Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The world fell silent as An Yaluoshan looked to the south.
For some reason, after receiving the baptism of the black dragon and fusing his destiny with its, he had not only gotten stronger. His perception of the world and his control over its power had also gotten stronger. At certain points, fragmentary images would flit by his eyes.
Some of these fragments were so fast that it was impossible to make out any detail within them, and some of them gave An Yaluoshan a sense of déjà vu.
It's about time, An Yaluoshan quietly remarked.
A cold gust of wind blew past, instantly ruffling his hair. An Yaluoshan felt as if he had reached the most important point of his life. It wasn't merely because of the alliance, but because of something else.
It was like even though a river changed course time and time again, in the end, it had to flow through a single pass.
A sharp clang resounded through the world. In a cold flash of light, An Yaluoshan unsheathed his sword and pointed it to the heavens.
As the sword left its sheath, thunder exploded in the sky.
Where An Yaluoshan pointed his sword, dark clouds roiled and lightning crackled. A massive vortex quickly took form, and beneath this vortex, An Yaluoshan appeared like a god, his eyes shining brightly.
Bolts of lightning slashed down, but none of them left the area around An Yaluoshan. Yeon Gaesomun, Ozmish Khagan, the Khitan King, and the Xi Queen were all left speechless by this sight.
There had been rumors circulating in the countries of the northeast for some time that An Yaluoshan was a hidden dragon of the Central Plains, the future master of the Divine Land, the next True Dragon, Son of Heaven, who would end the Great Tang.
But Yeon Gaesomun and Ozmish Khagan had never taken this rumor to heart, believing that it would be far too foolish to take these rumors at face value.
In any dynasty, anyone who wanted to rebel would never blow their own trumpet and give themselves some pleasant name or take on some dangerous identity.
This was the same in the Great Tang and in the surrounding countries.
Everyone had believed that this was also true for An Yaluoshan, but it now seemed that things weren't so simple.
The four sovereigns looked at An Yaluoshan's back and wondered, Was that rumor true?
The Great Tang was a dragon while the other countries were serpents.
But even serpents had weak Dragon Qi.
From their perspective, a massive phantom that ordinary people couldn't see had begun to take form behind An Yaluoshan, none other than a massive black dragon that connected the heavens and earth, several thousand feet long.
But there was no time to ponder such things. Soon, they heard An Yaluoshan's deep voice, brimming with resolve and ambition.
"It is time for things to end!
"Starting from now, my relationship with the Great Tang is over. I, An Yaluoshan, desire a fortune as vast as the seas, a life as long-lived as the mountains!
"Starting from now, no one can order me around.
"In the future, there will be no An Yaluoshan. Starting today, I am An Lushan!"
When An Yaluoshan declared himself as 'An Lushan', a massive boom came from overhead. A giant bolt of lightning several hundred times brighter than the sun exploded out from Youzhou, flew over An Yaluoshan's head, and cleaved at Wang Chong's steel fortress in the south like a giant axe.
The dazzling lightning bolt lit up the dark world as brightly as day.
Six-hundred-some li away, at the steel fortress, as An Yaluoshan spoke, Wang Chong's Divine Embryo 3 trembled and opened its eyes.
At this moment, a sense of destiny welled up in his heart.
Though he couldn't see anything, he felt as if some extremely important event that was linked to him had taken place.
A moment later, Wang Chong sensed something and instantly disappeared from the main hall.
A second later, just as Wang Chong appeared on the northern wall of the steel fortress, a blazing lightning bolt came out of the dark clouds covering the lands of the north. With a great rumble, a gale swept out and the sky turned a fiery red.
And in those fiery clouds, Wang Chong saw a familiar figure.
"I, An Yaluoshan, desire a fortune as vast as the seas, a life as long-lived as the mountains!
"…Starting today, I am An Lushan!"
(TN: The word ‘Lushan’ incorporates the Chinese words for ‘fortune’ and ‘mountain’, Lu and Shan.)
