As Li Tianming continued practicing his boxing techniques under the elders’ shocked gazes, Zhou Zhiyuan brought two young men over.
Li Tianming took a look, and saw that they were both dashing in looks.
The one on the right was dressed in white robes, upon which were embroidered maple leaf designs. He looked very scholarly and cultured, and the pleasant smile on his face made people feel at ease.
“Junior Sect Master, he’s called Shangguan Yunfeng. He’s my great-grandson, and Shangguan Jiayi’s elder brother,” Shangguan Jingshu said. She looked warmly at her great-grandson, obviously full of pride. It was rather impressive for both a prime disciple and someone like Shangguan Jiayi to arise out of her great-grandchildren.
“Greetings, Junior Sect Master. Your performance a few days ago was nothing short of spectacular. You have my complete admiration,” Shangguan Yunfeng said with a friendly smile. The pair of brothers seemed to have been raised well. They both gave off refined auras and were obviously from a scholarly family.
There was another prime disciple, apart from Shangguan Yunfeng. He was dressed in black training clothes. From his robust body and tanned skin, it was patently obvious how hard he trained. He looked at Tianming with a gaze that was neither warm nor cold.
The sixth elder, Zhou Zhiyuan, gave the young man a pat and smiled, “This is my grandson, Zhao Lingzhou. His aptitude is a bit poor, he’s a tad too stubborn, and he doesn’t talk a lot. He also doesn’t quite match up to the junior sect master. He’ll be following you during the Realm Wars, so if he offends you during that time, I hope you won’t take it to heart.”
Zhao Lingzhou frowned, obviously taking issue with his grandfather’s words. However, he still recognised the occasion, so he stiffly responded, “Greetings, Junior Sect Master.”
He had seen Tianming fight Su Yiran and Yuwen Shendu. However, he had never expected that he would have to be so polite to him in the future.
“Yunfeng and Lingzhou, there’s no need to be so awkward. We’re all of the same age, and we’ll be working together during the Realm Wars. I’m quite a casual person, so I hope we can get along as fellow disciples and become friends,” Tianming said frankly. His words were primarily directed at Zhao Lingzhou, who was clearly displeased.
“It’ll be an honor to be friends with the junior sect master,” Shangguan Yunfeng smiled.
“Just call me Tianming.”
After speaking with Shangguan Yunfeng for a while, Tianming found that people from the Shangguan clan were really cultured and had a way with words.
However, Zhao Lingzhou simply sat there wordlessly the whole time, until Zhou Zhiyuan chased him back home to train.
“Junior Sect Master, you’ll set off in six days. With your speed, do you have any confidence in mastering the second stance of the Trivata Fiendfist?” Zhou Zhiyuan asked.
“Let’s give it a shot.”
Shangguan Yunfeng and Zhao Lingzhou could be considered familiar faces now. Hence, Tianming poured his all into training Fiend—Godringer. This attack was for the sake of rocking even the gods, and exactly how much madness was needed in order to accomplish that?
As he watched from the side, Shangguan Yunfeng gave a sigh. He could only give a bitter chuckle and say, “We’re both prime disciples, but the gap in our comprehension is so vast. It’s a struggle for me as a ninth-level Unity to even comprehend heavenly-ranked battle arts, but he’s already started on saintly-ranked battle arts.”
There was no other option for him than awe.
“Be sure to learn from the junior sect master during the Realm Wars,” Shangguan Jingzhu said sincerely.
“Yes, great-grandma.” Shangguan Yunfeng nodded.
On the eleventh day after defeating Yuwen Shendu, Tianming had mastered the second step of the Trivata Fiendfist. It was even stronger than Death Requisition from the Life-Death Whip Art, and was different in style.
Today also happened to be the day they set off. They would depart north toward Heaven’s Elysium to partake in the Realm Wars. A total of fifteen elders would escort the three prime disciples.
Before they set off, Li Tianming, Shangguan Yunfeng, and Zhao Lingzhou gathered at Fatepath Peak to wait for the elders.
“Lingzhou, why do you look so despondent?” Shangguan Yunfeng asked.
Zhao Lingzhou stood at the side and gave them a look. “Why wouldn’t I? We’re going there to be humiliated anyway.”
“Hey, don’t be like that. How could you admit defeat before we even fight?” Tianming said.
“Do you have confidence?” Zhao Lingzhou asked.
“Quite a bit.” It wasn’t that Tianming was being arrogant. He just felt if he wasn’t going to be confident, there wasn’t even a point in going.
“Naive. You think you can do something just because you beat Yuwen Shendu? Remember, he didn’t use the Spiritburn Tome, and you don’t have it now either!” Zhao Lingzhou said coldly.
When he saw how certain Zhao Lingzhou was, Tianming couldn’t be bothered to continue the conversation. He exchanged a look with Shangguan Yunfeng.
