The sectmasters and vice sectmasters of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace used to be Sons of the Stars as well.
With every generation of Sons of the Stars, only one could ascend to power and become the Lord of the Stars.
The others would have the opportunity to become elders or vice sectmasters.
Luo Wanxiang was among the previous generation of Sons of the Stars. Losing in the competition for the position of sectmaster, he had won the position of vice sectmaster.
According to the rules, he wouldn’t ever gain the chance to become the sectmaster of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. After the death of the current sectmaster, a new one should emerge from the new generation of Sons of the Stars.
Therefore, vice sectmasters and elders would usually place their bets beforehand, and cultivate their relationships with the Son of the Stars that they believed would most likely rise to power.
Clearly, Luo Wanxiang had placed his bet on the sixth Son of the Stars, Sikong Cuo.
If Sikong Cuo actually became the sectmaster of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace one day, he would be able to tip the scales in Luo Wanxiang’s direction. Then, Luo Wanxiang’s subordinate forces would be able to get all the cultivation resources he wanted from the sect.
Eventually, Luo Wanxiang would die like everyone else.
Once he died, his family and friends would be taken under Sikong Cuo’s wings, and get to maintain their lofty status.
All that Luo Wanxiang did today would cash out if Sikong Cuo rose to power.
“Sikong Cuo was awarded eight hundred thousand contribution points for his performance in the Domain of Nether Heaven, while I’m only being awarded five hundred thousand! And the fact that Sikong Cuo’s subordinate, Master Bloody Despair, was a residual evil of the Blood Spirit Sect is being selectively ignored...”
Face grim, Nie Tian realized for the first time that even an ancient sect like the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had so much internal strife and politics.
Sikong Cuo’s subordinates had suffered heavy casualties in the Domain of Nether Heaven, and his overall strength had been greatly reduced.
Even so, Luo Wanxiang still believed that he was the one who would most likely ascend the seat of the Lord of the Stars. This was also something Nie Tian hadn’t foreseen.
Now, the sectmaster was on one of his exploration trips to unknown regions of the starry river. The sect had even lost contact with him for the time being.
Meanwhile, the other vice sectmaster was fighting in the Dead Star Sea, and couldn’t afford to concern himself with the sect’s internal affairs. Mo Heng had sustained injuries from his battle against Grand Monarch Withered Bones, and was in secluded cultivation.
Because of all this, Luo Wanxiang naturally gained full control of the sect’s internal affairs.
Nie Tian was of course indignant about receiving such unjust treatment upon returning to his sect. However, he quickly realized that he had yet to improve his strength, and that he would have to swallow this one.
“Do we have any high-grade spirit beast or outsider corpses in our Treasure Pavilion?” Nie Tian asked.
Wei Lai nodded. “Yeah, lots of them.”
“I’ll be able to purchase some with my contribution points, right?” Nie Tian asked.
“Of course you can.”
He bid Wei Lai farewell and left for the Treasure Pavilion, holding his Star Medallion. He inquired of the person in charge and quickly found the region where spirit beast meat and outsider corpses were kept.
It was a spacious area in a corner of the grand hall where lots of shelves were aligned.
Sitting on the shelves were numerous rings of holding with small signs in front of them, stating the grade and species of their contents. There were corpses of Ancientbeasts, Demons, Phantasms, Fiends, Bonebrutes, and many others, all of which could be purchased by sect disciples with contribution points.
Ancientbeast remains were usually used to forge spiritual tools. High-grade ones, or ones with special attributes, could even be used to forge Spirit Channeling grade treasures.
The hearts and flesh of Demons and Phantasms were usually used to make medicinal pills by skilled alchemists of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
Nie Tian looked around, and discovered that the corpses of eighth grade Ancientbeasts and outsiders were priced at ten thousand contribution points a piece.
There had been a hundred and seventy thousand contribution points in his Star Medallion. With the five hundred thousand he had recently gained, the total added up to six hundred and seventy thousand.
Considering that his need for flesh power was so great, he gritted his teeth and decided to use up his contribution points.
Later, when he left the Treasure Pavilion, he had a dozen rings of holding in his hands, each and every one of them filled with the corpses of eighth grade Ancientbeasts and Demons.
According to what he had learned, Ancientbeasts had the strongest and largest bodies, and their remains contained the most flesh power. Demons and Bonebrutes came second.
Since Bonebrute corpses carried death power, which conflicted with his bloodline, he eliminated them from his choices.
Ancientbeast and Demon corpses were his first choice. Luckily for him, countless years of battle against outsiders and Ancientbeasts had left the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace with a large number of Ancientbeast and Demon corpses, allowing him to make the best use of his contribution points.
