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Chapter 599: Lightning of Yin and Yang

    Chapter 599: Lightning of Yin and Yang

    They stood within the center of the Wine Master's Reaper Arena. He looked displeased with the situation, but he couldn't say anything to the Photographer. The surge of power that resulted from their last attempt was at the front of everyone's memory. If not for his aunt's intervention, he would never have allowed them to attempt their experiments here.

    Lan Jue and the Driver walked together to the center of the ring. There, the Star Division commander turned to face his subordinate. "I'll lead," he announced.

    "Be careful," the Driver cautioned. "We don't want a repeat of last time."

    "Relax, I know my limits," Lan Jue assured.

    Over the last few days he had, in fact, experienced a great epiphany in his control of Taiji. Precise control over his body was becoming easier. Moreover, as he continued to absorb the thunder essence his Discipline was changing. It was becoming purer, and little by little shedding the wild nature of lightning. More exactly, he was subduing its reckless character.

    Lan Jue lifted his hands. They were brought together before him in a circle, and as they connected a golden orb of light appeared. It extended forward from his hands and peacefully hung in the air. To the Driver it was a poignant display of his friend's superior abilities. His eyes lit up in appreciation.

    The larger man followed his friend's example and brought his hands together. When the circuit was complete, a flickering orb of bright silver was birthed. Errant bolts of lightning writhed over its surface continuously. Lan Jue's golden electric orb seemed an entity in and of itself. There were no fluctuations - perfect control.

    This expression of their Discipline was small to begin with. Lan Jue's hands flowed through the air and both golden and silver lightning alike danced along. After they traced out a sphere, the familiar glow of black and white appeared. The opposed flows of energy rotated around each other. They looked thick as milk. Likewise the gold and silver thunderbolt energy swirled toward the center.

    The Driver continued to carefully watch Lan Jue, vigilant for any sign of distress. He was careful, because he still remembered the enormous explosion that cut their attempts short the last time. Now their thunderbolt powers were purer and stronger. He shuddered to think of what would happen if they got it wrong this time.

    Lan Jue calmly watched. Under his careful direction, the taiyin and taiyang thunderbolt Disciplines drew ever closer.

    The true meaning of Taiji energy work was to strive for balance of yin and yang - to join the two in perfect harmony. The closer they came to achieving this perfection, the stranger the scene became.

    Lan Jue noticed that as the Driver's taiyin powers met his taiyang equivalent, they didn't repulse one another. There was very little resistance from the taiyin, and the taiyang opened up to embrace it. It was entirely the opposite of their first attempt.

    Recollections of conflict lingered in Lan Jue's memory from last time. It'd seemed neither Discipline had been fully ready to submit to the other, to give up superiority. Although they'd succeeded temporarily, in the process their Disciplines' explosive temper was agitated.

    Strangely, those violent tendencies were entirely absent this time. Lan Jue struggled to understand.

    Why would it be so different this time? He wracked his brain but could think of nothing. But as he looked on, he continued to witness changes.

    Gold and silver began to meld into each other. A sublime corona of light radiated around them. The vortex of black and white that he'd summoned was like a black hole, drawing everything into its all-consuming nexus.

    The Driver looked up and gaped when he saw Lan Jue again. He bore another orb of light, this one three times the size. It shone with dazzling blue - not the same lightning blue they were accustomed to, but a blue as clear and sharp as crystal. Flickers of energy were refracted endlessly inside. If he didn't know better, the Adept could have mistaken the orb for an enormous cut gemstone.

    The light lit up the whole field in ethereal blue luminance. Luo Xianni's eyes twinkled along with it. "So pretty!"

    Pretty? Lan Jue didn't think so. He could it, that even one slip could unleash a torrent of energy that could evaporate them. The waves of power that radiated from it were as vigorous as they were threatening.

    Life and death... there only ever existed a thin line between them. Something clicked in Lan Jue's mind. The thunder essence situated above his Core also sensed something and began to quiver in anticipation.

    Lan Jue called over to the Driver. "I'm going to start trying to disseminate the essence into our bodies. Remember what I taught you, we can't afford even the smallest mistake. We have to be as careful as possible."

    "Got it." Sweat had begun to appear on the Driver's brow, but resolve was clear on his face. The arrow was loosed from the string - there was no going back.

