It was noon at courtyard one. When the sun had risen, Tianming began cultivating the Invincible Sword Body. It took around four hours before he felt it was more or less enough.
"The theoretical part of Invincible Sword Body isn't that difficult. The truly hard part lies in assimilating Invincible Sword Ki."
Battle arts were merely ways to apply techniques, but absorbing inherently chaotic spirit hazards into one's body was truly difficult.
"In other words, I’m forging my own body like a beastial weapon. Within the sword ki pool are sword ki spirit hazards of different types. When they clump together, they clash and repel one another. Assimilating them into my body by the thousands without them clashing will no doubt be a nightmare. The further I progress, the harder it’ll be. I wonder if my Primordial Chaos Beast-like body and Prime Tower will allow me to reach the Thousand-Demise Sword level?"
That was the level when he could assimilate a thousand strands of sword ki. Relying on his physical body alone to withstand their fierce forces was terrifying to even imagine. However, as long as he succeeded, he would be the master of the sword ki, able to unleash them from every part of his body and retract them at will. If he wanted to, he could kill by spitting them at others.
"It’s truly a technique that relies on torturing yourself to improve. The more pain, the more gain."
Just yesterday, he had been hesitating about whether he should suffer through that much pain. After all, he might achieve similar results by practicing some other sky saint battle art. However, his willpower and fighting spirit had grown through the night. From now on, no matter how much pain or torture he had to face, he would endure it all.
After all, he didn't want to be like Li Wudi, too weak to protect those he cherished when it mattered.
As Tianming pondered over his new battle art, Ying Huo and the other two had successfully evolved. Ying Huo's mid grade empyrean manna, Wings of Agni, turned its small, feathered phoenix wings into Wings of Agni themselves. The colorful feathers from before now resembled black sword blades that were far tougher than saintly beastial weapons, and they could still be improved. Its blade-covered wings were now a pair of murderous weapons capable of bloodily cutting through Ye Lingfeng's Infernal Bloodsoul Daggers without a problem, and their sharpness greatly aided the power of Ying Huo's swordsmanship.
Now, Tianming was ready to drag it along to cultivate the Invincible Sword Body alongside him. As it had an Aeternal Infernal Body, all it had to do was assimilate fire-type sword ki. It would also be less affected by the damage, thanks to being next to the Prime Tower in the lifebound space. Additionally, with its new wings, its Skyscorch Featherblast would be even more powerful.
"Ying Huo's bloodline underwent another change. The Primordial Chaos Beast abilities in it are growing stronger. Even though it's only at the second level of the Earth Saint stage, it would be able to take on the Venomsword Ruinson Hydra alone."
After all, the Venomsword Ruinson Hydra was the lowest-ranked empyrean saint beast and only had seventy stars, whereas Ying Huo had eighty-seven stars. It was no doubt among the top three in the Theocracy in terms of star count.
Tianming had asked the palace lord about it, and even her lifebound beast only had eighty-eight stars. Ying Huo now definitely had one of the most powerful bloodlines in the Divine Capital.
Given Tianming's age, Ying Huo could be considered a young teen. When it matured, however, it would definitely be able to face off against the Primeval Autarch's lifebound beast.
Meow Meow's Myriadfiend Venomfang, on the other hand, took the form of two small fangs with very dense colors. The nine colors on the fangs actually came from their venom. They glistened like treasures, but were no doubt strongly concentrated venom. There was no question that Meow Meow was now the most toxic lifebound beast in the entire Theocracy. Coupled with the demonic aura it exuded, its smile could inspire nightmares in others.
"I declare that from now on, I will let anyone that dares to touch my family jewels have a taste of this Myriadfiend toxin," it said.
It had two fewer stars than Ying Huo at a count of eighty-five. The key, however, was that its new fangs had far more damage potential than the Wings of Agni. It would only take one bite for it to incapacitate the enemy.
Lastly, there was Lan Huang, who, unsurprisingly, had grown even larger. It had eighty-four stars and was tall as a mountain. Tianming now had to look up to be able to see its heads. Whenever it walked, it felt like the ground itself trembled. Its breathing was also as loud as thunderous roars. The manna it got, Annihilation Godsword, was located at its tails. The morningstar that used to be there had taken the form of gigantic swords.
Tianming touched it and felt that it was about as tough as Ying Huo's Wings of Agni. It was so heavy that a simple sweep across the ground would be enough to create a trench, and so sharp that it could even cleave mountains into halves with relative ease. The Annihilation Godsword truly suited the huge draconic creature, especially when matched with the sharp kui mountains on its back and its dragon talons, complementing its close-combat capabilities considerably.
