He was once a monk who prostrated himself before the Buddha in pursuit of scriptures. Before that, he was the Golden Cicada, one of the Buddha’s disciples. However, after he was discovered dozing off during one of Shakyamuni’s sermons, the Buddha cast him down to Earth to live as a mortal. He was finally allowed to return to his former position after overcoming eighty-one tribulations.
He was originally Shakyamuni’s most beloved disciple. When the Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polarity saw him, his assumption that he’d come as a representative of the Buddhist Domain wasn't at all unfounded.
The atmosphere within the great hall changed somewhat after the Golden Cicada's appearance. The Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polarity pursed his lips inquisitively and arched his thick eyebrows.
“You’re here for your apprentice? That’s right, I almost forgot. That pig-man was once your disciple. Now that you mention it, it’s awfully unusual, isn't it? Your eldest disciple is a monkey spirit, your second disciple is a pig spirit, and your third is a fish spirit. Truly fascinating.”
The “pig-man” he referred to was naturally the Canopy Martial. However, calling him something like “pig-man” showed a complete disregard for his feelings.
You could sense his fundamentally arrogant nature in his words. No one else existed in his eyes; he held all others in contempt.
The Golden Cicada stayed calm despite the emperor's insults. He simply replied calmly, ”I'm surprised to see you're still so arrogant even after all these years. Years ago, the Buddha sought to enlighten you and teach you to curb your obstinate nature. Cultivating the Dao of Destruction has made you vicious."
The Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polaritypursed his lips and chortled. "You've said that already. When the Buddha sought me out, weren't you there too? But just who does Shakyamuni think he is? Trying to convert to Buddhism!? Hmph, ridiculous. What kind of person does he think I am? To think he'd try and turn me into a Buddha. What a joke! He wants to take me as his apprentice? That Shakyamuni is rather amusing. Is he worthy?"
Everyone else was beneath his notice.
Even Shakyamuni himself was nothing but a mere, insignificant monk to him.
After hearing someone insult his master like that, the Golden Cicada's expression was somewhat unsightly. Even so, he maintained the pretense of cordiality.
"The Buddha is wise," explained the monk. "He naturally had his reasons for trying to convert you."
"Well, I also have my reasons for not wanting to go to the Buddhist Domain," snorted the Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polaritycontemptuously.
Then he sneered, "Don't try and worm your way into my good graces. Weren't you here to speak up on your disciple's behalf. I'm standing right here. Why don't you show me what you're made of?"
His greatsword, its surface engraved with a blue dragon, lay on the ground. It suddenly started to hum, emanating waves of pressure. The surrounding thirty feet turned into a vacuum. A magnetic field formed inside.
The Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polaritystood proudly in the center of the hall, eyes sparkling like brilliant stars.
He looked down over the crowd, his bearing utterly domineering.
The heavenly soldiers outside the palace waved their fists and shouted their support. The noise was like thunder, deafening. Their collective battle intent, added together, was enough to terrify the immortals within the palace and set their hearts trembling.
These officials weren't warriors. They'd never experienced this sort of situation.
One of the immortals had already started shaking. His eyelids twitched uncontrollably.
"Amitabha. Emperor, you're too vicious," sighed the Golden Cicada softly. "This level of ferocity will harm your foundation sooner or later. Buddhism teaches that ‘the sea of bitterness knows no bounds. You have to turn your head to see the shore.’ Put down your butcher’s knife and become a Buddha. Set aside your ambitions and follow this humble monk to visit the Buddha. You still have room to turn this around.”
"Ha, hahaha......" The Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polarity’s battle intent flooded outward as he laughed disdainfully.
Then his expression darkened as he roared angrily, “I’m sick and tired of listening to you monks prattle on. If you want to fight, fight. If you don’t want to fight, scram. Quit trying to influence my state of mind.”
"Silence," the Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polarity said darkly. He stretched out his right hand and pointed.
A wisp of pitch-black light shot forth, aimed right between the Golden Cicada’s eyes. The monk’s pupils instantly constricted. He put his hands in front of his chest, then was enveloped within an illusory golden bell.
The sound of a bell.
The bell rung rhythmically, like someone reciting scriptures, low and distant.
The immortals in the main hall instantly felt their ears ring. They hurriedly focused their spiritual energy on protecting their ears, just narrowly preventing hearing loss.
Despite their best efforts, after just thirty short seconds, all of their ears were still ringing.
"The Immemorial Divine Bell."
The Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polaritylet out a cold snort. He waved his right hand, blocking the sound of the bell.
“And you’re still saying Shakyamuni didn’t send you? You’re still saying that despite carrying the Buddhist Domain’s ultimate treasure?”
The Golden Cicada dispersed the bell but left his hands in front of his chest. “The Buddha wishes to speak with you,” he said. “He commanded that I bring you to the Buddhist Domain.”
"What a joke. I am here for the highest seat of the Heavenly Court. I don't have time to visit the Buddhist Domain. If that old monk wants to see me, let him come here himself," snorted the Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polarity.
"The Buddha has to remain behind to protect the Buddhist Domain. I humbly request your understanding and ask that you follow me."
"Forget about it. I don't have that kind of time," snorted the Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polarity. He narrowed his eyes but, before even finishing his sentence, noticed a golden bell floating over his head. He had no idea when it got there.
The golden bell fell, imprisoning him within.
“Emperor!” The soldiers outside the palace were stunned. They wanted to rush in and rescue their leader, only to see the Golden Cicada recite scriptures. As he spoke, the golden bell emanated waves of spiritual energy that flung the soldiers backward.
The immortals watched this play out in astonishment. That was the insufferably arrogant Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polarity! He’d suppressed him just like that?
The North Pole Emperor was utterly dumbstruck. He knew full well just how strong his older brother really was.
More than that, though, he feared the Buddhist Domain.
The Golden Cicada had never been much of a fighter, yet he'd been able to suppress the Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polarity with nothing but a golden bell.
"Amitabha. Please forgive my offense,” said the monk. As he spoke, he faced the bell and bowed deeply. “Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polarity, please follow me back to the Buddhist Domain.”
Then he turned to the North Pole Emperor and said, “the Buddha said that a supreme figure instigated the demons’ uprising. Emperor, I hope you will assist the other two realms. I’ll have to trouble you to take care of my apprentice as well.”
"That's only natural. Might I ask what the Buddha intends to do to my elder brother?"
"The Buddha naturally has a plan. You needn't worry about that, emperor.” The Golden Cicada nodded at him and reabsorbed the golden bell. "Then I'll be on my way back.... hmm....."
To his surprise, he found that he couldn’t retrieve the golden bell. He frowned and looked back, then started muttering scriptures. No matter how many he recited, he couldn't move the bell in the slightest.
Someone suddenly started pushing at the bell from the inside. The immortals were stunned. The Golden Cicada knit his brows and continued reciting sutras.
The bell grew and shrunk countless times before the Golden Cicada finally coughed up a mouthful of blood essence, then gazed at the bell in utter astonishment.
Without the scriptures' support, the bell burst open. They could only watch as the Heavenly Emperor of Supreme Polarity stepped forth, his gaze arrogant.
"You want to suppress me? You're delusional!"