The Flame Star exploded with blinding blood-colored light as it slashed the small-built young woman in half.
Afterwards, Nie Tian jerked his head around and gave Ji Long a cold smile.
At this moment, Ji Long had become the only surviving junior.
He had gone rampant under the effect of the Blood Decay Pill. In Nie Tian's eyes, he was now nothing but a witless beast.
Furthermore, Nie Tian also noticed that the strong efficacy of the Blood Decay Pill was taking a toll on Ji Long's body. Many of his internal organs and meridians had already burst.
Instead of engaging in close-up battle with him right away, Nie Tian flashed about to avoid him, forcing him to chase after him, gasping for breath.
Shortly afterwards, he smiled as he noticed that Ji Long's flesh aura had grown increasingly weak.
After dancing around him for about ten minutes, Nie Tian noticed that Ji Long seemed to have lost most of his flesh power, since he started to drag his steps.
Only then did Nie Tian flash behind him and smash the back of his head with his palm.
Ji Long's skull shattered from the explosive force.
He finally crashed to the ground, bereft of any aura of life.
Nie Tian sighed. "Poor guy..."
He knew that, even if he didn't kill them, Ji Long and the other juniors would eventually die from the side-effect of the Thousand Refinement Pills and Blood Decay Pills they had taken.
He had only accelerated the process but didn't change the results.
These juniors only existed for the purpose of finding Master Voidspirit's legacies. Their destinies had long since been determined, perhaps with Ji Long being the only exception.
However, even Ji Long had been abandoned when Han Chigui had felt that his life was in danger.
Now, with Ji Long dead, there wasn't a single soul near the Voidspirit Pagoda.
Glancing around at Ji Long and the other juniors' cold bodies, Nie Tian hesitated briefly before deciding not to drain their remaining flesh power with Life Drain.
He had something better.
He took a seventh grade outsider corpse from within his ring of holding and started absorbing its flesh power with Life Drain.
The flesh power he had consumed fighting Ji Long was rapidly replenished.
Shortly afterwards, he sensed Zhao Shanling's aura approaching him.
He quickly returned the outsider corpse to his ring of holding and sat up straight from the lotus position.
Zhao Shanling returned alone. He gathered the rings of holding of the four Bliss Mountain Sect elders and walked to Nie Tian. "Those four were all at the Soul realm. If they were in the Domain of the Falling Stars, the four of them alone could have formed a sect that was even more powerful than the Heaven Palace Sect.
"It's pity that they all lost their lives trying to get Master Voidspirit's legacies."
"If there are Void domain experts in the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries, they must have many more Soul realm experts than us," Nie Tian said. "Each sect probably has multiple Soul realm experts, similar to the Profound realm experts in the sects from the Domain of the Falling Stars."
Zhao Shanling nodded. "Good point. How are you doing?"
Nie Tian had just absorbed some flesh power with Life Drain but hadn't had the chance to use it to heal his wounds.
From Zhao Shanling's point of view, Nie Tian was covered in deep cuts, and in a very worrying condition.
However, Nie Tian knew that the injuries he had sustained were only flesh wounds, nothing serious.
Once he was given the time to circulate the flesh power he had recently absorbed with Heavenly Wood Heal, the open wounds would soon heal without leaving the slightest scar.
"I'm alright," Nie Tian answered casually. "They are merely some shallow cuts."
"Shallow cuts..." Zhao Shanling fell silent. After a moment of pondering, he asked with a serious expression, "Do you think you can take that Liang Hao person?"
"I think so, yeah," Nie Tian answered with confidence.
Zhao Shanling's eyes lit up as he chuckled and said, "If that's the case, don't address your wounds now. Qi Jiuchuan and Liang Hao will probably catch and kill Han Chigui from the Bliss Mountain Sect. I want them to see you covered in wounds when they return."
Nie Tian was taken aback. "Why?"
Rubbing his chin, Zhao Shanling said with a meaningful look in his eyes, "I just want to know what Qi Jiuchuan will do after seeing you in such sore straits."
Surprised, Nie Tian asked, "Are you saying that Qi Jiuchuan will want to kill us after seeing me badly injured? In fact, I overheard part of the conversation between you two. He seemed to be very interested in making friends with you after learning that you're from a 'superior' domain. You don't think he was faking all that, do you?"
Zhao Shanling let out a cold harrumph. "You're still too green, kid. I can't believe you actually believed him. He might play up to us and refrain from plotting against us if you continue to display unmatched strength and battle prowess. However, once you show weakness, I doubt that he'll continue to do so."
Nie Tian pondered briefly and saw the senses in his words. "So you're luring him to make a move on us?"
"That's right. Since I can't trust him, we'll have to deal with him." Zhao Shanling didn't try to hide his intentions. "I'm confident that I'll be able to open that silver gate on my own. If we can obtain Master Voidspirit's legacies by relying on ourselves, then why should we share them with others?"
"Alright." Nie Tian agreed with his plan.
Not only did he postpone healing his wounds with the flesh power he had recently absorbed, but he even thought of a better idea: he activated his Life Stealth bloodline talent.
Life Stealth would allow him to mask his flesh aura however he wanted.
With this wondrous bloodline talent, he lowered the intensity of his flesh aura to the point that it was no different from that of a commoner, and that was when he stopped.
Zhao Shanling examined him and noticed that his vigorous flesh aura had gradually weakened.
The weakening of Nie Tian's flesh aura was also reflected on his face. His cheeks were no longer radiant, and his eyes became lifeless, which completely changed the feeling he gave people.
Just by looking into his eyes, one could tell that he wasn't in good shape.
His numerous bloody wounds made it even more evident that was in bad condition.
Zhao Shanling's eyes lit up as he exclaimed, "Marvelous! You're indeed a unique kid. I can't believe you actually can lower the intensity of your flesh aura! Even I can't see through your disguise. Qiuchuan will definitely fall for this! Let's see if he'll try to kill us after seeing you in such sore straits."
With these words, the two of them sat in a location not far from the Voidspirit Pagoda, where they waited for Qi Jiuchuan and Liang Hao to return.
An hour later, Qi Jiuchuan returned with Liang Hao, panting heavily as he did.
After coming to a stop in front of Zhao Shanling and Nie Tian, he laughed wildly and said, "Liang Hao killed Han Chigui and proved his worth, Brother Zhao! Here. This is his ring of holding."
Zhao Shanling let out a sigh of relief and said, "Fortunately, we teamed up. If it weren't for you, the two of us couldn't have taken out those people from the Bliss Mountain Sect by ourselves. If Han Chigui escaped and waited for us at the entrance, even if we were able to get Master Voidspirit's legacies, we wouldn't have been able to leave with them."
"Hahaha, exactly," Qi Jiuchuan chimed in. "People shouldn't refuse to take others' good advice. After we also learned about Master Voidspirit's legacies, we reached out to the Bliss Mountain Sect several times, hoping to discuss the possibility of working together with them.
"However, those from the Bliss Mountain Sect insisted on taking them as their own. Now, you've seen the result of their poor judgment."
Zhao Shanling nodded as if he fully agreed. "Exactly, both parties will benefit from cooperation. We wouldn't have been able to defeat those from the Bliss Mountain Sect if we didn't team up."
Qi Jiuchuan smiled as he jerked his head towards Nie Tian and said, "This little friend of yours doesn't look well."
"He killed five people by himself," Zhao Shanling said with a shrug. "How could he have done it without paying some price? I'm afraid he'll need quite a bit of time to recover. But it won't be a big deal since we've already taken care of all the people from the Bliss Mountain Sect. We can take our time to figure out a way to enter the Voidspirit Pagoda safely."
Qi Jiuchuan's eyes flickered slightly. Eyebrows furrowed, he pondered a few seconds before asking, "Do you really not know how to enter that silver gate, Brother Zhao?"
Zhao Shanling shook his head. "I'm afraid not."
"No?..." Qi Jiuchuan sighed, a frustrated look filling his face. "If that's the case, my hands are tied."
"What do you mean?" Zhao Shanling asked, looking confused.
Qi Jiuchuan backed away slowly to Liang Hao's side, whose pupils were still blood-red. With an apologetic tone, he said, "Liang Hao still has his battle prowess now, but it won't be long before he suffers a fatal backlash from the Mountainsplit Beast's heart.
"However, even though your little friend has sustained serious injuries, he'll probably be able to recover fully.
"I don't know whether you'll take care of us if it comes down to that.
"So I might as well strike out first before that happens."