Beastmaster of the Ages - Chapter 1386
Long Wanying understood Li Wushuang far too well. Her desire to fight and dominate was far too overwhelming, and loss wasn’t a word in her dictionary. There were only short-term setbacks, no such thing as a permanent loss, and she would stop at nothing to overcome those setbacks to the point that she wouldn’t even let Li Haochen take a loss with grace. It wasn’t that much of a surprise, considering that she had no son of her own.
“Aunt Ying, don’t worry. Li Wushuang and Li Haochen will be losing again this time around,” Tianming said. Defeating him wasn’t just a simple matter of breaking through one time. Li Haochen wasn’t the only one making progress, after all. Putting Tianming aside, even Xiaoxiao and Lingfeng never stopped improving. Yu Ziqian, however, was an exception that had his high and low moments.
“Are you sure?” Long Wanying asked.
“Of course. Last time I only had a seventy percent chance of winning, but this time it’s almost certain.”
“Arrogance is a folly of youth. You’ll suffer because of that,” she reminded gently.
“That won’t happen. I already saw Li Haochen’s ultimate move last time we fought. Not to mention, I’ve constantly had eyes on him since then. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that I even know how many hairs he has. There’s no secret he can keep from me.” That was the truly terrifying part. While he didn’t know what kind of life Li Haochen had led up till now, he knew that his previous performance was the culmination of twenty-five years of training. After that, Tianming factored in every single divine herb his totems consumed into his estimations, and even then he was still certain of his victory.
“Alright. I’ll trust you, then.”
“It’s a pointless fight. He’s already lost to me once, so all I have to do is to send them running off another time.”
“No, perhaps we can use this to spark a flame of conflict between them and the Empyrean Sword Sect.”
“What do you have in mind?”
“It goes like this….” Long Wanying told him about her detailed plan, during which he nodded the entire time and committed the important points to memory. “What do you think?”
“It’s brilliant! Aunt Ying, you might be the smartest person in the universe. Smart women are really charming!” Tianming flattered.
“Really?” She shyly touched her face and feigned frustration. “Regardless, wrinkles will still eventually form. Time is an enemy that nobody can beat. I’m already middle-aged… If it wasn’t for all the things that’ve happened recently, I feel like I’d probably be a walking corpse by now.”
“Aunt Ying, it won’t happen. Women who have their things together will always be charming. The heavens won’t disappoint those who put in effort.”
“Well, I suppose I’ll take your word for it, little boy,” Long Wanying said, winking.
“Do your best, you middle-aged girlboss avenger!”
“Are you asking to be beaten up?!”
Tianming could track their every movement with Yin Chen, so he was ready and waiting by the time they arrived at the Azuresoul Sword Mountain. However, he still pretended that he hadn’t known they were coming and waited for people to call him to go to the Celestial Welcome Hall where Li Wushuang and the rest were.
Currently, the two swordlords were away defending the sapling sites, so Ye Dongliu and his son were in charge of the harvesting process. Apart from them, the One-strike Slaughterer, Shi Yan, also happened to be at the Azuresoul Sword Mountain. Gujian Qingshuang was there too. As for Yang Ce and Long Wanying, they hadn’t left the sect and were focused on protecting Tianming.
Tianming knew how much Long Wanying’s care and her network meant for him. Without her, he wouldn’t have been able to achieve anything like he had. This time around, she went with him and Yang Ce to the Celestial Welcome Hall.
Yang Ce was a quiet person who seldom spoke, and stood coldly by the wayside. The only time his gaze softened was when he looked at Long Wanying. Yan Nuxia said that he’d been by Long Wanying’s side for years and had only disappeared for a while after she got married. It was only after something had happened to her family that he came back to her, but only to protect and help her, never bringing anything else up.
Tianming didn’t know what to make of Yang Ce. His personality was one that made him focus more on cultivation than anything else. Though he was obviously attracted to Long Wanying, he never took the initiative to make an approach or talk to her. Tianming really didn’t understand why, but at the very least, he knew that Long Wanying probably wouldn’t be too receptive to his advances given the grudge she still held.
As he wondered about the dynamics of his group, they arrived at the Celestial Welcome Hall. The Azuresky Myriadsword Formation was completely sealed off. Even though the number of enemies was small, they were all among the strongest fighters on their side, so Gujian Qingshuang didn’t permit them to enter. They had been coldly glaring at him from the outside for fifteen minutes, and Tianming’s appearance set off their fuse.
The other swordpupils and disciples had heard of what was going on. Many of them hadn’t had a chance to see the previous fight with their own eyes, so they swarmed to the Celestial Welcome Hall. Tianming immediately spotted Li Wushuang and Li Haochen. The cold, moon-white-haired woman still looked distant and aloof, her gaze locked on Tianming. She immediately gave Li Haochen a look, signaling him to make the challenge.
“Yes, Aunt.” Li Haochen was much more confident ever since he had broken through. He had never wanted to lose in the previous fight, and this was a chance to tip the scales back in his favor. Only by winning this battle could he proudly return to the celestial orderians and deserve his status as the son of the sun emperor.
“Don’t let your father suffer any more humiliation for our kind. This is your final chance. If you lose here and now, you’ll never have any more hope ever again,” Li Wushuang said. Though her voice wasn’t loud, every single word was as heavy as a mountain to Li Haochen. Being born as who he was had cost him about half of his whole life.
“Brother Haochen, relax. Just do what you normally do. It’ll be fine,” Long Youyou said.
“That’s right. He’s a beastmaster, so he can’t grow as quickly as you do,” Li Ruoshi said.
“You two had better stay far away and not get in the way,” Li Wushuang said with a glare.
The girls meekly turned and walked away.
“For someone so young, he’s already mired in lust thanks to you two. If he loses today, the two of you will be forbidden from meeting him before you all turn fifty,” Li Wushuang said.
The two girls were completely shocked. Their jealousy and arguing would be completely pointless now. They quickly moved as far as they could so that they wouldn’t affect Li Haochen in the slightest.
The pressure only continued mounting on Li Haochen. Li Wushuang wanted to make sure that he would give everything he could to win. She couldn’t accept a loss before Long Wanying, even if it wasn’t her own.
Li Haochen looked at the crowd at the Azuresoul Sword Mountain. As the sun emperor’s son, it was the first time he had been regarded with so much hostility in his life. Back then, even the disciples from the Myriad Solar Sects had looked at him like he was the sun, only being able to admire him from below and look away from his shining radiance. He took a deep breath, drew his Crimsoncloud Dragonbane, and pointed it at Tainming. “Li Tianming, come fight me.”
It was a rematch after all! The disciples of the Azuresoul Palace felt their blood boil. They had been dreaming about how glorious the previous fight was even though most of them hadn’t seen it with their own eyes. In their eyes, perhaps even those of all the disciples in the entire Myriad Solar Sects, Tianming was like a god among gods, their only hope and figure of worship. Tianming was surprised to notice the appearance of Omnisentient Will, the power of the masses. Even though it was still rather weak and only came from the juniors of Azuresoul Palace, it still marked the first time he had received any since he’d come to the sun. It sparked the hope of him eventually being able to rule the sun and the higher life forms as an emperor one day. It would be a repeat of what had happened on the Flameyellow Continent.
Looks like there’s a point to showing off after all, he concluded. He stepped forward and calmly said, “Li Haochen, you already lost to me. What right do you have to demand a rematch at my doorstep? If I take challenges from any random person who wants to challenge me, how would I have time to cultivate? I need you to give me a reason to accept your challenge.” Nobody but Tianming had the right to call the son of the sun emperor a random person, but that didn’t make it any less infuriating. However, the disciples of the Azuresoul Palace felt his stunning bravery before the lofty celestial orderians when he questioned their right to challenge him, further intensifying their feelings of worship. All the juniors and even some of the youthgrand disciples began looking at him in a worshipful light.
Naturally, Tianming’s arrogance was part of Long Wanying’s plan. Li Haochen would no doubt feel psychologically attacked from being looked down upon, but he took a deep breath and said, “That’s right, you of all people have the right to treat me just like a random person, because you’ve defeated me before. Might makes right, so toy with me however you wish. But nobody stays a victor forever. I hope you’re brave enough to fight to keep your victory rather than hide for the rest of your life out of sheer pride and vanity.”