As for the changes the Divine Bamboo was undergoing, no one had a more direct feeling than Hou Chulan.
She could tell that its intelligence was soaring as it absorbed Nie Tian’s flesh power.
The Divine Bamboo had possessed a primal form of self-awareness when she had first refined it into her. This had allowed her to communicate with it.
However, their communication had never been crystal-clear.
She had assumed that it would normally take Heaven Nourished-grade treasures a long time to develop their intelligence.
The Divine Bamboo had been like a talented child at first. Even though it was full of potential, it needed time to reach manhood.
What Nie Tian’s flesh power was awakening was actually its intelligence!
As its intelligence improved, it gained a clearer sense of self-awareness, and a deeper understanding of itself.
This was the reason why it managed to find a way to work with her and fuse into her wood power core within a short time.
Hou Chulan’s abrupt call took Nie Tian by surprise.
He immediately backed away from the Divine Bamboo and Hou Chulan’s domain.
He returned to Huang Jinnan and Lou Hongyan’s side, where he observed with rapt attention. He then discovered that Hou Chulan’s domain had started twisting and morphing. The fragments of her spiritual cores that she had fused into her domain transformed into streaks of emerald green auras that returned to her dantian region in her lower abdomen, where they gradually took the shape of spiritual cores and descended back into her spiritual sea.
At the same time, the bamboo that was significantly taller than the others also shrank down, emanating glorious light.
The change in the Divine Bamboo seemed to trigger changes in everything around it, as every bamboo in the bamboo grove rapidly grew illusory and blurry.
“Core withdrawal is complete.” Lou Hongyan took a deep breath and fixed Nie Tian with a deeply amazed look. “Nie Tian, you seem to have triggered changes in that Divine Bamboo. Those changes allowed it to release and withdraw itself freely. Was it your flesh power that you fused into it?”
Huang Jinnan also looked at him with a disbelieving expression.
“Yeah, I suppose my flesh power helped that Divine Bamboo complete its upgrade,” Nie Tian said with an uncertain tone.
The five elders of the wood element sect, who had stopped gathering wood power for Hou Chulan due to Lu Yuxin’s arrival, also fixed Nie Tian with confused, shocked gazes, as if they were looking at an unidentified monster.
The five of them walked over. Wang Haoming, whose cultivation base seemed to be the highest, hesitated for a brief moment before bowing towards Nie Tian.
“We’ve got to thank and apologize to you, Nie Tian.
“Chulan was ready to make this breakthrough long ago. After we had everything prepared, she still insisted on sending Ruan Qingliu to your domain for you.
“We were confused and, to be honest, a little displeased that she would attach so much importance to your being here. We simply couldn’t fathom how a cultivator with your cultivation base could help her.
“But we know what you’re capable of now. It was eye-opening.”
Standing off to the side, He Lianxiong from the Heaven Span Pavilion didn’t say a word, his face as grim as a silent lake.
He had brought more than one powerful magical treasure, yet Wang Hongming and the others hadn’t thanked him so earnestly. All Nie Tian had done was spend a short while interacting with the Divine Bamboo, and he was receiving all the credit now.
How could he be happy about that?
With a faint smile, Nie Tian said with an attitude that was neither overbearing nor servile, “That’s very kind of you. Senior Martial Sister Hou asked for my assistance back when we were in the Domain of Heaven’s Origin, and I agreed to come. Besides, she promised me a reward. So I’m actually happy that I proved to be useful, and I’m not getting paid for nothing.”
“Of course,” Wang Haoming said with a broad laugh. “Our sect shall give you whatever you want as a reward.”
Now that Hou Chulan had completed core withdrawal, which was the last and most dangerous step, they didn’t have anything to worry about anymore.
Hou Chulan was the future of the wood element sect. Her advancing to the Saint domain successfully meant that the wood element sect now had a qualified successor.
At this moment, Li Xinfen said, “Well, if you don’t mind, I hope you’ll be there for her when she attempts to break through into the God domain too.”
Nie Tian touched his nose. “Of course I’ll be there if senior martial sister needs my help, but that’s only given I’m still alive when the time comes.”
“Still alive...?” Li Xinfen went blank for a moment. “Given your status in the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace and your abilities, how would you not be?”
Standing off to the side, He Lianxiong jumped in with an unpleasant tone. “Who can tell? Didn’t Mou Luo die recently? And he was a Son of the Stars too.”
The five elders of the wood element sect jerked their heads towards him, the warm looks in their eyes gone.
He Lianxiong sensibly shut his mouth.
Soon, Hou Chulan’s fused spiritual cores reformed and returned to her spiritual sea in her dantian region.
However, instead of coming out of that state right away, she was taken away to another location by Lu Yuxin, where she would spend some time stabilizing her newly-acquired domain, while Lu Yuxin explained its various wonders to her.
After she left, Ruan Qingliu walked over to Nie Tian and handed him a ring of holding. “Inside this ring of holding is a reward that our Divine Daughter put together for you long ago.”
Nie Tian grabbed the ring. After a quick scan with his soul awareness, a smile appeared at the corner of his mouth.
Inside the ring were two outsider corpses and one enormous Ancientbeast skeleton. Judging by their auras, they all seemed to have been at the ninth grade.
The Ancientbeast skeleton was bereft of any flesh or skin. Judging by its form, it seemed to have been a middle ninth grade flame qilin. Even now, it still emanated shockingly intense flame power fluctuations.
“These grand patriarch corpses will help me recover my flesh power within a short time, and I won’t have to worry about finding a new source of flesh power for a long time.” He thought to himself.
Wang Haoming pondered for a moment before saying, “Our Divine Daughter is going to need some time to stabilize her new cultivation base. You’re welcome to visit our sect at any time, Nie Tian.”
“Wanna go look around in the Realm of Gold Spirit, Nie Tian?” Huang Jinnan asked.
“Maybe next time,” Nie Tian refused respectfully. “I still have business to take care of. I’ve got to get back as soon as possible.”
The Realm of Wood Spirit might be an ideal place for him to practice Heavenly Wood Heal. However, if he established the Wood Thriving Formation to absorb wood power from the lush trees and grass, it would definitely take a toll on the Realm of Wood Spirit.
Besides, he would have to use Life Drain if he wanted to replenish his flesh power. It would be inconvenient to do it here.
Therefore, he left the Realm of Wood Spirit without delay after Hou Chulan was taken away by the mysterious Lu Yuxin.
He Lianxiong, however, was brazen-faced enough to stay and wait for Hou Chulan to come out of her secluded cultivation, even though no one asked him to.
In the Void Illusion Mountain Range in the Realm of Split Void.
Wisp after wisp of soul awareness flew out of the moving spatial rifts in the sky and returned to Pei Qiqi. Frowning, she fixed the man who had just arrived in front of her with a cold look, and asked, “Who are you?”
“Wei Lai, an elder of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace,” Wei Lai introduced himself in a soft voice. “Before coming here to you, I went to the Realm of Flame Heaven, the Realm of Mystic Heaven, and the Realm of a Thousand Devastations. I’m given to understand that you destroyed those three spatial rifts that connected to Demon realms?”
“Yeah, so?” Pei Qiqi said arrogantly.
If she hadn’t been the fourth legacy disciple of the Void Spirit Society, she would have felt insecure and uneasy facing an elder of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace that had suddenly appeared in front of her. However, she was perfectly calm and composed now.
She was convinced that even Chu Rui and Luo Wanxiang, the two vice sectmasters of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, wouldn’t dare to touch her, much less Wei Lai.
“Was it Nie Tian’s intention or yours?” Wei Lai asked.
“Mine,” Pei Qiqi said with great determination. “I insisted on destroying them. The Domain of the Falling Stars is my homeland. There were simply too many unknowable dangers. I don’t want it to suffer.”
Wei Lai nodded. Apparently, this was the answer he wanted to hear. “So... you’re saying that this has nothing to do with Nie Tian?”
“Exactly,” Pei Qiqi confirmed.
Wei Lai sighed softly. “Three of the Demons’ major realms were invaded, all of the local clans wiped out... It’s hard to believe that we had to learn this from the Demons in the Dead Star Sea. Why did you have to do that? If you had to, you could have at least left one of the spatial rifts?”
Face icy, Pei Qiqi didn’t say a word.
Wei Lai pondered for a moment and said, “Even though you’re taking full responsibility for this incident, Nie Tian will be held accountable for failing to report in time. But luckily, it’s you instead of any others. Your master will protect you. No one will be able to do anything to you.”
The icy cold expression on Pei Qiqi’s face eased a bit as she heard this.
From his words, Pei Qiqi suspected that he didn’t want to see Nie Tian shoulder the blame by himself. Now that she had taken responsibility for the matter, Nie Tian would be under much less pressure.
“I’ll say that I insisted on destroying those spatial rifts no matter who asks,” Pei Qiqi said with a determined look in her eyes.
“Allow me to thank you on Nie Tian’s behalf.” Wei Lai nodded towards her and left.
Nie Tian returned to the Realm of Fragmentary Star and briefly regrouped. Just as he was about to return to the Realm of Split Void, he received a message via his Star Medallion.
As soon as he read the message, his face grew grim.
“Are they going to punish me?”
Previous Chapter Next Chapter