Darkness in the Heavens – Chapter 14

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Chapter 14


 ========Authors Notes========== 

Tomorrow is my last day of finals, this week has been really busy. 

As always, thanks to our Patreons 

See you all tomorrow! 

============

 

Almost instantly the Profound Beast Hunters scattered, splitting up in random directions. These hunters from Rayman village were quite experienced, and had been in various dangerous positions before. While facing a 3 Star Profound Beast was extremely out of the ordinary, it was still something many of the hunters felt like they should be able to deal with.

Unfortunately for them, they were vastly underestimating the power a 3 Star Profound Beast held.

In the Floating Cloud Universe, the legendary Star ranking system was something that had existed for millions of years. This universe was extremely old, Dale learned, and filled with life. The Great Inner Sea alone was gargantuan, so large so that Dale could hardly understand it. There were tens of thousands of miles of floating islands spread out, and that was to say nothing of the three, enormous Continental Islands.

Throughout all of these lands, there were only ever three things held in common. The first was the language. The second was transaction currency, something Dale learned was called “Energy Shards.” The third, and final thing common was how each nation ranked things.

In terms of power, no matter how strong or weak someone was, they could always be ranked on the Star ranking system. From 1 Star to legendary 7 Stars.

Dale’s cultivation level brought him to the bare minimum of the 1 Star level, much like Lei Bao, the strongest hunter in the village. He was just barely qualified to rank among this world’s experts.

However, the difference between a single Star, Dale learned, was massive. It would not be wrong to say that a person barely at the 2 Star rank could easily defeat someone at the very peak of the 1 Star rank. The difference between the two, even though it was just a slight realm, was enormous. The same went for each Star level.

Dale had previously fought with a beast that was at the 4 Star level, though he didn’t know it. Thanks to his Divine Ability, as well as his incomparably powerful body, and adding to the fact that the powerful beast had been badly wounded already, Dale had managed to defeat it. In terms of battle strength, that specific Qilin combined with the wounds it suffered had been fighting at a level that could just barely be considered a 3 Star Profound Beast.

Thus, despite Dale’s cultivation level, his battle power placed him roughly in the range of a 3 Star expert. This was an extraordinarily high level for someone his age that wasn’t born into wealth or power.

The Crystal Bamboo Bull crossed the distance between itself and the Profound Beast Hunters and Dale in just a couple seconds. The golden wool that covered the enormous bull stretched as it slammed its legs forward towards the nearest Profound Beast Hunter, powerful energy writhing around its blow.

The Profound Beast Hunter that was targeted yelled in terror as he watched the bull slam forward to attack, moving too quickly for any of them to react.

Any of them save Dale.

As soon as he heard the words “3 Star” Dale immediately began to draw energy from his Titanic Sea, preparing himself. As soon as he saw the Crystal Bamboo Bull blur forward, he activated his Divine Ability, Titanic Transformation. Despite his near instantaneous activation of his power, Dale was still too slow to reach where the bull was charging, its powerful speed simply too fast.

Dale’s skin and muscles bulged, expanding and then rapidly densifiying as his body transformed. Raw, ancient powerful energy flowed through Dale’s veins, giving him a strength his regular body had never known. His skin flowed together and tightened, turning into a dark, midnight black.

In terms of power, if Dale did not have his Bloodline Inheritance, specifically the Divine Ability, Titanic transformation, he would have been unable to match up with a 3 Star Profound Beast.

Dale had learned from Scholar Shen that the early Star rankings were ranks that could be separated by quantifiable measures. The first three Star levels could be easily broken down in terms of strength.

A 1 Star cultivator could unleash 10,000 pounds of force.

A 2 Star cultivator could unleash 100,000 pounds of force.

A 3 Star cultivator could unleash 1,000,000 pounds of force.

Beyond that, the Star ranking became less and less easy to understand. The 4th Star Rank, Dale learned, wasn’t reliant on pure brute strength. Instead, at the 4th Star Rank, experts of this level were all able to transform a small portion of their cultivation energy into imitation natural energy. Natural energies, the powers that could only be manipulated via Laws, were all extremely powerful, even the weakest kind. For a cultivator to be able to transform part of their own cultivation energy into even an imitation of natural energy, this was not a simple thing. It took an incredible level of understanding, and was something all advanced cultivation arts took part in.

The 5th Star Rank was even more mysterious. After a cultivator reaches whatever level in their specific cultivation art to allow them to transform their energy into natural energy would naturally begin to consolidate their entire cultivation. They would go through a process of transforming their entire cultivation base into an imitation natural energy base. Once one achieved this level of enlightened growth, a cultivator would gain the ability to soar through the air, unhindered. Because their cultivation energy will have fully transformed into a natural energy imitation, cultivators gain some degree of control over their natural element, and can use this control to allow themselves to fly.

