After Patriarch Snowy Peak left, more than a dozen Void domain Water Moon Sect experts walked out of the cabins.
Fan Kai, Zhao Luofeng, and the others also surfaced to greet Xie Qian and his people.
In perfect bearing, Xie Qian returned a salute to every one of them.
Then, he smiled and said, “I thought they were disciples from the Divine Seal Sect.”
He had long since sensed the presence of Fan Kai and the others, but had assumed they were Divine Seal Sect disciples who had been arranged to protect Jing Rou and Duan Shihu during this trip.
Everyone had a good, friendly talk.
From their talk, Nie Tian learned that Xie Qian from the Water Moon Sect wasn’t passing by as he had claimed to be. Instead, he had come with the sole purpose of pressuring the Heavenly Ice Sect so that Nie Tian would be able to leave with Fan Kai and the others.
Xie Qian had done this because he had wanted to thank Nie Tian for helping his children gain significant loot and growth in the Shatter Battlefield, and he hoped to establish a good relationship with Nie Tian now that the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had officially named him the seventh Son of the Stars.
Nie Tian thanked him for his thoughts.
Xie Qian then went on and expressed their hope to form an alliance with Nie Tian, and that they would be willing to invest heavily in building inter-domain teleportation portals among the Domain of Vast Darkness, the Domain of Heaven Python, and the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries in order to facilitate trade among the three domains.
After a brief discussion, Xie Qian’s subordinates returned to their own starship, while Jing Feiyang pulled Xie Qian and Nie Tian away from the two starships.
The three of them stayed within Jing Feiyang’s seal domain as they followed the sailing starships from a considerable distance.
Jing Feiyang told Xie Qian about the Divine Flame, and the fact that it might be following Nie Tian the whole time. It was thanks to it that the Heavenly Ice Sect had admitted to their wrongdoing.
Only then did Xie Qian realize the real reason behind Patriarch Snowy Peak’s unexpected attitude.
“What do you know about that cluster of Divine Flame, Brother Xie?” Jing Feiyang asked sincerely.
The Water Moon Sect’s reserve power was even more profound than that of the Divine Seal Sect’s. Plus, he had heard that back when the Divine Flame had destroyed the Domain of Flame’s End, Xie Qian had been there himself in an attempt to find or learn something from it. He had been worried that it would make the Domain of Vast Darkness its next target, and reduce it to a dead domain as well.
“That cluster of Divine Flame is a unique Heaven Nourished grade fire-attributed treasure,” Xie Qian said in a low voice.
Nie Tian’s expression flickered slightly.
“Like other Heaven Nourished grade treasures, it was born with its own awareness, and it’s every bit as intelligent as advanced life forms,” Xie Qian said with a dignified tone. “Besides, such unique treasures usually have keen perceptions, especially for things or lives that share its attribute.
“Back in the day, the head of the fire element sect of the Five Elements Sect also went after it in the Domain of Flame’s End. But as soon as he set foot in the Domain of Flame’s End, it seemed to have sensed his presence, and thus hid itself. Even he, who was at the God domain, couldn’t find it anywhere, which proved how powerful it was.
“You’ve probably heard of the appearance of a unique spatial treasure in the Shatter Battlefield.
“That treasure is also at the Heaven Nourished grade. Didn’t many spatial power experts from the Void Spirit Society spend years searching for it in the Shatter Battlefield, but still came back empty-handed?
“Most unique treasures at that grade are capable of hiding from powerful pursuers. It’s like a unique ability they’re born with.”
Nie Tian grew hesitant after hearing these words, but eventually, he brought out the truth about how his feeling of being watched by the cluster of Divine Flame had originated from his flame power sub-soul.
After hearing his words, Xie Qian said, “The Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s star power incantations are the most profound incantations in this world. We don’t understand their profundity...” After a short pause, he added, “But if that cluster of Divine Flame actually showed a strong interest in you, but didn’t try to hurt you in any way, then it might not be a bad thing for you.”
“What do you mean?” Nie Tian asked, looking intrigued.
With a smile, Xie Qian said, “Heaven Nourished grade treasures are incredibly intelligent. They’re known to have the ability to choose their own masters. Perhaps that cluster of Divine Flame has actually been observing you, and it’s considering making you its master, and merging with you. If it does, it’ll grow with you. The stronger you become, the more power it’ll gain.”
After hearing these words, Nie Tian immediately thought of the coexisting flowers and the Heavenly Demonsbane.
“Don’t tell me that, like the coexisting flowers and the Heavenly Demonsbane, that cluster of Divine Flame also needs to find itself a host with flesh and blood in order to make itself stronger?” Nie Tian thought to himself.
“Nie Tian,” Jing Feiyang interrupted his thoughts with a furrowed brow, “if what you’ve just said is true, I’m afraid you can’t return to the Domain of Heaven Python yet. That cluster of Divine Flame’s aura apparently carries power that can change the foundation of realms. If it follows you into the Domain of Heaven Python, what happened to the Domain of Endless Snow might also happen to the Domain of Heaven Python.”
Nie Tian’s expression flickered slightly. “So what you do you think I should do?”
“You’ll have to either lose it, or make it accept you,” Xie Qian suggested. “Of course, it’ll be best if you can figure out a way to establish a soul connection with it first. If you can do that, then you’ll be able to learn what it’s thinking and what it wants. Things will be much easier this way.”
“But how am I supposed to establish a soul connection with it?” Nie Tian asked, looking baffled.
After a moment of pondering, Xie Qian said, “That cluster of Divine Flame is probably not powerful enough to kill Saint domain human Qi warriors at will. Back in the day, when the realms in the Domain of Flame’s End burst into flames, many powerful experts were burned to death.
“That was because every realm had terrifying earthflame at its heart. The cluster of Divine Flame channeled them, giving rise to mighty flames that burned the heavens and destroyed the earth.
“Now, the Domain of Flame’s End is long gone, and the Divine Flame must have become even stronger after all these years. But even so, it probably isn’t sure that it’ll be able to take you from brother Jing’s hands.
“Not to mention that I’ve joined you now. It most certainly won’t try anything with us around.”
With a thoughtful expression, Nie Tian asked, “So you mean...?”
“If you want to establish a soul connection to it, you’ll have to separate yourself from us and travel by yourself.” Xie Qian pointed it out for Nie Tian. “As long as brother Jing and I aren’t at your side anymore, it won’t have so many scruples. Perhaps only then will it show itself to communicate with you. And you’ll be able to figure out what it wants from you.”
“It won’t try to kill Nie Tian, will it?” Jing Feiyang asked.
Xie Qian shook his head. “Probably not. According to what Nie Tian said, it set its eyes on him long ago. It didn’t try to kill him when you were engaged in a fierce fight with Master Bloody Despair and couldn’t really look after him. If it did, he probably would have been dead already. It must want something from Nie Tian, and it’s not his life.”
Jing Feiyang mulled his words over, and agreed with him. “I guess you’re right.”
“So do I just part ways with you?” Nie Tian asked.
“You’re only at the Profound realm. I doubt that you’ll survive if you actually leave us to travel by yourself in the starry river.” With these words, Jing Feiyang thought for a while, then came up with an idea.
He accelerated, and returned to their ancient starship. He told Duan Shihu, Jing Rou, and everyone else to move onto the Water Moon Sect’s ancient starship.
Nie Tian, however, would remain on Duan Shihu and Jing Rou’s ancient starship as he sailed off by himself.
Soon, the two ancient starships sailed farther and farther apart.
Sitting on the deck and enveloped in a protective ward made of divine seals, Nie Tian focused on practicing the True Flame Incantation and channeling Heavenflame Essence from Heavenflame Crystals.
As time passed bit by bit, the distance between him and Jing Feiyang and Xie Qian grew longer and longer.
When he thought the distance between them was long enough, he berthed the ancient starship over one of the dead realms in the Domain of Flame’s End.
He discovered that the speed at which he channeled and refined flame power skyrocketed after he parted ways with Jing Feiyang and the others.
A few hours passed...
While he was practicing cultivation wholeheartedly, a series of images suddenly entered his flame power sub-soul, allowing him to witness the terrifying scenes of the Domain of Flame’s End being destroyed.
Countless burning meteors fell out of the heavens like a waterfall.
One realm after another was instantly lit up. Volcanoes erupted, flooding the earth with boiling lava and devastating earthflame. The flame power at the heart of each realm seemed to be stirred up and channeled to the surface.
The crimson realms of the Domain of Flame’s End burned like giant balls of flame.
The burning meteors flew across the sky in the burning realms, as if they had their own awareness and were gathering flame power from the burning realms, strengthening themselves with destruction.
Many sects were reduced to ashes within moments.
Some powerful sects evacuated their members via ancient starships or teleportation portals, but many more lives were devoured by the torrential flames and vanished from this world.
“I-is this the calamity that cluster of Divine Flame brought on the Domain of Flame’s End?”