Why can’t I leave my weapon body? It feels like there’s something restraining me. In fact, there are tiny chains of lightning holding my core in place. At least I can still tell what’s going on outside. I was expecting something different when I teleported Lucia to the Immortal Continent. Something … friendlier. I didn’t expect her to provoke someone’s killing intent for being a squirrel. It’s probably best for Lucia to pretend to be a fox from now on given the circumstances.
All of those people sitting around are at the legendary realm. Except for the man dressed in pure-white robes. He looked a bit like a crane—all he was missing was the long neck … and feathers … and wings … and beak … and webbed feet. He also had arms. You know, I’m not sure why I thought he looked like a crane. Anyway, I couldn’t tell how strong he was, but he certainly wasn’t weaker than the rest. Perhaps he was in the realm above legendary? If so, Lucia’s in for some trouble. It’s a good thing he’s not the one who wanted to kill her for being a squirrel. Hm. Now that I think about it, aren’t his clothes awfully similar to those of some of the people I killed who were trying to steal Lucia’s spirit seeds? Well, it’s a good thing there were no witnesses.
The crane-like man let out a shout as he raised his arms. A white barrier rose out of the ground and covered the crack in the temple’s ceiling. His long hair whipped around as his robes fluttered. He shouted towards the sitting people, “Help me operate the formation!”
The other people hesitated before moving into glowing spots on the ground, sitting with their legs crossed. Energy similar to qi flowed out of them, sucked into the giant white barrier above. The sky screamed as a lightning bolt rained down, striking the white light. The faces of the formation operators turned pale as their breaths deepened.
“Foreign squirrel! This is your tribulation,” the crane-like man said, glaring at Lucia. “Why aren’t you helping us stop it?”
Lucia scratched her head. “Uh. I’m not sure how…. And how do you know this tribulation is mine? I’m not a lightning rod, right? If anything, it’s totally the temple’s fault for attracting the storm.”
Another bolt of lightning, twice as large as the previous one rained down on the barrier, causing a few of the people operating it to cough out blood. The old lady who declared her intent to kill Lucia and the man called Black Devil Shu were standing off to the side. The crane-like man grimaced. “This tribulation is a little stronger than normal. The juniors from the Star Phoenix and Shadow Devil sects, won’t you help out?”
The old lady glowered at Lucia before taking a seat by the crane-like man, sending her qi into the barrier as a strike of red lightning rained down. Black Devil Shu cupped his hands towards the crane-like man and said, “Senior White is an earth-realm expert. Surely, Senior doesn’t need my assistance.”
The crane-like man grunted. Three bolts of red lightning struck the barrier at the same time, cracking it. Everyone spat out a mouthful of blood at the same time, the sound of groaning accompanying the splattering of liquid. Was it just me or did that lightning have killing intent? And that killing intent was clearly pointed at me, not Lucia.
“Whew, good job, everyone,” Lucia said, clapping her hands together once. “You saved the altar. That’s what you wanted to protect, right?”
But Lucia. The tribulation wasn’t finished yet. The storm clouds were swirling around and around, forming a vortex above the temple. Red lightning streaked back and forth across the sky, gathering in the center of the spinning clouds like a ball. Then purple lightning surged towards the vortex from outside of my view, dyeing the ball of lightning black.
“This isn’t a saint-realm tribulation anymore!” one of the operators of the barrier shouted as he climbed to his feet. “If I stay, I’ll die! Forgive me, Senior White!”
“Forgive me, Senior White!”
The ten or so people who were operating the barrier rose to their feet and fled, rushing out of the temple’s entrance. Mm, they were spineless despite having the strength of a legendary-realm expert. Perhaps I should call them saint-realm experts? After all, when in Flusia, do as the Flusians do.
“What about your disciples!?” the crane-like man shouted. His face was flushed, and veins bulged against his skin as a storm of qi flew out of his body, reinforcing the barrier. “If the transportation array is destroyed, how will they return?”
As expected, the people who ran away didn’t respond. Only the old lady and the crane-like man were operating the barrier now, and they didn’t seem to be in good shape. Another two balls of black lightning had formed in the clouds. Does everyone go through a tribulation when they become a saint-realm expert? Maybe it only occurs on the Immortal Continent. It would explain why this man has a barrier specially made to counter tribulation lightning. If one of their disciples broke through to the saint realm inside of our pocket world, then a tribulation would be waiting for them when they came out. Of course, I could be completely wrong, but if I’m right, then this tribulation’s for the three of us: Lucia, Puppers, and me.
And what was Lucia doing? Oh, she was going through all the treasures I stored inside her interspacial ring before I transported us here. And … she took out an instant-teleportation button. She only has three of those, all of them taken from Cain. Lucia wrapped her arm around Ilya’s shoulders and whispered into the poor demon’s ear, “If the barrier breaks, we’re teleporting away.”
“I refuse to run away from a measly saint-realm tribulation!” the crane-like man shouted. He raised both his arms up, and hundreds of shining weapons appeared out of nowhere, surging past the barrier and towards the storm clouds. Like a provoked lion, the tribulation roared in response, sending down the three balls of black lightning at the same time. The weapons and lightning collided.
The crane-like man coughed out another mouthful of blood as all the weapons he had sent into the air were destroyed, but at least, they had destroyed a ball of lightning as well. Then the two remaining balls crashed against the barrier, shattering it and drawing out another mouthful of blood from the crane-like man. The old lady from the Star Phoenix Sect let out a pitiful scream as she exploded. She literally exploded into a bloody mist. Holy crap. If one of those things hit Lucia…! There was still one ball of black lightning left! Dodge it, Lucia! Dodge it! Too bad she can’t hear me.
Lucia stiffened like a frightened squirrel, her arms jerking upwards to her chest like a t-rex. The instant-teleportation button in her hand flew towards the ball of lightning and collided against it. The lightning swallowed it up as it rushed towards Lucia’s head. Doomed. She was going to—the lightning disappeared. …It’s gone? Don’t tell me the button teleported it away. I think…, I think it really did. But the teleportation range on those buttons aren’t very far….
With a thundering crash, the temple’s wall shattered as the ball of black lightning surged towards Lucia once again. Luckily for Lucia, but unluckily for Senior White, Senior White happened to be in the way of the lightning and Lucia. He screamed as the lightning made contact with his body…, and then he exploded, taking the lightning with him.
Lucia stared at the bloody puddles on the ground. One belonged to the old lady from the Star Phoenix Sect, and the other belonged to Senior White. She cleared her throat and looked up at the sky. The tribulation clouds were gone—only a blue sky could be seen. Lucia blinked and pinched Ilya.
Lucia nodded. “So I’m not dreaming.”
“Why’d you pinch me to check if you were dreaming!?” Tears poured down Ilya’s face. “I wish this were a dream! You, you—guah!” She sobbed as she bent her legs and buried her face into her knees.
Oh, the lightning restraining my core was gone. It seems like I can exit mini-DalDal now. That tribulation really was meant for me, huh? Well, it’s a good thing there were some kind strangers willing to help us out. Perhaps this world is friendlier than I thought. …Who am I kidding? Would a friendly world explode people with lightning?