Qi Jiuchuan had every single bone and meridian in his arms and legs shattered and his spiritual sea destroyed. Even a commoner could kill him effortlessly.
Nie Tian had witnessed Zhao Shanling's torture methods before, and thus knew that, no matter how tough Qi Jiuchuan was, he would break him eventually.
As expected, Qi Jiuchuan yielded shortly after Zhao Shanling plunged his dagger into his abdomen and pierced his four limbs with steel needles.
Zhao Shanling then asked his questions one by one. Qi Jiuchuan told him everything he wanted to know, even things he didn't ask about.
After running out of questions, Zhao Shanling slit his throat with his dagger and ended his agony.
Nie Tian stood beside him and listened to him interrogate Qi Jiuchuan.
Abundant information entered Nie Tian's mind, giving him a fairly thorough understanding of the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries.
"There are five major sects and three major clans in the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries. The Trisword Sect and the Bliss Mountain Sect are among them. These eight forces dominate the 36 realms in the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries, each having at least one Void domain expert.
"Almost all of the other sects and clans in the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries attach themselves to these eight major forces.
"Powerful sects in the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries possess the ability to build starships, and use them to explore the unbounded starry river..."
As Nie Tian sorted through the information, Zhao Shanling took out two talismans, which he had looted from Qi Jiiuchuan and Han Chigui's rings of holding.
Eyes narrowed, Zhao Shanling said, "These two talismans will help us find the spatial joints through which they entered the space disruption zone. Even though we'll probably be able to enter the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries through either of these two spatial joints, there might be powerful experts from the Trisword Sect and the Bliss Mountain Sect garrisoned by them.
"So we can't make such a rash move as to go to either of these places before getting more information.
"We'd better return to the Domain of the Falling Stars first and try to find a better way to go to the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries. If we can't figure a better way out, then we can try to go through these spatial joints."
Nie Tian chimed in, "I've got a star map with which we can navigate to the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries, but we still need an ancient starship to do so."
Zhao Shanling nodded and said, "We won't need to spend a long time sailing through the starry river if we decide to go through those spatial joints. But it's not that easy to go through those spatial joints either. We'll have to deal with powerful experts from the Bliss Mountain Sect or the Trisword Sect. We'll be in trouble if they learn that we took Master Voidspirit's legacies.
"This can wait though. We'll have plenty of time to talk about it after I obtain Master Voidspirit's legacies and return to the Domain of the Falling Stars."
With these words, he handed a handful of rings of holding to Nie Tian and said, "These six rings of holding belonged to Qi Jiuchuan, Han Chigui, and the other Soul realm elders you just killed. There must be abundant valuables inside of them."
"I'm destined to obtain Master Voidspirit's legacies, so I only took a few spatial tools that can be used to disturb the movement of the spatial blades hovering around the Voidspirit Pagoda. The rest are all yours."
Then, he glanced around at the numerous Bliss Mountain Sect juniors that had died in front of the Voidspirit Pagoda and added, "I don't think these juniors have anything valuable on them. You can search them if you like, but don't get your hopes up.
"I believe the treasures in these six rings of holding alone will be enough to last you for a very long time."
Without any pleasantries, Nie Tian grabbed the six rings of holding.
Zhao Shanling took a deep breath. His face grew grim as he said, "Alright, you can stay here and cultivate. I'm going in."
Nie Tian was taken aback. "Are you sure you can enter safely?"
"Yeah, I am. I've practiced spatial manipulation magic all my life, after all. It's just that..." Zhao Shanling paused briefly. "Nothing is for sure. Entering the Voidspirit Pagoda won't be a big problem, but I don't know what will happen in there."
After a moment of pondering, he took out a compass made from a turtle shell and handed it to Nie Tian. "I've infused this compass with a wisp of my soul essence."
Nie Tian looked down at the compass and saw a flickering spot on it.
Zhao Shanling smiled bitterly and said, "It won't go out unless I'm dead. If it scatters and disappears, then it means I've died in the Voidspirit Pagoda. If it comes down to that, you'll have to return to the Domain of the Falling Stars on your own. Remember, if even I fail to survive the danger in the Voidspirit Pagoda, don't try to enter. You'll only get yourself killed if you do."
Nie Tian's expression flickered. "If you die in there, how am I supposed to find my way back?"
"This compass will show you the way to the spatial joint through which you'll be able to return to the Domain of the Falling Stars. It's just that I won't be there to protect you on your way back. You'll have to depend on yourself." With these words, Zhao Shanling showed Nie Tian how to use the compass. After making sure that Nie Tian had mastered it, he continued, "Let's pray for good luck for the both of us."
With these words, Zhao Shanling strode directly towards the Voidspirit Pagoda.
WHOOSH! WHOOSH! WHOOSH!
A white chess piece, a small drum, a bronze sword, an animal bone, and a golden piece of paper suddenly flew out of his ring of holding and floated in the air.
Nie Tian looked over with rapt attention, and realized that they were the spatial tools Han Chigui and the other elders of the Bliss Mountain Sect had used to influence the movement of the spatial blades.
The five items were made from unknown materials. Even though not the slightest spatial fluctuations could be sensed from them, as they came together, they gave rise to a mysterious magnetic field, which could influence the movement of the spatial blades.
Surrounded by the five spatial tools, Zhao Shanling walked slowly and cautiously towards the Voidspirit Pagoda's gate. Bright light flickered in his eyes, as if he was looking for an opportunity to enter.
Moments later, he suddenly closed his eyes.
With the five items hovering around him, he stepped slowly towards the gate like a blind person. However, even though his eyes were closed, he constantly changed direction as he zig-zagged towards the gate.
As he approached the gate, the flying spatial blades seemed to notice his presence, and thus started moving at an even faster speed.
Zhao Shanling didn't stop. He went on as the five tools constantly changed positions around him, forming different formations to strengthen the magnetic field.
For some reason, the spatial blades would suddenly change directions right before touching his fragile body, which had lost the protection of his profound spiritual power.
"He's indeed the most skilled spatial magic expert throughout the entire Domain of the Falling Stars!" Nie Tian marveled inwardly.
From the look of it, Zhao Shanling had already found the patterns the spatial blades moved in. Even without those five spatial tools, he would still be able to make it to the Voidspirit Pagoda's gate.
It was just that with the help of those tools, he seemed more confident and composed.
It wasn't very long before he finally weaved through the dense network of moving spatial blades and stood in front of the Voidspirit Pagoda's shining silver gate.
As soon as he did, the flying spatial blades behind him suddenly accelerated and became rampant.
Countless fine patterns could be seen carved in the broad silver gate.
Each and every pattern thrummed with fluctuating silver auras, as if they were alive and had their own awareness.
The last Bliss Mountain Sect junior had died miserably as he had attempted to push the gate open. Standing in front of the gate, Zhao Shanling didn't dare to make a move. He finally opened his eyes and examined the fine patterns without blinking.
This examination went on for several hours.
As Nie Tian grew bored of looking at him, Zhao Shanling finally took out a Blood Vitality Pill that was custom-made for him and swallowed it. Then, he sat down and closed his eyes without saying a word, as if to sort through the information he had acquired.
After some time, he stood back up and fixed his eyes on the fine patterns on the gate again.
This went on and on.
As Nie Tian sensed Zhao Shanling with rapt attention, he discovered that as Zhao Shanling examined the spatial patterns, the soul power within his mind, which he could unleash in this special realm, seemed to be rapidly disappearing.
Soon, Zhao Shanling's face lost its color, and his eyes sank deep. It seemed that he had consumed too much of his soul power analyzing the profound spatial patterns on the gate.
Even though Nie Tian couldn't tell time, he could tell that a very long time had passed as Zhao Shanling sat down and stood up more than a dozen times, exerting himself to derive enlightenment from the mysterious patterns.
After a very long time, Zhao Shanling finally seemed to solve the mysteries within the spatial patterns. His eyes snapped open as he let out a long laugh and exclaimed, "I'll enter the Voidspirit Pagoda first, Nie Tian! You shouldn't let this wondrous environment go to waste!
"I'm certain that once I'm in, changes will take place. If you can make use of them, perhaps you can take this opportunity to enter the Worldly realm."
With these words, he turned around and placed his hands on the silver gate.
He placed his hands in areas where the patterns were the most densely carved. Then, he slid his hands across the gate as the patterns flowed, as if his hands were caught by some mysterious force.
Blinding light suddenly burst forth from within the silver gate as a resounding rumble echoed from the ground.
The gate split wide open, and Zhao Shanling stepped inside, looking overjoyed.
As soon as he was inside, the gate shut violently, and the patterns on the gate swam back to their original places.
However, the moment he entered the Voidspirit Pagoda, Nie Tian shrewdly discovered that the feeling of spiritual power being constantly drained from him was somehow gone.
Then, he looked up and discovered, to his surprise, that even the multicolored light in the sky was streaming away like paint being drained from a sink, as if the restrictive spell that used to envelop this heaven and earth was lifted.
At the same time, light auras started to rise quietly from the earth.
"Spiritual power! Flame power! Wood power! Thunder power! Water power..."
Rich spiritual power of various kinds filled the auras, instantly turning the entire realm into a sea of vigorous spiritual power.
Nie Tian's expression flickered drastically as he exclaimed, "Don't tell me that it was this piece of earth that absorbed the spiritual power of every Qi warrior that entered this place over the past centuries, and now that the restrictive spell is lifted, all sorts of spiritual power have returned to the air!"
He shuddered in shock after coming to this realization. Without any hesitation, he sat down and adjusted his breathing and mindset, hoping to channel the powers in the air into him.
At the same time, he sensed with great clarity that his vortexes of spiritual power, which had stopped spinning since he had entered this mysterious realm, were accelerating again.
Torrential spiritual power was pouring down like a waterfall into his dried up vortex of spiritual power through the top of his head.
Other than his vortex of star power, all of his nine vortexes of spiritual power, his vortex of flame power, and his vortex of wood power were filled to the brim in the blink of an eye.