“According to our sect, the Domain of the Falling Stars was first discovered by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
“And the name ‘the Domain of the Falling Stars’ was given by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. Then, the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace descended and eliminated the outsider demons from each and every realm. After some time, when everything was in order, they gradually evacuated.
“Back then, the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace was without a doubt the number one sect in the Domain of the Falling Stars. Only after they left did other human sects move here.
“Later, no one knew what happened, but it seemed that internal conflicts occurred within the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. Or perhaps they encountered powerful enemies that eventually forced these powerful pioneers to leave.
“Back when they explored the Domain of the Falling Stars, they must have had bases or strongholds set up in different locations. My speculation is that this part of the Realm of Split Void used to be one of their strongholds.
“Otherwise, this place shouldn’t be attracting meteors from outer space all year long.
“When the Heaven Gates appeared in the Realm of Mystic Heaven, the Realm of a Thousand Devastations, and the Realm of Flame Heaven, and numerous meteors fell in these three realms, meteors also fell much more frequently in this region than before.
“Ever since I learned about your situation, I’ve wanted to invite you here, hoping that you’d be able to receive enlightenment from that fragmentary star mark of yours.”
The man, who was a former disciple of the Heaven Palace Sect and a guest elder of the Wild Fire now, took his time and explained the stories of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace and the origin of the Domain of the Falling Stars to Ning Yang in detail.
Ning Yang listened with rapt attention, and nodded from time to time as he pondered the man’s words.
Nie Tian, however, who heard every word of their conversation from a distant location, was taken aback.
Soon after he had obtained his two fragmentary star marks, outsiders demons had invaded the Realm of Flame Heaven and war had broken out. For the purpose of hiding the fact that he had the fragmentary star marks, he hadn’t dared to ask anyone about the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
That was why he knew nothing of the mysterious Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace inside the Heaven Gate.
Only at this point did he realize that the legacies he had received from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace actually had such an impressive background.
Originally, the entirety of the Domain of the Falling Stars had been inhabited by an outsider race.
Only after powerful experts from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had arrived from an unknowably remote realm in the boundless starry river had they driven out the outsiders.
The outsiders in the Domain of the Falling Stars probably hadn’t been able to match up to the strength of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, and thus vacated from all the realms, making the Domain of the Falling Stars a promised land for human Qi warriors.
However, as more and more human Qi warriors took root in the Domain of the Falling Stars, some unforeseen event had happened inside the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, causing them to leave.
Accompanied by their evacuation, their influence upon the Domain of the Falling Stars also gradually disappeared.
However, for some unknown reason, even though the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had long since left the Domain of the Falling Stars, Heaven Gates would somehow appear in the Domain of the Falling Stars every few centuries, providing access to the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
After eavesdropping for a while, Nie Tian noticed the guest elder of the Wild Fire bid farewell to Ning Yang.
After the man left, Ning Yang stood by himself by the edge of the enormous crater for a long time before suddenly jumping into the crater and whizzing to the top of the pitch black meteor.
In the next moment, a sword wreathed in a frosty aura flew out of Ning Yang’s hand.
The incomparably sharp sword seemed to be of premium quality, since it chopped and sliced the gigantic meteor as easily as if it was slicing a piece of tofu.
Meanwhile, Ning Yang’s expression was very grim, and his eyes were filled with urgency, as if he was in a hurry to find something.
Carved by Ning Yang’s sharp sword, the meteor from an unknown outer space was gradually reduced to broken stones.
Many of the broken stones exploded and revealed fist-sized Star Stones within them when they were chopped off the meteor and sputtered into the surroundings.
Within those Star Stones, fragmented shiny spots that contained star power could be seen.
After observing for a short while, Nie Tian counted at least seven hundred Star Stones that had been unearthed.
Even if he added the Star Stones he had looted from the Hunters and those Dong Baijie had gifted him together, he didn’t have that many on him.
However, Ning Yang didn’t seem to attach the slightest importance to the Star Stones that Nie Tian desired longingly. He let the Star Stones scatter on the ground as he continued to slice at the meteor with his sword like a mad person.
It seemed that Ning Yang was hoping to discover some secret from within this gigantic meteor, which would allow him to receive enlightenment from the fragmentary star mark on his chest.
Two hours later…
Under Ning Yang’s mad hacking and chopping, the gigantic meteor was finally reduced to tens of thousands of broken pieces.
More than 1,000 Star Stones were unearthed because of that. Under the night sky, countless fragmented sparks shone brightly within the numerous Star Stones.
However, Ning Yang didn’t pay any attention to any of that as he stood in the field of chopped up stones, none of which was larger than the size of a table, with a sinister expression on his face.
“Nothing… Still nothing!”
Looking at the completely unchanged fragmentary star mark on his chest, Ning Yang let out beastly bellows.
As he did, he brandished his sword under the moonlight and sliced the relatively large stones around him into smaller pieces.
Then, he used his non-sword-bearing hand to bombard the broken stones, causing them to explode, and the air to be filled with tiny stone fragments.
Many Star Stones also bore his wrath and were turned into dust.
Nie Tian’s heart ached as he watched the precious Star Stones explode, yet he didn’t dare to show himself to stop Ning Yang.
The formidable strength and battle prowess Ning Yang displayed made Ning Yang’s expression flicker. Via his Heaven Eyes, Nie Tian made an assessment of Ning Yang’s strength, and discovered that he was even stronger than Li Langfeng, even though they were both at the late Greater Heaven stage.
However, Li Langfeng was already the most powerful person in the Realm of Split Void aside from the few Worldly realm experts.
Therefore, he didn’t have the audacity to reveal himself, and he could only sit back and observe.
A long time passed, and Ning Yang finally finished venting his anger. With a frustrated expression on his face, he turned around and left empty-handed.
Nie Tian didn’t rush over instantly. Instead, he hid for a while longer and made sure there wasn’t any danger.
Only after another hour, when he was convinced that Ning Yang was long gone, did he come out from hiding and collect the Star Stones that Ning Yang had left scattered around in the crater one by one.
From this incident alone, Nie Tian gained 1,200 Star Stones, which would be enough for him to practice cultivation for a long time.
All excitement aside, he was also confused why Ning Yang didn’t have the slightest desire to collect those Star Stones.
What he didn’t know was that Ning Yang couldn’t practice the Fragmentary Star Incantation like he did, since he couldn’t read or learn from his fragmentary star mark. Therefore, even if he had taken those Star Stones, they wouldn’t have been useful to him at all.
As a core disciple of the Heaven Palace Sect, Ning Yang had stockpiled a substantial amount of Star Stones before entering the Heaven Gate, so that he would be able to practice the Fragmentary Star Incantation immediately after winning the fragmentary star marks.
However, now that he couldn’t practice the Fragmentary Star Incantation even though he had obtained a fragmentary star mark, he grew increasingly disgusted with the Star Stones in his ring of holding.
Over the following two months, Nie Tian wandered around in the so-called forbidden region, and encountered three occasions where meteors fell from outer space.
Every time he saw a streak of fire scraping through the heavens, he would cast Starfall as he attempted to alter the path of the plummeting meteor.
However, he failed all three times.
Each time, he and Ning Yang would rush to the meteor landing sites at different times. Sometimes he would arrive first, and sometimes Ning Yang would beat him to it.
Either way, he avoided Ning Yang every time. He would wait for Ning Yang to explore the meteor and vent his anger on it after discovering nothing useful. Then, after Ning Yang left in frustration, he would show up and examine the ruins for Star Stones.
However, not every meteor that fell from the outer space carried Star Stones.
As it turned out, none of the three meteors carried Star Stones, and the largest of the three meteors was about one tenth the size of the one he had first encountered in this region.
During the two months, Nie Tian spent most of his time contemplating the profundity of Starfall and using his sizable stock of Star Stones to condense more stardew.
When his vortex of star power was filled to the brim and no more stardew could be formed, he went on to refine his flame power and wood power with fire-attributed and wood-attributed spiritual materials.
By the time his spiritual sea, as well as his vortexes of flame power, wood power, and star power were filled to the limit, Nie Tian still couldn’t find the key to break through the bottleneck and enter the next cultivation stage.
On this day, Nie Tian consumed a large amount of spirit beast meat, and sensed that the green aura within his heart had suddenly grown silent after devouring part of the flesh power generated by the spirit beast meat.
Upon closer examination, he discovered that dazzling green light was shooting out of the translucent and sparkling chains within the green aura that was coiled at the bottom of his heart
Then, he immediately realized that the green aura, which was the embodiment of his bloodline, had finally accumulated enough flesh power to the point where it was ready for its next upgrade and transcendence.
The green aura was like a snake that lay dormant, waiting for its next molt.
The wisps of flesh power that had survived the green aura’s hunger went on and dispersed into every bone and muscle in Nie Tian’s body.
As the the wisps of flesh power seeped into his flesh and bones, Nie Tian was suddenly struck by a feeling that his vortex of wood power had begun to rotate at an abnormally fast speed.
“I’ve come to fairly deep understandings regarding star power and flame power, and I’ve mastered the relative incantations and magics. However, I’ve still yet to understand wood power and wood-attributed incantations better.”
From the trivial changes he had detected in his vortex of wood power, Nie Tian had finally awakened to the truth: “It seems that learning the profound mysteries of wood power is the key to my breakthrough in cultivation!”