Fan Wutian had been struggling to learn a heavenly-ranked sword art the whole time. Yet while he was still struggling, he saw a little chick use such a sword art before him. It was definitely not a mere unity-ranked sword art! He could do nothing but counter with a supreme unity-ranked battle art, the Gale Greatsword Art.
"I don't believe it!"
He must have been seeing things. What followed was him crossing bouts twice with Ying Huo. The first move by the little chick was Countercurrent; the instant their swords clashed, Fan Wutian haggardly dodged as his greatsword was about to bite into his own hands. He slammed into a tree, crushing it into small splinters.
Ying Huo followed up with Starfall, prompting Fan Wutian to roar and push himself to the limits as he used the only heavenly-ranked sword art he had decent comprehension of, the first move of the Gale Greatsword Art. His strike caused strong winds to blow at the splintered tree, reducing it to even smaller pieces. That strike was infused with a little heavenly will.
However, it was far from comparison with Ying Huo's Starfall. While he was two levels higher than Ying Huo in terms of beast ki, his thirty-six spiritsources paled in comparison to Ying Huo's infernalsource that was equivalent to more than sixty spiritsources, not to mention the quality of his beast ki.
Starfall slammed the greatsword out of Fan Wutian's hands and cut through his wrist with a single slash. He cried out in pain as he was sent flying, breaking through a few trees before landing on the dying Trihead Gale Condor. Like brothers, beastmaster and beast were suffering alike.
Looking up, they saw the two terrifying little critters looking down on them and felt unimaginable fear. Fan Wutian's swordsmanship that he trained so hard on had easily been crushed by a mere little chick.
The little chick knocked on his head and tossed him his severed hand. "Young man, don't mess around if you have no business being here. Go back home and have your parents reconnect your hand."
As one of the three most powerful Cloudmist disciples, Fan Wutian was terrified to the point his face paled. He endured the pain and scrammed like a madman. Nobody had managed to crush his will so utterly before this.
Ying Huo shook its head and said, "Young people these days really can't take any stress...." The little chick had easily pushed Fan Wutian to his limits without even trying.
If that wasn't already bad enough, Fan Wutian felt another shock and tripped when he saw Tianming again. He rolled on the ground before he got up, then picked up his hand and shuddered.
"Did the Grand-Orient Sect send a demon?" There hasn't been someone of Tianming's caliber for a hundred generations of prime disciples, and this was only the start. Yet that wouldn’t stop Tianming from giving his all. A seventh-level Unity beastmaster like him had actually managed to deal with the ninth-level Unity Xi Menglin without breaking a sweat.
The beast ki in his infernalsource and lightningsource really put him far above his opponent. At the very beginning of the fight, Tianming had turned into a shadow as he charged in, executing the first fist of the Trivita Fiendfist, Skyshaker, using his black arm. Xi Menglin could only catch a flash of a dark color.
"Buzz off!" He opened his hands and used a supreme unity-ranked battle art, the Oceanspan Palm, manifesting a sea in front of him and using his beast ki to reduce his opponent's attacks to nothing. At the same time, the Astral Crab he was seated on struck with its two pincers in an attempt to intercept Tianming.
Even then, he wasn't able to block that punch that could shatter even the skies, let alone the ocean. The merciless fist broke through the barrier like bamboo and instantly caused an explosion.
Right as the Oceanspan Palm was neutralized, the two beast kis surged and sent the punch digging into Xi Menglin's abdomen, turning his face bloody red. His innards were probably reduced to powder from the punch and he was blown back from the sheer force, then crashed into a boulder. The shock shook his body and caused him to spit out blood before he collapsed, unmoving.
RIght at that moment, the crab's pincers were about to pierce through Tianming. Even though he had tried to dodge, they managed to grab onto his left arm. The crab was going to snap Tianming's left arm in half, only for it to use too much force and crush its own pincers instead. They should've been tough enough to crush even beastial weapons!
Tianming pulled his arm out and saw the cracks on the pincers, then punched the crab on the back, creating a spider web fracture across its carapace. The crab spit out white foam as it crashed to the ground. It struggled to get up, despite how sharp its legs and pincers were.
The battle had ended almost too easily. Tianming clapped his hands and looked to the side, seeing Fan Wutian piss himself as he scrambled away after being beaten by Ying Huo.
"Even though Ling'er's asleep now, we really did make a lot of progress this past half month, far more than others imagine." This time around, disciples on the level of Fan Wutian and Xi Menglin weren't his targets. If they blocked his way, he would take care of them. However, he still went to Xi Menglin and held him by his chin. Xi Menglin shuddered again, but couldn't run even if he wanted to.
