In the Void Spirit Hall.
Numerous glowing spatial rifts interwove in midair in the middle of the spacious hall.
A large bronze mirror was floating among them, with each and every spatial rift connecting to its back, as if they were a whole.
The scenery within the mirror changed from time to time, revealing different areas of the starry river across the human world.
Scenes of the Domain of Heaven Python and the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries flashed across the mirror among other domains.
It was as if the mirror was monitoring every single human realm and every corner of the starry river.
It saw all.
Ji Yuanquan, a vice sectmaster of the Void Spirit Society, appeared out of thin air in the middle of the great hall.
Looking at the bronze mirror, he said in a soft, revering voice, “The Void Mirror...”
A blurry figure gradually surfaced in the Void Mirror, as if it were traveling between different dimensions, and separated from Ji Yuanquan by endless space.
Ji Yuanquan bowed respectfully. “Sectmaster.”
“What is it?” A warm, pleasant voice echoed out from within the Void Mirror. Qu Yi, the sectmaster of the Void Mirror, revealed himself and looked at Ji Yuanquan from within the mirror.
“Mo Heng from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace broke through into the middle God domain.” Ji Yuanquan reported the latest news to Qu Yi in detail. “He marched into the Dead Star Sea and killed three Demon grand patriarchs and wounded Grand Monarch Bloodlust. Now, he has challenged Grand Monarch Primal Demon to a duel.”
Qu Yi’s soul shadow in the Void Mirror remained blurry, which made it hard to get a clear view of his appearance.
However, as soon as Ji Yuanquan said these words, his soul shadow shuddered.
Only after a while did he ask, “Why is Mo Heng so eager to fight?”
After a moment of pondering, Ji Yuanquan answered, “I suppose that’s because the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s reputation has suffered from recent events. Different voices came from many of their subordinate realms. And they were slighted by members of the other great sects on different occasions...”
He went on and explained the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s awkward situation, including the fact that Hong Minghui had secretly reached out to the domains Mou Luo had left behind.
After hearing his words, Qu Yi let out a cold harrumph. “That was a stupid thing to do. Was it his decision or his father’s?”
“Both, I’m guessing,” Ji Yuanquan said.
“Did he get your permission first, or did he act on his own?” Qu Yi asked.
“I haven’t been in charge of sect affairs lately,” Ji Yuanquan answered. “I didn’t know about it until it happened.”
Qu Yi snorted. “So it was Xuan Guangyu then.”
Ji Yuanquan fell silent.
“Ji Cang, the sectmaster of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, is only out of touch for the time being,” Qu Yi muttered to himself. “Who’s to say that he’s perished in the depths of the starry river? He’s the strongest human cultivator alive. Even I can’t match his battle prowess. As long as he’s alive, the status of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace won’t change. Why would people listen to rumors and believe that he’s dead?
“They must not know how difficult it is to kill a man like him. Even if I saw his cold body with my own eyes, I would suspect that he would have his unique ways to come back to life, not to mention that I haven’t.”
Ji Yuanquan looked down and listened as Qu Yi went on.
“About Mo Heng...” Qu Yi continued. “Grand Monarch Primal Demon only consumed a significant amount of power in that battle against me, but he didn’t sustain any injuries. Mo Heng has only broken through into the middle God domain recently. It doesn’t surprise me that he was able to defeat Grand Monarch Bloodlust. But it’s a crazy, rash thing for him to challenge Grand Monarch Primal Demon now.”
Clearly, he didn’t think Mo Heng would win a duel against Grand Monarch Primal Demon.
“There’s another thing,” Ji Yuanquan added. “Mo Heng also demanded that the Demons pick any eighth grade Demon they’d like to fight a duel against Nie Tian, the seventh Son of the Stars, as a prelude to his duel against Grand Monarch Primal Demon. The bet he placed on Nie Tian was that dark stone they recently looted from the Demon realms.”
A surprised look appeared on Qu Yi’s face as he asked, “What’s the seventh Son of the Stars’ cultivation base?”
“The early Soul realm,” Ji Yuanquan answered.
“Early... Soul realm...” Qu Yi muttered with a thoughtful expression. “How does Mo Heng trust him so much? An early Soul realm junior challenging the best eighth grade Demon fighter is even more unwise than him challenging Grand Monarch Primal Demon!”
Ji Yuanquan smiled bitterly. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”
“If the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace is betting that dark stone, what are the Demons betting?” Qu Yi asked.
“The Heavenly Stellar Stream, the Immortal grade divine tool that was lost to the Demons many years ago,” Ji Yuanquan said.
Qu Yi’s expression flickered with astonishment. “The Heavenly Stellar Stream!? An Immortal grade divine tool, and the magical dark stone that helped create a Demon grand monarch. The bets are quite surprising. So did the Demons answer the challenges?”
“I guess they will,” Ji Yuanquan analyzed. “Two of their grand patriarchs, Cardy and Catie, were recently killed in the Domain of the Falling Stars, which is where the dark stone has been kept after it was taken from them. Besides, Grand Monarch Bloodlust suffered heavy injuries from his battle against Mo Heng. The Demons need to reestablish their strength by winning these duels.”
Qu Yi nodded. “Very interesting. I’ll go to the Dead Star Sea to support Mo Heng and that Nie Tian when it’s time.”
“Sectmaster,” Ji Yuanquan exclaimed softly, “don’t you have to help Miss Pei with her breakthrough?”
Qu Yi laughed and said, “Her cultivation talent turned out to be even more exceptional than I thought. She’s already passed the most difficult parts. She won’t need me anymore.”
“Does that mean Miss Pei has entered the Void domain?” Ji Yuanquan asked in high spirits.
“Not yet, but everything is going smoothly.” Qu Yi assured him. He also told him that Pei Qiqi hadn’t run into any of the problems he had expected. Things were going surprisingly well with her breakthrough. Ji Yuanquan congratulated him repeatedly, and then left.
In the starry river outside the Realm of a Hundred Battles...
Frowning, Nie Tian asked, “What’s the story with that Heavenly Stellar Stream? Why would the grand elder demand that as the Demons’ bet? Is it as valuable as that dark stone?”
Wei Lai nodded. “It’s every bit as valuable as that dark stone. Our grand elder before Mo Heng had also been at the early God domain. However, he had entered the God domain at a much younger age than Mo Heng. The Heavenly Stellar Stream was his divine tool.”
Nie Tian gasped with astonishment. “An Immortal grade divine tool?!”
“Exactly,” Wei Lai said. “It’s a third level Immortal grade divine tool that was refined from the entire Heavenly Star Domain. It can work with almost all of our sect’s secret magics and incantations. Especially when you use it to cast Sea of Illusory Stars, it’ll manifest shocking might.
“That grand elder relied on it to create serious trouble for Grand Monarch Bloodlust, who was at the middle tenth grade. Even though he died in the battle, he badly injured Grand Monarch Bloodlust.
“It’s said that if it weren’t for that battle, Grand Monarch Bloodlust might have entered the late tenth grade already, and kept abreast with Grand Monarch Primal Demon.”
Nie Tian pondered in silence for a while before asking, “If I win the duel, then the Heavenly Stellar Stream...?”
“It’ll be yours.” Wei Lai gave an clear-cut answer.
“Great!” Nie Tian said, nodding.
With these words, he asked Wei Lai and Yan Zhan to wait there, while he paid a short visit to the Realm of a Hundred Battles. On his Star Boat, he flew to the deep mountain valley where Dong Li kept the dark stone.
In complete darkness, Dong Li sensed his arrival, and thus left the dark stone to see him outside the mountain valley.
“I’m sorry for what I’m about to ask.” Nie Tian cut to the chase. “I’m afraid I have to borrow that dark stone for a short while.”
“What’s going on?” Dong Li asked with a puzzled expression.
Nie Tian then explained Mo Heng’s duel against Grand Monarch Primal Demon and the side arrangement for him to her in detail.
After hearing the whole thing, Dong Li remained silent for a long while before asking, “Are you sure that you’ll win?”
“I can’t answer that before I meet my opponent,” Nie Tian said honestly.
Dong Li sighed. “My entire clan has almost been wiped out. I barely have any family left. You know how important you are to me. That dark stone is only a worldly possession to me. I wouldn’t have it in the first place if it weren’t for you. What I truly care about is your safety...”
“But my sect’s reputation lies with this duel. I have to fight!” Nie Tian said with decisiveness that could sever nails and chop iron.
“I understand,” Dong Li said with worried eyes. “If that’s the case, I need to be there when you fight. I’ve got to see it for myself whether you live or die. I don’t want to hear the result from someone else.”
“Alright, you got it.”
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