Chapter 624: All-Heaven Lightning

    Chapter 624: All-Heaven Lightning

    "That's enough singing your own praises, reign it in," Lan Jue said. "If you could really use primordial lightning than these aliens would no longer be a problem. Go ahead and just wipe them out for us."

    Primordial lightning. Generated by the natural energies of the universe, the seventy-two primordial blasts were said to be able to kill immortals. There were eight systems: Yi Mu Righteous Lightning, Bing Huo Yang-Lightning, Gui Shui Yin-Lightning, Geng Jin Destructive Lightning, Wu Tu Umbral Lightning, Evil Execution Lightning, Godslayer Mystical Lightning, Violet Extinguishing Lightning 1 2 Each system had nine layers, and everyone had a natural disdain for the realms of the Buddhist pantheon. This terrible power wasn't used to cut down the beasts of the world. Its purpose was to rebel against the powers of the gods. 3

    Something so powerful it could sear the heavens, how could the Driver really control that? The tribulation lightning of the old days was said to be a part of this thunder magic. Suffering the nine layers of primordial lightning was the tribulation.

    Lan Jue speculated that the thunder essence he was absorbing was the result of this lightning. A great beast sometime in the distance past did not survive when the tribulation lightning came for it. The likelihood of real primordial lightning existing somewhere inside was high.

    Meanwhile this shameless guy went right for the lofty name. Not to be outshone, Lan Jue was determined to find an even more arrogant name for his own Discipline. He settled on the next level up from Primordial lightning - All-Heaven Lightning.

    All-Heaven Lightning, the product of Pan Gu himself 4. Ranked below only the Five Thunders 5, it was used during the creation of heaven and earth to eliminate chaos.

    In the face of these arrogant youth, Jue Di was encouraging. The paths they'd chosen for themselves were the correct ones. Everything was borne from the same source, so who was to say their Disciplines couldn't reach these levels with time and effort? Especially since Lan Jue was absorbing immortal qi from the thunder essence, his chances of evolving his Discipline into such godly heights wasn't unthinkable. His yang-style thunderbolt served as a good foundation. Of course, Lan Jue would not be able to fully control it unless he became an immortal himself.

    Zeus-1 was finished evading. It was headed right for the center of the Shattered Starfields, where the three alien planets awaited. Their tactics when encountering aliens remained the same. The ship's radar revealed them as they neared.

    "One hundred and fifty seven of them altogether. They're coming from all directions, headed right for us." Su Xiaosu reported.

    "Several unique psychic pulses have buffeted us already. Should I respond?" Guoguo asked.

    "No need," her commander replied. "They're delivering themselves to us on a silver platter. What do you say, mighty Paragons? Who wants some exercise?"

    The Wine Master could not participate. He had to keep his strength in case they needed to flee. However, the Epochrion and the Pauper both stood. "We'll go, and the Driver as well. Each of us will be responsible for a direction."

    Lan Jue shot her a thumbs-up. "Workin' hard!"

    Zeus-1 reduced speed and eventually came to a stop. It hovered in the blackness, awaiting the enemy's arrival. A flash of light drew the eye outside of the ship's bridge as the two Paragons exited.

    They joined the Driver outside, and gave him a nod. The three of them headed out to keep some distance between them and their ship.

    Tendrils of white light stretched from the Epochrion and waved around her like strings of silk. Out in the vacuum of space, she looked like an immortal from those ancient days.

    As the crew of the ship watched, those white lights coalesced behind the Paragon until she vanished entirely. What remained was the avatar of her Dogma, a hundred meters tall and blazing with light that painted the heavens.

    The avatar was enormous, clad in snow-white robes of samite. Silken ribbons swirled around it with strange shadows flitting between. It was liking watching the threads of time.

    The image of the Epochrion's dogma looked precisely like her. Waves of protogenic energy radiated out from her with such intensity that it seemed the stars trembled.

