Via his Heaven Eyes, Nie Tian heard the conversation between Song Li and the Greater Heaven stage Qi warrior with great clarity.
“Damn! They’re together!” At that moment, he realized that Song Li was also a Hunter, and apparently rather lofty among their organization.
Using his Heaven Eyes, Nie Tian had determined that the tall Qi warrior was at the middle Greater Heaven stage.
With his strength, he didn’t need to worry about being confronted by anyone as long as he steered clear of the most powerful experts from the Dark Moon, Wild Fire, and Blood Skull.
However, he didn’t even dare to say a word when he was slapped by Song Li. This was enough to prove Song Li’s lofty status.
“Now that this evil woman has made me her sworn enemy, I’ve got to be more careful.” Frowning, he swiftly changed his path as he traveled at a fast speed into the depths of the dense forest, not leaving a clear trail for his pursuer.
He was aware that, considering his current cultivation base, if he only ran in open spaces, perhaps he wouldn’t be able to get away from the Greater Heaven stage Hunter.
Fortunately, this dense forest was filled with giant trees that reached into the heavens along with high grade spirit beasts that would show up from time to time.
As familiar as the Hunter was with this forest, Nie Tian was able to circle around and lose him with the help of his seven Heaven Eyes and the complicated terrain.
An hour later, Nie Tian could no longer sense the Hunter who had been chasing after him.
He examined his surroundings again using his Heaven Eyes and was convinced that he was safe now.
During the following days, he kept running further and further away from the area where he had fought Song Li. He steered clear of high grade spirit beasts with the help of his Heaven Eyes, and stopped in safe regions to recover.
He would consume large amounts of the fourth grade spirit beast meat he had stockpiled and feed the rich flesh power to the green aura in his heart.
During the day, he would channel spiritual power from spirit stones and spiritual materials of different attributes to his spiritual sea to gradually push the limits of its capacity.
During the night, he would channel starlight from the countless stars in the heavens and form star power.
As a result, his spiritual sea gradually expanded and his spiritual power became more refined every day. Only the speed at which he condensed stardew was relatively slow.
Nie Tian, who had assumed the lotus position on a thick tree branch protruding from a tall tree, stopped cultivating and looked up into the infinite, starry sky.
The starlight that had been pouring down from the heavens rapidly dispersed. With a frown, he whispered to himself, “This method of gathering star power and condensing stardew is still too slow. The peculiar stones I previously used to restore star power were probably mined from or discovered in the Void Illusion Mountain Range as well. I just don’t know where to look.”
Pei Qiqi had bought him some peculiar stones in Shatter City and he had looted some more from the Dark Moon members he had killed.
Those stones had allowed him to condense stardew at a much faster speed, and thus greatly benefited his studying of the Fragmentary Star Incantation.
Unfortunately, he had already used all of them the last time he had studied the Starstrike magic.
Without those stones, Nie Tian wondered if he should start learning the Starshift.
After all, once he received enlightenment and mastered the magic, he would have to use stardew to practice.
The replenishment of stardew could only be done through night after night of channeling starlight from the heavens.
That was why he was hesitant to do it.
He sighed. “If I can find more of those stones, I’ll be able to condense copious amounts of stardew within a very short time. Then, I’ll be able to study the Starshift without any scruples.”
Recently, he had attached great significance to the cultivation of the green aura in his heart and the study of Fragmentary Star Incantation.
For the green aura to transform and advance to the next level, he would only need to continue to absorb flesh power. Since he had obtained the meat of numerous second and third grade spirit beasts, along with the Blood Eye Crocodile’s and the Golden Stone Rhino’s meat, he wouldn’t need to worry that he would run out of resources anytime soon. All he needed to do was consume meat every day and provide the green aura with rich flesh power.
What truly bothered him was that since he condensed stardew too slowly, it held up his study of the Fragmentary Star Incantation.
While he was wallowing in frustration, he heard a sharp scream via one of his Heaven Eyes. “Hmm?!”
It was the kind of sound people made when they died.
The source of the scream was beyond the sight of that Heaven Eye, so Nie Tian would need to move in that direction to get a clearer view of what was happening.
Therefore, he jumped off the tree.
As he moved closer to the source of the scream, that Heaven Eye of his floated to the site within a rather short time.
“Lu Yan!” Even though Nie Tian was still quite far from the site, he saw a familiar figure via his Heaven Eye: Lu Yan, who had quit Shen Wei’s hunting team.
Right next to her, a dead Shadow Eagle was lying on the ground, along with seven dead human Qi warriors, who were all dressed differently.
The faces of the dead Qi warriors were all grayish-green. From the look of it, they had died from some deadly poison.
Lu Yan was the only one alive. She took the seven Qi warriors’ bracelets of holding one by one and then cut off the valuable parts of the Shadow Eagle with a sharp knife.
At the middle Heaven stage, Lu Yan was plain-looking and slightly chubby. Compared to the sultry Song Li, she didn’t seem attractive at all.
However, she had parted ways with the team because she didn’t want to go deeper into the forest. Why would she show up here?
Confused, Nie Tian quietly marched towards Lu Yan’s location while she cut the valuable parts off the Shadow Eagle, hoping he could obtain the Shadow Eagle’s meat from her.
From what he could tell, Lu Yan was far weaker than Song Li.
Furthermore, she probably wouldn’t want the Shadow Eagle’s meat, so she might just be willing to give it to him for free. If she wasn’t, he was also prepared to take it by force.
He had adjusted to the cruel rules of the Void Illusion Mountain Range, and was prepared to act by them.
However, just as he quietly approached Lu Yan, he noticed via one of his Heaven Eyes that another early Greater Heaven stage expert was rapidly closing in on her as well.
That man seemed to be another Hunter!
Nie Tian immediately stopped to observe the situation.
Moments later, the man appeared in front of Lu Yan. He took a glance at her and then the dead Shadow Eagle before he said with a smile, “It seems that it’s your lucky day.”
“Yeah, I secretly poisoned these seven fools. Just after they killed the Shadow Eagle, the poison began to show its effect and killed them.” Lu Yan chatted with the man, seemingly rather comfortable. Suddenly, she frowned and asked, “Is there still no word of that Li Tian person?”
With a worried look on his face, the man sighed. “No, there isn’t. Our brothers have been searching in the vicinity for days, but there seems to be no trace of him.
“I wonder what that bastard did to offend Lady Song Li. She has been very grumpy lately, and many brothers have suffered because of it.”
“I’ve met that Li Tian person. He’s only an early Heaven stage young man who has a Blood Skull guest elder’s identity medallion.” With a deep frown, Lu Yan added, “As resourceful as Lady Song Li is, killing a man like him should be as easy as pie. How could she have suffered a loss from him?”
The man shook his head as he let out a cold harrumph and said, “It beats me, but if I ever get to see that bastard, I’ll capture him and give him a taste of the cruelest torture! I can’t believe he actually dared to offend Lady Song Li. Even death cannot atone for his crime!”
Lu Yan sighed. “Now that she is still furious, I’d better not go see her, in case she vents her anger on me. When I’m done with this Shadow Eagle, I’ll go back and lure another exploration team here, and keep up the work.”
“Yeah, that’s probably a smart choice,” The man said, looking rather helpless. “I’m not as lucky as you are. I’ll have to bear with her temper. Many brothers have been slapped on the face. She called us good-for-nothings for failing to find that bastard after searching for so long.”
Lu Yan and the man chatted as they looted all the valuable parts of the Shadow Eagle together. Then, Lu Yan handed what she had to the man, along with the seven bracelets of holding, before they both left.
Hiding from a safe distance, Nie Tian heard every word of their conversation.
“I can’t believe Lu Yan and Song Li are together on this! Those two evil women echoed each other and lured Shen Wei and others into their traps. I’ve never seen the two of them communicate in private. It means that they must have reached a mutual understanding long ago and they didn’t even need to talk…” After unearthing the truth, Nie Tian finally understood how these Hunters worked.
Women like Song Li and Lu Yan would sway and lure exploration teams to march into the depths of the dense forest, where they thought they would hunt spirit beasts together, but would actually be butchered before they knew it.
From the look of it, these Hunters must have been doing this for a long time.
By taking out spirit beasts and the exploration teams together, the Hunters could maximize their gains.
The way Hunters did business was even more evil and despicable than the Wild Fire, Dark Moon, and Blood Skull.
“These ruthless Hunters…” Nie Tian was shocked into a sweat by these thoughts, realizing that if he hadn’t had the Heaven Eyes, he probably would have fallen prey to them as well.
Just now, if he hadn’t discovered the appearance of the Greater Heaven stage expert, he might have sneaked up on Lu Yan already, and at that time, it wouldn’t have been easy for him to get away.
Nie Tian waited for a while. Only when he was convinced that Lu Yan and that other man were truly gone did he march over and collect the Shadow Eagle’s meat and blood.
Afterwards, he frowned as he pondered whether he should keep gathering high grade spirit beast meat in the forest or leave as soon as possible.
According to Lu Yan and that other man, Song Li, who was a high ranking official among the Hunters, had already arranged for her men to search for him everywhere.
If he stayed, he would probably be discovered sooner or later.
If it came down to that, he would be facing more than one Hunter.
After a moment of contemplation, Nie Tian let out a snort and said, “I’ll play with you for a few more days and see if you can catch me in this dense forest!”