“Li Tianming, be honored that you will be the first person to ever taste the fury of my Thunderfire Chain.” Liu Qianyang held the recently acquired chain in his hands, staring fervently at Li Tianming. He was the only one in ninth level Beast Vein here, and he took pride in that talent of his!
While the Thunderfire Chain was looped around his arm for now, it was likely that Liu Qianyang would be using it as a whip. Considering its capacity to tangle its foes, it was even more deadly than a regular whip. The grade three beastial weapon instantly attracted voices of envy and admiration from the audience, with most people suspecting it was too big an advantage for Li Tianming to overcome.
“Don’t think Li Tianming can take this one down… ”
“Forget it, his performance today is already quite impressive.”
“Other than that scandal in Ignispolis, Li Tianming was quite a good student. It’s saddening to see the kind of things young people would do for love.”
“But that one misstep was enough to destroy his future. His struggle now is all but useless.”
In fact, Li Tianming could hear a lot of the things being said about him. A useless struggle? He came back here today to show the world that it was anything but a useless struggle. He came back to tell the world that he, Li Tianming, would rise up from the ashes! He had enough with people throwing him looks of pity or ridicule!
That coldblooded man downstairs, what did he think when he saw Li Tianming fight for his honour or his own wife withering away? Li Tianming might not be able to make that man regret all his actions, but the least he could do was to make his father question his choice of picking Liu Qianyang instead. And to do that, he just needed to defeat and shame Liu Qianyang!
This time, him and Ying Huo would have a direct clash with Liu Qianyang and the Lightning Bolt Cheetah!
As expected, Liu Qianyang used his whip art, the Thunder Channeling Whip! The Thunderfire Chain lashed out with a swift and mighty strike, giving the impression that Li Tianming had nowhere to hide. Bam! A few snaps from the whip later, the rooftop of the Halcyon Hotel had collapsed, forcing all those still inside the building to evacuate. Moments after everyone had left the building, the Halcyon Hotel, the tallest building in the area, had collapsed into rubble and dust under the force of Liu Qianyang’s whip!
Even then, the chain brimming with sparks of flame and thunder was still chasing after Li Tianming mercilessly! Many spectators couldn’t help but think that Li Tianming was just another paper tiger who would not stand a chance against Liu Qianyang and his Thunderfire Chain!
“Wimp named Li Tianming, do you still dare not fight me?” Liu Qianyang snickered as the situation swayed in his favor.
“To me, one move is enough.” With his smooth sidestep, Li Tianming evaded a pounce from the Lightning Bolt Cheetah, followed by a lash from Liu Qianyang’s whip. Like a crimson shadow, he kept on dodging within the debris.
As for Ying Huo, it was even bolder. It had made its way onto the Lightning Bolt Cheetah’s back, trying to tear a hole in its body. With its small size, the cheetah was hard-pressed to catch or even attack it.
Bzzz! In defense, the Lightning Bolt Cheetah used its furs to generate electric bolts to force the little chick off its body.
“Stop struggling! Today is the day I’ll drink your blood and feast on your flesh!” Enduring the electric shocks, Ying Huo actually managed to peck a hole in the cheetah’s body and was trying to worm inside. The cheetah even tried rolling around but to no avail.
Within moments, Liu Qianyang realised that there was no point targeting the little chick, and the smarter move here was to attack Li Tianming together with his Lightning Bolt Cheetah. As he lashed his Thunderfire Chain at Li Tianming, the cheetah also swept its long tail like a whip at the fleeing young man. That forced Li Tianming to deal with both the martial art and its beastial art equivalent at the same time!
Li Tianming looked like he was on the downside, but as he said, he only needed to use one move for the entire battle. And now, he had found the perfect opportunity to strike!
The crimson shadow suddenly changed his course and dashed towards Liu Qianyang, his left arm tanking multiple hits from the Thunderfire Chain. That force would be enough to rip off anyone’s arms, but Li Tianming’s remained perfectly intact.
