There were two completely different ways to cast Starshift.
One was to pour star power into his legs and conduct short but frequent shifts of location; the other was to circulate star power all over his body and conduct a single, long shift from one location to another.
Nie Tian chose the second.
Using this method, Nie Tian channeled star power from his vortex of star power and rapidly filled every inch of himself with it.
Bits of starlight rushed madly within his internal organs, bones, and meridians, putting his fleshy body under great pressure.
The moment he cast the spell, he felt a heart-wrenching pain, as if his body was being ripped apart from the inside.
The agony not only made him lose his calm state of mind, but even his sight began to grow blurry because of it.
He had to use his Heaven Eye to lock down a target location. As soon as he did, a unbelievably strong force was born within the bits of starlight that were flowing inside of him like a river of stars.
In the next moment, the hills he was surrounded by rapidly disappeared from his sight; all the hills whizzed past in front of his eyes faster than shooting stars.
As it happened, the pain was aggravated. His skin split open and bloody wounds appeared on his incomparably strong body.
In Xiao Lin’s eyes, the dashing Nie Tian seemed to have suddenly turned into a dazzling ball of light, which disappeared into thin air in the blink of an eye.
The ball of light vanished so abruptly that Xiao Lin couldn’t even tell which direction Nie Tian had gone in.
He came to a stop.
Standing in the location where Nie Tian had vanished, he had a complicated and grim expression on his face.
“Such an amazing escape magic!” After a long period of silence, he murmured quietly, as if he still couldn’t believe what he had just seen.
WHOOSH! WHOOSH! WHOOSH!
Just as he was wracking his brains for an answer, Song Li and Han Mu dashed to his side, along with a few other Fang members. They formed a half circle around him as they looked at him, frowning.
Xiao Lin had secretly sent a message to Song Li the moment he had sensed Nie Tian. After receiving the message, Song Li rapidly arranged for Fang members to spread out and form a two-kilometer-wide blockade around Nie Tian’s location.
In that way, no matter which direction Nie Tian fled in, he would have ended up getting entangled with Fang members.
Once Nie Tian had been stopped, more Fang members would rush over and throw themselves on him. Then, Song Li and Han Mu would also arrive.
Upon her arrival, however, Song Li frowned deeply and asked, “Where is he? Don’t tell me that you’ve lost him!”
Xiao Lin seemed somewhat frustrated as he said, “…He used a very strange escape magic and vanished from my sight. Tell your people to spread out and search the vicinity.
“Hua Tian’s cultivation base is quite low. Even though he escaped by relying on his strange magic, he still can’t get very far from here.
“Plus, this kind of instant escape magic will usually cause great damage to the caster’s body.
“The longer he goes, the more damage will be done to his body. Wherever he is, he must be in a bad state. As long as we can find him, we’ll be able to catch him effortlessly.”
Song Li gritted her white teeth as she let out a cold harrumph and said, “Escape magic?! If we can’t find him and capture him, the deal between us is off!”
With these words, she immediately took out her Sound Stone and issued orders to the Fang members in the vicinity.
After receiving her orders, the Fang members, as well as a handful of other Hunter organizations, shrank their blockade circle and conducted an inch-by-inch search.
About fifteen minutes later…
Song Li didn’t receive any word regarding Nie Tian’s whereabouts from the Fang members or the leaders of the Hunter organizations.
They couldn’t find Nie Tian anywhere in the blockade.
It was as if Nie Tian had completely vanished.
Song Li glared at Xiao Lin and said, “There’s no sign of him!”
Xiao Lin’s expression flickered as he said, “If he’s not in the blockade circle, it means that his escape magic is so powerful that it allowed him to shift out of your blockade circle. However, if that’s the case, the injuries he caused to himself by using this magic will be even worse.
“You can command your people to spread out and search in further areas. You should be able to find him that way.”
Song Li’s ample chest rose as she took a deep breath and said, “I’ll trust you this one last time!”
Then, she issued new orders to the Fang members and the other Hunter organizations, instructing them to conduct searches in further areas.
At the same time…
Nie Tian was sitting at the foot of a hill, five kilometers from where Song Li and Xiao Lin were. He felt as if he had just fallen from the heavens. He grimaced over the pain; he felt dizzy, and blood kept flowing out of the corner of his mouth.
He struggled to his feet and gently moved his arms and legs, which made him ache all over.
He discovered that some of his fine meridians and thin bones had been ruptured or broken due to his use of Starshift.
After a deeper examination, he found that even his internal organs had sustained different degrees of injuries.
At this moment, his physical condition was only slightly better than it had been right after his battle with Li Langfeng.
However, he hadn’t consumed too much of his spiritual power. Only the stardew in his vortex of star power had dropped by about thirty percent.
The single, long-range Starshift alone had cost him thirty percent of the stardew stockpile he had gone to great lengths to accumulate.
Meanwhile, his incomparably resilient body had sustained severe injuries because of it as well, which he could only recover through time and consumption of great amounts of spirit beast meat.
“Did I cast the Starshift successfully this time, or did I fail?
“I’ve burnt up such a dreadful amount of stardew and caused such serious damage to my body.
“Does it mean that I did it wrong?”
With these thoughts, he sent a wisp of his psychic awareness into the fragmentary star mark on his chest.
He instantly found that, in the first part of the Fragmentary Star Incantation, almost half of the ancient symbols that carried the Starshift magic had already disappeared.
“I did it!” Nie Tian’s mind shook violently.
From his previous experience with Starstrike, he had learned that only when he had successfully cast the magic would the ancient symbols branded in the fragmentary star mark disappear.
The fact that part of the record regarding Starshift was gone meant that he had successfully cast the magic.
However, he had never expected that a single use of the magic would inflict so much damage to his own body. He had assumed that he had suffered from a backlash after failing to cast the magic properly.
At this moment, he realized that the injuries to his physical body were probably the price he had to pay to use this escape magic.
While he was contemplating, his seven Heaven Eyes finally flew to where he was from his original location, following his aura.
When they flew close enough, the connection between them and Nie Tian was reestablished.
Via those Heaven Eyes, Nie Tian soon discovered that scattered Blood Hand and Scorpion Hunter teams were traveling at high speeds and shouting nonstop as they searched for him in the vicinity. Furthermore, they had Greater Heaven stage experts on their teams.
That was when he realized that not only had he lost Xiao Lin, but he was also out of the blockade circle the Fang had set up for him, so they had spread out, and were searching for him again.
“Passing the blockade and escaping from the deadly situation at the price of some fleshy wounds, it’s totally worth it!” After coming to this realization, Nie Tian’s eyes lit up. He once again summoned his strength to run at full speed despite the excruciating pain to his body, lest he be discovered by members of the Blood Hand or the Scorpion.
In Shatter City…
After months of traveling, the first exploration groups to have returned from the Void Illusion Mountain Range made it back to Shatter City.
After returning to the city, every single one of them said that it had been a rather lucky trip for them, since they hadn’t encountered any powerful Hunters on their way back.
Soon after they came back, a message spread out to every corner of Shatter City.
Many Hunter organizations were searching for a young man named Hua Tian outside the city, and the initiator of the search was the Fang, the most dangerous among all the Hunter organizations.
They also suggested that people in Shatter City who wished to go on exploration trips should move out as soon as possible.
While the Fang and other powerful Hunter organizations were focused on searching for Hua Tian, it would be the safest time for other explorers to march into the Void Illusion Mountain Range.
Within a short time, Hua Tian became a household name in Shatter City. It wasn’t long before the Blood Skull also got the news.
Upon hearing the news, Shi Qing’s expression flickered as he rushed towards Pei Qiqi and Li Ye’s residence without any delay.