The thundercloud covered a large area of the sky. Snakes of lightning slithered within it, giving rise to endless rumbles.
The thundercloud descended from the vortex-like curtain in the sky at an alarming speed.
Yuan Jiuchuan’s figure loomed inside the thundercloud, his manner imposing.
His arrival soon alarmed Duan Shihu.
After stepping out of the Divine Seal Sect’s grand palace, he looked up, and saw Nie Tian immediately.
He shot up into the air and landed beside Nie Tian in a split second.
Standing side by side with Nie Tian, he asked in a low voice, “Is that Yuan Jiuchuan?”
Face grim, Nie Tian answered, “Yeah.”
All of a sudden, the thundercloud flew into the watery curtain in the sky, where numerous spatial rifts were flickering.
At this moment, Duan Shihu noticed the anomaly, and thus glanced around suspiciously. “Hmm? Where are the others from the Domain of the Falling Stars?”
Yuan Jiuchuan came with such impetus that even he had sensed his arrival immediately. Qi Bailu and the other experts must have sensed it as well.
After a moment of hesitation, Nie Tian decided to tell him the truth. “They left, senior martial brother.”
Duan Shihu was taken aback. “They left?! Did Zhao Shanling come back? How come I didn’t sense anything?”
“No, not Zhao Shanling. It was my senior martial sister...” Nie Tian went on and briefly explained the situation to him.
Astonishment filled Duan Shihu’s eyes as he said, “Even Zhao Shanling had to activate his teleportation portal with the help of a Spirit Channeling grade treasure. Her cultivation base is far from Zhao Shanling’s, but she managed to make that teleportation portal operable with nothing but spatial blades?!”
Nie Tian, who decided not to mention the matter with the Heaven Nourished grade treasure, then said, “I don’t know about the details.”
“She came, and she left...” Duan Shihu pondered the matter with furrowed brows. But all of a sudden, his eyes lit up, and he said, “Now that the teleportation portal has become operable, once you enter the Profound realm, you’ll be able to return to that forbidden place where you can teleport to the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace and finish the so-called path of stars, right?”
“That’s right,” Nie Tian answered.
“Good!” Duan Shihu said, anticipation filled his eyes. “I knew the heavens wouldn’t seal off all exits. (Idiom: there’s always a way out as long as you don’t give up) You’re a Son of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. Once you officially enter your sect, you’ll definitely be able to convince them to accept the Divine Seal Sect’s request!”
He quickly forgot what had happened with Pei Qiqi.
All he cared about at this moment was that Nie Tian could now finish his path of stars and find a way out for the Domain of Heaven Python.
“What about Yuan Jiuchuan then?” Nie Tian asked.
“I don’t know why he’s here,” Duan Shihu said with furrowed brows. “Originally, the sectmaster of the Golden Vast Sect set up a trap for him, but gave it up after the appearance of the outsider army. He arranged for that subordinate sect of theirs, which practiced lightning power, to retreat to their headquarters as well, so that Yuan Jiuchuan wouldn’t dare to make any moves against them.”
“Then why is he here in the Realm of Maelstrom?” Nie Tian asked, looking puzzled.
Eyes narrowed, Duan Shihu said, “I guess he’s here to find a way out of the Domain of Heaven Python. He’s already hunted a large number of cultivators and spirit beasts that practice lightning power in the Domain of Heaven Python. All those who have survived him are now holed up in the Golden Vast Sect’s headquarters, which means he won’t be able to get to them. Besides, the outsiders have sacked many realms. So I guess he wants to find targets in another domain now.
“Since the teleportation portals and spatial rifts in many realms have vanished or collapsed, it’s not easy for him to find a way to leave the Domain of Heaven Python.
“If he wants to fly across the void to another domain, since he hasn’t entered the Void domain, it would be a dangerous thing to do.
“Even if he could seize an ancient starship and sail it away, he might run into powerful outsiders in the boundless starry river.”
Duan Shihu analyzed the situation, and came to the conclusion that Yuan Jiuchuan had come to the Realm of Maelstrom in an attempt to find special spatial rifts in its watery curtain, through which he might be able to leave.
Nie Tian also thought this was probably why he was here.
However, an hour later, Yuan Jiuchuan flew out of the watery curtain, wreathed in a thundercloud.
His immense soul awareness instantly spread out from within that thundercloud, capturing soul auras wherever it went.
Both Nie Tian and Duan Shihu were struck by a peculiar feeling that someone was peeping at them in the dark.
“It’s him. He’s discovered us.” Duan Shihu’s face fell as he said in a low voice, “Jing Rou went back to the Divine Seal Sect’s headquarters, and so did elder Meng Li. If Yuan Jiuchuan...”
Before he could finish, the thundercloud shrank at an alarming rate, and rapidly disappeared into Yuan Jiuchuan.
