Misty clouds wreathed the top of mountain.
Zhao Shanling’s expression flickered as he glanced down at the two seventh grade outsiders’ corpses and wrestled with a dilemma.
Before today, he had known very little about Wu Ji.
Not only that, but he had also selectively ignored everything about the Realm of Flame Heaven.
Since it was a realm that hadn’t produced a single Soul realm expert, and had been ridden roughshod by the Realm of Earth Sieve, the Realm of Dark Underworld, and the Realm of Black Marsh, it was understandable that he had attached no importance to it.
However, he was apprehensive that Wu Ji and his uncanny time-manipulating magics would be a true threat to him.
Eyebrows furrowed, he weighed the matter in his mind, and couldn’t make up his mind.
Wu Ji, however, seemed surprisingly calm as he sat in his small, silver boat with his eyes closed.
That made him one of the few people Zhao Shanling couldn’t fathom.
After this battle, more white was quietly added to Wu Ji’s gray hair.
It had only been a while after the battle, and he seemed to have recovered some of the lifespan and time power he had consumed during the battle.
“If I kill Wu Ji, I can forget about the deals I made with Nie Tian,” Zhao Shanling thought to himself. “Since Wu Ji has unleashed Time Freeze to slaughter all of the outsiders, he probably won’t have enough lifespan left to enter the Soul realm.
“If he can’t enter the Soul realm, then he won’t be that big a threat to me.”
With these thoughts, Zhao Shanling smiled and backed away from Wu Ji a bit.
Even though he had found some rational reasons to not kill Wu Ji, he knew that, deep down, he didn’t dare to make the attempt.
He was worried that Wu Ji would be able to kill him as he died.
Sensing that he had taken a step back to make his stance clear, Wu Ji reopened his eyes and said with a smile, “You did the Realm of Flame Heaven a big favor by bringing my disciple back and sealing that spatial rift. I’d like to thank you for that.” He clasped his hands.
“No need to stand on ceremony,” Zhao Shanling said expressionlessly. “I only help those who can bring me benefit. I don’t do charity. Your precious disciple happens to be useful to me.”
“That does sound like you,” Wu Ji said, looking at Zhao Shanling.
While a subtle undercurrent passed between the two, the other human Qi warriors on Cloudsoaring Mountain were still in confusion.
The Bone Blood Demon, which Nie Tian had unleashed after seeing that the battle was over, didn’t care about what had happened. It had already started channeling the blood of the numerous outsiders into itself.
Soon, Fang Hui, Li Jing, Jiang Zhisu, and the other experts gathered to Nie Tian.
“How did you come back, Nie Tian?” Li Jing asked curiously. “Also, why didn’t you summon the Bone Blood Demon as soon as you joined the battle?”
“If I summoned the Bone Blood Demon, those two seventh grade outsiders might have sensed the unfavorable situation,” Nie Tian explained. “They might have flashed to the spatial rift with their bloodline magics and gotten away. There are other outsider experts in the Realm of Split Void. Once they learned of what was going on in the Realm of Flame Heaven, they’d descend upon us within a breath’s time.
“I didn’t summon the Bone Blood Demon because I was waiting for Zhao Shanling to seal that spatial rift first.”
Surprised, Fang Hui asked, “Zhao Shanling is here?!”
“Did he bring you back to the Realm of Flame Heaven?” Jiang Zhisu asked, looking shocked as well. “Zhao Shanling always travels alone. Why would he help you and the Realm of Flame Heaven?”
Everyone that was gathered around Nie Tian felt deeply puzzled. They had all heard stories about that maniac, and knew that this fierce figure, whose name was known throughout the entire Domain of the Falling Stars, wouldn’t even listen to the major sects.
None of them could think of a reason why he would agree to help Nie Tian and the Realm of Flame Heaven.
“He needs my help with something.” With these words, Nie Tian jerked his head towards the mountaintop that was wreathed in thick clouds, and said with a concerned look on his face, “I wonder how my master is doing.”
Then, he shouted at the Bone Blood Demon, “Take me there!”
The Bone Blood Demon, which was still absorbing blood from outsider corpses, looked somewhat reluctant as it jumped over, grabbed Nie Tian and flew directly towards the top of the mountain.
Upon seeing this, Fang Hui, Chang Sen, and the other experts soared after him.
Moments later, Nie Tian and those few Profound realm experts arrived at the top of the mountain, one after another.
As soon as they arrived, they saw the corpses of the two seventh grade outsiders, who had their foreheads and hearts penetrated, lying by Wu Ji’s feet.
Wu Ji, however, was talking calmly with Zhao Shanling.
Before Nie Tian could stop it, the Bone Blood Demon set its eyes on the corpses of the seventh grade outsiders, and rushed over to harvest their blood.
Nie Tian rushed to Wu Ji and asked concernedly, “Master! Are you okay?!”
Chuckling, Wu Ji shook his head and answered, “I’m fine.”
Chang Sen, Ghost Eye, and the other Profound realm experts all stared at Wu Ji with complicated expressions on their faces.
They had originally believed that they were going to lose the Realm of Flame Heaven to the outsiders. None of them had expected that Wu Ji was able to stall these two seventh grade outsiders by himself with his Time Realm, much less kill them.
If it weren’t for Wu Ji, each and every human Qi warrior in this area would have died by now.
Even Fang Hui, who was sworn friends with Wu Ji for many years, had never thought that this old friend of his had actually mastered time power, and that he could single-handedly deal with two seventh grade outsiders with magics he couldn’t even fathom.
At that moment, Wu Ji had suddenly become very mysterious in their eyes.
“Time power...” Chang Sen from the Hell Sect smiled bitterly.
He recalled, during the time when the Blood Sect and the Ghost Sect had joined up and invaded the Spiritual Treasure Sect, he had come to this very place to stop Wu Ji from rushing to the Spiritual Treasure Sect’s aid.
If Wu Ji had unleashed Time Realm on him back then, would he still be able to live till this day?
The mere thought of it made him shudder with fear.
“Are the sudden deaths of all of the outsiders your doing, old friend?” Fang Hui asked with an expectant expression.
After seeing the two seventh grade outsiders’ corpses by Wu Ji’s feet, they had long since suspected the answer to that question. They just needed confirmation.
“I’m afraid so.” Wu Ji sounded quite humble. He then cleared his throat and said, “You may go and dispose of the bodies now. The Realm of Flame Heaven won’t face the invasion of any more outsiders in the near future. As for the disciples we’ve arranged to wait out the calamity in the arcane realm, contact them and tell them to hold on cutting off their connections with the Realm of Flame Heaven.”
Jiang Zhisu nodded and said, “I’ll make the arrangements right away.”
He failed to mask the joy and pride in his eyes as he said these words. After all, Wu Ji was a member of the Cloudsoaring Sect. It was him who had single-handedly saved the Realm of Flame Heaven this time. From now on, the Cloudsoaring Sect would replace the Hell Sect and become the most renowned and respected sect in the Realm of Flame Heaven.
Meanwhile, once word of Wu Ji’s incredible deed spread out, those from the Realm of Earth Sieve, the Realm of Dark Underworld, and the Realm of Black Marsh wouldn’t dare to ride roughshod over them anymore.
Not to mention that they now had Nie Tian and the Bone Blood Demon to protect them as well.
Even though Nie Tian didn’t have a strong sense of identity with the Cloudsoaring Sect due to the absurd actions of some of the sect elders, he was still a disciple of the Cloudsoaring Sect.
“The Cloudsoaring Sect is bound to rise to prominence and become known throughout the Domain of the Falling Stars!” Full of excitement, Jiang Zhisu rushed down the mountaintop to make the arrangements.
Wu Ji took a glance at Chang Sen and the other Profound realm experts before glancing at Zhao Shanling and saying, “I’d like to have a few words with Nie Tian alone.”
Chang Sen and the other Profound realm experts were rather sensible. They all felt relaxed now that they knew that they wouldn’t face further invasions from more outsiders.
They each left some medicinal pills for Wu Ji, expressed their gratitude, and left.
Zhao Shanling, however, waited for them to leave to say to Nie Tian, “The Realm of Flame Heaven is safe for the time being. There won’t be any more trouble from the outsiders unless they find new ways to invade the Realm of Flame Heaven. I’ll stay in the Realm of Flame Heaven for a few more days. If you want to leave the Realm of Flame Heaven, you can find me at the teleportation portal I used to get you here.”
“What’s the situation in the other realms?” Nie Tian asked.
Zhao Shanling snorted and said with a disdainful smile, “Like turtles, they’ve all shrunk back into their headquarters, and don’t dare to take one step out of their grand spell formations. The Heaven Palace Sect is waiting for their patriarch to enter the Void domain, so that he’ll be able to turn the situation around for the entire Domain of the Falling Stars.
“The other sects have received word from the Heaven Palace Sect, and are also waiting for that patriarch to advance to the Void domain to wipe out all of the outsider forces.”
After a short pause, he added, “If only advancing to the Void domain were that easy. It’s still uncertain whether he’ll be able to make the breakthrough at all. Even if he can make the breakthrough, it’s hard to tell how long it’ll take.”
With these words, he created another spatial rift and vanished into it.
“If that man from the Heaven Palace Sect can actually enter the Void domain within a short time, the turbulences in the Domain of the Falling Stars will soon come to an end.” With these words, Wu Ji then sighed. “But what if he fails? If he does fail, turbulences will be the main theme of the Domain of the Falling Stars for a very long time.”
Nie Tian nodded slightly.
He knew that there wasn’t a single eighth grade outsider in the outsider forces that had come to invade the Domain of the Falling Stars this time.
The strength of a Void domain human expert was equal to that of a eighth grade outsider. If the patriarch of the Heaven Palace Sect could actually advance to the Void domain, he would have the ability to crush all of the seventh grade outsider invaders and restore peace to the Domain of the Falling Stars.
However, every breakthrough in cultivation came with danger and mishaps. This was more true as cultivators advanced in their cultivation.
Advancing from the Soul realm to the Void domain would be full of danger. For thousands of years, numerous late Soul realm experts had failed in their attempts to cross that threshold, and lost their lives.
Only a very small proportion had succeeded. However, those who had succeeded hadn’t stayed in the Domain of the Falling Stars for long. They had all gone to the other domains through different means and never returned.
As far as Nie Tian knew, after entering the Void domain, Qi warriors would acquire the ability to travel across the starry river without relying on ancient starships.
Furthermore, after entering the Void domain, Qi warriors wouldn’t be able to find the precious materials they needed to progress in their cultivation in the Domain of the Falling Stars anymore.
In order to press forward in their cultivation path, they would have to leave this cage for a wider heaven and earth, even if it meant more dangers and risks.
“Master, Zhao Shanling told me that you’re consuming your own lifespan to use time power.” Nie Tian sounded very worried. “Do you still have enough lifespan?”
With a warm smile, Wu Ji said, “Zhao Shanling’s understanding of time power is still rather shallow. Don’t you worry about that. I’ve already taken the hardest step. The Fruit of Life you gave me has already helped me through that crucial period.”
Dragon as the ruler of weather and water:
Chinese dragons are strongly associated with water and weather in popular religion. They are believed to be the rulers of moving bodies of water, such as waterfalls, rivers, or seas. The Dragon God is the dispenser of rain as well as the zoomorphic representation of the yang power of generation. In this capacity as the rulers of water and weather, the dragon is more anthropomorphic in form, often depicted as a humanoid, dressed in a king's costume, but with a dragon head wearing a king's headdress.
There are four major Dragon Kings, representing each of the Four Seas: the East Sea, the South Sea, the West Sea, and the North Sea.
Because of this association, they are seen as "in charge" of water-related weather phenomena. In premodern times, many Chinese villages (especially those close to rivers and seas) had temples dedicated to their local "dragon king". In times of drought or flooding, it was customary for the local gentry and government officials to lead the community in offering sacrifices and conducting other religious rites to appease the dragon, either to ask for rain or a cessation thereof.
The King of Wuyue in the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period was often known as the "Dragon King" or the "Sea Dragon King" because of his extensive hydro-engineering schemes which "tamed" the sea.
Dragon as the symbol of imperial authority:
According to Chinese legend, both Chinese primogenitors, the earliest Door and the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi), were closely related to 'Long' (Chinese dragon). At the end of his reign, the first legendary ruler, the Yellow Emperor, was said to have been immortalized into a dragon that resembled his emblem, and ascended to Heaven. The other legendary ruler, the Yan Emperor, was born by his mother's telepathy with a mythical dragon. Since the Chinese consider the Yellow Emperor and the Yan Emperor as their ancestors, they sometimes refer to themselves as "the descendants of the dragon". This legend also contributed towards the use of the Chinese dragon as a symbol of imperial power.
Dragons (usually with five claws on each foot) were a symbol for the emperor in many Chinese dynasties. Dragons are featured in carvings on the stairs and walkways of imperial palaces and imperial tombs, such as at the Forbidden City in Beijing.
In some Chinese legends, an emperor might be born with a birthmark in the shape of a dragon. For example, one legend tells the tale of a peasant born with a dragon birthmark who eventually overthrows the existing dynasty and founds a new one; another legend might tell of the prince in hiding from his enemies who is identified by his dragon birthmark.
In contrast, the Empress of China was often identified with the Chinese phoenix.