Chapter 158 – A Toast To You; I Wish You Many Children

“Bow to heaven and earth!”

“Bow to the parents!”

“Bride and groom, bow to each other! Now, move to the bridal chambers!”

The ceremony was complete!

Lightning Manor was immediately wrapped in a festive atmosphere.

Lin Xiaoting was currently dressed in his groom's clothes with a giant red rose on his lapel. While it was tacky, it couldn’t hide his aura of a peerless genius.

Many of Lightning Manor’s lifebound beasts were dancing through the air, the lightning around their bodies creating a gorgeous net of lightning that lit up the manor. The display made the upper echelons of Vermilion Bird present let out a sigh of admiration, before quickly seizing the opportunity to bootlick the manor.

Lin Xiaoting was currently gazing at his bride with a smile. Everything was going exactly as planned. He had reached the peak of his life.

“From now on, my heart belongs to you and only you. I will embrace, protect and never abandon you. Let us tread our path together with no regret henceforth, be it in cultivation or battle.” Lin Xiaoting held Yueling Ji’s hand and swore sincerely.

“Husband, I’m willing to love you for the rest of my life.” Yueling Ji’s face was hidden under her veil, but it was most likely emotional and red right now.

Such a vow drew envy and admiration from those around. At the same time, the youngsters of Lightning Manor started to cheer wildly, making the atmosphere festive.

This pair of lovers had already entered the annals of Vermilion Bird history.

Under the light from the lightning, Li Tianming suddenly noticed someone.

Mu Qingqing.

She wasn’t dressed in white today, as that was considered bad luck in weddings. She had obviously dressed herself up, her makeup successfully hiding her frail body and poor complexion.

Only Lin Xiaoxiao was by her side. No one else dared to get near her. However, she still continued to carry that never-changing smile as she watched the marriage and vows that should have been made with her. She watched as the man she had given up everything for grabbed the hands of another woman and gave her a kiss. His eyes were filled with adoration, but it was towards someone he had only known for one month.

It was difficult to imagine her response to this was so small. The absence of a ruckus or even a teardrop had made many admire her.

“What a wonderful girl, Mu Qingqing. She knows when to retreat.”

“Unfortunately, she was tainted by Li Tianming.”

Those who did pay attention to Mu Qingqing found that she was acting very appropriately to the occasion, but that didn’t mean their words were pleasant to the ears. Lin Xiaoxiao, who had heard this, was naturally furious. However, Mu Qingqing only had a mild reaction, making Lin Xiaoxiao force down her anger.

“What is she thinking?” Wei Jing asked.

Li Tianming didn’t reply. After sparing her a glance, he ignored Mu Qingqing. After the Abyssal Trials, Mu Qingqing was finished. Discussing her further was pointless.

Now, the only one who held his attention was Lin Xiaoting.

After the kneeling ritual, the bride would enter the bridal chambers alone first, while the groom would go around with his parents and toast all the guests.

Naturally, they started with the vice-inspectors. They followed with the parents of both sides, and then the likes of the Vermilion Bird King, Prime Minister Qin and so on.

After making the rounds with all the seniors, Lin Tianjian, along with his wife and son, continued to cover the remaining tables. When they reached Li Tianming’s table, only Li Tianming and his mother were left.

“Wei Jing, congratulations on regaining your youth. It must have cost quite the bit of energy for your father!” Lin Tianjian was full of smiles.

“Just lay out whatever conspiracy you have."

As the senior generations spoke, Lin Xiaoting and Li Tianming’s eyes met.

“Not a bad hair colour. I’ll try it out myself one day,” Lin Xiaoting said casually. Fury was burning within his eyes, despite his light-hearted tone.

When Lin Xiaoting and Li Tianming’s gazes met, sparks flew.

“It’s not suitable for you. Green [1] would be better,” Li Tianming said.

“Green? I think gold's better, like the colour your Midas’ feathers were,” Lin Xiaoting replied.

“Then get to it. It’ll be good timing for me to pluck it all off,” Li Tianming said.

It was unnecessary for Lin Xiaoting to try to provoke Li Tianming, as Li Tianming had already made plans to kill him. He only lacked a suitable venue to do so.

‘Interesting. I can tell you've really changed since three years ago. I will admit I’m surprised.” Lin Xiaoting smiled faintly.

“You’re the big fish. Just being shocked isn’t enough seasoning to prepare this dish. First, I need to remove all the intestines, descale it, and add oil in. I guarantee it'll be a delicacy after I braise it. I’m just afraid the fish will flee out of fear before I can catch it.” Li Tianming grinned. No one present could miss the killing intent laden in those words.

“Relax, I won’t go without eating the bait.” Lin Xiaoting gave a cold smile, finally giving Li Tianming his answer. However, it wasn’t because he was scared. He simply wanted to resolve all the matters in Ignispolis before beginning his journey.

