On a new moon summer night, the silhouette of young boy exercising crept along the face of a decrepit house's wall. The young man had been training for over a dozen hours, without a second wasted on breaks. Currently, there was a small pool of sweat beneath the boy.
The young man was currently finishing his daily routine of ten thousand sit ups, ten thousand push ups, ten thousand squats, and running ten thousand kilometers, all while being strapped to 1,000 kilograms weights. Over the course of several years, the boy had progressed through most of the Body Tempering Stage; otherwise, he wouldn't be able to persist through his torture-like training.
As he completed his 9,998th push up, a soft cracking sound resounded and echoed for several hundred meters. Along with the cracking noise, there was a black viscous liquid the was excreted by the boy's body, covering him completely. These black liquids were the impurities that the body would excrete upon advancing to a higher state of being; in other words, making a breakthrough.
The young man unintentionally shouted "Yes! I've finally reached the Meridian Connecting Stage..." by the time he finished his sentence it was but a murmur. It was just over midnight, so Jam had to quiet himself.
Jam's life so far has been very unfortunate. He has no known biological family. No friends. No resources. Worst of all, he doesn't have any memories from before he was five years old.
The only person he considered kin, is an old woman named Woody, that took him off the streets, and raised him as if he were her blood related grandson. Woody had a genetic disease which made her sterile, leaving her without having children of her own.
When she saw that Jam was lost and alone, with no one to turn to, and with no one willing to help him, she decided to raise him herself. Even if it was just to fulfill one of her deepest subconscious desires, she raised Jam with all the love that a real grandmother would have for her grandson. Jam received his name from Woody.
Woody taught Jam that in this cruel world, demons and devils roam around, while immortals and gods fight on the daily. She raised Jam with the quintessential mantra that only through training and cultivation, would Jam be able to protect himself. In fact this was pretty much all she taught Jam; something which would cause him problems very soon.
Even though Woody knew she wouldn't be able to support Jam's path in cultivation, if he passed the first stage of cultivation by himself, with no resources, he would have a chance to join the Cultivation Academy.
After passing the first stage of cultivation — the Body Tempering Stage — and reaching the Meridian Connecting Stage, every cultivator would go through an awakening, potentially unlocking an innate ability, which most, generally called superpowers. Not all who awakened had superpowers, but those who did where a cut above the rest.
If Jam managed to awaken a superpower, he would have a decent shot at being accepted at the Cultivation Academy; a sect which recruited Earthlings, that would teach cultivation. The Cultivation Academy was the only sect Woody knew of, so if she wanted Jam to continue on the path of cultivation, he would have to produce good enough results, to be accepted at the Cultivation Academy.
For all this to make sense, one must understand a bit of Earth's history. In the year 3500, even with all of humanity's highly advanced radars and detection tools, somehow the world didn't notice a planet the size of Mars coming close to, and eventually colliding with Earth.
Humans only realized when the planet was close enough to be seen with the naked eye, which gave humanity barely a day before the advent of a new era.
After the planet crashed and wrecked 99.99% of all life on Earth, miraculously, life survived. Even more miraculously people survived. Before humanity could even think of why or how they survived, they learned that the survivors also evolved!
Every survivor of the Planetary Collision now known as "End's Hope" had somehow instantaneously evolved and some special humans mutated to develop superpowers. Those that survived, even those without superpowers, had their vitalities enhanced; the average human lifespan increased to 200 years.
Now in the current era, even though people know that these "superpowers" are just manifestations of innate Daos, they still call them superpowers.
Explaining what a Dao is... is very difficult. To gain the most basic level of insight into what The Dao is as well as what Daos are, they can be thought of as Laws; The Law of Reality, or a subset of Laws for each aspect of Reality.
However, if we want to be a bit more clear, Daos are the interpretations cultivators have on these laws of reality; the closer these interpretations approach the actual source of these laws, the more a cultivator can manipulate reality itself.
Back in the 36th century people acted like savages and rightfully ran the world like an apocalyptic wasteland. Society crumbled and it was survival of the fittest. This Era came to be known as the Desolate Era, and life on Earth continued to be this way until the aliens came.
On the eve of the 1000th year anniversary of End's Hope, Earth was visited by extraterrestrial humans. The aliens gathered everyone alive at the time and held a worldwide announcement. The Earthling tried to resist but even those with "godly" superpowers were helpless before the aliens.
The aliens explained that End's Hope could have been any kind of celestial event. It was just a metaphysical illusion, or at least that was what they should treat it as. How else would events like planets colliding, Stars going supernova, or black holes spontaneously appearing, allow for life to continue?
Whatever event they experienced, was also experienced by all the planets with life, and much like those who survived here on Earth, those who survived on the other planets also evolved.
These world ending events that happened to the life sustaining planets were all planned. The aliens didn't know how, or even who planned for them to happen. All they knew was that it marked a dimension undergoing its bloom. A dimension blooming would instantaneously cause all life, not suitable for cultivation, to perish within itself, because of the introduction to the Natural and Heavenly Dao.
Before a dimension bloomed it would be relegated to its incomplete state and there would be no superpowers or cultivation, but afterwards, any surviving intelligent life would eventually discover a path through cultivation. Additionally, the dimensions that bloomed, would be connected to the rest of the Mortal Plane; what humanity before End's Hope called the complete universe.
Humanity on Earth only had 1000 years before they had contact with the aliens. In such a short period of time, there was no way they would develop any decent system for cultivation.
Fortunately for the Earthlings, the aliens didn't come with bad intentions. Any one of the higher ranking aliens could single handedly wipe out all life on earth. Instead, they proposed a fairly good trade with the earthlings.
The aliens would have the Earthlings assimilate into their society, being welcomed into the Mortal Plane, where they would share their knowledge of cultivation with the Earthlings. The only thing the aliens wanted was to mine the new spiritually-rich resources on Earth. 1000 Years after the blooming of a dimension was plenty of time for cultivation resources to develop.
The Earthlings took this deal with little to no hesitation and learned about cultivation. Cultivation involved a person perfecting their body, collecting energy, and understanding the universal truths of the cosmos to have strength capable of rivaling the heavens; and maybe even surpassing them. Cultivation could make a normal person immortal, have the strength of a trillion suns, and bend the rules of nature to their will.
The superpowers that the earthlings were so impressed by were child's play compared to the divine abilities of seasoned cultivators. Cultivators could single handedly destroy mountains, evaporate seas, and implode planets.
The greatest shock that the aliens brought to the Earthlings was that above their universe, the Mortal Plane, there was another, The Immortal Plane. Somehow, the discovery of the void separating universes, and there being more than one universe, was more shocking than knowledge of a complete cultivation system, to the Earthlings.