Chapter 106 - Emperor of the Aquatic Races
Despite the agony of the transformation process, every transformation would strengthen the body and enhance its perfection. Even the current chief of all living creatures, the humans, would also experience the growth of permanent teeth and puberty before they could be considered adults.
Yao cultivators were no different. The stronger and rarer the animal, the more painful their transformation – this was the law of all life forms in the world. The only life forms in the world capable of escaping this rule were those born beyond the Six Realms and nurtured by Heaven and Earth. Fu Li and the Kunpeng were examples of such life forms.
But life forms born beyond the Six Realms had their own calamities. As long as they failed to pass a single tribulation, their physical body would perish, their Dao would scatter, and they would turn into spiritual qi, acting as fertilizer for the earth.
Therefore, nobody alive had it easy. No one was more noble than anyone else.
Powerful spiritual qi entered Zhuang Qing’s body through Fu Li’s forehead, helping him over and over again to sort out his fractured meridians and crushed bones. Their spiritual qi intertwined together. Not only did neither side repel the other, they were in such harmony that it seemed as if they were one.
Zhuang Qing’s consciousness stood within his sea of consciousness, his entire body soaked in blood as resentment-filled words rang in his ears.
“Lowly human, what qualifications do you have to receive the golden dragon clan’s inheritance? Our dragon race doesn’t have a mixed breed like you.”
“Anyway, the dragon palace hasn’t had a place for you since a long time ago. Why not bury yourself in my belly and avoid the pain of fleeing all over the place?”
“I hate the way you have a card up your sleeve for everything, who would be friends with someone like you?”
“If you’re so impressive, why didn’t you save him? Why wasn’t it you who died?”
“Although my dearest has the talent to save the world, Zhen does not want everyone in the world to only know my dearest and not Zhen. From this day onwards, the person Zhuang Qing will not exist in history books.”
“You’re a heartless man, I really wish you would just go die.”
“Why don’t you die?”
“Why not die?”
Zhuang Qing opened his eyes, looking at the faces brimming with hatred in his sea of consciousness. “Why do I have to die?”
He wanted to live. He had to live well, no matter how much blood he shed and how much hardship he suffered. Only by living could he see more, and only by meeting more people had he met that somewhat stupid yao.
Living was very good.
Although every generation in the cultivation world couldn’t compare to the previous, and the colleagues under him all lacked meticulousness and skill, there was still a yao waiting for him to wake up, waiting to eat together and bicker with him.
“I want to live, I will definitely live.”
Long sword in hand, he slashed the faces of hatred with a wave of his sword. Turning, he looked beyond the sea of consciousness. Strand after strand of red spiritual qi circled his sea of consciousness, protecting it and preventing it from dissipating.
He was very familiar with this spiritual qi. It was Fu Li.
The arrival of the red spiritual qi allowed Zhuang Qing to break through the obstructions in his heart with redoubled power, no longer affected by inner demons.
The entire East Sea was in turmoil. Spiritual qi surged. Sensing the activity, the other dragon clans all walked out of their palaces, gazing at the changes in the sea outside their barriers.
Someone of the same race was undergoing their final transformation, but who could stir up so much activity? It was as if... as if the Dragon Emperor was being born.
The Head of the azure dragon clan looked through the barrier at the uneasy-looking sea creatures, and let out a long sigh. Ever since Qing Yan did those things, the azure dragon clan had shut themselves in the palace, not daring to stir up any trouble.
He didn’t know which dragon junior was undergoing its final transformation tribulation, but given that the surge in Heaven and Earth’s spiritual qi could be felt in all four seas, it was evident how powerful this dragon would be if it successfully passed the tribulation. There was also a possibility that it would become the Dragon Emperor.
He glanced at his clansmen behind him and spread out his palm.
The dragon clan had been embroiled in internal strife for many years and was in decline. If a genius could truly appear, then this might be the last chance to safeguard the dragon race.
A green glow radiated from the azure dragon seal in the Head’s hand. This represented the azure dragon clan’s blessing and would be of some help to this fellow member of their race.
“Clan Head,” Qing Yuan looked at the movement at the bottom of the sea with a solemn expression. The radiance of the pearls shone onto his face, causing his face to appear incomparably pale. “Throughout the past hundreds of years, the only one who can be transforming is Zhuang Qing. Leaving aside the fact that he doesn’t have peaceful relations with our azure dragon clan and solely considering that half the blood in his body is human blood, it is impossible for him to get through this transformation. Why is there a need to waste the spiritual power in the clan seal on him?
It was impossible for their pure dragons to stir up such large fluctuations during their final transformation, yet Zhuang Qing had such great capabilities. But it was useless no matter how large the fluctuations – his blood had already doomed him to failure. Those who were half-human and half-dragon didn’t have high status in the dragon clan partially because the dragon clans perceived humans as lowly. The other reason was that there had never been a half-human dragon in the dragon clan’s records who had made it through their third transformation.
The Head didn’t retract the clan seal. He looked at the seal hovering midair in silence. Ever since the death of their divine beast, Blue Dragon, the dragon race could no longer divine the Dao of Heaven and Earth, and even encountered multiple attacks in a row. Instinct told him that Zhuang Qing’s successful transformation might be the dragon race’s opportunity to survive. He didn’t know how this opportunity to survive would manifest, but he still acted on his instinct.
If the dragon race was extinguished, what use was there in having the azure dragon seal?
A green light streaked across the vast sea and descended on the golden dragon palace, wrapping around the dragon and rabbit touching foreheads. The golden glow on the golden dragon strengthened a little.
Soon after, two beams of light flew in, one black and one blue.
The Head of the red dragon clan raised his head as he looked at the sea. When he saw that even the white dragon seal and purple dragon seal had been offered, he glanced at the cold palace behind him before offering up the red dragon clan’s seal.
Their prayers for the golden dragon to successfully transform and soar into the highest of the Heavens were extended to their clansman through the clan seals.
The roiling Four Seas quietened at this instant, and the storming wind and waves at the surface of the sea halted abruptly. It was an uneasy quietness, just like the calm surface of a mirror.
The yao cultivators in the midst of cultivation opened their eyes. The cultivators in meditation listened quietly with rapt attention. Everyone could sense something different about the world’s spiritual qi. It felt like something was on the brink of emerging, yet it also felt like something was on the verge of demise.
Life and death was a hair’s breadth apart.
All the department heads were seated together with several enormous display screens in front of them, gazing at the tranquil, ripple-free surface of the sea with grave expressions.
Everyone was waiting. Waiting for the final outcome.
Outside the golden dragon palace, countless aquatic yao were kneeling outside the barrier waiting for the golden dragon clan’s Dragon King to awaken.
The sword in Zhuang Qing’s hands moved faster and faster, chopping apart hatred and exterminating resentment. The spiritual qi in his body flowed increasingly smoothly, as if the entire world was within his control. As long as he didn’t give up, he could return his sea of consciousness to a land of peace.
“Zhuang little dragon,” The illusion in front of his eyes took on Fu Li’s form, his pale face filled with grievances. “Are you going to kill me?”
The tip of Zhuang Qing’s sword trembled slightly. Fu Li’s complexion became even more wan. “Quickly leave with me, I’ll bring you out.”
“What did you come here for?”
“I came to save you.” Fu Li said angrily, “You still don’t know you’ve gone into qi deviation?”
Zhuang Qing laughed coldly. “But you’re not him.”
He raised his sword and the ‘Fu Li’ in front of him was beheaded the next instant, vanishing without a trace.
“He wouldn’t show this kind of wronged look,” Dragging the sword, Zhuang Qing made his way step by step along the path out of his sea of consciousness. A burst of brilliant light erupted in front all of a sudden. When he opened his eyes, he was met with a white Hou with almost no distance between them.
The gentle red spiritual qi in his body just now was Fu Li’s divine consciousness and spiritual qi? But he didn’t have the leisure to think too much at this juncture, because the feeling of his flesh and blood being reborn was not a pleasant one.
Boundless spiritual qi poured into his body. His bones and blood were growing bit by bit at this point as he was born anew.
The six-colored divine light revolving around him seemed to have sensed that his dragon body was starting to be recast, and thus rushed into Zhuang Qing.
When Fu Li next opened his eyes, his legs nearly softened and sent him rolling out like a ball of fur.
Golden tail, golden claws, golden body, golden scales – the golden light wound around Zhuang Qing bit by bit before eventually coiling around his dragon horns. His previous forked dragon horns suddenly expanded sharply, turning into a pair of majestic golden dragon horns.
The golden dragon let loose a long roar, and blessed rain descended on the world in abundance.
The golden dragon’s transformation was successful.
Shoals of fish leaped out of the Four Seas, crying out in joy. Birds perched on branches broke into light and graceful dance. All animals knelt in worship. Golden pheasants heralded the break of dawn, the sun rose in the east, and red auspicious clouds painted the entire horizon red.
“Dragon Emperor...” The Head of the azure dragon clan looked at the East Sea in a daze. Kneeling on the ground, he bowed deeply before turning into his dragon form and swiftly swimming towards the East Sea.
All the other azure dragons felt this wave of pressure and willingly knelt in worship.
In the department meeting room, the leaders with heads of all-white hair applauded emotionally with a childlike excitement.
The management bureau’s staff who had persevered for an entire night all cried tears of joy as they embraced one another.
The world outside was in jubilation, but the golden dragon palace was especially quiet. Fu Li raised his head to look at the huge dazzling golden dragon in front of him. He reached out a white, furry claw to touch the dragon’s nose when the golden dragon bent his head and delivered his nose to him.
Fu Li patted his nose. His voice was particularly warm and proud, as if he was a parent praising his child. “You did very well.”
He didn’t like furless, smooth, and slippery creatures, and the dragon race was ranked in the top three he most hated. But at this moment, he felt he loathed the dragon race not only because they didn’t have fur, but also because they were ugly.
The golden dragon before him was exceedingly pretty. Sunlight seemed to have converged to form the scales on his body. It was a beauty that Fu Li couldn’t turn his gaze away from.
Perhaps all creatures in the world had a beautiful side, and it was just him who hadn’t seen them.
Zhuang Qing was certainly at the apex of the dragon race in terms of attractiveness.
“Come up,” Zhuang Qing tossed Fu Li onto his head without feeling like he had done any earth-shattering thing and got ready to bring Fu Li to work to clock in.
But when he swam out of the golden dragon palace and discovered scores of dragons and aquatic yao cultivators kneeling outside the palace’s barrier, he fell silent.
Upon seeing the tiny white dog as fat as a round ball seated on top of the golden dragon’s head, the dragons and aquatic yao who had been looking forward to the golden dragon’s appearance also fell silent.
In their fantasies, the Dragon Emperor should emerge while treading on golden light and auspicious clouds, and then accept their kowtows with dignity. He shouldn’t be swimming out so casually and leisurely with a fat dog on his head.
“What is everyone doing?” Zhuang Qing transformed into his human form. He was still dressed like an elite man, wearing the same old suit and necktie. It was just that the fat dog he was carrying in his hands reduced his icily arrogant image by a good half.
“Congratulations to the Dragon Emperor on a successful transformation,” The Head of the dragon race was respectfully addressed Dragon King by the outside world, but at this moment, all of them willingly paid their respects to Zhuang Qing.
The dragon race hadn’t had a Dragon Emperor for many years. No one had expected Zhuang Qing, this half-human and half-dragon individual, to actually obtain the formidable inheritance of the dragon race, and to possess the pressure exclusive to the Dragon Emperor after transforming successfully.
Fu Li, who had lost all his spiritual qi to Zhuang Qing and was so tired he couldn’t be bothered to even move an inch, looked at the vast, dense stretch of people kneeling and felt that there was something wrong with his yao understanding. He had even been worrying yesterday night that Zhuang Qing wouldn’t be able to grow pretty horns and would be mocked by the other dragons, yet when they came out in the morning, these dragons directly kneeled in front of Zhuang Qing.
“Your dragon clan has a rule that everyone has to kowtow once to a dragon who transformed successfully?” Fu Li’s front claws rested on Zhuang Qing’s shoulder. He said softly, “Your dragon clan’s rules are really quite unconventional.”
Zhuang Qing’s head was crammed with many memories related to the dragon race’s inheritance and he hadn’t had the time to clean them all up. Upon hearing Fu Li’s words, he nodded, his mood slightly strange.
They would go with whatever he said.
“Everyone, please return,” Zhuang Qing adjusted the position of his arms so that Fu Li could rest a little more comfortably. “Zhuang Qing will engrave the favor from all clans in his heart today.”
“We’re undeserving of this praise,” There were bitter smiles on the faces of the dragons who had past grudges with Zhuang Qing. “Our muddle-headed ways have caused Your Majesty much suffering in his childhood. Shame fills our hearts, what favor is there to speak of?”
