Chapter 787: Lan Jue’s Dharma

    Chapter 787: Lan Jue's Dharma

    The first bolt was deep of color, with profound depths of power and a jade-like glossy shine. It was rife with vital energy, and when it struck Lan Jue the man seemed to be full of it as well. Suddenly he was a conduit of life, and the ground below which had been rid of the progenitor's pestilence actually began to sprout new foliage. In an instant the ground below could almost be described as lush.

    The second bolt descended, measurably calmer. However this one was thick with a sense of righteousness. Lan Jue was baptized in the electric fires and his aura swelled tremendously. While it grew, his powers were likewise calmed, and the image behind him was clearer.

    The third bolt was clear as crystal. When it landed Lan Jue was cleansed of all things negative and diminishing. It was as though the bolt that ran through him filtered away what was not needed and affixed him as the center of the universe in this moment.

    Zhou Qianlin was also affected by these lightning bolts. Her figure shifting in hue after each one.

    The rise of Lan Jue's presence was staggering, and before anyone could react he had pierced the barrier to Paragon. Throughout the process the image behind him proceeded to coalesce. Now it was indistinguishable from reality.

    It was a man, over a thousand meters tall clad in a snow-white robe. Thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights shone from it like a host of stars. All of a sudden everything was illuminated as though by the rising sun. Even the lethal cloud could not conceal the beautiful skies above. However it was not the sun, but the light of countless stars that glimmered in time with the sparkling lights upon the image's robes.

    Looking closely, one could see the face of the dharmic manifestation was Lan Jue exactly. Upon its head was perched a violet-gold crown encrusted with gemstones. It stood with its hands clasped at the small of its back and an expressionless countenance, while Captus floated in the air before it.

    The Banishing Blade's reaction was to buzz in response to this enormous presence. For a moment it was as though sword and image regarded one another, sensed each other's essence. Neither moved.

    Possessed of boundless simplicity the image peered into the distance. Where it's stern eyes were cast a murderous impression prevailed. Lifting its hand, the manifestation casually waved at the turquoise cloud.

    In response the cloud shifted colors again, this time adopting many at once. A rainbow of colors roiled within it before six separate spears of electric light were released. All of them hit Lan Jue in quick succession. Though they were all different, they descended so quickly that no one could individuate them.

    Beneath the hail of lightning Lan Jue voiced a small cry. This time his presence underwent a fundamental shift, while the clothes that concealed him were ripped apart. A pure white robe - exactly like his image - replaced them, and his head was adorned with a crown. The heroic young man, now in his robe and crown, looked all the imperial.

    His eyes were shut when a line of enigmatic light etched itself on his forehead. They were stars whose luminescence fluctuated in the glare.

    Qianlin was also undergoing her own metamorphosis. The image behind her had also begun to grow, quickly matching Lan Jue's in size. Streamers of soothing white light waved around the beautiful figure before settling upon Qianlin and covering her in its pure embrace. The girl's body shook, then rose only to settle across from Lan Jue.

    A halo of white light radiated around both of their heads. An arrow appeared between them, the Arrow of Compassion, which blazed with a blinding light. It pulled the two inexorably together until there was a flash of white light. The two merged, and all of a sudden there was a deluge of potency from Lan Jue. The sky went dark, but all was still clear by the light of the myriad stars.

    Beams of starlight fell upon him, through him, and for a moment Lan Jue was indistinguishable from the essence of the universe.

    "Nirvana!" The Photographer gasped in surprise.

    After delivering the last six lightning strikes, the cloud that had caused such awe and terror dispersed. The oppressive energy that cowed the Paragons had gone, but the shock remained. None of them could comprehend the extent of what they'd witnessed. How was it Lan Jue could advance so far so quickly?

    Nirvana? Was it even possible to rise to such heights directly? If so, it would be the first time in all of human history.

    "It is not just his power," Luo Xianni determined. "It is the two of them." Just as it had been before their breakthrough, once Qianlin joined with Lan Jue their powers increased. It was a terrifying prospect for Adepts, and much more so for a pair of Paragons. Undoubtedly the two were at least Reflections on their own.

    First it was Lan Qing, now Lan Jue and Qianlin. Without question the next generation of Paragons had already surpassed their predecessors. They were the new masters.

    Luo Xianni found Lan Jue's dharmic image to be somewhat familiar. Although she couldn't put her finger on it, she was certain it was no less potent than Lan Qing's Vairochana dharma.

    They were different, certainly. Vairocana issued a sense of calm, its light illuminated all things, and it was full of a boundless compassion. Lan Jue's image was towering as the clouds, grandiose, supreme. That deadly aura and scornful stateliness was in precise contrast to the calm of Vairochana.

    Lan Qing's dharma was mighty, but not vicious. It was a power of forgiveness and benevolence. It was power delivered through the Buddha. Yet Lan Jue's was entirely different, his dharma was as imperious as it was deadly. Even tribulation lightning moved to its command. Even in ancient times, the appearance of this incomparable power was rare.

    What precisely his dharma was, only Lan Jue and Jue Di knew. Lan Qing also must have had some inkling. If Lan Jue did not understand it so thoroughly, could he have succeeded to completely in his breakthrough?

    Lan Jue's dharmic image pulsed with an overbearing aura that filled the onlookers with abject fear. At last the starlight dimmed and the storied scene had passed.

    The image lifted its massive hand and Captus rose from above Lan Jue's head. It released a flood of angry red light as the weapon grew to massive proportions in the image's grip.
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