Heaven’s Sanctum had a Heavenly Leaderboard with only seven slots available on it, and the seven were known as the ‘Heavenly Septuplets’. These seven were the cream of the crop of the entire sanctum, and all of them would end up as the future pillars of Vermilion Bird.
According to the leaderboard right now, the seven were, from top to bottom: Lin Xiaoting of Lightning Manor.
Mo Lin of Occult Athenaeum.
Jiang Qingluan of Vermilion Bird clan.
Xing Que of Xing & Chen’s Merchantry.
Wei Guohao of Wei Manor.
Chen Hao of Xing & Chen’s Merchantry.
Mu Qingqing of Lightning Manor.
There were a total of six positions available for the Abyssal Beast Trials, so other than Lin Xiaoting who already had a place confirmed for him, the rest of the Heavenly Septuplets would fill in those positions.
Out of the seven, Mu Qingqing had only recently taken over the seventh place, and she had been cultivating without rest just for a chance to go to the Battlefield. She used to have about the same talent as Li Tianming did, and it was thanks to Lin Xiaoting that she evolved her beast to seven-stars. Mu Qingqing was not a woman who would let anyone stop her ambitions.
Li Tianming still did manage to bring Jiang Feiling with him when he finally left the Nebulous Pavilion. Jiang Qingluan may have a sharp tongue, but she was soft at heart, and eventually agreed after a bit of pleading from Jiang Feiling.
“Why does she feel like a mother-in-law?” Li Tianming laughed.
Jiang Feiling pouted.“Big brother, I’m here to help you cultivate, not for you to find ways to tease me.”
“Don’t get me wrong, if I want to tease you, I don’t have to find ways to do it. Come on, smile, you pretty.”
Meanwhile, the little chick nested itself in Li Tianming’s hair, its face emotionless as it watched the couple joke around.
“Couples should explode!” It hissed under its breath.
Moments later, they arrived at the Flameyellow Pagoda. Li Tianming was prepared to spend quite some time there. The pagoda was always crowded with disciples. Most of them would cultivate in around the Flameyellow Rock, making use of the spiritual energy storm around it. Only a rare few could step foot on the second floor to cultivate, while the top floor was reserved only for the Heavenly Septuplets.
Just as Li Tianming entered the pagoda, he saw two people walking down the stairs, one of them muscular while the other slim. They were no strangers to him, but it had been some time since he last saw them. They were Xing Que and Chen Hao from the Xing & Chen Merchantry.
They descended the stairs just in time to see Li Tianming and Jiang Feiling walking into the pagoda, their eyes meeting his.
“Li Tianming, have you collected your free coffin yet?” Xing Que snickered.
But this time, the way they looked at Li Tianming was totally different. While the joke at the Hall of Ancestry was within expectations, stories of the boy with perfect synchronization had already shook the entire Ignispolis a few days back. Madam Xue Lan even broke a few of her most precious potteries when she heard that news.
“Your family has more people, save it for yourself.” Li Tianming considered the conflict between them to be over. He had already humiliated Xue Lan for looking down on him and Wei Jing, and he saw no meaning in arguing with the two. Li Tianming had other foes to take care of, and he took Jiang Feiling’s hands as they walked towards the rock.
When Li Tianming held the hand of the number one beauty of Vermilion Bird, Xing Que and Chen Hao’s expressions twitched visibly. They weren’t just envious, but also puzzled. Why would Princess Ling associate herself with such a rat?
“Princess Ling, do you know mixing with losers will affect your reputation? We have heard quite some rumors going on already,” Chen Hao snorted.
“Mind your own damn business.” Jiang Feiling had had enough of these insults too, even letting out a curse that stunned Chen Hao.
Li Tianming walked past them and was about to step into the rings when Xing Que spoke.
“Li Tianming, did you know that the previous time you fought Wei Lingxuan, she accidentally let slip of you and your mother’s relationship with the Wei Manor? Now the whole sanctum knows about it already.”
That was news to Li Tianming. He took a look around, and then noted that all the disciples were staring at him curiously. So, they all knew that he was Wei Tiancang’s grandson, and Wei Lingxuan was actually his cousin?
Well, at least he was no longer just a peasant from the countryside now. Wei Tiancang had forbidden him to reveal his own identity, but Mu Yang did encourage him to be more high-profile about it. Since Wei Lingxuan was the one who leaked it, he did not need to take responsibility.
“So?” Li Tianming stared at Xing Que.
“Well, nothing much. Except that we all know your shameless mother had left the family for twenty years, and only returned when she was about to die,” Xing Que replied.
