Chapter 997 - Oath of a Year

Those words were laughable to say the least. Huiye Yin was the one who had been bullying others. Though, the divine moonrace cared more about status than the truth at this point. Might makes right, no matter how badly they treated the weak.

"Li Tianming, this slap is to teach you the proper way to behave. You can hate me for that if you want, but as long as you’re weaker than me, you have no right to be arrogant. I am not afraid of your vengeance. I’ll give you one year. Let's make an oath. If you can defeat me in a year, I’ll return this sword to you and you may slap me as many times as you wish." Huiyue Jie kept Tianming's Grand-Orient Sword in his spatial ring.

"A year, eh?" Tianming wanted to say he didn't even need a year, but he knew nothing he said would matter now. Without power or status, he would have to endure. Even so, the beauty of this world was that everyone was allowed to make progress. Nobody would stay at the top forever. "Alright. I'll come looking for you then. You’re the one who said I can slap you as many times as I want, so you’d better not hide behind your status as the clan leader's children when the time comes."

"Hehe, don't even think about it. You have no right. How could a quadbane who uses blood pact lifebound beasts possibly compete? Your potential is limited, and there's no saying whether you'll even reach the Ascension stage. For all we know, you might just have used it all up within the first seventeen years of your life."

That was the thing that concerned the divine moonrace most, and Tianming had to prove himself.

"Li Tianming's talent is far too mystical. Some say that he's the first person to ever come to Huiyue City and displease Huiyue Jie. The fact that he humiliated his sister doesn't help."

"Well, Huiyue Jie is at least charitable. He only slapped him once. I doubt it was even that hard of a slap. He even gave Tianming a year before he would challenge him again. As expected of a peak genius of the divine moonrace. How gracious of him."

"He must be trying to set Li Tianming on the right path as a senior, even if it makes Li Tianming hate him."

Huiyue Jie was satisfied to hear them come to those conclusions. What he wanted was for the oath of a year to be established under reasonable circumstances. That way, even if Tianming ended up defeating him, it wouldn't look the least bit like he had intentionally allowed it to happen. Even though he would be stomped on and crushed in this story, he would at least get to live! There was another genius who would rise, but he would take Huiyue Jie's place to head to the nightmarish palace. Tianming didn't know any of that. In fact, less than three people in the whole city did. Everyone envied Huiyue Jie for gaining their empress's favor.

While Tianming had lost his sword, he wasn't in a rush. He would remember what had been done to him. In fact, he was more concerned about the Moonsoul Blooddragon. "One year it is. I will come to fulfill my end of the deal when the time comes."

"I’ll be waiting, then."

"This is your weapon, right? She is innocent and not involved in this. Let her go."

"Oh? Why do I feel like that girl is really important to you? Even more than Huiye Shi? You can't be cheating on her, can you?"

Now that Feiling's Dreamdemon Arcana disguise had been dispelled, her beauty had attracted a lot of attention.

"What are you talking about?! She's Tianming's elder sister!" Huiye Shi said, the oily green spirit herb paste still lathered across her scalp.

"Sister?" Huiye Jie smiled. "Very well. To give you some pressure and remind you of our customs, I’ll have your sister endure your punishment. She shall be burned like this for a year."

"Aren't you too underhanded? If you have a problem with me, settle it with me alone." Tianming hadn't been that angry before, but this almost pushed him over the edge.

"Who said that? Haven't you heard of collective punishment? I’m doing this for your own good. Without experiencing any hardships, you'll never grow into anything substantial," Huiyue Jie said. He waved and glared at Tianming. "Remember! You have one year! Don't expect to get anything from the divine moonrace during this time. Think not of what the divine moonrace can do for you, but what you can do for the divine moonrace instead! We'll see what extent your talent extends to in a year."

After that, he left with the gleeful Huiye Yin. The onlookers made way for him. Once he left the crowd, he closed his eyes.

"Brother, you really were amazing today. To think that you're the same nice and obedient brother from before.... I didn't think you'd go so far as to discipline someone! You're so cool!" Huiye Yin said.

Huiyue Jie ignored her and merely looked at the man and old woman in the distance. "Dad, Granny, don't blame me for being cruel. I'm only trying to ensure my own survival."

He deeply yearned for Tianming to surpass him within the following year. When the time came, even if he wouldn't lose, he would have to fake it. When he was utterly humiliated by Tianming, Tianming would take his place in the Xi Palace. Even if many people would come to see him as a pitiful man who lost his chance of a lifetime for hubris, few would know that he was the true mastermind behind all that.

"I hope Li Tianming doesn't disappoint me. I only have a year left."


"Disperse, all of you!"

Shiyu Compound was left in a dilapidated state. The onlookers quickly went their own ways.

"Why do I feel like Jie is going a little too far?"

"That's right. Huiye Yin was the one who bullied Huiye Shi first. Li Tianming was only standing up for his spouse. He wasn’t going overboard in the least."

"I feel like this will only make Li Tianming hate the divine moonrace. If it turns out that he's truly talented, that would be a huge shame."

"I didn't think Huiyue Jie would be susceptible to envy as well."

"That's right. He took his weapon and slapped him hard. Not to mention, he also chose to torture Li Tianming's sister for a year. It's inhumane."

"Enough. He's a genius that has the favor of Sovereign Xi. He can definitely get away with a little thing like this."

The crowd chattered on, expressing nothing but distant pity for Tianming.


Huiye Shi remained seated on the ground, completely panicking. "I'm sorry... I don’t know how it came to this..."

Tianming stood before Feiling, having tried many of his other weapons. However, he wasn't able to break the Moonsoul Blooddragon at all. The weapon was rather sharp and had embedded itself into her skin, despite the white jade wall patterns. While it didn't draw blood, it was hard to deal with.

"How do you feel?" Tianming asked, giving it a tug. The only thing he could do was have Ying Huo absorb the bloodfire. At the very least, Feiling would no longer be burned.

"Not too good. While it doesn't hurt much anymore, my limbs are all bound and I can't move. It feels rather bad," Feiling said.

That was the fate of those who were at the mercy of others. From the very beginning, the divine moonrace had left a bad impression on Tianming. Now, Feiling's suffering was fueling his rage. Apart from Huiye Shi, he seemed to regard everyone else like her brother, Huiyue Yin. In fact, he wanted to kill Huiyue Jie even more than the former.

"What can I do? If this takes a year, Feiling will have to suffer everyday. I... I'll look for Granny Yuehe! She'll set things right!" Huiye Shi said, then asked Tianming to wait and left.

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