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Chapter 611: Jue Di’s Fear

    Chapter 611: Jue Di's Fear

    Lan Jue chuckled. "Do I look discouraged? I'm thrilled that my older brother is breaking through, it's only a higher target for me to reach. I'll keep working hard, don't worry."

    Jue Di fixed him with a stare. "So long as you mean it. We'll see how much you've improved later."

    "Heh, dad, you can feel how strong I am now?" Lan Jue said through a smirk. He was the only person who would dare talk about strength to the likes of Jue Di.

    His father growled in irritation. "Stop your bull**. You think I don't already know where you got that power?"

    Lan Jue shrugged and paid no more attention to his dad. He leaned close to Luo Xianni and muttered "Did you put him in his place?"

    She gave Jue Di a flat stare, who groaned dramatically in response. Of course he heard what Lan Jue asked.

    "You know it." She gave a resolute nod with a face full of satisfaction, though a bit of pink had crept into her cheeks.

    Lan Jue gave her a thumbs-up. "Impressive!"

    Even with as few scruples as Jue Di had, even he couldn't help from blushing slightly. "You **ty little brat, screw off!" he barked. He waved a meaty hand and an invisible force came tearing through the air toward Lan Jue.

    The power that was released was as breathtaking as a mountain vista, but also bore an enigmatic sense of oppression. It was as though the universe had decided Lan Jue was no longer wanted. He needed to be removed.

    Lan Jue's face lit up, eager to see how far he could push himself and his new powers. A sparkling golden-blue light flashed in his eyes. His right hand shot up and a red aura hovered over him as he traced a circle in the air. Immediately the interior of the circles collapsed in on itself, leaving behind a clear golden-blue plane.

    Under Captus' guidance, Jue Di's blast of force was drawn into the circle and vanished. Then, a moment later, the hole in reality belched a one-meter thick ray of golden-blue light right for Lan Jue's father. A peal of thunder shook the whole field.

    For a moment shock shone in Jue Di's eyes, and then his whole face changed. It was like he'd seen a ghost. He vanished.

    The ray of light burned a path one hundred meters through the air before it stopped. Not vanish or explode, just stop like it was frozen in place. It eventually faded away, but there remained sparkling pockets of silver light that hung in the air for a long time afterwards.

    Jue Di wasn't the only one effected. Luo Xianni hadn't been the target of Lan Jue's repost, but her face was deathly pale. She was hiding behind the Wine Master.

    "You moron, are you trying to kill your parents?!" Jue Di's voice roared. There was another flash of light and the Paragon's furious face appeared in front of Lan Jue's. He was obviously keeping well away from the flecks of silver light.

    Lan Jue gaped at the two of them and their reaction. What was going on? Was that attack actually capable of hurting them? Why did he run so fast?

    He wasn't the only one to find it strange, the three Avenue Paragons were equally confused. Jue Di's reaction certainly was not in line with what the legends said of him! He was a man of inconceivable power, who turned tail and fled at the attack of a mere Adept. It certainly wasn't the image 'living legend' brought to mind.

    Jue Di still looked shocked as he regarded his son. Shock, and a little fear.

    "Dad, what is it?" Lan Jue asked.

    His father was a little breathless. "What has happened to you? Why is your lightning like this?"

    "I've been practicing yin-yang lightning with the Driver!" He replied. "That's what you wanted me to do, wasn't it? We're trying to integrate it into our Cores to evolve our Disciplines."

    "No, that isn't what I'm talking about. Its within your thunderbolt Discipline - when did it adopt the force of empyreal lightning?" Jue Di's voice was low, urgent.

    "Empyreal Lightning?" Suddenly he knew what his father meant. "Oh, I stumbled across some thunder essence. Ever since I've been slowly absorbing it, and it's had some effect on my Discipline."

    "Thunder essence?" Jue Di was even more surprised, but also less afraid. A wry grin spread his lips. "I'm going to need to keep my distance from this damn kid. No wonder the Clairvoyant chose you if you're just 'running into' things like thunder essence. That's unnatural good luck, there."

    "What is thunder essence?" Luo Xianni asked. She had been just as afraid as he'd been a moment ago. The other three Paragons were baffled by the whole scene.

