Hua Mu took Nie Tian to a main road that led to Desolate City, gave him a Sound Stone, and left.
Hua Mu told him that the Sound Stone he gave him was very advanced and special. It was a Sound Stone forged by Zhen Huilan, which would allow them to communicate from any location in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation.
The conversation between Nie Tian, Hua Mu, and Wu Ji actually didn't last very long. If he wanted to catch up to Dong Li or Pei Qiqi, he might be able to.
However, he didn't.
Where he was standing was surrounded by numerous volcanoes, and about five days' walk from Desolate City.
He could see many Qi warriors who were hastening toward the mountain valley where the battle between Qi Bailu and Zhao Shanling had taken place, as well as equipment forgers who were heading back toward Desolate City.
He took his time as he marched towards Desolate City. Every once in a while, he would take out the book Wu Ji had given him and read a few pages.
It wasn't a thick book, but it carried Wu Ji's whole life's understanding of ancient Qi warriors, outsiders, and modern Qi warriors, as well as soul power, bloodline power, and spiritual power.
After arriving at the foot of a volcano, Nie Tian saw that there wasn't anyone around, and thus started reading that book again.
According to Wu Ji, humans were the weakest among all the intelligent races.
Humans would have to pass their various incantations and magics to their disciples or children through dictation or written form.
A number of extremely powerful experts had died before they had a chance to record or impart their lifetime of wisdom and knowledge to their disciples. Many exquisite magics and incantations had been lost like this.
However, outsiders that carried powerful bloodlines wouldn't need to worry about that.
Outsiders could imprint their knowledge and wisdom on their bloodlines so their descendants would naturally inherit them.
The younger generations of powerful bloodlines would be able to receive their ancestors' profound knowledge and understanding of their bloodline power through the transcendence or enhancement of their own bloodlines.
This was only Wu Ji's theory, which he had derived from a lifetime of learning. However, as a person who actually possessed such a special bloodline, Nie Tian's personal experience had proven his theory correct.
In fact, Nie Tian didn't know much about his mysterious bloodline. He had only awakened his three bloodline talents and imprinted them in the depths of his soul through achieving a natural transcendence of his bloodline.
He believed that as his bloodline continued to transcend, he would get to learn more and more about the profound truths of life power from his unique bloodline.
This method of inheritance, which was through no language or symbols, but rather the passing on of bloodlines, was indeed unfathomable.
He also learned from the book Wu Ji had given him that humans had only developed the whole cultivation system of absorbing and drawing power from the spiritual Qi with their spiritual seas because humans were born with feeble bodies and bloodlines.
Humans' spiritual seas were their source of power. They would need spiritual power to activate all sorts of incantations or arts.
As for outsiders, their hearts were their source of power. They could use their hearts to summon strength and disperse it into their flesh and blood.
Their hearts served similar functions as humans' spiritual seas.
Their blood carried copious amount of blood Qi, which was similar to the spiritual power that circulated in humans through their meridians. Therefore, it was just the energy of heaven and earth in another form.
In the book, Wu Ji had specifically noted that, in light of Nie Tian's uniqueness, he needed to refine his body as well as his blood.
The book also contained Wu Ji's numerous conjectures, which he could not be completely sure of. Therefore, he had urged Nie Tian to make his own judgment according to his personal experiences.
Normally, it would only take him five days to walk back to Desolate City, yet it took him eight days.
During that time, he read the book Wu Ji had given him three times and then burned it to ashes.
Thanks to that book, many cultivation matters he hadn't grasped or understood before gradually became clearer.
He found the part about outsiders and their bloodlines especially helpful. Wu Ji's thorough explanation had confirmed many of his own speculations, as well as given him new ideas.
Looking down at the ashes on the ground, Nie Tian recalled some of the profound contents of the book, and inwardly marveled at Wu Ji's wisdom.
Instead of a Qi warrior, perhaps it would be more accurate to refer to his master as a scholar of the studies of outsiders, humans, bloodlines, spiritual power, and souls.
He couldn't understand how his master had come to know so much. After all, the outsiders had left the Domain of the Falling Stars thousands of years ago. Where could he have obtained all this knowledge?
He had mastered all of the outsiders' languages, had a deep understandings of outsiders' bloodlines, and came to unique perceptions of humans' and outsiders' cultivation systems.
Furthermore, that book was just the tip of the iceberg. There must be much more valuable knowledge in Wu Jing's mind that he hadn't put in that book.
Nie Tian even had a feeling that the only reason why his master had been afflicted with his insufficient lifespan problem and failed to advance to the Soul realm was because he had poured too much time and energy into the studies of those fields, instead of his own cultivation.
Hua Mu's cultivation base was clearly much higher than his, yet deep respect could be sensed from Hua Mu's expressions and language when facing him.
Hua Mu had even referred to him as an 'extremely learned scholar', and said that he was the best master that had ever lived.
Nie Tian had heard that Wu Ji had taken in two disciples before him, both of whom had turned out to be extraordinary and stepped out of the Realm of Flame Heaven at young ages. Many said they had surpassed Wu Ji.
Standing in front of Desolate City, Nie Tian sighed over Wu Ji's choice. "My master is indeed awe-inspiring. If he had focused solely on his cultivation, it would be hard to imagine what kind of achievements he would have made by now." He didn't quite understand why Wu Ji was so infatuated with those matters.
