Chapter 548: Thunder Essence is Absorbed

    Chapter 548: Thunder Essence is Absorbed

    "Thunder essence cannot be molded!" Jun Yongye's deep voice boomed from Captus.

    Lan Jue was curious. "Then what is its purpose?"

    "Absorption," he answered. "It resonates with your thunderbolt Discipline. You should combine it with your core to make it a part of you. With time you will absorb the empyreal lightning and the essence of the life form that ascended to godhood."

    Lan Jue was still surprised by all he was learning. Are these things real? This empyreal lightning? Becoming an immortal?"

    Jun Yongye nodded resolutely. 1 "Of course they're real. You did not used to think the Banishing Blades were real, and yet we are. Our existence is to restrain the power of these immortals. With the Banishing Stance, even Da Luo 2 would be easily vanquished. Although this thunder essence is wonderful, it cannot hold a candle to the strength we blades possess. Even when you break through to Paragon, you will be capable of harnessing no more than a tenth of my potential. As you grow in strength, so too will you draw more upon me."

    Lan Jue was veritably slack jawed. It was like a whole new reality opening up before his eyes.

    "What should I do?" Lan Jue asked, desperate for instruction.

    Jun Yongye's deep, calm voice obliged. "First you must accept the thunder essence. Let it become a part of your Core. In this way it can nurture and protect you so that the joining will be easier. Once this is done, my concerns will be addressed and we can proceed. In the future you can use it as a supplement to your cultivation. With time it will become an integral part of your Discipline and make it stronger. Once absorption is complete, my estimation is you will be capable of commanding twenty, maybe thirty percent of my strength."

    No wonder they were considered ancient treasures. A Paragon capable of using only a fraction of its strength spoke volumes. What were these things ultimately capable of?

    "Begin." Jun Yongye urged with some impatience. The state they were in was a construct of Lan Jue's mind, created with help from Captus. It was draining to his will, and couldn't be maintained for very long.

    Lan Jue nodded. He flicked his right hand and the box floated over to his. He opened the glass lid and took the thunder essence into his palm. His careful study of the object was put to the side when things started to become complicated. His road to Paragon had lengthened, so he'd put an Astrum out of mind. Now, it seemed like it was the proper moment.

    The essence's glossy exterior was a magnificent sapphire blue that twinkled in the light. Moments after picking it up, the malleable substance flowed over and coated his hand. It felt cool and smooth to the touch, much like a metal. However, there was still no sign or sense of energy from it. This was why the LYrian scientists were so stumped. How could a normal man, even a scientist, understand empyreal lightning or the immortals? How could they command that power?

    "How?" He looked at the sword.

    Jun Yongye's voice answered. "Protogenic blood."

    Lan Jue shuddered down to his bones. He knew what he meant. Lan Jue lifted his other hand and it began to glow with a resplendent golden light. His Discipline had been reduced to chaos by the sword, but with Jun Yongye's restraint he was able to command some portion of it. The accumulated protogenia slowly diffused outward. He drew upon the righteous power of his Ascension as the reservoir for this power. In this way, he was similar to the Pharmacist. The difference was in his versatility, culminating in the Ascension commands. The Pharmacist's powers were pure amplification. One was general, one was specialized - which was better, it was hard to say.

    Her path was undoubtedly decided by the presence of Occisus. The sheer lethality of it paired with amplification meant she didn't need to rely on any Domain. A single thrust could pierce anything. That was her path. Lan Jue was different. He adhered to the tenet that man was an inexorable part of nature. I am heaven, and heaven is me. Everything was connected.

    As the crux of his protogenic comprehension continued to flow through his hand, Lan Jue's aura changed. It became vast and towering, turning the darkness around them into a fairyland of color. It was a hypnotic, engrossing world.

    Lan Jue quickly flicked two fingers against one another, producing a small, vivid trickle of blood from their tips. The beads of blood were a pale golden hue.

    This was protogenic blood, when the entirely of one's protogenic comprehension was infused into their essence and blood. It was only a few drops, but already Lan Jue's face was becoming pale and drawn.

