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Chapter 720: Lan Jue vs. Poseidon

    Chapter 720: Lan Jue vs. Poseidon

    "Ah, then it's fine." Hua Li trotted after Lan Jue.

    Chu Cheng moseyed over to Lan Qing's side. "So how long you think Lan Jue will last?"

    Lan Qing fixed him with a long, uncomfortable look. "What makes you think it won't be the other way around?"

    "Ah? Hey big guy, since when did you become such a favoritist? It's not like you." Chu Cheng was honestly surprised.

    Lan Qing placidly responded. "If it were you instead of Lan Jue it would absolutely be a loss. Not a chance. Lan Jue isn't a Paragon, he's better."

    Lan Qing had come to understand Lan Jue's strength, little by little, over the last few days. He had displayed an incredible talent, and even without the Banishing Blades he would be an exceptional fighter - no normal peak-ranked Adept.

    Lan Jue stood in the center of the arena, watching Hua Li approach with calm expression.

    Hua Li stopped a few yards away. Where he stepped the floor seemed to ripple like the surface of a lake. As he looked at his opponent, surprise twinkled in the Paragon's eyes.

    His surprise came from how Lan Jue interacted with the environment Somehow he was both a part and separate, like an immortal surveying the lands of humans - and just as arrogant.

    That arrogance wasn't in his look or posture. Instead, it poured from him like an invisible wind. He was separate from everything because he was superior to it. It surrounded him with a palpable sense of danger.

    "Begin." Lan Jue nodded at Hua Li.

    His opponent smirked and waggled a finger at him. Hua Li made no attempt to hide the contempt in his gaze.

    Further discussion was pointless, so Lan Jue made his move. In a blink he appeared in front of Hua Li driving his palm toward his chest.

    Hua Li watched him come, standing with his hands clasped at the small of his back like a haughty lord. Just as it seemed Lan Jue's palm strike would land, the area before Poseidon ripples with a pale blue light.

    Everything took on an aqua hue, and the fighters found themselves in something like an underwater world. It filled everyone with a strange and fantastical sensation.

    Lan Jue felt like he'd been caught in a quagmire. His arm - in fact his whole body felt sluggish. The pull of dark undercurrents tugged at him.

    A strange scene followed. Lan Jue slowly curled his outstretched hand into a fist and hammered it forward.

    His entire body was enveloped in a hazy black and white aureole. Tides of yin-yang energy dispersed the dark currents and caused the world of blue before his fist to ripple.

    Hua Li's eyes widened as he watched. Lan Jue's fist became a shimmering resplendent cobalt as it smashed into the Paragon's protective shield.

    Surprises continued, for the rippled of protogenic power that surrounded them were dispersed like water cast from a basin. All of a sudden it was like gravity returned and everything around Poseidon came splashing down. Lan Jue pressed ahead in his attack.

    For a moment Hua Li was stunned. What he felt in that punch filled him with fear. However he was a Paragon, with a Paragon's speed. The moment Lan Jue broke his defenses Hua Li became a beam of blue light and vanished. Lan Jue's fist tore through thin air.

    Hua Li reappeared ten meters away, far enough - he thought - to avoid Lan Jue's attack. But just as he was getting comfortable the world of water around him rippled and bolts of crackling lightning appeared all around. As they struck him he felt the power penetrate down into his bones. Numbness crept into his limbs and through his trunk. The vast cache of energy at his command evaporated like snow in a bonfire.

    What was this power? He was a Paragon but somehow his energy had been dispersed. It was inconceivable.

    Lan Jue never stopped. When his punching arm extended as far as it would go his index finger shot out. A burst of sapphire power surged out, flat at the front like a set hammer.

    Nine Taiji Hammers!

    Hua Li was numb from head to toe. Dodging was impossible.

    All at once Hua Li unleashed his true strength. Swells of elemental power undulated around them, and a grand figure appeared from nowhere before him. A beam of metallic blue light erupted force and crashed into the sapphire hammer.

    Poof! Lan Jue's Taiji hammer was gone, but so was the metallic beam.

    Hua Li grunted in momentary effort. He'd bought himself enough time to shed the numb sensation stifling him.

    On the sidelines Chu Cheng was watching in open shock. What was happening? Hua Li was on the defensive? His Majesty Poseidon was making a fool of himself! 1

    Lan Jue didn't waste his advantage. He launched himself forward surrounded by lightning, his body disappearing into the crackling power. Although the arena was filled with the manifestation of Hua Li's power, the rippling power was dispersed wherever it came into contact with Lan Jue's electric shell. Lan Jue passed through like there was no resistance at all, without an ounce of speed lost.

