The next day, at the top level of the Dao Pagoda at the Evil Suppression Dao Plaza, Wei Ji, the West Hall King from the Ancient Greedwolf Clan, sat tall in his throne. Behind him stood four Hall Lords from the West Hall. Wei Ji's gaze was colder than ever. He probably didn't get much sleep thanks to the events that transpired yesterday.
"There’s at least two hundred thousand people here, right?" said a voice. Wei Ji knew who it was without even looking. She was the Earth Hall King, Jiang Jianying, the ruler of the seventh bloodline of the Ancient Theocrats.
After Autarch Yun's ascension to the throne, the seventh imperial bloodline lost the Dongyang name and were forced to change their surnames to Jiang. As such, they had also been forced to drop the 'imperial' in their name.
Currently, in the Decimo Dao Palace, the Ancient Theocrats controlled the East Hall, Earth Hall, and Death Hall, which amounted to a third of the Decimo Dao Palace's power. Most of the Jiang 'imperials' cultivated there.
Jiang Jianying had a figure reminiscent of Yueling Long, and the looks to match. She seemed to be in her thirties, though her actual age was closer to a hundred.
She wasn't Autarch Qian's daughter, but rather the concubine of his seventh son. The seventh imperial prince used to be the crown prince, but he hadn’t managed to outlast Autarch Qian. Even though he wasn't dead, he had already reached the end of his prime and had to step off the stage in the Divine Capital for good. After he disappeared from the public eye, his eighth concubine, Jiang Jianying, stood out to support the seventh bloodline and even became the Earth Hall King. She was the most famous female cultivator in the Divine Capital.
In fact, Jiang Jianying was the seventh prince's maternal cousin, so her bloodline was definitely of pure imperial stock. The Ancient Theocrats valued bloodline purity, so marriages within the clan were commonplace. It was also thanks to her bloodline that she had garnered support from the experts and seniors of the seventh bloodline.
Currently, she was here with the other Earth Hall Lords and seated by Wei Ji's side. Despite her age, she still seemed young and vigorous. People who took so much care of their youth and health were indeed rare.
Beside her was a youth who stood by her side to serve her with his gaze fixed on the plaza. He was none other than Dongyang Yu. Though, after Autarch Yun had ascended to the throne, his name was changed to Jiang Yu instead, clearly delineating his place.
After Jiang Jianying sat down, Wei Ji continued, "This duel will be witnessed by at least half of the palace's disciples. Li Tianming is a boisterous figure and doesn't have the awareness of his place as a sinner's son at all. Not only that, he has the backing of powerful figures, which has made him arrogant beyond belief. I'm sure there are many who want to see how capable he truly is."
"Who's the strongest person he's defeated?" Jiang Jianying asked.
"A lass from the Ancient Qilin Clan. She was a third-level earth saint at most."
"That's nowhere near Wushang, who should be at the sixth level by now, right?"
"He's been messing around a little too much lately and neglecting his cultivation, unlike the hardworking Jiang Yu here. It's no wonder Wushang's only tenth in the rankings," Wei Ji said with dissatisfaction.
"Yu'er's also been drawing all day and neglecting his training," Jiang Jianying said.
"It's not the same. Jiang Yu is a patternscribe, so drawing is beneficial to him. Wushang, on the other hand, is all too caught up in the debauchery of alcohol and lust."
"He just likes to make friends and expand his social circle, that's all. His network will come in handy when he serves the Theocracy in the future. He'll definitely be able to honor the name of his ancestors."
"Well, let's not look too far ahead yet. We'll push this so-called pentabane back down the hole he burrowed out of first."
"Looks like you're quite confident of Wushang's chances."
"He's made some preparations, so he won't lose at least. You should know that the eleventh and tenth ranks aren't that much different. But as long as he can give Li Tianming a lifetime lesson, it’ll have been worth it."
"Won't Bai Mo and the rest prepare some trump card for the sinner's son, too?"
"Because the four of them are softies. Their greatest weakness is that they aren't ruthless enough," Wei Ji said with a savage glare. In other words, he was the ruthless one.
"Then I guess Li Muyang's son is finished. Back then, Li Muyang was so in love with the princess, yet he even had her killed and had a son with somebody else. What a wretch. It's no wonder people are angry at this bastard son of his," Jiang Jianying commented.
"I don't know about others, but you Theocrats are pretty mad about it at any rate."
"Yeah. If Dongyang Ling wasn't missing, Autarch Yun could've solved this issue in an instant.
"Do you know where Dongyang Ling is?"
"Stop trying to trick me into saying things. I don't know anything."
The plaza was packed so densely with people that their shoulders were rubbing together. They numbered even more than the crowd that watched the Realm War. Most of them were disciples of the palace, and some of them were even outsiders who came to watch.
Thanks to Tianming's unique identity, many people from the Divine Capital had come to watch. It was indeed rather rare for a junior like him to draw so much attention. At that moment, he was standing in the eye of the storm. Countless people focused their gazes at him and talked about Li Muyang at the same time.
"Li Tianming's father is a crook. He killed the princess and stole the Cyclic Mirror. Even though it has nothing to do with his son, it wouldn't hurt for him to be a little more low profile. Why did he ruffle so many people's feathers? He definitely deserves what's coming to him!"
"Didn't Wei Wushang try courting his little sister and got rejected? I heard he's holding a grudge from the humiliation."
