Over the following ten days, Nie Tian’s fame rose higher and higher in Shatter City.
His deed of defeating Shi Nan in the Blood Fighting Pit was soon spread to every corner of the city, and became known to every citizen.
Not only that, but even people in Ash City and the Land of the Abandoned heard about him, the newest guest elder of the Blood Skull.
However, during this period of time, Nie Tian never stepped out of the cultivation room he had rented in the Blood Skull’s headquarters once.
Since his battle with Shi Nan, he had realized that he wouldn’t be able to conceal his true identity for long, and thus felt an increasingly strong sense of urgency.
In the cultivation room, he used the rich spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth to gradually expand his spiritual sea and refine his spiritual power round after round. In the meantime, he consumed large amounts of spirit beast meat and learned the last profound magic recorded in the first fragmentary star mark, Starfall.
During this time, Dong Baijie and Dong Li remained in the Blood Skull’s headquarters and wandered around in the vicinity, waiting for Nie Tian to come out of the establishment.
Now that Dong Baijie had confirmed Nie Tian’s identity, ideas emerged in his mind. If it was possible, he planned to exert all effort to snatch the two fragmentary star marks from Nie Tian.
If not, he would try his best to persuade Dong Li to put aside her personal grudge towards Nie Tian and make friends with him.
Of course, he hadn’t shared his plans with Dong Li yet.
Soon, a month passed…
Nie Tian, who had spent the entire time cultivating wholeheartedly in the Blood Skull’s cultivation room, had successfully expanded his spiritual sea to the limit and finished a few rounds of refinement of his spiritual power.
During this period of time, he had even received major enlightenment regarding the profound Starfall magic.
On this day, he finally walked out of his cultivation room.
At the front door of the establishment, he settled his account with Shi Qing and paid the total due amount of spirit stones. Then, he headed out towards his residence in Shatter City.
However, the moment he stepped through the front door, a small middle-aged man with a goatee suddenly appeared in front of him. Face full of smiles, he moved very close to Nie Tian and said, “Long time no see, young man. I noticed your uniqueness last time we met, but I never expected that you would become a guest elder of the Blood Skull!”
Nie Tian looked at him out of the corner of his eyes, asking, “Who are you?”
Actually, this was the same man he had encountered the last time Li Ye had brought him here to use the cultivation room.
The man made a living by selling information, and it was through this man that Nie Tian had learned about the situation in the Realm of Flame Heaven and that his kin were safe. Only after gaining such information had he finally set his mind at rest and focused on his cultivation.
With a low chuckle and a slick roll of his eyes, the man said, “It’s me. I didn’t have a chance to introduce myself the last time we met. I’ll make up for it now. My name is Hu Rong.”
Nie Tian nodded. “Okay.”
While Nie Tian and Hu Rong talked, some passing-by Qi warriors recognized Nie Tian and started chattering with their company.
“That’s Hua Tian!”
“He’s the Hua Tian everyone has been talking about!”
Hu Rong frowned slightly and said, “Hua Tian, if you don’t mind, can we find another place to talk? I’ve got a lot of new information regarding the Realm of Flame Heaven.”
Nie TIan’s expression flickered slightly as he said, “Alright.”
“Come with me.” Without any hesitation, Hu Rong walked towards the gate of the Blood Skull’s headquarters.
At that moment, Shi Qing, who had been sitting by the door, overheard their conversation.
“Wait a moment!” Shi Qing called out gently.
Hu Rong and Nie Tian both stopped.
Shi Qing took a long, deep look at Hu Rong before saying, “Hua Tian is our guest elder. Now that he wants to buy information from you, I hope you won’t deceive him.”
“How would I dare?” A wronged expression appeared on Hu Rong’s smiling face.
Shi Qing snorted as he said with a stern expression on his face, “Come on. Do me a favor and tell him only the truth, will you?”
For some reason, Shi Qing, who usually never showed any emotion when dealing with people, seemed very concerned and sincere when he talked to Hu Rong.
After hearing Shi Qing’s words, Hu Rong assumed a serious face as he nodded gently and said, “Rest assured. I won’t give him any false information.”
Only then did Shi Qing set his mind at rest and say to Nie Tian, “Brother Hu is a very well-informed man. Even we, the Blood Skull, sometimes get our information from him when we want to learn about the newest things happening elsewhere.”
Nie Tian felt deep veneration upon hearing these words.
Originally, he had attached very little importance to Hu Rong. Due to the man’s wretched appearance, he had even slightly doubted the authenticity of his information.
He had never expected that Shi Qing would actually speak so highly of the man.
“Let’s go.” Hu Rong led the way.
Soon, the two of them walked out of the Blood Skull’s headquarters.
Meanwhile, Dong Baijie and Dong Li hid around a corner of the street, and observed quietly as Nie Tian and Hu Rong walked further and further away.
After a moment of pondering, Dong Baijie asked, “Did you notice the ring on that man’s finger?”
With a suspicious expression on her face, Dong Li said, “Yeah, I saw the pattern on the ring’s surface. That Hu Rong person is probably with the Spirit Condor. He is probably in charge of the Spirit Condor’s branch in Shatter City. Normally speaking, people from the Spirit Condor won’t do business with men with low cultivation bases, like Nie Tian. They normally only deal with powerful and influential men or organizations. What is he doing with Nie Tian?”
“Beats me.” Dong Baijie shook his head. “As far as we know, the Spirit Condor is not a Qi warrior sect, but rather a mysterious, ancient organization. Their influence reaches every corner of the Domain of the Falling Stars. Even the most powerful Qi warrior sects like the Heaven Palace Sect aren’t as well-informed as the Spirit Condor.
“Now that the Spirit Condor has approached Nie Tian, could it be that they’ve learned about his true identity?”
Dong Li’s expression flickered slightly as she said, “It’s very likely! If any organization has the ability to dig Nie Tian out, it must be the Spirit Condor!”
“Damn!” Dong Baijie secretly felt regretful. “If the Spirit Condor has indeed learned about Nie Tian’s true identity, it won’t be very long before the Heaven Palace Sect gets the word. Once they do, they’ll immediately send people to Shatter City.”
“So what should we do then?” Dong Li asked.
Dong Baijie sighed. “Let’s observe for a while first.”
In a remote corner of Shatter City…
It was a run-down block. Rusting, small stone pavilions sat on both sides of the narrow street. A disgusting and nauseous smell filled the air.
This place was the slum of Shatter City, where only the most down-and-out Qi warriors gathered.
Every single courtyard and stone pavilion in Shatter City had been built by the Blood Skull. Wherever you lived, you would have to pay rent to the Blood Skull in spirit stones.
The more spacious and noble the residence was, the higher the rent would be. This block, however, was the place where people could find residences with the lowest rents in Shatter City.
Hu Rong lived in one of the numerous humble stone rooms on this block.
Nie Tian followed Hu Rong into the stone room, and found that there was nothing but a bed and a stone table inside the room.
While Nie Tian was still frowning from the foul smell in the street, Hu Rong laughed embarrassedly and said with an apologetic tone, “Sorry for the poor environment here.”
With these words, Hu Rong slowly closed the door, along with the only window of the room.
Afterwards, an ocean-blue light screen suddenly spread out across the inner walls of the humble stone room, isolating the room from the outside world.
Nie Tian’s eyes instantly glittered with a strange light.
“Alright, no one will be able to hear us now.” Hu Rong grinned and showed his mouthful of yellow teeth. He went ahead and poured himself a cup of strong tea. Despite the fact that the tea seemed burning hot, he took a sip of it, and with a enjoyable expression on his face, he asked, “How much of the first fragmentary star mark have you learned and refined?”
Nie Tian’s expression flickered dramatically.
Almost simultaneously, he formed a chaotic magnetic field around himself and unleashed one Heaven Eye.
As soon as his chaotic magnetic field was formed, the layer of ocean-blue light sealing the small stone room began to fluctuate violently.
Even the stone room began to give out cracking sounds, as if it couldn’t bear the strong impact and was going to collapse.
Hu Rong choked on a mouthful of strong tea and coughed loudly as he hastily waved his hand towards Nie Tian. “Wait! Don’t be so nervous! I mean no harm!”
“Who are you?!” Nie Tian blurted loudly.
He had never expected that this wretched-looking man would be the first to reveal his true identity.
After discovering via his Heaven Eye that Hu Rong was only at the late Heaven stage, a strong killing intent was born in Nie Tian’s heart.
Since he hadn’t fully mastered Starfall, it meant that he hadn’t even refined the first fragmentary star mark yet.
With the first sentence that came out of his mouth, Hu Rong had disclosed Nie Tian’s true identity. This made Nie Tian feel an imminent threat.
Therefore, he secretly prepared to kill and silence him forever.
“I’m with the Spirit Condor.” Hu Rong chuckled. “You’ve caused such a huge stir in Shatter City recently, so it was fairly easy for me to learn about your true identity.”
“The Spirit Condor? I’ve never heard of it.” Strong kiling intent continued to hover within Nie Tian’s wide eyes.