The surroundings were completely still. The dozen beauties looked blankly at the bloody-mouthed Yuwen Shengcheng crying on the ground in pain, so shocked that they couldn't even react. They even took a few steps back. Yuwen Shengcheng didn't just have his face hurt, but was also covered in muddy water, which greatly contrasted against his image as a handsome youth.
"How dare you bully him like that?!"
"You only won because you're older! It's over for you...."
"But didn't he only just break through to first-level Unity two days ago?" Su Tao asked the last question and instantly made the rest freeze. Did the first-level Unity junior sect master trash actually manage to defeat the prospective prime disciple, Yuwen Shengcheng, who was at fifth-level Unity? That simply didn't make sense!
"We can't let him leave."
"We have numbers on our side. Let's avenge Brother Shengcheng!"
"We'll have them hand over the manna and stand up for Shengcheng!"
Su Li, Gongsun Yu, and Feng Chiyu were at the fifth level of Unity, while the rest were at the first level. There were close to a dozen of them, and they had the upper hand. Greed and rage had clouded their judgment. Little did they know that Tianming wasn't the least bit afraid of being ganged up on by all of them.
"Big Brother, let me help you." Qingyu didn't seem squeamish either.
While facing off against so many foes would no doubt be troublesome, they seemed to be spoiled descendants of sect elders.
"Go!" Tianming used his biggest trump card, Celestial Wings.
"Big Brother, can we win?" Qingyu asked with some anxiety about the number of enemies they faced.
"There aren't many that are actually capable. I'll leave those below fourth-level Unity to you," he said, before charging straight in. With Ying Huo and Meow Meow by his side, not to mention Feiling's Spatial Wall, he was easily able to split the battlefield into sections.
In battle, momentum was key, and Tianming was building it up, given that he was fighting against ten foes himself and had just defeated Yuwen Shengcheng. Those girls were forcing themselves into the fight, and some were still hesitant to fully commit after seeing how savage Tianming could be.
The descendants of elders weren't all like them; there were some who were truly frighteningly capable. However, birds of a feather flock together. In other words, most of the descendants here were of the less capable variety.
The tide of battle was completely tipped in Tianming's favor. He took out Archfiend and whipped Su Li up into the air, then gave her a forceful punch to the face. The moment she slammed into the ground, face swollen, the rest panicked.
Su Li bawled and cried as the searing pain burned at her face. She would be disfigured, at least for a while before she healed. The punch she took next in her stomach caused her muscles to spasm from the pain. Despite how arrogant she looked, she was weaker than Ye Ziyi.
That kind of head start made the rest of the battle much easier. The girls ran about like aimless flies, eventually fleeing without even engaging after witnessing Su Li's horrid state.
"So you are the elders' descendants? You’re an embarrassment to your seniors," Tianming mocked. They couldn't find any words to dispute it, humiliating as it was. If they were brave enough, they wouldn't have to go to the Abyssal Battlefield in a large group in the first place, and even then they couldn't face off against Tianming.
"Big Brother, a gentleman doesn't beat women up. You're too harsh on them," Feiling said.
"Come on, you can't tell me that didn't feel good."
"Well... I can't deny it did..." she said guiltily.
Those girls were really venomous at the Imperial Ninefold Gates. Giving them a slap on the face would teach them to not spout nonsense about the siblings from now on. Tianming had done just that without the slightest bit of gentlemanly flair.
As Qingyu was getting better and better, the two had no trouble beating up the group of beauties, who now looked like orcs with their swollen faces and muddy clothes. Su Li, Gongsun Yu, and Feng Chiyu were extra bruised on the face where Tianming had personally 'serviced' them.
They lived in a time of gender equality, after all, so not hitting ladies wasn't a virtue, especially when the 'ladies' were conspiring to humiliate and kill him. Only a fool would hold back against them by virtue of their gender. In the end, the girls were left sobbing and crying in a muddy puddle.
Tianming stopped his walloping and asked, "We're going to leave now. Do you still want to try taking the manna from us? Does anyone still want to stop us?"
They didn't reply and fearfully ran away, without caring about how haggard they looked.
"Don't leave!" Yuwen Shengcheng cried as he stood up and glared at Tianming with bloodshot eyes. Yet again, he had been utterly humiliated and was able to do nothing but watch as the girls got beat up.
