Chapter 36 - Netherfire Ghostclaw

With a thousand crimson gems on him, Li Tianming was bursting with confidence. Since he was young, this was the first time he was so filthy rich!

“I borrowed money today to resolve my current difficulties. But I will uphold my promise of paying it back ten times within one year.” Li Tianming etched that into his heart. In life, there were times you needed to be flexible. Being old-fashioned and obstinate was sometimes a kind of stupidity.

He had suffered a lot three years ago. So, now that he was Mr Moneybags, he wasn’t going to be mistreating himself! At the Xing & Chen Repository, he would take whatever he wanted, whatever battle art that would enhance the pair's talent to the fullest potential!

“Bloody Soul Hunt is a supreme beast-ranked art. Perhaps I can crush my opponents in the admission test, but the ranking test will be a struggle. There’ll be many spiritsource geniuses in the ranking tests. They’ll all have trained some source-ranked battle arts.”

Source-ranked battle arts were obviously stronger than beast-ranked ones. Mastery of them required aptitude, good fundamentals, as well as sufficient beast ki.

Li Tianming reached the repository. Due to its size, it had dozens of entrances, each one servicing an endless stream of customers. Business was especially booming in the lead-up to the Flameyellow Scions Institute entrance exams.

However, not many were here for battle arts. The exams were the day after, and there was a limit to how last minute one could be.

The seven-storey Many-Battles Pagoda were a small portion of the repository.

The pagoda had a wide base, and the floors got narrower the higher you went. The first floor had beast-ranked battle arts for sale, while the second sold source-ranked ones. And the third floor onwards, the even stronger unity-ranked and heavenly-ranked arts were made available.

Those weren’t things Li Tianming could handle at his current level. For someone his age, it was likely that only existences like Lin Xiaoting could touch those battle arts from the third floor and above.

Someone came to assist Li Tianming as soon as he entered the third floor. The staff of Xing & Tian Repository had undergone professional training and would never judge a customer by their appearance. Ignispolis was a place full of crouching tigers and hidden dragons, and anyone, even ordinary-looking people, could be an expert in disguise.

Li Tianming chose to search for battle arts on his own as he wanted to do it at his leisure.

Currently, he was satisfied with his Thunderfire Chain. It could be used as a whip or to entangle the opponent. Li Tianming could just imagine how dashing he’ll look in battle with the chain wrapped around his right arm and his black left arm.

He was still looking for his own personal weapon, so he was thinking of making an attempt at using a chain.

Li Tianming got a rough sensing of the prices after one loop around the premises. “For source-ranked battle arts, the basic level goes for fifty yellow-marked jades, while the intermediate arts goes for two hundred. It’s really pricey.”

He had thought the thousand yellow-marked jades he brought were more than enough, but it turned out he would likely only be able to buy a few battle arts. “And the advanced ones are even more expensive. I’m still in the Beast Vein stage, so I better not bite off more than I can chew.”

His worry wasn’t the inability to master it, but rather insufficient beast ki. It wouldn’t matter how strong the battle art was then. Intermediate source-ranked battle arts was probably his limit for now. Historically, it was the rough ceiling for those who had ranked in the top ten for the entrance exams.

Li Tianming had gone through the exam before, so he chose to pick a movement art first. Movement arts were among the cheaper options and the one he picked was worth fifty yellow-marked jades.

“Confounding Mirage Walk. Intermediate source-ranked battle art. Creates illusionary clones that can confound opponents. Masks the user’s presence, blurring the boundary between truth and falsehood. ”

This movement art was split into both a martial and beastial art, so the duo could both train in it. It was much better than Li Tianming’s Ghost Steps.

Li Tianming continued on. Before he found a good battle art for his chain, he found a claw art. His left hand was now like a beast’s claw that was sharper than even beastial weapons. Hence, he wanted to follow that path of development a little. It would also be useful for the little chick’s tiny but fearsome claws.

“Netherfire Ghostclaw. Intermediate source-ranked battle art. Cultivate Netherfire within the claw. The Netherfire is venomous whilst the Ghostclaw is incisive. Claw-type beastial weapons are necessary for usage. The complementing beastial art can be used by the majority of lifebound beasts, especially avian species. Once wounded, Netherfire will burn ceaselessly until nothing is left!”

