Within a pavilion at the peak of the sacred mountain sat Li Wudi. He was sunbathing and sipping wine, watching the clouds roll by and humming a tune. Ye Shaoqing was nearby, fanning himself with a hand fan as he said, "I heard the Elysian Emperor vomited blood on the spot when he heard the news. It truly is relishing to hear."
"Well, vomiting blood isn’t a big deal. What is is how he was mocked and provoked by the Southsky Sect and had no recourse but to command a humiliating retreat!"
"Then again, for someone like him to be able to retreat despite the huge blow to his dignity shows how troublesome he can be to deal with."
"That's right. I believe that he won’t attack from now on, unless he has at least a seventy percent chance of succeeding," Li Wudi said.
"Well, you did manage to kill Jun Dongyao. I doubt he'll be able to endure this for long. If anything, I think he'll jump at the chance to fight us again. Though, I'd personally like it if he would wait for a bit so we may have better odds. We can't wait too long either, as our pals from Onyx Sect will have to eventually return to the Onyx Hole."
"Then we'll have to give Heaven's Elysium another heavy blow!"
Their gazes locked as they smiled at each other, before they finally felt an awkward attraction sparking between them. "Ptooey!" The two spat in disgust at the same time, though the identical reaction only served to prove the opposite point.
"I heard you decided you won't be marrying again," Ye Shaoqing said after he awkwardly cleared his throat.
"Well, I don't need to. I already have my daughter. What about you?"
"Well, I don't have anyone I particularly like. There’s too many beauties and I don't even know where to start."
The two's eyes met again and they almost balked. Nothing was more awkward than two single men hanging out by themselves.
"By the way, Yuan Huitian just reported something to me," Li Wudi said, changing the subject.
"What is it?"
"He met the junior sect master of the Earthorigin Sect, Yuan Chen, on the battlefield."
"You think they'll stick their hands into our matters?"
"With the Grand-Orient Realm now in chaos, it's not really a surprise. If it were you, wouldn’t you take advantage of the chaos to reap some benefits?"
"I would, but will the Elysian Emperor let them?"
"While he might not have before this, I can't say for sure now. As calm as he wanted to appear, we all know that Jun Shengxiao's true personality is anything but."
Li Wudi's mouth curved into a smirk. Just as he prepared to pour Ye Shaoqing another cup of wine, he felt a chill down his back all of a sudden. "Who is it?" he snapped, turning his head back.
Ye Shaoqing also stood up with Azureflame Empyrean in hand. This was the Grand-Orient Sacred Mountain, so no expert should be able to appear next to a sky saint like Li Wudi without making his presence known.
Li Wudi turned back and saw a black-haired man in black robes. Unlike Li Wudi, he looked completely refined and tranquil, though he seemed as mysterious as a pitch-black vortex. His eyes almost seemed like two glowing mirrors, making it impossible for others to tell what he was thinking. Beside him stood a young girl that seemed much more normal in comparison, but Li Wudi could tell that the young girl was actually a tribane of the Li Saint Clan.
"Who in the world are you?" Li Wudi drew his Crimsonblood Saber immediately.
"Wait!" Ye Shaoqing said, pushing his hand down, then looking a little blankly at that person. "Brother Mu Yang, why are you here?" He noticed that Mu Yang looked completely different from how he seemed before.
"Do you know them?" Li Wudi asked.
"This is Tianming's mother, and this man here is—"
"His father," Mu Yang interrupted.
Li Wudi's eyes brightened as he slapped his thighs and laughed. "I was wondering why he seemed a little familiar. So they're in-laws! Oh, wait, no! He's a comrade! We're both Tianming's dad!"
"Don't mess around. He's the real one and you're just a bargain-bin tie-in," Ye Shaoqing said. Even so, he still felt really shocked at how his scalp tingled when he looked at Mu Yang. "Brother Mu Yang, are you still the same person you were a few days ago?"
He recalled that Tianming hadn’t called Mu Yang his father back then. He could also tell how serious and perplexed the two seemed.
"Yes," Wei Jing replied, much to Ye Shaoqing's relief.
"I knew that Brother Mu Yang wasn't just an average person, but I didn't think it would turn out like this. It's no wonder you have such a talented son as Tianming. I wonder, did you come to the sect to look for him?"
"We're not here for him, but you two instead," Mu Yang said.
"Let's take our time and talk over some drinks. I'll treat you to the finest brew of our sect," Li Wudi casually said.
"We can't stay long. Brother Li, Brother Ye, we came here today to ask you for help."
"Friend, just tell us what you need. Consider me your sworn brother on Tianming's account. Please don't hold back," Li Wudi said.
"I need the best manna, as many as possible, and spirit gems. Ideally with saintly heavenly patterns," Mu Yang said directly.
"Oh?" Li Wudi and Ye Shaoqing's eyes met again, both shocked.
Li Wudi continued, "What kind of manna do you need?"
"Mountain or water, ideally ones that are dual-types."
"No problem. Mid-grade mountain-water celestial manna is the best I can offer you for now."
"Thank you, Sect Master. Tianming really is lucky to have such a generous godfather like you," Wei Jing said.
Mid-grade celestial manna was enough for his lifebound beast to evolve into a fifth-order saint beast. These items would no doubt be the most cherished of treasures in any sect, yet Li Wudi was able to just casually give it to them.
"You're too polite, Sister-in-law." Li Wudi handed over a spatial ring and continued, "Brother Mu Yang, we've gotten quite a lot of spoils from the recent victory. The sect master of the Cloudmist Sword School and the East Cardinal King's belongings are also within. There’s about a dozen saint-level treasures. Please take it all." To think that he would be so generous as to give Mu Yang the wealth Sikong Jiansheng and Jun Dongyao carried on their person.
"Brother Li, words can't express how thankful I am. I’ll definitely pay back this generosity," Mu Yang said.
"There's no need. It must be fate for us to meet out of all the other people I could've run into. Let's not split hairs over something like this. Tell me if this isn't enough—I have some more."
"Thank you!" Mu Yang looked at them solemnly and said, "It just so happens that I’m also surnamed Li. We are of the same clan."
"Haha, our meeting has truly been nice."
"Once again, I have to thank you two. Time is running short, so we have to leave," Mu Yang said.
"Won't you see Tianming?"
"No. Also, please don't tell him that we've come."
"Why not?" Ye Shaoqing asked.
"You really don't know what life is going to throw at you next. It turns out that we’ll have to run for our lives soon," said Mu Yang.
"Understood. So this could involve Tianming as well, huh?" Li Wudi asked.
"Not for the moment. In fact, we have to lead our pursuers as far away as possible. If someone too powerful shows up in the future, please don't resist them. I have ways of dealing with them," Mu Yang said.
"Brother Wudi, you’re a genius who managed to change your fate. Let things take their course and you'll eventually be able to surpass the Life-Death Tribulation and achieve godhood!"
"I humbly accept your best wishes," Li Wudi said as something flashed across his eyes. As far as he was concerned, there were fewer than five people who even knew the words 'Life-Death Tribulation', not to mention that Mu Yang thought he could achieve godhood. Was he really someone from Vermillion Bird?
After saying their goodbyes, Li Wudi and Ye Shaoqing watched as Mu Yang and Wei Jing faded away from their eyes.
"How do you feel?" Ye Shaoqing asked.
"Weird, really weird!"
"He's only at Heavenly Will—the sixth level, to be exact—but I felt a pressure from him that surpasses that of even an empyrean saint! This pressure comes from his soul, his Heavenly Will! How can I describe it? It's like a Heavenly Will that has insight beyond the Empyrean Saint stage! How can someone like this still just be at Heavenly Will?" It really didn't make sense to him. Only someone who didn't have enough resources to progress to match their level of insight could possibly be like that. Yet, how could someone have such a powerful heavenly will in their sea of consciousness?
"His heavenly will was like a boundless vortex, an abyss without end," Li Wudi said with a furrowed brow.
"I got it!" Ye Shaoqing exclaimed.
"A few days ago when I went to Ignispolis, his lifebound beast only had eight stars. That day, I gave him a mid-grade terrestrial manna. Yet now he suddenly showed up asking for more manna and cultivation resources. Basically, he really does lack cultivation resources. However, the insight into Heavenly Will within his sea of consciousness is a sign that as long as he has enough resources, he'll grow at a terrifying rate until his actual level catches up with his insights. Also, he mentioned they were running for their lives and drawing pursuers away...."
"That's right. Tianming's background truly isn't simple. I wonder if it has anything to do with the Theocracy."
"Let's keep this among ourselves. If his parents aren't willing to disclose it, we shouldn't do so either."
"That's a given."
Li Wudi felt a little unnerved, despite sitting within such a calming pavilion.
"Those people are not like me. I can be considered to be a young genius with exceeding talent that rose back to prominence after my fall. Like Tianming, my growth still has limitless potential. But that fellow was strong to begin with. His strength isn't his talent, but rather his vortex-like Heavenly Will. Given his stable Heavenly Will, his level will recover to what it once was. It isn't actually growth. But if even someone like him has to go on the run, just who are the people that are pursuing them?"
Li Wudi wanted to help out, but it appeared that this was far beyond his means.
"With the Grand-Orient Realm fallen into chaos and under threat from forces within and without, we should look out for ourselves, first," Ye Shaoqing said.
"Probably still cultivating in the mausoleum."
Under the veil of night, three black-clad old folks appeared on the wide, expansive plains. One of them stretched out a palm, from which a small, heavenly pattern barrier sphere manifested. The fist-sized sphere seemed to give off a dark glow as it spun, causing many of the patterns on it to swirl together.
The other person was holding a large map. "It really took quite some effort to transfer the Cyclic Barrier onto the map! This thing only works to show the location of the Cyclic Mirror once every three days. The next activation is in two hours. So let's head to the Grand-Orient Realm, first."
It seemed like they were afraid of causing a commotion, for they flew across the skies far above the clouds. Within two hours, they arrived at their destination.
"Now, let's determine their locations once more!"
It had been three days since they had last pinpointed the mirror's location. Under the moonlight, the Cyclic Barrier gathered the moonlight and shook for a time, then focused a beam onto the map.
"Earthorigin Realm, Woodsprite Kingdom, Fallbear City!"
Their expressions immediately shifted.
"That is truly fast! They reached the Earthorigin Realm in three days!"
"We have to give chase!"
"Since the Cyclic Mirror has shown up, he’ll definitely not escape!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter