Chapter 89: The Lightning Tribulation (1)
Yuan Ji was now digging the grave of his beloved Yuxian again. But this time, it was to take her out of the grave instead of confining her inside.
It was because he had found a crystal coffin which was actually a profound treasure that could preserve her.
Halfway through the dig, the heavens were suddenly rumbling and the entire heavens were suddenly dark and the entire mountains were covered in a deep shroud of darkness.
Yuan Ji, Ling Feiyue and Xue Qianxue were startled by the sudden change in the heavens. They had never come across a storm that could suddenly descend upon so quickly.
But Ling Feiyue had and she had turned ashen, “Ji Yuan, Qianxue! This is the lightning calamity!” She quickly divined with her fingers and shockingly said. “It is descending upon this location!”
Yuan Ji was stunned, “Lightning calamity?”
He turned to look at Xue Qianxue as he stammered, “Don’t tell me that you are having your lightning tribulation at this time?”
Xue Qianxue was the only middle-tier seventh realm saintess here. Moreover she was also a peaked middle-tier saintess. When a cultivator had reached the peaked middle-tier seventh realm sacred saint level, they would no longer advance.
The only way for them to advance to the upper tier seventh realm sacred saint level was for them to have a lucky occurrence and chanced an encounter with a lightning tribulation.
To the celestial cultivators, chancing an encounter with a lightning tribulation was equally deadly and hence, it was also called the fourth life and death tribulation. Naturally, no one wanted to chance it too early.
Xue Qianxue had a perplexed look as she said, “It is definitely not me because I don’t have any foreboding for it. Moreover I am not at the peaked middle-tier yet…”
Yuan Ji gave her a perplexed look, “You’re not?”
Xue Qianxue shook her head, “My realm level didn’t advance for the past hundred years…”
Yuan Ji: …
Even Ling Feiyue was startled. “Is it because of me?”
A hundred years ago, Xue Qianxue and Ling Feiyue were both middle heaven-step saintesses. Each tier had an initial, middle, upper and a peak stage. Except for the peak stage, each stage had a half-step, mortal, earth, heaven and a peak step to denote the cultivator’s cultivation progression.
After Ling Feiyue had defeated Xue Qianxue, she had advanced from a middle heaven-step saintess to a middle peak saintess. Shortly after, she had overcome her lightning tribulation and had become a great saintess, a celestial title that was only reserved for cultivators that had entered the upper seven realm sacred saint level.
When cultivators had reached the sixth and the seventh realm level, cultivating alone was not enough to expand their spiritual boundaries to attain to the next stage or step. It was because they had to focus on their state of divinity for enlightenment in order to achieve a breakthrough.
The sixth realm level was called the ‘Spirit Level’ while the seventh realm level was called the ‘Soul Level’.
A hundred years ago when Xue Qianxue and Ling Feiyue had their duel, they were hoping to achieve a breakthrough to the peak of their middle seventh realm sacred saint level by defeating each other. Their duel was not a matter of who had the greater profound strength or who had the superior fighting techniques but who had the superior state of divinity in their ‘Soul Level’.
Ling Feiyue had ‘cheated’ by conspiring with Xia Jiajia to cause Xue Qianxue to lose at the last minute by affecting her mental state.
Although Ling Feiyue had won, she was extremely guilty about it.
After their duel, the two maidens had become close friends and had secretly kept in touch with each other. At the same time the two of them had also placed a bounty for ‘Ji Yuan’ who had fled away from them ever since that day.
When Xue Qianxue had secretly sent Ling Feiyue a secret message asking whether it was possible for her to help her to leave the Celestial Orthodox Sect, Ling Feiyue did not hesitated at all even though she knew that it was an extremely risky thing to do.
At that time Yuan Ji had just broken her heart and this had caused her to choose the most direct and confrontation approach to rescue Xue Qianxue, not realizing that Yuan Ji was also there.
Yuan Ji had thought that Ling Feiyue had a feud with Xue Qianxue and therefore he did not want to tell her anything about Xue Qianxue. After all, he had personally witnessed their duel with each other and moreover they were from two opposing fraternities. He had indeed never dreamt that these two peerless maidens would actually become the best of friends after their duel.
Xue Qianxue was now looking at Yuan Ji, “Is it you?”
Yuan Ji replied weakly, “I have only just completed my initial half-step seventh realm and is only at the mortal step. I am still so far away from the middle sacred saint level. How can it be me?”
The initial half-step stage was the period of solidifying the cultivator’s soul sea. Yuan Ji had only become a full fledge initial saint only just a while ago.
Ling Feiyue suddenly muttered with a weak smile, “Do you think it is because we are cursed? Or because we have done something really wrong in the eyes of the heavens and this is a heavenly retribution?”
