Zhang Jiu, the leader of the Poison Sect search team, was only at the middle Greater Heaven stage.
The other three were one male and two females. The man, who looked older than the others, was at the late Greater Heaven stage.
Both of the two females were at the middle Greater Heaven stage and had curvaceous bodies and young, pretty faces.
As soon as their bugs detected the aura of Nie Tian’s flesh and blood, the four of them almost simultaneously locked down on Nie Tian’s hiding place and dashed over after their spirit vermin.
The gentle-looking Zhang Jiu was the leader of this searching team because of his extraordinary talent and strong backers in the Poison Sect.
He flashed past ancient trees and stopped before Nie Tian, who was now surrounded by countless bugs.
His eyes ran up and down Nie Tian. Surprised to find no sigil on his garments, he asked, “Who are you?”
Before entering this dimension, the major sects from all over the Domain of the Falling Stars had already cleared the entire mountain range together.
All of the local powers and independent Qi warriors had been driven out of the mountain range or annihilated.
It was very unlikely that someone could have escaped their joint operation and entered this dimension through one of the six spatial rifts.
However, the garments Nie Tian was wearing didn’t belong to any of the major foreign sects, which somewhat surprised him.
Enveloped by his chaotic magnetic field, Nie Tian’s expression remained as calm as ever as he watched tens of thousands of bugs swarming around him.
He repeatedly swung the Flame Star in the air, unleashing numerous, dazzling blade lights.
Many spirit vermin gave out sharp shrieks and dropped to the ground.
The spirit vermin Zhang Jiu and the others had refined seemed to be greatly affected and started to fly very slowly when they entered the chaotic magnetic field.
Nie Tian’s blade lights tangled up and formed dense grids that filled his entire chaotic magnetic field.
Even the smallest bug couldn’t fly past them to attack Nie Tian .
Watching their spirit vermin fall to the ground, Zhang Jiu shook his head slightly and said, “Since you refuse to state your identity, don’t blame us for what we’re going to do to you!
“Crimson Chain Snake!” With these words, a small, red snake that was half a meter long and the girth of a finger suddenly flew out of Zhang Jiu’s palm.
Unlike normal snakes, this small snake was semi-translucent, like a red gem. Its beady eyes shone with suffocating light as it flew towards Nie Tian.
As Nie Tian watched the incoming snake, the nine fragmentary stars suddenly started shining brightly over Nie Tian’s soul sea.
One wisp of bloodthirsty aura after another burst forth from within the Crimson Chain Snake’s eyes and stealthily invaded Nie Tian’s soul.
With an exclamation, Nie Tian suddenly realized that the soul shadow of the Crimson Chain Snake had appeared out of nowhere within his soul.
“This spirit vermin can actually attack my soul!”
Shocked, Nie Tian no longer dared to treat it lightly, and hastily morphed his psychic awareness into a large saber that resembled the Flame Star.
With a crushing force, the saber slashed down on the Crimson Chain Snake’s soul shadow.
However, the Crimson Chain Snake’s soul shadow instantly split into a large number of slender spiritual snakes.
Simultaneously, the Crimson Chain Snake in the real world entered Nie Tian’s chaotic magnetic field.
As soon as it did, the bugs Zhang Jiu had previously sent into the chaotic magnetic field seemed to be inspired by their leader, and instantly became fiercer and more active.
Some of the smallest bugs squeezed their way through the very tiny spaces between Nie Tian’s tightly-woven blade lights and began to attack him.
After passing through Nie Tian’s defenses, the small bugs all seemed extremely excited. Each of their devilish eyes shone with an unending desire for flesh and blood.
Zhang Jiu’s expression flickered. Eyes brimming with ecstasy, he said, “This guy carries very rich and refined flesh power! All of my spirit vermin that passed through his defenses turned from active to mad!”
Overjoyed, Wu Cui, the girl in a long emerald dress, exclaimed, “Is he a freak who focuses on the refinement of flesh and blood?”
Eyes lit up, Luo Ting, the girl in red dress, said with a bright smile, “It seems so. We’re so in luck. My little scorpion loves nothing better than the flesh and blood of humans who refine their bodies.”
With these words, a green string shot out from her palm, which rapidly morphed into a green scorpion that was the size of a fist.
At first glance, it seemed as if it had been carved out of a piece of emerald, almost too exquisite to be real.
However, its beady eyes were blood-red, and brimmed with a strong thirst for flesh and blood.
It shot into Nie Tian’s chaotic magnetic field and sprayed a cloud of toxic mist out of its mouth, as if it weren’t affected by the distorting force within the chaotic magnetic field.
In the blink of an eye, the green mist pervaded a ten meter radius around Nie Tian.
A numbing toxin seemed to be quietly invading Nie Tian’s flesh and blood.
Engulfed by the toxic mist, Nie Tian felt a burning sensation from his exposed skin, as if it were being burned by fierce sunlight.
Meanwhile, as his blood and aura circulated, he started to experience mild pain inside of him.
That was when he realized that the toxic mist unleashed by the scorpion was causing slow damage to his flesh and blood.
With a cold snort, he instantly shifted away from his original place.
As soon as he left the area where the toxic mist pervaded, he practiced the Fragmentary Star Incantation to stimulate the might of the nine fragmentary stars in his soul.
Beams of chilly starlight poured down from the void over his soul sea. The numerous slender Crimson Chain Snakes, which were attempting to devour his soul, were instantly slashed into shreds by the dazzling saber formed by Nie Tian’s psychic awareness and soul power.
The shredded Crimson Chain Snakes rapidly dissipated.
Zhang Jiu’s face turn pale with fright. “There’s something special about this guy! He’s only at the Greater Heaven stage, but the refinement of his soul has already reached such a high level! He eliminated my Crimson Chain Snake’s soul attack without breaking a sweat!”
At the same time, Luo Ting exclaimed, “The refinement of his flesh and blood is also very shocking! There’s something weird about him. Quit playing everyone. Let’s finish him off quickly!”
At first, they had taken Nie Tian for someone they could have some fun with before killing. But now, seeing that not only had the Crimson Chain Snake failed to shatter his soul, but it had also sustained injuries itself, they all started to treat Nie Tian seriously.
Even the only late Greater Heaven stage Poison Sect disciple stopped being an onlooker and unleashed his most powerful spirit vermin.
A brown centipede shot out with a sharp shriek and almost instantly entered Nie Tian’s chaotic magnetic field.
Eyebrows furrowed, Wu Cui unleashed her most powerful spirit vermin, a black bee.
In the next moment, the Crimson Chain Snake, the green scorpion, the brown centipede, and the black bee entered Nie Tian’s chaotic magnetic field at the same time. They were significantly larger than all the other spirit vermin, and didn’t seem to be affected by the magnetic field at all.
Because they were the leaders of the other spirit vermin, as soon as they let out sharp shrieks, the tiny spirit vermin that had squeezed through the grids of blade lights began biting hard on Nie Tian’s shoulders.
The soreness and stabbing pain made Nie Tian frown, but at that very moment, an idea occurred to him.
All of a sudden, he dropped his defenses altogether and sat down on the ground, as if he were deeply poisoned.
“He’s poisoned!” Wu Cui exclaimed, overjoyed.
Immediately afterwards, the sky-filling spirit vermin swarmed on him, along with the red snake, green scorpion, brown centipede, and black bee.
In a split second, Nie Tian, who was sitting in the lotus position, was covered by a thick layer of spirit vermin.
At first glance, Nie Tian looked like a lamb being gnawed by countless flesh-eating vermin.
Soreness and stabbing pain came from every inch of Nie Tian’s skin, which almost caused him to scream out loud.
Meanwhile, he could sense with great clarity that his flesh power was also quickly being sucked away from him.
At that moment, Nie Tian snorted coldly and thought to himself, “Bloodline talent: Life Drain!”
In the next moment, the numerous crystal-like chains within the green aura in his heart started to shine with blinding light.
The green spots within those crystal-like chains seemed to be realigning to reveal the Life Drain bloodline talent. One wisp of Nie Tian’s flesh power after another suddenly shot towards the countless spirit vermin that were clinging to him like fishing lines.
Even finer than hair, the wisps of flesh power, which were branded with the Life Drain bloodline talent, caused explosive effects the moment they pierced into the spirit vermin bodies.
Every spirit vermin that was now biting Nie Tian’s flesh and sucking his blood let out terrified, blood-curdling shrieks.
However, ecstasy appeared in the depths of Nie Tian’s eyes.
Like tubes that connected the spirit vermin and Nie Tian, the countless wisps of flesh power started to forcibly suck the life force out of the spirit vermin.
Even though the spirit vermin seemed insignificant individually, each and every one of them contained surprisingly rich flesh power, especially the four larger ones.
Based on Nie Tian’s senses, the flesh power they carried wasn’t any less than that of fourth grade spirit beasts’.
Pooh! Pooh! Pooh!
Numerous small spirit vermin were quickly drained of all their flesh power, and their shriveled bodies fell to the ground like rain.
Tens of thousands of wisps of flesh power flew back to Nie Tian’s heart, where they were devoured by the green bloodline aura and became its nourishment.
Muffled groans escaped the mouths of Zhang Jiu and the other Poison Sect disciples, their faces turning pale.
The same fearful look that appeared in the spirit vermin’s eyes appeared in their eyes as well, as if they were crying in their hearts for all of their spirit vermin to leave Nie Tian alone and return to them.
At this moment, they stared at Nie Tian like they were staring at some evil spirit.
Pei Qiqi returned. The moment she saw Nie Tian, a soft exclamation escaped her mouth.
In her eyes, Nie Tian, who was now deeply covered in spirit vermin, looked like a man made of bugs, and very scary.
She thought Nie Tian had been poisoned and had his flesh and blood gnawed away. She thought he was a lost cause.
Just as she was about to drive away the spirit vermin, she saw Nie Tian’s bug-covered face split into a smile.
Zhang Jiu and the others stood aghast, their expressions looking as if they had seen a ghost in broad daylight.
“T-this guy...” Sensing the fear and weakening life aura from her spirit vermin, Wu Cui stammered and failed to even get a whole sentence out.
Bewildered by the scene, Zhang Jiu quickly came back to his senses and shouted, “Let’s get out of here and inform our seniors!
The other three also snapped back to their senses and rapidly sped away in different directions.
Even though their spirit vermin, which let out miserable shrieks unceasingly, also wanted to escape, they were bound by wisps of Nie Tian’s flesh power, and couldn’t move even the slightest bit.
Imperial Chinese Court Life
Emperor travelling in a palanquin In imperial times, visitors to the emperor were expected to drop to the floor and knock their foreheads on the floor nine times to show respect. Some emperors reportedly tested the loyalty of their ministers by bringing in a donkey and calling it horse and asking the minister what he thought. If the mister called it a donkey he was executed. If he called it a horse he was promoted.
Emperors liked to portray themselves as scholars and art lovers. Perhaps the best example of this was the Emperor Qianlong (1736-1796), regarded as China's last great emperor. See Emperor Qianlong, Qing Dynasty.
Often an emperor was served hundreds of dishes during meal time but ate only a few bites here and there. At banquets he ate at a table on a platform raised above the guests. A Jesuit priest who attended one of these banquets in 1727 wrote: “Every time the Emperor says a word...one must kneel down and hit one's head on the ground. This has to be done every time someone serves him something to drink."