Book 14, Return to the Grand Xia, Chapter 13 – My Master
Immortal Diancai stood there on the ground. His head raised, he stared at the lightning-cloud vortex, those five pitch-black Heavenraker swords swirling around him. When that first bolt of skythunder fell down from the skies…
“Go!” Immortal Diancai pointed. Instantly, one of the five Heavenraker swords shot out. It seemed to have transformed into an enormous mountain peak, carrying incomparable weight and power behind it as it went forth to welcome the bolt of lightning.
An enormous collision sound. The Heavenraker Immortal sword, as stable as a mountain, just trembled for a moment, whereas the bolt of skythunder was completely dispersed.
“The first bolt of skythunder is the weakest; even the most ordinary of Void-level Earth Immortals can withstand it. Given junior apprentice-brother Diancai’s power and the fact that he has five top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords…he will probably only begin to find it taxing when he reaches the twenty-seventh bolt of skythunder,” Immortal Fivecraze said.
“Mm.” Ning nodded in agreement. Immortal Fivecraze had been defeated by the twenty-fifth bolt; if he had top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords back then, he probably would’ve been able to make it past the twenty-seventh as well.
Skythunder…every nine bolts represented a different level of power.
The first nine bolts were weak. Eighteen bolts were stronger. But twenty-seven bolts, thirty-six bolts…every nine bolts represented an increase in lethality. The legendary eighty-one bolts of skythunder…even the thought of them was enough to terrify.
Skythunder exploded forth with wild fury. One bolt after another came crashing down. Immortal Diancai was able to use a single one of his top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords to block all of the first eighteen bolts, causing a hint of joy to appear on his face. Although he knew in theory how powerful theses swords were, only now did he truly understand how tremendously helpful these top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords were during the terrifying thunder tribulation!
BOOM! The nineteenth bolt of thunder was more savage than the last, and it came down even faster. It seemed to carry annihilating power within it; it was clearly on a higher level of power than the previous bolts.
That single Heavenraker sword once more flew up to greet it, still as stable and weighty as a mountain.
The illusory mountain around the Heavenraker sword collapsed, and the sword itself was knocked downwards. The remaining force of the skythunder continued to crash down towards Immortal Diancai, but Immortal Diancai didn’t panic in the slightest. He just let out a low growl, and instantly three of the four remaining Immortal swords around him flew upwards, glowing with golden light, watery light, and earthen light.
The three Heavenraker swords formed into a tripartite formation, effortlessly blocking the remaining power of the skythunder.
“Your master has only used his Tripartite Sword Formation,” Immortal Fivecraze said. “Your master was exceedingly gifted, and many years ago he reached the Dao Realm level in three mastered Dao-Paths. He’s also embarked on the path of a Sword Immortal. He originally only used three Immortal swords, and the technique he used the most often was this Tripartite Sword Formation. However, after training for so many more years, he’s gained even more insights and has thus developed the Five Elements Sword.”
Ning nodded slightly. Indeed. After his master switched to using three Immortal swords, his power seemed to increase dramatically. He was able to withstand one bolt of lightning after another, even overcoming the twenty-fifth bolt which had done in Immortal Fivecraze. He was able to persist all the way through the twenty-seventh bolt.
“It’s time for another increase in power,” Immortal Fivecraze said with concern.
Twenty-seven bolts…this represented the end of the first three nine-sets.
Thirty-six would represent the end of the fourth nine-set!
As the twenty-eighth bolt came crashing down, the Tripartite Sword Formation was suddenly pressed downwards…but it was still able to withstand the bolt. But then came the twenty-ninth, the thirtieth bolts…the power of the skythunder was slowly increasing, and the Tripatite Sword Formation was beginning to crumble. By the time of the thirty-sixth bolt of skythunder, Immortal Diancai let out a low growl. Instantly, all five of the Heavenraker swords flew upwards to welcome this bolt.