Yuan Ji laughed weakly, “Don’t be silly. We didn’t do anything wrong…”
But Ling Feiyue and Xue Qianxue interrupted him with a feeble look as they said together, “You had forced open the forbidden black door, hack open the crystal coffin and threw the body inside carelessly around.”
Yuan Ji: …
Yuan Ji: …
Yuan Ji: …
“This is my divine retribution?” Yuan Ji muttered with disbelief. “Surely not…”
“Or else we cannot explain why the lightning tribulation has appeared.” Ling Feiyue sighed softly.
Yuan Ji had jumped into the grave as he panicky tried to carefully removed the huge pile of heavy rocks that he had placed on top of the make shift coffin that he had made for Yuxian. “I must get her body out of here before the lightning tribulation strikes…”
All of a sudden a silver lightning thundered through the dark heavens and had struck Yuan Ji with a thunderous impact and his surrounding had immediately burst into tiny flames!
Yuan Ji coughed out a bout of golden blood as he staggered to steady his footing.
“Ji Yuan!” Xue Qianxue and Ling Feiyue were panicky.
Yuan Ji smiled weakly as he struggled to stand, “I am alright. This amount of lightning is nothing.”
Xue Qianxue and Ling Feiyue were immediately at his side as they checked his injuries. They were suddenly dismayed to find that Yuan Ji was much more seriously hurt than they had expected!
However his injuries were not due to the lightning attack but were caused by his earlier battle with the Titan Draconic Beast. As Yuan Ji did not want them to worry, he was putting on a brave front and pretended that he was not injured.
Ji Yuan said knew that he had to face this lightning tribulation today no matter what.
There were many stories of cultivators trying to escape from their lightning tribulation when their time was up and all of them would die without fail. It was because the lightning tribulation also measured their mental fortitude to survive. The minute that the cultivators had decided to flee, their pain threshold to withstand the lightning tribulations would drop tremendously. Only if the cultivator had a high state of divinity would they be able to survive through the lightning tribulation.
There was another reason why Yuan Ji did not flee from the spot; when the lightning tribulation had descended on a location, the destruction that was caused by the lightning tribulation would be heavily confined. But should the cultivator moved or ran away from the descended spot, that spot would be destroyed by the fury of the heavenly tribulations.
Even if Yuan Ji did not care for the descended spot and ran to hide in the cave, there would be earthquakes and lightning that would follow him to his hiding place.
There were actually many cultivators that had actually tried to run away even when they know that they should not do so. Eventually they would all die of exhaustion. It was because the lightning tribulation was actually drawing upon the profound strength of the cultivator to return a returning strike.
Now this was actually the worst death of all deaths.
It was because the further they were away from the designated spot, the more their profound strength was taken and when their profound strength was taken, they would age prematurely every time the lightning tribulation fires a lightning bolt.
But of course Yuan Ji would not run because he needed to protect the grave from damage.
What was perplexing to him was that he had no idea how he had triggered the lightning tribulation!
He was cursing silently, “I’m only at the initial sacred saint level. How the heck did I trigger the lightning tribulation?”
“Qianxue, we need to protect this grave but the lightning tribulation will be descending anytime soon.” Ling Feiyue said solemnly.
Xue Qianxue immediately knew what Ling Feiyue was trying to say next, so she chuckled softly. “I guess that I have to forcefully become a great saintess today. The only way for us to avert the lightning calamity is to face its tribulation.”
Yuan Ji immediately interrupted her sharply, “You are not ready for your fourth life and death tribulation. Moreover you are with child. It will be dangerous for you and for our child.”
Xue Qianxue returned a gentle smile to him, “Although I am not in the best of my condition but this is also a good chance for me to advance in my cultivation realm. Therefore I should make full use of it. Also with Sister Feiyue here, I am not anxious at all.”
Yuan Ji said bitterly, “Do you know that this lightning tribulation is actually after me? Although I do not know why but trust me, you don’t have to do it for me.”
He knew that these two maidens were actually trying to use their more superior spiritual boundaries to help him to overcome the lightning tribulation.
In terms of cultivation strength, his soul sea was the weakest!
Xue Qianxue said with great conviction, “I have already decided to do this.”
When she had said that, the silver lightning in the heavens above had suddenly become golden in color!
Yuan Ji, Xue Qianxue and Ling Feiyue were greatly startled.
This was the golden lightning tribulation and it was even more dangerous than the silver lightning tribulation!
“We need to prepare immediately.” Ling Feiyue said hastily as she threw dozens of high grade spirit stones around them before she formed the spirit stones into a celestial array.
Xue Qianxue followed suit as she asked Ling Feiyue, “When you have become a great saintess, what is your lightning tribulation?”