Not to mention, it would be good for Lan Huang to start training the Invincible Sword Body too, but it was too large and couldn't enter the sword ki pool at all. Tianming had wanted to ask Weisheng Yunxi whether they could have the sword ki pool moved outside, but Meow Meow's slacker attitude seemed to have rubbed off on Lan Huang lately. He wasn't sure if it would be interested in training the sword. It was too curious and playful, after all, and loved nothing more than running about and swimming. Ying Huo was the only one as hardworking as he was. Every time they saw Meow Meow sleeping and Lan Huang messing around, they sighed in unison.
"There's no choice. As their elder brother, it’s my responsibility to bear," Ying Huo said.
"Come, let me see if your evolution brought me any benefits whatsoever," Tianming said.
"Why do you feel so tepid today?"
"I'll tell you about it when we get back."
When the three were evolving, they were unaware of what was happening outside. They returned to the lifebound space and sat around the Prime Tower while Tianming returned to his training room. Feiling and Qingyu were out playing while he continued cultivating. Every time they evolved, Tianming's physical body would undergo a bloodline transformation. It was a time when he had a high chance of making a breakthrough.
It had been quite some time since their last evolution. This time around, Ying Huo had jumped from around forty stars to eighty-seven, greatly changing its Aeternal Infernal Body in the process. The changes were also passed over to Tianming during symbiotic cultivation, and the same applied to Meow Meow and Lan Huang. The three of them helped Tianming forge an even stronger body.
After the symbiotic cultivation ended, Weisheng Yunxi would definitely be even more shocked to see how Tianming's body had changed. His physical attributes had multiplied manyfold. While that didn't fully translate into increased battle potential, it was still really beneficial to his talent and potential growth limit, being a transformation of a lifetime. In other words, Tianming himself was growing closer to becoming a true Primordial Chaos Beast.
He now seemed like a weak, growing cub....
"The bloodlines of the ten Primordial Chaos Beasts will eventually fuse into my body. I’ll definitely be a legend! I need to endure and continue on this arduous path if I’m to defend my family."
His eyes burned with passion as he cultivated, radiating an undying and unyielding fighting spirit that was far stronger than before.
"I finally broke through to the third level!" As expected, his day of hard work in tandem with the bloodline transformations allowed his Heavenly Will and level to rise as well. The two thousand saint crystals he had had all been consumed for this breakthrough.
"Back then, I used five Oceanspirit Tomes to defeat Dongyang Zhuo, and those were worth ten thousand saint crystals. But if I were fighting him now, I wouldn't even have to act."
While he was a pauper once more, with Feiling around and his ability to make new Mountshield Tomes, he would definitely not be wanting in saint crystals. He couldn't even be bothered to go to the spiritual energy springs, as he would be too far away from Feiling.
"Ling'er...." The thought of what happened the night before caused him to fall into deeper considerations. Meow Meow was asleep, and Lan Huang was having fun spinning around like a top in the courtyard. Tianming sat in a pavilion with Ying Huo lying on the stone table, biting a stalk of grass in its beak and supporting its head with one wing. "You troubled about something?"
"Let's hear it then."
Tianming told him about the night before.
"Wow, Ling'er is growing more daring by the day," it said, rolling its eyes.
"I’ve long had suspicions that her background isn't as simple as we thought. I didn't think, however, that it’d be related to the Tomb of the Ancients, something that's been around for tens of thousands of years."
"It sounds like that's not the only question."
"That's right. That existence told me two things. The first was that the tomb would be opened sooner because 'she' willed it so. Who is she? Why is she able to open the tomb? How could she control Ling'er's body to talk to me?
"The second is that 'she' ordered me to take Ling'er 'back to the tomb', 'back' being the operative word. That means that Ling'er was inside it at one point. Not to mention, she asked me to make haste. What's her relationship with Ling'er?
"I recall that Ling'er told me that the Vermillion Bird King, Jiang Cheng, found her on the Abyssal Battlefield when she was a newborn. He had never seen her parents before. Though, the Second Divine Capital, where the entrance of the tomb is, is also at the Abyssal Battlefield. In other words, it's possible that Ling'er indeed came from there.
"However, based on Hall King Bai Mo's description, it sounds like none among those who've entered the tomb over the past ten thousand years reported the presence of any people within it."
This was something he had been pondering for the whole night, but he still didn't have any answers to his questions; only more questions.Previous Chapter Next Chapter