Happy Lunar New Year!
“Hello there!” A voice echoed in Zhang’s mind again.
“Who are you?” Zhang asked the foreign entity speaking to him.
“Who am I? Who am I? You really don't know who I am?” The voice asked Zhang in an astonished and slightly haughty tone.
“Are you going to tell me who you are or not? I have other things to attend to…” Zhang said in a grumble, feeling somewhat annoyed at the mysterious voice.
“How can you come all the way here, claim my inheritance and not know who I am? You might as well give back the Eternal seven colored flames...” The mysterious voice cursed and complained.
Upon hearing the voice mention the seven colored flames and shortly after a few moments of realization, Zhang instantly figured out or at least guessed the identity of the person who he was conversing with.
“You must be the great and powerful founder of the Dragon God Palace, Long Shijie. Senior, I apologize for not realizing who you were sooner, there are simply too many things going on right now for me to think straight.” Zhang said in a humble tone.
“Hahaha, I knew that there was no way you wouldn't know who I am. It seems that your character isn't half bad also.” Long Shijie said with a hearty laugh.
“So, he's that kind of person.” Zhang thought as he prepared a dozen or so different ways to compliment Long Shijie.
“Oh, wise and great master, your humble disciple, Zhou Zhang pays his respects.” Zhang said as he shifted his body into a kneeling position despite his current floating state within the sea of seven colored flames.
“Oh? Disciple?” Long Shijie’s voice muttered with a hint of intrigue.
“Since I've received your inheritance it is only right to call you my master. Also, when taking things into consideration, who wouldn't want someone as great and powerful as yourself to be their master.” Zhang said in a slightly energetic tone, hoping to gain Long Shijie’s favor, feeling that it would result in quite a few benefits.
“Haha, a wise one, aren't you? Seeing as you've already claimed my inheritance, I might as well take you as my disciple too.” Long Shijie laughed delightfully.
“Although the current me you're talking to is only but a soul fragment that I had left behind and does not possess any worldly treasures to bestow you, as a master, I can't possibly not give my disciple a greeting gift.” Long Shijie said as a powerful swirl of Heavenly Energy appeared out from nowhere and enveloped Zhang’s body.
Pouring in through Zhang’s pours and filling every fiber of his being with Heavenly Energy, empowering him at an incredible rate.
Like a boundless sea, the swirl of Heavenly Energy continues to nourish Zhang until finally, a great change occurred.
“To think I would become a high saint just like this.” Zhang laughed as he felt his power increase by many folds. Compared to regular high saints, Zhang was now undoubtedly twice as strong.
As surreal as it was, Zhang had actually become a high saint without extending a fraction of the effort that most would have to.
“If you ever get the chance, come to the Abyssal Demon Realm and pay me a visit. Never be led astray and set foot into the Nether Void Realm! It is not a place for half-deities to tread unprepared. Also as my disciple, you must finish what I could not, you must defeat my father for me!” Long Shijie said as his voice faded away.
“Abyssal Demon Realm? Chaotic Void Realm? Defeat you father for you? Are you crazy? How am I supposed to beat a half-deity?” Zhang grumbled as he tried to figure a way out of his current predicament.
“Dammit, why couldn't there be another half deity around to stop all of this…In Long Jehu's current state of another half deity showed up he wouldn't even stand a chance...” Zhang complained to himself until a sudden thought made its way into his head.
“If there was another half deity here… Another half deity… A half deity… Me...” Zhang mumbled as something outrageous began to brew within his thoughts.
“He gave me enough Heavenly Energy to initiate my first tribulation. With the Eternal Flame to heal and protect my soul and the Underworld Heart to mend and rebuild my body, as long as my luck isn’t terrible I should be able to ascend and become a half-deity… Once I become a half-deity I should be able to deal with Long Jieshu and then with a bit of the Abyssal Cape’s power dealing with everyone else shouldn’t be too hard either.” Zhang told himself.
Despite the ideal conditions for his ascension toward becoming a half-deity, Zhang had one last obstacle standing in his way, he had no idea how to forcefully invoke a heavenly tribulation.
High saints could be broken up into roughly three categories, those who don’t wish to face a Heavenly Tribulation and forcefully suppress their powers, those who prepare and wait for their Heavenly Tribulation to occur naturally, and those like Zhang who wish to speed up the arrival of their tribulation.
In most cases when a high saint forcefully suppresses their power they are guaranteed to never face a Heavenly Tribulation, but of course, their cultivation will never progress any further. In other cases, a high saint would patiently wait for their Heavenly Tribulation to occur naturally after accumulating a massive amount of Heavenly Energy but there was a chance that it wouldn’t arrive at all or they would be caught unprepared and perish.
Well in most cases, at least within the Wulin Continent and the Eastern Sea, most high saints either never face a Heavenly Tribulation or they meet an untimely end during one. Thus, there was a severe lack of half-deities and information regarding Heavenly Tribulations available.
“Damn it… If only I had the chance to ask him before he faded away…” Zhang cursed as his plan failed without even being given the chance to begin.
“Concentrate all of the Heavenly Energy within your body and fuse it with your soul. Once you’ve managed to infuse roughly ten percent of your soul with Heavenly Energy, you will be able to spark your first tribulation. As long as you have enough Heavenly Energy and continue to use this little trick that I stumbled upon, ascending to godhood is but a matter of time. Also, speaking ill of your master is not something a good disciple should do.” Long Shijie’s voice could be heard once again, echoing in Zhang’s head.
