Watching Nie Tian follow Dong Wangling and the other Soul realm experts into the cave, many youngsters that were observing from their own caves had admiring looks in their eyes.
Under Dong Wangling’s instructions, Dong Li waited at the mouth of the cave.
Even Dong Li wasn’t qualified to enter, much less Li Ye and Li Langfeng.
Every observing youngster knew that Soul realm experts from the powerful sects were gathered in that cave.
It seemed that those powerful patriarchs considered no other junior but Nie Tian qualified to attend their meeting.
No other juniors were allow to enter that cave.
From the look of it, even though Nie Tian was just as young as them, and his cultivation base was just as low as theirs, his status matched that of those Soul realm experts.
This was an acknowledgment.
Inside the cave was a spacious stone room with numerous stone columns. Prayer mats were placed in a circle in the middle.
Sitting on the prayer mats were figures that could summon wind and rain (Idiom: have ultimate authority) in the Domain of the Falling Stars. Zong Zheng, Lu Yuanxi, Li Muyang, Dong Wangling, and the other Soul realm experts all looked rather grim.
After Nie Tian came inside, Zong Zheng pointed at the mouth of the cave, and with crackling sounds, a ward that was translucent and sparkling like ice sealed the mouth of the cave.
Numerous small spell formations that were as fine as spider webs could be seen in the icy ward, which could not only soundproof the room, but also stop others’ soul awareness from entering.
“Greetings, seniors,” Nie Tian said respectfully.
He glanced around and noticed that, aside from Hua Mu and another Soul realm expert from the Spirit Condor, all of the Soul realm experts that were close to him were present.
Li Muyang from the Yang Sect laughed broadly. Like the god of sun, he asked, “How come Zhao Shanling didn’t come with you?”
“He’s in the Realm of Split Void now, trying to seal those six spatial rifts.” With these words, Nie Tian jerked his head towards Qi Bailu from the Tool Sect. “He agreed to try and see if he’ll be able to seal those spatial rifts after Senior Zhen talked with him in private.”
Mixed emotions appeared on Qi Bailu’s face as he said, “Regardless of his outrageous demands, that traitor has actually done a lot for the Domain of the Falling Stars this time.”
“Seniors...” Nie Tian paused briefly. “It seems to me that something is bothering you. Is there a problem?”
The threat from the outsiders was gone. The humans had gained a complete victory in the Realm of Mystic Heaven and looted a large amount of valuables. Normally speaking, everyone should be happy. However, all of these experts looked rather grim and worried.
Dong Wangling sighed. “It’s worrisome that the Heaven Palace Sect has chosen to hold the victory convention in the Thunder Mountain Sect.”
Frowning in confusion, Nie Tian asked. “What do you mean?”
“The Thunder Mountain Sect’s Heavenly Thunder Formation was the second most powerful grand spell formation throughout the Domain of the Falling Stars, only slightly inferior to the Five Elements Fortune Formation,” Lu Yuanxi from the Spirit Condor said with a serious expression. “Not only is it very profound and powerful, but it can also inflict an extremely high amount of damage. According to the information we’ve secured, even though the outsiders that invaded the Realm of Earth Sieve managed to breach the Heavenly Thunder Formation, they suffered heavy losses as well.
“The Heavenly Thunder Formation uses the lofty mountain peaks in the Heavenly Thunder Mountain Range as its foundation, with which it can channel thunder from the highest heavens and unleash heavenly punishment on its enemies.
“This spell formation is the Phantasms’ bane. It can easily annihilate any evil spirits or discarnate souls that dare to come to the Heavenly Thunder Mountain Range.
“In fact, the Thunder Mountain Sect was the only sect that managed to inflict serious damage on the outsiders with the help of their grand spell formation.”
Dong Wangling chimed in, “The Heavenly Thunder Formation was in bad shape after the outsiders’ invasion. Who would have thought that they have actually repaired all of the damage within such a short time? As far as I see it, the Thunder Mountain Sect couldn’t have gotten it back in operation so quickly with just their own strength.”
Lu Yuanxi nodded and said, “The Heavenly Thunder Formation is the most aggressive grand spell formation in the entire Domain of the Falling Stars. The Heaven Palace Sect must want to show us their alliance’s strength by choosing the Thunder Mountain Sect as the venue of the victory convention.”
Eyebrows furrowed, Li Muyang from the Yang Sect said, “What we’ve looted from the outsiders will be very helpful to the Spirit God Sect and the Poison Sect. We all know that the Spirit God Sect has profound connections with the Phantasms. Many of their soul incantations and magics were derived from the Phantasms.
“The same goes with the Poison Sect. Their poisonous incantations and magics are also closely related to the Fiends.
“This time, both Lu Minhuang from the Spirit God Sect and Zhang Zhongchi from the Poison Sect have gained a variety of records that are very helpful to them from the fifth and sixth grade Phantasms and Fiends they killed.
“They’ve both announced that they will be going into secluded cultivation as soon as the victory convention is over, to make their breakthroughs into the late Soul realm.
“From the look of it, those records have benefited them greatly and set them up for their next breakthrough in cultivation. Furthermore, both their sects will benefit from what they’ve gained in this war. Perhaps they’ll get to develop and achieve breakthroughs in many of their incomplete incantations and magics.”
In a soft voice, Zong Zheng from the Ice Pavilion Sect chimed in, “Even though the Heaven Palace Sect has lost a significant amount of vital energy, it’ll be mended once their patriarch enters the Void domain. As long as he can do that, the Heaven Palace Sect will continue to be the ruler of the Domain of the Falling Stars, and no other sect will be able to shake their supreme power.”
“Xia Yi is now at the late Soul realm,” Cao Mou from the Cao Clan said. “He’s not easy to deal with either.”
The Soul realm experts had a heated discussion, not holding anything back because of Nie Tian’s presence.
Nie Tian sat on one of the prayer mats and listened as they talked. Gradually, he was infected by the grim atmosphere among them, and his originally light heart grew heavier and heavier.
He could see that, now that the outsider problem was over, these seniors who had always stood by him were concerned for the future.
Dong Wangling sighed deeply and said with a frustrated tone, “It’s a pity that the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace only left spell formations in the Realm of Flame Heaven, the Realm of a Thousand Devastations, and the Realm of Mystic Heaven. We wouldn’t have to worry this much if they had left similar spell formations in every realm of the Domain of the Falling Stars.”
Eyebrows furrowed, Li Muyang turned to Nie Tian and said, “Yeah, that spell formation was the reason why the Heaven Palace Sect decided to hold the victory convention here. But the Heaven Palace Sect won’t rest until they eventually get rid of that spell formation.
“For them, those three lofty mountain peaks are like fishbones that got stuck in their throat. As long as they still stand unwavering, they won’t feel at ease reestablishing their headquarters in the Realm of Mystic Heaven. However, the Realm of Mystic Heaven has the richest spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth in the Domain of the Falling Stars. It’s the most ideal place for Qi warriors to practice cultivation. The Heaven Palace Sect won’t give it up so easily.”
Nie Tian rubbed his chin as he realized these seniors’ concerns. “Senior Li, you mean that the Heaven Palace Sect will seek trouble with me?”
“Exactly,” Li Muyang answered with a serious face. “I doubt that they’ll make any moves against you before their patriarch enters the Void domain. But once he does, the Heaven Palace Sect definitely won’t keep peace with you anymore!”
“Even if that guy doesn’t enter the Void domain, as long as Zhao Luofeng doesn’t stay in the Realm of Mystic Heaven, he’ll have nothing to fear,” Zong Zheng said.
“You need to be very careful for now, Nie Tian,” Lu Yuanxi from the Spirit Condor said with all seriousness. “That puppet of yours won’t be able to protect you from soul attacks. If someone attacks you with soul magics, I’m afraid you...”
“I know what you mean,” Nie Tian said. “Thank you. I’ll be careful.”
He knew that these Soul realm experts were afraid that his life would be in danger if someone were to sneak up on him and unleash powerful soul magics.
“You’d better stay with us and not go wandering around for the time being,” Lu Yuanxi said. “Hua Mu will be here in two days, and the victory convention is opening in seven days. Here. This is a list of the valuables we’ve looted from the outsiders. You can take a look at it first.
“If there’s anything that you need on there, just let us know, and we’ll try our best to get them for you.”
With these words, Lu Yuanxi handed Nie Tian the list. Nie Tian grabbed it, and exclaimed the moment he laid his eyes on it, “Heaven-shattering Crystal Cannon?!”
The first item on the list was the Heaven-shattering Crystal Cannon, which was marked ‘broken’.
“That’s right,” Lu Yuanxi said. “After our assessment, we’ve determined that the Heaven-shattering Crystal Cannon is the most precious item among our loot, even though it has broken into three pieces. The Heaven-shattering Crystal Cannon possessed such devastating might. With a single blow, it shattered the Five Elements Fortune Formation and turned that magnificent palace to ashes. Numerous Worldly realm and Profound realm disciples of the Heaven Palace Sect perished.
“That Heaven-shattering Crystal Cannon marks the culmination of the Phantasms’ equipment forging skills. Even though we might not be able to repair it, it is still a crystallization of the Phantasms’ wisdom. Just by prying into its profound structure and spell formations, we’ll be able to lift our equipment forging skills to a whole new level. Therefore, we put it in the first rank.
“After all, the devastating blow from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace shattered the ancient starship and annihilated Basto, but the Heaven-shattering Crystal Cannon only broke into three pieces. This alone is enough proof of its uniqueness!”
Qi Bailu’s eyes lit up as he heard him talk about the Heaven-shattering Crystal Cannon.
As the sectmaster of the Tool Sect and one of the most brilliant equipment forgers in the Domain of the Falling Stars, he clearly knew how important the Heaven-shattering Crystal Cannon was.
Somewhat excited, Lu Yuanxi smiled and said, “Aside from the Heaven-shattering Crystal Cannon, there are also nine seventh grade outsider corpses, along with a variety of other valuables. Many of these materials have never even been seen in the Domain of the Falling Stars before. Even we don’t know their use. Check out the list, Nie Tian. Mark out the things you need.”
“Alright, I’ll take a look at the list.” With these words, Nie Tian left the stone cave.
朱雀 (Vermillion Bird)
The mythological creature in the South is the Vermillion Bird, and its seven mansions are the Well, Ghosts, Willow, Star, Extended Net, Wings and Chariot. The Vermillion Bird corresponds to the season of summer. Interestingly, the Vermillion Bird has been considered to be identical to the phoenix. The phoenix is traditionally associated with fire, and this is also the case with the Vermillion Bird. As a mythological creature, the phoenix is considered as a symbol of good luck.
Within the Four Symbols of ancient China, astronomy and mythology co-existed side by side and may be seen as a harmonious fusion of science and art. By studying these mythological creatures, one is able not only to learn about the scientific advances of the ancient Chinese, but also their belief system and the way they perceived and explained the world they lived in.