Beastmaster of the Ages - Chapter 582
"Li Tianming, I get it now. The only reason you were able to turn the whole battle around back at Ignispolis was because you got some kind of crazy boost that was enough to last you three years. So that's how you made it here," Lin Xiaoxiao said.
"That's a fine guess, but so what? How did you come here then?" Tianming stretched his hand out and gripped her throat as he glared at her with his piercing-bright gold eye and void dark eye. He had no choice but to do it as he knew that her presence here would be dangerous for him.
The fact that she knew that Tianming had come from the Theocracy was no big deal, since he was allegedly brought here by 'Her Eminence'. Even if he took out his Grand-Orient Sword, he wouldn't have to worry that others would rob him of it. However, Lin Xiaoxiao knew who Feiling was. Even though Feiling would be training in Soulburn hall the whole time and there wasn't much of a chance for her to meet Lin Xiaoxiao, the latter still knew that she was Tianming's lover, and that could cause problems. She pressed herself hard against the wall, shivering from the pressure but not saying a word.
"So, what in the world allowed you to become a sky saint in two to three years? Show me," he said.
Lin Xiaoxiao was breathing hard, but even though she was bleeding and being choked by Tianming, she didn't speak.
Eventually, he pushed so hard that the wall burst through. The two ended up falling into a dark training room.
She still refused. Then, Tianming raised her up by the neck. She flailed her arms in the air as she glared at Tianming with her crimson eyes, like a person drowning in water and despair. For some reason, this reminded Tianming of the sight of Mu Qingqing's death, causing his heart to wince in pain. He then loosened his grip.
She fell to the ground and stood back up, but didn't run away.
"Look there," Ying Huo said as it pointed to the side.
Tianming had noticed something in the training room long ago. He figured it was Lin Xiaoxiao's lifebound beasts. He recalled that one was an eagle and the other was a golden ape; both were lightning-type beasts.
However, he didn't see either of them. Instead, there was a gigantic black beast covered in scales in the corner of the room. Its crimson eyes and fierce features made it seem like a demon from the abyss.
Upon closer inspection, it looked like a pseudo dragon. It had a dragon's head that was covered in bony spikes and its teeth were sharp as swords. Its long neck was just as spiky and its body was far burlier than a dragon's, especially its hind legs. The talons on the forelegs were just as sharp as dragon claws. But the place that stood out the most was its black, bat-like wings and long, bondy tail.
The beast and Tianming glared at each other. He felt more danger coming from it than Lin Xiaoxiao. "What is this?" he asked.
"My lifebound beast," she said, her head lowered.
"Are you joking? You think I haven't seen yours before?"
"You did. They're dead now," she said with a pained look. She looked lonelier than anyone he'd seen.
"What about this one?"
"It formed a blood pact with me like your lifebound beasts," she said.
"You were able to find a hundred-star beast with a blood pact?" Tianming smirked. He knew that blood pacts were only desperate solutions weak beastmasters used to make up for their own lifebound beasts. They were usually useless.
"If you can, why can't I?"
Tianming ignored her and approached the beast, who lowered its head slightly as it coldly observed him. It seemed even more fearsome up close.
"Damn, you seem like a fierce one," Tianming said, looking at its sharp teeth. It was at the Sky Saint stage, but he felt another layer of depth from it like he did Lin Xiaoxiao. In fact, the feeling was even stronger. The beast lowered its head and growled under his intense gaze, choosing to submit itself rather than glaring back.
"It doesn't seem very intelligent."
"You still haven't answered my question," he said, coming back to her.
She still remained silent.
"Do you think I won't kill you?" He had already done so many times in the past, and doing so now only made more sense to mitigate future risk. The only thing that was stopping him was that she was a genuinely good person that didn't fit in with the ilk of Lightning Manor in the first place. In fact, she might not even resist.
"I won't tell you what I experienced. If you think you can get whatever I have by killing me, you're free to do so," she said, unaware that the reason he was wary about her was because she knew Feiling.
Tianming took out the Nine Yang Sword, but he still hesitated. She didn't know the full extent of his circ.u.mstances here, after all, so was there a need to go so far? He placed the sword against the neck for fifteen whole minutes until she began to cry.
"After leaving Ignispolis, the person I didn't want to meet again no matter what was you… Why did you show up?"
"You're still saying that? Then why are you so stubborn?"
"Did you think I have a choice? I've never had a choice from the very start." She looked like she had accepted her fate.
"Then all you can blame is fate."
"That's right. I've accepted mine long ago. Do whatever you want to me, just don't violate me. At least, I'll retain some dignity. I'll die whenever you want me to, since everything is under your control, isn't it?"
"What happened to you to make you like this in the past three years?"
"It's got nothing to do with you," she said as she struggled to stand. Now that she had said what she wanted, she no longer feared death. She pretended like nothing had happened and resumed her usual routine. "If you're not going to kill me, I'll start cultivating."
"I'll let you live for two days while I observe you."
She hurried past him to the beast and caused it to vanish. That meant that it was really her lifebound beast.
"A blood pact, huh?" He really had no idea what to make of this. "Does her sudden growth have something to do with that beast?"
Tianming was seated on the stone chair outside. He watched as she began to cultivate.
"Did you grow soft?" Ying Huo said as it flew to him and perched on the stone table.
"No. Given the circ.u.mstances, she wouldn't run into Ling'er at all. I will still be able to get rid of her if she shows other signs.
"That's called growing soft."
"The point is, everyone I've killed so far has been for a good reason. But now, I don't know if it's the right thing to do. Killing her will affect my will and dao. I want to continue observing what else about her changed. Things can still develop in a way so that I wouldn't have to kill her. Not to mention, she's always been a good lass, right?"
"We'll see. There's no differentiating between good and bad people when killing to protect yourself. One would rather let the world down than be let down by the world. This is just not you."
"I just find her lifebound beast really weird."
"That's right. I feel like it resembles us."
"Is it a Primordial Chaos Beast?"
"That's impossible, but it might be something else."
"What could it be then?"
"How would I know?"
In the training room, Lin Xiaoxiao closed her eyes and trained.
"If you have a chance, kill him and investigate his secrets," said a hoarse voice in her lifebound space.
"Why?" she asked.
"He killed your whole family! He ruined everything you had! Don't you want to repay this debt of blood?"
"He only killed my brother as a result of a grudge between the two of them. It's not my burden to bear. I am already too worn out from all that. The reason I left Ignispolis is so that I can cast away my past. Please don't bring it up, alright? There are too many grudges that I don't wish to perpetuate."
"Your father has done you well by raising you, has he not?"
"My father didn't die by his hands. If everyone in Ignispolis says those of Lightning Manor deserved what they got, who am I to speak out? Should I betray my own values and become an evil-doer? It's best you don't continue to peek into my memories. My life no longer has meaning. Just let me live out the rest of my days like a walking corpse while I settle some tasks. I will die when the time comes, so why are you trying to poke your nose into my business?"
"You can't die! We are forever bound. With me around, you will rise again. Ascending to godhood is but a first step!"
"Oh. You got the wrong person then. I don't have the kind of ambition you need."
"Lin Xiaoxiao, are you going to remain deluded even now? I've lived for millions of years. By cultivating my will, you will be able to overcome any deathly odds even if you only reach a billionth of what I was! If you weren't too weak right now, you wouldn't even need to use the Old Deepstar Path's Astral Will to cultivate. Right now, we are still ants in the same boat. But one day, you will become a fiend worshipped by all! You will thank me!" the voice said agitatedly.
"So I should thank you for killing two of the most precious friends to me and making me your puppet? You're the one I want to kill the most! Each time I cultivate with you is a nightmare! I am betraying my two lifebound beasts by doing so!" she agonized.
"You want to kill me for helping you? Why would you care about those two trashy beasts? Not to mention, our relationship is a symbiotic one. You're not my puppet."
"If you aren't then shut up. Lifebound beasts shouldn't talk that much. If you were that powerful, you wouldn't need symbiotic cultivation with me." By now, her tears were flowing. After leaving Ignispolis, she had survived with the help of her two partners, only to suffer the pain Tianming had after losing Midas. She finally understood the hate Tianing felt.
"Wu You, listen well. I will do my best to enter the Heaven Branch and get your eye for you. However, you better not bother me about other things."
"Are you rebelling?"
"You're overthinking this. I don't have any particular desire. I'm not afraid of becoming a cripple. I don't care about an Archaionfiend either. If you can't kill me, don't force me."
"You really deserve to die, you dumb lass!"
"Yeah? So what?"
Four hours later, she stood up and looked around only to see Tianming still outside. "Why haven't you left yet?"
"I've decided to live here." He had to watch her well just in case. They were neighbors now, so there wasn't anywhere else for her to go anyway.
"I'm going to cultivate at the Old Deepstar Path. You coming with?"