In the Realm of Dark Souls.
The winding Nether River surrounded the entire realm like a magical band. Dozens of old Netherspirits charged out of the Realm of Dark Souls to examine the Nether River.
All of them were at the ninth or tenth grade, yet their withering life auras suggested that they were nearing the ends of their lives, like oil lamps that were on their last bit of oil.
The murky Nether River was originally filled with countless brilliant soul symbols. But now, it was dim and lifeless.
The originally vibrant Nether River appeared to be dying...
Looking distressed and without hope, one of the elders said, “Our clan members can no longer channel the Nether River with their bloodlines or derive the profound truths of their bloodlines from it. How can this be?!”
Many Netherspirit elders wailed in sorrow by the bleak Nether River.
“I can’t believe those five ancestors of our race are actually taking orders from a human after their revival!”
“Right now, that very human is wielding the Spirit Scepter and committing mass murder at the Forbidden Land of Devil Refinement. There are our clansmen among those whom he’s slaughtered!”
Their soul voice should have been transmitted to their numerous strongholds in different parts of the Void World through the Nether River.
However, at this moment, the soul voice they had conveyed by stimulating their Blood Essence could no longer travel as smoothly as it had before. Their soul voice could only inch forward in it, like wading through a mire.
A figure manifested out of nothing.
One of the Netherspirit elders fixed him with a gloomy stare. “Shouldn’t you be at the Forbidden Land of Devil Refinement? Thousand Spirits demanded that you go to the Forbidden Land of Devil Refinement and help Luo Wanxiang slay that little punk named Nie Tian. Why did you come back?”
Many Netherspirit elders stared at him with fierce looks in their eyes.
Grand Monarch Soul Slayer, whose battle prowess ranked number eight throughout the Void World, had a face that was thin and covered in sinister scars, his cyan pupils filled with gloom and indifference toward life.
In a casual manner, he said, “The joint forces of the three races were defeated before I could even arrive at the Forbidden Land of Devil Refinement. Luo Wanxiang failed and died, and Grand Monarch Gloom Butcher of the Devils was caught up in a battle against a human expert who’s skilled in light power. As for that Nie Tian, on top of his soaring battle prowess, he had those five ancestors of our race at his command.
“The Bonedrudes only sent Grand Monarch Bonefall, who had his Bone Shatter City destroyed and died before I even got there.
“Under such circumstances, I’d be courting death if I still went there.”
With these words, Grand Monarch Soul Slayer quickly explained what had happened at the Forbidden Land of Devil Refinement to the Netherspirit elders.
The elders all gasped in disbelief after hearing the news. “What?!”
Grand Monarch Soul Slayer’s eyes flickered with hesitation as he said, “Also, there’s something I’d like to raise your attention to. I think that human hybrid named Nie Tian didn’t just seize the Spirit Scepter, but... he has actually won the scepter’s acknowledgment!”
An elder of virtue and prestige stamped with anger. “That’s impossible! You know what the Spirit Scepter means, don’t you? One has to obtain Grand Monarch Heavenly Spirit’s legacies in order to win the scepter’s acknowledgment! How can a human possibly obtain Grand Monarch Heavenly Spirit’s legacies?”
“But he’s forged Heavenly Spirit Seals, and he can use them skillfully.” Grand Monarch Soul Slayer added.
The elders burst into a great clamor. Even their eyes seemed to be exploding with disbelief.
“My heavens! How is that possible?!”
“Are you sure you’re not mistaken? He actually forged Heavenly Spirit Seals and used them expertly?”
Grand Monarch Soul Slayer nodded vigorously. “Even though I didn’t see him using them with my own eyes, many fleeing members of our clan have testified to it. The soul of Luo Wanxiang’s All Manifestations Star Banner had its soul essence altered by a Heavenly Spirit Seal, causing it to acknowledge him as its new master within a very short time. What else other than Heavenly Spirit Seals in the three worlds could have achieved such a heaven-defying effect!?”
All of the Netherspirit elders fell silent after hearing this.
Only after a long time did one of them mutter in a bitter voice, “Don’t tell me that human hybrid has actually obtained Grand Monarch Heavenly Spirit’s legacies... Is the fact that he can use Grand Monarch Heavenly Spirit’s power proof that he’s gained his acknowledgement?”
At that moment, numerous soul symbols that were lying at the bottom of the Nether River like deposits suddenly lit up.
The sudden change attracted everyone’s attention.
“What the...?! Is... Is the Nether River reviving?!” An elder stuttered with ecstasy. “I knew that Grand Monarch Heavenly Spirit wouldn’t abandon us! There must be some other reason for the odd changes to the Nether River!”
The other elders also shouted in elation.
Only Grand Monarch Soul Slayer had a deeply grim face, as if he were facing formidable foes. Looking into the distant starry river, he exclaimed, “Nie Tian, is that you?”
“Nie Tian?!” Upon hearing the name, the cheering Netherspirit elders were all scared soulless, and jerked their heads towards a dark area of the starry river.
Even though they were all at fairly-high grades, they were actually nearing the ends of their lengthy lives.
Since they had no hope of advancing to the next stage, both their strength and battle prowess had been on the decline.
For some of them, their battle prowess had even fallen back to the level it had been at ten thousand years ago.
Given their situation, they were only fit to assume the roles of mentors, wise elders, and learned scholars. It was long past the time that they had been able to fight.
As for Nie Tian’s name, they had long since heard that a large number of their clan members had been butchered by him in the Mortal World, the Spirit World, and the Void World.
A casual laugh echoed from the dark void as Nie Tian slowly revealed himself. “That’s right. It’s me.”
He cast a sideways glance at Grand Monarch Soul Slayer and said, “You’re the strongest one here, so I guess you’re Soul Slayer, right? I suppose you were able to come back so quickly because you used your secret teleportation portals. The fact that I could get here so quickly surprised you, didn’t it?”
“No, it didn’t,” Grand Monarch Soul Slayer said with a stern expression. Then, he bowed slightly to the Netherspirit elders and said, “Please return to the Realm of Dark Souls now.”
“Sure, sure, sure!” Many of the elders nodded repeatedly as they practically fled back to the Realm of Dark Souls.
As soon as they flew through the realm barrier of the Realm of Dark Souls, a ward of multiple layers of gem-like light enveloped the entire realm.
A Netherspirit elder couldn’t help but sigh with mixed feelings, watching the ward being activated. “How many years has it been? I’m afraid it’s been thousands of millennia since the last time our Dark Soul Ward was activated. We’re always the ones to invade others’ realms. Not once have we been forced to activate the Dark Soul Ward!”
He didn’t leave as the other elders had. Instead, he stayed by the Nether River.
Floating beside him were three Netherspirit elders whose faces were filled with indignation and rage.
Nie Tian examined the dim ward with narrowed eyes. “Dark Soul Ward? The Phantasms have a bloodline magic that’s also called ‘Dark Soul Ward.’ I suppose they named it after this realm-protecting ward.”
With these words, he suddenly shot a wisp of his refined soul power towards the Realm of Dark Souls.
Upon contact with the Dark Soul Ward, his wisp of soul power, which was as sharp as a blade that could penetrate any metal and rock, vanished like a rock that was tossed into the sea.
His soul power seemed to have joined the Dark Soul Ward and become its power.
Amazed, Nie Tian paid it a compliment. “Hmm, impressive.”
Then, he added, “I just don’t know if that wondrous ward can stop this as well.”
With these words, he summoned the Spirit Scepter.
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