Xing Beichen touched his nose and jumped onto his air-transportation spiritual tool without taking Yin Yanan's words to heart.
The shape of his air-transportation spiritual tool was rather unique. It looked as if it had been formed by many swords without hilts.
'Broken Sword' was its name, and its speed was noticeably lower than the Flame Bird's.
Xing Beichen sat in the lotus position on his Broken Sword as he followed the Flame Bird, which Qiao Yunxi intentionally slowed down for him, from about ten meters away.
"According to that Stoneman, the Demons and the Stonemen aren't the only ones that have come to this region. The Phantasms have come too." Face grim, Qiao Yunxi shot Nie Tian a glance. She seemed to want to say something, but gave up on it on second thought.
"What is it?" Nie Tian asked.
"The Phantasms seem to be looking for that Phantasm soul," Qiao Yunxi said. "They've spread word that once any outsider race discovers anything about that Phantasm soul, they should inform them at the first possible moment."
"The Phantasm soul?" Nie Tian said with a cold snort. "It's already gone."
"That Phantasm soul seems to belong to a ninth grade grand patriarch of the Phantasms," Qiao Yunxi said.
Nie Tian's expression flickered. "A ninth grade Phantasm!?"
A complicated look appeared in Qiao Yunxi's eyes as she said, "That's right. Ninth grade Phantasms are called grand patriarchs. Even if it's only a soul now and has lost most of its soul power, it's still the soul of a grand patriarch. Every grand patriarch of the Phantasms enjoys a lofty position. Only the most ancient and powerful clans have ninth grade grand patriarchs.
"If a grand patriarch decides to take the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries, the eight major powers would have to avoid fighting and take the initiative to back out from the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries."
Shaken by her words, Nie Tian said inwardly, "It's hard to believe that Phantasm soul was actually so powerful. If that's the case, the Spirit Pearl will probably become very powerful once the Phantasm soul truly merges with it and becomes its soul."
Qiao Yunxi couldn't help but ask, "How in the world did you get rid of that Phantasm soul?"
Yin Yanan also looked over at Nie Tian with a curious expression.
She had believed that Nie Tian would die beyond the shadow of a doubt soon after parting ways with them. Who would have thought he had actually taken care of the Phantasm soul without any help?
This had been a major puzzle that she couldn't get over.
"Even grand patriarchs aren't invincible," Nie Tian said with a meaningful tone.
Seeing that he didn't want to give a straight answer, the girls were rather disgruntled, yet since there was nothing they could do, they fell silent.
Nie Tian was rather happy now that they had stopped asking questions. He took out spirit stones and resumed cultivating his spiritual core with them.
Time passed bit by bit...
The four of them traveled cautiously as they scanned their surroundings with their soul awareness all the time, fearing that they would run into powerful outsiders.
They had become very alert since they had learned that the Demons and the Stonemen weren't the only outsider forces that had come to this region.
They prepared themselves for engagement with bands of outsiders at any moment.
However, their trip went surprisingly smoothly, and they didn't encounter any outsiders.
Two weeks passed...
As the Flame Bird flew to a ring-shaped floating meteor, the tips of Qiao Yunxi's eyebrows rose. Overjoyed, she exclaimed, "I can sense another divine flame seal over there!"
The Flame Bird dashed over, and she jumped off, holding a special tool. Her garments fluttered lightly as she flew to the floating meteor, wreathed in a crimson aura.
In a corner of the meteor that was covered in rubble, as she formed a hand seal, a streak of crimson light shot out from the depths of the ground.
The glorious light came to a stop before her, and it turned out to be a magical seal that looked like a ball of fire. She made a grabbing motion, and it flew into her palm.
Then, she merged her soul awareness with it to receive the information within it.
After a short while, her eyes lit up as she flew back to the Flame Bird and said, "I know where to go now!"
In high spirits, Yin Yanan asked, "How long will it take us to get to Senior Yue's location?"
Xing Beichen also flew closer on his Broken Sword and listened attentively.
"Considering our speed, it'll take about a month or so for us to meet up with the grand elder," Qiao Yunxi answered. Then, she fixed Nie Tian with a strange look. "The grand elder and the others seem to have come to a major discovery. According to the message I received from the divine flame seal, they want me to take you to them as soon as possible."
Yin Yanan was taken aback. "Him?!"
"Our grand elder invited him here," Qiao Yunxi said. "I suppose he needs him to help them with something."
Nie Tian pondered briefly before realizing that Yue Yanxi's discovery must have something to do with the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
Perhaps he had discovered the teleportation portal the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had set up in this forbidden region, which connected the Realm of Split Void and the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace's headquarters.
"Our grand elder must be worried that we've lost our way, and therefore arranged for sect members to leave divine flame seals in the vicinity, hoping that we'd follow them to their location." With these words, Qiao Yunxi frowned. "But we're not the only ones who can find and trace those divine flame seals."
Xing Beichen couldn't help but ask, "What do you mean?"
A bitter expression appeared on Qiao Yunxi's face as she explained, "Powerful outsider and human experts will also be able to sense their presence and extract information from them. Our grand elder must not know that people from the Bliss Mountain Sect and outsiders have also come to this region.
"Those divine flame seals are none other than sets of coordinates. They'll lead others to our grand elder's location as well.
"I'm now worried that the outsiders will follow those divine flame seals to where the people from our sect are gathered."
"People from the Bliss Mountain Sect are also here?!" Yin Yanan exclaimed in shock.
"If it weren't for that bitch Mu Biqiong, Nie Tian and I would have met up with our grand elder long ago!" Qiao Yunxi said, gritting her teeth. "Don't ever let me see her again!"
Xing Beichen sighed. "From the look of it, the situation is getting more and more complicated in this forbidden region."
"Let's go," Qiao Yunxi said decisively. "We need to join our grand elder and the others as soon as possible."
Over the following days, she led the way and, as expected, found one divine flame seal after another. She adjusted directions accordingly and gradually approached the area where Yue Yanxi and the others were.
A month passed.
On this day, they caught sight of a number of floating corpses while they sped through the void.
The corpses were all dressed in Golden Stone Sect garments. Upon seeing them, Xing Beichen's expression suddenly changed as he exclaimed, "Members of the Golden Stone Sect!"
Qiao Yunxi was also rather surprised as she said, "Nie Tian and I ran into Mao Mingyuan from the Golden Stone Sect before. They seemed to have found a broken ancient starship that belonged to the Golden Vast Sect with the help of a special instrument. But that was a long time ago. How did they end up here?"
Nie Tian also found this confusing. "Don't tell me that they somehow fixed that broken ancient starship."
Yin Yanan jumped off the Flame Bird and flew around on her Frost Blood Python to examine the dead Golden Stone Sect disciples. All of a sudden, she pulled a divine flame seal from within the cuff of one of the corpses.
"A divine flame seal?!" Qiao Yunxi exclaimed. "They must have learned our grand elder's location from that divine flame seal, and then marched towards it. But what happened to them? Why were they killed here?"
"I don't think the outsiders could get here so quickly," Xing Beichen from the Trisword Sect said with a grim face.
The Golden Stone Sect was one of his sect's subordinate forces. The fact that their members had been killed in this place, and it didn't seem to be the outsiders' doing, made him very angry.
After finishing examining the corpses, Yin Yanan called out to Nie Tian and the others, "Mao Mingyuan isn't among the dead. Most of these people were at the Worldly realm and the Greater Heaven stage. Only three of them were at the Profound realm. If the outsiders didn't do it, then it must be people from other sects. The Bliss Mountain Sect is highly suspect!"
"The Bliss Mountain Sect?!" Xing Beichen bellowed.
"Yeah, we need to be extra careful from now on," Qiao Yunxi said. "Let's hope we won't run into those people from the Bliss Mountain Sect."
"I swear we'll settle accounts with those bastards when our powerful experts arrive!" Xing Beichen bellowed furiously.
Afterwards, the four of them set out again.
Two days later, they came across even more dead Golden Stone Sect disciples. And this time, Mao Mingyuan was among them.
Gazing at Mao Mingyuan, who had died with his eyes open, Qiao Yunxi said, "Their deaths most likely have something to do with the ancient starship they recently gained. If they could actually fix that ancient starship, it would become an invaluable treasure. None of the ancient starships the major powers in the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries have can be compared to that one.
"None of the corpses have any sign of being burned, so it's definitely not people from our sect who did this."
She disassociated the Divine Flame Sect from the deaths of these Golden Stone Sect disciples, fearing that Xing Beichen would come to such an idea.
Face very grim, Xing Beichen said, "Don't you worry. I'm not blind. Of course I can tell it wasn't your people's doing."
Yin Yanan reminded them by saying, "From now on, we need to be very alert, because people from the Bliss Mountain Sect might be right ahead. I don't want to share these Golden Stone Sect disciples' fate."
"Don't tell me that they'll dare to attack us!" Xing Beichen said, his voice filled with fury.
"You're nowhere near the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries. Even if they kill you, no one will know, so what do they have to fear?" Yin Yanan said with a mocking tone. "Besides, the fight over Master Voidspirit's legacies has already ruined the relationship between your sect and the Trisword Sect. Do you really think they'll have any scruples?"
Xing Beichen fell silent.
Seven days later...
The golden ancient starship the Golden Stone Sect had discovered was floating among three vast meteors. Numerous Qi warriors were engaged in a fierce battle on the starship and the surrounding meteors. They dashed across from time to time, wielding their spiritual tools.
"The Bliss Mountain Sect, the Jian Clan, and the Guan Clan!" Qiao Yunxi exclaimed.
Yin Yanan also called out, "I can't believe that the five major sects and three major clans in the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries have all sent people here! People from the Jian Clan and the Guan Clan have even beaten us to this location and started fighting people from the Bliss Mountain Sect! What happened?"