Chapter 8 - The Star of Zephyr Square!
Against the backdrop of the rising sun, the fateful day finally arrived. The entire city was excited for the governor’s marriage, especially since the bride was going to be his first wife.
Illuminated with festive colours, music could be heard throughout the city.
“The Flameyellow Scions Institute selection will be held today at the governor's place. It’ll occur immediately after the wedding ceremony. The governor wants to further liven up the occasion by letting the guests spectate the selection.”
“Have you heard? The governor is going to officially anoint young master Li Zifeng as the heir of the city after he gets the Flameyellow Order.”
“What a happy day for Flamehaven!”
At dawn, Li Tianming had already brought Wei Jing into the courtyard for her to enjoy the warmth of the morning sun. She knew that today was going to be a special day.
“Mother, it’s about time I left.” After he obtained the Flameyellow Order, he would take her away from this place that broke her heart.
“Be on your way then.” Wei Jing squinted under the bright sunlight, but it had also brought out a faint radiance from her white hair.
“Aren't you going to impart some words of encouragement? Perhaps, some chicken soup for the soul?” Li Tianming smiled.
“Chicken soup? What chicken soup?!” The little chick leapt off his head, its tense appearance bringing chuckles to both mother and son. Judging from the relaxed tone of the conversation, it seemed that Li Tianming definitely didn’t appear nervous about the battle ahead.
“Go ahead, You should be back after I take a short nap,” Wei Jing said gently.
“Alright.” Li Tianming skillfully tidied her white hair, patting her shoulders lightly before leaving the courtyard. As the courtyard gate closed, a single tear droplet crossed Wei Jing’s smiling face. It was a tear that didn’t embody sorrow or worries, but instead hope for the future.
No one could have ever imagined the amount of dignity that she had lost in Flamehaven. It was the place where her youth and dreams were buried. However, today, at this very place, she wished for her most beloved son to take everything back for them!
Today, the governor’s manor stood out like a beauty who had dressed herself up. It was brimming with various activities that brought joy and laughter to the place. It was said that not only were the rich and famous of Flamehaven present, but also many distinguished guests from other cities, including even experts from the capital, Ignispolis.
As one of the top experts of Vermilion Bird’s southern borders, Li Yanfeng definitely had both reputation and ability, which was further enhanced with the observation that the man seemed to improve with every passing year. Ever since he got in touch with Lightning Manor, word on the grapevine was that Li Yanfeng’s future was way beyond the limits of Flamehaven. For now, he was definitely one of the most famous people at the southern borders.
Li Tianming had no interest in observing the wedding ceremony, choosing to enter the manor only when the ceremony was about to be concluded.
The place chosen for today’s event was known as Zephyr Tower. It was a magnificent building, with a huge parade square in front of it which was named Zephyr Square. Li Tianming had spent sixteen years of his life training in this Square.
A crowd had gathered in front of Zephyr Tower and were waiting in anticipation. The governor had just finished his wedding, which meant that next up was the long-awaited selection!
Li Xuejiao snickered as she saw Li Tianming walk in. She knew that Li Tianming would be back to make a fool of himself. This was exactly what she wanted to see. As payback for the slap he had given her, Li Xuejiao and her mother had not told anyone about Li Tianming’s blood pact or his new lifebound beast.
“That new first lady sure is bewitching and seductive, it’s no wonder dad fell for her. She’s going to cause a great deal of trouble for him.” Li Xuejiao gazed in the direction of Zephyr Tower, having already seen the bride. That said, her beauty was nothing in comparison to Li Zifeng and the Flameyellow Order.
“Apparently, dad has already contacted the teachers at Flameyellow Scions Institute with regards to second elder brother. He’ll be taken care of the moment he enters the institute. I don’t think you had this kind of treatment before, did you?” Li Xuejiao smirked. Just as she finished her sentence, a group of individuals emerged from the top of Zephyr Tower, seating themselves at a position where they had a bird’s eye view of the entire square.
As the host for the day, Li Yanfeng naturally occupied the middle seat. The man stood perfectly straight, his hair slightly streaked by white. He lowered himself onto his seat, his hand sturdily grasping the armrest. Even when simply seated, however, he released an intimidating aura which silenced Zephyr Square.
Despite his more than humble background, Li Yanfeng was a prodigy ever since he was young, having needed to start from scratch, clawing his way to his current position. As the governor of Flamehaven, legendary tales of his youth continued to be told and retold throughout the city.
Beside him, a lady dressed in red gracefully settled in. While she lacked the kind of aura Li Yanfeng possessed, she was no doubt the centre of attention. Li Xuejiao’s claim that the lady was stunning could not have been more accurate. The lady was dressed in a scarlet silk dress with a collar reaching all the way to her chest, a seductive figure that teenage girls could never compare to. Her cheeks were hibiscus-like, her brows like willow, her skin like snow and her cherry-like eyes seemed capable of arousing all of one’s desires. Her black hair was tied up into a bun, while the pieces of jewelry pinned inside glistened under the sun. Her rosy lips, tilted at an angle, seemed to announce to the world that the governor’s manor already belonged to her.
She was Li Yanfeng’s bride, the new first wife, Liu Qing of Lightning Manor.
Even if there were elites among the guests that matched Li Yanfeng in status or if all of his other wives and concubines were gathered, it was undeniable that no one was as attention grabbing as the two. This was especially true for the belle, a seductive, irresistible figure for all the teenagers in the square.
Even Li Tianming had to agree that her charm was enough to make most people lose their mind over her, but just the thought of her being from Lightning Manor was enough to elicit disgust.
