Chapter 481: The Aftermath, My Own Yin-Yang

    Chapter 481: The Aftermath, My Own Yin-Yang

    "It looks like the tournament is over." Mo Xiao had fled the near-explosion, but returned now. Her voice sounded strange, a reflection of her surprise. She couldn't believe Lan Jue was so strong.

    The Terminator looked at her, then shouted out across the Arena. "Announcing the Champions of this year's Great Adept Tournament; Zeus!" His final declaration was the end of the games.

    Now it crossed the minds of the audience to cheer. However, back East, every corner of every Eastern Alliance planet had been cheering for ages. Most especially, the National Eastern University sounded like it was host to a riot. The administration had been quick to abuse Lan Jue's image. The moment his face was revealed, the NEU made sure everyone knew he was one of their instructors. The news had spread all across the East.

    Jun Yongye and Zeus clambered from the crater on wobbly legs. They both looked like the battle had cost them a lot. But while their bodies were hammered, their spirits were high. Lan Jue couldn't shake that sense he'd felt, in those last moments. It was a taste of what it was to be a Paragon, a hint of what was to come.

    It had been a move of desperation. That fissure created by Jun Yongye had been so overwhelming, that a bold leap had been necessary.

    The nine thrusts were the might of his yang lightning, overlaid with the Taiji powers as enhancement. Under his ministrations, his Discipline was empowered and concentrated by it - resulting in one of the strange rules of yin-yang; when Yang rose to its peak, Yin is born 1.

    That final moment, that crucial point, Lan Jue felt the yang-force of his thunderbolt flare outward. With his own yin-yang powers as a base, his lightning was catapulted in strength. Just like when he fought the Driver. The joining of his Yang- and the Driver's Yin-Discipline had been a brief glimpse at the possibilities. The combination of Lan Jue's subsequent cultivation, and the refinement by Taiji had recreated that explosion a hundred times over.

    For a moment, somewhere in that cataclysmic blast, he'd seen it again. Like before, the Path to Paragon - he sensed the direction now. But it was also far beyond his control. Even before the yin-yang powers merged, in that second where Yang was at its peak, he couldn't control it. Only once he reached Paragon was that level of mastery capable.

    Every inch felt like a mile as the two heroes struggled from the ring. The crowds cheered in admiration.

    There was no question that the fight had been frightening for them. However, at the very least that was testament to the strength of the fighters! These two men were worthy to fight for the Championship.

    The Great Adept tournament had wowed spectators for more than a month. Now, whether they were there in person or watched on their screens, people didn't quite know what to do with themselves.

    As they sat, lost reverie over the last few weeks, the floodlights dimmed. The arena was plunged in to an inky darkness. But, before anyone could panic, a single column of light burst in to existence. In the surrounding darkness, it was particularly eye-catching.

    The beam fell upon a figure, dressed in a dark red suit. It made the man look gloomy, set stark beneath the light, but his unparalleled features were the focus of every spectator. Deep notes wafted through the black, but muffled as though locked away.

    Poseidon! It's Poseidon!

    Indeed it was, the God of the Sea, suspended in the middle of the Great Conclave Arena.

    He looked like the field sounded, broken and repressed. The white light gradually died, and was replaced by a crimson light that seemed to come from everywhere. He was suddenly immersed in a sea of red.

    The melody rose in volume. It was pleasing to the ear, but none could say it was peaceful. The trudging notes were thick with oppression and grief.

    A new song from Poseidon! The screens in frtonf of every seat flashed with four dark-red words: The Sea of Blood.

    It was a tale told through song, about when humanity left for the stars. It showed the progress of humanity through the Stellar Migration, and the glory of its achievements. The story went on to detail man's journey up to now, with both its victories and blemishes.

    The scene changed. The red became green, and the sea was a forest. Sprite-like figures of green light danced through the air of the arena, unhindered. The crippling sadness was gone, replaced with an atmosphere of sunlight and joy. The sudden shift made the audience gasp.

    Poseidon's song shifted gears as well, becoming softer. He sang like it was the story of his life, with all its peaks and valleys, but nonetheless a glorious landscape.

    The image scaled back and suddenly, the audience was looking over a majestic forest vista. As they looked on, toxic spots of purplish-black appeared within the green. With startling speed, the corrosive hue spread.

    It was familiar, and many in the audience recognized the scene; Taihua.

    The Taihua Massacre, the worst disaster for humanity in recent memory, and the worst in Eastern Alliance history.

    Flashes of light. Enormous, monstrous creatures appeared in the hologram eating at those green sprites: travelers, out enjoying nature. The monsters consumed everything, never stopping. All they wanted was more.

    The terrifying images caught the audience's breath in their throat. They'd seen the images of these monsters when the reports first came, but never to scale. They were huge, and close enough that it seemed those jagged purple claws could reach out and grab them. They could feel their insatiable hunger.

    It was too much - too frightening. So frightening, in fact, that several of the audience members looked as though they may faint. Was this what really happened on Taihua?

    Poseidon's voice became impassioned. A streak of blue raced across the scene, a sapphire figure at its head. Boom! The blue silhouette clashed with a beast in midair, reducing it to ash. There was a crackling electric energy that flowed in its wake. Every bolt lashed out at a creature, destroying them outright and saving tourists from a hell of suffering.

    Back and forth the blue figure danced. Each pass littered the forest below with the ruined bodies of the monsters. Poseidon's song followed the hero's trajectory, punctuating every life saved, every beast destroyed.

    When the blue bolt eventually slowed down, it was revealed to be a sapphire-blue mecha, massive and dignified. Blinding bolts of lightning danced across its polished surface, attacking the creatures of its own volition. But even machines tire, and eventually that blue mecha came to a stop.

    A monster, much larger than any of those that had come before, rose in to the air over the forest. It lumbered toward a fleet of escaping transport ships in a last-ditch attempt to swallow them up. Though drained, the guardian mecha threw itself at the beast with the last of its strength. The monster fell before the might of the hero, but he did not escape unscathed. The mecha tumbled to ground.

    Calm came over Poseidon's tone. The image swept back, and again the audience was looking over the forest. Only now, it was acres of poisoned, purple wasteland.

    "The invasion of an unknown species was a tragedy for mankind." Poseidon's regretful voice rang clear in the air.

    "Many helpless travelers lost their lives, to the monstrous threat."

    "Where did they come from? These vicious beasts, where do they call home?"

    "But humanity has a chance."

    "Not one, but legion. All of you, are the guardians of humanity."

    "In the face of this nightmare, we can only survive if we band together. As one, we can protect the things we love from annihilation. Together, we can carry the light of humanity far out past the stars."

    "Today, I will share with all of you a secret."

    A soothing blue light surrounded Poseidon. The beam of blue light followed him as he settled back to ground. The audience followed his every move.

    When his foot touched the floor, another light sprang to life. It painted him stark against the bleak landscape. It also revealed the figures of Jun Yongye and Zeus, who stood before him.

    Poseidon turned around to face the audience. His voice was full, and bubbled with pride. "All of you saw that warrior, who fought incessantly to save the lives of those travelers on Taihua. This nameless savior defended the lives of thousands, by killing thousands of foes."

    "But there is something you don't know. In his valiant attempt, this unsung hero nearly gave his life. The sapphire mecha battled against that evil titan until the end, refusing to give in until the Cosmagus - Paragon of Skyfire Avenue - arrived to offer support. As you all know, even a God-ranked pilot has his limits."

    "So how is it that this one man was able to fight for so long, so hard? That is the secret I am going to share with you today."

    Lan Jue stepped forward and put a hand on his friend's shoulder. Poseidon turned to look. Then, with a smile, he pulled his fellow Monarch forward to stand at his side.

    "Don't stop me. I want everyone to know. And anyone who tries to cut me off will have the Gobi Entertainment Group to deal with." This sentence was lower, reserved for Lan Jue, but the last words were loud enough for all to hear. Poseidon wasn't just the most famous rock star of humanity - he was also the heir to its richest organization! Whatever Poseidon had to say, the audience knew it was going to be something good.

    1. This is indeed one of the tenets of yin-yang theory. Neither one can ever be complete, because it would result in the destruction of the other and thus the destruction of itself through interpromotion (yang motivates yin and yin nourishes yang). This is why you will see the black and white dots in the image of yin-yang, indicating that there is never purely yang or yin.
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