Ling Feiyue smiled weakly, “I have only the silver lightning tribulation. This is my first time facing a golden lightning tribulation. Guess I have my fifth life and death tribulation today.”
There were actually three types of lightning tribulations; the three-stage silver lightning tribulation, the six-stage golden lightning tribulation and the nine-stage purple lightning tribulation.
When a saint had survived the lightning tribulation, their spiritual boundaries would expand to the great saint spiritual boundaries. At the same time, they would receive added life span as well. Usually the three-stage silver lightning would add 3000 more years, the six-stage golden lightning tribulation would add 6000 more years while the nine-stage purple lightning tribulation would add 9000 more years.
Needless to say, the life span of a great saint was monstrous when compared to the other cultivators and even to the rest of the seventh realm saints. Hence, there was a ‘great’ title to the cultivators that could breakthrough to the upper seventh realm sacred saint level.
The three-stage silver lightning tribulation was nine times more fearsome than a normal lightning while the six-stage golden lightning tribulation was thirty-six times more deadly than a normal lightning. As for the nine-stage purple lightning tribulation, it was eighty-one times more deadly than a normal lightning.
When Ling Feiyue had become a great saintess, she had taken the three-stage silver lightning three times.
The three-stage silver lightning was the most commonly encountered and it had a mortality rate of 90%. It was to say that only 10% of the saints would survive the silver lightning three times.
The six-stage golden lightning was a rare sight, only appearing if the cultivator could achieve a high state of divinity. Usually it could only be encountered by the venerable sages. Again, the mortality was also 90%. It was really not easy to survive six hits which was doubled that of a three-stage silver lightning. Moreover, each of the golden lightning was four times more powerful or thirty-six times deadlier than a normal lightning.
As for the nine-stage purple lightning, it was almost unheard of. It was rumored that if it were to appear then the cultivator must really be a heaven-defying person. After all, no one could imagine anyone that could survive nine times of the most powerful lightning bolt in the Celestial Realm.
Yuan Ji was cursing loudly to the heavens, “What the heck?! I have attracted the golden tribulation lightning?! I am only a lowly saint!”
Xue Qianxue quietly said, “It is because you have survived a lightning from the golden tribulation lightning array. It has the same power as the golden lightning tribulation. Anyone that survives through the golden lightning tribulation will not be able to receive the weaker three-stage silver lightning.”
Yuan Ji was stupefied, “I have the Celestial Orthodox Sect to thank for this then.”
Ling Feiyue said quietly to Yuan Ji and Xue Qianxue, “If we can survive six strokes of the golden lightning tribulation then our ordeals will be over. The pain will be agonizing, both mentally and physically. Please endure to the best of your abilities.”
While she was saying it, she was quietly exchanging a secret look with Xue Qianxue. They were secretly sighing in their hearts. It was because Yuan Ji was not even a middle saint and for him to face the lightning tribulation at this point, especially the golden lightning tribulation, this was really expecting too much from him.
Just his profound strength disparity alone was already a big gap when compared to them. Moreover Xue Qianxue had the Sacred Maiden Profound Arts to protect her while Ling Feiyue had her Unrighteous Moon Profound Force. As for Yuan Ji, he was just a pure sword practitioner.
Yuan Ji was urged on by his undying fighting spirit as he shouted angrily to the heavens, “It is only six strokes of golden lightening. Do you think your big daddy here is afraid of you?”
The dark heavens responded by booming thunderously and the golden lightning had suddenly become multiple flashes of purple lightning!
Suddenly the six-stage golden lightning tribulation had now become the nine-stage purple lightning tribulation!
Yuan Ji, Xue Qianxue, Ling Feiyue: …
Yuan Ji smiled bitterly, “Don’t look at me like this. How do I know that this lightning tribulation can be so easily angered?”
Xiang Li had appeared in Yuan Ji’s soul sea with a sheepish look, “Actually it is me that has caused the purple lightning tribulation to appear. How do I know that you will be facing your lightning tribulation so soon?”
Yuan Ji said bitterly, “Xiang Li, you are finally here. What the hell is going on around here?”
Xiang Li closed her eyes before opening her eyes with an unhappy look, “Apparently someone wants you dead and has triggered this lightning tribulation for you.”
Yuan Ji was startled, “Who is that someone?”
Xiang Li shook her head, “As for who, I really do not know. This someone is an extreme character that can even manipulate the lightning tribulation. I am afraid that this time we are in serious trouble. Can you remember who you have offended lately?”
Yuan Ji frowned, “I am a peace loving person and I don’t have any enemies.”
Xiang Li: …
“I don’t believe in any divine retributions..” Yuan Ji muttered.
“Xiang Li, do you think that someone is actually the King of the Fishes? I just remember that I have accidentally killed two innocent fishes earlier. But then I was trying to help them actually…”
Xiang Li: …