Tianming had managed to survive for two reasons: his left arm's interception, and the white light that blocked Yueling Long's sword right before it pierced his heart. The Prime Tower seemed to have used a white barrier to protect him. Whether he could count on it doing the same thing a second time, he didn't know. All of it had happened within the fraction of a tense second.
Even so, as Yueling Long drew her sword out, the torch dragon's claw slammed down on his back and sent him flying once more, knocking the Grand-Orient Sword flying out of his hand. As Tianming got back up, the sword landed before Yueling Long. Though she had been wondering why that strike didn't kill him outright, her attention was grabbed by the sword instead.
"A divine artifact like this should belong to me. Only I am qualified to use it. There's no way you'll be able to unleash its true might!" Gleefully, she pushed Violet Skyfire into the ground and pulled the Grand-Orient Sword out with both hands.
"What an amazing divine artifact indeed!" Based on her excitement, it was probably her first time touching the sword. Meanwhile, Tianming felt how cold the world truly was as the burning pain from his back and chest nagged at him. Even he had a time when he would lay at the line between life and death.
The Grand-Orient Sword didn't acknowledge me in the end. I was almost killed too! Even with the most talent, the world wouldn't just go the way he wanted. Only those who have experienced life-and-death situations and survived would grow strong. He didn't blame the sword for anything.
In other words, I'm still not worthy of it, so I paid a price for it! I have to properly reevaluate myself and take things one step at a time!
The only shame was that he had suffered a gash on his back so huge that his spine had been injured. Even the mere act of standing sent pain throughout his whole body. He tried wiping his sweat off, only to find out that it was his blood all along. Turning to look, he was relieved to see that Ying Huo was doing well protecting Meow Meow as they fought as a pair against the two fifth-order Skyscorch Torch Dragons. It was too bad that his injuries meant that he was in worse fighting shape. Now, he still had to face off Yueling Long with the Grand-Orient Sword as well as her torch dragon with Onyx Dragon alone.
"Li Tianming, let me show you how this sword is truly used. It's such a shame; I thought I’d finally met a worthy opponent. You really disappointed me! It's not only your power, but your childish worldview, too! In this world, only people like me are worthy of divine artifacts! Only people like me are fit to reign supreme over the masses! Someone as cowardly and childish as you can only grovel and kneel before me!" She raised the sword higher and higher.
"Only the truly sovereign can use it, such as your founding ancestor, Li Shenxiao. He was the one who used this very sword to dominate the realm and let the Li Saint Clan prosper for tens of thousands of years! It's a shame his descendants are all such useless cowards who’re all bark and no bite. Now, it's my turn to wield this sword. One day, I’ll forge a new Grand-Orient Realm in my image!" She smiled like a madwoman, though her beauty made her more than pleasurable to look at."Hey, I only want to ask you one thing."
Yueling Long didn't think he'd still be able to talk so calmly. "What is it?"
"Is the Grand-Orient Sword Heavy?" The question caused her to squint.
"You think just because you couldn't get the sword's acknowledgement, I can't? Li Tianming, stop putting up airs! Open your eyes and watch clearly. I’m someone destined to become a sovereign. Even the Grand-Orient Sword will have to submit to me!" she said as she charged toward him fearlessly with her dragon.
It was plain to see that Tianming was heavily injured. With the sword in Yueling Long's hands, the battle seemed like it was coming to a close. The balance of power had been tipped. Though Tianming narrowly avoided death before, could he do the same to overturn his fate now? Yueling Long would definitely hold back on killing on his account.
"You said you would come to Heaven's Elysium to take my head. But now, yours will be the first I cut off with the Grand-Orient Sword. Consider it your honor!" Despite her proclamations, her hands didn't waver one bit. She had a much easier time wielding the sword than Tianming with her third-level Heavenly Will strength. "Now die!"
She used Azure Heartslay, Cloudrender! She didn't use a dual sword move, for she thought she would conquer the Grand-Orient Sword through her strength. Cloudrender was a slash that could render apart the clouds in the sky; it was perfect for decapitation.
At the same time, the torch dragon turned into a flaming twister and came attacking. Its countless scales were like spinning blades that could tear everything that touched it apart.
The pain in Tianming's back gave him an inkling of how death would feel like. He could see the Grand-Orient Sword from his point of view. At that moment, he thought, perhaps the Grand-Orient Sword doesn't need to be conquered at all.
At that moment, his mind calmed right before his moment of death. With Onyx Dragon in his right hand and readying the Trivita Fiendfist with his left, he endured the pain from his back and fearlessly charged toward his two foes like a moth towards a flame. It was as if he had transcended mortal life and entered a realm of tranquility.
He executed Skyshaker, using his fist to block the Grand-Orient Sword. That moment was like he had a heart-to-heart with the sword. It feels alive. He followed it up with Godringer, only to be knocked back rolling. Even so, he easily managed to survive Yueling Long's onslaught. He then used Cataclysm in a last fit of madness at the edge of his life.
The torch dragon had wanted to spray fire to roast him, and it hadn’t expected him to come punching at its head like a madman. The punch landed, causing the dragon to howl in pain. The scales near its eyes were crushed from the weight of the attack. At that moment, its eyes saw the mad hellfiend that was Tianming, who had his lips curved into a smirk.
"It's time for you to lay dead for good!" Yueling Long cried. All of a sudden, Tianming turned back as if he had eyes growing from his back and blocked the sword with his left hand.
The tip of the Grand-Orient Sword pierced the center of his palm. His third eye was shut and the scales above it were as tough as the rest, so the sword didn't pierce through his arm, though the sheer force behind the strike sent Tianming crashing into the torch dragon. The force passed through his palm and tore through his body.
"I doubt your palm will be able to block the Grand-Orient Sword!" By now, her hair had unfurled and a few strands of green fell. Were it not for her fierce gaze, she would look like a magnificent beauty.
The tip of the Grand-Orient Sword ground against his palm and created lots of sparks. The back of his hand was pressed against his chest. He spat out a mouthful of blood onto the sword, staining it completely red. What Yueling Long didn't understand was why he still wore a smile despite being at the brink of death.
"Be thankful that someone as wretched as you gets to die by the Grand-Orient Sword!" Using her full force, she pushed the sword against him even harder. Though Tianming had managed to grab it, he was pressed against the torch dragon and being flattened. It didn't help that his injury was rubbing against the shattered scales of the dragon, embedding them in his flesh.
"Li Tianming, do you find dying funny?"
"I don't, but the sight of you struggling to swing the sword around like I was does." As he said that, he grabbed the tip of the sword and slowly pushed it away with his own strength. His eyes were like seas of blood. His unrelenting fighting spirit was sent through the sword into her.
"What crap are you spouting?!"
"I just said you’re unworthy of this sword!" he roared as his left arm shook. Using the dragon's head as support, he forced himself to stand as he pushed her back.
"If I'm unworthy, trash like you deserves this sword even less! Only after you die will I have a chance to subjugate this sword!"
The flame around her body spread toward Tianming through the sword. However, she didn't notice Tianming's blood dripping onto it one drop after another. His blood pooled on the sword; pooled on the sun, moon and stars; pooled on the rivers and mountains.... This wasn't the blood of Tianming alone; it was the undying and fate-defying blood of the entire Li Saint Clan!Previous Chapter Next Chapter