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Chapter 713: Destructive Protogenia

    Chapter 713: Destructive Protogenia

    Lan Qing's air underwent a sudden and dramatic change. A flood of light shot from his every pore, even filling his aura. Looking upon him, the Terminator was filled with an unconscious sense of peace. That harmonious light painted everything around them.

    Lan Qing's palm slowly extended outward. As the younger generation, he would be given the chance to strike first.

    As Lan Qing thrust out his hand the action seemed plain, as though there was nothing to expect. But when his arm reached out the furthest it could go his harmonious aura suddenly flared and filled the whole arena with light.

    It was in that moment the Terminator struck. Compared to Lan Qing's slow movements, the Terminator's fist was fast as a rocket. For Lan Qing it felt like he was slammed face first with a planet. There was nothing beyond pure force.

    No wonder he was called the God of Might!

    Bang! The whole arena shook.

    The Terminator's punch looked wild, but it was actually cleverly employed to counteract Lan Qing's peaceful aura and interrupt his rhythm.

    However, the moment before the Terminator's fist and Lan Qing's palm met the Northern Paragon felt the harmonious light begin to burn. It was like the Peerless Light Emperor had become a small sun.

    A flower corona of flame surrounded his fist like it was trying to push through an atmosphere. Its force was shed by the effort until, by the time it eventually did reach Lan Qing's palm, only about a third of the strike's power remained. The Terminator's hand glowed like it'd punched through magma.

    A blast ripped through the air. Although both men were holding back, the result of their clash was strong enough to shudder the foundations of the arena. A pale yellow light sprang up that stabilized the area, melding with the protogenic energy of the metallic walls to keep them safe.

    Lan Qing was knocked back seven steps before he could regain his footing. The Terminator's fist continued to seethe an angry red for a few moments before returning to normal.

    "Very good!" The Terminator roared. He launched forward, suddenly seeming less a man and more a raging beast. Appearing to swell even larger, the man's meaty fist came tumbling down upon Lan Qing once more.

    Everything around them seemed drawn toward the Terminator, sucked inexorably toward that destructive fist. Even Lan Jue and Zhou Qianlin on the far side of the arena struggled not to be dragged off balance.

    Lan Qing stretched out his arms, one hand up and the other down. At the same time his body began to spin like a top. Behind him, the ethereal image of a Buddha emerged with a blazing sun behind its head.

    The light of Buddha illuminates all, piercing the heavens and painting the earth!

    Boom-!

    The Terminator's fist was knocked aside with the blast, and the man himself was thrust backward a couple paces. The vortex that Lan Jue had become constricted as the image behind it shimmered in response to the strike.

    If someone familiar with the Terminator were here to witness the fight, they would have been shocked the scene. Lan Qing blocking his attack - was a feat!

    Lan Qing was no match for the Terminator in terms of sheer attack power. Still he was able to withstand the Paragon's overwhelming forte and not fall behind.

    Lan Qing reacted. He flung himself at the Terminator like a cyan tempest. The Buddha behind him solidified and countless hands spread out around it. As Lan Qing closed in one his target the Buddha thrust those palms forward to coincide with the attack, and they came crashing toward the Terminator in unison.

    The Terminator faced the dramatic assault with an imposing air that thickened reality around him. With a grunt he planted his feet, and an angry red light sprang up around him like a cocoon.

    Lan Qing's palm strikes hit that cocoon, and each one made it flash brighter.

    Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang! The pummeling blows rang like the chimes of an enormous bell, reverberating over and over again through the arena. Lan Qing fell into a harmonious rhythm of palm strikes, each one hitting with the weight of the Buddhist faith.

    Suddenly the myriad shadows converged into a single point, and Lan Qing lashed out with a punch. The ten thousand become one, focused in a single punch.

    The Great Spiritual Mantra!

    Boom- -!

    The shell of red light around the Terminator trembled, then began to crack under the terrible force of the mantra. They spread quickly like cracks through thin ice, threatening to shatter at any moment.

    Surprise was clear in the Terminator's eyes. He pushed his two hands out and as he did, a host of glowing orbs appeared behind him.

    The arena grew dark, and a strange scene revealed itself. What appeared behind the Terminator was an enormous black orb, so massive as to blot out everything else. A radiant light burned around the orb, outlining its contours.

    A palpable fury filled the Terminator. Lan Qing felt it as a dark tempest on the horizon, ready to swallow him up.

    Until today neither Lan Qing nor Lan Jue knew what sort of protogenia the Great Conclave's leader possessed. Now they finally understood. Originally Lan Jue thought the Terminator's powers were related to metal in some fashion, but what he saw proved him wrong.

