Chapter 463: The Clash With Titan

    Chapter 463: The Clash With Titan

    In his heart there was only a singular thought; I must defeat my opponent. In defeating Titan, Zeus would prove that he deserved his spot in the final four. It would be a chance for him to learn more from the sword masters.

    Lan Jue's gains from this excursion had been tremendous. Still, he wasn't satisfied. There was more to learn. The fire of battle was lit in Lan Jue's chest. How strong is this pure-force Adept, he wondered. He wasn't sure, but the moment he walked in to the ring and the force field shut behind him, he could sense Titan's aura bearing down on him.

    On the other side Titan was also stepping in. His chest was thrust out, and a prideful light shone in his eyes.

    They nodded at one another. There was no banter, no threats.

    "Final fight of the Group One quarter-finals will now get underway!"

    "Three, two, one. Begin!"

    Mo Xiao's cries and the fight buzzer quickly gathered everyone's attention.

    Titan initiated, stomping his left foot hard upon the ground in front of him.

    Boom! A shockwave tore across the arena so fast the air roared in protest. Lan Jue hadn't expected an opening offensive from below, but he wasn't flustered. He shot in to the air, clearing the top crest of the shock wave. Hands pressed against his ears to protect against the sonic boom.

    His upward rise quickly became a charge, as Zeus became a bolt of lightning. The electric lance fired right for Titan. He was answering with a blitz offensive!

    Titan grunt when he saw it. However, in the same moment that his foot had hit the ground, the convert's fist was already cocked.

    A roar to rival the blast of a fusion engine screamed through the arena. The force field actually rose against the pressure like a balloon in a tempest. The blast stopped Lan Jue's charge dead, and sent him careening through the air. He met with the field like a cannon shot. To him, the blast felt unstoppable. It even rippled through him, sending his Discipline in to chaos, and although he'd used his Taiji powers he was still thrown across the arena.

    What power!

    He was even having trouble breathing. When he hit the shield, every bone in his body popped. Lan Jue suspected he'd look very much like hamburger meat if he didn't know Taiji. Titan was certainly a ninth rank Talent - even peaked. There was no way for Lan Jue's own energy to compete directly with that force.

    Now, bounced back from the boundary of the ring, Lan Jue was in free fall. Crackling lights appeared around him, however, and he fired against in to the air.

    Titan took another step toward his foe, and thrust his palm forward. Lan Jue instantly felt another wave of force displacing air around them. Now, though, he knew what to expect. His defense was something he'd never shown before.

    He shot toward the edge of the ring instead of for Titan. It was the same portion of the force field the convert had punched toward. He got there before the blast did, with enough time to swing his arms in to a circle. In between them, the conflicting and symbiotic powers of yin and yang swirled. When Titan's attack did arrive, the orb of energy devoured most of it. Lan Jue was blasted away again, but much gentler compared to the last time.

    Titan's answer was to do it again, three more times. Three terrific blasts of thunder preceded three columns of pure force. They shone like rays of sunlight.

    And then the force shield shattered. Even the four powerful Adepts pouring their Disciplines in to it, couldn't stop the shield from fracturing. The terrific blast was headed right for the audience.

    Just then, a glittering rainbow of color descended from above. It didn't isolate the ring, but instead separated the crowd from the fight. When Titan's waves of Force struck the shimmering shield, it was immediately weakened and dispersed.

    Lan Jue didn't enjoy the same protections. There was no getting away from it, and when it hit him he felt like every bone in his body was reduce to powder. For his Core, it was like someone had a grip on it and was trying to break it apart as well.

    This pure Force was nightmarish, and he silently prayed even enough respite to catch a breath. While it had looked like three strikes, he had been assaulted by one continuous assault. Even before the first one passed him by, the second was bearing down, and then the third. He flailed head over heels until the shimmering rainbow shield stopped him.

    This force field was different, softer. It seemed like it had some sort of negative energy that sapped the ferocity from Lan Jue's flight, then returned him inexplicably to the ring. It was then he saw the figure overhead, of a woman in resplendent white. He didn't know when she appeared there, but as he looked she folded her hands. Their battleground was once more isolated beneath a powerful shield.

