“Coincidence, a coincidence indeed!” Chen Hao snickered. He was wearing a sky-blue robe, his handsome features clearly inherited from his father.
He approached Li Tianming threateningly, but his mind was full of the slap that his father gave him because of Li Tianming, a shame that he would never forget.
Furthermore, while Li Tianming was posturing in Heaven’s Sanctum, his mother had been throwing fits randomly. At the same time, his youngest brother had lost his will to cultivate, opting to waste away in the institute instead. If these changes weren’t due to Li Tianming, then no one else would be responsible.
“To think that you'll offer yourself up! What good luck!” With his plate armour and bulky physique, Xing Que looked just like a general on a battlefield, ready to slaughter at a moment's notice.
They were the heirs of the Xing & Chen Merchantry, born with silver spoons in their mouths. Therefore, both of them had weapons and armour that fitted their status. For instance, Xing Que’s robe was made of the toughest silvery threads, making it a grade five armor. If it wasn't for the Elysium's regulations, they would probably have equipped even better equipment.
As they spoke, the two of them closed in on Li Tianming, one from the left and the other from the right.
“To meet us here... you’re just plain unlucky.” Chen Hao's eyes seemed to house daggers, the conflict between him and Li Tianming playing over and over in his mind.
“Li Tianming, your wings aren’t going to let you escape today. I promised to teach you a lesson you can never forget, and today is the day for that!” Xing Que spoke calmly, but his words were tinged with an authority that made him sound irrefutable.
“Brother, shall we?” Xing Que asked Chen Hao, who was on the opposite side.
“No, let me do this myself. There are some things I need to prove to my father!” Chen Hao’s eyes glowed oddly, as if that slap was still hurting him.
“Alright, I'll keep a lookout for you.” That was necessary since they needed to watch out for other competitors, and also to ensure Li Tianming couldn't escape from this.
With a golden glow, Xing Que's lifebound beast leapt out of his lifebound space. It was a golden tiger, two meters tall, six meters long and sparking with starlight! The single, sharp horn on its head was the most eye-catching of all, the golden light it was giving off turning heads.
It was the low-tier seven-star beast, the Solar Horned Tiger, a star-type terrestrial beast! The Solar Horned Tiger symbolised the Xing Mansion, since it was with this beast that Sage Xing rose to the top of the nation by defeating many opponents. That was the reason why the Starry Sages were also known as the Lion and Tiger Sages. Right now, Sage Xing’s tiger was at its prime, while Xing Que’s beast was still a mere beastling. And yet, it was still a terrifying foe for the current Li Tianming.
As Xing Que rode the Solar Horned Tiger and sealed off Li Tianming’s escape route, Chen Hao’s lifebound beast appeared in front of Li Tianming. His brother’s Hex-Starred Clinquant Lion was brilliant enough, yet it was nothing compared to Chen Hao’s lifebound beast!
It was an even more magnificent lion, every inch of its fur glowing like starlight. Even more fascinating were the giant wings that grew out of the sides of its ribs, almost as big as the Eight-Winged Goldroc’s. It was the Hepta-Starred Winged Lion, another low-tier seven-star beast!
For everyone attending the Abyssal Trials, a seven-star beast was the minimum standard. Even if it was just a low-tier one, its power would still be far stronger than that of six-star beasts. For royal beasts, the difference between each tier was quite significant, and they would have been another level ahead if their beasts were mid-tier.
Even though the Hepta-Starred Winged Lion had wings, it was still a star-type terrestrial beast, a royal beast like the Solar Horned Tiger. Any royal beast that grew to its prime would join the top echelons of Vermilion Bird.
With Xing Que on his Solar Horned Tiger as back-up, Chen Hao pressed towards Li Tianming together with his Hepta-Starred Winged Lion. Apart from the sky blue robe he donned, a glaring longsword was in his hand, its hilt embedded with seven different gems and giving off an unyielding energy. It was one of the top grade five beastial weapons, the Hepta-Starred Arcane Sword. Infused with a rare spirit hazard known as the Hepta-starred Unyielding Energy, it was extremely destructive. In fact, a simple swing from the weapon was enough to shatter an entire boulder!
“Li Tianming, you’ll be crawling out of Azure Domain after this fight!” With a cold smirk, he dashed towards Li Tianming, the Hepta-Starred Arcane Sword looming over Li Tianming’s head.
“Done with your trash talk?” Li Tianming wasn’t interested in trading insults.
Unfortunately, Xue Lan isn’t here to see me grind your face onto the ground!
But either way, if Li Tianming sent the two of them out with their faces completely swollen, Xue Lan and Yuan Yu would still see it. With that aim in mind, Li Tianming was not about to go easy on them.
“Ying Huo, Ling’er, make sure their faces swell up!” Li Tianming grinned.
“Been wanting to do that for ages!” The little chick took to the air and locked onto the Hepta-Starred Winged Lion.
If only I had such cool looks as well! Annoyed by its own ‘cute’ looks, Ying Huo decided to vent out all its frustration on the lion.
If Xing Que wasn’t going to intervene, then Li Tianming could easily take them down one by one. He was glad that those two could still be this cocky against him now, especially since he was even stronger than when he had just defeated Wei Guohao.
This newfound strength was brought to him by the little chick’s evolution, and its new spiritsource ability was better than any robe or armor he could possibly ask for. At that very moment, Ying Huo shot a burning fireball in Li Tianming’s direction, covering him in its Infernal Armour from head to toes.
The Infernal Blaze even entwined itself onto the Blazing Dragon Chainblade, turning him into a fiery god of war! At the same time, Ying Huo donned the Infernal Armour too, becoming a flaming chicken.
“Ling’er.” Words were not necessary for Jiang Feiling to know what he wanted. The lion wasn’t the only one to have wings, as she activated her own Celestial Wings. As Li Tianming took to the air, it was impossible for Chen Hao to chase him even with his winged lion, let alone Xing Que. But Li Tianming had no intention to escape.
Her Temporal Field followed, creating a sphere around Li Tianming. Shrouded in the Temporal Field, they couldn’t feel time slowing down, only thinking that Li Tianming had become even faster as he dodged all of Chen Hao’s strikes!
Chen Hao’s Hepta-Starred Arcane Sword continued to rain down on Li Tianming, each of the strikes accompanied by seven beams of Hepta-Starred Unyielding Energy, shattering everything in its way. With his special movement art, a star would appear to boost his speed every time he touched the ground.
He was using the Cosmic Brilliante Sword Art, a supreme source-ranked art. It was also his strongest battle art, which demonstrated just how much he wanted to defeat Li Tianming. Similarly, the lion was using its beastial arts too. Though colossal, it was swift and nimble, defying conventional logic.
“Our turn now.” With a sudden burst of strength, Li Tianming and Ying Huo swapped their target after a brief exchange of thoughts. The little chick shot towards Chen Hao like a bullet, while Li Tianming leapt up into the air, appearing on top of the Hepta-Starred Winged Lion! The lion was taken by surprise, not expecting Li Tianming to fly just as it did, especially at such a speed!
With a buzz, Li Tianming immediately used his Bewildering Eye! It was his favorite trick against lifebound beasts, and had never failed him before. Even though lifebound beasts were more intelligent than wildbeasts, their resistance against the Bewildering Eye was still much weaker than that of beastmasters.
As the illusion struck the lion, Li Tianming had already swung out his Blazing Dragon Chainblade, the first stance of his Soulless Seven Howls parting the air and ripping its wings!
The lion crashed into the side of a cliff with a sonorous explosion, sliding down the cliff wall to land on the ground a moment later.
“Don’t you dare!” Chen Hao stabbed his longsword into the air, the sword ki going straight for Li Tianming.
Li Tianming promptly commanded his Celestial Wings to get out of harm’s way. The little chick, covered in its own Infernal Blaze, now caught up with Chen Hao, forcing him to deal with it. That got Chen Hao off Li Tianming's tail, allowing him to attack the lion once more.
The truth was, with Li Tianming’s Celestial Wings, Chen Hao was heavily handicapped, especially in aerial battles. That extended to almost all other beastmasters, since only Li Tianming was lucky enough to have Jiang Feiling by his sides.
The Celestial Wings might look tame before her other abilities, but it was most practical when it came to combat.
On the other side, the Hepta-Starred Winged Lion was already enraged, having crashed into the cliff. Once it got back onto its feet, it locked onto Li Tianming’s direction, its wings now a bright purple. The next second, its two wings touched, releasing a dazzling purple beam!
This spiritsource ability, the Hepta-Starred Cosmic Beam, was more than enough to kill Li Tianming in one shot. Trouble was looming!