Portal:Investiture of the Gods/Chapter 63

Investiture of the Gods
The Right Arm of Supremacy Awakens from the Land of Deceit
Xu Zhonglin or Lu Xixing

This chapter is titled "The Right Arm of Supremacy Awakens from the Land of Deceit". As Winged Celestial had presently fled upon the night of his failed attempt to drown Phoenix City, he arrived the following afternoon upon a fragant mountain -- to which he would confront a Taoist man cultivating his conduct in front of a cavern suggested to be his homestead. Already being intense with hunger and despair, Winged Celestial was resolved not to feel an ounce of remorse at the prospect of devouring this man whole, and thus lunged from the skies with his claws swooping down upon the "prey" beneath him. Opening his eyes and acquiring realization of the danger before him, the Taoist pointed two fingers at the opposition, sending Winged Celestial crashing to the ground and begging to be pardoned: He was only acting out of the impulse of hunger, and would never wish to harm him if such a factor was not present. This Taoist, who decided to be generous despite the blatant rudeness that the former had just recently displayed, told him to journey 200 li to the east, to which he will arrive at a region known as "Purple Cloud Cliff" that is renowned for having Taoist-men that provide delicious food to any passerby as a token of charity. Winged Celestial, being delighted at such words, thanked the layman before setting off to the east and arriving upon the intended mountain: A time at which he took notice of many Taoists serving fresh food to an entourage of travelers, who took leave shortly after receiving such a token of generosity.

Descending from the skies and arraying himself before the Taoists present, Winged Celestial pleaded his own share for fresh food; but alas! None remained for the poor man to feast upon, forcing him to demand at least the smallest of provision with immense furiosity. These men, naturally being frightened at the prospect of this celestial taking their lives if his request is not essentially answered, managed to find a large unit of flour cake within their inner resoviere, to which was offered to the hungry celestial shortly following, who ate over 108 cakes before declaring that his stomach was presently full. Kneeling with immense gratitude before his servers, Winged Celestial took flight immediately following, returning to the Taoist-man's homestead, knowing that he could potentially acquire the mutual support of this individual of great ability as opposed to solely acting against the will of Jiang Ziya, which would prove less fruitful in resolution. As he thus arrived before the layman's residence, his stomach suddenly erupted with immense pain, causing him to collapse upon the ground and beg for some type of medicinal substance that could disperse such a detriment. Suggesting to the former that regurgitation would be best in such a situation, Winged Celestial did as he said; but, to his combined detriment, a string of shining white pearls began to chain from his mouth, causing him to choke with great force. The Taoist, who thus declared that he was a man by the name of "Burning Lamp", gave a signal with his fingers that caused the pearl-string to fall from Winged Celestial's mouth, rendering him safe from death. Burning Lamp, seeing the white pearl string as evidence that the former had eaten food out of the hands of the Taoist-men that he had set as a trap, took the celestial's hands and stated that he has long detested the rebel commander for his cruel behavior and quick rise to suspicion among his subordinates, and would thus like to take him in as disciple for the sake of future retaliation against the "will of Heaven". Winged Celestial, who was in return very rejoiceful to hear such intended words, vowed to stay by Burning Lamp's side in the name of "acting in revenge against the name of Jiang Ziya". Both individuals being filled with delight at their intentions being answered, left to Mount Divine Hawk presently following.

At this same measure in time, Master Grand Completion of Nine Immortal Mountain had received word--via the hands of White Crane Lad--informing him to head to the Western Foothills on the specific date that Jiang Ziya is to be inaugurated as commander: A time at which the prime minister will head to the east against the passes held by Shang. Seeing that such circumstances could easily be acted upon for his essential benefit of reputation, Grand Completion called forth the Crown Prince of Shang, Yin Jiao, to his side at once. Informing the latter that Jiang Ziya, a man long renowned as being of celestial attributes and holding the very "will of Heaven" within his fingertips, is to assault the neighboring passes under Shang with ultimate intention to occupy Capital Morning Song in short measure, Yin Jiao became resolved that his ambition to crush King Zhou in the name of his late mother's vengeance could thus be realized if he were to fight under the banner of this man. Seeing Yin Jiao's willingness to assist the prime minister under such a cause, Grand Completion ordered his disciple to head immediately to the Lion Cliff Cavern for the sake of acquiring a special weapon. Leaving the cavern of his master and arriving before the intended region, Yin Jiao found himself entering a house of princely distinction, to which he came upon seven beans sitting in the stature of sacrifice to a diety statue marked with the insignia of Shang that stood neighboring it. Devouring these beans and pouring the blood from his right hand into the container that originally possessed the food--showing his resolve to give his very own life in the face of his father's humiliation to the name of Shang--Yin Jiao suddenly grew four additional arms and three additional heads presently following his leave from the place of sacrifice. Returning to the side of his master in a state of great perplexion and startled fear, Grand Completion was delighted at the clear conviction of his disciple, and thus began to teach him how to wield a halberd that possessed a blade of golden jade and a hilt of coiling dragons. Learning how to contract and unleash his six-headed, three-armed form at the same moment to which he fervently mastered the art of halberd, Grand Completion clearly realized his disciple's prowess now met the recquired expectation, and thus handed the former his Heaven Overturning Stamp, the renowned Soul Dropping Bell, and the Yin-Yang Swords as additional items that would prove of assistance. Now bidding farewell to Grand Completion and exiting his place of residence, prepared to leave without a moment of hesitation, Yin Jiao resolutely declared that he shall kill himself with his own blade if he were to betray the entrustment of his master, and took leave immediately following.

Being told the specific route of arrival to his intended destination--Phoenix City--at the time prior to his leave from Nine Immortal Mountain, Yin Jiao navigated himself atop a cloud of dust as he soared through a neighboring mountain that was seemingly lush with beauty. Continuing along his way only to be confronted by a fearsome warrior with duel wolf-tooth iron clubs, Yin Jiao declared his name and title under the dynasty of Shang to the former upon request with his imperial hereditary seal. This warrior, who knew that the individual before him is not doned in any clothing that would reflect princely prominence to any means and surely must be some form of celestial that has taken the crown prince's name--which would explain his ability to use magic--was convinced nonetheless that this man is extraordinary regardless whether his words are backed with evidential truth; besides, being nothing more than a mere bandit in the mountains would naturally call for measures to spring upon any opportunity to mutually assist an individual of high status for his own potential benefit. With such a thought in mind, the rogue graciously led Yin Jiao before his head camp, where he introduced the name of himself and that of his fellow comrade who sat on patrol: The former being "Wen Liang" and the latter "Ma Shan". Seeing that these two warriors, who were both mighty in appearance, could assist him in his cause to destroy the evil King Zhou, proposed whether they would accept the prospect of assisting King Wu of the Western Foothills against the decaying dynasty of Shang for the sake of future repute under his rulership over the country. Knowing that this man is of great ambition and surely must possess the authority and power to back such words, Wen Liang and Ma Shan knelt in consent, and followed by equipping their new lord with an outlaw army numbering 10,000 in number. With such a resolution firmly in state, both Yin Jiao and his new right and left arms took leave from White Dragon Mountain and continued along their intended path to the west.