    Jue Di explained. "In the ancient days, when the great beasts reached incredible heights of power, they had to undergo nine strikes of mystical empyreal lightning. When the beasts and the immortal qi from the lightning combine, they leave behind a special metal - a treasure among treasures. I'd only ever read about it in old books, I never thought they could be found. Absorbing it has put some of the power of empyreal lightning in your attacks. I thought tribulation lightning had come for me, you nearly scared me to death."

    Lan Jue looked back at his father with wide eyes. "Father, are you hoping to cross over?"

    Jue Di snorted derisively. "To immortality? Idiot, no human can cross over." He seemed both irritated and despondent over that fact. "If I was still on the mother planet and she had the vigor of her youth, then maybe there would have been a chance. Do you have any idea how much preparation was needed, how many rare treasures were required to cross over? Be they man or beast. They even had their magic items we call Astrum these days, and after all of this they still needed a lot of luck. These days there is no way for man to ride the lightning up to the heavens. The realm of immortals has passed, empyreal lightning no longer exists and so there is no way to cross over to something that isn't there. At the level I have attained, you can only increase in the quantity of power, not the quality of it. Celestial Master Qian was my contemporary and reached the same state. He committed himself to uncover traces of the immortal realm, searching for a way to cross over. Up to today no proof of its existence has been found. Those time seem passed."

    This information was given quietly to Lan Jue alone, though the Paragons could hear if they listened carefully.

    "Father," Lan Jue then asked, "if I manage to completely absorb the thunder essence and change my Discipline into empyreal lightning, if I blast you with it could you cross over?"

    "Moron!" Was his father's response. "You think that trifling bit you've found can match up to empyreal lightning? Do you have any idea? A blast of empyreal lightning can erase something from existence. A few blasts could obliterate a planet, let alone nine. The only thing that kept Earth intact was its natural surplus of energy."

    Lan Jue stuck out his tongue. "That strong eh? Will absorbing the thunder essence cause you trouble?"

    Jue Di shook his head. "No, chalk that up to good fortune. Master it to the best of your ability. That immortal qi within it is incredibly special, a piece of their strength. If you study on it I'm sure you can glean some insight. As for what will happen once it's all absorbed, who can say. At that time you can show me the immortal qi you've gathered."

    Lan Jue nodded. "Alright."

    Jue Di rolled his eyes, and then suddenly his face changed, like something was suddenly clear. "Oh, I finally realized!"

    The sudden change from solemn to smiling took Lan Jue off guard. He narrowed his eyes at him. "What did you think up that's made you so happy?"

    "I have always known the dharma A-Qing was suited for," Jue Di said, "but with you I could never find what fit. There's something missing between you two. Lan Qing inherited some special power, but you did not. However it seems the thunder essence has made up for that deficiency. I just realized what you're in for. Heh.. hehe...hehehe." He couldn't help but snicker to himself, a laugh full of meaning and peril.

    "Chi Bupang, what's with that sinister cackling? You're thinking of something nasty, aren't you?" Luo Xianni accused.

    He smirked back at her. "The kid'll find out soon enough."

    "Soon enough?"

    Jue Di nodded. "First, this is Lan Qing's day. You'll know what I'm talking about when the time comes. If this were the old days I would love to see their faces, hahahaha, hahahahaha!"

    Everyone else exchanged uncomfortable glances as the world-destroying super human cackled, seemingly for no reason.

    The crunch of boots met their ears. A contingent of troops were approaching quickly from the distance. They formation was tight, precise, ready for battle at any moment. Altogether there were maybe a thousand of them, with Lan Qing leading the way.

    All of them bore the insignia of the Bloodiron Khans. The aura of their Disciplines flickered around them - Adepts! All one thousand soldiers were Adepts. Lan Jue remembered hearing his brother talk about the Bloodiron Khans, and how their top Adepts would be formed into their own division. They were hand-picked, the best from all the East's armed forces. It seemed as though that's who he brought with him, in the hopes they could gain some insight too.

    This was the first time Star Division was greeted with the sight of the Bloodiron Khans. Both sets of troops were Adept armed forces, but there were significant differences.

    The faces of the Bloodiron Kahns were all the same, still and emotionless. Footfalls were almost perfectly in-step and they raced ahead like a single entity. There were no wasted movements of frivolous acts. It was a level of Discipline Star Division couldn't match.

    Their single-minded actions and purpose were amplified by their conformity. One thousand men and women breathed with one breath, and moved like an unstoppable force. They descended upon Star Division like a majestic tide of war, like a disciplined inferno.
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