If Nie Tian were here, he would discover that the thin, young man looked very much like Xing Beichen.
The man’s name was Xing Bo. He and Xing Beichen were indeed related, as he was Xing Beichen’s cousin, and also from the Domain of Heaven Python.
His status in the Thousandsword Mountain Sect was even higher than Xing Beichen’s.
Even though he was younger than Xing Beichen, his cultivation base had already reached the middle Profound realm.
Rather thin and handsome, Xing Bo pointed at the arch of bones at the stern of the wrecked bone starship, and said to Zhong Shishu, “Senior Zhong, those people from the Domain of the Falling Stars seemed to have come here from the burial ground behind that portal. I think we’d better go there and take a look.
“The one we killed earlier broke free from our blockade in there and somehow disappeared right before she died.”
Zhong Shishu nodded. “Mmm… sure.”
He ordered the others to wait for him before entering the arch of bones with just one other expert, the one who had fought the Bone Blood Demon.
Xing Bo then waved into the sky, and a late Soul realm expert from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect flew down to his side.
The two of them followed Zhong Shishu into the arch of bones, and arrived in the burial ground Nie Tian’s group had come from.
Floating in the air, Zhong Shishu gazed off into the distance, and saw skeletons piled into mountains, surrounding open areas that were also filled with bones. Altars of bones could be seen at the hearts of these open areas.
Zhong Shishu’s face grew very grim as he said, “This entire burial ground consists of nothing but human corpses!”
Xing Bo sighed. “It’s hard to believe those Qi warriors from the Domain of the Falling Stars would actually work with the Bonebrutes and provide them with such a large number of corpses of their own kind. They don’t even have the most basic principles as human beings!”
Zhong Shishu’s eyes were wreathed in strong killing intent as he said, “Let’s look around and see if we can find out how they came here. These Qi warriors from the Domain of the Falling Stars will pay for what they’ve done!”
Xing Bo agreed as he beckoned for the late Soul realm expert who had come with him to start searching for clues.
Facing the human skeletons that stretched as far as the eye could see, Zhong Shishu summoned numerous banners from within his ring of holding.
Burning fiercely, they spread out and flew towards the mountains and seas of skeletons.
Then, the banners unleashed crimson flames that engulfed everything around them.
The skeletons gave rise to crackling sounds as they were set ablaze and soon turned to ashes.
Zhong Shishu muttered in a low voice, “I’m afraid this is all I can do for you now. But I promise you that I’ll catch those who killed you and sent you here, and make them pay for their crime.”
He was truly infuriated by what had been done to these poor souls.
A quarter hour later...
Every skeleton in this burial ground was burned to ashes. Zhong Shishu, Xing Bo, and the others finished searching the burial ground, but failed to find the spatial rift that had vanished.
Eyebrows furrowed, Xing Bo said, “Even with the help of their spatial power spiritual tool, they won’t be able to go very far. I’ll order our disciples to search the vicinity for traces of them. I’ll inform you once I get some clues, Senior Zhong.”
“We’ll try our best to find them too!” Zhong Shishu said, his eyes filled with raging killing intent.
With these words, he left the burial ground.
However, Xing Bo and the Thousandsword Mountain Sect expert with him didn’t leave right away.
Gazing towards the hidden spatial rift from afar, the elder named Gao Han said, “Young lord, that spatial rift must lead to the Domain of the Falling Stars. Now that those people have come here, it means the corpse we sent through into it made it to the Domain of the Falling Stars.
“But you’ve framed the people from the Domain of the Falling Stars, and destroyed this burial ground. Are you sure this is safe?”
With a casual smile, Xing Bo said, “Don’t worry. Everything is under my control. That spatial rift is very special. It will only show itself every once in a rather long time. If we go there now, it’ll raise Zhong Shishu’s suspicions, so we’d better stay put for the time being.”
Gao Han nodded. “Mmm.”
“Leave some Blast Pearls here before we leave,” Xing Bo said. “I want this arch of bones destroyed.”
“Got it.” Gao Han then took out a few curious-looking silver balls and carefully placed them under the arch.
Soon after the two of them disappeared into the portal, the Blast Pearls thrummed with intense spiritual power fluctuations.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
As the Blast Pearls exploded one after another, the arch of bones was reduced to pieces.
Now, even if the Golden Vast Sect wanted to come back to conduct another scan, they wouldn’t be able to do so.
Xing Bo and Gao Han briefly searched the wrecked bone starship, and then returned to their own ancient starship.
Xing Bo entered the starship by himself and went to a room that was wreathed in an icy aura.
The room was rather small and had a large piece of crystalline ice in the middle. Pei Qiqi was frozen inside of it.
The frosty aura had infiltrated her entire body, including her dantian region, keeping her from summoning a single shred of spiritual power.
However, fluctuations were still coming from her sea of awareness, as she hadn’t lost her consciousness.
Obsession could be seen in Xing Bo’s eyes as he gazed through the ice at Pei Qiqi. “I’ll have our experts erase your memories after returning to the Thousandsword Mountain Sect’s headquarters, but I’ll leave your memories about spatial magics alone.
“You’re truly one of a kind in this world, as you carry a profound space power bloodline.
“Because of that, you’re the only one who deserves to be with me.
“You’ll be reborn after you’re unburdened of all of those useless memories. All of your new memories will be branded with my shadow.
“We’ll have children, who will be born with your bloodline power.
“You won’t have to wait for too long. Soon, I’ll be able to get you out of this freezing ice.”
He gazed lovingly at Pei Qiqi as he muttered in a soft voice, as if he were gazing at an unearthly gem.
In the void.
A glowing spark rapidly expanded, then Nie Tian and the others flashed out of it.
The Voidspirit Pagoda was the last to flash out of the glowing spatial rift.
As soon as it did, the spatial rift rapidly shrank down and vanished completely.
“This is...!” Hua Mu’s expression flickered as he hastily summoned spiritual power to form a protective ward around him.
Nie Tian also gasped with astonishment as he sensed countless impurities in his surroundings, poisoning his flesh and making him very uncomfortable.
Some of the impurities were intangible. They infiltrated his sea of awareness, slowing his mind.
Some other impurities were tangibles that were very thick and heavy. Upon contact, they would penetrate his skin and merge with his flesh like raindrops returning to the sea, inflicting him with incomparable pain.
With a bitter smile, Zhao Shanling said, “This is the true void. The continent we came from is over there.”
He pointed at a pale, lifeless star.
Everyone looked over with rapt attention, and discovered that the star was so vast that they felt as if it was within arm’s reach.
“This star has died,” Zhao Shanling explained. “As a dead star or dead realm, it no longer produces the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth, but there are still some spiritual minerals in it. People from the Golden Vast Sect seem to be there to mine them. If we continued to stay on that dead star, they would have found us soon.
“So I could only get us out of there with the help of the Voidspirit Pagoda, and bring you to the true void.”
“The true void?!” Nie Tian exclaimed.
Zhao Shanling nodded heavily. “That’s right. The true void is different from space disruption zones. The true void is filled with all kinds of danger and impurities. Some impurities are tangible, while others are intangible. They’ll corrode any Qi warrior’s flesh and soul unceasingly.
“Only after entering the Void domain will Qi warriors be able to create and hide behind their private domains and roam the true void freely.
“Otherwise, people will have to use ancient starships with impenetrable exteriors to keep the impurities away if they wish to travel in the true void.”
Nie Tian spent a moment to sense his surroundings, and realized that the so-called true void was indeed different from space disruption zones he had been to.
In space disruption zones, he would only lose his spiritual power at a low rate. By avoiding the deadly lights that dashed across from time to time, he would most likely be able to survive.
But here, all kinds of impurities, tangible or intangible, attempted to infiltrate him to mutilate his body and soul with every passing second.
It had only been seconds but he already had a strange feeling that his body had become incomparably heavy, and that he was sinking towards an abyss where death awaited him.
However, he hadn’t had any similar feelings before in the forbidden region that had been sealed away for hundreds of thousands of years.
He pondered the reason behind it, and soon realized that perhaps some profound restriction spell had been keeping the most deadly impurities out of that region, so that he would be able to travel there.
Eyes narrowed, Zhao Shanling said, “There are a lot of dead stars in the vicinity. We can go to another one and see if we can find Thousandsword Mountain Sect Qi warriors with low cultivation bases and get the truth of junior martial sister’s death out of them. I can keep the void impurities away with my Voidspirit Pagoda, but the consumption will be significant.”
“I’ll see if my Star Boat can achieve the same effect,” Nie Tian said.
With these words, he summoned the Star Boat and jumped on board.
A layer of misty starlight instantly spread out, covering the Star Boat like a large bowl that was placed upside down on it.
This ward of starlight was also powered by the Star Stones at the bottom of the Star Boat. The moment it came to form, all of the impurities were kept out.
“Come on,” Nie Tian called out to the others. “It’s safe in here.”
Looking overjoyed, the experts flew into the Star Boat one by one, then discovered that, just as he had said, the ward of starlight was indeed keeping all kinds of impurities out.
They felt as if they had been caught in a violent storm of impurities just now, but the moment they entered the Star Boat, everything around them became peaceful and calm, with all dangers shielded from them.
“The Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s power is indeed unfathomable!” Zhao Shanling marveled. “Normally speaking, since small-scale air-transportation spiritual tools can’t hold very many spell formations, their abilities are usually limited to sailing through the air. Only enormous ancient starships can hold a large number of spell formations, which allow them to not only sail across the starry river, but also ward off impurities.
“I wonder how many spell formations this small air-transportation spiritual tool holds that actually vest it with the abilities of an ancient starship.”
With these words, he turned his head to examine their surroundings. Pointing at a fairly distant dead star, he said, “Let go and take a look over there.”
Nie Tian then steered the Star Boat accordingly.