“What?” Nie Tian was taken aback. “Don’t tell me that the powerful experts in your neighbor domains will refuse to help.”
Meng Li let out a cold snort. “I’d consider us lucky if they don’t kick us when we’re down. Don’t count on them to come to our aid. The Domain of Endless Snow, the Domain of Vast Darkness, and the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries are our three neighbor domains. The Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries doesn’t even have a single Saint domain expert yet, so they wouldn’t be of much help even if they wanted to.
“As for the Domain of Endless Snow, they’ve never been friendly with us. And we went to war with the Domain of Vast Darkness about a thousand years ago.
“The Domain of Endless Snow and the Domain of Vast Darkness are indeed stronger than our domain, but it’s also because of that they used to plan to swallow us and make us a part of their map.
“Since we’re all Medium grade domains, and the Domain of Endless Snow and the Domain of Vast Darkness are only slightly more powerful than us, of course we didn’t agree to that.
“Even if we were to become someone’s subordinate domain, they should be ancient powers like the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, the Five Elements Sect, the Void Spirit Society, or the Heavenspan Pavilion...”
Meng Li went on and briefly explained the situation to Nie Tian.
Most Medium grade human domains hoped to attach themselves to ancient powers like the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
If they did become some ancient powers’ subordinate domain, they would have to pay tribute to their master sects every few years by contributing precious spiritual materials, spirit jades, spirit stones, etc.
In return, they would receive the ancient powers’ protection.
In case of outsider invasions or conflicts with other human domains, their master sects would step up and take care of the matter for them.
However, to cling to powerful sects, paying tribute to their master sects was not the only thing they had to do, but they also had to answer their master sects’ summons whenever called upon.
Normally, when conflicts broke out among powerful sects, outsiders, and Ancientbeasts, they would send powerful Qi warriors from their subordinate domains to the battlefield, who would most likely suffer heavy casualties.
Before, powerful experts from the four great human powers had visited and evaluated the Domain of Heaven Python to determine whether it qualified to become their subordinate domain.
The Domain of Heaven Python had failed to meet their criteria.
None of the four great powers had any interest in the cultivation resources the Domain of Heaven Python had to offer, or the early Saint domain fighting force of the Divine Seal Sect, the Golden Vast Sect, and the Thousandsword Mountain Sect.
Since they had failed to win the four great powers’ favor, and their neighbor domains weren’t powerful enough for them to look up to, the Domain of Heaven Python had remained independent under the joint leadership of the Divine Seal Sect, the Golden Vast Sect, and the Thousandsword Mountain Sect.
Besides, outsiders hadn’t invaded for thousands of years, so they had been content with the status quo, and hadn’t felt the the need to seek help or alliances from others.
Who would have thought that the Domain of Heaven Python would suddenly attract a large outsider army after thousands of years of peace?
Duan Shihu tossed a ring to him and said, “Inside this ring of holding is the high grade spirit beast meat and the spiritual materials you wanted that I traded for with your Silicon Silver. You’d better go talk to the others from the Domain of the Falling Stars now, while I’ll go talk to the Golden Vast Sect. You really need to leave before something big happens and traps you here.”
Nie Tian didn’t say anything after receiving the ring, but left directly to find Hua Mu and the others.
Hua Mu, Fan Kai, and the others were deeply shaken after hearing that the Domain of Heaven Python would soon become a battlefield between outsider invaders and the three local sects.
Fan Kai, Zhao Luofeng, and a few others were the first to express their desire to leave to Nie Tian. They wanted to do as Duan Shihu had suggested: go to the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries first as Patriarch Pure Heaven and Yue Yanxi had, and then return to the Domain of the Falling Stars through the teleportation portal in the Divine Flame Sect.
All they wanted to do was get out of this unexpected calamity as soon as possible. They didn’t care in the slightest what would happen to the Domain of Heaven Python.
However, Hua Mu and the others said they would listen to Nie Tian’s opinion.
They would do as he commanded, whether that was to leave for the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries, or stay and fight side by side with the Divine Seal Sect.
Nie Tian, who attached great importance to the matter, couldn’t make a decision.
Soon afterwards, word came from the Divine Seal Sect, telling them that Pei Qiqi seemed to be part of the reason for the outsiders’ mass invasion.
That was because outsiders has been spotted searching in the realms Pei Qiqi had been to, as if they were trying to find her.
After learning this, Nie Tian instantly realized that the outsider invasion must have something to do with the Heaven Nourished grade treasure, which was probably now in Pei Qiqi’s possession.
He then made his decision.
He went to find Duan Shihu again, and asked him to arrange for Fan Kai and the others with him to leave for the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries with the Golden Vast Sect’s help.
At the same time, Qi Bailu, Hua Mu, Zong Zheng, and some others chose to stay behind with Nie Tian, and see how things would develop.
At first, Duan Shihu didn’t agree to this. However, since Nie Tian insisted on staying, he eventually gave up.
Therefore, Fan Kai and those with him went to the Golden Vast Sect, and soon left the Realm of Maelstrom.
Nie Tian, however, strengthened his bloodline by madly channeling flesh power from the copious amount of spirit beast meat Duan Shihu had traded for him.
Seventh and sixth grade spirit beast meat was piled into mountains in the ring of holding.
He was well-aware that since he didn’t have a considerable number of spiritual materials or medicinal pills that could provide soul power, it was unrealistic for him to form a third sub-soul and enter the Profound realm within a short period of time.
However, since he had a large spirit beast meat supply, he would be able to accumulate copious flesh power by using his Life Drain bloodline talent.
As he worked day and night without stop, pile after pile of spirit beast meat was refined. They morphed into streams of flesh power that fused into his bloodline aura and eventually put it into dormancy, where it waited for its next upgrade and awakening of brand-new bloodline talents.
Two weeks had passed since Fan Kai and the others had left.
During this time, the outsiders’ ancient starships initiated small-scale invasions of some of the remote realms that weren’t controlled by the Golden Vast Sect or the Divine Seal Sect.
They mostly favored realms that belonged to the Thousandsword Mountain Sect. Many of them were lost, and became temporary footholds for the outsiders.
The Realm of Maelstrom, which usually bustled with trading activities, suddenly became deserted and quiet.
After all, with all of the spatial rifts that led to outsider realms destroyed or sealed, no outsider traders could visit anymore.
The human Qi warriors who had done business in the Realm of Maelstrom over a long period time also stopped coming after seeing the unfavorable situation.
On this day, Duan Shihu and Jing Rou came to Nie Tian with Li Muyang and Xing Huanyue.
Even though both Li Muyang and Xing Huanyue had entered the late Soul realm, not even the slightest delight could be seen on their faces.
Duan Shihu seemed even sadder and angrier than them.
“What happened?!” Hua Mu asked aloud.
With a grim face, Li Muyang said, “The Realm of Withering Flame was sacked by Demons. An army of Demons led by an eighth grade Demon expert suddenly swarmed into the the Realm of Withering Flame. We knew we couldn’t stop them, so we came back through the teleportation portal. However, many others were trapped there. Miserable cries echoed out in every direction as we escaped.”
As Duan Shihu’s personal property, the Realm of Withering Flame was filled with active volcanoes. Every year, he could gather a large number of fire-attributed spiritual materials from it.
Many of the Hunters who had raided and plundered with him had later helped him mine fire-attributed spiritual materials from the volcanoes.
Now that the Realm of Withering Flame had been sacked overnight, all those who used to sail across the Domain of Heaven Python with him and looted the local sects’ supplies would most likely fall victim to the outsiders.
“Senior martial brother, will your sect...” Nie Tian wanted to say something, but stopped on second thought.
With a bitter smile, Jing Rou chimed in, “My sect is having trouble fending for itself, much less saving the Realm of Withering Flame, which is not that important to them. The Demons, Phantasms, Bonebrutes, and Fiends have all sent ninth grade grand patriarchs. I doubt that our sect will be able to even defend itself.”
Before Nie Tian said anything, Jing Rou went on with a imploring tone, “Nie Tian, you’re a Son of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. Will you please communicate with your sect and tell them that we’ll be willing to become their subordinate sect, as long as they agree to send powerful experts to help us through this bloody tribulation.”
Duan Shihu also fixed Nie Tian with an expectant gaze.
The reason why they had come in the first place was because they wished Nie Tian could establish communications with the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace and ask for their help.
Given the Divine Seal Sect’s current strength, it didn’t even qualify to become the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s subordinate sect.
However, since Nie Tian was a Son of the Stars acknowledged by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, they wondered if they could make use of his connections and get the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace to give them another chance.
If that didn’t work out, they wondered if they could just become a subordinate sect of Nie Tian, and pull through by relying on their indirect relationship with the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
Nie Tian smiled bitterly. “I, I haven’t finished the path of stars the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace designed for me, and entered the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace yet.”
“So how can you finish that path of stars?” Jing Rou asked anxiously.
The situation in the Domain of Heaven Python was very unfavorable. The Thousandsword Mountain Sect was no different from being wiped out, while the Divine Seal Sect and the Golden Vast Sect couldn’t possibly defeat the outsiders’ united army by themselves.
If they couldn’t get help, the realms in the Domain of Heaven Python would fall one after another, just like the Realm of Withering Flame.
Running out of options, they had thought of Nie Tian, a Son of the Stars, and hoped that he could establish communications with the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
“I suppose only after I break through into the Profound realm would I have a chance at finishing the path of stars and entering the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.” After a moment of hesitation, Nie Tian added, “But my soul still lacks refining. If I can get enough medicinal pills that contain soul power, perhaps I’ll be able to make that breakthrough within a short time.”
“Don’t you have soul crystals for that?” Jing Rou asked.
Nie Tian smiled bitterly. “I used them all.”
“Well, I’ll see what I can do,” Jing Rou said.