After recognizing that the person in his room was Hua Mu, Nie Tian didn’t scream, but rather got up and bowed respectfully toward him.
“Mr. Hua, forgive me for my ignorance. Only recently did I realize how much effort you expended to save me.”
By now he was already aware that Hua Mu was definitely not an ordinary person.
His master Wu Ji had once told him, on the back of Cloudsoaring Mountain, that someone had refined his meridians and bones before him.
According to Wu Ji, even in the entire Realm of Flame Heaven, there were only a handful of people who were able to do what Hua Mu had done for him, which was practically giving him a brand new body.
The rewards that his grandfather had granted Hua Mu in return for his kindness were so trivial that they could be ignored.
Furthermore, back then Hua Mu had also promised to Nie Tian that he would help him heal his grandfather’s scattered spiritual sea.
Even at that time, he had realized that Hua Mu wasn’t ordinary.
Later, his master’s assessment of Hua Mu had convinced him that Hua Mu was even more incredible and mysterious than he had originally thought.
“Alright, enough with the courtesy.” Hua Mu waved his hand, gesturing for him to cut the pleasantries and take a seat.
After thanking him again, Nie Tian sat back down on the ground. With a puzzled face, he asked, “Mr. Hua, why are you here? And why did you kill Gan Kang and Lai Yi?”
Hua Mu swept his hand in the air and in the next second, Gan Kang and Lai Yi’s heads disappeared.
His deep eyes glittered with mysterious, dark-green light. “Actually, it wasn’t a coincidence that I showed up in Black Cloud City all those years ago.”
Nie Tian was all ears.
“I came to the Realm of Flame Heaven to investigate the whereabouts of the Blood Core,” Hua Mu explained. “After spending a long time gathering information, I learned that the Blood Core was obtained by Liu Yan from the Cloudsoaring sect. Then, after a series of secret investigations, I finally confirmed that the Blood Core ended up in the Nie clan.
“The moment I laid eyes on you, I sensed the aura of the Blood Core.
“After realizing that the Blood Core was with you and that it seemed to have accepted you as its owner, I decided to not only cure your fever, but also remove the impurities from your body.”
Confused, Nie Tian said, “Really? Back then, I just carried the animal bone along with me, and it didn’t show any sign of its unique nature.”
With a broad laugh, Hua Mu said, “You’re right. But it was only because you were unable to feel the changes back then. As a matter of fact, it has long since accepted you.”
“Really?!” Nie Tian was taken aback by his words.
“Originally, the Blood Core and Flame Dragon Armor were a set, and I was very close to their former owner.” After a moment of hesitation, Hua Mu continued, “Ever since their former owner died, the Blood Core and the Flame Dragon Armor have been separated. Before the former owner died, I promised him that I would make the Flame Dragon Armor whole again and deliver it to the next owner that it picks.
“It turned out that the Blood Core chose you.
“The reason why Lai Yi brought the Flame Dragon Armor from the Realm of Dark Underworld was that I intentionally leaked the information to him that the Blood Core might have drifted to the Realm of Flame Heaven.
“After collecting that information, Lai Yi obtained the Flame Dragon Armor from his master, hoping to use it to fish out the Blood Core.
“As of now, not only has the Flame Dragon Armor and the Blood Core become a whole again, but it has also repaired its damage with the Earthflame Crystal Strings that it collected from the Scarlet Flame Mountain Range after the drastic upheaval.
“Since the Blood Core chose you as its new owner, it will contact you through the link between your souls and return to your side by following your aura, after it has absorbed enough Earthflame Crystal Strings.”
Nie Tian was shocked. “It was because of you that Lai Yi brought the Flame Dragon Armor to the Spiritual Treasure sect?!”
Hua Mu slightly nodded. “I’ve already taken care of everyone who knows about the Flame Dragon Armor and Blood Core, and those who came from the Realm of Dark Underworld. I don’t expect that the news of the Blood Core merging with Flame Dragon Armor will spread to the Realm of Dark Underworld any time soon, nor the fact that they are in your possession.”
“Why did you go to such great lengths to help me, Mr. Hua?” asked Nie Tian.
“For one thing, I did it to honor my word. I made the promise to reunite the Flame Dragon Armor and the Blood Core, and let it choose its next owner.” With these words, Hua Mu remained silent for a while before saying, “For another, I have a favor to ask.”
“A favor from me?” Nie Tian was aghast.
He couldn’t help but wonder to himself what a powerful expert like Hua Mu would possibly want from him. After all, Hua Mu had managed to set up a trap to lure Lai Yi to the Realm of Flame Heaven, and after that, kill him along with Gan Kang, as well as every foreign Qi warrior that had come for the Blood Core.
He couldn’t figure it out.
“I don’t need you to do anything for me now because you don’t have what it takes yet. However… perhaps someday you will.” After a brief hesitation, Hua Mu said, “The Blood Core chose you for a reason. You have something on you that’s very special. It’s just that you can’t understand it yet.
“The reason behind the Blood Core picking you as its new owner and your master taking you in as his disciple are one and the same; they both understood your uniqueness.
“As long as you can keep safe and keep up with your cultivation, some day in the future, you’ll surely understand what I’m talking about.
“Only when you’ve reached a certain cultivation level and have the ability to fully display the might of the Flame Dragon Armor, will I tell you what I want you to do.
“It’s way too early now.”
“Alright, then.” Nie Tian nodded and gave him his word. “I promise you that when I’m strong enough, I’ll spare no effort to accomplish your wish.”
“Hahaha.” Hua Mu smiled, seemingly satisfied with Nie Tian’s attitude, and continued, “You’re very lucky to have Wu Ji as your master. You can’t possibly asked for a better mentor in the entire Realm of Flame Heaven. Wu Ji may not be the strongest cultivator in the Realm of Flame Heaven, but when it comes to teaching, he’s absolutely the most qualified.”
Surprised by Hua Mu’s words, Nie Tian prompted, “Do you know my master?”
Hua Mu shook his head. “We haven’t met in person, but I know of him.” Then his face suddenly turned serious as he said, “Other than to kill those Realm of Dark Underworld cultivators who had come after the Blood Core, there’s another reason why I’m here. I need to inform you of a major event. Were it not for that, I would have left quietly after finishing off Gan Kang and Lai Yi, and I wouldn’t have come to see you.”
“A major event?” Nie Tian was curious.
With a deep breath, Hua Mu explained seriously, “Occasionally, three gates will open in the nine realms of the Domain of the Falling Stars. They are called the Heaven Gates, which only Qi warriors with a cultivation base of the Lesser Heaven, Heaven, or Greater Heaven stage are able to enter. Those three gates all lead to the same, wondrous dimension, where Qi warriors at the three Heaven stages can temper and train themselves.
“Aside from the Heaven Gates, there are also Realm Gates for Qi warriors of the Worldly realm, Profound realm, and Soul realm to enter.
“Last but not least, there are the Domain Gates, where only Qi warriors of the Void Domain, Saint Domain, and God Domain are able to enter.
“As far as I know, never have Realm Gates or Domain Gates ever appeared in the Domain of the Falling Stars. Only Heaven Gates.
Nie Tian’s expression flickered. “Heaven Gate, Realm Gate, and Domain Gate.”
He had learned from Wu Ji that the cultivation base of a Qi warrior could be divided into ten stages.
After the most basic Qi Refining stage were the three heaven stages: Lesser Heaven, Heaven, and Greater Heaven.
Then, there were the Worldly realm, Profound realm, and Soul realm.
The Void Domain, Saint Domain, and God Domain were the top stages.
It only happened every so often that the three Heaven Gates would be opened in different parts of the nine realms of the Domain of the Falling Stars, and only Qi warriors of the three Heaven stages would be able to go through those gates and train.
According to Hua Mu, Realm Gates and Domain Gates would only appear in distant domains among the starry sky.
