“Master why doesn’t anyone intercep the heavenly energy before it reaches the person ascending.” A disciple of one of the saints asked as he stood atop a flying demonic beast.
“Only an inexperienced idiot would attempt that… If you do not siphon the heavenly energy directly from the one ascending or be in extremely close proximity stealing the heavenly energy will invoke the wrath of the heavens, then not only will it cease granting heavenly energy but it’ll also rain down a sea of lightning that can even turn weak saints into ash.” A saint dressed in red robes said to his disciple.
“Just sit still and enjoy the show, for now, only those lesser tier saints and full saints are fighting, none of the high saints will bother to act until at least the ascension has taken placed for an entire day and is about to finish.” The saint dressed entirely in red also said.
“Junior brother just sit tight, if your lucky master may grant you the heavenly energy and allow you to breakthrough and become a half saint. That way even if your ascension is interrupted midway you’ll undoubtedly become a full saint.” A young man who appeared to be a saint but also appeared not to be one said with a smile.
Amongst the thousand or two people present there were actually a number of individuals who were like the young man who appeared to be a saint but was not.
Within the Azure Tower, the Dragon Heart Necklace had ceased absorbing heavenly energy for some time now however it was still levitating in the air and emitting a strange glow while Zhang was still engrossed in cultivating.
A steady amount of heavenly energy continued to flow into the room as Zhang continued to take in as much of it as he could. If other people were allowed in the room and began absorbing heavenly energy also then the amount Zhang could take in would be halved, meaning at best he would be able to become a lesser saint. But if there were two more people in the room then at best he could become a half saint. Thankfully when the Dragon Heart Necklace was absorbing the heavenly energy it had only taken a minuscule amount that wouldn’t have too much effect on Zhang overall.
So as the high saints and their disciples sat patiently and while the rest of the saints bickered with one another outside, the wheels of time continued to spin. Soon enough the first day of Zhang’s ascension ended and the second day began.
Like the previous day, the lesser saints and full saints continued to battle each other without showing any signs of fatigue. Although the lesser saints were lacking when compared to the full saints, many of them had banded together and engaged in two on one or three on one battles. It actually appeared as if some of these saints had arrived solely to kill their peers instead of to interfere with Zhang’s ascension believe it or not.
In the wake of their battle, mountains were cut to pieces, forests were burned to ash, clouds were dispersed and the terrain was changed. Luckily the Sky Fortress was hovering above an area within any inhabitants or else the countless lives would have been needlessly lost.
Once roughly half of the second day of Zhang’s ascension had gone by, a few of the high saints began to move.
“The ascension should be nearing completion, now is the best time to steal that new fellow’s heavenly energy.” A high saint with long flowing white hair and droopy eyebrows said as he waved his hand and a sword appeared in midair.
“When the ascension is nearing completion is when the most heavenly energy can be extracted from the new saint. Watch closely as these old foxed begin to use their techniques, maybe you’ll be able to learn a thing or two.” A beautiful woman who appeared to be in her twenties that was a full saint who had come solely to watch said to her disciple who was a level ten mage.
“Couldn’t they simply wait until the ascension is finished and then kill that newly ascended saint?” The disciple asked with a curious look on his face.
“If a saint is allowed to finish his or her ascension and give a few days to stabilize their heavenly energy, although you can kill them and attempt to plunder the heavenly energy the amount that can be extracted would only amount to a portion of what you can get while the ascension is taking place. This is because once it is stabilized the heavenly energy melds with the saint’s body allowing him or her to connect directly to the great flow of essence. Also once a saint’s heavenly energy is stabilized and a fight breaks out, there was a chance that new saint would escape. So these old foxes tend to disrupt the ascension before it completes.” The woman also explained to her disciple.
“Master if high saints always gather and either plunder the heavenly energy for themselves or help their disciples become half saints then how were you able to become a full saint?” The curious disciple asked.
“Simple, your master’s ascension took place during the time when the continent was being invaded by thousands of enemy saints seeking to expand the scope of their power. During such a time people were too busy fighting for their lives than trying to snatch power from a fledgling. Also, your master received a bit of help from a kind elderly man, who should be on his way right now.” The woman laughed.
While the female saint was talking to her disciple, the high saint with droopy eyebrows began to make his move to interrupt Zhang’s ascension.
“Where is the sacrifice?” The high saint asked one of his disciples who rather than replying tossed a middle-aged man who appeared to only be at the third level of cultivation toward his master.
“Ple-please spare me!” The middle-aged man who when compared to all of the saints present was no stronger than an ant plead. But his pleas fell on deaf ears as he was tossed through the sky and into the translucent ray of heavenly energy that was channeling toward Zhang.
In a flash before the man could even utter a single cry he was turned into ash and the flow of heavenly energy began to fluctuate. The black clouds in the air also began to unleash heaven’s wrath and rain down an abundance of lightning from above.
“NOT ON MY WATCH!” Yuying’s voice rang into everyone’s ear as her barrier disappeared and a blinding ray of light shot out from the main Azure Tower.
Much to everyone’s surprise, the moment the ray of light from the Azure Tower touched the receding ray of heavenly energy, it actually began to cease fluctuating and begin to channel toward Zhang once more.
“That barrier is down, move in!” A lesser saint cried as he ceased fighting his opponent and charged toward the Sky Fortress.
Soon enough hundreds of lesser saints, full saints, and some higher saints sped toward the Azure Tower where Zhang was finishing up his ascension.
“All forces attack!” Ling’s voice could be heard as hundreds of mithril tipped ballista bolts shot into the air. Although they were probably not enough to slay a saint, the mithril tips of the ballista bolts would definitely serve as hindrances as they pierced through the air.
