Immortal Ascension Tower
PROLOGUE - The Land of Countless Planes (6/6)
< Tian, The New Sky who Split the Heavens in Nine >
Other moniker/s: ”Lord of the Nine Heavens ”, ”Heavens Tyrant ”, ”Usurper ”, ”The Unrecorded ”.
Tian: as youd expect the nameless beast that dared call himself Sky, he plotted to acquire the throne.
No one is fully in the know of how, exactly, he went about doing it. For the stars to align on that fateful night, one couldn even hope to imagine the countless subterfuges, deep scheming and outlandish conspiracies that it must have took. Somehow, it happened. And alas the Jade Emperor, who had long come to see and treat Tian as his own kin, would fall to the most heinous patricide.
Before the peaceful reign of Hundredth Xū, the world had been a land where the winner was King and the loser Thief. At last, it had finally caught up even to Him. His promised Epilogue, a mere chapter for the history books.
And once done absorbing the better part of the Circles remnant might, Tian looked to completely bend even that history in his favor.
Just like only One had ever done before, Tian appeared with the passing of night and cleaved the Heavens in two with his finger. Then he slashed once again, and two made into three. In no time, he had cleaved the True Heavens eight times, carving the Heavenly Realm into one of Nine Heavens. The distant stars dotting the void beyond the True Heaven were obscured, as the nine canopies had appeared in their way: it would only be much later that the Vile would will for fixed lights to be manufactured in their place.
On the backdrop of a breaking dawn, the countless lands whose canopies reflected the True Heaven would witness a lone sun rise and a grieving moon fall; formerly nine each, their eight companions had met Tians finger and now were separated by a gap transcending space.
Primordial Beasts were used to a new strongest rising and falling. The Jade Emperors reign might have lasted millions of years, but the oldest amongst them had lived for billions.
As such, the mighty and most ancient Primordials bowed to Tian there and then, submitting to his rule as compelled by the higher, indisputable Law.
Witnessing even their eldest cowering in powerlessness, all followed suit and pledged their allegiance through Irrevocable Vows. From then on, all Primordials present were doomed, forever unable to fight back.
Not even needing the power of an Emperors Word, the Four Divine Kings were brought before Tian. With the Four Emperors the greatest threat to his rule, their beloved kin were effortlessly subdued and publicly segregated on a flying island in the skies: Worldlords Islands.
Could a true Worldlord even be segregated? What a contemptuous one, this new Sky…
Suddenly, all beings felt a karmic pull as a fearsome existence opened its way into the world of the living.
King Yama was looking to emerge from the depths of the Underworld for the first time in millions of years. And then, as the world intently watched their last bastions step out from the black Gates, the Fifth indeed shocked them.
It turned out he was far from their savior: who better than the grim reaper to bring a chapter to a close?
That morning, King Yama descended the dark steps in solemn silence. And rather than Tians, he would make his way down into the Underworld with the soul of their beloved Jade Emperor in tow.
And with one last bow back to greet the new ruler, the Fifth disappeared right back into the beyond.
The End of an Era. The rise of a new Lord.
Overnight, the Greatest Ruler was felled as a result of his own Love, while a starless Sky had risen in His place.
Needless to say, the Tyrant was reluctant to see anyone rise to challenge his hard-earned hegemony.
Unwilling to see himself following the path of his predecessor, he poured the majority of his power into a fearsome barricade, sealing the countless Daos! Without his permission, be it Primordial, Heavenly or spirit beast, they would henceforth have their Path to the Second Ascension blockaded!
Even those that had already ascended would experience a powerful backlash, a vicious Dao poisoning, were they to tap into their Dao without his permission.
Even as they finally reacted, the Four Emperors found themselves unable to rebel against the new Lord of the Heavens: they could only watch, lest they see countless of their kin get slaughtered, starting with their four most prized offspring held hostage at Worldslords Flying Island.
Furthermore, were they to even attempt reappear into the world, they too would be infected by the Seal.
The Heavens had fallen.
End of ”Tian, the New Sky who split the Heavens in Nine ”, an excerpt from the work ”Records of the Nine Heavens ”, now banned across the Nine Heavens and penned by an anonymous scholar.
< The Martyr of Flame and Ash >
Other moniker/s: ”The Golden Phoenix ”, ”Primordial Empress Consort ”, ”The Blaze that Freed ”, ”Creditor to all that ever yearned for Freedom ”.
