Ignoring all the waves that the Razor-Backed Colossal Crocodile stirred up when it left the lake, Li Tianming dived right back into the water, aiming directly at the manna. He swam as fast as he could and approached the manna within a few minutes.
“Got it!” The manna was small enough for him to keep in his pockets. Once his goal was achieved, Li Tianming didn’t waste a single second and swam back to the surface.
So much for having to go through challenging trials to get the manna!
Li Tianming knew he needed to converge with Ying Huo first. The little chick had played the most important part in this mission, and it just needed to shake the crocodile off its tail now. If it did manage to lure the crocodile deep into the forest, then they would have enough time to try and open up that well.
Li Tianming also didn’t want to be separated from the little chick for prolonged periods of time. Beastmasters should always refrain from doing so, as it led to the risk of them being picked off one by one.
Sadly for Li Tianming, it wasn’t the little chick, but danger that found him first.
“Who are you?” A girl dressed in blue appeared in front of him. She was a bit younger than him, her eyes were the same shade of blue as the dress she was wearing. She had a delightful look, the only downside being that she seemed to have a spoilt temperament, similar to Li Xuejiao. If Li Tianming guessed correctly, this girl must have been attracted by the commotion caused by the Razor-Backed Colossal Crocodile, and was a member of the Lightning Manor.
“The manna is with him!” A deep voice echoed from the distance. Li Tianming looked towards the direction of the voice, and saw two middle-aged men dressed in black. Based on their appearances, Li Tianming suspected the two to be siblings.
“Father, uncle, are you sure?” The girl glanced at Li Tianming indifferently. She stood still on the surface of the lake like a lotus leaf in a pond. From the gentle ripples beneath her feet, Li Tianming could tell that she was pretty strong, possibly stronger than Zhang Zixuan.
“Of course we are sure, just grab it already. The Razor-Backed Colossal Crocodile may be back any time, and according to the rules we are not allowed to engage the crocodile,” said the man with the longer beard. Beastmasters like them had already reached the peak of their cultivation, and there was no way any member of the younger generation could take a single hit from them.
“Understood.” The girl turned towards Li Tianming and denounced him. “I don’t know where you're from, but I will make it clear that this manna here belongs to the Lightning Manor. One chance. Leave the manna here and walk off unharmed, or you will never make it out of this mountain alive.”
"Must disciples of Lightning Manor always be so domineering and rude?" Li Tianming thought to himself, as he turned around and left without a single word.
“You have sealed your own fate!” His move angered the girl, who instantly went after him. At the same time, her lifebound beast was summoned from her lifebound space and dived straight into the lake.
“Her lifebound beast is water-type!” From the corner of his eyes, Li Tianming saw a massive blue fish with glittering scales. Other than a few pairs of eyes, there was also a spike protruding out of its head. This lifebound beast evidently excelled in underwater combat, and the lake was the most ideal arena for the girl.
Within seconds, Li Tianming could feel the fish approaching him rapidly. In a single swift movement, the beast leapt out of the lake, its spike aimed directly at Li Tianming’s back!
Li Tianming dodged the attack with his movement arts, while the fish plunged back into the lake, ready for a second round of attack.
“Six-Eyed Flying Fish, a five-star water-type fish lifebound beast.” Li Tianming could tell the species from one look at the number of eyes it had.
Li Tianming continued his escape. He wasn’t any weaker than the girl, but he needed to pick a better battlefield than that lake. The lakewater gave a huge boost to both the girl and her fish’s combat strength, and he would be stupid to fight there. Not to mention that he didn’t have the little chick with him, effectively making this a one versus two battle.
“You buffoon! I am Jiang Yilin of the Lightning Manor, and both my father and uncle are respected members of the Lightning Manor! If you do not stop and return the manna right now, your whole family will suffer the consequences of your action!” The girl threatened, seeing that all of the Six-Eyed Flying Fish’s lunges had missed. Meanwhile, Li Tianming had already made it onto land.
“Do you think you are safe on land? I am at eighth level Beast Vein. Killing you is like squashing an ant!” Jiang Yilin sneered as she too reached the shores. Behind her, her Six-Eyed Flying Fish had taken to the air. It could fly with its giant fins, so land or air combat was not an issue for it, just that it was not as strong as in water.
“How dare you!” Realising that words were not sufficient to make Li Tianming drop the manna, Jiang Yilin drew her Aqua Blood Longsword and dashed towards Li Tianming. She saw no point in convincing him when she could just kill him and take the manna from his corpse.
Her sword flashed out rapidly, sending out fierce blasts of sword ki at Li Tianming.
It was the Cascading Waterfall Sword Art! An advanced beast-ranked sword art, the move aimed to have sword ki raining down on her opponents as if they were standing under a waterfall.
At the same time, the Six-Eyed Flying Fish used the beastial art version of the move, the ‘Cascading Waterfall Strike’. The spike on its head was as sharp as a beastial weapon, cutting through the air with enough speed to shatter a giant rock!
Jiang Yilin was at eighth level Beast Vein — she was reaching the peak of the stage, and had power matching Liu Qianyang’s. But Li Tianming had an abundance of Aeternal Infernal Beast Ki running in his body right now, thanks to the resources he obtained in the mountain, and was definitely up for a challenge.
As usual, he held his Crimson Blood Dagger in his right hand, and his dark arm was clenched into a fist. After the previous fight, Li Tianming had gained a better understanding of his left arm that was covered with black hexagonal scales. If the pincers of the Blue-Tailed Scorpion couldn’t even scratch its surface, it meant normal beastial weapons couldn’t deal any damage to it, his own Crimson Blood Dagger included. With that, his dark arm could be used not only for dealing damage, but also for shielding him from most kinds of attacks.
Things were looking rough for Li Tianming who had to take on the two of them at once, but he himself was confident of his strength on land! As the Six-Eyed Flying Fish swooped towards him, Li Tianming used his Ghost Steps to dodge the strike and dashed towards Jiang Yilin. The girl met him head-on without fear, as she had already prepared her Cascading Waterfall Sword Art, showering Li Tianming with a hail of sword ki.
Li Tianming’s expressions were as calm as ever, raising his left arm to block Jiang Yilin’s Aqua Blood Longsword!
The sound of metal clashing echoed through the forest. Li Tianming could barely feel any pain on his left arm, as if it was nothing but a bite from an ant. However the impact from the attack had traveled from his arm to the rest of his body, throwing him off balance momentarily. After all, that was a eighth level Beast Vein stage attack.
However, Jiang Yilin was dumbfounded. She intended to cut off Li Tianming’s arm, but to her shock it barely made a scratch! That was definitely enough to tear his arm off even if it was coated in metal!
Alas, there wasn’t enough time for her to figure out what had happened. Li Tianming had blocked her attack and was ready to strike back.
“Is that all you have? Then it’s my turn now!” In a fraction of a second, Li Tianming had launched his Bloody Soul Hunt, a move that could dominate anyone from the Beast Vein stage! All Jiang Yilin could see was a crimson flash blinking towards her, as she dodged as fast as she could. Even so, she felt a burning sensation on her rosy cheeks, the Crimson Blood Dagger scarring her face and slicing part of her hair off.
“You bast…” Before she could curse Li Tianming, he had already punched his left fist out using Dragon-Mammoth Heavy Strike. She tried to block it with her palm, but her attempt was futile and the strike landed straight on her abdomen.
Blood flew out in an arc, as her body got launched by the impact. But before the knockback could launch her backwards, Li Tianming had already grabbed her by the waist and spun her around. With her back towards him now, Li Tianming pointed the Crimson Blood Dagger at her throat and used her as a human shield.
The Six-Eyed Flying Fish’s Cascading Waterfall Strike was about to hit Li Tianming, but at this rate it would kill its own beastmaster first. With an awkward midair twist, the fish diverted its direction just in the nick of time. It then crash landed onto the ground, its sharp spike buried deep into the rocky surface of the mountain.
The battle was over! At just sixth level Beast Vein, Li Tianming pulled off a one versus two with a landslide victory and even managed to hold Jiang Yilin hostage. He decided to be smart about it this time, considering how he let Zhang Zixuan go the previous time and ended in more trouble.
“You have no idea what you are doing, plebian. You may be able to fight, but do you have any idea what Lightning Manor could do to you when they know that you injured me?” Jiang Yilin hissed, her face still distorted from the pain in her abdomen.
“Just shut up already.” With the Crimson Blood Dagger controlling her life and death in one hand, Li Tianming grabbed her jaws with the other. Jiang Feiling was not done cursing at him, but with her jaws being clenched she could only make weird gurgling noises.
“That’s enough.” As expected, the two middle-aged men appeared before them. Both of them were staring at Li Tianming with intense killing intent. If he hadn’t kidnapped Jiang Yilin, they would have shredded him to pieces already.
“Boy, you’re still young, and you have no idea the power behind us. If you know about the Lightning Manor, you’d be crying and begging for mercy by now.” Jiang Yilin’s father, Jiang Tao, spoke in a gravelly voice.
“Nah, it’s quite hard to make me cry.” Li Tianming smiled.
“Oh, then you may die now.”