Noah and the rebels had decided to use the metal palace for the fusion even if they knew that a Heaven Tribulation would arrive.
They didn't know how Skully would wake up, so they preferred to use the palace for its defensive properties. They could always bait the hybrid outside if it awakened in a violent state.
Noah, Carl, and the other peak rank 5 experts that had remained inside the palace during the fusion exchanged a glance before their auras spread outward.
The dense pressure originating from Skully's room pressed on their minds, but it didn't focus them. It was an innate act of a powerful creature in a confused state trying to become aware of its surroundings.
The cultivators' auras made it concentrate on them and press on their minds with even more intensity. Noah and the others struggled under that pressure, but they promptly retreated to escape from its range.
Another angry roar resounded from Skully's room as the consciousness of the hybrid chased after the escaping cultivators. Loud stomps soon echoed through the palace, emitting the unmistakable sound of a massive creature walking on sturdy metal.
The hybrid opened the room door and found a large hall with a broken throne placed at its center. A wave of confusion made it stagger for a few steps, but anger soon filled its mind again.
Some memories tried to take over its instincts, but they made it lose control of its body whenever they resurfaced. The creature didn't like that sensation, so it suppressed them and continued to march toward the escaping presences.
The chase eventually brought the Ape outside of the palace, but a dangerous sensation quickly enveloped its mind when it felt the outside world's fresh air. Its reactions were slow though, so it didn't manage to escape the lightning that fell directly on its head.
The Ape fell on its knees, and blood started flowing from its head. The lightning bolt had managed to hurt it, but that pain felt strangely refreshing.
The beast touched its head and sensed that a long cut had appeared on top of it. Moreover, there was a spot on its nape where the skin felt different.
Memories resurfaced as the sensation piled in its mind, but the danger of the Tribulation in the sea of magma above made it suppress them again. The survival instinct surpassed every other feeling in intensity.
Noah watched the scene from inside one of the red waterfalls that filled the area. He saw the Ape shooting in the sky and aiming for one of the larger cavities in the black layer as it went after the origin of the Tribulation.
'It's quite weak,' Noah thought when he focused on the sparks accumulated inside the sea of magma.
Noah had created a hybrid in the sixth rank, so it felt only normal that the Heaven Tribulation would have a similar strength. However, those lightning bolts were at the bottom of the sixth rank in terms of power.
It seemed that the location of the hidden world interfered with the laws imposed by Heaven and Earth. Even their Tribulations found it hard to express their full power there.
Moreover, the black sky blocked many lightning bolts, and only those that aimed for the holes in the metallic layer could hope to hit their target.
Noah didn't find anything on the expressions of the peak rank 5 experts hidden in waterfalls near him. They showed awe and fear toward that lightning storm, meaning that they didn't find anything strange with that level of power.
'Maybe the God has something to do with this,' Noah glanced at the palace before focusing again on Skully. There was a proper divine item in that world. That had to affect the laws meant for heroic cultivators.
The Ape floated in the sky before a few lightning bolts slammed on its body. Wounds opened on its chest and shoulders, and dense black smoke came out of them.
The Tribulation was threatening that newly created body's stability, dispersing part of the dark matter that had patched its previous injuries.
The impact flung the hybrid back on the ground, but it quickly stood up and relied on its innate ability to defend against other incoming lightning bolts.
An invisible barrier formed around its figure as it shot again in the sky. The Tribulation's attacks created ripples in that shield made of mental energy, and they managed to crack it only when the Ape was about to reach the sky.
The Ape fell toward the ground again, ending directly inside the lava lake where the palace floated. The scorching sensation couldn't do anything against its powerful body, but Noah felt worried when he saw the amount of dark matter dispersed after the impact.
'This won't do,' Noah thought as he stepped out of the red waterfall.
The pride carried by his aura intensified as the images of his battle against the rank 6 Kesier Ape resurfaced in his mind. That feeling peaked when he recalled the sensations felt when he managed to block its physical attack with his arms.
Carl and the others felt that Noah had suddenly become more dangerous. It wasn't his power to have changed, but the violence of his aura. They felt as if a magical beast had suddenly replaced their ally.
Noah released a roar, and the world lost its light for an instant. A pillar made of transparent white flames spread horizontally and affected some of the lightning bolts' trajectory.
The pressure radiated by the Tribulation focused on Noah at that point. He had interfered with someone else's test, so he had become a target too.
Nevertheless, another roar resounded in the area before the sparks in the magma could create attacks aimed at Noah. The cry was long, and its tone became clearer and more human as it continued.
Noah had put all his pride as a hybrid in his last cry, and he had even ordered Skully to wake up. He was weaker than her when it came to the food chain, but there was a chance that his roar could awaken her human mind.
A whirlpool formed in the lava lake after the cry and a large empty area formed right in the middle of those red waters. A figure slowly flew out of it, and Carl's group couldn't help but rejoice at that sight.
Noah saw the Kesier Ape sitting on a floating throne made of lava. The beast sat in the same position that Skully had maintained for millennia, which confirmed that the powerhouse had gained control of her new body.
Skully appeared unable to move, but she was using her innate ability quite skillfully. Her mental waves kept the throne solid, and she floated without using "Breath".
"Thank you, Noah Balvan," Skully said in an ancient voice mixed with growls. "You can step back. I have too much to remember about being alive!"
As she finished speaking, Skully shot upward, protected by an invisible barrier that the Tribulation didn't manage to pierce. Then, she crossed one of the cavities and dived in the sea of magma, disappearing from Noah's sight.
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