Leaning against the Lightning Shuttle, a cold light flashed across Pei Qiqi’s bright eyes as she looked at Nie Tian and asked, “Why do you ask?”
Instead of answering right away, Nie Tian slowly sat down and said, “I don’t know. It’s just a feeling.”
Back when Zhen Huilan had handed the Illusion Realm to her by the floating volcano, and her hands made contact with it, the same thing had happened.
According to Zhen Huilan, it was a powerful outsider, whose bloodline carried profound spatial power, that had created that huge hole in the volcano.
With the help of the Illusion Realm, she had stabilized the residue of that outsider’s power, which had lingered on for tens of thousands of years.
However, as soon as Pei Qiqi had touched the Illusion Realm, the spatial energy wreathing the floating volcano had vanished.
Meanwhile, Pei Qiqi had closed her eyes and isolated herself from the outside world, as if she had begun to derive enlightenment from the profound mysteries within that spatial energy.
As that had happened, Nie Tian had shrewdly discovered that the aura she exuded was actually the mysterious essence of flesh power.
“A feeling?” Pei Qiqi snorted and turned back around. Putting her hands on the prow of the Lightning Shuttle, she said with her back towards Nie Tian, “So tell me what’s your feeling about my master escaping from those men?”
Realizing that she was changing the topic, Nie Tian didn’t pursue it, but instead answered her question. “Your master is well-versed in spatial magics. If there are no mishaps, she should be able to escape, and those from the Spirit God Sect won’t be able to stop her.”
Pei Qiqi nodded gently. “I think so too.”
Afterwards, she fell silent and focused on steering the Lightning Shuttle as they traveled across this strange dimension.
Seeing that she wasn’t in the mood for talking, Nie Tian also settled down, assumed the lotus position, and started practicing cultivation with Star Stones under the starlit sky, where there was no sun or moon, just ever-shining stars.
As he absorbed star power from the Star Stones, he could sense with great clarity that starlight was being somehow channeled toward him from the depths of the boundless starry river.
For this reason, the speed at which he absorbed star power was greatly enhanced. Furthermore, as he practiced the Fragmentary Star Incantation, he was able to maintain his profound connection with his Heaven Eyes, which he had already summoned back.
While practicing cultivation, he was able to keep a close watch on everything happening in the vicinity via his Heaven Eyes.
Time flew. After an unknown period of time, the Lightning Shuttle started descending towards a very large, floating boulder.
As it did, Pei Qiqi took out her Sound Stone and attempted to contact Zhen Huilan.
Moments later, a hint of worry appeared in the depths of her eyes as she said, “Perhaps we’re too far from my master. I can’t seem to get in touch with her.”
Nie Tian awoke from his cultivation, looked up at her, and said, “Don’t worry. Her cultivation base is the same as those from the Spirit God Sect. Plus, even if her battle prowess turned out to be slightly inferior to those people, as a master of spatial magics, she would enjoy an advantage if she was bent on escaping.”
He had realized this point from Zhao Shanling’s escape.
Relying on his profound spatial magics, the Soul realm Zhao Shanling had entered and left the Realm of Unbounded Desolation as he pleased. No one had been able to capture him.
Similarly, as his martial sister, Zhen Huilan should be able to escape the siege of other Profound realm experts with ease.
Pei Qiqi’s eyebrows furrowed. “It may not be as easy as you think. Since you don’t practice spatial power, you can’t feel the abnormality of this place. Even as skilled in wielding spatial power as my master is, it’ll be very difficult for her to create and enter a spatial portal in this strange dimension.”
Nie Tian’s expression flickered slightly. “Are you saying that Senior Zhen might be in danger? If that’s the case, how can we help her?”
Pei Qiqi let out a sigh. “There’s nothing we can do. Considering our cultivation bases, even if we circle back now, we won’t be able to provide her with any help, only burdens. When we left, master secretly sent me a message, telling me to take you and get as far away from the spatial rift through which we entered this dimension as possible.
“Master was certain that Yao Shou wasn’t lying. People from the Flame God Sect have probably already entered this dimension through that spatial rift.”
Nie Tian fell silent. Only after a while did he say, “It’s too bad that we don’t have a map of this place and we don’t know where we are. If we stray too far from that spatial rift, I fear we won’t be able to find our way back.”
“No need to worry about that,” Pei Qiqi said with a calm and composed expression. “I’ve made a map of the areas we’ve been to after coming here. And I have the coordinates of that spatial rift. Wherever we go, we’ll always be able to find our way back. That I can assure you.”
Upon hearing her words, Nie Tian’s eyes lit up.
After a moment of hesitation, Pei Qiqi added, “I probably can locate the largest floating continent. Earlier, I received some helpful information from the residual spatial energy surrounding that floating volcano. It’s just that I haven’t sorted through and fully understood the messages it carries.”
A shudder ran through Nie Tian’s body. “The spatial energy that an outsider left around that volcano carried some kind of information?”
Pei Qiqi nodded. “Very little, but yeah.”
Before Nie Tian could ask another question, Pei Qiqi blurted, “Come on, let’s go. I’ll take you there.”