“Well, news like these spread fast, especially since both mother and son are birds of the same feather,” Chen Hao continued.
As they spoke, the disciples around didn’t have strong reactions. It appeared that they have all heard of the news already.
“From what I heard, your mother has been imprisoned already. What a joke, abandoning the clan for twenty years and still having the face to come back and seek help,” Xing Que added.
“Xing Que, Chen Hao.” Li Tianming stared at the two of them. “There is no strife between us, and I do not intend to make more enemies than I need to. But, if you insist, then the two of you can wait for the day I tear your faces off and make you two bow before me.”
Li Tianming would not let anyone insult his mother like this.
“Haha!” The two snickered.
“Give me a break, look at your levels now, at twenty years old.”
“Did you really think that you are invincible just because of your perfect synchronization? Then you should better get your brain checked.”
“Challenge me anytime you want, I only need to use one hand.”
“Don’t forget, we have yet to pay you back for beating up our little brother.” The twins jeered, one line after another.
“Save the trash talk, when it’s time, the two of you can come at me together.” Li Tianming’s lips curved, before he walked into the rings towards the Flameyellow Rock.
As for Chen Hao and Xing Que, they would never know where Li Tianming got his confidence from.
Li Tianming arrived in the fifth ring, a place reserved for him and him only ,out of bounds to anyone else. He sat down, cross-legged, his back facing the rest of the disciples.
Jiang Feiling was immensely helpful for his cultivation, and allowed him to have an easier time in the spiritual energy storm. With her attached to him, Li Tianming was enjoying cultivation more and more.
“Ling’er, how long can you stay in my body?” Li Tianming asked.
“As long as I want. In fact, I can stay inside forever,” Jiang Feiling said cheerfully.
“For real? On anyone?” Li Tianming asked.
“No, the best was Qing’er who had sixth-grade attachment, and I could only attach to her for three-fifths of a day.”
“So that means it's only one-fifth for someone with second-grade attachment?”
“Yes, perhaps even shorter.”
Li Tianming felt like Ling’er was really a boon granted by the heavens. While she didn’t have beast ki, nor any power to protect herself, she could benefit him tremendously. Her powers were maximised when used on him, and all of her skills would come in handy. In addition, she had seven more abilities sealed in her fingernails that had yet to be discovered.
“If big brother can attend the Abyssal Trials, then I can hide inside of you. This is the first time that Qing’er will be leaving me for so long and for a place so dangerous. I’m really concerned about her safety.” Jiang Feiling’s were moody. Jiang Qingluan was even closer than a real sister to her.
“You want me to bring you in?” Li Tianming asked.
“Sadly, that’s not possible.” Jiang Feiling sighed. The positions had been decided, and they were all members of the Heavenly Leaderboard, all of them worlds apart from Li Tianming.
Li Tianming said nothing more. He continued to absorb and refine the energy from the spiritual energy storm together with the little chick. Words or promises were meaningless when he could be further empowering himself, to better his odds of defeating Wei Guohao.
Despite his perfect synchronization, it was still quite a daunting task to cultivate inside the storm. It was as if Li Tianming was standing beneath a waterfall, with the weight of endless water crashing down onto him every second.
Both he and Ying Huo’s infernalsources were like bottomless pits,crazily absorbing spiritual energy with the aid of their Aeternal Infernal Codex. Their bodies started burning yet again, the heat even felt by Xing Que and Chen Hao who were cultivating in the fourth ring. As much as they despised Li Tianming, perfect synchronization was something to be envious about.
Chen Hao frowned. “What a waste of talent for someone like him to have perfect synchronization. If we had it, Heaven’s Elysium would be within reach.”
“I know. That’s the only way for us to leave Vermilion Bird, and explore the world outside. We’ll then get to see the rest of Flameyellow Continent with our own eyes,” Xing Que said with a hint of wistfulness.
“Father has said that this is the most important chance we will ever get in our life. Even they did not get such a chance back in their time.”
“Then we can’t back down!”
One of the reasons why Heaven’s Sanctum was the best place to cultivate was because of the environment here. Not only were disciples here talented, the effort they put in were also unimaginable by ordinary folk.
The most diligent of all was perhaps Li Tianming. For a dozen days, he kept on cultivating without leaving the innermost ring, even though the disciples behind his back had changed many times already.
He wanted to put in all his efforts for this. Even when he got bored, he had Jiang Feiling to accompany him, and Ying Huo to talk with. With them by his sides, cultivation was as enjoyable as it could get.
He could anticipate it coming. He was about to breakthrough once more.