Fang Taiqing's phoenix's eyeball alone was a few times larger than Ying Huo’s entire body, and Ying Huo's eyes were as small as beans by comparison. Tianming had a really hard time counting the stars within them.
"You fool, taking so long to count them is making me nervous," Ying Huo teased.
"You're so nervous you've got a weird accent. So? How many are there?"
"You'll be dumbfounded if I tell you."
"Stop holdin' back and be out with it, won't ya?!"
"Hey, you're the one with the accent!"
"Just say it!" Tianming pulled Ying Huo to him by its neck.
"Alright. There's nine hundred and ninety-nine, and another that's only half-formed! So, that plus a half! Do you know what that means?" Ying Huo said, readjusting its 'hair’ after wriggling out of Tianming’s grip.
"No, I don't."
"That means the manna was enough for me to break a thousand stars! But as my cultivation isn't high enough right now, the remaining stars were compressed and became that half-star. They might only form when we finally ascend to godhood after I become a divine beast," Ying Huo said.
"Are you sure?"
"I was just making things up."
"To hell with you!" Tianming harshly pressed it down. "I didn't think you'd keep messing around after evolving."
"Don't, forgive me! At least, the star count isn't false! Hey, my hair's getting messed up!"
Tianming was rather happy for it, for the stronger it grew, the stronger he grew, too. He couldn't wait to break out of his current predicament. "Come to think of it, did you gain anything else apart from stars?"
"My body is far tougher, probably tougher than your Ancient Deepstar Godbody, so it's really hard to deal me any damage. Some of my abilities have also seen significant improvements, especially Infernal Armor. There's an extra layer of protection, thanks to the Imperial Star. However, this next one is the most important."
"What is it?""I awakened a new state called Imperial Radiance. It's a berserk state that greatly boosts my abilities!" it proudly declared.
"Any side effects?"
"Well, I'll feel a little weak after it runs out," Ying Huo said shyly.
Tianming asked it to demonstrate. Ying Huo began brightly glowing and looked like nothing but incorporeal flames. It was so blinding that it hurt to even look at it, not to mention the terrifying aura. It was very clearly a state where its abilities went berserk.
"That's enough," Tianming said.
Ying Huo snapped out of that state and weakly stumbled.
"Just that short a time was enough to make you so tired?"
"I was just messing with you!" Ying Huo energetically jumped around again.
"I knew I should've neutered you long ago, so you wouldn't be such a naughty chicken.”
Just then, Lan Huang finished evolving. Tianming pushed Ying Huo away and said, "Shoo."
Lan Huang, having experienced the pain of the burning lava, didn't want to come out. Now, it was even larger than before, so its stars were easier to count on account of its larger eyes. It also had nine hundred and ninety-nine stars plus a half-formed one.
"I bet the others never would’ve expected how powerful these ultimate tribulation manna are."
Now, Tianming's lifebound beasts no doubt had more stars than anyone else's. Even though their true power still depended on the level of their cultivation, it was nevertheless impressive.
No doubt, Lan Huang's defenses had gotten a boost from its evolution. While its Thousand-ringed Saturnus didn't glow as bright as Ying Huo's Imperial Mars, it was far denser and heavier, causing Lan Huang's mass to grow tenfold without its size changing much. That only meant it would be able to take far more hits than before, just like Ying Huo, but it had the advantage of size.
In contrast to Ying Huo's Imperial Radiance, it had the Kilofold Rings wrapping around it. Just like the manna it had consumed, Lan Huang was now like a ringed star itself. Each of the rings looked like a round blade wrapped around. Lan Huang could make them spin at will, turning him into a gigantic meat grinder. The rings could even spread apart to be used as shields, affording it even more defense than Mountainsea World.
The third one to finish was Xian Xian. At the moment of success, there was quite a huge commotion in the lifebound space. Initially, Xiao Xian had only had a Radiant Daffodil and a Scarlet Lily. But now a third flower was blooming. It was a pitch-black, fiendish flower with petals that looked like deep galaxies dotted by countless stars. The flower looked like the endless night sky. Xian Xian's spiritform was now dressed in a sparkly black dress. Its eyes were dark and tranquil like the night, without any trace of holiness or bloodlust, only the mystique of the eternal night, making it look even cuter than before.
