Chapter 248 - The Youth Walking on a Blade's Edge
"Master, does this mean the junior sect master really is a pentabane?" Gu Yu asked, looking at the youth who had so easily defeated his foe. Initially, he himself had been terrified of Yuwen Shengcheng's second-order saint beast; even he had had to admit that he was no match for it. Yet Tianming had managed to humiliate Yuwen Shengcheng so badly. To think that Gu Yu had even provoked Tianming back then. Had the new direct disciple accepted his challenge, he would've lost horribly.
"Are you convinced now, Gu Yu?" Yuan Huitian asked with narrowed eyes.
"I am. I heard he only began cultivating half a year ago," Gu Yu said.
"That's right. From today onward, nobody will suspect his monstrous pentabane talent to be fake any longer. The only thing he lacks is time spent cultivating. In three years, he'll definitely be Yuwen Shendu's match!"
"Actually, this is a good thing too. By then, he'll become our legend, the legendary figure of Azure Dragon Sword Mountain. To be honest, he's far more capable than I am to support the mountain." Gu Yu sighed.
"Gu Yu, being able to learn to respect your betters is a great ability to have. Nowadays, I've let it go and learned to respect Ye Shaoqing. The more skilled he is, the better it is for the mountain."
"That's right. Now, the junior sect master will make the rest of the disciples of Azure Dragon Sword Mountain proud," Gu Yu said passionately. He also yearned to fight.
As they hadn’t gone out of their way to hush up their conversation, quite a number of exalted masters and hall prefects also heard their words.
"Since that's the case, let's all work together to support our new elder."
"That's right. If we stand united, Azure Dragon Sword Mountain will thrive!"
All that happened just because Tianming won his duel. His fame soared immediately after the battle. Back when he had gone to the Imperial Ninefold Gates, there were many who scoffed at and mocked him. Today, however, many of them retracted their statements and mentally apologized to him. From today onward, the senior disciple of Azure Dragon Sword Mountain, Tianming, would be as famous as Li Wudi once was. As for whether Tianming would survive his actual ordeal, it would depend on himself. At the very least, he had Ye Shaoqing as his master.
Perhaps he really stood a chance at defying his fate.
"This youth is walking on a blade's edge."
"That's right. Yuwen Shengcheng's defeat must be a warning to the Yuwen Clan."
"Since Elder Ye is protecting him, I feel like a big show is going to play out."
"As expected of a clash of geniuses in our sect!"
"The storm is brewing...."
Everyone knew that this was only the start of many things to come. At the very least, they had the Prime Struggle to look forward to. It had nothing to do with many of the elders' families, disciples, exalted masters, and sect guardians.
They couldn't wait to see how it played out.
Yuwen Shengcheng felt the chilly atmosphere as he stepped into the hall of Taiji Mountain. His father and elder brother were speaking and he stood there shivering, not daring to take another step.
"Kneel there and don't come here," said a deep voice. It terrified him so much that he hurriedly plopped to the ground with a look of despair. He didn't dare to speak, only listen.
"Ask Zhenxing to come see me tonight. I have a small assignment for him."
"Yes, Dad. Dad, Shengcheng has never endured such hardship before. As his elder brother, I want to stand up for him. This son of Li Wudi’s seems rather interesting. I truly underestimated him," Yuwen Shendu coldly said.
"Don't involve yourself in this. Let Zhenxing handle it. All you have to do is to focus on your grand mission, Shendu."
"Understood, Dad," he said through clenched teeth.
"You're right. This person is rather interesting, but he's not Li Wudi's son."
"Because nobody knows him better than I do," he said with a chuckle, his white-and-black eyes letting out a cold glint. "Even if he’s a decabane, he's merely a fly before me. All I have to do is to let Ye Shaoqing know the consequences of going against us and I can kill him anytime I want. If I obtain the Grand-Orient Sword, I can even dominate the entire Grand-Orient Sect. Son, do you know how crucial this is now?" His eyes were like vortexes, sucking away all the air and making it hard for even Yuwen Shendu to breathe.
"I understand, Dad. As long as we have the sword, even ten thousand pentabanes would stand no chance against us."
"It's good that you understand. You may leave."
"Understood." Yuwen Shendu left with clenched fists, sighing as he passed his kneeling brother. He knew Yuwen Shengcheng had nothing but days of pain before him; however, there was naught he could do but leave.
After Yuwen Shendu left, Yuwen Shengcheng saw a pair of black and white boots before him.
"In the coming three years, I'll be giving Yuwen Zhenxing everything I'd prepared for you. Three years from now, I want you to become a prime disciple and follow in your brother's footsteps. Otherwise, I’ll have you atone for your shame with death before our ancestors. Failures don't deserve to be pioneers for the Yuwen Clan!"
Those words sent chills down the boy's spine.