    "The Epochrion!" The first voice to call out her name was quickly lost in a sea of excited chatter.

    Was this her? The fourth most powerful of the ten Paragons?

    "Pfah!" Lan Jue spat a mouthful of blood. He felt like his insides had been wrapped around each other. Every inch of him hurt, every bone ached, and he felt like he might fall apart at any moment.

    Horrifying. Was this Titan's power? No... that can't be. He wasn't this strong when he fought Qi Mu.

    Even a peak ranked Adept couldn't completely defend against this, unless they had secrets of their own. His Taiji skills had been just enough. He couldn't even have a chance to put his tactics in to play - this was total control.

    Titan gave his foe a cool look. His chilly voice called out. "Give up." Lan Jue wasn't his target. The Terminator's disciple looked pointed at Jun Yongye on the sidelines.

    That one was his greatest threat.

    "I haven't lost yet!" He grit his teeth, and pushed himself up off the floor. He looked like a mad man, and droplets of fresh blood trickled from the bottom of his mask.

    "You want to die? Then I shall oblige you." Titan's voice became detached, and cold. His meaty fist rose.

    Zeus took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and spread open his arms.

    "Hera. I need you."

    A piercing white light radiated out from him. Thunder rolled, and flashes of lightning crackled within. A burst of light shot out, and hung over a three meter diameter around him.


    Luo City, Intercontinental Hotel.

    Zhou Qianlin sat cross-legged in the middle of the hotel room, lost in meditation. Then, an inkling in the back of her mind caused her eyes to pop open. There was a flash of white light - and she was gone.

    This was the moment she'd been waiting for, and the reason she wasn't at the tournament.


    A pearl of white, surrounded by writhing veins of lightning.

    Titan stopped, his fist still ready for a punch. Something didn't feel right. A moment ago his enemy couldn't hold a candle to his power. Now... it was different.

    Suspended in air, the Epochrion watched the fight from her eagle-eyed vantage. She, too, was surprised at the inexplicable milky light. Even she could not see what lay beneath, but she felt it. There was something.... more, in the ring. What was immediately clear, was the surge of power coming from the masked Monarch.

    Ninth level third rank... no, fourth... fifth. Sixth!

    Seventh, eighth, ninth rank!

    In only a few seconds, he traversed what would take Adepts years of painstaking work. When the light receded, the broken man from before was gone. In his place stood the towering, majestic figure of the God of Lightning - Zeus!

    Titan's eyes narrowed to thin slits. "I knew you were full of sleazy gimmicks. We finally see the wolf in sheep's clothing 1.

    Lan Jue's response was equally tepid. "Now we're on a level playing field. We can really test what the Terminator taught you, against my Taiji. Don't hold back - try the Fiend-crusher!"

    Titan fixed him with a portentous stare. "We'll see if you can survive it."

    Lan Jue narrowed his eyes. Bolts of electricity immediately fanned out, and wrapped around him as smooth as golden silk. The dramatic rise in rank had also granted him greatly improved control over his Discipline. Those threads of gold spun around him in near-perfect symmetry. Like the lightning had completely shed its wild nature.

    Titan challenged him with a battle cry, and punched his enormous fist.

    Zeus didn't dodge, retreat or deflect. He took a step forward, and threw a punch of his own.

    The rings of lightning shot out, becoming rays of electric light. As they pierced the air they joined, forming in the image of a giant sword chopping at his foe.

    Lan Jue's diminished Discipline had brought him this far. Now he had come across one who was not just a contender - he was a menace. It would be the same for every enemy he would face going forward.

    He'd tried what he could, but in the end he had no choice but to rely on Qianlin. When they joined his Discipline strengthened to surpass even his former power. A peak-level Zeus was truly almost god-like!


    Titan's attack struck the shield with the force of an air strike. But there was something else, cutting against the grain and impervious to his overwhelming Force. It was a streak of golden light, and it hit Titan head on.

    1. The Chinese is 'reveal your fox's tail.' A trope in Chinese fantasy is the idea of magical animals - like foxes - that can change in to humans. Foxes in particular are often regarded negatively, and there are many stories of beautiful women who lure men away in to the woods only to murder them as magical foxes.
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