“Is there any issue?” Feiling said, trying to mimic the tone of Xuanyuan Xi.
“I wouldn’t dare!” Fang Qingli hurriedly said, bowing her head even lower than before. “I thought Your Eminence would be able to rise up to the heavens right away.”
“You’re overthinking this. I have to start over. I had ascended within twenty years before, so this time ten should be enough. In the coming days, I want the descendants like you to help me to the best of your ability.”
“Understood! All the descendants will do our best!”
So far, she seemed to have no doubt about Feiling’s identity at all. Her divine body was still the same, after all. Thankfully, Tianming had prepared her to act haughty back then, just in case situations like this occurred, or the act wouldn’t hold up at all.
As she spoke, Feiling retrieved the divine blood and put it in her spatial ring. Who knew that a single drop of Xuanyuan Xi’s blood would allow her descendants to track her down.
Xuanyuan Xi’s certainty about her revival a hundred thousand years from then no doubt has something to do with Perpetia. Ling’er said that once Xuanyuan Xi ascended to godhood, she could summon Perpetia and enter it at will, Tianming thought. It now seemed that they had no choice but to go to the Archaion Sect. It would be weird for Feiling to refuse protection from the descendants of Xuanyuan Xi after ending up so weak after her revival, after all.
“Take me back to the sect,” Feiling said without waiting for Fang Qingli to bring it up.
“Understood.” Fang Qingli obediently waved for her green phoenix to land. It had four wings and seemed really elegant and refined in comparison to the unimpressive Ying Huo.
The phoenix lowered its head to Feiling and said, “Your Eminence, please come up.”
Feiling, being familiar with noble customs due to having been a princess herself, didn’t rush to go up and instead stretched her hand out for Fang Qingli to help her up.
Wow, she’s like a whole different person! Tianming thought. She really worked hard to perfect her act.
Fang Qingli was as nervous as she was respectful, and carefully pulled Feiling up. Tianming also jumped to mount the phoenix, but right before he did, it suddenly turned and glared at him, applying a huge pressure on him.
“What kind of vulgar peasant dares not to pay Lord Green Phoenix any respects?” someone cried.
Before Tianming could react in mid air, a figure appeared before him and struck him in the abdomen with a palm. He spat out blood furiously as his organs ruptured. If not for the Purple Tower taking the brunt of the attack, it would be enough to take out three of his saint springs! He had almost been crippled with a single strike.
He had thought everything was going well; why was he attacked all of a sudden? His eyes turned bloodshot—he had never been this injured even after facing off against Dongyang Yun and Autarch Qian. Was it just because he was trying to follow Feiling up onto the phoenix?
Tianming grit his teeth and struggled to get up and look at the one who attacked him. It was the youth who had come with Fang Qingli, Xuanyuan Yuheng. He was about the same age as Tianming, but he seemed a thousand times stronger than even Autarch Qian. Tianming had no way to resist and could only await death. The attack made him ever more aware of what Weisheng Yunxi had told him about the might of the Nine Divine Realms.
“What are you doing?!” Feiling snapped. First, she panicked, but when she saw him get up, she knew he had managed to endure it. However, she angrily turned to Xuanyuan Yuheng and said, “Are you looking to die?”
“Your Eminence!” Xuanyuan Yuheng knelt and said, “This lowly brute doesn’t have a shred of respect and actually tried to mount Lord Green Phoenix! I reacted without considering what he was to Your Eminence. Please forgive me!”
“Your punishment is death!” she bellowed.
“Your Eminence?” He was instantly filled with despair.
“Your Eminence, please forgive him!” Fang Qingli begged as she suddenly knelt. “Yuheng is my disciple and a descendant of the Archaic House of Xuanyuan. Ever since his birth, he’s been hardworking and talented and managed to reach the Samsara Stage before twenty. He’s one of the top geniuses in all of the Nine Divine Realms and an obedient young man loved by all his seniors! He only made that mistake because he was reckless! Not to mention, he hasn’t fought someone of such a low rank for far too long, so he couldn’t control his power. He only intended to give him a light push without knowing it would almost kill him! Please spare Yuheng’s life. I’ll definitely punish him dearly after we return to the sect to make him learn the error of his ways!”
“Your Eminence, please spare my life!” Xuanyuan Yuheng pleaded. He never could have imagined that Feiling would have such a big reaction. He saw her as an exalted being. In such a cruel world where status was everything, Tianming would have to worship her, had he no special relation to her.
A light push that almost cost my life? Tianming didn’t know whether it was truly light, but he made sure to remember this grudge. He wasn’t born in the center of the Flameyellow Continent, so he was willing to accept the disparity of power they had.
It probably wasn’t surprising that a genius that stood atop the whole of the Flameyellow Continent could indeed almost rupture his saint springs with a light push. So, Tianming wasn’t willing to use Feiling to kill Xuanyuan Yuheng. That would be rather meaningless. Not to mention, she had to maintain her composure to pass herself off as Xuanyuan Xi. They simply couldn’t afford conflict before they even reached the Archaion Sect. After all, she was still weak right now, so it was best to put dangerous notions like that aside. As for Xuanyuan Yuheng, Tianming vowed to himself that he would one day give him a light push that would crush his saint palace.
He had almost lost his life from a moment of carelessness, but he was able to pass his intent on to Feiling with but a single glance. After listening to Fang Qingli’s begging, Feiling coldly said, “I will forgive you for your first transgression. But if you dare touch even so much as a single hair of his, you will die with no exception.”
“Understood!” both of them said, sweating buckets.
“Your Eminence, might I ask who this youth is?” Fang Qingli said. Someone who could make the eminent angry for their sake was no doubt not a normal person.
The answer to that question was fatally important. If she said his relation to her was too close, her identity would be compromised. But if she framed it too distantly, then Tianming would still be in danger. The Grand-Orient Sword or Prime Tower wouldn’t be able to help him up. Thankfully, Tianming had rehearsed it with her beforehand. Xuanyuan Yuheng had attacked him before she’d had a chance to introduce him.
“I ran into some issues after my rebirth. He was the one who helped me and is my benefactor. Not to mention, he has rather decent talent, so I intend to take him as my disciple.”
“Decent… talent?” Fang Qingli seemed a little taken aback. Even Xuanyuan Yuheng was surprised to hear that. If Tianming’s talent was decent, wasn’t his unbelievable?
“Just you wait. How can your foresight possibly compare to mine?” Feiling said.
Fang Qingli and Xuanyuan Yuheng exchanged glances. All they knew was that their goddess valued this man a lot for helping her out.
“Is Your Eminence going to bring him to the Archaion Sect?” she asked.
“Yes. He is to be nurtured, and what happened just now must not repeat itself again,” Feiling said.
The goddess having a benefactor was an odd thing. It was both distant and important enough to not be dismissed easily.
“Introduce yourself,” Feiling said.
Tianming had more or less recovered enough to breathe, thanks to the Prime Tower. He wiped off the blood from his mouth and smiled. “Greetings, Senior Fang, Senior Brother Xuanyuan.”
“Alright. Get on,” Fang Qingli said.
He did as she said, but had a hunch that it would be tough for him to be with Feiling from now on. It looks like both Ling’er and I are in a precarious situation now. I definitely won’t be able to touch her like I used to, to say nothing of hugging each other to sleep. Who knows how they’ll freak out? Maybe if there’s nobody around though…. That sounds a little exciting.
Even though he was unhappy their relationship would be strained, they had to face the issue head on. He had to maintain his distance from her to protect her claim to be Xuanyuan Xi for them to survive. As painful as it would be for the time being, they had no other choice. Perhaps with her status in the sect, I’ll be able to get the Archaionfiend Eye even faster. There was no saying how long he would take at his current power level, after all.
Well, it’s do or die! He was once more filled with vigor when the phoenix soared into the skies. Feiling looked ahead without even turning back to him, her dress fluttering in the wind. I didn’t think that our distance would widen so much with this encounter. But no matter, I’ll do my very best to get close to her again!
He turned to look at Xuanyuan Yuheng, who was sitting prim and proper on the phoenix and had closed his eyes to cultivate.
“Li Tianming,” he suddenly said.
“What is it?”
“According to the rules of the sect, you have no right to call me ‘senior brother’ before you become a samsaran.”
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