Chapter 998 - A Loving Family

"Do you think she’ll succeed?" Feiling asked.

"Not really," Tianming said.

"Why? Isn't that granny a good person?"

"I no longer have anything good to say about the divine moonrace. It can't hurt to be pessimistic. The more hopeful you are, the heavier your disappointment will be."

"Big Brother, we’re now in a difficult time. The fate of the humans of the Flameyellow Continent is still uncertain. We still have to be wary of Bodhi. Not to mention, we don't even know if Feng is even still alive. It's a little difficult for us to rely on the divine moonrace to grow, but we have no choice. You aren’t wrong to think that the people here only want to make use of us without really caring about us."

"It's fine. This is better, in fact. I won't feel indebted to them for cultivating here," he said with a sigh. "Ling'er, if Granny Yuehe doesn't agree to remove this, you’ll have to endure this for a bit. Ten months or so might be enough. He's underestimating me by giving me a year. If I can reach the Ascension stage, I'll retrieve my sword and we'll leave this place. I don't believe that we won't be able to achieve anything without their help."

"Alright. I’ll be fine, it's just being tied up. That doesn't stop you from kissing me, right?" she teased, trying to make him relax.

"Ling'er...." He stroked her cheeks, though his rage flared once more when he touched the chains. It was the rage of a sovereign. "I'm sorry for putting you through trouble time and again since leaving the Vermillion Bird Kingdom."

"Big Brother, don't say that. You weren't the one that took me out. I was the one who chose to follow, understand? Not to mention, we have no backing and have to rely on ourselves for everything. We had to overcome the limits of our lifespans to reach the peak and challenge clans with millions of years of legacy. It's only natural for us to run into trouble. But as long as we're alive, there's hope for the future. I'm not a weak person. As long as you’re with me, I'm not even afraid of death. This is just a little chain. It can't stop us," she said with a fervent gaze. Tianming was often surprised at how strong she was.

"Alright. We'll just take out whoever causes trouble for us. I’m thankful for Huiyue Jie. Now, I'm a hundred times more motivated to reach the Ascension stage." It was either that or sit helplessly and watch his lover remain bound for life.

"Good, you two. As long as we overcome this obstacle, we'll soar through the skies," Ying Huo said, putting its wing on Feiling's hand. Meow Meow also stretched out its little paw and put it on the wing, followed by Xian Xian’s spiritform's little fingers."

"Me too!" Lan Huang quickly stretched out a claw, but it was far too big and had nowhere to rest but on Tianming's head. Though the claw was so huge it blocked out its own line of sight. "Umm... is it over? How much longer do I have to keep my claw up? My leg is tiring out!"

"Tortoise Bro, there's a year left," Meow Meow lazily said.

Lan Huang began panicking, much to everyone else's amusement.

Touched, Feiling looked at them and smiled. "Being able to meet you all has made my life worth living. Thank you."

Lastly, Tianming held all of their 'hands' with his own. The fingers of his right hand were warm, while his black left arm was cold. However, the blood that flowed within him boiled. "Ling'er, you're wrong. That's far from enough. There’s more brothers and sisters who will join us on our journey soon enough. Nobody will be able to dominate us. We’re a strong and loving family," Tianming said.

As if hearing his words, the little grey egg popped out of the lifebound space and landed on Tianming's palm, snuggling tight. It seemed curious as to why all of them were holding hands all of a sudden. There was no predicting when and why this egg would appear.

"Buzz off. I don't want to be lovey-dovey with you, Tianming. I want my own harem," Ying Huo said.

"It's not that bad. All that lovey-dovey time is just more time for me to nap, right?" Meow Meow said with a yawn.

"I don't want to be lovey-dovey with little Li either. I want Ling'er! She smells nice! Little Li smells bad!" Xian Xian said, rolling its eyes as the rest laughed.

Tianming realized that there would always be people he unconditionally loved in his life. Perhaps that was all he needed. Otherwise, what would be the point of living in a world as chaotic as this? Was there a difference in existing and not existing?

As they were talking, Lan Huang tried its best to squeeze itself smaller and nestled down with them, its claw still shivering on Tianming's head. "Hey, is it over? My claw's going to fall off!"

"Hahahaha!"

......

An hour later, Huiye Shi returned with her eyes red and puffy.

"How’d it go?" Tianming asked, holding her by her arms.

"Waaaah! It's ridiculous!" Huiye Shi said, crying nonstop.

"So? What did they say?"

"Granny didn't even want to see me!"

"Is that so surprising? She saw her own granddaughter beaten up and shaved bald, not to mention the marks on her face. Why would she speak to us?"

"Hmph! Word is that the others are saying that now that I got a good husband, I began looking down on Huiye Yin. They think they're teaching us a lesson we deserve! They say you're too young and they want to set you right on the right path and even said I was responsible! What a bunch of bastards!"

"So, are you still Huiyue Jie's loyal fangirl?"

"No way! I stopped stanning him long ago. Now, I stan you."

"Very well. Take care of Ling'er for me."

"Will do. You must hurry up and settle this within a year. Ling'er is too pitiful, I feel really bad for her."

"Since the Shiyu Compound is destroyed, should we move back to Duyue Mansion?"

"That works."

Duyue Mansion was rather huge, so Lan Huang could finally come out to play in the yard. Tianming left all four of his lifebound beasts there to protect Feiling. He would be going to the divine moon hall to cultivate his heavenly will, so he wouldn't need them by his side. He would only need to be with them at night when they absorbed the stellunar source together.

"One year, huh...." Tianming looked at the divine moon hall that shone like a bright moon. Every time he recalled the chains around his beloved, his body burned. He didn't care how others managed to ascend, all he cared about was that he would do it fueled by anger!

......

The city lord's mansion was the largest mansion in all of Huiyue City and occupied a huge area. It was the source of the stellunar source, after all. Within the estate was a yard planted full with cherry trees and a lake so clear its bottom was plainly visible. In the middle of the lake was a colorful pavilion, within which were three people of varying ages, sitting at the east, west and north of the round stone table respectively.

The old person was Granny Yuehe, the young one was Huiyue Jie, and the middle-aged man was the leader of the Huiyue Clan, Huiyue Tianyu. His long hair was tied up in a ponytail and he wore a long white robe. His beard gave him the air of an elegant gentleman. He had been inspecting Tianming's sword and handed it back to Huiyue Jie. "It isn't anything that good. It won't allow you to channel much potential. You overestimated it."

"I’d thought this was part of the reason he could fight someone above his level," Huiyue Jie said. He had been pondering it for some time. Even though the sword was heavy, it looked average at best when compared to the divine artifacts of the Divine Moon Realm. He casually put it away.

"There’s two matters at hand. The first is the appearance of a seventeen-year-old genius that can fight people three levels above him. Not only that, he looks decent and is of the rootbeast race. Second, this genius is now entangled in a conflict with the top genius of Huiyue City—you, Huiyue Jie. You couldn't tolerate how Li Tianming didn't follow our customs and taught him a lesson, even making an oath to fight him in a year. I've intentionally had people spread word about this. In time, Sovereign Xi will hear about it," Huiyue Tianyu said.

"Thank you, Father!" Huiyue Jie was endlessly grateful. If it weren’t for the fact that he had already kowtowed a few times, he would be kneeling now.

"Child, you've had it hard. If this really works, the heavens might’ve just spared you," Huiyue Tianyu said.

"Dad... you'll finally acknowledge it? Xi Palace is hell, right?" Huiyue Jie said, tears flowing from his eyes. Just yesterday, Huiyue Tianyu was still telling him of the divine paradise Xi Palace was supposed to be. A place where true geniuses belonged.

"Shut up. Don't say anything from now on. Play your role as the rival for the protagonist. Once you lose, you’ll fall from grace. From that moment on, live a lowly life and never stand out anymore." Huiyue Tianyu stood up and patted his son on the shoulder, heaving a great sigh.

"Understood!" Huiyue Jie took a deep breath.

"This is your last hope. Let's hope the protagonist does his best within this final year," Yuehe said, finishing her moon tea.

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