Liu Qianyang was stunned to see his attacks not taking effect, and even his whip became slower because of his shock. At that precise moment, Li Tianming grinned and raised up his left hand, where both Liu Qianyang and the Lightning Bolt Cheetah could see the centre of his palm.
In that split second, both Liu Qianyang and his Lightning Bolt Cheetah’s eyes became dull, and even their body froze momentarily on the spot.
“Sister……” Liu Qianyang muttered, his pupils hazy and his tone perplexed.
“Scumbag!” Li Tianming of course knew that the Bewildering Eye would cause its victims to see the person who they desired the most, but he never expected that person in Liu Qianyang’s case to be his very own sister! Was this how rotten these so-called ‘prestigious’ families were?
Ethics aside, the use of the Bewildering Eye had given him that one chance he needed to end the battle. Before Liu Qianyang could recover from his illusion, Li Tianming had already punched out his left fist with a Dragon-Mammoth Heavy Strike, aiming straight for Liu Qianyang’s face.
The sound of bones cracking echoed through the city. A month ago, Li Tianming swore to punch Liu Qianyang’s stupid face, and now when he had the chance to do it, he wasn’t going to show any mercy! It was a blow even stronger than the one Zhang Zixuan received, not only breaking Liu Qianyang’s nose but even threatening to snap his neck!
“Help me, sister! HELP!” Liu Qianyang felt as if he fell off heaven and went straight to hell. The impact of the punch had fried his brain and wiped out any morale he had left. As blood and snot flowed across his face, he just couldn’t understand. How the hell did Li Tianming create an illusion of Liu Qing? If anything, illusion arts were his sister’s specialty. Just how??
Alas, Liu Qianyang never got a chance to voice his doubts. The sensation of blood flowing in his mouth had reduced him to a trembling mess, only capable of desperate screams for help. In fact, peeing himself was not off the cards right now.
The events unfolding at the Halcyon Hotel was beyond any of the spectators’ wildest dreams.
“Liu Qianyang, how do you like this?” Li Tianming was like a demon looming over him, ready to harvest his soul. The sheer terror made Liu Qianyang fall to his knees, his vision blurred by his own blood and his voice hoarse from screaming.
“You have won, Li Tianming, just let me go now. Please, I have made a mistake, spare me, I don’t want to die here.” Liu Qianyang was afraid. He knew that even if Li Tianming dared to kill him, Li Yanfeng and Liu Qing would take revenge for him. But what good will it do when he would already be dead? He could feel Li Tianming’s wrath, and no one could save him if Li Tianming decided to end his life right now.
Liu Qianyang didn’t want to die! Kneeling on the floor, he begged for Li Tianming’s mercy. Hell, he would even kowtow and lick Li Tianming’s shoes if he still had the strength to.
At that moment, Liu Qianyang could feel cold chills from head to toe. The blurry image of the man standing in front of him would appear in every single nightmare he had for the rest of his life. As for the memory of him crushing Li Tianming at Zephyr Square a month ago, it seemed so ephemeral, like a dream. But for him, that dream had ended.
“NO! I beg you, don’t kill me! I’m the useless one, I’m worse than an animal, don't kill me please!” Liu Qianyang howled while trying to wipe off the blood from his face, not realising that it just smeared his face even redder.
“But what if I insist on killing you?” That line was enough for Liu Qianyang to let go of his bladder completely, and warm fluid began to trickle down his pants.
As for Li Tianming, he had already made his way behind Liu Qianyang. The Crimson Blood Dagger was pressed against Liu Qianyang’s neck, ready to slit his throat anytime!
On the other side, the little chick also made use of the Lightning Bolt Cheetah’s delusions, drilling deep inside the cheetah’s body. It was like a woodpecker, pecking on the cheetah’s spine and eventually cracking it. The cheetah fell to the floor, unable to even stand up!
“Still dare to act so cocky in front of grandpappy chicken? Next time, I’ll peck off your manhood!” Having completed its mission, the little chick took to the air valiantly, like the king of all beasts!
