744 The Battle Begins
When Chen Fan came out of his secluded cultivation and returned to Lantai City, he found that Qi Xiu'er was desperately in need of him. Chen Fan had spent over a month in solitude and although the Azure Mystic Sect Master didn't specify a time, it wasn't wise to keep the most powerful man in Kunxu waiting for too long.
"Master, you're finally back. The Azure Mystic Sect Master wants to see you."
Qi Xiu'er hurried to Chen Fan as soon as she saw him.
"Exalted Immortal Chen, my sect master wishes to meet you at Kunwu Mountain whenever you are available." An Earth Level Deity wearing azure robe approached Chen Fan. The vibrant energy he exuded was no less powerful than that of Changhe Sword Immortal.
It was apparent that the Azure Mystic Sect had been doing pretty well over the course of three hundred years.
"All right," Chen Fan answered readily.
The Azure Mystic Sect Master was the most powerful man in Kunxu. Defeating him in public would surely send the right message to the rest of his enemies. Chen Fan might have hesitated to accept the challenge before his secluded cultivation. However, by then, only a Golden Core Cultivator could pose any threat to Chen Fan.
"How about half a month from now? I will visit your sect master at Kunwu Mountain."
The news about the showdown was quickly spread over the entire realm.
Chen Fan's decision had taken the residents of Kunxu by surprise. They didn't expect Chen Fan would actually rise to the challenge.
"Let's go and watch it, the Azure Mystic Sect Master hasn't been in action for over a hundred years, and the last time he was, he sliced open Elephant God Master's Diamond body. On the other hand, Chen Beixuan is also a force to be reckoned with, therefore, this battle is going to be worth the trip."
Everyone knew that this meeting was diplomatic; it was actually a showdown. Both Chen Fan and the Azure Mystic Sect Master would go all in during this battle.
Many sect maters and overlords had gathered around Kunwu Mountain.
The Realm of Kunxu boiled over.
Meanwhile, Chen Fan had found a quiet place to reflect on his recent attainments.
"I have depleted all my herbs and spirit treasures. If I want to continue leveling up, I will need more of those goodies."
Chen Fan let out a wry smile.
The Twelve Sky Art Paintings was a mighty art, but it consumed an extraordinary amount of resources. Chen Fan had only been able to gather two of such paintings on earth; he actually considered himself lucky.
"However, my strength has increased by leaps and bounds."
Chen Fan raised a hand and examined his palm. There used to be faint hair-thin golden threads running under his skin, but currently those threads had grown to the size of a finger and they ran across Chen Fan's entire body. His body was transforming to a state called Golden Body. Buddha had gained a golden body after he had achieved the ultimate enlightenment.
The moment Chen Fan's body was fully painted gold, he would gain the Divine Body's full power.
"Just as my physique refinement has improved, so too were my Divine Soul, True Essence and Level of attainment. My True Essence in particular has increased tenfold."
Chen Fan circulated true essence in his body, and felt the vigorous energy pumping throughout his system.
The ground trembled as if there was an earthquake when Chen Fan's True Essence switched from one state to the other. One time it was the dark Devouring True Essence, a moment later it had turned into golden Thunder Loch True Essence.
In addition to those improvements, Chen Fan's new power also included the Thunder Loch's Divine Power.
The Thunder Loch was an ancient art and was no less potent than the Kun Peng Art. However, Unlike the calm and peaceful Kun Peng, the Thunder Loch was an aggressive Divine Beast.
"Since I have finished the Thunder Loch Painting, I can finally finish the Divine Seal of Five Thunder Essences Magnet."
Chen Fan heaved a sigh of relief.
When he was inside the Deity Burial Valley, he had gained an Essence Magnet Mountain and had planned merging it with the Five Thunder Seal when he was powerful enough. He hoped that the energy inside the Essence Magnet Mountain could boost the level of the Five Thunder Seal so that it could become a Spirit Treasure.
Chen Fan fished out the black Essence Magnet Mountain and merged it with the Five Thunder Seal. The aggressive Essence Magnet Mountain remained docile and quiet in Chen Fan's hands.
A Divine Seal with the shape of a mountain appeared as the two artifacts came closer to each other.
The Thunder Loch Divine Beast wielded the power of thunder while the Essence Magnet also was of the thunder element.
When the merging process was finally complete, flashes of lightning were shot out of Chen Fan's eyes and entered the seal, further intensifying the crackling energy. Chen Fan then broke down the Purple Thunder Blade into its fundamental components and threw them into the thunder seal as well.
The small room was filled with blinding flashes of lightning and deep rumbles of thunder.
A deadliness hung in the air as if a Malicious Beast was about to be born.
Ten days later, just as Qi Xiu'er and the others became worried about Chen Fan again, they saw Chen Fan emerge out of the small building with a hint of regret on his face. Creating the Spirit Treasure was such a challenging task that even with so many Spirit Treasures added into the creation process, Chen Fan could only manage to create a Quasi-Spirit Treasure.
"However, this Quasi-Spirit Treasure is much more powerful than the Purple Thunder Blade. It's almost a Spirit Treasure," Chen Fan thought to himself.
Once greetings were dealt with, Chen Fan and his companions packed up and headed toward Kunwu Mountain.
