“Wasn’t he crippled?”
“It was Li Zifeng who looked like the real cripple here.”
“What a horrific loss. He’s just crying and crying. Is it that painful?”
“To be honest, young master Zifeng has always been a bully. Being beaten like this can kinda be considered poetic justice…”
Many soft discussions started. Li Zifeng’s reputation immediately came crashing down. There were some words that no one would dare to voice out loud, but kicking someone when they were down was something that came naturally to the audience. Within moments, Li Zifeng’s conduct in the last three years was brought to light.
Now, everyone was waiting for Li Yanfeng’s response.
And as Li Zifeng expected, his father got up after the six strikes.
“Milord, quickly save Zifeng, then execute this rebel!” Madam Mo wailed. She wanted to step forward herself, but she didn’t dare to. Everyone was watching Li Yanfeng. This was supposed to be his joyous occasion, and this had to be a huge slap in his face, especially when it came to the reputation-conscious Li Yanfeng.
Furthermore, Zephyr Tower was filled with many dignitaries as well. They may not say anything to his face, but they would definitely ridicule him behind his back after this.
Li Tianming could feel a gaze boring at him, and he released Li Zifeng, who crumpled over at his feet.
“Dad, mom, save me!” Li Zifeng crawled away like a dog, scrambling off the stage without even caring about his Purple-Eyed Bright Bird.
“Mother, this was for you!” This time, it was all to stick up for her, as well as himself. For his lost dignity — for the justice he deserved!
Wei Jing’s dignity had been cast aside with a divorce letter, while Li Tianming’s had been lost for three years.
Li Tianming was prepared to crush anything in his way, consequences be damned.
Today, he would rampage as much as he wanted. He was already displaying the beginnings of greatness. This day would definitely be left in the annals of Flamehaven history!
Li Tianming lifted his head, meeting his father’s gaze by chance. The latter’s eyes were grim, evident from his clenched, twitching fist, a last-ditch attempt to control his emotions. Li Tianming may have pissed him off, but he was still a man with a city under him — his dignity was at stake.
“An excellent performance, Tianming. It pleases me to see your perseverance, despite the past three years,” Li Yanfeng said blandly.
“Why, thank you.” The exchange seemed amicable on the surface, but was in truth fraught with tension.
In truth, Li Tianming had told Li Yanfeng how he had been framed when he returned from Ignispolis. However, the silent reply he received made him realise that his father feared Lightning Manor too much to offend them. At that moment, Li Tianming had been incredibly disappointed.
Even though he had the high and lofty position of commanding Flamehaven, he chose to give up Li Tianming in the face of the colossal Lightning Manor, while tossing aside his mother as an afterthought. That divorce letter of his had been his most vicious move yet, and Li Tianming had carved each and every word into his memory. Where was the mutual respect between husband and wife, and why was it instead a knife in the back?
The two might be father and son in blood, but Li Tianming didn’t want to be involved with this man anymore.
“So, what were you aiming for by defeating Zifeng?” Li Yanfeng didn’t want to shed all pretense of cordiality here, so he adopted a gentle tone to maintain a pretence of equal treatment.
But no one brought that story. Everyone knew that Li Yanfeng was about to marry someone from Lightning Manor, an organisation that Li Tianming had a blood feud with! Li Yanfeng’s concerns with his reputation was the only thing stopping him from killing his son on the spot.
“The Flameyellow Order, as well as for you to escort me out of Flamehaven just like four years ago. Just do it again. Henceforth, I shall never step a foot into Flamehaven again.” Li Tianming’s words were clear and resolute. The purpose of this was for his dignity, as he didn’t want that divorce letter to force his mother and him to leave this city like homeless dogs!
His words left everyone shocked.
“Didn’t he withdraw from the Flameyellow Scions Institute himself as his cultivation regressed? And now he wants to go back?”
“Why does he want to go back? He’s the butt of their jokes there. Lin Xiaoting and Mu Qingqing are geniuses of Heaven’s Division, and are a gazillion times stronger than him! He’s just asking to be embarrassed.”
“But it’s obvious that he doesn’t want to stay here or repair his relationship with the governor.”
“Yeah. Wanting the governor to send him off just seems to be a way to go with some dignity. It makes sense from his perspective.”
Everyone was waiting for Li Yanfeng’s decision. However, the man himself merely frowned. “You just have a one-star lifebound beast. Your current strength comes from what you trained in the past with Midas. The beast vein stage is your limit in life. Even if you do get the Flameyellow Order, the Flameyellow Scions Institute is NOT going to accept you.”
“That’s not your problem. The Order belongs to me, for I’m first place. Whatever follows, I’ll deal with it myself. Since my position has been stripped, sir governor, our relations end here. No matter how I embarrass myself, it won’t drag you in,” said Li Tianming. This display of backbone by a youth, especially when talking to Li Yanfeng, had garnered grudging respect from the audience.
“It seems like he’s going to get what he wants.”
“Everything this fellow did today really was outrageous.”
“Actually, he does have quite the backbone!”
The mockery had ceased. Even if he was no longer a Flamehaven citizen, the jeering from now on would lessen greatly.
“Dad, the Order is mine, MINE! You can’t let him have it!” Li Zifeng struggled to his feet in a panic.
“Milord, since we’re being ruthless anyway, why not go all the way and…” Madam Mo whispered into his ear.
“Scram.” Li Yanfeng gave her a look, which quickly frightened Madam Mo into a corner.
It seemed that under the public eye, Li Yanfeng could only agree to the request.
“My Flameyellow Order! And send us out of the city!” Li Tianming stressed every word, each one landing like a hammer on the hearts of those watching!
Li Tianming thought of his mother. She had to be still in the courtyard, unable to sleep as she stewed in her anxiousness. She might be pacing about to and fro. While she might have never said anything, she had once married into Flamehaven even more grandly than Liu Qing had. There was no way she would ever accept such a pathetic departure, especially at her twilight!
“Sir governor!” Li Tianming said one final time, his eyes burning as he stared at Li Yanfeng. He found it laughable when he saw the unspoken thought of ‘unfilial son’ written on his father’s face. He saw the rage and humiliation playing across his features!
“What can you do no matter how angry you are?” Li Tianming felt rather upbeat to see this reaction.
Li Tianming had ruined this joyous occasion, leaving Li Yanfeng with no choice but to swallow his anger. He couldn’t toss aside his dignity as a father and governor in front of so many dignitaries!
“Remember well, governor. You don’t qualify to divorce her. Today, the only reason we’re leaving is because you are NOT worthy of her!”
“How embarrassing.” Such conversations began to flow. Only Li Yanfeng knew how it felt to be embarrassed so publicly!
It was at this moment that a woman walked to his side and held onto Li Yanfeng’s arm. Liu Qing. She smiled gently at Li Tianming, her lips parted slightly and her eyes seeming to speak volumes.
“Tianming, it’s not good for a young man to be so hot-tempered,” Liu Qing said gently. Her beauty was not tarnished by a common baseness like so many others, and her words were a reflection of that.
“Elaborate, madam.” Li Tianming didn’t have a favourable impression of this woman, as she was from Lightning Manor.
She smiled. “What I mean is that there is still one more Flamehaven genius in the running for this selection.”
Her words confused everyone, Li Tianming included. Who else was there? Liu Qing herself? But she was over twenty and in the Spiritsource stage. Who else could it be?