Chapter 1071: Hope Mingled with Worry

“What?!”

Nie Tian couldn’t help but exclaim, his heart filled with mixed emotions.

This was the first time he had heard someone actually talk about his father, who he had never met his entire life.

What was even more shocking was that that someone was Mo Heng, the grand elder of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, and that his father had guided him through his path of cultivation.

“Is he a hybrid too?” Nie Tian asked loudly.

“No,” Mo Heng shook his head. “He was the first to put forth and experiment on the idea of mixing human and outsider bloodlines. But he isn’t a hybrid himself.”

“So my bloodline...” Nie Tian said with a confused expression.

“Yeah, he gave you that unique bloodline, but it’s very complicated.” With these words, Mo Heng sighed. “It’s a taboo to even mention your father’s name in the four great sects. The fact that he’s still alive is a miracle. Although, only a few senior members of our sect know about his existence.”

Nie Tian’s expression flickered. “Does vice sectmaster Luo Wanxiang know the connection between my bloodline and him?”

“I don’t think anyone but the sectmaster and I can link you and him together.” After a moment of hesitation, Mo Heng added, “I suggest that you keep this a secret and never tell anyone about your connection with him. If anyone finds out that your bloodline actually came from him, then you...”

Mo Heng sighed. “You may not have a place in the human world anymore.”

Nie Tian’s expression flickered with astonishment. “Is it that serious?!” 

Mo Heng smiled bitterly. “Like I said, the major human sects have zero tolerance for those who practice crooked incantations at this moment. And what your father did back in the day was far too progressive, and considered deeply wrong and crooked. It’d do you a hundred harms and no good if people learned that you’re his son.

“So it’s better that you don’t even know his name.”

Nie Tian pondered in silence for a few seconds before asking, “Do you know where he is now?”

“Me?” Mo Heng said, looking dispirited. “How would I know? If you hadn’t shown up, I would have thought that he died already. I’m sure that he’s still alive. But instead of meeting with me himself, he made a series of secret arrangements that got you into the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace as a Son of the Stars. Can he be doing this to tell me that his assumption was right...?”

Mo Heng’s voice grew low as he seemed to drift off into old memories, different looks flashing across his eyes.

“What assumption?” Nie Tian asked, eager to learn the answer.

However, Mo Heng seemed to have not heard him as he continued to mutter something to himself in an increasingly low voice.

Only after a while did Mo Heng snap out of his thoughts.

“No matter what methods you use to upgrade your bloodline, try not to do it in the Realm of Fragmentary Star from now on.” Mo Heng advised.

“Not even in the Vast Heaven Pavilion?” Nie Tian asked, looking surprised.

Mo Heng shook his head. “Better not. This very pavilion belonged to him long ago. Out of the gratitude I harbor for your father, I gave this pavilion to you. But now that I think about it, it might have been a rash decision. Even though only the sectmaster and I know about his final assumption, and not even Luo Wanxiang or Chu Rui do, you’re a hybrid, and your bloodline is extremely special.

“I’m afraid that you being in the Vast Heaven Pavilion and your unheard-of bloodline will help Luo Wanxiang link you to your father.”

Surprised, Nie Tian asked, “Does this mean he was a Son of the Stars?”

“If that major mishap hadn’t occurred, he wouldn’t have just been a Son of the Stars, but the current Lord of the Stars,” Mo Heng said with a hint of pride on his face. “Opinions are still divided over which of the Sons of the Stars of this generation will eventually assume power. However, when your father first displayed his remarkable talent, almost everyone believed that he would be the future Lord of the Stars.

Nie Tian’s expression flickered with astonishment once again.

Mo Heng waved his hand. “Alright, it’s better that I don’t tell you too much about him. Anyways, you’d better go upgrade your bloodline in your own domains. Many major human domains are struggling in war at his moment. I suppose people don’t have the time to try to figure out the origin of your bloodline.”

Though reluctant, Nie Tian left through the teleportation portal in the Vast Heaven Pavilion under Mo Heng’s urging.

After Nie Tian left, Mo Heng let out a long sigh and said to himself, “Now, all kinds of crooked human forces have come back to plague the human world with their outsider allies. Don’t tell me that you’re the one behind all this... What do you want? Do you want to make the four great sects pay? And prove that you were right, and everyone else was wrong?

“If that’s the case, then why did you guide Nie Tian to our sect? Do you want to send a message to the sectmaster and the others that you’ve succeeded?

“What in the world do you want?”

...

When Nie Tian appeared in a teleportation portal in the Domain of Heaven Python, he found Dong Li there waiting.

Dong Li couldn’t mask her joy as she said, “Both Quan Zixuan from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect and Qu Mingde from the Golden Vast Sect have broken through into the middle Saint domain! Dong Qisong from the Beast-controlling Sect and Zhongli Jian from the Divine Flame Sect have advanced to the Saint domain from the late Void domain!”

A smile appeared at the corner of Nie Tian’s mouth as he said, “Finally some good news.”

Dong Li sighed. “Well... There’s bad news as well. Feng Yulin from the Bliss Mountain Sect failed to break through into the Saint domain. He reincarnated after his fleshly body perished.”

Nie Tian frowned.

The breakthroughs from the Soul realm into the Void domain, from the Void domain into the Saint domain, and from the Saint domain into the God domain were full of dangers.

Many human Qi warriors failed and died during these three major breakthroughs.

Quan Zixuan and Qu Mingde’s breakthroughs were from the early Saint domain into the middle Saint domain. They were fairly easy and safe.

However, for Zhongli Jian, Dong Qisong, and Feng Yulin, their breakthroughs were from the Void domain into the Saint domain, which were much more perilous. The fact that only Feng Yulin had failed was actually a satisfactory result.

“Also,” Dong Li added, “Uncle Hua, Zong Zheng from the Ice Pavilion Sect, and Qi Bailu from the Tool Sect have all entered the Void domain.”

These words lifted Nie Tian’s spirit. “Really? They all succeeded?”

Dong Li nodded. “Yeah, perhaps it’s because they all came to significant gains in the Shatter Battlefield, in both enlightenment and spiritual materials. Their successful breakthroughs have vested the Domain of the Falling Stars with a few more Void domain experts.”

“This is quite some good news,” Nie Tian said, looking pleased.

Hua Mu had provided him with significant help. He was really happy that he had entered the Void domain successfully.

“Oh, one more thing,” Dong Li added. “Xie Qian from the Water Moon Sect in the Domain of Vast Darkness sent word to us, expressing their intent to become your subordinate sect in name, while still remaining independent in fact.”

“Why?” Nie Tian asked curiously.

“Xie Qian went into secluded cultivation soon after returning from the Domain of Endless Snow, and he recently entered the late Saint domain,” Dong Li explained. “No major sects attached much importance to him or his sect when he was at the middle Saint domain. After all, there were quite a number of middle Saint domain Qi warriors across the human world. But things have changed now that he has entered the late Saint domain.

“Both He Lianxiong from the Heaven Span Pavilion and Sikong Cuo from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had their eyes on him, and sent people to recruit him.

“Apprehensive about He Lianxiong and Sikong Cuo’s lofty statuses and tremendous strength, Xie Qian was afraid that if he refused them without providing a satisfactory excuse, he and his sect might get into trouble.

“So...”

Nie Tian immediately realized what was going on.

He Lianxiong had suffered heavy losses in the Domain of Heaven’s Origin, and was in desperate need of new powerful subordinates.

Xie Qian, who had broken through into the late Saint domain, undoubtedly fell into this category.

Meanwhile, Sikong Cuo was going to march a tremendous force into the Dead Star Sea, and also yearned for more powerful followers. It was only natural that he also had his eyes on Xie Qian, who he heard had recently broken through into the late Saint domain.

However, Xie Qian had made it clear upon his return from the Domain of Endless Snow that he didn’t intend to become a subordinate to anyone.

Becoming a subordinate might mean receiving significant assistance, but it also came with a price. If his master got into a massive battle, he would definitely be summoned to join him.

He would have to answer his master’s summons and arrive on time. It wouldn’t matter if he was in the middle of secluded cultivation or busy with other business.

Since he didn’t want to take orders from others, he had remained independent over the years.

When he had returned with Nie Tian, he had only claimed that he and Nie Tian were allies, instead of subordinate and master.

“He led a group of his subordinates to my aid when I got into trouble in the Domain of Endless Snow...” Nie Tian muttered while pondering the matter. Moments later, he nodded and said, “Alright, tell him that he can use my name to refuse He Lianxiong and Sikong Cuo, while in fact, we’re still allies, and I won’t force him to do things he doesn’t want to.”

“Alright, I’ll inform him of your decision,” Dong Li said. Then, after a moment of hesitation, she added, “Zhao Shanling is back, and he said he wants to see you.”

Taken aback, Nie Tian asked, “Zhao Shanling? Where is he?” 

“He’s in the Realm of Split Void,” Dong Li answered. “He’s entered the middle Void domain, which makes him the strongest cultivator in the Domain of the Falling Stars. I wonder what he went through while he was gone that allowed him to make another breakthrough in cultivation in such a short time.”

Zhao Shanling had vanished immediately after he and Pei Qiqi had killed the patriarch of the Xing Clan together.

Now, decades later, he had suddenly appeared as middle Void domain expert.

“Alright, I’ll go see him.”

 

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Translator: Alcohol Sword Immortal a.k.a. Beerblade. (Follow me on Twitter)  Editor: GNE, Zach Consulting Editor: Deathblade  LOAR Glossary   LOAR Artworks