Zhao Shanling's eyes were filled with shock and confusion, as if he couldn't find a rational explanation, no matter how hard he thought.
However, as he thought out loud, Nie Tian caught his every word, and gradually gained a general understanding of his master's situation.
According to Zhao Shanling, Wu Ji would have to consume his own lifespan just to derive enlightenment of time power. This was probably why Wu Ji had run short on his lifespan so quickly before.
The fact that Wu Ji was still alive and could contend against two seventh grade outsiders single-handedly was to a great deal thanks to the Fruit of Life Nie Tian had given him.
He had brought two Fruits of Life back from the Realm of Unbounded Desolation. He had given one to Hua Mu, and the other one to Wu Ji.
Both Hua Mu and Wu Ji were humble people who liked to keep a low profile. Neither of them had said anything to anyone else after obtaining the Fruits of Life. Therefore, almost no one knew about it.
All people knew was that Dong Li had somehow found a Fruit of Life that she had given to the patriarch of her clan, Dong Wangling.
Therefore, it was natural that Zhao Shanling didn't link the fact that Wu Ji had lived to enter the Profound realm and still had enough lifespan to create a Time Realm with a Fruit of Life.
Zhao Shanling shook his head and sighed. "Even though time power is very profound and mysterious, human cultivators are too limited by their lifespans. Your master is such a rare genius. If he were a outsider with a long lifespan, his achievements would probably be beyond our imagination.
"Once he creates a Time Realm, he'll start consuming his lifespan at an alarming rate.
"But if he has enough lifespan to use, as long as he doesn't get killed the moment he launches the Time Realm, he'll most likely be the winner eventually.
"I'm afraid only a master of time power like him can single-handedly deal with two seventh grade outsiders."
At that moment, Li Langfeng, who was still held tightly by Zhao Shanling, asked somewhat cautiously, "What will happen if his Time Realm doesn't end?"
Apprehension once again appeared on Zhao Shanling's face as he said, "His strength will keep advancing, while the others' will keep regressing. What do you think will happen?"
A shudder ran through Li Langfeng as he said, "Those two seventh grade outsiders will become weaker and weaker. Their battle prowess might regress to the same level as that of fifth grade outsiders, or even lower.
"But Senior Wu Ji will become more and more powerful as time passes.
"That means, as long as they remain in his Time Realm, there's no way he'll lose!"
Zhao Shanling nodded. "That's right."
"It's such a curious and profound magic!" Li Langfeng marveled.
Zhao Shanling then said, "However, nothing is flawless. Even though Time Realm is incomparably powerful, it still has a great disadvantage: the caster will have to overconsume their lifespan to use it. The reason why Wu Ji doesn't have widespread fame is that he must know the disadvantage of this magic so well that he has rarely used it over the years.
"Perhaps this is the first time he has ever used this powerful time magic in battle.
"Well, it's also possible that this will be the last time as well. After all, he's human, and his lifespan can't match that of an outsider's."
Upon hearing that it might be his master's last time using this Time Realm, Nie Tian's expression instantly flickered.
He looked down at the ring of holding on his finger, which had been forged by Zhao Shanling, and planned to summon the Bone Blood Demon from it.
However, just as he was about to take action, Zhao Shanling saw through his intentions and instantly pressed his hand on his ring of holding. "Wait!"
"Please don't stand in my way, Senior Zhao!" Nie Tian blurted angrily.
Zhao Shanling snorted coldly. "Stop, fool! I have a solution to end the troubles in the Realm of Flame Heaven once and for all. Don't you want to hear it?"
Astounded, Nie Tian said urgently, "Umm, yes please."
"Originally, I had thought taking you to the Realm of Flame Heaven would be a losing deal," Zhao Shanling said. "I had thought that you'd only get yourself killed, and nothing would be changed."
Then, he gazed down at Wu Ji. "Who would have known that your master is actually such a curious figure. Now, it seems that you'll probably survive this trip, so our deal is not only not a losing one, but we can even make another deal."
"What do you want?" Nie Tian sounded somewhat impatient.
Zhao Shanling took his time to explain, "You promised to do something for me if I could take you to the Realm of Flame Heaven. Now that you're probably going to survive this trip, I might as well tell you about it. After this tribulation is over, I'll take you and your puppet to a place where the environment is extremely harsh. Only those with exceptionally tough bodies can survive.
"Even I can't get very deep into it. Perhaps you can have your Bone Blood Demon go and get something for me."
"Alright, you got it," Nie Tian blurted.
Zhao Shanling laughed. "Good! But that's only our first deal. As for our second deal... since you're a Son of the Stars chosen by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, you're bound to leave the Domain of the Falling Stars some day. I want you to take me with you. I don't care if people from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace come to take you, or you find your own way to go there.
"I've long since been sick of this shithole!"
Nie Tian was surprised by his demand. "Can't you leave on your own?"
Zhao Shanling's face grew serious. "No, not before I enter the Void domain. Now, I still need a ancient starship if I want to leave the Domain of the Falling Stars."
"Fine! But what can you do for me?" Nie Tian asked.
The battle between Wu Ji and the two seventh grade outsiders was still going on underneath them. As time passed, the outsiders gradually fell into a disadvantaged position, while Wu Ji gained the upper hand in battle.
However, Wu Ji was paying the price with his lifespan, which wasn't something Nie Tian wanted to see.
The years the Fruit of Life had given Wu Ji were limited. If he wasted them on this battle against the outsiders, he would have no hope of entering the Soul realm for the rest of his life.
With a cold smile, Zhao Shanling added, "I can find the spatial rifts through which the outsiders swarmed into the Realm of Flame Heaven and seal them. Once they're sealed, these outsiders won't be able to return to the Realm of Split Void, and the outsiders in the Realm of Split Void won't be able to come to their aid.
"After that, you and your master will be able to kill every single outsider that has come to the Realm of Flame Heaven.
"That way, the trouble in the Realm of Flame Heaven will be ended, right?"
Nie Tian seemed puzzled. "Since you can seal those spatial rifts, why didn't you seal the ones in the Void Illusion Mountain Range and prevent the outsiders from invading in the first place?"
"That's different," Zhao Shanling said, frowning. "Those six spatial rifts were there long before we came along. They were probably created by outsiders who were very skilled in using spatial power. Even I don't know how to seal those six spatial rifts. I can only the spatial rifts that lead to the other realms in the Domain of the Falling Stars, which were created by the Void Palace Sect."
Zhao Shanling's words reminded Nie Tian of the floating volcano he had seen in the strange dimension he had recently returned from. That floating volcano had contained spatial power from a powerful outsider.
Pei Qiqi had extracted it and refined it into herself.
Therefore, Nie Tian started to think that the six spatial rifts might have something to do with that very outsider, who had spatial power as his bloodline power.
"Summon your air-transportation spiritual tool and wait here," Zhao Shanling instructed. "I'll be back in a moment. Don't summon your puppet before I come back. Otherwise, you'll alert those two seventh grade outsiders. Considering their strength, they're more than capable of rushing to the spatial rift within a breath's time and returning to the Realm of Split Void through it before I can seal them.
"If they make it back to the Realm of Split Void, they'll gather more powerful outsiders and return to the Realm of Flame Heaven.
"If that happens, I doubt that anyone will be able to save the Realm of Flame Heaven. Even your master won't be able to contend against multiple seventh grade outsiders with his Time Realm forever.
"Alright, just do as I say. Don't move. I'll be back soon, and your master will be fine."
"Okay..." Nie Tian then summoned the Golden Chariot and jumped on board with Li Langfeng.
"Don't do anything to alert those two seventh grade outsiders. You hear me?!" With these words, Zhao Shanling split open a spatial rift and disappeared into it.
"Don't summon the Bone Blood Demon..." Nie Tian muttered to himself as he noticed that, even though the two seventh grade outsiders were at a great disadvantage, they didn't seem to have the slightest intention of leaving.
But then it occurred to him that perhaps they also knew that Wu Ji was overconsuming his lifespan to keep the Time Realm up.
They doubted that Wu Ji would be able to hold on for much longer.
Once the Time Realm vanished, their battle prowess would immediately bounce back to the seventh grade.
By that time, Wu Ji, who was only at the late Profound realm, wouldn't be able to withstand a single strike from them.
This was why they dared to stay and fight even after sustaining serious injuries.
"As long as we stay away from those outsider experts, we can go slay outsiders in other places!" With these words, Nie Tian turned the Golden Chariot around and flew down from the sky.
Li Jing, Chang Sen, and Fang Hui, who were fighting outsiders in the Cloudsoaring Sect, soon discovered Nie Tian. They all cheered loudly as soon as they saw him on the Golden Chariot, as if their savior had finally arrived.
"It's Nie Tian!"
"Nie Tian is back!"
"This is terrific! We're saved!"
They all knew that Nie Tian now possessed a Bone Blood Demon that was as powerful as a seventh grade outsider.
Since Wu Ji was single-handedly dealing with the two seventh grade outsiders with his shockingly powerful Time Realm, the arrival of Nie Tian and his Bone Blood Demon would definitely turn the situation around.
It didn't matter whether the Bone Blood Demon was there to help them or Wu Ji. It would achieve a decisive effect either way.
However, to their surprise, Nie Tian didn't summon the Bone Blood Demon as he fell from the sky in his Golden Chariot.
A beam of blinding light shot out of Nie Tian's Flame Star and pierced through the chest of a fourth grade Birdman.
By doing that, Nie Tian caught the attention of the other Birdmen that were flying in the sky. A female Birdman's expression flickered drastically as she screamed in their language, "It's the Son of the Stars from that island!"
"What?! That Son of the Stars!? How did he return to the Domain of the Falling Stars?"
"Shouldn't he still be stranded on that island?"
"Hahaha! It may not be a bad thing! Now that he's here, it's easier for us to kill him!"
"Kill that Son of the Stars first! He's more valuable than the entire Domain of the Falling Stars!"
After that female Birdman revealed Nie Tian's identity, a large number of outsiders that had originally been fighting Greater Heaven stage and Worldly realm Qi warriors suddenly changed their target and converged on him from all directions.
The Birdmen, who could fly through the sky, were the first to arrive.
Moments later, Nie Tian found himself surrounded by a large number of fevered Birdmen.
On the ground, Li Jing, Chang Sen, and the others saw Nie Tian being surrounded, yet none of them seemed worried.
They all assumed that Nie Tian would summon the Bone Blood Demon in the next moment.
"Watch out, Nie Tian!" Li Langfeng exclaimed. "We're surrounded by more than one fifth grade outsider!"
"Come out!" Nie Tian shouted, his whole body wreathed in strong killing intent.
Li Jing, Fang Hui, and the other experts all gazed up, hoping to see the Bone Blood Demon coming to their aid.
However, it wasn't the Bone Blood Demon that Nie Tian summoned.
It was the Flame Dragon Armor.
They were all taken aback by Nie Tian's decision.
As the Flame Dragon Armor descended on Nie Tian, and he infused it with his rich flesh power, he found to his surprise that the extremely heavy suit of armor seemed to have become much lighter.
However, he quickly came to realize that it wasn't that the Flame Dragon Armor had become lighter. It was that his fleshly body had become much tougher than before, after his recent rounds of body refinement with Heavenly Wood Heal.