Wild lightning swept over the Divine Sea and charged the water. Tribulation clouds loomed over the surface, expanding its area of effect. Immortals in the vicinity scattered in panic when the mutated tribulation brought down new bolts of lightning.
“What’s going on?! Why would someone trespass into the tribulation?!” the Exalted celestial emperor roared with confused fury. A flash of dark light surged from his body and knocked away the two celestial emperors dogging his footsteps.
“The intruder must be that Sword Divine,” mocked a celestial emperor with a sneer on his face. “The sea divine tribe that you hold in reserve has defected to his side.”
Despair flashed through the Exalted celestial emperor’s eyes as hearty laughter rang out from the sea divines. They transformed into vibrant blue fish and disappeared into the depths of the Divine Sea, never to be seen again. They would be safe there as the rampaging lightning couldn’t penetrate the bottomless sea.
“It seems that Zhao Wushuang will die even without our intervention now,” spoke the new celestial emperor of Primus Major. Primus was the most powerful of the nine majors, and her celestial emperor was the second to ascend to origin dao realm after Witherdew’s celestial emperor. That put him a peg above the Exalted celestial emperor.
It was very rare for the nine celestial emperors to depart from their territories, so the Primus and Enlightened celestial emperors had sent only their replicas.
Overwhelming hopelessness and despondency wrapped around the Exalted celestial emperor. His predecessor had risked his life to defend the rift to the world of immortals, and his current status remained unknown. Zhao Wushuang was his only child. If the child died here, history would forever condemn the current celestial emperor as a sinner and ignoble failure.
Pure black lightning swirled over the Divine Sea, brewing a storm of destructive energy. The Exalted celestial emperor wanted to rush in and help, but the restrictions levied by the rules of tribulations kept him outside the Divine Sea.
A luopan-like treasure appeared over his head to protect his body—the Exalted Chart. The Exalted court’s treasure, similar to the likes of Nephrite’s Path of Ingress and Witherdew’s Blithe Entrapment Formation, it was more powerful than a connate-grade treasure. 
As he forced entry into the tribulation under the compass’s protection, a giant dragon’s tail swept out of the air and knocked him backward, breaching the defenses of the Exalted Chart.
He spat out a mouthful of blood, highlighting the severity of his injuries.
“What in the heavens was that?!” The celestial emperor of Enlightened Major was horrified. The Exalted Chart was plainly the Exalted celestial emperor’s last resort. Despite putting his life on the line, he’d still been sent flying by the dragon tail!
“It appears to be a dragon… Why would there be a dragon in a tribulation?!” The Primus celestial emperor’s expression darkened as well.
Void-realm immortal tribulations always featured the appearance of vicious monsters and exotic beasts, but never a dragon. It was apparent from a single blow just how strong the dragon was. If it was appearing in Zhao Wushuang’s tribulation, it would appear in the tribulations of others in the future as well.
Black lighting intertwined in the skies to form a net, settling down over the area like ever-present fog. Zhao Wushuang and Dongfang Hao were embroiled in combat, and both had suffered serious injuries.
Sword Divine, however, was better prepared. A faint golden glow outlined his body, sending the tribulation lightning rebounding away whenever it struck. He still suffered from the reverberations of the strikes, but he was in an infinitely better state than Zhao Wushuang.
“You’re dead without a doubt this time, Zhao Wushuang.” Dongfang Hao slashed forward and knocked the Zhao genius nearly three hundred meters away. Meanwhile, lightning continued tearing into Zhao Wushuang, and the defensive treasure hovering beside him swayed on the verge of destruction.
“You have no honor!” Zhao Wushuang despaired. The black lightning alone was enough to destroy him, even without Dongfang Hao’s intervention!
If he didn’t possess the defensive treasure his father had given him, the Diabolical Tribulation of World Refinement would’ve easily killed him. Now that even the powerful treasure was teetering on the edge of shattering, despair extinguished what little hope he’d nursed.
“Since you’re unwilling to return the heart of the Sword of Chaos, I will take matters into my own hands.” Dongfang Hao’s lips twisted into a cold smile.
The faint golden hue around him brightened, obscuring his lifeforce. Abruptly losing one of its targets, the ferocious black lightning shifted direction entirely and came screaming at Zhao Wushuang.
Even if he hadn’t possessed the heart of the Sword of Chaos, Dongfang Hao would’ve gone after Zhao Wushuang in any case. His own tribulation of ascension would’ve certainly been another Diabolical Tribulation of World Refinement, or something on the same level. It would be almost impossible for him to overcome it on his own.
Therefore, he’d trespassed into Zhao Wushuang’s trial and triggered his own at the same time. Then he somehow hid himself from the tribulation, placing Zhao Wushuang under their combined might!
No, it was even worse than that! Their tribulations combined were even more powerful than the sum of their parts.
Dongfang Hao hovered quietly in the sky, doing nothing but watch as Zhao Wushuang made desperate attempts to stave off the joint tribulation. Once he dies, the heart of the Sword of Chaos will return to its rightful place, thus completing the sword.
Zhao Wushuang’s defensive treasure was unusually powerful. Even though it was falling apart, it stalwartly protected its owner.
“That’s the Exalted Chart!” Dongfang Hao frowned when he noticed the glowing shards floating in the air. “It’s been divided in half.”
An integral treasure of Exalted Major, the Exalted Chart was stronger than regular connate-grade treasures. Though still powerful when divided, it’d been substantially weakened by the division. Hence, the Exalted celestial emperor had been slapped out of the tribulation and seriously injured by the lurking dragon, even with the treasure’s protection.
“That compass...” Lu Yun watched from a close distance in his particle form. He’d recognized the compass when it was shattering. “It mustn’t be destroyed!”
He took a deep breath and activated Thunder Palmstrike.
Black lightning raining down from the sky converged into a flood and rushed into his palm.
1. A Heaven Chart (天盤) is one of the three charts in Purple Star Astrology. It’s a natal chart, which is an astronomical snapshot of the stars based on the exact day, time, and place you were born. Astrology that uses it is based on the concept that each individual's personality or path in life can be determined by constructing a natal chart for the exact date, time, and location of that individual's birth.