The downpour fell even harder. The gales continued howling, and the thunder crashed so loudly that every living thing was shaking.
A teenaged girl currently sat in front of Li Tianming. She had flawless skin, and only her eyes hinted that she was from the older generation. Although the window was closed, the candle fire in the room was still flickering.
Today, Li Tianming wanted to know who his true father was.
Wei Jing was already prepared to confess everything. “Tianming, I already clarified everything to father and brother Yang after I was cured of Lifesbane. However, it’s hard to open my mouth about it because it was such a strange matter. It’s why I didn’t tell your grandfather for twenty years. Even now, I’m getting a headache just thinking of how to explain it to you,” Wei Jing said, frustrated.
“There’s no need to be frustrated. What’s past is past,” Li Tianming consoled, well aware it was difficult for Wei Jing to say. Otherwise, she would have been honest twenty years ago, and so much could have been avoided. And especially, she wouldn’t have gotten together with Li Yanfeng for the sake of covering up the truth and giving Li Tianming an identity.
“I was about the same age as you, then. On the Heavenly leaderboard, brother Yang was first and I was fourth. Once, I went to the Easton Domain for training.”
The Easton Domain was in the eastern part of Vermilion Bird, at the borders of Vermilion Bird’s territory in the Abyssal Battlefield.
“I climbed to the peak of Mount Verm, there, and met him….”
Him… Likely, that was my mysterious father! Li Tianming thought.
“Then, sparks flew, and you used that to keep your bodies warm?” The little chick popped up excitedly.
“Shoo to the side and don’t interrupt!” Li Tianming smacked it away. He anxiously continued, “So, who was he, and what kind of person was he?”
“I… don’t know….” Wei Jing smiled bitterly.
“You don’t know?” Her response stumped Li Tianming.
“It was very strange. He was just a blurry shadow, untouchable and unseeable. However, sometimes he could be touched like a real person….” Wei Jing thought hard.
Li Tianming finally understood why she had kept mum for twenty years. Anyone who heard this story would think she was making a story up after being sullied. How would she even start explaining it to Wei Tiancang?
If Li Tianming’s grandmother were still around, it might have been easier. Alas, she had left this world early. Some matters were a hard conversation topic between mother and son. Furthermore, Wei Tiancang had been trying to play matchmaker between Mu Yang and Wei Jing at the time.
“What happened next?”
“I found it very interesting, so I started to chat with him. He said that he was going through the most painful period of his life. He was trapped at that spot, and could die anytime…. He was very bored, so he decided to chat with me. I was more outgoing at the time, so I spoke about my own matters. Actually, he was quite a fun person. He really knew how to joke around, and said I was the most extraordinary person in the world. He was also quite a braggart, similar to you.” When she spoke of him, Wei Jing seemed particularly happy.
“Me, a braggart? Please stop with the malicious slander.” Li Tianming wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. I’m such an honest fellow, yet my mother thinks I’m a braggart. How preposterous.
Wei Jing rolled her eyes at him and continued, “He spoke of so many fantastical things that made me believe he was from a faraway world. He spoke of mortal beastmasters becoming Saints and extending their longevity by a thousand, or even ten thousand years. He also spoke of how you could become a god after overcoming the twelve ‘Life-Death Tribulations’, becoming someone who looks down on all life and eternally undying….
“He said I was like a sprite. In all his years of campaigning and walking the edge of life and death, he rarely met people like me: naive, pure, and unconstrained.” Wei Jing smiled.
Li Tianming also smiled. “You didn’t add that part to praise yourself, did you?”
“Nonsense, am I that kind of person?”
Both Li Tianming and the little chick guffawed. As for the black cat, it was busy sleeping in Wei Jing’s arms.
Li Tianming found this story rather interesting. His blood father really did sound interesting.
However, there were no two ways around it. The story sounded very much like some female-oriented romance novel. An overbearing, humorous man that was powerful and experienced, along with a weird and bold girl from the countryside, full of life. After a chance meeting, sparks of a romance flew?
If that wasn’t contrived, what was?
“I didn’t have much going on at that time, so I just stayed at Mount Verm and kept chatting with him, occasionally playing some games. After around twenty days, I felt he was a mysterious and witty man. At that age, I was quite interested in that kind of guy.”
Li Tianming fully understood. Most young women would go through phases where they had crushes on adults.
“However, I didn’t actually plan to do anything with him. Our worlds were too far apart, and I even felt like I was in a dream sometimes. However, one day he was filled with grief and said his enemies had found his location. He said that he wasn’t willing to hand everything over to those people just like that.
“If it fell into their hands, he said, it would be a world-ending calamity. However, he had nowhere to hide it. Honestly, I still thought he was trying to frighten me as a joke. So I just said, ‘I’ll help you hide whatever it is.’ I never expected that after I said those words, I would have… you,” Wei Jing sighed.
“What does that mean?” Li Tianming didn’t understand that last sentence.
“He said… the only way was through passing it down his bloodline. I thought it was a joke, so I agreed. And that was that. I thought I was dreaming....” Wei Jing seemed confused herself at this point.
“Bloodline? Does that mean me?” Li Tianming was stupefied. “That’s it?”
“Yes. He sent me away and said he would lure those people away.”
“I never saw him again.” Wei Jing looked slightly pained.
“You sure you didn’t meet a scammer and fall for his honeyed words? This might be some playboy you met,” Li Tianming said, stunned. That was exactly how it seemed.
Fabricating some bold, imaginative stories and making himself look profound and humorous. Then, to top it off, he landed a finishing blow on the young girl with an act of heroism and care.
“Nonsense. I know that’s not what happened. You never met him, so you don’t know how special he was. Also, he did like me,” Wei Jing said with certainty.
“She’s beyond hope,” Li Tianming said with some pain.
“Otherwise, where do you think the ten eggs in your lifebound space come from?” Wei Jing asked.
The ten Primordial Chaos Beasts!
Li Tianming was startled to hear about the thing that had changed his destiny. It meant Wei Jing might be right. The terrifying Primordial Chaos Beasts were an indication of how mysterious the man’s background was.
Who were the ones chasing him down?
Li Tianming was no longer laughing. He finally had confirmation that his identity was linked to the Primordial Chaos Beasts.
“He said he’d come find me in a month’s time, if he was still alive.” Wei Jing lowered her head. She had returned to Wei Manor and waited.
Three months. Still, no one had shown up, and she discovered she was pregnant.
“So he died?”
“Perhaps. Or, he cheated me as you said.”
“Why would someone like him trick a lady from the countryside like you?” Li Tianming smiled.
“Who knows?” Wei Jing shrugged helplessly. “At the time, I was panicking, sure that he was dead. Brother Yang treated me well then. However, we grew up together, so I found him too overly familiar. With you added to the mix, things felt even harder.”
“I probed your grandfather and determined he wouldn’t accept me giving birth in Wei Manor. I wanted to give birth to you, but I didn’t want to let Brother Yang help me, as that would hurt him… but as my belly got bigger, it would become unconcealable. So, my plan was to leave first, and vanish for a time. It just so happened that Li Yanfeng was wooing me then, and somehow, he found out I was pregnant. I was afraid he'd spread it around and humiliate your grandfather when others found out.”
“Li Yanfeng proposed that I marry him, and he would be your father. I knew he wanted the authority of the Wei Manor. It would’ve been a mutually beneficial arrangement, since I wanted to give birth to you in Ignispolis as well. I admit, I did accept it partially out of panic. However, your grandfather was even more furious after seeing Li Yanfeng, and ended up chasing us out of the city.
“So Li Yanfeng lost his dream of joining Wei Manor. Then, I got Lifesbane after giving birth to you, and he gained nothing in the end. He’d already announced you were his son, so he couldn’t change his mind and become a laughingstock. That’s how you ended up growing up in Flamehaven, and how I ended up spending twenty hard years there.”
Li Tianming finally understood the messy circumstances of his birth.
“Your real father hasn’t appeared for twenty years. As I grew older, I even began to feel like it was all a dream. Or perhaps, like you said, he was just some heartless person who tricked me. So, I wanted to spend the rest of my life in Flamehaven. I also slowly started to understand Li Yanfeng. We were publicly husband and wife after all.
“However, you know he got more and more upset because of these matters. In the end, he chased us away when Lightning Manor extended an olive branch to him. So, it’s complicated for me to talk about Li Yanfeng. Still, he did give us a place to live for twenty years.”
Li Yanfeng had become an accomplice to villains, helping Lightning Manor cripple Wei Zikun and crush Wei Tianxiong, before finally being crippled himself by Sage Chen. Wei Zikun was Wei Jing’s younger brother, which made the situation all the more complicated.
Li Tianming finally knew why she had hidden it from him for twenty years. Even she had some parts she was doubtful of.
“I understand. Although the past twenty years were hard, the past is past,” Li Tianming said.
“Yes.” Despite the downpour outside, the room remained peaceful.
“Do you still hold out hope that he’ll come back?” Li Tianming asked.
“My real father.”
“Not anymore. Hmph, he’s left me hanging for twenty years now!” Wei Jing said angrily.
Li Tianming smiled. Now, everything had been cleared up. Up next was for the final dash toward tomorrow’s battle.
When he stood up, Wei Jing suddenly said, “If you see him one day, you’ll immediately recognize him.”
“He has a black arm, exactly the same as you. It has hexagonal scales, and an eye on the palm. You also don’t need to change your surname, because he’s also surnamed Li,” Wei Jing said seriously.
“What’s his name?”
“Li Muyang,” Wei Jing said uncomfortably.
“Don’t overthink it. It’s just a coincidence, he has nothing to do with your Uncle Yang.”
One was Mu Yang, and one was Li Muyang. What a… coincidence.Previous Chapter Next Chapter