Soon, fifteen minutes passed. Weisheng Yunxi loosened her hands and looked at Tianming, seeming a little surprised. "You didn't cry out even the slightest?"
"I didn't. Is not doing so a sign of talent?" Tianming asked, wiping off his sweat.
"It isn't. However, your willpower is a big factor in how far you can go. True Invincible Sword Body talent is shown when you're able to assimilate a strand of sword ki within fifteen minutes. This is really good efficiency. If you're able to take the pain, you'll at least be able to reach Hundred-Demise Sword. Perhaps you'll even be able to reach a thousand, like your ancestor." Her expression was one of delight.
She was surprised at Tianming's endurance, especially with how much stronger he was compared to others she'd seen. Not to mention, he had a reasonable tolerance for pain. Though, that was a little bit of an overestimation, for his fire resistance greatly lightened the pain he felt to tolerable levels. Tianming would have an even easier time reaching the Thousand-Demise Sword than Li Shenxiao.
But that didn't mean it would be a breeze, and reaching Myriad-Demise Sword was even harder. He was only just starting out.
"Good. In the coming days, spend some time each day trying to cultivate the Invincible Sword Body. If I'm free, I'll come and make sure you're on the right track. Try your best to reach a hundred before going for a thousand to match your founding ancestor. I'm confident you can do it."
While her eyes were pale, she still gave off a sense of a caring senior.
"Alright. Since the palace lord has such high hopes for me, I'll definitely tough through the hardship. No matter how tortured I am by the sword ki, I won’t cry out."
"Oh, you don't have to force yourself. It's not like anyone will hear you down here. Just make sure you don't give up."
"Alright." He knew this would be a challenge, but he wanted to know how powerful his fourth strike of the Shenxiao Sword Art would be if he used it with Myriad-Demise Sword. How terrifying would a killing machine filled with Invincible Sword Ki be?
"Only by growing powerful will I be able to remain dignified and protect all that I care for. I’ll take all the pain I can for those that I love. That’s my purpose in life," Tianming said as he stood in front of the sword ki pool.
"Tianming, it’s a little late, now. Take the manual of Invincible Sword Body back with you first. Once you're familiar with the basics, we can formally start."
"I'll lead you."
By the time they left the underground chamber, it was already getting late and there were no stars in the skies at all.
"Palace Lord, I'll take my leave now," he said, turning back and waving. Weisheng Yunxi stood beside the stone door of Nature Arts Hall, holding the door with one hand like a statue as she watched him leave.
"Tianming," she called out.
"Muyang really impressed me. As his son, you have to walk the righteous path as well, and grow to be a person you can be proud of. On the path of cultivation, the most important thing is to know yourself. Out of everyone in this universe, you alone are the one you have to strive to understand. Only after finding yourself and living by your principles can you walk the grand, boundless path. Humans are capable of many things, even scaling the heavens. But before all that, you have to be certain in your convictions and act without doubt."
Weisheng Yunxi's robe seemed to dull in the darkness.
"Alright." Tianming bowed to her and charged into the night sky.
On the way back to Future Hall, Tianming tossed the three empyrean manna to his lifebound beasts. If things went well, they would have over eighty stars in their eyes, putting them among the top lifebound beasts in the entire Theocracy. If their evolution worked out, they would experience a complete metamorphosis. Being Primordial Chaos Beasts, they’ll only grow stronger and reach their true form, like the ones I've seen in those dreams, he thought excitedly.
As the palace lord didn't give him detailed information on the empyrean manna, Tianming only knew their names. He figured he would only be able to understand their full effects once Ying Huo and the rest refined them and evolved.
The first manna was called Wings of Agni, and was most suited to Ying Huo. The moment he opened the box, he felt the dense empyrean essence radiating from it. It had been stored for at least three thousand years.
The second empyrean manna was called Myriadfiend Venomfang. He decided Meow Meow would be able to use it well, in tandem with Venomfiend Bloodclaw and Soulchasing Hellthunder, as it was obviously a poison-type manna. What he wondered was how its toxin compared to that of Venomfiend Bloodclaw.
