Immortal Ascension Tower
PROLOGUE - The Land of Countless Planes (5/6)
< The Four Divine Kings >
Other moniker/s: ”Kin of the Four Emperors ”, ”Four Divine Kings ”.
As the years passed under Hundredth Xus reign, the children of the Four showed considerable growth even in an era of peace: the four Beasts, each offspring of a Primordial Emperor, would at first be called the Four Divine Beasts solely as a homage to their pedigree.
However then, just like their parents before them, they would themselves earn the title of a Lord amongst their generation, shocking the world and declaring themselves as the Four Divine Kings.
But before then, not long after the birth of their kin, the four Emperors had already disappeared one by one yet again, leaving the affairs of the Heavenly Realm to the Jade Emperor and all matters regarding their children to their consorts.
Experiencing the same abandonment at a relatively young age, the four younglings had inevitably banded together as a result.
The four talented Divine Beasts immediately grew close, even closer than real siblings. Then, as they experienced the expectations of the countless worlds, the brotherly bonds developed into a fiery rivalry, as they spurned each other to get better and better.
Partly because of that, their strength soon soared, shockingly so.
Unlike the parent who had abandoned them, their heritage as kin of Emperors never betrayed them: very soon, countless tales from their meteoric rise had spread among the countless planes.
That would culminate in their victory against Behemoth, the reclusive expert of the Sword Lake Mountains.
The hundred-day plan concocted by the White Tiger is still taught today to aspiring Divine Generals: before them, aside from the unstoppable Emperors who were invincible in their ascent, there had been no records of ”Eleventh Stage ” besting a ”Twelfth Stage ” in a fight.
Just like their parents before then, they became one of indescribably few cases of First Ascension defeating a Second Ascension to date!
[Note from Head Scholar Lao Tse: at the time, Primordials referred to the two major bottlenecks between Realms (between the sixth and seventh stage, and between the eleventh and twelfth stages respectively) as Ascensions.
As such, an eleventh stage would be ”First Ascension ” (nowadays, otherwise termed an Ageless) expert, whereas surpassing the second major bottleneck and becoming a twelfth stage expert would make one a ”Second Ascension ” (Immortal today) powerhouse.
That difference is most often still the case to this day, but the gap between stages was back then ever more insurmountable, especially so in the case of major bottlenecks. As such, the feat of bridging that gap is very much praiseworthy and holds up even in present times… although, of course, perhaps not as rare in the current era that is just coming out of a revolution in cultivation as a whole.]
Other than the fours unparalleled inheritance as the Divine Beasts, the well-oiled machinery that was their uncanny coordination played a huge part in the battle. Each performed their role superbly, a truly flawless execution.
The might of the Black Turtle, comprised of a body gifted with the strength to split mountains, and durability deriving from the lands themselves, eased them into bearing the weight behind most attacks.
The White Tigers vision that borderline foresight, and her innate abilities as the Beast Queen commanding all beasts of prey, allowed the elder sister to bother and thread around her opponent to no end, masterfully controlling the battlefield as only a Divine General could.
Lastly, the mobility and supporting abilities of the Azure Dragon, coupled with the ever increasing destructive might of the flames of the Vermillion Bird, ultimately resulted unbearable as the hundredth day struck.
Each of their inborn strengths played a crucial part in the more than thirteen-thousand steps of the White Tigers hundred-day plan.
Nonetheless, at the time, it had been just the test of mettle they had needed to rise to fame and leave the shadows of the Emperors, neglecting parents of theirs.
In fact, this newfound respect can be seen in a popular saying from that time that went: ”Land shifting, Ancient Beasts assaulting, Oceans surging, Flames reaching the Heavens! Oh Emperors: am I against Kings, or before the World? ”, referring to might that went beyond the wildest expectations.
End of ”The Four Divine Kings ”, an excerpt from ”Records of the Olden Era: an edition for the youth ”, penned by Empirean Scribe Kong Xiu and curated by Head Scholar Lao Tse.
< Divine Earth King >
Other moniker/s: ”Black Turtle and Ebony Serpent ”
Eldest amongst the four beasts, ruler of the earth!
The shield of the group, holding the title of the strongest under the Heavens.
Born as two beings and living as one, they were the proud spawn of an Emperor and Empress Consort who together had reigned over all landmasses of the True Earth, from their surface to their molten core.
As such, be they the lands in the Heavenly Realm or on the many Earths, the Black Turtle and Ebony Serpent came into the world as lords of all ground beneath the countless skies!
They grew up with a particular interest in calligraphy. They were renowned for their use of the land as a canvas […]
End of ”Divine Earth King ”, excerpt from ”Records of the Olden Era: an edition for the youth ”, penned by Empirean Scribe Kong Xiu and curated by Head Scholar Lao Tse.
