During the following days, Nie Tian cultivated day and night in his own room.
With the help of the stones that contained rich star power, he took his time condensing stardew, and gradually filled the lake of stardew at the bottom of his vortex of star power.
Afterwards, he recovered the flame power and wood power he had consumed by using spiritual materials that contained copious amounts of wood power and flame power.
Time flew by. Fifteen days passed without him noticing it.
After a half-month of devoted cultivation, his vortex of star power had already expanded and been refined to the fullest.
His vortexes of flame power and wood power were also developed to the point where no more advancement could be made.
Only his spiritual sea was still yet to be expanded, and the spiritual power within it still needed more refinement.
Therefore, he thought about the Blood Skull's cultivation rooms.
This day, he had just stepped out of his room, and was about to go to the Blood Skull's headquarters, when he suddenly felt violent spatial energy fluctuations coming from within Pei Qiqi's stone pavilion.
"What?!" A surprised expression spread out across his face as he stared at Pei Qiqi's stone pavilion, his eyes glittering with a strange light.
Li Ye also sensed the anomaly, and came out of his equipment forging room, shock filling his face and body reeking of alcohol.
A few Qi warriors who worked for Pei Qiqi and Li Ye also walked out of their rooms to see what was happening.
After a short while, Li Ye exclaimed, delight appearing at the corners of his mouth, "Senior martial sister just entered the Greater Heaven stage!"
Nie Tian nodded gently as he sensed with rapt attention.
He discovered that the intense spatial energy fluctuations coming from within Pei Qiqi's pavilion were gradually calming down.
Li Ye and Pei Qiqi's few assistants were whispering something to each other, as they were also happy that Pei Qiqi had made another breakthrough in her cultivation base.
However, they would also occasionally shoot glances at Nie Tian with complicated looks in their eyes.
During the past few days, while Nie Tian had been cultivating wholeheartedly in his room, rumors about him spread to every corner of Shatter City.
Shi Qing, Liu Kang, and the other Blood Skull members who had gone after the Hunters also returned during that time.
They had chased down and killed a number of Hunters. A few weak Hunter organizations had even unraveled after their leaders' deaths.
According to the returning Blood Skull members, Nie Tian had single-handedly killed several dozen Hunters in the hilly area and wasteland.
While Nie Tian was only at the early Heaven stage, there were many middle and late Heaven stage experts among the Hunters he had slaughtered.
The rumors made Hua Tian a famous name throughout the entirety of Shatter City.
As of now, not only had the members of the Blood Skull acknowledged Nie Tian's abilities, their guest elder with the lowest cultivation base, but every Qi warrior in Shatter City was shocked by his accomplishments.
Naturally, the people who worked for Pei Qiqi and Li Ye had also heard rumors about him. Therefore, each and every one of them focused their amazed and curious gazes on Nie Tian the moment they saw him.
They seemed to be more shocked by Nie Tian's accomplishments than Pei Qiqi's breakthrough into the Greater Heaven stage.
After all, they had expected that Pei Qiqi would enter the Greater Heaven stage after this period of secluded cultivation.
The figure of a girl suddenly appeared in front of everyone.
A few beads of sweat could be seen on Pei Qiqi's smooth forehead, and her gorgeous eyes were glittering with bright light.
After appearing in the middle of the courtyard, she focused her gaze on Nie Tian and asked, "When did you come back?"
Ever since she had started her secluded cultivation, she had been completely cut off from the outside world, and didn't have the slightest idea of what Nie Tian had done, or the fact that the Fang and many other Hunter organizations had pursued him madly.
"About ten days ago," Nie Tian said, smiling.
Pei Qiqi nodded gently at him. "It's good that you came back alive."
Li Ye hastily stepped forward and said, "Senior martial sister, you probably don't know this yet. Not only did this guy survive the joint pursuit of the Fang and many other Hunter organizations, but he even somehow killed a few dozen of their Heaven stage members! He's like a big deal in Shatter City now. Even people from Ash City and the Land of the Abandoned have heard about him and are asking around about him."
A startled expression appeared on Pei Qiqi's face.
She had thought that, just like most returning explorers, Nie Tian had run into a few groups of Hunters on his way back, escaped their blockade, and returned to Shatter City.
She had never expected that Nie Tian would make such a major stir, and cause so many Hunter organizations to join forces to hunt him down.
Furthermore, she had heard of the Fang, and the fact that it was an emerging Hunter organization whose strength was by no means insignificant.
