Chapter 100: Blood Moon in the Sky

After leaving the Cloudsoaring sect residence, Pan Tao immediately said, “Nie Tian, about the matter with An Ying’s elder sister, I also wanted to help, but I didn’t have the power to do so.

“Elder Gan Kang is the fifth most influential equipment forging expert in the Treasure school. The Treasure school and the Spiritual school are separate. Even my Grandfather has no power over them.

“Moreover, Elder Gan Kang is not the only one who fancies An Shiyi.

“Although my grandfather is the grand elder of the Spiritual school, he wouldn’t be willing to involve the entire Pan clan by standing up for An Ying, just because I like An Ying.”

Pan Tao was afraid that Nie Tian thought less of him, so he explained his situation to him as soon as he got the chance, describing his helplessness.

“I understand,” Nie Tian answered.

“Oh right, what stage are you at now?” Pan Tao asked.

“The ninth level of Qi Refining. I’ve finally come to the first bottleneck.” Nie Tian laughed. “My master let me come to the Spiritual Treasure sect in hopes that I could temper myself and step into the Lesser Heaven stage on my own.”

“The speed of your progress is simply shocking!” Pan Tao said. “If I remember correctly, when you entered the Green Illusion dimension, you were only at the sixth level. During the half a year we were in there, you advanced from the sixth level to the eighth level. Now you’ve spent another half a year to break through to the ninth level. Considering your talent and everything, it won’t take too long for you to step into the Lesser Heaven stage.”

“What about you?” asked Nie Tian.

Pan Tao laughed heartily. “Well, every single trial taker who came back alive has transcended. The Green Illusion dimension trial was so dangerous and cruel that it allowed most of us to break through our bottlenecks.

“Take An Ying, Zheng Rui, and I. The three of us were at the ninth level before we entered the Green Illusion dimension. Now, we’ve all broken through to the Lesser Heaven stage, and none of us did it with the help of the Heaven Comprehending Pill!

“We aren’t the only ones. Jiang Lingzhu, Ye Gumo, and Zheng Bin have also stepped into the Lesser Heaven stage.

“Only Nie Xian from your clan didn’t seem to accumulate sufficient experience from the trial. Furthermore, he had only recently reached the ninth level when he entered the trial. As such, he is still at the Qi Refining stage.”

Pan Tao gave a detailed explanation, sounding as if he still cherished those dreadful days in the Green Illusion dimension. He continued, “According to my grandfather, the viler and crueler the environment gets, the better one can stimulate their potential. Often only in a moment of life and death are we able to have a clear understanding of ourselves, and thereafter find the method to break through our bottlenecks.”

“Alright, I see,” said Nie Tian. “Anyways, my main objective today is to buy a bracelet of holding.” 

“Oh, follow me then.” Pan Tao changed directions, and soon they arrived at a stone pavilion that sold special items.

Inside, there were many ancient documents describing spell formations, magical symbols, as well as equipment forging.

After seeing who had entered, the equipment forgers in the pavilion said, “Yee? Pan Tao? What are you doing here?” 

“I’m here to help my bro choose a bracelet of holding.” Pan Tao gave a brief answer, and then took Nie Tian to a counter that sold bracelets of holding.

Six storage items were displayed inside the counter, including four bracelets and two rings.

One of the rings was red and the other was golden. Both of them were priced at ten thousand spirit stones each.

The four bracelets of different colors were only priced at five thousand spirit stones each.

Pan Tao explained before the equipment forger could, “Nie Tian, despite the rings seeming small, their holding capacity is twice that of the bracelets. Hence, their price is also double. Since you’re still at the Qi Refining stage, in my opinion, you can just choose a bracelet of holding and that’ll be enough.”

Nie Tian nodded. “Okay, bracelet it is.” 

Liu Yan had also told him that a Qi warrior with a low cultivation base wouldn’t need an expensive ring of holding, since it would be a waste.

According to Liu Yan, if he hadn’t bought the Flame Dragon Armor, he wouldn’t even need a bracelet of holding either. Simply a normal cloth bag would already be more than enough to hold his necessities.

Moreover, he had just spent nine thousand spirit stones on the Flame Dragon Armor, and thus didn’t want to be too extravagant, lest his master call him a spendthrift.

Nie Tian took out Wu Ji’s command medallion, and handed it over to the equipment forger behind the sales counter while pointing towards one of the storage bracelets. “I want that dark-yellow one.” 

After grabbing the command medallion, the equipment forger took out the bracelet that Nie Tian selected and handed it over to him.

At the same time, Pan Tao explained the usage of the storage bracelet to Nie Tian, telling him that he only needed to use a wisp of his psychic power or spiritual power to store or withdraw items.

He put the bracelet on his arm and, following Pan Tao’s instructions, stored a few spirit stones inside.

As the wisp of Nie Tian’s psychic awareness swam into the the storage bracelet, he realized that the inside of the bracelet was a bright, misty space that was approximately a third of the size of a stone room.

Considering that his current belongings consisted of only a few spirit stones, a dragon bone, a command medallion, and the Flame Dragon Armor, the space was already more than enough.

Even if he added in the banner that he had left with Jiang Lingzhu, they would only take up a small part of the space inside the bracelet of holding. Therefore, it could definitely satisfy his current needs.

“Here’s your command medallion.” The equipment forger handed the command medallion back to him. Nie Tian grabbed it and threw it into the bracelet of holding.

He wasn’t in a hurry to leave. Curious about all of the special items that they sold in the pavilion, he started to look around.

When he first arrived, he had assumed that they would only sell spiritual weapons during the Treasure Convention.

Later, he realized that other than spiritual weapons, they also had spiritual armor and medicinal pills for sale.

Only today, with Pan Tao as his guide, did he learn that they also sold books, dilapidated ancient scrolls, eccentric spell formation pieces, as well as fragmented cultivation incantations.

Many of the items in this building were incomplete, but there was a huge variety, which allowed Nie Tian to have a new understanding of the different kinds of objects that Qi warriors would have on them.

Wandering around in the stone pavilion, Nie Tian was pondering over what to buy as his last purchase. “I didn’t get the Spiritfount Pill. All I got was the Flame Dragon Armor and a storage bracelet. According to my master, I still can buy one more item.” 

Pan Tao was getting impatient. “That’s about all there is. There is nothing more to see here. A lot of the things here are defective or incomplete. You wouldn’t need those ancient documents, spell formation pieces, and scrolls about ancient Qi warriors, because your master is the true expert in those fields. The things here are all items that have been assessed by our sect to be of little worth.

“Even if these things were complete and not damaged, your master still wouldn’t even spare them a glance.

“He is the real expert. If you take this rubbish back, he’ll scold you for sure!”

“Oh, is that so...”  Nie Tian nodded and finally agreed to leave. After leaving, Pan Tao dragged Nie Tian to idle about in the Spiritual Treasure sect.

“See those three mountain peaks? They form the most important part of the grand spell formation of the Spiritual Treasure sect, which protects the entire sect. It’s called ‘Heaven Burning Earth Flame’. Under those three mountain peaks, there are tunnels that lead right to the core of the earth, constantly drawing blazing flames from there.

“Once the grand spell formation is activated, raging flames will shoot up into the sky, forming a dome of raging fire that envelops the entire Spiritual Treasure sect.

“Even Qi warriors at the Profound Realm stage would need to go through a lot of difficulty to penetrate that layer of flame. It’s impossible for Qi warriors below the Profound Realm to go through that flame ward into the valley.”

“…"

Pan Tao appeared very proud as he introduced the formidable power of the grand spell formation  ‘Heaven Burning Earth Flame.

The sky gradually darkened, and the two agreed to meet up again the next day to visit the stone pavilion, where the most intense auctions would be held for the most valuable spiritual items.

After returning, Nie Tian got the Flame Dragon Armour back from Jiang Lingzhu and stored it into his bracelet of holding.

Fearing that once Yuan Feng’s banner was exposed, Sang Bing and Yuan Xian from the Grayvale sect might sense its faint fluctuations, he told Jiang Lingzhu to give it back to him after they left the Spiritual Treasure sect.

Moreover, Nie Tian didn’t have a particularly strong interest in that banner, hence wasn’t in a hurry to get it back.

Later that night, he practiced his routine cultivation with a spirit stone. He also intentionally took out the dragon bone and Flame Dragon Armor from his bracelet of holding and placed them next to him.

Not long after he started his cultivation, he felt the bone growing warm, as well as his flesh power flowing towards the Flame Dragon Armor little by little.

After an unknown period of time, he sensed an inexplicably oppressive feeling weighing down on his mind, and felt that it required more effort than usual to cultivate with a spirit stone.

Then, he stopped and looked towards the full moon outside his window, feeling that the cool and clear moon seemed to have a faint layer of blood-colored mist covering it.

It was also in this moment that Wu Xing’s deep shout suddenly resounded from the sixth floor of the stone pavilion. “Something is wrong with the fluctuations of space!”

A moment later, Wu Xing walked down the stairs. Nie Tian, Jiang Lingzhu, and Ye Gumo also stepped out of the their rooms, and stood in the veranda, looking puzzled.

Liu Yan, Shi Yi, and Luo Xin also came down from the fifth floor with serious expressions on their faces.

Liu Yan took out a stone that was covered in small holes from his inner pocket, and was about to speak to it.

CRUNCH!

Before he could utter a word, the Sound Stone cracked into pieces.

Immediately, fear stretched across Liu Yan’s face.

Wu Xing’s face was as cold and pale as snow. He suddenly looked up towards the moon and shouted out, “We’re in big trouble!”

Everyone followed suit and looked over toward it. The full moon, that was previously as bright as a silver plate, seemed to have been smeared over by a dense layer of blood, becoming scarlet and devilish.

“The Blood sect!” Luo Xin’s voice slightly trembled.

Wu Xing shook his head and sighed, “The Blood sect would definitely not dare to invade just by themselves. The Hell sect and Ghost sect must have sent out all of their experts too!”

Luo Xin couldn’t help but shriek. “Ahhh?!” 

In this moment, many experts in the other stone pavilions had also sensed the anomaly. Some of them followed one another into the street, and others shouted out loudly from their stone balconies.

“Blood moon in the sky!”

“It’s the Blood sect!”

“Oh, damn!"

Nie Tian glanced around, and realized that everyone’s faces were filled with terror and anxiety.

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