Almost every human Qi warrior in the Domain of the Falling Stars knew that the Domain of the Falling Stars wasn’t all there was to this world.
Furthermore, many people were aware that the Domain of the Falling Stars hadn’t always been home to humans, but rather it used to be a paradise for outsiders.
For centuries, the Void Illusion Mountain Range in the Realm of Split Void had been considered the most mysterious place in the Domain of the Falling Stars. People even viewed it as a window to the outside world.
As for the numerous spatial rifts in the Void Illusion Mountain Range, some led to outsiders’ realms, while others led to unknown forbidden dimensions.
Some explorers even discovered brand-new dimensions through those spatial rifts.
The Green Illusion dimension had first been discovered in the Void Illusion Mountain Range.
That was why, when rumor had it that a Spirit Channeling grade treasure had appeared in the Void Illusion Mountain Range, no one doubted its authenticity.
After all, similar incidents had happened in the Void Illusion Mountain Range before.
People suspected that the unclaimed Spirit Channeling grade treasure had flown out of one of the spatial rifts, which led to an unknown dimension.
Therefore, every major force in the Realm of the Split Void had been searching this region for the Spirit Channeling grade treasure and the mysterious dimension, their eyes green with greed.
That was exactly why the Wild Fire’s territory was so overcrowded.
While Cai Yuan was explaining the Spirit Channeling grade treasure and the possible arcane dimension to Nie Tian with a face filled with excitement, Nie Tian cleared his throat and asked, “Well, are you aware that Shi Hui has secretly contacted the Wild Fire?”
Upon hearing these words, Cai Yuan let out a cold harrumph as a disgusted expression appeared on his face, as if a fly had just flown into his mouth. “Yeah, Qiqi told me. We have been treating Shi Hui with nothing but respect since he was a revered guest elder of the Blood Skull. I can’t believe that he actually colluded with the Wild Fire! He and the few guest elders close to him have already been removed from our list of guest elders.
“He’s not a guest elder of the Blood Skull anymore!”
Gu Yu’s expression was also unpleasant as he explained, “Shi Hui enjoyed forming his own faction within our organization. Having him removed is not a bad thing for us.”
Nie Tian seemed somewhat embarrassed as he said with an apologetic tone, “I’m partly responsible for this. If I didn’t seriously injure his nephew Shi Nan in the Blood Fighting Pit, perhaps he wouldn’t have left the Blood Skull so soon.”
Shi Hui was at the late Greater Heaven stage, and only one step away from entering the Worldly realm. He was one of the handful of guest elders of the Blood Skull who possessed such strength.
Now that Shi Hui and the few guest elders who pledged themselves to him were gone, the overall strength of the Blood Skull had taken quite a blow.
He felt like he had caused great losses for the Blood Skull.
Gu Yu shook his head and said with a frown, “It doesn’t have much to do with what you did. Even if you hadn’t done that, he would have found other opportunities to leave the Blood Skull. That man was too ambitious. He always wanted more. Actually, the head was already fed up with him. Now that he has joined the Wild Fire, let him be. There’ll come a day where we meet on the battlefield.”
After having a few words with Cai Yuan and Gu Yu, the Blood Skull’s group stopped to recover.
Naturally, as guest elders of the Blood Skull, Nie Tian and Pei Qiqi stood together, while all the other Blood Skull members rested in another location.
“You’ve made another breakthrough in your cultivation, haven’t you?” Pei Qiqi asked with a plain tone.
Smiling, Nie Tian nodded. “I was quite lucky; soon after we parted ways, I found the key to my breakthrough in that forbidden region, and thus entered the middle Heaven stage rather successfully.”
Pei Qiqi seemed to have anticipated Nie Tian’s answer, so she didn’t seem very surprised. Then, she glanced at the Blood Skull members who were recovering from a certain distance away before lowering her voice and asking, “That Spirit Channeling grade treasure belongs to you, doesn’t it?”
Nie Tian nodded, not saying a word.
Pei Qiqi gave him a hard look as she said, “I knew it.”
Nie Tian cracked a smile.
“If you dare to trick me and leave me like that again, I won’t let you off!” Pei Qiqi said angrily.
Nie Tian was surprised by her attitude.
“Did you get my consent before leaving?” Pei Qiqi gritted her teeth slightly. Seeing that Nie Tian hadn’t understood what she meant, she grew increasingly angry. Her bright, star-like eyes shone with frosty light as she asked, “Did you worry that I might learn your secrets, or did you not want to drag me into trouble?”
Back then, Nie Tian had cast three short-range Starshifts in a row and disappeared from Pei Qiqi’s sight in a split second.
Right before he had left in a hurry, Nie Tian had only said a few words to bid her farewell, not even giving her a chance to say anything. This had made her indignant.
