Two weeks passed...
After Nie Tian used up all of his soul crystals, his second sub-soul came to form.
The new sub-soul was fused with his lifetime understandings of wood power, including the profound mysteries of Heavenly Wood Heal and the Wood Thriving Formation.
Now, he had a flame power sub-soul and a wood power sub-soul that could derive enlightenment of the two types of power on their own.
However, he still hadn’t entered the Profound realm.
He had a feeling that in order to enter the Profound realm, he would have to form his third sub-soul and fuse it with his lifetime understandings of star power.
However, it would take him a much longer time to do that, since he had used up his soul crystals and didn’t have any other resources that could provide him with copious soul power.
Only at this moment did he finally realize the true value of soul crystals.
Without soul crystals, he would have to go back to channeling soul power from the starry river through the well-shaped heavens in the Realm of Maelstrom.
His efficiency turned out to drop by nearly a hundredfold.
“Without new soul crystals, it may take me years to form that third sub-soul.”
With a sigh of frustration, Nie Tian left the secret room he practiced cultivation in, hoping to see if he could trade for medicinal pills or spiritual materials that contained soul power with the spiritual materials in his possession.
Therefore, he went to find Duan Shihu.
As soon as he entered the grand hall in the Divine Seal Sect’s stronghold in the Realm of Maelstrom, disciples of the Divine Seal Sect rushed to inform Duan Shihu.
He showed up moments later.
Duan Shihu greeted him, smiling. “You finally finished your secluded cultivation, junior martial brother.”
“I’m hoping to purchase some high grade spirit beast meat, along with some medicinal pills and spiritual materials that help with soul refinement.” Nie Tian cut to the chase.
Duan Shihu was taken aback. “If I remember correctly, we got you quite a lot of spirit beast meat before you marched off into the Shatter Battlefield.”
“Umm... I used it all,” Nie Tian said.
Duan Shihu went blank for a moment before nodding. “Alright. Spirit beast meat is easy to get. After all, many realms of the Domain of Heaven Python are roamed by high grade spirit beasts. As long as you have enough spirit stones, that won’t be a problem. However, it won’t easy to find medicinal pills or spiritual materials that can help with the refinement of the true soul, and they’ll be quite expensive.”
“I understand,” Nie Tian said.
As they spoke, Meng Li from the Divine Seal Sect appeared and walked out of a teleportation portal.
He seemed somewhat tired, but upon seeing Nie Tian, he smiled bitterly and said, “Nie Tian, is that girl named Pei Qiqi really from the Domain of the Falling Stars?”
Duan Shihu’s expression flickered slightly as he asked, “Is she... still not finished yet, Elder Meng?”
Meng Li sighed. “I’m afraid not. A few more disciples of the Thousandsword Mountain Sect have just died at her hands. The Thousandsword Mountain Sect is truly enraged this time. They’ve already arranged for Void domain experts to search for her everywhere.”
Nie Tian’s expression flickered. “What did my senior martial sister do?”
Duan Shihu then explained, “Over the past few months, she has come and gone like a shadow in some of the Thousandsword Mountain Sect’s realms, and killed quite a few of their disciples. All of them seemed to have participated in the operation to kill her master, Zhen Huilan. But all they did was follow Xing Bo’s commands.
“It wasn’t their idea to kill her. However, that girl killed them one by one anyways after returning from the Shatter Battlefield, testing the limits of the Thousandsword Mountain Sect’s tolerance.
“On the other hand, she’s a really talented killer. She escaped with profound spatial manipulation magics every time she made a kill. Even some Soul realm experts have died at her hands, but no one has been able to trap her.”
Taken aback, Nie Tian asked, “She even killed Soul realm experts?”
With a complicated look in his eyes, Duan Shihu said, “That senior martial sister of your is now at the late Profound realm, but for some reason, she has managed to kill people with higher cultivation bases. She has already secretly attacked and killed two early Soul realm disciples of the Thousandsword Mountain Sect.
“But eventually, the Thousandsword Mountain Sect became infuriated. In fact, if they hadn’t been consumed with other business, they would have already sent out their Void domain experts.
“Even Du Zheng has left the Realm of Maelstrom to search for her.”
“She’s not the only one who’s causing trouble though.” Duan Shihu said with furrowed brows. “There’s this other guy named Yuan Jiu. He’s put people from across the Domain of Heaven Python in a state of anxiety.”
A surprised expression appeared on Nie Tian’s face. “Yuan Jiu?”
“He was also among those who came from the Shatter Battlefield,” Duan Shihu explained. “He left the Realm of Maelstrom through the Golden Vast Sect’s teleportation portal soon after arriving. After that, he went to many realms and killed many people and spirit beasts that practiced lightning power.
