The tension-filled atmosphere at Heaven's Sanctum drained away when the vice-inspectors left, taking the men of the Lightning Manor and the Yueling Clan with them. At the same time, the youngsters who had participated in the Abyssal Trials all returned to their respective families.
As for Jiang Feiling, she had felt stifled after being cooped up in Li Tianming for so long, and with their departure, the girl left his body immediately.
When such a perfect girl appeared in front of Li Tianming, Li Tianming could only muse that her Spiritual Attachment was flawed, since it stopped him from seeing her lovable and adorable features. After not seeing her for quite a few days, she remained just as lively as ever.
Li Tianming’s gaze shifted downwards, having noticed that her Heavenly Pattern Barriers seemed to have grown a little.
“Where are you looking at, you little punk?!” Someone pinched his ear, and he turned to see Jiang Qingluan, who had caught him in the middle of his ‘wicked act’.
“What are you saying? Don’t smear the innocent. Listen, you’re seriously injured now, so your first priority now should be going home to get your injuries treated,” Li Tianming said righteously.
As they spoke, the Vermilion Bird King walked over, his face twisted with a grimace. However, Li Tianming wasn’t its origin. Rather, it was how the Inspectors had ignored his invitation and instead went to the house of his servant. If it spread, his reputation was bound to take a hit.
“Father.” The two young ladies acted very obedient in front of the Vermilion Bird King, their heads lowered as they restrained themselves from moving.
“It’s good that you’re fine.” The Vermilion Bird King gave them a scan before sighing in relief. “You’re Li Tianming?” His gaze shifted to him.
“Greetings, your royal highness.” Li Tianming hurriedly saluted. This was his future father-in-law, so giving him a good impression was paramount. The Vermilion Bird King nodded in response, but that was it. Clearly, he was unaware of Li Tianming’s performance in the Abyssal Trials.
“You two follow me back for a rest,” the king ordered.
“Father, there’s something I need to say on behalf of Li Tianming first!” Jiang Qingluan suddenly said.
“What is it?”
“Something important!” Jiang Qingluan replied seriously.
Li Tianming glanced at her. She had taken the initiative to do this, without him telling her to help him. That was because she was indignant on his behalf. Jiang Qingluan was well aware Li Tianming had tried to seize first so that he could save his mother.
Seeing how serious she was, the king nodded.
All the returnees had someone to pick them up. The king had come to pick up the two princesses, the Starry Sages to pick up their sons and the Heavenly Guardian of Combat Wang Zhaoyuan was here for Mo Lin.
When they heard how Aquamarine’s side had been completely wiped out, their parents and mentors knew that the kids' safe return was already a cause for celebration.
The only one who didn't have anyone waiting for her was Mu Qingqing. The Lightning Manor was supposed to do so, but they had just up and left. As for Lin Xiaoting, who should have flown into a rage at her heavy injuries and then beat up Li Tianming afterwards, he had only spared her a single glance before interacting with Yueling Ji.
Mu Qingqing had woken up while they were still in the Bottomless Pit. Now, she simply lay in a corner, her face pale. Her supernal mentor, Liu Xueyao, lacked the qualifications to enter and was waiting outside. This was the place to receive the inspectors, after all.
In fact, neither Xue Lan nor Yuan Yu were allowed to come in. However, on account of them missing their sons, the king had made a special exception for them, though they were forbidden to speak.
Two people rushed in from outside towards Mu Qingqing. They were Liu Xueyao and Lin Xiaoxiao.
“Big sis Qingqing!” Lin Xiaoxiao hurriedly helped her up in a fluster. The moment she saw Mu Qingqing’s miserable condition, tears began to pour.
“Who did this?! Five of your spiritsources are ruined and your lifebound beast is dead!” Liu Xueyao’s expression changed when she saw Mu Qingqing.
“Me,” Li Tianming said.
“You bastard! Why did you have to torture her like this after what you did three years ago? How exactly did she offend you?”
“She’s still awake. You can ask her yourself,” Li Tianming replied.
“Li Tianming, I’ll kill you!” Lin Xiaoxiao was stricken with grief as she held Mu Qingqing’s hands, tears flowing down uncontrollably. But before she lost all control, Mu Qingqing grabbed her, preventing her from moving.
“Li Tianming, don’t be too happy yet. My brother will definitely settle accounts with you. He’ll end you before he goes to Heaven’s Elysium!” Lin Xiaoxiao gritted her teeth.
“That’ll be great. Help me tell him he’s a coward if he goes to Heaven’s Elysium first before he kills me. I’m too lazy to travel all the way there to kill him.”
“Shameless!” Liu Xueyao hugged Mu Qingqing. However, her eyes were trembling. It was obvious that Mu Qingqing was crippled and had lost all value.
“Big sis Qingqing, don’t blame my big brother. He had to leave just now because of the inspectors. He already told me to help bring you back. When we get back, we’ll definitely find the best doctors to help you recover.”
“Yes. Let’s go. Supernal mentor, bring me away.” Mu Qingqing lay in her arms. The sunlight stung her eyes, and she shut them. Her consciousness was still muddled, her body shaking every few moments.
As she left, Lin Xiaoxiao directed a number of furious gazes at Li Tianming.
However, Li Tianming remained perfectly calm.
After they left, the Wei clan, Vermilion Bird King, Prime Minister Qin, the Starry Sages and their families were left. Their younger generations were well aware of the truth.
“Qing’er, what is it? We need to hurry back so you and Blue’s poison can be treated,” the king said.
Jiang Qingluan looked at Li Tianming, but he didn’t give her any indication to stop.
“Potentate, Vice-Potentate. Actually, we feel that Li Tianming should have the first place.” Jiang Qingluan looked at them, saying with full seriousness.
“Impossible. The inspectors already said Yueling Ji defeated everyone else and obtained the profound manna, and was the undisputed number one.” Mu Yang said.
“That’s not what happened. Ling’er, as well as the rest, can all testify. Mo Lin, explain,” Jiang Qingluan said.
The seniors still looked doubtful. Only Mu Yang had a serious expression, as he had seen some clues back in the Abyssal Battlefield.
“Let me speak up for apprentice-brother Tianming.” Mo Lin stepped out. He wouldn’t forget Li Tianming’s favour of saving him. “I’ll start from when he saved me.”
This made everyone look at Li Tianming, including Wei Tiancang, Wei Tianxiong and Wei Zikun. When they heard the announcement of Yueling Ji being first, they had lost interest in the bet. It was within their expectations anyway. However, what were Princess Qing and Mo Lin trying to say now?
Mo Lin began his tale, every detail laid out clearly, from the time where Li Tianming saved him, to Yueling Ji's defeat at his hands, elaborating on how she was defeated and her lifebound beast heavily injured.
Everyone couldn't quite believe the story, even after he was done with his narration.
“Princess Qing, don’t you think that’s a little far-fetched?” Xue Lan couldn’t help but say. She found the tale laughable. When was there so many conspiracies and schemes in the world? Only the weak believed in conspiracy theories.
“Silence.” Sage Chen pulled her away. Currently, she had the lowest status here. Even Wei Tiancang hadn’t raised any questions yet, so how could she?
“With Princess Ling's Spiritual Attachment and another breakthrough in the Abyssal Battlefield, apprentice-brother Tianming has terrifying combat prowess.” That was Mo Lin’s heartfelt evaluation of him.
Mo Lin continued, talking about Mu Qingqing’s Purple Blood-Imprint, Jiang Qingluan being taken hostage and that lightning raining down from the heavens.
“Father, I would be dead if not for him. Please believe me and Mo Lin!” Jiang Qingluan said sincerely.
The seniors all exchanged looks, Wei Tiancang included. All of their faces were neutral and they didn’t say a word, making their thoughts opaque.
“Mo Lin, continue,” said the king.
Mo Lin nodded. He didn't know what was up with the freak lightning storm, but the main point was that Li Tianming had defeated Mu Qingqing and saved Jiang Qingluan. Then, came the part where the inspectors arrived, as well as what they said, and how they gave Li Tianming a royal manna.
Wei Tiancang looked at Li Tianming. “Take out the three-pronged electrospike.”
Li Tianming took it out.
“What an idiot. He’s not a lightning-type, so why choose the three-pronged electrospike?” Jiang Qingluan rolled her eyes.
However, the main point was that for the sake of compensating Li Tianming and shutting him up, the two inspectors had taken out a royal manna. Of course, the inspectors weren’t worried if this group found out. They were aware this group would never dare to make a ruckus.
Wei Tiancang’s expression changed when he saw the manna.
Everyone now knew getting first in these trials was an impossibility.
However, Li Tianming wanted them, especially Wei Tiancang, to know the truth!
It didn't take Mo Lin long to finish his recounting, and the others nodded. The words of the inspectors likely weren’t something this group of youngsters could make up.
“Chen Hao, Xing Que, is this true?” Sage Xing suddenly asked.
Chen Hao and Xing Que gritted their teeth, not willing to admit that Li Tianming was really so heaven-defying. However, how could they deny it in front of this crowd?
“Actually, these two brothers only lived because of Li Tianming. You two should show some gratitude.” Jiang Qingluan snorted coldly. She had already gotten the full details on the way back.
“What do you mean by that, Princess Qing?” Xue Lan’s expression turned ugly.