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Chapter 600: Taming Dragon Arhat

    Chapter 600: Taming Dragon Arhat

    What sort of thing could make Lan Jue, the Driver, the Wine Master and even the Photographer joyous? What was so important as to call together the whole Star Division?

    What they'd felt the moment they exited the arena was strong. It was protogenia, wild and untamed.

    Only Paragons were capable of using protogenia directly, aside from the rare, exceptionally talented Adept like Lan Jue and his brothers. Put another way, the felt the residue of a Paragon's power. It was wild, uncontrolled, but not dangerous. Its range was limited.

    Lan Jue had experienced this before. It was just the same when the Bookworm broke through to Paragon and took the name Karmic Scholar. The Jewelry Master knew the instant he felt it; another Adept was about to ascend to Paragon.

    The Bookworm's ascension had been of great aid to many hundreds of Adepts, but they were exceedingly rare to encounter. After all, there were only a handful of times Adepts have become Paragons. Each event, when they happened around a populace at all, was a special event. Flooded with sudden insight, it was easy for Adepts to come to profound understandings of themselves and their powers. How could they give up an opportunity like that?

    With such a boon eminent, of course he'd want to gather his troops and give them the chance for an epiphany. Even if only a handful came to see some truth it would be a quantitative leap for Division as a whole.

    Skyfire Avenue was about to greet it's second Paragon in under a year, a rare happening in all the history of humanity. Even the Clairvoyant and the Wine Master, and others of their generation couldn't remember the last time it happened.

    It went without saying how good this was for the Avenue, to have so many Paragons arriving in succession. They were fast becoming a beacon of excellent throughout the Adept world. Who didn't want to make themselves stronger? Who didn't want a chance to one day be a Paragon?

    Easier said than done, certainly. However, the path was at least made a little smoother if you had the opportunity to be around a Paragon when they broke through. It was as true for young Adepts as it was for those like Lan Jue. Proximity had real appeal. 1

    The Gourmet's ascension had been different. Due to restrictions of his Hades bloodline, he had sequestered himself away in the process. The shockwave of his breakthrough was dangerous, its dark nature wasn't suitable for many. What sprang from the Karmic Scholar was a wave of inspiration that took everyone by surprise. Lan Jue had been lucky enough to have the A.R.C. students with him at the time.

    One Paragon was a lucky break. But two in one year? What did that mean? It meant Skyfire Avenue knew something no one else did. Lan Jue and the Pharmacist had proven their abilities during the Great Adept tournament, too. No one doubted they would one day soon be Paragons themselves.

    Without question, Skyfire Avenue was becoming a mecca for Adepts.

    Star Division's soldiers were members of Avenue as well. Although many didn't live on site, they all were close by. By the time Su Xiaosu spread the news, many of the stronger members had already sensed the change in the air. They had been on their way before she'd pressed send.

    Before long, the area around the Avenue was a bustling scene. Adepts tried to get as close as they could, but only members were allowed in. Everyone else had to remain outside.

    How close one was to the new Paragon when they broke through made a difference. Now was when An Liu and her security forces were most needed. They were the first line of defense to make sure only the people meant to be on the Avenue got in.

    The Star Division commander became the soldiers' focal point. Everyone gathered on him.

    "Arrange yourselves in brigades by rank and find a place to sit down. Meditate, and prepare to accept whatever you experience." Lan Jue's instruction was calm and firm. A year before this sort of organization would have been a real shock. No one would have listened to the Jewelry Master's commands!

    Now, things were different. They'd been trained and seen combat. Individual Adepts had come together under a single banner. As quickly as they could, these soldiers found their places and silently waited.

    Lan Jue and the Driver exchanged glances, then each took a seat. Opportunities likes this were important to them as much as anyone else. Both of them were close to Paragon and every chance for insight brought them closer.

    His soldiers' training was impeccable. In the blink of an eye, eight hundred men and women were silently arrayed up and down the street. The Adept shops and markets underground were cleared out. Patrons would have to wait outside like everyone else.