    Inner Dogma! Lan Jue could see it right away. It was the most common dogma in the realm of adepts, the kind developed by oneself. Typically, inner dogma were weaker than the sort that was passed down. They were established from scratch, through untold years of self-reflection and searching.

    The benefit was that it was suited perfectly to the individual. No absorption or training was needed, it all came down to the truths as the adept saw them. Inherited dogmas took time to become accustomed to, to understand. Another's teachings had to become the core of their being. Only then did its strength surpass inner dogma.

    In the distance, aliens began to creep into their line of sight. No less than ten swordfish led the charge. They had a lock on Zeus-1 already, and were quickly bearing down on them. However, when they noticed the giant human in space their target changed.

    The ripples of protogenia were comparatively weak, but all living things had instincts and the aliens were no different. They were inexorably drawn to the enticing lights. The swordfish stopped, long enough for the other aliens to catch up.

    Just then, the Epochrion lifted her right hand and swept it before her. An enormous grandfather clock appeared. It flickered with a pale golden shine. Around it swirled a host of other colors, which within them bore strange and fantastical images.

    She reached out again and pinched the giant clock's hour hand between two fingers. Just as the aliens arrived, it stopped. The hour hand stopped, the minute hand stopped, the pendulum stopped. Everything seemed to freeze in time.

    The aliens were suddenly thrust into a dimension of black and white. Everything around them stopped dead in its tracks. No matter how strong they were, or what talents these beasts possessed, it all meant nothing. They couldn't even think or feel.

    From Zeus-1, all they saw was the Epochrion reach out. Afterwards, the aliens just... stopped.

    The other two reacted immediately and flew in opposite directions. The Pauper soared upwards, and as he did his own dogma was again revealed. He grew until he was as large as the Epochrion, an image of the Taming Dragon Arhat bare to the waist. His hands had also swollen to gigantic proportions.

    He struck with his palm. The sound of a dragon's roar answered. Several of the encroaching aliens couldn't hope to defend themselves and were instantly destroyed. He never used his Domain, only direct attacks. The Taming Dragon Arhat's strength was on clear display for everyone to marvel at.

    The Driver's charge bore similar results. Thunderbolt's entire body buzzed with translucent primordial lightning. He swung his spear vertically and horizontally. Everywhere the purple lightning fell, the monsters were slain.

    In only a few minutes over a hundred alien creatures had been dispatched. The Driver was beginning to show signs of fatigue. His Discipline was nearly at the protogenic level, but his body wasn't prepared to sustain it. He wasn't a Paragon yet, after all.

    "That's a fortune right there," Lan Jue mused with a smile. Aliens of this size, who could travel and fight in space, were sure to each possess their own vital crystal. Star Division just earned over a hundred of them.

    "Boss, more than a thousand aliens headed our way now. It looks like three waves, and one of them is over three thousand meters long." Su Xiaosu gave her report while watching the radar.

    Lan Jue's face changed. Obviously killing so many aliens would attract some attention. "Call them back," he said. "Let's get out of here." Despite their headlong rush into the fray, their goal wasn't to engage with the enemy's main force. They were, after all, really just here to scout.

    "No need." This time, it was Jue Di who spoke.

    Buzzzz! A strange, unnatural sound rattled their ship. The Pauper, Driver, and Clockmaker all seemed to shake.

    In the distance, the gargantuan form of an alien appeared.

    In all his encounters with the aliens, this was the largest he'd seen aside from the alien planets themselves. He'd also seen one like it in the recording of the Seventh Fleet's destruction. Its outward appearance was similar to a chameleon, blown up to nightmarish proportions. A giant bulge swelled at the back of its head and its whole body was covered in thick purple scales. Sixteen eyes looked every which way, each of them shining with different intensities of purple light.

    It had seven fins altogether, six for flight and the last one on the back of its tail for steering. Every one of those fins were composed of chutes, whose ends were wreathed in a pale violet halo. They appeared to act much like Zeus-1's engines.

    An entourage of aliens follows in its wake. Compared to the main one, however, the others looked like children. That screeching buzz had been this colossus' roar. 6

    "It's a Basilisk!" Lan Jue breathed in awe.

    They were rare to see, and thankfully so. They were strong. Once they'd come across another of its ilk, only a thousand meters long. Lan Jue had given it a wide berth. He'd named it Basilisk because of its appearance.

    The Driver, Pauper, and Clockmaker were approaching the ship. The Driver's voice rang through the bridge. "We've got quite a few coming, what should we do? Are we making a run for it? That big one doesn't look like an easy scrap. The Epochrion said it's their version of a Paragon. It looks like we really kicked the hornet's nest!"

    "We're not retreating just yet. You protect yourselves, dad is going out there to deal with them." The news was like a shot of adrenaline to the Driver. For a second he didn't utter a word, but then relayed the information to his two companions. The Paragons shared a quick glance, and spied the surprise in each other's eyes.

    Jue Di was going himself?

    The near-mythical superhuman, gone for these many years, was going to deal with the threat. What could they expect to see?

    The aliens come closer with every passing moment and their numbers swelled. There were ten times as many, now.

    1. Daoist thunder magic is a real thing (the practice, I dunno bout the magic). My knowledge is very limited, but thunder magic is a cultivation method and a means of attack/defense. It's based on a sexagenarian cycle - rounds of 60. By using the ganzhi (heavenly roots and earthy stems), and the wuxing (five elements), astrologers and mystics created a system to observe the cosmos which was later applied to telling time. These systems are used to tell the state of a particular year, month, day, even minute by determining what condition the flows of energy are at that moment. For example, ganzhi says I was born in the year of Yin-Wood ox. If you remember, yin is the energy that is 'dark, low, cold, slow', but it is also the root of life and creativity that keeps yang in check. Wood, according to the five elements, is indicative of growth, expansion, newness. The Ox is the second animal in the Chinese zodiac (after the rat), and it considered reliable, but tends to inaction, likes to work and is persistent, but can be stubborn. Further study can tell me which of these powers, and the other elements, were strong or weak at the moment of my birth. Thus, knowing this, I can presumably determine my fundamental strengths and flaws and how I interact with the forces of nature in any specific moment.

    2. Each character in the names of thunder lightning mean something specific, but giving them their full names would be unwieldy, long, and generally unsuitable for English translation. For instance, the name of the first one is actually Beta/Secondary/Yin Wood Righteous Lightning. The second one is Tetra/Third Fire Yang-Lightning. The first character describes its ranking in the sexagenary cycle, the second is its element, and the third a descriptor. Mu = wood, Huo = fire, Shui = water, Jin = metal, Tu = earth. You will also note 'violet', which is an important color in Daoism, considered the color of the gods/kings/immortals, much like ancient Rome.

    3. The five element philosophy states that the elements work in a specific order. I forget whether or not I've described them before, but briefly: Elements generate and restrict one another. Here's an article that explains it well with visuals. Fire burns and molds metal (fire restricts metal) and creates nutrients for the soil (fire generates earth). Earth restricts the flow of water (earth restricts water), and metal is created in the bosom of the earth (earth generates metal). Metal generates water, I don't have a good example for that, and metal cuts down forests (metal restricts wood). Water quenches fire (water restricts fire) and is food to help wood grow (water generates wood). This is as it should be, but there are many factors that can adjust the flow. If a particular element becomes too strong, it can revolt against its controller and become imbalanced. The thunder magic lightning is said to be so strong it breaks the natural order and can destroy its controllers, the gods.

    4. The god, the creator of the universe according to Chinese origin myths.

    5. The most powerful Daoist thunder magic, used specifically to kill or defend - like to put down an equally powerful Daoist mystic.

    6. So this one's Sovereign, then.
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