"Mmmmwwffh...." He couldn't even speak with how his mouth was gripped. Nothing but terror could be seen in his eyes, and his arrogant demeanor was nowhere to be seen.
"Still want to see the bane-rings?" Tianming asked.
"Mmmwwf!" He struggled to shake his head, then spat out another mouthful of blood.
"So now do you believe that I took Yuwen Shendu's place here?"
"Mmmff...." He nodded as he shed tears of pain.
"Then remember how badly you ended up today. Tell your grandfather, Gu Qiuyu, that the bane-rings are merely symptoms. If he really wants to see if I'm a pentabane, just have him watch me perform."
"Mmmff!" He nodded more earnestly this time.
Tianming stood up and said, "Though, you got me to think through one thing. Geniuses are meant to compete with each other. You must be pretty impressive in the Southsky Sect, for you to see yourself so highly. But the moment you meet someone who can completely dominate you, your fear and terror are completely identical to a normal person's."
This was a warning for Xi Menglin, as well as for himself. He should never be satisfied just because people called him a genius; nothing but power could ensure his security at any moment. There was always a chance he could be defeated, too. There was no saying when he would end up like Xi Menglin.
"Who's this fellow? He fought one against two and defeated two ninth-level Unity beastmasters from the Southsky Sect and Cloudmist Sword School!"
Near the Throughgate, the battles on the path could clearly be seen. Many people were battling seventh-order wildbeasts, so not many people had paid attention to Tianming's fight.
"White hair?" Song Yixue seemed to recall someone like that.
"Those two lifebound beasts are... a chick and a cat. However, the cat turned bigger..." said Ling Yichen, his voice rough.
The three of them watched in shock as they looked at each other in disbelief.
"It must be a coincidence! That can't be him!" Song Yixue cried as her voice broke from sheer shock.
"What was his name again? Jiang Tianming?" Jin Yixuan said as he recalled Vermillion Bird.
"No, it's Li Tianming," Song Yixue corrected. For Jin Yixuan to forget his surname meant that they really hadn’t thought much of Tianming back then. However, they still remembered the fight involving the white-haired youth and his cat and chick three to four months ago at Heaven's Sanctum.
"Are you sure it's him?" Ling Yichen said with a shaky voice. He had lived a long time and he’d never seen something like that before.
"Let me see what he looks like!" Jin Yixuan said as he stretched his head out. It was a little too far off, but that youth happened to turn to him at that moment. He was so taken aback his face paled. "That's Li Tianming! His left arm has beastial metamorphosis! It's definitely him!"
"What in the world..." Song Yixue said in a shaky voice.
Ling Yichen gasped and said, "Lin Xiaoting was first-level Unity, right? Back then, Li Tianming was about at that level too. But now, he had just defeated someone at the ninth level. He could even hold his own against Heavenly Will! That means he broke through a whole stage within three or four months!"
"Nobody in the Grand-Orient Realm is supposed to be capable of that!" Jin Yixuan cried.
As for Song Yixue, she merely stared blankly at Tianming, completely unlike the dignified invigilator from back then.
"That's right. It's impossible. Even Elysian Long took three years to go through Unity. And compared to most other Elysian Children, who started cultivating at three years old, Elysian Long started relatively late. Even Elysian Yi took five or six years to go through Unity, right?"
Ling Yichen's brows were furrowed so deep they were going to remain wrinkles. They felt a chill as they discussed the matter further.
"What kind of growth did he have back at Vermillion Bird?" Ling Yichen asked.
"We don't know, but we can be sure that he broke through two levels from the time he went to the Abyssal Battlefield to his battle with Lin Xiaoting. I heard Li Jingyu say he’s the illegitimate son of Li Wudi, so he's definitely a true descendant of the Li Saint Clan. Don't tell me his cultivation shot up when he returned to his clan?"
Their worlds were falling apart as they spoke.
"Perhaps he awakened many bane-rings, three or four even," Song Yixue said. While they were quite detached from the matter, they were still rather familiar with Tianming.
"Boss, this won't do. There's definitely something wrong with him. We have to inform the elysian king and elysian elders about this immediately!" Song Yixue warned.
"They won't give us an audience. We should go to Elysian Long instead!" Ling Yichen said. It wasn't an exaggeration to say that they would be treated like madmen if they bothered reporting this. "Let's not be hasty and take a few more looks to be sure."
Even if that were the case, they found it hard to believe something like this. Was that youth from back then really as terrifying as he seemed? If so, Jin Yixuan and Song Yixue shuddered, as Tianming's current prowess was rather close to their own, now.Previous Chapter Next Chapter