Li Tianming had seen a senior in the institute use this before. While the description was vague, it was definitely very strong.

For this particular battle art, it was a case of the beastial art being superior to the martial art, making it good for the little chick.

“This is pretty expensive. It’s a hundred and fifty!” It was thrice the Confounding Mirage Walk’s price despite being the same rank! Still, its offensive power was amongst the best of intermediate source-ranked battle arts.

Ten yellow-marked jades were enough to last an ordinary person a lifetime. So this Netherfire Ghostclaw could last fifteen lifetimes! If not for that mysterious man’s help, Li Tianming wouldn’t have been able to purchase it even if he sold himself.

“I’ll take it.” Now that he had dough, he had to be willing to spend it no matter how much it hurt, so that he could join Heaven’s Sanctum.

The Many-Battles Pagoda had all sorts of battle arts, from sabres to spears, swords and halberds. However, chains and whips were a more unique weapon. Other stores might not even stock the related battle arts, and the Pagoda didn’t have the greatest variety either. Still, he managed to find two suitable ones after some comparison.

“Skyfire Soulbinder. Intermediate source-ranked battle art. Hundred yellow-ranked jades. Suitable for whip and chain-type beastial weapons. The weapon dances like Skyfire, capable of locking down an opponent. Once caught, extricating themselves is a difficult task.”

This battle art wasn’t an offensive art, but Li Tianming valued its ability for crowd control. Its price was also representative of its power. However, Li Tianming placed even more value on the other art.

“Nine Flying Bolts. Intermediate source-ranked battle art. Hundred and seventy yellow-ranked jades. Composed of nine consecutive whip strikes, each fiercer than the last. Striking like a rain of lightning, this art is unblockable and matchless in power amongst intermediate source-ranked battle arts!”

It was even more expensive than the Netherfire Ghostclaw and was close in price to some advanced source-ranked battle arts, a testament to its power.

Although the four battle arts Li Tianming had his eyes on were pricey, he had long since decided to go for broke.

“Four hundred and seventy yellow-marked jade! You actually spent half of what you just borrowed a day ago. What a wastrel,” Ying Huo said, feeling pained. The more Li Tianming spent, the less it could eat.

“If you prattle on some more, I’ll be having you for dinner.”

Confounding Mirage Walk, Netherfire Ghostclaw, Skyfire Soulbinder and the Nine Flying Bolts!

Li Tianming had bought a movement art, a crowd control art and two attack arts for the black arm and Thunderfire Chain. This was the best selection he could make.

The Confounding Mirage Walk and Netherfire Ghostclaw were enough for the little chick, while it wasn’t able to train in Skyfire Soulbinder and Nine Flying Bolts.

“What a waste, buying stuff I can’t use!” Ying Huo jabbered.

“Hey, don’t blame me if your whip is too short. You could train in the Nine Flying Bolts if you were the Lightning Bolt Cheetah’s size.” Li Tianming teased.

“Are you mocking me?!” The little chick continued its racket in the lifebound beast space.

“Hey, be careful! Don’t step on your siblings!” Li Tianming chuckled. He examined them briefly. That one egg had increased in activity recently, but it still hadn’t hatched. He was getting impatient.

“Will I become a twin beastmaster when it hatches?” Li Tianming was feeling rather expectant. A twin beastmaster referred to those who were gifted with two lifebound beasts when they were born. It didn’t just provide a quantity increase, but a fundamental change to the symbiotic system.

A twin beastmaster would receive the benefits of two beasts cultivating. Hence, they would be much stronger than their peers in the same level. For example, in ninth level Beast Vein, a twin beastmaster would have a total of twenty-seven beasts veins, as compared to an ordinary beastmaster’s eighteen.

Nine beasts veins allowed storing more beasts ki. The beastmaster’s beast veins would also have received two remouldings from their beasts, making it stronger again.

And most of all, a twin beastmaster against a normal beastmaster would always be a three versus two.

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