Flameyellow Continent was a magnificent land, and within its endless borders countless lives were born. Out of those born here, some were extraordinary beings, destined to achieve greatness...
High in the sky were three beasts frolicking within the boundless sea of clouds. Upon closer inspection, the three were actually mythical dragons swimming in the sky, or at least beasts that highly resembled dragons. Dragons were creatures only recorded in legends and myths. It was said that a dragon had antlers of a stag, head of a camel, eyes of a demon, neck of a snake, belly of a clam, scales of a carp, claws of an eagle, soles of a tiger, and ears of a cow. No one had ever seen an actual dragon, just like how no one had seen an actual phoenix before.
The three creatures in the sky had heads, bodies, claws and fangs of a dragon, making them very similar to those mythical creatures. The key difference, however, was that they each had a sharp, crimson horn at the top of their heads, like spikes. Their auras were also not as majestic as the actual legendary beasts.
In fact, those three creatures were lifebound beasts! It was already unimaginable for lifebound beasts to have bloodlines related to the mythical dragons, not to mention three identical ones! There was definitely something incredible about the beasts soaring through the clouds. The presence of lifebound beasts naturally meant that their beastmaster was here too. Atop the middle dragon was a girl in red, a red that matched the scales of these dragons. It was obvious that she had a graceful figure, but a black veil concealed her facial features, denying lucky spectators the sight of their lives.
Her eyes, however, weren’t covered, showing off a piercing glint that would make others look away. A terrifying will lurked in their depths, seemingly hiding an entire world in them as they assessed the sights flashing past her. Only sovereigns would have such a demeanour; no one would expect a young girl like her to have it.
“Three Red-Horned Torch Dragons. Triplet beastmasters sure are impressive.” Behind the young girl, a middle-aged man in a black robe sat cross-legged on the beast. At first glance, his posture was off-balance and messy, but his body remained immobile despite their high-speed flight.
“Thank you for the compliment, Uncle Chen.” The girl’s voice was emotionless. Did the compliment hit home? No one knew.
“That wasn’t a compliment. I, Ling Yichen, had never seen anyone like you in my entire life. And you are just a young girl.” Ling Yichen smiled gently, and an exact replica floated onto the girl’s face.
“Lady Long, before we return to Torch Dragon, we will first make a trip back to your hometown Yueling City, yes?” Ling Yichen asked.
“Yes, some people there have a debt to pay.” Her eyes lit up with a icy light.
Ling Yichen shook his head. “You left your hometown at the age of eight, and only returned at seventeen. While you were gone, your family suffered from a crisis. Yueling City is now Duanmu City.”
“From this day on, there will no longer be a Duanmu City,” the girl stated quietly.
Ling Yichen lowered his head. “Naturally. As Lady Long’s new servant, Ling Yichen will wipe out every last one of your foes.”
“Leave a few for me, I want to personally deal with them.” Her vision had already locked on to a giant city, around the size of Ignispolis, right beneath them.
“Those ants of the Duanmu Clan will never know that the girl who had left the Yueling Clan at the age of eight had returned today as Lady Long! They will never dream that you are the miracle of the Grand-Orient Realm, with talent unrivaled by anyone in the past few millennia! Lady Long, a day will come when the whole of Heaven’s Elysium calls out your name. They will be proud of you, and you will bring everyone to a glory like never before. As your faithful servant, it’s my honour to do anything for you!” Ling Yichen too stared at Duanmu city with a fervent zeal.
“Thank you for the compliment, Uncle Chen.” The girl’s reply was simple, the black veil continuing to mask her expression.
And with that, the three Red-Horned Torch Dragons swooped down onto the city, hovering above the Governor’s Mansion.
“A lifebound beast on top of Duanmu City? Tired of living, huh?!” A roar came from within the mansion.
“Duanmu Yang, Duanmu Feng, Duanmu Sheng. Bring out all one hundred and thirty six members of the Duanmu Clan, and be ready to receive your deaths.” The girl’s domineering voice rang through the mansion.
“Who dares to challenge the Duanmu Clan!” Chaos stirred in the mansion, and three men walked out of the building, their steps concealing incredible strength. They were brothers, and together, they controlled the lifeline of Duanmu City. Many members of the clan followed in their wake, staring into the sky coldly.
The leader of the clan, Duanmu Yang, found the girl and Ling Yichen, his brows frowning, “And who may you be? Are you disrespecting the laws of the Duanmu city, and the power of the Duanmu clan?”
