Beastmaster of the Ages - Chapter 660
When Tianming returned from the Abyssal Battlefield, he headed to Number One Pavilion. Before he traveled far, however, Yi Xingyin called out to him from behind.
"What’s the matter, Palace Lord?"
"Fang Xingque is dead. What's going on?"
"Dead? Who did it?"
"Me? Please don't joke around, Palace Lord. He was disqualified and the Deepstar Battle had just ended. I wouldn't even have had the time to go to kill him. Not to mention, I’ve already given him a lesson, so there's no need for that."
"That can't be right…. When I brought him out, there was a kind of sword-shaped pattern on his body that looked like a seal caused by your sword, isn't it?"
"That is the case."
"Those from the Sterling House of Fang claimed that the sword ki seal activated and killed Fang Xingque."
"It can't be. Were there any direct eyewitnesses?" Something like that was completely out of Tianming's expectations.
"That's… I don't know. The point is, he’s now dead, but you have Her Eminence protecting you, so you don't have to worry about revenge. It also seems that they don't plan to do anything against you. Just make sure to tread carefully from now on."
Tianming furrowed his brow. Did the Imperial Sword Prison really kill someone without his say-so? Given how new it was to him, that happening was certainly within the realm of possibility.
"Thank you for the reminder, Palace Lord."
"No need for thanks. You are Her Eminence's favored disciple, and you’re magnificently talented. The seniors of the Archaion Sect should be helping your growth. After all, the Archaion Sect doesn't just belong to any single house or clan." There seemed to be a deeper meaning in his words.
"I see. That makes sense."
"All right, just go take a rest. I’ll bring you to Deepstar Pool in two days."
"Have a good day, Palace Lord."
"I recommend you keep a low profile from now on and observe the Sterling House of Fang's stance. It’s best you don’t get into any more conflicts with them."
Tianming remained there for quite some time after Yi Xingyin left. "Seniors like Yi Xingyin and Ouyang Jianwang treat me rather well. They represent a faction that isn’t affiliated with the three houses in the Archaion Sect. Could the reason they want to look after and nurture me is for the sake of the Archaion Divine Realm? Is that why they’re siding with the goddess faction?"
That seemed to make sense to Tianming. He could sense that the other eight divine realms were going to act, and that some would put Feiling in danger. If it were up to him, he would make sure that all the factions in the Archaion Sect stood united.
"Had Fang Xingque not died, I wouldn't be in such an awkward position with the Sterling House of Fang. After all, Fang Taiqing is the Heaven Branch's sect master. What in the world happened? Was it really the Imperial Sword Prison's fault?"
Tianming couldn't figure it out at all. Fang Xingque's death was definitely not something he wanted to happen. It was one thing for juniors like them to fight and compete, but killing the son of a sect master could be construed as an act of provocation. It was beyond what could be considered reasonable payback for using an illegal tome in the Deepstar Battle.
"I guess we'll have to wait and see to know whether this storm will pass." Tianming pondered for a long while as he looked at the Grand-Orient Sword, still in doubt that the ability could actually kill. So he went back into the Abyssal Battlefield and captured a wildbeast called a greenscale direwolf and used the Imperial Sword Prison on it before bringing it back to Number One Pavilion. He wanted to test if the technique could go out of control. Since Fang Xingque had died in less than a day, it should take about the same time for the wildbeast to die—if it really did.
Lin Xiaoxiao wasn’t bathing when he returned, and welcomed him at the entrance instead. She stood in the blizzard in a black hood and mantle, wrapped tightly from head to toe and revealing only her eyes.
"Now that's more like it. Come, maidservant, serve your master," Tianming said.
"Idiot. Did you get the spot?"
"No, it was too difficult. I was ganged up on really badly inside and almost couldn't return alive."
"You deserved it," she said with a gleeful look, though she quickly reasoned that Tianming had definitely succeeded since he seemed so relaxed.
Tianming tossed the direwolf into the courtyard and said, "Look after it and make sure your lifebound beast doesn't eat it."
"Okay. Why’d you bring this wildbeast back?"
"Don't ask too many questions and do your part. Did you make sure to clean the place?"
"I did!" she said, facepalming.
Tianming entered the room and turned back to her. "You seem to have made progress. What level are you at now?"
"That's more impressive than people with Quadrasword Talent or the Rainbow Phoenix Bloodline."
"Keep working hard. One day, I’ll dissect you to see where you got all that talent from," he joked.
"Did I ever need your permission to improve?"
"Get used to it." Tianming felt that he could get along with her rather well after spending some time with her. He wondered if he should find a way to make her leave the Archaion Sect so she wouldn't pose any threat to him any longer, but gave up on the notion. It wasn't like she would be able to see Feiling if she didn't leave Xuanyuan Lake.
The next day, Lan Huang had recovered, thanks to the Prime Tower, and was playing the usual game of 'high toss' with his favorite 'Sister Youyou'. The gigantic black beast was exhausted and fuming with anger from all the play, but Lan Huang couldn't care less.
"I wonder what's so special about that lifebound beast…." Tianming pondered.
"Why don't you just kill it if you don't know?"
"That won't do. Xiaoxiao only has one lifebound beast left."
"You're getting soft. Are you going to start a harem?"
"Nonsense. I have Ling'er and she’s the best."
"Stop pretending. We all know that wildflowers have a charm that can't be matched by even the most beautiful flower at home."
"Leave me alone, you thieving chicken."
"Hey, you’re the thief with your black arm. You keep stealing the hearts of girls wherever you go."
Tianming had no words.
"I bet your gropey hands are starting to mold after not touching anything for so long. You’d better get started with Xiaoxiao!" Ying Huo said.
"Why don't I start with you first?" Tianming grabbed it by the neck with his left arm.
"Stop! Someone, Xiaoxiao, save me! Tianming is going to commit poultrycide!" Ying Huo cried as it struggled to breathe. Lin Xiaoxiao saw it from afar and ran away.
"Come, let's go to the Hexapath Sword Palace."
Before he left, Tianming took one last look at the direwolf. A full day had passed and nothing about it had changed.
"Let's give it a little longer," he said, then waved goodbye to Lin Xiaoxiao and headed to Xuanyuan Lake.
When Tianming arrived, he immediately continued cultivating the Hexapath Samsara Sword. "I definitely improved a lot after all the combat experience. However, there’s still much more I can do."
The Hexapath Samsara Sword, coupled with the Grand-Orient Sword, was one of the key reasons Tianming had been able to defeat opponents far higher than his level. He once more broke through the seven sword barriers of the Sword Insight Rock and met with the Hexapath Sword God.
"Greetings, Senior, I am back."
"Yeah, you can go now."
"I love you."
"Yeah, you can go now."
"You stupid, shameless old fart."
"Yeah, you can go now."
"Do you still have balls?"
"Yeah, you can go now."
Tianming scratched his head; it was just like before. He continued training.
Two hours later, a cold voice called out to him. "Li Tianming, Her Eminence has summoned you."
Tianming looked up and saw Fang Qingli. "Greetings, Palace Lord."
"Let's go," she said plainly and turned to leave.
Tianming noted that she didn't seem young but still had a really good figure. Based on her looks, she seemed to be in her thirties. It suddenly occurred to him that she was Fang Xingque's grandmother.
Picking up the pace, he caught up to her and asked, "Palace Lord, would you believe me if I said that I couldn't have been the one who killed Fang Xingque?"
"You don't need to say anything to me. I am a mere servant of Her Eminence. External affairs do not concern me," she coldly said.
"Understood." Tianming couldn't say too much either, since he couldn't confirm the effects of the Imperial Sword Prison yet.
They came to Soulburn Hall. The security there was really tight, and the whole place was filled with powerful seniors from the Archaic House of Xuanyuan. Like before, there were many heavenly pattern formations layered atop one another to protect Feiling. They had all been newly installed.
"Li Tianming, you did well."
"I heard you have made shocking progress in the past two months."
"Her Eminence really has amazing foresight!"
"Her Eminence has said that you will be a top expert in ten years. I look forward to that day."
The seniors of the Xuanyuan house had all changed their attitudes because of 'Xuanyuan Xi'. Now they saw him as one of their own younger generation members.
"I will do my best!" Tianming said earnestly as he respectfully saluted each of them.
Fang Qingli didn't turn back, but entered the hall straight away. Tianming followed behind as he listened to Meow Meow and Ying Huo discussing the figure of the old woman ahead of them. He looked up and saw Feiling sitting by the balcony, looking at the snowy landscape outside.