A few hours passed...
Ruan Qingliu, who had returned to summon reinforcements from the Five Elements Sect, appeared on the Martial Spirit Sect’s ancient starship, along with a group of powerful experts.
The leader of the group was a tall, strapping cultivator at the middle Void domain.
Standing behind him were more than a dozen Saint and Void domain experts.
The leader had long, grayish-brown hair, and a sharp, arrogant look in his eyes.
However, a gentle smile filled his arrogant face as soon as he saw Hou Chulan. “Chulan, I came as soon as I heard that you might be in trouble in the Domain of Heaven’s Origin.”
At this point, Ruan Qingliu had already resumed her old lady form. Under Hou Chulan’s displeased gaze, she smiled embarrassedly and explained, “Divine Daughter, all of our elders and Divine Children had important tasks and couldn’t provide us with help, so I...”
Hou Chulan snorted unpleasantly. “So you informed He Lianxiong of our situation?”
Ruan Qingliu nodded, looking down.
Nie Tian’s expression flickered slightly. “He Lianxiong?!”
Not very long ago, when he had met Fang Yuan in the Realm of Remote Heaven, Fang Yuan and Han Wanrong had mentioned this name quite a few times.
Every time Fang Yuan had mentioned him, he had gnashed his teeth with anger, saying that if it weren’t for He Lianxiong, Fang Tianyi wouldn’t have sustained such bad injuries fighting Grand Patriarch Cardy alone, and his subordinates wouldn’t have suffered such heavy casualties.
He Lianxiong was a Stepson of the sectmaster of the Heaven Span Pavilion, who had explored a brand new domain with Sikong Cuo and been set up.
Ever since then, he had hated every single Son of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, which was why he had vented his anger on Fang Yuan.
Similar to the Void Spirit Society, the sectmaster of the Heaven Span Pavilion would choose young talented ones to be his or her stepsons and stepdaughters, and cultivate them wholeheartedly.
Therefore, the stepsons and stepdaughters of the Heaven Span Pavilion’s sectmaster enjoyed similar statuses as the Sons of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, the Divine Children of the Fragmentary Star Palace, and the legacy disciples.
The future sectmaster of the Heaven Span Pavilion would be chosen from the stepsons and stepdaughters by the current sectmaster.
The current sectmaster of the Heaven Span Pavilion had two stepsons and one stepdaughter. Being one of the stepsons, He Lianxiong had a good chance at becoming the next sectmaster in the future.
With a cheeky laugh, He Lianxiong squeezed through the crowd to Hou Chulan’s side. “Chulan, I even ended a sect mission just to come all this way to your aid upon learning that you were in trouble. I didn’t expect you to be moved, but please don’t send me away. As you know, the human world is going through lots of messy things. And the battle in the Dead Star Sea is unprecedentedly intense. Neither your sect nor the other great sects could free powerful experts to come here.
“My stepfather may even blame me for taking it upon myself to come to here to help you. However, I don’t care about that, as long as you’re safe, and we can put an end to the trouble in the Domain of Heaven’s Origin together.”
Hou Chulan sighed softly and said with a headache, “Why does it have to be you...”
She had sought help from the other great sects when the teleportation portals had been discovered in the Domain of Heaven’s Origin, but had intentionally avoided the Heaven Span Pavilion.
That was because she knew that once He Lianxiong learned about this, he would definitely think up every possible method to come help her.
It was no secret to the four great sects that He Lianxiong had been pursuing her.
Having suffered from his badgering for years, she had long since grown tired of seeing him at every turn. This was why she wouldn’t inform the Heaven Span Pavilion even when she got into trouble.
However, she had never thought that Ruan Qingliu would actually inform He Lianxiong of her trouble after failing to summon any reinforcements from the other sects, worrying that she wouldn’t be able to break the Phantasms’ scheme with her own force.
“Rest assured, Chulan. With me here to protect you, I’ll give my life for yours if need be!” He Lianxiong said in a powerful and resonating voice.
Then, he turned to stare at Nie Tian. A cold, arrogant expression replaced the warm smile on his face as he said, “You’re Nie Tian, the seventh Son of the Stars, right?”
“I am,” Nie Tian answered with a composed face.
