Chapter 945 - Frost Sea of the North

Currently, both Feiling and Lin Xiaoxiao were within the Old Deepstar Path. As they were both from the Vermillion Bird Kingdom, they had quite a lot to talk about. As the Archaionfiend lusted after the caeli within the Old Deepstar Path, Lin Xiaoxiao kept it in her lifebound space the entire time she was there.

Lately, she was trying to break through to the twelfth-level death phase. As the Archaionfiend had forced her to assimilate too many caeli some time back, the speed of her breakthroughs was far too high. While they had since stopped doing so, the foundation had already been built. With the Archaionfiend's memories helping her, it shouldn't be too long before she ascended.

The vita was the foundation of life, while the caelum was something that never directly entered the body. Instead, it was more akin to a life's tether to the world, half belonging to the lifeform itself and half to the world around it. The vita was the one that entered the cycle of reincarnation, while the caelum was the recording of one's experiences from a third-person perspective.

As the caelum didn't have any actual consciousness or feelings of the actual body it came from, the Archaionfiend's consumption of caeli was fundamentally different from the Amnestic River Voidbanner’s consumption of vitae. As such, the caelum could be said to be externally granted to a living being by the world around them. On the other hand, Tianming had a feeling that Ye Lingfeng's soulfiend consumed vitae, as it used to be the servant of the Primordial Demonlord.

"Looks like the Primordial Demonlord might be an enemy of the Primordial God-Emperor after all." Back at the Divine Capital, Tianming wasn't aware of the different kinds of souls, so he didn't have much of a reaction to the fact that the soulfiend consumed souls. Now that he looked at it, however, if it really consumed vita, it probably wasn't a good thing.

"I've relied on good karma and Omnisentient Will here to make huge strides in my cultivation. I wonder how Feng is doing. Did the Primordial Demonlord give him any benefits?" He felt a little regretful thinking about it. Even though he had promised he would take them to the divine realms after he settled down, he’d been involved in one chaotic event after another. He was planning on making a trip back after the Number One Summit, but had been kidnapped and brought to the Kilostar Domain instead.

"Now, I'm already past the ninth-level death phase. I probably can't pass through the Canal of the Dead any longer. However, once I solve the issue of the specters, I should look into whether I can bring them to the Divine Moon Realm, or perhaps even the territories of order!"

Naturally, he hoped for them to be able to broaden their horizons too. "That's right, my stepfather included. He's an octabane, after all." He truly missed them after all this time.

"I wonder if Feng is smarter now, or if he still eats worms.... Haha, and Qingyu... is she happier than before? What about my stepfather? He's probably bored after being unmatched for so long. I should take him out of there and let him experience true defeat! Let's see if he still dares to act tough." The sudden recollection caused him to smile unwittingly.

"Oh, and Feng's Evil Suppression Pillar could be on the same level as artifacts like the Grand-Orient Sword and Prime Tower. I wonder if he's able to properly tap into the potential of a divine artifact like that yet."

Speaking of which, he recalled the Amnestic River Voidbanner, which was itself a divine artifact. While the banner itself was ruined, the flagpole was still there. He gave what remained of it to Lin Xiaoxiao. As she was also a bow user, he also let her pick some arrows with fifteen tribulation patterns from his ring, Skydragon.

"By the way, Ling'er, what weapons can you use?" Tianming asked.

"Me? None... I’ve never fought before." She clutched her skirt helplessly.

Tianming scratched his head in thought. The girl had indeed never personally fought all her life.

"It's alright. Even though you can’t use Spiritual Attachment anymore, your current abilities involve space and time. You can still help me out like before if the situation calls for it."

Tianming knew her abilities well. Even though she lacked the ability to fight one on one, she was an expert at survival and crowd control. With Xuanyuan Xi's memories, she was also an exemplary patternscribe. She had already managed to heal Yi Xingyin and Ouyang Jiangwang's saint palaces, and they were now in recovery. She even managed to restore the Ninefold Formation's cores within a few days. Not only were her abilities terrifying, the memories of Xuanyuan Xi she possessed had made repairing the formation an easy task. Perhaps she would even be able to make god-level formations once she ascended.

"How far has your cultivation recovered?" Tianming asked.

"I'm at the sixth-level life phase now. I might need a dozen more days."

Originally, she would have needed around a decade to recultivate, but now it could be done within a short month. The difference was far too stark. These days, Tianming gave most of the tribulation spirit herbs in Skydragon that could be converted to tribulation force to her. In fact, he also let her absorb all the benefits of the spiritual energy springs within the Heaven Branch. That, coupled with her rapidly recovering heavenly will, allowed her to make a few breakthroughs each day at a speed that dazzled even him. There was no way he could compare, for all that effort had been spent beforehand by Xuanyuan Xi a hundred millennia ago.

As for Lin Xiaoxiao's rapid breakthroughs, that was rather unique as well. Comparatively, Tianming was relying on his own insights and good karma to progress. As a result, while Lin Xiaoxiao had ended up with a higher cultivation level, her actual combat capabilities couldn't really compare. And if she didn't have any new insights, Tianming might just catch up and surpass her, especially with the changes of the Aeonic Grandbane he was beginning to feel as he approached the Ascension stage. As for how large a change it would be, he would probably only have an answer once he ascended.

