Jiang Feng left by himself after taking Mu Biqiong back to the air-transportation spiritual tool where the other Bliss Mountain Sect Qi warriors were.
It appeared that he wasn’t among the ones who were going to stay and derive enlightenment from these stone statues.
Bright light flashed across his eyes as he flew away from the center of the blue sea, then he changed directions and flew after Yue Yanxi.
Jiang Feng wasn’t the only one who had noticed Yue Yanxi and Nie Tian’s arrival. The other two Void domain experts from the Jian Clan and the Chu Clan had also sensed Yue Yanxi and Nie Tian’s arrival.
They were none other than Jian Tong and Guan Fu, who Nie Tian was also rather familiar with.
Their ancient starship was berthed by the edge of the blue sea. Each of them had also arranged for ten members to derive enlightenment at the center of the blue sea.
Jian Tong and Guan Fu exchanged a glance. Without saying a word, they leapt off their ancient starships and sped through the void by relying on their Void domain cultivation bases.
Moments later, Jiang Feng, Jian Tong, and Guan Fu found Yue Yanxi simultaneously.
At this moment, Yue Yanxi had already flown to a location far from Nie Tian’s location. Zhou Shang from the Pure Heaven Sect didn’t pay attention to their behavior either.
All he cared was that no one violated the rule the Pure Heaven Sect had set up.
Jiang Feng, Jian Tong, and Guan Fu caught up to Yue Yanxi when he was still a significant distance from the Divine Flame Sect’s ancient starship.
After coming to a stop, Yue Yanxi nodded at Jian Tong and Guan Fu with a smile, but immediately afterwards, his face straightened as he fixed Jiang Feng with a stern look. “Can I help you with anything?”
The Divine Flame Sect didn’t get along with the Bliss Mountain Sect. Conflicts had broken out between them from time to time. If it weren’t for this, Mu Biqiong wouldn’t have ambushed Qiao Yunxi from the Divine Flame Sect in that forbidden region.
Even though the two sects had made temporary peace with each other in the Realm of Shattered Earth due to the arrival of Ke Jinpeng and the other experts from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect, that fragile peace had fallen apart immediately after their return to the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries.
“I dare not bother you with my business.” With these words, Jiang Feng smiled faintly and lowered his voice. “I’ve come to tell you than it seems that the Pure Heaven Sect still doesn’t know what happened in that forbidden region, or Nie Tian’s identity as a Son of the Stars.”
The people from the Bliss Mountain Sect, the Jian Clan, and the Guan Clan had avoided talking about what had happened in the Realm of Shattered Earth after their return.
The Pure Heaven Sect had only learned that not only had the other seven parties not come to significant gains in that forbidden region, but they had even suffered great losses.
The Pure Heaven Sect had taken pleasure in this.
After Jiang Feng’s return to the Bliss Mountain Sect, he had explained what had happened to their late Void domain patriarch. That person had been rather apprehensive of Nie Tian’s status as a Son of the Stars, and thus had ordered Jiang Feng and the others to guard their mouths like a closed bottle. (Idiom: keep one’s mouth shut)
He had even decided to let go of the fact that Nie Tian had seized Master Voidspirit’s legacies and killed a handful of Soul realm experts from the Bliss Mountain Sect with Zhao Shanling, and that he had imprisoned Mu Biqiong.
He had warned Jiang Feng against offending Nie Tian, and that he should try to lift Mu Biqiong from Nie Tian’s imprisonment through communication.
Jiang Feng was well-aware that their patriarch had only decided to swallow such an insult because he had been apprehensive of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, which Nie Tian had at his back.
Yue Yanxi’s face grew cold as he gazed off towards Zhou Shang’s location. “It’s for the best that they don’t know. The Pure Heaven Sect has always been arrogant and domineering. Who would have thought they would become even more so now. The Seven-star Blue Sea was an unclaimed, mysterious place in the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries. It should have been jointly owned and explored by all five major sects and three major clans.