Following two days of travel only to receive report that a Taoist known as "Shen Gongbao" had arrived with intentions to meet their commander, Yin Jiao respectfully allowed the former entrance and presently inquired the reasoning behind his appearance. Being more evolved than other Taoists of the same sect, Shen Gongbao knew upon a single glance that this man was Crown Prince Yin Jiao; and after receiving knowledge of the prince's intentions, Shen Gongbao remonstrated with the former, stating that despite King Zhou's blatant dreadedness and hatred in the eyes of the people, he could use such an opportunity to unconditionally and forcefully receive the throne from the hands of his father by fighting under the arms of Shang until he acquires enough mutual cooperation and evidence to destroy the king: In such a situation, he would be looked upon as the country's true hero by wiping away the threat of Jiang Ziya, and proving that he isn't an individual claiming to be that of the prince -- which would be a relatively rejected form of evidence if he were to fight under the cause of Zhou. Seeing that Yin Jiao was still in a state of deep thought over such declared rationality, Shen Gongbao added with the statement that Jiang Ziya is clearly not a man of virtue and righteousness as the "superiormen" may have stated stated: How can a man that kills the young prince Yin Hong out of mere jealousy and threat of name be considered as any entity of peace? Being greatly startled at Shen Gongbao's new declaration, the latter added that Commander Zhang Shan is currently fighting against Jiang Ziya, and can certain the truth behind such words. Now clearly seeing Yin Jao flustered with bewilderment, Shen Gongbao took leave from the prince with essurance that he shall recruit a very powerful man to fight by his side in short measure. With such a meeting now over, Yin Jiao and his forces marched to the Western Foothills at even greater speed, determined to tear apart Jiang Ziya if the words of Shen Gongbao are truly evidential.

Arriving within the Western Foothills after the passage of three additional days of travel, Yin Jiao caught sight of the flags of Shang fluttering in the wind to the east; and naturally assuming that this "Zhang Shan" must be present within such a region, commanded Wen Liang to relay a message to the Shang commander, telling him to meet him for an audience in his head camp. As Zhang Shan received such a report not long after, he recalled the dominant conjecture of King Zhou's killing of Crown Prince Yin Jiao and Yin Hong seven years into the past, and was thus very willing to confront such a man in order to testify the truth behind such a rumor. Entering the head tent of his consultant following such a resolution, Zhang Shan approached Yin Jiao and politely demanded to what means he can prove that he is indeed the former crown prince of Shang. Showing the former his hereditary seal as evidence--effectively convincing the commander that the man before him is indeed none other than the crown prince--Yin Jiao presently inquired the fate of his younger brother, Yin Hong. As Zhang Shan relayed that, through the words of soldiers originally under Former Expeditionary Commander Su Hu, Yin Hong had been burned to death in an enormous torrent of flame that shot to the skies like a raging tornado at the result of a celestial man's magic, Yin Jiao fell from his seat in great despair and roared with a strong voice of hatred. Gratifyingly dismissing the head commander presently following, declaring that he shall willingly assist his cause against the Western Foothills after essential preparations are made, Yin Jiao vied in his heart to slay the rebel commander without any means of remorse whatsoever.

As both Yin Jiao and Zhang Shan came to the conclusion that a mutual attack should be unleashed upon Phoenix City's northern gates that same night, they approached the enemy city at the brink of dawn the following morning, and immediately demanded for Rebel Commander Jiang Ziya to show his face without hesitation. Exiting the city gates with his generals standing closely at his right and left hands, Yin Jiao declared to Jiang Ziya his name while demanding the reasoning behind why he killed his younger brother, Yin Hong, in such a cruel manner unbefitting of his social status among "Heaven's will". The prime minister, who simply stated that he brought about his own death by fighting against his master's words to support the Western Foothills, suggested to Yin Jiao that, even if Ziya must not have slain his slain his brother directly, but allowed such an action to be taken simply out of his irrational forms of leadership, resolutely unveiled his three-headed, six-armed form and lunged at the opposition in intense rage. Using his Heaven Overturning Stamp to thrust Nezha to the ground with the feeling of an incredible gravitational pull pressing upon his body, Huang Tianhua intervened in time to save his fellow comrade, but was strucken from his saddle by the power of the former's Soul Dropping Bell, and became a prisoner under the hands of Zhang Shan as a result. As Yellow Flying Tiger presently attacked Yin Jiao for the sake of saving his eldest son, Yin Jiao took the former captive with a mere turning of his Soul Dropping Bell, forcing Yang Bliss to run between the two forces and create an enormous horizontal ground barrier to allow the prime minister and the other generals of Zhou a safe retreat to Phoenix City. Seeing that he could not continue to conquer the opposition forces in such a state, Yin Jiao resumed his original form and returned to the Shang encampment with Zhang Shan and the two captives by their side.

