In the Realm of Void Spirit.
A forest of magnificent, ancient palaces stood in a sea of clouds, with countless spatial rifts scattered in the vicinity.
Nie Tian was standing on an octagonal jade platform, straight as spear. He gazed off at the simple, unsophisticated palaces in the distance while he waited.
“I’ve already sent people to inform Miss Pei of your arrival,” Ling You said, “she should be here any moment now.”
He had been charged with the task of protecting Pei Qiqi during their trip in the Domain of Nether Heaven.
When Nie Tian and Pei Qiqi had burst through the Heaven Freezing Spell and escaped from that realm, he had been trapped there with the others. However, he had escaped as well when the realm had fallen apart. Later, when Luo Wanxiang and other reinforcements had arrived, he had reunited with Pei Qiqi.
He had fought alongside Nie Tian, and was thus aware of his close relationship with Pei Qiqi. Because of that, he had realized that Nie Tian’s intent was to see Pei Qiqi the moment he had seen him. After sending word to Pei Qiqi, he had stayed and kept him company.
The jade platform Nie Tian was standing on was surrounded by many more similar platforms, each and every one of which was a large-scale inter-domain teleportation portal.
Numerous Void Spirit Society disciples left and returned to the Realm of Void Spirit through them.
A slender figure appeared on a distant teleportation platform with his subordinates.
It was a young man wearing a feathered hat. His garments fluttered against the wind, giving him a dignified and imposing look.
Instead of heading towards his own palace upon his return, he pondered for a moment after noticing Ling You, and then flew over.
As he did, he waved his hand at his subordinates. “Go ahead. I’ll go back in a bit.”
After landing on the jade platform where Nie Tian and Ling You were standing, he asked curiously, “Who is this, Elder Ling?”
Ling You bowed slightly and said with a tone that was neither servile nor overbearing, “This is Nie Tian from the Fragmentary Star Palace. He’s here to see Miss Pei.”
“So you’re Nie Tian?” Strong interest filled the man’s eyes as he grinned naturally and introduced himself, “My name is Hong Minghui. Qiqi is my junior martial sister.”
“Nie Tian, he’s our sectmaster’s third legacy disciple,” Ling You explained.
Nie Tian nodded out of respect. “Greetings, senior martial brother.”
Hong Minghui, the Void Spirit Society sectmaster’s third legacy disciple, was at the middle Void domain. He had been considered to have the greatest chance at becoming the future sectmaster before Pei Qiqi had come along...
Pieces of information about the man flashed across Nie Tian’s mind.
With a smile, Hong Minghui said, “I heard that, like my junior martial sister, you’re also from the Domain of the Falling Stars. It’s very surprising that a place I had never heard of actually gave birth to two figures that astounded the human world. I’d like to go there and take a look if there’s an opportunity, and perhaps get some luck for myself.”
“You’re welcome to,” Nie Tian answered casually.
Hong Minghui hesitated briefly before asking, “You and my junior martial sister go back, right? Do you know where her parents are?”
Nie Tian went blank for a moment. Fixing him with a confused look, he said, “Sorry, I don’t.”
Disappointment filled Hong Minghui’s face.
Pei Qiqi suddenly appeared and flew over from a distant floating palace. Her figure grew clearer and clearer.
Upon seeing her, Hong Minghui stopped asking questions.
As she landed on the jade platform, Hong Minghui took a deep look at her and marveled, “Your cultivation talent is indeed unmatched.”
Pei Qiqi, who had returned badly injured from the Domain of Nether Heaven, had somehow advanced from the middle Soul realm into the late Soul realm.
Nie Tian felt genuinely happy for her. “Congratulations, Senior Martial Sister Pei.”
Surprised, Pei Qiqi asked, “How come you’re here, third martial brother?”
“I just came back from my trip. I saw Nie Tian and figured that we could have a talk.” With these words, Hong Minghui smiled and handed a ring of holding to Pei Qiqi. “Junior martial sister, inside this ring of holding is a Realm Spirit Insect that I captured from a space disruption zone years ago. I know that most spirit beasts and spirit insects can’t help with your cultivation, but Realm Spirit Insects are an exception.
“These insects date back to the Desolate Antiquity Era, and are very hard to find now. Perhaps only in space disruption zones can people find one or two.
“They contain rich spatial power, which you can absorb directly. I wanted to come back and give it to you as soon as I heard that you had suffered heavy injuries in the Domain of Nether Heaven. But you know how intense the situation is now. I was caught up in battles against the Fiends, and couldn’t come back until today.”
“I appreciate the thought, senior martial brother,” Pei Qiqi said with an expressionless face. “But I don’t need it anymore. Our master found outsider beasts for me to recover with. As I’m sure you can see, I’m fully recovered, and I’ve made a breakthrough in cultivation.”
“Given your uniqueness, even if you don’t need it now, you’ll need it in your future cultivation.” Hong Minghui insisted.
“I said I don’t need it,” Pei Qiqi said impatiently.
Hong Minghui frowned and said hesitantly, “Alright then.”
Then he left the jade platform, looking frustrated.
“Miss Pei, that Realm Spirit Insect will be of great help to you. Why didn’t you accept it?” Ling You asked, looking confused. “You’d be able to strengthen your bloodline with it at any time.”
Nie Tian also fixed her with a confused look.
“My master will get me the spiritual materials and outsider treasures I’ll need for my cultivation and bloodline upgrade. That’s not my concern.” Pei Qiqi said with an unpleasant tone, as if she couldn’t tell good from bad. “Why would I want to be in his debt?”
“Umm...” Ling You pondered briefly. “I think I’ll leave. I believe the two of you have a lot to talk about.”
With these words, he left by himself.
Watching Ling You disappear into the distance, Pei Qiqi took her time to say, “I heard that you went to the Domain of Heaven’s Origin with Hou Chulan from the wood element sect and He Lianxiong from the Heaven Span Pavilion recently, and entered a fierce battle against the Demons and Fiends? You weren’t injured, were you?”
“Of course not,” Nie Tian answered, beaming.
“So why are you here?” Pei Qiqi asked, looking puzzled.
Instead of answering, Nie Tian asked, “Is this a good place to talk?”
Pei Qiqi pondered briefly and said, “Perhaps it’s better if we go talk in the palace my master assigned to me.”
Nie Tian hesitated for a moment and asked, “Do you have any important tasks that your sect needs you to finish?”
“Well, if you have time, I’d like to invite you to return to the Domain of the Falling Stars with me.”
“The Domain of the Falling Stars...? Sure, it’s been a long time since I left. I wonder how Uncle Hua and that Li Ye are doing.”
“I can take you to them if you want.”
In the Minghui Palace, which had been named after Hong Minghui.
Numerous Space Spirit Jades could be seen scattered in the four corners of the spacious hall. They formed a unique spell formation that filled the entire palace with spatial power.
Hong Mo, who was only at the early Saint domain, didn’t stand out from the crowd of Saint domain experts that were now gathered in the hall.
However, all of the middle and late Saint domain experts seemed to have great respect for him.
Hong Mo came from the Hong Clan, which was based in an Elementary grade human domain, where the strongest cultivators were only at the Void domain. The fact that he was from a remote branch of the clan made his status even less impressive.
The rise of the Hong Clan had no one but Hong Minghui to thank. As a kid, he had derived a profound understanding of spatial power. After he had been discovered and taken to the Void Spirit Society, he had won the sectmaster’s favor, and become his third legacy disciple.
Only after then had the Hong Clan rapidly risen to prominence. Hong Mo had also come out of the remote branch and become the head of the entire Hong Clan.
Meanwhile, with his son Hong Minghui’s rich cultivation resources, he had finally risen to the early Saint domain.
Limited by his cultivation talent, this was already as far as he could go in his path of cultivation.
Even he himself understood that he probably wouldn’t have a chance to enter the God domain his whole life. Therefore, he had placed all of his hopes on his son, Hong Minghui, hoping that the current sectmaster of the Void Spirit Society would one day name him the next sectmaster.
However, Pei Qiqi’s appearance had torn his dream to shreds.
Since the day she had been secretly taken back to the Void Spirit Society, the sectmaster had poured all of his time and energy into cultivating her, leaving sect affairs in others’ hands. All of the elders and vice sectmasters had seen the special treatment she had received from the sectmaster, and had thus become aware of the situation: Pei Qiqi was the one who the sectmaster had placed all of his hopes on.
Hong Minghui flew into the spacious hall. His face grew grim upon seeing all of the experts that were gathered there.
“Did she accept the Realm Spirit Insect that you captured for her, Hong Minghui?” Hong Mo asked, eager to know the answer.
Hong Minghui dropped his butt into his seat. “No. That Realm Spirit Insect would be of significant help to her. She’d be able to strengthen her bloodline with it at any time. Yet she refused to take it.”
Hong Mo sighed in frustration and said, “We’ve got to admit that she’s going to be the next sectmaster. As long as the sectmaster is still alive, we’d be courting death if we tried something funny with her. So I thought about it a lot, and realized that we have to go for the next best thing now: have you pursue her.
“If she becomes your wife, then everything will work out. Perhaps our clan will even have the privilege of passing on her unique bloodline. If your descendants are blessed with her bloodline, then they’ll have great chances at becoming future sectmasters of the Void Spirit Society.
“If that really happens, then our clan will be the master of the Void Spirit Society for thousands of years to come.
“My junior martial sister seems to have her heart set on another.” Hong Minghui threw cold water on his father’s dream of the future. “The way she looks at that Nie Tian is different from the way she looks at anyone else.”
Hong Mo was taken aback. “Nie Tian? I heard that the two of them had a bit of history back when they were in the Domain of the Falling Stars. I even ran a secret investigation of him, and learned that he has another girl from the Domain of the Falling Stars, whose name is Dong Li. Only because of that, I didn’t think there was anything serious between her and Nie Tian.”
“Trust me, father,” Hong Minghui said with certainty. “I know for sure that my junior martial sister has a thing for that Nie Tian.”
Hong Mo frowned deeply. “That makes it a bit tricky... Nie Tian is a Son of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, and his reputation is on the rise. It won’t be easy to deal with him.”
Hong Minghui snorted disdainfully. “Even so, he’s still only at the early Soul realm. Let’s put our minds together and see if there’s a way to get rid of him without others finding out.”
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