He realized that, unlike the prosperity he had seen when he first came to Desolate City, the current Desolate City was roamed by very few people.
According to the directions Li Ye had given him before, he quickly followed the lonesome streets to his destination. He came to a stop in front of a stone pavilion and knocked on the gate.
Seconds later, the gate split open, and Li Ye's chubby face stuck out through it. Seeing Nie Tian, he asked, "What took you so long?"
After Li Ye ushered him in, Nie Tian looked up and saw Pei Qiqi standing by the handrails on the second floor. She shot a glance down at him and asked coldly, "Met your master, did you?"
"Thank you for informing him of the situation so early," Nie Tian said sincerely.
"I just did as Mr. Hua told me," Pei Qiqi said with an expressionless face. "Who was that woman you were with? How come she didn't come back with you?"
Nie Tian gave a dry laugh. "We split up. I ran into her while I was roaming the Realm of Unbounded Desolation, so we decided to travel together to keep each other safe. We're actually not very close."
The last thing he wanted was to reveal Dong Li's identity to her.
Dong Li had assumed the name Song Li and done many notoriously bad things in the Realm of Split Void.
If he told Pei Qiqi and Li Ye that Dong Li was Song Li, he was afraid that the two of them would scold him harshly for not being able to tell good from bad and judge him for hanging out with such a vicious woman.
Li Ye's face was full of dirty smiles as he said, "That woman had plain looks, but a steaming body." With these words, he took out a jar of alcohol and waved at Nie Tian. "Come on, since we don't have any urgent business, drink with me and celebrate my becoming a certified Premium grade equipment forger.
As he spoke, he filled the empty table before him with plates of meat and fruits.
After his previous experience with Dong Baijie, Nie Tian was no longer against drinking. He sat down and started gulping the alcohol down with Li Ye.
As the two of them chatted, they rapidly emptied that jar of alcohol.
At first, Pei Qiqi stood by the handrails, watching them drink and chat. It seemed that she didn't want to go back to her room.
However, shortly afterwards, she walked down the stairs, sat down by the table, and reached out her hand, gesturing for Li Ye to give her a wine cup.
Even though Li Ye was already tipsy and his face was all red, he still had a rather clear mind. Shocked, he asked, "D-do you want a drink, senior martial sister?"
"You have a problem with that?" Pei Qiqi asked.
"No, not at all." Puzzled, Li Ye poured a cup of alcohol for Pei Qiqi.
She drank in sips as she occasionally twisted fruits off the fruit bunches. She didn't speak, but only listened as Nie Tian and Li Ye chatted.
"Where have you been lately?" Li Ye asked as he gulped down another cup of alcohol. "Did you go straight from the Realm of a Thousand Devastations to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation?"
"No, I took a few trips to the Realm of a Hundred Battles and Realm of Dark Underworld before ending up in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation." Nie Tian was intentionally vague about his answer. "What about you? What have you done lately?"
"I mostly spent my time gathering materials for the Tool Sect's assessment assembly," Li Ye said. "Senior martial sister went to the Realm of Flame Heaven with you and spent six months there. As soon as she returned, she started a period of secluded cultivation. And she entered the middle Greater Heaven stage afterward."
"Congratulations," Nie Tian said, looking at Pei Qiqi.
Pei Qiqi's cheeks were slightly reddened from the alcohol, which seemed to have washed off her coldness to a great extent. "The fact that I was able to make that breakthrough had a great deal to do with the spatial rift in the Realm of Flame Heaven. By the way, you still have quite a few contribution points left with the Blood Skull. You can trade them for spirit stones or cultivation materials if you'd like."
Li Ye chimed in. "Yeah, take some time to visit Shatter City. You can't let the Blood Skull get away with all those contribution points. You accumulated quite a few by killing those Dark Moon members and Hunters. Don't you let them go to waste. They're still quite valuable. Oh, right. Cai Yuan found me before I came here. He also asked me about your whereabouts."
Nie Tian nodded. "I might actually return to Shatter City soon."
"You've got some business to attend to?" Li Ye asked.
"Nah, Uncle Hua's arrangements." After a moment of hesitation, Nie Tian added, "As you know, I have the Flame Dragon Armor in my possession. It needs earthflame essence. I actually came to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation to gather earthflame essence, but my plan didn't work out. Uncle Hua plans to find a spatial rift in the Void Illusion Mountain Range that leads to a fiery dimension."
"The Void Illusion Mountain Range again?!" Li Ye exclaimed. "The situation over there has become quite complicated recently. I don't know if it has something to do with the appearance of those Phantasms, but people have recently discovered a few fairly stable spatial rifts in the Void Illusion Mountain Range. Some people went in and came back with great fortunes.
"Because of this, the Dark Moon, the Wild Fire, and the Blood Skull have all sent powerful experts to the Void Illusion Mountain Range. Battles broke out on a daily basis.
"Apparently, even experts from other realms have also received word, and thus descended upon the Void Illusion Mountain Range."
Pei Qiqi jumped in and said, "Plus, it's said that those spatial rifts have something to do with the disappeared Void Palace sect."
Nie Tian was taken aback. "Void Palace sect?!"