"Here. These are the things I traded for you with your contribution points." With these words, Li Ye unloaded his ring of holding and filled the floor before Nie Tian with a pile of fire-attributed spiritual materials, a pile of wood-attributed spiritual materials, and a pile of three thousand spirit stones.
Then, looking at the bracelet of holding on Nie Tian's wrist, he said, "Now that you've entered the Greater Heaven stage, a ring of holding will suit you better. It's time to retire that bracelet of holding."
After a moment of pondering, Nie Tian nodded, and emptied his bracelet of holding into a ring of holding.
The capacity of that ring of holding was ten times that of a bracelet of holding. The inside of it was a completely different space.
As he stored the items Li Ye had traded for him from the Blood Skull into his ring of holding, he asked, "What took you so long?"
Considering Li Ye's relationship with Zhen Huilan, the Blood Skull would never dare to treat him lightly. Meanwhile, they knew Li Ye's relationship with him, so when Li Ye went to trade his contribution points for materials holding his guest elder's identity medallion, he shouldn't have run into any difficulty.
However, Li Ye had been gone for days before he finally came back with all those items. This wasn't normal.
Li Ye gave him a hard look. "You should be thankful for such a result. These are different times. I was only able to cash those contribution points for you because the Blood Skull had to give face to my master. If it were someone else, I doubt that they'd have been able to cash their contribution points from the Blood Skull now."
Nie Tian was confused. "Why is that?"
With a sigh, Li Ye took out a bottle of alcohol, chugged down a cup, and said, "The situation has gone south. Many of the Blood Skull's guest elders have refused to fight for them. Most of them have already left the Realm of Split Void, and cashed all of their contribution points before they did.
"Too many guest elders have demanded spiritual materials and spirit stones in exchange for their contribution points, which is putting the Blood Skull under a great burden.
"Now, the Blood Skull have already placed limits on the amount of materials and spirit stones guest elders can trade for at one time.
"It was all thanks to my master's influence that they agreed to cash all of your contribution points in one go.
"Even still, since they've lost too many spiritual materials, so they needed a few days to gather those fire-attributed and wood-attributed spiritual materials for you."
Taken aback, Nie Tian asked, "What in the world has happened in the Void Illusion Mountain Range?"
Eyebrows furrowed, Li Ye said, "It seems that Cai Lan has suffered a great loss from his battle against the Dark Moon and the Wild Fire. Meanwhile, the Blood Skull have stopped allowing others to use their cultivation rooms, only their own members. So even if you have tons of spirit stones, you won't be able to rent any of those cultivation rooms anymore."
Li Ye's words came as another shock to him. He had originally planned to rent one of the cultivation rooms filled with rich spiritual Qi using the spirit stones Li Ye had traded for him.
"For now, those cultivation rooms are only open to the Blood Skull's core members," Li Ye continued. "Many of them sustained injuries in battle in the Void Illusion Mountain Range, and they need those cultivation rooms to recover their battle prowess so that they can march back to the battlefield as soon as possible."
With these words, he walked out of Nie Tian's room, telling him not to concern himself with what happened in the city, focus on his cultivation, and wait for his master's return.
Nie Tian sent a wisp of psychic awareness into his ring of holding. After a brief scan, he was somewhat disappointed as he thought to himself, "It's a pity that he didn't get me any high-level spirit beast meat."
Due to the impurities that filled the air in the Realm of Split Void, the surviving spirit beasts had mutated. Their bones, skin, and teeth were still of value, but since no one would eat their meat, hunters would usually discard the meat altogether.
For that reason, none of the Qi warriors in Shatter City had any spirit beast meat in their possession.
In exchange for his contribution points at the Blood Skull, Li Ye had gotten him some fire-attributed and wood-attributed spiritual materials, as well as three thousand spirit stones.
He had given basically his entire collection over the years to Nie Donghai and Nie Qian when they had reunited in the Realm of a Hundred Battles. Because of that, he only had five thousand spirit stones, twenty or so spirit jades, and small amounts of fire-attributed and wood-attributed spiritual materials, along with a sizable pile of Star Stones.
As for spiritual tools, the Flame Dragon Armor and the Flame Star were the only ones he had.
The Flame Dragon Armor had consumed too much flame power, and thus couldn't function for the time being, which left the Flame Star as his only usable spiritual tool.
Meanwhile, after the awakening of the Life Drain bloodline talent, the rate at which he consumed spirit beast meat had increased significantly. Therefore, the spirit beast meat he had purchased from the Dong Clan was also running out.
Shaking his head in frustration, he thought to himself, "If I knew I'd awaken such a bloodline talent, I would have bought more spirit beast meat in the Dong Clan."
Then, he took out some Star Stones and started absorbing star power again in an attempt to achieve his next breakthrough as soon as possible.
Soon, night fell...
Silence made the night seem endless. Cultivating, Nie Tian could hear people scream from time to time.
A loud and furious shout suddenly rang out from the center of the city. "Who are you?!"
Startled, Nie Tian opened his eyes, left his room, and jumped to the top of the highest pavilion in this residence, which belonged to Zhen Huilan.
Pei Qiqi flashed into appearance beside him. Standing shoulder to shoulder, they gazed off towards the center of the city.
However, since they were a significant distance away from the center of the city and some high buildings blocked their sight, they weren't able to see anything with their bare eyes.
After a moment of hesitation, Nie Tian formed and unleashed a Heaven Eye. With great caution, he controlled it to float towards the central square.
Under the night sky, he saw an old woman dressed in cyan garments, which were filled with exquisite lightning patterns, floating above the inter-realm teleportation portal.
A mountain formed by interweaving lightning bolts was embroidered on the old woman's chest.
Floating in the air, the old woman formed a series of profound hand seals, and immediately afterwards, a dragon formed by pure lightning power flew out of her splayed palm, roaring as it did.
Beside the inter-realm teleportation portal, Lu Kang and other Blood Skull members yelled loudly, though they didn't dare to rush forward to stop the lightning dragon.
The cyan-garbed old woman, who was slightly hunched and whose face was filled with wrinkles, cast another spell. Her shriveled, claw-like hands made a few grabbing motions in the air.
As she did, the inter-realm teleportation portal which Cai Lan had asked Zhen Huilan to establish for him rapidly disintegrated. Pieces of spiritual materials, including precious Space Spirit Jades, rapidly few into the old woman's cuffs and disappeared.
"I'm Lei Yao from the Realm of Earth Sieve. I'm only borrowing your inter-realm teleportation portal. I'll give it back soon." The cyan-garbed old woman said as she gathered the numerous spiritual materials that composed that teleportation portal.
Lu Kang and his crowd of subordinates couldn't even get close to the disintegrating teleportation portal now that the lightning dragon was hovering right above it. They could only watch the portal being taken away.
Nie Tian could sense via his Heaven Eye, which was floating stealthily by the central square, that many wisps of others' soul awarenesses had gathered in this area.
Lei Yao had clearly noticed that she was being spied on by many others' soul awarenesses. However, since there were so many of them in her surroundings, she didn't pay special attention to Nie Tian's Heaven Eye.
"I hope you can understand." Lei Yao said with an expression that looked as if she were forced to do this. "The Heaven Expanse Sect from our realm still needs to come to the Realm of Split Void. Since your teleportation portal is broken, we'll fix it for you. Also, it'll be intact and working when we return it to you. Thank you. No need to see me off."
With these words, she summoned the lightning dragon back to her side as she morphed into a bolt of cyan lightning and shot out of Shatter City.
In the central square, not a single part of the inter-realm teleportation portal was left.
Seeing that Lei Yao had disappeared into the darkness, Nie Tian hastily retracted his Heaven Eye. Then, he turned to Pei Qiqi, who was standing next to him, and said, "This is no different from open robbery!"
Even though Pei Qiqi didn't have a clear view of what had happened, she had heard Lei Yao's words, and thus learned about the situation.
"Lei Yao is a late Profound realm expert from the Thunder Mountain Sect," Pei Qiqi said, her tone as cold as usual. "As the two major sects in the Realm of Earth Sieve, the Thunder Mountain Sect and the Heaven Expanse Sect had maintained good relationships with each other. Many of their disciples even got married, which further strengthened the friendship between the two sects. She only dares to seize the Blood Skull's teleportation portal by force because the Blood Skull's head hasn't entered the Soul realm."
Li Ye suddenly echoed out from behind them. "Damn it! That teleportation portal was established by our master! I don't care whether she gives the Blood Skull face or not. Since she must know that our master is the creator, she should have at least talked to our master before doing such a thing!"
Pei Qiqi also snorted angrily and said, "Our master came from the Tool Sect. Even though she's left the Tool Sect, her connection with the Tool Sect will always be there. Things like this would have never happened before. But now...
"Zhao Shanling returned to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation. His Death Reign devastated the whole realm. However, the Tool Sect eventually failed to capture him.
"Meanwhile, the Flame God Sect took advantage of the opportunity to gather earthflame essence, which Xia Yi will use to attempt to break through into the late Soul realm. Once Xia Yi succeeds, he'll most likely return to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation with Zhao Shanling. The two of them will plunge the Tool Sect into a world of misery.
"The Thunder Mountain Sect must know that, at this moment, the Tool Sect is busy enough with their own affairs, so they dared to do such a thing."
Li Ye grew increasingly furious as he exclaimed, "That old witch! The first thing I'll do after becoming a Spirit Channeling grade equipment forger is to go to the Thunder Mountain Sect and settle this matter with them!"