As the five Heavenraker swords flew upwards, they formed into the illusion of five massive mountains in the sky, each of a different color. The five Immortal swords combined their power, becoming incomparably weighty and solid as they effortless deflected the thirty-sixth bolt of skythunder as well.
“Fine treasures. A fine sword-art!” Immortal Fivecraze said excitedly.
“Even the thirty-sixth bolt was blocked.” Ning revealed a look of excitement as well…but immediately afterwards, his face changed. This was because an even more terrifyingly powerful bolt of lightning was beginning to descend from the vortex of lightning.
“What?! Can it be that your master’s tribulation involves forty-five bolts?!” Immortal Fivecraze felt shocked.
Ning’s face turned solemn as well. Ki Refiners couldn’t be the slightest bit overconfident in facing their tribulations…because even a tiny unblocked fraction of the thunderbolt would be enough to completely blow apart their bodies! Fiendgod Body Refiners, by contrast, would generally be able to use their bodies to withstand a small amount of remnant power from the thunderbolts.
Thus…for many, thirty-six thunderbolts represented a plateau, the conclusion of the fourth nine-set. Ki Refiners generally had a chance to survive the first four sets…but after that, chances would grow dim!
The thirty-seventh bolt of skythunder was clearly far more powerful than the previous bolt. Ning could sense the invisible pressure and power of the bolt just by looking nat it. The power of this bolt of skythunder was at the level of a Celestial Immortal already!
From within the five enormous illusory mountains, the five Immortal swords managed to block this bolt of skythunder, but they were pushed down strongly in the process.
“Such power.” Immortal Diancai’s face changed as well, but his expression remained cold and his gaze remained resolute.
He wasn’t going to retreat or flee!
The thirty-eighth bolt of skythunder came crashing down, and Immortal Diancai once more used his five top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords to greet the attack, managing to force it aside once more. But this time, the five illusory mountains that represented the five swords were nearly destroyed.
“Not good.” Watching from the distance, Immortal Fivecraze’s face changed dramatically. “It’s very hard to say as to whether or not your master will be able to overcome the forty-fifth bolt of skythunder.”
Ning didn’t say anything; he just watched closely. He could tell this as well!
Given that even the thirty-eighth bolt was already almost powerful enough to cause his master’s sword-arts to crumble…it was very hard to say if his master would be able to make it all the way past the forty-fifth. In the past, Immortal Fivecraze had succumbed to the twenty-fifth bolt, rather than the twenty-seventh bolt.
The lightning-cloud vortex in the skies spat out the thirty-ninth bolt of skythunder, even more ferocious than the previous bolts.
“BLOCK!” Immortal Diancai let out a howl. The five Heavenraker swords were like fish that were swimming against the flow of the river. They carried those five illusory mountains to greet the bolt of skythunder, but when the skythunder came hammering down, all five swords were knocked downwards towards the ground. Still…the bolt of skythunder was almost consumed as well.
“Not enough!” Immortal Fivecraze said frantically.
“Master, Master!” Ning was panicking as well.
“I have to hold.” Immortal Diancai’s face suddenly turned a swollen red color, and his aura increased explosively in power as well. Clearly, he had just used a forbidden technique.
Immortal Fivecraze’s eyes were filled with nervousness. “Your master has used a forbidden technique to compress and squeeze more power out of his Goldlotus Primal. I hope that this technique will be enough to help him withstand the tribulation. It has to be enough. Don’t fail. You can’t fail!” He had seen far too many of his fellow disciples fail during the Celestial Tribulation. He had failed. His master had failed. His brothers had failed…
One after another had been toppled by the Celestial Tribulation.
Immortal Diancai was the most promising one he had seen, and he even had the aid of five top-grade Immortal-ranked flying swords.
“You have to hold,” Immortal Fivecraze murmured.
“Master…Master…” Ning’s heart was tight as well. He felt even more nervous than when he himself was facing life-and-death. Although he had heard long ago that the Celestial Tribulation was truly frightening, upon seeing the actual bolts of increasingly powerful skythunder come crashing down from the skies, Ning became terrified that one of them would actually strike his master’s body! A single strike…that would be it. He would be finished!