“Wash your neck.” Li Tianming had once said this to Mu Qingqing, and it was Lin Xiaoting’s turn now.

The father-son pair simply snorted derisively before moving to the next table.

They soon reached Mu Qingqing and Lin Xiaoxiao’s table. However, Lin Tianjian wasn’t happy with the two of them showing up here, so he made a detour around them.

“Settle the problem and don’t let new ones crop up,” Lin Tianjian said.

“I know, I know.” Lin Xiaoting was rather displeased by his father’s brusqueness.

Lin Tianjian gritted his teeth helplessly. Ever since Lin Xiaoting reached Unity, his son had grown more and more unbridled. 

“Big brother Ting, let me give you a toast.” Mu Qingqing walked over alone, a smile on her face. Her gait was steady, not looking any heart-broken at all.

“You’re looking better today,” Lin Xiaoting responded, a small smile on his face.

“Big brother Ting’s words made me open my eyes.” Mu Qingqing came before him and glanced at his wine cup.

“Big brother Ting, let me fill it for you.” She had a small wine flask in her hands, which she used to fill his cup to the brim. “Thank you for all your guidance and care all this time. I wish you a smooth journey and a house full of descendants."

Lin Xiaoting downed the wine in his cup. “Go back early to rest.” 

“Let’s go,” Lin Tianjian said, leading his family to pass by Mu Qingqing as quickly as possible, to continue toasting the guests. No one spared her another glance.

When Mu Qingqing turned around and saw Lin Xiaoting’s back, she couldn't hide a mocking smile, a smile that only Li Tianming noticed. She then left the feast with Lin Xiaoxiao’s support.

Li Tianming poured his wine on the ground and nodded at her departing figure. “Have a smooth journey.” 

That action was one used to send off the dead.

……

Wei Jing didn’t have to wait too long for the show to start. After one round, Wei Tianjian led Lin Xiaoting to the Lightning Seigneur.

The Vermilion Bird King and Prime Minister Qin, who had been about to leave, were stopped by Vice-Inspector Jin Yixuan. When he spoke up, the noisy Lightning Manor immediately fell silent. All of them looked at him, aware that the hidden undercurrents were about to break out!

“Vermilion Bird King, how much do you understand of our Heaven’s Elysium’s ‘Sanctum Replacement Challenge?’" Jin Yixuan smiled, as he made what seemed to be idle talk.

“Lord Inspector, I’ve never heard of it before.” The Vermilion Bird King shot Mu Yang and Wei Tianxiong a look. They all knew that while these words were directed at the king, the true recipients were the two of them!

“This peninsula really is remote and ignorant. Since I’m in a good mood from the wine, I’ll explain the Sanctum Replacement Challenge to the Vermilion Bird King. What say you?” Jin Yixuan said.

“I’ll naturally be delighted if Lord Inspector wants to enlighten the ignorant me,” the Vermilion Bird King said.

“Well, it’s like this. You all are aware that my Heaven’s Elysium established Heaven’s Sanctums in every country, right? They’ll be under the control of a clan, with authority over it passed down through the clan’s inheritance. Then, they’ll build a Flameyellow Scions Institute and enlighten the masses in the martial path.”

“Having a clan control a sanctum is beneficial in ensuring the stability of succession. However, it runs the risk of the clan declining or becoming corrupt, leading to the local sanctum stagnating and therefore ruining the youths of that country." He sipped at his cup. “Hence, my Heaven’s Elysium came up with the Sanctum Replacement Challenge, which allows a new clan to replace an old clan by challenging them. This reinvigorates the sanctum and ensures its continuous prosperity. THAT is the Sanctum Replacement Challenge.”

Jin Yixuan placed his wine cup down. “Of course, the challengers will be audited by Heaven’s Elysium before a Replacement Decree is issued. Inspectors of Heaven’s Elysium will then adjudicate and ensure fairness, allowing the declining family to step down and the new to grasp the right to foster the next generation!”

Jin Yixuan had said a lot, but each sentence had been engraved onto the hearts of the upper echelons of Vermilion Bird. The looks they gave Mu Yang and Wei Tianxiong now were vastly different.

The Vermilion Bird King’s expression flickered. “Heaven’s Elysium really is worthy of admiration. Since it’s so just, surely the old clan will have a chance to prove if it’s declined.”

“Naturally. We can’t listen to hearsay for this! The new and old clans will prove themselves through a fair battle. Heaven’s Elysium will not be biased to any one side!” Jin Yixuan said righteously.

However, the two vice-inspectors had stayed in Lightning Manor for a month. Who would believe in their so-called absolute impartiality?


[1] Green hair here is to imply wearing a green hat, which carries the connotation of being cuckolded in Chinese culture. 

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