In the Void Illusion Mountain Range in the Realm of Split Void.
Under numerous spatial rifts that floated at odd angles, Zhao Shanling sat perfectly still, waiting for Nie Tian’s arrival.
The Star Boat whizzed through the region where meteors fell frequently out of the heavens, and came to a stop before him.
Zhao Shanling’s eyes snapped open, the light of excitement appearing in them. “The Soul realm...”
As the Star Boat landed, a faint smile appeared at the corner of Nie Tian’s mouth. “Where have you been all these years? I heard that you’ve beaten Fan Kai in advancing to the middle Void domain. Congratulations.”
In fact, even Zhao Shanling’s middle Void domain cultivation base wasn’t very impressive to him anymore.
Now, among his subordinates, he had middle Saint domain experts such as Jing Feiyang, Quan Zixuan, and Qu Mingde, and early Saint domain experts such as Zhongli Jian and Dong Qisong. As for Void domain experts, he had so many that he couldn’t even count them all.
He had even gotten into contact with God domain experts after becoming a Son of the Stars, not to mention Saint and Void domain experts.
Therefore, Zhao Shanling’s middle Void domain cultivation base was indeed nothing too special.
However, he had some special feelings towards this man, who he didn’t know if he should call his enemy or friend. He had experienced many things with the man before he became the seventh Son of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
He had always been guarded against him before, but he didn’t feel the need to do so now.
After all, given his current strength, a middle Void domain expert could no longer threaten him.
Somewhat emotional, Zhao Shanling said, “I traveled around. I went to many human domains that I had never been to, and saw scenery I couldn’t even begin to imagine. I even visited three of the Demon realms.”
Nie Tian’s expression flickered with astonishment. “Three Demon realms?”
The human world and the outsider world were separated by the Dead Star Sea. If the four great sects wanted to launch a massive invasion of the outsider world, they would have to march their forces through the Dead Star Sea.
The secret teleportation portals the outsiders had left in the human world many years ago weren’t fit for humans to access. Even though they were connected to the outsider heaven and earth, human bodies were too feeble to handle the teleportation. Very few could survive.
Zhao Shanling chuckled. “The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Demon Realms. I heard that the four great sects are currently engaged in a fierce battle against the outsiders in the Dead Star Sea. They all think that they have to cross the Dead Star Sea to enter the outsider heaven and earth... How laughable.”
With a surprised expression, Nie Tian asked, “Laughable?”
“The three major spatial rifts in the Domain of the Realm of Flame Heaven, the Realm of Mystic Heaven, and the Realm of a Thousand Devastations that the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace sealed are ready-made channels, aren’t they?” Zhao Shanling asked rhetorically.
Nie Tian’s expression flickered. “Are you saying that those three sealed spatial rifts can take us to three different Demon realms?”
Many years ago, the appearance of the Heaven Gates had somehow loosened the spatial rifts, allowing Demons from the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Demon Realms to swarm into the Domain of the Falling Stars through them.
Auden, Anguz, and Nolante had been the commanders of that invasion.
Hua Mu and Nie Tian himself had briefly entered the spatial rifts, and seen the Demon’s main force marching through the Demon Qi-wreathed tunnels.
According to the powerful experts from the major sects in the Domain of the Falling Stars, many had entered those spatial rifts in attempts to explore the heaven and earth that lay beyond them.
However, almost none of them had ever returned.
Of course, there were exceptions, Hua Mu being one.
Not only had he returned alive, but he also had merged with a Heavenly Demonsbane.
These thoughts thrilled Nie Tian. “Are you sure that the three major spatial rifts in the Domain of the Falling Stars are accessible?”
Zhao Shanling nodded gently. “I’m sure, even though the teleportation will be full of dangers. I tried, and found unique accessible passages in each of those spatial rifts.”
Nie Tian’s expression flickered with astonishment. “You traveled back and forth through them?”
Zhao Shanling chuckled. “That’s right.”
Nie Tian practically skipped with joy. “This is brilliant! I should have known that this was doable! Uncle Hua got his Heavenly Demonsbane from a Demon heaven and earth. And Han Yu, my second martial brother who crossed over to the Demons’ side, probably entered the Demon world with the same method!”
As they spoke, the other Sons of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace should have marched into the Dead Star Sea under the leadership of vice sectmaster Chu Rui, and engaged in a fierce battle against the Demons already.
Mou Luo’s death had inspired their resolution to retaliate against the Demons. The contributions of the Sons of the Stars in the operation would determine how Mou Luo’s domains would be divided.
However, even the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had failed to find a way to march their forces directly into the Demon realms and launch a massive killing.
They could only make moves in the Dead Star Sea.
If he could lead his subordinates into the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Demon Realms through the major spatial rifts in the Realm of Flame Heaven, the Realm of Mystic Heaven, and Realm of a Thousand Devastations...
The mere thought of it made Nie Tian excited.
“How strong are the Demons in those three Demon realms?” Nie Tian asked right away.
With a dry smile, Zhao Shanling said, “I came back unscathed. That says enough about how strong the Demons from the three realms are. The strongest Demons in those domains are only at the eighth grade. Any ninth grade grand patriarchs have already moved their clans into the Second Demon Domain. Clans that have tenth grade grand monarchs, or once gave births to tenth grade grand monarchs, have set up headquarters in the First Demon Domain.”
“Only the eighth grade?!” Nie Tian cheered.
He suddenly saw a huge opportunity, which might allow him to take over all of Mou Luo’s domains.
“There are portals in those Demon realms that connect to the outside world, right?” Nie Tian asked.
Zhao Shanling nodded. “Of course there are. However, they’re fairly easy to destroy. I can even destroy them myself. It’s just that it might take me a long time to get them all. But things will improve significantly if Pei Qiqi agrees to help me with that spatial treasure of hers.”
A thoughtful expression appeared on Nie Tian’s face. “Senior martial sister...”
Zhao Shanling frowned and said, “But what surprises me is that even the mighty sectmasters and elders of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace don’t know that those spatial rifts can take them to the Demon realms. Secret passages exist in those spatial rifts, which I suppose were left there intentionally by someone.”
A surprised expression appeared on Nie Tian’s face. “Secret passages?”
Zhao Shanling nodded. “Yeah, only by going through them can we guarantee our safety and enter the Demon realms unharmed. If we don’t enter through them, it’ll be far too dangerous for us humans. I suspect that it was the same person who sealed and made those spatial rifts one-way who left those secret passages.”
These words instantly reminded Nie Tian of his father, whom he had never met.
The Heaven Gates in the Domain of the Falling Stars... He must have been here before.
“Was it really him who sealed those three spatial rifts and left those secret passages? If it was, doesn’t it mean that he can travel between human and outsider heaven and earth freely?” Questions exploded in Nie Tian’s mind.
He started to have a feeling that all of the secrets of the Domain of the Falling Stars had something to do with his father.
Eyes narrowed, Nie Tian analyzed inwardly, “Elder Yan Zhan from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace once conducted a thorough search of the Domain of the Falling Stars in order to check my background. Perhaps he examined those spatial rifts as well, but found them no different from any other sealed spatial rifts that connect human and outsider heaven and earth.
“He probably didn’t enter and examine them from the inside. Or perhaps since he wasn’t an expert of spatial power, even if he had entered them, he wouldn’t have been able to discover the secret passages.
“Countless powerful human experts have entered these kinds of spatial rifts or portals since ancient times. However, most of them either died during the teleportation or never returned from the outsider heaven and earth. I doubt that it would intrigue Yan Zhan even if he heard the rumor that some in the Domain of the Falling Stars have been to the outsider heaven and earth.
“Not to mention, very few know that Uncle Hua made it back from that Demon heaven and earth alive...”
“Who else knows about this?” Nie Tian asked.
“You’re the only one I’ve told so far,” Zhao Shanling said. “After all, the Domain of the Falling Stars is your personal property now.”
“Okay, don’t tell anyone else about it for the time being. I need to think things over.” Nie Tian said.
Zhao Shanling chuckled. “Sure, I won’t. I’ll stay in the Domain of the Falling Stars for now. If you decide to enter those Demon realms, spread the word, and I’ll show up. There are eighth grade Demons in those realms that could pose a threat to me, so I had scruples when I went there. But things will be different if you and your subordinates are to go with me.
“Also, I’ve just returned, and need to spend some time recuperating. Hopefully, I’ll find an opportunity to make another breakthrough in my cultivation.”
Nie Tian was taken aback. “Another breakthrough? Are you saying that you’re ready to break through into the late Void domain already? What allowed you to progress so fast?”
“What do you think I’ve been doing all these years?” Zhao Shanling asked arrogantly. “You’ve entered the Soul realm already. Do you expect me to make no headway?”
Nie Tian sighed. “You sure are full of surprises...”
Compared to breaking through from the Profound realm into the Soul realm, breaking through from the early Void domain into the middle Void domain would usually take much more time and accumulation.
Who would have thought not only had this man broken though into the middle Void domain within a short period of time, but he was already seeking his next breakthrough in cultivation?
As far as Nie Tian knew, let alone the experts in the Domain of the Falling Stars, even the Void domain disciples of the four great sects couldn’t match the speed at which Zhao Shanling made progress in cultivation.
Zhao Shanling vanished into thin air.
Instead of leaving right away, Nie Tian instructed Dong Li to spread word to the Saint and Void domain experts from the Domain of Heaven Python and the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries to refrain from entering secluded cultivation for the moment.
At the same time, he himself teleported to the meteor in the open starry river, where he had kept the Star Behemoth bone, through the teleportation portals set up by the Lei Clan.
Upon arriving, he took the Star Behemoth bone from within his ring of holding, letting it absorb energies from the starry river on its own.
Meanwhile, standing on the meteor, he sensed with great clarity that wisps of flame power, wood power, and star power were being channeled by his flame spark, Godspirit Tree sapling, and the Nine Stars Flower.
He sat down and focused on channeling flesh power from the eighth and ninth grade outsider corpses Hou Chulan had given him.
Two weeks passed...
He finished refining the flesh power he absorbed from the outsider corpses Hou Chulan had given him.
However, the green aura in his heart was still yearning for more.
It was just that when he examined it with rapt attention, he discovered that its desire for flesh power had grown weaker than before. Such a discovery lifted his spirits. “From the look of it, it won’t take much more flesh power to satisfy its appetite! Once its satisfied, it’ll fall dormant, and prepare for its breakthrough into the eighth grade!”
After spending tremendous time and energy accumulating flesh power, he finally saw a silver lining.
“I’ve got to talk to senior martial sister Pei first. She’s the key to whether I’ll enter the Demons’ homeland.”
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