Chapter 1: Returning to the Past Before the Cataclysm; Divine Runes Can Be Awakened
In the Nine Region Empire's Longjiang City in Blue Star, a parallel world.
In a luxurious room in a villa in a villa district.
A handsome man with short hair jolted up on the bed, gasping for breath. He panted heavily as he looked around the room.
"I… I'm not dead? This…"
He surveyed the familiar yet unfamiliar room, slightly shaken, before he reached for his phone on the bedside table and took a look. He froze momentarily before he muttered under his breath, "It's April 1st in Year 28? Did I go back in time or am I dreaming?"
The man's name was Gu Changqing. He was 26 years old this year. After his parents died in a car accident, he inherited a listed company with a value of nearly 100 billion. At this moment, he was confused. He was not sure if he was dreaming or if he had truly returned to the past before the Cataclysm. The dream he had was extremely vivid.
At midnight on June 1st, a bolt of lightning that illuminated the world tore through the night sky. The thunder that accompanied it was deafening. It was as though the sky was falling.
Subsequently, the plants and animals in the world began to mutate rapidly. After the lightning bolt, even tiny ants grew bigger than the size of an adult wolf. The blades of grass in a yard sprouted quickly to the height of several meters in just an instant.
Not only did all the animals and plants undergo earth-shattering changes physically, but they also seemed to have gained intelligence.
Then, those mutations began to feed on humans.
The world was paralyzed in just a blink of an eye. It took half a month for the countries to regain their footing, using powerful weapons to deal with the mutated animals and plants on a large scale.
During that time, countless people became food for the mutated monsters.
Fortunately, during the Cataclysm, a group of powerful humans appeared. They possessed all kinds of superpowers. The strongest among them were those who had awakened their tattoos, which would be later known as divine runes. Even the divine rune of a rose could bring a person unimaginable power after it was awakened. Those with even more powerful divine runes could also manifest armor with unfathomable powers. Humans called these people who had awakened their divine runes Divine Runemaster. Some of them joined their countries to fight against the mutated animals and plants while others degenerated and went further down the road of crimes, corrupted by the sudden power they possessed.
After the Cataclysm, ordinary humans did not stay ordinary forever. They could absorb the crystal cores in the mutated animals and plants to cultivate and obtain powerful supernatural abilities.
In the 'dream', Gu Changqing not only did not have divine runes, but he also did not possess any other abilities. He struggled to survive for three years, and in the end, he died. However, he was not killed by the monsters. Instead, he was killed by those fanatics.
At this moment, Gu Changqing suspected more and more that it was not just a dream. Suddenly, he saw a strange but familiar mark on the palm of his hand. He recalled the mark was caused by a mysterious gray flame when the Cataclysm began.
"That's right! This is… I'm not dreaming!"
Gu Changqing's eyes shone with excitement and a hint of madness. In his previous life, he missed the opportunity to become stronger. As a result, he lived a life no better than livestock, suffering humiliation and being trampled on. During the Cataclysm, ordinary humans were only used as laborers. Only if one possessed power could one climb to the top and command respect. After all, the strong could fight against the mutated monsters and protect their countries.
Gu Changqing did not waste time and hurriedly called his secretary.
"Hello, Chairman Gu. What can I do for you?"
As soon as the call connected, a rather pleasant female voice rang from the other end of the line.
Gu Changqing said, "Bring me the best tattoist in the world! The price doesn't matter. I want to see him by seven tonight!"
As far as he knew, the more realistic the tattoos or divine runes were, the stronger their powers would be after they awakened. The strength of the same divine rune depended on their realism. Apart from that, divine runes of the same type could absorb each other to increase their powers. For this reason, during the Cataclysm, many Divine Runemasters would kill each other.
"Yes, Chairman Gu. Do you have any other instructions?"
"Not at the moment. Remember. I want the best tattooist. If you randomly bring me someone, you'll have to bear the consequences!!"
Gu Changqing's voice grew extremely cold nearing the end of his words. This matter concerned his rise to the peak after the Cataclysm. If his secretary ruined his plan, he would kill her after the Cataclysm!
Gu Changqing might seem extreme at this moment. However, it was inevitable for his personality to become extremely dark after lingering on the brink of death for three years after the start of the Cataclysm.
"Chairman, please rest assured. I'll definitely find you the best tattooist in the world," the female voice on the other end of the line promised.
After Gu Changqing ended the call, he walked to the window and looked at the clear sky. He knew he only had a short time to admire it. When June 1st arrived, the entire world would be shrouded in a thick layer of smog. Although there was still day and night, the sky was perpetually gloomy, and a blood moon would hang high in the sky at night.
"There are still two months left before the world changes. I should have time to build a large fallout shelter…" Gu Changqing muttered to himself as he walked to the bathroom.
He wanted to build a large shelter because after the Cataclysm, even a blade of grass could be extremely dangerous. There were very few places where humans could survive. He had no financial restraints now so it was of utmost importance for him to build an indestructible and large shelter and store resources.
About half an hour later, Gu Changqing stepped out of the bathroom and stopped in front of a huge mirror. The mirror reflected a figure slightly over 1.8 meters tall that possessed a handsome face with flawless and defined features. His body was perfect; it was not too thin and not too fat. Soon enough, his body would be covered entirely with all kinds of divine runes.
After drying his hair, Gu Changqing changed before he went downstairs.
A woman, who looked to be in her thirties, was cleaning at this moment. When she heard the sounds of footsteps, she stopped what she was doing and turned around before she asked, "Young Master, lunch is ready. Do you want to eat now?"
Gu Changqing nodded slightly and walked to the dining room.
The woman was Wang Rongg. When Gu Changqing was ten years old, his mother had hired her as a nanny. It had been 15 or 16 years since then o she knew Gu Changqing's eating habits like the back of her hand.
After Wang Rong served lunch, she said tentatively, "Young Master, this afternoon I…" 𝓁𝘪𝑏𝓇𝑒𝑎𝑑.𝑐𝘰𝑚
Before Wang Rong finished speaking, Gu Changqing interjected, "You can go."
"Huh?" Wang Rongg asked, surprised, "Young Master, how did you know what I was going to say?"
Gu Changqing picked up the glass of milk on the table and drank it. He knew that Wang Rongg's husband was a gambler indebted to loan sharks. According to the original plot in his previous life, her husband would jump off a building to commit suicide because he was unable to repay his debt. At that time, Wang Rongg had tried to borrow money from him. Although the sum was not large to him at all, he thought it would be better for that unrepentant trash to die.
"Then, Young Master, I'll take my leave first."
Although Wang Rong was very curious and puzzled as to how Gu Changqing knew she was going to ask for leave, she did not ask any questions. She quickly left in the car that Gu Changqing bought her.