"Li Tianming!" He proceeded to charge forward, but before he could reach him, Tianming kicked him back down into the muddy puddle. He laid there without being able to get up. There was no way Tianming would kill them all. He was no murderous demon, after all. At least the lesson he gave them should serve as a decent warning.
"Qingyu, let's go," he said to the girl that was looking at him a little agitatedly. It seemed that she truly hated the Yuwen Clan and was happy to have finally managed to vent today.
"They're just a bunch of insignificant brats. Even so, beating them up sure was fun, huh?"
"Thanks, Big Brother," she said, biting her lip.
Tianming didn't really consider Yuwen Shengcheng his foe at all; he had much greater things to worry about. However, he would have to focus on tackling what was in front of him for now.
"Let's go," he said, bringing his two lifebound beasts with him while Qingyu tailed him like an obedient follower.
"Li Tianming, I, Yuwen Shengcheng, swear that I will pay you back tenfold for what you did today! I will make you feel all the pain the world has to offer and have your innards shredded! Just you wait! That day will come soon!" he cried like a madman. He didn't sound particularly convincing, with his enunciation a little off after losing a couple of his front teeth. Tianming couldn't help but chuckle.
He looked at the Lifesbane characters on his right arm that stared right back at him. "Just you wait," he said—not to Yuwen Shengcheng, but to himself.
What they weren't aware of was what Yuwen Shengcheng said in a low voice. "Li Qingyu, you’d better not celebrate too soon. Think you can shrug me off like that? I'll make sure you'll kneel and beg my forgiveness a few days from now."
Tianming left the Abyssal Battlefield and returned to Orient Hall, the most important place for inner disciples on Grand-Orient Sacred Mountain. There, inner disciples could network with others in the sect and trade in trophies from the wildbeasts they killed for rewards.
Tianming had killed more than twenty wildbeasts and cut off the appropriate trophies as Qingyu had taught him. He managed to trade them for around a thousand spirit gems with blue heavenly patterns.
"Recall that I borrowed a thousand yellow-patterned spirit gems from Uncle Chen? Each blue-patterned spirit gem is worth a hundred times as much as a yellow-patterned one." Tianming felt like he had hit the jackpot. However, Qingyu told him that the amount he had couldn't buy him a particularly good unity-ranked battle art. Tianming's next goal was to head to Grand Hall and purchase one.
"I'll just go to take a look. It's not like I'm getting any more than this anyway," he said like a poor pauper. "I wonder how much I can get by selling the extra three profound manna at Orient Hall."
"That would be a lot. Top-grade profound manna is worth ten times that of mid-grade ones. In fact, there’s usually no supply for them," Qingyu said.
"Then I'll sell them off. Let's see if I can buy something good with that." He wanted to become rich overnight.
"Big Brother, I suggest you go check out Grand Hall first before coming back to sell them. You only need to sell one, in any case."
Currently, a mid-tier or above unity-ranked battle art would be more useful to him. But according to Qingyu, even the most common mid-tier ones were worth a thousand blue heavenly-patterned spirit gems at a huge discount from Grand Hall. Outside the sect, they would cost far more.
Grand Hall was located directly opposite Orient Hall, but it was far larger and split into several zones. Qingyu was his guide around the area; she took him to the zone with unity-ranked battle arts.
"Qingyu, is that your boyfriend?" many asked.
"It's my big brother," she said.
"Since when did you have one?"
There were too many people asking about him, so she had to give them some kind of answer.
Since the incident at the Imperial Ninefold Gates, the whole sect would eventually find out about their new junior sect master. By then, she would no longer have to explain who Tianming was. It didn't matter how the rumors spread now, since the truth of the matter would be revealed once word of Tianming breaking through at the gates got out.
"The unity-ranked battle arts are ahead."
As Qingyu continued walking, Tianming suddenly stopped in his tracks when he spotted a really beautiful necklace within a crystal cabinet not far away. The necklace had a crystal gem on which violet heavenly patterns were inscribed, making it look rather enchanting. It had been exquisitely designed to attract the attention of young women, but Qingyu didn't fall for it.
"Big Brother, that is only good for looking. It's not practical at all, and costs too much. I heard it's been there for centuries. Nobody really cares for it."
"I see. I'll give it a look then." He got closer and noticed the crystal necklace looked more beautiful the closer he was to it. There was an elegance to it that didn't make it any bit cheesy despite how attention grabbing it was. There was a nameplate with the words 'Sky Spirit's Affection' written on it. Tianming chuckled. Did that symbolize the love between Tianming and Feiling?