The third manna was called Annihilation Godsword. While it would work for Ying Huo as well, the chick was better suited to Wings of Agni. Annihilation Godsword took the form of a tough greatsword. Given its design, most people would think that it could only be crafted by the gods. Tianming gave it to Lan Huang, as it could possibly increase its close-combat capabilities.
Soon, he arrived at his destination. "I wonder if Ling'er is already asleep."
It was so dark that he couldn't see his outstretched fingers. Given how silent the outer courtyard was, however, Qingyu and Ye Lingfeng were probably working hard on cultivation. Tianming saw some starlight coming from Ling'er's room's window. She was likely still reading the Infernal Soul Heavenly Pattern Canon.
She's not asleep even though it's already so late. This lass really works hard, he thought.
He hurried up and gently opened the door. The lights in the room made for a rather amazing sight to behold, especially with the beautiful girl illuminated by its soft glow as she continued reading.
"Ling'er, you should sleep now," he said as he closed the door. At that moment, Feiling looked up and locked gazes with the smiling Tianming. He felt as if he had been struck by lightning.
"Ling'er!" He took a step back with his mind blank and emotions in turmoil. It felt like his head had been smashed in by a hammer. Gradually, Ling'er stood up with her hands clutching the table. Her eyes had turned into white vortices that seemed like they would suck in anybody's souls. Her expression was incredibly cold, and not a hint of red could be seen on her lips.
What was more terrifying was her aura. It no longer seemed like that of a human. Tianming had just seen Weisheng Yunxi, but the current Feiling felt even more terrifying than her, much like an actual god looking down at him, a mere mortal, from the heavens.
"You've finally returned. I opened the tomb for your sake," she said in a voice that resembled hers, but wasn't quite hers. She stretched her left, completely unsealed hand towards him. The nails on that hand were far longer and sharper. She raised it and suddenly choked herself with a bone-chilling smile.
"I want you to bring her to the tomb! Otherwise, I’ll be able to snap her neck at any moment I wish!" Her white-vortex eyes caused the spirit in his sea of consciousness to tumble about. He felt as if his soul was going to be drawn out. This was the most terrifying experience he'd had in all his life. He didn't know who, or what, this was for it to be able to do something that unthinkable.
"Who are you?!" Tianming bit his lip hard and struggled to crawl forward with all his power.
Yet her smile didn't subside. She didn't answer his question, either. At that moment, her eyes glazed over and she slumped to the ground. The pressure in the room was suddenly gone and the night returned to its former calm.
Tianming rushed to her and picked her up. Upon quick inspection, she seemed completely fine; even her nails had returned to normal. Her face now seemed much livelier, and she looked no different from a sleeping girl.
Her eyes opened as she stretched her arms over Tianming's neck and leaned in. "Big Brother, you came back so late. I've been waiting so long and fell asleep on the floor.... How embarrassing."
"There there...." He carried her to the bed and tucked her in."Don't leave," she said dazedly, tightly holding his hand.
Tianming continued hugging her. The Infernal Soul Heavenly Pattern Canon was closed and the room was quite dark. He watched as the girl slept soundly in his embrace. He looked at her slender fingers the whole night to the point his eyes were bloodshot.
When day broke, Feiling stretched lazily in bed. She knew that Tianming should be going out to train by now. However, she wanted to indulge in a little selfishness and keep him by her side for a little longer, so she tightly hugged his arm. Time gradually passed and the sun's rays eventually seeped in and blanketed them.
"Ling'er, will it be difficult for us to peacefully spend the rest of our lives together?" he whispered into her ear.
"It won't. As long as we’re of the same mind, we'll be able to overcome any obstacle," she sheepishly replied.
"Alright." Tianming's eyes were now clear like those of a primordial, ancient beast.
"Ling'er, I want to promise you something," he said as gently as he could.
"What is it?"
"If one of us has to die before the other, let it be me."
Feiling turned to look at him, dumbfounded. "Touch wood! Don't say something so unlucky!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter