Taking a sip of tea John asked. "Have you heard of the second Lamenter war?" Anna shook her head, causing John to nod knowingly. "It was a devastating war long before your time."
As the dreamscape solidified a new scene appeared. They were surrounded by cultivators the head of the sect looking down imposingly from a tall podium. Waving his hands for quiet he begun to inform the sect of the current situation. "As you all know the Lamenter's of the Emerald family have regrouped recently. Again they march on the sealed world. As part of the ancient agreement, we will be joining the battle."
Cheers swelled in the air. Excitement filled the eyes of the chosen in the sect. This was everyone's chance to plunder and temper themselves. The sect leader stroked his beard pleased with the reaction. "While this is just the final gasps of a faction on death's door. However, a cornered animal will be the most ferocious. So with this in mind, all those who volunteer will get a top-tier defensive artifact!"
The roars from all those powerful cultivators shook the dream world as the scene wavered and changed. Anna frowned at the scene how could her ancestors stand against such a force. John, however, sighed shaking his head. "The first world scorched many planets and lands to the point that to this day not a thing lives there. Do you think the second war was as glorious as those fools believed?"
In the same grand hall, there were now many young men and women gathered with fear in their eyes. Some even shook grabbing their friends. Among them, a few middle-aged cultivators were scattered about. None gave off the imposing air of the last scene. John was among these older cultivators a wry smile on his face.
The same sect leader looking like he'd aged many years looked out with a haggard face. "Today you've been drafted in accordance with the current rules of the war. We can no longer spare the young and the support positions. You will report to the Silent Plains there you will be designated your defensive items." Sighing he looked heartbroken at the younglings he was sending out. "Do your best to come back to us."
Anna looked shocked at this scene. "How did this happen?" She gazed at John the mysterious dead man in front of her. John returned the gaze of the young mother and shrugged. "What is there to be surprised about? Would a war that had forced ancient treaties to be dusted off be easy to win?"
John suddenly started laughing. "Those fools didn't know the depth that the Lamenters had spread! Even core disciples ended up being Lamenters. Once the call to arms rang out they came crawling out from every crack and crevice." John flung his arms open his robes fluttering. "Millions upon Millions died in the war. I was spared since I had a lower cultivation and was a gardener. A war needs lots of healing medicines after all. Still, even I was sent to the front eventually."
Anna's eyes fluttered as the world shifted to a trench. With boys as young as her own son huddling together in fear. Looking around the laws seemed broken and shattered as the place would flash from freezing to melting hot. Other areas would have dimensional tears open and close. All around there were explosions as techniques flew about from the trenches about 60 meters away.
An officer glared at the kids cowering. "Get up you braggarts! If you don't keep them down they will slaughter you all." Hollering he waved for them to keep fighting. Even the bravest wouldn't poke their head out for more than a second. Like this techniques were quickly flung from either side.
Boom the world shook as the sky shattered and stars rained. Anna looked up to see that above a grand battle was happening. Laws bent and reality itself seemed to groan at the combat. The residuals from the battle would fall on the poor souls praying for their lives in the trench. While these trenches blocked weak techniques; how could it block the earth-shattering power from the masters in the sky? They died by the thousands without even know what killed them.
Anna couldn't help but shudder at the horrifying sight of the battle. John raised his eyebrow, "Didn't you wish for this?" Anna's eyes wandered the heart-shaking scene letting out a deep breath gathering her nerves. Her eyes turned to the old man with a new resolve. "Even if it was more horrifying we'll still go forth."
John chuckled, "Are you sure that your phrase isn't meant for you?" Leaning back he observed this scene from his memories. "I don't blame you. Lamenter's only have one true goal."
Then the world once again shook as the Emerald expert in the sky fell to the ground shaking the foundation of the whole world. Anna couldn't hide her disappointment. Even though she knew that the outcome of the war wouldn't be good for her people.
There were no cheers or rejoicing the expert above moved on to some other place to confront another powerful foe. The officer on the ground lifted his sword. "Charge, you cowards!" The kids and John reluctantly jumped out from the trench. "Kill!" They yelled as they charged forth.
As the middle-aged John flew forward all around him people were dying. Torn in two, smashed, frozen, every technique would shatter a body. The current John frowned. "They had long run out of the powerful defensive artifacts they promised. At this point, they gave us weak trinkets barely worth wearing."
One small boy even seemed to reach out towards Anna crying "Mom, help me." Before his eyes lost focus and his body collapsed. They cursed Lamenters with all their hearts. "The emerald king is long dead you bastards!" Another soldier shouted as he fell.
Still even with death all around over a million left the trenches. It wasn't easy to stem the flow. As they neared the Lamenters side they too left the trenches. "The Emerald King still lives!" The equally young soldiers yelled as they charged forth.
The clash was even more devastating than anything seen yet as Millions of cultivators clashed. The cries and hate seemed to manifest themselves as laws shattering the land below. After a few hours, the land was piled with bodies. Both sides no longer had the energy to fight. The eyes of the livings no longer seemed to have life in them. John was among them. Though he wasn't powerful he had more experience than the young kids thrown away in the war.
Soon another million took the field on both sides causing the survivors to wish they had a hole to hide in. As now they were between these two armies being attacked by friend and foe alike. Some gave up only wishing for a quick death. Others hollered in rage to the stars feeling the heavens betrayed them. John and many others dropped to the ground playing dead and hoping their luck wouldn't run out.
The dreamscape returned to the quaint tea ceremony. "Eventually the field was taken. I returned back to the sect after that to continue gardening while others took my place." John sighed remembering how much relief he felt after returning. It was like he was in heaven. He no longer cursed his lack of talent. He'd lived his life since then with content, happily living quietly in his garden.
Anna contemplated the battle and slowly asked. "Do you think that the Emerald king is actually dead?"
"Ha, Dead?" John looked at the girl egregiously "How could he be dead. Would those greedy sects and clans waste so much to stop you guy's from seeing a dead body? No, at least then he was surely alive." he nodded with confidence.
"I see thank you senior." Anna smiled she didn't know what the future held but she felt her horizons had expanded greatly.
"Don't worry about it. Well, the night wanes, so we should call an end to our little chat." The world began to shatter as Anna's eyes opened. Right before she was fully awake she heard the old man sigh. "Just try not to throw your life away for your son's sake."