Ling Yichen smiled briefly. “Know not who I am? Does Ling Yichen sound familiar?”
“Ling Yichen?” The three brothers exchanged glances, then blanched on the spot. Their next words were much more obsequious. “Inspector of Heaven’s Elysium! Mr Ling, there must be some misunderstanding. The Duanmu clan had always been loyal, and we never made a single mistake…”
Ling Yichen sneered. “There’s no misunderstanding. I’m here today on Lady Long’s orders. Your whole clan is to be executed. At. Her. Request.”
“What!” The three brothers’ faces paled even further, and they began to have trouble breathing.
“Lady Long? An elysium child!” Duanmu Yang said in disbelief.
“So you do know the positions of elysium children, eh? This Lady Long will be the strongest cultivator, even in the entire Grand-Orient Realm!” Ling Yichen’s words rang out loud.
“Greetings to Lady Long!” The three of them hurriedly slammed their heads onto the floor, prostrating towards the young girl, even though the rest of the clan were present.
An elysium child! How could someone of such magnitude deign to show up in a rural city like theirs! And how could they have possibly offended the elysium child? It was no different from a prince sentencing a housebound peasant to death!
The clan began to panic.
“But Lady Long, you must have made a mistake! The Duanmu Clan has never offended you in any way!” Duanmu Yang cried.
Ling Yichen snickered. “Really? Why don't you ask Lady Long for her name?”
“Lady Long, may… may we know your name?” All the clan members were kneeling on the floor right now.
“Duanmu Yang,” Lady Long’s eyes shone with cold light as she pointed at herself. “During the nine years I was gone from here, you killed my mother, exiled my clan and claimed Yueling City as your own. Tell me, do you think you can make it out alive today?”
Her voice left the Duanmu Clan trembling.
“Yueling Xiao had a youngest daughter who went missing at eight. Her name... her name… it was ‘Yueling Long’.” The three brothers stared at the black veiled girl, terror written all over their face.
“No… How can a place like ours birth an elysium child… no way…” Many of the others had already burst out in tears.
That was perhaps the best course of action. Against the inspector, they were but ants after all.
“Uncle Chen, kill every single one of them, and hang the three brothers’ heads on the city gate.”
A tragic slaughter followed these words. On that fateful day, the river of Duanmu city ran red with blood. None escaped from the inspector, and none could fight him. Even the three Duanmu brothers, the overlords and the strongest of the city, fell in a single exchange. The girl stood on her beast, and looked down on the slaughter coldly. No one knew what she had gone through in the past nine years, but she had emerged alive. The moment she was crowned as an elysium child, nothing in this world could stop her ascent to greatness.
She witnessed the death of the three brothers, watched as each and every member of the Duanmu clan breathed their last. And yet, the light in her eyes flickered.
It didn’t take long before the clan was pulled out by its roots.
“Lady Long, there’s only a newborn left. Kill? Or...” Ling Yichen’s black robe was stained with blood, an infant in his hands. A birdling whimpered beside the infant.
“Hand him to me.” The girl picked up the infant. He was a cute little boy who didn’t know what had just happened, and only found it fun that he was in the clouds now.
Without any change in emotion, the girl let go.
The child fell to the ground, joining the rest of his family with a sickening splat. As for the bird, it was crushed to a pulp by the girl.
The girl threw one last glance at the hell below them and said, “Come on, Torch Dragon awaits.”
Ling Yichen swallowed the lump in his throat.
“Yes, Lady Long.”
The two of them set sail once again, leaving behind the land of corpses and a trembling city.
“So after Lady Long’s clan was evicted from Yueling City, they managed to evade capture by the Duanmu Clan and eventually arrived at the peninsula, where they settled in Torch Dragon?” Ling Yichen asked.
“That’s right.” The girl nodded.
“Speaking of which, is that Torch Dragon Nation perhaps related to your Red-Horned Torch Dragon?”
“The royal clan there is a branch of our Yueling Clan. But their blood is impure, and their so-called ‘Torch Dragons’ are just mongrels.”
“I see. So Lady Long came all the way from the Elysium this time to settle your family down properly.”
“Once that is done, Lady Long can finally cultivate in Heaven’s Elysium in peace. It just so happens that I’ll be picking up someone named Lin Xiaoting too. Also, the show that Lady Long had asked me to arrange is ready.”