"She's not his biological sister. They're not related by blood."
"I see. As long as he was a little polite and gave Wei Wushang some face by attending his birthday party, he wouldn't have incurred his rage."
"I heard Li Tianming even had Su Hongyin killed."
"Supernal Mentor Su Hongyin was a good person. It's a shame. I heard she was framed."
"This is far too shameless! He truly is the worst of the worst!"
"I really don't get it. What's the point of protecting someone like him? He just has a little potential, that's all. Is he really that powerful?"
"We'll know when we see it. I heard someone say that he was still at Heavenly Will until recently. Being a pentabane allows him to fight people above his level, but his cultivation speed seems average at best."
"Hey, Wei Wushang is here!"
The crowd cheered as the grey-robed Wei Wushang got onto the platform. He scanned the crowd with a passionate gaze. "Li Tianming, get your ass out here! I'm short on time, you see! I have a party to go to with my pals later tonight!"
Quite a few people cheered for him. It seemed like he was rather popular among the juniors in the Divine Capital.
"The party tonight will be glorious after he defeats a pentabane of the Li Saint Clan!"
"What Li Saint Clan? Li Shenxiao was the only impressive one. I doubt being a pentabane means much!"
"You have a point. The lousy bloodline of the Grand-Orient Realm isn't much, compared to those of us from the Divine Capital."
The youths from the Jiang Clan, Ancient Clans and Saint Martial Manor laughed out loud. They seemed to be in a rather cheery and carefree mood. They were under the impression that Tianming's ranking was only due to him defeating Ning Wushang, and Jiang Nancheng was defeated by Ye Lingfeng instead.
Just as they were laughing, a black-robed, white-haired youth stepped onto the plaza. He stood at a high spot, letting everyone get a clear look of him. After reaching the Saint stage, he seemed a little younger at around eighteen. He now seemed just as youthful as Wei Wushang.
"Li Tianming, I just noticed you look rather decent. If you’re short on cash, let me introduce you to a place. The noble and powerful in the Divine Capital happen to value goods like you. Work hard and serve a few old men and you might just make it big," Wei Wushang mocked.
About a hundred thousand youths laughed in response.
"Yeah, the old men and women would definitely crave attention from a hot-blooded young man like you. You've hit the jackpot."
The laughter droned on endlessly, but Tianming seemed completely calm, as calm as he was when he cut off Su Hongyin's head with three strikes.
Soon, a small phoenix appeared on his shoulder. Its wings were like flaming swords. It was perched on top of a black cat through which lightning coursed. A demonic aura radiated from its body as its blue eyes gradually turned red. Its crimson claws stretched out of its meaty paws and glowed menacingly. Behind them stood a gigantic, two-headed dragon. The moment they showed up, they shook the whole crowd.
Most of them had heard that Tianming was a triple beastmaster, but it was their first time seeing it in person. While Ying Huo and Meow Meow were on the small side, Lan Huang was huge and domineering. Its dragon heads growled threateningly, then sent out an explosive roar that roused their fighting spirits.
With a loud whoosh, Tianming acted. He didn't say a single word, just went in for the kill with his three beasts as he unsheathed the legendary Grand-Orient Sword before his audience. Just as their eyes were focusing on it, the sword began changing. The black and gold colors on the sword separated and let out an ear-piercing sound of steel grating on steel as the sword split into two. The gold sword represented heavenly benevolence, while the black represented ultimate suppression, bearing the grudges of the millions of lives it had taken.
"How could the sword change like this?"
"This is unheard of!"
As the crowd reeled from the shock, Tianming and his beasts had shown up right in front of Wei Wushang. The foundation of the plaza was firm and strong, so Lan Huang's Terra Swamp was slightly limited. Even so, it managed to sweep lots of mud across the battlefield. With a flash, the little phoenix split into tens of thousands of hazy afterimages and the cat charged behind Wei Wushang at lightning speed.
"You're courting death!" Though he had wanted to throw in a few more insults, he didn't think that Tianming would be so fierce. He had no choice but to defend himself.
In an instant, his lifebound beasts appeared. They were two fiendwolves of different types. One of them was a Flare Fiendwolf, while the other was a Gale Fiendwolf; both of them had sixty-four stars. The Flare Fiendwolf was black all over and had black flames burning around its body, whereas the Gale Fiendwolf sported razor-sharp talons and teeth and was surrounded by rapid winds.
Between the two of them, Wei Wushang stood there wielding his forty-heavenly-pattern blade, Galeflare. It was a large blade that could easily usher in windstorms and embers with a casual swing.
"Hehe..." Wei Wushang laughed sinisterly as he utilized his fifth-level earth saint ki to meet the blow. He had two types of saint ki, fire and wind respectively, making him both fast and powerful.
By then, Ying Huo was at Wei Wushang's flank. He used his ability, Sixpath Infernal Lotus. Tianming could obviously feel how much stronger the ability had become as the six giant lotuses of fire came crashing down.
Wei Wushang laughed when he saw what was happening. "Playing with fire before my Flare Fiendwolf? It can swallow all flames without exception!"
As he said that, his wolf stood in front of him and spat out a black flame twister. The twister increased in speed and swallowed the six lotuses, completely extinguishing the infernal flames. Wei Wushang laughed out loud and the crowd joined him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter