Nie Tian, who had been playing with the Fang and other Hunter organizations for quite some time, didn’t march into the wasteland immediately after breaking free from their blockade.
He lingered in the border area.
After roaming for a few days, he gradually discovered that the search teams he could detect in the area had become fewer and fewer in number, until one day they were completely gone.
Only at that time did Nie Tian slightly let his guard down.
During this period of time, he had been playing hide and seek with those Hunters, relying on his Heaven Eyes while bearing strong bodily pain.
After being tricked by Xiao Lin, he had become much more cautious. He had stood down even when he encountered weak Hunter teams.
Whenever he had the chance, he would consume large amounts of spirit beast meat so that he could absorb the rich flesh power to fix his fleshy injuries.
After a few days, the injuries he had sustained by casting Starshift gradually recovered.
Meanwhile, the green aura in his heart, which had shown its endless need for flesh power, seemed to be sensible of Nie Tian’s poor condition, and thus stopped devouring the newly-generated flesh power.
All the flesh power Nie Tian had acquired from the spirit beast meat went straight towards his wounded parts, where the ruptured meridians and bones were rapidly healed.
Soon, night fell...
Chilly moonlight poured down from the heavens. Numerous brilliant stars were shining in the night sky.
Nie Tian was sitting in the shadow of a hill, absorbing the copious amount of star power from a strangely-shaped stone in his hand.
The star power he had consumed to cast Starshift had long since been restored.
Therefore, the star power he channeled from the stone into his vortex of star power was refined round after round before turning into stardew and falling into the lake of stardew.
After some time, the lake of stardew was filled to the brim. As he continued to fill it with more star power, it began to slowly expand.
After a while, the stone in his hand cracked, and he took out another one from his bracelet of holding, his eyes glittering with the light of excitement. “These stones have indeed greatly improved my efficiency.”
He had a feeling that it wouldn’t take long for him to expand his lake of stardew to the limit with the help of these miraculous stones.
By that time, his vortex of star power would be ready for his breakthrough from the early Heaven stage to the middle Heaven stage.
When he returned to Shatter City, he would be able to concentrate solely on refining his vortexes of flame, wood, and spiritual power.
Spiritual materials of the fire and wood attributes could be found in Shatter City fairly easily. He wouldn’t need to worry that he would run out of them.
In Shatter City, he could also rent the Blood Skull’s cultivation rooms. By doing that, he would be able to cultivate his spiritual sea more efficiently, and ready himself for his next breakthrough.
“Wait, Starshift!” With a thought, Nie Tian sent a wisp of psychic awareness into the fragmentary star mark in his chest, where he began to review the other method to cast Starshift.
He had read and learned the method of casting the short-range Starshift as well, but he hadn’t had a chance to practice it.
His recent experience with the long-range Starshift made him realize that not only could he use it to lose his pursuer, but he could also use it to escape the blockade his enemy had set for him.
Only then did he realize that Starshift could be used as a powerful life-saving magic.
Therefore, he was determined to thoroughly learn and master both casting methods before returning to Shatter City.
During the following days, he remained in the hilly area and cultivated day and night. With no more threats from searching Hunters, he focused on condensing stardew while contemplating the other method to cast Starshift.
Time flew, and several days passed...
Nie Tian had long since healed his physical wounds through consuming large amounts of spirit beast meat.
Afterwards, he consumed some more spirit beast meat and used the essence of flesh and blood to nurture the green aura in his heart.
After using a number of stones that contained rich star power, the expansion of his lake of stardew had reached its limit.
That was when he realized that he could put his cultivation of the Fragmentary Star Incantation on hold for a while.
Hence, he used all of his time and energy to practice Starshift.
Standing atop a hill, bathed in silky moonlight, Nie Tian took a deep breath as he began to summon star power.
In the next moment, countless shiny sparks of starlight flew out from within the vortex of star power in his spiritual sea.
He suddenly had a feeling that he had become as light as a feather, as if he had escaped the leash of gravity.
“Starshift!” As soon as the thought appeared in his mind, the bits of starlight in his legs realigned and formed a mysterious formation of stars, which seemed to give rise to a strong driving force.
In a split second, he disappeared from his original location and reappeared in another location.
SHEW! SHEW! SHEW!
Whichever destination his Heaven Eyes locked on to, his body would appear in the next moment, as if he was swiftly teleporting from location to location.
Like invisible stars, his seven Heaven Eyes provided him with guidance. Once they floated to a location and determined a destination, a profound connection would be instantly established between them and Nie Tian. In the next moment, he would appear in the target location.
It was a mysterious feeling.
