Chapter 35: The Surging Undercurrent

Even though Nie Tian was still tens of meters away from the lake where An Shiyi was, he could already feel numerous unfriendly gazes converging upon him.

Nie Tian’s expression was still firm and determined as he followed An He, walking over in a composed manner.

Once within earshot, he put on a bright smile and called out to An Shiyi, “Beautiful sister, we meet again.”

An Shiyi smiled and laughed. “I’d hoped to meet you in Black Cloud City a few days ago. Unfortunately, you had suddenly fallen ill. Otherwise, I might have personally escorted you here.”

“That was my fault,” Nie Tian said, sounding a little embarrassed. “I understand that you’ve been kind to me. The slots in the Green Illusion dimension trial are so precious that our clan doesn’t even have one. However, you gave a valuable slot to me. I’ll remember your kindness forever in my heart. In the future, should you face any trouble, as long as it’s within my power to help, I’ll spare no effort to aid you, elder sister!"

Before An Shiyi could reply, An Ying snorted and said, “What a sweet-talker! Should anything happen to my elder sister, how could you possibly help her? Your clan is the weakest in Black Cloud City, and completely overshadowed by the Yun clan. What makes you think you are capable of helping my sister?”

“Who are you?” Nie Tian asked, looking surprised.

The one to answer the question was An Shiyi. Smiling, she said, “She’s my sister An Ying, who’s also from Black Cloud City. You’ve probably heard of her.”

“An Ying...” Nie Tian was inwardly shocked. Nodding, he continued, “Of course I’ve heard of her.”

An Ying was actually An Shiyi’s cousin, and the most promising star among the younger generation of the An clan. A year ago, she managed to break through into the ninth level of Qi Refining at the age of twelve, and thus emerge from the An clan, becoming a disciple of the Spiritual Treasure sect.

It was said that her cultivation talent was even more outstanding than An Shiyi’s.

The whole An clan secretly believed that in the future, she might even surpass An Shiyi!

As Nie Tian thought back to the wonders he had encountered in the mysterious dimension, he confidently said, “You’re right. My cultivation base is not very high at the moment, and the Nie clan is not the strongest among the clans. But time can change all things. Who knows will happen in the future? Perhaps one day, when elder sister is in trouble, I will be able to help her!"

“In that case, I’d like to thank you in advance,” An Shiyi said jokingly, casting a glare at An Ying. “It’s about time I summon the other three sects."

With these words, she took out a command medallion from her sleeve pocket and pressed a slender jade finger down onto it.

A misty spiritual aura immediately flowed out of her fingertip and filled the whole command medallion.

The next moment, a light ring sprang out from within.

Nie Tian took a close look at the command medallion, and noticed that it wasn’t made of jade, but rather, some sort of strange metal.

Obviously, An Shiyi’s command medallion was different from the one he had been given.

An Ying looked at Nie Tian and said in a domineering tone, “Since you will enter the Green Illusion dimension holding our command medallion, you must listen to everything I say once we’re inside. Whatever I tell you to do, you must do!"

Nie Tian’s only reply was a cold chuckle.

Seeing his nonchalant attitude, An Ying tilted her chin up a bit and declared, “I don’t care what you think now. I’ll see to it that you obey me when we’re in the Green Illusion dimension.”

All the youngsters by her side followed her lead, casting unfriendly glances in Nie Tian’s direction.

Nie Tian ignored them.

Before long, Li Fan appeared from a distant copse, followed by the participants from the Cloudsoaring sect.

“Uncle Li...” Nie Tian mouthed. Considering that Li Fan had spent so much time in the Nie Clan, he felt a bit embarrassed. Ducking his head down, he sidled over to join the group of teenagers next to An Ying.

After all, he was a member of the Nie clan. Showing up here with people from the Spiritual Treasure sect would seem somewhat strange, and he was afraid that Li Fan might read too much into it. An Ying almost instantly noticed what he was doing. Laughing loudly, she grabbed his arm and dragged him forcefully out of the crowd. “What are you hiding for? Even though the Cloudsoaring sect doesn’t have a slot for you, we, the Spiritual Treasure sect, are wealthy enough to gift you one. What’s the big deal? Come. Let Mr. Li have a good look at you!”

Her hand wasn’t very large, but the force she exerted when she grabbed Nie Tian’s arm was considerable, allowing her to easily pull him out into the open.

Nie Tian looked embarrassed, but deep down was astounded by her strength. Therefore, he couldn’t help but take a deep look at An Ying, deeming her as a major opponent.

He was sure that when An Ying pulled him, she didn’t apply her spiritual power. Although he didn’t react instantly, he did subconsciously resist her once he realized what she was doing.

Although he didn’t use his full strength, it was enough that a normal woman would never be able to force him to move.

And yet, An Ying succeeded!

Before he could recover from his shock, Li Fan’s eyes flashed with a strange light, and he said, “Nie Tian? What are you doing here?”

“Greetings, uncle Li,” Nie Tian said with a sheepish smile. Aware that he couldn’t extricate himself from the situation, he stepped forward and bowed respectfully. “Elder sister An gave me a command medallion, granting me the opportunity to enter the Green Illusion dimension. I didn’t mean to hide anything, uncle Li, it’s just..."

“You don’t need to explain.” Li Fan looked over with a frown at the smiling An Shiyi. “You held nothing back, did you?” The moment he saw Nie Tian, he immediately understood An Shiyi’s intentions.

Looking as composed as ever, An Shiyi smiled and said, “Nie Tian and I hit it off, and I believe he has a bright future. Since our sect has many slots to the trial, and I have the right to distribute them, giving a slot to him wasn’t a big deal."

Meanwhile, Nie Tian happened to notice that Jiang Lingzhu, the same girl he had met in front of the Spiritual Treasure Pavilion was standing behind Li Fan, waving at him.

There were nine people clustered around her, one of whom was Nie Xian, who had just recently been accepted into the Cloudsoaring sect.

Nie Xian looked back and forth between Jiang Lingzhu and Nie Tian, his face full of confusion.

“Nie Tian, it’s me,” Jiang Lingzhu called out. “Don’t you remember me?”

Nie Tian had been so surprised to see Nie Xian that he forgot to acknowledge Jiang Lingzhu. Only when he heard her yelling did he snap out of his daze.

Waving back, he said, “Oh, hey, you’re here, too!”

Nie Xian’s expression grew even more confused.

Even An Ying turned to stare in surprise at Nie Tian. “How do you know Jiang Lingzhu?” she asked. “With her help, you wouldn’t even need my sister to get a command medallion for yourself.”

“She could do such a thing?!” Nie Tian asked in surprise.

“She’s the daughter of the Cloudsoaring sect’s sectmaster, and leader of the trial participants from the Cloudsoaring sect. If she made the request, she could surely have gotten you into the Green Illusion dimension."

Nie Tian was flabbergasted. “She’s Jiang Zhisu’s daughter!?”

Although he had met Jiang Lingzhu once, he was completely unaware that she had such a powerful background.

He used to think that Jiang Lingzhu was a child of another clan that served the Cloudsoaring sect, similar to Nie Xian. He didn’t expect her to be from such a lofty family.

Even as Nie Tian stood there in shock, the participants from the Grayvale sect and the Mystic Mist sect also arrived.

The Grayvale sect participants were led by a gray-garbed old man. Behind him was a teenager, who stood as straight and sharp as a spear!

Yun Song, who had once fought Nie Tian, was standing next to him, pointing at Nie Tian and whispering something to him.

A moment later, that teenager’s fierce gaze pierced the wind and flew towards Nie Tian like a sword.

Nie Tian met his gaze, and immediately felt stabbing pain in his eyes. His expression darkened.

He instantly realized that this teenager was Yuan Feng, whom Nie Donghai had mentioned, leader of the the Grayvale sect trial participants.

Nie Tian was already on guard against Yuan Feng, knowing that he would be one of his greatest enemies in the Green Illusion dimension. “A year ago, he broke through to the ninth level of Qi Refining,” he thought, “and hence was officially accepted by the Grayvale sect. I can see already that he is worthy of his reputation.” As for the Mystic Mist sect, an old lady led their trial participants, and arrived last.

The second they arrived, she barked, “You! Girl from the An Clan. Hurry and open the gate to the secret dimension! I have important matters to attend to after sending these kids into the Green Illusion dimension.”

“Okay,” An Shiyi said, smiling.

She subsequently took out the same command medallion which she had previously used to summon the other three sects. After she filled it again with her spiritual power, it instantly became as splendid and gorgeous as the moon.

WHOOSH!

All of a sudden, the command medallion left her palm and flew to the center of the lake, where it floated above the crystal-clear water, releasing ripples of shockingly strong energy.

WHOOSH! WHOOSH! WHOOSH!

Beams of silver light splattered out from within the medallion, and then converged into the center of the quiet lake, which then began to ripple with waves. The waves grew larger and larger, and a vortex gradually formed that led to the bottom of the lake.

Moments later, the vortex was fully formed.

“An Ying, you take the lead,” An Shiyi instructed. “Jump into that vortex with participants from Spiritual Treasure sect, and enter the Green Illusion dimension.”

“Got it.” An Ying’s seemingly tender and delicate frame suddenly bolted up into the air, flew into the vortex, and disappeared in the blink of an eye.

The other two disciples from the Spiritual Treasure sect, who had also reached the ninth level of Qi Refining, followed her by leaping into the air, disappearing into the vortex a moment later.

An Shiyi rushed the rest of their participants from various major clans to do the same. Under her direction, they all threw themselves into the vortex, one after another.

When they had all entered, Nie Tian also launched up into the air and shot into the vortex like a bullet. An Shiyi watched him closely the entire time.

“Strange,” she thought. “He didn’t cause the space to change in the least bit. Am I wrong?”

An Shiyi, who had been staring at Nie Tian all the time, grew suspicious after sensing no anomalies at all when he was completely lost in the vortex.

“Is it our turn yet?” Li Fan called out.

“Yes,” An Shiyi replied in a disappointed tone. “Participants from the Cloudsoaring sect may enter now.”

Li Fan leaned over to Jiang Lingzhu and quietly said, “Go ahead. In case you run into Nie Tian in the Green Illusion dimension, remember to watch out for him. If he stays with people from the Spiritual Treasure sect, he’ll be targeted for sure. If possible, include him in your group. After all, he’s from the Nie clan, and we’re supposed to take care of him.”

Jiang Lingzhu looked at Yuan Feng out of the corner of her eyes. “I’m afraid he might encounter those from the Grayvale sect before we meet. I’ve noticed that guy has reeked off murderous intentions ever since he identified Nie Tian."

“Be more careful then.”

“Sure. "

Soon afterwards, participants from the Cloudsoaring sect, Grayvale sect, and Mystic Mist sect all jumped into the vortex in the middle of the lake.

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