Li Ye chuckled. "Hey, Lei Ze is down there too. He was Yu Wei's fiancee, you know? You can't imagine how domineering he was before the Divine Flame Sect's grand elder arrived."
"He and those from the Thunder Mountain Sect were probably trying to find the entrance to the arcane realm, where the Flame God Sect disciples were hiding," Zhen Huilan chimed in. "If there are no mishaps, they must have already cleared out the Flame God Sect's headquarters."
Gazing down from the sky, Nie Tian discovered that the Flame God Sect's headquarters was sitting on top of an enormous volcano.
The setup of the Flame God Sect was similar to that of the Tool Sect, with only a few insignificant alterations.
There were also a large number of stone caves halfway up the mountain, where Qi warriors of the Flame God Sect could cultivate.
It was just that, as he conducted a closer examination with his Heaven Eyes, he discovered a number of deep holes on the mountaintop.
It seemed that there used to be huge columns standing in them, but they were now gone.
With a faint smile, Zhen Huilan said, "It seems that the Flame God Sect's grand spell formation, the Flame God's Wings, has also been take away by the Thunder Mountain Sect. When it was activated, huge wings of flames would cover the Flame God Sect's entire headquarters. The huge columns that formed the grand spell formation were made from Heavenflame Stones.
"Those stones can only form around Heaven Flame Beasts when they breathe heavenly flames in the depths of the starry river.
"This kind of rare material shouldn't have appeared in the Domain of the Falling Stars. I wonder how Xia Yi managed to get his hands on so many.
"Since the Heavenflame Stones are very rare to begin with, and adding the fiery spell formations that were engraved on them, each and every one of those stone columns was of great value. If the Thunder Mountain Sect can have an expert of fire-attributed incantations reestablish the grand spell formation, it might be still be able to display its might."
Apparently, Zhen Huilan was rather interested in the Heavenflame Stones and the Flame God's Wings.
She practiced flame power herself, and at the same time studied the profundity of spatial power. Because of this, her advancement in cultivation ended up being slower than Qi Bailu and Zhao Shanling's.
Their master, Xu Yinglong, was one of the most powerful figures of the previous generation in the Domain of the Falling Stars. Like her, he had also been well versed in spatial and fiery magics.
He had taught Qi Bailu fiery magics and the art of equipment forging. Since Qi Bailu had turned out to be less talented in spatial magics, he had dropped that branch completely and focused on the other two. Now, he had become a middle Soul realm expert.
Zhao Shanling had learned spatial magics and equipment forging skills from Xu Yinglong. Since he hadn't been born with a gift in fire-attributed incantations, he had had to rely on fire-attributed materials or earthflame essence to forge spiritual tools.
For this reason, he had devoted the majority of his time and energy to his cultivation of spatial power.
He had even stopped forging spiritual tools after he had entered the Soul realm.
Since he didn't have any distractions, he had now become a late Soul realm expert. With the help of the Voidspirit Pagoda, he was shaping up to be a very promising expert in the Domain of the Falling Stars.
Zhen Huilan was the only disciple who had inherited Xu Yinglong's legacies in fiery magics, spatial magics, and equipment forging kills.
However, since she spread herself too thin with these three branches, Zhen Huilan had been stuck in the Profound realm for a long time. Only recently had she finally entered the Soul realm.
In fact, she was well-aware that, since humans had limited lifespans, the length of her cultivation path would suffer if she were to remain distracted.
Because of this, she had only taught Pei Qiqi spatial magics, and Li Ye the art of equipment forging.
Zhen Huilan took a deep look at Nie Tian and said, "Nie Tian, the speed at which you make breakthroughs in cultivation is bound to be slower than others. You'd better be prepared for it mentally. Look, you have so many miraculous incantations, you've been working very hard, and you have all the spiritual materials you need. But you're still only at the late Greater Heaven stage.
"Li Yi, Pei Qiqi, Dong Li, Qin Yan, and many other talented juniors have entered the Worldly realm.
"I know that you're working even harder than they are, and you've had more incredible encounters and survived more deadly tribulations than any of them. Even so, your advancement in cultivation has still turned out to be slower than theirs.
"Also, it doesn't seem that this will change in the future.
"So I'm afraid that you'll run out of your lifespan sooner than the others. This is exactly why Dong Wangling, Zong Zheng, and the other experts suggested that you should try to enter the Worldly realm as soon as possible."
Clearly, Zhen Huilan truly cared about Nie Tian. She drew lessons from her own experience and warned Nie Tian against a problem he might encounter in the future.
Nie Tian smiled heartily. "I'm quite aware of my situation, Senior Zhen. Don't worry. My lifespan won't be a problem."
With these words, he snuck a glance at Pei Qiqi.
Pei Qiqi knew very well that he was different from most people, since he had blood of unknown origins running in his veins, which granted him a lifespan much longer than normal humans.
Meanwhile, the fact that Zhen Huilan had shown such deep concern for his lifespan indicated that Pei Qiqi had kept Nie Tian's uniqueness a secret, even from her master.
Zhen Huilan was taken back. "You won't have a problem with your lifespan?" After a moment of pondering, she seemed to realize something, then said, "I see. You didn't obtain just two Fruits of Life in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation back then, did you?"
She assumed that the reason why Nie Tian wasn't afraid of running out of his lifespan was because he had more Fruits of Life in his possession.
Nie Tian had indeed obtained one more Fruit of Life in that mysterious land where a Tree of Life grew. He had accidentally merged it into himself, which had ended up awakening a new bloodline talent.
Nie Tian nodded, smiling.
Zhen Huihan set her mind at ease. Nodding, she said, "Hmm... so that's how it is. No wonder you have the courage to practice power of three attributes at the same time. If you indeed are free from the restrictions from your lifespan, it's not necessarily a bad thing to make advancements in cultivation at a slower rate. The more types of power you master, the higher your battle prowess will become.
"This means you can probably defeat any Qi warrior at your stage. This is also why you've repeatedly defeated cultivators whose cultivation bases are higher than yours."
Nie Tian smiled, but didn't explain. Instead, he said, "It's about time we took care of business."
Immediately afterwards, the Flame Dragon Armor flew out of his ring of holding.
The crimson armor came to a stop in the air above the Flame God Sect's headquarters. The numerous fiery patterns started to drift about on the armor's surface like slithering snakes, as if they were forming some mysterious spell formation.
Relying on the profound tie between him and the Flame Dragon Armor, he sensed it with rapt attention, his eyes narrowed. He immediately felt the Flame Dragon Armor's excitement and joy.
He could also tell that the Flame Dragon Armor's soul was now searching for sources of flame power with its own methods.
Zhen Huilan gazed unblinkingly at the numerous fiery patterns on the Flame Dragon Armor, tiny fiery sparks glittering in the depths of her pupils. "This is so curious..."
She unleashed her soul awareness to conduct a closer examination of the patterns. The longer she examined them, the more shocked she seemed. "This is the first time I've seen this Spirit Channeling grade treasure, which is known throughout the entire Domain of the Falling Stars. It's so much more curious and profound than I thought.
"The fiery patterns on its surface are incredible. I've never seen anything like them.
"I consider myself a seasoned equipment forger, and I practice fire-attributed incantations, but I still can't figure out how its forger managed to carve those patterns on the armor, and in what pattern they are moving.
"But what amazes me the most is that faint spatial fluctuations are coming from the Blood Core, which is at the center of the chest area. Isn't the Flame Dragon Armor a fire-attributed Spirit Channeling grade treasure? Why can I sense faint spatial fluctuations from its Blood Core?"
Nie Tian's expression flickered slightly.
After accumulating enough flame power, the Flame Dragon Armor's Blood Core could split space and drag him into that mysterious heaven and earth.
Very few people knew about this secret.
It seemed that Zhen Huilan had realized that the Flame Dragon Armor wasn't just any fire-attributed Spirit Channeling grade treasure.
Before she could pry into its secret features, the Flame Dragon Armor suddenly morphed into a streak of blazing light and flew into a bottomless tunnel that stretched downwards.
By relying on his profound ties with the Flame Dragon Armor, Nie Tian scanned its surroundings as it flew deeper and deeper into the tunnel.
In less than a minute, the Flame Dragon Armor reached a place where it was burning hot.
"Senior Zhen, this tunnel connects the Flame God Sect's headquarters to an underground mineral vein, not the heart of the earth," Nie Tian said while sensing around. "There's a secret room in the middle of countless crystal-like, fiery stones. I suppose this is where Xia Yi used to cultivate.
"Hmm?! Something's not right!"