    Neither Chu Cheng nor the unfortunate Hua Li had anticipated Lan Jue commanded such dominance.

    With a low growl Hua Li's eyes took on a metallic blue light. His body vanished into the warped and quivering sea of power. If before it'd been a sea of calm, now it was the ocean in a tempest.

    Thick waters solidified and pressed in on Lan Jue to try and crush the life out of him.

    The lightning froze and Lan Jue was revealed again. Only now, his body was enclosed in an orb of glittering translucent sapphire energy. No matter how much of the electric blue energy collapsed upon it, the shield around him broke it apart.

    Even protogenia seemed to have no effect on his defense. Hua Li's power had no way through. A Paragon's greatest advantage over Adepts was their control of protogenia. Against Lan Jue, however, that did not appear to be the case.

    Hua Li reappeared, his face dark with doubt and anxiety. "What is this power, A-Jue? How are you able to unravel protogenia?"

    Lan Jue answered with a grin. "It's been too long since we've sparred. You still think you can beat me?"

    Hua Li grunted at him. "I haven't showed you my real strength yet. Don't gloat just yet."

    As he spoke he reached out and beckoned with his right hand. A halo of blue light radiated from him replete with divine supremacy. A golden rune in the shape of a trident shimmered into existence upon his forehead and his aura swelled.

    Pressure like the crushing depths of the ocean strengthened around Lan Jue. The metallic blue light which was so easily dispersed before still could not penetrate Lan Jue defensive shield, but was less quickly defeated.

    Lan Jue's eyes lit up in excitement. "Divine rite - the power given to you by your family. You've only achieved the Realm of Protogenia but this inheritance lets you command the power of a Reflection of Heaven and Earth. Am I right?"

    Hua Li gave an imperatorial laugh. A flash of light deposited a metallic blue trident in his hand. "Don't worry, I won't give you a chance to surrender." He drew the trident through the air as he spoke, each stroke releasing a wave of golden light. They rippled through the water-like environment, reflecting and refracting off of one another but relentlessly toward a single target.

    When the first wave of golden light struck Lan Jue's shield, it shimmered queerly. Poseidon's new power was also dispersed, but the power protecting Lan Jue was noticeably weaker.

    Such power! As the pressure continued to increase Lan Jue knew he had to act.

    A flash of red light briefly lit the arena, and Captus appeared in his grip. When it did the space around him seemed to on the verge of collapsing in on itself. Poseidon's Domain was drawn to it, into the gloomy red light like water through a drain. The pressure began to ease.

    A corona of red light sprang up around Lan Jue, wide enough to allow half a step in each direction. In that small space he swung the sword around and carved out circles in the air that left behind crimson orbs.

    The golden light issued from Hua Li's trident fell into the red orbs and vanished like clay statues in a stream.

    He can do that, too?

    Through his Divine Rite Hua Li was pressing his opponent with the full range of his strength. Lan Jue had protected himself with tricks and techniques, but the difference had to be more than his non-Paragon companion could bear!

    But the truth was laid bare, and he could hardly believe it.

    Lan Jue was also in a unique position. Although the pressure put upon him by Hua Li didn't match the Terminator's, he also didn't have Qianlin by his side. The skill of his Taiji sword melded with Captus' power and his All-Heaven lightning. Through their perfect accord he continued to diffuse Hua Li's assault.

    Poseidon's Trident was a mighty Astrum, but even it could not contend against a legendary Banishing Blade. Ever since fusing with the sword yesterday, he sensed his ties to Captus had reached new heights. It felt like a natural extension of himself. He flowed through the Taiji sword stances like a fish in water, and Captus' powers of space-time manipulation has infused Lan Jue's heart.

    With each swipe Lan Jue's grasp of Captus' nature deepened. He poured his Discipline into the blade and felt it amplify. The immortal qi within his All-Heaven lightning resonated with the Banishing Blade, though only a true immortal would be capable of summoning its full strength.

    Control was Captus' eminency. It was complemented perfectly by the Taiji style. As he swung around tracing circles through the air, they did more than disperse Hua Li's onslaught. They expanded, joined, and swelled until they formed a net of inexplicable force that covered everything.

    1. A play on words. TJSS uses  to describe foolish. Directly translated it mean 'too water.' Poseidon... water... you get it.
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