As soon as Nie Tian sent a wisp of soul awareness into the Spirit Pearl to examine the star map inside of it, he came to some discoveries.
Back when he had been in the secret room underneath the Flame God Sect, powerful discarnate souls had flown out of a cauldron and ended up in the same location on this star map.
That was the same location as the fourth set of coordinates that had been preset in the large-scale teleportation portal in the palace that had been left in the Realm of Split Void by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
That was the region where Nie Tian was right now.
This entire region had been sealed for tens of thousands of years. No starships had been able to sail through it until recently.
As soon as his soul awareness entered the region in the star map, the region seemed to be magnified by many times.
The light spots that were scattered on the map became sizable clusters of light.
He knew that each and every shining spot represented a living realm, while dark ones represented dead ones.
However, as the map was magnified, he came to discover that there were also a large number of mysterious spots of light that were neither shining brightly nor completely dark.
The powerful discarnate souls were now gathered by one of these strange-looking spots.
Nie Tian suspected that there must be something special about that location.
Then, he suddenly discovered a spot that was uniquely bright.
He examined it with his soul awareness and felt that the extremely bright spot seemed to represent himself...
In order to test his speculation, he asked Qiao Yunxi to activate the Flame Bird again. As he stood on the speeding Flame Bird, he discovered that extremely bright spot was indeed moving the same direction he was.
That was when he realized that he had his own marking on the star map.
However, his marking was now very far from the mysterious spot where those powerful discarnate souls were gathered.
It was hard to say whether that place had something to do with the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, or was where Yue Yanxi was now exploring. However, there had to be something special about that place.
As his train of thought came to this point, he found himself in a dilemma, different expressions flashing across his face.
Qiao Yunxi did as she was asked, and steered the Flame Bird around for a while before noticing that Nie Tian seemed to be lost in his thoughts. Therefore, she stopped the Flame Bird and looked at him with a confused expression.
After a while, she finally ran out of patience and asked, “Have you found anything yet?”
Nie Tian snapped out of his thoughts and said, “Yeah, I’ve found a place where there must be something very special. It’s just that... it doesn’t seem to be the place where your grand elder and the others are. In fact, that place seems to be in the opposite direction. If we go there, we might end up even farther away from those from your sect.”
“Have you been there before?” Qiao Yunxi asked, looking surprised.
“Then, how did you know about that place? And what makes you think there’s something very special there?”
“I obtained this Spirit Pearl from an ancient starship of the Phantasms in the Domain of the Falling Stars. There’s a vast star map inside of it. That place is marked out on the map. It appears that it was the Phantasms who did it. With the help of the map, I’ll be able to show you to that location.”
Qiao Yunxi seemed surprised by his answer. “Did the grand elder ask you to come here because of this star map of yours?” she asked.
Nie Tian shook his head. “No, I don’t think so.”
The reason why Yue Yanxi had asked him to come to this place was because he was the successor chosen by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. Yue Yanxi had must have asked him repeatedly because he had discovered something that was related to the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace
Eyebrows furrowed, Qian Yunxi pondered in silence for a while before saying decisively, “Show me the way then!”
Surprised, Nie Tian asked, “Are you sure that you want to go?”
Qiao Yunxi sighed. “Yeah, it seems that we probably won’t be able to meet up with the grand elder for the time being. People from the Bliss Mountain Sect are still looking for me. That bitch found that divine flame seal, which will allow them to find and follow the other seals to the grand elder’s location.
“Since I can’t get those divine flame seals, it’s practically impossible for us to find the grand elder and the others.
“So instead of wandering around, we might as well try out our luck by going to the place you’re talking about.
“Perhaps we’ll find something valuable there.”
Nie Tian pondered briefly before also giving up on the idea of finding Yue Yanxi. “Alright,” he said, “let’s do this. I hope we won’t encounter people from the Bliss Mountain Sect again.”
“Even if we do, as long as they don’t send Void domain experts after us, we’ll still be able to escape from them easily with the help of my Flame Bird,” Qiao Yunxi said with an arrogant tone.
With these words, they headed out.
Nie Tian took out and examined the Spirit Pearl from time to time to give Qiao Yunxi directions.
The Flame Bird gradually flew away from the region roamed by Bliss Mountain Sect disciples.
Standing on a prismatic meteor, the late Profound realm expert named Feng Lu said with a grim face, “Holy Daughter, we can’t seem to find that girl. She didn’t go to get the second divine flame seal. Our people did a thorough search of the area she’d have to pass to meet up with the Divine Flame Sect’s main force, but didn’t find anything.”
Looking at the meteors of various sizes that filled her view, Mu Biqiong said, “That’s understandable. Since she didn’t get that first divine flame seal, she didn’t know where to find the second one, or where the main force of the Divine Flame Sect is now at. The connection between her and Yue Yanxi is now completely cut off.
“This entire region is filled with floating meteors. Her Flame Bird is too fast for us, and we don’t have enough men. If we don’t know where she’s going, trying to find her will be like trying to find a needle in the sea.”
With a frustrated expression, Feng Lu said, “That girl’s cultivation talent is one of a kind. As young as she is, she has already entered the middle Worldly realm. From the look of it, she might even be able to break through into the Soul realm in a hundred years. If we let her return to the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries alive, she’ll definitely grow into your lifelong enemy one day.
“Our sect has long-standing feuds with the Divine Flame Sect. I’m afraid the feuds between you and her might even last a thousand years.”
With a plain tone, Mu Biqiong said, “Do you think I’m scared of her?”
Feng Lu smiled somewhat embarrassedly and asked, “So what do we do now, Holy Daughter?”
“Ignore her for now.” Mu Biqiong said calmly, “We need to meet up with our main force as soon as possible. Since we got word of the changes in this region, the other sects might too. They might also send people to explore this region. We’ll be in a lot of trouble if we come across the main force of another hostile sect.”
Time flew. Three months passed.
During this time, the Flame Bird traveled at full speed day and night under Nie Tian’s guidance.
He scanned his surroundings with his soul awareness from time to time, but failed to find any signs of life.
It seemed that this region, which had been sealed for who knew how long, had already been forgotten by the other races, and they didn’t come across any valuable spiritual materials or herbs. Each and every one of the thousands of meteors they passed along their way was bereft of anything valuable.
During these three months, Nie Tian practiced cultivation whenever he wasn’t giving Qiao Yunxi directions.
His spiritual core, which he had formed after entering the Worldly realm, was provided with rich spiritual power.
Every once in a while, he would also observe his vortexes of star power, wood power, and flame power. After his recent breakthrough, these three vortexes could now hold more power than they used to.
Even though there wasn’t any spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth in this mysterious region, the stars in the boundless starry river were releasing star power unceasingly.
The Nine Stars Flower, which had taken root at the bottom of his vortex of star power, continued to absorb star power and grew without him noticing.
“How far is this place?” Qiao Yunxi asked.
“We’re close,” Nie Tian answered. “We’ll be there in another month.”
“I hope we find something valuable in that place. Otherwise, we’ll have to return following the same route we took to get there.” Qiao Yunxi said, her eyebrows furrowed.
She had drawn herself a map with a special tool as they traveled.
If they were to find nothing in the place Nie Tian was talking about, her plan would be to return to the secret teleportation portal established by the Lei Clan. Then, she would return to the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries through it after a few transits.
The two of them fell silent again. A few days later, they suddenly saw an ancient starship that was shining with golden light in a place where the floating meteors were unusually densely packed.
The ancient starship was severely damaged and stuck between several large meteors.
Spotting it from afar, Qiao Yunxi hastily stopped her Flame Bird and said to Nie Tian, “Scan the area and see if there are people hiding over there.”
Wisdom in Tao Te Ching:
3. "By letting it go it all gets done."
In the world there is nothing more submissive than water. It seeks the low ground and always yields to resistance. Yet water can, over many years, wear down sharp rocks into small, smooth pebbles and carve wide, deep channels through a landscape. Electricity always takes the path of least resistance, finding the earth as easily as possible, yet the power of electricity has transformed our lives.
Like a reed in the wind, if we can bend down low and yield to the pressures of life, letting go and allowing the natural course of events to shape us, we can survive and prosper. But if we refuse to yield and remain firm and upright, the world can break us. We are like a ship on the ocean: rowing against the wind is difficult and pointless. Let go and let the wind do the labor. It may take you to wondrous new shores.