Beastmaster of the Ages - Chapter 1298
Once Yin Chen succeeded, any bite from the hundred thousand ants in the bones would cause so much pain that it would cause a breakdown, no matter how powerful someone was. It was far more terrifying than the Latticeheart Curse and had its practical uses. The problem was, if Tianming could suppress someone and heavily wound them for an entire hour, why wouldn’t he just kill them outright?
After giving it some thought, he said, “Some people would be far more useful alive than dead, huh….”
The control the ants would afford him would be far higher and firmer than what Feiling’s Latticeheart Curse could afford. They could do too many things with it. “Covering the entire Azuresoul Sword Mountain isn’t enough. I need to make more bodies for Yin Chen, enough to span the entire continent! That way no secrets can be kept from me!”
With Lingfeng and Xiaoxiao still cultivating, Tianming got Yu Ziqian to come with him to seek out Long Wanying and Jiang Qingliu so they could head to Soulbreak Mountain together.
“Gan Gangan, is it possible to get those folks at Soulbreak Mountain to stop mining for a while and leave the entire place to me?” Tianming asked.
“It should be fine. Let me get my master to talk to the chief instructor about it,” Yu Ziqian said.
After a while, Jiang Qingliu came back.
“How is it, Master?”
“The chief instructor looked a little apologetic toward me. The moment I brought it up, he agreed. He also asked me to protect Tianming,” Jiang Qingliu said. He had been tasked with keeping an eye on Tianming for his safety. It seemed that Gujian Qingshuang was looking for any excuse to send him out on excursions. Though he didn’t make a big deal out of it, he was incredibly disappointed.
“Then you don’t have to leave,” Long Wanying said.
“I can’t be bothered. I’ll leave it to you and stay here instead. I’ll need to worry about far less that way,” Jiang Qingliu said, almost a little unwillingly. After that, he turned and left in a forlorn manner.
Gujian Qingshuang sent out a transmission stone to Soulbreak Mountain. As it wasn’t too far from the Azuresoul Sword Mountain, it was easy to spot from higher elevations.
As Yu Ziqian was in a hurry to familiarize himself with the cauldron, he didn’t lead the way for Tianming. Instead, Tianming left the confines of the defensive formation with Long Wanying. As it wasn’t too far away, they flew at a leisurely pace and even chatted on the way.
Tianming looked at the beautiful, yet impressionable woman beside him as her hair fluttered in the wind. She inspired deep respect in him. Since coming to Orderia, he had seen all kinds of people. Most of them seemed to have rather impulsive personalities, perhaps due to the hot weather all around the star thanks to the nova source. People as gentle and calm as Long Wanying were few and far between.
“Aunt Ying, I heard about what happened to your husband and son. Was the sun emperor responsible?” Tianming asked.
“Yes….” Her gaze fluttered slightly and she turned to him with a smile. “It’s all in the past. Don’t bring it up, alright?”
“Okay.” Since she wasn’t willing to share, Tianming wouldn’t pry. However, he could tell that she harbored genuine hate for the sun emperor. It was clear that the branch of the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect she belonged to would never be content with being controlled by the sun emperor. Tianming needed a firm and reliable backer and he wanted it to be them, so he needed them to overcome this predicament.
“Tianming, give us some time. One day, I’ll bring you back to the sect,” Long Wanying said earnestly.
“Will that become my new home?” he asked.
“Of course.” A joyful expression surfaced on her face. “In fact, I have to thank you for putting so much trust in me and my sect.”
“Of course. Someone as beautiful as Aunt Ying can’t possibly be a bad person,” he joked.
“Did your mother not teach you that the more beautiful someone is, the more dangerous they are?” she said with a wink.
“Damn, I almost forgot about it.”
“It’s fine if you forgot. I’m not a young girl myself anyway, just a vengeful middle-aged woman. I’m no longer as dangerous as that.”
“Nonsense. I wouldn’t be surprised if people thought you were my younger sister. How are you middle-aged?”
“Now, now, there’s such a thing as too much flattery.”
“Haha… come to think of it, the Ninedragon Emperor has given me so many treasures. He must trust that I’ll help his descendants overcome this predicament together.”
“Yeah… it could be a kind of fate. The instant I saw you, I knew I’d like you. And it turned out that you were far more capable than I’d imagined. Sometimes, it’s like you’re completely different from a child your age. Most crucially, you have a good temperament.”
“That’s really high praise.” Seeing that they were about to arrive, he switched to a more serious tone. “Since we’re linked by fate, I’ll show you one of my tricks. Tell me how useful you think it can be.”
“Now, you’re really making me curious.”
This was something the Empyrean Sword Sect would never understand. Tianming didn’t choose the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect because of Jiang Qingliu, but of his own volition. Everything from Shi Yan’s tone and demeanor to the way she talked about the Northdipper Swordsage went against Tianming’s principles. Not to mention, the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect was connected to the Archaic House of Xuanyuan from his continent. In fact, after their conversation, Tianming felt closer to Long Wanying than he ever had to Jiang Qingliu.
The two of them finally arrived at Soulbreak Mountain. The thousands of people there were preparing to return to the sect, leaving behind around a hundred to guard the place. The entire mine was protected by a grade-five divine formation, so most normal people wouldn’t be able to enter. Gujian Qingshuang had ordered the mines to be cleared out for Tianming.
When Tianming arrived, he was welcomed by a grade-four swordpupil, Wang Yifeng, who was in charge of security around there. Someone of his rank was only subordinate to the six Swordbearers in the entire sect. Tianming told him that he wouldn’t need an escort beyond the entrance.
Wang Yifeng nodded and said, “Whitedragon Empress, Tianming, underneath the mines is the lower world. Some wildbeasts hide inside the magma down below and they can be as strong as four- or five-star divine beasts. Please be alert down there.”
“No problem. Thank you for the reminder.”
“You’re welcome.” Wang Yifeng was rather accommodating and even gave them a tour around the place. According to him, the mines contained veins of some tens of different ores, all of which were protected by formations. The ores produced there were mainly what the sect used to forge divine artifacts.
Tianming finally saw a vein when he went deep down. The five-colored divine ore was what he had come for.
“Go!” Many metallic locusts emerged from his lifebound space and impatiently charged toward the ores.
Tianming turned around and saw Long Wanying hiding in a corner far away like a timid girl, her face pale as she gaped at Yin Chen’s little bodies. She had seen Yin Chen’s cockroach form before, but there weren’t nearly as many of them back then.
“Aunt Ying, this is my fifth lifebound beast,” Tianming said awkwardly.
“Y-y-you….” Even though she had heard of how terrifying this beast was, seeing it herself was a different matter altogether. Regaining her composure, she asked, “Where’s the broodmother?”
“It’s too shy to come out,” Tianming said.
“Fine. These metal insects look like they don’t have any weaknesses at all. Are they eating divine ores?”
Yin Chen’s bodies began growing and splitting the more it ate. Now, the ninety thousand eggs could turn into nine hundred million ants, but they would be much smaller than its other forms. In other words, the number of units didn’t really matter, only the volume. Yin Chen could only grow in volume by consuming divine ores and splitting up its existing bodies. Despite how insects might sound disgusting, them being shiny and metallic made them look a little cute. Though the locusts didn’t look that appealing, as they were eating, they didn’t look horrifying either.
Sounds of metal being crunched rang out nonstop. Tianming only needed to leave some thirty thousand eggs here to munch away and continue multiplying even while he wasn’t there. When their numbers grew, some of them could travel back to Tianming at the sect while the others continued growing in number. At this rate, all of the mines here would be completely consumed.
“Aunt Ying, I found some prey,” Tianming said.
“Oh, you did mention you were going to show me a trick. Does it have something to do with the prey?”
“Yeah. Let’s go!”
Yin Chen was the one who had found it. It had sent out some of its bodies to scout the surroundings and encountered a few wildbeasts on the lower layers.
The two of them went deeper into the caverns. Soon, they saw a huge beast in metallic black armor climbing out of a magma river. It looked a little like an anteater with red eyes, tough armor, and sharp claws. It instantly spotted Tianming and Long Wanying, though seeing the latter made it instinctively run away from the danger.
Just then, a river of silver emerged from behind Tianming. It was actually ninety thousand locusts. The flapping of their many wings created an ear-piercing sound.