Li Tianming was cultivating by the Flameyellow Rock in the innermost ring when Mu Yang called him.
“Uncle Yang! What is it?” Li Tianming greeted Mu Yang. He was short of time, and he needed to make use of every single second that the black cat was awake to cultivate and reach a new level. Getting Meow Meow to cooperate wasn't easy at all.
“We have news,” Mu Yang said, a frown on his face.
“Our agent told us that the inspectors and the Yueling Clan are still at Lightning Manor — they haven't left yet.”
That was actually good news for Li Tianming, since he’d rather they not leave so quickly.
“More importantly, more members of the Yueling Clan have arrived from Torch Dragon and are living in the Lightning Manor right now.”
This new development took Li Tianming by surprise.
“What are they doing?” Li Tianming asked. The whole thing seemed rather fishy.
“We aren't sure, but based on these odd moves, they must be planning something. Therefore, we've also made some preparations, just in case something happens,” Mu Yang replied.
“'Something happens'? Whatever they're doing shouldn't affect the Sanctum, right?” Li Tianming asked.
“We can’t confirm that either, so better safe than sorry. Also, we have one more piece of information.”
“Yueling Ji’s lifebound beast has evolved using the draconic water obelisk. It is now the ‘Blizzard Spirit Dragon’, an eight-star beast. She is much stronger now, and is spending a lot of time in secluded meditation," said Mu Yang.
“She needs to enter Unity to enter the Elysium, right? That's probably the reason.”
“True. But if that’s the case, they shouldn’t be in a hurry. Why then, would they host the Abyssal Trials in Azure Domain, and would the Yueling Clan move here? Have you seen anything weird going on back in the battlefield?”
“Nope.” The weirdest thing was the rigged trials itself, which everyone and their lifebound beasts knew already.
“Hmm, I see. Guess we shall find out soon enough. You can carry on with your cultivation. I've asked my mentor, who said he needs eight more days to cure your mother. Remember to come back to the Wei Manor eight days later,” Mu Yang reminded him.
“Alright, back you go.”
Li Tianming returned to the Flameyellow Rock. He was still trying out what he did the previous time, trying to communicate with the rock by levelling strong punches at it. While each punch would stir a response from the heavenly patterns, it was really difficult to communicate with the rock. It was something that Li Tianming had kept at, from the very first moment he arrived here.
Ever since he familiarised himself with the system of a twin beastmaster, he had been cultivating faster than ever before. The two Primordial Chaos Beasts spent every second consuming the chaotic spiritual energy released by the rock, strengthening him significantly with every passing moment. The Flameyellow Rock was undoubtedly an immense treasure, something that Li Tianming had a lot more to learn about.
Time passed by in a flash, and fourteen days had gone by since he returned from the Abyssal Battlefield. With one grand punch, he finally succeeded, and the Flameyellow Rock pulled him over to pump an incredible amount of spiritual energy into his body. The little chick and the black cat were stuck on the rock as well, their postures comical with all fours glued to the rock. The previous encounter with the rock had helped Li Tianming to advance two levels in one shot. Even though the Flameyellow Rock granted him more spiritual energy this time, Li Tianming had slowed his pace in order to achieve a balance with the rock. It was a cultivation method unique to him, and no one else could possibly cultivate in such a manner.
“Princess Qing should still be recovering in the palace, so it’s likely that Ling’er hasn’t returned to the Sanctum yet.” He was beginning to miss the girl, since their last meeting was half a month ago. “They'll be really happy to hear about my mother’s recovery, especially Ling’er. I also need to thank Princess Qing for all the help that she gave me in the past month.”
Li Tianming let his two codexes work simultaneously. With the infernalsource and the lightningsource both processing spiritual energy to form their respective beast kis, both powers were able to progress at an equal pace in Li Tianming’s body.
“About time!” As night fell, he broke through to the sixth level of Spiritsource, along with his lightningsource and infernalsource.
“Power flows through me! I want to fight!” With the breakthrough, the little chick was all pumped up, ready to engage anything that came its way with a good old cockfight.
“That’s enough, meow. I don’t want to be a lifebound beast, I don’t want to cultivate anymore, meow!” The black cat was on the verge of falling asleep. If it wasn’t for its black fur, its dark circles would have occupied half of its face.
“Alright, I will let you off for half a day.” Li Tianming laughed.
“Half a day? That’s animal abuse, meow!”
“One more meow outta you and that half day's gone.”
“Come on, Meow Meow. This elder brother will take you out for a trip.”
