Chapter 625: Deva-gati

    Chapter 625: Deva-gati

    Although the creatures were still far away, they could see the scales on its back writhing. The purple halo around it was bright and getting bigger and enhanced the purple lights burning in its sixteen eyes. As the humans looked on, the beast opened its enormous maw. Suddenly a vacuum force tugged at them.

    The Clockmaker's protogenic grandfather clock radiated a pale golden light that expanded to encompass the Paragons and the Driver. Her Domain helped to stabilize them and protect them from being sucked up.

    Then the suction force suddenly stopped.

    A flying cloud, gold and blinding, appeared out in space. It bore Jue Di to their side. He looked entirely different from the worker they'd first met. His face was calm, and he gazed upon the encroaching monsters like they were insignificant insects.

    "Shut up!" He shouted at the Basilisk in irritation. Strangely, the monster did as instructed and fell silent. To the humans, the creature almost looked nervous.

    Jue Di clenched his hand into a fist, and slowly extended it toward the aliens. It was almost lazy, a simple punch - like a child might.

    "Huuuunggg-" The guttural sounds of  Buddhist prayer echoed through space.

    In the next instant, the three Skyfire Avenue fighters were surprised to find they were no longer out in space. They looked around to see the vaulted spires of a Buddhist temple. Their entire world was painted gold. Bodhisattvas, Arhats and other holy men surrounded them.

    "Deva-gati!" The Pauper's voice quavered. He'd heard of this, a legendary Buddhist Domain called Deva-gati after the world of gods. It was said to be capable of guiding the enlightened. Of course he'd never seen it, but the scene before them had all the signs.

    The deep Buddhist chants continued, however the world of gold slowly began translucent and vanished. The Pauper and the others recovered their senses. The Driver actually fared best, since he still hadn't come to understand the world of protogenia. He could not feel the deep, abiding power that Jue Di had commanded.

    The Clockmaker, usually calm and composed, literally gaped. She held a hand over her mouth. At some point the grandfather clock she'd summoned disappeared, along with the image of her dogma. She was back to her normal size, floating with the others in space. The Pauper fared about the same, but he was breather faster than the Epochrion.

    All three turned their eyes in unison to the distant aliens, but there was nothing to see. Seconds earlier a thousand aliens had been bearing down on them, only to vanish in a single punch. Only a cloud of purple light remained.

    "How about someone heads over to pick up the remains," Jue Di said indifferently.

    The others snapped out of their shock. The Pauper reacted first, disappearing in a flash and reappearing where the creatures had once been. What he found was a vital crystal ten meters long, the source of the purple light. He was still a distance from it, but he could clearly feel the vital energy pouring from it. It was, frankly, terrifying.

    A single punch...

    All it took for Jue Di to eliminate a thousand world-devouring monsters was a single punch. He made it look so simple. And his Domain - the legendary Deva-gati!

    For those watching from Zeus-1, things were unclear. All they'd seen was a flash of golden light, and suddenly their radar was coming up clean. Jue Di returned, said he was going to take a nap, then disappeared into his cabin.

    The aliens were nowhere to be found. When the Pauper, Clockmaker and Driver returned they didn't utter a word. All three were silent, trying to comprehend what they'd witnessed. Now they understood what strength was. They understood why Jue Di was a living legend, an unparalleled powerhouse.

    What Jue Di had shown them was far outside of what they thought possible.

    The Pauper shook his head, trying to shake the shock from his brain, then found a place to sit. The Clockmaker was taking it hardest, though. She knew she would never compare to Jue Di, but the true discrepancy between them was astounding. His Domain had overtaken everything to the point where her own Domain was instantly drowned out, even her dogma.

    Put another way, if Jue Di desired it he could slay her with a single finger.

    This fearsome power was beyond the scope of his legend. If Jue Di had been this strong during the paragon battle all those years ago, no one would have lived to tell the tale.

    Lan Jue saw it differently. It warmed his heart to see such tremendous strength. His father was hale and hardy.

    "Pick up speed, horizontal bearing. Let's get out of here." Lan Jue commanded. They had put down no small number of aliens, the aliens planets were definitely aware. Nor had it been as easy as it looked. It took three Paragons and Jue Di to get them this far.