Their arrival suggested that the selection was about to soon begin.
“Yanfeng, just one look tells me that Zifeng doesn’t have much competition in Flamehaven.” Liu Qing’s voice was soft and sweet.
“It’s good enough for him to have developed this much in Flamehaven,” replied Li Yanfeng.
“I heard that you had another son who also went to the Institute and even dared to offend the ‘little monster’ from Lightning Manor?” Liu Qing questioned.
“Don’t concern yourself with him, he’s already crippled.” Li Yanfeng didn’t appear like he wanted to talk about this topic.
“Oh, I see.” Liu Qing smiled.
Being the centre of attention, Li Yanfeng proceeded to wave his hand. Amidst a rain of applause, someone walked out and announced, “The Flameyellow Scions Institute selection has officially begun!”
The moment the selection started,the first to step foot onto the Zephyr Square was a striking teenager!
“Look, it’s young master Zifeng!”
As Flamehaven’s most reputable young genius, everyone knew who Li Zifeng was. It was said that Li Zifeng possessed an arrogant personality and enjoyed being in the limelight, and this was immediately evident.
With the gazes of everyone on him, Li Zifeng summoned his Purple-Eyed Bright Bird from his lifebound space. The Purple-Eyed Bright Bird, enveloped by violet flame, stood side by side with its master. The valor that exuded from the pair, and especially the murderous look from the Purple-Eyed Bright Bird was enough to make most of the audience flinch.
“Who dares to challenge me? You can take turns!” Li Zifeng did a sweeping scan of the area, his enthusiasm and fighting spirit clearly visible.
From Zephyr Tower, Li Yanfeng could hear many words of praise.
“Governor Li, your son must be a real hero, to have the guts to be the first one in the ring.”
“Look at that Purple-Eyed Bright Bird! He really did receive good genes from the governor.”
A brief smile flitted onto Li Yanfeng’s face. “Zifeng has improved quite a lot recently and is way more competent than peers his age, so of course he can afford to be the first on the stage.”
“Ah yes, a lot stronger than the previous one too,” an elder exclaimed.
“You mean Li Tianming? It’s a darn shame,” another replied.
Li Yanfeng didn’t want to hear them discussing Li Tianming. After all, they had quite a few guests from Lightning Manor... but it seemed that there were always fools wherever you went.
“Don’t talk about people that’s no longer around.” Li Yanfeng clearly wasn’t happy about this.
This was enough to silence the chatter. After all, these people have all heard of how Li Yanfeng divorced Wei Jing and abandoned Li Tianming, chasing them out from the manor. And with that, Flamehaven had ridden itself of that joke.
As they spoke, someone had already stepped onto the stage and challenged Li Zifeng. It was a battle between the beastmasters and their lifebound beasts! The challenger was named Du Yong, his lifebound beast being an Azure Gale Wolf. As the wolf stood before the Purple-Eyed Bright Bird, everyone knew that the match was going to be awfully one-sided.
As expected, Li Zifeng didn’t even have to lift a finger, as his lifebound beast burned the opposing pair to a crisp before tossing them off the stage.
“Weaklings! Utterly useless! I want more!” Li Zifeng didn’t even try hiding his arrogance. Furthermore, his methods were violent. He intended to injure his opponents as much as was permissible. This was to discourage other participants from challenging him and thus allowing him to obtain the Flameyellow Order in the shortest time possible.
Another challenger approached the stage, only to be defeated yet again by just the Purple-Eyed Bright Bird. This was the potential of his five-star lifebound beast! In general, people with five-star lifebound beasts would easily be considered a genius in Vermilion Bird.
“Any more challengers?” Li Zifeng was on a hot streak, eliminating over ten opponents in a clean and swift manner. Even if the subsequent challengers were more threatening, they were still all no match for him.
“Li Zifeng must be at the seventh level of Beast Vein stage!”
“Given his strength, it seems like it. Four years ago, when Li Tianming received the Flameyellow Order, he was only at the sixth.”
“No wonder the governor likes Li Zifeng better.”
“Seventh level of the Beast Vein stage is a guaranteed ticket to Flameyellow Scions Institute.”
“Look! Can you see the governor smiling?
Such words began to be spoken more and more as Li Zifeng defeated over thirty people in a row. By now, it was apparent that Li Zifeng was indeed a genius. Additionally, none of the challengers appeared to even pose the slightest threat to Li Zifeng. His outstanding performance definitely made Li Yanfeng feel proud.
Another hour passed, with Li Zifeng defeating all his challengers. No one else dared to approach him.
“What unprecedented talent! Only youths with such an aptitude are worthy of becoming the heir of Flamehaven! ”
“While he does have a bit of a temper, it is undeniable that Li Zifeng inherited his father’s gifts!”
For a while, there was nothing but praise for Li Zifeng. It was apparent that he was the future of Flamehaven.
“Father, there are no more challengers, I have won.” Li Zifeng was satisfied with this result and looked up at Zephyr Tower with anticipation. Once he saw Li Yanfeng’s smile, he knew that it was settled.
Li Yanfeng suddenly rose from his seat and with a quick leap, he had landed right in front of Li Zifeng. It was a casual jump, but the pressure from his presence alone was comparable to that of a terrifying beast and it brought even the Purple-Eyed Bright Bird’s head to the ground. Could it be that he had the Flameyellow Order in his hand?
“The selection is hereby over! Young master Zifeng shall be going to the Flameyellow Scions Institute!”