    The thunder essence sensed something, and began to shake more vigorously. It pitched and rolled, trying to get to the drops of protogenic blood. Lan Jue crooked his finger and shook it, splattering a single golden drop against its surface.

    Almost immediately, the thunder essence stiffened to its previous globular state. Where it was a liquid before, now it looked more like a natural sculpture. The darker blue specks of color on its surface shimmered with an internal light and the shaking intensified.

    Inert moments before, Lan Jue was immediately assailed with a torrential blast of some terrifying and indescribable.

    It was an aura, not energy that he felt. And yet, Lan Jue felt like something had him by the throat. He couldn't breathe. In the face of that aura he was afraid he would he blown apart.

    But then the familiar red light returned, seeping from his pores. As the light went out the vacuum left behind drew in the surrounding nimbus. It began to shake. Lan Jue was aware that this process would have been much more difficult without the Banishing Blade's help. After all, this was the product of mythical powers and immortal beings! With Captus and its sword-spirit at his side, he need not fear any storm.

    The essence reacted, too. It melted in his hand and spread until it covered Lan Jue's whole body like an extra layer of skin. Soon nothing was left uncovered.

    Lan Jue was a silhouette of glittering blue. The rest light from within him blazed brighter as Captus unleashed it dimension-fracturing power. The pale blue material vanished in an instant, and all that was left were the sapphire blue dots that peppering his skin. Even though, though, remained only a moment longer before they were sucked into his pores.

    All of a sudden Lan Jue felt his body go numb. Normally he was the one inflicting this upon his enemies. It had been a long time since he experienced the discomfort himself.

    The numbness wasn't constrained to his body either. It penetrated to his consciousness and spirit, flowering toward his chest. The more it moved inward, the more feeling returned to his limbs.

    Lan Jue was right. Even at peak rank, it would have been practically impossible to try and absorb the essence. He couldn't withstand the power it held. Thankfully he had Captus and the strong sword-spirit in several generations to give him aid. They acted to restrain the essence and bear it in to the body, then seal it so its power would not release all at once. Together it made the process survivable.

    Lan Jue didn't need to try and coerce or direct it. The essence flowed straight for his Core. Captus had punctured his Core with the intent of remaking it, but instead leaving it fractured. Thankfully, this would make things better.

    The thunder essence flowed through the cracks and wormed its way into his Core. It reacted by releasing a flood of blinding light. The spindle-shaped Core warped under some unseen pressure to become rounded. Its golden light now had a pale blue hue that shimmered within, interspersed with pinpricks of darker sapphire light.

    Lan Jue passively observed as the origin of his Discipline was subtly influenced before his eyes, to where even his protogenia was affected. This was certainly not a comfortable experience. Protogenia underpinned everything Lan Jue had built, and a chance in that comprehension shook him to the pillars of who he was. It affected his future potential as a Paragon.

    His internal energies surged. Any more, Lan Jue thought, and he might even break through to Paragon. This was worrisome, because the sudden change in his protogenic comprehension would make further growth difficult if rushed. Once Adepts became Paragons, there was no going back. Whatever they brought with them in terms of protogenia would be a part of them forever.

    What could he do? Lan Jue's mind raced for a solution.

    But just then he sensed another light within his chest. It was the familiar red of Captus, and a beam of light shot through the top of his Core all the way through to the bottom. The feeling of pressure, like he might explode, inexplicably disappeared. This was followed by a blinding display of red light that burst out - bringing with it the excruciating pain of the joining.

    Captus was trying again!

    With the thunder essence present to filter and soothe Captus' chaotic power, the pain was duller. The joining proceeded with no further issues.

    1. Yes. I suspect TJSS forgot the spirit was a sword now.

    2. I believe Da Luo is the name of one of the highest Taoist immortals. It's important to remember here that there is a precedent for contesting with immortal beings in Chinese literature. Journey to the West was all about spitting in the face of Taoist belief.
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