Continent—-Moonstone City.
'Did my soul transmigrate to this world after I died? What the hell is going on?'
He calmed himself down and settled his thoughts.
What surprised him was that the world he saw in his memories was nothing like the world he knew.
It was a Cultivation world where people strove to be the strongest, and all laws and rules are made by the strongest.
There was no technology, no electricity or cars, or anything he was familiar with. Instead, it seemed similar to the medieval ages.
Cultivators are people who absorb the spiritual energy of heaven and earth around them into their bodies and cultivate ethereal strength.
Cultivation is a way for people to strengthen their bodies, minds, and souls by cultivating ethereal
energy and breakthrough to greater heights through meditation and adversity.
He was named Damien Ward during his life in the Ward Family. A kind and gentle kid who, despite being crippled, never lost himself in depression.
Even though he was the Patriarch's son, he didn't put on any airs before people. He was always benevolent and helpful to others, no matter their status.
And no one in his family dared to disrespect him, including his uncle and cousin brother, because his father was the strongest in the family.
Since he never had parents as far as he knows in his previous life, he felt a strange feeling when he saw the fatherly love shown to Damien Ward in his memories. He felt envy and thought how lucky Damien Ward was to experience it.
He had seen fathers express their love to their children in his previous life but seeing it through memories can evoke some feelings and emotions even though he didn't experience it by himself.
But due to a conspiracy by his father's younger brother, his father was poisoned. And when his father was on his deathbed, he told his son that he was his adopted son and his real name is Damien Godwin.
Apparently, a mysterious, powerful woman entrusted Damien as a baby to his adoptive father. She had told him his real name and left a black colored amulet with the name carved on its back, which Damien always had around his neck.
But before he could process the truth he just learned, his uncle and cousin brother took over the family since the patriarch's wife was long dead and his only son was a cripple.
Then they plotted to kill him off by poisoning him and then dispose of him in a quiet place. His uncle then sent his son and his servant to bury him, but on their way, they were ambushed by bandits.
Since his son was in disguise, the bandits mistook him for a poor kid and killed him and his servant. But they were disappointed when they found only a fifteen-year-old poisoned kid who was in his dying breath.
The bandit leader was frustrated to gain nothing when he thought he would get some riches when he spotted a caravan with two people.
So he decided to sell the dying kid to human traffickers in a black market where they either sold off people as slaves or made them fight to the death in entertainment matches for money.
And if there were some exceptional warriors who performed well in their matches, they would be purchased by people from various sects or families who had the capital to buy them as henchmen or servants to do their dirty work.
The bandit leader thought that the kid could at least be used for those entertainment matches where they are pit against beasts, and he would at least gain some money through that.
'And so here I am. I can't believe my previous self was a wimp and a fool, just like the old me. It just can't be more coincidental.' He scoffed to himself.
He closed his eyes and slowly smiled. He couldn't believe the things that had just happened to him. He had only heard these kinds of things in fantasy stories. But now, he was actually reincarnated in a dead body after jumping off from the cliff.
In this world, ethereal strength was most important. Although he was the Patriarch's adopted son, he was still at the first level of the Initial Ethereal Realm.
Still, the Patriarch treated him as his own son since he couldn't have children of his own and wasn't stingy on his resources when it came to his son's cultivation.
He was examined by many top-class doctors he could find to fix his meridians or to find out if there were any problems with his ethereal core.
The ethereal core holds and helps channel ethereal strength throughout the body. There are forty-seven ethereal core points spread out in the body from head to toe.
When someone starts their cultivation journey, their ethereal core points absorb ethereal energy from the air, and this energy is collected together to form an ethereal core, which converts the raw ethereal energy into a different form of ethereal energy that they can manipulate.
The ethereal core serves the purpose of helping to channel ethereal strength throughout the body.
Afterward as they cultivate, the ethereal core points absorb the ethereal energy from the air and feed it to their ethereal core; where they are converted and assimilated to increase their cultivation.