That night within the camp of Shang, Yin Jiao felt as if he knew the elder of the two prisoners from somewhere into the past, and thus approached Yellow Flying Tiger, who was still presently within bonds, and asked him his name and title under Rebel Commander Jiang Ziya. Upon realization that the prisoner sitting before him is none other than the man who saved him from King Zhou's clutches seven years prior, Yin Jiao elaborated the full reasoning--including his confrontation with Shen Gongbao--behind why he has chosen to destroy both Jiang Ziya and that of King Zhou in order to claim the throne of Shang for the sake of the people and that of his ancestors. Additionally attempting to convince Yellow Flying Tiger to defect from the Western Hill forces for the sake of a brilliant future, which unfortunately resulted to no avail, Yin Jiao nonetheless freed the bonds from him and his son, allowing them return to their respective city as a token of his former gratitude only at the cost of showing their commander written letter via the hands of his messenger, informing him to surrender in seven days of time; if such an action is refuted, then all of Phoenix City shall be turned to a flaming sea of ash as legions of celestials tear apart their homeland. Promising the prince that he shall ensure the safety of such a missive, the two friends parted from each other's sides with great emotion.

As Yellow Flying Tiger and Huang Tianhua returned to Phoenix City that same night, approaching Prime Minister Jiang Ziya and informing him of their happenings, the messenger of Shang was allowed entrance, to which he handed the prime minister Yin Jiao's written letter presently following. Tearing apart the letter as a showing of his disgust towards such declared arrogance, Jiang Ziya knew that the superiormen under the "will of Heaven" will unconditionally ensure that such a happening shall be negated regardless of the circumstances. With the rise of the sun the following morning, Yang Bliss's earth blockade was no longer, and General Ma Shan seized such an opportunity to stride forthward to do battle against Phoenix City as soon as Prince Yin Jiao had received word on the rebel commander's unwise response to his former letter. Being immediately confronted by Deng Jiugong of Zhou momentarily following, the two generals clashed their blades with intense furiosity. But as Ma Shan was nothing more than a bandit in the mountains without excelled training in the art of the sword, as opposed to that of Deng Jiugong, who has served as Commander of Shang for several years, he was naturally bested in mere moments following their engagement, resulting in his immediate capture.

As Ma Shan was brought before Prime Minister Jiang Ziya in Phoenix City shortly following capture, he was immediately sentenced to beheadment after uttering rude defiant words in his determination to remain standing before the former. General Nangong Kuo, who took up such an order, presently within the executionary grounds, was astonished beyond words as his sword cleaved through Ma Shan's neck only for the neck to retake its original form as if possessing the property of water. Reporting such a matter to Jiang Ziya, who was naturally astonished at such a turn-of-events, ordered samahdi fire to spread throughout the execution grounds in attempt to burn the prisoner into ash. As such an action was carried out momentarily following the declaration of such an order, Ma Shan was clearly not effected even in the smallest of measure; and as the warrior stood among the burning flames, he let out a single loud cry of laughter as he directed the fire to open a pathway at which he was able to escape from Phoenix City. Jiang Ziya, who was, needless to say, distressed at the detrimental report of Ma Shan's escape, was received by Yang Bliss, who proposed whether he could visit Grand Completion at Nine Immortal Mountain concerning the case involving Yin Jiao's use of his Heaven Overturning Stamp, while additionally confronting Master of the Clouds of Mount Zhongnan for the sake of receiving the reputed "Demon Exposing Mirror" to destroy Ma Shan. The Prime Minister, who was naturally willing to destroy the threat of Yin Jiao to save Phoenix City from harm with complete reassurance in it's backing, unhesitatingly consented to the former's request.

