Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
No matter the Divine Heavenly Spirit Tiger or the Heavenly Divine Earth Spirit Lion, both belonged to the WanShou Empire. The reason why he spent so much time and effort to groom Gu Yingbing was simple – he was the most talented and held the most potential amongst the entire young generation. What he needed was a heir who could hold up and support the entire Heavenly Snow Mountain, and he would not hold back just because Gu Yingbing was from the Heavenly Divine Earth Spirit Lion Tribe.
Zhou Weiqing had already brought more than enough surprise to the unflappable Xue AoTian. From this youth, he had seen so many impossibilities, challenging so many things that he had taken for granted. Xue AoTian could not help but admit the how outstanding this young man was, his sheer talent and potential… and that he was truly worthy of his own beloved daughter.
The first test was reaching the end, and at this point, Xue AoTian’s inner heart was already more on Zhou Weiqing’s side. In his ears, Zhou Weiqing’s previous words from the Grand Hall resonated. Indeed! He was not a good father… did he really have to sacrifice his daughter just for the sake of the Heavenly Snow Mountain? As the Mountain Lord, did he still need to use such means to solidify the alliance between the Divine Heavenly Spirit Tiger or the Heavenly Divine Earth Spirit Lion Tribes?
No. He did not need to. Thinking back to how his daughter’s bright eyes and life when he told her about Zhou Weiqing coming, Xue AoTian finally made his resolute decision. This young man Zhou Weiqing had the courage to ascend the Heavenly Snow Mountain for his daughter’s sake, and that very courage and resolution was more than enough to ascertain how much feelings he had for his daughter.
I guess I have to help them now. Xue AoTian sighed inwardly, closing his eyes slowly as he sent a message to the strongest Heavenly Beast in the other exit.
This last rest for Zhou Weiqing and Gu Yingbing lasted two whole hours. Their recovery rate was rather astonishing, and their Heavenly Energy had fully recovered before that time. The reason why they took two whole hours was because their spiritual energy was just too huge.
Two hours later, when both youths stood up once more, they looked at each other, and they could see the fatigue in each other’s eyes. Somehow, the enmity between them lessened slightly. As love rivals, it was nearly impossible for them to ‘cherish’ each other, but it did not stop a slow respect from growing towards each other. In the end, the most important thing in the Heavenly Jewel Master world was after all still power!
Xue AoTian slowly walked to the two of them and said solemnly: "You both have gone through the first nine rounds to reach this step, and that has already proven how outstanding and talented you are. I am very pleased, gratified, to see this. Well, this last round will be a true test of your deepest potential. Similarly, you will be facing an oppressive pressure, and you will have to withstand it. However, this time, there will only be a single Heavenly Beast, and it will unleash its aura and pressure on both of you at the same time. With its control, it will refrain from hurting you. Whoever lasts the longest time will be the final victor of this last round. I will go according to your status to judge this round, when I feel that your body or spirit is about to breakdown, I will stop this round. Do you both understand?"
At once, both Gu Yingbing and Zhou Weiqing nodded their heads, and as their eyes met once more, they saw the resolution in each other’s eyes. Gu Yingbing no longer dared underestimate Zhou Weiqing, nor had the slightest bit of disdain left in his eyes. In this first nine rounds of competition, though the two had not actually fought against each other, their ‘fight’ had already been violent and difficult. Gu Yingbing had quickly adjusted his own attitude, treating Zhou Weiqing as a worthy opponent, an equal.
"Come on then, I know you have already awaken. I have already waited twenty years for this day." Xue AoTian’s face suddenly turned gentle, as if speaking to his greatest kin. As he spoke, the light around suddenly dimmed.
No matter the Tiger King or Lion King, both of them had a puzzled look on their faces. None of them knew which Heavenly Beast could be deemed Xue AoTian’s old partner, nor had they even heard anything about it!
Only Long Shiya’s face suddenly changed, shock in his eyes as his gaze was fixed in front of Zhou Weiqing and Gu Yingbing.
From the shadows, as if it had only taken a simple step forward, a transparent looking Heavenly Beast suddenly appeared in front of everyone’s eyes. In a somewhat similar fashion to Xue AoTian, when it appeared, it did not have any of the overbearing presence or aura that any of the previous Heavenly Beasts have, as if it was just part of the surroundings, having always been there and appearing just so natural.
It was a greyish black tiger Heavenly Beast, only about two metres long and eighty centimetres tall. It’s sleek black fur was gleaming, but its body seemed to have a sort of transparent or translucent feel to it, the grey colour seeming to shift and move, while the most obvious stripes were that of a tiger tattoo. On its forehead, there was a glowing crystalline ‘King’ 1 tattoo, greyish in colour yet glittering like a crystal.
When he saw the Heavenly Beast in front of him, Xue AoTian’s face, which had remained emotionless for most of the day, suddenly showed an excitement and agitation, his body flashing as he appeared in front of it. Right in front of everybody, he knelt down on one knee, extending his arms and hugging the Heavenly Beast’s neck.
The Tiger Heavenly Beast’s eyes were also gentle, its head nuzzling against Xue AoTian’s face as it said: "AoTian, I have missed you too."
Zhou Weiqing and Gu Yingbing stood there, not far away, exchanging helpless glances. They could see the surprise in each other’s eyes. Who or what was this Tiger Heavenly Beast? Weren’t they supposed to be having their final test? Why was Xue AoTian being so affectionate with it, saying they had not met for twenty years!?
Xue AoTian gave a bitter smile and said: "Alas, it is my fault that I do not have the ability to stay by your side. If not for Tian’er being married, I’m afraid ‘he’ will not allow you to come back, to reunite with us father and daughter."
As the Tiger Heavenly Beast heard Xue AoTian’s words, its eyes dimmed slightly. Lifting a front paw, it gently laid it on Xue AoTian’s shoulder. "I’m sorry AoTian, I can never betray Master. He has given me my life, especially since Master is doing so for the sake of the lives of all in the Boundless Mainland. How could I possibly leave him?"
Xue AoTian nodded his head and said: "I understand. Unless someone can defeat him in the future, otherwise, he can never be free. We can only depend on all of you guardians and his own sheer willpower for now. Phelia, these two young men in front of you now both love our daughter, you have already seen their performance in the first nine rounds. This tenth round, having you as judge will be the fairest, and you are the only one who has the qualification to make the final decision."
Phelia’s gaze turned to Zhou Weiqing and Gu Yingbing, who were just standing there dazed in shock. Xue AoTian had not used his Heavenly Energy to hide his conversation with Phelia, and all present had heard his words.
This Tiger Heavenly Beast in front of them was actually Tian’er’s mother, and, it seemed like she came from another secret place. Everything else aside, the fact that she was Tian’er’s mother 2 had already left them all shaken. Even the Tiger King and Lion King had never heard of Phelia’s existence, let alone seen her before.
Phelia turned her gentle gaze towards Gu Yingbing and Zhou Weiqing, nodded slightly to them. "Not bad, not bad at all, both of you are outstanding young men. I have already seen your efforts just now. In fact, I already have a choice in my heart, but if I were just to say it out like that, none of you will think it is fair right? So, let me give you this final test."
Phelia had actually said she had her own choice in her heart! Hearing those words, both Zhou Weiqing and Gu Yingbing’s hearts skipped a beat. This was their possible future mother in law in front of them! As long as either of them could gain her approval, that would be half the battle won! Alas, who could know what was her choice right now.
The ‘King’ word on Phelia’s forehead grew brighter, and she smiled faintly before saying: "I am just a Entropic Nether Tiger, and to be more accurate, I am not wholly of this world. You can count me as a Heavenly God Tier Heavenly Beast. So, be careful."
Heavenly God Tier. These three words were like a battle hammer, smashing into the already-stunned bodies of Zhou Weiqing and Gu Yingbing, causing their bodies to tighten up in shock once more as their spirit entered an excited state. At the side, the Lion King, Tiger King and even the Six Ultimate Heavenly Emperor Long Shiya’s faces were all grave. No matter any of them, they knew they had severely underestimated the Heavenly Snow Mountain. Especially for Long Shiya, whose feelings were the strongest. From Xue AoTian and Phelia’s conversation, he could naturally hear that behind this Phelia, there was another person that even Xue AoTian could not compare to. The Master of a Heavenly God Tier Heavenly Beast, what kind of existence was that? For an instant, Long Shiya fell into a dazed trance.
Right at that moment, both Zhou Weiqing and Gu Yingbing suddenly felt the air around them twist and warp, as everything turned illusory about them.
Instantly, the two of them entered a strange state. Everything around them seemed to vanish in the twisting vision. As for the rest of those present, all they could see was a faint layer of grey-black colour glimmering as it enveloped the two youths, yet there was no powerful aura or presence. The only thing they could see was the sudden glitter in the Entropic Nether Tiger Phelia’s eyes.
It all happened so quickly and suddenly, and Zhou Weiqing felt as if his soul was being torn apart. The violent pain in his soul was no less than the time of the merger of the bloodlines during his time in the Fire Spirit Mountain.
Luckily, this pain did not last for a long time, just a few seconds. All of a sudden, the pressure lessened, and Zhou Weiqing was surprise to see that he had appeared in another place.
This was a dense and thick forest. Everything seemed so real, and there was no hint whether or not this was an illusion or reality, though all signs pointed to the latter.
Right at that moment, Zhou Weiqing suddenly realised that his surroundings had darkened. Yet, his heart was shocked to realise that this darkness was because of himself. Subconsciously, he looked down, and he was shocked for the upteenthed time today. He realised that he was no longer human, but a pitch black massive tiger!
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