Bai Xiaochun was more than a little surprised. He knew of this divine ability, and had personally fought against it; it was Master Cloud Lightning’s trump card. After combining into his united form, he had used the eighth transformation to become the forefather of all humanity, which was the first time that Bai Xiaochun’s Undying Emperor’s Fist had ever been defeated.
That memory remained fresh in Bai Xiaochun’s mind, and in fact, he often thought about that technique, which had been used against him. Sadly, it was a secret magic of the north that was never passed on to foreigners. Besides, even among northerners, the people who qualified to cultivate it could be counted on one hand.
And yet, contrary to all expectation, this old man said that the technique actually encompassed one hundred transformations. Bai Xiaochun very nearly gasped as a result, but managed to keep his true reaction concealed. Glaring over at the Lightning Ancestor, he said, “Who do you think you’re fooling, you old monkey? Do you think I've never seen the Cloud Lightning Forefather divine ability before?!”
The Lightning Ancestor blinked a few times. However, he didn’t show any of the embarrassment he might have if he had been trying to pull a scam. Actually, he had hoped that the name of the technique would attract Bai Xiaochun’s attention. Smacking his forehead, he laughed dryly and said, “I’m getting old, and my memory isn’t what it used to be. I just remembered that it’s actually the Eleven Cloud Lightning Forefather Transformations. I'm definitely not mistaken this time. It has eleven transformations!”
In order to prove that what he was saying was completely and utterly trustworthy, he went on to add some more information.
“The first nine transformations allow a cultivator to form a Dharma Idol of the forefather of all humanity. Then they can merge with that Dharma Idol to become the forefather. The tenth transformation turns one’s left eye into a shining moon, and the eleventh transformation, which is the most shocking of all, turns the right eye into a blazing sun!
“Although there are eleven transformations, the final two transformations are far more powerful than the others. In fact, they each have an additional three levels of transformation power. That means that if you cultivate the technique in its entirety, it essentially has the power of seventeen transformations!”
By this point, Bai Xiaochun was completely stunned, and his heart was racing.
“The Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect coveted my technique,” the Lightning Ancestor continued, “and used contemptible means to steal it from me. However, they never got the final two transformations. In fact, that's why they imprisoned me here, in the hopes of getting them.” As of now, he could see that Bai Xiaochun was intrigued, and therefore he went on to brag a bit more. As to whether his boasting was truthful or not, only he could tell.
Bai Xiaochun wasn’t very convinced that the Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect would imprison this person just to get two transformations. There were simply too many methods that could be used to extract such information. For example, they could put a person like Bai Xiaochun into the prison as a mole, and fool the Lightning Ancestor into giving up the information willingly.
But he was still intrigued, especially by what the Lightning Ancestor had said about the eleventh transformation… that it could transform the left eye into a bright moon.
“I cultivate the Sun-Moon Vast-Sky Incantation, but it’s incomplete…. It only contains the moon incantation. If I could break through to the great circle, I could get my cultivation base to the mid Deva Realm…. But that’s impossible, since it’s incomplete.
“But this eleventh forefather transformation… has to do with a moon. I wonder if I could combine them….” Having reached this point in his train of thought, his heart began to beat even faster. Although he couldn’t be sure of whether or not it would work, he decided that he had to try.
However, he also realized that he couldn’t let that show. This old monkey had been locked up for long enough that his brain seemed to be a bit addled, but he was still a demigod expert, after all.
Getting the technique from him would come at a price, and Bai Xiaochun knew that if he wasn't careful, he could end up with a flawed version. If that happened, it could cause problems for his cultivation base. Furthermore, he had no idea how exactly he was able to consume lightning, and therefore had no way to pass that information on to the old man as payment….
“I need to convince him that he doesn’t need the technique itself, only the spiritual energy….” Since it was impossible to pass on the lightning consuming technique, he would need to think of a way to take the energy of heaven and earth that he had absorbed and transfer it to the Lightning Ancestor.
The key to that would be to alter the structure of the lightning. Ignoring the Lightning Ancestor, he continued consuming some lightning, and worked on a way to do just that.
The Lightning Ancestor waited for some time, but when it became clear that Bai Xiaochun wasn't very interested, he began to get more anxious.
Another seven days went by. Bai Xiaochun continued to work on his cultivation, and his aura continued to grow more powerful. The endless amount of lightning bolts in the Lightning Penitentiary were the perfect fuel for cultivation, and over the week which had passed, he had consumed well over ten thousand bolts.
A quick calculation revealed that he had already accomplished a whole sixty-year-cycle’s worth of cultivation. It was so shocking that he almost couldn’t believe it was true.
“The Nine Heavens Cloud Lightning Sect is truly the ultimate land of good fortune for me!” At this point, his Sun-Moon Vast-Sky Incantation had reached the great circle of the second level.