    The Terminator's protogenia was pure destruction!

    The pitch-black orb behind him was a comet, and within it burned the promise of obliteration. Everything within its path was destined to be atomized. Now, a deep rage replaced his typical composure, so thick and fierce as to bring a lesser man to his knees. Lan Qing's pressing attack had forced him to reveal his inner nature.

    The Admiral seemed unconcerned. He pressed his right hand skyward, a motion mimicked by the golden Buddha at his back.

    A glorious golden light erupted from Lan Qing - Buddha's Revelation! Lan Qing's Domain!

    When the Terminator's Domain appeared everything around him - the air, molecules, atoms - all of it was ripped apart and cast into disorder. All of that destruction seemed to feed that terrifying black orb.

    In the same moment that golden light, so soothing and comforting, returned life to that which the Terminator's Domain tried to destroy.

    For a tense and breathtaking moment everything was destroyed and remade. The light of Buddha and the darkness of extermination warred, colliding and intertwining. For a time neither gained the upper hand.

    The manifestation of their Domains were constrained to an area ten meters around both men, in order to protect the weaves of space-time within the arena. If they truly let loose, the resulting force would undoubtedly tear the building down to its foundation.

    Lan Qing threw both hands toward the heavens. Great Mantra of Clarity!

    The golden light brightened as the image of a Buddha hung in the air overhead. Its eyes were full of compassion, and it seemed to take over everything. There was no self, no other - no fear. It seemed like it was the center of the universe, all-encompassing and timeless.

    The Terminator heaved a great, bestial roar. His body swelled another ten meters and the comet at his back gained in ominous power. His arm swung forward to deliver another punch while the radiant light around the comet became a shimmering red - like boiling blood, like the pain of a thousand angry souls.

    Boom-! Reality shuddered, and the force shield that protected the outside world from their ferocious contest flickered dangerously.

    Lan Jue looked on with fervent eyes. He pressed his hands together before his chest to maintain the shell of electric energy that protected him and Zhou Qianlin. He was relying on the power of his All-Heaven lightning to protect them from the aftermath of their clash.

    Lan Jue watched every moment with sharp focus, drinking in the ebb and flow of protogenia as the two Paragons manipulated it. An opportunity like this - two Reflections of Heaven and Earth locked in battle - was a rare and wonderful thing to witness. What's more their powers were diametrically opposed. The constant change between death and rebirth caused the surrounding protogenic energies to flurry erratically - revealing its truest nature.

    The dark comet was pushed back, but grew in size. Everything behind the Terminator seemed separate.

    Lan Qing was pushed back, but the image of Vairochana became clearer. With his hands pressed together before him as though in prayer, the aura of Buddhist tranquility poured from him. His whole body was painted in golden light, as though he were a statue composed of flowing gold.

    The Terminator grunted. "Alright. See how you fare against my Termination. The first Apocalypse descends, ending the world!"

    He punched again, only this time he vanished. Lan Qing watched as the comet came tearing his way like a global extinction event.

    He felt besieged by an incomparable sense of finality, like a planet was about to descended upon his head. He felt the ruin of ten thousand souls bearing down on him.

    Lan Qing's response was to press forward with both hands. His body disappeared into the image of Vairochana. What followed was a chorus of deep chanting, and blossoming flowers of golden light sprang to life in the air. As they appeared the sense of destruction melted away.

    "Prajna-paramita!" Three low words, spoken in Sanskrit, galvanized the vitality of all living things.

    Countless beams of golden light burst forth, lancing through the darkness and into that dark comet. A great golden hand pressed down upon it, stopping its disastrous charge. A golden seal blazed against its surface.

    "Ban ruo bo ruo mi duo!" 1 The guttural chants became louder and louder, as a host of silhouettes appeared in the sky. Waves of energy continued to pour forth, eventually overcoming the blood-red light of the comet.

    "The second Apocalypse descends, bringing quiet to the universe!" The burning red light was extinguished, but immediately in its place a vacuous power sucked everything toward the dark comet.

    The nearest equivalent sensation was the creation of a white dwarf. Its gravitational pull was so great it couldn't even protect itself, and so began to collapse bringing everything around it closer in its destruction.

    This was even more terrifying than its previous form, for now the comet was speeding up its own demise to bring about the obliteration of everything around them. Everything was sucked into its collapsing center, toward an inevitable demise - until nothing remained.

    1. Chinese phonetic interpretation of Sanskrit.
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