Accompanying the ballista bolts were hundreds of spider webs being rapidly shot into the air by the horde of Wraith Spiders. Although it was comparable to using an egg to combat a charging chariot, Zhang’s soldiers and the Wraith Spiders were giving their all so their master could complete his ascension.
“Unless!” A saint roared as he sent an energy palm toward a group of Zhang’s soldiers who were busily reloading a ballista. Soon after a mixture of screams could be heard as Zhang’s men began to frantically attempt to avoid the incoming attack that would without a doubt take their lives.
Scurrying in all directions Zhang’s men were able to avoid sharing the same fate as the ballista that was left in pieces on the ground. But of course, Zhang’s men did not lose heart almost instantly sped toward another ballista and began to help reload it, while others began to draw their bows and fire arrows into the sky.
“Go a deal with those ants… They’re starting to become annoying” An enraged saint bellowed to his disciples as a mithril tipped ballista bolt that nearly impaled him.
“We’ll deal with them right away, master.” A dozen of his disciples who were level ten warriors and mages said as they stopped flying toward the Azure Tower and splintered off atop their mounts.
As massive cranes and fiery hawks descended upon the soldiers of Aurora, countless casualties and numerous deaths became imminent.
“Any who try to bring harm to his highness must get through us first!” A thousand voices rang out in unison as Zhang’s elite guard charged out from the Azure Tower with weapons in hand.
Much like shadows, Yuying’s apprentices moved rushed toward the level ten warriors and mages with amazing grace and speed. Although normally a level eight warrior or mage would find it hard pressed to face against their level ten counterparts, the elite guard held an absolute advantage thanks to their numbers and nearly flawless teamwork which was put on display as a battle of epic proportions began.
“The princess said that those who get injured are to instantly retreat to the tower!” One of Yuying’s apprentices said, reminding everyone that they are expected to put their lives in priority when facing these opponents.
While Zhang’s forces were putting their lives on the line, the high saints closed in on the Azure Tower but to their surprise, an extremely powerful gale of wind pushed against them and prevented them from moving forward.
“It’s him!” One of the high saints yelled as creased appeared on his brow.
“Damn that beggar, always getting in my way.” Another high saint cursed.
“Old man Dan Jin stop interfering!” Yet another high saint yelled as an elderly man dressed in rags descended from the sky.
“Why don’t you all stop picking on the younglings then? Perhaps you can do me a favor and fight each other so I don’t have to keep making these trips.” The elderly man who was dressed in rags said with a sigh.
With a wave of his hand, old man Dan Jin made a wall of wind spiral around the Azure Tower thus creating a protective barrier around it.
“Anyone who wishes you thinks they can get through us then they are welcome to try.” Old man Dan Jin said as five figures shot out of the sky and stood around the Azure Tower. One of these figures being the female saint that had been talking to her disciple earlier.
“It looks like I don’t have to call for help just yet.” Yuying mumbled as she released her grip on the jade pendant that hung by her waist that can open the samsara gate and connect to the Underworld.
Much to Yuying’s joy someone else was taking up the task of protecting Zhang making it so that she did not have to call for aid from the Underworld. Since it was impossible to constantly call for help from the Underworld, Yuying had to save these opportunities for only when there was no other alternative.
“Old man Dan Jin if you do not get out of our way then we will not hold back.” The high saint with droopy eyebrows said.
“Try me.” Old man Dan Jin said as he waved his hand and a beautiful looking jade cane appeared in his hand.
Since old man Dan Jin had appeared and halted the advance of the high saints, the rest of the saints were given an opportunity to catch up and soon the Azure Tower was surrounded from all sides by preying eyes.
Of course, not all of the saints were gathered around the Azure Tower, there were a few lesser saints who gave up on attempting to steal Zhang’s heavenly energy and simply contented themselves with causing death and destruction.
But before too much death and destruction could be spread, the ray of heavenly energy descended down from above ceased and a frightening roar reverberated in the air. A roar so frightening that everyone ceased what they were doing and all eyes focused on the Azure Tower.
As all gazes were focused on the tower, Zhang could be seen floating out from a balcony and into the sky.
“How could this be… How could his powers stabilize so quickly!” A saint yelled in disbelief as Zhang floated atop the Azure Tower while radiating power.
As numerous experts were shocked by Zhang’s sudden appearance but of course how could anyone possibly know that Zhang possessed the Underworld Heart and that it helped him stabilize his newfound power.
“I thank you seniors your help.” Zhang said to old man Jin Dan and his allies with a polite bow.
“No need to be so polite, as a senior looking out for my juniors is something that should be done.” Old man Jin Dan said with a smile.
“As for the other seniors, my heavenly energy has been stabilized and since I have nothing else to offer you all I would like to kindly ask all of you to leave.” Zhang said with a smile as he lowered himself down to where the essence core of the sky fortress was and activated its barrier.
In a flash, all of the level ten warriors and mages were pushed out while the lesser saints felt an unbearable force press down on their bodies.
“Since there’s nothing left to watch, I’ll be on my way. Congratulations on being a full saint…” A lesser saint said as he flew out of the barrier and away before some of the full saints and higher saints set their eyes on hunting the lesser saints.
“I’ll be on our way also, but if you ever need any help you can find me in the Lunar Kingdom past the Lunar Mountains.” Old Man Jin Dan said as he bid Zhang farewell and flew away, but stopped not too far away to keep an eye on things.
“Tsk…” A high saint said as he clicked his tongue and flew out of the barrier.
One by one the lesser saints, full saints and some high saints began to depart as their prey was no more.