“It’s fine, big brother chicken, give me a break. Just let me sleep, meow…” As they continued their banter, Li Tianming left the Flameyellow Pagoda and returned to the Wei Manor.
“Tomorrow's the day mother gets a new life.” He had been waiting for this day for far too long. “Now that I'm level six Spiritsource, I should be unrivalled below Unity. But against Lin Xiaoting, a twin beastmaster at Unity with the Saintbeast War-Soul, I’m still not confident. I need to become even stronger, but there's little time left.”
With the potential of his two Primordial Chaos Beasts, his future was limitless. His two brothers were nowhere close to their former glory as world-devouring monsters, but he believed that they would get there one day. Vermilion Bird was not going to tie him down for long. He returned to the Rainforest Pavilion, making use of his spare time to tidy the place up. In particular was the mirror, which he took care to make it squeaky clean.
“She wants to look pretty too, but she never had the chance to in the past twenty years,” Li Tianming lamented. How many twenty years are there in a person’s life?
The night was long, longer than any other nights he had gone through. Ying Huo spent the night running wild in the yard, while Meow Meow slept through most of the night on the table. When Li Tianming woke up the next morning, he found that the goldfishes in the pond were all dead, their bodies scattered all over the place — a result of the two beasts' mischief. As sleepy as Meow Meow was the previous day, it was surprisingly energetic now, leaping around the fish pond happily. Li Tianming glanced at the mounds of dead rats near the door, and wondered if the true identity of his Genesis Chaos Thunderfiend was a pet cat.
When the two beasts saw Li Tianming, they each hopped onto Li Tianming’s shoulder, taking up one side each.
“Yeehaw! Let’s go, Li Tianming!” The little chick was like a cowboy, riding Li Tianming.
“Run like the wind, Li Tianming. Don’t worry about me. I won't fall off, meow,” said the black cat. Of course it wouldn’t, considering that its claws were practically piercing Li Tianming's shoulders.
“Why do I feel like our roles are reversed? People usually ride their lifebound beasts, not the other way round.” Li Tianming said, his head hurting.
“Yeehaw! Mounts should shut up and just move!” The little chick was clearly enjoying itself, and gave no quarter when it came to insulting Li Tianming.
“Meow Meow, let me tell you. Li Tianming is merely a sub-standard mount. If you are looking for a really good mount, you have to seek out his supernal mentor, Mu Wan.” Ying Huo looked like he was speaking from experience.
“Why is that so, big brother chicken?” the black cat asked.
“You see, there’s nothing for us to rest on when we are riding Li Tianming. But Mu Wan, she has two hills that are softer than marshmallows, incredibly comfortable to rest on!” Ying Huo grinned.
“That sounds good, big brother chicken. Will we be changing our mount then?”
“Unfortunately, we can’t. He may be bad, but at least he comes free of charge.”
“What a shame, meow.”
They were lucky that Li Tianming was in a good mood today since Wei Jing was about to come out, or else they would have been the celebratory dinner for tonight.
It was early in the morning when he arrived outside of the Highcloud Chamber. With the black cat's birth, the little chick had gotten its long-desired companion. As a result, Li Tianming was already used to the two following him all over the place.
“Oh look, the superior mount is here!” the little chick exclaimed.
Li Tianming turned around to find that Mu Yang had already arrived, that alluring woman right on his tail. Before he even noticed, the black cat had already nested itself in her chest.
“Li Tianming, so this is your second lifebound beast? I think you should really let me have it.” Mu Wan’s eyes were shining as it played with the cat in her arms. The playful little cat had already captured her heart completely.
“Oh you gorgeous little thing. It's mine now, Li Tianming.”
“Mentor, what about me?” Ying Huo flapped its wings at one side.
“You? You can get lost.” Mu Wan rolled her eyes.
The little chick wailed. “Why is this happening to me?!”
“Don’t scold my big brother chicken. I'll share everything I get with my brother. Here, enjoy this superior mount with me.” The black cat raised its head from her chest.
“What superior mount?” Mu Wan asked.
“Nothing, nothing, don’t worry about it,” the little chick replied, an evil grin on its face.
As they continued to speak, many others began to show up, including Wei Tianxiong, Wei Zikun and even Sage Chen.
“Are you not concerned about your wife?” Mu Yang snickered.
“Well, I call the shots at home."
“Bold of you to assume that you have a home to return to, after she throws a fit.”
The gates to Highcloud Chamber opened with a creak at that moment, ending their conversation there...