Beastmaster of the Ages - Chapter 1173
Like Tianming, Xiaoxiao had inherited a great bloodline. She had an aura resembling that of a gigantic beast.
“Man, how envious I am of you. All you have to do is eat,” Tianming said.
“It isn’t the same. My level grows fast, but my divine will feels a little weak. I feel like I can’t quite control the eighth-level astralforce yet, so I need time to stabilize,” Xiaoxiao said softly.
“Either way, it’s a talent that most people would yearn for, but wouldn’t be able to get.”
“I have you to thank for much of it.”
Tianming had given her universal manna, artifacts and even battle arts. He even handed her twenty thousand of the thirty thousand caeli he got without question.
“You’re welcome.” He sat down beside her and looked closely at her.
Thinking that his look was a little intense, she asked, “What’s there to look at? I’m just an ugly duckling.”
“You’re no ugly duckling.”
“Then what am I?”
“An ugly adult duck?”
Xiaoxiao was speechless.
“Relax, I was joking.”
“I know,” she said with a nod. The atmosphere was a little awkward.
“Lock up your lifebound space,” he suddenly said.
“I always keep it locked. I don’t want to let it see what’s outside.” She put both arms on her thighs as she looked at the lava ahead of her. “Just say what you want to say.”
“Do you hate it?”
“It hasn’t really submitted to me, it’s just afraid of Bloodrose Curse. The moment its bindings are loose, it will go back to its usual self.”
“I’m not just talking about that. It replaced your original lifebound beasts and killed them, right?”
“Yes. This is a scar that’ll never disappear. Even if I start thinking that Wu You isn’t that bad after all, I’ll still feel sad about the others that’re no longer here,” she said, feeling a little depressed.
Tianming could understand this irreconcilable loss. If Ying Huo and the rest had been the ones to kill Midas, he would agonize over it too. “Yeah, I can understand that.”
“You think it’s laughable, don’t you? On one hand, it’s thanks to the Archaionfiend’s bloodline that my life took a different turn. I was supposed to be an insignificant person on the Flameyellow Continent, but now I find myself on the sun with the peak geniuses of higher lifeforms. I’m even able to accompany a legend like you. I feel elated just thinking about how my life has changed. On the other hand, I can’t forgive it for the nightmares it’s given me.” She had been carrying this burden with her the whole time. Aside from Tianming, there was nobody else she could talk to about this. He knew everything about her by now.
“Is that what’s kept you troubled this whole time?” Tianming asked softly.
“It should be… That’s why I sometimes feel really confused and don’t know what I should really be doing. What’s the real meaning of life? I also don’t want to be arrogant enough to assume that coming all the way here from the Flameyellow Continent means nothing. Becoming one of the higher lifeforms must mean something, right?”
“If you’re confused, just do what I say,” Tianming said, looking her in the eye.
“What should I do?”
“One has to be decisive. Even if it’s a little crude, we can never let ourselves be held back too long when we make decisions. Here’s my question to you: the Archaionfiend has chosen you and killed your lifebound beasts so it could rise back to its prime, right?”
“It was the one who chose you, and it was the one who did all those heinous acts. Not only that, it also forced you to do many things you didn’t want to do back on the Flameyellow Continent. That’s why your relationship can never improve. You said that if it weren’t for the constraints, it would try to control and enslave you again, right?”
“Since the Archaionfiend has made its choice, it must suffer the consequences. The Bloodrose Curse is merely a leash. Now, you’ve managed to gain the edge in a struggle you didn’t choose to be in. That’s why you have to accept the powers its bloodline offers, too. You deserve it after coming out on top. This is its punishment. It chose to play the game by its own rules and lost. So you don’t have to feel bad at all about using everything it can offer you.
“You don’t have to feel sorry toward your former lifebound beasts, either. I’m sure they’d be happy to learn that you overcame their killer and managed to gain its powers for yourself, right? And now that you have this power and an endless road ahead, you’re worrying about the future. If you can’t figure out what is right, just do what you feel is right. Don’t let the power you have now go to waste. You could maybe start with simple acts of heroism, or even exploration like you said before. Make your own meaning in life.”
Tianming had taken a similar path to stand up once more after losing his lifebound beast. The only difference between him and Xiaoxiao was that her current lifebound beast was the culprit she could never forgive. Even so, that shouldn’t stop her from taking advantage of what she had. The Archaionfiend was merely reaping the seeds it had sown of its own accord.
Xiaoxiao wouldn’t have to go out of her way to mistreat the Archaionfiend; it was already bound by the curse. Instead, it would be much better for her to use its abilities the best she could for a better future. She shot him a serious look and said, “It’s my lifebound beast now. Just a beast I have to tame.”
“I shouldn’t reject the talent and power it offers me because this is the result of its own choices. You’re saying I should do what I feel is right, correct?”
“Yes. You learned my teachings well.”
“Got it.” She smiled, though there was a tear in the corner of her eye.
“You’d better not start bawling now. I only gave you a few simple pointers, so don’t treat me like your therapist or something. I merely think of you as a malleable talent. I’ll mold you into someone who can serve me well. I’m doing it for my own benefit, you hear?”
“Whatever you say. You suck at being honest to yourself, huh?”
“Fine, I hear you. So, I shouldn’t overthink things and just do whatever I want.”
“That’s right. Be more daring like a real man. Don’t overcomplicate things.”
“Alright.” She looked down and bit her lip, then said, “Thank you.”
“Don’t be in a hurry to thank me just yet. There’s something else.”
“What is it?”
Tianming pointed at himself and said, “Did you forget? Back at Ignispolis, I killed your brother. Your family fell into ruins because of me.”
Xiaoxiao was stunned. She clutched her head and felt it ache. “Don’t say any more…”
“If you feel uncomfortable about that, feel free to leave me. I don’t regret what I’ve done. You’re well aware of how things were for me back then, how I spent those three years. I wasn’t the one who started it,” he said, patting her shoulder. He had said it matter-of-factly.
Xiaoxiao could never forget the sight of the white-robed girl ending her own life at the Flameyellow Scions Institute, even though she badly wanted to.
“Do I make you feel the same things as the Archaionfiend?” Tianming asked.
Xiaoxiao kept her head low for quite some time. Just as Tianming thought she was about to leave for good, she looked at him with annoyance. “Why remind me of something I’ve already forgotten?”
“It’s better for us both to clear things up once and for all.”
“Fine, then listen up.” She took a deep breath. “You’re right. I know the full truth and how you suffered. That was something between the three of you, and I had nothing to do with it. Not to mention, I don’t identify too well with my powerful but cruel family, either. That’s why I chose to leave and never return. That’s completely different from the Archaionfiend’s case, so I won’t hold it against you. Instead, I eventually came to serve and depend on you—” She suddenly stopped.
“Are you talking about the Omnisentient Threads?” Tianming asked. This was something rather odd. Even though she had been away from the Flameyellow Continent this entire time, she still had a connection with him through the threads. It was a sign of her faith in him. Surely, Tianming reasoned, this wasn’t something someone with a grudge against him would have.
“Yes. The threads,” she said, feeling the weight lift from her shoulders.
“Then let’s make a pinky promise.” He smiled at her, his face beaming like the sun.
“Alright.” She hooked his pinky lightly and pulled her hand back.
“From now on, I’ll steal more caeli to feed you and make you stronger. But you should never betray me,” he said.
“Alright.” She briskly sealed the deal. The Archaionfiend wasn’t the only one bound by the curse; she was too, but not a literal one. Instead, Feiling, the one the Archaionfiend truly feared, would keep her in check as well.