"Yes, Father!" he cried, slamming his head against the ground. By the time he cracked his skull, the man before him was gone. He looked up with a gaze not unlike that of a beast.
"Li Tianming, I have to suffer like this because of you! Don't celebrate just yet! I will definitely make you regret coming to this world! I will make sure you live the rest of your life in pain and despair!"
He coughed out another mouthful of blood and some more shards of teeth.
"He’s unquestionably a pentabane, based on his performance just now. He has even more potential than Li Wudi," Huangfu Fengyun said with a shaking voice.
"Perhaps this will be the member of the Li Saint Clan that changes its fate..." Shangguan Jingshu replied.
"It might be possible. However, he was born in an unfortunate time."
"That's right. The Li Saint Clan is so beaten down now that it only has one saint. There's no way Yuwen Taiji will let them go during such a crucial point in the Realm Wars. I just wonder how dedicated the Ye Clan is to protecting him," Huangfu Fengyun said.
"To be honest, if we stand up for him, he’ll mature with no issues if he's careful enough. The key, however, lies in constantly protecting him. If he comes face to face with Yuwen Taiji, or if the Yuwen Clan manages to obtain the Grand-Orient Sword, the Huangfu and Shangguan Clans are done for."
They figured there was less than a thirty-percent chance for Yuwen Shendu to succeed, but that was still enough to make them agonize over the decision.
"Let's drag it on then. We'll keep this going until the results of the Realm Wars are decided," Huangfu Fengyun said.
"Makes sense. Before that happens, we should be fair. The Ye Clan is still supporting them, after all, and Yuwen Taiji has to focus his attention on the Realm Wars."
"That's right. It's been far too long. I myself am quite curious to just what extent this pentabane can grow...."
"If he really has only cultivated for half a year, he's sure to soar. Even Elysian Children and prime disciples won't be able to compete!" she exclaimed. They knew how truly terrifying those from the Li Saint Clan could be.
"The Realm Wars start after the Prime Struggle ends. At that time, the Yuwen Clan will definitely head to Heaven's Elysium. Let's see if Tianming can survive the Prime Struggle. There's still Yuwen Zhenxing, right? I heard he's killed more than nine hundred people during his time training outside. Yuwen Taiji trained him exclusively to be the killer of his son."
"What level is he at?"
"Eighth level of Unity, or perhaps even ninth."
"Then we'll see if Tianming is smarter than Li Wudi. Either way, we won't meddle in it."
The two elders looked each other in the eye, having made a decision.
"Those standing on our side number fewer and fewer."
"That's right. The three elders from the Su Clan, even Second Elder Su Yunchi, are willing to bow down to Yuwen Taiji, not to mention Tenth Elder Su Jiudao and Eighteenth Elder Su Zhen. Apart from them, there's Seventh Elder Chen Nantian, Thirteenth Elder Sun Shengji, and Twenty-first Elder Qin Wulie who’ve allied themselves with the Yuwen Clan and fully support its hegemony over the sect.
"Many of their descendants will participate in the Prime Struggle, like the little sister of Prime Disciple Su Wuyou, Su Yiran, and Chen Xiaoji and Gongsun Chi, not to mention Yuwen Zhenxing."
"The trials in Prime Tower were designed by them, right? Tianming will be in deep trouble after all. It's best if he doesn't make it through the next round of battles so that he won't enter the tower."
"Should we tell the Ye Clan to ask Tianming to throw the match?"
"Forget it. Didn't you say we should be fair? We'll only observe without interfering."
"I guess that's all we can do."
Fengyun Immortal Mountain's hall fell silent after that conversation. The battles continued being carried out in the arena. Qingyu was fighting in the fifth battle against another girl called Su Yiran.
"Su Yiran's a seventh-level Unity. You're not her match, so surrender. Let's not fight meaningless fights," Ye Shaoqing said.
"That's right. Su Yiran was taught by three elders, growing up. It's no surprise she's two levels above you. However, Qingyu will definitely catch up in a year!" Jingyu confidently said.
Tianming watched as Su Yiran stepped into the battlefield. She seemed really charming, gentle, and soft, but she showed cold expressions from time to time.
"Li Qingyu, come down. I won't hurt you," she gently said, her charming voice attracting many a young man.
"I surrender," Qingyu announced.
"This is no fun..." Su Yiran sighed, but was happy she qualified so easily. "It's a shame I can't avenge Little Brother Shengcheng...." She had been fully prepared to give Qingyu a beating when she came down.
Since Azure Dragon Sword Mountain's battles had concluded. Ye Shaoqing stood up and left with them.
"The next round starts in half a month. It's not a lot of time, so we'll see how you progress, Tianming," Ye Shaoqing said.
"No problem, Master." He turned to the battlefield and saw signs of a storm brewing. It was like a bloodthirsty beast, waiting to swallow many victims.
Perhaps a lot of lives would be lost there.