Li Fan spent the following three months in the Nie clan, observing the area where the spatial rifts had opened up.
Unfortunately, after three months of waiting, Li Fan failed to witness any reappearances.
However, the news of a space disruption zone appearing in the Nie clan quietly spread throughout the whole of Black Cloud City. Quite a few foreign Qi warriors began to show up, one after another, to wander the perimeter of the Nie clan.
Because Li Fan had been staying in the Nie clan, Nie Donghai and Nie Qian seldom went to talk to Nie Tian. They intentionally showed little interest in Nie Tian’s situation.
Both of them understood that as long as Li Fan was in the Nie clan, any conversations they had with Nie Tian would very likely be overheard.
Nie Tian himself understood the degree of complexity of the situation. For three whole months, he spent most of his time in his residence, not daring to further study the profundity of the one punch he had learned from that mysterious land.
He was worried that Li Fan might pick up on some inkling of the matter from the most subtle details.
Meanwhile, inside the An clan...
Three Qi warriors from the Spiritual Treasure sect returned from the Nie Family very late at night to find An Shiyi.
They were led by a short, chubby fellow named Qiu Heng, whose face was filled with a warm, perpetual smile. He was An Shiyi’s martial uncle, and he knew a thing or two about the mysteries of spatial force.
After a moment of pondering, Qiu Heng said, “Kiddo, that space disruption zone hasn’t showed up again for three months. During that time, I secretly approached and investigated the area, but found no anomalies of space movement. In my opinion, I’m afraid it was an accident and another space disruption zone will probably not appear.”
One of his companions added, “We’ve taken turns and waited for three months now. We can assure you that nothing abnormal has occurred in that area during this time.”
The three of them had been taking shifts to closely watch the Nie clan. If any anomalies popped up, they would have definitely caught them.
After such a long time, with not even the slightest of unusual activities occurring, they had privately begun to believe that spatial disorder which appeared in the Nie Family was perhaps merely an accident.
Each of them were in high posts and had important duties in the Spiritual Treasure sect, thus it was impossible for them to stay for an extended duration in Black Cloud City.
Finding An Shiyi today and making these comments, they clearly intended to leave.
“It seems we need to think about things from a different angle.” The curvaceous and alluring An Shiyi sank back into the soft couch. With one hand propping up her delicate chin and her beautiful eyes glimmering with intelligence, she smiled and said, “There’s a child from the Nie clan called Nie Tian, who mysteriously disappeared for ten days before the incident had occurred. During the ten days he was gone, the Cloudsoaring sect put in a surprisingly concerted effort to find him. Even Li Fan himself pulled a lot of strings.
“Both the Yun clan and the Yuan clan were turned upside down.
“This is no coincidence.”
“I got to the site immediately after detecting the abnormal fluctuations in the Nie clan, and that kid instantly caught my eyes.
“At first I didn’t know that he was the same Nie Tian who had disappeared for ten days.
“After vanishing for ten days with no explanation, he happened to reappear in the Nie clan exactly when space was ripped open. I have reason to believe that he must have entered a mysterious dimension through a spatial rift.
“What’s more, living creatures can obviously remain alive within the dimension. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to make it back alive.”
With these words, An Shiyi suddenly recalled her conversation with Nie Tian in the Nie clan three months ago, and couldn’t help but snort with laughter.
The three powerful Qi warriors from the Spiritual Treasure sect had originally been focused on her speculations. However, the dim room seemed to be suddenly lit up by her sweet and charming chuckle.
As they watched An Shiyi, they appeared to have somewhat drifted off and momentarily lost themselves in her astonishing charm.
Qiu Heng was the first to regain his senses. Glaring at her, he rebuked, “Quit playing and finish what you’re saying!”
An Shiyi stuck out her tongue, smiled, and said, “Since nothing unusual has happened in the Nie clan, perhaps we should focus on that kid Nie Tian and figure out where he had been during the ten days that he was missing.
“I have a hunch that the the abnormal activity in the Nie clan is most likely related to that kid.”
“You think it was caused by the boy?” Qiu Heng’s expression flickered, as if he were considering something. He nodded and said, “It’s indeed a possibility. Some people with special inner attributes, or those who possesses miraculous items, could indeed trigger a disorder of space. But that kid... is merely a teenager. With such a low cultivation base, could he have truly caused something like that?”
“Martial uncle, please stay for a few more days,” An Shiyi pleaded. “I’ll make a plan and set something up to see if we can get the truth from Nie Tian.”
Qiu Heng nodded in agreement. “Okay then.”
An abrupt appearance of an unknown space disruption zone was of great significance, which could possibly change the destiny of a Qi warrior’s sect.
Due to this reason, upon hearing about the anomaly in the Nie clan, they had rushed from the Spiritual Treasure sect to this location, hoping to get a share of the profits from the hands of the Cloudsoaring sect.
Having discovered no trace of any unusual activities after waiting for three months, they were rather embarrassed to report back to the sect leaders, therefore they would rather help An Shiyi carry out her new plan.
At the same time, back in the Nie clan, Nie Kan anxiously barged into Nie Beichuan’s ice-cold cultivation chamber with a grim look on his face. Apparently, he didn’t care at all that it was the dead of night. “Father! Something big has happened!”