The fact that Nie Tian had made it back alive after making enemies with the Fang went beyond her expectations.
"Not only that, Li Langfeng was also after him." With a cunning smile on his face, Li Ye went on to tell her about all the rumors regarding Nie Tian, which had been discussed everywhere in Shatter City recently.
Pei Qiqi listened with devoted attention. As she did, the grimness in her bright eyes grew increasingly intense.
When Li Ye was finished, she pondered for a few seconds before pointing at Nie Tian and saying, "You, come with me." With these words, she turned around and walked back into her pavilion.
"You're such a tattletale!" Nie Tian cast a harsh look at Li Ye before following Pei Qiqi into her pavilion, looking somewhat helpless.
It was an empty, spacious stone room, with only a prayer mat in the middle.
Pei Qiqi's charming eyebrows furrowed as she waited for Nie Tian to enter the room before saying with a plain tone, "I know that you're not an ordinary person, and there are stories behind you coming to the Realm of Split Void. However, now that Mr. Hua has put you in our hands, I assume he doesn't want you to attract too much attention, since it won't do you any good."
Nie Tian smiled bitterly and said, "I understand."
Pei Qiqi rolled her eyes at him. "Then, why did you make yourself so widely known?"
"I didn't expect that the woman with the Fang would actually hate me so much…" After realizing he didn't have a better choice, Nie Tian explained how he had started a feud with Song Li to Pei Qiqi in detail.
Then, he said, "By the time I realized I had gone a bit too far, the woman suddenly went mad and tried every possible way to kill me."
"If I didn't strike back, I would have been killed by her and her men."
"All I did was fight back. I didn't expect things would escalate into something so big…"
Pei Qiqi waited patiently for him to finish and then said, "Forget about it. You need to be more considerate and careful from now on. From what I can tell, that Song Li woman is way beyond ordinary. She's probably from another realm, and only came to the Realm of Split Void to temper herself. As we know, the Fang rose to prominence in a very short time, but the Blood Skull didn't try to wipe them out. This alone makes it clear that the Fang is beyond ordinary."
Nie Tian nodded. "Yeah, that's my guess too."
Ever since he had overheard the conversation between Song Li and Han Mu, and realized that they knew Xue Long, he suspected that the Fang and Song Li were very different from the other Hunters.
The way the Fang had acted and their high-grade spiritual tools also testified to his theory.
"Ma Jiu is still alive. Li Langfeng wants you. Now you have the Fang after you as well…" Pei Qiqi pondered for a moment and said, "You'd better keep a low profile for a while, and don't go to the Void Illusion Mountain Range again! Also, even though you're in Shatter City, there may be members of the Fang around you. Keep your guard up at all times."
Shock could be heard in Nie Tian's voice as he asked, "Members of the Fang can enter Shatter City?"
"The guards at the city gate don't check the identities of people who enter or exit the city," Pei Qiqi explained. "As long as they have enough spirit stones, anyone can get a medallion and live in the city. If Song Li or Li Langfeng want to enter Shatter City, all they need to do is to mask their faces and dress differently from how they normally do.
"As you know, battles and brawls are banned in Shatter City. Whoever breaks the rules will be punished harshly.
"However, that doesn't mean everyone will just live by the rules. Considering Li Langfeng and that woman's temperament, it's totally possible that they'll act of their own accord and not give face to the Blood Skull.
"So if they really want to kill you, they might make a move on you even if you're in Shatter City!"
Only after hearing her words did Nie Tian start to give his safety some serious thought.
Originally, he had thought he wouldn't need to worry about threats from Song Li and Li Langfeng anymore once he returned to Shatter City.
However, Pei Qiqi made him realize that, as strong and resourceful as Li Langfeng and Song Li were, they could very well change, take on another identity, and make a move on him inside the city walls, despite the rules set by the Blood Skull.
"I plan to rent a cultivation room from the Blood Skull and spend some time there," Nie Tian said.
"That's a wise decision." Pei Qiqi's grim face turned a bit warmer. "There are many experts at the Blood Skull's headquarters. It's probably the safest place for you right now."
"Congratulations on your breakthrough," Nie Tian said sincerely.
"Yeah,” Pei Qiqi replied with an expressionless face.
"I'm off to the Blood Skull's headquarters."
With these words, Nie Tian left Pei Qiqi's pavilion, notified Li Ye of his intentions, and then headed out towards the Blood Skull's headquarters.
Here’s an interesting video of the Spring Festival Couplets: