Face grim, Shi Qing frowned and didn’t know what to say.
After all, Nie Tian had used the room for twelve hours and hadn’t broken any rules.
However, in only twelve hours, he managed to cost them 300 spirit stones, while he only paid 100.
That meant that not only did the Blood Skull not make a profit from him, but they even suffered a great loss from their deal with him.
Technically, Nie Tian was entitled to use the room for another eight hours, but if they let Nie Tian to do so, they would probably lose 200 more spirit stones.
As the administrator, Shi Qing would have to make up for the loss himself if he couldn’t come up with a better way to recover it.
While searching his mind for a plan, Shi Qing got a thorough measure of Nie Tian.
Shi Qing was a Greater Heaven stage Qi warrior, far stronger than Nie Tian. Hence, he could easily see through Nie Tian’s cultivation base.
After a thorough examination, he concluded that Nie Tian was indeed in the Lesser Heaven stage, and he still had a long way to go to enter the Heaven stage.
Therefore, Nie Tian hadn’t broken any rule that Cai Lan, the head of the Blood Skull, had set.
Because of that, Shi Qing had quite a headache.
“So you’re the guy,” Cai Yue said angrily. She, who was unhappy with Nie Tian, never expected that he would blame the lack of spiritual Qi on the Blood Skull’s facility the moment he stepped out of the room.
Nie Tian was surprised and asked, “You are?”
Only then did he take note of Cai Yue. With a single glance at her, he realized that the fine-looking girl, who was dressed like a boy, must be the daughter of the Blood Skull’s head that Li Ye had warned him about.
According to Li Ye, this girl was spoiled and had a bad temper. He should avoid offending her.
“I was in the room next to yours!” Cai Yue gave a cold harrumph. “Because you overconsumed the spiritual Qi in your room, a hidden spell formation was triggered, which channeled the spiritual Qi from my room to yours! You undermined my cultivation. What do you have to say about it?”
Nie Tian was quite confused, since he had no idea about the spell formation Cai Yue was referring to. He shot a confused glance towards Shi Qing.
With a stern face, Shi Qing explained to Nie Tian, “What she said is true. I don’t know what cultivating method you used, but you drained the spiritual Qi in both rooms surprisingly quickly. In merely twelve hours, you cost us 300 spirit stones. As you probably already know, the Blood Skull doesn’t do business without a profit. So what do you suggest we do?”
Cai Yue glared at Nie Tian as if she was demanding that he provide a proper solution.
Nie Tian forced a smile as he touched his head, knowing that it was the secret magic that he had used to created spiritual energy balls that had caused all this.
Although he was glad that he had made great progress with his cultivation, he didn’t want to offend the Blood Skull and Cai Yue because of it.
After all, whoever Li Ye tried his best to avoid offending must be a huge pain in the neck.
Therefore, after a moment of hesitation, Nie Tian said, “How about this: I’ll compensate you for your loss.”
Shi Qing smiled and said, “You’re a smart man. No wonder Li Ye attached such importance to you.”
Nie Tian’s proposition was acceptable to him, since as long as the loss was recovered, there wouldn’t be a problem for him when he reported to his superior.
Without any delay, Nie Tian took 300 spirit stones from his bracelet of holding and handed them to Shi Qing. “Here.” Then, he asked, “Oh, right, what’s the rate for a Heaven stage cultivation room?”
After receiving the spirit stones from Nie Tian, Shi Qing assumed a much better attitude. Smiling, he replied, “A Heaven stage cultivation room? 25 spirit stones for an hour. The spiritual Qi in those rooms is much richer. If you think that a Lesser Heaven stage cultivation room didn’t satisfy your needs, you’re welcome to rent a Heaven stage cultivation room.”
After pausing for a moment, he continued, “Also, it’s been a long time since someone rented the rooms on the second floor. You can rent one of them for a long term if you like. Of course, that’s assuming that you have the spirit stones to do so.”
