Chapter 39:

Advancement

Mad God


Not far away, on a wooded meadow, the fairies were flying from flower to flower, chased by their young, freshly born little butterflies. With the help of humans, the gorillas were building up stone and wooden houses, helped out by the rest of the young chimpanzees. They learned fast from them and soon were able to wield any tools the humans brought and started to make their own houses, while some fairies were happily assisting, carrying it for them or just bringing refreshments.

“Pretty incredible seeing them work together,” Feynor said, standing at the edge of the new, emerging town.

“Not really; I’d bet further up north, there are cities made or repurposed by others. They are not animals anymore; they just need a little push! Look, since meeting with us, the fairies have taken a liking to our clothes.” Ren smiled as most adult fairies wore freshly made, human-like clothing, be it shirts, shorts, or skirts, especially if they were decorated and could swirl around the air as they flew.

“Because they look pretty!” Rem giggled as she flew up to her, sitting down on her head, wearing a white skirt and a similar blouse.

“Sure, they do look great on you! How’s the tribe?” Ren chuckled, happy to see her.

“Good! Everyone is so happy now! The big ones were scary when they came, but they were nice! Friendly! And fluffy! It’s good to hug them!” She said merrily as some of the gorillas had tiny fairies hugging off of them as they slept, nestling up to their furs, seemingly not bothered by it even while they were working.

“Glad to hear it. Shaman should arrive soon; you will have another group joining you.”

“We will become good friends!” Rem laughed innocently, clapping happily.

It was close to nightfall when Shaman arrived, with both tribes of chimps looking around curiously as Niji kept them in line and silent while Olup stood next to him. When he saw Ren, he closed his legs by reflex.

“You left a deep impression on him.” Feynor smiled, whispering it to her.

“Heh! I’ll give him another lesson soon. After that, when they are integrated, we can move on to the last two tribes.” Ren said as she walked up towards Niji.

“I hope I’ll get my own house.” Shaman grinned, seeing the still ongoing works.

“We already drew up the plan for your own workshop. It’ll be made from stone completely, so it should withstand your experiments.” Feynor responded, making the grin on his face even wider.

“Niji.” Ren nodded, but before he could respond, Olup stood forward, looking at her like he had met his greatest nemesis. “What?” Ren asked with slanted eyes.

“We have some things to settle.”

“Sure. Do you want to do it here and now or wait until tomorrow.”

“Right now.”

“Ohoho, okay, but don’t come to me crying; you lost because you were tired from traveling.”

“Lose? Why would I lose if it’s not a surprise attack? Shameless.” Olup said, full of fighting spirit.

“Hah!” Ren chuckled while Shaman and Niji shook their heads. Leinor quickly appeared from nowhere, looking at Olup with cold eyes but said nothing. “Follow me!” Ren waved her hand.

She led him to a clearing while happily whistling. As they faced off, every other ape, fairy, and human also arrived to watch the spectacle.

“I can break it,” Kang said, towering over everyone else, grumbling in a deep voice, making even Olup gulp as the pressure he felt was enormous.

“Thank you, but don’t worry. It’s just a spar!” Ren smiled while stretching her limbs. “You can attack whenever you wish, Olup!”

“Fine by me!” He said, shaking his body and holding his new staff, previously strapped to his back.

His strike was fast and quick, but Ren countered it by summoning a lightning spear, taking a few steps, distancing herself before launching a counterattack, but Olup’s reflexes were sharp and precise, fending off her stabs.

“You are pretty fast,” Ren said.

“You too, being a human and all,” Olup responded.

“Ahaha, this? I’m just warming up.” She smiled, then the next time, she was already behind him, stabbing straight towards Olup’s buttocks.

He uttered an embarrassing cry as he jumped up, narrowly missing the lightning spear but still, some of his furs were burned.

“Shameless!” He screamed as he tried to smack down her, but Ren avoided his attack while some of the spectators tried to stifle their laughs.

“So what? It’s such a big red target.”

“Screw you!”

“Maybe a baboon would screw you!” She retorted cheekily, making the other chimps break out in a peal of loud laughter as they slapped the ground and their knees.