    But that punch... it was like it had been empowered by the curse of an angry god. When Lan Qing used his curses, they didn't come anywhere near his father's.

    That was strength. Real strength!

    Lan Jue stood in a daze, not moving a muscle. He allowed the residual energies to wash over him and sought to learn what he could. Though he hadn't been out there with the others, but the hull of a ship couldn't dream of obstructing even the shadow of his father's brawn.

    In the recesses of his mind Lan Jue could feel Captus hum. Both it and Demortus were reacting to something.

    Zeus-1 continued to pick up speed and race through space for a full half an hour. It gave everyone time to collect themselves and recover.

    When the Wine Master and the others had first met Jue Di, in truth they'd been slightly disappointed. They were expecting a legend but got a mechanic. Now they saw the legend, and then some.

    Jue Di, this was Jue Di! The only known Paragon to reach the Infinite, the fourth degree of protogenic mastery. Watching that punch hadn't just shocked them, it had given them tremendous confidence. Even the Wine Master was starting to think that his ten days of labor setting up the teleport array wasn't necessary. With the god-like Jue Di on board, what alien could harm them? Jue Di simply had to want to, and even those alien planets were at risk.

    In his cabin, Jue Di sat at the foot of the bed. Luo Xianni sat beside him, concern writ clear on her face.

    "Hnnghh...." Jue Di sighed and closed his eyes.

    "What is it? Are you alright?" She asked with some concern.

    He grinned and shook his head. "I'm fine. It's been so long since I've lifted a hand. I didn't expect that. 'Time and tide wait for no man'! In the end, though, there is no path forward."

    Luo Xianni scrunched her face in thought. "Could you use A-Jue's abilities to help you take that final step?"

    He shook his head. "No. He's still too weak. Even once he's absorbed all the thunder essence, I'm afraid it still won't be enough. I have spent years searching, do you think it would be so easy?"

    Her face became serious. "You shouldn't have gone out there. I don't want you to do that again."

    He shrugged. "I only wanted to see where I am at. It's been more than ten years since I've lifted a finger. It's why I didn't want to be with you. If we're forced to part forever, could we handle it?"

    Luo Xianni threw her arms around him. "I don't care. All I want is to spend all my time with you. If that day comes, I'll go with you."

    Jue Di gently stroked her hair. "Stop that nonsense. There's still so much you want to do. I just hope A-Jue comes into his own before I go. He and his brother are much further along than I was at their age. I can only give them my experiences, and show them the way. Especially A-Jue. The thunder essence has changed his thunderbolt Discipline. Not primordial or all-heaven lightning, but whatever it is will help him when it comes time to break through. How could I ask him to help me, at such a crucial time? When he's strong enough, he could use this opportunity for himself."

    Luo Xianni vigorously shook her head. "Let's not talk about this. I just want to hold you like this."

    Just then, a terrible consciousness drew its attention to the spot where Zeus-1 and the aliens had been. It swept across the empty space, then spread out into the distance. Jue Di's eyes hardened and he sat up straight.

    "What is it?" Luo Xianni asked.

    His eyebrows were knit tight. "I felt a powerful wave of energy. It originated far from us, but it's still so strong."

    Luo Xianni looked at him with concern. "Was it mechanical, or...."

    He shook his head. "It felt like a consciousness. It came too fast, I couldn't feel it clearly."

    "For you to say something is strong... is it your same level?" She asked.

    But he shrugged. "I don't know. The universe is boundless, it wouldn't be unthinkable to encounter something like me. I'm just concerned it's that alien."

    Luo Xianni was beside herself with anxiety. "Should we tell A-Jue, tell him not to keep going toward the planets?"

    He replied with a mirthless laugh. "The aliens came to the Starfields to prepare for the assault on humanity. If we leave them alone, do you think they'll just leave? Sooner or later, we're going to have to face them."

    "But, you..."

    Jue Di waved her off with his hand. "I've been a bully my whole life, you think I'm prepared to accept this bull**?"

    "Right," she said, suddenly thinking of something. "Those vital crystals are no use to you?"
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