Li Tianming could sense a faint communication between him and the Flameyellow Rock’s consciousness when he was punching away. As weird as it sounded, he felt that the rock had approved of him, which was why it had blessed him with the opportunity to gain two levels at once. But now, it was tired. Such a blessing had to be draining, even for a rock.
But if the rock was willing to give him such an opportunity again, Li Tianming believed he could sense its call. For him, the Flameyellow Rock was like a close friend. A disciple gaining the recognition of the Flameyellow Rock...it was an indescribable feeling.
Li Tianming stood up, everyone’s eyes glued to him, Mu Yang and Sage Chen included.
Just how is he not dead yet? What kind of a miracle is needed to pull this off?
“Good afternoon, everyone.”
Li Tianming tidied his attire. At the same time, Jiang Feiling had reverted to her physical form and materialized beside him, tired from the days of helping his cultivation.
As for the little chick, it was still spewing sparks of fire energetically at one side.
Mu Yang beckoned. “Come here.”
“Greetings, Vice-Potentate, Sage Chen.” Li Tianming looked at the two in front of him. Both were legends of Ignispolis, prodigies of their generation, and pillars of the Vermilion Bird Nation.
Oh, and they were both Wei Jing’s wooers, far stronger and more handsome than Li Yanfeng.
“Li Tianming, I have heard so many stories about you recently,” Sage Chen said with a smile, one side of his eyebrow raised.
Li Tianming hurriedly replied, “Sage Chen, please don’t worry about your loan. I promise to—”
“No hurry. In fact, just tell me if you want more, I can continue lending as long as you can return ten times the amount.”
“Thank you, I guess, but that’s not needed after all.” Li Tianming shook his head
Mu Yang had heard about the debt between them from Sage Chen.
“Tianming, what happened?” Mu Yang asked.
“I don’t know much either, other than what you have already seen,” Li Tianming said.
“Are you injured? The Flameyellow Rock has never reacted like this before.”
“No. In fact, my strength improved,” Li Tianming replied.
“Next time, don’t mess about without my permission. The Flameyellow Rock is not something you can understand at your current level, and I’m scared that something might happen to you,” Mu Yang said. If anything did happen to Li Tianming, then how was he supposed to answer to Wei Jing?
“I don’t see much of a problem. In fact, it seems like the rock approved of him,” Sage Chen interrupted.
“Keep spewing rubbish. It’s not like you’ll be blamed if anything happens to him.” Mu Yang rolled his eyes.
Well, at least all was well now.
“Vice-Potentate, I know what I’m doing, and I will make sure nothing bad happens,” Li Tianming assured him.
“Fine then, just remember to take a break when you need to. Same goes to the rest of you.” Mu Yang scanned the rest of the disciples. They were still amazed that Li Tianming survived this, Xing Que and Chen Hao included.
Sage Chen saw the twins.“The two of you, come here.”
They walked up, not forgetting to throw an unfriendly glare at Li Tianming.
“Don’t bear any grudges. You all shouldn’t be fighting amongst yourselves, so just shake your hands and make peace,” said Sage Chen.
He didn’t want his own son to look for trouble with Li Tianming. Likewise, Li Tianming did not intend to fight with the twins, given their relationship with Sage Chen, who had helped him greatly.
“I will accept your apologies.” Li Tianming held out his hand. He was willing to make peace, provided that they apologised for insulting Wei Jing.
“Father, he beat up Chen Yao, I have to take revenge for my little brother.” However, Chen Hao was not willing to cooperate.
“Take what?” Surprisingly, Sage Chen slapped Chen Hao without any hesitation, and sent the boy flying back into the air.
People said that Sage Chen had a good temper, but this hardly looked like it. Still, it was surprising to see how he educated his own son without any mercy. The crowd could only pity Chen Hao, who was kneeling on the floor, his face swollen and tears about to fall off from his eyes.
Why would Sage Chen educate his own son just for Li Tianming’s sake? Well, it was simply because Li Tianming was generous enough to end their conflict under a senior’s suggestion, but Chen Hao had refused it.
“Xing Que, do you think the same way?” After slapping Chen Hao, Sage Chen turned to Xing Que.
“Uncle, I despise that person.” Xing Que gritted his teeth.
“Be my guest then. But I have one word of advice for you,” Sage Chen said.
“Both your father and I simply cannot believe that our sons have such low standards. With your current mentality and achievements, you are nothing compared to the two of us when we were your age,” Sage Chen said calmly.
Xing Que lowered his head when he heard that, his fists tightly clenched.
“Enough, leave the kids some face.” Mu Yang interrupted, and requested Xing Que and Chen Hao to leave first.
“Chen Hao.” Before they left, Sage Chen called out.
“Yes, father?” Chen Hao hung his head.