Shangguan Yunfeng forced a smile. “Well, we’re all our own people. Don’t blame him.”
However, Zhao Lingzhou was still muttering off at the side, “That’s how it goes every single time. We go for our once in ten years humiliation by Heaven’s Elysium. No generation of prime disciples is an exception. How could the elysian children let us snatch away the Grand-Orient Sword? They’ll be more vicious than anyone else during this opportunity! When past prime disciples returned, they were always depressed and lost their heart to cultivate any further.
“We still had some slight hope with Yuwen Shendu being in Heavenly Will, and having the Spiritburn Tome. But since it’s just the three of us, let’s just try our best not to be too embarrassed.”
Zhao Lingzhou kept muttering to himself. Although he looked the opposite of someone who was weak-willed, it could be seen that he completely lacked any confidence in this outing.
“What, you’d rather Yuwen Shendu was here?” Shangguan Yunfeng asked sternly.
“Well, that’s not so.” Zhao Lingzhou shook his head and looked at Tianming. “I just feel it’s a joke to thrust our sect’s future onto some teenager!”
“Is that so?” Tianming chuckled. “Just because you’re not capable doesn’t mean that holds true for others as well.”
“Well, I’m looking forward to it.” Zhao Lingzhou’s lips curled.
“Good. Watch very closely then.”
The fifteen elders were finally gathered. Among their number was Huangfu Fengyun, Shangguan Jingzhu, Zhou Zhiyuan, Ye Shaoqing, and Ye Qing.
The ten remaining elders would be stationed at the Grand-Orient Sect, watching Yuwen Taiji. They weren’t weak, and protecting the sect and Li Qingyu wouldn’t be any problem. Yuwen Taiji may have been strong, but his faction of elders wasn’t stronger than these twenty-five.
Due to the importance of this Realm War, the first elder would be personally leading the group.
“Prepare to leave!” The first elder summoned his lifebound beast, a fifth-order saint beast called the Aircloud Godcrane. It was the largest lifebound beast Tianming had ever seen. When it extended its wings, it was dozens of meters long, enough to cover the skies!
Despite its advanced age, the Aircloud Godcrane was still full of a sacred majesty, and didn’t lose out to Ye Shaoqing’s Azureflame Dragon in the least.
Everyone got onto it and sat down. The three prime disciples were surrounded by the fifteen elders, completely safe.
They had already made the rest of their preparations. The Grand-Orient Sect’s disciples and the remaining elders sent them off as the crane took to the skies, heading toward Heaven’s Elysium.
The crowd only finally reluctantly dispersed when the giant crane vanished into the clouds. Now, they would wait quietly for the results, full of suspense.
At the Li Mausoleum’s entrance on Fatepath Peak, a man with messy hair was watching the crane fly off. He put down the wine in his hand, then turned around and entered the mausoleum.
“Just this one final step. One more death and I’ll be eternal. Tianming, Qingyu, Li Saint Clan, wait for me! You have to hold on, brother!” After entering this time, he wouldn’t be coming out again unless he succeeded.
On Taiji Mountain, a man dressed in a white and black robe was standing at the highest peak with his hands clasped behind his back.
He continued staring in that direction even after the crane had vanished for a long while.
“Are the preparations done?” Yuwen Fengtian walked over.
“Yes,” Yuwen Taiji responded dully.
“I think you’re too overconfident, though. For a thousand years, every prime disciple has returned in humiliation. Without the Spiritburn Tome, this gamble is unlikely to be won.” Yuwen Fengtian shook his head.
“No, I believe in him.”
“You’ve always done things differently. Even I, your father, can’t understand. Now, our efforts of over a decade have gone down the drain, and I hope you can still turn this around,” Yuwen Fengtian sighed.
Yuwen Taiji nodded.
“Actually, I thought you’d just kill Li Tianming and get revenge for Shendu and Shengcheng. Those traitorous elders would lose their hope and bow to you. After all, you’ll still grow into something terrifying even without the Grand-Orient Sword, given enough time.”
“But I need the Grand-Orient Sword! Otherwise, even if I dominate here, I’d still have to bow to Jun Shengba!” Yuwen Taiji’s eyes burned with fervor. His appetite wasn’t so small.
“Have you shed even one tear for those two kids yet?” Yuwen Fengtian said helplessly when he saw Yuwen Taiji’s passion.
“Father, would you believe me if I say I’m hurting even more than you?”
“Is that so?” Yuwen Fengtian really couldn’t see it.
“Shendu and Shengcheng will see it. When I get the Grand-Orient Sword, they’ll be able to rest in peace. When I accomplish our clan’s long-cherished dream, they’ll be proud of me. This is all I can do now. I have no more tears to shed. If something must be shed, let it be someone’s blood!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter