"What's going on?" Tianming asked.
"There's a really smelly egg! It smells! Ouch, it hurts! Waaaah!" Xian Xian burst out in tears.
"What smelly egg?" Tianming wondered.
"In your tummy!"
She was referring to his lifebound space.
Tianming hurriedly observed it and spotted the 'smelly' egg she was referring to. It was an egg of a Primordial Chaos Beast. The egg was neither large nor small, and was completely grey in color. The grey resembled deathly loneliness and reminded him of Yama's power. It didn't stand out too much among the other eggs, but looked more like a grey pebble he would see anywhere on the road.
But now, a crack could be seen on it. Small though it was, a greyish aura seemed to be leaking from it. It did indeed smell bad, like a rotten egg. The key was that the wafting smell had actually caused Xian Xian's leaves to wither and yellow, and many dark spots to form on them. It was no wonder she had cried out in pain. Thankfully, there was only a little wafting smell coming from the egg, so Xian Xian could easily recover from it. Still, the egg did catch Tianming and the others off guard.
"Is this grey one Fifth? There's a crack on it, so it must be starting to hatch," Ying Huo said as it stretched its claw out in preparation to give it a kick.
However, something mysterious happened: the grey egg was nowhere to be seen!
Tianming was just as confused as his lifebound beasts by the egg’s sudden disappearance. It was like the egg had really vanished from the lifebound space. It wasn't just a normal cloaking technique; its presence was completely gone. After a whole fifteen minutes, the grey egg appeared again in another corner of the lifebound space without moving in the slightest. It had two black, eye-like spots that looked like they were staring intently at Ying Huo and the others.
"Interesting!" Meow Meow pounced toward it, only to cause it to vanish again. This time, it seemed to be angered as it didn't show up anywhere else.
"Let's leave it alone for now. I think it likes peace and quiet," Tianming said.
The egg only returned to the lifebound space after an hour and had its 'eyes' trailed on Xian Xian's main body without moving in the slightest, as if observing it.
"This grey one seems to have an attitude," Ying Huo said.
"Which one of you don't? You're all troublemakers!" Tianming retorted. He was already used to the common-sense-defying Primordial Chaos Beasts, who were far more ancient than they seemed. "I'm in so much trouble...."
It wouldn't be easy for him to deal with the bunch of ancestral beasts. He had just finished taming Xian Xian, and now Fifth was trying to make itself undetectable in his lifebound space.
"Give it time to get used to things. Xian Xian's egg started cracking when we were in the Grand-Orient Realm. I don't expect Fifth's hatching conditions will be easy to fulfill either. I wonder what type it is?"
Though Tianming couldn't tell, he had a rough grasp about its character. It was probably a beast, judging by how jumpy it was and how it could even cause Xian Xian's leaves to wither.
He took it out of the lifebound space and said, "Welcome to the family, little one." He stroked the shell, only for it to let out a smell and cause his hands to bleed and rot in pain.
"Asserting dominance already?" Tianming smiled. "No need to be so nervous. We'll be looking out for each other in the future.
Two hours later, Tianming headed to Fiend Palace after putting Ying Huo and the rest back in his lifebound space. The grey egg was still monitoring the rest from a far corner. Since Xian Xian still wanted to play with Feiling, and lifebound beasts weren't really needed in Fiend Palace, Tianming left the Radix World Tree at Soulburn Hall. That way, Feiling wouldn't be lonely now that she finally had someone she was close to there, unlike the others who were practically strangers to her.
Now, his life was peaceful once more, and it was during these times that he made the most progress. He cycled between the Deepstar Pool, Fiend Palace, Sword Insight Rock, and Soulburn Hall. Since moving there, he had many more chances to get intimate with Feiling.
Soon, he arrived back at Fiend Palace. The youths of the Xuanyuan house had all excitedly resumed training there since the end of the summit. They stopped training immediately when he arrived.