As for 6th and 7th Star rankings… Dale wasn’t told what they would entail. Scholar Shen told him he would find out what those rankings meant when he reached a high enough level of strength.

Pure, brute strength alone could only allow one to reach the 3rd Star rank, which Dale managed to achieve through his own powerful body and the Divine Ability he inherited from his Titan ancestors. His cultivation base alone, Dale’s Gold Core only added around 10,000 pounds of strength to his blows, a negligible amount. Dale’s main uses for his Core were to activate his techniques, using his cultivation energy for his Shatter Steps movement technique. As for other techniques… he couldn’t use his Time techniques till he grew stronger due to the rigid laws of this universe. His Aura techniques, on the other hand, were something Dale could use with ease.

Thus, when the Crystal Bamboo Bull attacked one of the Profound Hunters from Rayman village, moving at a speed Dale couldn’t intercept, Dale tapped into the Draconic Sea he had reformed, intending on using an Aura based attack.

Immediately, Dale’s aura changed. From one that was pure, raw Titan fury, it now became a mix of Draconic and Titanic power. The two Auras seemed to clash violently with each other and then combine, giving off an extremely oppressive Aura. The combination of the two powers was such that they became more and more overbearing. These two types of energy were completely incompatible. Yet, Dale combined them somehow regardless.

Immediately, a new Aura formed from the combined techniques. Dale mentally gasped as he felt this new Aura form, astonished by its forbiddingness.

Dale’s Titan Aura was something that formed when he activated his Divine Ability, Titanic Transformation. Dale’s body would transform and then give off an air of oppressive power. His transformation strength was tied to how large his Titanic Sea had grown, and right now it was strong enough to boost him all the way to the 3 Star level from the 1 Star level. Technically, Dale’s extremely powerful body placed him in the beginning stages of the 2 Star level, but very few people trained their body’s to the level where Dale’s was at. Instead, they relied upon their cultivation base to strengthen themselves. Thus, he could be considered an anomaly.

When Dale drew from his Draconic Sea, he activated his Dragon God’s Overbearing Aura Art to use the energy. Naturally, like its namesake implied, Dale gained a powerful Draconic Aura when he used this Art. This Art was famed for its overbearing and powerful Aura. While Dale wasn’t able to activate any special techniques or gain much power from the Art, seeing as his Draconic Sea was so small, he could still use it for Aura techniques.

Dale’s Titanic Aura emitted the force and pressure of a 3 Star cultivator. When Dale drew from his Draconic Sea, the force of his Aura didn’t change, however, and it remained at the 3 Star level. This was because he was focusing the energy he drew from his Draconic Sea on forming into an Aura based attack. If Dale focused his entire Draconic Sea into spreading out his Aura, he had the feeling the pressure he could emit would be enormous.

However, right now what Dale needed was to save the Profound Hunter that was being attacked.

The Crystal Bamboo Bull was less than 10 meters away from the Profound Beast Hunter at this point. Dale had only taken a fraction of a second to draw upon his abilities, and in that fraction of a second, the 3 Star Profound Beast had already closed such a great amount of distance. The force of strength in its legs was clearly superior to Dale’s own, placing it somewhere above him in the 3 Star ranking.

Dale’s attack speed, however, was even faster.

With a powerful punch, Dale combined the Draconic Aura energy with his Core energy in a rippling wave, unleashing one of the basic Aura techniques he had mastered.

The Draconic Aura energy supplied by Dale’s Draconic Sea allowed Dale to extend and expand an Aura attack in any direction for nearly 30 meters, letting Dale strike from a distance. Dale’s Core energy connected the Aura attack with his body, allowing Dale to transmit not only his cultivation energy, but also the force of his physical body, a body that was much stronger than his level of cultivation.

Dale let loose with a basic strike from his Basic Heavy Fist Art, the Heavy Punch. This technique was extremely simple, but also very powerful. All Dale did was combine all of his strength into a single strike and transmit it into the air using his Aura energy.

A flash of green light blasted out as a green fist of energy blasted forward out of Dale’s punching hand, shattering through the air. This ball of green energy was only vaguely shaped like a fist, and resembled a simple sphere more than anything else. The power this sphere emanated, however, was no joke.

Just as the Crystal Bamboo Bull was about to slam its right foreleg down on the Profound Beast Hunter, the green sphere of light from Dale’s fist collided with its fore leg.

