The existence of Yuan Jiuchuan made Nie Tian and the others leave the area where spatial rifts interwove in the sky.
They stopped and practiced cultivation in a place rather far from him, keeping their guard up as they did.
Hua Mu, Zong Zheng, and Qi Bailu had gone through many fights and consumed a significant amount of both their spiritual power and soul power, which they would need time to recover.
Nie Tian took out nine of his incomparably precious soul crystals and gave three to each of them.
With the help of the soul crystals, the speed at which they recovered soul power accelerated by more than a dozen times, and their lifeless eyes gradually started to shine with vigor again.
Time flew. Two weeks passed...
Hua Mu and the other experts had recovered about seventy percent of their strength, but were still fairly far from returning to their peak state.
On this day, Qi Bailu suddenly awoke from his cultivation to gaze in a direction. “People are coming.”
Upon hearing his words, the others also opened their eyes to follow his gaze.
WHOOSH! WHOOSH! WHOOSH!
Five figures appeared in the distance, traveling at a high speed.
With a quick look at them from afar, Qi Bailu said, “They seem to be among the Qi warriors from the Domain of Heaven Python who entered the Shatter Battlefield with us.”
As the five Qi warriors approached, they discovered Nie Tian and the others as well, and thus came to a stop in midair.
Nie Tian took a deep look at them, and found their faces somewhat familiar.
The five of them were all at the Soul realm, but they weren’t from the Divine Seal Sect, the Thousandsword Mountain Sect, or the Golden Vast Sect.
Instead, they were rogue cultivators from the Domain of Heaven Python. In order to enter the Shatter Battlefield, they had paid spirit jades to the Divine Seal Sect, the Thousandsword Mountain Sect, and the Golden Vast Sect.
The one with the highest cultivation base among them was at the late Soul realm, and practiced lightning incantations.
The man was surrounded by thunderballs and lightning bolts, all of which contained rich lightning power.
Upon a closer look, the soul shadows of lightning-attributed spirit beasts could be seen in the seven thunderballs that hovered around him.
“Thunder bird, lightning snake...” Hua Mu differentiated the seven beast spirits in the thunderballs. “All seven thunderballs are fused with lightning-attributed beast spirits. I suppose they’re Spirit Channeling grade treasures, which can form spell formations of formidable might.”
Then, Hua Mu’s expression grew strange. “The Thunder Devil is still at the spatial rifts. These five must know that the spatial rift leading to the Realm of Maelstrom is going to be accessible soon, and are ready to return to the Domain of Heaven Python through it. But if they go there...”
At this moment, Nie Tian called out, “Gentlemen!”
Now, they had already put the Star Boat away, and were practicing cultivation by a sand dune.
Upon hearing his exclamation, the five Qi warriors fixed Nie Tian and the others with cold, examining gazes as they floated in midair.
Before Nie Tian could say anything else, their leader, an old man at the late Soul realm, said aloud, “I saw you with the Divine Seal Sect before, but you don’t seem to be from the Domain of Heaven Python. If you’re done exploring the deeper areas of the Shatter Battlefield, why are you here, instead of waiting by that spatial rift?”
“It’s their luck that they’ve survived so far,” Another Qi warrior said with a mocking tone.
After hearing these words, Nie Tian, who was just about to warn them against going to the spatial rift, fell silent, his face growing cold.
“I’m asking you a question!” The old man said with an unpleasant expression.
All five of them were at the Soul realm, uninjured and at their peak state.
Even though Zong Zheng, Hua Mu, and Qi Bailu were also at the late Soul realm, they had apparently suffered injuries, and their spiritual power wasn’t at the fullest.
Meanwhile, Nie Tian and the girls were only at the Worldly realm and Profound realm, which weren’t even worth mentioning to them.
Their leader was Wu Xu, the member of a rogue cultivator organization from the Domain of Heaven Python. He had noticed Nie Tian and the others when they had entered the Shatter Battlefield together.
Back then, he had realized that they weren’t Qi warriors from the Domain of Heaven Python, but from some other domain.
Normally, powerful domains had their own ways to enter the Shatter Battlefield.
However, Nie Tian and the others had to enter the Shatter Battlefield through the Realm of Maelstrom. Therefore, their domain must be less powerful than the Domain of Heaven Python.
For this reason, Wu Xu and those with him had a sense of superiority over Nie Tian and the others, who they had assumed to be from lower domains.
“The spatial rift leading to the Realm of Maelstrom is not stable yet, so we stayed here and practiced cultivation,” Nie Tian said, smiling.
Wu Xu let out a cold harrumph. “Impolite kid. Haven’t your seniors told you to keep your mouth shut when the seniors speak, kid?”
Then, he laid his eyes on Zong Zheng and the other experts. “Why didn’t you wait by the spatial rift?”
As far as he saw it, as a Worldly realm junior, Nie Tian didn’t even qualify to answer him.
Surprisingly, Nie Tian didn’t seem angered by him. He just smiled back and didn’t say another word.
Then, he gave Zong Zheng and the other experts a deep, meaningful gaze.
Hua Mu picked up his hint and said, “There’s this early Soul realm guy waiting by the spatial rift. We don’t really like each other, so we didn’t wait there.”
Wu Xu went blank briefly, looking confused. “An early Soul realm cultivator? Even though you three aren’t at your peak state now, you’re still at the late Soul realm. Don’t tell me you’re scared of an early Soul realm cultivator.”
“We don’t want unnecessary problems,” Hua Mu said plainly.
Wu Xu then lost interest in discussing the matter.
Then he thought, considering that Zong Zheng, Hua Mu, and Qi Bailu were all at the late Soul realm, if they were going to fight them and take their gains from the depths of the Shatter Battlefield, it would be tricky business. They might suffer casualties themselves if a fierce battle were to break out between them.
Therefore, Wu Xu soon gave up on the idea of fighting them. However, another idea suddenly came to him.
“An early Soul realm cultivator is waiting by himself at the spatial rift, and he might have gained a fortune from his trip to the Shatter Battlefield as well...”
With this thought, Wu Xu waved his hand at his friends, and they flew over Nie Tian and the others’ heads and disappeared into the distance.
Eyes narrowed, Hua Mu said, “That man seems to be going after Yuan Jiuchuan. I believe they’d have attacked us too if we weren’t at the late Soul realm.”
Qi Bailu sighed. “Things like this can’t be more common in the Shatter Battlefield.”
“Those morons are dead men,” Yin Yanan gloated.
“Let them die then,” Nie Tian said indifferently. “It’s not like they’re our friends.”
With these words, he unleashed his Heaven Eyes and commanded them to follow the five Qi warriors from a safe distance.
Qi Bailu shook his head and sighed. “If they hadn’t been so arrogant, I would have warned them against approaching that spatial rift. But from the look of it, they would have even fought us for our gains if we had been weaker. So I guess they deserve to die.”
Soon, Wu Xu and the other four arrived by the spatial rift.
Like Nie Tian’s Heaven Eyes, Qi Bailu and the other experts also sent their soul awareness to keep a secret watch on them.
As they had expected, Wu Xu was overjoyed to see Yuan Jiuchuan. “This guy even practices lightning power!”
Yuan Jiuchuan, who also practiced lightning power, must have valuable spiritual materials on him that suited his needs.
The man who had mocked Nie Tian earlier seemed somewhat disappointed. “It’s your lucky day, Big Brother Wu.”
Yuan Jiuchuan, who had been cultivating, slowly opened his eyes. He was even more overjoyed than Wu Xu after glancing over the five newcomers.
Eventually, he fixed Wu Xu with a fierce gaze.
The Thunder King Seal, which he had gained from Mo Qinglei, suddenly flew out of his palm and unleashed a sea of dazzling cyan lightning.
At the same time, the deafening roars of a Thunder Beast echoed out from within the Thunder King Seal.
Wu Xu’s expression flickered with astonishment as the seven thunderballs instantly left his side. With violent rolls of thunder, they flew directly into the sea of lightning.
In the next moment, shocking changes took place.
As soon as the seven thunderballs entered the sea of lightning, the lightning power Wu Xu had vested the thunderballs with started to fuse uncontrollably into the sea of lightning.
Wu Xu exclaimed in shock.
With a gruesome and cunning laugh, Yuan Jiuchuan suddenly vanished. Then, he reappeared in the middle of the sea of lightning, as if he were wearing a cloak of thunder and holding a spear of lightning.
The seven thunderballs were soon erased of Wu Xu’s soul awareness, which had been branded on them.
Afterwards, the thunderballs changed hands. Even the beast spirits within them accepted the change obediently.
Wu Xu let out a muffled groan. Dark blood came out of his nose and mouth as he shouted in panic, “Help me!!”
However, in the next moment, Yuan Jiuchuan and the sea of lightning he was in morphed into an enormous Thunder Beast made of lightning. A thunderball storm seemed to descend from the highest heavens and enveloped Wu Xu in the blink of an eye.
One thunderball after another flew directly into Wu Xu’s body, draining him of his lightning power, which he had spent thousands of years accumulating.
Upon seeing that Wu Xu, the strongest of them, couldn’t even withstand a single strike from Yuan Jiuchuan, the other four all turned around and ran for their lives, completely ignoring Wu Xu’s call for help.
The direction they ran in was none other than the direction where Nie Tian and the others were staying.
Seeing this, even Qi Bailu, who was the most amiable and easygoing among them, couldn’t help but curse, “Those bastards!”