Chapter 260: Surviving

Pei Qiqi led Nie Tian and Cai Yuan as the three of them marched forward into a vast area filled with numerous spatial rifts.

Unlike the central area of the mountain valley, it was a plain that stretched as far as the eye could see, and was filled with hundreds of spatial rifts.

Even Pei Qiqi, who was a master of spatial magics, moved among the densely-packed spatial rifts with extreme caution.

Meanwhile, hundreds of meters behind them, Ma Jiu and the other Dark Moon experts were following them relentlessly. Even though every one of them had strong killing intent in their eyes, they marched at a very slow speed.

Not only that, as they marched further and further into the plain, their speed became slower and slower.

FIZZ! FIZZ!

Several spatial rifts whizzed past Nie Tian. One of them came only several inches from touching Nie Tian’s skin.

Pei Qiqi looked over her shoulder from time to time to make sure Nie Tian and Cai Yuan stayed close enough to her.

CLANK! CLANK!

With every step Nie Tian took, crisp sounds echoed out from within a leather pouch that hung at his waist.

After a while, Cai Yuan finally couldn’t resist his curiosity and asked, “What’s in there? Why do you keep it in that pouch instead of your bracelet of holding?”

Nie Tian chuckled and said, “I can’t store other storage spiritual tools in my bracelet of holding, can I?”

Cai Yuan’s expression flickered as he asked, “Storage spiritual tools? All of them?”

Nie Tian didn’t utter a word, but rather grabbed the rather sizable leather pouch and opened it under Cai Yuan’s gaze.

With a quick glance, Cai Yuan found, to his surprise, that there were more than a dozen bracelets of holding inside the pouch, which meant Nie Tian had killed that many Qi warriors.

Cai Yuan thought for a moment and asked, “All of them belonged to Dark Moon members?”

When he and Pei Qiqi had rushed to the opening of the mountain valley earlier, they hadn’t seen a single Dark Moon member, no one but Nie Tian.

That had confused him.

Back when he and Pei Qiqi had been discovered by Ma Jiu and the other Dark Moon members, he had heard Ma Jiu ordering his men to spread out and seal the entire mountain valley.

It was because both he and Pei Qiqi had been aware that the opening of the valley would be heavily guarded that they hadn’t dared to break through the blockade there.

However, due to Pei Qiqi’s insistence, he had agreed to make a run for it, even though he had prepared himself for strong resistance.

He had never expected that he would see Nie Tian standing alone at the opening of the valley.

The bracelets of holding made Cai Yuan understand why Nie Tian was there by himself, and why Pei Qiqi had suddenly decided to take such a huge risk by abandoning their natural protection.

“Most of them, yeah.” Nie Tian answered with a plain tone.

At that moment, even Pei Qiqi, who was navigating by the movement of the spatial rifts, couldn’t help but turn to look at Nie Tian.

Both Pei Qiqi and Cai Yuan had shock and confusion in their eyes.

They were well-aware that other than the three Dark Moon members who had been chasing after them, all the others were at the Heaven stage.

They couldn’t figure out how Nie Tian had managed to kill more than a dozen Heaven stage experts.

“Maybe I should tell you that I’ve entered the Heaven stage,” Nie Tian explained.

“But you’re still at the early Heaven stage...” Apparently, Nie Tian’s answer didn’t resolve Cai Yuan’s confusion. “Even though you’re now at the early Heaven stage, I’ve never heard of a man that could kill that many cultivators at his level or at a higher level, no matter what method he used.”

Cai Yuan was aware that only a handful of those Dark Moon members were at the early Heaven stage.

The fact that Nie Tian had such a large number of bracelets of holding meant that some of the middle or even late Heaven stage members had also died by Nie Tian’s hands.

He couldn’t help but marvel at Nie Tian’s monstrous achievement.

Eyebrows knit together, Cai Yuan stared at Nie Tian, his gaze somewhat strange.

Meanwhile, Pei Qiqi was also secretly shocked.

The first time she had met Nie Tian, she had only taken him as a relative of Hua Mu’s who had messed up in another realm.

She hadn’t assumed Nie Tian was anything different from other men his age, and that was why she had dumped him on Li Ye the moment Hua Mu had left.

Even though their recent trip to the Void Illusion Mountain Range had made her change her view of Nie Tian, she only considered him to be a young man who had an outstanding physique.

Since his cultivation base and knowledge regarding equipment forging was still very limited, she didn’t attach much importance to him.

However, this was different.

She couldn’t help but marvel at the fact that Nie Tian had killed numerous Dark Moon experts at his level and of a higher level under circumstances where his superior physical strength would be next to useless.

After all, she had engaged in countless fierce battles with experts from the Dark Moon and the Wild Fire, and she knew that every one of them had exceptional skills.

None of them would be any weaker than the disciples of powerful sects in the other realms.

She also knew that the reason why she was able to easily kill cultivators at her level or of a higher level in the Void Illusion Mountain Range was that she was an expert in spatial magics.

However, Nie Tian obviously didn’t know a single thing about spatial magics. Yet, his battle prowess was equally formidable. She wracked her brain, but couldn’t find an explanation for it.

Cai Yuan looked at Nie Tian and said without blinking, “Hua Tian, if you want, I can trade the spoils you’ve looted from the Dark Moon experts for you after we return to Shatter City. I can assure you that you’ll get the most spirit stones in return this way.”

After a brief halt, a hint of a smile appeared at the corner of Cai Yuan’s mouth as he continued, “Not only that, I’ll make sure that the Blood Skull reward you for your contribution. By killing members of the Dark Moon and the Wild Fire, you’ve weakened our enemies’ strength. It’s only right that we reward such actions.”

“I can get additional rewards by killing members of the Dark Moon and the Wild Fire?” Nie Tian sounded surprised.

Cai Yuan nodded. “The Dark Moon and the Wild Fire are our only true enemies in the Realm of Split Void. Every death on their part would mean a slight edge on our part. When we’ve built our edge to a certain extent, we’ll wage wars and destroy them. Then, we’ll annex Ash City and the Land of the Abandoned.

“All of our efforts have been for this one goal.”

After a brief pause, he continued, “After we return to our headquarters, I’ll make some arrangements, and get you a guest elder identity medallion.

“With that in your hand, you’ll be like an informal member of the Blood Skull. You won’t have to take orders from us, but everything you loot from your Wild Fire or Dark Moon victims will be traded in at a rate that’s twenty percent higher than the market rate.

“Other than that, you’ll be allowed to take part in our contribution system, and trade your contribution points for spirit stones, spiritual materials, and spiritual tools.”

Pei Qiqi glanced at Nie Tian and said with a plain tone, “That’s quite a generous offer. Becoming a guest elder of the Blood Skull doesn’t mean you have to fight for them. They’d need to ask for your consent to include you in their operations, but you’ll have the right to refuse.

“Of course, if you agree to take on their missions, you’ll be rewarded accordingly.

“Very few people can have that honor and become the Blood Skull’s guest elders. Therefore, Cai Yuan must have respect for you and admire your competence to make you such an offer.”

“If that’s the case, many thanks.” Nie Tian said with a smile.

Cai Yuan went on and explained, “However, there are some major differences between formal members of the Blood Skull and guest elders. For example, formal members don’t have to pay for their stay in Shatter City, and they are free to use our inter-spatial teleportation portals to travel to the Void Illusion Mountain Range or even other realms.

“Since guest elders are basically unbound by any obligations, they don’t enjoy these rights.

“If you want to become a formal member of the Blood Skull, I’ll make arrangements for that as well. It won’t be a problem.”

“No, he can’t join the Blood Skull,” Pei Qiqi frowned and replied on Nie Tian’s behalf. “Someone entrusted him to me.”

“Alright then," Cai Yuan said with a shrug.

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