The Future Hall King watched the disciples leave in a hurry, then turned and glanced at Tianming.
“Tianming, you’re lucky the Autarch is dead, so no one cares about your father or the Ancient Qilin Clan. The Theocrats are currently divided. Looks like they won’t be able to take you away," laughed the Future Hall King.
"Really?" Tianming felt as if the pleasant surprise came so suddenly.
The Primeval Autarch who forced his father Li Muyang to flee for forty years was gone just like that. And the Theocrats were likely to be divided, and even kill each other?
"Their infighting is an opportunity to strengthen ourselves. You young ones shouldn’t worry about what happens outside the palace, just concentrate on cultivating. Even if the sky falls outside, no one can run wild in the Decimo Dao Palace," said the Future Hall King.
"By the way, you and Little Feng will both enter the Future Hall and become disciples together," said Bai Mo.
"Alright, thank you." Tianming nodded.
As for Ye Fengling, he squatted on the ground and watched the ants. The funny thing was, instead of being naive and curious, he was staring at them rather seriously.
"Bai Mo, let me have one of them," laughed the South Hall King.
"Yeah, me too," echoed the Life Hall King.
"Dream on, they’re both mine." The Future Hall King glared at them. Then, turning to Bai Zijin, he said, "You settle them. We’re going to see the palace lord."
"No problem, leave it to me," said Bai Zijin.
After the four Hall Kings had left, she said, "Tianming, Little Feng, come with me. You can cultivate with peace of mind.”
"Tianming, during this period of national mourning, the Decimo Sky and Earth Ranking Contention will likely also be suspended for a few days. You can take this time to familiarize yourself with your surroundings. When the time comes, I’ll take you to participate in the Contention. The effect of the Contention is much better than cultivating and hunting in the Infernal Soul Purgatory," added Bai Zijin.
"The Decimo Sky and Earth Ranking? What’s that?" asked Tianming.
"It’s the ranking of all Decimo Dao Palace disciples. It’s held every three years, and lasts for an entire year. There’s a little over three months before the end of this year's ranking. The ranking on the last day will be the disciples’ ranking for the next three years. Those who rank at the top will be rewarded; the cultivation resources over the next three years will be allocated according to the list. So it’s very fair and equitable—after all, if it’s unfair, the other halls might take advantage of the loopholes."
Tianming was well aware that there were six halls that weren’t under the control of the Decimo Dao Palace, yet they all shared common cultivation resources. If rewards and punishments weren’t clearly listed, someone would certainly use the Decimo Dao Palace’s resources to reward their descendants or relatives.
"Big Sister Bai, what are the rewards if one makes it to the top of the list?" asked Tianming.
"Empyrean manna," she replied.
"How generous!" Tianming was taken aback.
Above terrestrial manna was celestial manna, and above top-tier celestial manna was empyrean manna. Allowing lifebound beasts to evolve into seventh-order saint beasts, Empyrean manna was the basic requirement for beastmasters to reach the Empyrean Saint realm.
Of course, even with empyrean beasts, it was still very difficult for beastmasters to reach Empyrean Saint, as that was the beginning of the path to becoming a god. There were quite a few empyrean beasts in the Divine Capital, but empyrean saints were almost unheard of.
"Isn't empyrean manna extremely valuable?" asked Tianming.
"Yes. Because of this, the Contention is held fairly, so the strongest disciples get the best treasures. No matter who you are, strength is what determines your ranking, not connections," said Bai Zijin.
"Oh no, I relied heavily on connections in the Grand-Orient Sect," Tianming teased. "Besides, I have three lifebound beasts, so one empyrean manna won’t be enough."
"Don't worry. For the top place on the ranking, the rule of the Decimo Dao Palace’s reward is to evolve all of the beastmaster’s lifebound beasts into empyrean beasts. It’s certainly a bargain for twin beastmasters, what more a triple beastmaster such as yourself."
"That is to say, if I get first place, I’ll receive three empyrean manna?"
"Yes. Having witnessed your progress speed in the Infernal Soul Purgatory, I hope you’ll participate in the Contention. With your current strength, you can rank around the top hundred or so. But I’d like to see if you have any hope of making it to the top over the next three months. This determines your cultivation resources for the next three years. "
"Alright, then I’ll reluctantly participate," laughed Tianming.
"You little bastard." Bai Zijian glared at him, "Do you think empyrean manna is cheap? I don’t even have one yet. Moreover, the empyrean manna to be rewarded this time is the best in thirty years. Such a reward was chosen at the palace lord’s stipulation. Now, the entire Decimo Dao Palace has gone crazy about the Contention. I just thought I should mention it!"
"I see, Big Sister Bai. I’ll try my best not to embarrass you."
"It's got nothing to do with me. If you do get it, you’re the one who’s struck gold."
"That’s not true. Everyone knows that I have your protection. If I shine brilliantly, you can walk around with your head held high."
"Yeah, yeah. You’re good with words." Bai Zijin was tempted to pinch his lips. "Don't be complacent. This time, the young talents from the entire kingdom have gathered for the Contention, all of them desperate for the empyrean manna. The ranking changes drastically every day and challenges take place at every instant. In particular, the disciples of the three halls controlled by the Theocrats are extremely strong, and many put their lives on the line. My hope for you is to enter the top ten and bring glory to the Future Hall. I don’t expect you to take first place."
"I see. You mentioned top ten? Do you mean there’s two rankings, and I’m to participate in the Earth Ranking?"
"Yes, the Heaven Ranking is populated by disciples aged twenty-three to thirty. Naturally, you’ll participate in the Earth Ranking. The Contention for the Heaven Ranking will be held next year. But there may not be empyrean manna next year," said Bai Zijin.
"Tianming, your foundation isn’t high, and the top thousand are at Saint stage while you’re still at Heavenly Will. I doubt there’ll be anyone willing to fight you. So don’t get your hopes up," she added.
"But why do you look as if you’re about to get your hands on empyrean manna?"
"You misunderstand—I’m very low-key."
In truth, he was eager to make a name for himself in the Decimo Dao Palace. He wanted to show the Ancient Qilin Clan just how far he, the son of Li Muyang, could go.
Staring out at the vast Decimo Dao Palace, he thought to himself, Divine Capital geniuses, I'm coming!
Half an hour later, Tianming had settled down in the Future Hall. The place where he and Ye Fengling lived was called the First Pavilion. It was said that this was the residence of disciples with the best conditions. Everyone owned a large courtyard that could even accommodate riding horses. However, Tianming chose to live with Ye Fengling, because he was worried that without his supervision, the latter would peek on the female disciples bathing next door.
"Fortunately, I arrived at the Decimo Dao Palace four months ahead of schedule. Otherwise, I would’ve forgone the opportunity to fight for the empyrean manna.”
Tianming knew how precious empyrean manna was. There weren’t many youths with empyrean beasts throughout the entire Divine Capital. With the fair and strict rules of the Decimo Dao Palace, unless several Hall Kings privately gave away their treasures, Tianming would have to fight for many resources on his own. This was the fundamental difference from his treatment as the junior sect master in the Grand-Orient Sect.
The main reason the Decimo Dao Palace accepted the siblings was due to Li Shenxiao and Li Wudi. The Future Hall King had yet to present his own daughter with treasures like empyrean manna, so how could he just casually give it to Tianming? In fact, he might not even have any on hand.
The Future Hall, where Tianming now resided, was one of the largest halls, and had a long heritage and a grand history. Many powerhouses from the Future Hall were pillars of the Decimo Dao Palace. For example, the Future Hall King, Bai Mo, was once a disciple of the Future Hall.
Tianming heard that the Sky Hall was just next to the Future Hall. As soon as he settled down in the First Pavilion, he wanted to go out.
"Can't wait to go to Sky Hall and meet your friends?" asked Bai Zijin.
"No, I just miss my sister," said Tianming.
"If your sister knew that she was more important than Ling’er, she’d be moved to tears."
"You know her name?"
"Of course. Don’t you know the power of women’s gossip?"
"Yes. Big Sister Bai, can you take me to Sky Hall? I don't know the way.”
"I’m busy. I just spent two months in the Infernal Soul Purgatory, so I need at least a day-long bath. So don't bother me. "
Just then, a big fatty walked by the door.
"Ah! Bai... Bai... Bai...." Jumping in shock, the fatty rolled on the ground.
"Supernal Mentor Bai!" the fatty finally managed a whole sentence.
Although the title of “Supernal Mentor” was the same as Heaven’s Division, they were essentially different.
Because, this "heaven" meant the sacred land of heaven.
"Zhou Yuanyuan, I heard that you’re the beauty of the Decimo Dao Palace?"
"Supernal Mentor Bai, you’re an exceptional beauty, one of a kind, capable of causing the downfall of a kingdom, a true femme fatale...."
"Do you know Li Qingyu?" Bai Zijin asked.
"Well, I know her, but she doesn't know me."
"Do you know where she lives?"
"...I do." Afraid of being beaten, the fatty spoke cautiously. After all, it wasn’t a gentleman's behavior to remember the residence of a female disciple.
"Very good, bring these two over." With that, Bai Zijin walked off.
The fatty breathed a sigh of relief, then stared at Tianming and Ye Fengling.
"Is your lifebound beast a pig?" Tianming asked.
"How did you know?" The fatty was shocked.
"I guessed from how handsome you are," Tianming said.
With tears in his eyes, the fatty excitedly cried, "Heroes think alike."Previous Chapter Next Chapter