In the Divine Seal Sect’s headquarters in the Realm of Maelstrom.
Jing Feiyang, the sectmaster of the Divine Seal Sect, Zhai Mingde, the sectmaster of the Golden Vast Sect, and Quan Zixuan, the sectmaster of the Thousandsword Mountain Sect, were gathered in a spacious hall, with a handful of Void domain experts standing behind each of them.
The three of them were all at the early Saint domain.
However, compared to the other two, Quan Zixuan’s aura seemed somewhat weaker.
He had vanished completely since he had been severely injured by a ninth grade Bonebrute grand patriarch. No one had known where he had been.
He hadn’t shown up the entire time when the outsiders had devastated the Domain of Heaven Python. Even their headquarters had fallen into the outsiders’ hands.
The Thousandsword Mountain Sect had ended up suffering the greatest losses from this outsider invasion.
Only when the outsiders had withdrawn their forces had he returned to their headquarters. However, the spiritual materials and medicinal pills, along with all of the valuables they had accumulated over thousands of years, had already been looted by the outsiders.
The Thousandsword Mountain Sect’s fame suffered a drastic decline. As the sectmaster, Quan Zixuan even had trouble holding onto his early Saint domain cultivation base.
Later, Nie Tian had returned to the Realm of Maelstrom. After Meng Li had informed all parties that the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had already put the Domain of Heaven Python under the name of the seventh Son of the Stars, he had also come to the Realm of Maelstrom.
At this moment, Jing Feiyang was explaining the situation to everyone present.
However, before he could finish, Quan Zixuan interrupted him.
With an unpleasant look in his eyes, he stared at Nie Tian and said, “I have some questions that I hope you can answer for us.”
“Please, senior,” Nie Tian said.
Before his return, he had already gained an overall understanding of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s rules through Huang Jinnan and Tao Jin.
Even though the Sons of the Stars enjoyed very special statuses in the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, they wouldn’t receive much help from their sect as they built up their strength. Instead of making use of the sect’s resources, they would have to rely on themselves for the most part.
The Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace viewed the Sons of the Stars as their future sectmasters, so they wouldn’t cultivate them in a greenhouse and provide them with extra care.
It was also for this reason that they wouldn’t arrange for powerful experts to help him win the allegiance of the major powers in the Domain of Heaven Python or the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries.
The Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had only spread word of them assigning the Domain of Heaven Python and the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries to Nie Tian so that the powerful domains in their surroundings would keep their hands off them.
Many outsider forces would also think twice before invading these domains from now on.
However, Nie Tian would have to rely on himself to persuade the major sects in these two domains to become his subordinates.
Winning those sects over with his personal charisma after the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had eliminated the exterior obstructions for him would also be a testament to his abilities.
If he failed to bring the two domains to heel after the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had laid the groundwork for him, it would be a great loss of face.
On the other hand, Jing Feiyang, Zhai Mingde, and Quan Zixuan were all early Saint domain experts.
If he could win them over, not only would it prove his personal influence and charisma, but his reputation in the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace would also rise to a whole new level.
Therefore, Nie Tian didn’t put on airs when facing these experts. Instead, he behaved rather modestly.
“There’s a girl named Pei Qiqi and a man named Zhao Shanling,” Quan Zixuan said with anger in his eyes. “Are they from the Domain of the Falling Stars?”
Calm and composed, Nie Tian nodded and said, “That’s right.”
Quan Zixuan did his utmost to suppress his anger as he asked, “How is your relationship with them?”
“Very good” Nie Tian answered, looking in Quan Zixuan’s eyes.
“Good! Very good!” Quan Zixuan said with a cold smile. “I’ve received word that this outsider invasion had a lot to do with the two of them! That girl named Pei Qiqi seems to have obtained something very powerful from the Shatter Battlefield. The outsiders were afraid that it would end up in the Void Spirit Society’s hands, and thus invaded our domain to take that thing.
“As for Zhao Shanling, he angered the Void Spirit Society and told them that he was from the Domain of Heaven Python.
“The two of them were the main reason why our domain had to go through this calamity!”
With these words, Quan Zixuan took a deep breath, grief filling his face.
“Because of them, our headquarters was breached, and thousands of our disciples were butchered by Bonebrutes. Even the cultivation resources we spent thousands of years accumulating are now in those Bonebrutes’ hands. Many of our subordinate realms were plunged into complete chaos. Many of our subordinate forces were wiped out, and had their bodies shipped to the Bonebrutes’ burial grounds!
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that our sect and those that clung to us went through hell because of those two!”
Every word that came out of Quan Zixuan’s mouth was as cold as ice. “If you weren’t a Son of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, I wouldn’t even let you off simply because of your close relationship with them!
“Now you want my sect to swear allegiance to you and become your subordinate force?!
With these words, Quan Zixuan sprung to his feet and stormed out of the spacious hall with the only remaining powerful experts of his sect.
Nie Tian frowned deeply.
Seeing this, Jing Feiyang cleared his throat and turned to look at Zhai Mingde from the Golden Vast Sect with a forced smile. “Brother Zhai...”
Zhai Mingde shook his head slightly and sighed. “Even though Quan Zixuan’s words were a bit harsh, he was actually stating the truth. That Pei Qiqi and Zhao Shanling were the main cause of this outsider invasion. Because of them, many of our realms fell into the outsiders’ hands. Even our headquarters barely survived the Fiends’ extended siege.
“Many of our subordinate forces were obliterated by the outsiders.
“In this situation, if we choose to follow the seventh Son of the Stars, not only will I have failed my people, but I’ll also hate myself for it.”
Then, he turned to Nie Tian and said with a somewhat apologetic expression, “The Golden Vast Sect decides to stay independent.”
With these words, he also rose to his feet and left the palace hall with Wu Yun and the other experts from the Golden Vast Sect.
All of a sudden, experts from the Divine Seal Sect became the only ones that were still in the hall.
Looking rather embarrassed, Jing Feiyang said, “Our sect has already reached a consensus to follow you. It’s just that if the Thousandsword Mountain Sect and the Golden Vast Sect refuse to do so, the Domain of Heaven Python won’t truly be yours...”
The Divine Seal Sect hadn’t suffered irreparable losses in this calamity, and Duan Shihu, who they viewed as their future, was very close to Nie Tian.
Besides, back when Jing Feiyang had realized that they wouldn’t be able to survive this outsider invasion just by relying on themselves, he had already gotten word to Nie Tian through Jing Rou and Duan Shihu, saying that as long as Nie Tian could save the Domain of Heaven Python from the outsiders, the Divine Seal Sect would be willing to become his subordinate sect.
Eyebrows furrowed, Meng Li said in a low voice, “In fact, we talked to the Golden Vast Sect when their headquarters suffered the Fiends’ unceasing attack, and they agreed to follow you as well if you could get help from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. But for some reason, they suddenly learned everything about Pei Qiqi and Zhao Shanling. After the outsiders withdrew their forces, they went back on their word.”
“That’s weird indeed,” Duan Shihu chimed in. “We don’t even know that much about Pei Qiqi and Zhao Shanling.”
With a concerned look in her eyes, Jing Rou said, “The way I see it, some external force must be meddling in this.”
Nie Tian was taken aback. “External force?”
“Perhaps someone or some force doesn’t want you to take over the Domain of Heaven Python so they’ve deliberately created obstacles for you.” Jing Rou put it more plainly. “If the Thousandsword Mountain Sect and Golden Vast Sect refuse to follow you, even if you have the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s permission, you won’t truly own the Domain of Heaven Python.”
After a short pause, she added, “I suspect the same thing might have happened in the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries as well.”
Nie Tian’s face gradually dropped as he also sensed something fishy about it.
“Could it be the Void Spirit Society? They learned that Zhao Shanling and Pei Qiqi came from the Domain of the Falling Stars, so they did this to undermine me?” While he was carried away in thought, more bad news came and interrupted him.
Yue Yanxi from the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries got word to him that the five major sects and three major clans in the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries had also received word that the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had assigned their domain to him.
The Pure Heaven Sect and the Trisword Sect had already made it clear that they wouldn’t follow Nie Tian.
The Trisword Sect had profound connections to the Thousandsword Mountain Sect. It didn’t surprise Nie Tian that they made such a decision after Quan Zixuan’s strong refusal.
Patriarch Pure Heaven from the Pure Heaven Sect was arrogant and unruly. He had been doing whatever he wished in the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries. It was understandable that he wouldn’t submit.
Meanwhile, the Pure Heaven Sect was the most powerful sect in the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries. If Nie Tian didn’t have them on his side, even though he had the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s permission, he wouldn’t be able to call himself the owner of the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries without blushing.
“The Thousandsword Mountain Sect, the Golden Vast Sect, the Pure Heaven Sect, and the Trisword Sect... All of these sects have made their stance clear and spread word of their decision...” Nie Tian sighed inwardly.