< Divine Beast Queen >
Other moniker/s: ”White Tiger ”
Eldest Sister, absolute monarch of all beasts of prey!
Due to her heritage and awoken ability, few could refuse her orders once she grasped the means to make use of it. However, things weren always like this: before a chance encounter, she only had her exceptional agility, enhanced senses and incomparable instincts to rely on; mediocre to say the least, especially when compared to her martial siblings.
One day, all that would change: formerly a mere scout and strategist for the team, shed eventually awaken her true power as a beast controller (a talent shed later develop to attain the enviable title and status of General, Divine Gardener), when she was ambushed by[…]
End of ”Divine Beast Queen ”, an excerpt from ”Records of the Olden Era: an edition for the youth ”, penned by Empirean Scribe Kong Xiu and curated by Head Scholar Lao Tse.
< Divine Sea King >
Other moniker/s: ”Azure Dragon ”
The third sibling, ruler of the True Earths Oceans and all its treasures, a titan of the depths!
He passed his youth learning cultivation from the Seven Leviathans -to this day rulers of their birthplace True Earths Seven Seas as Consorts to an Empress- as his loving guardians and faithful retainers.
At times calm and wise, a water surface devoid of ripples, yet others as fierce and emotional as the hurricanes that sink ships and drown beasts.
Noteworthy were his Evergreen Coral Sandals, a gift from the Jade Emperor himself, giving the Sea King the power of going through great distances in the blink of an eye[…]
End of ”Divine Sea King ”, an excerpt from ”Records of the Olden Era: an edition for the youth ”, penned by Empirean Scribe Kong Xiu and curated by Head Scholar Lao Tse.
< Divine Fire Queen >
Other moniker/s: ”Vermillion Bird ”, ”Flame That Schorched Highest ”
The blazing dancer blessed by the highest flames!
The youngest and yet at the same time the most unpredictable of the four: like a flame, she would burn at her brightest the more fuel she was fed. The more powerful the opponent, the more ferocious her blaze.
Ninety-Nine Steps Burn Down The Heavens: the one ability that, after a hundred days, eventually brought down the Behemot. Or rather (with horrifying implications), not quite Ninety-Nine, as, despite the destructive power she unleashed at the time of the winning blow, the true number of steps she had actually taken had amounted to a measly[…]
End of ”The Divine Fire Queen ”, an excerpt from ”Records of the Olden Era: an edition for the youth ”, penned by Empirean Scribe Kong Xiu and curated by Head Scholar Lao Tse.
< Preface: Back when the Heavens were One >
Primordial Emperors and Divine Kings: alongside the birth of the four Kings, generations after generations of beasts would appear under the rule of Hundredth Xū.
After uncountable millennia passed, the new generations had lost most of the otherworldly characteristics shown by the Primordial Beasts. The heavenly aspect in their lineage had been slowly washed away with time, and with it, the right to bear the title of Primordial.
Nonetheless, so long as a single drop of that olden bloodline persisted, theyd remain descendants of the True Heavens: respectfully, theyd still be referred to as Heavenly Beasts.
It was only after uncountable generations more came and the remnants of those bloodlines were diluted to exhaustion: there, entered the picture the lower races of humans, spirit beasts, spiritual plants, and beastkins.
These lower races, so far removed from their ancestors connection with the True Heavens, now couldn even acknowledge the existence of Heavenly, Divine and Primordial Beasts. It was as if a veil was covering their eyes.
Only if they were approached first, or perhaps were bound by strong Karma (the likes of strong enmity or a loving bond from an ancestor, special enough to outlast even the waning of blood), would the Veil be lifted. Even more so for Primordial Beasts, but even the lowest Heavenly Beast would present this trait, even when many other innate abilities were lost along the way.
In time however, some of these lower beings would eventually revolutionize cultivation as a whole. While it would have taken far beyond a mortals lifespan to climb up through a single Stage, let alone the six required to Ascend and extend their life, they succeeded in whittling that time down, bit by bit over the generations. And at last, upon Ascending and stepping into the Realm of the Ageless, the connection to the True Heavens was restored, and the world gladly released the wool from their eyes.
Imagine the surprise, and panic, of those lower beings who would ascended to the peak of their world, only to witness the True world they could never have dreamt of before: countless higher Planes populated by olden beings, and their grand Empire under the rule of a Jade Emperor.
Barely above those lower races, with but a shred of Heavenly Blood in his veins, a certain beast of unknown origin grew up.
His greed for the throne of the Heavenly Realm unparalleled, an ambition only matched by his shrewdness…
Born the weakest, he thirsted most for power.
One day, he swore, hed stand Highest.
End of ”Preface: back when the Heavens were One ”, an excerpt from the work ”Records of the Nine Heavens ”, now banned across the Nine Heavens, penned by an anonymous scholar.
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