“If you are victorious in the Abyssal Trials, I will apologise for slapping you in front of everyone.”
“I will remember that, father.” With that, the duo left the Flameyellow Pagoda.
Li Tianming must say that the slap looked painful.
“Uncle Chen, I’m in your debt. Even if they refuse to apologise to me, if anything happens in the future, I’ll give them a chance.”
“Don’t bother, just beat them up if they are in the wrong. Just keep them alive. Without trials and tribulations, how would they improve?” Sage Chen curled his lips.
“Tianming, stop boasting. You are still miles away from catching up with them. Brother Chen, let the kids deal with their own problems. Shall we?” Mu Yang gestured.
“Let’s go.” Clearly, they had other matters to attend to, and it would seem that they had to leave soon.
“Oh and Tianming, your mother misses you. Drop by and visit her when you are free.” Mu Yang turned and said before they left. He had been the one taking care of Wei Jing for the past few days.
“Oh and if you could bring Princess Ling with you and let her see her daughter-in-law, that would be even better,” Mu Yang teased. He definitely didn’t look like someone who would make such a joke.
“Not yet.” Jiang Feiling was stunned for a moment, her face blushing bright red immediately afterwards.
“No problem, Vice-Potentate.” Li Tianming answered. In fact, he wanted to return to the Wei Manor now, and let mother take a look at Jiang Feiling too.
“Dear, shall we?”
“Dear your head. Don’t spout nonsense, lest my father hears it.” Jiang Feiling rubbed her forehead.
After all, she was the Vermilion Bird Emperor’s daughter, and her identity was that of a princess. She couldn’t decide her own future without the Emperor’s acknowledgement.
“I’m sorry, Ling’er,” Li Tianming said.
“It’s ok, big brother, don’t take it to heart. Only time will tell if we are destined to be together,” Jiang Feiling said gently.
“You are right.”
“But I do want to visit Aunt Jing too, do you think I need to bring some gifts along?” Jiang Feiling played with the tip of her dress, her face blushing a faint pink.
“It’s fine, you will be the best gift she can ever receive,” Li Tianming said.
“HEY! What about ME?” The little chick chipped in.
“You? Maybe the best dinner for tonight.” Li Tianming rolled his eyes.
“Hoes before bros? What a bastard,” Ying Huo retaliated.
Those two were at it again. Jiang Feiling smiled, as she felt the warmth and happiness in her heart. She imagined the day when she would walk down the wedding hall with her pretty bridal dress, with this man by her side. But would it be possible? Would their hearts survive the test of time? She couldn’t tell, and neither did she want to think about that.
“Big brother, let’s go.” She held onto Li Tianming’s arms and made her choice.
She was never afraid of rumours and slander, and neither would she fear looks of contempt and disappointment. The arm she held was warm and strong, as if it would shelter her from anything in this world.
When she was attached to Li Tianming, she could feel what he felt, and look into his heart. It used to be scarred, but it was now vigorous once again, healed by her own efforts. Thinking of that had brought a smile to her face, yet there were tears flowing from the corner of her eyes.
“Is holding a handsome man’s hand so touching that you cried?” Li Tianming was looking ahead, but a smile crept up his lips too.
“No, I was thinking about how you will be beaten to a pulp by Wei Lingxuan the moment you stepped back into Wei Manor. Thinking of the sad state you would be in made me cry.” Jiang Feiling wiped away her tears.
She looked up and glanced at the side of his face. The contour of his face, the curve of his lips, it all looked just like the face from her dreams.
“Ling’er, don’t worry.” Li Tianming gently squeezed her palms, “Today is the first day I bring you to my mother, and I will make sure Wei Lingxuan can’t even touch my hair. Do you believe me?”
“Ha, then be prepared to get smacked in the face for looking down on me when I get my glorious victory later.” Li Tianming smiled.
“But would you really smack my face?” She tilted her head and smiled.
Li Tianming was taken aback. Her face was just too pretty, prettier than any sculpture or painting he could ever imagine. It wasn’t just the appearance, but more of the clarity in her eyes.
“I would never dream of it,” he said without hesitation.
Li Tianming didn’t know what made him do it, but he found his lips on her cheeks a moment later.
“Big brother…” Even if the contact was just for a split second, her heart trembled. She had never gotten struck by lightning before, but surely that was how it felt.
Their eyes met, and Li Tianming finally understood how beautiful love could be. It was a feeling like never before, and the two of them were in a world of their own.
Or it would be, if not for the fact that there was an angsty, single little chick accompanying them.
“Look at y’all. That was just a peck on the cheek. Gotta wonder how it’ll be like when the two of you start plowing furrows in the bedsheets… ”
And with that, the wonderful ambience that they had just up and vanished.
“You little twat...” If he could burn something with his sight, the little chick would have been a golden brown by now.