One sword strike alone was enough to hit both the giant fish and Li Kunxu. At that moment, the Hurricane Kunpeng used its spiritsource ability and caused a body of water to erupt. Tianming shot through the river and infused his sword with his two beast kis, mixing them up and sending the sword slashing at the kunpeng.
"Get out of my sight!"
Li Kunxu used Asura Whipping again to block Tianming's ethereal strike. Right at that moment, a silhouette whooshed past.
Demise of Man, Spectral Dance! This time, the strike came from the little chick's wing. Li Kunxu's attention was completely focused on Tianming, as he hadn't thought that the little chick had any other abilities apart from that flame it breathed. Yet, the chick's sword strike stabbed towards his face.
Blood splattered in an instant.
The chick pulled a tooth out before darting back.
"You want to cook and eat me? We’ll see how you do it without teeth!" The entire crowd was dumbstruck at the unexpected turn of events. Li Kunxu screamed from the agony of having suffered a tooth extracted through a hole in his face. The tooth was extracted in an instant, but the pain only set in after a delay. Right as he screamed, Tianming followed up with another strike at the kunpeng!
Demise of Man, Soul-Extinction! His sheer speed and power as he executed a heavenly-ranked battle art was truly terrifying. The Hurricane Kunpeng unleashed three skills at once to try to stop Tianming, but it was all to no avail. The first strike pierced into its mouth, and a twist of the sword filled it with blood. It cried in pain and dove back into the water, haggardly escaping.
"Aaaaagh!" Li Kunxu was still screaming in pain; he even teared up. The chick came once more and struck its wing on his face!
The second level Unity youth was sent spiraling down by a puny little chick, crashing straight into Kunpeng Sacred Hall.
"Say you’ll cook me again and I'll smash all your teeth!" the chick cried with its wings on its waist, laughing heartily. Power was truly intoxicating.
How could Li Kunxu manage to block the Demise of Man-Earth-Heaven? Tianming could fight at the level of the first level of Unity with his explosive beast ki alone. It was almost as if he had the enhancement of a unity field himself! Coupled with his Aeternal Infernal Body and Genesis Chaos Body, as well as Demise of Man-Earth-Heaven, Li Kunxu stood no chance.
Back at the Kunpeng Sacred Hall, Li Chenhong was completely stupefied when he caught his precious son. His tall and handsome son was now bloody and shriveled up with one tooth less!
"It hurts, Dad! It hurts!" Tears of pain and regret fell as a result of the tooth extraction. "Dad, avenge me!"
Li Kunxu tried biting down, but could no longer feel the missing tooth on the right side of his mouth.
How could Li Chenhong possibly avenge his son? Currently, everyone's gazes were focused on the youth near the river. He thrust his Grand Thunderflare Sword into the ground and looked ahead.
"That is the eighth level of Spiritsource?"
"It didn't look like he and his beast used a Unity battle art just now. In fact, it seemed like a Spiritsource battle art. But why does it feel so much like Heavenly Will?"
"Somebody must’ve simplified a heavenly-ranked battle art for him! The one who did that must be a genius!"
"It can't be. I doubt anybody in the whole of the clan can execute even a simplified Heavenly Will battle art at Spiritsource."
The discussions continued on. The more they tried to think it through, the more dumbfounded they became.
"Impossible! He doesn't even have a kunpeng lifebound beast! He's obviously an outsider the Matriarch found! It's likely he isn't really one of the clan!" Li Chenhong said.
"How could he have Lifesbane if he's not one of us?" Li Xuanhe argued.
"Didn't you say yourself that it could've been faked by a method unknown to us?" Li Chenhong retorted.
Li Xuanhe was at a loss for words, and furrowed his brows without responding.
"He is indeed at Spiritsource. What specific level he's at isn't important. The fact is that he managed to defeat Li Kunxu using such a magnificent sword art. More importantly, his lifebound beast also has a similar talent. The only explanation for that is his Lifesbane! Only that can explain why his lifebound beast could possibly learn the battle art and comprehend the heavenly will as well!"
None of them regarded him with a mocking stare. They completely ignored Li Kunxu as they struggled to come up with an explanation. After all, he had only lost a tooth, but wasn't otherwise badly hurt. Everyone in the Wind Bloodline shot Tianming a complex look.
"I guess he does have five bane-rings after all. He really has only cultivated for half a year, and is really Li Wudi's son?"
"Since he has five bane-rings, how can he possibly not have inherited the Void Kunpeng? Not to mention, his lifebound beast is a mere seven-star chick."
"The better question would be if this chick is also a pentabane."
"Actually, some of the former sect masters from the Apex Branch didn't have Void Kupengs either. That means that while the bloodline changes, it isn't really severed. Maybe this brat is similar in that regard?"