The battle was over! All that the audience could see now was a struggling Liu Qianyang held by dagger’s tip, and a rolling Lightning Bolt Cheetah with a little chick trampling it. It all happened way too fast, and no one, not even Li Yanfeng, could understand how Liu Qianyang suddenly got defeated.
A dead silence enveloped Flamehaven, broken only occasionally by the jeers of the little chick and Liu Qianyang’s cries. Everyone’s eyes were glued to Li Tianming and his lifebound beast, still shocked at the results of this battle. For a good minute or so, not a single soul moved.
Li Tianming threw a glance at the courtyard. Amidst all the fighting and the commotion, Wei Jing had merely flipped herself on her lawn chair and was still snoozing off. He smiled, thinking of how relaxed Wei Jing must be. What he didn’t notice was the tear rolling off her cheek.
That tear, however, was a tear of joy. Within this one month, Li Tianming had finally proven himself not only to be worthy of the Flameyellow Order, but also that he was back to take back everything he had lost three years ago! Defeating Li Zifeng was just a start, and when he had taken down the seven disciples of the Lightning Manor, he had shown his true worth. His actions screamed out to Flamehaven, that he was no longer the boy that had been crippled, and he would instead be their pride and glory!
The Halcyon Hotel had collapsed, and Li Tianming stood before the elites of Flamehaven and Lightning Manor, the life of Liu Qianyang still within his control. The look of exasperation on these peoples’ faces made Li Tianming want to laugh, to question them “Who is the worthless boy now?”
Of all people, Li Tianming was most interested in Li Yanfeng’s expression, and he was not disappointed. It was certain that Li Yanfeng had lost much face today. Not only did the son he abandoned outperform everyone else, he had also failed his promise of helping Liu Qianyang obtain the manna.
“Lord Governor, is it just me or are these so-called geniuses from Lightning Manor all utter garbage? If not why can’t they take a single hit from Flamehaven's resident cripple?” Li Tianming was the first person to break the silence, smiling brightly at Li Yanfeng. What would Li Yanfeng think, when he realised the blood-soaked wreck crying in Li Tianming’s hand was the prodigy he put so much hope in?
“Release him!” That was the only thing Li Yanfeng had to say. If this happened at Red Twill Mountain instead, he could have silenced Li Tianming even if he won the fight. Alas, it wasn’t possible now with so many witnesses.
“Sure thing, but before that, I’ll be taking my Flameyellow Order according to our bet. And as per tradition, the governor should announce to the city who’s the winner of this year’s selection.” As he spoke, Li Tianming had already found the Flameyellow Order he so dearly wanted in Liu Qianyang’s pocket. The Flameyellow Scions Institute had opened its gates to him once again!
“You already got it, let go of Qianyang, now!” Li Yanfeng could hide the anger in his voice, but he couldn’t hide the distortion on his face. As for Liu Qing, she was already trembling, her face pale as paper.
“You forgot the announcement, very esteemed governor.” Li Tianming still had his dagger pressed against Liu Qianyang’s neck, his eyes never leaving Li Yanfeng. Liu Qianyang tried to struggle, his efforts earning him a tight slap that elicited more cries for mercy.
Li Yanfeng never felt this passive in his life before. He was afraid of Li Tianming because he couldn’t afford to let Li Tianming kill Liu Qianyang. Li Tianming had behaved like a crazed demon, and no one would be surprised if he actually did murder Liu Qianyang in cold blood. Making things more troublesome was Princess Qing’s jade pendant! That meant Li Yanfeng had been forced to a dead end with no other choices.
“I hereby announce that Li Tianming is the winner of the Flameyellow Order.” Li Yanfeng’s eyes were burning with anger, but there just wasn’t anything else he could do.
The citizens of Flamehaven never imagined that Li Yanfeng who silently evicted his wife and son a month ago would be forced to declare the victory of this very own ‘useless’ son of his! As for Li Tianming, he knew that this was only the first step of his revenge. He had sworn that he would never leave like a loser again!