It was a thin old man with silver hair, dressed in a robe dotted with stars.
There seemed to be nebulas in the depths of his pupils, as if countless stars were moving within them, following certain tracks.
Nie Tian, who was new to this place, bowed respectfully and said, “My name is Nie Tian. I’m from the Realm of Flame Heaven in the Domain of the Falling Stars, and I gathered the fragmentary star marks during the Heaven Gate trial.”
The old man gave a warm smile. “Nie Tian… My name is Wei Lai, and I’m one of the elders of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. You took your time finishing your path of stars... Those before you who passed Heaven Gate trials and gained fragmentary star marks either died on their way, or finished their path of stars far sooner than you did.
“Judging from the time it took you to get here, your cultivation talent must not be impressive, or mediocre if you don’t mind me saying.”
Sagging his head, Nie Tian said, “Please forgive me for being slow-witted.”
Wei Lai waved, signaling Nie Tian not to worry. “That’s actually not a big deal. The path of cultivation is long and full of danger. It’s not like those who make the fastest advances in cultivation will get to stand on the peak and shine over all the others.”
As he spoke, another person entered the hall.
It was the burly Qi warrior who practiced fiery incantations. He fixed Nie Tian with a stare as soon as he entered the hall.
“Hmm?!” Clearly, he sensed the aura of flame power from Nie Tian.
Eyebrows furrowed, he asked, “Do you practice star power and flame power at the same time?”
With these words, he took a deep, measuring look at Nie Tian.
Only at this moment did Wei Lai, who had arrived first, take a closer look at Nie Tian, misty starlight coming from the depths of his pupils.
Under the gazes of the two experts, Nie Tian had a feeling that he could hide nothing from them, and all of his secrets were brought before their eyes.
Wei Lai’s expression flickered with astonishment. “Not just a star power spiritual core and flame power spiritual core, but there’s also a wood power spiritual core in his spiritual sea! I can’t believe you practice three types of power simultaneously!”
The Qi warrior that was tall and large had an intrigued look on his face as he said, “Interesting... The seventh Son of the Stars doesn’t just practice star power incantations!”
Two figures entered the hall.
One of them was blazing like the sun; the other was chilly like the moon.
Upon arriving, they heard Wei Lai and the burly man’s words, and astonishment filled their faces.
The four of them had entered the hall successively. Even though none of them had unleashed heaven-shaking, earth-shattering might, Nie Tian knew that they must enjoy lofty statuses in the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
“Star power, flame power, and wood power...” Wei Lai muttered. “It seems I’ve underestimated you. If you only practiced star power incantations, then you would be rather slow for having just entered the Profound realm. However, since you practice flame power and wood power at the same time, it’s a whole other story. After all, the more types of power you practice at the same time, the slower your advancement in cultivation would be.
“So based on this, you managing to enter the Profound realm and finishing the path of stars is now actually quite impressive.”
As the four of them examined Nie Tian, they assessed his head and discussed his feet (idiom: make frivolous remarks about someone), showing great interest in him.
At the same time, Nie Tian examined the four of them, and couldn’t help but marvel inwardly.
He had assumed that all members of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace practiced star power incantations.
The arrival of these experts made him realize that he was wrong.
The first old man practiced star power. However, as for the three who had followed him, they practiced flame power, sun power, and moon power respectively.
Furthermore, as soon as he had seen the last two, he had been convinced that the Yang Sect and the Yin Sect must have profound connections to the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
Eyes narrowed, Wei Lai said, “Our sectmaster and two vice sectmasters are all deriving enlightenment in the depths of the starry river. They won’t be back any time soon. Our grand elder has received word of your arrival, and will come back as soon as he can. So we’ll wait for him to give you a comprehensive assessment. After that, we’ll discuss what your next task will be.”
The burly man, who practiced flame power, nodded. “Yeah, we can’t take it upon ourselves to assess a Son of the Stars.”
“Seniors, may I ask you something?” Nie Tian asked in a sincere and modest manner. “Could you tell me about the forbidden region and that shattered realm in it? And also, what secrets does the palace in the Domain of the Falling Stars hold?”
Wei Lai went blank briefly before suddenly realizing what Nie Tian was referring to. “Oh, you mean the Domain of Forbidden Heaven? It’s a domain that’s located between the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries and the Domain of the Falling Stars, which was originally occupied by outsiders. We went to war against the outsiders there and drove them all out.
“It’s just that the war was hard-fought, and resulted in the rapid decline of many of its realms.
“Eventually, only one realm survived the war, while all of the other realms became dead realms. But that realm only didn’t fall apart because of an enormous plant. That plant is actually a Heaven Nourished grade spiritual material that’s called Heaven-equal Vine. We made a pact with it so it’ll keep that shattered realm from falling apart and being reduced to meteors that float around.
“The grand elders intended it to be a stop on your path of stars.”
Nie Tian’s expression flickered with astonishment. “The Heaven-equal Vine, a Heaven Nourished grade spiritual material?!”
Wei Lai nodded. “Yeah. That shattered realm in the Domain of Forbidden Heaven is yours from now on, along with that Heaven-equal Vine. Since you were born in the Domain of the Falling Stars, it’ll naturally be yours as well.”
“I’ve already named that realm the Realm of Shattered Earth,” Nie Tian said.
Wei Lai smiled. “It belongs to you anyways, so you’re free to name it whatever you like. Normally speaking, the Domain of Forbidden Heaven, the Domain of the Falling Stars, and the human domains in that vicinity will all belong to you. It’s just that you’ll have to rely on yourself to bring them to heel.”
“The domains in that vicinity...” Nie Tian went blank briefly. “Do you mean the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries?”
“Including but not limited to,” Wei Lai said, looking rather arrogant. “If you didn’t pass the Heaven Gate trial and become the seventh Son of the Stars, the Domain of the Falling Stars, the Domain of Forbidden Heaven, and those domains around them would have remained dust-laden through eternity.
“As a general rule, our sect will never have our eyes on domains like the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries.
“But since you’re a Son of the Stars, the moment you were born, the Domain of the Falling Stars and its surrounding domains were meant to become yours.
“It’s also thanks to you that a Medium grade domain like the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries can be included in the sphere of influence of a Son of the Stars.”
The man who practiced flame power incantations laughed heartily and chimed in, “It’s still early for you to tell him that. As a newborn Son of the Stars, he still lacks strength. It wouldn’t be easy for him to bring domains like the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries to heel.
Wei Lai nodded. “Good point.”
Nie Tian cleared his throat. “Seniors, there’s a domain called the Domain of Heaven Python, which borders the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries. That domain is being invaded and on the brink of falling into the outsiders’ hands. A local sect there named the Divine Seal Sect asked me to help them through this crisis. If I do, they’ll be willing to become a subordinate force of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.”
The fact that he was able to enter the Profound realm within such a short time had a great deal to do with the Divine Seal Sect.
If it weren’t for the Divine Seal Sect, he wouldn’t have been able to enter the Shatter Battlefield, much less make consecutive breakthroughs.
Without the soul power materials Jing Rou had given him, breaking through into the Profound realm wouldn’t have been possible.
The main reason he had been so eager to come here was because he had wanted to seek help on behalf of the Divine Seal Sect and save the Domain of Heaven Python from the outsiders.
The expressions of the four powerful experts grew strange as they heard these words. “The Domain of Heaven Python...”
“Is something wrong?” Nie Tian asked curiously.
Instead of answering him, Wei Lai asked, “Do you have any special connections to this Domain of Heaven Python?”
Nie Tian pondered briefly before saying, “Thanks to the Divine Seal Sect from the Domain of Heaven Python, I was able to enter the Shatter Battlefield. And my senior martial brother from the Domain of the Falling Stars is now a member of the Divine Seal Sect. He’s like my own brother. The Divine Seal Sect has helped me on many occasions. I’ve got to repay them for their kindness.”
Eyes narrowed, Wei Lai thought for a while before saying, “It’s hard to believe that you actually went to the Shatter Battlefield.”
Nie Tian nodded in silence.
Wei Lai then took his time to say, “There was this guy named Zhao Shanling in the Shatter Battlefield. He claimed that he was from the Domain of Heaven Python. He wields a spiritual tool called the Voidspirit Pagoda, which is a lost treasure of the Void Spirit Society. Members of the Void Spirit Society recognized it in the Shatter Battlefield and reached out to him, hoping he’d visit and join the Void Spirit Society.
“However, that Zhao Shanling thought they were doing that to take the Voidspirit Pagoda from him, so not only did he refuse them, but he even got into a fight with them.
“This made the Void Spirit Society mad.
“The Void Spirit Society has long since learned about the outsider invasion of the Domain of Heaven Python, but they ordered all of the Premium grade domains in its surroundings to stand down, and let the Domain of Heaven Python fend for themselves.
“They’re doing this to teach that Zhao Shanling a lesson, so that he will come to beg them and compromise by joining the Void Spirit Society, bringing his Voidspirit Pagoda.
“I guess you can say that Zhao Shanling is the reason why the Domain of Heaven Python is in its current situation.”