    It was a reaction to be expected. Members of Skyfire Avenue were overjoyed, and took pride in the accomplishments of their organization. Meanwhile, those who weren't had to stew in their jealousy. Not that they had much time for regrets, the waves of protogenia had already begun to be felt. Faint though they were, it was better than nothing. All of the Adepts settled an turned their focus inward.

    Before long, the thunderous and clear roar of dragons arose. Rolling clouds converged over the Avenue. As darkness hung over them, the overcast skies seemed to press down on them. Waves of protogenic energy were gaining in vigor and coming faster.

    It felt like being in the midst of a hurricane. Energies raged through the skies, and yet within it was an alluring, perfect calm. That calm teased at the profound secrets of the universe. An extraordinary sense of peace descended upon everyone.

    It was nothing like anything Lan Jue or the Driver had felt before. Both of them opened their eyes and peered toward the heavens. While the Driver didn't know who was on the verge of breaking through, Lan Jue did. Or rather, he had a guess.

    Dragons' cries resonated throughout the whole city. Dense, dark clouds still roiled overhead, but as they looked on a single golden beam of light broke through. It blazed bright against the overcast backdrop.

    In the same instant they witnessed a figure arise from one of the buildings of the Avenue. When it first appeared it was in the shape of a man, but quickly grew into the image of an enormous arhat.

    Something peaked through the dark clouds above. An enormous golden dragon slithered in and out of view. It had five claws, with swiped at the air as the beast belched a plume of golden dragons breath onto the arhat.

    The figure was immediately covered in an opaque golden shell, dazzling to behold. The golden light from above even seemed drawn to him, heavy with the sacred dharma.

    A genial smile spread the arhat's lips. He nodded toward the gathered Adepts seated cross-legged below. His image flickered, and in the next instant he was seated in the skies above them.

    Ethereal, mystical singing resonated from him. His voice seemed to beckon runes of deep Buddhist significance from the air. The fluttered around him, onto him, then joined with the arhat's body.

    The great golden dragon came down from the cloud cover. As it approached it coiled into itself below the seated wise man, and transformed into a lotus flower.

    A repeat performance of the singing heralded a silence that settled over every heart, stilled every thought. No matter how enticing, frightening, or nagging the thought it would not break their single-minded calm. It was absolute quietude.

    Outsiders saw it as well. To the normal folk it was nothing short of a miracle, and to Adepts it was a rare opportunity! For the Avenue as well - they were about to be blessed with another Paragon. The Clairvoyant had moved on, but Skyfire Avenue was possibly stronger than ever.

    Suddenly another figured joined him in a flash of silver light. He waved the scepter in his hand, which caused flickering light to dance over his body.

    "Ah! Look, that's the Cosmagus." Several cries rang throughout the Adepts outside of the Avenue.

    Two flashes of white light followed, and two more silhouettes appeared on the arhat's other side.

    "Those are... the Keeper, and the Karmic Scholar!"

    A polychromatic orb rose into the sky, distributing the Epochrion among them. With a conflicted look in her eye, she sighed and made her way to the Wine Master's side to silently watch the golden arhat. Her apprehension could be understood. Over the course of a couple years, Skyfire Avenue had displayed a meteoric rise. Even without the Clairvoyant they still put the Citadels and the Great Conclave to shame.

    The other Adept organizations had assumed - perhaps hoped - that Skyfire Avenue's power would be reduced greatly after the Clairvoyant's death. Who could have known that instead, the Avenue was getting stronger by the day.

    The Karmic scholar and the Infernal Vanguard together couldn't match the deficit of losing the Clairvoyant. However, the Epochrion knew that Luo Xianni had come back. She'd once been known as the single most potent Adept of her time! In a fight she far outstripped what the Clairvoyant could do.

    The Epochrion ruminated over Luo Xianni's return, conspicuously following the Clairvoyant's departure. It was so much different from her own reasons, she thought.

    1. The Chinese go through tremendous pains to take advantage of proximity. For instance, it isn't uncommon for people to spend hundreds of thousands of yuan to purchase properties they don't need near favorable school districts. This is even before the students are accepted to these schools, since proximity is a prerequisite. My first thought when I was translating the earlier chapters was 'damn, when I have a kid I'm moving to Skyfire.'
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