He Lianxiong didn’t attempt to mask his feelings at all. “To tell you the truth, I hate to work with you Sons of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. Both you and that Sikong Cuo passed the Heaven Gate trial and eventually became Sons of the Stars. And that Sikong Cuo... Hehe... I’ve seen him for who he is. Simply disgusting!”
“But you set my senior martial brother Fang Yuan up in the Dead Star Sea, causing him heavy losses. You’re not that different yourself.” Nie Tian said sarcastically.
He Lianxiong snorted coldly. “I don’t know him well, but since he’s a Son of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, it was his bad luck that he ran into me! The same goes for you!”
Before Nie Tian could speak, he flicked his sleeve and added, “Alright, your job here is done. Chulan and I will take it from here. You may return to your sect now. Afterwards, Chulan will inform your sect of the fact that you saw through the Phantasms’ scheme. I’m sure they’ll give you the contribution points you deserve.”
Nie Tian grinned. “You think you’re in a place to tell me that my job is done? Who do you think you are?”
Hearing this, He Lianxiong roared furiously, “Nie Tian! You’re only at the Profound realm, and don’t have a single late Saint domain subordinate. You still smell of your mother’s milk! (Idiom: be young and inexperienced) With what do you plan to contribute to this operation?”
He Lianxiong himself was at the middle Void domain, and he had brought a late Saint domain, three middle Saint domain, and five early Saint domain subordinates.
Such a force was every bit as strong as Hou Chulan’s.
Compared to them, Jing Feiyang, Yue Yanxi, and Jiang Feng, who Nie Tian had brought, were much weaker. The gap between their strength was obvious and unbridgeable.
This was why he was so arrogant.
Nie Tian smiled. “One’s ability can’t always be measured by the things you can see. Let’s say you came here with martial sister Hou instead of me. I bet Qiu Hanshan from the Earth Spirit Sect would have informed the Phantasms of your strength and whereabouts long ago.
“Once the Phantasms had such information, they’d be able to make their moves accordingly.
“Then, instead of a regular Phantasm force, you may have had a Phantasm grand monarch waiting for you to walk into their trap.”
He Lianxiong gave a cold laugh. “You think Phantasm grand monarchs are so common that you can see them running in the streets? If I joined this mission in the first place, the Phantasms would have given up on their scheme against Chulan as soon as they learned about our strength. All of this trouble would have been saved!”
The two of them detested each other. Upon meeting, they confronted each other without backing down in the slightest.
He Lianxiong detested all Sons of the Stars due to his previous experience with Sikong Cuo, while Nie Tian detested him for what he had done to Fang Yuan in the Dead Star Sea and his arrogant manners.
Hou Chulan was angered by their brawl. “Alright, alright! Would you stop?! He Lianxiong, if you’re here to brawl, you may leave now. We’ll do just fine without your help, as long as we are extra careful. The reason I don’t want to see you is because you always think you’re so great!”
He Lianxiong shut up immediately.
Only after a long while did he say reluctantly, “If Nie Tian and his men are attacked and surrounded by powerful Phantasms, I won’t try to save him.”
“I don’t presume that you will,” Nie Tian said with a cold smile.
With an ordering tone, Hou Chulan said, “How about this: Nie Tian and his people will go with me. You and your people go search another area in the vicinity. Once any of us finds a teleportation portal, we let each other know and act as a whole.”
He Lianxiong disagreed. “No! I’ll go with you!”
“If you don’t agree, you should leave with your people now!” Hou Chulan said with determination.
Hearing this, He Lianxiong instantly became listless. “Alright, as you wish.”
“You’ll stay here, Sectmaster Wei,” Hou Chulan ordered. “Guard the teleportation portal on this ancient starship well. We’ll need it to travel between this region and the outside world. Nie Tian, you’re coming with me.
“Okay, let’s spread out to search the surrounding area of the realm where the Earth Spirit Sect is located.”
With these words, she summoned an air-transportation spiritual tool made of wood and boarded it with a light leap.
Then, she beckoned Nie Tian with a wave of her hand. “Considering that you’re only at the Profound realm, you’ll probably have a hard time fending off the harmful impurities in the starry river by yourself. Come join me. I’ll take care of you.”
He Lianxiong laughed broadly. “A man that needs a woman’s protection.”
Nie Tian rubbed his nose for a short while, then flew squarely onto Hou Chulan’s air-transportation spiritual tool.
The air-transportation spiritual tool then shot into the distance, giving rise to a loud whoosh.
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