As for the origins of those gates and why they would only appear every once in awhile, Hua Mu made no explanation.
Hua Mu didn’t give Nie Tian much time to digest all that information. He went on and explained, “According to the calculations and auguries of some great experts with divine abilities, one of the three Heaven Gates will open somewhere near the Hell sect in the Realm of Flame Heaven this time.
“Some people from the other realms have already secretly informed the Hell sect, the Blood sect, and the Ghost sect of it, with the intent to arrange for some of their cultivators of the three Heaven stages to enter the Heaven Gate which will appear near the Hell sect.
“Every Heaven Gate will only allow 100 participants. As soon as the Cloudsoaring sect, Spiritual Treasure sect, Grayvale sect, and Mystic Mist sect receive the message, they will undoubtedly spare no cost to arrange for their disciples of the three Heaven stages to get in there.
“By that time, if the Hell sect, Ghost sect, and Blood sect were to stand in the way, fierce battles are bound to break out between the two sides.
“Therefore, knowing that war is inevitable, the other alliance decided to attack the Spiritual Treasure sect before you could receive the message. In that way, they would be able to weaken your side’s strength and cripple your alliance before the war over the eligibility of entering the Heaven Gate.
“There are also powerful foreign forces backing the Hell sect, Blood sect, and Ghost sect, who don’t plan to allow your four sects to take any of their slots into the Heaven Gate.”
After a brief pause, Hua Mu continued, “However, it won’t be long before the news spreads to the four sects. The Profound Realm expert from the Mystic Mist sect, who is out traveling in other realms, has already gotten the news from some foreign sources that one of the Heaven Gates will open up in the territory of the Hell sect.
“He’s already on his way back to the Realm of Flame Heaven. With him hastily coming back, either the Ghost sect and Blood sect’s invasion of the Spiritual Treasure sect will immediately come to an end, or the battles will become even more brutal and ugly.
“I’m afraid the Realm of Flame Heaven will see a period of turbulence before the Heaven Gate is opened, and disciples from every sect will fight tooth and nail for the precious opportunities.”
With a frown, Nie Tian asked, “Is this Heaven Gate thing similar to the Green Illusion dimension trial?”
“The Green Illusion dimension!?” Hua Mu searched in his brain for a while before shaking his head and saying, “No, the trial within the Heaven Gate is far more brutal and bloody than the Green Illusion dimension trial. All the participants will be Qi warriors with cultivation bases of the Lesser Heaven, Heaven, and Greater Heaven stages. What’s more, Qi warriors from the Realm of Flame Heaven won’t be the only ones to take part in the trial. Foreign cultivators of the three Heaven stages will also enter it through the two other Heaven Gates in the other nine realms of the Domain of the Falling Stars.
“In there, you may get to see wonders that have never seen before. You may see relics from the ancient wars, or glimpse enlightenment that ancient Qi warriors drew from heaven and earth. There may be secret scripts of the alien clans carved on the mountains or in the lakes. You may even come across Spirit Channeling grade precious treasures that are comparable to the Flame Dragon Armor.
“The other purpose of me seeing you this time is to inform you that the Heaven Gate is going to open up soon, so that you can pass on the news to your master in order for more people to know.
“Furthermore, I want you to do all you can to fight for an opportunity to enter the Heaven Gate.
“In that heaven and earth, you may possibly get to know the real you, and learn about the secrets you carry.”
Hua Mu only said how miraculous the Heaven Gate was, but not the reason why it existed. It seemed that even he didn’t know why the Heaven Gates appeared in the Domain of the Falling Stars.
After voicing the actual reason behind the Hell sect, Blood sect, and Ghost sect waging such a large-scale war, and expressing his wish for Nie Tian to inform Wu Ji as soon as possible and find a way to enter the Heaven Gate himself, Hua Mu quietly left before daybreak.
No one in the Nie clan saw him meeting with Nie Tian, much less knew anything about what he had said to him.