"What’s wrong?" Nie Beichuan let out a mouthful of frost mist, looking somewhat irritated by the sudden intrusion. “Why the panic? What happened exactly? Li Fan is here, isn’t he? He wouldn’t just sit around and let things get out of control.”
Nie Kan continued, “I just got the news that after months of relentless hard work, we’ve finally clear the blockage and reopened the mine.”
“Isn’t it supposed to be a good news?” Nie Beichuan asked, confused.
The lifeline of the entire Nie clan lay in the flamecloud gem mine. After the last collapse, they had taken advantage of the opportunity and forced Nie Xiang to abdicate, arranging for another clan elder on their side to manage the mine exploitation.
That clan elder hired a huge amount of laborers from Black Cloud City to clear the fallen stones in the mine, in order to exhibit his capability.
It should have taken longer to clear up the blocked mine, but it was reopened ahead of time under their unrelenting efforts.
“The thing is... apparently there are no more flamecloud gems in the mine!” Nie Kan’s voice trembled slightly.
Nie Beichuan sprung to his feet and yelled, “It’s impossible! Not long ago, the Cloudsoaring sect sent a Qi warrior, an expert in mineral surveying, to examine that mine. According to him, with our mining speed, we should be able to continue mining for another several decades. How could he have been mistaken?”
Expression bitter, Nie Kan said, “They performed a thorough investigation, but couldn’t find even one more flamecloud gem.”
“Impossible! How could that be possible?!” Nie Beichuan appeared to be at a complete loss.
He clearly knew the only reason the Nie clan was accepted and sheltered by the Cloudsoaring sect over the years was that they had always mined for the Cloudsoaring sect.
If the Nie clan were to lose the mine, they would very likely be abandoned by the Cloudsoaring sect, and thus lose their protection.
It would be extremely hard for a clan to maintain its foothold in Black Cloud City without someone to rely on. At that time, the An clan and the Yun clan would be able to treat the Nie clan without the slightest scruple.
Nie Beichuan panicked. “Lock down this news temporarily. I need to personally visit the mine to confirm whether or not it’s true!”
The next day...
After realizing that he was waiting in vain, Li Fan decided to leave. He didn’t talk to Nie Beichuan before he left, but instead he went to Nie Donghai’s small, five-floored pavilion.
Upon arrival, he also had Nie Donghai call Nie Tian to the first floor.
Soon after, Nie Tian came down from the third floor and saluted Li Fan, “Greetings, Mr. Li.”
Li Fan seemed a bit unhappy, and yet he said, “No need to be so courteous. Call me uncle Li from now on.” Ever since learning from his master Jiang Zhisu that Nie Tian had dared to spin such a huge lie to his master, he had always considered him to be a little punk full of vile tricks.
Therefore, seeing Nie Tian again, he couldn’t help but hold a little grudge against him. He naturally put on a long face.
“Very well,” Nie Tian replied obediently. “Uncle Li.”
Li Fan didn’t spare Nie Donghai a glance. He stared at Nie Tian and said, “It’s been three months. There still haven’t been any unusual or special activities. I can’t stay in the Nie clan permanently, so I’ll return to the Cloudsoaring sect today. You were pulled into that space rift, so some level of panic and confusion are inevitable. Perhaps some things slipped your mind due to excessive fear…”
After pausing for a moment, he continued, “If you ever remember anything, you can always come to the Cloudsoaring sect and tell me.”
“I’ve said all that I can say,” Nie Tian replied in a low voice.
Li Fan’s mouth twitched. After a moment of thought, he suddenly burst into laughter. “Well then. I won’t burden you with more questions today. If you think of anything in the future, remember to come find me in the Cloudsoaring sect.
“If you remember something that turns out to help the Cloudsoaring sect, it will be considered an act of meritorious service on your part.
“You know that we’ve always been generous towards those who make huge contributions. With such a significant contribution, you won’t have to wait till you are fifteen or till you reach the ninth level of Qi Refining; you would be directly accepted by the Cloudsoaring sect and become a true disciple!”
Upon these words, Nie Donghai’s eyes suddenly lit up. Nie Tian’s heart was also secretly shaken.
Becoming a disciple of the Cloudsoaring sect had always been the ultimate goal for the young generation of the Nie clan, and Nie Tian was no exception.
Li Fan’s remarks made him understand that all the so-called rules were completely subject to the interpretation of the rule makers!
For decades, reaching the ninth level of Qi Refining by the age of fifteen had been the condition for the Cloudsoaring sect to accept children of the Nie clan as their disciples.
Members of the Nie clan had never dared to even think about breaking the rule.
However, as the rule makers, the Cloudsoaring sect could change the rules that had been around for decades and immediately make him a disciple of the Cloudsoaring sect, all with a few mere words!
Truth be told, such incitement... was extremely appealing to him!
Seeing that both Nie Donghai and Nie Tian were tempted, Li Fan chuckled and added, “Not only that. If your contribution was great enough, I can assure you that your grandfather will be made head of the Nie clan again! Even your grandfather’s injuries are not completely incurable. Because of you, your grandfather may regain the hope of making a breakthrough in his cultivation!”
Upon hearing these words, the gaunt Nie Donghai briefly quivered, and his eyes glittered with the light of hope.Previous Chapter Next Chapter