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Chapter 172: Defy the Heavens
It takes less than five minutes for the car to return back to the military hospital. Due to the large crowd gathered on the first floor, they have to stop the car a few meters in front of the building.
The first to exit the Hummer is Lian Xiang. Sweeping a glance over the staff and patients, he lifts his head to look at the dark clouds covering the sky above the hospital. Frowning, he turns to address Mo Junfan and Li Qing.
"Don't come into the hospital. The Heavenly Retribution is near. Go to the command building and tell the soldiers there to clear everyone from the vicinity." Saying this, Lian Xiang darts away, easily leaping over the crowd to enter the hospital.
As soon as he steps into the building, he is hit by a bone-cutting chill.
It is fortunate that all the patients and staff here are soldiers, hence, they evacuate swiftly without question. By the time Lian Xiang nears the emergency room, the entire hospital has cleared out.
The Heretical Dragon's energy permeates the air, but it is clearly just spiritual signature lingering due to an outpour of spiritual power. Allowing a trickle of spiritual energy to flow through his being, Lian Xiang's body is enveloped in golden light that disperses the bone-cutting chill.
Pushing the door of the emergency room open, one can see the machines are still operating as before. Besides Long Zhanye and Qin Jun, there is no other staff in sight. A green-haired child is clinging onto Qin Jun's back, the green glow emitting from his body preventing the doctor from freezing to death. Even so, Qin Jun's mental perseverance is rather high, allowing him to remain steady as he treats Huo Zaiyuan.
Pouring his power into Huo Zaiyuan once more to suppress the curse from the dagger, the anxious expression on Long Zhanye's face doesn't ebb a little.
Grasping the current situation after a brief observation, Lian Xiang hurries over to the operating table. Golden lotuses bearing a swastika spreads out rapidly, replacing the bone-cutting chill in the room with warmth. Chanting under his breath, he condenses his spiritual power in the hollow of his palm, injecting it into Huo Zaiyuan.
"Qin Jun!" Long Zhanye calls quietly as black scales envelop his hand. Eyes flickering gold, he grips the handle of the dagger and tugs at it.
"Urghh…" A low moan of pain emits from the unconscious Huo Zaiyuan as his body jerks, seemingly locked in a struggle.
Qin Jun's reaction is extremely fast, immediately clamping down on Huo Zaiyuan's limbs. Long Zhanye exerts a little more strength, and following a short spurt of fresh blood, the dagger is finally removed from Huo Zaiyuan's chest.
Tossing the dagger away, the two men instantly work together to treat the bleeding wound, speaking in soft tones to placate the unconscious youth whose muscles are still jerking from agony.
"The arteries of his heart has been damaged. Heartbeat is dropping. If this continues…" With his power still within Huo Zaiyuan, Lian Xiang can clearly feel what is occurring. His words are supported by the nonstop beeping noises coming from the machine.
"I've already made preparations." Long Zhanye glances at Lian Xiang before biting the flesh of his index finger. Blood wells out, which is instantly smeared over the silver dragon tattoo on Huo Zaiyuan's wrist.
The tattoo lights up in a silver blaze before a white-haired, white-robed body falls into Long Zhanye's arms.
Lian Xiang stiffens as soon as his gaze falls onto the familiar face of the body. "Don't tell me you plan on…"
"Correct. Little Yuan's inner spiritual power has already been eroded away by the curse. Now, the only way to save him is to unite soul and body." Placing the body beside Huo Zaiyuan, Long Zhanye's hard gaze locks on his beloved.
Absolutely will not let anything happen to you…
"Tianji died due to the Heavenly Retribution! If you do this, the lightning will descend once more!" Lian Xiang gasps in alarm.
Ever since he saw the dark clouds gathering above the hospital, he more or less guessed that Huo Zaiyuan's wound this time might lead to his demise. If his soul is allowed to re-enter the reincarnation cycle, the clouds will disperse. But should one defy the Heavens and succeed in saving him, lightning will definitely fall from the sky.
"I know, but I will not just watch him die and slip through my fingers once more. I finally found him again after so long…" Long Zhanye's hand tightens around Huo Zaiyuan's own, which is rapidly turning cold.
He will absolutely not allow his most beloved person to die before him. Absolutely not!!
"I understand. Leave him to me. But what about the Heavenly Retribution?"
The lightning that will descend due to this Heavenly-defying act will not be easy to endure…
"I will bear it. I will definitely not allow it to get past me and harm any of you one bit." Long Zhanye's dark eyes turn golden, scales appearing over his skin.
"No. You don't have a dragon's body! How can you bear the full weight of it with only a human's body?!" One hand on Huo Zaiyuan's body, the other materialises a golden jian. "Take Fu Hua with you."
"No, Fu Hua is the medium for your Buddhist Arts. Even if my dragon power alone is insufficient, it will be enough with him by my side." A wave of his fingers and a silver jian appears. "Liu Ying is the same as me. We both wish to protect our most important person."
The Liu Ying who has always been at odds with Long Zhanye emits a strong silver burst of light, clearly indicating that he approves of the other man's words.
Although Fu Hua and Liu Ying are classified as godly weapons, they are both made out of different materials. Long Zhanye's energy conflicts with Fu Hua's Buddhist powers. On the other hand, Liu Ying is crafted out of metal ores harvested from the Dragon Mountain in the Immortal Realm. As a result, it is extremely compatible with Long Zhanye's dragon nature.
Lian Xiang eventually nods, keeping Fu Hua. Without further ado, he condenses more spiritual energy and pours it into Huo Zaiyuan.
As Long Zhanye departs with sword in hand, Lian Xiang spreads his attention and power between Huo Zaiyuan and the spiritual vessel. Glancing up at Qin Jun, he says, "You need to quickly leave this building. The Heavenly Retribution will commence soon. Although Long Zhanye will block it, the extra energy from it will reduce an ordinary person to dust. The tree spirit's protection wouldn't be enough, so take him and leave."
"What about you?" Regarding the Heavenly Retribution and whatnots he caught from Long Zhanye and Lian Xiang's conversation, Qin Jun doesn't understand any of it. However, his instincts tell him that this event will be a thousand times more dangerous than anything he has faced in the apocalypse.
"A large reserve of spiritual power runs through my meridians. Although I cannot block the lightning, I will be able to endure the excess energy. In addition, I have Fu Hua by my side. Leave quickly. Time is precious to Huo Zaiyuan now. One second of waiting is another second closer to death."
"Got it. Be careful." Qin Jun understands the seriousness of this situation. Thus, holding Lu Er in his arms, the doctor leaves as quickly as he can.
Silence falls in the emergency room - no, not just the room, but the entire building. Suddenly, a huge explosion of light erupts from the emergency room. Following that, the dark clouds above rolls and surges as flickers of lightning flashes in the sky. The wind kicks up, becoming fiercer by the second.
On the roof of the military's hospital, a lean figure raises a silver jian to the sky, inversed black scales covering his left cheek and arm as well as the back of his hand. A pair of golden eyes like that of a beast stares fearlessly up at the dark clouds.
"Little brat, best prepare yourself. Don't let the lightning tear your body and crush your bones. Else, when little Yuan wakes up, he will definitely cry. You don't want to make him sad…"
A light "shing" comes from the silver blade, faint silver light emitting from the entire jian. In a flash, it morphs into a small silver dragon.
[Hmph, I should be telling you that. Don't let the lightning crush you. Else when Master awakens, he will be very sad if you are no more than a pile of ashes!]
Sword spirit and dragon both wish to protect that one person, but always find themselves butting heads. Even facing their possible deaths, neither of them forgets to ridicule each other. Suffice to say, just looking at the other fills them with disgust ah!
The Heavenly Retribution is different from the Nine Lightning Tribulations one will have to endure in order to ascend. Instead of nine lightning strikes, the Heavenly Retribution consists only of one. But this one strike has the combined strength of all nine bolts from the Tribulations. Needless to say, it is many times more destructive than the Nine Lightning Tribulations.
A fierce gale rages. Dark clouds roll in the sky, golden light flicking in the middle of the surging mass as a large sphere of energy is condensing into one spot.
Lightning will definitely descend in the split-second the soul is transferred…
Suddenly, all the glass windows in the hospital shatter as a burst of golden light erupts. At the same moment, an earth-shattering thunder booms. Golden lightning descends from the surging dark clouds gathered above, streaking downwards, aiming unerringly for the hospital.
Clothes billowing in the strong wind, Long Zhanye condenses his power, sending it coursing through the silver blade. With a roar, he swings the jian in a diagonal arc. Black and silver rays of light intertwine together in the form of a dragon, shooting towards the lighting bolt.
An immense force explodes outwards as soon as the lightning and dragon collide. Throughout the entire safe zone, every structure is shaken to its foundations by this wave of invisible energy.
Dragon and lightning contend against each other in the skies above, neither giving way. Black scales drop to the earth piece by piece as scarlet blood rains down…
As the black dragon nearly dissipates before their eyes, an abrupt howl rips out of Long Zhanye. The dragon is eventually devoured by the golden lightning. Unobstructed, the bolt pierces through the hospital, splitting it in two and causing the entire building to crumble.