Hearing a new term had once again sparked Lin Mu’s curiosity as he wondered what it meant. Lin Mu waited patiently for senior Xukong to explain it to him.
“In a simplified manner, an invader is basically a being that enters a world that it’s not allowed to. It does so to gain control of that world or to obtain its resources.
You see, most worlds have an innate barrier present in them. There are created and operated by that world’s will.” Xukong spoke.
“World’s will? Senior, you mean each world is alive?” Lin Mu questioned while tilting his head.
“Not exactly. While it may or may not have had life on its surface, every world can have a certain level of sentience. Not all worlds have it, though. Some worlds are simply too young to have developed it, while others lose it due to dying or being destroyed.”
“Every world slowly gains its consciousness and also starts to generate spirit qi. You could even say that spirit qi is formed when a world gains sentience or a world becomes sentient when spirit qi comes into existence. It can be either of those reasons.” Xukong answered.
Lin Mu felt intrigued upon hearing this new information. It had actually solved an important question that he had, but had never asked. The question was about the existence of spirit qi and how it came into being. Xukong’s words had answered a part of that question.
While Lin Mu now knew that spirit qi was created by a world, he didn’t know how other energies or types of qi came into being. For example, he didn’t know how spatial qi came into being or how it was created.
While he wanted to ask further about this, he knew that now was not the time for it as there were other things at hand.
“So about this ‘Invader’ if it’s restricted by the barrier, how does it still enter the world?” Lin Mu questioned.
“An invader can use various methods to enter a world. The most common method is to find a flaw in the world’s barrier and enter through there. Another is to find a gate from which it can enter, this can be in the form of a teleportation formation or a spatial portal.
From the way that the black smoke disappeared, I can tell that it came through the second manner. The creature, whatever it may be, is a powerful being and knows how to manipulate space. The Invader here is actually not its real body but perhaps an avatar.” Xukong answered.
Senior Xukong’s mention of the avatar instantly reminded Lin Mu of his real body and how he had created a smaller avatar to accompany Lin Mu.
“Wait senior, does this mean that you are an invader too?” Lin Mu questioned with his brows raised.
“In a broader sense, you can say that, but in my case, I would be a traveler instead.
You see, the difference between an invader and a traveler is the permission of the world. Once a world reaches a high enough level and is well developed, its residents can leave it and travel to other worlds. Similarly, other beings can also travel to that world.” Xukong explained.
Lin Mu, while having understood the meaning of the words, still felt confused.
“How is it decided when a world is developed or not?” Lin Mu questioned again.
“It depends on multiple factors. A world may simply become a higher world by gaining a massive amount of spirit qi, or its residents can become high leveled cultivators. A world can be said to have developed when its residents can freely leave it without danger and also return back.” Xukong answered.
Lin Mu felt like he understood it a bit better, but had more questions appearing in his mind.
“What realm does a cultivator need to reach in order to increase the level of a world senior? Like, do they need to become an Immortal Ascension Realm cultivator?” Lin Mu questioned again.
“While an Immortal Ascension Realm cultivator can leave a world, it won’t immediately elevate a world’s status. Just a single cultivator won’t be enough to increase its level. Instead, an entire group of cultivators over many generations need to reach that stage in order to elevate. And more than just that, there needs to be a countless amount of lower realm cultivators as well.
Eventually, there would come a time when the world would become a higher leveled world. A world can only be expected to increase in its level, but can never be made to.” Xukong explained.
Lin Mu felt enlightened after hearing senior Xukong’s words and could feel the knots of doubt in his mind unraveling. The only thing that was left now was how they would proceed after this.
“What should we do now senior?” Lin Mu asked, feeling a little lost.
“Hmm, being a resident of this world, you do have an innate obligation to destroy or repel the invader. You must have felt it when you saw it; that’s the world’s will commanding you. But still, the final decision is up to you. While the world’s will expect this of all its residents, it won’t force them as it won’t be possible for everyone to do that.” Xukong answered.
“But if you do choose to do so, your effort won’t go in vain,” Xukong added after taking a pause.
“What…? Does this mean that I would gain some reward?” Lin Mu asked.
“Indeed, what you will gain is the recognition of the world itself. It will silently help you in things you wouldn’t even know you needed help in. It can even improve your luck and allow you to gain untold fortunes.” Xukong replied.
‘Heavens know that you need it. With the path you are walking on, you need all the help you can get and I don’t think mine would be enough.’ Xukong spoke inwardly.
Lin Mu thought over senior Xukong’s words but did not reply to him right away. His attention was instead pulled back to the people standing around him. While it seemed like Lin Mu had been talking with senior Xukong for a long time, in reality only a couple of minutes had passed by.
With each progressing day, the speed of the mental communication between Xukong and Lin Mu had been increasing. While it was indeed completely Dependent on Xukong’s ability, Lin Mu had also helped increase the speed as he was getting more attuned with it and was also progressing in his cultivation.
To others, it only seemed like Lin Mu was lost in thought and was thus busy. After they saw that Lin Mu had snapped out of it and was looking at them again, they became more alert.
“What do you suggest, brother Lin Mu? What do we do now?” Hong Luo respectfully asked.
Lin Mu turned his sight to him and spoke.
“Leader Teng’s words are right, you should send the emergency messages. In addition, I can perhaps help you contact the mayor.” Lin Mu replied.
“And how would you do that?” Teng Xiaolian questioned.
“I’m acquainted with the new high official that is administering the town, Hei Wan. I’ll inform her, and perhaps we can arrange a meeting.” Lin Mu answered.
If it was before, Lin Mu would have avoided talking about anything about the members of the Hei corps. But now that Hei Wan was out in the open and even had a clean identity, there was no problem in him taking advantage of that fact.
A slightly surprised expression appeared on everyone’s face after hearing that Lin Mu was acquainted with Hei Wan.
“Indeed, nothing can compare to brother Lin Mu’s influence.” Xiong An spoke in a flattering manner.
Lin Mu paid no heed to his words and continued.
“I’ll warn you though, do not attempt to investigate this alone. I’m afraid that we’re dealing with something that’s beyond us.” Lin Mu spoke in a serious tone.
Lin Mu had decidedly chosen not to tell the mercenaries about the ‘Invader’. It was not that he didn’t think that they wouldn’t believe him, but rather that it may become problematic if it spreads. He wanted to talk with the Hei corps first, as he believed that they may have a better control over the situation.
“I’ll leave now and tell you later when we will have a meeting.” Lin Mu spoke.
“That’s fine with me.” Teng Xiaolian replied.
The others also nodded in acceptance and acknowledged his words.
Lin Mu left the tent and turned towards the direction of the town. His walk soon turned into a sprint and he rushed towards the town center. With his speed, it didn’t take him long to reach the town center as he was there in five minutes.
Although what felt strange to him was instead that the number of people walking around was decreased. He had expected that people would be staring at him as he ran, but surprisingly there were barely any people outside. Even the number of guards seemed to have fallen.
Only when he stood in front of the town center did he realize why.