“What happened in the past has already gone by, there is no point in bringing them up again. As long as everyone abides by the management bureau’s rules, this Zhuang will not have anything to be displeased about.” Seeing that these people continued to kneel motionlessly, he said with a straight face, “Please rise, everyone. It is unknown whether this Zhuang’s transformation has caused any changes in the ocean currents. I request that everyone help this Zhuang to check on this.”
“We accept the order. Your Majesty has just completed the transformation, please have a good rest,” The Head of the azure dragon clan bowed once more. He glanced at the white dog in Zhuang Qing’s arms. Having already guessed the dog’s identity, he bowed to the dog as well. “This humble one will arrange for my clansmen to conduct a check on the various large bodies of water. We will definitely not harm any innocent people.”
“We accept the order as well.” The other dragon clans also reacted. Although the fact that Zhuang Qing had become the Dragon Emperor made them feel a little awkward, the dragon race had lacked a backbone all these years. Heavenly law was hard to fathom, so now that they finally had a Dragon Emperor, they felt much more secure at heart.
This feeling was akin to a giant suddenly appearing when everyone felt that the sky was about to collapse. No matter who this giant was, they wouldn’t dislike them.
Fu Li looked at the deferential way the dragons and aquatic yao retreated, and then said, “You’ve become awesome, Zhuang little dragon. Turns out you’ve become the dragon race’s boss, they called you Your Majesty!”
Zhuang Qing stroked his fluffy head. “It’s just a term of address, you don’t have to take it seriously.” He turned into his dragon form once more, tossed Fu Li onto his head, and swam out of the East Sea.
Feng Ruizhong sat in front of a window, staring blankly into the horizon. He had given the wrong present when gifting the Qiankun pouches, and threw a dragon who hadn’t completed its transformation the horn of the Blue Dragon, one of the Holy Beasts of the four directions. This was quite the difficult situation.
That dragon horn contained a portion of the Blue Dragon’s inheritance. Given the current abilities of these little dragons, there was no way they could receive such a powerful inheritance. The eventual outcome could only be death by explosion, or a crazed dragon who lost all sense of reason after its sea of consciousness went into chaos.
“You have a pig’s brain!”
The man seated not too far behind him slapped the table and cursed, “That’s Little Li’s friend. If something happens to him, you’d better not think that he’ll forgive you in this lifetime.”
Feng Ruizhong was scolded till he dared not raise his head. He didn’t dare to believe either that he had committed such a mistake. Had he been so focused on looking at Fu Li when he was giving out the gifts that he hadn’t noticed what exactly he had thrown out?
“Curse me all you want, but why curse yourself too?” Feng Ruizhong asked in a low voice.
Angered to death by these words, the man slapped the table to bits with one palm. “This won’t do, I must help this dragon get through his transformation.”
“You don’t want your life anymore? After evading such a large tribulation with so much difficulty, do you want to attract... its attention again and discard your life before you’ll be satisfied?”
“Then should we let Little Li hate us?!” The man pulled open the door to leave. At this moment, blessed rain descended from the skies and multicolored sunlight surged in the east. It was clearly a lucky omen brought about by the Heavens.
The man came to a stop, saying in disbelief, “The inheritance... was successful?”
In the more than five thousand years the Azure Dragon’s horn had been with them, they hadn’t found the fated dragon. Yet, Feng Ruizhong’s accidental present actually resulted in success. Was this a joke?
Feng Ruizhong stretched his hand out the window, smiling yet also not smiling. A long while later, he abruptly pointed at the skies and exclaimed, “F*ck, damned Heavens, are you toying with us?”
The damned Heavens didn’t pay any heed to him and continued showering blessed rain, as if celebrating the birth of the emperor of the aquatic races.
But the focus of everyone’s attention – the emperor of the aquatic races – was currently queuing outside a breakfast store while carrying a snow-white Hou.
This breakfast store was extremely popular. Zhuang Qing was carrying Fu Li across the road when Fu Li made a statement that there were many people in the queue and that the food had to be delicious. As a result, Zhuang Qing got in line at the back of the queue while carrying the snow-white Hou.
What was so impressive about being the emperor of the aquatic races? He still had to queue to buy breakfast when he came to a popular breakfast store in the human world.
Zhuang Qing looked down at the sleepy Fu Li as he gently patted his back.
His gaze was as warm as spring.
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