Chapter 619 - Feiling's Gift
The nine star heavenly pattern formation finally vanished, dispelling the illusory battlefield. All the participants reappeared in the Dimensional Battlefield. Before the battles had ended, everyone got a look at the rankings and more or less knew how it would turn out. However, there was only one name that stood out: Li Tianming.
"Next, I shall announce the rankings!" said a middle aged man standing at the very top.
"Who’s that guy?" Tianming asked.
"My uncle, Jian Binghe," Jian Xueyi said proudly.
"He looks a little weird." Tianming squinted harder, somehow feeling that something was amiss about the man. He just couldn't quite tell what.
Right as he was thinking about it, the man began his announcement. "Rank one: Swordking Faction!"
The Swordking Faction disciples cheered loudly.
"Top ranking faction lord: Jian Xueyi!"
"Uncle, the lord of our faction has changed to Li Tianming!" Jian Xueyi yelled.
"Oh, alright! Top ranking faction lord: Li Tianming. Given your ability, you qualify to be a disciple of the Earth Branch. Report there after all this."
"Understood!" Tianming respectfully said. That meant he would get to cultivate in the Heaven Cauldron.
Jian Binghe continued announcing the rest of the rankings, including Dragonmight's at the twelfth place. Many of the Dragonmight Faction’s disciples hated Tianming with a passion for singlehandedly causing them to drop so far from first place. However, there was little they could do. After the ranking announcement, the audience left, followed by the disciples.
"Tianming, we’re going to hold a celebration. Are you joining?" Jian Xueyi asked excitedly.
"When is it?"
"Right away, of course"
"Then I'm afraid I can't join."
"What’re you going to do?"
"I begrudgingly wish you all the best! Now scram!"
Begrudgingly? It sounded rather salty of her.
Tianming left the Dimensional Battlefield. After half a month, it was finally over. He hadn’t seen Feiling for far too long. He hurried his way to Xuanyuan Lake, really anxious to meet her.
"I should head to the Sword Insight Rock first and try to comprehend more of the Hexapath Samara Sword before reporting to the Earth Branch and going to the Heaven Cauldron." He already had his next steps planned.
"Why don't you go to Heaven Cauldron immediately?" Ying Huo asked.
"It’s more urgent to solidify my understanding of the sword art while my battlefield experience is still fresh."
"Nonsense. You're just hurrying to see Ling'er. You don't care about our little colorful egg at all!" Ying Huo mocked.
"Come on, do I look like the kind that favors my girl before my bros?"
"Yes," all three of them unanimously said. Even the little colorful egg seemed to nod.
"Dammit!" He decided he would ignore them and what they wanted.
He happened to run into someone at that point. It was none other than the sect master of the Human Branch, Jian Wuyi.
"Sect Master," Tianming greeted.
"You did well in the fight. I saw it all. The two weapons Her Eminence granted you are amazing indeed. They must have at least seven or eight tribulation patterns, right?"
"Thank you for the praise, Sect Master." Tianming dodged the question about the Grand-Orient Sword and Prime Tower.
"However, you were a little too hasty. Her Eminence is someone of the Archaic House of Xuanyuan. It isn't too appropriate that you killed one of her descendants."
"Got it. I’ll be more careful next time."
"Where are you heading now?"
"The Sword Insight Rock at Xuanyuan Lake."
"To practice the Hexapath Samara Sword, I presume."
"I also happen to be going there. Let's go together."
"Sure." Tianming nodded and tagged along.
The way to the Sword Insight Rock was right in front of Soulburn Hall, so Tianming had to pass through.
"Do I need to go in to greet Her Eminence?" Tianming asked.
"No need. Just go straight down, nobody will stop you. You don't need to disturb Her Eminence's cultivation."
"Understood." However, Tianming knew that she would definitely come to him upon knowing that he was there.
Jian Wuyi soon left, and Tianming went down by himself. There was nobody there. It seemed that after the previous disturbance, the Archaion Sect no longer allowed anyone to meditate there. While he waited for Feiling to come, he pondered the intricacies of the sword art using the Sword Insight Rock.
As expected, she showed up a day later. Having been rather busy as of late, it took her a while, but she knew he was there as they knew that that was where they were supposed to meet. However, she was accompanied by many other elites, like Xuanyuan Dao and Fang Qingli. Soon, she took a seat opposite him and began pondering the sword art like he was.
"Why haven’t you come since your breakthrough half a month ago?" she asked.
"I participated in the faction battles that were held in the Human Branch. I successfully elevated myself to the Earth Branch."
"Work hard and go to the Heaven Branch quickly."
"Understood, Your Eminence."
They couldn't say anything else; this was the only means of communication they could use. They felt rather frustrated meeting like this, having no privacy at all and being strictly observed at all times. Fang Qingli in particular didn't take her eyes off Feiling, even for an instant.
"Let us continue pondering the sword art," she said.
Tianming started comprehending from the first formation without using his black arm. That might be helpful to guide his understanding of the Hexapath Samara Sword. The two spent the following three days like that. Even without being able to speak, they knew what each other were thinking by the look in their eye alone.
"Your Eminence, I’ll be taking my leave now."
"Alright." She kept her eyes closed as Tianming rose. "By the way, do you need anything for your cultivation?"
Tianming scratched his head and said, "Your Eminence, my lifebound beasts' levels are a little low, with the highest only having eighty-seven stars. It's quite a far cry from the others."
"I see. Xuanyuan Dao, give him three third grade tribulation manna."
There were nine grades of tribulation manna, and all of them were far superior to empyrean manna. They were the reason the Nine Divine Realms were so prosperous. Third grade tribulation manna was already really good. If the evolution succeeded, lifebound beasts would be able to have more than three hundred stars, which was a complete and utter change for Ying Huo and the others. There were few lifebound beasts in the Archaion Sect that had so many stars.
"Your Eminence, an empyrean saint can usually only refine up to second grade tribulation manna. I worry that the lifebound beasts won’t be able to take it..." Xuanyuan Dao hesitantly said, wondering why the goddess seemed to lack common knowledge.
"Just do as I say. If he can't use it, then it's his problem." Feiling said.
"Li Tianming, you should tell the Earth Branch's sect master what types you need."
"Thank you, Your Eminence!" Tianming was overjoyed at the 'allowance' he received. He then told Xuanyuan Dao about what he needed.
"Your Eminence, it will take quite some time to get the types he needs. I’ll send for someone to retrieve them and have them sent to him," Xuanyuan Dao said.
"Okay." She turned to Tianming and continued, "After your lifebound beasts evolve, focus on advancing through the Empyrean Saint stage. Make up for lost time."
"I’ll do my best, Your Eminence!"
He was overjoyed and could tell that Fang Qingli and Xuanyuan Dao weren’t too happy at the gift he had received. Had he gotten something like that from Feiling the moment they arrived, it would be even worse and they might do something about it. Now that he had proven himself, however, their reaction wasn't so drastic. They could see that Feiling saw something in him that they couldn't.
It’ll get better. I’ll grow stronger until I can truly reunite with her.
Tianming hated the fact that he couldn't take advantage of flirting more with her. Now he could barely talk to her, to say nothing of inappropriately flirting. He couldn't wait to change everything.
"Sect Master, I’ll be transferring to the Earth Branch soon. Will you be able to find me after gathering the manna?" he asked Xuanyuan Dao.
"Don't worry. He’ll be able to find you even if you turn to ash, as long as you’re within the Archaion Sect," Fang Qingli said.
"Understood." Even though she sounded rather annoyed, it didn't matter. He got tribulation manna and that was what counted.
Next, he left the place, only to meet with two people who blocked his way. The one on the left had a golden third eye and seemed rather resentful of him. He was Xuanyuan Yuheng. The one on the right was a girl in a white dress. She seemed superbly beautiful, like a lotus flower, making her easily the prettiest woman Tianming had seen to date since coming to the Archaion Sect. Though she seemed much younger than him, she gave others a pleasant feeling. It was as if her icy blue third eye could see through one's soul.