Beastmaster of the Ages - Chapter 1334
“What do you mean?” Li Wushuang asked.
“A duel between the celestial orderian and Myriad Solar Sects’ juniors.” Li Haochen said, his gaze fiery.
The confrontation between the two sides was a microcosm of the conflict between the celestial orderians and Myriad Solar Sects. As the two biggest factions on the sun, even a showdown between their junior talents had many points of interest. It would be explosive.
For a long time, the celestial orderian and Myriad Solar Sect disciples had competed against each other, both junior disciples and youthgrand disciples. The Myriad Solar Sects had the imperial star ranking, while the celestial orderians had theirs. However, the two sides never actually fought.
The Myriad Solar Sects were self-aware. As beastmasters, a fight with the celestial orderians in the early stages would put them at a disadvantage and they would be likely to suffer losses. Hence, a duel in such a sensitive situation would be interesting.
Upon hearing Li Haochen’s proposal, the expressions of Li Wushuang, the Tumulus Pill God, and the others remained the same. The Tumulus Pill God said, “Although it’s a good idea, it isn’t feasible. If they can refuse a duel between experts, what more a duel between juniors that they can’t be sure about? The youths on the imperial star ranking and the young geniuses of the celestial orderians aren’t on the same level. I believe they’re aware of that fact. Even if Li Tianming and Yu Ziqian don’t possess such self-awareness, Gujian Qingshuang, Shi Yan, and the others would never put their hopes on the juniors.” The Tumulus Pill God was certain.
“Not necessarily. I saw their performance in the Voidsky Realm, and all signs indicate that they’re young, arrogant, and think highly of themselves, especially after Li Tianming and Yu Ziqian became disciples of the Sky Palace. I can sense his hostility toward me. He seems eager to try me out. I might be able to take advantage of that. They gained a lot from the Imperial Ninedragon Tomb and they’re on par with us. As Sky Palace disciples, if they take the bait, Long Wanying and those from the Group of Celestial Maiden Halls should support them. Gujian Qingshuang doesn’t want to lose the grade-eight divine herb, either. A confrontation between juniors is harmless. He may compromise if he’s under pressure from the Sky Palace disciples.” Li Haochen was trying to convince Li Wushuang.
“Aunt, why don’t we try it! If we don’t ask, how do you know they won’t take the bait?” Li Haochen added.
He didn’t want to lose the grade-eight divine herb just like that.
“Go.” Li Wushuang turned to Yun Tianque, signifying her agreement. It was obvious that none of them thought that this method was feasible. The Azuresoul Palace would rather die in glory than live in dishonor.
Appearing in front of the Azuresoul Palace army once more, Yun Tianque brought up Li Haochen’s suggestion.
Li Haochen, Long Youyou, and Li Ruoshi stood up high, facing a hundred thousand Azuresoul Palace swordpupils without a hint of fear, only arrogance. It was a reflection of their self-confidence.
“I heard that the first and second on the imperial star ranking have become Sky Palace disciples, so their status is almost equal to ours. I wonder if they’ve got the courage to fight us?” Long Youyou rolled her eyes, her words laced with sarcasm and ridicule. It was hard to restrain themselves from slapping her when they heard the arrogance in her voice.
“It’ll be a pity if the grade-eight divine herb is destroyed just like that. We’ll give you one last chance, but you should cherish it. According to what I’ve heard, the number one disciple on the imperial star ranking can’t even make it into the celestial orderian’s top ten. I wonder if that’s true. It seems the Myriad Solar Sects have pretty low standards.” Li Ruoshi wasn’t far behind. In order to achieve Li Haochen’s wish, she spared no effort in provoking them.
They raised the conflict within the Azurecloud Continent to the heights of the one between the celestial orderians and the Myriad Solar Sects. It didn’t matter to them, but the Supracloud Sanctuary was rather embarrassed. Most of them were obviously still not used to their new identity as the celestial orderian’s lackeys.
“That’s enough. Let them decide for themselves. Being inferior isn’t shameful. How can these so-called Sky Palace disciples have the right to speak?” Li Haochen smiled.
The army behind them burst out in laughter. Most of them were wargodeans and people of the Blueblood Starocean. This was a form of mockery. They had refused the first best-of-three duel; would they refuse a second time? In that instant, all eyes fell on Li Tianming and Yu Ziqian.
Tianming had never imagined he would be involved in this matter.
“You mustn’t agree!” Gu Tao’er said.
“Tianming?” Long Wanying didn’t even know how far he had progressed.
“Aunt Ying, I dare say we have a sixty percent chance of winning two out of three duels. Do you believe me?” Tianming said upon contemplation.
“What? I’m not even ten percent sure of anything! I can’t even beat a first-level constellier!” Yu Ziqian said nervously.
“It’s fine. You don’t have to do anything, just keep up your act,” Tianming replied.
With wide-eyed shock, Long Wanying stared at Tianming incredulously and asked, “Are you sure you’re familiar with the information on your three opponents?”
“I’m sure. Sixty percent is a modest estimate. I’m certain we’ll win at least one of the three rounds. Xiaoxiao and I will fight in the other two rounds. If they’re willing to let me go against Long Youyou, our odds are a hundred percent.”
Their opponents had underestimated them. Little did they know that Tianming, Lingfeng, and Xiaoxiao had slaughtered their way through the Violetcloud Battlefield on Violetglory Star, making it to the top ten. Xiaoxiao had even managed to defeat a seventh-level constellier. Her familiarity with the Dragonblood Desecration was increasing day by day. Among the three rounds, Tianming was certain of Lingfeng’s victory over any totemancer. There was no way he would lose if he was up against Li Ruoshi. So if they were willing to match Tianming with Long Youyou, he was certain of two victories. Li Haochen wouldn’t have the chance to fight.
“I understand what you mean. This is a trick in horse racing. We use good horses to beat mediocre ones, and mediocre horses to beat weak ones. Even if our weak horse loses to their good horse, we only need two wins. But it’s obvious that our opponent will organize the duels to prevent us from using this approach. In the end, it’ll come down to one thing: are you and Xiaoxiao confident enough to defeat Long Youyou and Li Haochen?” Long Wanying asked solemnly.
“Yes, that’s why I said I’m sixty percent sure.”
If it weren’t for the grade-eight divine herb, Tianming believed he would have challenged Princess Shen Yu, who was on par with Li Haochen.
“Aunt Ying, they aren’t going to budge. It’s going to be a battle with countless casualties or the destruction of the grade-eight divine herb. Forget about the odds. We can delay them. If the divine herb matures in time, we won’t have to worry they’ll remove the entire branch,” Tianming explained.
Defeating the sun emperor’s son before the Myriad Solar Sects would definitely cause a sensation. It would allow Tianming to earn the respect of all the sects. It had historical significance and was connected to his Imperial Will. The Myriad Solar Sects were currently divided and dispirited. Being able to defeat the celestial orderians at the junior level would have a great impact on their morale and raise their spirits.
“I support you. Let’s see what the others think.” Shi Yan and Gujian Qingshuang joined the conversation.
“Tianming, you’re eager to give it a go, aren’t you?” Shi Yan asked.
“What? You want me to join the Empyrean Sword Sect, but you don’t think I can do it?” Tianming looked up at her.
“That’s not what I mean. I just want to say that those who achieve greatness won’t be swayed by questions about whether or not they are up to the task. The ferocious beasts on the other side have laid a trap and they’re just waiting for you to walk into it,” said Shi Yan.
“Ferocious beasts? In my opinion, they might turn out to be weak chickens.” Tianming smiled.
Shi Yan was a little stunned. As far as she knew, Tianming wasn’t such an arrogant person. On the contrary, she felt that the young man was mellow and always clear-headed. Such overwhelming confidence surprised her.
“Are you serious?” Shi Yan asked.
“Yes, I’ll make a bet with you. If I lose today, I’ll join the Empyrean Sword Sect,” said Tianming.
“Alright, go on then!” Shi Yan agreed immediately. She couldn’t believe it; was he really this crazy?
Now that Long Wanying and Shi Yan had agreed, Gujian Qingshuang was the only one left.
“Head Instructor, will you give me the divine herb if we win?” Tianming didn’t care to conceal his thoughts.
“And what if you lose?” Ye Dongliu asked.
“Did I ask you?” Tianming stared at him. In the face of the thousand-year-old cultivator, his gaze remained steady, unwilling to give an inch.
“You!” Ye Dongliu had never been scolded by a junior like this before. He was about to explode with anger, but Tianming was a Sky Palace disciple. What could he do?
“Ye Dongliu, don’t intervene in the head instructor’s decision. Outsiders might think you’re the head instructor,” said Tianming.
“Li Tianming!” Both father and son were furious.
“Alright, stop arguing. Gujian Qingshuang, let him go! Li Wushuang is here. If we lose or refuse to fight, we won’t be able to get the divine herb. And the key isn’t the treasure, but their invasion. They’re challenging our bottom line and trampling on our dignity. Defeating them is more important than anything else, but even if we lose, it’s normal for juniors of the Myriad Solar Sects to lose to them, isn’t it?” Shi Yan argued. What she said was right.
In the case of a humiliating loss in the match between experts, their opponents would’ve crossed the line. They wouldn’t be able to fight back and morale would hit rock bottom. But the rivalry between the younger generations had little to do with the Azuresoul Palace, because Tianming and the others represented the Myriad Solar Sects as a whole. Their opponent wasn’t the Supracloud Sanctuary, but the celestial orderians and the sun emperor’s son. There would be little consequence, even if they suffered a defeat, and the Azuresoul Palace could still fight to the death. The two scenarios might appear the same, but there was a big difference: Shi Yan was right—losing to the sun emperor’s children was to be expected.
For the Azuresoul Palace, the grade-eight divine herb wasn’t just significant due to its value, but also because it was a treasure in the territory of the Azuresoul Palace. Even if they succeeded today, the divine herb might be seized by the Empyrean Sword Sect tomorrow.
“Alright, if you win, it’s yours.”
In the face of such a major situation, Gujian Qingshuang did indeed possess a certain courage.