It was as if a special, intangible path was created between his location and his destination, allowing him to shift to his destination at lightning speed.
In a small area under one of Nie Tian’s Heaven Eyes, everything started to grow blurry. Immediately afterwards, Nie Tian appeared out of nowhere. It was a rather strange scene.
“Three hundred meters!” Nie Tian estimated the distance he had just covered before he cast another Starshift towards a further destination.
When he appeared, he discovered that he was still about seventy meters away from his destination.
WHOOSH! WHOOSH! WHOOSH!
After a few more tests, he realized that, considering his current cultivation base and the strength of his fleshy body, the effective range of his short-range Starshift was about 330 meters.
Only within this range would he be able to shift from one location to another with absolute precision.
Once he targeted a location that exceeded this range, he would still be able to cast the magic, but he might not be able to appear right at the targeted location. Some deviation might occur.
It seemed that the short-range Starshift was more designed for battle purposes than escapes.
However, he had to be careful with it, since the slightest miscalculation of the distance could achieve the opposite result, and end up putting him in danger.
After a few dozen attempts, he gradually got the hang of it. Then, with a thought, he sent a wisp of psychic power to examine the fragmentary star mark on his chest.
Just as he had expected, the remaining half of the ancient symbols that had recorded Starshift were already gone.
This meant that he had mastered both methods to cast Starshift.
Eyes narrowed, he conducted a thorough examination of himself to see if he had undergone any changes.
He discovered that, after using Starshift several dozen times, he had consumed about seventy percent of his star power, as well as a substantial amount of flesh power. Both were within acceptable ranges, however.
This meant that, during a battle, if he couldn’t launch Starstrikes to attack his enemy, he would still be able to use Starshifts repeatedly.
“Two kinds of Starshifts. One can be used for escaping. Using it will immediately inflict serious damage to myself, so I’d better not use it unless I have to.
“The other can be used for battle purposes. If I use it along with the chaotic magnetic field, the result might be outstanding. It will allow me to handle multiple enemies, or confuse one enemy in battle.
“The Fragmentary Star Incantation from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace is indeed a rare gift to this world. No wonder the Heaven Palace Sect and the other powerful forces in the nine realms exerted all their power to fight for it!”
Even though he had only mastered Starstrike and Starshift, Nie Tian had already realized how powerful the Fragmentary Star Incantation was. He knew that now, with those two magics at his disposal, his battle prowess had risen to a whole new level. And he hadn’t even fully mastered the first part of the Fragmentary Star Incantation yet.
“A profound legacy from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace indeed!” Nie Tian looked up into the starry sky and recalled his experience in the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, and how it had sailed away and disappeared into the deepest parts of the heavens. He had a feeling that it must still exist somewhere in this universe, and after mastering Starstrike and Starshift, he was now a part of some mysterious sect.
“Hopefully, I can be powerful enough to travel across the boundless starry river someday. By that time, I might be able to leave the Domain of the Falling Stars and soar in the vast ocean of stars.
“Perhaps, I’ll be able to see the Fragmentary Star Incantation again, and even meet other people who also cultivate the Fragmentary Star Incantation.
“That would be terrific!”
With a yearning expression on his face, Nie Tian looked up into the starry sky, immersed in his dreams.
A long time passed. The stars and the crescent moon faded away, and day broke. Only then did he wake from his dreams.
“It’s dawn already...” He smiled heartily before casting Starshift another time. His figure blurred and, in the next moment, he appeared at a location more than 300 meters away.
After that, he threw his head back and let out a long laugh. Figuring that he had better not waste his star power, he ran towards the endless wasteland and started the second half of his return journey.
Hi everyone, today marks a traditional Chinese festival, called Xiao Nian, or "Little Spring Festival", which is celebrated on the 23rd day of the last lunar month.
According to Chinese tradition, Xiao Nian is a day for people to offer sacrifices to the Kitchen God, clean their houses and eat melon-shaped candies. In Chinese legend, this god watches over people's actions and words in the kitchen. Then on Xiao Nian, he returns to heaven and reports back to the mighty Jade Emperor. By offering candies to the Kitchen God on Xiao Nian, people hope he will become sweet-lipped, and say more good things about their home, thus bringing good fortune to the family.
The tradition also requires people to clean their houses, and put up spring festival decorations. But over time, this tradition has faded. While it continues to be observed in certain areas, especially the countrysides of north China (where I live), Xiao Nian is mostly now seen as a prelude to the larger Spring Festival celebration.
Since I spent the whole day working in front of my computer and hasn't been helpful at all, I promised to cook for my wife and my parents tonight. Talk to you guys later. Have a good day! :)