As their discussions went on, Li Xuanhe said, "Enough bullcrap. The point is, I still don't buy it. Do any of your sons want to fight? If not, I'll have Linghe do it! He’s one of the two among the younger generation to have three bane-rings, and he's at the third level of Unity. I'm sure nobody would dispute he's the strongest among the youths here, right? So why don't we test him against Tianming? If he's not as genuine as he purports, his flaws will show when he runs into a stronger opponent. All you have to do is watch."
When Li Xuanhe was done, everyone looked coldly at him.
"In other words, you want to make Linghe the junior sect master if he defeats Li Tianming, right?"
"Well, you could always send your sons to fight him! I doubt their capabilities are that different from Li Kunxu's," Li Xuanhe said.
"Then we'll have Linghe go first!" Li Tianyu said. Sending his own son now was a fool's errand, after all. It would be better to have Li Linghe go first while the rest watched from the sidelines. The reason Li Xuanhe was so proactive was because his son stood an eighty percent chance of being picked from the group of seven. The rest were just there to try their luck, since the one Li Wudi hated most was Li Xuanhe. That might be a factor in why Xuanhe’s son might not be picked.
However, seeing that Tianming had mastered a simplified Heavenly Will battle art made them feel like their sons wouldn't stand a chance, especially if his bane-rings were the real deal!
"Linghe! Go fight!" Li Xuanhe ordered.
After waiting for so long, his chance was finally here. Li Linghe, as Xuanhe's son, was the young scion of the Alpha Ursae Majoris Branch. He was the only other person in the Wind Bloodline besides Li Qingyu to have three bane-rings, and was at the third Unity level at the young age of fifteen!
When the white-robed youth stepped forward, Tianming could immediately sense how different he was from Li Kunxu. Li Qingyu, despite being of a similar age, was at the fourth level of Unity, slightly higher than Li Linghe. Even so, he still radiated a similar aura to her.
Regardless, an opponent of that rank was sure to be a tough one. Given Tianming's current power, he might have quite a hard time, even with both his lifebound beasts working together. However, he didn't want to waste too much time. Instead, he wanted to get his position by crushing his opponent in one go! So, he sought out Jiang Feiling from the crowd.
Since he had brought Ling'er, an existence so mysterious and terrifying, to the Grand-Orient Sect, there was no reason why he shouldn't use her to gain an edge over his opponents.
"Everyone, please wait a moment."
He came over, grabbed Feiling's hand, and entered Kunpeng Sacred Hall.
"Li Tianming, are you trying to kill me with suspense by hiding and refusing to leave like Li Wudi?" Li Linghe said in a cool, sharp voice. But the moment he finished, Tianming came back out.
However, the beauty he took into the hall with him was nowhere to be seen, much to the dismay of the Wind Bloodline youths who were trying to steal another glance at her.
Who could ever possibly imagine that she had dispersed and attached herself to Tianming? This time, the Spiritual Attachment felt even more pleasant than before. Of her ten sealed abilities, four had already been awakened.
Tianming's current core objective was to retrieve the five seals they had lost; he remembered each and every one of them clearly. And now, he was about to vent his dissatisfaction with Heaven's Elysium toward Li Linghe. After all, he wasn't as terrifying as Lady Long. In fact, she was completely out of his league. But as Tianming's opponent, he was more than capable.
"Li Linghe is second to none but Li Qingyu among our younger generation! I refuse to believe an eighth-level Spiritsource like Li Tianming stands a chance. If he really can win, I’ll accept that he is Li Wudi's son, as well as his claim of having five bane-rings."
"We don't need you to say that! Only the founding ancestor has had five bane-rings in the clan's entire history! Only someone on his level can possibly survive such odds!"
"Enough!" Li Xuanhe snapped as the discussion got heated. It somehow irked him to hear it.
"Linghe, it’s time to change your fate. I trust you know what you should do."
"Dad, just watch. I'll give this arrogant jester a sound beating."
An aqua-blue longsword appeared in Li Linghe's hand. Before he jumped into the river, he pointed it at Tianming.
"Forget about using a sword before me!" After his proclamation, he stood on the surface of the river, radiating his sword intent.
"Forget?" Tianming chuckled. Given the level of talent on display, most of those in the Wind Bloodline believed this would be a tough battle, but were still quite confident Li Linghe would obtain final victory and gain the honor of defending the reputation of the Wind Bloodline's younger generation! He was what most of the young ones aspired to become.
At that moment, a titanic black fish, boasting a thick layer of scales, jumped out of the river. Not only that, many parts of its body, such as its back, cheeks, mouth, and tail had black spikes, making it look almost like a hedgehog.
When it opened its mouth, one could see dense rows of sharp teeth. It was a full-blown carnivore, a mid-tier eight-star beast on the same level as Mu Yang's Ink Qilin! In Vermillion Bird, there was only one beast comparable to it, yet here, even the juniors possessed beasts on this level.
This beast was called the Devilwind Kundrake!Previous Chapter Next Chapter