After she laid some fresh spirit stones at the bottom of the Lightning Shuttle, it once again rose into the air with a whoosh.
Over the following days, Nie Tian no longer asked questions, but rather spent day and night absorbing star power from his Star Stones, refining his vortex of star power, and building up the lake of stardew at the bottom of the vortex.
According to some timer in Pei Qiqi’s possession, one month passed without them noticing.
Thanks to the special environment, Nie Tian accumulated a copious amount of stardew at the bottom of his vortex of star power.
Gradually, it occurred to him that as long as he continued to practice in this strange dimension, it wouldn’t be very long before he accumulated enough stardew for him to advance to the middle Greater Heaven stage.
Soon, another month passed.
They didn’t encounter anyone on their way, and there was nothing special about the occasional floating boulders and lands they crossed.
Finally, one day, small adjustments seemed to be made to the direction the Lightning Shuttle was heading in.
Nie Tian scanned the vicinity and failed to find anything noteworthy.
However, soon afterwards, the Lightning Shuttle came to an area filled with floating boulders, lands, and old dead trees.
Each of the floating trees was hundreds of meters tall and the size of a small mountain.
With a brief glance, Nie Tian discovered that they were very similar to the ancient trees he had previously encountered in the magical place where wood power was almost as thick as water.
It was just that the floating, ancient trees he was seeing now were dead and withered away. Not a single leaf could be seen on their branches.
Perhaps that was why they weren’t attacking him and Pei Qiqi as the Lightning Shuttle flew past them.
During the following few days, they saw more and more ancient trees on their way, as if they were entering a vast forest of them.
All of a sudden, a floating continent that seemed much vaster than the one they had arrived on entered Nie Tian and Pei Qiqi’s view.
The continent was filled with the same type of trees they had encountered along their way here. However, these trees were alive, incomparably lush, and deeply rooted in every corner of the continent.
As the Lightning Shuttle flew closer to the continent, Nie Tian’s vortex of wood power started to spin faster.
Not only that, but even the fragmented information he had formerly received from the titan started to realign at a faster speed.
It seemed that those pieces of information could be put back together and fly out of his vortex of wood power at any moment now.
“Let’s go over there and take a look,” Nie Tian said, pointing at the vast floating continent. “There seems to be wood power over there, which is pretty strange.”
Pei Qiqi’s pretty eyes lit up as she sent out her psychic awareness, then she exclaimed softly, “You’re right. There actually is wood power over there.”
They hadn’t discovered the least bit of spiritual power on any of the floating lands they had encountered on their way to this place.
Now that they had come to a special continent filled with incredibly tall and lush trees, as well as wood power, Pei Qiqi also seemed rather surprised. Without any delay, she steered the Lightning Shuttle toward it.
As they gradually descended from the sky, Nie Tian commanded his nine Heaven Eyes to spread out and fly into different parts of the floating continent.
The moment they landed, Nie Tian shuddered slightly. He lowered his voice and said, “There are people down there!”
Pei Qiqi’s eyes grew wide. “There are people here?”
Nie Tian nodded gently, signaling her to hold the Lightning Shuttle. Immediately afterwards, he carefully controlled his Heaven Eyes to conduct a more thorough scan.
Moments later, he found a few Qi warriors, who were dressed in the Poison Sect’s garments, roaming in the forest of sky-reaching trees.
“Poison Sect disciples,” Nie Tian said in a low voice.
“What are their cultivation bases?” Pei Qiqi asked without hesitation. “If their cultivation bases are much higher than ours, we need to leave immediately. We can’t let them discover us.”
Nie Tian was also surprised by his discoveries. “Strangely, their cultivation bases aren’t very high. The men I’ve seen so far are all at the Greater Heaven stage. Don’t tell me that they also had some unexpected encounters and got separated from their powerful experts.”
Upon hearing that the other party consisted of nothing but Greater Heaven stage cultivators, Pei Qiqi looked rather relieved as she asked, “How many?”
“Five. The one with the highest cultivation base is at the late Greater Heaven stage,” Nie Tian answered.
“Let’s go over there and take a look,” Pei Qiqi proposed.
Palace concert Imperial concubinage wasn't all it was made out to be. One character in the 18th century novel Dream of a Red Mansion said, “how much happier are those whose home is a hut in field, who eat salt and pickles and wear clothes of cotton, than she is who is endowed with wealth and rank, but separated from her flesh and blood."
More than 200 Imperial concubines reportedly died on the orders of the 16th century emperor Shizon, Hoping to escape their fate, 16 members of Shizon's harem snuck into his chamber to strangle him with a silken scarf and stab him with a hairpin. In the struggle the Emperor lost an eye but survived with the help of his Empress. The concubines were punished by having their limbs pulled off thier bodies by five horses and their heads were displayed on poles.
Concubines and eunuch often formed close friendships.
Emperors also had male consorts. According to legend the Han Dynasty Emperor Ai said he would rather cut off the sleeve of his robe than disturb his male lover who had fallen asleep on it. Some Chinese still refer to homosexuality as “the passion of the sleeve."