“That’s not a problem.” Having a substantial amount of spirit stones in his possession, Nie Tian became a generous consumer. He took out 500 spirit stones and handed them to Shi Qing while saying, “Put me down for twenty hours, starting now.”
“No problem!” A broad smile could be seen on Shi Qing’s face as he trotted to his desk and registered Nie Tian.
At that moment, two cultivators walked in through the main gate of the establishment and one powerful expert came down the stairs after his cultivation.
The three of them overheard Nie Tian and Shi Qing’s conversation, and with surprised expressions, they began to look Nie Tian up and down with measuring gazes.
They obviously found it strange that a Lesser Heaven stage cultivator would waste his money on a Heaven stage cultivation room.
Since the three of them didn’t know what had happened early on, they all considered Nie Tian to be a spendthrift, who was parading his wealth by spending five times more than he should on a cultivation room he wouldn’t need.
The two people who had just entered the building exchanged a subtle look after getting their measure of Nie Tian.
“He’s a friend of Li Ye’s.”
“It’s like what people say, he who has wealth speaks louder than others.”
“But his cultivation base doesn’t seem very impressive.”
The two of them had been living in Shatter City for a long time, and they had extensive connections with the outlaws outside the city.
Nie Tian, who had an unimpressive cultivation base and great fortune, had just become their next easy target.
They secretly memorized Nie Tian’s face, as they were determined to tail him and kill him the instant he walked out of Shatter City.
Seeing that Nie Tian was quite sensible and offered to compensate them for their loss, Cai Yue suppressed her anger. “What’s your name?”
“Hua Tian,” Nie Tian answered.
“What’s your relationship with that fatty, Li Ye?” She asked.
“Well, I do things for him, like cutting spiritual material and stuff,” Nie Tian said.
Cai Yue went blank for a moment before subconsciously looking at Shi Qing and asking, “Since when has it become so lucrative to work for Li Ye? Is Li Ye that generous with his helpers?”
Shi Qing shook his head. “Li Ye is a canny man.”
“If it’s all settled, do you mind if I go upstairs and start my cultivation?” Nie Tian asked.
Shi Qing nodded. “Sure, I’ll take you to your room.”
That said, he told the others to wait for him and led Nie Tian to the second floor. After arriving at the door of a cultivation room, he took out a specially-made key and opened the door.
Right before Nie Tian followed Shi Qing into the room, Cai Yue gave a snort and, looking up at him from the first floor, she said, “I’ll let you off today only on account of you being friends with Li Ye, but you’ve got to be more careful. If I catch you ripping us off again, I’ll make you suffer for it!”
“I see.” With a calm face, Nie Tian walked into the cultivation room.
Although the size of the room was approximately the same as the one on the first floor, Nie Tian could clearly feel that the spiritual Qi in this room was far richer.
It was still not as rich as the spiritual Qi in the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, but it was almost at the same level as the spiritual Qi in the mysterious land that the Blood Core had led him to.
It wasn’t safe for him to use the Blood Core to enter the mysterious land and cultivate in Shatter City. Too many eyes might be watching from dark corners.
He might be able to do it in the Void Illusion Mountain Range, since there were a large number of spatial rifts there and the spatial energy in the area was already rather unstable. It would be hard for others to notice the change.
“I’d better consider cultivating somewhere else, especially when I need to cultivate my star power and ready myself for my next breakthrough.”
With those thoughts, Nie Tian sat down cross-legged and cleared his mind as he began to refine his spiritual sea.
Time passed quickly.
Before he noticed it, he had already spent twenty hours in the Heaven stage cultivation room.
As a result, he had expanded his spiritual sea to the limit of the Lesser Heaven stage.
It was when he felt the spiritual Qi suddenly grow faint that he realized that his time was up.
He wasn’t in a hurry to walk out of the room.