A rending sound shook the air and a small explosion of light blasted out as the two attacks collided. Dale was knocked back a few steps, but otherwise uninjured. The Profound Beast Hunters continued to scatter, dodging backwards and away. The Profound Beast Hunter that was almost attacked was sent flying through the air, over the edge of the island. The man’s eyes glazed over and he was covered in small wounds, unconscious but not dead.

“Grab him!” Dale yelled out as he turned to face the Crystal Bamboo Bull, not letting his concentration slip. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Lei Bao fling after the now unconscious Hunter, his rope moving fluidly in the air.

The Crystal Bamboo Bull was only knocked back a half dozen feet by the collision of Dale’s sphere and its foreleg. It wasn’t wounded in the slightest, despite the roughly million pounds of force attack it suffered. The ground beneath the bull, however, was fractured, rocks and debris sticking up from the floating island.

ROAAAAAAARR!

The Crystal Bamboo Bull reared backwards and roared mightily, emanating a powerful energy again. Earthly power surrounded it as it began to charge, fierce energy waving off from it.

Dale charged right towards it, head on. He unsheathed Aarsasho as he ran towards the bull, manipulating the blade’s weight so it became extremely heavy.

The Crystal Bamboo Bull moved at an incredibly fast speed. It was easily two to three times faster than Dale would be using his Shatter Steps technique at full strength. Its speed was absolutely incredible.

Dale mentally admitted that in terms of movement speed, he was no match for the creature. He adjusted his strategy as he launched forward, intending to take advantage of the fact that his blade was very heavy.

Aarsasho, Dale’s giant claymore, again had the unique ability of him being able to manipulate its weight. He could make the weapon weigh up to 1,000 pounds, a fearsome amount. Dale felt, however, that the weapon was much too light in his hands, the strong claymore not heavy enough for his incomparably strong body. No matter how much he changed the weight, it would always feel as if it weighed only a slight amount.

The Crystal Bamboo Bull crossed the distance between Dale and itself in a bare second, landing next to Dale in a fury of shattered earth. Instead of using its legs to attack, the bull used its powerful horns, slamming its head down at Dale.

Dale desperately ducked and brought Aarsasho up, feeling the claymore clash against the horns. Sparks flew as the two objects collided, one a pair of crystal clear, long and robust horns, the other a long, old claymore Dale had had with him for years. As Dale swung his sword forward, he also tapped into his Draconic Sea and imbued some of his Aura into the attack, sending it down towards the neck of the bull. He activated his Perfect Balance as he moved, feeling the knowledge of everything within a couple of hands reach of himself come into his mind. This allowed him to precisely guide his attacks.

CRAAACK-TWING!

Dale felt his body slam into the ground of the floating island and sink in a foot, the earth behind him cracking. His arms and legs creaked as the two blows collided, a massive amount of force slamming into each being. Dale felt as if his entire body was shaken, the powerful blow smashing him down.

The Crystal Bamboo Bull, on the other hand, was blasted backwards a few steps, and paused as if looking around dizzy. Dale’s body, when combined with his Divine Ability, Titanic Transformation held an incredible more than a million pounds of force in it. When Dale combined this with his ability to launch a surprise attack using his Draconic Aura, this gave him a lot of versatility.

When the bull had struck at Dale with its horns, Dale’s Aura had attacked it from the side, knocking against its head. Because of how his Aura worked, Dale was able to imbue roughly half of his attack force inside the Aura attack. The other half he kept, using it to defend against the bull’s attack.

No matter how powerful a Profound Beast was, Dale knew that all creatures were weak to unexpected attacks to the head. By slamming a blow against the side of any being’s head, you could jostle that creature, stunning or dizzying them.

The Crystal Bamboo Bull was a 3 Star Profound Beast, however. It had a powerful cultivation base that combined with its already fast and sturdy body to make it quite a threat. It remained stunned for only a couple of seconds.

In that couple of seconds, however, Dale instantly attacked.

Moving his body with supreme grace, Dale dashed forward, using his Shatter Steps technique to take advantage of the Crystal Bamboo Bull’s moment of weakness.

The ground beneath Dale exploded as he launched forward, appearing next to the bull in less than a second. Dale stroke the Titanic energy powering his transformation, feeling raw fury and strength well up in him. His Titanic and Draconic combined Aura roared forth as Dale swung down with Aarsasho, his blade aimed towards the powerful defensive fur that covered the Crystal Bamboo Bull.

Dale’s arm dropped down like a meteor and slammed against the golden fur that protected the 3 Star Profound Beast, fur that was famed for its defensive properties, and sheared through it like a knife through butter, slicing the Crystal Bamboo Bull cleanly in two.

 

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ciclonzmr
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ciclonzmr
4 months 18 days ago

Thanks for the chapter.

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