The three of them spent most of their time making progress on the Old Deepstar Path. Meanwhile, Tianming made sure to keep an eye out for the specters' moves. Currently, the various cities and sects across the land had deployed their defensive formations. The folks in smaller villages and settlements had been moved to the cities as well, completely unlike the time humans had fought among each other when they had to disperse into the wilderness. Different times called for different measures.

......

At dawn, Xuanyuan Dao entered. Since his saint palace had been reconstructed, he had consumed quite a few tribulation spirit herbs that aided much in his recovery, but he would still need around two or three years to reach his prime again.

"Are there any changes?" Tianming asked.

"No. Currently, the specters have set up a base in the Abyssal Battlefield and are continuing to consume wildbeasts to strengthen their physical bodies. At night, they come to the Flameyellow Continent and mount occasional raids on cities to steal spiritual energy and spirit herbs, but they've refrained from consuming lifebound beasts," Xuanyuan Dao said.

"It's been two weeks already. Are they not going to attack at all?"

"Yes, they’re just currently building up their power. Their situation is rather similar to ours. While their heavenly wills have reached the required level, their saint ki or tribulation force haven't caught up yet. The Ninefold Hell's spiritual energy is too bad, so they’re in a malnourished state. However, the fact that they haven't attacked yet is probably due to the two that stayed behind. They must be afraid of the Divine Moon Realm. Tianming, do you have any way to make those two stay longer?"

"Those two are hard to please. Huiyue Yin, at least, finds his own fun without troubling us, but he's the hardest to keep here. As for Huiye Shi... it's too much trouble," Tianming said with a furrowed brow. The girl had been troubling him a little too much with all kinds of demands over the past few days. The slightest deviation from her whims would result in a tantrum.

"You'll have to take it for the team. Once they leave, the specters will definitely make their move. Given your rate of improvement, you'll be able to benefit from whatever extra time you can get."

"Yeah, I know." He was clear on the priorities he had. If keeping those two around could allow the Flameyellow Continent to catch a breather, he would do it. His minor annoyance was nothing in comparison to the suffering of billions.

"Oh well, we'll have to compromise either way."

"Is there a way to keep them here for more than a year?" Xuanyuan Dao asked.

"A year? Fat chance. They'll be gone once they're sick of this place."

"I have a way!" Ying Huo said with its wings crossed.

"What is it?" the two asked.

"Well... Have you heard of fait accompli? That is, knock her up, so she'll spend at least a year to pump that baby out. You'll definitely have ascended to godhood by then!"

"To hell with you!" Tianming grabbed it by the neck and flung it away.

"Either way, we'll be counting on you, Tianming," Xuanyuan Dao said as he gave his shoulder a pat.

"Guess that's all we can do." Right as he said that, they heard a commotion from outside.

"Lady, the human emperor is cultivating inside—"

"What human emperor? Aren't you embarrassed, calling him that? He promised me he would take me to the north to check out the Frost Sea! Make way!"

"Lady, this is our Old Deepstar Path...."

That was definitely Huiye Shi. She barged straight in and looked around. "You only have these trashy caeli? Our divine moon hall has at least a million ascendant caeli! And to think you're defending it like it's a treasure, how laughable." She immediately spotted Tianming and smiled. Hooking his arm, she said, "Let's go, it's daytime now! I want to see your frozen sea! The weather and sights we have are all manmade, so we don't have any natural sights like this. Take me there now!"

"Go ahead," Xuanyuan Dao said, giving Tianming a push after clearing his throat.

Tianming bit his lip. He had never felt this annoyed, not even during his face off with Fang Taiqing, Dugu Jin, and the two ghoul kings. Back then, he could rely on himself. But now he had to count on humoring a spoiled brat to protect the world. It almost sounded like a joke, but it was all too real. Before he left, he shot Feiling a glance, signaling her to wait for his return.

However, Huiye Shi was really observant and immediately spotted their loving gaze. "Who’s that?" she asked, rolling her eyes. Her expression seemed a little competitive. The fact that there was a girl on the level of Feiling on the Flameyellow Continent made her feel a little uncomfortable. As far as she was concerned, the natives of the continent were savages that didn't even bathe. Little did she know that Feiling's beauty was on the level of the city lord of Perpetia.

"Lady, she’s my wife," Tianming said.

"Oh, she looks rather decent. You are a lucky one. Not to mention, she really managed to maintain her youth despite her age," she quipped. Her words invited many understanding gazes. They were starting to understand just how hard it was for Tianming to serve this lady from the Divine Moon Realm.

"Let's go!" she said again, hooking his arm.

"Go ahead, I'll be fine," Feiling said, not finding any fault.

"Wait for me to come back." 

Tianming left with Huiye Shi. Even though he had tried getting someone else to take her around, she simply didn't agree and insisted on traveling with him.

"Let's go!" The carefree demeanor she had was as pure as a child's.

......

Once they left, everyone exchanged glances.

"Do the people of the Divine Moon Realm not raise their children properly?" Ouyang Jianwang said.

"Well, we can't say for sure. She might just be an exception. Then again, there's a flaw that no human can possibly shake off," Yi Xingyin said.

"And what would that be?"

"Their sense of superiority and prejudice."

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