Despite the crashing lightning which surrounded him, the Lightning Ancestor was so shocked he very nearly leaped to his feet.
As Bai Xiaochun inhaled, he sucked in ten lightning bolts. He did so with the utmost caution, and after breathing them in, he unleashed the power of his cultivation base to protect himself from further attacks.
Afterward, it was to Bai Xiaochun’s delight that he found that he could easily break the lightning down inside of him, sending shocking power coursing through his energy passageways.
The ten bolts of lightning were equivalent to ten days of ordinary cultivation!
His eyes began to shine brightly, and he was already panting in excitement. Looking around at the lightning, he no longer seemed scared, but instead, worked up.
“I actually did it!” Reining in the power of his cultivation base, he took another deep breath, this time sucking in a hundred lightning bolts.
From a distance, it looked like numerous glowing dragons roaring and howling as they were consumed by Bai Xiaochun. A healthy flush covered his face as crackling sounds filled him, which came from spiritual power equivalent to a hundred days of cultivation.
That much spiritual power caused his heart to begin to race with excitement. Without the slightest hesitation, he began to work on his Sun-Moon Vast-Sky Incantation. By this point, the outline of a moon was rapidly forming inside of him.
Furthermore, his aura was now much stronger than before.
The Lightning Ancestor watched with a blank expression on his face as this unimaginable scene played out. He had been born and raised in the north, and was a demigod. Back in his glory days, he had called himself the Lightning Ancestor because of his deep and profound skill with thunder and lightning. However, not even he would dare to consume lightning.
He knew better than anyone that the lightning bolts in the Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect were extraordinary, and were reflections of the will of heaven and earth. The destructive power they contained was enough to shatter virtually anything in creation.
Therefore, the scene playing out right now caused his mind to spin, and made it difficult for him to breathe.
“Don’t tell me that I was wrong all along… and the lightning… really can be consumed?” He suddenly wondered if all of his time in incarceration had been a huge lie. Barely able to think straight, he suddenly opened his mouth and tried to breathe in some of the surrounding lightning bolts.
A few dozen bolts entered his mouth, whereupon his eyes nearly exploded. A bloodcurdling scream erupted out, and then he began to shake violently and cough up blood. He only recovered after a long moment passed, whereupon he looked over with hidden bitterness at Bai Xiaochun, who was in the middle of breathing in a third batch of lightning bolts.
This time, he breathed in several hundred bolts… and looked like he was nearly drunk with enjoyment….
The clear difference between himself and Bai Xiaochun caused the Lightning Ancestor’s heart to be slammed by waves of shock. Furthermore, the unfairness of it all almost drove him to madness.
“How could this be happening…? It’s impossible…! I'm a demigod! I'm the Lightning Ancestor of yore….” Even as he descended into madness, the current lightning storm faded away.
After consuming several hundred lightning bolts, Bai Xiaochun could tell that he was almost finished with the first level of the Sun-Moon Vast-Sky Incantation. Licking his lips, he sat down and began to wait eagerly for the next lightning storm.
“This Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect is actually treating me pretty well. They locked me up in a place most people find a torment, but for me… is a truly blessed land!” The more he thought about it, the more excited he got, until he finally stood back up and started laughing out loud.
When the Lightning Ancestor saw that he really wasn’t hurt at all, and that his cultivation base had actually progressed, a wave of excitement rose up in him. Eyes shining, he cried out, “Hey, old pal….”
Eyebrows dancing up and down, Bai Xiaochun looked over and said, “Whaddya want, ya old monkey?”
The Lightning Ancestor’s face twitched at having been called ‘old monkey’, which was obviously payback for how he had called Bai Xiaochun a ‘young buck’.
“So, um… how did you do that, old pal?” The Lightning Ancestor tried to make sure that he was the picture of amiability, as though he didn’t mind being called old monkey at all. After he finished speaking, he simply sat there, looking at Bai Xiaochun with anticipation.
The truth was that he had been locked up in this place for many years, and had seen far too many people killed by the lightning. He had seen some people try to swallow the lightning just the way Bai Xiaochun had, except that they all died as a result. Others had been unable to take the torment, and committed suicide. This was his first time seeing anyone succeed at swallowing lightning. Not only had Bai Xiaochun come out unscathed, his cultivation base had been refined in the process….
“Come come, old monkey,” Bai Xiaochun said proudly, swishing his sleeve. “Can you dance? Do a sexy little dance for me, and if I like it, I might just give you a secret magic that can help you deal with the pain.”
“You!!” the Lightning Ancestor shouted angrily. He was a demigod, and despite having been locked up in prison for so many years, still had his pride. Not even the Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect’s demigod patriarch had ever treated him disrespectfully.
But in response to his anger, Bai Xiaochun glared right back at him.
Veins began to bulge out on the Lightning Ancestor’s face and neck, and his eyes turned as dark as night. A moment passed, and then he stood up and clenched his fists. Although he had long since been drained of spiritual power, he still emanated the pressure of a demigod, which caused rumbling sounds to echo out.
In response, the clouds in the area began to churn and roil, startling Bai Xiaochun to the point where he backed up a few steps. Then the gaunt, almost emaciated Lightning Ancestor took a deep breath, and began to twist and turn according to some peculiar rhythm. There was actually something lithe and elegant to his movements….
Bai Xiaochun’s eyes went wide at the sight of it, and he almost forgot to breathe.
Almost unable to take the sight, he backed up and said wryly, “You’re… you’re really dancing!”
The Lightning Ancestor ignored Bai Xiaochun, continuing to dance for a bit before sitting back down. Then he glanced out at Bai Xiaochun out of the corner of his eye, looking very proud and aloof as he said, “So what? I’ve been locked up here for a long time, and had to come up with some way to pass the time. When I'm bored, I do a bit of dancing. Three circles on the left, three circles on the right, shake those shoulders, shake that butt. What, I'm not allowed to do that or something?”
Upon hearing such a reasonable argument, which was clearly backed by conviction, a look of admiration appeared in Bai Xiaochun’s eyes. All of a sudden, he realized that this Lightning Ancestor was clearly a genius. Most people would go crazy after being imprisoned for so many years, but this old man had figured out a way to pass the time.
“Senior,” he said with complete sincerity, “considering your dancing abilities, I think that after I get free, I'm definitely going to give you a nice collection of medicinal pills.”
At that point, the Lightning Ancestor looked over at Bai Xiaochun with shining eyes. “Alright, cut the crap. You called me an old monkey and I danced for you. Now, are you going to teach me how to consume that lightning?”
Seeing how hard the old man had worked to get what he wanted further increased the admiration Bai Xiaochun felt in his heart. With that, he went on to explain a little bit about the lightning. Leaving out any guesses about Bai Hao, he explained that he had once consumed some heavenly tribulation, and had sensed that it contained life force. That was what gave him the inspiration to consume the lightning bolts here in Lightning Penitentiary.
The Lightning Ancestor didn’t believe that at all, but to his frustration, no further questioning got anywhere. Eventually, another lightning storm built up, and Bai Xiaochun excitedly consumed more lightning and proceeded on with more cultivation. That in turn caused the Lightning Ancestor’s envy to grow.
After ten days passed, Bai Xiaochun had consumed enough lightning to get his Sun-Moon Vast-Sky Incantation to the great circle of the first level. He was now just on the verge of breaking through to the second level.
Finally, the Lightning Ancestor couldn’t take it anymore. Looking over at Bai Xiaochun, he said, “Hey, old pal, it seems to me that the two of us were destined to meet each other here. You know, I can tell that you hate the north quite a bit, and so do I…. We’re essentially allies…. How about you teach me that lightning absorption technique, and I’ll promise to help you take care of the north after we get out. What do you say?”
Bai Xiaochun glanced at the Lightning Ancestor but didn’t respond. Continuing to absorb lightning, he pushed his Sun-Moon Vast-Sky Incantation closer and closer to the next level.
According to his calculations, it would only take a few more lightning storms to achieve his breakthrough!
When the Lightning Ancestor realized that he was being ignored, he gritted his teeth and loudly said, “Listen, my friend, I have a heaven-shaking, earth-shattering divine ability. Want to trade?”
However, Bai Xiaochun didn’t even look over at him, causing his anxiety to mount.
“It’s really an incredible divine ability! It's called the One Hundred Cloud Lightning Forefather Transformations! The Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect has it too, but it’s an incomplete version. Cultivating that version will cause your divine soul to split apart. However, I have the full version, and it’s beyond belief!”
Stunned, Bai Xiaochun looked over at him. “What did you say it’s called?”
“The One Hundred Cloud Lightning Forefather Transformations!”
1. Some of you may remember a very, very similar song from ISSTH. That’s because it’s the same song. Before anybody jumps to the conclusion that it’s a connection between the two novels, let me remind you that it’s actually a very common song in China, usually sung by school children when they exercise in class. For one version of what it looks like, . It’s usage in ISSTH and here is mostly because of the silly factor of the song.