Beastmaster of the Ages - Chapter 1375
If it hadn’t been the swordlords who had spoken up, Tianming wouldn’t even have bothered with them. Not only did they want the grade-eight divine herb, they expected him to prostrate and humble himself before them. By the time he was almost gone, the Rain Swordlord snickered and said, “You have quite some spunk, child. Enough. We know you’re impressive for being able to join the Sky Palace, and that you don’t have to respect seniors like us as well. However, even Sky Palace disciples have to speak sense. According to our agreement with the Azuresoul Palace, all divine herbs are to be gathered together before being split, no exceptions. Nine-tenths of your grade-eight divine herb belongs to our sect. The chief instructor can only give you a tenth, so you must return the rest.”
Long Wanying and the rest intelligently said nothing, leaving it all to Tianming. If they did, it would spark a conflict between the Xuanyuan Dragonn Sect and Empyrean Sword Sect. But they didn’t, so now the Empyrean Sword Sect only really had a problem with the Sky Palace disciple, and by extension, the Sky Palace.
That was inconvenient, to say the least, and Tianming latched on to that fact. He turned to the Rain Swordlord and said, “First, as far as I’m aware, the agreement the Azuresoul Palace had with the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect is a three-seven split, not one-nine. Additionally, the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect’s agreement came first, so neither the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect nor the Azuresoul Palace accept your proposal.
“Second, I was the one who personally defeated Li Haochen and won the divine herb as a reward for my personal contribution. Back then, Shi Yan, who represented your sect, and Chief Instructor Gujian Qingshuang had no qualms about how it was handled. It’s already an established fact, so for the two swordlords to want to go back on what was agreed upon is insultingly laughable.
“Third, Senior Shi Yan regarded me well and invited me to join your sect. I used to have a good impression of the Empyrean Sword Sect, but the swordlords’ behavior today has completely changed how I view your sect. Looks like we don’t have anything in common after all.”
Tianming himself found it rather weird. It was one thing for them to cause trouble for Long Wanying, but messing with a Sky Palace disciple simply didn’t make sense. Even Shi Yan practically had to lick his feet, yet the two swordlords seemed oddly obstinate. Since that was the case, he didn’t hold back and returned fire, completely disregarding the two swordlords and the hundred thousand swordpupils. While the Azuresoul Palace had to submissively please them, Tianming didn’t. Those words were like knives stabbing into the chests of the swordpupils.
Long Wanying and the rest watched the show, remaining silent and not giving the two swordlords any excuse to turn their ire to them. They had come at the problem from a completely wrong angle to begin with. The two swordlords thought that Long Wanying was the one leading Tianming by the nose and fanning the flames behind the scenes. Little did they know that Tianming actually had his own opinions on the matter and knew how to use his status to his advantage. What could the two swordlords do, forcefully take the divine herb?
It wouldn’t be hard for them to try something with the large force they had brought, but it would almost definitely cause a riot. It was clear from their expressions that they didn’t feel too good about the matter, but that didn’t keep them silent for long, given their long life experience. The Rain Swordlord turned to Long Wanying and said, “Whitedragon Empress, I’m impressed. It only took you a few short months to brainwash this child so completely. I wonder what else you used apart from your body? Does the Sky Palace know about it? Are you trying to lead this disciple astray so he’ll serve the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect forever? The Sky Palace would never agree to let one of their own join a traitorous faction that sides with the celestial orderians!”
Those words had been carefully chosen to highlight the difference between the Empyrean Sword Sect and Xuanyuan Dragon Sect to Tianming, but she’d chosen the wrong target despite changing her tune. Not to mention, they had already soured the first impression by personally demanding the divine herb from Tianming. Their whiplash-inducing course correction did nothing to remedy that fact. Long Wanying merely smiled without saying a word, leaving it to Tianming instead.
“Swordlords, the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect is still struggling against the celestial orderians. The Sky Palace, and by extension the Myriad Solar Sects, will no doubt support a Sky Palace disciple like me as I stand with them, especially after I raised the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect’s morale by defeating Li Haochen. On the other hand, the Empyrean Sword Sect now claims to be the leader of the Myriad Solar Sects, yet you’re doing nothing but fight your own. What’s the point? What’re your priorities?”
Tianming didn’t buy their bullshit regardless of their seniority. The two swordlords considered him a puppet of Long Wanying from the get-go and had treated him like an ignorant child fresh out of kindergarten, yet it only took a few scathing remarks from him to dismantle their narrative.
“Fighting our own? That’s a huge allegation to make. The Empyrean Sword Sect has come to the Azurecloud Continent to drive away the dogs of the celestial orderians, such as the wargodeans and Blueblood Starocean. The Xuanyuan Dragon Sect is showing signs of defecting, so we’re only doing what’s right for the Myriad Solar Sects.
“Li Tianming, you don’t have to be so wary of us. It’s only natural that you can’t see the truth of the matter given the insidious narrative the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect crafted around us. Our backbones are as straight as our swords, so we fear no such accusation. This phase of yours is nothing but a folly of your youth. We only hope that you’ll grow to see things clearly as time passes and know for real who will truly make or break you!” the Wind Swordlord said, emphasizing their noble cause while subtly painting the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect in a traitorous light. Too bad this was only their pathetic attempt at salvaging the situation. They had already ruined their first impression, so the rest was just playing catch-up.
Tianming knew better than anyone about the nature of his and Long Wanying’s relationship. Gujian Qingshuang stepped up to mediate matters between the two sides, saying good things about each of them to defuse the situation. At the very least, it now seemed that there was no chance they could take the divine herb from Tianming.
“Now, leave,” Tianming said unceremoniously. Keeping quiet the entire time had been the right thing to do for Long Wanying and the rest. No matter the insults thrown their way, they let Tianming stand up for them.
“By the time you realize the errors committed in your youth, you’ll already be too distanced from the Sky Palace. I hope you’ll reevaluate your position,” the Wind Swordlord ‘advised’ before their group left, dissatisfied. They had made a grand entrance and taken three sword branches for themselves, only to be sent off like defeated puppies by Tianming. Even Gujian Qingshuang winced at the mere thought of the humiliation they had suffered. Looks like things can appear really different depending on which side you’re on, he thought. Now that he was in Tianming’s camp, he was getting more and more displeased with the Empyrean Sword Sect.
The two swordlords angrily returned to the Driftsword Halls. The Rain Swordlord started smashing things to vent. “Shi Yan, you were right! Long Wanying truly is a shameless, dastardly whore! Even though she was quiet the entire time, she probably wrote all the lines for Li Tianming to recite! What a sneaky little vixen she is!”
“Alright, stop being so mad. Listen to me,” her husband consoled.
Shi Yan blankly looked at them. Even though she often saw them together, seeing the lovey-dovey couple who had been together for centuries acting so flirtatious with one another made her want to puke, though she kept that to herself. You two… you’re already going to die of old age soon, so please stop acting so corny….
She knew that just because somebody was powerful didn’t mean that their wisdom and behavior was a good match for that power. Some normal townsfolk were sneaky and deceptive, being almost impossible to grasp, while others that stood at the top of power acted emotionally without thinking twice. The Rain Swordlord, for instance, had thrown tantrums her entire life, always pestering her husband to teach the people that she believed had wronged her a lesson. Many people in the Empyrean Sword Sect couldn’t stand the two, but simply didn’t dare to say it out loud.
It took a long cycle of venting and consoling for the Rain Swordlord to regain her calm. Shi Yan almost coughed out blood at the sight of her acting like a complete child; Shi Yan was already at the edge of bursting when they were leaving the Sixth Sword Branch. Their efforts to completely curb Long Wanying and the rest from the Group of Celestial Maiden Halls’ had been completely neutralized by Tianming.
After things quieted down, Shi Yan cleared her throat and said, “Swordlords, there’s one thing I’m puzzled about. Is the swordsage still trying to recruit Li Tianming, Yu Ziqian, and the other two into our sect? Two of them are Sky Palace disciples, so I’m sure the two of you are more aware than I am about how important they are to our sect.”
“That’s right. We came here just for that,” the Wind Swordlord said.
Stunned, Shi Yan pressed, “Then what was that back there? Why make an enemy out of Li Tianming for no reason?”
The Wind Swordlord awkwardly said, “Well… we heard the name of the grade-eight divine herb and thought it’d be great to refine it into a pill for Rainy here… so we wanted to get our hands on it. We wanted to use a show of force to take the divine herb and let Li Tianming know that the Xuanyuan Dragon Sect can’t protect him. Using your methods, we’d only be looked down upon by the Sky Palace disciples. Not to mention, Long Wanying’s much better at currying favor with them than you are, so we wanted to shock him into realization with a more forceful method….”