A faint and familiar voice that was brimming with ambition resounded in Wang Chong's ears.
That voice seemed to penetrate through spacetime and transcend this world. It was a special existence that seemed to be linked to countless parallel dimensions, resonating and echoing off them.
Wang Chong's eyes widened, his face paling.
Wang Chong's mind was thrown into disarray. Whether intentionally or not, after so many twists and turns, he had finally returned to that inevitable point in his life. An Yaluoshan no longer existed in this world.
Starting from now, there was only that name whose mention would make him gnash his teeth in rage: An Lushan!
At this moment, An Yaluoshan had finally turned into his true opponent.
As this thought flitted through his mind, Wang Chong's mind exploded. The voice of the Stone of Destiny rang out like a bell.
"Special Event: Destined Foe!
"Even after going around hundreds of thousands of times, everything returns to the starting point! This is the final mission, and it is user's 'destined foe'! No matter how times pass, everything comes down to the decisive battle!
"Special Event: User's foe has already awoken to his mission, awakened his Power of the World. He has swelled in power and has the ability to control the weather, and he has the protection of the World Consciousness. When necessary, the World Consciousness will even directly interfere in his battle with user!
"All of these are thresholds that user must cross. If user wishes to change, you must defeat your destined foe.
"The final chapter! The first page! The Final Destined Foe begins!"
A string of solemn messages rang out in Wang Chong's mind.
The warning voice of the Stone of Destiny made Wang Chong's expression turn grim.
This moment has finally come!
Wang Chong blinked and then looked toward Youzhou. In a flash, his body erupted with thick killing intent.
"A fortune as vast as the seas, and a life as long-lived as the mountains? Whether you're An Yaluoshan or An Lushan, I'll make sure your seas dry up and your mountains crumble, your fortune and life both come to an end!
"While I'm here, you will never be able to make it past, will be thrown back again and again!"
As Wang Chong finished this declaration, his eyes erupted with cold light.
His right foot stomped forward, and Wang Chong released all restraints, unleashing a pillar of energy that rocketed into the skies.
This terrifying pillar of energy, visible from several hundred li away, connected the heavens and earth.
As that energy shot into the air, An Yaluoshan also sensed it.
His eyes flickered as he looked at that pillar of energy rising from the horizon, instantly recognizing it, and an eerie smile appeared on his lips.
Despite the distance between them, the two of them seemed to share a strange mental connection, the connection between destined foes.
"Wang Chong, it doesn't matter if you're the Nine Provinces Protector-General or the Supreme Marshal. You cannot protect the Great Tang! You will perish together with the Central Plains!"
An Yaluoshan, or An Lushan, coldly laughed.
A black bolt of lightning descended from the vortex of dark clouds, crashing into An Lushan's body and engulfing him.
A savage roar resounded through the world. The slender black dragon around An Lushan's body that only a few people had been able to see suddenly expanded to one hundred times its original size, bolstered by the immense power of the lightning. As a massive black dragon, it turned its claws to the south.
An Lushan's body popped and groaned. He was already immensely powerful, and now, he instantly rose from the high tier of the Subtle realm to the peak.
Boom! With one last rumble, An Lushan's strength rose again, breaking through the peak of the Subtle realm and reaching the half-step Grotto Heaven realm!
Weak spacetime ripples began to radiate from An Lushan.
Those around him, particularly Gao Shang, were flabbergasted by this sight.
He could sense that the black dragon around An Lushan was slowly approaching physical manifestation. His rising strength was a result of the black dragon growing closer to physical manifestation and harmonizing with An Lushan.
But not even Gao Shang, who had planned all this out, understood what was going on. This had been far beyond his expectations.
Gao Shang sensed that when his master changed his name and declared himself to be 'An Lushan', something else had happened. But Gao Shang had no time to ponder this matter.
An Lushan's familiar voice, savage and brutal, rang out in everyone's ears.
"Wang Chong, you want a fight, so let's fight to the end!
"All soldiers, move out!"