“Patriarch Pure Heaven does whatever he like just because he’s the strongest Qi warrior throughout the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries, and just about to enter the Saint domain.
“We let him be when he occupied the Seven-star Blue Sea years ago; who would have thought they actually wanted to explore its wonders by themselves after stone statues surfaced in it.
“If it wasn’t for the fact that they didn’t conceal the matter well and let us find out about it, and if we hadn’t pressured them together, we wouldn’t even have the opportunity to observe those stone statues.
“Now, each of us can only have ten members observe here at the same time, and we have to pay ten thousand spirit jades per person for just a two-week stay. The Pure Heaven Sect did some smug calculations.”
Judging from Yue Yanxi’s tone, he was rather unhappy with Zhou Shang and the Pure Heaven Sect’s way of doing things.
At the same time, Jiang Feng, Jian Tong, and Guan Fu shared his hatred of the Pure Heaven Sect, which seemed to bring them closer to a great extent.
Jiang Tong let out a weak sigh. “What can we do? Patriarch Pure Heaven is currently the strongest Qi warrior in the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries, and now he’s preparing for his next breakthrough in cultivation. You’re no stranger to his domineering manner. He’s taken the Seven-star Blue Sea as his own for years now before he entered the Saint domain. If he actually manages to advance to the Saint domain, who knows if we’ll still have a position in the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries.”
Their faces grew grim as soon as they started talking about Patriarch Pure Heaven.
For every Qi warrior in the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries, Patriarch Pure Heaven was a great mountain that was impossible to surpass. For the past thousand years, he had sat on the throne as the most powerful person throughout the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries. No one had been able to challenge his status.
After pondering in silence for a while, Jiang Feng seemed to hit upon a thought as he suddenly turned to Yue Yanxi and asked, “Brother Yue, did you bring Nie Tian here and intentionally hide his status from Zhou Shang to have Nie Tian develop enmity towards the Pure Heaven Sect?”
“That wasn’t my intention,” Yue Yanxi said. “It was Zhou Shang who demanded that he pay double the price due to his identity as a foreigner.”
Jiang nodded tacitly and said, “I see. Now I do hope that Nie Tian will be able to solve the mysteries of those eight stone statues. For one thing, it’ll be well worth the twenty thousand spirit jades he paid to observe the stone statues if he can actually make significant gains or breakthroughs.
“For another, I wonder what the Pure Heaven Sect will do or say about Nie Tian gaining that fortune as a foreigner.”
Guan Fu and Jian Tong also had meaningful looks in their eyes. Anticipating smiles even appeared on their faces as they seemed to think of something interesting.
On the Flame Bird.
Unlike Qiao Yunxi or the others, Nie Tian didn’t sit in the lotus position and observe the stone statues in the sea like the others.
First, he took his time to examine his surroundings.
He saw Mu Biqiong focusing all of her attention on one of the stone statues immediately after jumping onto the Bliss Mountain Sect’s air-transportation spiritual tool, which was berthed not far from him.
He kept looking around, and saw that each of the Guan Clan, the Jian Clan, and the Chu Clan also had ten members in this area, trying to derive enlightenment from the stone statues.
Also, he saw Yin Yanan and nine other youngsters from the Beast-controlling Sect also observing in silence from a farther location.
As he gazed beyond them, he saw people dressed in the Trisword Sect’s garments in an even more distant location.
Each of these parties had ten people on one air-transportation spiritual tool.
However, that wasn’t the case with the Pure Heaven Sect.
Zhou Shang was standing on one of the Pure Heaven Sect’s air-transportation spiritual tools. More than fifty Pure Heaven Sect disciples filled these air-transportation spiritual tools.
From the look of it, the rule the Pure Heaven Sect had established only applied to the other seven parties, not itself.
After gazing around for a while, Nie Tian finally withdrew his gaze from his surroundings, and looked down at the unfathomable blue sea.
Without mobilizing his soul awareness, he examined the eight stone statues with only his eyes, but failed to find anything special about them.
Each stone statue was about a hundred meters tall, but their widths varied. They were all made of pale-gray rock. Their faces were blurry, and no special carvings could be seen on their surface.
Compared to the titan arms in the magical land where the Flame Dragon Armor had repeatedly taken him, these stone statues were significantly smaller.
Just the part of the titan arms that were above the ground stood like magnificent mountain peaks, creating a strong visual impact.
Having witnessed that, Nie Tian wasn’t impressed at all by the size of the eight stone statues.
Then, he sent a wisp of his soul awareness to one of the stone statues, which seemed to be of a human.
Inside the stone statue, he discovered numerous wisps of other soul awarenesses, which apparently belonged to the observers from the five major sects and three major clans.
The wisps of soul awareness avoided conflicts with each other as they roamed about inside the stone statue in an attempt to derive the kind of enlightenment that would stimulate breakthroughs in their cultivation bases and strength, allow them to find the incantations that suited them the best, or allow them to understand the profound truths of the power of heaven and earth.
The wisp of Nie Tian’s soul awareness discovered nothing noteworthy after searching every inch of the stone statue.
Afterwards, the wisp of Nie Tian’s soul awareness left the human statue and flew off to examine the other seven statues, which were either of outsiders, ancient spirit beasts, or creatures he didn’t recognize. However, his efforts there turned out to be fruitless too.
Two hours had passed by the time he was finished.
After withdrawing his soul awareness, he pondered briefly, then turned to Qiao Yunxi and said, “Hey, long time no see. Qi warriors from every major power in the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries are gathered in this place to derive enlightenment from these stone statues. Has anyone found anything yet?”
Looking rather impatient, Qiao Yunxi shot him a sideways glance and said, “Not yet.”
Somewhat disappointed, Nie Tian said, “I see. Also, why didn’t Senior Yue, Jiang Feng, or the other Void domain experts stay and try to derive enlightenment from these statues? And why haven’t the Pure Heaven Sect taken the statues out of the sea back to their headquarters, so they’ll be able to touch them and examine them more closely?”
Qiao Yunxi snorted disdainfully and said, “It’s not necessarily easier for people with higher cultivation bases to derive enlightenment from mysterious items like these stone statues. More often than not, it’s about fate. If it’s not in your fate, and if your attribute and incantations don’t agree with the stone statues, your cultivation base won’t be able to help you, no matter how high it is.
“Also, how do you know they haven’t tried to derive enlightenment themselves? They all made attempts as soon as they came here, but since they failed to trigger any unusual movement or reaction, they knew these statues weren’t meant for them, and thus gave up.
“Only after that did they arrange for their sect or clan members to come here group after group, hoping someone from their sects or clans would be able to derive enlightenment from these statues.
“As for why the Pure Heaven Sect hasn’t pulled the statues out of the sea and taken them to their headquarters, that’s because they assumed that more stone statues still have yet to surface.
“They’re waiting for all of the stone statues to surface. Also, once they take them back to their headquarters, they won’t allow people from the other sects or clans to examine them anymore.
“It already took us great effort, the other seven major powers, to persuade them to allow us to examine them here.”
With these words, a joyous clamor burst out from the Pure Heaven Sect disciples’ location.
With an ecstatic expression, Zhou Shang was standing beside a tall young man, practically skipping with joy.
The young man’s eyes shone brightly as he gazed at one of the statues, which had horns growing out of its head and apparently wasn’t human, as if he had come to significant discoveries.
Then, a vague shape gradually came to form over the young man’s head, as if someone had drawn it using the young man’s spiritual power.
The vague shape was identical to the stone statue he was looking at.
Zhou Shang took a deep breath and shouted in a stern voice, “Everyone needs to withdraw their soul awareness from that stone statue and stop deriving enlightenment from it immediately!”