Yan Ling and Liang Chen stepped down from the stage and calmly headed for the exit, Liang Chen throwing a small green pill into his mouth and swallowing it while rubbing his face with his right hand. His breathing quickly calmed down, color returning to his face as his dried up energy reserves were slowly filling up again.
He was noticing that he was running out of energy far more frequently recently, soon it would become a serious problem. The problem was that he was only at the early stage of the Soaring Immortal realm in Qi cultivation, the peak of the Body Ascension realm in body cultivation, and the peak of the Ascended Soul realm in soul cultivation. His body and soul were quite a bit stronger than their actual cultivation level, but his Fiendgod Essence and Anima Essence remained at the level of a normal person at his cultivation level.
With Qin Nuan able to easily best him in a contest of strength and knock him down he became even more certain, his current strength was insufficient to deal with the enemies they would face if they continued climbing now. His strong laws and awakened bloodline could carry him a bit higher, but that too would soon not be enough, he had to increase his strength further. Just as the two stepped out of the tunnel that led out of the arena, a familiar figure kneeled down in front of them.
"Crown Prince! ... My Lady... I congratulate you on your victory, please use this pill to restore your wounds."
The white-haired and crimson-eyed Ren Ooyung raised both arms, an orange pill flickering with a faint light and unleashing a transparent mist rolling around in his outstretched palms as he offered it to Liang Chen. Even as someone not too well-versed in the art of alchemy, Liang Chen could tell that this pill was rather extraordinary, just sniffing the transparent mist was enough to somewhat invigorate his body. But even so, Liang Chen only cast a quick glance at the pill before stepping past Ren Ooyung.
"Not interested, leave us alone."
Both of them brushed past the still-kneeling Ren Ooyung, Yan Ling giving him a somewhat pitying look as she passed him, it must be hard for him to be ignored so cleanly. Liang Chen had no interest in accepting anything from the Sebettu, he didn't want to build a relationship with them, and he certainly wasn't interested in becoming indebted to them, they would simply use it against him. Ren Ooyung quickly sprung to his feet and turned around, chasing after Liang Chen.
"Crown Prince, please wait and listen to me! This pill is merely a small sliver of the wealth of the Sebettu, you can acquire all of it if you just agree to come with me!"
Ren Ooyung stretched out his right arm to place his hand on Liang Chen's shoulder as he ran, seeking to stop him and turn him around. Liang Chen gave Yan Ling a quick look, Yan Ling immediately understanding his intentions and acting. Her sword appeared in her grasp and she spun around at full speed, the flat side of her blade sliding along Ren Ooyung's arm, his left arm quickly rising and placing his hand in front of his throat, blocking the sword before it could reach his throat. Liang Chen turned his head slightly, looking at Ren Ooyung out of the corner of his dangerously narrowed eyes.
"Ren Ooyung, did I not tell you clearly enough last time? I will not have anything to do with the Sebettu as I am now, no matter what you offer me. And let me tell you this, were it not for the fact that both of us were exhausted after the fight just now, I would try to kill. How many people have you told about me? How many of your superiors have you notified in hopes of having them come here? Last time we talked we were within one of the houses that forbade fighting so I had no choice but to leave, but out here, there are no rules stopping me. If I encounter you outside while I am at my full strength, then I will try to kill you to prevent you from sending even stronger Sebettu after me."
Liang Chen meant every word he said, Ren Ooyung could see that clearly in his eyes. He could feel his bloodline tremble, shivers running down his spine from the cold presence that Liang Chen was currently radiating. But the more he felt this, the more certain Ren Ooyung became in his decision to bring Liang Chen to the Sebettu no matter the cost, they needed someone like him to lead them, someone like him could return them to their past prime, maybe even help them reach a higher place.
Yan Ling pulled back her sword, she and Liang Chen walking away arm in arm, leaving behind a faintly trembling Ren Ooyung. Liang Chen had less than 10% of his energy available, and she had at best 30%, they were in no condition to fight right now, especially when they didn't know all the cards that Ren Ooyung might be hiding.
The two quickly reached their house, Liang Chen heavily sitting down on the couch. He leaned his head against the back of the couch, rubbing his temples while letting out a sigh.
"Man, she really rung my head like a bell, I can still hear it ringing slightly. Give me a day or so of rest and then I'll use my law of time to speed up the egg's feeding."
Even when he tried thinking back to his previous battles, Liang Chen didn't remember any times where he had been hit on the head like that, it was a rather new experience to him. Yan Ling let out a slightly amused giggle, sitting down next to Liang Chen and pulling him down, resting his head on her thigh and running her hand through his hair, his eyes slowly growing heavy as she lulled him to sleep.
What woke Liang Chen up was the sound of soft breaths, his eyes slowly opening. The room was covered in darkness so he guessed that it was some time at night right now, but he had no idea which day it was. His head was still resting on Yan Ling's lap, her upper body leaning against the back of the couch as she let out a few low snores. Yumao was coiling around Liang Chen's right arm, his head resting on Liang Chen's shoulder, his tongue hanging out and wriggling slightly. It was the soft sound of Yumao's sleeping breaths tickling his ear that had woken him up.
Liang Chen looked at the two sleeping and smiled contently, closing his eyes again. This was his family and his home now, it was only missing his big sister. And once he awoke again, it might just grow a little larger. Liang Chen was still a bit tired, so he quickly fell asleep again after closing his eyes, joining the two others in their light slumber.
The next time Liang Chen awoke, it was because someone was pinched his nose closed while something scaly was lying on his face. Liang Chen opened his eyes and saw the black scales of Yumao filling nearly his entire vision, he was just barely able to see Yan Ling pinching his nose.
"Rise and shine cinderella, you've already slept for a day and a half."
Liang Chen swept up Yumao from his face and sat up, stretching out his arm and pinching Yan Ling's cheeks in retaliation. Yan Ling simply let out a giggle and a smile, letting go of Liang Chen's nose and standing up from the couch, pushing away the table and other furniture at the center of the room.
"I'll prepare a small array for you, it should make it easier for you to sustain your law of time."
Yan Ling drew a simple Qi gathering array on the floor, using some of this world's currency to strengthen the effect. She then placed the corpse of Qin Nuan a short distance away from the array, placing the egg with mottled purple spots that were a faint shade of white right next to the egg. The moment the egg was placed next to Qin Nuan's body, a weak attractive force was unleashed by it, drops of Qin Nuan's blood slowly flying out from her wounds.
Liang Chen stood up and handed the still-sleeping Yumao to Yan Ling, who placed him on top of her head, where he promptly curled up. Liang Chen then sat down at the center of the array, drawing in all the Qi it gathered and using it to fuel his law of time to drastically speed up the flow of time around the egg and Qin Nuan.
The drops of blood quickly sped up, small cracks starting to spread across Qin Nuan's body as the attractive force grew stronger, even ripping the crimson scales and horns directly off of her body. The egg greedily swallowed it all, everything that came into contact with the egg turning into a crimson liquid that seeped into the shell. After the scales and horns came Qin Nuan's flesh and organs, and finally, after a total of five days of normal time, even her bones were absorbed by the egg.
The egg had grown quite a bit after absorbing Qin Nuan, now almost a meter tall, moving slightly. Cracks slowly started to appear on the egg as it continued to move, the energy radiating from the egg growing stronger and stronger. The egg unleashed an even stronger attractive force, even sucking in all the Qi that the array Liang Chen was sitting in was gathering, greedily swallowing it to fuel its own growth.
The cracks on the egg quickly grew larger, a few small chunks of the shell starting to fall off. More and more chunks fell off, revealing the being living within the egg, both Liang Chen and Yan Ling tilting their heads in surprise and confusion.
Sitting within the shattered remains of the egg was a little girl that looked like she was no older than two or three years old. Her eyes were as blue as the sky while her hair, which already reached down to her earlobes, was as white as snow. Her face carried some of Yan Ling's features, she had the same small nose and pinchable cheeks, most likely due to the fact that Yan Ling had helped nourish the egg using a great deal of her own blood. While they were looking at the girl, she was looking back at them, her somewhat blurred eyes growing clearer and clearer, a soft voice sounding out.