    Lan Jue flowed forward a step, gently pushing his hands forward. The Driver replied with a deep breath, the silver light in his eyes flickering as he mirrored Lan Jue's movements.

    The glittering and translucent globe of lightning reacted like water. It twined up Lan Jue's hands and stuck to the Driver.

    Four palms joined. The Driver shook as he felt a surge of magnificent power race through his meridians. For a moment every cell in his body went numb. For years he'd known only taiyin power, and had never experienced the balance of Taiji. He steeled himself and accepted the energy throughout his body, joined it with his own, then returned the flow to Lan Jue.

    In this way they became a circuit, passing the energy between them over and over. However, so far all they'd managed was a small amount.

    The Driver was amazing by even this. He continued to infuse the power into his own Discipline, feeling it empowered. With just this small experiment he could sense he was three times more potent than normal. It was swallowed up and absorbed without effort.

    For Lan Jue, the process was even easier. When the power entered him, it seemed to flow naturally toward his Core. The center of his Discipline almost appeared to drink it in. When it reached the thunder essence, the mythical substance flickered like it was coming to life. As he continued to search within himself, Lan Jue sensed a surge of thunderbolt energy purer than any he'd experienced. It drained down from the essence into his Core.

    In the next moment Lan Jue found himself shaking uncontrollably. His Discipline surged in power, even going so far as to affect his Core.

    This was...

    Every day since joining with the thunder essence, Lan Jue allotted time in during his cultivation to try and absorb it. It looked soft and malleable, but the power it contained was dense. In the weeks that had transpired he'd only absorbed a small amount. Still, even the small amount had had marvelous results.

    However, what they achieved in this moment was more rewarding than ten days of contemplation.

    The violent transformation his body had gone under as a result of Captus and the thunder essence made him tenacious, even compared to the Driver. Much to Lan Jue's benefit, any lightning-type energy that entered him was overcome and absorbed the thunder essence.

    As a result, Lan Jue quickly soaked up a large portion of the yin-yang lightning. Once the Driver finished taking in his own piece, there was little of the joined essence left.

    "This..." The Driver stared in shock at Lan Jue. "How did you absorb it so quickly? Aren't you afraid on an adverse reaction?"

    But Lan Jue smiled. "Clearly you don't recognize a prodigy when you see one. Besides, Qianlin and I are joined to cultivate which helps. Naturally we'd be faster. How do you feel?"

    The Driver shook his head helplessly. "It really is a bad idea to make comparisons! It feels wonderful. Even just that little bit had tremendous benefit to my Discipline. Cultivation feels faster, and I can sense a change in my lightning. My comprehension of protogenia has also improved a little. It looks like we're on the right track."

    His drinking buddy nodded back. "I also feel great, so we might as well continue. But still be careful, we don't want to rush into disaster."

    "No doubt," the Driver replied.

    As they prepared to go on, the pocket dimension they were in rippled.

    Lan Jue's eyes snapped to his training partner. "What was that?"

    This, like several other parts of the arena, was a dimension that'd be created by the Wine Master himself. If there were interruptions in stability, it certainly wasn't a failing from the maker. It meant there was something going on outside. Neither of them were thinking of training anymore. Their eyes snapped to the Wine Master.

    The Paragon's face had changed suddenly. In a flash his astrum appeared in his grip. The Cosmagus waved it through the air, and a silvery light enveloped them like a blanket. When it receded they were standing outside of the arena. Back in the Avenue, their improved senses immediately kicked in.

    Lan Jue was stunned for half a moment, mirrored by the Driver, the Wine Master and the Photographer. One by one their faces lit up with joy.

    "Quick! Call all your soldiers to the Avenue. I'll try and buy you some time." The Wine Master left no room for discussion. With his orders given, he was gone in a flash of silver.

    Lan Jue quickly reacted, bringing up his communicator and dialing in a number. "Xiaosu, did you feel it? Spread the word quick as you can. The whole Division needs to gather on Skyfire Avenue. Right away!"

    "Yes, boss." Su Xiaosu's voice was brimming with excitement.

    The Driver turned to look questioningly at Lan Jue. "Who?"

    A smile spread across the Jewelry Master's face. The air continue to change around him, growing thick with protogenia. "Guess."
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