Within Soulburn Hall, negotiations between the various sect masters continued. Four sects, and their respective divine realms, working together wouldn't be easy, but it wasn't too complicated either as they weren't the aggressors and wouldn't need to talk about dividing spoils. All they needed to clear up was how their defensive arrangements would work.
"Our divine realms are all currently in the same boat. We have to protect every one of us, regardless of who gets attacked, and establish an information network."
"Information is paramount in war, after all."
"We also have to be wary of spies. Only key figures must be allowed access to important deployment information."
There were still many details for them to smooth out.
"Your Eminence, I have some thoughts on the Kilostar Domain," Jiang Yuanjun, the sect master of Pentaphase Earth Sect, said.
"Even though it’s remained closed in recent years, we’ve poured much time into researching and observing it from the outside. Based on written records, the domain might be a battlefield of a war fought in the cosmic aether. It could also be a pathway into the cosmic aether, which is something we're reasonably certain of."
"It's also rumored to contain lots of treasure," Fang Taiqing added.
"That's right, we think so too. These days, Nonahall has been pouring in their time and effort to research the domain. It was them who suggested that ultimate tribulation manna be offered as the prize during the Number One Summit. The fact that they gave their disciples such valuable treasures, like the liferot toxin and Sanguine Ferocity, to use in the summit shows how much they value the five ultimate tribulation manna, but their sect definitely doesn't lack manna either. So, I believe the manna themselves aren't what they're really after," Jiang Yuanjun said.
"We also believe that the five ultimate tribulation manna might be able to open the Kilostar Domain. Those that enter will be able to claim the treasures within," Xuanyuan Dao said. It appeared that they had the same thoughts about the domain, more or less.
Jiang Yuanjun continued, "What I'm getting at is that since Imperial Son Li Tianming has obtained the formation heart, we should prioritize the Kilostar Domain. It’s possible that the treasures within would allow us to turn the whole war in our favor, so they definitely won't give up on it. As such, if you underestimate the domain's importance and send too few people there, you might fall into their trap and lose control of the domain. That's why you must not lose the formation heart no matter what."
Fang Taiqing looked at Jiang Yuanjun in understanding.
"I also believe that you should take the utmost care," Coral Fairy Beigong Linlan said.
"Nonahall's obsession with winning the summit shows that they know more about the Kilostar Domain than we do. Even if what's inside doesn’t help our war effort, we can't afford to let them use it against us either," Sect Master Lin Yuntian of Octagram Heart Sect said.
"Understood. Since that's the case, we'll send some scouts to the domain first to see if anyone’s laid an ambush there. Only after we're certain that the area's clear will we send Li Tianming there," Xuanyuan Dao said.
"Very well," Feiling said. She was most worried about his safety. Going to the Kilostar Domain definitely wouldn’t be a walk in the park, so she was feeling anxious for his life.
"Your Eminence, Deepstar Hall Lord Yi Xingyin was involved in the making of the Kilostar Formation and has been in charge of the Kilostar Domain this whole time. We can send him to make sure everything's in order first," Fang Taiqing said.
"Noted." Feiling simply nodded since she didn't know the others in the sect too well. Xuanyuan Dao and Jian Wuyi didn't appear to object to Fang Taiqing's idea either, so it seemed safe to assent.
"He wouldn't be in any danger, would he?" Tianming asked.
"Yi Xingyin is actually a rather powerful peak-level tribulation patternscribe with many tricks at his disposal. Nobody should be able to stop him from escaping," Xuanyuan Dao said.
Tianming felt rather relieved. As long as the formation heart was with him, they shouldn't be the ones who had to worry so much. "If Nonahall has plans for the Kilostar Domain, they won't be able to do anything if I don't go there."
While he really wanted the ultimate tribulation manna, it wasn't something he needed to rush. As there was still much to discuss about the alliance, Xuanyuan Dao suggested for them to take it elsewhere, lest they continue disturbing the goddess' cultivation. The others left Soulburn Hall with the three sect masters. Xuanyuan Lake was large, and there were many other places where they could continue their discussion away from prying ears. Fang Taiqing had been left to deal with most of the negotiations about cooperative efforts like troop coordination, formations, and information sharing.
Seeing the others leave, Tianming felt that it was his time to go, too. Just as he was about to go, Feiling said, "Tianming, stay back."
"How may I be of help, Your Eminence?"
"Since the founding ancestor has given you the Human Emperor's Dragonhide, he has basically named you a successor. From now on, there are many more things I need to teach you, so you shall move into Soulburn Hall from today onward."
"Ooooh, many things to teach you, huh?" Ying Huo teased.
Tianming felt himself sweating nervously as he answered, "Yes, Your Eminence!"
Now that he was the imperial son, nobody should be opposed to him moving into Soulburn Hall with Feiling, right? At the very least, Fang Qingli didn't seem opposed to it. Soulburn Hall was quite large, and there was definitely enough space for him to move in. Incidentally, the Nine Dragon Formation around the hall was split into an inner and outer part. Naturally, Feiling lived in the inner part, into which Tianming would move as well. Currently, only Fang Qingli and Xuanyuan Dao were allowed to enter the inner formation, while the others defended it from the outside.
"You are hurt, so you should rest and recuperate," Feiling told Fang Qingli.
"Yes, Your Eminence." Though she left, she stopped not far away from the inner formation, leaving Tianming and Feiling to themselves.
Ying Huo, Meow Meow, and Xian Xian popped out of his lifebound space. Lan Huang also came out, since there were enough mountains and lakes outside Soulburn Hall for the giant beast, but it was too big to enter the indoors area itself so Tianming left it outside.
A green phoenix with nearly eight hundred stars lay in the distance, looking to be in a rather bad mood as Fang Qingli applied some medicine to it. Lan Huang came stumbling toward it and leaned against the inner formation's boundary. "Big Sister, want to play?"
"Buzz off," the phoenix said.
"Alright!" Lan Huang turned back and left as Fang Qingli watched it with a hint of interest.
"Come to think of it, that lifebound beast of his is a dragon too. He probably has some ties with the Archaic House of Xuanyuan after all."
Within the bedroom, Ying Huo and Xian Xian excitedly flew around, exploring their new environment. Meanwhile, Meow Meow was already snoring away after it had found a nice, comfy spot. It had been hurt rather badly in the previous battle, but thanks to the Prime Tower's healing, it was now fit as a tiger once more.
After Tianming took a short rest, he noticed Feiling happily playing around with Xian Xian. It looked like a real life angel was playing with a smaller one in the snow, making quite a charming sight. He then picked Feiling up, feeling her smooth calves and placing his other hand on a rather pleasant spot. She was so surprised that her face flushed immediately as she checked to see if any others noticed. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Ying Huo and the rest behaving normally, though the flush didn’t fade from her face.
Looking down and burrowing her head into Tianming's bosom, she said, "Blasphemy! Just because you're my disciple doesn't mean you're allowed to feel up a goddess! I'll cut your arm off as punishment!"
Tianming smiled calmly and said, "It'll be all worth it! I've missed this feeling in my hand. You don't know how painful it was when I couldn't do this!"
Feiling didn't say anything in response, merely moaned softly with her face against his chest. After a while, she said, "Hey, let go now. Fang Qingli will be back soon. She'll freak if she sees this!"
"Hmm, I hope she pops a vein then!" Tianming reluctantly put her down. The snow had stopped as the day broke and the landscape before them was pure white and it sparkled when the golden rays of the sun touched it. Tianming felt truly fulfilled, enjoying the beautiful sight before him as well as the one in his arm.
This was the life he wanted, but it was a shame it wouldn't last long. Here, they would be pestered by Fang Qingli, while farther away, five other divine realms were itching to get rid of Feiling. The only way for him to deal with Fang Qingli was to grow stronger, so he had more say and could truly be with Feiling without hiding their relationship. The thought of openly taking their precious goddess as his lover was exciting to say the least. However, if they were all to survive with their dignity intact, those five divine realms had to be wiped out, or at the very least served a debilitating defeat.
"Big Brother, you don't have to rush things. We're doing fine now, and it'll only get better," Feiling said.
"Yeah." He looked thoughtfully into the distance.
"Do you have some other plans?"
"I'll focus on cultivating for the time being and leave the matter of the Kilostar Domain to the others. I'll continue to go to the Deepstar Pool and Sword Insight Rock, and also try to finish claiming the Archaionfiend Eye. Lately, I've been neglecting that, thanks to the Number One Summit. Otherwise I would've been done retaking the eye by now."
"Yeah! Your dad asked you to take that Archaionfiend Eye, so you should do it as soon as possible."
"I'll be heading there shortly." Feeling that temporary warmth reminded him of what he enjoyed most in his life. To make that fleeting moment eternal, he had to dive back into the chaotic vortex and fight to make it possible.
"Hey, has your super special private lesson ended yet?" Ying Huo popped out and said.
"Buzz off!" Tianming grabbed it and tossed it flying.
"Haha, you're mad cause it's true!"
"Bad Ying Huo. You're getting more and more naughty," Feiling said."Yeah, unlike the good boy that I am," Tianming said.
"Good boy? What's your hand doing?"
"Ah, my hand has a mind of its own... I wasn't able to control it," he said, pulling his outstretched fingers back.
All of a sudden, Xian Xian loudly shrieked.Previous Chapter Next Chapter