Madam Huang fell into shock at this sight. Furthermore, Li Xuejiao was still up the tree. Of Li Yanfeng’s wives and concubines, Madam Huang was the only one who didn’t have much in the way of cultivation, so she could only stay at the base of the tree and babble madly, collapsing to the ground in the process. “Li Tianming! You’re not the heir anymore! Since you touched my daughter, you will have an unpleasant death!”
Her mind, however, was a complete blank. Her understanding of the martial dao may be lacking, but everyone knew that Li Tianming was crippled! How did this happen?!
“Shut it!” Li Tianming kicked Madam Huang, who had crawled over, sending her flying with a good kick to her face. After rolling several times, her face planted itself into a stone, leaving it bloody and bruised.
“One more sound, and I’ll pluck out your tongue.” Li Tianming barked. Madam Huang whimpered, before falling into a submissive silence.
Fortunately, Rain Appreciating Pavillion didn’t have people in the area, or she would definitely have attracted quite a bit of attention. The mother-daughter pair had been slapped senseless by Li Tianming, especially Li Xuejiao. She was still hanging from the tree, half her face completely ruined. A pig would probably win more beauty pageants than her from now on.
The true eye-opener, however, came from the little yellow chick, who was busy tearing the Flaming Hawk a new one. Bloody holes continued to pop up as the chick darted around gracefully, pecking away with wanton abandon.
“Hey beautiful, no need to struggle, no one’s going to save you…” The little chick pressed the giant Flaming Hawk down on the ground, smiling wickedly.
“Mhm, my favour is your privilege.” The yellow little chick was on the verge of pouncing, sending Li Tianming into a state of utter bewilderment. Where in blazes did this little pipsqueak have the equipment to handle the Flaming Hawk?
The little fellow paused, as it felt something unwelcome.
“Ahhhhhh, AHHHHHHHHHH! IT’S MALE! ABORT MISSION! Damn it, why did you dress up so sluttily?!” The chick felt like its world was collapsing around it. Utterly humiliated beyond all belief, it began to violently whale on the hawk.
“I think that’s enough, brother…” Li Tianming hurriedly pulled it away.
“You crossdressing nugget, don’t let me see you again!” the little chick spat, kicking up some dirt onto the motionless bird as it turned away. Even Wei Jing was snorting in laughter. Somehow, today was both her saddest and her happiest day.
“Li Tianming! I didn’t expect you to have recovered. I won’t forget this, and I’ll definitely pay you back a hundredfold!” Li Xuejiao finally jumped off the tree, before applying some medicine on her face.
“I won’t be leaving Flamehaven. Come find me anytime. But don’t expect the other half of your face to survive the encounter.”
Li Xuejiao frowned. “You won’t be leaving Flamehaven?”
“Problem?” To Li Tianming, he still had something important to accomplish here!
“Do you know why dad chose to depose you and divorce your mother?” Li Xuejiao said malevolently.
“Dad wants to marry a woman, and make her the first wife! Obviously, your mother is in the way!” Li Xuejiao crowed. In Vermillion Bird, men who were not the king could take three wives and four concubines. Of the three wives, one would be the first while the other two would be of equal standing. Li Yanfeng had long hit the quota. He had to divorce someone if he wanted a new wife, especially in this case where he wanted a new first wife.
“Can he even handle it at his advanced age?” Li Tianming snorted coldly.
“You’ll definitely be happy to hear who’s marrying in.”
“Just say it.”
“The woman is called Liu Qing. She’s in her twenties, not much older than you. She’s a famous beauty, but most importantly, she’s of the Lightning Manor! Do you still think Flamehaven will have space for you after this?”
“Lightning Manor!” Li Tianming was inflamed once again. Lin Xiaoting, who had killed Midas and robbed the Saintbeast Warsoul from him, was a direct descendant of the Lightning Manor. The Lightning Manor was the most powerful clan in Vermilion Bird. A hegemon of the nation, they had innumerable powerhouses, controlling almost half of the nation’s interests!
“Dad will be hosting a grand wedding in ten days’ time. If you don’t scurry away, you will die if people from the Lightning Manor spots you.”
“Isn’t ten days later when the Flameyellow Scions Institute selection is happening?” Li Tianming frowned. That was the real reason he had to stay here. He had to return to the institute. It may have been where he had fallen from grace, but it was also the holy land for all young beastmasters.
Those two people were still there till this day. If he wanted vengeance, he had to return there in an open and aboveboard manner with the identity of a institute disciple.
Flamehaven would host a selection to enter the Flameyellow Scions Institute every four years, and Li Tianming had been the one who had succeeded four years ago. And this time, he wanted the slot again. That way, he could grandly leave Flamehaven along with his mother. After all, Li Yanfeng would be forced to send them off, and not kick them out like homeless dogs!
“That’s right. Dad intends to use the selection to liven up the wedding. After all, it’ll be his son who earns the qualification if all goes well.” She didn’t sound quite happy at this. This son wasn’t referring to Li Tianming, but Li Yanfeng’s son through his second wife and Li Tianming’s second brother, Li Zifeng. He was Li Tianming’s junior by three years, and wasn't old enough to be involved in the previous selection.
Li Zifeng had risen rapidly in the three years when Li Tianming was crippled, leaving the latter all but forgotten by Flamehaven’s citizens. His current age and stage was roughly as Li Tianming’s was when he obtained the institute slot.
Li Tianming had brought shame to the city, but Li Zifeng had brought back hope. After all, as one of the more remote cities, Flamehaven’s citizens hoped that their local geniuses could head to the institute and challenge those chosen from Vermillion Bird’s core!
“I understand.” It seemed that he would definitely have to make a trip for this wedding. Li Xuejiao was telling him all this to bait him into going there to make a fool of himself, thereby accomplishing her revenge.
However… there were some things you had to do yourself!
This included that woman from Lightning Manor and his heartless father. He had lost everything before, so he needed courage to walk on this path again and seize everything back!
Actually, there was also something else important. Li Tianming had once asked Wei Jing when he was sixteen if there was any way to treat her strange illness, and she had responded with a place: the Heaven’s Sanctum of Flameyellow Scions Institute. She had never elaborated on the reason why she could be treated there.
However, Li Tianming had never concerned himself with the details. The only thing he needed to know was that he had to join the institute, and strive for its core, Heaven’s Sanctum. Three years ago, his talent was close to sufficient for entry. It had even become a certainty after obtaining the Saintbeast War-Soul, where he was close to curing his mother and extending her life.
But Lin Xiaoting and Mu Qingqing had crushed that spark of hope. Now, he was already twenty and Wei Jing didn’t have many days left in her. This selection was his final chance. If he missed it, he could only watch her pass away helplessly.
“Then, let’s start from the institute selection, and his wedding!” After keeping a low profile for three years, who wouldn’t want to return to their battlefield and show that, no, they hadn’t lost just yet!
“Let’s go.” Wei Jing didn’t have anything she wanted to keep.
Li Tianming used his arm to support her. “Alright, mother.”
“Keep the spirit gems,” Wei Jing suddenly said, after taking two steps. Li Tianming felt some resistance to that mentally. He wasn’t particularly fond of accepting this last boon from Li Yanfeng, because that was a sort of humiliation.
“My child, a man must know flexibility. If there are benefits right in front of you, just take it! The only thing people will remember is that moment when you truly retrieve your dignity. Don’t concern yourself with losing a few bits of pride here and there,” Wei Jing said gently.
“Yes, mother.” Li Tianming picked up the gems.
“I’m peckish!” The little chick suddenly gave him a pitiful look, though it was admittedly rather cute.
“What do you even eat, worms?” Today onward, he’ll need to set aside time for a chick's feeding time.
“No, these!” The little chick pointed at the spirit jades, drooling.
“Yeaaaahhh... no. Stick to your worms.” Li Tianming snorted disdainfully.
“We can make a breakthrough if we finish those,” the little chick said coolly, placing its wings on its hips.
“Eldest brother chicken, it was just a jest, a jest! Naturally, all this is my birthday present to you! Happy birthday!” Li Tianming hurriedly handed it the goods. If the little chick really could breakthrough just by eating spirit jades, he just struck it big.