Chapter 19 - The Princess Arrives!
Just as Li Tianming made it a few hundred meters away into the jungle, thinking that he had escaped from danger, he ran into someone unexpected. It was Jiang Feiling and Qing’er! He could only imagine that it was fate that brought them together again.
Qing’er was definitely a talented girl born from a reputable family, and with her pretty looks, she would no doubt be the center of attention everywhere she went. Yet, when placed alongside Jiang Feiling, Li Tianming couldn’t help but direct most of his attention on Jiang Feiling. No other word but perfection could describe her fairy-like presence.
“Weren’t they about to return to Ignispolis? Why are they still here? ” Li Tianming thought curiously. But more importantly, he was still being hunted by members of the Lightning Manor! They would be in danger too!
“No time to explain, we need to run!” Li Tianming charged straight at them, ready to grab one with each hand and bring the both of them with him. No matter how talented Qing’er may be, there’s no way she could win against two adults.
“Why are you running, stop there.” Qing’er folded her arms to dodge Li Tianming while rolling her eyes at him.
Meanwhile the two girls' appearance had delayed Li Tianming’s escape, and within moments, a middle-aged couple had caught up with him.
The couple was clearly boiling with anger. Just a minute they took their eyes off their precious son and he was already beaten up by an outsider? Just as they were about to bring Li Tianming to justice, a girl in green blocked their way.
“Greetings, Princess Qing, I am Zhang Chong from the Lightning Manor and this is my wife. It is an honor for you to grace us with your presence here.” The middle-aged man hurriedly lowered his head to show as much deference as possible.
“Princess? No way…” Only one type of person in Vermilion Bird would be addressed as Princess. They were the daughters of the Vermilion Bird King!Li Tianming could tell that Qing’er was from a reputable family, but the Vermilion Bird clan, rulers of the land? Even with his status as a Flameyellow Scions Institute disciple three years ago, he would never dream of talking to a princess. Even Lin Xiaoting, the number one genius in Heaven’s Sanctum right now, had to bow in front of her like what Zhang Chong just did!
After all, her father was the ruler of this land!
A brief recollection of what he said two days ago left Li Tianming in a cold sweat. Did he really ask a princess what’s wrong with her head…
With that information, Li Tianming roughly gauged Princess Qing’s strength to be close to Lin Xiaoting’s level. The Vermilion Bird Clan had after all controlled Vermilion Bird for millennia, and their clan’s history and wealth definitely surpassed that of Lightning Manor’s.
“Dispense with the formalities.” Qing’er waved her hands at the couple, but her eyes were trained on Li Tianming. From that smug look, he could almost hear her saying: ”Now that you know who I am, do you still want to jeer at me?”
“For what noble purpose is the princess doing in Red Twill Mountain Range? There’s many wildbeasts around here, and if the princess is not well protected...” Zhang Chong’s head was still lowered.
“And who told you I am not protected?” Qing’er didn’t let him finish his sentence. Now that she was no longer hiding her identity as a princess, her voice had a natural sense of nobility to it. This scared Zhang Chong from speaking any further.
“Forgive him, Princess, but Zhang Chong was simply too concerned about your highness’ safety that he panicked. Of course with the princess’s identity, how was it possible to not have experts protecting your highness?” Zhang Chong’s wife hastily tried to cover up her husband’s blunder.
As for Zhang Zixuan, he had just caught up with the group. But when he saw that even his parents had their heads lowered, he didn’t dare to utter a word.
The atmosphere was tense, and only Jiang Feiling was winking at Li Tianming with a smile on her face. Seeing her smile, Li Tianming knew that his safety was in good hands, just that there was no escape from being laughed at by Qing’er later...
“You said you are Zhang Chong from the Lightning Manor?” Qing’er had her hands behind her back, her actions befitting her noble family background.
“Yes, your highness.” The man could only nod his head.
“And what is the Lightning Manor doing here? I saw a few others from your manor around here two days ago.”
“Errr…” Zhang Chong hesitated for a brief moment.
“Tired of living?” Qing’er asked.
“I plead for your forgiveness, Princess. I’ll talk.” Zhang Chong was sweating all over, a totally different figure as compared to when he just appeared. Unfortunately, he ran into someone way more powerful than him.
“My patience is wearing thin,” Qing’er said. Li Tianming was equally curious about their business in Red Twill.
“Here’s the full story, your highness. The Lightning Manor has found manna at the Red Twill Mountain Range, and we selected seven juniors to compete for it. They will each have seniors accompanying them, but we are not allowed to affect the competition in any way, and are only here to ensure their safety.” Zhang Chong explained the entire event.
“What tier is this manna?” The word ‘manna’ clearly sparked Qing’er’s interest. Even if she didn’t need it, the lowest royal manna were still pricey treasures.
“Your highness, it is but substandard manna that can’t even be rated royal. It is only capable of evolving a lifebound beast to six stars.”
“Substandard? You are aware of the consequences of lying, correct?” Qing’er looked slightly disappointed. Clearly the manna wasn’t good enough to rarouse her interest.
“I would never dare to. My son didn’t have much hope of getting it anyway, so there’s no reason for me to deceive your highness.” Zhang Chong gave a bitter smile.
That being said, the lowest tier manna could already be considered a treasure in Flamehaven. Perhaps only the real elites from Heaven’s Division or the Vermilion Bird clan would find no use for it.
“I doubt you have the gall to do so anyway. You may disappear from my sight now.” Qing’er waved her hands again, her eyes filled with impatience.
“We thank you, Princess, my family and I will take our leave now.” Zhang Chong was clearly relieved that this was over. As he signaled his wife and Zhang Zixuan to take their leave, the couple approached Li Tianming, ready to bring him with them.
“Wait.” Qing’er glanced at Li Tianming, and said unhappily, “Leave the pig here.”
Li Tianming stared in disbelief. Did she just call him a pig?
“But Princess, he’s just a local bumpkin who assaulted my son’s lifebound beast. We just wish to teach him a lesson,” Zhang Chong said.
“Your highness, may I ask for permission to take revenge for my lifebound beast...” Zhang Zixuan finally mustered up his courage to speak in front of the princess.
“No, you may not. I want this pig here. Now begone.” Qing’er said again, leaving no room for bargaining.
At one side, Li Tianming couldn’t help but sigh. If it wasn’t for the two girls stopping him here, he would be long gone. Instead he was stuck here listening to the princess calling him a pig.
“Out of my sight. Now. Don’t make me repeat myself.” Qing’er was not going to give them any chance.
Zhang Zixuan’s face bloated up in anger, but he couldn’t utter a single word as his father forcefully dragged him away. Even when leaving, he continued to tremble as if he was having constipation. He even turned back multiple times to stare at Li Tianming with a burning hatred.
Only when they were completely gone did Li Tianming turn to face Princess Qing.
“What are you staring at? Not happy with me calling you a pig?” Qing’er stared back at him, her puffy cheeks making her cuter than usual.
“Of course I’m happy. How dare I be unhappy with the princess?” Li Tianming replied.
“Qing’er, don’t treat big brother like this. He did save me a few days back.” Jiang Feiling ran back to Li Tianming’s side the moment the Zhang family left. “Big brother, are you injured?”
“Not at all, thank you for your concern, Ling’er. Gentle girls like you are hard to come by these days.” Li Tianming smiled.
“Are you hinting that I’m not gentle?” Qing’er quirked an eyebrow.
“Hey, I didn’t say that.”
“Whatever. I give you leave to return to your farming, while we return to Ignispolis. See you, or rather, hope to never see you again. ” Qing’er dragged Jiang Feiling back to her side, as if she wished for Li Tianming to stay as far away from her Ling’er as possible.
“Qing’er, a moment. I have something important to say to big brother.” Jiang Feiling said.
“Something important?” Li Tianming was taken aback.