Temporary peace was restored to the human world.
Both the outsiders and the crooked human forces acted with restraint, and didn’t launch any more massive invasions of the human heaven and earth.
After what had happened recently, both humans and outsiders had consumed a significant amount of strength and become weary.
Humanity didn’t summon forces to launch new attacks against the outsiders in the Dead Star Sea.
From ancient times until now, humans had struggled with a problem: once the pressure from the outside was gone, they would start fighting among themselves.
When there was no threat from outsiders and crooked human forces, the four great sects would constantly have friction with each other when exploring new domains together.
Before, since the four great sects had been equally strong, conflicts had usually been small-scale, and solved in peace.
But now, the sectmaster of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had disappeared. The two vice sectmasters, Chu Rui and Luo Wanxiang, had sustained heavy injuries in their battle against the Demons. Elders and Sons of the Stars had perished. All these had greatly reduced the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s strength.
Gradually, members of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace started to be slighted when they explored new domains or did business with people from the other three great sects.
The Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s prestige, which it had spent many years building, had suffered because of their defeat in the Dead Star Sea.
Even some of the sect’s subordinate forces started to have different voices among them.
Many subordinate forces deemed that the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s strength had plunged so much that it might even fall out of the ranks of the four great sects.
Facing such changes, even the elders of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had headaches over finding solutions.
Gradually, some of the self-assured clans expressed their intention to leave the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, and join the arms of the Five Elements Sect, the Heaven Span Pavilion, or the Void Spirit Society.
Meanwhile, Chu Rui and Luo Wanxiang, the two vice sectmasters, had entered secluded cultivation upon returning from the Dead Star Sea in an attempt to recover their battle prowess as soon as possible, leaving sect affairs in Wei Lai’s hands.
Wei Lai received bad news from different places on a daily basis, and was weighed down by numerous troublesome problems.
Six months passed. Two of Fang Zhe’s subordinate domains that had become independent after his death announced their decision to leave the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, and started to play up to the Heaven Span Pavilion.
At the same time, Hong Minghui from the Void Spirit Society had his eyes on two of Mou Luo’s domains, which hadn’t announced their allegiance after his death.
Considering that those two domains bordered his domains, he arranged for people from his clan to lobby the leaders of those domains.
If it weren’t for the timely aid of the sectmaster of the Void Spirit Society, the four Demon grand monarchs might have killed Luo Wanxiang and Chu Rui in the Dead Star Sea already.
Considering this, the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace did owe the Void Spirit Society a major favor.
Therefore, even Wei Lai didn’t know what to do when Hong Minghui reached out to Mou Luo’s domains.
Meanwhile, rumors about the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace spread like weeds.
Some said that the Lord of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had been stranded in an unknown part of the starry river, while others said that he had already died.
Such rumors hurt the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s prestige further.
The Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had never had the most God domain experts among the four great sects. What had allowed them to hold their transcendent status in the human world was their Lords of the Stars.
Every Lord of the Stars had to emerge after rounds of selection.
Most of the time, their Lord of the Stars was the strongest God domain expert throughout the human heaven and earth.
Ji Cang, the Lord of the Stars of this generation, was considered more powerful than the sectmaster of the Void Spirit Society, the sectmaster of the Heaven Span Pavilion, and the five heads of the Five Elements Sect.
He was none other than the strongest human expert of this generation.
This was the reason why the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had been able to hold their status as one of the great sects, despite their disadvantage in the number of God domain experts.
But now, rumor had it that Ji Cang... had died?
If they had indeed lost their most powerful leader, their prestige would definitely suffer a drastic decline.
Since neither Chu Rui nor Luo Wanxiang had entered the late God domain, neither of them could match Ji Cang’s strength.
Not to mention that they had sustained heavy injuries from the Demon grand monarchs, and were in recovery.
Facing so many problems, Wei Lai placed all of his hope in the timely return of the sectmaster.
However, they still couldn’t get in touch with him.
In the starry river outside the Realm of a Hundred Battles
Yue Yanxi from the Divine Flame Sect came to find Nie Tian. Upon arriving, he said with a bitter face, “We’ve been having trouble doing business with the other great sects lately.”
Nie Tian ended his cultivation and fixed him with a confused look. “What trouble?”
Yue Yanxi then went on and explained the things had been bothering them.
He had entered the late Void domain years ago. Since the Divine Flame Sect had been one of the first to join Nie Tian’s cause, they had gained abundant precious materials from the Lizardman realms, the floating continent, and the three Demon realms.