Then, Yuan Jiuchuan morphed into a bolt of lightning that shot directly towards them.
In a few seconds, he covered tens of thousands of meters, and came to a stop in midair before Nie Tian and Duan Shihu.
He lowered his chin and went blank briefly as he saw Nie Tian. “It’s you again.”
Without saying a word, Nie Tian summoned the Bone Blood Demon, as if he were facing a deadly foe.
After the Bone Blood Demon, the Flame Dragon Armor also flew out of his ring of holding, donning itself on Nie Tian like a suit of crimson heavy armor.
With a gruesome, low chuckle, Yuan Jiuchuan said, “If my speculation is correct, you’re a Son of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. Am I right? Since your cultivation base is so low, you must have won the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s acknowledgment through their Heaven Gate trials. And so far, you haven’t finished your so-called path of stars and made it to the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace yet, right?”
He saw through and pointed out Nie Tian’s true identity.
Nie Tian didn’t deny it or say anything. Only after summoning his Star Boat and jumping on board with Duan Shihu did he say, “Senior Yuan, we’re not enemies, and I don’t practice lightning incantations. What you did at the Fortune Wells and in the Domain of Heaven Python has nothing to do with me. As long as you leave me alone, I promise that I won’t do anything to jeopardize you.”
“It seems that kid Mo Qinglei told you all about me,” Yuan Jiuchuan said with a fake smile.
Nie Tian nodded in silence, raising his vigilance.
The reason why he hadn’t summoned the Spirit Pearl was because he was well-aware that he was facing the Thunder Devil, and no soul tools would have any effect on him.
Seeing that Nie Tian had fallen silent, Yuan Jiuchuan gave a gruesome chuckle.
Lightning bolts that were as fine as hairs shot out of him. They spread out and flew into every stone pavilion in the Divine Seal Sect’s stronghold, as if they had their own awareness.
Nie Tian was puzzled.
Yuan Jiuchuan’s eyes lit up as he fixed his eyes on the stone pavilion under Nie Tian and Duan Shihu. “There’s an inter-domain teleportation portal here, and it’s operable!
“I thought I would have to go through a lot of trouble to find a way out of this damned domain. Who would have known my trip to the Realm of Maelstrom would actually turn out to be such a success!?”
All of the spatial rifts in the Realm of Maelstrom that led to outsider domains had been destroyed or sealed.
As for the remaining spatial rifts, Pei Qiqi had channeled spatial power from those that were fairly stable.
All that were left now were either very unstable, or led to unknown places.
Since Yuan Jiuchuan wasn’t skilled with spatial magics, as powerful as he was, he didn’t dare to go through some unstable or unidentified spatial rift.
The teleportation portals in the strongholds of the Divine Seal Sect, the Golden Vast Sect, and the Thousandsword Mountain Sect were still standing. However, the Thousandsword Mountain Sect’s teleportation portal led to their headquarters, which was probably crawling with Bonebrutes now.
The other two teleportation portals led to the Divine Seal Sect and the Golden Vast Sect’s headquarters respectively, places that were currently protected by Saint domain experts.
Yuan Jiuchuan didn’t dare to go to those places either.
However, the discovery of a fourth teleportation portal gave Yuan Jiuchuan, who was struggling with ways to leave the Domain of Heaven Python, hope, especially when that was a large-scale inter-domain teleportation portal.
To him, a fresh domain meant more prey, from which he would be able to absorb lightning power.
After all, he was eager to make rapid breakthroughs in cultivation, and recover his peak strength from his previous life as soon as possible.
Nie Tian instantly realized what he was thinking, and thus exclaimed, “Senior! That teleportation portal leads to the Domain of the Falling Stars, which is a weak domain with very few who practice lightning power. And it belongs to the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace now. So please think about it carefully!”
Nie Tian had long since considered the Domain of the Falling Stars his personal property.
If Yuan Jiuchuan went there, people who practice lightning power would die by the thousands.
Even Lei Tianqi, who was now protecting the Domain of the Falling Stars, was only at the early Void domain. It was hard to say whether he would be able to defeat Yuan Jiuchuan now. However, given more time to gather power, Yuan Jiuchuan would be able to progress in his cultivation by leaps and bounds. By that time, even Lei Tianqi would fall prey to this man.
Yuan Jiuchuan gave a cunning smile. “The Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace? As long as I don’t kill you, their Son of the Stars, they’d never send forces after me just because I killed a bunch of people in one of their subordinate domains that practice lightning incantations.”
With these words, Yuan Jiuchuan flew down in a nonchalant manner, hoping to enter the hall on the bottom floor of the stone pavilion.
“Don’t push me, senior!” Nie Tian said with anger in his eyes.
Yuan Jiuchuan laughed wildly. “What if I do?”