“Shut up, you lot!” Olup screamed, enraged, attacking faster and fiercer, but Ren avoided his stick elegantly, keeping on a provoking smile.

His staff left deep holes in the ground, soon making it seem like a wild mole demon was living there. Panting, he leaned on his staff, watching Ren with bloodshot eyes, huffing, and puffing, but his face looked like someone near to burst out crying.

“It’s nice of you.” Ren looked around.

“Huh?”

“This place has abundant fresh water deep down; thanks for making the soil softer. We wanted to build a well or a spring here.” She said, clapping her hand, and soon her aura burst like a storm, and the ground started to shake.

Water spurts out from the countless fresh holes, and after a few seconds, columns made of water rose to the air, forming a 2 or 3-meter-tall image of her.

“Watching Mom in the past days and training with her made me breakthrough. I feel like I’m ready.” She said, taking a deep breath. “Do you have any moves you wish to practice?” Ren asked calmly, but now she looked more severe than before as her water clone started to fill up with lightning and looked down at Olup.

Olup was strong, physically, much more robust than Ren; he knew it… yet not once was he able to follow her moves or land a hit, making it impossible to defeat her. Soon he will run out of energy, and Ren needs to play with him until he collapses to win or humiliate him.

“No… I lost.” He said, sighing frustratedly, lowering his staff.

“Then I suggest you leave,” Ren said.

“You!” He raged up again.

“No, you don’t get it.” She sighed as she looked up to the Sky, where now everyone could see a tear appearing and thunder rumbling, resounding loudly, traveling far away.

“She’s doing it,” Anya said, standing on the Pass’s wall, looking into the distance as Xendar stood behind her.

“She will be fine!” He said, hugging her.

“We should be there.”

“She said we should stay here. You are pregnant; you can’t risk it… also, when she goes home, you should go too!”

“But…”

“Relax, I’ll be fine; when our second child is born, I’ll be back home by then! Plus… trust Ren. She knows what she is doing.” He kissed her neck, looking into the distance. “She is our child. But after this, she can’t be seen as a child anymore.”

“Heh… when did she act like one anyway?” Anya chuckled.

“A lot of times! I’ve got a feeling our next kid won’t be such a weird kid~” Xendar laughed.

“You are weird! But…” She giggled softly, holding his hand on her stomach. That was normal as only she, Xendar, and Ren knew about her pregnancy, yet “He or she will be more… normal. Ren grew up way too fast!”

“Ahaha, you…”

Meanwhile, back in the clearing, everyone retreated to a safe distance as Ren stood there, her lightning-water clone standing tall when dark clouds started to swirl up in the Sky, flashing with deep, red color.

“It’s different….” Leinor murmured, watching the Sky that now looked like the end days had come.

“Yes…” Zern nodded. “Master is the first of us to take this step… let’s hope we can do the same soon.”

“I could.” Poli boasted, “It’s just Master didn’t let me. She said she needs to experience it first so we can maximize its effects.” He gulped loudly, watching the red lightning. “I’m glad I listened… I would be scared shitless if I was the one ascending…!”

That was when the first lightning struck down, instantly scattering the clone, blasting it into puddles of water, passing through it, and entering Ren’s body the next moment.

“I knew it….” Ren thought as she circulated the invading energy through her body, “No matter how much external help one would prepare… this energy is attracted by my body and soul. It will pass through everything to reach me.”

What appeared as red lightning was pure energy from beyond the Sky, beyond the Tear. When previously she felt it, she realized there is another realm beyond the Sky, filled with chaotic yet powerful energy that could, when passing into our world, assimilate into it, adapting to its surroundings. She realized the other Gods used to prevent it from entering the realm, blockading off any cracks in space, sealing up any possible leaks as soon as possible, keeping the whole realm sparse in energy, and making cultivators appear very difficult for who knows how long now.

When she tore open the Sky, even though they sealed it, it was like patching a tear on an old cloth. It will never be the same. Now, as Ren’s body was circulating with the lightning from the Tear, she could feel her body and soul boiling. She guided it through her energy points, realizing that the energy points in her knees and below her belly button were soaking it up hungrily and started to emit it outwards, washing her cells with it.