“At this rate, it will only be half a month… before I break through to the third level, and reach the peak of the early Deva Realm!!” He was so excited that, even if the demigod patriarch of the sect came to free him, he would definitely come up with a way to make sure he stayed locked up.
“In fact… if I can break out of the third level, then my cultivation base should reach the mid Deva Realm!!”
“If I reach the mid Deva Realm, then Master Cloud Lightning wouldn’t count for crap against me!! And that numbskull Feng Chen couldn’t touch me. I wouldn’t even be scared of all of the northern devas put together!” His eyes glittered as he imagined that glorious scene, and then he mused about how much he had fallen in love with this lightning.
Another thing he had worked on was the ability to remove the destructive power of the lightning and leave behind only the spiritual energy. So far, he was only able to succeed with one out of ten lightning bolts, and even that was difficult.
Meanwhile, the Lightning Ancestor sat there watching the excited Bai Xiaochun’s aura get stronger and stronger as he consumed the lightning bolts. Eventually, he couldn’t hold back any longer.
“Hey, old pal….” he said. “Come on, why don’t we trade techniques? You teach me how to consume the lightning, and I’ll teach you the Eleven Cloud Lightning Forefather Transformations!”
“Not interested!” Bai Xiaochun replied, not even looking over as he continued to consume lightning bolts.
“This is a classified secret magic!” he said anxiously. “There are only a few techniques in all of the lands of Heavenspan that can compare to it!”
“I said I’m not interested. Can you quiet down a bit? Don’t even think about getting my lightning consuming technique. There’s no way!” Frowning in annoyance, he continued to work on absorbing lightning.
The Lightning Ancestor was so angry he almost started blurting out curses. In fact, he had already decided that he would try to get Bai Xiaochun to unwillingly cultivate his transformation technique in a way that would get him to split into two parts. However, on the outside, he could only continue to smile. By this point, he had come to the conclusion that it wasn’t so much that Bai Xiaochun wasn’t interested in his technique. Rather, he prized his lightning consuming technique so much that he wasn’t willing to trade it for anything.
And he had nothing else to bargain with. Gritting his teeth, he said, “If you can’t give me the technique, can you… maybe pass some of the energy of heaven and earth over to me? I’ll trade my technique for that!”
Bai Xiaochun’s heart immediately began to pound. However, he continued to pretend to be disinterested. The Lightning Ancestor continued to pepper him with questions, though, until he finally waved his hand, causing one of the lightning bolts to sweep through his body, dispelled its destructive nature, and then returned it to the palm of his hand.
“I'm somewhat interested in that technique of yours, but I don’t have the time to cultivate it now. You want some consumable lightning, right? Here, take a bolt. And then shut up, keep quiet, and don’t bother me.”
A rumbling sound echoed out as the bolt of lightning he had just cleansed passed through the restrictive spell and shot toward the Lightning Ancestor. The Lightning Ancestor was stunned. Never could he have imagined that the spiritual energy he had worked so hard to get would be thrown over to him so casually. In fact, he didn’t even need to give up his technique to get it, just leave Bai Xiaochun alone.
There was no time to contemplate the matter at length right now. He could tell that there was something different about this bolt of lightning, and therefore, he quickly breathed it in. Instantly, cracking sounds rang out as his parched insides were suddenly enlivened. Although there wasn’t much spiritual energy in the lightning bolt, it had been 10,000 years since he had absorbed even the slightest bit. To him, it was such a beauteous thing that he immediately began to shiver.
“Hey, old pal….”
“Can you please just stop annoying me!? Argh!!” Looking very angry, Bai Xiaochun threw over another lightning bolt.
Worried that he would irritate Bai Xiaochun too much, the Lightning Ancestor quickly absorbed the lightning and then kept his mouth shut. A few more days passed, but Bai Xiaochun never even looked his way, causing his anxiety to grow.
If he hadn’t been given any of the spiritual energy to begin with, he might have continued to be jealous, but would have been able to control himself. But now, having tasted the sweet taste of that energy, his thirst was growing more and more intense.
“Um….” he began cautiously. Bai Xiaochun looked over with a glare and threw him another bolt of lightning. And that was how the following several days went.
Eventually, it reached the point where Bai Xiaochun had given him eight lightning bolts. The Lightning Ancestor’s desire mounted, and he came to be more and more convinced that Bai Xiaochun really didn’t care about the divine ability.
If he did, why would he never say anything about it? All he asked was for silence. From the way Bai Xiaochun threw the lightning bolts out, it was like he was a rich moneybags, and the Lightning Ancestor was a beggar.
During the time that passed, Bai Xiaochun reached the third level of the Sun-Moon Vast-Sky Incantation. His aura was now more powerful than ever, and finally, he began to think about the Lightning Ancestor’s Eleven Cloud Lightning Forefather Transformations.
One day after just having thrown out another lightning bolt, he casually said, “Hey, old monkey. Tell me more about this supposed One Hundred Cloud Lightning Forefather Transformations or whatever it is that you’re always bragging about.”