Chapter 469: Ascension

    Chapter 469: Ascension

    Lan Jue understood. This was the Pharmacist's way of helping, by letting him pick himself up. Quickly shooting up a few ranks could be done, but that wasn't the point of re-cultivating. It was the journey, and the insights you gain walking a familiar path a second time. You came to know your power and stood on sturdier footing. Your energy was purified by it. So Lan Jue would pick himself up, and take no short cuts.

    With the aid of his friend's medicines, he slipped in to a peaceful and meditative state. The precious pill was miraculous in returning his body to health. More importantly, his meridians were tonified, nourishing them for the cultivation ahead.


    Two figures faced one another in a dark room, no trace of light to be seen.

    "You face the Pharmacist tomorrow." The one speaking was surrounded by a dripping purple aura, which scattered the darkness. It was the Fallen Angel - Lucifer, second only to Satan.

    "Yes." Jiang Yuan, the Dark Citadel's Necromancer, sat across from him.

    "You are the last hope of your Alliance, and the last hope of your Citadel. Work a miracle." There was a dark and fanatic light in the dark Angel's eyes.

    In Jiang Yuan's, there was a caustic gloom. "Yes... the final miracle."



    It was a word rarely used, not since the God-Rank battles on DreamNet when the Star Alliance and the Four Divine Monarchs fought. This last miracle had been witnessed by everyone, right on their projector screens.

    They were calling it the Miracle Melee. Titan's shield would give a Titan pause, but Lan Jue busted through. The image of Zeus' crumbling mask was plastered everywhere. Lan Jue's drawn, pale face was revealed to the world.

    He had been respected for his poise. There was no wild cheering or flagrant displays of celebration from the Monarch. Only confidence. The audience was amazed, how could a single Adept's power be so terrifying?

    When the analytics were released, it was revealed that Zeus' final attack could only be compared by measure of battleships. A blast from the main cannon wouldn't do what the Monarch's final strike had achieved, to say nothing of hardware like a mech - assuming it wasn't piloted by a strong Adept, of course.

    Now everyone knew what kind of power they were witnessing. This was the next generation of Paragons, battling for supremacy!

    Zeus' name had been elevated.

    The God-rank battles were mentioned again, this time in comparing the metrics from that fight to the last one. There was also in-depth digging in to his actions as the once-mercenary king. His name was one everybody's lips, and electricity was the new fad. Almost overnight, Zeus was everyone's focus.

    Lan Jue was completely unaware of it all, he'd spent the night in cultivation. He split his focus between healing and meditating on what he'd learned. Every day was a struggle that brought new revelations, a step on the path to understanding.

    Although he didn't know how far things had gone, Lan Jue was still wise enough not to leave without his disguise. It was lucky he did, otherwise he'd have been swarmed in an instant.

    When he got back to the Great Conclave Arena, he couldn't help but admire the efficiency and ingenuity of the North. It had taken them only an afternoon to completely repair the damage to the battlefield. At least on the surface, it looked good as new.

    By the time he arrived, the stands were already packed with spectators. When they spotted Lan Jue, the crowd erupted in to a noisy din.

    If this was the East, then he would be greeted with cheers and cries of admiration. This was not the East. Here, he had besmirched the name of the Northern delegate, and snatched victory from their home court. His name was well known in the North, now, but that didn't mean it was held in high esteem. He was practically an enemy of the state.

    He got no respite from the eyes of participants, either. They followed him from the shade of the waiting area. One of them was Titan, and in fact all three of the other losing fighters from his team were present. At least Qi Mu wasn't glaring at him with the same loathing he had before.

    Bing Yu made up for it, with eyes even colder than the day she'd lost. Clearly she still believed he'd shown her tremendous disrespect.

    Jun Yongye and Xianyuan Shishi also looked his way. When Jun Yongye caught his eye, the blademaster gave him a knowing nod. Shishi smiled warmly and gave a friendly wave. It was like there was no concern at all that they would be future competitors.

    Lan Jue took his seat. "Thank you, sis," he said to the Pharmacist beside him.

    She smiled back. "You call me sister, and you act like a father to my little girl. What are you doing thanking me?" She never explained what the medicine she'd given him was for. He didn't ask. But whatever it was, the act had brought them closer.

    The Terminator sat at the place of honor upon the VIP platform. His expression was stony, and no one could guess at how he was reacting to the tournament. Mo Xiao was beside him, with a professional smile and a polite demeanor.

    "Your Majesty," she said, "Yesterday we had to postpone the final fight of the quarter-finals for what many are now calling the Miracle Melee. Analysts are now saying that Zeus may win it all. What do you think? Is this just luck?" She was very much like a reporter following a lead.

    The Terminator's answer was delivered evenly. "Luck is a kind of power, but I don't think that's what brought him to the semi-finals. The answer is information. There's more to Zeus than we knew, and he's a much more complicated Adept than people expected. In that last fight, if he'd held back even a little than Titan might have won. I hope he has a chance to test himself against this young man again one day, and that Titan will emerge victorious."

    It was a fair and accurate analysis of his discipline, and a fine display of the Paragon's character.

    Mo Xiao returned her attention to the camera. "Yesterday we witnessed a miracle, but who knows what today has in store. In just a moment, we'll begin with the final fight of Group One. Although neither of these fighters will be advancing to the next round, it's still a chance for them to test their mettle."

    Indeed, they hadn't been able to complete even the first group fights yesterday. Qi Mu and Bing Yu still had to trade blows. Altogether there would be seven contests, but Mo Xiao's tone said that only one had a chance at being a stunner; The Necromancer Jiang Yuan, versus the Pharmacist. They would battle for the final spot in the semi-finals. Jiang Yuan carried the hopes of two Alliances on his shoulders.

    The fight between Qi Mu and Bing Yu went as expected. Bing Yu was too weak in Discipline to put the full advantages of absolute zero temperatures to work for her. Qi Mu never gave her a chance, and quickly won after changing in to his second metamorphosis. In the end, neither looked like their hearts were in it. They knew they had lost the tournament already.

    Now that the first fight was out of the way, the crowd started to perk up. Next was the Pharmacist and Jiang Yuan! Now they would see if the West could sneak in to the final four, of whether the East would sweep it.

    Lan Jue turned to the Pharmacist, and called to her in a low voice. "Sis. Be careful how you deal with him. I can't shake the feeling that Jiang Yuan's been hiding something. There was something unusual about that summoning. Don't overestimate him."

    The Pharmacist nodded. "I'll be careful. He never seemed like a straightforward case. But I'm afraid he doesn't know, that I know all about him already." Her words put him at east. The Pharmacist rose and made for the ring.

    Jiang Yuan walked toward the other end. Today he was clad in a robe which was black on the outside and purple inside, which made him look even more like a dark sorcerer. The necromancer was hidden beneath a strange aura that drank in the light and obscured his face from view.

    He walked to the ring, not too fast and not too slow. Each step saw his aura dim and thicken.

    But Lan Jue wasn't worried, after what the Pharmacist had told him. Although he had no idea what Jiang Yuan was hiding, she seemed to. There would not be any problems. He was strong, but who could stand up to the full power of this incredible woman?

    With the Pharmacist and her knowledge, it was like a sea of stars at his fingertips.

    The two fighters faced each other from across the field. The thousands of spectators were silent, holding their breath. Every eye was on the screens before them. They had high expectations.

    Tickets for the semi-finals were already astronomical. Everything so far had gone off without a hitch. There was no need for them to advertise or sell more tickets at all - they were already rolling in profits. By now, those tickets that people could find were already five times more than sale price.
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