Ascending The Heavens Chapter 30: Talismans

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Gazing down upon the blood-soaked grounds for his hands that were stained red, Fei Chang was filled with disbelief.

 

“Ho-how could this be? Father has said that this was a set of core realm armor when he had given it to me. How did he manage to shatter it with a single swing?” Fei Chang thought as his teammates gathered around him and created a protective human wall.

 

“Like a frog in a pond, whose eyes are shrouded by self-deluded strength.” Yu Hong said as he swung his staff into the ground, creating a large crack in the platform that quickly made its way toward where Fei Chang and his teammates were.

 

“Don’t hog all of the fun for yourself!” Xue Shi’s roar could be heard as his spear could be seen soaring through the air and embedding itself into the crack the Yu Hong had created, causing a portion of the platform to begin to crumble and fall down from the skies.

 

Sweat began to stream down Fei Chang’s brow as he witnessed the section of the platform he was atop of break away from the main platform and fall toward the ground.

 

“I was saving this for the last round… But it’s now or never…” Fei Chang murmured as he bit his lip, while a gray colored orb appeared in his hand. With a bit of force, Fei Chang shattered the orb in his hand, releasing a swirl of gray colored smoke into the air.

 

In next to no time at all, the swirling gray colored smoke began to slightly solidify as it formed into a large puffy gray colored cloud, underneath Fei Chang’s feet.

 

“That has to be cheating…” Zhang mumbled with wide eyes as Fei Chang and the opposing team rose up into the air and gazed down upon him.

 

“Use the Lightning talismans that father had given you all.” Fei Chang commanded as he flipped his hand and a talisman with lightning bolts drawn into is appeared clamped between his fingertips.

 

“Scatter!” Cai Cao ordered as a storm of lightning bolts began to descend down upon the platform.

 

One after the other, Fei Chang and his comrades activated dozens of lightning talismans, causing lightning bolts to rain down upon Zhang, Cai Cao, Xue Shi, and Yu Hong, each of whom took a different approach to maintaining their well-being.

 

Cai Cao agilely dodged all of the lightning bolts that came his way in what resembled a beautiful dance, showcasing his agility and speed. Xue Shi had quickly withdrawn a dozen spears from his interspatial ring and stuck them into the ground around himself, using them as lightning rods and a defensive array. Yu Hong had withdrawn a dozen or so, blue colored water talismans from his interspatial ring and used them in quick succession, making a dozen jets of water shoot toward Fei Chang while nullifying any lightning bolts that came his way.

 

Much to Zhang’s dismay, he did not possess Cai Cao’s frightening agility, Xue Shi’s abundance of weapons, nor could he come up with as many water talismans as Yu Hong. Without many options at his disposal, and due to the sheer number of lightning bolts descending from the skies, Zhang quickly charged toward the ledge of the platform with his sword in hand.

 

Despite being gripped by fear as he caught sight of the ground below, Zhang leaped over the edge of the platform and quickly plunged his sword into one of the cracks created by Yu Hong and help on for dear life.

 

Seeing Zhang leap off the side of the platform, Cai Cao’s attention and rhythm were interrupted for a fraction of a second, causing him to be struck by one of the many lightning bolts showering onto the platform around him.

 

“Kill him!” Fei Chang roared as he saw that Cai Cao had been knocked to the ground and become vulnerable.

 

“Young master, we’ve run out of lightning talismans!” One of Fei Chang’s teammates said upon receiving his commands.

 

“Use the fire talismans! Torch him!” Fei Chang said, invoking a hail of fireballs the size of a person’s head to fall from the sky, toward Cai Cao.

 

With slightly charred robes, an aching body, and a numbing sensation enveloping his body, Cai Cao attempted to push himself up from the ground, however, due to the aftereffects of the lightning bolt that struck him, his body would simply not listen to him and laid motionless on the ground.

 

As countless fireballs descended down upon Cai Cao, countless people in the audience cheered at the spectacle while a scowl appeared on the faces of a few of the Cai Clan’s elders.

 

Contrary to everyone’s belief, mere seconds before a fireball could even come as close as to single the tips of Cai Cao’s hair, a few jets of water shot across the sky, extinguishing them.

 

“You think you're the only ones with an abundance of talismans in your possession? Before I left the sect, my father had given me hundreds of them!” Yu Hong’s sneering voice could be heard as Cai Cao’s life or death situation was temporarily relieved.

 

“So what if you have hundreds of low-grade talismans! I have this!” Fei Chang snickered as he resolved himself to use the strongest item in his arsenal.

 

“Young master! If you use that now, then we won’t have a chance in the last round! Master had specifically said to not use the mid-grade fire talisman until the last round!” One of Fei Chang’s underlings said as he saw a crimson red talisman with beautiful golden runes clamped between Fei Chang’s fingertips.

 

“Rubbish! If we don’t beat them then we won't even, make it to the last round!” Fei Chang said angrily as the mid-grade fire talisman shot out of his hand and ignited in midair, turning into a massive blazing fireball.

 

“Damn it... Even I don’t have any of those… Curse my luck...” Yu Hong mumbled in a low voice as he recalled asking his father for a few mid-grade talismans but was sadly rejected, while he scooped Cai Cao up from the ground and sped for the edge of the platform. Like Yu Hong, Xue Shi had abandoned his array comprised of spears and fled toward the very edge of the platform.

 

Unlike low-grade talismans that could be found in the hands of even the lowliest of cultivators, mid-grade talismans were quite rare and were usually only in the possession of elder rank individuals. Of course, this was not the case for the nine great influences or the various large sects scattered throughout the land.

 

Much like Zhang, Yu Hong who had Cai Cao slung over his shoulder, and Xue Shi leaped off the side of the platform and soon found themselves dangling off its side.

 

“Now that they are like sitting ducks, kill them!” Fei Chang ordered as the gray colored cloud that he was standing atop of began to lower itself onto the platform.

 

“I’m glad I took a few of those when I left.” Cai Cao’s voice could be heard as it made its way into Yu Hong’s ears before a deafened thunder made everything irrelevant everything moments afterward.

 

Much to Fei Chang’s misfortune, the moment he had stepped foot back atop the platform, he found two black colored talismans with golden letters written on them, stuck to the bottom of his shoe.

 

“Midgrade lightning talismans…” Fei Change muttered in a lifeless tone as the talismans began to glow and turn into countless lightning bolts that streak across the sky, striking a few of the other platforms and other contestants.

 

The two midgrade lightning talismans looked similar to blooming chrysanthemums as they coated the sky in a blinding display of both power and beauty which shocked the audience down below into utter silence.

 

For many of the contestants and those in the audience, seeing a single mid-grade talisman go off was already a spectacle but after seeing three, it was simple to say they were mesmerized.

“Sect Master Fei Gu, where do you think you’re going?” Sect Master Hong Chi could be heard as his hand reached out and halted Sect Master Fei Gu from taking into the air.

 

“My son…” Sect Master Fei Gu mumbled as he felt a wave of essence belonging to Sect Master Hong Chi envelope his body.

 

“If you wish to interrupt the tournament then let me remind you, your sect will forever be banned from attending again. I will not for any outside forces to possibly affect the outcome of this tournament… Be it you, any of the other sect masters present or even the representatives of the nine influences...” Sect Master Hong Chi said in a stern voice as his gaze was directed not at Sect Master Fei Gu, but across the colosseum, at the Cai Clan’s Elder, Cai Long and the man sitting beside him. Surprisingly enough as Sect Master Hong Chi’s gaze was focused on them, Elder Cai Long and the man whom he had referred to as his lord, gazed back at Sect Master Hong Chi with smiles plastered on their faces, as if they had heard what he was saying.

 

“Also your son will be fine, and even if he weren’t he was the one to use a mid-grade talisman first.” Sect Master Hong Chi said with a chuckle as Sect Master Fei Gu sat back down with eyes glued to the screen showing the events happening up above them.

 

Back atop the platform where Zhang’s team had been battling Fei Chang’s team, a curtain of dust and smoke had risen, obscuring all visibility.

 

“You guys, I can't hang on much longer… The three of you are too heavy...” Zhang could be heard saying.

 

“Whose heavy!?” Cai Cao’s angry roar could be heard following Zhang’s.