“Like that senior martial sister of yours, he also comes and goes like a shadow. No one can get ahold of his whereabouts.
“One of our sect’s subordinate clans, who practice lightning power, had all of their Soul realm members killed by him.
“The Golden Vast Sect and the Thousandsword Mountain Sect also have subordinate clans or sects that were wiped out by him.
“In some of the realms in the Domain of Heaven Python that are roamed by spirit beasts, the man slew lightning-attributed spirit beasts such as Thunder Beasts by the hundreds.”
With a grim face, Nie Tian said, “That man’s real name is Yuan Jiuchuan. He’s a reborn cultivator, and he was called the Thunder Devil in his previous life.”
Meng Li gasped with astonishment. “The Thunder Devil!? I heard that name when I was younger and traveled around in other domains! I heard that he died long ago. Who would have thought that he actually managed to be reborn!? No wonder he has brought doom to so many in the Domain of Heaven Python who practice lightning power.
“I’ve got to tell the Golden Vast Sect and the Thousandsword Mountain Sect about this now, so that they’ll be well-prepared.”
With these words, Meng Li flew off to the Golden Vast Sect and Thousandsword Mountain Sect’s strongholds in the Realm of Maelstrom in a haste.
“The others from the Domain of the Falling Stars who returned with me also knew about the Thunder Devil. How come you didn’t learn about him until now?” Nie Tian asked curiously.
Looking embarrassed, Duan Shihu said, “We didn’t go talk to them.”
Nie Tian had been carried away, and forgotten about Yuan Jiuchuan when he had talked to Duan Shihu and Jing Rou upon arriving.
It was his negligence.
Later, he had focused on his cultivation. Even though it had occurred to him that the Thunder Devil might spill blood in the Domain of Heaven Python, he hadn’t been too worried about it.
He had assumed that the Divine Seal Sect must have already learned about Yuan Jiuchuan from Qi Bailu and the others.
With a dry smile, Duan Shihu explained, “After returning to the Realm of Maelstrom, those from your domain exchanged some spiritual materials, and then entered secluded cultivation as you did, while waiting for Zhao Shanling’s return. The Thunder Devil didn’t kill anyone over the first two weeks after your return. When he started killing people everywhere, you were all in secluded cultivation, so it didn’t occur to me to go ask you about it.”
“About my senior martial sister,” Nie Tian said, “would you please tell people from your sect to tell her that I want to see her if they ever find her?”
“I did that when she first started killing disciples of the Thousandsword Mountain Sect,” Duan Shihu said. “It’s just that she comes and goes like a shadow. She’d disappear with some secret spatial magic as soon as she succeeded. None of the people I sent to search for her have really seen her, let alone talked to her.
“I also wanted to talk to her and stop her from going too far.”
Nie Tian expressed his gratitude, and then took out the Silicon Silver he had obtained from the Shatter Battlefield from within his ring of holding. “So would you help me trade this Silicon Silver for some high grade spirit beast meat and things that can help with soul refinement?”
Duan Shihu’s eyes lit up. “Silicon Silver?! This is good stuff. I bet it’s worth a fortune.”
After putting the Silicon Silver in Duan Shihu’s hands, Nie Tian felt assured as he went off to find Qi Bailu and the others.
Qi Bailu and the others from the Domain of the Falling Stars were all currently stranded in the Realm of Maelstrom.
Without Zhao Shanling, the teleportation portal that connected the Realm of Maelstrom to the Realm of Split Void would be inoperable. Therefore, none of them could go home.
Since they had left the Domain of the Falling Stars years ago, they were all rather eager to return and learn the current situation there.
After Nie Tian came, Qi Bailu, Hua Mu, and the others all ended their secluded cultivation.
Upon seeing Nie Tian, they all expressed their desire to leave the Realm of Maelstrom as soon as possible.
Nie Tian also seemed frustrated as he said, “I’ll see what I can do. I suppose there’s another way for us to return to the Domain of the Falling Stars without Zhao Shanling.”
“What is it?” Hua Mu asked.
“Senior martial sister Pei,” Nie Tian answered.
“I have a feeling that she must have had incredible encounters in the Shatter Battlefield,” Nie Tian said. “She was the reason why that spatial rift became accessible only long enough for us to pass. Like Zhao Shanling, she’s also well-versed in all kinds of spatial magics. Perhaps she’ll be able to send you back through Zhao Shanling’s teleportation portal.”
“Encounters...” Hua Mu muttered. Then, his eyes suddenly lit up as he exclaimed, “I have a guess!”
Nie Tian’s expression flickered. “What guess?”
With wide eyes, Hua Mu said, “The Heaven Nourished grade spiritual material that caused great changes in the Shatter Battlefield. Could it have something to do with Qiqi?”