“You were still around?” Zhang asked but did not receive an answer.
Not know whether or not Long Shijie’s soul fragment was still around, Zhang decided not to complain or grumble any longer and began to channel the Heavenly Energy within his body.
Although Heavenly Energy was not something tangible, it was something that generally fuses with one’s mortal body. So, when trying to fuse his Heavenly Energy and his soul together, Zhang had to first separate a portion of the Heavenly Energy from within his body before being able to use it to enhance his soul.
“No wonder there are so few half-deities… If one were to wait for their soul to naturally fuse with enough Heavenly Energy to spark a tribulation, a lifetime would probably be needed…” Zhang thought as he concentrated on separating and infusing the Heavenly Energy within his body.
While Zhang continued to bathe in the sea of flames within the massive cauldron, the heavens were trembling and the seas were churning outside.
Roughly only a few minutes had actually passed since Zhang dove head first into the cauldron of flames, but the battles occurring throughout the entirety of Sea Beast Island had already intensified by a dozen times.
The sea was dyed red in blood, the land was littered with corpses and the sky was teeming with countless severed souls.
As the Sea Beast Sect celebrated the long-awaited return of their master, remnants of the past that had long become severed souls and the hidden evils that had been secretly cultivated under the gauze that was the Dragon God Palace, began to unveiling their strength for all to see.
“Ahahahaha so many vessels to choose from.” A chilling voice emanated through the air as a severed soul scoured the battlefield in an attempt to acquire a new body.
Of course, even if they possessed an advantage over their foes, the Sea Beast Sect’s goal of slaughtering all who stood against them was not something that could be achieved within a blink of an eye nor without having to face heavy resistance.
“Wretched dogs of the Sea Shit Sect or whatever the fuck you're calling yourselves no, prepare to die!” A full saint who had been lured to the island by Zhang’s promises of wealth roared as he stomped his leg and caused large earthen spikes to shoot upward into the air, impaling a few of members of the Sea Beast Sect’s ground forces.
“There is nothing to fear! Although they may appear intimidating, these severed souls amount to nothing! So, what if they can possess the bodies of our comrades? By doing so they’ll only bring about their own demise!” Another full saint yelled as he slashed the throat of a man who had just been possessed by a severed soul, killing both his former comrade and the severed soul.
In one way or another thanks to Zhang’s previous efforts to bolster his own forces, along with the fact that most of the saint level experts belonging to the Sea Beast Sect had gone to witness Long Jieshu’s revival, the coalition force, made up of the regular troops of the various forces, was able to hold its own despite the odds set against it.
With that being said, in most instances when two relatively equally armies face each other without either side being able to hold total dominance, the number of casualties that each side suffers will be extremely high.
“Members of the Golden Pearl Sect! Prepare to activate the Demonic Pearl Array!” An elder within the Golden Pearl Sect commanded.
“Members of the Starry Sea Sect! Fall into formation and prepare to use the Heavenly Lightning Array!” An elder within the Starry Sea Sect commanded as he stood atop a Behemoth Jellyfish.
“Disciples of the Sea Beast Sect! Show this scum our might! Make preparations to deploy the Primal Frenzy Spell!” A young man who had just been possessed by a severed soul yelled.
“Those of the Divine Wave Sect, fall into formation and activate the Sacred Water Cleansing Spell!” One of the elders of the Divine Wave Sect said.
One by one, catastrophic spells, formations, and arrays were being prepared for use, causing the abundant amount of essence that usually filled the air to actually dwindle and become thin.
Before long a web of lightning was shot into the air where it branched off in all direction, while a massive dome of golden light enveloped and protected a large number of those apart of the coalition, meanwhile, a glowing tsunami could be seen sweeping across the ocean’s surface and toward Sea Beast Island.
However, as awe-inspiring and powerful as the attacks produced by the violation were, they could not be compared to the insanity that was the Sea Beast Sect’s, Primal Frenzy Spell.
Resulting from the efforts of a total of one hundred severed souls who had just acquired new bodies for themselves not too long ago, an insidious hum reverberated through the air, summoning a chorus of screeches, roars, and howls in response.
“Everyone! Quickly stop them! We cannot let them complete the Primal Frenzy Spell or else with the number of ancient demonic beasts residing in this part of the sea, our lives will be forfeit!” An elderly full saint who had been around during the peak of the Sea Beast Sect’s power said in an urgent tone.
“It is too late! Struggle as you wish but to welcome our master’s return, we’ve spent the last four hundred years preparing a worthy army to serve him.” A possessed lesser saint laughed manically as hundreds of other members of the Sea Beast Sect joined in and amplified the insidious hum that reverberated through the air.
“Four hundred years of preparation? Worthy army? He couldn’t possibly mean… No, that has to be it! How could we have not noticed this sooner… They must have been the reason as to why so many ancient demonic beasts have been congregated in this part of the sea within the last few hundred years...” The elderly full saint thought as his gaze shifted to the horizon where hundreds of massive silhouettes could be seen traveling through the air and sea.
Why was the Sea Beast Sect called the Sea Beast Sect? It was not because their members were the descents of the creatures that dwelled within the recesses of the sea, but it was because through the use of the Primal Frenzy Spell they would be able to call forth and briefly control all of the ancient demonic beasts within a large area.
“They must have been using a weakened version of the Primal Frenzy Spell to lure large numbers of ancient demonic beasts to this area of sea solely for what is occurring today…” The elderly full saint thought as the sight of hundreds if not thousands of ancient demonic beasts came into view.