Seated in the most prestigious seat was an elderly lady with hair as white as snow and a hunched posture. However, her face glowed with vigor, and an exceptional aura beamed from her eyes. Despite being relaxed and smiling, she gave off a terrifying aura that engulfed the entire hall. These were all signs hinting at her extraordinary strength.
At the very least, she was much stronger than Wei Tiancang, and likely even stronger than Mu Yang. Li Tianming observed that even Mu Yang was standing beside her with utmost respect.
No matter who this elderly lady was, there was definitely something special about her!
She had a young girl standing beside her, dressed in a light orange long skirt with her hair tied neatly in a ponytail. While she didn’t look very stunning at first, a closer look revealed that it was simply because she didn’t put in much effort into dolling herself up. She would no doubt be a stunner if she did, with her eyes that glowed like the surface of a lake. She had an inherently elegant bearing that seemed to run in her blood, but her features were gentle and not overbearing at all.
But what surprised Li Tianming most was her pale grey hair that was almost exactly the same shade as Wei Jing’s.
“Tianming, come and pay your respect to Madam Li Jingyu from the Grand-Orient Sect,” Wei Tiancang hurriedly instructed.
“Let’s not act like strangers. We’re all relatives here, so just call me Granny Li.” The old lady smiled kindly, her eyes crinkled into slits.
“Greetings, Granny Li.” Hearing Wei Tiancang’s instructions, Li Tianming was as polite as could be. But what was the Grand-Orient Sect?
To Li Tianming’s knowledge, Vermilion Bird was located in a territory known as the Grand-Orient Realm, which was part of the Flameyellow Continent. It was a vast realm, filled with innumerable beings, and there were numerous small nations established, Vermillion Bird being one of them.
It was said that Heaven’s Elysium was the ruler of the realm, but now it seemed that there was another sect of beastmasters known as the Grand-Orient Sect.
Li Tianming kept his curiosity to himself as Wei Tiancang continued, introducing the young girl. “This young lady here is Madam Li’s granddaughter, Li Qingyu. She’s five years younger than you, but her power is far beyond your wildest imagination,” Wei Tiancang marvelled.
Li Tianming took a closer look at the girl. There was no mistaking that she was at the Unity Stage. Just fifteen years old, but this girl was much stronger than Lin Xiaoting already! Anyone capable of achieving this in Vermilion Bird would no doubt be considered a mythical genius that only came along once in at least tens of thousands of years! That was enough proof that the Grand-Orient Sect was much bigger, and more powerful, than those in Vermilion Bird could imagine, even if it was smaller than Heaven’s Elysium.
“Hello, Miss Li.” Li Tianming smiled.
“Nice to meet you.” The girl smiled back, giving a glimpse of her gentle personality. It was impressive for an incredible talent like her to have such a demeanor.
Li Tianming knew that even someone like Lin Xiaoting, a pinnacle talent of Vermilion Bird, barely scraped into Heaven’s Elysium with the help of a Saintbeast War-Soul. It went without saying that the disciples in those sects were of a totally different caliber, compared to him.
Li Qingyu’s existence alone was sufficient evidence.
“Brother Wei, Tianming isn’t quite familiar with my granddaughter and I, so why don’t you explain to him what we were discussing?” Even when talking to Wei Tiancang, Li Jingyu was looking at Li Tianming all a-smile.
Why did he get the feeling that this granny Li seemed particularly fond of him, looking at him almost longingly. Could it be… she had some weird fetish? But of course that was just his own absurd imagination.
Wei Tiancang beckoned Li Tianming forward and put his hand on the young man’s shoulder. “Tianming, let’s start by talking about the Lifesbane first. Do you know where the Wei Clan’s Lifesbane comes from?”
“We have an ancestor on the maternal side surnamed Li.” Li Tianming glanced at Wei Jing; she had somewhat explained this to him before.
“That’s correct. But did you know that this ancestor was actually from the Li Saint Clan of the Grand-Orient Sect? What’s more, did you know that the Lifesbane is in fact the reason behind why the Li Saint Clan ruled over Grand-Orient Sect, and even the Grand-Orient Realm for tens of thousands of years?” Wei Tiancang was clearly bursting with pride.
