“Is there anywhere else that’s famous for its rich flame power?” Nie Tian asked.
“The Realm of Unbounded Desolation, I suppose,” Dong Li said.
A puzzled expression spread across Nie Tian’s face. “The Realm of Unbounded Desolation?”
Dong Li’s charming brows furrowed as she said, “Yeah. Why do you ask?”
“As you know, I possess a spiritual tool, the Flame Dragon Armor.” Nie Tian didn’t try to conceal his true intentions. “Well, it almost drained the flame power it has accumulated all these years to help me deal with the Spirit Pearl. So, I need to find a place for it to regather the copious amount of flame power it requires.”
“I see...” Dong Li said, nodding. “The largest and most active volcano in the Domain of the Falling Stars is in the Flame God Sect’s territory. Rumor has it that it has been spewing blazing lava every once in a while for the past ten thousand years. But the Flame God Sect has long since taken it for their own, and keeps a close watch on everything around it. I know you wouldn’t want to go there.”
She also knew the relationship between the Flame Dragon Armor and the Flame God Sect.
“However, as grand and miraculous as that volcano is, it’s only one volcano,” Dong Li said, her eyes narrowed. “That’s not the case in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation. Active, lavspewing volcanoes can be found everywhere in the endless mountain ranges of the Realm of Unbounded Desolation. Even though none of the volcanoes are comparable to the one in the Flame God Sect’s territory, they have the numbers to make up for it.”
With these words, she halted briefly and said, “Plus, many of them are still unclaimed. If you want to recharge the Flame Dragon Armor with the flame power in active volcanoes, the Realm of Unbounded Desolation is probably the place you want to be.
“Aside from that, a grand Qi warrior event is going to be held in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation soon. You should go check it out. I’m sure it will broaden your horizons.
“Have you heard a saying that goes: equipment forgers in all lands originate from the Tool Sect?”
Nie Tian shook his head.
Dong Li rolled her eyes at him. “Such an idiot… The Tool Sect in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation is the origin of every equipment forger in the Domain of the Falling Stars. As far as I know, the first sectmaster and founder of the Spiritual Treasure Sect in the Realm of Flame Heaven was a disciple of the Tool Sect. Technically speaking, the Spiritual Treasure Sect can be considered a branch of the Tool Sect. It’s just that the Tool Sect hasn’t officially acknowledged the relationship between them.”
Nie Tian was taken aback. “The first sectmaster of the Spiritual Treasure Sect was a disciple of the Tool Sect in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation?”
Dong Li’s watery eyes glittered as she said with a smile, “What’s there to gasp about? The Spiritual Treasure Sect isn’t the only one that has connections with the Tool Sect. Many equipment forgers from the Heaven Palace Sect in the Realm of Mystic Heaven, the Yin Sect and Yang Sect in the Realm of a Thousand Devastations, and many other sects also have close connections with the Tool Sect.
“They’re either former disciples of the Tool Sect, or they’ve once studied equipment forging skills in the Tool Sect, or they’ve been rated by the Tool Sect.
“Oh right, Li Ye’s master used to be a renowned equipment forger of the Tool Sect as well.
“She was defeated in the competition for the sectmaster’s position. After that, she left the Tool Sect in a huff, and has been living in the Realm of Split Void since then.
“The Tool Sect’s decennial Equipment Forger Assessment Pageant will be held shortly. I’ve heard that Li Ye is going as well. He wants to take advantage of this opportunity and certify his status as a Premium grade equipment forger.
“Other than him, I’ve heard that Fang Hui from the Spiritual Treasure Sect is going attend the assessment of Spirit Channeling grade equipment forgers.”
Nie Tian seemed overwhelmed as he asked, “Equipment Forger Assessment Pageant? Why would equipment forgers go to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation to attend this assessment event held by the Tool Sect?”
“That’s because only when the Tool Sect has determined that someone qualifies as a Premium grade equipment forger will others acknowledge his or her status as a Premium grade equipment forger.” Dong Li went on and explained to him, “For example, it seems that Li Ye is capable of forging Premium grade spiritual tools now. Therefore, he should be considered a Premium grade equipment forger now, right?
“However, not everyone knows or believes that he’s capable of forging Premium grade spiritual tools.
“However, once he has been assessed by the Tool Sect and carries an identity medallion issued by them, everyone will acknowledge his status as a Premium grade equipment forger.
“If he’s still regarded as a Medium grade equipment forger in Shatter City, the price of his products will continue to be fairly low.
“Once he obtains an identity medallion for Premium grade equipment forgers issued by the Tool Sect, his status and prices will be very different. Even if people still ask him to forge Medium grade spiritual tools, he will be able to charge a higher price.
“Furthermore, only after he has obtained a Premium grade equipment forger’s identity medallion will people trust him to do a good job forging a Premium grade spiritual tool.
“The identity medallion issued by the Tool Sect symbolizes an equipment forger’s capability and status, which will be acknowledged by everyone and every sect throughout the Domain of the Falling Stars.”
After a brief halt, Dong Li added, “Fang Hui from the Spiritual Treasure Sect, along with many other Premium grade equipment forgers, had their status determined during these assessment pageants.”
Nie Tian was surprised.
After hearing that Fang Hui and Li Ye were going to attend this grand event in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation, he grew increasingly intrigued.
“This grand event in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation will attract countless equipment forgers from around the Domain of the Falling Stars. The participants will forge spiritual tools of various grades during the assessment pageant, many of which will be sold on site. Therefore, not only are equipment forgers are going to attend, but powerful Qi warriors from various sects will also be there.
“Most people don’t usually get the opportunity to meet top equipment forgers, much less ask them to forge spiritual tools for them.
“Therefore, this pageant held by the Tool Sect will be a perfect opportunity for those who have gathered enough materials and want to have customized spiritual tools made that agree with them.
“Truth be told, I was planning to go to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation after this exploration trip.
“Now that you’re in search of a place that’s rich in flame power to recharge the Flame Dragon Armor, we might as well go together.”
After a moment of pondering, Nie Tian nodded. “Alright, let’s go to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation together.”
Seeing that Nie Tian had agreed, Dong Li smile heartily and said, “Okay, I’ll take you to the inter-realm teleportation portal we’ve set up in the Realm of Dark Underworld. From there, we’ll teleport to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation directly. You’ll be responsible for keeping an eye out for local Qi warriors and making sure we don’t get exposed.”
“No problem,” Nie Tian replied.
With a soft laugh, Dong Li took out a map from within her ring of holding and started glancing around, trying to determine their current location.
A while later, she pointed in a direction, saying, “That way.”
In the Realm of Unbounded Desolation.
Cracks filled the dried-up, dark-red earth. Mountain ranges filled with sparsely-vegetated mountain peaks of various heights stretched out as far as the eye could see.
In remote locations, thick smoke was rising from some of the mountain peaks, along with occasional flames and deep rumbles.
The hot and dry Desolate City sat at the cracked bottom of a basin. Under the scorching sun, Qi warriors in Desolate City frequently wiped sweat from their faces, cursing the horrible weather in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation.
Like Water Moon City, Desolate City wasn’t surrounded by high walls. Everyone was free to enter or exit the city.
Even so, the Tool Sect was its undisputed master.
At this moment, all of the dilapidated stone pavilions in the city were filled with visitors.
In a corner of Desolate City, Li Ye was standing at the windowsill of a two-floored pavilion made of crimson stones. Looking down at the endless stream of people in the street, he said to Pei Qiqi beside him, “When will our master return from her trip, senior martial sister? The Tool Sect’s assessment pageant is in less than a month. I kinda want to see her before it starts.”
“Master is currently in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation.” Pei Qiqi said with her usual expressionless face. “It’s just that she’s forging something for someone, so she won’t visit us until she’s finished.”
She shot Li Ye a glance from the corner of her eyes. “You’re not afraid of failing, are you?”
Li Ye laughed out loud. “How can I fail?! The Flame Star I forged for Nie Tian is an indisputably Premium grade spiritual tool! The fact that I can forge the Flame Star means that I can forge another Premium grade spiritual tool at the Tool Sect’s assessment pageant! If people didn’t only acknowledge the identity medallions issued by the Tool Sect, I wouldn’t have wasted my time by coming here.
“Just remember not to lose face for our master,” Pei Qiqi said coldly. “She should have become the sectmaster of the Tool Sect. That was such a narrow loss. Now that she’s left the Tool Sect and you’re her only disciple who specializes in equipment forging, you can’t let those from the Tool Sect laugh at us!”
“I know, I know,” Li Ye said said in an unrestrained and carefree manner. “I’m such a talented young Premium grade equipment forger. How in the world will I embarrass master? Oh right, have you really never seen Nie Tian after you were separated in the Realm of Flame Heaven?”
Pei Qiqi’s eyebrows furrowed slightly as she said, “No.”