Tianming was eager for more power. In fact, there was very little a genius like him could do in the battle among the giant forces of the Grand-Orient Sect. The death of Yuwen Shendu that altered the structure of the sect was a rare occurrence. He was a man dancing on the edge; even if his talent defied destiny, he knew his current strength was far from enough.
Time waits for no man. With the Aeonic Grandbane, failure meant death. So even if his talent had grown thus far, he still insisted on cultivating hard, day and night, which was something ordinary folk could never achieve. His genius wasn’t terrifying, but the effort he invested in it was.
"The elders aren’t necessarily reliable. Only the Ye clan will look after me. Now that Yuwen Taiji has his eye on me, I must grow stronger to survive and protect them...."
The demons in his heart included Feiling, Ying Huo, Meow Meow, Ye Shaoqing, Qingyu, Li Jingyu, Li Wudi, and so on.
"Although the situation seems fine on the surface, there’s peril everywhere. If I revel in my talents but fail to make progress, the only thing waiting for me is an ugly death."
Tianming had a fairly clear understanding of his situation. These were all reasons why he strode forth with all his strength before the Realm Wars.
"Yueling Long, I once said I’d visit Heaven’s Elysium to take your head in ten years, but I never expected it’d only take me three months. I have the greatest surprise planned for you. Most importantly, before Feiling awakens, I’d like to return the five sealed abilities that were taken away.”
This was the other motive behind Tianming's participation in the Realm Wars, apart from competing for the Grand-Orient Sword. Since he was the junior sect master, he’d use the resources of the entire sect to strengthen himself and increase his odds. On the narrow road of life and death, there was no point in contrived courtesies.
After breaking through to sixth-level Unity, Tianming continued practicing the Voidgod Sword Intent: Myriad’s Only and the Trivita Fiendfist. Ying Huo and Meow Meow each received two Saintbeast War-Souls for refining. For fourth-order saint beasts, it wouldn’t take long for them to succeed—about half an hour at most.
However, both of them failed to refine one war-soul and succeeded with the other. Since the war-souls had been swallowed, they were considered wasted.
Ying Huo and Meow Meow were different from ordinary lifebound beasts. What they required was a Saintbeast War-Soul to stimulate their bloodline bindings and awaken their abilities. If the war-soul didn’t match, it was useless for breaking the bloodline bindings and was considered wasted. But conversely, the probability of a Saintbeast War-Soul awakening one of their abilities was much higher than any ordinary beast soul.
Ying Huo’s new ability was called the Infernal Haze, while Meow Meow's third Saintbeast War-Soul ability was called the Ninefold Chaos Thunderscape. Their new abilities were very suitable for their current situation, and the power they exerted was terrifying indeed.
Upon witnessing their transformation, Tianming was amazed. They showed comprehensive growth in all areas, especially their abilities. Their regular Infernal Blaze and Chaos Voltball underwent explosive changes.
"Our opponents in the Realm Wars will enjoy these two new abilities," chuckled Tianming.
Next up, more cultivation! When practicing cultivation techniques, the three became one. When practicing battle arts, Ying Huo continued to study the Voidgod Sword Intent and its inverse Excalibur and Life-Death Claw Art, while Meow Meow... slept. It was no surprise at all. Meow Meow made every second of sleep count and was unwilling to waste a moment of leisure time.
"Old Ye, can you please demonstrate Myriad’s Only once more?"
The last stance of the Voidgod Sword Intent was simply terrifying. Even with Tianming's new transformation, Myriad’s Only posed a challenge. He hoped to master in ten days what took Ye Shaoqing a year.
"Can you be less intimate? I’d rather hear you call me master," coughed Ye Shaoqing.
"But it sounds overly polite and tacky. What we need most is intimacy," laughed Tianming.
"No thanks, I'm not interested in men," replied Ye Shaoqing.
"Alright, hurry up! I’ll practice and you tell me what’s wrong."
"Go on then."
Under Fatepath Peak, Tianming waved Onyx Dragon, repeatedly drawing the sword against Ye Shaoqing while the other elders watched. What he practiced was the unpolished form of Myriad’s Only.
"I’m very confused. From Countercurrent, to Starfall, then to Cosmic Break, the progression is the same, as long as I constantly exceed the limit. However, Myriad’s Only is an entirely new level that seems to surpass the word ‘defiance.’ There’s a sense of breaking the cosmos, slaughtering gods and demons, and dominating the universe.”
"You're right. Your understanding is accurate. The most important thing for Myriad’s Only is the word ‘only.’ What does it mean to hold supremacy? You must contemplate the word," said Ye Shaoqing.
He had no trouble intercepting Tianming's sword ki with his bare hands. Tianming thrust his sword, but failed once more. Right now, he was nowhere near the confidence he’d displayed when he first practiced Voidgod Sword Intent. However, the challenge only fueled his fighting spirit. Within an hour, he swung his sword thousands of times, failing each time.
"You’re right in many areas. Your technique and swordsmanship is perfect. But your understanding of the sword intent and the word 'only’ is lacking. I suggest you put this to rest for now. In a few days time, I’ll create the right environment for you en route to Heaven’s Elysium. It was under that environment that I truly comprehended Myriad’s Only,” said Ye Shaoqing.