“First is the lower part, huh? Well… you start building from the bottom upwards….” She thought, focusing on absorbing it while letting it circulate through her. It was like allowing ants and nails to flow through her veins, yet she still wore a calm expression on the outside when the second lightning strike came, hitting her on the top of the head.

The shockwave from it was devastating, the ground under her feet sank 2 meters deep, and an enormous crater was forming around her, yet she just stood there, with closed eyes, while under her feet, groundwater started to rise up.

“This is definitively different… only two came down; by now, she should be at the fourth… At least! Yet just one felt like it had the strength of three….” Leinor murmured with anxiety all over his face.

“I wonder if I will have the same… I started much later than you guys.” Isha sighed, looking up at the dark skies. “Lady Anya had a normal advancement.”

“We will know when Poli attempts it. It will show itself then. Probably there is a threshold, and later you change the smaller effect it will have.” Zern added, concerned about Ren, who, after receiving the second strike, let out a moan and struggled a bit before standing straight again.

Meanwhile, in her body, now hit by the second strike, the energies were making their rounds as another trio of energy points, the two in her hands and one in her neck, started to absorb it greedily. At the same time, the dissonance in her became more prominent and more prevalent.

“It’s like not even my body….”

Moaned as she tried to keep it revolving, maintaining control, but she felt like an invader inside her own body as it started to defy her, not listening to her commands. It was hard to keep herself standing or breathing as she began to lose the feeling in her limbs, unable to move a muscle.

“I kinda get why they named it Harmony….” She chuckled to herself as the third lightning bolt came stimulating the last three energy points, the two in her chest and one inside her head.

As it struck, she felt dizzy, spurting out a mouthful of blood, yet it refreshed her.

“Yes… I can feel it….” She murmured in her own head, revealing a small smile, as after all of her energy points were soaked with red lightning and finally started to resonate with each other, forming a cycle between them.

Ren focused on following the energy along, assimilating it, and trying to get it under her control, slowly guiding it with her spirit, immersing herself in thoughtless cultivation. After the third strike had fallen, the Sky started to clear while Leinor questioningly raised his eyebrow yet looked even more worried than before.

“Just three?” Poli asked, watching as the clouds dispersed and the Tear faded away, yet Ren still stood there as violet and red electricity were crackling around her.

She was now standing in a small pond; its water was boiling from her heat as her once snow-white body was reddish, releasing steam all over it.

“Somethings up…” Isha gulped as they saw her skin slowly cracking and blood flying out, filled with electricity, evaporating before landing on the ground, yet she didn’t move, just stood there like a statue, close to breaking. While all this was going on, Ren felt more and more confident than ever, as she was getting the flow of her energy under complete control, expelling the excess out of her body.

“Good! Now I can sense my body more clearly than ever before, down to my cells. Heh~” Ren mulled over it in her head. “If I had a bucket of water as my energy reserve before, it now feels like I have a whole pool. Ahahahaha!” She laughed loudly as she opened her eyes while her skin slowly cooled down and the cracks started to mend. She felt she was under complete control of everything when her injuries were gone. After letting out a turbid breath, she flew up to the Sky and punched out with all her strength, sending a giant, violet web of electricity everywhere.

“She did it!” Xendar laughed as he and Anya could see the blinding flash shooting up toward the Sky.

“Yes, she did… she did!” She wiped her tears, finally calming down, leaning against Xendar, almost collapsing but smiling proudly.

“You really scared me!” Leinor whispered, who was now holding Ren in his arms as, after that one punch, she was spent and just fell down like a rock.

“Fufufu, I knew you would catch me!” Ren grinned weakly.

“How’s the advancement?”

“Hard. I need to collect my thoughts and go through the steps inside my head again; after I sorted it out, I’ll tell you all everything… Now I need some rest.” She snuggled up to him, and soon she was fast asleep, while the others were still watching the Sky where violet lightning was still flashing all around, making it rain, filling up the new crater with more water, quickly forming a pristine, small lake.