“Umm… I feared for your safety.” A bitter smile stretched across Nie Tian’s face. “Not only was Shi Hui there, but also those guest elders who were close to him and a few members of the Wild Fire. I had confidence that I would be able to avoid them if I went by myself. But if you came along, I feared that it would be harder for us to stay hidden from the whole lot of them. After all, we were on the Wild Fire’s turf. Even though you’re skilled in spatial magics, we might have had to go through quite some trouble once we were discovered.”
In his opinion, he had only done this to protect Pei Qiqi, so he didn’t understand why she was so mad.
“I hate being left alone!” Pei Qiqi said coldly. “Especially when people say they did it for my own good!”
As she said these words, slight sorrow and bitterness flashed across her glittering eyes, as if unpleasant memories had come back to her at that moment.
Looking deeply at her, Nie Tian remembered the time when Pei Qiqi had wept and called for her parents in her dreams while the two of them had hidden in the stone room under a creek.
Nie Tian seemed to have suddenly realized what was going on. He nodded gently as he apologized sincerely, “I’m sorry. I won’t do things like that again.”
Pei Qiqi rapidly resumed her indifferent attitude and said, “Shi Hui has learned from his informants that you are currently in the Void Illusion Mountain Range. However, Shi Hui isn’t the only one who’s looking for you. I’ve heard that Li Langfeng and the woman from the Fang are also searching for you in this region.”
“Let them come at me then.” Nie Tian sounded as if he couldn’t care less.
“I really don’t know where you get your confidence.” After a moment of silence, she added, “By the way, Xue Long is here too. I ran into him a couple of days ago, and he asked me about you. He told me that he had business to discuss with you, and he asked me to tell you not to leave this region, since he’ll come back for you.”
“Xue Long?” Nie Tian frowned. “What does he want me for? Didn’t he chase after Li Langfeng when we returned from the wasteland to Shatter City? And there wasn’t news of him returning to Shatter City after that.”
“That’s because he stayed in the Void Illusion Mountain Range the whole time,” Pei Qiqi said.
“I see.” Originally, Nie Tian had planned to returned to Shatter City as soon as possible, so that he could inform Hu Rong of the Spirit Condor of his refinement of the first fragmentary star mark and Ning Yang’s appearance in the forbidden region. However, after hearing Pei Qiqi’s words, he said, “Alright, I’ll stick around for a few more days and see what he wants from me.”
Over the following days, Nie Tian traveled with the Blood Skull’s group as they searched in the vicinity.
Since Nie Tian knew that what they were looking for this entire time was the Flame Dragon Armor within his bracelet of holding, he didn’t attach the slightest importance to the search.
After the recent breakthrough in his cultivation, Nie Tian had many things to do, such as filling and refining his vortexes of spiritual power of different attributes.
Therefore, he spent the days cultivating his various types of spiritual power with spirit stones and spiritual materials.
Since the Blood Skull was one of the three major powers in the Void Illusion Mountain Range, even though they were walking on the Wild Fire’s turf, they had nothing to fear.
It didn’t matter whether it was independent cultivators or Qi warriors who had come in groups, they would all steer clear of the Blood Skull’s group as soon as they spotted the Blood Skull’s banner from afar.
Ma Jiu from the Dark Moon seemed to have been demoted due to his major misconduct in the Void Illusion Mountain Range.
Another person had already taken his place as the Dark Moon’s highest commander in the Void Illusion Mountain Range, and they were in the middle of reestablishing their teleportation portal. Thus, they were rather fragile at this moment.
Furthermore, since the Blood Skull had sent a large force to search for the Spirit Channeling grade treasure and possible new dimension, the Dark Moon and Wild Fire didn’t have the slightest intention to fight them before they came to any valuable findings themselves.
Even though the Dark Moon had been itching for revenge, they had suppressed their anger and backed away when they had encountered the Blood Skull’s group earlier.
Since then, all the forces seemed to get along rather well. However, no one came to any findings in the region.
On this day, Xue Long appeared as he had promised.
The moment he did, he approached Nie Tian and expressed his wish to speak to Nie Tian alone. Nie Tian agreed.
Afterwards, Xue Long led Nie Tian to a location relatively far from Gu Yu and the other Blood Skull members. With a solemn expression, he said, “The Spirit Condor asked me to help you with something.”
“Do you work for them?!” Nie Tian was taken aback.
“No.” Xue Long shook his head. “I owe them a favor. That’s all.”
“I see,” Nie Tian said.
All of a sudden, a skinny figure of a man flashed into appearance from behind a bare, ancient tree. The man let out a snort and said to Nie Tian with a meaningful expression on his face, “Crafty little punk! We meet again!”
“Li Langfeng!” Nie Tian was flabbergasted.