Nie Tian glanced over the other so-called chosen ones.
Upon meeting his eyes, all of them looked awkward and hesitant.
With a cunning smile, Nie Tian laid his eyes on the Flame God Sect’s core disciple and said, “Yang Kan, I bet you know what I want. Quit hiding your earthflame essence and earthflame crystal strings. I only want enough to match the value of the Golden Chariot. I’m not a greedy person.”
Fuming with anger, Yang Kan blurted, “Hide?! The Flame Dragon Armor already took all of the earthflame crystal strings and earthflame essence my sectmaster bestowed upon me before we came here! Where do I get more to give you!?”
“Oh, is that so? How about I give the Golden Chariot to you, and you go scouting on that island?” Nie Tian proposed, smiling.
Yang Kan’s expression froze.
Considering his awkward situation, that he was now stuck between the Greater Heaven stage and the Worldly realm, he wasn’t even as powerful as he had been when he had been at the late Greater Heaven stage.
That was why he had taken the initiative to leave after seeing Nie Tian massacre all those men to protect Dong Li.
Now that he was at this undefined stage, and his strength had regressed, he knew that he would have an eighty or ninety percent chance of dying on that island if he so daringly went there.
After an extended, painful contemplation, he summoned the six crimson stone columns from within his ring of holding. Eyes filled with flaming hatred, he gritted the words, “Here. You practice fire-attribute incantations. You should know how valuable they are to you!”
At the same time, a jade slip few out of Yang Kan’s hand and landed in Nie Tian’s, which recorded the instructions for the six crimson stone columns.
Eyes narrowed, Nie Tian sent a wisp of psychic awareness into it, and immediately learned that he would need to infuse them with earthflame essence and earthflame crystal strings, then refine another crimson crystal ball that would carry the jade slip inside. All these things done, he would be able to use the six crimson stone columns at will.
“I believe this should be enough for me and Lu Jian both, right?” Yang Kan’s words were filled with anger and hatred.
He was right. The six crimson stone columns and the jade slip he had given out were even more valuable than the Golden Chariot.
However, he was thinking that, once he entered the Worldly realm, he would be able to take everything back from Nie Tian, including the Flame Dragon Armor.
After figuring out the profound use of the six crimson stone columns, Nie Tian seemed to be in a good mood. “Not bad,” he said. “Okay, Lu Jian won’t need to pay anymore.”
Then, he cast a glance at Zhang Jiu from the Poison Sect and, with a cold snort, he said, “All I want from you is a piece of information.”
Zhang Jiu had originally been torn about what to give Nie Tian, but upon hearing Nie Tian’s words, he instantly felt relieved, and hastily asked, “About what?”
“Is Pei Qiqi still alive, and where is she now?” Nie Tian asked, exuding intense killing intent.
“That bitch...” As soon as he uttered these words, Zhang Jiu realized that he had used the wrong words, and thus hastily added, “Miss Pei should be fine. She rushed to the end of our segment in the swirling band soon after her arrival. Even though the colorful mist at the end stopped other Greater Heaven stage cultivators from entering, it didn’t seem to work on her. She went into it without meeting any resistance, and I’ve no idea where she went after that.”
“How do I know that you’re telling the truth?” Nie Tian confronted him with a stern look in his eyes.
Zhang Jiu hastily swore that, if any of his statements were proven to be false, he should have his flesh torn and his bones crushed. (Idiom: die the most cruel death)
The other Poison Sect disciples chimed in, saying that Pei Qiqi must be fine.
Staring coldly and silently at them for a while, Nie Tian finally nodded and let them off.
He didn’t think Zhang Jiu was lying, but he had a feeling that, if he was telling the truth, considering Pei Qiqi’s strength and temperament, she should have killed Zhang Jiu and his men already.
Meanwhile, he had always suspected what had made Pei Qiqi leave him so suddenly.
“You gave up a million spirit stones just for some information on Pei Qiqi?!” While he was absorbed in thought, Dong Li snorted coldly, her eyes filled with grudges.
Clearly, she was very unhappy about the fact that Nie Tian had just given up on demanding huge remuneration over nothing but some information on Pei Qiqi.
“Keh! Keh!” Nie Tian cleared his throat, pretending that he hadn’t seen the anger in her eyes. He turned to face the members of the Thunder Mountain Sect and Heaven Expanse Sect, and said, “It’s your turn now.”
Even though only five remained of the joint team of the Thunder Mountain Sect and Heaven Expanse Sect, all of the survivors were elites. Liao Yan from the Thunder Mountain Sect and Yu Yang from the Heaven Expanse Sect were their respective sect’s core disciples.
They hadn’t been there to witness Nie Tian slaughter their sectmates while guarding the eighth grade black phoenix, but they had later learned about Nie Tian’s doings.
Both groups bore bitter hatred toward Nie Tian, though they knew they couldn’t do anything to him now, considering his formidable strength and the fact that he had the Yin Sect, the Yang Sect, and those from the Realm of a Hundred Battles at his back.
Furthermore, since they were now facing a great threat from the outsiders, they knew they had to unite with all of the other forces to fight the outsiders. Therefore, they didn’t dare to confront Nie Tian and ruin that alliance.
As Nie Tian laid his eyes on them, Liao Yan and Yu Yang were clearly struggling to suppress their anger. “What do you want?” Liao Yan asked.
“Spiritual materials of fire, wood, and star attributes.” Nie Tian answered casually, not worried that they would have an outburst at all.
He had never had any favorable impressions towards the Heaven Expanse Sect or the Thunder Mountain Sect, which were the two major sects in the Realm of Earth Sieve. He still remembered what their disciples had said right before entering the Heaven Gate in the Realm of Flame Heaven.
Furthermore, the Realm of Earth Sieve had never given up the idea of invading the Realm of Flame Heaven.
Liao Yan shook his head and said, “We don’t have the spiritual materials you want.” Then, with a angry and reluctant expression on his face, he took out a glassware from with his ring of holding, which contained a shriveled, gray heart inside, and added, “This heart belonged to a powerful Fiend. He was long dead when we found him, but his heart still contains deadly toxins.
“I believe it’s more than enough as remuneration for your service from both the Thunder Mountain Sect and Heaven Expanse Sect.
“Two of my junior martial brothers were poisoned to death gouging this heart out of the Fiend’s chest and putting it into the sealed glassware. I originally planned to trade it for valuables from powerful Poison Sect experts after returning to the Domain of the Falling Stars. It’s yours now.”
The eyes of Zhang Jiu, who was from the Poison Sect, couldn’t widen more upon seeing the heart.
He knew that Fiends were extremely poisonous beings, and that a Fiend’s heart was their source of power, which made it the most poisonous part of the Fiend.
If some powerful expert from the Poison Sect could refine the toxins within it for their use or derive enlightenment from the profound mysteries of it, that person would surely benefit significantly.
Not only Zhang Jiu, but all the other Poison Sect disciples appeared incomparably excited upon seeing the Fiend’s heart.
Liao Yan snorted and reminded Nie Tian, “You should know that this heart isn’t something Zhang Jiu or his people can afford. Plus, since we haven’t assessed the grade of the owner of this heart, we can’t determine its exact value for now. You’d better keep it safe and not try to examine it yourself. Otherwise, you might get yourself killed.”
As he said these words, Nie Tian saw wisps of green mist rising from the shriveled heart, which was sealed within the glassware.
The wisps of green mist were like fine tentacles swaying within the glassware, which was filled with a faint, green mist. It was as if the slightest leakage of the green mist would doom everyone present.
He sent a wisp of his psychic awareness into the glassware in an attempt to learn its mysteries.
However, the moment his psychic awareness flew into the glassware and made contact with the poisonous mist, it was instantly devoured.
“I can’t believe that the poisonous mist actually devoured my psychic awareness!” Nie Tian’s expression flickered. He stared closely at the heart and started to believe that it was something that could kill people very easily.
No longer daring to conduct any more examinations, he quickly stored the glassware in his ring of holding and said, “Alright, that’s it for the Thunder Mountain Sect and Heaven Expanse Sect.”
The only forces that hadn’t given their remuneration were the Yin Sect, the Yang Sect, the Ice Pavilion Sect, and those from the Realm of a Hundred Battles.
Upon hearing his words, Ye Qin and Chen Hao smiled bitterly, exchanged a glance, and were going to speak.
However, Nie Tian waved his hand and said, “It’s alright. You don’t need to give me anything.”
Ye Qin’s and Chen Hao’s eyes lit up as they hastily bowed slightly towards him to show their gratitude.
Dong Li rolled her eyes at him. “What about us? Hmm?”
Dong Baijie also looked at him with a faint smile.
Nie Tian gave a dry smile. “S-sure, you don’t need to pay me either.”
Dong Li snorted, smiling. “That’s more like it.”
Xuan Ke from the Ice Pavilion Sect hesitate briefly before saying, “Umm...”
Nie Tian glanced at him and, with a wave of his hand, said, “Forget it.”
Upon hearing these words, all of the Ice Pavilion Sect disciples hastily expressed their gratitude.
Xuan Ke nodded at Nie Tian and said, “The Ice Pavilion Sect won’t forget about this, and neither will I.”
“Alright, everyone, I’ll be off now. Just wait for my good news.” With a thought, Nie Tian sent the Golden Chariot whistling towards the distant island where powerful outsiders were possibly gathered.
Everyone watched him fly away with complicated looks in their eyes.
Today's is a story about another exceptional mothers in ancient China.
Tao Kan’s mother cuts her own hair and returns salted fish (截发延宾、封坛退鲊)
Tao Kan was a famous military general in the third to fourth century CE. Like Mencius, Tao lost his father as a young child. He and his mother lived a humble life, but his mother taught him to treat friends generously and not to put too much value on money. According to A New Account of the Tales of the World (《世说新语》), a scholar named Fan Kui once passed through Tao’s hometown and asked for night’s lodging at their home. Fan was well-known in government and Tao wanted to make his acquaintance, but didn’t have enough food to treat all his servants and horses. At this time, Tao’s mother told Tao to take in the entourage, and cut off her long hair and sold it for money to buy food, tore down several wood pillars from their house to chop into firewood, and even cut up their grass mats to feed Fan’s horses. Fan was deeply moved by their hospitality and also impressed by Tao’s talents. Later, Fan recommended him to the local government, and Tao became an official.
But the story of Tao mother didn’t end there. As a low-ranked official, Tao was assigned to take charge of the fisheries. Once, he sent a jar of salted fish to his mother, but to his surprise, his mother returned it with a letter saying: “You are an official, sending me public property will do me no good, but just worry me.” Tao was ashamed, and was determined to be an upright official.