“Of course I hadn’t heard that before,” Li Tianming blurted out.
“Well, now you know.”
But Li Tianming noticed that the word used here was ‘ruled over’, past tense.
“Is the Grand-Orient Sect as big as Heaven’s Elysium?” Li Tianming asked.
“The two are roughly on par, but for the past thousand years, Heaven’s Elysium has held a slight advantage and is the current ruler of the realm. But of course, our sect has nurtured just as many powerhouses and some of the strongest cultivators,” Li Jingyu said proudly.
Were they really that strong? The influx of information took Li Tianming by surprise. So the Wei family’s ancestor had branched off from the Li Saint Clan, which, by the name of it, was a powerhouse even across the entire Grand-Orient Realm.
“The Grand-Orient Realm is filled with over seven hundred nations, and its border stretches far and wide. But across the land, our Li Saint Clan has been one of the most powerful clans for countless centuries! Only the clans that have thrived for tens of thousands of years can be crowned as a Saint Clan!”
“As for the Grand-Orient Sect, it’s always been a sect that’s passed down through our Li Saint Clan, meaning that every sect master has been the head of the Li Saint Clan.” Li Jingyu’s eyes were glowing as she spoke of the glory of her clan.
Li Tianming was entranced by the magnificent new world that Li Jingyu was describing to him. Who in Vermilion Bird could have known that other than Heaven’s Elysium, there was another sect with equal size and power, which nurtured talents like Li Qingyu?
Li Tianming longed to travel outside of Vermilion Bird and explore the world beyond. He couldn’t wait to personally experience all that Li Jingyu had described to him with his own eyes! But that said—
“Excuse me, may I ask what does this have to do with me?” Li Tianming was lost as to what this old granny wanted.
“It has everything to do with you! Tianming, how much do you know about Lifesbane?”Li Jingyu asked.
“Quite a lot.”
“You consider Lifesbane to be a curse, don’t you?”
Li Tianming nodded.
“That’s where you’re wrong. Lifesbane is the reason behind the glory of the Li Saint Clan, and the source of the incredible aptitude for cultivation in our disciples! While Lifesbane does speed up the aging of our body and drain our life away, our cultivation speeds up by leaps and bounds once we get rid of it.”
“Our ancestors have suffered from Lifesbane for a great deal of time, and they figured out a way to break the curse and convert its banes directly into talent! ”
“Qingyu, show him your bane-rings.”
“Yes, grandma.” Li Qingyu walked up as instructed and pulled up her right sleeve, revealing three black, interlocking rings that were identical to Wei Jing’s!
“Qingyu has a bloodline of three incarnations, making her one of the brightest stars of our young generation. More significantly, the three bane-rings will give Qingyu a chance to challenge the Saint stage in the future!”
Saint? Wei Jing had mentioned it before; she heard about it from his real father, Li Muyang. The mythical Saint Stage was what came after Heavenly Will, and was a stage where cultivators could even extend their own lifespan.
“Tianming, do you know how many people with three bane-rings we have across our whole younger generation?” Li Jingyu asked, to which Li Tianming shook his head.
“Within the entire clan, there’s not more than ten of them, and each of them has the chance of breaking through to Saint.” Li Jingyu explained.
“Oh.” Li Tianming nodded. It seemed like they do have a chance, but it wasn’t a guarantee.
“Most of our disciples have either one or two rings. Those with only one ring tend to be slightly more average, and most of them are capable of reaching Heavenly Will. Those with two rings are well capable of reaching the peak of Heavenly Will. But of course, all of this is based on the assumption that their lifebound beasts meet a certain standard.” Li Jingyu explained.
“I see.” Li Tianming continued nodding.
“Then you should know that throughout the history of our Li Saint Clan, all those with four bane-rings were the cream of the crop in the entire realm, each of them ushering in at least five hundred years of prosperity and greatness!” Li Jingyu was suddenly glowing red with excitement.
“Er, I didn’t know that either,” Li Tianming stuttered.
“Then why don’t you show me your right arm!” She looked at him with great fervor.
In fact, Li Tianming had been slightly dazed when she started talking about those with three rings. Knowing he didn’t have a choice, Li Tianming slowly pulled up his right sleeve, revealing five interlocking rings.
