Nie Qian berated Nie Tian as he ate and drank his fill, but then he fell asleep, so she finally stopped.
Nie Tian had been holding that animal bone in his hand ever since he got back from the lot-drawing, and yet Nie Qian couldn’t find any spiritual energy connections between Nie Tian and the bone.
“What a dummy…” Nie Qian murmured. “He had so many high ranked spiritual tools to choose from, yet he picked this thing....
Suddenly, Nie Donghai’s voice came from outside. “Whatever... Even if he obtained the highest ranked bead, it would also be useless to him. None of the seven spiritual tools were suitable for him. I should have known from the start that having him participate in the lot-drawing wouldn’t be productive.”
As Nie Qian turned around to look, she found that Nie Donghai and Liu Yan of the Cloudsoaring sect had come together. “Father. Mr. Liu.”
Nie Donghai glanced lovingly at Nie Tian, who was sound asleep, lying on his back with his limbs widely spread. Then he sighed softly, frowned, and said, “A while ago, I secretly tested him in hope of determining the attribute of his inner spiritual energy. However…”
After a pause, he continued, “Perhaps due to my insufficient cultivation base, I failed to sense any fluctuation of spiritual energy in him. I knew by then that even if he did participate in the lot-drawing he would most likely not gain much.
“That was the reason I didn’t push so hard to get him into the lot-drawing convention.”
Nie Qian was both shocked and confused. “But father, after I begged you for this opportunity, you did help after all... ”
Nie Donghai forced a smile. “Deep down, I was still unwilling to give up. I wished for a miracle to happen. From the look of it, I’ve put in too much hope into the matter.”
“It was my fault.” Nie Qian blamed herself.
By then, she realized Nie Donghai loved Nie Tian just as much as she did and he would even get in a conflict with everyone in the Nie clan again, just to fight for a shred of opportunity for Nie Tian.
Even though he knew all his efforts could have been in vain, he did it anyway.
“Let me take a closer look.” While he talked, Liu Yan walked to window and stretched out his hand over the sleeping Nie Tian.
White aura swirled out of Liu Yan’s left palm. Its misty and bright apperarance made his hand white like jade.
Liu Yan gently placed his hand onto Nie Tian’s lower abdomen as he narrowed his eyes in concentration. Shreds of spiritual energy as thin as hair emerged from his hand and entered Nie Tian’s lower abdomen, gradually seeping into his limbs and bones.
Nie Tian seemed to be comfortable in his sleep, as a smile had emerged on his chubby little face. He even snored a bit, as if he was having a sweet dream.
The warm, jade-like light gradually covered the surface of Nie Tian’s body, as if he were a porcelain doll in the light of a lantern.
However, Nie Donghai and Nie Qian gazed at Nie Tian with worried looks.
They were fully aware that the jade-like gloss came solely from Liu Yan’s spiritual energy.
The spiritual energy triggered no change after roaming around in Nie Tian’s body, which meant Nie Tian’s body didn’t contain any spiritual energy waves.
Quite a while later, Liu Yan gently retrieved his hand before turning to Nie Donghai and shaking his head.
Nie Donghai and Nie Qian looked on, aghast.
Liu Yan was also confused. “It shouldn’t be like this. I’m familiar with junior martial sister’s natural talent. Forget Black Cloud City as a whole, even in the Cloudsoaring sect her talent was among the best. Even married to a completely talentless mortal, her child should have inherited part of her talent. It shouldn’t be this way.
“I did a thorough search in Nie Tian’s body, but I really felt no trace of spiritual energy fluctuations.”
“Huh... ” Nie Donghai let out a deep sigh and looked frustrated.
Liu Yan frowned and said, “However, Nie Tian’s Qi and blood is extremely vigorous. I could see at the lot-drawing that he was much stronger and more powerful than his peers. His muscles and bones are tough and resilient. If it were a contest of pure strength and force with no spiritual energy involved, probably no one in his generation of the Nie clan could compete with him.”
“How is that useful?” Nie Qian said bitterly, “Those children are still young. When they grow older and begin to understand the words of adults, they will start to cultivate spiritual energy. Spiritual power is the key to measure the strength of a Qi warrior. It is also the source of real strength. How far can he go solely relying on his physical strength?”
“This is also what I worry about the most.” Nie Donghai added, “Those children who have special spiritual energy attributes in their bodies can practice spiritual methods compatible with their inner attributes. One by one, they will progress rapidly, establishing their foundation early on. Only those children would have the hope of reaching the ninth level of Qi Refining at the age of fifteen, therefore earning the favor of the Cloudsoaring sect.”
“Because Nie Tian has not clearly shown his cultivation attribute, he may have to go tread a slower cultivation path. That means he almost has no hope of reaching the ninth level of Qi Refining by the age of fifteen, and accordingly, the door to Cloudsoaring sect would close for him permanently. Not being able to enter the Cloudsoaring sect, he would be stuck in the Nie clan his whole life.”
Liu Yan came to Nie Donghai’s side, patted him on the shoulder, and said sincerely, “It’s not necessarily a bad thing for him not to enter the Cloudsoaring sect. Among the Cloudsoaring sect’s young and talented, many died premature deaths. On the way to seeking the peak, every step could be deadly. To be able to cross those tribulations unharmed, one must have an impressive fate.
“To live a life safely and peacefully like Nie Tian can also be a blessing.”
Liu Yan’s words reminded Nie Donghai of his late daughter Nie Jin, before he felt a pain in his heart and was completely at a loss for words.
“Since matters here have been sorted out, I will now return to the Cloudsoaring sect. Back when junior martial sister was practicing cultivation in the sect, I acted as her mentor, so I was extremely fond of junior martial sister and placed great importance on her. Brother, you may rest assured. I’ll make every effort to find the one who killed her. Whenever there is news, I will let you know.”
Liu Yan gently patted on Nie Donghai’s shoulder before strolling out of the room.
“Mr. Liu, thank you so much for everything,” Nie Donghai said gratefully.
Nie Qian echoed Nie Donghai’s words and quickly said, “Thank you, Mr. Liu.”
They intended to see Liu Yan out, but by the time they got to the door, Liu Yan’s pace had increased to such a level that he was already disappearing off into the distance.
“Mr. Liu has been so kind to us,” Nie Donghai muttered with a frown, “If it were not for him, the clan members... probably wouldn’t have let Nie Tian off so easily.”
“After Little Tian and I left, did those guys...?” Nie Qian said with hatred.
Nie Donghai nodded in assent. “Of course they made a scene. Every one of them dwelt on the fact that Nie Tian wasn’t a true grandson of the Nie clan, and also that he made a mess at the lot-drawing convention. They insisted on punishing him. Fortunately, Mr. Liu helped and spoke up, so they didn’t dare to question me further, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to protect him.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Liu has left and won’t return frequently in the future.” Nie Qian sighed.
“As long as I’m still head of the Nie clan, I won’t tolerate their impudence!” Nie Donghai said with a cold harrumph.
“I fear... I fear that you can’t keep that position for long, father.” Nie Qian smiled bitterly.
“I’ll keep it until the day I can’t. I must seek justice for you and Jin’er!” Nie Donghai’s face was firm and determined. After speaking these words, he also stepped out of the room.
Watching his formerly-heroic figure disappearing into distance, Nie Qian sat in front of the door with a desolate face, and her mind drifted away.
Inside, Nie Tian was still deep asleep, but the threads of spiritual energy Liu Yan left on his body during his analysis lingered.
Because of the flowing spiritual energy, Nie Tian’s flesh and skin began to ripple slightly. It almost looked like tiny waves flowing across water.
Every time his flesh and skin gently trembled, the spiritual energy would become somewhat dimmer, as if his flesh and blood was greedily absorbing and refining the spiritual energy.
Neither Liu Yan, Nie Donghai, nor Nie Qian knew anything about this.
Usually, Nie Tian would only nap for an hour at noon.
But today, he slept for four hours, which was very surprising. When it reached the point that there wasn’t a single shred of spiritual power left on his body, he finally stretched his limbs in comfort and woke up.
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