On the surface of the Realm of Maelstrom, people from various sects cheered in high spirits.
“It’s Nie Tian!”
Dong Li took a deep breath, and a black aura slowly rose from her curvaceous body.
Jing Feiyang, Qu Mingde, Quan Zixuan, and other Saint domain experts also exclaimed cheerfully, “Nie Tian is back!”
Even though they were aware that there was an unbridgeable gap between Nie Tian’s cultivation base and that of Duan Hongwen from the Remote Beginning Heavenly Sect, they felt that as long as he showed up, this crisis with the three domains would soon be solved!
This blind belief they had in him was the result of the numerous battles they had fought alongside him.
Every time they had found themselves in a desperate situation, Nie Tian had stepped up and turned it around.
As time passed, they had gradually developed a blind confidence in him, just as Dong Li had.
Monk Goldbone from the Remote Beginning Heavenly Sect’s face split into a nasty grin. “Nie Tian, the seventh Son of the Stars? So what? Given your poor cultivation base, I can’t believe you actually dared to come back.”
“Shut up!” Duan Hongwen snapped at him.
Monk Goldbone was confused.
He suddenly noticed Duan Hongwen’s surprisingly grim face.
Then, he subconsciously turned to look at the chubby man beside Nie Tian.
That was when he realized that the man’s cultivation base seemed to be unfathomable. Even given his horizons and cultivation base, he couldn’t determine his cultivation base right away.
“Fat and practices star power... Don’t tell me...” Monk Goldbone’s expression suddenly flickered with fear as he scrambled towards the Remote Beginning Heavenly Sect’s ancient starship, shaking as he did. “I can’t believe it’s him! Shouldn’t he be trapped in the Domain of Frigid Depths by Grand Monarch Ice Bones?”
Not many had the chance to meet important figures like Chu Rui. Duan Hongwen was the only one on the Remote Beginning Heavenly Sect’s side who recognized him at first sight.
Even Monk Goldbone, who had spent most of his time in remote domains and only entered the late Saint domain recently, hadn’t had a chance to meet Chu Rui in person until now.
However, he had heard others talk about the appearance and physique of Vice Sectmaster Chu Rui of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
Meng Li from the Divine Seal Sect, whose face was still pale from his previous injuries, shouted furiously upon seeing Monk Goldbone’s attempt to escape, “Nie Tian! It was him, Monk Goldbone, who first arrived in the Realm of Maelstrom and killed our people! Even I was seriously wounded by him, and haven’t recovered yet.”
Chu Rui curled his lips, his pupils, which seemed to include the entire starry river, fixing on Monk Goldbone. “Monk Goldbone, is it?”
Seeing this, Monk Goldbone couldn’t help but shudder in fear.
A glorious nebula quietly came to form in the depths of Chu Rui’s left pupil.
Chu Rui had his eyes fixed on the fleeing Monk Goldbone.
Monk Goldbone’s eyes instantly turned golden. Nebulae that were identical to that in Chu Rui’s pupil seemed to be forcibly branded in the depths of his pupils.
He held his head with both hands and let out agonized shrieks as he instantly started to bleed from his nostrils and ears.
Tiny bits of dazzling starlight could be seen in his blood. As his blood rolled down, the droplets cut his skin open like sharp blades.
Even the golden light shields he hastily formed couldn’t stop those sparkling bits of starlight, as they exploded and dissipated upon contact with them.
Monk Goldbone’s sea of awareness was like a golden sea.
At this moment, it was enveloped in a glorious nebula that rumbled with the profound laws of stars. Countless Starchains that carried the profound mysteries of realms forming and perishing were now restraining and cutting at the golden sea.
Monk Goldbone’s true soul was bound by numerous Starchains. Every time a beam of starlight flashed past, it trembled, as if it were struck by lightning.
His true soul gradually shrank, and was eventually reduced to ashes.
His golden sea of awareness also vaporized like water after repeated slaps from the Starchains. His soul will, memories, life experiences, and all sorts of imprints were erased along with it.
Monk Goldbone coughed up a mouthful of blood and dropped to the ground before he could reach the starship from the Remote Beginning Heavenly Sect, and didn’t rise again.
Many from the Remote Beginning Heavenly Sect rushed to his side, shouting his name, “Monk Goldbone!”
However, he didn’t give any response.
Chu Rui shook his head lazily and commented, “Pathetic. He’s not even as strong as Nie Tian’s subordinate Master Blood Spirit, yet he dared to commit crimes in the Domain of Heaven Python simply by relying on the Remote Beginning Heavenly Sect’s name.”
According to his assessment, Monk Goldbone was weaker than Master Blood Spirit, much less Yin Xingtian, a patriarch who had lived close to thirty thousand years.
As a middle God domain expert, if he was bent on annihilating a late Saint domain cultivator like Monk Goldbone, his opponent wouldn’t even be able to secure a wisp of their soul.
Monk Goldbone’s miserable death was followed by a cheerful clamor.
“Monk Goldbone died just like that?”
“Who is that?”
“That’s Vice Sectmaster Chu Rui of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace!”
“It’s Vice Sectmaster Chu! The Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace hasn’t abandoned us! He’s a middle God domain expert for god’s sake!”
This whole time, Duan Hongwen, the vice sectmaster of the Remote Beginning Heavenly Sect, simply stood there and watched Chu Rui vaporize Monk Goldbone’s sea of awareness and annihilate his true soul with profound soul magics.
He didn’t make a single move or say a single word.
His face was deeply grim. Various expressions flashing across his eyes, he was clearly pondering how he should handle the situation.
“Sectmaster Yu...” He jerked his head towards Yu Suying from the Profound Purity Palace, as if to ask for help. But at the same time, confusion filled his heart.
Yu Suying shrugged. In an elegant manner, the ends of her plump lips rose into a mysterious smile, and she said, “You saw it yourself. Nie Tian, the seventh Son of the Stars, and Vice Sectmaster Chu Rui came from our Profound Silver Divine Purity Ship. I guess that should answer your question regarding our stance on this matter.”
“I don’t understand!” Duan Hongwen exclaimed.
“You don’t understand why we didn’t help trap Zu Guangyao and the others in the Domain of Frigid Depths according to our agreement?” Yu Suying asked.
“I don’t understand why would you do such an unwise thing as to attach yourself to a declining sect,” Duan Hongwen shouted. “Sure, Chu Rui escaped from Grand Monarch Ice Bones, but so what? Do you really think he can single-handedly turn the situation around for the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace?
“Sectmaster Yu, you should know that many other sects are in this with us!
“He’s just one man. What makes you think that he can change his sect’s fate?”
He found this baffling.
With a complicated expression, Yu Suying subconsciously shot a glance at Nie Tian. “Chu Rui isn’t the only reason why we made this choice.”
Floating in the sky, Nie Tian didn’t manifest any of his strength or his mysterious bloodline, nor did he summon the Star Behemoth bone, the Flame Dragon Armor, or the Spirit Pearl.
He simply stood calmly in midair in front of the berthed Profound Silver Divine Purity Ship, yet all of the experts from the three domains felt secure.
In fact, many of them hadn’t known who Chu Rui was at first.
However, his appearance had put their mind at ease and made them believe that this crisis would soon be solved.
What about Nie Tian made his numerous Saint domain followers so blindingly confident in him?
“There must be something very special about this man!” After reaching this conclusion inwardly, Yu Suying said under Duan Hongwen’s both confused and anticipating gaze, “Due to Ji Cang and Mo Heng’s disappearance, the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s golden age might have come to an end. However, their future isn’t dead. If they can survive this tribulation, I still believe they can rise again.”
Duan Hongwen laughed wildly. “You really think the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace can rise again?”
Yu Suying nodded. “I do!”
“I’m not dead yet!” Chu Rui let out a cold harrumph, and his chubby, large hand suddenly grabbed towards Duan Hongwen. “None of you from the Remote Beginning Heavenly Sect shall leave the Realm of Maelstrom!”
“Grand Starry Sky Hand Seal!”
Chu Rui’s dharma idol came to form in a split second, his descending hand expanding madly like the hand of a titan.
A river of stars could be seen spinning within his palm. Suns and moons rose and set. Realms perished and were reborn. They were vested with numerous profound changes of the universe the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had derived.
As the hand seal descended towards Duan Hongwen, everyone on the ground, no matter who, subconsciously stooped upon feeling the pressure of the heavens collapsing.
Many with low cultivation bases even crouched on the ground, overtaken by insecurity.
Yu Suying morphed into a streak of silver light to put distance between her and Duan Hongwen. Looking down from above, she realized that all she could see was the hand seal that had expanded to take up the entire Realm of Maelstrom. “His hand seal has covered the entire Realm of Maelstrom. Duan Hongwen will have to charge out of this realm if he wants to escape from it.”
Everything and everyone was blocked from sight.
The hand seal was so enormous that it covered the earth and every living being on it.
This was the terrifying might of a God domain powerhouse after he went all-out to manifest the profound truths he had derived.
Such heaven-defying might!
BANG! BANG! BANG!
All those on the Remote Beginning Heavenly Sect’s starship with cultivation bases lower than the Saint domain instantly exploded and died under the crushing pressure.
Like hammered tomatoes, their badly mangled bodies and splashing blood smeared the starship, filling the air with an intense bloody smell.
Only a few Saint domain experts activated their domains and hung on in agony.
Dazzling streams of starlight started to fall from the palm of the heaven-blocking hand.
As soon as they streamed into their domains, their domains seemed to be ignited.
“Ahhh! Help, Vice Sectmaster!” Panicked, the Saint domain disciples let out miserable screams, hoping that Duan Hongwen would be able to help them neutralize the devastating might of Chu Rui’s Grand Starry Sky Hand Seal.
However, Duan Hongwen, who they had put all of their hope in, was in an even more difficult position than them.
After all, the majority of the Grand Starry Sky Hand Seal’s power was focused on him.
Like balls of light, the talismans that were carved into the mountain peak transformed from Duan Hongwen’s dharma idol burst one after another.
Duan Hongwen had spent the past ten thousand years traveling through realms, gathering famous lofty mountain peaks, and refining them into talismans via secret methods.
They were the weapons he relied on to kill his enemies, and the key to his power.
However, facing Chu Rui’s killing move, the talismans, with which he had easily suppressed Master Blood Spirit and Xie Qian, couldn’t resist at all before they seemed to be crushed by invisible fingers.
Duan Hongwen let out agonized shrieks, which shot towards the Remote Beginning Heavenly Sect’s starship like sharp swords, carrying his soul will, as if this were a secret vocal magic.
An octagonal large-scale teleportation portal at the bottom of the starship flashed for a split second.
A wisp of soul message that was branded with Duan Hongwen’s soul will and memories left through the portal.
“Chu Rui!” Duan Hongwen’s furious roar came from the top of the mountain peak, ripping through the sky. “No matter how strong you are, you’re only one person! If Mo Heng and Ji Cang don’t return, you won’t be able to change anything by relying on your sect’s current power!”
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