Chapter 600 - Yinyang Demon Sect, Hexapath Sword God
"It's fine. Protect Her Eminence," Fang Qingli said with some difficulty.
"Someone take the Godservant Hall Lord to be treated," Fang Taiqing instructed.
A group of powerful elites had shown up at Soulburn Hall, including the sect master of the Earth Branch, Xuanyuan Dao. The two sect masters immediately knelt to her.
"Your Eminence, we deserve to die for allowing you to come to danger due to our carelessness!" Fang Taiqing said.
"I am just as much at fault. Xuanyuan Lake is the territory of our house, yet we allowed our enemies an opportunity for a surprise attack. Ancestor, this was my mistake!" Xuanyuan Dao said with a hoarse voice.
Feiling seemed a little shaken. Calming herself down, she asked in a deep voice, "Were you able to pursue them?"
"No. They managed to escape." The two sect masters humbly lowered their heads.
"Who could it be?" she asked. Who in the world would attempt to kill a god? Calm as she may seem, Feiling’s mind was a mess.
"Your Eminence, the arrow looks like the work of the Biritual Demon Sect. However, it seems a little too obvious. Someone could be trying to frame them. They attacked from outside Xuanyuan Lake, but not too far away. The sect is protected by layers of defenses, so there's a chance that the attacker is someone from the sect! At the very least, they’re able to move freely within it," Fang Taiqing said.
"Biritual Demon Sect?" Feiling had no idea why someone would go after her life. Wasn't she supposed to be a god? The Biritual Demon Sect was the hegemon of the Biritual Divine Realm where the second god had ascended. It was also called the Yinyang Demon Sect, and it was just as powerful as the Archaion Sect.
"It still isn't something set in stone. Please rest assured that I’ll do my best to hunt down any lead and bring the culprit to Your Eminence. As powerful as he is, there’s little chance that he'll be able to evade me!" Fang Taiqing said as he kowtowed.
"Your Eminence, I’m going to summon all the elites of the Archaic House of Xuanyuan and station them around Soulburn Hall to take charge of Your Eminence's safety for the time being. I’ll also remain on site the entire time until Your Eminence is able to defend yourself. I’ll never forgive myself if I ever let this happen again!" Xuanyuan Dao said.
"Got it." Feiling was still shaken from the incident. Why would an insider be trying to kill her? Why were those present so agitated? It was as if protecting her was their mission. Just then, Fang Qingli had almost died by taking that arrow for her. Xuanyuan Dao was also the sect master of the Earth Branch and the current 'king' of the Xuanyuan house. As their ancestor, Feiling should be the one protecting them. But before she could say anything about it, he had already started making plans to protect her safety.
After leaving Soulburn Hall, Fang Taiqing and Xuanyuan Dao exchanged glances.
"These people are insane! How dare they try killing a god?" Fang Taiqing said with a troubled look.
"That's not the worst of it. What if the other eight gods are working together on this?"
"Would they really go that far?"
"Sigh, to think that our god returned as an earth saint... we can't do much because of it. If only we hadn't spread the word when Her Eminence returned...."
"Don't be naive. This isn't something that can be hidden. Over the years, the Nine Divine Realms have been plotting against each other. There’s even spies we have yet to uncover in Godservant Hall. Not to mention, the Yinyang Demon Sect are experts at soulscouring and obtaining information. It's already rather impressive that they didn't find Her Eminence first," Xuanyuan Dao said.
"We still have to wait ten years! Biritual, Triflair, Quadform, Pentaphase, Hexapath, Heptastar, Octagram, and Nonahall.... Of those eight Divine Realms, which are conspiring together?" Fang Taiqing asked.
"I don't know. It depends on Her Eminence. She probably has a plan. It won't surprise me if all eight are trying to kill her. But still... I can't help but feel something is off."
"What is it?"
"Her Eminence seems a little too naive."
"She ascended to godhood at the age of twenty before the unfortunate incident. It's no surprise that she’s behaving like a girl," Fang Taiqing said.
"Well, I hope that's all this is," Xuanyuan Dao said.
Tianming sat under a pine tree on the snowy ground and recalled the insights he had gained on the Old Deepstar Path, using them to help his Imperial Will grow. When he opened his eyes, he saw Lin Xiaoxiao leaning against the tree huddled in her thick clothes, revealing nothing but her red eyes as she stared at him like a beast. "Why aren't you cultivating?"
"It's got nothing to do with you," she said.
"You're worried I'll see something special about it, right?"
She lowered her head to hide her eyes. Tianming looked toward his residence and saw a blue-robed person there. "You, stay here. Be careful and don't die," he said as he stood up.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm leaving for a bit. I'll be back soon." He rushed back to his residence and saw Jian Wuyi sitting in the pavilion of his courtyard, looking down on him.
"I heard you killed a fourth-level empyrean saint even though you're just a sky saint," he said.
"I had help and luck on my side."
"It seems that Her Eminence did have her reasons then. It's rare for a sky saint to have such amazing saint ki."
"Sect Master, how can I help you?"
"Her Eminence has summoned you. Come with me," he said as he stood up.
"What?" Tianming felt his heart skip a beat. A month hadn't passed yet. It appeared that she couldn't stand the loneliness. While it was risky, he was happy that she wanted to see him so badly.
"Why are you so agitated? You’d better act respectfully during the audience," Jian Wuyi said.
"Understood." Tianming turned back to look at Lin Xiaoxiao before following along. She was under the pine tree watching him leave. By this point, the snow had almost covered her entirely.
Jian Wuyi traveled quickly and Tianming was only barely able to keep up. "To think that you’re as fast as an empyrean saint... Now this is interesting. Your saint ki is powerful, but it seems that your cultivation is a difficult one. No wonder you can't keep up with those your age."
"I see." Tianming merely nodded without saying too much.
Soon, they reached Xuanyuan Lake. The surface of the lake had frozen over, and the buildings on top of it looked like crystal palaces. There were many dragon lifebound beasts flying across the sky, making for a rather majestic sight.
"Why do I feel like there’s a lot more elites here than before?" Tianming asked.
"To protect Her Eminence."
"Is all this really necessary?" Tianming noticed that as he approached, near a hundred powerful elites coldly glared at him. It was apparent that he would be killed if he showed the slightest bit of malice.
"Her Eminence has suffered an attack," Jian Wuyi calmly said.
"What?!" Tianming felt like a lightning bolt had struck him. He widened his bloodshot eyes and found it difficult to breathe. "Is... she alright?"
"Definitely. Why are you so nervous?" Jian Wuyi looked at him, thinking that he'd overreacted.
"What kind of vile demon would dare attack Her Eminence? Were they caught and killed? Were there accomplices?"
"What does it have to do with someone like you?" Jian Wuyi glared at him.
"Sect Master, I was only anxious."
"There's no need for you to worry. Her Eminence's affairs are ours to handle. All you have to do is cultivate like a normal disciple."
"Understood." Tianming didn't say anything else. His display of rage was already inappropriate for his station, but that didn't stop the flame in his heart from burning. It was one thing if leaving Feiling alone resulted in a bit of loneliness, but he couldn't take it if it meant she would be in danger.
"Once you enter, don't make any sudden movements, lest you be killed. Those of the Archaic House of Xuanyuan are very jumpy right now, understood?"
Once Tianming entered, the old elites all glared at him. They were all samsarans and were staring holes into him, as if they were trying to inject venom into him with their gazes. It was a sign of their concern for Feiling's safety.
Within Soulburn Hall, Tianming finally saw her. There were two others beside her, the first being a pale-faced Fang Qingli and the other the sect master of the Earth Branch, Xuanyuan Dao. He stood in the corner, unmoving. It seems there's no chance I'll be getting intimate with her now.
However, she was safe and that was all that mattered to him. While their reunion was different from what he had imagined, he understood it was necessary for her safety, which was paramount. All he had to do was endure his urge to hug her tight.
Facing everyone, all Feiling could do was put up a front as their god. She sat high up in her throne and looked down on Tianming.
"Salutations, Your Eminence," Tianming greeted.
"Li Tianming," she called out.
"This one is listening," he replied with his head lowered. Though speaking like that was really awkward, they had no other choice.
Even Xuanyuan Dao looked at him nervously, afraid that Tianming would mess around. Even though Tianming was the eminent's savior and shouldn't do her any harm, he wanted to be ready for even the most remote of possibilities. In other words, all Tianming and Feiling could do was talk. They couldn't even approach each other.
"Tianming, at the bottom of Xuanyuan Lake is the Hexapath Sword Insight Rock, a treasure left behind by the Hexapath Sword God. He infused his Lifetime Sword Intent into a meteorite from the cosmic aether. Recently, I have been trying to glean some of his insights from the stone. As you are also familiar in the way of the sword, you shall accompany me later. I will guide you," she said.
"Understood!" Tianming bowed respectfully.
The Hexapath Sword God was the sixth god of the Flameyellow Continent. His Hexapath Divine Realm was right next to Archaion, and the Hexapath Sect shook the world with their fame.
Tianming knew why she had summoned him; first, to see if he was doing fine and let him know about her situation, and second, to give him some benefits to help him. As long as he could come, they didn't need to hug or speak. Even exchanging glances was enough to convey their mutual longing.
"Li Tianming, I have praised you to no end, but the three sect masters do not believe me. You only have this one chance. If you benefit from it, you may come here to train your swordsmanship often. If not, you shall no longer be allowed to benefit from the number-one Sword Intent of the Flameyellow Continent," she said.
"I definitely won't disappoint Your Eminence!" Their eyes met for a fraction of a second. She seemed a little emotional, but suppressed it the next instant. Tianming's eyes, however, were burning with passion, but all he could do was lower his head. Love is an arduous path. But as long as we understand each other...