"Alright." Tianming obeyed his arrangement.
It was only natural for him to listen to his predecessor’s advice with an open mind. Getting lost in the pride of his talent and paying no heed to others would be foolish behavior.
The world was boundless and filled with talented geniuses. There must be something worth learning from those who came before him. How could the knowledge of one man be compared to countless predecessors and ancestors? Tianming was very humble in that respect.
"Are there any battle arts besides the Voidgod Sword Intent that you’d like to practice? The elders will accompany you on your journey to the Realm Wars. When the time comes, you may seek guidance on the road," said Ye Shaoqing.
This suggestion was limited to Tianming alone. No one else would even think of mastering battle arts in such a short time.
"I heard that the tenth ancestor of the Li Saint Clan practiced a battle art known as the Trivita Fiendfist, which is very powerful. I wonder if any of the elders have mastered it?" asked Tianming.
The effect of the tenth ancestor’s tomb, as well as guidance from an elder, would greatly improve his practice. Many of the ancestors' methods had been passed down, so other clans of the Grand-Orient Sect must have dabbled in it.
"The Trivita Fiendfist? It’s a saintly-ranked battle art that’s similar to Voidgod Sword Intent. If you decide to practice it, you’ll be able to grasp it superficially at most," Huangfu Fengyun smiled.
"Even a superficial understanding of a saintly-ranked battle art is good. Other disciples at the peak of Unity have only just begun to practice heavenly-ranked battle arts. None would dare attempt comprehending saintly-ranked battle arts, since success is impossible," added Shangguan Jingshu.
"A pentabane’s comprehension is amazing."
The elders were impressed by his extraordinary ability upon witnessing Tianming cultivate the Voidgod Sword Intent. Heavenly-ranked battle arts weren’t an issue for Tianming. Although Li Yanfeng comprehended his Hellish Downfall Sword Art ahead of time, it had taken him five years.
"What a coincidence. I’ve actually dabbled in Trivita Fiendfist."
Right then, the burly, energetic voice of an elder sounded. Despite being the same age as Ye Qing, he had a head full of black hair and appeared youthful and imposing. One look and Tianming could tell he possessed a ferocious combat power.
Tianming was rather surprised. No one recognized the Life-Death Whip Art when he used it, which meant the battle art might have been lost to the Grand-Orient Sect. To his surprise, one of the elders actually practiced the Trivita Fiendfist. But then again, since whip arts were unpopular, its loss was reasonable.
Sixth elder Zhao Zhiyuan was ranked fourth in their faction.
"Elder Zhao," Tianming greeted.
"There’s no need to be so polite. I’m a rough, straightforward man."
"Many thanks, elder."
"Alright, I’ll teach you the Trivita Fiendfist."
Zhao Zhiyuan was straightforward and bold. Not only did he demonstrate the moves for Tianming, he also spoke clearly, simplifying many details.
"Junior Sect Master, this is a saintly-ranked battle art, after all. You don't have to pay attention to this part. I’ll separate the core of this battle art, remove the complicated integration of heavenly will, and pursue the fundamentals. You try."
He had been meditating in the Li Mausoleum over the past few days. Now that he had guidance, his efficiency improved. With his position as the junior sect master, the elders’ willingness to help proved greatly convenient for his cultivation.
Despite the fact the group of elders had practically surrounded Tianming, he wasn’t at all annoyed. This was an opportunity for him to learn from these powerful elders. With their experience, even a few words would be of great help.
"The first step of the Trivita fiendfist is the Beast—Skyshaker. You’ll find that the core of this move is actually the same as Voidgod Sword Intent’s Countercurrent, Starfall, and Cosmic Break. Even the second step, Fiend—Godringer possesses the same concept. However, the will of the Trivita Fiendfist lies in defiance, but at the same time, madness and a state of violence. Madness born from defiance is the foundation of Trivita Fiendfist. Consider yourself a madman, comprehend the meaning of madness, treat me as the sky that drives you crazy, and use your fist to break me. Shatter the sky.”
As expected of the sixth elder, his attainments were profound. With his explanation and the demonstration of the Trivita Pugilist’s tombstone, Tianming was infinitely closer to the real Trivita Fiendfist.
On the fifth day, after countless repetitions, Tianming finally mastered the first step.
"Junior Sect Master, your heaven-defying talents truly astound me,” Zhao Zhiyuan smiled wryly as he openly said the words the other elders wanted to say.
Even if it wasn’t a complete saintly-ranked battle art, since half of the important points had been removed, Tianming's moves contained a power stronger than ordinary heavenly-ranked battle arts.
Rebels and madmen were the core of the Voidgod Sword Intent and Trivita Fiendfist.
"If we had another month until the Realm Wars, Tianming would have a definite chance of winning the Grand-Orient Sword," sighed Shangguan Jingshu.
"Yes!" The elders were all truly amazed after watching Tianming cultivate.
"Tianming, let me introduce you to your companions. They’re prime disciples who will join you in the Realm Wars.”
There were four prime disciples, but only Tianming and two others remained after Yuwen Shendu’s death and Su Wuyou’s defeat.Previous Chapter Next Chapter