Li Tianming never knew that Jiang Feiling had seen so much from that one attachment. That explained why she was so friendly towards him, even making use of her identity as a princess to support and encourage him when he arrived in Ignispolis. She had seen what happened for herself, and that was way clearer than having Li Tianming explain it to her verbally. As a result, she had suddenly become the person that knew him the best.
“Let me listen to your heartbeat, and that voice from your heart,” she whispered.
“Mm.” Li Tianming opened up his arms.
He wasn’t going to care about what the others thought. Whether the masses viewed him as shameless, dishonourable or anything else had no bearing on him. From young, his mother had taught him to follow his own beliefs. If he had to please everyone for everything he had done, he would have long died from sheer exhaustion.
As such, when he felt the shock and the warmth that this girl had brought to him, he would give up the whole world just to have her in his arms.
Li Tianming embraced Jiang Feiling. Just like what she claimed, she laid her ears on Li Tianming’s chest, and listened to his heartbeat. A while later, she smiled, “Big brother, your heart was raging just now , but it's calmed down and sounds much better now.”
“That’s because you soothed it.” Li Tianming smiled.
“Huh, you sure made harassing Ling’er in public sound pretty. Do you think everyone in the stadium is blind?” Unfortunately, an irritated chirping just had to disturb the ambience now.
“Don’t say that, stupid Ying Huo.” Jiang Feiling’s cheeks blushed like a peach. She slowly withdrew herself from Li Tianming’s embrace, but her eyes remained fixated on him.
That could only suggest that she cared less about the audience’ opinions than he did. Her world right now only contained the two of them.
“No, no, not like this. Look at that ugly fool of a beastmaster, and look at the handsome, fantastic me. How can a pretty girl like you possibly choose him over me?” The little chick howled in disbelief.
“Ying Huo, despite your little size, your skin is sure thicker than an elephant.” Li Tianming sneered.
The hug was over, but it was a sensation he would never forget. If only it could last forever...
The only flaw was that he coincidentally made eye contact with Mu Qingqing. As Mu Qingqing turned her head one last time before leaving the arena, she saw Li Tianming and that legendary beauty of Vermilion Bird hugging together. On top of that, Jiang Feiling was leaning against his chest, clearly enjoying it.
Mu Qingqing could feel her eyes on the verge of popping out and smashing into the floor. Li Tianming didn’t need to see it to know how irked she was. She was always one who liked to compare, and ended up choosing Lin Xiaoting over Li Tianming. But now, if she was to compare herself with Jiang Feiling, it was clear that she paled in both looks and position. And yet, Princess Ling was hugging the Li Tianming that she had personally destroyed and abandoned, in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators. What would the world think of their relationship?
No matter how she looked at it, Li Tianming was more successful than her at the moment. The impact of defeating Lin Xiaoxiao and becoming the prime disciple was incomparable to hugging Princess Ling in the middle of the stadium. People could still say that he had won the battle using his age advantage, but how would they explain his relationship with Princess Ling? Obviously no one had a clue, and could only look on in shock.
As Mu Qingqing’s eyes met Li Tianming’s, he grinned and made a puking motion. Immediately after, Li Tianming turned around to face Jiang Feiling with the brightest smile he had, and completely ignored Mu Qingqing.
His meaning was clear: You disgust me!
This was but the beginning. Her debts to him were far from being paid, and Li Tianming will hunt her down for that!
Mu Qingqing and Lin Xiaoxiao left the stadium without another word, while the audience continued to watch Li Tianming with a variety of emotions. For example, Fang Zhao was now wishing for a hole to appear beside him, so he could jump into it and never come out again.
As for the rest of the disciples, their feelings turned from abhorrence to envy. They couldn’t understand why Princess Ling would be so close to scumbags like him, but there was nothing they could do but curse in their mind. After all, none of them were qualified to judge the princess’s actions.
Even from within the private rooms, many sighed from disbelief or envy. Li Tianming had shocked them all today. Furthermore, the two youngsters were still chatting atop the arena, as Li Tianming joked with Princess Ling and she giggled along.
“Ling’er, you must be mad!” Just then, a blue figure zoomed up the arena and inserted herself in between the two. She was none other than the fuming Princess Qing.
She stared at Jiang Feiling. “You must be crazy, letting the farmer do this to you in front of the public!”
“But I liked it.” Jiang Feiling smiled, her expression making it impossible to be angry at her.
“Hey, do you remember your promise to me, Princess Qing? Don’t tell me you are going to break your promise,” Li Tianming said.
“Shut up, pervert! Scram!” Princess Qing snapped.
“Surely a princess wouldn’t back off from her promise, right?” Li Tianming taunted.
“Alright, Qing’er, calm down. We shall leave first, big brother, do remember to find us in Heaven’s Sanctum.” Jiang Feiling grabbed on to Jiang Qingluan to stop her from raging.
“I will break your leg if you dare to!” Princess Qing warned.
“Ha.” Li Tianming was too lazy to waste his time with her. A promise was a promise, and she had agreed to them meeting personally.
“Look at you, it’s not like you are equipped with the right tool to marry Ling’er. What good does it do to you to split up these two lovebirds?” The little chick rolled its eyes.
“Shut up! I shall not let this notorious hooligan harm Ling’er’s reputation.” Princess Qing glared at them as she dragged a helpless Jiang Feiling along with her off the stage. But as they left, Jiang Feiling managed to throw a wink at Li Tianming. He believed that she would find ways to deal with Qing’er, considering that they were closer than real sisters.
As they left, Li Tianming was summoned by Wei Zikun.
“Li Tianming, you have three days to rest, after which I will bring you into Heaven’s Sanctum. To become a member of the sanctum, you will have to follow a ‘supernal mentor’. Make use of these few days to ask Mu Wan about the different mentors there.”
“Yes, hall overseer.” With that, Li Tianming left the arena, as there were still other battles taking place.
Heaven’s Sanctum was the heart and the sacred place of the institute, and it worked in a very different way as compared to the institute. In the institute, the disciples joined classes led by chief mentors, and generally they would graduate after twelve years of cultivation. From there, they would leave the institute and serve the nation.
But one simply doesn’t graduate from Heaven's Sanctum. It was the core structure of the entire Flameyellow Scions Institute, and technically all the chief mentors were part of it. Within Heaven’s Sanctum, those in charge of guiding the disciples were known as the supernal mentors. They were stronger than the chief mentors, and had greater responsibilities. A supernal mentor’s position could easily surpass that of a governor’s, and each of them was well-known in Vermilion Bird.
Inside the sanctum, supernal mentors would personally accept and guide their disciples. In fact, each supernal mentor had less than ten disciples. Therefore, one of the most important aspects to cultivating in the sanctum was to pick a supernal mentor that was suitable. Each mentor had a different personality, different teaching style, and even the type of their lifebound beast would make a significant difference.
“Usually the prime disciple will be highly sought after by the supernal mentors once they enter the sanctum. But your case is a little… different. You are much older, and not exactly talented. You better keep a low-profile once you get in, and make sure you don’t piss off any of the mentors there. If not, you better be ready to come back to my Muwan class and remain a joke there.” Mu Wan suddenly popped up from a corner, and explained to Li Tianming.
“For real?” Li Tianming didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Even after working this hard to become the prime disciple, he still had the risk of not being able to make it into the sanctum.
But he found the rules understandable. Since the supernal mentors would pick their disciples directly, they would never pick those that they didn’t see potential in. Otherwise, it would be their own reputations at stake. If Lin Xiaoxiao was the prime disciple, they would probably fight over her, since real talents like her were bound to have a bright future.
In short, it boiled down to how he appealed to the supernal mentors three days later.
“Chief mentor, how do you feel about me beating Chen Yao and Lin Xiaoxiao?” Li Tianming asked, remembering how she said there was no way he could win.
“That was to encourage you to perform better, you must learn to appreciate how much your chief mentor loves you.” Mu Wan pouted, but that was just a lie. She was just as shocked as the rest of the audience, having realised that Li Tianming was a changed man.
“And exactly how much is that?” The little chick interrupted.