Chapter 512 - Tigress?

After leaving, Bai Zijun came over with a smile and said, “Come, let the Skycore Palace get to know the first twenty-year-old Astral General in the Decimo Dao Palace’s history.”

Tianming knew that power meant responsibility. In the future, he would have ten thousand people fighting for him, and that meant that he needed to ensure their safety as their leader.

“Tianming, the Dark Astral Battalion doesn’t have an Astral General. In the future, the ten thousand warriors under the Dark Astral Battalion will be your responsibility. Several deputy generals will assist you, and you can ask me if you have any questions.

“Honestly speaking, the logic behind managing a legion isn’t the same as cultivating. But there’s still some common aspects it shares with military force. You have to be meticulous about it. I believe that you can bring out the power of the Dark Astral Battalion with your comprehension,” said Bai Zijun.

“I’ll do my best. After all, I’ve never done anything like this before,” replied Tianming.

The Skycore Palace was where one of the Seven Astral Legions, the Skycore Legion, was stationed. Everyone in the Skycore Legion had a courtyard of their own, which showed how massive the Decimo Dao Palace was.

“Skycore Legion, assemble!” Bai Zijun immediately ordered upon arriving. The difference between the Dark Hall’s warriors and disciples was shown here. The moment Bai Zijun issued the order, a hundred thousand people stood before the Skycore Battle Stage in orderly ranks in just thirty breaths. A hundred thousand people standing together, their morale and fighting spirit sky-high.

“Violet Astral Battalion reporting!”

“Scarlet Astral Battalion reporting!”

“Indigo Astral Battalion reporting!

“Dark Astral Battalion reporting!”

……

Ten Astral Generals commanded the ten Astral Battalions. Tianming glanced at the Dark Astral Battalion. There were ten thousand of them, all wearing black armor. Their armor had starlight flowing across them, and every single one had at least twenty saintly heavenly patterns.

The Dark Astral Armor was the standard battle armor. The styles were unified, but there were different levels. Those with more saintly heavenly patterns would have stronger defensive capabilities.

The Dark Astral Armor that the Decimo Dao Palace allocated to Tianming had seventy saintly heavenly patterns. The defense was impressive, not to mention that it looked cool!

“Don’t you think they assembled fast?” Bai Zijun smiled.

“Yeah, orderly and fast. It’s an army with no slackers,” said Tianming.

“You’re right. The battalion has military orders, which are different from the disciples. But this is also because they’ve been in a state of combat readiness recently, and they’re relatively free most of the time. The Dark Hall prioritizes being humane. We’re all fellow brothers and sisters,” said Bai Zijun.

“Understood!” The atmosphere here was entirely different than the Theocrats’ army.

Bai Zijun brought Tianming over and announced, “Today, I’m here to introduce your new companion in the Skycore Legion!”

“Isn’t that Li Tianming?”

“We know him.”

“He’s a famous person.” Everyone laughed.

“It looks like everyone knows him. Since that’s the case, I won’t introduce him any further. I hereby declare that, starting today, Tianming will be conferred as a Skycore General, commanding the Dark Astral Battalion. Ye Lingfeng will be his deputy!

“This is the decree from the palace lord, hall master, astral kings, and hall kings. This proves Tianming’s ability and strength. Furthermore, it’s also an acknowledgment of his achievement in killing Dongyang Fengchen back in the Tomb of the Ancients!”

Previously when Autarch Yun had raised the question, Bai Zijin still had Tianming deny it. But now that they had completely fallen out, killing the crown prince had become Tianming’s achievement. Honestly speaking, the news had long spread out.

Although everyone was under the impression that the Soulfiend had killed the crown prince, Tianming had also participated in the battle. So it wasn’t much to say that Tianming was also responsible. 

Most importantly, the position was something that the higher hierarchy in the Decimo Dao Palace had conferred upon Tianming. So even if Tianming was young, who would have any objection?

“Dark Astral Battalion! Astral General! Li Tianming!” Tens of thousands of people were called out at the same time, especially the Dark Astral Battalion. They were delighted with their new Astral General.

“Why don’t you say something?” Bai Zijun patted Tianming’s shoulder. 

Tianming put away his goofiness and became serious. He said, “Fellow warriors of the Dark Astral Battalion, I’ll be honest with all of you. You’re my elders, and I can’t help feeling a little pressure, commanding the Dark Astral Battalion. But I don’t wish to disappoint the palace lord or let everyone down. So I’ll do my very best to learn and lead everyone. I might be young, but I’m comparable to any Astral General here in terms of strength. Please believe in me. From today onward, we move as one!”

His voice was resounding, and it didn’t seem to be a speech by a young man at all. Perhaps many people might question his qualifications. After all, young men were often linked with recklessness, causing unnecessary death. But judging from the looks he was getting, Tianming had a charm of his own.

“Tianming is absolutely qualified in terms of strength, and he’ll only grow stronger in the future. In terms of commanding, he’ll have four deputies, including Ye Lingfeng. You can all wait and see.” Bai Zijun was paving the way for Tianming. After all, he knew his future wouldn’t be limited to an Astral General.

“Understood!” the hundred thousand warriors replied. 

The legion then dispersed. Bai Zijun brought Tianming, Ye Lingfeng, and the Dark Astral Battalion back to their camp.

“Sun Xingyu, Chen Fang, and Liu Yuyi,” Bai Zijun called out. The three deputies immediately took a step forth. It was a group with one female and two males. They were all over fifty, but they were all Sky Saints, so they looked like they were in their thirties. Among the three of them, Sun Xingyu was a tall man, Chen Fang was much thinner, and Liu Yuyi was a gallant-looking woman.

“The three of you are to assist Tianming well,” Bai Zijun instructed.

“We will!” They immediately nodded their heads.

The Dark Astral Battalion also had a Dark Astral Battle Stage. It was used as a gathering place for the Battalion. As the Astral General, Tianming had a massive palace for himself, and he could let Li Qingyu and the others stay there. Lan Huang and the Soulfiend were too massive, and Tianming had already been thinking of moving. This Astral General Manor was at least a hundred times bigger than the First Pavilion, and had an enormous lake on its grounds, which was enough for Lan Huang.

“Tianming, I’ll be taking my leave first. You’ve just arrived, and you should get familiar with the brothers,” said Bai Zijun.

“Okay.” Tianming nodded.

“Come to me anytime you have any questions.” Bai Zijun immediately took his leave.

“General, this way please,” Chen Fang said respectfully.

The group went to the Dark Astral Battle Stage. Tianming looked around, and there were tens of thousands of people looking at him curiously.

Then again, Ye Lingfeng and the Soulfiend had attracted even more attention. Tianming first familiarized himself with the names of his three deputies and the rest of the officers.

He had a rough understanding of their strength. For example, the deputies were mostly at third- or fourth-level Sky Saint. Some deputies were reserve generals, and they already possessed the strength of one.

The Chiliarchs were mostly at first- and second-level Sky Saint, similar to Bai Zijin’s strength. This also meant that Chen Jinghong, the first on the Sky Ranking, was only comparable to a chiliarch in the Dark Hall.

As for the centurions, they were mostly at eighth-level Earth Saint. Only a few of them had reached the Sky Saint stage. That meant Ye Shaoqing and Yuwen Taiji could only be centurions if they joined.

After that, Tianming discovered that the ordinary warriors were mostly in the third level of the Earth Saint stage. There wasn’t a single first-level around here. Looking at the ten thousand men standing before him, Tianming had a firsthand experience of the hundred-thousand-strong legion’s fighting strength.

Tianming was new here, and despite facing these elders, he was neither humble nor arrogant. After all, he wouldn’t be able to convince everyone if he seemed too weak. 

Then again, Tianming would execute his authority whenever it was necessary. 

Bai Zijin walked over. When she showed up, the warriors all addressed her ‘Lady Bai.’ It looked like she was pretty famous as a Supernal Mentor.

“Big Sister Bai, what’re you doing here?”

“I heard you became an Astral General, so I came to congratulate you,” Bai Zijin smiled.

“So, where’s my present?”

“You’re asking me for one when?” Bai Zijin pulled Tianming to the side and continued, “You must know that if the Decimo Dao Palace goes to war, you’ll be on the front lines as an Astral General. You have to keep yourself safe while being responsible for your battalion. You can’t be reckless anymore. You hear me?”

“Alrighty,” said Tianming.

“I know you won’t listen to me.” Bai Zijin threw her temper.

“I already registered what you said in my mind. I’ll naturally remember how Big Sister Bai cared for me,” Tianming said seriously.

“That’s more like it.” Bai Zijin glanced at the Dark Astral Battalion’s warriors and asked, “So, have you built your prestige?”

“What do you mean?”

“At least let them know of your strength. Otherwise, how can you win them over and obey you? If anyone makes trouble for you in battle, you might even be dragged down by them,” said Bai Zijin.

”You make some sense. But who am I going to beat up with everyone being so polite to me?” Tianming smiled bitterly. He couldn’t just find a random reason to beat up someone, right? After all, no one had provoked him.

“How about this? I’m having doubts about your strength. I can’t accept a brat like you catching up to me in the blink of an eye. I made my breakthrough yesterday and reached the third level of the Sky Saint stage. So I want to beat you up,” Bai Zijin threatened.

“To comfort your middle-aged woman’s self-esteem?” Tianming winked.

“Tianming, how dare you call me old?!” Bai Zijin raised her brow.

Tianming immediately turned and started running.

“Stop right there!” Bai Zijin immediately chased after Tianming and started beating him.

“Lady Bai, why are you bullying our Astral General?” The crowd immediately came out.

“Get lost!” Bai Zijin barked.

“Alrighty!” The crowd immediately dispersed. 

Tianming had never expected that Bai Zijin would be serious about beating him up. She even summoned her lifebound beast. It was an Astral Winged Tiger. The tigress was mostly white, decorated with blue astral patterns. It was a seventh-order saint beast, with seventy-one stars. 

“Bai Zijin, how dare you go against your superior! See how I’ll teach you a lesson today!” Tianming took out the Three-Thousand Starfield without summoning his lifebound beasts. He was going to fight the two by himself.

“Shut up! So what if I’m beating you up?” Bai Zijin charged forth, riding on the Astral Winged Tiger.

No wonder she didn’t like Meow Meow. It turned out that she had grown up with a tiger. She probably had enough of cats and was immune to their cuteness.

“You’re overestimating yourself!” Tianming smiled. Honestly speaking, everyone knew Bai Zijin was purposely putting a show for everyone. She wanted to dismiss everyone’s doubts by allowing Tianming to show his strength.

Rumors were spreading that it was the Soulfiend that killed the crown prince, so no one had an idea of Tianming’s strength. Then again, everyone could also tell that Bai Zijin wasn’t going easy on him, either.

The battle broke out immediately. Tianming’s attacks were ferocious; he even used an empyrean battle art. But without summoning his lifebound beast, he was having a tough time fighting Bai Zijin and the Astral Winged Tiger.

After their clash, Bai Zijin had disbelief on her face. She was having a tough time keeping up with Tianming’s ferocious attacks. When she finally lost, she was fully convinced of Tianming’s strength.

“You’re something….” Bai Zijin shook her head with a bitter smile.

Tianming was gentle with her. He hadn’t injured her, only subdued her with his strength. Shoving a bag over to her, Tianming said, “Here’s your reward.”

When Bai Zijin opened the bag, she smiled when she saw thirty thousand saint crystals. Tianming added, “That’s your pay.”

“Shut up!” Bai Zijin smiled bitterly. She was giving her best when she fought, not trying to put up an act for everyone. But she had ultimately achieved her goal.

Looking around, the surrounding Dark Astral Battalion members looked convinced by Tianming’s strength. But right at that moment, a burly figure stood up with a smile, “General is powerful, and my hands got itchy by watching. I’d like to spar with you and experience the strongest genius in the last thousand years. I wonder if you can fulfill this request of mine?”

His name was Sun Xingyu, one of the deputy generals. The Skycore Astral King, Bai Zijun, had told him there was a high possibility he would become an Astral General. But Tianming had appeared out of nowhere and taken it from him.

Before this, Sun Xingyu didn’t show any unhappiness for Tianming. But when he stood out and challenged Tianming, there was a hint of provocation in his tone. His words instantly caused the atmosphere to become tense.

Sun Xingyu had high prestige in the Dark Astral Battalion. Everyone had long acknowledged the fact that he would become the new Astral General. But Tianming’s appearance had stolen it from him. As a result, the warriors of the Dark Astral Battalion were looking forward to this battle and waited for Tianming’s response with anticipation.

They looked at Tianming, who was just over twenty years old. For them, Tianming was too young. Some of them had grandchildren the same age as Tianming. 

Tianming smiled. “Deputy General Sun is a fourth-level Sky Saint. I’m naturally happy that you’re willing to spar with me. But there’s something you’re wrong about.”

“Oh? What do you mean?” A cold light flickered across Sun Xingyu’s eyes. He didn’t seem to be doing this for an ordinary spar; instead, he looked like he wanted to kill Tianming.

“Deputy General Sun, you’re wrong about the fact that I’m the strongest genius in the last thousand years,” said Tianming.

“You’re too humble. You definitely deserve that reputation,” replied Sun Xingyu.

“No. You got my words wrongly.” Pointing at himself, Tianming continued, “I’m the strongest genius in the last ten thousand years!”

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