After watching Ji Qingyun and his subordinates tuck their tails and leave, Qian Qiong from the Ice Pavilion Sect spat, his face filled with disdain, "I can't believe that a clown like him dared to threaten others."
Given his cultivation base and status, he had the right to ignore Ji Qingyun, and he wouldn't need to worry that Ji Qingyun or the Heaven Expanse Sect would retaliate against him.
Standing in the courtyard, Jiang Zhisu and the others from the Realm of Flame Heaven were happy to see Ji Qingyun and his people get what they deserved. However, they were still worried.
It had been a long time since the Heaven Expanse Sect and the Thunder Mountain Sect from the Realm of Earth Sieve had plotted with the other two neighboring realms to take the Realm of Flame Heaven, considering that there wasn't a single Soul realm expert in the Realm of Flame Heaven.
Lu Ling from the Yin Sect chuckled. "Alright, let's forget about those vile people from the Heaven Expanse Sect. Nie Tian, we're here to express our gratitude, but we're also here to get your opinion on something."
"I'm all ears, Big Sister Lu," Nie Tian said, a faint smile appearing on his face.
Lu Ling had been the one who had escorted him out of the Realm of a Thousand Devastations to the Realm of a Hundred Battles after he had finished sealing the spatial rift.
It was she who had put him in Qin Yan's hands and told her to take care of him. Therefore, he had a rather positive impression of her.
Lu Ling was pleased by his attitude as she said, "Aren't you sweet?" However, she then grew hesitant as she glanced over the people from the Realm of Flame Heaven. "Umm..."
Apparently, she wanted privacy. At this moment, many experts from the Realm of Flame Heaven were gathered in the courtyard, and she wasn't sure who Nie Tian could trust.
Jiang Zhisu and the others were all very seasoned and sensible. Upon seeing this, they immediately knew what she meant.
Even though they wanted to stay and find out what they were going to discuss, they figured that they had better leave.
Jiang Zhisu broke the silence by saying with a somewhat forced smile, "Excuse me. There're still things that require my attention."
Chang Sen, Fang Hui, Ghost Eye, and the others also realized that Lu Ling didn't want them to be there when they discussed what must be very important matters, so they found excuses and left one after another.
However, as they did, Nie Tian suddenly said, "Senior Fang, Senior Li, I still have things to discuss with you."
Li Jing and Fang Hui's eyes lit up as they came to a stop in front of the courtyard gate.
Hearing this, Jiang Zhisu from the Cloudsoaring Sect sighed inwardly, knowing that Nie Tian must find Li Jing and Fang Hui trustworthy and felt close to them. Otherwise, he wouldn't have stopped the two of them from leaving.
The fact that Nie Tian had asked them to stay, but not him, when the Nie Clan was a subordinate clan of the Cloudsoaring Sect, and Nie Tian's master was Wu Ji, a member of the Cloudsoaring Sect, indicated how distant he felt towards the Cloudsoaring Sect.
He was well-aware that the reason Nie Tian didn't have a sense of belonging with the Cloudsoaring Sect was because some of the Cloudsoaring Sect elders had ignored the Nie Clan and mistreated Nie Tian's grandfather and aunt.
He wouldn't have felt so frustrated if it were another person, but seeing Nie Tian now...
Jiang Zhisu shook his head and walked out through the courtyard gate with mixed emotions.
Soon, Li Jing, Fang Hui, and the people from the Yin Sect, the Yang Sect, and the Ice Pavilion Sect were the only ones that remained in the courtyard.
Qian Qiong cleared his throat, signaling for the Ice Pavilion Sect disciples other than Xuan Ke to wait outside the courtyard.
Similarly, Lu Ling instructed the Yin Sect disciples other than Ye Qin to step outside, and Kong Hong instructed the Yang Sect disciples other than Chen Hao to leave the courtyard.
Meanwhile, since no one told Hu Rong from the Spirit Condor to leave, he just stood there and smiled at everyone.
Qian Qiong raised his hand, and countless sparkling and crystal-clear bits of ice flew up into the air, forming a frosty ward that covered the entire courtyard.
"Alright, no one in Shatter City can hear us now, since there isn't a single Soul realm expert in the city." With these words, Qian Qiong's expression grew serious. "Xuan Ke told us about what had happened in that new dimension as soon as he came back. After hearing what he said, I instructed the other returned disciples to go into secluded cultivation right away."
"We did the same with ours, except Ye Qin," Liu Ling chimed in.
"It's the same with us," Kong Hong said. "All those who came back with Chen Hao are not allowed to leave the sect."
Upon hearing these words, Li Jing and Fang Hui widened their eyes, curious as to what had happened in that dimension and why they had forbidden their disciples to leave their sects.
Nie Tian, however, knew exactly why.
On the second island, after they had been attacked, he had joined up with Dong Li, Xuan Ke, and the others, and almost killed off all the young, talented disciples from the Heaven Palace Sect, the Flame God Sect, and the other sects.
Once word of that leaked out, it would surely affect the unity among the sects.
Even though Xuan Ke, Ye Qin, and Chen Hao were their trustworthy core disciples, Qian Qiong and the other seniors didn't have the confidence that their other disciples would also keep the information to themselves.
Therefore, they had been ordered to stay in their sects at such a sensitive time.
Qian Qiong finally seemed somewhat relived as he said, "The good news is that no one else has come back from that dimension since you did. Sun Lin and Yang Kan managed to escape from you, but considering they're only at the Greater Heaven stage, I doubt that they'll make it back. I reckon none of those Worldly realm or Profound realm experts witnessed what you did, so we don't need to worry about them too much either."
Nie Tian nodded slowly.
After a moment of silence, Qian Qiong fixed Nie Tian with a deep look and asked, "How did you know that a spatial rift would appear on that island, and that you'd be able to return through it? You even knew the exact time of its appearance?!"
This was the main reason why he had come.
Lu Ling and Kong Hong also looked at him, their faces serious.
"About that, I can only tell you that it has something to do with the legacies I obtained from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace," Nie Tian answered in a soft voice.
Qian Qiong's expression flickered as he asked, "The Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace is involved?!"
Lu Ling looked slightly anxious as she asked, "Nie Tian, do you know what grades the outsiders that plan to invade us will be at?
"As you know, after learning about the outsiders' invasion plan, sects from all over the Domain of the Falling Stars are sending their Worldly realm and Profound realm experts here to set up defenses near those spatial rifts.
"But if there are going to be seventh grade outsiders, whose strength can only be matched by Soul realm experts, in the invading army, then we'll be in a very disadvantaged situation.
"Not only are there very few Soul realm experts throughout the entire Domain of the Falling Stars, but they're also usually in secluded cultivation. They normally wouldn't come out of their secluded cultivation unless it was a matter of life and death.
"I'm afraid it'll be hard to persuade them to go help defend those spatial rifts if we don't know for sure whether seventh grade outsider experts are coming or not."
Kong Hong chimed in, "So we're wondering if you know whether we should expect seventh grade outsiders, and if so, how many?"
Nie Tian instantly saw through their concerns. After a moment of pondering, he said, "During my final battle against Armes, one of their ancient starships was hovering right above us. And Armes attempted to kill me with a very powerful spiritual tool. As far as I could tell, it was no ordinary spiritual tool, and it didn't belong to Armes. Its owner must have been a seventh grade Phantasm expert.
"So I believe there will be at least one seventh grade outsider expert in the invading army, probably more."
Qian Qiong gasped with astonishment and said with his eyes wide, "I see. Thank you for such an important piece of information. I'll inform the other sects of the situation as soon as I can, and have them tell their Soul realm experts to prepare to come out of their secluded cultivation."
Kong Hong and Lu Ling also looked shocked upon hearing the news.
After all, not a single Soul realm expert had come to the Realm of Split Void so far.
Under such circumstances, once the outsider army arrived, the Worldly realm and Profound realm experts that were now garrisoned in the Void Illusion Mountain Range would face massive casualties.
It was crucial that they inform their Soul realm experts and have them come to join the defending forces as soon as possible.
Burning with anxiety, the three seniors bid their farewells and left with their juniors.
Before they left, Xuan Ke, Ye Qin, and Chen Hao told Nie Tian that they would attend the trading fair that would be held in the Blood Skull's headquarters in three days, where they would sell the precious spiritual materials they had obtained from that other dimension.
In reply, Nie Tian told them that he would go as well.
Soon, Hu Rong, Li Jing, Fang Hui, and Nie Tian were the only ones left in the courtyard. With a smile, Hu Rong said to Nie Tian, "To tell you the truth, we're only holding that trading fair because of you and the others that have returned from that dimension. I heard that you all got quite some fortune from there. I'm hoping to broaden my horizons at the fair."
"Dong Li has all of the things I got from that dimension," Nie Tian said.
"Oh, I see, but that won't be a problem. The chosen ones from the Realm of a Hundred Battles were also invited to join the trading fair." With these words, Hu Rong bowed and walked towards the courtyard gate. He stopped before leaving, turned around, and said, "By the way, don't you worry about Ji Qingqun. He won't dare to do anything to you."
As soon as he was gone, Li Jing said, "Nie Tian, I brought the Bone Blood Demon here. Once you give it life again, you won't have to pay attention to people like Ji Qingyun anymore."