"Well, please start your performance then!" Ying Huo didn't seem like someone who was in trouble at all. Along with Lan Huang and Xian Xian, it watched what was happening outside as if Meow Meow and Tianming's escape didn't concern them at all.
Tianming rode on Meow Meow's back as he turned to look at his two-hundred-odd pursuers. They all had bloodshot eyes, as if they had been injected with some kind of stimulant. They chased him down as best they could, some riding their lifebound beasts and others who flew themselves. They had probably never fought so hard for treasures in all their lives.
"Watch and learn," Tianming said as he took out his spatial ring. His lifebound beasts watched curiously and wondered what his escape plan would be, only to see one item after another being flung out of the spatial ring toward their pursuers.
"What’s that?!" They had initially thought it was some kind of heavenly pattern tome and immediately tried to avoid it, but when they came closer, they got a good look at the items.
"These are tribulation manna!"
Many of them were instantly taken aback. Tianming had only thrown out a single batch, but it alone numbered more than a hundred. More importantly, they had been flung straight toward his pursuers. Would they take them, or would they keep up with the chase? Instantly, the dilemma flung them into confusion. Most of them, including Long Yichen, decided to continue chasing Tianming without being affected by the manna, though some of them genuinely hesitated. They believed that since they wouldn't get the credit for capturing Tianming anyway, they might as well pick up some benefits while they were at it. The rest wouldn't really ask them to cough out that paltry number of manna anyway. Since they weren't really given any benefits in entering the Kilostar Domain, they might as well pick some up for themselves.
Almost instantly, Tianming managed to lose quite a few of his pursuers. If only ten of them stopped, each of them would be able to get around ten manna. They looked at each other for the shortest instant before rushing in to grab whatever they could. While Tianming's trick was simple, it exploited their fundamental human nature. They weren't the leaders of the group, so they wouldn't get much credit for catching Tianming anyway, so the manna was far more appealing to them. Not to mention, Tianming wasn't too stingy to use such a method. If he wanted to escape, he would have to be willing to pay a cost and try his best to lose them as quickly as possible. If he took too long, more and more people would arrive, so having a couple of people fighting each other for the manna he threw out would also help obstruct those coming from behind.
"Damn it, are you a failson or something? Is this the trick you're talking about?!" Meow Meow said with disbelief.
"Even lizards know to lose their tail when they escape, you know," Tianming said. If he were stingy, he would lose his life. While a mere hundred manna was a small number compared to what he had, the same couldn't be said for his pursuers. Not everyone wanted to prove themselves to their masters, after all, since the most they would gain was a few tribulation manna, compared to the tons they could get now. When more and more stopped to take the manna, the rest began struggling to continue to chase.
"Don't worry, it's a gift!" Tianming cried when they hesitated, throwing out another hundred.
"Don't stop and join me in the chase!" Long Yichen cried. When he turned back, he almost vomited blood; there were only a dozen of them who were still giving chase. The rest went the opposite direction for the treasure, but it wasn't clear who got what.
"Friends, don't stop your pals from making some extra cash on the side," Tianming said.
Long Yichen grit his teeth and continued the chase, only to be obstructed by Meow Meow’s Misty Hellthunder. Now that the pursuers were fewer in number, its Misty Hellthunder exploded with full force, widening the distance between Tianming and them.
"We can't lose him!" Even with fewer and fewer of them keeping up, Long Yichen and a few others soldiered on.
At the same time, a large group of people came to the wind-ocean star, some among them being Nonahall members. They had a few people stationed there, but they hadn’t dared spread their numbers too thin, so they didn't rush over when the manna was discovered. But now, the bulk of them came over with Xue Yi.
"Brother Xue Yi," a man in a blue dragon robe greeted. He was Long Cangyuan, the seadragon king of Quadform Sea Sect.
"Quadform Sect Master." Xue Yi returned the greeting as he looked at his surroundings. As expected, the manna was all gone.
"Brother Xue Yi, please just call me Cangyuan," he said solemnly. "You’re aware that Li Tianming was the one who stole the ten thousand tribulation manna away, right? He's already gone, but my son and many others from my sect are giving chase."
"Brother Cangyuan, since you were here, why didn't you give chase? Did you lose your way?" Xue Yi asked.
"I didn't. Instead, my hardworking son has left us a trail to follow. I knew you would be coming here, so I was waiting for this moment."
"I appreciate your concern, Brother Cangyuan."