 

“Cai Cao, just shut up and climb up before we all end up falling down…” Xue Shi said in an unhappy tone as he could be seen tightly gripping onto Zhang’s leg while Yu Hong could be seen gripping onto his leg.

 

Basically, if Zhang were to lose grip of his sword, his entire team would be disqualified.

 

After Xue Shi’s angry remark and a few unhappy grumbles, Cai Cao began to climb up the human ladder comprised of Zhang, Xue Shi and Yu Hong.

 

“Hey! Watch where you're stepping!” Yu Hong yelled as Cai Cao used the top of his head as a stepping stone.

 

Shortly after Cai Cao made his way back up to the platform, Yu Hong, Xue Shi and Zhang followed in succession, one after the other.

 

“I'm amazed this thing hasn't crumbled to bits yet…” Yu Hong said as he laid eyes on the massive cracks left in the platform by Cai Cao’s midgrade lightning talisman.

 

With dozens of craters and large cracks that branched throughout the entire platform, it was truly a miracle that the platform was still keeping afloat in the air, however, what truly made Zhang and his teammates amazed was the sight of Fei Chang.

 

Lying amidst scattered debris, Fei Chang and comrades could be seen lying stark naked on the ground, covered with a layer of black soot.

 

Their core realm armor had long since been broken to bits and their clothes had been burnt to ashes in the storm of lightning. But by some stroke of luck, Fri Chang and his comrades were actually all alive, of course, they sustained heavy injuries, but nonetheless, they were alive.

 

“Looks like we won.” Xue Shi said as his eyes scanned the platform.

 

“What are you guys waiting for?” Zhang asked as he made his way toward Fei Chang, prompting confused and curious looks on his teammate’s faces.

 

“The first and most important rule passed down in my Zhou Clan has always been, the wealth of an enemy is wealth wasted.” Zhang said recited with a laugh as he arrived in front of Fei Chang and reached for a glittering interspatial ring.

 

Being the only thing intact on Fei Chang’s body, Zhang quickly retrieved it.

 

Seeing what Zhang was doing, his teammate's quickly joined in and retrieved the interspatial rings belonging to Fei Chang’s subordinates, much to the displeasure of Sect Master Fei Gu.

 

“Brother Zhang, if only we can meet your ancestor who came up with these clan rules of yours. I bet he was an out of this world character.” Yu Hong laughed as he pocketed a yellow colored interspatial ring.

 

Perhaps it was because Zhang and his teammates had run out of luck after looting their opponents or the heavens had other plans for them, but shortly Yu Hong spoke, before the victor of the match was declared, the platform finally gave way and began to fall from the sky.

 

“Damn it!” Yu Hong cried as the platform began to break apart into large chunks and descend toward the colosseum.

 

“I wonder…” Zhang mumbled as he quickly scanned through Fei Chang’s interspatial ring. Much to his joy, he was able to locate a two of the gray colored orbs stored within the interspatial ring.

 

With a flip of his hand, the gray colored orb appeared in Zhang’s hand and with a bit of strength he smashed it to bits and caused gray smoke to swirl around him.

 

“Everyone, gather around!” Zhang said in an urgent tone as the ground beneath his feet began to split apart, separating him from the rest of his team.

 

Upon hearing Zhang’s words and seeing the swirling gray smoke, everyone's eyes lit up.

 

As they were now, even if they survived the fall to the ground and weren't crushed underneath a hill of rubble, they would still be severely injured.

 

Dashing toward Zhang at top speed, Cai Cao, Xue Shi, and Yu Hong soon found themselves safely floating atop a gray colored cloud. Sadly, their efforts were for not because moments before the pieces of the platform smashed into the ground, Sect Master Hong Chi waved his hand and made all of the broken bits fly back up into the air and form into a solid piece once again. He even lent a helping hand to Fei Chang and his teammate who were unconscious.

 

“Your saying I wasted this thing for no reason?” Zhang said in a voice full of disbelief.

 

“You have my gratitude, Brother Zhang.” Yu Hong said with a laugh while Xue Shi nodded. As they saw it, Zhang had offered them a helping hand during a dire situation, regardless of whether it was needed or not, the mere fact that he had helped them was something they felt needed to be repaid.

 

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