A thousand and some hundred-odd years prior to the Evil Saints appearance into the world, one existence couldn hold it anymore.
The peerless Phoenix, Lady Jin Fenghuang.
She was a Primordial Avifauna of great renown, and a fairly infamous one at that.
During the Endless Slaughter she was bequeathed the title of ”Golden ” Phoenix, Jin Fenghuang, as unimaginably more so than even other powerhouses of those eras, her plumage had been dyed the colour of Immortal blood: both her enemies and her own.
Only the Dragon King could ever hope to match her in terms of ichor spilt.
However, lord Blindlights meteoric rise came to a stop eventually when his slothfulness kicked in, and that put an end to his carnage. The blazing Phoenix, on the other hand, never once wavered. From the first day of the bloody conflict to its very end, she fought her way from the peripheries to the very frontlines of all major battles.
To Jin Fenghuang, finding fuel to burn brighter was both a joy and her reason detre.
Hence, her hunt for tinder never once stopped. And eventually, though she never even got close to Blindlights prowess at his apex, her results were just shy of matching his as the billionth day in the battlefield witnessed her rekindling from but embers, and she braced herself for the countless more billions that would follow.
According to popular belief, the Phoenix was born of the only tear ever shed by the Primordial Molten Emperor: at the dawn of the Endless Slaughter, back when He witnessed the ugliness of the world and had decided to retire from it alongside his fellow Emperors, he cried his first, and only, tear of molten blood.
Countless years later, as the conflict was singlehandedly suppressed by the Jade Emperor, the Emperors returned to the world. At that time, Jinghuangs flames caught the eye of the Roc, Primordial Emperor of the Sky, just as they knelt to submit to Hundredth Xū.
It cannot be stated how much her very existence abhorred him.
A crazed warmonger, and the peace-seeking Lord of the Sky. A life of vain Slaughter, and a life fought for the Freedom of all beings under his wings.
After many millennia of butting heads when it came to their vastly different worldview and principles, the two alas reconciled and fell in love.
And as a result, the Divine Fire Queen was born.
[Note by an anonymous scholar, scribbled at the bottom of the paragraph: if this legend holds any weight, the Divine Fire Queen (the Vermillion Bird), technically had the most ancient and powerful bloodline amongst the four Kings, since she had the blood of not one, but two of the Emperors.
Amusingly enough, destiny made her the youngest of the four siblings.]
As the brightest blaze that had come to regard freedom beyond all else under the influence of the freedom-seeking Roc, the Golden Phoenix refused to take Tians tyranny lying down.
Just as all hope seemed to be lost for the countless living beings and Tians seal was on the verge of being assimilated into their soul on the existential level, Lady Jin Fenghuang attempted the impossible: to release the seal bearing down on all beings, to allow them a chance against Tian!
Such a seal, created by the Usurper through the remnant power of the Jade Emperor, was supposed to last through the ages.
Yet, she didn give up: she, with her own restricted cultivation and experiencing the vicious rebound of the curse poisoning her Dao, challenged this seemingly indestructible seal, that had been laid down with the power of the fallen Deity.
And won. Overwhelmingly so.
According to some, this might have been because her talent and latent power, sharpened to no end in the Endless Slaughter, were on par, if not on a higher level altogether, with the Four Emperors themselves.
Consensus today is that her innate traits as the Phoenix came into play then, as even facing the worst the Salughter had to offer, it allowed her to regenerate without fail where anyone else would have long scattered into the wind. That relentlessness had likely weathered down the seal until, at last, it shattered.
With the Seal reduced to specks of broken Laws, Tian experienced a vicious backlash as if his own existence had shattered.
And on the other hand, the Phoenix that so badly yearned to be free had finally regained her freedom…
But gone was the Gold, her plumage now a dull ash. A vitality outlasting a hundred billion sunsets, wrung dry.
As time passed, lady Fenghuang slowly began to fade into her own Dao: her individuality gone with the fatal wound to her essence, the Qi within her body wished to merge back into the world.
Unlike countless times before, the fireplace that had completely went dark was far too spent to hope for a rekindling.
Under barrage from the winds, ash can only be blown away.
And one day, her transparent and faint figure alas…
End of ”The Martyr of Flame and Ash ”, an excerpt from the work ”Records of the Nine Heavens ”, now banned across the Nine Heavens and penned by an anonymous scholar.
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