As Yang Bliss confronted Grand Completion within his Peach Spring Cavern only to receive knowledge that Yin Jiao, the latter's disciple, had been sent to the Western Foothills for the sake of assisting Prime Minister Jiang Ziya against the cause of Shang, Yang Bliss told the superiorman the truth behind such circumstances: The prince had declared the threat to wipe out the entire Phoenix City with unknown rationale backing his intentions. Grand Completion, who was taken aback with confusion as to why his disciple would break his oath with such an intense showing of resolve against his former words that expressed clear conviction, promised Yang Bliss that he shall head to the Western Foothills very shortly. As Yang took leave with a kowtow of gratitude, he immediately took leave to Mount Zhongnan, his second intended region, and bowed low before Master of the Clouds, who presently exited his cavern to confront the former. Elaborating the characteristics of a certain man by the name of "Ma Shan", along with the incident involving his escape, Master of the Clouds understood the circumstances, and unhestitatingly gave Yang Bliss his Demon Exposing Mirror, who left with a showing of gratitude as he took leave from the mountain and returned to the side of Prime Minister Jiang Ziya back at Phoenix City.

Confronting Ma Shan of Shang in front of the Shang encampment after receiving the consent of Jiang Ziya to take leave to battle, Yang Bliss firmly hid in his grasp the new weapon he had recently received the day prior -- much to the opposition's unknowing. Pulling out the Demon Exposing Mirror and shining it in the direction of Ma Shan as he presently charged forward, he saw nothing more than a mere flick of fire from a lamp emitting within. Immediately contracting the mirror and parrying the enemy's blade with his longsword, Yang Bliss, following a mere few rounds of battle, retreated in expectation that the former would not pursue him after taking realization of the new weapon recently deployed. As Ma Shan acted in such a manner, ordering a full retreat back to the encampment of Shang for the time being in order to elaborate this new potential threat to Crown Prince Yin Jiao, Yang Bliss had meanwhile entered the Prime Minister's mansion and explained to all present that Ma Shan, according to the mirror, was a flick of fire suggesting to be of host to that of a lamp. General Wei Hu, who was well-knowledgable about the world's "Three Magical Lamps" elaborated that their is an equal possibility that either the Eight Landscape Palace, the Jade Emptiness Palace, or that of Mount Divine Hawk are missing their specific lamps of origin, and that Ma Shan is more than likely one of these three when considering his properties of eternal life, to which his "flame" is ever burning such as only present within the magical lamps. Comprehending Wei Hu's logic, Yang Bliss took leave to Mount Kunlun's Jade Emptiness Palace presently following the Prime Minister's consent to his request.

Being received by White Crane Lad upon immediate arrival, Yang Bliss learned shortly that their glazed lamp was still in full flame, and he thus gave a kowtow of acknowledgement before leaving to Mount Divine Hawk, where he confronted Burning Lamp with full inquire involving the condition of the latter's lamp. Burning Lamp, who gave a false display of frustration and surprise at the realization that the flick of his lamp had disappeared dispite unconditional restraint, was enlightened upon the happenings at the Western Foothills involving the probable incarnation of his flame: A man that calls himself by the name of "Ma Shan". Vowing to Yang Bliss that he will settle such circumstances as soon as he is able to attend to the matters presently acting against the "will of Zhou", regardless whether this "Ma Shan" is in truth his lamp's flame, Yang Bliss gratifyingly kowtowed in thanks and took leave just following. As Yang Bliss informed Jiang Ziya about the highly-probable success involving Burning Lamp's declared assistance, Grand Completion arrived as originally promised, and headed to the Shang encampment after explaining to the Prime Minister that he is indeed the master of the defiant prince, Yin Jiao.