"Hall Kings, if you don't fear his curse acting up, you're free to leave with him. However, we won’t be held responsible for anything that happens," Jing Yue said with a chuckle.
"That's right. He's much older than five years old, so he'll definitely have to enter the Infernal Soul Purgatory for half a year within the next three days. Only then will he stand a chance of survival," Ling Xing said.
"If only the two of you had come earlier. it's too bad that now, we no longer have a choice. It’s the Primeval Autarch's edict that every member of the Ancient Qilin Clan be afflicted with the lifetime curse," Chong Yang said insidiously.
They were too late. Even with Li Wudi's fast thinking, he hadn’t been able to catch up. The Hall Kings saw the curse's stigma on his forehead, but they had already been prepared for that eventuality.
"Since that's the case, we'll take him away half a year from now. After that, we'll have more than enough time to dispel the curse," the Future Hall King said. It was apparent that three days was too little time for the curse to be dispelled.
"Would the Decimo Dao Palace dare to remove the curse mandated by the Primeval Autarch himself?" Chong Yang asked. He didn't doubt that their palace lord would be able to do it, for that person was an expert in this field. If there was anyone in the Theocracy that could do it, it would be that person.
"This is none of your concern. Also, we’ll be sending someone to protect him in the Infernal Soul Purgatory. No one shall be allowed to touch him," the Future Hall King said.
That caused the exalted ones to furrow their brows.
"In other words, we can only hold Li Tianming for half a year! Otherwise, they'll reject our disciples!"
"How dare they do that? Do they think the Ancient Theocrats are pushovers?"
"I suggest we agree to it for now. Li Tianming will have to remain in the purgatory for six months, so we can report to the Primeval Autarch about this. Let's see if they dare come in six months to take him away."
"Alright, that's agreeable."
"As for them sending someone to protect him—"
"That's no matter. Even if they didn't, we’d protect him of our own accord. Otherwise, Li Tianming wouldn't survive two hours in the purgatory. Last night, the hundreds of youths from the Ink Branch almost killed him," Mo Yu said.
After their discussion, they came to a decision.
"Since this is what you’ve decided, we can only abide by it. You’re acting in the palace's capacity, so if the Primeval Autarch is displeased about it, please deal with it yourselves. The Ancient Qilin Clan is powerless to do anything about it," Chong Yang siad.
"It's not a matter you should concern yourself with," the Future Hall King said.
Li Wudi and Tianming were discussing the matter as well.
"So I only need to stay there for six months?" Tianming asked.
"Of course. If I had been faster, you would've been able to leave immediately."
Tianming touched his stigma and wanted to tell him that there was a good chance he wasn't afflicted by the curse, but he didn't dare risk it. If he was wrong, he would die in three days.
"Godfather, with the Grand-Orient Sword and Prime Tower, I might be able to cultivate within the next half year after all. I heard the Infernal Soul Purgatory is hot beyond imagination, and barely has any spiritual energy, but that isn't really a concern for me."
"All the better, then. Just focus on cultivating. I still have a mess in the Grand-Orient Realm to take care of. Heaven's Elysium isn’t completely crushed yet. If the Earthorigin Sect knows I'm gone, they'll definitely attack."
"Godfather, what in the world did you do to make the Decimo Dao Palace protect me?" Tianming asked curiously.
"I showed them my bane-rings and told them that if they don't save you, our whole family of three won't serve them."
"That's right. The three of us are pentabanes and above. I'm also quite powerful myself. Coupled with the contributions our founding ancestor made, they agreed. After all, your daddy here might become one of their pivotal figures in a thousand years," Li Wudi confidently said.
"Now you're just boasting." Tianming was used to this habit of his by now.
"Big Brother, I'll wait for you at the Decimo Dao Palace," Li Qingyu said worriedly.
"Don't worry. He'll be protected, so it's nothing more than being grounded for a while. He'll be fine," Li Wudi said. When he heard about what had happened while he was at Aquamarine, he decided to take Qingyu along when he passed by the sect. Having another pentabane with him would make negotiating easier, after all.
"Qingyu will be training at the Decimo Dao Palace from now on. The Sky Hall King has agreed to take her as a disciple."
"Will she be safe there?"
"Not only will she be safe, she'll be taught by the Hall King himself. She’ll definitely be able to proudly march through the palace."
"Ling'er, come out," Tianming said after hearing about it.
Feiling pouted, already guessing what Tianming would say to her.
"Qingyu, your mission is to protect her while I'm away," Tianming said.
"I want to be with you," Feiling said, still pouting.
"Ling'er, it'll be really hot inside. You won't be able to take it. You'd have to be in spirit form the entire time, and it would feel horrible. Back then, we didn't have a choice, but now, the Decimo Dao Palace is safe. You'll also have Qingyu there with you. Not to mention, I’ll be protected. So it's nothing but a short detention. I won't be fighting anyone here," he advised.
"But I don't want to be away from you for so long." She seemed like she was about to cry.
"I don't either, but I don't want you to suffer. As a man, that's something I can't allow myself to do, alright?" He cupped her cheek and wiped her tears.
"My son is right. It'll be a short parting, but you better get at making me a grandson once he’s released," Li Wudi said sneakily.
"Go away, you shameless—" Tianming said anxiously. However, Feiling merely chuckled and blushed.
"Alright, don't go getting into fights."
"No cheating, either."
"Nonsense! I'm not that kind of person!"
She finally agreed, much to his relief. While he didn't want to leave her either, he couldn't make her maintain spiritual form for that long if there was another choice. It would be suffocating for sure. Though Feiling thought she could tough it out, Tianming wouldn't let it slide.
"I guess there won't be anyone to boss me around for half a year," Tianming said with realization.
"That's right. You must be glad that I won’t be around."
"Shut up. You're doubting my character, aren't you?"
Though parting was unpleasant, their reunion would be all the more wonderful.
"Big Brother, don't worry. I promise I'll feed her well till she gets nice and pudgy," Qingyu said.
"Good. She'll feel much better to squish."
Qingyu glared at him in response.
By then, the discussions have ended. It seemed that things would go roughly as Li Wudi had said.
"Done briefing them about it?" the Future Hall King asked Li Wudi.
"Good." He patted Tianming on the shoulder and said, "After six months of isolation, come to the Decimo Dao Palace. I'll guide you in your cultivation then."
"Thank you, Hall King!" While it didn't seem to be an invitation to become his disciple, having the honor of receiving his guidance was already a sign of his favor. "I won’t forget this kindness. One day, I’ll definitely repay it."
"He's a good kid," the South Hall King said.
"Like his father," the Future Hall King added.
"Which father?" Li Wudi proudly asked.
"Not you of course."
When they were done, the Future Hall King turned to the rest from the palace. "Zijin, come here." He then turned to Tianming and said, "Tianming, I’ll have my most trusted daughter, Bai Zijin, protect you for this half year. She'll be accompanying you into the Infernal Soul Purgatory. She's a sky saint."
"A sky saint?" Tianming smiled. He wondered if anyone in the Ancient Qilin Clan would still dare challenge him now.
As they spoke, a girl came forward. She was his senior, but there was no doubt she was beautiful. Her white dress accentuated her luscious curves, her beautiful face was both gentle and stunning, and her skin was as flawless and fair as the best of ivory. Her beauty gave her an air of elegance and nobility fit for a goddess. Any doubt of her beauty would be tantamount to blasphemy! She had a cold and lofty gaze, though it didn't inspire any hate. Instead, her elegance made others subconsciously feel inferior.
"Holy crap! An ultimate-grade mount!" Ying Huo said as it leaped out of Tianming’s lifebound space.
"Cut the crap! She's old enough to be your grandma!" Tianming said through their mental link.
At that moment, Bai Zijin turned to look at him with her cold eyes.
"Nice to meet you, Grandmother Bai!" Tianming said respectfully. He had carefully considered what to call her. It was said that sky saints could live for three centuries, so if she looked around twenty, she should be in her fifties at least, right?
"Grandmother?" Her voice seemed shaken. "I'm only thirty-eight!"
"Ah... so you're at the age where you love to gossip... I was mistaken," Tianming awkwardly said without much thought.
"Say that again!"
"Sister Bai!" Tianming corrected himself quickly.
"That's better. You’d better be careful next time, brat." He was a brat, as far as she was concerned, so she didn't pay it much mind.
"See you in six months." It was finally time for them to part.
"Ling'er, don't get too chubby, alright?" Tianming said.
"Stay safe." She tidied his clothes up, then left. The two longingly looked at each other until they were out of each other's sight.
Meanwhile, within the lifebound space...
"Finally, with Ling'er gone, we can enjoy our ultimate-class mount, Sister Bai! Hurrah!" Ying Huo cheered.
"I love ultimate-class mounts!" the black cat said, swinging its tail around with excitement like a dog.
"I'll dedicate a song to this joyous occasion!" Lan Huang said excitedly.
Tianming felt like his lifebound space had exploded.
"Quick, shut its mouth! Your unhatched siblings' eggs will crack from the sound!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter