Two beams of light, one formed of lightning, the other fire, cut through the sky, leaving two faint trails in their wake. Countless auspicious clouds followed hot on their heels.
“Uncle Thunder, what were you saying just now? Why didn’t I understand it?”
Little Nezha stood atop a set of wind and fire wheels. He blinked his big eyes. If any of the lovely ladies of the Immortal Court saw his adorable shota face right now, they’d definitely want to pamper him.
“You said my dad is in danger? Why? If the Underworld is in trouble, shouldn’t we go help them?”
“If the Underworld is in trouble, we really should help them. However, the problem is that we’re in trouble too now.”
The air around the God of Thunder crackled with electricity. He’d already poured all of his spiritual energy into rushing back to Heavenly King Li’s side as fast as he possibly could.
The Underworld had changed.
Everything had changed so suddenly, there was already no need to even wonder about the details.
They’d arrived at the designated time but didn’t see anyone from the Immortal Region. It was completely possible that the Immortal Region was in roughly the same situation as the Underworld.
Why did he say Heavenly King Li was in trouble?
Assuming he remembered everything correctly, the Count of Wind and Lord of Rain were once friends with Chiyou.
If everything was as he thought, then the Count of Wind and Lord of Rain had already pledged allegiance to the demons. When he and Nezha were there, their side’s military force was stronger than the Count of Wind’s. Therefore, the Lord of Rain, that geezer, didn’t dare show his face.
That’s why the Count of Wind intentionally provoked them into leaving…..
“I can’t believe I fell for that old bastard’s scheme.”
The God of Thunder clenched his fists despite himself, then said no more. Instead, he poured all his strength into rushing forward as fast as he could.
The Seven Treasures Pagoda collided with the Count of Wind’s flexible sword, then flew back into Heavenly King Li’s hand.
Heavenly King Li’s chest heaved violently. His war robe was already damaged in numerous places
He clenched his chest and breathed heavily, veins bulging in his neck and forehead. A golden rope was tied around his right wrist. A black line spread from his wrist, up his arm and towards his chest.
Eyes bloodshot, Heavenly King Li knelt to the ground. Then he formed a seal with his right hand and tossed the Seven Treasures Pagoda high into the air.
It floated in the sky and instantly grew until it was a thousand feet tall. Its pitch-black base was pointed directly at the Count of Wind and Lord of Rain.
The Pagoda swallowed the heavens and the earth.
Its mighty consuming force lifted rocks and ripped ancient trees from the ground, pulling them into the tower. The heavenly soldiers currently fighting were swallowed up as well
However, even in the face of its all-consuming might, the Count of Wind and Lord of Rain stood their ground.
“How is this….”
Heavenly King Li was shaken. His Seven Treasures Pagoda could suppress both demons and immortals, from immortal kings down to the early-stage body refiners. No one could escape.
Yet the Count of Wind and Lord and Rain stood directly beneath it. They showed no signs of being swallowing up.
Heavenly King Li hacked up a mouthful of fresh blood. The golden ropes on his wrist could no longer restrain the black lines snaking up his arms. They rapidly pushed their way upward and towards his chest.
“Heavenly King Li, I warned you earlier,” said the Count of Wind, his bony hands stroking his chin as he spoke. “You can’t activate your spiritual power carelessly anymore. The more power you use, the closer you are to death.”
Heavenly King Li looked at his arm, expression pained. He didn’t hesitate.
An immortal blade popped into his left hand. He hefted his sword, swung with all his might, and chopped his right arm right off.
Fresh blood burst forth.
As the wound in his shoulder bled profusely, Heavenly King Li hurriedly sealed the pressure points in his shoulder.
When the Count of Win and Lord of Rain saw this, they froze in astonishment. They hadn’t expected Heavenly King Li to be so decisive.
He cut off his own arm.
You ought to know: the cost of regrowing immortals’ body parts was awfully high, especially for widely-worshipped figures like themselves.
“Ol’ Li, was that really necessary?”
The Count of Wind’s eyes suddenly revealed a hint of melancholy but also admiration. To tell the truth, in Heavenly King Li’s shoes, he wouldn’t have that kind of courage.
Their goal was actually rather simple. They simply wanted to stall Heavenly King Li.
The Heavenly Court’s defenses were currently weak since they’d sent their main military force out to surround the demons. Of their heavy-hitters, only the Canopy Marshal and the Curtain-lifting General remained behind to defend the fort. The others were small fries, unworthy of consideration.
They wanted to seize this chance to defeat the few people remaining in the Heavy Court.
The Count of Wind and Lord of Rain only needed to stall Heavenly King Li and the others briefly. That’s why, the moment Heavenly King Li let his guard down, they took the opportunity to poison him.
This poison’s effect was fairly simple. It wouldn’t harm you in the slightest so long as you didn’t use your spiritual power. However, if you used your power excessively, the poison would spread, starting from your right arm, and head directly towards your heart.
When it reached your heart, you’d die.
Fearsome as this poison was, Heavenly King Li would be completely fine if he held still.
They had no desire to fight him. All they wanted was to delay him for a while.
They never would have guessed he had such a stubborn nature.
“‘Was that necessary?’” One-armed Heavenly King Li reached out with this left arm. The Seven Treasures Tower flew straight into his hand. He stared intently at the Count of Wind and Lord of Rain, then snorted, “Why did you betray the Heavenly Court? Why did you join the demons? The Jade Emperor was kind to you all those years ago. He granted you formal titles as higher immortals and has always treated you well. Yet now you want to rebel against him?”
“Ol’ Li, we had no other choice.” The Count of Wind let out a melancholy sigh. “I know we can no longer face the Jade Emperor but there was truly nothing else we could do. ‘A wise man changes with the times.’ The demons are truly powerful. Do you really want us to throw our lives away, like mantises trying to stop a chariot?”
“‘Changing with the times?’ Fine,” Heavenly King Li snorted in contempt. “That said, they don’t seem all that strong to me. Weak-willed turncoats like you have been responsible for all their success so far.”
“Ol’ Li, you don’t get it at all,” said the Count of Wind, his weather-worn face grave. He looked up into the sky as if trying to see right through it.
“Surely you’ve considered why neither the Immortal Region nor the Underworld arrived on time?”
Heavenly King Li’s body shook. Even the hand clenching the Seven Treasures Pagoda trembled.
“I never would have guessed the demons possessed such ability. They infiltrated all three Holy Lands? It seems you’ve been planning this for a long time now. Quite a few of our heavenly generals have died recently. That was your doing, wasn’t it?”
“It was,” said the Count of Wind. He made no effort to defend himself. “We truly have been planning this for a long time. But think about it…. How could the demons possess the ability to single-handedly stir up trouble in all three realms? Could they manage it on their own?”
“Hmph. That’s your business. It has nothing to do with me,” said Heavenly King Li. “I know nothing about the demons’ abilities. Are you trying to tell me that there’s actually someone backing the demons? A human god? A demon god? A yao god? Surely you aren’t going to try and tell me it’s the Primordial Lich Clan supporting them?”
“And what if I did?” the Count of Wind replied, straight-faced. His tone left Heavenly King Li momentarily speechless. Soon, though, the moment passed.
“Even if that were true,” he snorted, “I still have to execute you traitors.”
With that, the Seven Treasures Pagoda in his hand suddenly started to shake violently.
“Seven Treasures Pagoda, Pagoda of Seven Treasures, Pagoda’s Sixth Floor!”