“What are you two doing?” Jiang Feiling walked out, curious about the commotion.
“Nothing. I just don’t like his face.” Jiang Qingluan gritted her teeth, but ended up letting Li Tianming go in the end, since she didn’t want others to know about it.
Li Tianming was thankful that he managed to get away with this.
“Ying Huo, watch out when we get back later. I'll definitely cut your tongue off.”
“With just you?” The little chick rolled around, laughing madly. Li Tianming could only blame his own luck for landing himself such a lifebound beast.
“Big brother, have a drink.”
“Thank you, Ling’er, you are way more polite than a certain someone.” Li Tianming sat down, Jiang Feiling at his side.
“Hah? Don’t act like you have the moral high ground.” Jiang Qingluan glared at him.
“Girls shouldn’t be so aggressive. Anyway, I came over today to ask you a question,” Li Tianming replied.
“Before that, I have a question for you.”
“Did you steal the wrong one?” Jiang Qingluan asked, the meaning behind it obvious: Were you trying to steal Jiang Feiling’s?
“Yea.” Li Tianming could only acknowledge that unwillingly. Had he said no, wouldn’t that imply that he was interested in her? To Li Tianming, Jiang Qingluan was more like a rival...
“Outrageous, I should have never let Ling’er interact with you,” Jiang Qingluan rebuked. Little did she know that it was all Ying Huo’s prank, and the mastermind itself was still laughing its ass off on the floor.
“What are you two talking about?” Jiang Feiling was the only one who had no idea what was going on.
“Nothing much. Li Tianming, what do you want?” For a princess, she sure wasn’t acting like one.
“You mentioned that you will be leaving for a period of time. Are you going to the Abyssal Battlefield?” Li Tianming asked. He was banking on the question to disperse his awkwardness, and it didn’t let him down.
“Yeah, how did you know?” Jiang Qingluan looked puzzled.
“I heard that Wei Guohao would be going too, when would that be?”
“So you really want to defeat Wei Guohao and become the Vice-Potentate’s disciple? You sure know how to dream,” Jiang Qingluan jeered.
“Just tell me when.”
“It’s not confirmed, but it should be within a month or two,” Jiang Qingluan replied.
“And how long would you be staying there?”
“Less than a month.”
That basically means that Wei Guohao would disappear for about a month sometime this year. It probably won’t affect Li Tianming overtaking him, provided he didn’t find any opportunities in the Abyssal Battlefield.
“What are you all doing there? How many people are going?” Li Tianming asked.
“Things are not confirmed yet, and the supernal mentors forbade us from telling others.”
“Come on, not even to a friend like me?” Li Tianming asked, curious about the details.
“Then you should know what will happen to Ling’er once you are gone.”
“And you should get ready to be a eunuch.”
Li Tianming licked his lips. “Ha, Ling’er’s beauty is totally worth it,”
“Qing’er, just tell him. You already broke the rules by telling me.” Jiang Feiling chipped in.
“You!” Jiang Qingluan didn’t get why her own sister was on Li Tianming’s side.
“You heard her.”
“Basically, Heaven's Elysium has locked down Azure Domain inside the Abyssal Battlefield, placing some things there that could be either challenges or opportunities. The Heaven’s Sanctum of three different nations would be sending out their younger disciples for the Abyssal Trials, and the winner will enter Heaven’s Elysium,” Jiang Qingluan explained.
“Heaven’s Elysium? What’s that?” Li Tianming was confused.
“Wait, you don’t even know what Heaven’s Elysium is?”
“Please enlighten me, O princess.”
“I suppose you should at least be aware that Vermilion Bird is just one of the many nations on Flameyellow Continent, and we hardly know much about what goes on outside. But every single Flameyellow Scions Institute on the continent, as well as the Heaven’s Sanctums, were built by Heaven’s Elysium. Even our sanctum is just one of its many outposts.”
“Is it very strong?”
“Obviously. Supposedly, it’s a world that we can’t even imagine. Based on my knowledge, there’s only one person from Vermilion Bird in the past hundred years that gained the recognition of Heaven’s Elysium. And that person is about to join.”
Li Tianming did have a bit of knowledge regarding the world outside of Vermilion Bird nation. He knew that the continent was colossal, but exactly how big it was, no one knew since few had stepped foot out of the nation before. From what he knew, other than the endless wastelands, there was a ‘Torch Dragon’ towards the northwest, as well as a ‘Aquamarine’ towards the isles in the south. The three nations all lay on a peninsula near the south-east region of the continent, and the path to the centre of the continent was blocked by endless mountains. Therefore, these three nations knew of each other’s existence, but nothing of the rest of the continent.
Heaven’s Elysium was definitely somewhere in the continent centre. If Flameyellow Continent was indeed as huge as the rumours said, then Heaven’s Elysium must be incredibly strong. After all, they could set up countless institutes in different nations and yet only accept their best disciples.
“Who has been selected to enter Heaven's Elysium?” Li Tianming asked.
“Lin Xiaoting. The Saintbeast War-Soul was enough to guarantee entry. His seclusion this time is a final stretch for him. Once he makes a breakthrough to the Unity stage, there will be people to collect him and bring to Heaven's Elysium. Did you know what my father said about this?” Jiang Qingluan said.
Li Tianming never imagined that Lin Xiaoting was facing such an opportunity. He could only count on his luck that he returned to Ignispolis in time, or he wouldn’t even be able to find Lin Xiaoting. That also meant he had even less time to take his revenge. Once Lin Xiaoting leaves, where would Li Tianming find that mysterious Heaven’s Elysium?
“What did he say?” Li Tianming knew that Jiang Qingluan’s father was the Vermilion Bird Emperor himself.
“He said, the day Lin Xiaoting returns from Heaven's Elysium is the day he and Mu Yang will prostrate at Lin Xiaoting’s feet.”
That was enough to cast a glimpse on the power of Heaven's Elysium. A disciple who returned from there could make the emperor of a nation as well as the Sanctum Potentate submit? Just how powerful could he become?
That was all Jiang Qingluan knew about Heaven's Elysium, so Li Tianming didn’t ask anything more about it.
“So basically, you all are going to the Abyssal Battlefield to fight for a single spot in Heaven's Elysium with the disciples from the sanctums of two other nations? The one who wins the Abyssal Trials will be selected to cultivate in Heaven’s Elysium?”
“That’s right. And since it’s organized by Heaven’s Elysium, they will not be guaranteeing our safety, which means this is a really dangerous trip.”
“I told her not to go, but she just won’t listen,” Jiang Feiling said with a puppy face.
“Ling’er, this is the only chance in my life to explore the world outside of Vermilion Bird. No matter how dangerous it is, I must give it a try,” Jiang Qingluan said, just like how she had told Ling’er countless times already. As a princess of the royal clan, she would not back off from danger.
“So is Lin Xiaoting not taking part in the event?” Li Tianming asked.
“He’s basically a member of Heaven's Elysium already, so of course he doesn't have to participate. Honestly, the chance of you having your revenge is quite low, since he'll be leaving any time now,” Jiang Qingluan said.
Li Tianming frowned. There was no way he would let Lin Xiaoting just leave like this.
“Who else will be attending the event?” Li Tianming asked. He knew both Torch Dragon and Aquamarine had their own institutes, all of them competing with each other.
“Me, Mo Lin, Xing Que, Chen Yao, Wei Guohao, and Mu Qingqing,” Jiang Qingluan counted.
“Mu Qingqing’s going too?”
“Definitely, it's her only chance of pursuing Lin Xiaoting. Why else do you think they are not married yet? She probably values this competition more than anyone else, since whether she would stay here for who knows how long or leave with him depends on it,” Jiang Qingluan explained.
Li Tianming understood now. By gifting the Saintbeast War-Soul to Lin Xiaoting, she had landed herself into a sticky situation instead. Was it karma? But if not for the Saintbeast War-Soul, Lin Xiaoting would not be chosen by Heaven's Elysium, and he wouldn’t be pursuing a greater path without her, meaning that she wouldn’t have faced the risk of being abandoned in the first place.
He always knew that Mu Qingqing was a hardworking person, and this time, she would probably do just about anything for the opportunity for a greater future.
“Sounds like there’s nothing I can do now?” Li Tianming felt his head ache. He was unrelated to the Abyssal Trials, and could only sit back at home and watch. He had to stay for his mother, and to overtake Wei Guohao as soon as possible.
Wait, Wei Guohao?
“Have the positions been confirmed yet?” Li Tianming asked.
“Not yet. It’s too dangerous and the parents are still considering it. For example, my father doesn’t want me to participate.”
“What about Wei Guohao?”
“He’s definitely going. He’s representing Wei Manor, there’s no way the Potentate will let him not go,” Jiang Qingluan replied.
“Say, if I defeat him, can I replace him for the event?” Li Tianming asked.
“You heard me.”
“If you keep dreaming, maybe. But in reality, it’s all but impossible. First, his strength is miles beyond yours. Second, even if you defeat him, he is needed to represent the Wei Manor. The positions are decided by the Potentate, Vice-Potentate, the four guardians and the chancellors, and there’s nothing you can do to change that.”
Jiang Qingluan spoke the truth, but Li Tianming knew that this was his only chance. Nothing would change if he didn’t act. Right now, all he cared about was that he needed to go to the Abyssal Battlefield, and whether he made it into Heaven's Elysium had no meaning to him.
Before they made it into Heaven's Elysium, Lin Xiaoting and Mu Qingqing must die!