"Li Tianming! No, you should be addressed as the imperial son now!" Xuanyuan Yucheng said as he waved to him among the crowd. Though they had cultivated here together before, Tianming was now his hero.
He was the successor of Great Emperor Xuanyuan's legacy, and was now the symbol of hope for the entirety of Archaion. Everyone was doing their best now that he had gained the favor of Great Emperor Xuanyuan and become their mental support. It was also for that reason that the Xuanyuan house youngsters were big fans of his.
"Please don't treat me like a stranger and just call me by name," Tianming said. He was quite familiar with the lot, having fought by their side within the Nether Battlefield.
After some time, Xuanyuan Yucheng said, "Alright, let's stop disturbing Tianming's cultivation and go back to minding our own business!"
The Fiend Palace turned quiet once more. Tianming, sitting in the corner, noticed a young girl in white smiling at him. The icy blue third eye between her brows looked like a deep-sea crystal. That was the symbol of the two-hundred-millennia-long bloodline of the Xuanyuan house.
"Muxue," he greeted when he came to her.
"Congratulations." Her beautiful eyes shone like crystals. When Tianming had killed Yama, she cried tears of joy.
"The joy is for all of us to share," Tianming said.
"You managed to obtain the founding ancestor's legacy and became the imperial son. Now, you stand at the top of the sect. What's there for me to share?"
"Well, I did promise you an ultimate tribulation manna. I'll bring it to you once I retrieve it."
"Alright, I'll hold you to your word."
"Come on, you can at least pretend to refuse."
"Haha... Well, it's not like I can go to Kilostar Domain right away anyway."
"Is it because of the war?"
"I heard the other three sects have decided to ally with us."
"Oh, you already know?""It isn't exactly a secret. The whole divine realm knows. Initially, many weren't confident about it, but now our four sects will no doubt be brave enough to fight to our deaths. What you did at the summit changed everything. You're now the entire realm's hero."
"Keep that praise coming and I'll soon be too full of myself."
"Thank you, truly," she sincerely said.Tianming merely smiled. "Well, what I did was child's play compared to the real upcoming fight."
Everyone could feel the oppressive war looming over them.
A few hours later, as Xuanyuan Yucheng and the others were leaving, Tianming stopped them. "Brothers and sisters, there's something I would like to discuss with you."
"Can I ask to train at Fiend Palace alone for the next few days?" Tianming asked."Alone?" Xuanyuan Yucheng paused, but didn't ask too much. "Of course. There won't be a problem."
"Alright. Thank you all."
"You're welcome, Brother," Xuanyuan Yucheng said.
"You can ask for anything, even Brother Yucheng's body," someone joked.
"Haha, I worry I'd be beaten up by Sister Qianyu if I did that," Tianming said.
Once they left, Tianming turned to face the Archaionfiend Eye alone. From now on, he would be able to absorb the essence of the eye into Archfiend.
"You won't be able to escape any longer."
He levitated and began wrapping Archfiend around the eye, slowly absorbing its essence. In time, five days had passed. During that time, he neglected his training slightly to focus on absorbing the eye. Now, Archfiend had eight tribulation patterns. The wave of confusion coming from the eye made him feel a little dizzy; he had been here for a little too long.
"I’d better go back to relax, see Ling'er, and practice my swordsmanship before coming back again."
He left the palace and took a breather, feeling measurably better almost immediately. "Is that how Xuanyuan Yuheng lost his sanity?"
All of a sudden, he recalled Lin Xiaoxiao. "I haven't seen her in a long time. Does she still live at the Number One Pavilion alone?" He decided he would stop there since it was on the way to Xuanyuan Lake.
Along the way, many disciples called out to him and looked at him with worshipful eyes. Soon, he returned to his former residence and entered. It was dead silent all around. He didn't call out to Lin Xiaoxiao, but quietly headed straight for the snowy courtyard.
"Let's see what that lass is up to!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter