At the end of the stone path, Nie Tian and the Flame Dragon Armor were working on their own respective tasks. One absorbed the heaven and earth spiritual energy while the other one gathered flame energy.
Nie Tian’s spiritual sea went berserk and became disordered. All of the spiritual energy flew in circles to form of a mist within his spiritual sea. It wasn’t being controlled in the slightest.
He attempted with the utmost effort to control the spiritual sea and make it regain its tranquility.
But then he realized that the more effort he expended, the more his spirit sea became agitated and insuppressible, like a ferocious, wild beast.
“Lianqi Realm, Houtian Realm…”.
He gradually calmed down. He first stopped paying attention to his unruly spiritual sea and pondered over the explanations of his master Wu Ji about the Lianqi Realm and Houtian Realm.
Accoding to Wu Ji’s statement, once a Lianqi Warrior had advanced from the Lianqi Realm and stepped into the Houtian Realm, there would be large changes to the spiritual sea.
However, Wu Ji didn’t say clearly what the changes actually were. Instead he told him that once he had broken through, he would naturally and immediately understand it.
Wu Ji told him that starting from the Houtian Realm, each and every advancement between realms could possibly cause different, wonderful, and odd changes to the flesh, spiritual sea, and soul.
The events that took place during those changes would be for him to experience with his heart. Only if he thought through it himself, without drawing support from other people’s description, would he be able to clearly recognize the differences between one realm and another.
He whispered secretly and calmed down his mind to consciously observe the movements of the soul.
When he stopped thinking about the bottleneck and only focused on the changes to his spiritual sea, he suddenly realized that the unrulinesss of his spiritual sea and the unsettled misty spiritual energy didn’t seem to follow any pattern.
However, he did see that the spiritual energy that was flowing all over the place appeared to want to condense into one piece, as if it wanted to form something.
He no longer attempted to calm the rebellious spiritual energy down. Instead he focused his mental consciousness and tried to speed up the spiritual energy’s commotion, following the odd movement of it.
He let go of himself and took the initiative to conform to his spiritual sea’s method of doing things. He let the insurrection of the spiritual sea become more intense and turbulent, similar to adding wood to a fire.
The rebellious and misty spiritual energy stirred up and converged within his spirtual sea.
Not long after, the huge amount of spiritual energy gathered together and to his surprise, formed an unstable spiritual vortex within his spiritual sea.
As soon as the spiritual vortex was formed, the disordered spiritual sea, dispersed and caused an endless commotion that seemed like a leak that had appeared in a dam.
- Huhuhu! -
Threads after threads of misty spiritual energy came together from eight sides, rushing forth towards the center of the spiritual vortex.
After the misty spiritual energy finished gathering, the revolving speed of the spiritual vortex that had just formed not long ago and was still unstable became more and more violent.
An attractive force suddenly appeared from the center of the spiritual vortex.
At that moment, Nie Tian suddenly felt that the speed at which his spiritual sea was absorbing the heaven and earth spiritual energy had suddenly increased by many times.
Originally, he needed to continuously guide it with his Lianqi art, and only then was he able to make the spiritual energy from the outside flow in, bit by bit
But, as soon as the spiritual energy congealed within his spiritual sea, everything had changed.
The revolution of the spiritual vortex gave rise to an attractive force. It was similar to his Lianqi art and even had a faster rate of absorption. It went on and absorbed the thick heaven and earth spiritual energy nearby.
He was trying to not utilize the Lianqi art and stop cultivating. Yet, he realized that the spiritual vortex within the spiritual sea was still revolving.
However, without his Lianqi art and his guidance, the speed of the revolving spiritual vortex’s absorption distinctly slowed down by a number of folds.
But even so, the spiritual vortex in his spiritual sea was still slowly taking in the heaven and earth spiritual energy.
This made him suddenly realize that in the future, even if he didn’t practice cultivation and didn’t use his Lianqi art, his spiritual sea would still absorb the heaven and earth spiritual energy because of the existence of the spiritual vortex.
Regardless of whether he was eating, sleeping, or fighting with people, as long as his spiritual vortex didn’t stop revolving, he would be able to continuously gather up heaven and earth spiritual energy.
“Houtian Realm! Could it be that this is the difference between the Houtian Realm and Lianqi Realm?
At that moment, he, who had felt the changes himself, seemed to become aware of the most important part in a situation where no one was guiding him.
At once, he clearly recognized that the formation of the spiritual vortex within the spiritual sea seemed to be the biggest difference between the Lianqi Realm and the Houtian Realm.
It could be said that once the spiritual sea formed a spiritual vortex, it would mean that the Lianqi warrior had stepped into the Houtian Realm from the Lianqi Realm.
“Houtian! This should be Houtian Realm!”
He instantly came to his senses. After that he used his Lianqi art once more and guided the energy with his consciousness and sped up the revoltion of the spiritual vortex.
In the next moment, he felt that the revolution of the spiritual vortex had abruptly sped up by quite a bit, and he also felt that the attractive force coming from the heart of the spiritual vortex had also become stronger by a number of folds.
The rate at which he absorbed the heaven and earth spiritual energy, also because of this, had suddenly become extremely fast.
“Ah, this is excellent indeed!”
He was madly happy, so much so that he stopped feeling any discomfort around his body. He realized that the originally tranquil spiritual sea, because of the formation of the spiritual vortex, went from lifeless to full of vitality all of a sudden.
The spiritual sea appeared to have been bestowed with an opportunity to live because of the formation of the spiritual vortex. The rate at which he absorbed the heaven and earth spiritual energy increased by a number of folds.
Even if he didn’t practice cultivation in the future, his spiritual sea would still draw in the heaven and earth spiritual energy nearby, slowly gathering it towards himself.
This was precisely the biggest difference between Houtian Realm and Lianqi Realm.
“This… this is considered to break through?”
After he had thought clearly about the important parts of the Houtian Realm, he still felt a bit confused. He converged his spiritual sea via the thick heaven and earth spiritual energy at the end of the stone path for a while. Suddenly he felt difficulty breathing.
After that, he also felt that the stone beneath his buttocks were becoming red-hot and scalding.
He opened his eyes with his subconscious mind.
Soon after, he realized that the stone wall all around the end of the stone path seemed to have become a red and fiery crystal that was giving off terrifying flame energy.
He, who had been staying there, completely unaware of the changes on the outside world, had sweat flowing all over his body. He was already gradually becoming unable to bear the high temperature at that place.
He suddenly looked at the Flame Dragon Armor. He saw that the Flame Dragon Armor had stopped above the crystal-shaped colored ribbon, still absorbing strands after strands of flame threads.
He also saw the enormous silhoutte of the Earth Flame Beast within the lava lake below, still madly converging the flame energy with some kind of innate blood vessel skill that was not known to him.
“The Flame Dragon Armor and Earth Flame Beast have a mutual understanding. They are planning to attack together from the inside and the outside to break the forbidden seal that originates from the colored-ribbon. Once the forbidden seal breaks, the raging magma from within the lava lake below will surely spout out madly, moving violently into the outside world through the stone path.”
“Until then, I, who is the closest to the lava lake, will be the first one to suffer the calamity!”
“Outside, including An Shiyi, who is waiting from me on the spot where I left, there might also be other people. They will all be swallowed by the raging lava and won’t be able to even think about escaping!”
Anticipating this, his face’s color changed in an unprecedented manner, and he suddenly came to a decision.
“After you have gotten everything that you want, please… come back to my side.” He released a thread of mental consciousness towards the Flame Dragon Armor, revealing his thoughts.
After that, he finally got up and immediately returned according to the original path.
Until that moment, he knew that if he had insisted on staying, once the Flame Dragon Armor and the Earth Flame Beast worked together and destroyed the forbidden seal and the raging magma had spouted out, he would undoubtedly turn into a blood pulp in an instant.
If he could see some hope, knowing the help that he could provide for the Flame Dragon Armor by staying and could manage to escape peacefully before things got out of control, he would continue to wait.
But now, he had already figured out what was going to happen from all the clues.
He no longer waited pointlessly.
- Chi! -
Exactly at the moment when he started speeding along the original path, the Flame Dragon Armor, which was floating in the air motionless, seemed to feel his will and suddenly released a blazing spark.
Unfortunately, he could no longer see it as he only wanted to be far away from there as soon as possible and also take An Shiyi and the other out of the cave in the short mountain.
On his way back, a part of the stone path that had been drilled open by the Flame Dragon Armor was blocked. Luckily, it was only the exploded fragments that blocked the stone path. He realized that it would take a great deal of effort, nevertheless he still slowly proceeded towards the earth’s surface from within the blocked stone path.
“Nie Tian, Nie Tian!”
Not knowing how long it had been, he suddenly heard An Shiyi’s anxious scream.
His heart felt a slight bit of warmth as he continued speeding madly towards the earth’s surface while hearing An Shiyi’s voice.
- Hong! -
After quite a while, he banged open a blocked stone path and suddenly saw An Shiyi appear in front of him.
“Nie Tian! Where have you been?” An Shiyi was shocked at first. After she had found him, she let out a sigh of relief and said, “I came to look for you, but when I reached here I realized it was a dead end. I…”
Not waiting until she finished explaining, Nie Tian suddenly grabbed her jade arm and took her along as he ran out. He screamed, “Don’t say anymore; leave this place quickly!”
Nie Tian had recognized that the spot where An Shiyi had stopped over was exactly the starting point where the Flame Dragon Armor had made a big fuss over and drilled towards the earth’s core.
The drilling of the Flame Dragon Armor caused the new path that had been unclogged for a while to be blocked once again.
An Shiyi hurried to that place and realized that it was a dead end. Yet she still had not seen a trace of him, so she could only shout loudly, hoping that he could hear her.
“What happened?” An Shiyi didn’t resist. She let him drag her as they dashed towards the surface.
Her realm was more profound than Nie Tian’s, therefore she was able to speak while they were running madly.
But, Nie Tian wholeheartedly wanted to escape as soon as possible. He had exerted all his strength and was unable to go on and explain anything.
After An Shiyi asked a few words and saw Nie Tian didn’t answer, she had also stopped asking about it. She only hurried on while lowering her head with him. From time to time, she looked towards his firm and persistent side profile as her bright pupils seemed slightly distracted.
“You have truly grown…” An Shiyi muttered softly.
After quite a while, the front part of the gloomy stone path had a conspiciously glowing beam of light.
“You guys are back.” Pan Tao’s anxious voice could suddenly be heard.
Nie Tian loosened up his mind. He knew that at that moment, the changes towards the earth’s core had not arisen. Since he could hurry back to this place, at least everyone wouldn’t be swallowed by the raging lava without any warning.
“Quickly leave the cave!” He said.
“You brat!” Pan Tao cursed. He scolded as he walked out of the tunnel, “You think that we want to stay at this bloody place? Wasn’t it all because of you?!”
Jiang Lingzhu and Ye Gumo didn’t show any politeness either. They all abused him and called him reckless, causing trouble to everyone and causing them to have bad luck.
Nie Tian, who walked out of the cave, let them vent their anger and discontent. Yet his face was full of smiles.
He had noticed that both Zheng Bin and Han Xin weren’t among the crowd any longer.
The people that stayed behind, no matter how badly they cursed at him, they still didn’t abandon him. They were fully aware that he was unruly and reckless, but they waited for him until the end.
These people were the ones that he truly cared about and also the ones that he felt emotionally connected with.
Translator: Amazon Aaron
Editors: Zesty Zach and Slutty Sietse