"This is my third flower, the Evernight Rose. Does it look good, Half-pops?" It said as it leapt into his embrace. It had picked up some bad habits from Ying Huo and the rest and even changed the usual 'half-daddy' to 'half-pops', much to Tianming's dismay. From Evernight Jupiter, the Evernight Rose was formed.
"What can it do?"
"It helped me awaken my third ability, Evernight Curse, which allows me to control enemies within a certain area. I can even turn them berserk and cause them to be unable to tell friend from foe!"
"Amazing! You're so powerful now!" Tianming exclaimed. Xian Xian was a plant-type lifebound beast and was far from conventional, compared to Ying Huo and the rest. Now, there were nine hundred ninety-nine and a half stars on its spiritform as well.
"Yeah! Too powerful!"
"Far too powerful!" Ying Huo and Lan Huang chimed in.
The little plant couldn't really take compliments well and her embarrassment turned to anger.
Now that they had shown off their Imperial Radiance, Kilofold Rings, and Evernight Rose, Tianming turned to Meow Meow, who was still evolving.
"My Cat Bro is having some trouble," Ying Huo said.
"He's suffering now, but one day he'll thank his past self for his bravery. The heavens are only giving him these trials to train and forge him," Tianming said.
"Where'd you get that from? You're plagiarizing our mother!" Ying Huo said."Nonsense, it’s an original piece. Since you heard it, you’d better pay up."
"Fuck off! I'll expose your plagiarism one day!"
Tianming paid attention to his lifebound space again. There was only a trace of dark fiendish ki there. "This fellow's really stubborn. He isn’t groaning in pain in the slightest."
"Maybe Fiendish Venus clogged up his urethra or something."
"What does the urethra have to do with crying out loud?"
"Would you dare scream when you're desperately holding your piss in?"
Tianming was wholly convinced by the soundness of the argument. He admitted that he felt a little like a mother watching her children suffer, feeling pain for their sake. Over the next two days, he began wondering if he had made the wrong decision and hurt Meow Meow.
"Forget it. You're overthinking this. Cat Bro has always been a badass. As long as he's serious, there's nothing he can't do," Ying Huo said, patting Tianming on the head like a wise old senior.
"Fuck off, won't you?"
At that moment, a loud, thunderous boom was heard, then the lifebound space fell completely silent. All the lightning bolts and fiendish ki disappeared. The next moment, a little black cat appeared.
Tianming winced in pain when he set his sights on it. Meow Meow's blue eyes were now platinum in color, making them look really piercing. Just like the others, it also had nine hundred ninety-nine and a half stars. It had succeeded! Tianming could finally breathe a sigh of relief.
There were no apparent differences on Meow Meow's body, but Tianming could feel that everything about it had changed, all thanks to those platinum eyes. Meow Meow opened its mouth and revealed a row of sharp, platinum teeth. Its claws were also platinum, and there was even a platinum spike on its tail. They looked so sharp they seemed like they could pry the scales off Lan Huang.
"How many days has it been?" it said loudly.
"Four days, Cat Bro!" Lan Huang said.
"Four days? Four days?!" It clawed at its chest wildly. "I actually wasted four days evolving? That wasn’t a great deal at all! No, I'm too tired... I have to make up for lost sleep!"
It immediately collapsed with its four legs in the air and fell asleep with its tongue poking out.
Tianming looked at all of them, feeling a torrent of emotions. They had all succeeded. Now, they could finally engage in symbiotic cultivation once more. "Get that cat over here."
"What? Isn't that a little cruel?" Ying Huo snickered.
"I'm already used to it."
Meow Meow was dragged out of the lifebound space. "What the hell? You can't bully me like this! You'll get divine punishment for this! Li Tianming, I curse your son to have no balls! My feline rights are being violated! Bastards, I’ll sue all of you! I'll sue you bankrupt! ...what? You'll let me sleep for three days after we cultivate? That's so generous of you! I’ll almost feel embarrassed being the only one sleeping during those three days.... All hail Li Tianming!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter