Deep into the night, in the Ghost Sect…
Chang Sen, Ghost Eye, and Li Jing were discussing their next move and how they were going to handle the potential threat from the other eight realms.
There were three inter-spatial teleportation portals in the Realm of Flame Heaven; each of them was established in the Hell Sect, the Ghost Sect, and the Spiritual Treasure Sect respectively.
The seven sects of the Realm of Flame Heaven had always traveled to the other eight realms in the Domain of the Falling Stars via those teleportation portals.
However, when the outsider army had invaded the Realm of Flame Heaven, all three of them had failed. When the seven sects wanted to send out signals for help through them, they discovered that all the other realms, including those they had close relations with, had denied their requests to teleport.
Originally, the seven sects had planned to teleport their young and weak away to the other realms first, and then use the portals to evacuate their powerful experts if the Realm of Flame Heaven’s loss became inevitable.
However, it seemed that the other eight realms had already reached a mutual understanding; each and every one of them had declined the seven sects’ requests to travel to their realms via the inter-spatial teleportation portals.
It was at that moment that Chang Sen and the other sect leaders had realized that the other eight realms had abandoned the Realm of Flame Heaven.
Chang Sen’s expression was very grim. “Now that the outsiders are gone, if there are no mishaps, those people from the Realm of Dark Underworld and the Realm of Earth Sieve will soon learn about it and descend upon us. From what I can tell, we don’t have to worry that the outsiders will invade us again in the near future. Instead, those three inter-spatial teleportation portals have become my biggest concern, since the other realms might try to use them to get to our realm.
“In my opinion, we should seal all three of them as soon as possible.
“Even though the Realm of Dark Underworld and the Realm of Earth Sieve are relatively near us, if the portals are no longer available, they will have to spend a significant amount of time and effort traveling across the starry river to get to our realm.
“Furthermore, traveling in the starry river can be very dangerous.
“I want them to suffer great losses on their way, even if we can’t stop them from coming to the Realm of Flame Heaven!”
After Chang Sen shared his views, both Ghost Eye and Li Jing nodded briefly in assent.
Immediately afterwards, Ghost Eye ordered an elder of the Ghost Sect to seal the inter-spatial teleportation portal in their sect.
Chang Sen also set out to use a secret magic to inform the guardians of the inter-spatial teleportation portal in the Hell Sect to turn it off, and also prepared to urge Fang Hui from the Spiritual Treasure Sect to do the same to theirs.
However, at that very moment, the elder Ghost Eye had just sent to seal the portal rushed back in. Urgency and fear could be seen on his face. “Sectmaster, by the time I got to the inter-spatial teleportation portal, two visitors from foreign realms had already arrived. They have the edict of the sectmaster of the Heaven Palace Sect with them, and they want to see you, Chang Sen.”
Ghost Eye’s expression suddenly flickered. “People from the Heaven Palace Sect? Edict of their sectmaster?”
Chang Sen and Li Jing were also taken back by the news.
Ghost Eye turned to look at Chang Sen.
Chang Sen remained silent for a while before nodding and saying, “Send them in. Let’s see what they have to say.”
Therefore, Ghost Eye beckoned for the elder to bring them in.
Moments later, the Ghost Sect elder brought Ning Yang and Su Lin to the meeting hall where the three sectmasters were.
After they came to a stop, Ning Yang bowed in a respectful yet proud fashion. “Greetings, seniors.”
Then, he took out the edict and passed it on to Chang Sen, Ghost Eye, and Li Jing. When the three of them examined it and were convinced that it was authentic, Ning Yang took his time to explain that he was here for Nie Tian, who had obtained the first and middle part of the Fragmentary Star Incantation.
After that, he went on to explain why they need them without holding anything back; how they would have to gather all three parts of the Fragmentary Star Incantation to reseal the spatial rifts that had appeared in the Realm of Mystic Heaven, the Realm of a Thousand Devastations, and the Realm of Flame Heaven, and only by doing that would they be able to stop the demon Qi from pouring into the three realms.
Everything Ning Yang said was news, even to Chang Sen. After learning about the significance of the Fragmentary Star Incantation and the outsiders’ true intentions, the three of them all had grim expressions on their faces.
“If we don’t seal the spatial rift in your realm as soon as possible, given the size of your realm, it’ll take no more than twenty years for the demon Qi to fill every corner of your homeland. By that time, the outsiders might not even need to launch a war to take the Realm of Flame Heaven. The seven sects and all the commoners might have already taken the initiative to emigrate to another realm.
“The reason we’re here is to solve this problem for all of us. Nie Tian’s cultivation base is far too low. He can’t possibly make the best of those two parts of the incantation within such a short period of time.
“I hope you can look at the bigger picture and give him to us. I promise you that I’ll only take away his two fragmentary star marks, and I won’t endanger his life.
“Furthermore, as long as we get what we want, we’ll urge the other six realms to stay out of the conflicts between your realm and the Realm of Dark Underworld and the Realm of Earth Sieve.
“Seniors, I believe that you understand what it means to “give to get”, and what’s best for the Realm of Flame Heaven.”
After making his intentions and reasons clear, Ning Yang stood in silence, waiting for Chang Sen and the other two to make their decision.
Li Jing seemed both surprised and worried. “Nie Tian?! I can’t believe it’s Nie Tian! Never would have I expected that Nie Tian obtained two fragmentary star marks during the Heaven Gate trial!”
After pondering the matter for a while, Chang Sen made up his mind. “Li Jing, those fragmentary star marks are of great importance. Whether we can unite all three of them will determine the fate of our realms. I’ll never forget Nie Tian’s contribution to help defend the Realm of Flame Heaven.
“However, after all, he’s only at the Lesser Heaven stage; even if he gets to keep those two fragmentary star marks, he won’t be able to make the best use of them. The consequences will be catastrophic. Not only will the Realm of Flame Heaven face calamities, but the Realm of Mystic Heaven and the Realm of a Thousand Devastations will also suffer great turbulence.”
He turned to Li Jing and continued, “Tell him to give up the fragmentary star marks, and I’ll compensate him for his loss.”
Ghost Eye seemed somewhat anxious after learning what the huge pit that had suddenly appeared in the Realm of Flame Heaven meant.
He also knew that now that Ning Yang had come with his sectmaster’s edict, he wouldn’t take no for an answer.
After weighing the pros against the cons in his head, he found Ning Yang’s proposal acceptable. After all, by sacrificing Nie Tian’s two fragmentary star marks, they would protect the Realm of Flame Heaven from both outsider invaders and potential threats from the other two realms.
Meanwhile, Li Jing also understood that she wouldn’t be able to save Nie Tian’s fragmentary star marks, no matter how hard she might try.
She was very aware that now that the situation involved the will of the sectmaster of the Heaven Palace Sect, no one in the Realm of Flame Heaven would be able to turn it around.
Most importantly, if Nie Tian refused to do so, the Realm of Flame Heaven would be put in even greater danger.
Numerous expressions flashed across Li Jing’s face. After pondering in silence for quite a while, she looked at Ning Yang and said, “Are you sure you won’t hurt Nie Tian when you remove his fragmentary star marks?”
Ning Yang solemnly promised her that they had a way to peel away the fragmentary star marks without compromising Nie Tian’s future cultivation.
He even promised that the Heaven Palace Sect would compensate him after receiving his fragmentary star marks and also pressure the Realm of Dark Underworld and the Realm of Earth Sieve to halt their operations against the Realm of Flame Heaven.
His words eventually erased Li Jing’s concerns. She said, “Alright, I’ll take you to him.”
“I’d appreciate it if you did so now,” said Ning Yang.
Then, Li Jing led him and a few others to Nie Tian’s residence, where the Bone Blood Demon was lying in the courtyard.
However, before they even descended from midair, Chang Sen, Ghost Eye, and Li Jing’s expressions flickered simultaneously.
None of their soul consciousnesses detected any sign of life in the residence, which meant that Nie Tian wasn’t there.
“What’s wrong?” Ning Yang was confused.
Li Jing’s eyebrows furrowed slightly as she said, “He might have gone out. It’s alright. I remember his aura. As long as he’s still in the city, I’ll be able to find him soon.”
Upon saying these words, sitting on her Blood Lotus, she unleashed a wave of spiritual power from her spiritual sea, which rapidly spread out in every direction.
Several minutes later, she shuddered slightly and said, “He’s not in the city!”
“How can that be?!” Chang Sen was also surprised. “That kid wouldn’t leave for no reason. Can it be that he sensed danger? But considering his cultivation base, he couldn’t get very far.”
“Split up and search for him!” Ghost Eye immediately blurred into action. Like a ghost shadow, he flew up into the air and disappeared.
Right after him, Chang Sen and Li Jing also rose into the sky and flew away in the other direction.
By daybreak, the three of them had returned to the green stone city, frustrated expressions on their faces. Apparently, none of them had found Nie Tian.