Holding the newly-acquired rings of holding, he walked out of the Treasure Pavilion and back to the Vast Heaven Pavilion.
Since Mo Heng wasn’t around, there wasn’t a person he could turn to for wisdom. Even though he could sense his cultivation base barrier clearly, he couldn’t find a way to break it. Considering this, he shifted his focus onto channeling flesh power from the Ancientbeast and Demon corpses.
In less than three months, he drained all of the Ancientbeast and Demon corpses he had purchased with his six hundred and seventy thousand contribution points of their flesh power.
All of the flesh power was forcibly channeled into his heart and devoured by the green aura.
After emptying the dozen rings of holding, Nie Tian examined the green aura, and was surprised to discover that it was still far from being satisfied.
It was still craving more flesh power!
“When will this end? I’m only trying to prepare my bloodline for the advance from the seventh grade to the eighth grade, and the residual flesh power within a few dozen dead eighth grade Ancientbeasts and outsiders is already too little to fill the void?
“Does this mean that I’ll have to start looking for corpses of ninth grade grand patriarchs after my bloodline enters the eighth grade?
“Don’t tell me that I’ll need a few dozen or even a hundred grand patriarch corpses for my bloodline to enter the ninth grade?
“How many Ancientbeast, Demon, Fiend, and Phantasm grand patriarchs are there...?”
As his train of thought came to this point, Nie Tian almost wanted to scream curses into the heavens.
He deeply realized how hard it would be for his bloodline to upgrade from now on.
“I’ve used up all my contribution points, and the Ancientbeast and Demon corpses I got still weren’t enough for my bloodline aura to fall dormant and enter the next upgrade cycle. At the same time, I’m stuck at the late Profound realm. From the look of it, with Grand Elder Mo Heng in secluded cultivation, I won’t be able to find a way to make my breakthrough any time soon.
“Have I entered a stagnant period?”
Nie Tian felt that he had entered a stagnant period for the first time in his path of cultivation.
“I either continue to seek a way to bring my cultivation base up to the Soul realm, so that I’ll be able to continue my refinement of spiritual power, or try to get more Ancientbeast and outsider corpses in order to make my bloodline aura enter dormancy again. Only after it enters dormancy again will I have the spare flesh power to continue my body refinement with Heavenly Wood Heal.”
These options forced Nie Tian to end his secluded cultivation.
“The sects and clans in the Domain of Heaven Python and the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries have already provided me with as many spirit beast corpses as they could. Fang Yuan has also given me quite a few outsider corpses. It’ll be too cheeky of me if I go ask him for more.
“From the look of it, I can only try to finish some quests for the sect to earn the contribution points to buy more from the sect.”
With these thoughts, he left the Vast Heaven Pavilion and went to find Wei Lai again.
Wei Lai was taken aback. “You want to work for our sect? Our sect’s current tasks are to wipe out the crooked sects, win the battle in the Dead Star Sea, and put an end to the outsiders’ invasions of our domains. All of the Sons of the Stars except you, Fang Yuan, and Sikong Cuo are busy handling these matters. Most of our elders are too.
“I’ve checked your subordinates’ strength. I can’t say that I’m impressed. I don’t think you’ll be able to handle any of our tasks.”
Nie Tian looked somewhat embarrassed upon hearing these words. “Jing Feiyang, my strongest subordinate, has already entered the middle Saint domain. Even so, we don’t qualify to participate in any of our tasks?”
Wei Lai smiled bitterly. “Don’t take this personally, Nie Tian. The truth is that you’re not strong enough yet, even if Jing Feiyang has entered the middle Saint domain. Many elders, Divine Sons, Divine Daughters, and vice sectmasters of the four great sects have joined the battle against the outsiders in the Dead Star Sea, but have been met with strong resistance. This is bound to be a lasting battle. Both us and the outsiders have sent our main force. A single middle Saint domain cultivator is really nothing.
“As for the crooked sects that practice forbidden incantations, all of them have late Saint domain experts and powerful outsiders at their back. If you insist on going, the result will be you losing your subordinates before they could grow strong.
“This is for your own good, and the reason why I didn’t go find you in the Vast Heaven Pavilion even though we’re under a lot of pressure.”
“But I need to earn more contribution points,” Nie Tian said. “There must be something I can do.”
“Let me see.” Wei Lai narrowed his eyes, placing his fingers on a crystal ball. Wisps of aura started to fly within the crystal ball, as if he was going through the information inside trying to find something.
After a while, Wei Lai’s eyes suddenly lit up as he smiled and said, “I’ve got it!”
“What?” Nie Tian asked immediately afterwards.
“You can go to the Domain of Heaven’s Origin. There are a few teleportation portals there that connect to outsider realms. You can go on this mission with people from the Five Elements Sect.”
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