The fourtieth bolt. The forty-first bolt. The forty-second bolt…
After using the forbidden technique, the power of Immortal Diancai’s five swords increased dramatically, and they took on multiple bolts in succession.
The forty-fourth bolt of skythunder!
Immortal Diancai’s face was somewhat distorted now, and his eyes were filled with madness. The five Immortal swords once more flew upwards to greet the thunder, and the imposing illusion of the five mountains seemed mighty enough to suppress and seal away this entire minor world. But in the face of the all-annihilating bolt of skythunder…the five illusory mountains were dissipated, and all five Immortal swords were knocked flying backwards.
“He blocked it. Just the last one; the final bolt of skythunder,” Immortal Fivecraze said worriedly.
“Master…” Ning was so frantic, he wanted to charge forward himself to help.
Blood was beginning to appear on the skin of Immortal Diancai’s face. This forbidden technique was drawing out elemental ki in such a berserk, forcible way that even blood was being drawn out.
The forty-fifth bolt!
“Block it again!” Immortal Diancai seemed to have entered a berserk state, and all five Heavenraker swords frantically rose. It seemed as though, in this dire situation, he was able to unleash more power than he ever had before, and the five illusory mountains once more joined together, increasing their power by a little bit compared to the past.
The bolt of skythunder, representing annihilation, came crashing downwards.
The five Immortal swords were knocked backwards, and a small amount of remaining power from the skythunder came crashing down towards Immortal Diancai as well.
“NO!” Ning felt as though his heart was about to split apart. He was so frantic, his eyes turned completely red.
“NO!” Immortal Fivecraze was filled with terror as well.
But Immortal Diancai actually let out an utterly berserk howl as five more Immortal swords suddenly appeared above him. These were the five swords which Immortal Diancai himself had been previously using! He had often used these five swords…and he only had enough time to transform them into five streaks of rainbow light before the remaining power of the lightning crashed down into them.
BANG! The five flying swords were all knocked flying, with one of them actually stabbing through Immortal Diancai’s chest, cutting out a bloody hole. However, the remaining power of the lightning had been completely dispersed.
“Hahaha, hahahaha…” Immortal Diancai began to laugh. Clutching the wound over his chest, he raised his head to the heavens and laughed.
Ning and Immortal Fivecraze were stunned for a moment…but in the next moment, they went berserk with joy.
“He blocked it!”
“Master blocked it!”
This sort of feeling, of victory snached from the jaws of defeat, caused both Ning and Immortal Fivecraze’s emotions to go through a series of turbulent changes.
“But why…” Immortal Fivecraze raised his head, staring at the lightning-cloud vortex. His eyes suddenly became filled with despair and terror. “Why…why hasn’t…”
“Why hasn’t…hasn’t it dispersed?” Ning could feel a cold feeling sweeping through him from head to toe.
The vortex of lightning in the skies was continuing to swivel…and it was gathering an even more terrifying amount of power.
Immortal Diancai, still clutching his chest, was suddenly stunned. He stared blankly at the lightning-cloud vortex in the skies, his eyes filled with rage and despair. He unleashed a savage roar from his soul: “Why, why, WHY ARE THERE STILL MORE?!”
“Six nine-sets…six nine-sets…” Immortal Fivecraze’s eyes were filled with despair. “Six nine-sets of thunder. My junior apprentice-brother isn’t the disciple of a Daofather; he’s not even the disciple of a Celestial Immortal. Why would the sixth nine-set appear…why…”
“F*CK YOU, HEAVENS!” Ning raised his head as well, letting out a grief-stricken, enraged roar. Two streaks of tears began to fall from h is eyes. “Master, master…my master!!!!”
Another enormous bolt of lightning was born from within the lightning-cloud vortex…and it came crashing downwards.
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