A battle of epic proportions was about to start.
Kunwu Mountain was the most sacred landmark in Kunwu.
Its peak poked through the sky and emerged at three thousand meters above the clouds. Their path to the top of the mountain became cloudy even before they were halfway there. Rumor had it that one could even touch the Four True Righteousness Winds at the peak.
"Legend says that the God of Kunwu created the Realm of Kunxu. He cracked the land open with his blade and created the Fury Dragon River. After that, he placed the blade at the source of the river in order to tame the waves. Over time, the blade turned into the Kunwu Mountain," Qi Xiu'er said.
They took a boat to travel upstream the Fury Dragon River and arrived at Kunwu Mountain on the third morning.
"Humph. Those are just legends. The Realm of Kunxu is huge, no one could have created it. Plus, how tall do you think the God of Kunwu would have to be, to be able to create the Fury Dragon River with a blade?"
The Princess of the Southern Kingdom snorted.
Qi Xiu'er scowled and grew silent.
She loved to listen to the elders' stories, letting them come alive in her mind. However, no one knew if those stories were real or not.
A wild gale came up.
Chen Fan stood at the bow of the boat; he kept looking at the distant mountain as he fell into deep thoughts.
Chen Fan knew that creating a world was not uncommon among powerful beings in the universe. He had seen with his own eyes how a cultivator who towered a few hundred thousand meters in height created a river with one hack of his weapon.
Even the body of a Kun Peng was the size of a galaxy and could swallow the sun.
However, those who could reach such immense sizes were of Nascent Soul levels if not Soul Formation.
"The God of Kunwu could be a Nascent Soul cultivator if not a Grand Cultivator at the Soul Formation level. He might still be alive since Grand Cultivators can live for eternity. He could still be alive somewhere else, even after the Earth is no more," Chen Fan pondered.
Meanwhile, many factions and families had gathered at the mountain, most of them were traveling on the river.
The mighty Fury Dragon River was filled with all kinds of boats and yachts from bank to bank. There were ships with iridescent sails, and others were dragon-shaped. Some were as long as a hundred meters in length.
The ships blew their whistles, signalling each other about the arrival of a tiny and humble junk boat covered in dark fabric. The mighty fleet was split in the middle, making way for the small boat. Despite the huge waves, the boat traveled steadily upstream and toward the mighty mountain.
Chen Beixuan had arrived!
On a ten meter long black ship, a girl in a black outfit pouted her lips and said, "Is that Chen Beixuan? He looks so… ordinary. Who rides a junk boat anyways? He looks like a half-wit."
The old man beside her pulled a taut face as he replied, "Be careful with your words, Yunmo. Exalted Immortal Chen is a force to be reckoned with. He could annihilate the Black Water Sect with the flick of a finger. We need to keep quiet and stay low for a while after the death of your Uncle-Master in the mortal world."
The girl lowered her head. She remembered her good friend Xiao Wu who had also been killed in the Mortal world.
Many people watched the young man in a black outfit and felt strange emotions in their hearts. They found it hard to reconcile the young man's ordinary appearance with his fame.
Meanwhile, many sect masters felt jealous.
They had cultivated for hundreds of years and only hoped to reach the Earth Level Deity realm. However, Chen Fan had nearly claimed the seat of power in Kunxu at the early age of twenty.
"If he could be victorious in this fight, He may well keep the entire Kunxu under his boots for the following five hundred years," the sect master of the Red Dust Sect lamented.
Many people around her nodded in agreement.
When Chen Fan arrived at the foothill, the Azure Mystic Sect Master had yet to show up. So, he picked a large clean stone to sit down and wait.
Everyone waited with him expectantly.
Swish, swish, swish.
Suddenly, a brilliant light flashed across the sky.
Each flash of light was a sage who lorded over a part of Kunxu. They were either sect masters or elders. They had travelled in splendid ships or magnificent mounts.
However, they got down as soon as they neared Kunwu Mountain in order to show respect to the two mighty combatants.
"That's daddy, he is here!" the Princess of the Southern Kingdom shouted.
A large flying ship floated in the sky.
The ship was decked out with all kinds of gems and precious stones. Looking from afar, it looked like the legendary treasure boat of the Dragon King. Many alluring girls covered with scant clothing bantered amongst each other as they waved salaciously at the crowd. There was a large man in a golden robe with them. It was difficult to tell at first glance that inside the morbidly obese body was an otherworldly sage. He was the lord of the southern kingdoms: the Fire Spirit King.
The Fire Spirit King put on a large smile after he noticed Chen Fan. Then he shouted at him, "Son-in law!"
The Fire Spirit King acted as if his daughter had already married Chen Fan. He even invited Chen Fan to stay on the ship with him, casting a few quick knowing glances at the hot girls on deck.
However, Chen Fan refused.
"Humph… the apple doesn't fall far from the branch."
Qi Qingwei pouted and rolled her eyes.
Suddenly, a blaring roar of thunder was heard in the sky as seven rays of light raced across the space toward Kunwu Mountain. Even before they landed on the mountain, people could already feel the deadly energy they carried.
Everyone's faces became serious as they watched on expectantly.
The Seven Exalted Sects had arrived.
The battle was about to begin.