"So his lifebound beasts are actually formed with blood pacts?"
"Then he doesn’t have much room to grow."
"How did someone like him manage to trick Huiye Shi into falling in love with him?"
The moment blood pacts were mentioned, many of them shook their heads in disapproval. Soulwell Mountain was known to be a really impoverished place where the oldest natives of the Divine Moon Realm resided. There were also rootbeast race and bane race presences there, but they usually had few bane-rings. Not to mention, as they didn't have divine moon radiance there, most of the bane race weren't able to awaken their totems, so they relied on blood pacts to improve combat prowess. Cases resembling Tianming's cover story weren't that rare, but they would be looked upon badly by the divine moonrace.
"I still feel that Shishi needs to be disciplined," someone said.
But upon hearing Tianming's alleged background, Yuehe didn't seem too bothered. She asked, "How old is this child?"
Huiye Shi gave it some thought. Now that her parents were no longer there to support her, many would seek to pressure her with their status and that would affect her cultivation. As long as I don't reveal that he has seven bane-rings and his lifebound beasts are all natural born, he wouldn't be taken by the celestial orderians and he can save his little brother. It should be fine! She didn't know that Tianming was a decabane, not a heptabane.
Huiye Shi answered, "Granny, Tianming is only twenty-three this year, five years my junior. He's a genius I happened to encounter. After I brought him back, my dad had planned to give him full nurturing, only for that accident to happen."
"Twenty-three?" Yuehe seemed stunned. She knew that Tianming didn't behave like someone of advanced age and had her guesses, but his actual age was only a third of her estimation.
"Twenty-three?!" Huiyue Hai, Huiyue Yu and the other divine moonrace were all stunned. Some couldn't help but laugh out loud.
"Is Shishi a fool? Would she believe it if he told her he was eight years old?"
"It looks like her body’s the only thing that matured during puberty, not her brains."
"And to think she even believed him and told us about it... I can't even... Hahaha!"
For a non-divine moonrace beastmaster from the sticks that utilized blood pacts to be able to defeat Huiyue Yu, he had to be at least a century old, or even three. Putting aside the Huiyue Clan, none of the divine moonrace would be able to fight a first-level ascendant at the age of twenty-three. Huiyue Yu was already number one among peers his age.
"Granny, just give him a test and we'll prove it." Huiye Shi was annoyed at the chatter and gossip. Their arrogance really got on her nerves, though she behaved almost exactly the same when she was back at the Flameyellow Continent. Yet she was the one who had ended up being dominated by Tianming.
"Very well." Yuehe took out a spherical formation much like the one Huiyue Du had used before and tossed it to Tianming.
Now, I'm going to show my hand. I have to, or I'll be belittled like always. This granny seems rather decent. If she can have my back, I'll have an easier time. As he thought that, Tianming stepped into the formation.
The divine moonrace in general had never been directly antagonistic toward him. They just found his age claim to be laughably ridiculous. Many of them, including Huiyue Hai and Huiyue Yu, were shaking their heads, laughing, thinking that Huiye Shi must have been blinded by love.
As they watched, one light after another appeared near Tianming's head. If he was over a century old, there would be more than a hundred starry lights. However, the lights stopped at seventeen. After thirty breaths' time, the formation hadn’t changed at all.
"Granny, use another. This one might be busted," someone said.
Yuehe knew that the formation couldn't have been mistaken. She immediately had her doubts and used a different formation, only for a similar result to come about. The third time, Huiyue Hai used his formation and it still showed Tianming to be seventeen years old. Huiye Shi had tried with a few other formations back then and the results were the same.
They then used a fourth formation to test Tianming. He could feel that the more formations he was tested with, the more the way they looked at him changed. Eventually, some of them were completely at a loss for words.
"This... this can't be possible... right, Dad?" Huiyue Yu said with his throat so dry that it felt like ants were crawling in it.
"I don't know!" Huiyue Hai roared. Yuehe's presence was troubling enough to him already, and now it had gotten even worse.
"For someone to be near an ascendant in power at the age of twenty-three and be a rootbeast race that uses blood pacts? Is he the strongest of his age across the entire Divine Moon Realm?"
The crowd was utterly confused, and much more shocked than Huiye Shi's parents. Back then, while they knew he was young, they had no idea he was able to defeat ascendants. They figured Tianming had a really bad foundation for cultivation.
Even though Tianming wanted to cultivate with a low profile rather than bother with senseless fights, he had been forced into a corner. Coupled with the fact that Huiye Shi's parents were gone and they had lost their backing, he decided to show his hand. Otherwise, he would be chased out of the city by Huiyue Yu alone. But despite not going all out, the age test showed him to be only seventeen, a year younger than a few days ago. No matter how hard he tried keeping a low profile, it seemed that fate just didn't want to play along.
Much like pregnancy, talent was hard to hide. Anyone would be able to see the bulging belly of talent. Everyone was staring at him blankly; now, even if he claimed to be twenty-three, nobody would believe him to be that old. For the divine moonrace, fifty was considered young, so Tianming might as well be a seven-year-old child, albeit one that had somehow gone through puberty.
"Granny, he's really amazing," Huiye Shi said weakly, noticing that the situation was growing out of hand.
Yuehe shook a little and waved for Tianming to come to him. Then she stretched out her hand to touch Tianming's face, arms, belly, and thighs. She even put her ears close to his chest to listen to his heartbeat. She chuckled, patted him on the chest, and said, "This youthful vigor is like that of a newborn baby! He's definitely not older than twenty!"
The others couldn't believe what they were hearing.
"How did you cultivate? You don't have any access to caeli, right?" Yuehe asked.
"I don't know. Maybe it's natural born?" Tianming said.
They were speechless once more. Before today, nobody had known who Tianming was. But now the whole city, maybe even the capital, Divine Moon Skycity, would hear of this insane seventeen year old.
"How has your cultivation been going lately?" Yuehe asked.
"I just managed to visit the divine moon hall a couple of times and am making great progress toward the Ascension stage."
"Very good! Give it more effort. If you need any more help, have Shishi come to me. I’ll support you fully when it comes to your cultivation."
"Thank you, Granny!"
Now, it was settled. He had the support of the mother of the leader of the Huiyue Clan, one of the main branches of the divine moonrace. With her word, nobody of the likes of Huiyue Hai would be able to touch Tianming any longer. The father and son were feeling their faces tingling. The impossible had become reality.
Huiye Shi was also relishing in how things had turned out. "So this is how it feels to faceslap a genius... It's great...."
"Shishi, take care of your man and keep him close, understand?" Yuehe said.
"I won't ever let him out of my sight!"
Everyone laughed. They had all thought that Huiye Shi didn't have a bright future, due to her lackluster talent. But now they were counting on her to keep Tianming in Huiyue City and immediately changed their attitudes, as if they hadn't been the ones mocking her moments before.
"Alright, let's disperse," Yuehe said.
The crowd spread out and went their own ways.
"Goodbye, Granny," Tianming said respectfully.
"See you around, young man." Yuehe smiled and quickly left with her cane.
As Tianming saw her off, he suddenly noticed a youth in front of the old woman looking at him. He was dressed in a crimson robe and had a fox fur around his shoulders. He also had waist-length white hair, making him the picture of a handsome man. His features were hard to forget, having both masculine firmness and feminine beauty. The most unique parts were his crimson eyes that looked like two blood moons, which gave him a slight air of demonic mischief.
Tianming saw three red dots under each of his eyes. They looked like a string of tears, as if he was constantly crying tears of blood. In total, there were six dots on his face, each of them containing bountiful power. It was probably the manifestation of his bane-rings.
He was a hexabane and the only person apart from the Li family to have more than five, and they were worn obviously and proudly on his face.Previous Chapter Next Chapter