“Heavens above! Bloodline of FIVE incarnations! This is the first one we’ve seen since our first ancestor founded our clan!” Li Jingyu looked up to the sky and suddenly burst into tears.
Li Tianming stared at the old lady who had completely gone wild. Was this reaction really necessary?
“Li Tianming, you have the bloodline of five incarnations. You are our hope of becoming the greatest clan once more. Your birth is a blessing from our great ancestors! ” Li Jingyu grabbed him by the arm and eagerly shook him.
“Granny Li, easy….” Li Tianming nearly lost his balance.
“Grandma, calm down.” Even Li Qingyu found her grandma to be overreacting and walked up to stop her.
Li Tianming felt a little awkward when he looked at the roaring, crying old lady. He reckoned that even Li Jingyu didn’t know that he had five more rings on his left hand. He didn’t know how they’d found out about his ‘bloodline of five incarnations’, but the truth was that he, Li Tianming, had a bloodline of ten incarnations! If even someone with five rings was enough to establish a saint clan that thrived for hundreds of centuries, then what on earth did that make him?
He dared not tell the truth to Li Jingyu, because his instincts told him that she would likely faint on the spot. He turned back and exchanged glances with Wei Jing and the rest.
Li Tianming always knew there was something terrific about his Lifesbane, which had allowed him to clear three levels in no time at all. But to what extent? If four rings could promise their clan five hundred years of greatness, and the only one with five rings was their first ancestor, who’d founded the clan, then what would ten rings be capable of?
It must have something to do with the Primordial Chaos Beasts, as well. Regardless, Li Tianming knew he had to hide the fact that he had ten rings instead of five. It was fortunate that the two from the saint clan didn’t find out, nor did Wei Jing and the rest tell them about it.
Obviously, Li Jingyu and Li Qingyu had been observing him from the shadows without him realizing, but didn’t find out about his other five rings. It was unclear how they’d determined him to have the bloodline of five incarnations, and he could only assume that Wei Jing and the rest had told them.
Li Jingyu finally regained her calm. “Tianming, granny has something to say.” She looked at Li Tianming lovingly, as if he were her own grandson.
“Yes, granny, I’m listening,” Li Tianming obediently replied. He had no choice but to listen, or who knew what this old lady would do in her excitement.
“You are the greatest treasure in the Li Saint Clan, and in the entire Grand-Orient Sect. Return to your roots and follow me back to our clan, don’t bother with that dogshit Heaven’s Elysium. Once you return to the Grand-Orient Sect, our whole family will be by your side, and you can have anything that you want.”
“If you want, I’ll even chase those two dogs from Heaven’s Elysium away for you. Follow granny, Tianming. I never had any grandsons, but I promise I’ll treat you just like my own.” Li Jingyu’s eyes were beaming.
Li Tianming, on the other hand, had no idea how to react. How could he have known that such a big shot in the Grand-Orient Sect would be so eager to have him just because of his Lifesbane? He wasn’t used to being so popular!
Still, both Wei Tiancang and Wei Jing were hinting at him to choose the Grand-Orient Sect. At Heaven’s Elysium, he would just be an ordinary disciple with no backer, and god knew what would happen to him. But in the Grand-Orient Sect, what else needed to be said with Li Jingyu treating him just like her own grandson?
But during this brief hesitation, Li Jingyu felt the need to convince Li Tianming even further.
“Tianming, my son Li Wudi is the current sect master, and he’s the boss there. He’s already agreed that he’ll accept you as his godson the moment you arrive at the sect.”
“The role of sect master has always been hereditary, passed from father to son from as long as people could remember. But too bad my son never had a son of his own. If you follow me back to our clan, you’ll immediately be crowned as the junior sect master, with only one person above you and everyone else below!”
“And when my son is gone, you shall be the new Grand-Orient Sect Master!”
Li Tianming couldn’t help but pinch himself. Was this a dream? Even his dream wouldn’t have such a plot twist!
A nobody from Vermilion Bird was to join the Grand-Orient Sect, past master of the Grand-Orient Realm, as the junior sect master? And once Li Wudi passed, he would be the new Grand-Orient Sect Master?
This was simply too good to be true!Previous Chapter Next Chapter