Two combat arts, one among the most powerful in the modern age, and the other a flawless art from the Primordial Era, merged together.
Bright moon, snowflakes; blade edge, sword energy.
The great power of heaven and earth was drawn to circle around the Xue youth. His figure grew incredibly strapping as he stood tall and powerful as the core of the world. Even the domineering heavenly tribulation seemed negligible by comparison.
Snow and moon sliced into the thunder kun, eliciting a death scream when its body was nearly cut in half. Its faint gold blood splattered all over the sky, emitting an oddly refreshing energy.
“This kun is a manifestation of liquid thunder, it’s both a threat and an opportunity!” screamed a dao immortal. “Are such incredible opportunities what await every void-realm immortal?!”
He stared at the bisected kun with greed and jealousy, but didn’t have the courage to interrupt.
Heavenly tribulations were governed by the laws of the immortal dao. Anyone who dared intervene was destined for disintegration via tribulation. Case in point, when the Exalted Immortal Sect had interfered with Yuying’s tribulation to kill her, they’d paid the price with many of their elites.
Void realm cultivators in the area shared conspiratory looks.
“He can’t be allowed to pass the tribulation!” They could all tell that the thunder kun was the last test of the tribulation. Once the kun was slain and the tribulation passed, the Xue youth would truly become a void-ascended immortal!
Ninety-nine waves of thunder and lightning had drained the young man of most of his power. Now that he’d pulled out his last trick, the only thing keeping him upright, despite his powerful appearance, was his last dregs of inner energy and an iron will.
“You’re not ascending to immortality so easily!” Another young man shot a thread of sword qi containing the energy of the world at the Xue youth, catching him while he was fighting the thunder kun.
If it’d been anyone else going through a tribulation, those who interfered so openly would’ve suffered the worst kind of retaliation afterward. The Exalted Immortal Sect, for example, had chosen to sabotage Yuying’s tribulation only through subterfuge and the subtlety of having someone strengthen her tribulation. That way, everyone would attribute her death to her failure to overcome the trial.
The Xue youth had such no support, though. His clan was nearly erased and no one would avenge his death. This was why such boldness occurred to this cultivator and he dared launch a fatal attack outside the zone of the tribulation.
The Xue youth was at the end of his tether, one last strand of consciousness the only thing preventing him from collapsing. The thunder kun was thrashing in its death throes as well, its faint gold blood pooling in the air.
He stared at the approaching sword energy with frustration in his eyes. At his peak, the sword energy would’ve posed no threat to him, but now, it was enough to kill him.
Something intercepted the attack before it could reach him, deflecting it with a crisp ring.
“Focus on the tribulation.” Lu Yun stood outside the tribulation clouds with a large water jar, levelling a cold stare at the void realm cultivator who’d made the move. “I’ll be sure to visit you when you’re enduring your tribulation,” he sneered.
Lips thinning, the void realm cultivator then flung back derisively, “You can barely keep yourself safe, Lu Yun. Mind your own business.”
“Kill!” The heavenly tribulation was coming to an end, and void realm cultivators had seen enough to figure out how it would work. With reckless abandon, they charged at Lu Yun, gathering and releasing great heavenly power.
A bolt of black lightning arced through the sky from a great distance and came crashing down on the Xue youth in the clouds. This wasn’t part of the tribulation, but sword energy shaped like lightning!
At this point, the Xue youth was unconscious beside a pool of golden thunder kun blood after killing it.
“Piss off!!” Lu Yun swung the water jar fiercely at the bolt of sword energy. A ball of black light exploded from the container’s opening, and the water jar swiftly grew in size until it was tall enough to reach the sky. A great aura rippled in all directions.
The water jar crashed into the lightning-shaped sword energy.
“Sword Divine!!” snarled Lu Yun, his voice echoing through the skies. Void realm cultivators who wanted to pick a fight with him covered their ears and silently whimpered in pain.
Imbued with the demonic energy of the water jar, even Ding Lei, a void-ascended immortal, had been no match for him. These cultivators barely registered on his radar.
“Hmph,” sounded a detached snort. “I await the day you ascend to immortality, Lu Yun.”
Then, a faint cyan figure flickered out of existence. Lu Yun had yet to get a clear look at Sword Divine after all this time.
An unmoving Wu Tulong had been watching on the side. His golden spear twitched slightly before he turned to leave with a sigh.
Everyone looked at Lu Yun with shock. He’d blocked the deadly sword lightning with just a simple surge of energy, proving his strength to all of them in the area.
Several void realm cultivators’ hearts sank. Lu Yun absolutely wielded the battle strength of a void-ascended immortal!
“So powerful...” Lu Yun took a deep breath and gathered his internal energy to soothe the agitation of his body. Although he’d tapped into the strength of the water jar, he’d still suffered injuries from the black lightning. It looked like Sword Divine was already a void-ascended immortal.
“Oh?” Unbidden, Lu Yun turned to look at the Xue youth roughly fifty kilometers away from him.
Having regained consciousness, the young man was sitting cross-legged at the center of the golden pond. The liquid lightning quickly entered his body and healed his injuries.
And then, the young man began to metamorphosize.
His inner force gradually transformed into immortal force, tremendous energy of the world billowing out from him at the moment of completion and becoming one with nature.
Void realm cultivators nurtured their inner world and were able to unleash the power of heaven and earth with every move. Void-ascended immortals, on the other hand, were the bridge between their inner world and the outside world, becoming one with heaven and earth and drawing upon its vast, endless power with the might of their inner world.
Such was the true path to power.
“What’s that?” Lu Yun’s eyes shot open as a silver moon emerged from the yet-to-dissipate tribulation clouds, scattering what it rose from. Snow fluttered and formed ripples of snowflakes, encircling the moon and the young man sitting beneath the bright wheel.
“That’s a phenomenon of ascension,” offered Ashu. Remaining in hiding all this time, he finally emerged beside Lu Yun.
“The immortals from a hundred thousand years ago weren’t real immortals, either,” he said with a sigh, staring at the moon and the snow. “Real immortals begin as mere mortals. Step by step, they defy the natural flow of the world, until one day, they ascend to immortality and bring forth such a phenomenon.
“Three essences take shape above the head, five energies gather in the chest, and clouds of good fortune emerge beneath one’s feet—that’s what heralds a true immortal. We’ve finally set eyes on the phenomena of ascension again after its disappearance tens of millions of years ago.”
I wonder if Lu Yun's will have something to do with hell?