After stepping out of the shabby courtyard, Luo Xin led Nie Tian down the extended street.
The end of the street connected to a craggy stone path. Towering, ancient trees could be seen on both sides of the path.
Nie Tian noticed that there were indeed no walls surrounding Water Moon City. Anyone would be free to enter and exit the city.
He asked Luo Xin about the city, and she told him that people didn’t need to pay a single spirit stone to enter Water Moon City.
Almost every pavilion and building in Water Moon City was for lease. The Water Moon Chamber of Commerce would take more than half of the rental income.
The rest would be split equally between the Dong Clan, Cao Clan, Gu Clan, and Pill Pavilion Sect. Every ten years, the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce would distribute their shares to them.
The headquarters of the Dong Clan, Cao Clan, Gu Clan, and Pill Pavilion Sect all sat in areas roamed by powerful spirit beasts.
Ever since they had assumed their foothold in the Realm of a Hundred Battles, they had never stopped exploring and expanding.
Of course, the four powers each had their own industries in Water Moon City, which was considered one of the most important trading centers in the Domain of the Falling Stars.
The four teleportation portals in the square in the center of the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce led to the Dong Clan, Cao Clan, Gu Clan, and Pill Pavilion Sect.
Any Qi warrior would be allowed to use those teleportation portals as long as they paid the required amount of spirit stones, so that they could explore or hunt in those regions.
Only members of the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce and the four powers would be able to use the teleportation portals free of charge.
The destination of Nie Donghai’s exploration team was in the Dong Clan’s territory. The fastest and most convenient way to get there would be to pay the price and teleport to the Dong Clan via the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce’s teleportation portal.
However, in Luo Xin’s opinion, the price was too high, and the path to the Dong Clan’s territory was fairly safe, so she chose to march there on foot.
By the time Nie Tian learned that they could have saved time and trouble by teleporting directly to the Dong Clan from the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce, and all it would cost were spirit stones, they were already far down the road.
Therefore, Nie Tian, who had abundant spirit stones in his possession, gave up on the idea of returning to Water Moon City to use their portals.
Along the way, they ran into quite a few Qi warriors.
Those who were returning from their trip with substantial gains would usually talk to each other with faces filled with smiles.
Those who hadn’t gained anything valuable from their trip would usually seem rather crestfallen.
Nie Tian noticed that, either way, those Qi warriors were in a light mood, which was completely different from what he had seen in the Realm of Split Void.
Each and every Qi warrior who had come and gone between Shatter City and the Void Illusion Mountain Range traveled with great caution, as if they had been traveling on thin ice.
Part of the reason had been that numerous vicious outlaws and Hunters had been wandering outside Shatter City.
On the other hand, if the explorers came across others with inferior cultivation bases along the way, they wouldn’t mind killing and robbing them.
In general, after his experience in the Realm of Split Void, Nie Tian found the atmosphere in the Realm of a Hundred Battles to be very friendly. “Is my master in the Realm of a Hundred Battles?” Nie Tian asked.
“Martial granduncle rushed back as soon as he heard that you’d returned to the Realm of Flame Heaven.” Luo Xin seemed surprised as she asked, “What? Didn’t you see him in the Realm of Flame Heaven?”
Nie Tian seemed rather disappointed. “I see, so he’s gone back.”
Apart from his desire to see Nie Donghai and Nie Qian, the other reason why he had come to the Realm of a Hundred Battles, regardless of the threat from the Heaven Palace Sect and Li Muyang and Xing Huanyue’s desire for him to stay, was that he also wanted to visit Wu Ji.
He hadn’t expected that Wu Ji had actually returned to the Realm of Flame Heaven upon learning about his return.
However, he had spent too short a time in the Realm of Flame Heaven. Even before the spatial rift had been fully sealed, Hua Mu had urged Huang Fan to take him to the Realm of Mystic Heaven.
“Where have you been over the past two years, Nie Tian?” Luo Xin asked curiously.
“I had to hole up somewhere after obtaining those fragmentary star marks.” Nie Tian gave an secretive answer.
Luo Xin nodded and didn’t pursue the answer, knowing that the topic was a bit sensitive. “You’ve become more and more mysterious over the years. There are only so many inter-realm teleportation portals in the entire Realm of Flame Heaven. After you left, those who owned them all said that you hadn’t left via their teleportation portals.
“The seven sects helped the Heaven Palace Sect search through the entire Realm of Flame Heaven, but they still failed to find you.
“Then, people suspected that you had already left the Realm of Flame Heaven.
“After that, all the powerful sects in the Domain of the Falling Stars joined the search for you, yet none of them had any clue about your whereabouts.
“I simply can’t imagine what kind of method you used to hide from so many people.”
Luo Xin sighed, her heart filled with mixed emotions.
In her eyes, Nie Tian had already worked miracles by obtaining two fragmentary star marks from numerous talented young disciples from powerful sects during the Heaven Gate trial.
What amazed her even more was that he had actually managed to leap from the Lesser Heaven stage to the late Heaven stage in only two years’ time.
On top of that, he had also killed Yuan Fengchun, relieved the crises in the Realm of Flame Heaven, the Realm of Mystic Heaven, and the Realm of a Thousand Devastations, and even turned down the Heaven Palace Sect’s handsome offer.
Now, she had an increasingly strong feeling that she couldn’t see through this young man, who was simply from an insignificant clan in Black Cloud City.
It would take about ten days for them to arrive in the Dong Clan’s territory. During this period of time, Nie Tian would take out and fondle the Flame Star, which Li Ye had custom-made for him, whenever he found a chance.
One day, the two of them grew tired, so they stopped and rested by the craggy stone path in the dense forest.
As Nie Tian once again took out his Flame Star and was about to refine it with his spiritual power, he noticed that Luo Xin was going to recuperate with a few spirit stones she had taken out of her bracelet of holding.
When he had first met Luo Xin, she had been at the Heaven stage, but after the upheaval in the Scarlet Flame Mountain Range and the adversities in the Heaven Gate, she had advanced to the Greater Heaven stage.
However, she was still wearing a bracelet of holding, not a ring of holding.
The tip of Nie Tian’s eyebrow rose as he handed a ring made of white jade to her. With a smile, he said, “Consider this ring of holding a gift from me, Big Sister Xin.”
Since he had killed and looted a number of Greater Heaven stage experts in the Realm of Split Void, he had quite a few rings of holding in his possession, and thus he didn’t even blink as he spared one for Luo Xin.
The value of one ring of holding equaled that of ten bracelets of holding. Even though Luo Xin was one of Wu Xing’s disciples, she hadn’t gathered enough fortune to switch her bracelet of holding for a ring of holding when she had entered the Greater Heaven stage.
“A ring of holding!” Luo Xin’s eyes suddenly lit up right before she examined Nie Tian’s wrist. With a surprised expression, she said, “You’re still wearing a bracelet of holding yourself.”
Nie Tian smiled, beckoning for her to come closer, before he opened the leather pouch on his waist.
Luo Xin looked down into it, and found to her astonishment that there were still a number of rings of holding inside.
“How come you have so many of them?” She grew even more astonished and confused.
“Well, that’s not important,” Nie Tian said.
Seeing that Nie Tian possessed so many rings of holding, Luo Xin accepted it straightforwardly. With a hearty smile on her face, she said, “From the look of it, you’ve gained quite some fortune over these years when you were gone. That being the case, I won’t stand on ceremony. Many thanks.”
After a brief rest, the two of them marched onward again.
It wasn’t long before they encountered two chattering and laughing Qi warriors.
They were heading towards Water Moon City. From the way they looked, they must have gained quite some fortune.
“Stop!” Luo Xin, who was walking normally, suddenly shouted, staring at a golden bracelet on one of the men’s arms, her expression turning very grim.
“What?” One of them answered.
Nie Tian wondered for a moment before he rapidly formed a Heaven Eye and used it to examine the men’s cultivation bases. One of them was at the early Greater Heaven stage, while the other was at the late Heaven stage.
The one Luo Xin had fixed her gaze on was at the late Heaven stage, and he seemed to practice metal power.
“Where did you get that golden bracelet?” Luo Xin asked with an ice-cold look in her eyes.
“Why do you ask?” The man seemed unable to make heads or tails of the situation.
The other man let out a cold harrumph and said, “It’s none of your business.”
“That bracelet belongs to a member of my sect,” Luo Xin blurted, staring at him. “I picked it out for him. Why is it on your wrist?”
Upon hearing these words, Nie Tian frowned.
The Greater Heaven stage man kept his chin high as he said with a disdainful expression, “Even if it belonged to your friend, so what? Now that it’s in my brother’s possession, it’s ours now. What are you going to do about it?”
Without uttering a word, Nie Tian summoned his Flame Star. He blurred into a flash, and appeared in front of the Heaven stage man in the next moment.
Before he could react, the Flame Star swished down and tapped on the man’s left shoulder.
Flesh power and spiritual power of various attributes rushed out of Nie Tian and infused into the Flame Star.
In a split second, the Flame Star became as heavy as a thousand pounds. The man’s face flickered as he summoned all of his strength to withstand the terrifying pressure from the Flame Star.
With a loud crash, the man’s knees suddenly dropped to the ground, and he was kneeling in front of Nie Tian.
Without sparing the other man a glance, Nie Tian fixed his murderous gaze on the man. His eyes glittered like frigid stars as he said with an indifferent tone, “Tell us how you got the bracelet. Otherwise, neither of you shall leave.”
Translator: Alcohol Sword Immortal a.k.a. Beerblade. (Follow me on Twitter)
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鸦 雀 无 声 (yā què wú shēng)
Meaning: not a crow or sparrow is heard; as silent as the grave; absolute silence