Deep into the night, Nie Tian returned to the courtyard where he, Li Ye, and Pei Qiqi lived.
He went back to his stone room and transferred all the Star Stones from the bracelet of holding Dong Baijie had given him into his own bracelet of holding.
It was through Dong Baijie that he learned that these strange-looking stones, which contained rich star power, were called Star Stones.
Since Dong Baijie knew who he was, he naturally knew that Nie Tian was learning and practicing the Fragmentary Star Incantation. Considering that the entirety of Shatter City was enveloped by a enormous protective ward, he couldn’t channel star power from the heavens, so Star Stones were indeed something Nie Tian needed desperately.
After putting away the Star Stones, Nie Tian took out the exquisite mask and put it on gently.
Wreathed in a misty, white light, the ice-cold mask stuck perfectly to Nie Tian’s face, completely covering up his original appearance.
He took out a bronze mirror and looked into it. In the next moment, he saw a plain-looking face that didn’t have a single special feature in the mirror.
Even still, it was very different from Nie Tian’s face.
Only at that moment did he realize how important such a mask could be to a person like him, who wished to conceal his own identity. “If I wore one of these when I first came to the Realm of Split Void, I probably wouldn’t have had to worry so much about having my true identity exposed.
“What does Dong Baijie want? He already recognized me, but not only does he not intend to expose my true identity, but he even gave me a mask and numerous Star Stones as a gift. The man is from the Realm of a Hundred Battles. He gained the qualifications to participate in the Heaven Gate trial, during which he gained a fragmentary star mark after wiping out all of his enemies in the Heaven stage area. This was enough to prove his extraordinary strength.
“Now, not only has he come to the Realm of Split Void, but he also sought me out. What could he possibly want?”
Nie Tian frowned as he racked his brain for an explanation.
Moments later, Nie Tian put away the mask and looked up at the chilly crescent moon in the sky. He unleashed a wisp of his psychic power to examine the spiritual sea in his dantian, and discovered that every vortex within it was rotating at a high speed.
He knew that, after the numerous deadly battles he had gone through in the Void Illusion Mountain Range, the hilly area, and the wasteland, his state of mind had reached the point where he was ready to break through into the middle Heaven stage.
In recent days, he had cultivated day and night in the Blood Skull’s cultivation room, and finished several rounds of refinement of his spiritual sea.
Both his mind and body had sent him messages that he was ready to step into the next cultivation stage.
However, there just seemed to be a layer of invisible mist standing in his way.
He wouldn’t be able to finish the last step and make the breakthrough unless he found a way to burst through the mist.
“What is it?” With these thoughts in mind, he took out several pieces of spirit beast meat and started munching.
At the same time, a wisp of his psychic power flew into his heart and observed closely.
Soon, countless strands of rich flesh power rose from within Nie Tian’s stomach, before they were rapidly drawn to and savagely devoured by the green aura in Nie Tian’s heart.
Only after devouring every last bit of flesh power that the spirit beast meat had provided did the green aura settle down again.
“Every upgrade and transcendence of my bloodline requires such astronomical amounts of flesh power!” Mixed emotions rose in Nie Tian’s heart.
Earlier, when he had cultivated wholeheartedly in the Blood Skull’s cultivation room, he would consume spirit beast meat whenever he took a break. Soon, more than half of the fourth grade spirit beast meat he had reaped from the Void Illusion Mountain Range had been washed down his throat, and the rich essence of flesh and blood had been completely absorbed by the green aura.
Yet, up until now, he still hadn’t had the slightest feeling of the green aura, which carried the profound truths of life, becoming satisfied. He could still sense its endless greed and yearning.
“Starfall…” As soon as the thought appeared in Nie Tian’s mind, he slowly calmed himself, sent a wisp of psychic awareness into the first fragmentary star mark, and tried to draw more enlightenment from it.
The practice of Starfall was different from Starstrike and Starshift. It wasn’t a simple process of casting spells by channeling his star power.
The truly amazing part of Starfall was that it was a magic that allowed the caster to summon falling stars from the void. The caster could use the strong mysterious spell to change the movements of the falling stars and command them to plummet towards and bombard his enemies to death.
Since he had already spent plenty of time studying the profound mysteries of this magic, his understanding of it had reached a rather high level.
He believed that he had mastered the essence of it, and he only needed to practice the magic in a place where falling stars could be found relatively regularly.
“I’ve got to leave Shatter City. The Realm of Split Void is such a vast place. There must be areas where falling stars flash across the sky more often. As long as I can find such an area as soon as possible, I’ll probably be able to practice Starfall and master this last profound magic within a short time.”
While contemplating these matters, the wisp of Nie Tian’s psychic awareness continued to soar amongst the ancient symbols that recorded the mysteries of Starfall.
Early in the morning…
Pei Qiqi learned that he had returned, and thus came to knock on his door first thing in the morning.
Nie Tian awoke from his contemplation, opened the door, and let Pei Qiqi in.
Pei Qiqi was wearing a light-blue battle garment. Her crystal-clear eyes were devoid of the slightest impurity. Immediately after entering the room, she glanced at Nie Tian out of the corner of her eyes and said, “You’re back, huh?”
Nie Tian nodded.
Pei Qiqi let out a soft, angry snort. “What did I tell you before you went to the Blood Skull’s headquarters? Didn’t I tell you to keep a low profile and stay away from trouble? You just won’t listen! Not only did you get in trouble, but you even went to fight Shi Nan in the Blood Fighting Pit!
“This is great. After that fight, almost everyone in Shatter City now knows your face.
“If Mr. Hua were here, he would definitely also tell you to lay low and avoid things like that. Even though you didn’t say it, I know you’ve come to the Realm of Split Void to hide from certain people. If you don’t want trouble, you’ll have to act like it!
“If you continue to do things like that, I’m afraid you won’t be able to hide here much longer!”
Scolded by Pei Qiqi, Nie Tian forced a dry smile and didn’t say anything, looking shamefaced.
After their experience together in the Void Illusion Mountain Range, Nie Tian knew that she would only talk this much to people she cared about.
To those who she didn’t care about, she wouldn’t say a word more than what was necessary, no matter who it was.
“It’s my bad. I tried, but I couldn’t bear his provocation.” Nie Tian admitted to his mistake honestly.
Pei Qiqi shot another cold glance at him. Seeing that he was truly sorry for his rash behavior, she didn’t know what else to say.
“Oh, right, Cai Yuan came over a couple of days ago.” She stopped berating Nie Tian and changed the subject. “He talked to Li Ye. Apparently, he converted the valuables you previously looted from the Dark Moon members and Hunters into spirit stones, and used some of them to purchase a number of spiritual materials Li Ye would need.
“It seems that the customized spiritual tool Li Ye is forging for you will require even more spiritual materials than he expected. Even though your last trip turned out rather lucrative, everything you gained from it probably won’t be enough for Li Ye to forge that spiritual tool.”
Nie Tian was taken aback. “Does it really require that many spiritual materials to forge that spiritual tool?”
Pei Qiqi nodded gently at him, saying, “It’s mainly because you’re far too special. The spiritual tool Li Ye is forging for you will allow you to infuse it with fire power, wood power, and star power. My master and Li Ye are the only ones in the Realm of Split Void who have the ability to forge this kind of spiritual tool.”
Nie Tian was increasingly astounded.
“Another reason is that it requires a substantial amount of Star Iron. Star Iron is extracted and refined from Star Stones. Star Stones are very hard to find in the Realm of Split Void. There’s only one region in the whole realm where Star Stones can be found.” After a brief pause, Pei Qiqi continued with a frown, “But that region is even more special and dangerous than the Void Illusion Mountain Range. It’s extremely hard for people to obtain Star Stones from there.”
“Star Iron…” Nie Tian’s expression flickered. Then, he took out two hundred Star Stones from within his bracelet of holding, laid them in front of Pei Qiqi, and asked, “Will these be enough?”
Pei Qiqi’s eyes widened. “Where did you get so many Star Stones?”
Nie Tian chuckled. “From the Hunters I killed.”
Pei Qiqi shook her head. “It still seems a bit short.”
Nie Tian took another fifty Star Stones from within his bracelet of holding, leaving only fifty for himself. “How about now?”
After a glance at the Star Stones, Pei Qiqi stared at Nie Tian with a surprised look in her eyes. “Now it seems about enough.”
Nie Tian cleared his throat with a smile on his face before he killed the silence by asking, “Where exactly is this region you talked about? Also, why do you say it’s even more dangerous than the Void Illusion Mountain Range?”
Pei Qiqi went on and explained, “In that region, meteors fall from the sky all the time. These Star Stones actually come from the meteors that plummet to the earth.”
Nie Tian’s eyes immediately shone with the light of excitement.
At present, the most crucial part to his study of Starfall was none other than finding a place where he could see and interact with falling stars.
He had been scratching his head over where to find such a place.
Pei Qiqi’s words came as great news for him, and allowed him to see the hope of mastering Starfall in the recent future.
“Do you have a map of that region?” Nie Tian asked hastily.
“You don’t need a map. It’s vast region to the east of Ash City, and it’s also infested by Hunters…” Only then did Pei Qiqi come to realize what Nie Tian’s intentions were, and asked, “No, don’t tell me that you want to go there… Are you crazy!?”
“I need Star Stones! A lot of them!” Nie Tian said.