Longevity was naturally sought after. But being born with eternal life would be even better.
Resisting death was like betraying all the experiences we had in life.
Every painful choice, every sorrow from loss, every joy from gain… past loves and grudges fade with time.
Seeing the graves of the grandchildren or great-grandchildren of loved ones and enemies made those past sentiments feel absurd.
Everything that one had worked hard for and suffered for in the past seemed meaningless because of the great continuation of life.
In this regard, the intense desire held by the Gold Rank and the idea of using the soul as the substitute to fuel their lifespan set the groundwork for their reshaped worldview after they achieved deityhood.
The outlook on life of the short-lived species was quite different from that of the long-lived species, with good reason.
Giants were known for their long lifespans.
However, the undead and deities were the most long-lived species in this world.
At the same time, the Venerated Skeleton was both undead and deity.
“The so-called ‘funeral’ is a ceremony to bid farewell to the departed.” The Venerated Skeleton knelt before the Bone Burying Grandma, whispering, “The earliest funeral began in the early days of the First Age. The so-called ‘Bone Burying Ritual’ meant laying the deceased to rest in the earth.”
“Why did the ancients think of burying the deceased in the earth?”
His voice was calm and cold; just listening to it sent chills down the spine.
“Of course, it isn’t just for their rest. The association of ‘burial’ and ‘rest’ came about when people realized that [the earth is always silent, like winter, like a corpse].”
“In essence, to bury is to forget. It’s about never seeing each other again.”
The Venerated Skeleton took a brief pause before uttering this statement.
He had seemingly taken a deep breath even though His body had lost the ” breathing ” function.
“Therefore,” whispered the Venerated Skeleton, “To bury—is to betray.”
“People naturally reminisce about the departed, but deep in their blood, they’ve always known that death is inevitable. Therefore, it’s not so much the fear of death itself, but rather the understanding that death means a complete separation from what one has known.”
The Venerated Skeleton spoke more fluently, “What they fear is not ‘death is upon them’ because they’ve always known ‘death will come’. From the beginning, they feared how ‘death’ severs their lives.”
“It’s like being exiled to the ends of the horizon. Sent off to the afterlife with empty hands… The ancients’ imagination of the world beyond death likely stems from this thought.”
As He gradually adapted to modern grammar, the Venerated Skeleton’s speech became more coherent. As a result, that intense and peculiar pressure He emitted lessened considerably.
Longjing Tea’s heart was pounding violently.
His instinct made him feel uneasy and thrilled.
He vaguely sensed the Venerated Skeleton seemed to be up to something big.
Because their initial encounter was so abrupt. Now, recalling it, they hadn’t performed any ritual to summon the Venerated Skeleton.
Then, the Venerated Skeleton didn’t summon Himself here.
In other words, the Venerated Skeleton’s appearance here had nothing to do with the players. They just happened to be here at the same time.
He must have returned to Elegy Dukedom earlier on.
Here comes the problem.
Why is this old man going back home alone?
Is he visiting a relative?
“Due to the ‘Five Laws of the Dead’, death becomes fearsome, severing everything and leaving everything behind. Aside from the fear of losing what cannot be lost, death itself isn’t terrifying.”
“My country was once called [Elegy]. That’s not its real name.”
No one responded. The Venerated Skeleton’s ancient voice echoed at the very center of the sea of graves.
“For a month, the ‘Farewell Song’ echoed nationwide. But contrary to what other countries might think, it wasn’t because of their bravery. It’s because, after long contemplation, we giants have come to face and accept death directly. It’s a celebration, as well as a farewell.”
“There is an old saying that has been circulating for a long time. Giants have no vision when they are young and cannot speak when they are old. The first half of the sentence is correct because giants have just one massive eye. When the young ones keep it open too long, they feel fatigued.”
“We’re not like you, needing to hunt and craft. We don’t require two eyes to target prey — giants possess a psychic ability, relying solely on it to sense their surroundings. So, in times of scarce nutrition, the nourishment is prioritized for the brain and body, delaying the eye’s development.”
“When the body becomes strong and the mind fully developed, the giant will open its eyes. This is the time to seek a mate… The clearer and brighter the eyes, the better the development of the mind and body, indicating greater competitiveness.”
“And when the giants grow old, they actually can speak. But they choose not to speak in front of others… This is because they are gradually cutting ties with the world.”
“After a falling out, both sides hurt. But give it enough time, and feelings ease up. It’s like how as we age, we start getting ready for the next chapter — from being a baby gearing up for the teen years to a teen getting ready for adulthood.”
“You all tend to shy away from facing death… The older you get, the more you want to avoid it, and you don’t even want to hear the word ‘death’. It’s as if by not hearing it, you can prevent it from happening.”
“—But death comes for us all.”
The Venerated Skeleton said calmly.
Given His current status, saying that seemed somewhat ironic.
The Venerated Skeleton was a deity born from death.
In the records, the Venerated Skeleton was the last Grand Duke of the Elegy Dukedom — when the Great Barrier collapsed, the Elegy Dukedom was right next to it. Unfortunately, the Gray Mists overwhelmed the Elegy Dukedom, leaving them nowhere to retreat.
Faced with a “certain death”, all transcenders who believed in Bone Burying Grandma immediately used their remaining power to eliminate other transcenders of different beliefs in the dukedom. They then absorbed all the curses from them… After that, they took poison before sealing their bones with Bone Burying Grandma’s divine art.
The Venerated Skeleton silently launched an ascendancy ritual after everyone committed suicide.
He absorbed the “death” of everyone and turned it into the foundation of his ascension. Beneath his hollow cloak bound the souls of all his citizens.
It was He who denied the eternal rest of the people, thus making Him the betrayal of death.
This betrayal, in the face of ‘certain death’, a betrayal of fate, a betrayal of duty, and a betrayal of the citizens, crowned him the Betrayal Deity.
Longjing Tea felt an increasing mix of unease and excitement.
What the hell is the Venerated Skeleton trying to say?
What exactly is he trying to do?
Longjing Tea sensed that something was approaching. With weaker perception, even Delicious Wind Goose and Wandering Child began to feel a chill down their spines.
“I buried everyone. I bid farewell to everyone. I betrayed everyone. I forgot everyone.” The Venerated Skeleton said word by word, “I have severed all ties. I bid farewell to everything that was mine—my world was destroyed that day.”
He slowly stood up from the ground.
His figure was tall and majestic, like a pure white mountain.
“I always felt that something was wrong.” The old man’s voice sounded leisurely, “I see.”
“I’ve already buried myself.”
After saying that, the Venerated Skeleton, who stood like a knight, was silent momentarily.
“I’m sorry, Grandma.”
It was a faint whisper.
Only Dove caught this whisper.
The next moment, the Venerated Skeleton did something that no one present had anticipated.
The Venerated Skeleton chanted calmly.
—The edict of ultimate destruction.
The Supreme Edict Spell was blurted out.
Before the Venerated Skeleton, the dark gray, tsunami-like cone-shaped aura spread outward.
The first victim was the statue of Bone Burying Grandma and the tomb guarded by it.
In just a split second, the two were destroyed!
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