Instead, he took some spirit beast jerky out of his bracelet of holding and washed them down with large gulps of water. Only after that did he step out of the room and approach Shi Qing.
This time, he took out 1,000 spirit stones and rented the Heaven stage room for another forty hours.
Shi Qing received the spirit stones and had his assistant ready the room for Nie Tian. Then, Nie Tian went in and started cultivating painstakingly again.
The speed at which the spell formation underneath the room generated new spiritual Qi was fast enough for him to cultivate with his spiritual energy ball technique. With that method, he progressed rapidly.
Since his spiritual sea had expanded to the fullest, he used the three vortexes of spiritual energy to refine and purify the spiritual energy round after round.
After his time was up, he didn’t choose to leave.
Rather, he paid more spirit stones to continue cultivating devotedly in the room. Whenever he was hungry, he would eat spirit beast meat from his bracelet of holding, and whenever he was thirsty, he would drink water.
Time flew. Before he knew it, he had already thrown in 3,000 spirit stones, and he had finished refining his spiritual sea three times.
But even still, there wasn’t any sign that he was going to break into the Heaven stage.
Only at that moment did he realize that he might have to refine his vortexes of flame power, wood power, and star power to a certain extent to reach the breakthrough point.
In order to do that, he would need spiritual materials with those three attributes. Spending more time in the cultivation room wouldn’t be of much help.
Therefore, when his time ran out again, he didn’t extend his usage of the room with Shi Qing.
Instead, he handed him 500 spirit stones and asked him to extend his stay in Shatter City. Afterwards, he decided to return to his residence.
Standing right outside the establishment was a skinny, middle-aged man with a goatee. He approached Nie Tian with a flattering smile and said, “Hey, little friend. It seems that you’ve spent quite some time in there. Can I interest you in the latest news?”
Nie Tian knew that there was a group of people in Shatter City who made their living by selling news and information.
He measured the man up and down and said, “I’m good if you only have news about Shatter City or the Realm of Split Void.”
“So what do you want to know about?” The man asked.
“The Realm of Flame Heaven,” Nie Tian said.
The man reached out with one hand. “News just came in about the Realm of Flame Heaven. Ten spirit stones and I’ll tell you all about it.”
Without a second thought, Nie Tian handed him ten spirit stones.
The man grabbed the spirit stones with a swift motion and began gushing over the latest events that had taken place in the Realm of Flame Heaven. “Alright. A great spatial rift opened in the Realm of Flame Heaven, and demon Qi keeps coming out of it.
“The Heaven Palace Sect from the Realm of Mystic Heaven sent people to the Realm of Flame Heaven in search of a man named Nie Tian. Even with the seven sects in the Realm of Flame Heaven to help them, they failed to find him.
“The Flame God Sect from the Realm of Dark Underworld was also looking for that man. They searched every corner of the Realm of Flame Heaven and found nothing.
“I heard that the man they’re after is merely at the Lesser Heaven stage. I don’t understand why those two sects attach such great importance to him.
“Also, at the Heaven Palace Sect’s behest, the Realm of Dark Underworld and the Realm of Earth Sieve have put their operations against the Realm of Flame Heaven on hold.
“It seems that they all know that if they can’t find a way to seal the spatial rift soon, the Realm of Flame Heaven will fall in only a few decades.”
The man poured out everything he had learned about the Realm of Flame Heaven.
Eyebrows furrowed, Nie Tian asked, “Since they couldn’t find Nie Tian, did they vent their anger on his relatives or friends?”
The man shook his head. “Not that I know of. Supposedly, that Nie Tian person has two powerful masters in the Realm of Flame Heaven; one is Wu Ji from the Cloudsoaring Sect, and the other is Li Jing from the Blood Sect.
“With those two to shelter his relatives and friends, nothing happened to them.”
“I see. Thanks.” After hearing the information he was expecting to hear, Nie Tian secretly let out a sigh of relief and left without asking any more about the Realm of Flame Heaven.