Long Cangyuan knew that Quadform didn't have as much strength as Hexapath and Biritual, so they were more likely to oblige Nonahall's demands, hence their good relationship. He instead took this chance to form a closer bond with Ghoul King Xue Yi. "Brother Xue Yi, please come with me."
"Let's go!" Xue Yi ordered the other Nonahall cultivators.
Hundreds of peak elites followed the trail left by Long Yichen.
"Don't worry, Brother Xue Yi. All it’ll take is for my son to catch up. He's definitely at Li Tianming's tail. This time around, we'll get that brat for sure."
"Haha, he managed to humiliate me by overcoming my heartscourge worm last time and escaping."
"But it's precisely because of it that he opened the Kilostar Domain. Things just seem to work out in the most unexpected of ways," Long Cangyuan consoled.
"He’s a brave one, alright. To think that he’d show his face and take all the treasure. I wonder where he gets his courage..." Xue Yi said, revealing two bloody fangs.
They traveled quickly with Long Cangyuan leading the way, and ran into some other pursuers from Biritual and Hexapath, but Feng Qingyu and Li Caiwei weren't with them. Soon, Long Cangyuan overtook them. As expected, even though his and the others' levels were suppressed, they were still much more powerful than normal tribulation elders.
"That brat is still young and reckless. One day, he'll face the consequences of his actions. His luck won't last forever," Long Canyuan said.
Xue Yi seemed to be in deep thought.
"Brother Xue Yi, are you thinking about the formation?"
"I also felt it. His arm seems to be able to break open many formations. For instance, there's the one housing the ultimate tribulation manna. And just a while ago, he easily entered the Galactic Clashdragon Formation. I heard there was barely any resistance for him."
"That kind of talent is too mysterious. If his arm really was the cause, we’d better amputate it first lest he uses it to escape the formations within the Kilostar Domain."
"Are there many formations in here?" Long Cangyuan asked, only to receive a glare in return. "Apologies, I overstepped my station."
"It's fine. You're one of us too, so it was only a matter of time until you were made aware of it."
Hearing 'one of us' put a smile on Long Cangyuan's face. "My clan shall serve the Nonahall Ghost Sect to our dying breath."
"Brother Cangyuan, you’re a person with good foresight and charisma. You're definitely destined for great things."
"It wouldn't be possible without the opportunities you’ve provided me, Brother Xue Yi."
After some time, Xue Yi asked, "Will we reach them soon?"
"I'm not certain, but at least the next marker isn’t far away."
Xue Yi furrowed his brow. "This time, we're definitely not letting that accursed brat get away."
"Are you wary of him, Brother Xue Yi?"
"No, I just find his abilities to be too mysterious. He managed to kill nine of our tribulation elders, two of whom were sixth-level death phase samsarans, which means that he made huge progress within a short period of time. No matter how fast he grows outside, he wouldn't be able to make much of a fuss within a few years. But in the Kilostar Domain, our cultivation levels are suppressed. I worry that if we allow him to continue growing without dealing with him, he'll only grow stronger and cause more trouble for us."
"Isn't his growth rate a little too ridiculous? He can't be the real reincarnation of the goddess, right? Maybe the goddess reincarnated as a male, and the one in Soulburn Hall is a decoy?"
"There’s merit to your theory. Some within our sect also suspect that he could be a reincarnation of Great Emperor Xuanyuan. If Xuanyuan Xi is able to reincarnate, who’s to say their founding ancestor can't?"
"That sounds a little too far-fetched. If that were the case, our Quadform Seagod or your Nonahall Specter would also have reincarnated. Xuanyuan Xi's an exception because she ascended at the age of twenty and died soon after in mysterious circumstances."
"True." Xue Yi kept his gaze straight ahead. He, of all people, was the most desperate to kill Tianming to ease his feeling of unease. However, he left something unsaid: the fact that Tianming possessed the Human Emperor's Dragonhide coupled with Great Emperor Xuanyuan's ties to the Kilostar Domain was something that Xue Yi was the most worried about. It might ruin their whole plan.
"Brother Xue Yi, don't worry too much about it. There's no way any guidance from a senior will be of help at the Samsara stage. He's still in his prime growth age, since he isn’t thirty yet. Once that passes, his growth will slow down, unless he's really Great Emperor Xuanyuan's reincarnation. Nobody can possibly be born with so much talent that they ascend straight away."
Just then, Long Cangyuan found the next marker that was pointing in another direction. "This marker is freshly deployed! They're right ahead!"
"Give chase," Xue Yi said.
"Worry not, Brother Xue Yi. That brat is as good as gone."Previous Chapter Next Chapter