Yue Lingji was naturally unable to fly by herself, and so she needed to mount the Blizzard Dragon. Although it was wingless, it could draw on the power of storms to rush into the sky and chase down Li Tianming!
Unfortunately, the distance would immediately open up whenever she entered the Temporal Field.
Li Tianming couldn’t defeat Yue Lingji, not with an injured Mo Lin around. Still, he understood he would have done the same if he was in Mo Lin’s shoes. As such, Li Tianming’s only recourse was to bring Mo Lin to the Heavenly Pattern Barrier, which was closing in.
“Apprentice-brother Mo Lin, I don’t know if we can go to the same place after we touch the barrier. If we don’t, hide first and focus on recovery. Don’t consider Heaven’s Elysium anymore.”
“Alright. Thank you for saving me.” Mo Lin looked behind and finally relaxed, seeing that Yue Lingji wasn’t able to catch up. The two of them being able to escape with their lives was the best outcome to him.
Without the barrier’s ability to teleport anyone it touched away, Yue Lingji would have continued her chase like a vengeful ghost. And considering that this trial was a free-for-all, where an oriole could show up anytime, escaping was for the best.
The barrier itself was now in sight. Tightening his grip on Mo Lin, Li Tianming slammed into it. As for the little chick, it had already entered the lifebound space to prevent itself from being swept away by what was to come, and a storm whipped up as the teleportation began.
The power of the storm was too terrifying. Even though Li Tianming was using his chain to secure Mo Lin, they were forced to separate with a ghastly yank. The world spun around Li Tianming, who dropped from the skies a moment later, landing on his bum with a bump. There wasn’t anyone around him, be it person or wildbeast. The intricacies of the barrier had indeed teleported them away from their pursuers.
“I don’t know where apprentice-brother Mo Lin went. I hope he’s fine. He’s going to need a veterinarian for his lifebound beast after this.” Li Tianming could only pray for his safety.
“Yue Lingji. Ninth level Spiritsource, a high-tier seven-star lifebound beast, a grade six beastial weapon and five kills under her belt.” Li Tianming frowned. This would most likely be his greatest opponent. “If apprentice-brother Mo Lin wasn’t here, I’ll show you a thing or two.”
Li Tianming disliked that look where you acted like everything was under control. So, he drew a conclusion. “Both are girls, but Ling’er is cuter.”
For other people, no one knew what kind of heart was hidden under a beautiful appearance.
“My only worry is that Qing’er is among the ones she’s killed.” This whole time, Jiang Feiling had been worried sick.
“She’ll be fine.” Li Tianming could only comfort her. He himself wanted to protect Jiang Qingluan, but the problem was he still couldn’t find her! He had met Xing Que, Chen Hao and Mo Lin so far, but he just couldn’t meet the two people he actually wanted to find, Mu Qingqing and Jiang Qingluan.
“It’s the eighteenth day. The enclosed area has shrunk quite a bit.” Li Tianming flew up and examined the size of the formation.
“Now that I think about it, the barrier is a sphere. So, the highest point should correspond to the centre of the whole sphere when it shrinks down!" Li Tianming smacked himself on the head for missing the obvious.
Since he couldn't find them, he just needed to go to the place most people would be. Li Tianming only needed to go along the formation in the sky, until he found the highest point. That was when he would arrive at the centre. At the very start, the formation had been very high up, all the way above the clouds. However, as it shrunk, the ceiling of their battleground lowered — right now, it should be below the lightning-filled clouds.
Li Tianming flew through the dense black lightning. It was a risky move, given that getting hit was almost guaranteed to be fatal. However, it was a risk he had to take to find Jiang Qingluan.
Inside his lifebound space, ‘number two’ would start to get excited every time he got near the lightning. It would push against the shell, causing the cracks on it to increase until there were three more.
In between the slits, lightning could be seen surging.
On the contrary, the little chick didn’t look all that excited to see his little brother move. That was because him and Li Tianming were keeping count.
“One, two, three… fifteen, sixteen, seventeen!” When they hit seventeen, all movement halted. The sounds of snoring could be heard if they pricked up their ears.
This damned cycle had already repeated dozens of times. Every single time, the bugger inside would always fall asleep, right before it pushed for the seventeenth time.
“What a lazy punk. I bet it won’t be any useful even after hatches!” the little chick said disdainfully.
Day nineteen of the Abyssal Trials!
Li Tianming had found the highest point. When he looked down, he saw a region of water. Black mist lingered on its surface. Who knew how many wildbeasts lurked within this region of water?
“This position should correspond to the Lake of Islands on Flameyellow Continent. The Lake of Islands is one of the biggest lakes in the Land of Thousand Lakes.” Li Tianming descended, hiding in one of the mountains next to the lake.
“Are there others already here and in hiding?” It would be difficult to find people in this omnipresent miasma.
Li Tianming flew around the lake — whether he stirred up a disturbance or not he didn’t care.
“Tianming.” An hour later, someone actually called out to him. Li Tianming quickly zipped over and found Mo Lin, who was hiding in a cave. Now that a day had passed, his countenance looked far better.
“How’s your lifebound beast?”
“Its injuries have stabilised.”
“Why are you here, apprentice-brother Mo Lin?”
“I was teleported here. According to Xing Que and Chen Hao, this will be where the formation shrinks to in the very end.”
“They’re here too?” Li Tianming looked inside, to find Xing Que and Chen Hao both inside a cave. Their heads were lowered and their expressions ugly. Neither met Li Tianming in the eye.
“You two, what’s wrong?” Mo Lin asked curiously. They had been chatting just fine just now.
“Maybe a stomach ache. The climate must not be agreeing with them.” Li Tianming entered the cave. “Have any of you seen Princess Ling?”
“I haven’t.” Mo Lin said.
Li Tianming looked at the other two, but they didn’t want to respond.
“Have you two met her?” Mo Lin could see that there was a grudge between them, so he helped Li Tianming with his enquiry.
“No.” They finally shook their heads.
Mo Lin found it a little strange. Logically speaking, if these two didn’t like Li Tianming, they would have attacked him. However, when Mo Lin saw their injuries, as well as how they lowered their heads in front of Li Tianming, he made a speculation. Still, is Li Tianming really that strong?
“Apprentice-brother Mo Lin, what’s your next step?” Li Tianming asked.
“There's no next step. Yue Lingji is too strong. No one can handle her. She’s already killed five, and I’m sure that kill count will go up in the next few days. Furthermore, we’re all injured. So, we’re planning to wait out the Abyssal Trials here. Yue Lingji did say the trials are for killing everyone else. So, we can’t go out anymore if we want to live.”
Xing Que stood up. “That’s unless it’s not a battle of life and death at the end. The Vice-Potentate said before for us to prioritise our lives.”
Although they hated Li Tianming’s guts, they were all of Vermilion Bird and wouldn’t start killing each other at this juncture.
“Li Tianming, how about you?” Mo Lin asked.
“I want to go for number one,” Li Tianming said.
“Then wait to die.” Chen Hao sniggered.
“Do I really need to smack you again?” Li Tianming asked curiously.
Chen Hao snorted, but he didn’t dare to make any other response. Li Tianming wouldn’t show mercy when he smacked people, and Chen Hao had no desire to be smacked in front of Mo Lin.
“You defeated them, even when they were working together?” Mo Lin was shocked.
Li Tianming chuckled in reply.
“Impressive. However, Yue Lingji doesn’t conform to logic, so be very careful if you fight her.” Mo Lin said.
“Are there any other powerful people apart from her?”
“I’m not sure. I haven’t really met people from the other two countries. There seems to be so few people that I suspect many have died,” Mo Lin said, pity tinting his words. These Abyssal Trials were too cruel.
They were all future pillars of their countries, but now, so many had died a quiet death here without a whole corpse left.
Jiang Feiling got more worried about Jiang Qingluan the more she heard. Could she have ended up like Ji Changyan, dying without anyone the wiser, her corpse burnt to ashes?
The cave fell silent.
“You all stay here. I’ll go and find Princess Qing,” Li Tianming said.
“Apprentice-brother,” Mo Lin said.
“If you have the skill, help our Vermilion Bird earn some glory.” Mo Lin’s eyes blazed with passion. He felt something of a slump after being routed by Yue Lingji like that.
“No problem.” Li Tianming wasn’t doing this just for himself, but also for his mother! She would lose all hope if Li Tianming didn’t get first.
This was the last chance Wei Tiancang had given him, and Li Tianming had promised not to ask him again if he failed.
He had no other choice.
Get first place, and he could crush that dream of Mu Qingqing and Lin Xiaoting to be together! He could also move to that vaster world —— Heaven’s Elysium!
Heaven's Elysium stood at the apex of the continent, and Li Tianming was starting to feel more and more yearning towards it.
Li Tianming left the cave.
“Perhaps, Qing’er and other people are also hiding in some cave here because of the danger.”
Li Tianming looked outside, and noted that the rate of shrinking seemed to be increasing. Perhaps, the true Abyssal Trials would be in two days’ time.
The Abyssal Battlefield was covered by a ceaseless night. The Calamitous Sun hung sinisterly in the sky, unmoving. When Li Tianming finally exited the cave, he saw a girl standing at the centremost island of the Lake of Islands, a Blizzard Dragon coiled up beside her.
Yue Lingji was here! However, what was she doing there, especially with such a high profile?