The Voidspirit Pagoda flew skywards into the watery curtain over the Realm of Maelstrom.
The unstable spatial rift that led to the Shatter Battlefield suddenly burst forth with blinding light, and then exploded violently.
With a relaxed smile, Zhao Shanling said, “Alright, from now on, no one will be able to enter the Domain of Heaven Python from the Shatter Battlefield.”
He actually destroyed that spatial rift.
Duan Shihu smiled bitterly. “But with that spatial rift gone, the people in the Domain of Heaven Python won’t be able to enter the Shatter Battlefield so easily either.”
Zhao Shanling raised his hand to make a grabbing motion in the air, and the Voidspirit Pagoda flew down into his palm and vanished. “Keeping that spatial rift is not necessarily a good thing for the Domain of Heaven Python. I can travel through it with the help of my spatial tool. Others might be able to do the same.”
Duan Shihu let out a sigh and fell silent.
“What happened in the Shatter Battlefield, Senior Zhao? And who injured you so badly?” Nie Tian asked.
Zhao Shanling frowned. “It’s a long story.”
He didn’t seem to want to explain it. Instead, he asked Nie Tian, “What happened in the Domain of Heaven Python? How come the Realm of Maelstrom is so desolate now? I didn’t sense a single expert.”
“The outsiders have invaded...” Nie Tian went on and explained the situation to him.
Killing intent burst from Zhao Shanling’s eyes. “Xing Lifeng?! Is he still alive?! And he attacked the Thousandsword Mountain Sect with the Bonebrutes’ help?”
Duan Shihu chimed in. “Not only is he still alive, but he has broken through into the late Void domain.”
Zhao Shanling took a deep breath. “The late Void domain...”
Then, he let out a cold harrumph and continued, “So what? As long as he hasn’t entered the Saint domain, I’ll have a chance at killing him!”
Nie Tian was dumbfounded. “You...?”
“The main reason for me to go to the Shatter Battlefield was to hunt down and kill members of the Xing Clan,” Zhao Shanling said with a cold and determined tone. “That brat Xing Bo has died at your hands, so be it. But who would have thought that bastard Xing Lifeng was still alive? I didn’t track him down in the Shatter Battlefield, but I won’t stop until I kill him with my own hands!”
Nie Tian knew that the fact that the Xing Clan had colluded with the Bonebrutes and killed Zhen Huilan had been weighing on Zhao Shanling’s mind.
Zhao Shanling seemed to be a madman with no scruples or affection for anything. He didn’t even give face to his own brother, Zhao Luofeng. However, Nie Tian was well-aware that he wasn’t a man with no feelings.
He had witnessed his grief and rage when his master’s gravestone had been destroyed.
For this, he had even single-handedly attacked the Lei Clan, who had occupied the Tool Sect.
His master, Xu Yinglong, and his junior martial sister, Zhen Huilan, might be the ones who he had the strongest feelings towards in this whole world.
Therefore, he had left the Void Illusion Mountain Range without the slightest hesitation the moment he had learned that Zhen Huilan had died because of the Xing Clan, and stormed into the Domain of Heaven Python, following the path she had taken.
Later, he had learned that Xing Bo and Xing Lifeng from the Xing Clan had escaped with the Bonebrutes’ help, and that they might go to the Shatter Battlefield. Thus, he had entered the Shatter Battlefield.
Like Pei Qiqi, all he had wanted was to avenge Zhen Huilan.
As his train of thought came to this point, a shudder ran through Nie Tian, and he suddenly realized the reason why Pei Qiqi had stayed in the Domain of Heaven Python for so long. “It must be Xing Lifeng!”
Pei Qiqi must have also known about Xing Lifeng’s return to the Domain of Heaven Python. The reason why she had been traveling among different realms of the Domain of Heaven Python to gather power from the spatial rifts and teleportation portals was probably because she was still holding onto the idea of killing Xing Lifeng.
Nie Tian’s head sagged slightly, looking somewhat embarrassed. “The late Void domain… Senior Zhen had been nothing but kind to me. I also thought about killing Xing Lifeng. However, as soon as I learned his current cultivation base, and that he had ninth grade Bonebrute grand patriarchs with him, I decided to give the matter further thought and chose to perhaps seek him out again when I’m strong enough...”
Zhao Shanling gave him a sideways look and said with a consoling tone, “I’m glad that you thought about it, and you already did a good job by killing Xing Bo. As for Xing Lifeng, don’t beat yourself up. Considering your current cultivation base, you indeed won’t stand a chance fighting him.”
Duan Shihu seemed to be infected by their determination as he chimed in, “Do you think you’ll be able to kill him, Senior Zhao? I received word that Xing Lifeng has left the Bonebrutes and traveled to the realm where the Xing Clan used to live. But I guess since you’ve sustained serious injuries in the Shatter Battlefield...”
“He’s separated from the Bonebrutes?!” Zhao Shanling interrupted him.
Duan Shihu nodded.
Zhao Shanling took a deep breath and chuckled. “Indeed, I sustained some serious injuries in the Shatter Battlefield, but my gains from the trip were also substantial. Considering the special environment in the Realm of Maelstrom and the loot I got from the Shatter Battlefield, I’m certain that I’ll be able to return to my peak state within a short time.
“I might even be able to take another step and enter the middle Void domain!
“Keep your eyes on Xing Lifeng for me, kid. I want to know his whereabouts at all times! Give me two weeks, and I’ll be back at my peak state!”
As soon as he finished talking, he morphed into a streak of light that shot skywards and vanished into the watery curtain that was filled with interweaving spatial rifts.
Last time he had practiced cultivation in the depths of that watery curtain, he had broken through into the Void domain from the late Soul realm.
With a strange expression, Duan Shihu said, “You guys spent only five, six years in the Shatter Battlefield. I guess I wasn’t so surprised by the fact that you were able to make breakthroughs in your cultivation during that time. But he’s only entered the Void domain recently, yet he claims that he’ll be able to make another breakthrough and enter the middle Void domain within two weeks? What on earth did he encounter or gain in the Shatter Battlefield that gives him such confidence?”
Nie Tian shook his head.
Duan Shihu then went on, muttering to himself, “He practices spatial power, and that powerful tool he wields is called the Voidspirit Pagoda...”
Duan Shihu’s expression flickered. “Could that Voidspirit Pagoda have something to do with the Void Spirit Society?”
Nie Tian’s eyes widened. “The Voidspirit Pagoda, Master Voidspirit, and the Void Spirit Society...”
Master Voidspirit had been an expert in spatial power, and had been ranked fifth among the most powerful experts from the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries. However, Nie Tian had later learned that Master Voidspirit wasn’t a local Qi warrior of the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries.
He had come from none of the five sects and three clans.
“Could he be a member of the Void Spirit Society? And his Voidspirit Pagoda is actually from the Void Spirit Society?” Nie Tian was absorbed in thought.
He then remembered that a Vitality-returning Celestial Stone had been hidden in the peculiar dimension that was Master Voidspirit’s personal domain.
As an unearthly treasure, the Vitality-returning Celestial Stone almost couldn’t be found in Medium grade human domains, yet Master Voidspirit had managed to forge one into his personal domain.
Nie Tian pondered for a while before saying, “Perhaps you’re right. Senior Zhao’s Voidspirit Pagoda actually might have something to do with the Void Spirit Society, which is one of the four most ancient human powers. “If the Voidspirit Pagoda is indeed from the Void Spirit Society, then the secret magics that were branded on it must be from the Void Spirit Society as well.
“Besides, he must have gained other fortunes from the Shatter Battlefield, so it’s not totally impossible for him to make such rapid advances in cultivation,” Nie Tian said.
Duan Shihu seemed deeply shaken. “Come to think of it, our domain is actually a curious land. It produced a time power expert like our master and you, a Son of the Stars acknowledged by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. Pei Qiqi, whose cultivation base is unimpressive, but is able to establish inter-domain teleportation portals, and Zhao Shanling, an eccentric expert who wields the Voidspirit Pagoda...”
Nie Tian laughed. “You’re no ordinary person either, senior martial brother. You came from the Domain of the Falling Stars, but rose to prominence in the Domain of Heaven Python. Even a sect as powerful as the Divine Seal Sect was shaken up, and made you their chosen one.”
Duan Shihu sighed. “I’m still no you. The way I see it, you, our master, Pei Qiqi, and Zhao Shanling will shine bright throughout the starry river someday. And your name will spread far and wide to every powerful human domain.”
Before Nie Tian could humble himself, he waved and said, “Alright then, you just focus on your cultivation. I hope you’ll enter the Profound realm soon. The Divine Seal Sect views me as the backbone of their future, and I’m not going to watch it collapse.”
Nie Tian nodded. “I understand, senior martial brother.”
Afterwards, he stayed in the Realm of Maelstrom and continued to practice cultivation around the clock with the materials Jing Rou had found for him in order to form the third sub-soul and finish the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s so-called path of stars as soon as possible.
Duan Shihu, however, left the Realm of Maelstrom for the Divine Seal Sect’s headquarters to inform them of what had happened.
It was thrilling news that Zhao Shanling had returned, and that Nie Tian would be able to enter the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace officially once he entered the Profound realm. He needed to ease the Divine Seal Sect’s mind with it.