Once a person reaches five years of age, no more core points would be activated for his entire life. So, a ceremony would be held for the entitled children when they turn five years old to know the number of active core points they would have in their entire life.
For an average cultivator, around eight core points are active. A person with high innate talent might be gifted with up to sixteen active core points. In comparison, prodigies might be gifted with up to twenty-one active core points.
The number of active core points decides the height one could reach in his entire life. If one has more active core points, their cultivation and activation speed will increase. And as far he knows from his memories, people with 21 active core points were only a myth even in the whole empire.
It is extremely difficult to activate core points after a person turns five years old. One could only hope to activate more core points through extremely miraculous medicine and luck.
However, if they are not careful, it could cause irreparable damage to the ethereal core by causing the existing core points to be inactive or damaged.
The Patriarch was shocked when the doctors told him that the rest of his son's ethereal core points were destroyed and beyond repair except one.
He couldn't understand how one could have destroyed ethereal core points unless someone destroyed them externally. But that would mean that somebody destroyed them before he adopted Damien; that is when Damien Ward was just a baby.
To his knowledge destroying the ethereal core points of a baby is the same as killing them as they are too weak and fragile to handle the backlash from the destruction of the ethereal core points.
Because of his destroyed ethereal core points, Damien Ward would always be stuck at the first level of the Initial Ethereal Realm for his whole life no matter how much strenuous training he undergoes as his ethereal core could not be properly formed.
If his remaining single ethereal core point was destroyed, he would be no different from a mortal; just like a normal human being from the Earth without any cultivation.
This could only mean that Damien Ward would forever be a bottom feeder. But when his father died, he understood he was actually a laughing stock in the family, and the people he considered closest to him removed their masks and ridiculed him for being a cripple and bastard as somehow people found out he was adopted.
His naive self couldn't bear it and fell into depression. That is when his uncle and cousin decided to get rid of him for good since no one would care whether a crippled bastard lived or not.
'People are just the same everywhere. One will only show their true self when everything in your life crumbles down. The previous owner of this body still suffered the same fate as me.Haa~' He let out a long sigh.
'So did my soul possess this body after he died? Or did I kill him by possessing this body? Or is his soul still inside me? Damn...how does this process even work...maybe I should just think about it later. There's no point in racking my brain over it now. Right now, I have to find a way to get out of this shithole.'
Damien didn't feel much guilt even if he thought he indirectly killed the previous owner as he was anyway half dead nor did he have the luxury to worry about it. In truth, he didn't care about it.
He opened his eyes and walked towards the cell gate. He tried to pull apart the gate using his strength only to find out it was futile.
In his previous life, he was the top existence in the whole world as far as he knows.
He was treated like a god and with the utmost respect by people all over the world. He could lift vehicles like they were nothing, destroy buildings, and was even bulletproof until he lost his powers after 'The Great Calamity'.
He was a little hopeful to see whether he regained his old powers in his new body, only to be disappointed. He treaded back and slid his body down against the wall.
'If I knew I would be reincarnated in a useless body, I would rather choose not to reincarnate at all. This world seems even crueler than in my previous life. If I was to even step out with my laughable strength, I would be lucky if I lasted a week.'
'Does Earth even exist now? Or am I in a different universe?'.
Damien Ward had read some library books explaining the continent's geography, including the fact that the empire he was even bigger than the Asian continent itself, having a surface area of 50 million sq km. And the continent he was on had a surface area of almost 200 million sq km.
But he still couldn't find out which planet he was on or confirm whether he's still on Earth. It was as if only this continent existed in the world with the ocean surrounding the whole continent. And strangely, it was said that no one has ever left the continent even after countless tries because they found it impossible to leave!
It was like all the people were stuck on a huge island.
'Sofie if only you were with me now...what would you want me to do? Did you also reincarnate like me in this world? Or are you in a different world?' He sighed melancholily.
"Hey, brat! Huh...you are still alive?" A guard suddenly came up and shouted.
Damien's flow of thoughts was suddenly interrupted when he heard the guard.
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