"Have they gone mad?!" Bai Mo said, suddenly stopping in his tracks.
"Jiang Ling really is something. To think that he’s remained hidden for such a long time.... Not only was he able to get the Ancient Clans to do his bidding, he even had the sects from the nine realms send some of their own to join their army, and involved the Ancient Qilin Clan as well!" Ye Yi said with amazement.
"He probably promised the Ancient Qilin Clan that the Lifetime Curse would no longer be mandated so that they can one day rise again," said the Sky Hall King.
"Autarch Yun has no choice but to deal with this in person. The festival grounds aren't defended at all. I bet he didn't think that Jiang Ling would be so daring as to attack Saint Martial Manor during the festival," the South Hall King said.
"Who cares about them. Let them fight, the more intense the better. All we have to do is sit and watch," Ye Yi said.
"Who do you think will win?"
"It's hard to tell. It's not like Autarch Yun is completely unprepared, and given his power, I'd say he even has the advantage. But one thing’s for sure: since Jiang Ling dares to act, there will be no mercy. The Divine Capital will fall into chaos until there’s a victor among the two brothers," Bai Mo said.
"It'd be great if this crippled the Theocrats," Ye Yi said with a smile.
"It makes sense."
The only faction that could remain secure throughout the fight between Jiang Ling and Dongyang Yun was the Decimo Dao Palace.
"Let's send the children back and observe the situation first," Bai Mo said.
"Wait," Tianming hurriedly said. "Hall King, what about the tomb? Are we still going in?"
"Don't worry. The tomb will open in half a month even if the fighting hasn't ceased yet. Even if they can't send anyone into the tomb, I'll still bring you there. You did get a spot already, after all," Bai Mo said.
"Alright," Tianming said, relieved. He couldn't care less about which of the two Theocrat bloodlines won. In fact, just like Ye Yi, he hoped that they would wipe each other out, or at least heavily maim one another.
Bai Mo and the rest sent the juniors back to the dao palace. Right as they returned, they noticed that the palace lord had activated the Evil Suppression Formation. The whole dao palace was surrounded in a powerful formation that forbade anyone but members from entering.
"Let it be known that no disciple is allowed to leave the dao palace during the power struggle in the Divine Capital. If they return to their clans, they will no longer be allowed back into the dao palace," Weisheng Yunxi decreed.
"Did Jiang An, Gu Suli, and the rest go join the battle?" she asked.
"Wonderful. Since that's the case, they’ll no longer have to return. Let's use this chaos to reform the dao palace. Once they return, they’ll no longer have any right to throw their weight around."
The others' eyes shone at the notion. It truly was the ideal moment to clear out the dao palace. The key figures of the six halls were mostly allied with the Theocrats, so they would have to leave and join their clans in battle. With there being fewer elites defending those six halls, the remaining ones, like Weisheng Yunxi, could take their time in removing the others. In fact, they could even justify it by insisting that Jiang An and the other Hall Kings had abandoned their posts in pursuit of personal vendettas.
This made for a good chance for Tianming and Decimo Dao Palace. With it cleared of any trace of Theocratic influence, nobody would be able to criticize them about how they were handling matters regarding Tianming, especially with the Tomb of the Ancients opening soon.
As a result, Tianming dove into deep, uninterrupted training after returning from the feast, regardless of the battles that were happening outside.
After the Decimo Dao Palace closed itself off, people could only leave, but not return. The disciples that remained within had to consider whether they were going to stay or go. It was said that the Divine Capital had been reduced to ruins, and there was a good chance of being killed after leaving. There was no question that the Decimo Dao Palace was the most secure location in all of the Divine Capital right now. Not even Autarch Yun or Jiang Ling's men could circumvent the Evil Suppression Formation, after all.
Back then, fights between factions in the Grand-Orient Realm happened outside, but here, the battles were happening within the Divine Capital, causing much of its walls and many of its buildings to be smashed to ruins by elite fighters and their lifebound beasts. If this went on, the city would be flattened sooner or later, reducing the efforts of the Theocrats to ash. However....
"It's got nothing to do with me," Tianming said. He was still training in the sword ki pool, though it was more apt to call it self torture; too bad he didn't have a proclivity for pain. Eventually, the strands of Invincible Sword Ki in his body grew in number, and they got progressively harder and more painful to assimilate.
Currently, he was radiating sword ki. He could even pierce through a boulder with his finger alone, and no longer needed an actual weapon to use sword arts. Even his gaze could pierce flesh, should he will it.
Ten days later, he had five hundred strands within him. It was said that the founding ancestor, Li Shenxiao, only reached nine hundred, but couldn’t reach a thousand even with the aid of the Prime Tower. Then again, while training Invincible Sword Body was painful, there was no arguing with the benefits it brought.
As Weisheng Yunxi put it, Tianming screamed and howled like he was about to cave in, but never had he given up even once. Though the sight at the sword ki pool was gruesome, he managed to assimilate five hundred strands of sword ki within half a month, and his limits were still not in sight.
However, the time to enter the tomb was upon them. He was troubled that he could no longer assimilate more sword ki after leaving the pool.
"What are you troubled with?" Weisheng Yunxi asked.
"It'd be great if I could just bring the sword ki with me to the tomb," Tianming said.
"Well, of course you can do that."
"Is that true?!"
"Yes." She took out a fist-sized, transparent rock as she spoke. Tianming saw at least seventy saintly heavenly patterns on it. "This is a voidspace stone. It's a spirit ore used to make spatial rings, and it contains a pocket dimension within. However, voidspace stones are more stable and often used to store spirit hazards. The sword ki you see here was brought here using a voidspace stone in the first place."
"How many strands can it carry then?"
"Around a thousand."
"Wonderful." The time the tomb would remain open was around a month to half a year, averaging around two to three months. So, it would be open long enough for him to assimilate a thousand Invincible Sword Ki strands.
After that, Weisheng Yunxi helped him pick sword ki that was suitable for him.
"Palace Lord, how is the situation outside?" Tianming asked.
"The fight on the night of the Fireworks Festival was harsh with many casualties on both sides, resulting in a stalemate. Autarch Yun is defending the Imperial City, while Jiang Ling is the pillar holding up the Ancient Clans. These two are like caged beasts who are resting for a time. However, one will eventually take the throne, and the other will die. The current stalemate will only last until one side shows its weakness and allows itself to be wiped out."
"Will we be watching the situation and pouncing to reap some advantages?"
"We won't be rushing to get involved. The situation is still volatile and could change at any time."
"I heard a few new Hall Kings have been chosen, right?"
"That's correct. Anyone that didn’t answer my summons are considered to be in desertion of their post. How could Hall Kings leave their posts to join fights for personal stakes in the internal strife?"
Her tone of voice was so gentle it didn't seem to fit a leader of the dao palace at all. However, her decisions were final and unquestionable. With her in charge, the dao palace was headed for greatness.
That night within Courtyard One, Feiling held onto Tianming's hand as they tried to make a breakthrough as patternscribes. They were about to make a two-star heavenly tome.
"If this works, the two of us combined will be two star patternscribes!" Tianming said.
"Why are you phrasing it so weirdly? Focus and don't waste ink," she snapped.
Two star tomes were twice as thick as one star tomes, so they had to remain focused the entire time. They had failed quite a number of times before, wasting a substantial number of empty tomes and portions of ink. They would be suffering a loss if the trend continued.
The tome they were trying to create was a Hallucination Tome. It was the creation of the Infernal Soul Race and could instantly create a hallucination formation covering a diameter of a thousand meters. The formation would induce phantom sensations to confuse the targets, allowing the users to escape. That was precisely the reason Tianming had chosen to make this particular tome.
He felt that he wasn't lacking in combat capability, but rather the ability to escape from grave danger. Having this kind of tome around would be much more helpful overall than an attack-type tome.
Under the starry sky, he tightly held Feiling's soft hand as they traced out the ink on the tome. This was enjoyable in itself.
"Big Brother, we'll be leaving for the tomb tomorrow, right?"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I am."
"There's no need to overthink it. There are things in life that we will never be able to outrun. Let's just get this over with."
"Okay." She nodded with a resolute gaze. Perhaps, due to their mustered resolve, they managed to complete the Hallucination Tome two hours later. The two of them were officially two star patternscribes.
"I feel exhausted!" Feiling said, rubbing her eyes.
"Then let's get some sleep!" He immediately swept her off her feet.
"Let me go!"
"Cry out all you want, nobody's coming to save you."
"All you want."
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