Chapter 244: Tribulation
From within a radius of hundreds of miles, thousands upon thousands of ancient demonic beasts congregated upon Sea Beast Island, filling everyone’s hearts with fear as they unleashed a symphony of howls and roars which blended together with the insane laughter of countless members of the Sea Beast Sect.
“We are doomed…” Many of the members of the coalition force said as they fell to their knees while the forces of the Sea Beast Sect receded and took to the skies to watch a show four hundred years in the making unfold.
All manners of beasts that had hidden underneath the churning waves of the sea marched onto the shores of Sea Beast Island with maddened eyes as their counterparts that resided high up in the boundless sky descended downward.
After activating the Primal Frenzy Spell, all of the members of the Sea Beast Sect began to chant in an inaudible tone, activating yet another one of their mysterious spells. Soon after a thin layer of grayish smoke began to envelop their bodies.
At first, just like everyone else, the members of the Sea Beast Sect were also subjected to the vicious glares of the countless ancient demonic beasts that had gathered, however after utilizing their peculiar chant and becoming enveloped in grayish smoke, they were ignored.
Unlike Yuying who was capable of employing various means to force man and beast alike to submit to her will, the Sea Beast Sect’s Primal Frenzy Spell was only able to attract and heighten the instincts ingrained within the beasts affected by it.
Once a sizeable force of ancient demonic beasts was gathered, the members of the Sea Beast Sect would conjure the strange grayish smoke to become invisible in the eyes of the beasts that they had gathered. By doing this they could manipulate large numbers of Ancient Demonic Beasts to slaughter their enemies for them.
Through this tactic, the members of the Sea Beast Sect would be able to instantly bolster their forces to a point where they could not be contested against. But of course, there is a downside to everything, even though they are able to avoid dirtying their hands and manipulate hordes of ancient demonic beasts to battle for them if they were not careful things could definitely backfire on them. Well, that is to say if they did not have a half-deity expert to back them up when things turned for the worst.
Ignoring those of the Sea Beast Sect and swooping down from the sky and leaping out of the sea, the horde of ancient demonic beasts quickly engaged in battle against the coalition force.
Seeing that their chances of escaping unscathed against such a horde of monsters were slim to none the members of the coalition began to employ every means available to them, fighting like madmen in the hope of obtaining a sliver of hope, an opportunity to live another day.
While a desperate struggle ensued on the surface of the island, within the interior, deep underground, Yuying and other beauties could be seen soaring through the air whilst a large number of silhouettes followed in pursuit.
With friend and foe alike pursuing them, the beauties and their subordinates desperately tried to increase their speed while employing an array of aerial maneuvers in an attempt to shake off these unwanted followers.
“Madams what should we do? Even if we manage to reach the Ethereal Point, with so many people trailing us we wouldn’t be able to peaceful accomplish our objective.” One of the Zhang’s subordinates said as he his gaze kept rotating between the beauties and the swarm of people closing in behind him.
“For now, all we can do is continue to move forward as I try to pinpoint the exact location of the Ethereal Point, once I manage to accomplish that we will naturally have ways to deal with these pests.” Yuying said in a cold tone as her eyes were focused upon a human shaped paper talisman that was soaring through the air in front of her.
Covered in strange glowing runes, the human-shaped talisman seemed to be acting as a guide for the beauties in their search for the much-sought-after and ever-alluring Ethereal Point.
“When it comes to it, should we hold back against the people not a part of the Sea Beast Sect?” Ling asked the other beauties through her divine sense.
“No, if we don’t shake everyone off our trail and end up leading them to the Ethereal Point then that might jeopardize our chances of promoting ourselves to high saints. They might even cost us the chance of ascending into half-deities.” Yuying said as she glanced disdainfully toward the group of saints flying after her and the other beauties.
“I guess in the end no one but our own people can be considered allies.” Ling said with a sigh,
“Shall I leave a little gift for our so-called allies?” Lingqi asked as a mischievous smile appeared on her charming face.
“Go ahead, it seems the Ethereal Paint is not too far away from where we currently are.” Yuying said, giving the others the green light to act.
“Me first! Me first!” Ai laughed as a mischievous smile just like Lingqi’s appeared on her face. Wielding her signature Black Thorn Whip, Ai casually directed a few lashes at one of the many columns that were erected around her.
Contrary to its sturdy appearance the pillar struck by Ai’s whip instantly shattered into hundreds of fragments that bombarded a few saints who were not paying attention to what was happening in front of them all the while kicking up a curtain of dust that obscured everyone’s vision.
“This way!” Yuying said as she performed a series of hand signs that made the human shaped talisman flying in front of her increase its speed threefold.
Using the dust cloud to cover their trail, Yuying and the other beauties instantly changed the directions they were traveling in, but not before Lingqi retrieved a few vials filled with greenish fluid from her interspatial ring and smashed them onto the ground causing pummels of greenish gas to rise up into the air.
To make things more difficult for her pursuers, Ai made sure to collapse a few more pillars, which either crumbled onto the ground or fell onto the bodies of unsuspecting saints, not discriminating between friend or foe.
In a flash the beauties disappeared without leaving a single clue as to where they were headed, soaring through the air and being led to a massive hole in the chamber ceiling by the human shaped talisman.
With roughly eight lesser saints and other full saints acting as their escort, the beauties charged upward into the large hole in the ceiling without a second thought, hoping to obtain more power as quickly as possible so they could return and aid their husband.
“Be careful! There seems to be a powerful barrier up ahead.” Yuying pointed out just as the human shaped paper talisman who was acting as the group’s guide lit ablaze and disintegrated into dust causing everyone to stop in their tracks.
As if it was reacting to the group’s arrival, a bluish membrane covered in archaic runes appeared from out of nowhere making it impossible to move forward.
Retrieving a black colored talisman with golden letters written onto it from her interspatial ring, Yuying began channeling essence from her body into her hand. Before even a half of a second passed, the golden letters written on the black colored talisman started to emit a dazzling glow as Yuying waved her hand and prepared to dispel the barrier blocking the group’s path.
However, before Yuying could even attempt to do what she was going to do, an earth-shattering bang echoed into the ears of every single person and beast within a hundred-mile radius of Sea Beast Island.
From the highest peaks of heaven, a massive golden thunderbolt descended, turning all who were unlucky enough to be standing in its path into ashes, electrifying the air and leaving a gigantic scar in the earth as it pierced through the ground seeking out its target.
“Thi-this is tribulation lightning!” Long Jieshu yelled in an astonished tone as he saw the ceiling above his head being torn away and ripped apart by golden colored lighting.
Staring at the massive cauldron that both Zhang and the golden tribulation lightning had dived into, Long Jieshu couldn’t help but feel slightly uneasy.
“That bastard must be attempting to become a half-deity so that he can deal with me. Haha, what wishful thinking!” Long Jieshu thought as he tried to remain calm and collected.
Within the cauldron, Zhang’s body was now not only enveloped in flames but also wrapped within a wiggling serpent made of golden lightning.
“Fuck this hurts…” Zhang complained as he clicked his tongue while articles of his clothing turned to char and sections of his skin were badly burnt black.
Despite suffering from immense pain a smile gradually made its way onto Zhang’s face as he employed the power of the Underworld Heart to mend both his body and his garments, returning him to a perfect state of being.
“Is this it? Is this all you got?” Zhang laughed in a maniacal manner moments before another deafening roar of lightning struck down from above impaling his body with agonizing pain once again.
Compared to the first bolt of lightning, the second bolt of lightning that struck Zhang contained roughly twice as much destructive force. Unlike the superficial wounds that the first lightning bolt had inflicted, the second lightning bolt actually burnt away the outer layer of Zhang’s skin entirely.
“Fuck… I need to do something… If things keep up, then I’ll be done for…” Zhang cursed as he used the Underworld Heart to heal himself all the while trying to come up with ideas as to how to prevent the tribulation lightning from claiming his life. Regretting the fact that he had somewhat underestimated the might of the danger involved in facing one’s tribulation trial.
“What to do… What to do…” Zhang mumbled to himself as he could feel that a third tribulation lightning bolt would strike soon.
Withdrawing the Rising Moon Sword from his interspatial ring while using the Underworld Heart to encase himself behind ten thick layers of crystalized essence, Zhang prayed for the best.
“If only the tribulation lightning attacked my soul instead of my body, then I can use the Eternal Flame to ensure my success… Although I can use the Underworld Heart to mend my body, that can only occur if I’m not killed in the first place…” Zhang thought as a third deafening roar of lightning reverberated from the heavens.
While the layers of crystallized essence were, useless and were almost instantly smashed into bits, Zhang found a moment of relief as the Rising Moon Sword clasped in his hand acted as a lightning rod, absorbing the bulk of the tribulation lightning’s fury for him.
“I should have done this in the first place!” Zhang said in a relieved tone, gripping the Rising Moon Sword tightly and preparing himself in case another lightning bolt struck.
Although his knowledge regarding heavenly tribulations can be considered minuscule to none, Zhang was quite sure that merely experiencing three lightning bolts was not the end of things or else there would be many more half-deities flying around.
True to Zhang’s thoughts, soon enough a fourth tribulation lightning bolt streaked through the sky and into the huge ravine that had formed not too long ago after the first lightning bolt split the ground.
“At this rate, my survival is still up in the air… If not for the treasures in my possession I might have already departed on a trip to visit father in law...” Zhang thought as he could feel that this fourth lightning bolt was easily twice as strong as its predecessor and nearly six times as strong as the first lightning bolt, causing his body to turn numb and as he felt the urge to vomit a mouthful of blood.
“Maybe I could conjure a few Abyssal Beasts and use them as shields, I can weaken the tribulation lightning a bit.” Zhang thought as he activated the power of the Abyssal Cape conjuring a pair of Abyssal Vipers from his shadow.
Now with a pair of Abyssal Vipers coiled around his body, acting as living armor, and the Rising Moon Sword in hand, Zhang waited for the next tribulation lightning bolt to rain down upon him.
Without having to wait very long, Zhang was soon struck by a fifth bolt of lightning. Roaring in resistance the two Abyssal Vipers widened their maws as they attempted to take a bit out of the bolt of tribulation lightning homing in on their master, but similarly to the crystallized layers of essence, these Abyssal Vipers were also blown to bits.
“Damn...” Zhang mumbled as he slashed at the tribulation lightning with his sword, hoping to disperse as much of its power as possible before being embraced within a blanket of pain.
“I’m definitely going to have to pay father in law a visit soon… Let’s hope he isn’t still angry at me for running away with his daughter and then marrying her without his permission…” Zhang sighed before catching sight of a strange event occurring with the corner of his eye.
The shattered bits of crystallized essence forged by the Underworld Heart, remnant black colored wisps of shadow left behind by the Abyssal vipers, puffs of seven colored flames and sparks of tribulation lightning could be seen fusing together and forming into miniature translucent Vipers that had miniature bits of crystalized essence floating within them while being wrapped within lightning.
“No way…” Zhang mumbled as he witnessed something unbelievable. Different from the usual Abyssal Beasts that Zhang conjured, these miniature translucent looking vipers began to move about and assimilating with each other, acting without being commanded to, acting as if they had a will of their own.
However, before they could accomplish or amount to much, the rings of lightning emanating from their tiny bodies dissipated and the tiny bits of crystallized essence within their bodies broke apart and disappeared before they themselves broke apart into nothingness.