Like him, other experts from the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries such as the heads of the Beast-controlling Sect, the Jian Clan, the Guan Clan, and the Chu Clan were already preparing for their breakthroughs into the Saint domain.
The breakthrough into the Saint domain was always full of danger, and required a variety of rare treasures, some of which even the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace didn’t have.
Therefore, they had to contact the Five Elements Sect, the Heaven Span Pavilion, and the Void Spirit Society in order to obtain them. However, when they finally found the treasures through those sects, the Heaven Span Pavilion and the Void Spirit Society named exorbitant prices. Only the Five Elements Sect didn’t.
They had done business with those sects before. The prices had always been fair.
But now, the Heaven Span Pavilion and Void Spirit Society were asking for twice as much as the materials were actually worth.
Nie Tian frowned. “Umm… I suppose they’re doing this because the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s strength has declined significantly. What about the Five Elements Sect? Could you get the resources you need from them?”
Yue Yanxi smiled bitterly. “I’ve already purchased the spiritual materials I needed from Lou Hongyan, the Divine Daughter of the fire element sect, and the price she gave me was rather fair. But some items the others need are only possessed by the Void Spirit Society and the Heaven Span Pavilion. Miss Pei seemed to have entered secluded cultivation as soon as she returned to the Void Spirit Society. We haven’t been able to get in touch with her or ask for her help.”
Hearing these words, Nie Tian also had a headache over the tough situation.
Yan Zhan had come to him with bad news about his sect recently.
He was well-aware that his sect was going through a difficult time.
Even Wei Lai was at his wit’s end handling troublesome matters.
With a consoling tone, Nie Tian told Yue Yanxi to remain patient and wait for things to turn for the better.
After Yue Yanxi left, he narrowed his eyes in frustration.
A few days passed.
Wei Lai and Yan Zhan suddenly appeared together in the starry river outside the Realm of a Hundred Battles.
Nie Tian’s expression flickered. Seeing their straight faces, he realized that something major must have happened.
“What happened?” he asked aloud.
Yan Zhan took a deep breath and said, “The grand elder marched into the Dead Star Sea, and slew three Demon grand patriarchs that were stationed there upon arriving! After hearing about this, Grand Monarch Bloodlust rushed into the Dead Star Sea!”
Nie Tian gasped with astonishment. “The grand elder wants to wage another war? Didn’t the flame of war just die out?”
With a strange expression, Wei Lai said, “Grand Monarch Bloodlust, who’s at the middle tenth grade, was defeated and forced to return to the Demon realms after merely a few hours.”
“What?!” An exclamation escaped Nie Tian’s mouth. “You mean Grand Elder Mo Heng inflicted heavy damage on Grand Monarch Bloodlust, forcing him to retreat?”
Wei Lai nodded, trying hard to mask his excitement. “The grand elder has broken through into the middle God domain!”
Yan Zhan chimed in, “The grand elder is such an unrivaled talent. Who would have thought that he would defeat Grand Monarch Bloodlust in the Dead Star Sea so shortly after entering the middle God domain!? This great news for our sect! However...”
“What is it?” Nie Tian asked, looking confused.
“The grand elder spread word in the Dead Star Sea,” Yan Zhan said with a grim face. “He... he wants to challenge the Demons’ chief and greatest fighter, Grand Monarch Primal Demon! It was a surprise to all of us that he managed to defeat Grand Monarch Bloodlust. Who would have thought that instead of retreating after a victory, he actually challenged Grand Monarch Primal Demon to a duel?”
Wei Lai sighed and said, “I suppose the grand elder felt that it was necessary, considering the unfavorable situation our sect is in.”
“But he dragged Nie Tian into it without consulting him first,” Yan Zhan said, frowning.
“He dragged me into it? What does that mean?” Nie Tian asked, looking confused.
“Not only did the grand elder challenge Grand Monarch Primal Demon to a duel,” Wei Lai explained, “but he also arranged another duel as a prelude to his duel against Grand Monarch Primal Demon. It’ll be you against an eighth grade Demon of the Demons’ choice.
“And the bet is the dark stone that you took from the Sixth Demon Realm.”
Nie Tian’s expression flickered with great surprise. However, not only was he not scared, but he instead let out a broad laugh and said, “I’m honored that the grand elder would give me such an important task. I shall not fail him! I’m in!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter