After Zhao Shanling and Nie Tian left, the trading fair at the Blood Skull's headquarters became much less exciting.
After the trading fair was over, the majority of the attendants returned to Ash City, the Land of the Abandoned, and the Void Illusion Mountain Range through the teleportation portal Zhen Huilan had reestablished in Shatter City.
However, some weren't in a hurry to leave.
That night, Hou Qingsen from the Poison Sect sought out Ji Qingyun from the Heaven Expanse Sect at his residence.
He did it because he knew Ji Qingyun had also been humiliated by Nie Tian three days ago.
He cut to the chase by saying, "That brat was so fucking arrogant. We need to teach him a lesson that he'll remember his whole life! And I won't rest before I get those Fiend scrolls!"
Ji Qingyun gave him a sideways glance, and with a bitter smile, he said, "He's got the Spirit Condor and all those sects to protect him. I'm afraid it won't be easy for us to get to him. As you know, since these are sensitive times, even the Heaven Palace Sect has agreed to stop all strife among ourselves."
Hou Qingsen appeared to have a plan cooked up as he said, "Of course we won't do it ourselves, but we can have others do it for us."
After a short pause, he said in a low voice, "Some rogue cultivators only care about their own benefits. The bigger picture won't concern them at all. We can pay them to do it. Successful or not, we won't be held responsible for what they do."
With a slight frown, Ji Qingyun said, "It does sound feasible, but isn't it a bit too risky to do it in Shatter City? After all, Nie Tian is surrounded by those from the Realm of Flame Heaven. Chang Sen, Li Jing, Fang Hui, and Ghost Eye are all at the Profound realm, not to mention that Qian Qiong from the Ice Pavilion Sect and the others who have sworn to protect him are also in Shatter City.
"Whoever kills Nie Tian won't live to leave Shatter City. Who would want to do such a thing?"
Hou Qingsen smiled viciously and said, "Of course we're not doing it in the city, but I don't believe that brat will never leave! Also, those Profound realm experts from the Realm of Flame Heaven won't be able to follow him all the time. As long as he dares to leave the city, we can have him ambushed."
"It's worth a shot," Ji Qingyun said softly.
Eyebrows furrowed, Hou Qingsen continued, "Since Nie Tian dared to openly start a feud with my sect for Li Langfeng, I'll go talk to Wu Qinghe from the Spirit God Sect. With those scrolls and rare materials from Nie Tian, that abandoned disciple of mine might actually make rapid progress in his cultivation. If that's the case, Wu Qinghe definitely won't want Nie Tian to be alive."
Ji Qingyun's eyes lit up. "Good! We'll have better odds if the Spirit God Sect agrees to help!"
Deep in the night, the sky was pitch-black.
In the broken courtyard, Li Langfeng was reading a animal skin scroll in the flickering light of a oil lamp. He held it with great caution, as if he were holding an unearthly treasure.
Nie Tian, who was sitting beside him, was transferring all of his belongings from his original ring of holding into the ring of holding forged by Zhao Shanling.
Ten million spirit stones, five hundred spirit jades, numerous cultivation materials, the six crimson stone columns he had obtained from Yang Kan, and the Golden Chariot he had obtained from Su Lin...
Even after he finished transferring all of his belongings into his new ring of holding, there was still much room to spare.
Then, Nie Tian took out one of the crimson stone columns and infused it with the earthflame essence he had recently gained through trade. To avoid attracting unnecessary attention, he didn't take out all six crimson stone columns at once.
One after another, he soon finished infusing all six stone columns with earthflame essence.
Afterwards, he took out the jade slip Yang Kan had given him, and under his precise manipulation, a few translucent and sparkling earthflame crystal strings flew into the jade slip.
The jade slip was the key to activating the Spiritual Hexaflame Formation. As wisps of earthflame crystal strings flew into it, fiery patterns appeared and started flowing on the surface of the jade slip.
Within them were branded the methods to activate and use the powerful spell formation.
He touched and scanned the jade slip with his psychic awareness. After a while, he learned that he wouldn't need to forge another crystal ball of flames to control the Spiritual Hexaflame Formation. Instead, he could also achieve that with the jade slip.
The stone columns would be powered by earthflame essence, and the earthflame crystal strings within the jade slip would create profound connections between him and the stone columns, allowing him to channel and manipulate the stone columns and the flame power within them with his mind.
This spell formation could not only be used to form barriers to hold off enemies and their attacks, but he could also channel the earthflame essence from within the stone columns to attack his enemies, which would give a strong boost to his battle prowess.
After figuring out how to use the spell formation, he wasn't very eager to try it out, since he didn't want to attract unnecessary attention.
He put the crimson stone columns and the jade slip away in his ring of holding, and sent in a wisp of awareness to check out the other items.
A glass bottle that contained seven red medicinal pills was then summoned from within the ring of holding.
Each and every medicinal pill seemed to be wreathed with flying streams of fire, which gave the medicinal pills a very curious look, as if they were fiery spirits.
These were Streaming Flame Pills that he had obtained at the trading fair.
According to Gao Fu, these very valuable pills could speed up a Qi warrior's cultivation of flame power and accelerate the expansion of their vortex of flame power.
He had always known that since he cultivated flame power, wood power, and star power simultaneously, his advancement in cultivation would be slower than that of a Qi warrior who only cultivated power of one attribute.
Furthermore, due to the uniqueness of his fleshly body, his advancement in cultivation would also depend on the refinement of his fleshly body.
Because of this, it would take him a longer time to make a breakthrough in his cultivation.
Like Dong Li and Dong Baijie, some of the chosen ones who only cultivated one attribute, had shattered barriers and entered new cultivation stages after their rich encounters in that dimension.
Pei Qiqi, who focused on the cultivation of spatial power, had achieved even greater advancements in her cultivation, since the profound truths of spatial power she had obtained happened to agree with her.
As far as humans were concerned, if they couldn't make breakthroughs in their cultivation every once in a while, they would soon reach the end of their lifespan and die from old age.
Both Hua Mu and Wu Ji had faced this kind of problem.
However, due to his uniqueness, he could continue to practice incantations of three attributes at the same time, and he still wouldn't have to worry about his lifespan.
Even though his advancement in cultivation was fairly slow, since he cultivated three types of powers at the same time, the total sum of the spiritual power within his spiritual sea was far greater than that of Qi warriors at the same stage as him.
The fact that he had been able to slaughter Qi warriors at higher stages than him repeatedly was, to a great extent, thanks to his bloodline magics, but it also had something to do with his profound spiritual power.
Right now, both his vortexes of wood power and star power had been fully refined during his adventure to that dimension, and thus had reached the breakthrough point.
Only his vortex of flame power still needed refining.
Earthflame essence was too fierce for him to extract flame power from and use to refine his vortex of flame power.
Earthflame crystal strings were made of crystallized earthflame essence. Each and every one of them carried the profound truths of flame power, which wasn't something he could comprehend for the time being.
These Streaming Flame Pills, however, suited his current needs perfectly.
As he swallowed one of the Streaming Flame Pills, he felt as if he had stuffed a miniature sun down his throat.
The pure and fierce flame power within it was rapidly channeled into his vortex of flame power. He could sense very clearly that, thanks to this Streaming Flame Pill, the efficiency of the refinement and expansion of his vortex of flame power had risen to a whole new level.
Thrilled by the feeling, he was soon completely submerged in his cultivation, ignoring everything in the outside world.
Meanwhile, Li Langfeng was absorbed in the Fiends' secret magics recorded in the scrolls. He didn't make a sound either.
Two weeks later, Nie Tian finally finished the refinement of his vortex of flame power.
"These pills are such good stuff! Without them, it might have taken me years to refine and expand my vortex of flame power to its limit."
He even had a feeling that, given the right opportunity, he could advance to the late Greater Heaven stage at any moment now.
As he opened his eyes, he was surprised to find that Dong Li was also there, sitting beside him.
"Miss Dong has been waiting for you to wake up for ten days," Li Langfeng said softly.
Dong Li gave Nie Tian one of her sideways looks and said, "This is the fifth time I've come here for you. I even got familiar with this weird guy during this time..."
Back when she had lived in the Realm of Split Void under the name Song Li, as the leader of the Fang, she had actually crossed Li Langfeng once.
With a low chuckle, Li Langfeng said, "From now on, I'm Nie Tian's to command. My life is his."
Dong Li let out a soft snort and said, "That's only natural. After all, Nie Tian gave up five million spirit stones and started a feud with the Poison Sect for you." With these words, Dong Li handed a ring of holding to Nie Tian. "Inside is the spirit beast meat I got for you. Some of the items you looted from the Heaven Palace Sect and the Flame God Sect disciples weren't fit to be traded at the trading fair, so I traded them for spirit beast meat at the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce."
Nie Tian nodded as he grabbed the ring of holding and transferred all of the spirit beast meat into his own ring of holding.
"You might wanna know that the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth in the Realm of Split Void is going through strange changes," Dong Li said. "It seems that it won't be long before the outsiders come."
Nie Tian gasped upon hearing these words.