Hua Mu leveled his gaze to look at Nie Tian. Strong killing intent brimming his eyes, he asked, “What do you know about the Thousandsword Mountain Sect?”
The others also threw inquiring gazes towards Nie Tian.
None of them had expected that Nie Tian would be able to tell the identity of the man who had murdered Zhen Huilan with a single glance at the pattern of gashes on her back.
Eyebrows furrowed, Nie Tian said without holding anything back, “The Thousandsword Mountain Sect is from the Domain of Heaven Python, which is even more powerful than the eight major powers in the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries. As far as I know, they have Saint domain experts.”
Upon hearing these words, everyone present gasped with astonishment. “Saint domain experts?!”
In their eyes, the five major sects and three major clans in the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries were already colossi with overwhelming power.
Even the Lei Clan, which was one of the Divine Flame Sect’s subordinate forces, had early Void domain experts like Lei Tianqi. The most powerful expert the Divine Flame Sect had was at the late Void domain, and they had other Void domain experts like Yue Yanxi.
If the Divine Flame Sect were to invade the Domain of the Falling Stars, considering the battle prowess of the experts in the Domain of the Falling Stars, the Domain of the Falling Stars would fall within days.
The experts in the Domain of the Falling Stars wouldn’t stand a chance fighting any of the eight major powers from the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries, much less the Thousandsword Mountain Sect, which had Saint domain experts.
Only after a moment of hesitation did Hua Mu say with great determination, “I shall have my revenge even if they have Saint domain experts! I’ll go to whatever place that spatial rift leads to and find out who killed her!”
“We’ll go with you,” Li Muyang and Xing Huanyue chorused.
The couple was very grateful for what Zhen Huilan had done for Li Ye. If she hadn’t taken him into her arms to teach and raise him, Li Ye wouldn’t have become the man he was today. They owed a great deal to her.
Upon hearing that his parents were determined to go, Li Ye’s eyes reddened as he shouted, “I’ll go with you too!”
With irrefutable authority in his eyes, Li Muyang said to Li Ye, “No, you won’t! You’re not like the others. Fighting isn’t your specialty. You just need to focus on equipment forging. Only by doing that will you be able to make the best of your talent and maximize your impact in the wars to come.”
With a loving expression, Xing Huanyue chimed in, “Don’t worry. We’ll find the murderer and avenge your master.”
“But we don’t know whether senior martial sister is still alive not,” Li Ye said urgently. “I need to find her too!”
“We’ll take care of it!” Li Muyang said with a decisiveness that could sever nails and chop iron.
“I’ll go with you,” Qi Bailu from the Tool Sect said in a low voice.
Nie Tian pondered in silence for a few seconds before saying, “I’ll go too.”
“You?” Qi Bailu went blank for a moment before saying, “You have other important matters to tend to. You’ll have to be there to take people from the Domain of the Falling Stars to that floating continent.”
“It’s alright.” Nie Tian said with a stern face. “Senior Zhen’s kindness towards me is beyond words. I can’t put my heart at ease if I don’t go. I’ll take the chosen ones to the floating continent in that forbidden region as soon as possible. Then, I’ll return immediately afterwards, and go to that place with you to see what actually happened there.”
Dong Li, who was standing beside him, wished to say something, but stopped on second thought.
She thought that now that they had confirmed that it was people from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect who had killed Zhen Huilan and they had Saint domain experts, it was very unwise to go through that spatial rift at this time.
The wise thing to do would be to seal that spatial rift to keep the powerful experts from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect from coming to the Domain of the Falling Stars.
Afterwards, the major sects should do their utmost to improve their battle prowess.
When the day came that Hua Mu, Qi Bailu, and the other Soul realm experts entered the Void domain, and they possessed the strength to fight the powerful experts from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect, then they could reopen the spatial rift and seek revenge with the Thousandsword Mountain Sect.
But she also knew that she was only able to look at this matter objectively because she didn’t have any emotional ties with Zhen Huilan or Pei Qiqi.
However, Hua Mu and many of the others had been deeply involved with her. Seeing her body in such a tragic state, how could they maintain their objectivity?
Knowing the emotional bond between Nie Tian and Zhen Huilan, she didn’t try to stop him, even though she believed that the decision they were making wasn’t a wise one.
With his eyes fixed on one of the spatial rifts in the air, Qi Bailu said, “The spatial rift is jammed and inaccessible at the moment. We need someone very skilled in spatial magics to clear it for us. No one understands spatial magics better than my junior martial sister, perhaps except only Zhao Shanling. But now that she’s gone, we’ll have to find someone else to do it.”
An exclamation escaped Nie Tian’s mouth, “Zhao Shanling!?”
Zhao Shanling had been able to seal those six spatial rifts. Now that he had obtained the Voidspirit Pagoda, his strength must have advanced by leaps and bounds. It would be a piece of cake for him to clear the spatial rift that led to the Thousandsword Mountain Sect’s territory.
The only problem was that the man had disappeared for a long time, and no one knew his whereabouts.
Qi Bailu pondered briefly before saying, “I’ll spread word of junior martial sister’s death to every corner of the Domain of the Falling Stars. As long as he isn’t in the middle of an extended session of secluded cultivation, he’ll learn of her death soon.
“Perhaps he wouldn’t care if I had died, but he would definitely not sit with his hands wrung after hearing about junior martial sister’s death.”
Nie Tian nodded.
People said that Zhao Shanling had a stony heart, and even refused to have anything to do with his older brother, Zhao Luofeng.
However, Nie Tian knew that that wasn’t the truth.
He had seen Zhao Shanling’s fury after learning that the Lei Clan had shattered his master’s stele.
He had done many things with Zhao Shanling over the years, and had gradually realized that, other than his master, Xu Yinglong, Zhao Shanling actually cared a great deal about his junior martial sister, Zhen Huilan, too.
If he learned that people from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect had killed Zhen Huilan, and her avengers needed him to clear a spatial rift, he would most likely show up.
“Okay, please do that, Senior Qi. We’ll wait for Zhao Shanling to show up.” With these words, Nie Tian sprang to his feet. “Please tell all of the sects to get their chosen ones to the palace as soon as possible. I’ll take them to the continent, where they’ll be able to derive enlightenment of the five elemental powers.”
“The Spirit Condor will take care of that,” Hua Mu said.
“Alright, I’ll head there first and wait there.” With these words, Nie Tian waved his hands at Dong Li, and Dong Li flew into the Star Boat. Then, the Star Boat soared into the heavens.
Standing inside the dashing Star Boat, Dong Li sighed weakly and said, “Your decision isn’t a wise one. Auntie told me that you killed several experts from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect with the help of some special spell formation on that continent of yours. Then, you told the people from the Bliss Mountain Sect and Divine Flame Sect to keep this a secret for you.
“I suppose that even though you’ve gained control of that magical continent, you don’t want to go to war with the Thousandsword Mountain Sect so soon.
“That was a smart move, but why didn’t you adopt the same thought this time?
“A sect that has Saint domain experts is by no means insignificant. They could even be connected to some colossus like the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. They don’t necessarily need to be apprehensive of you.
“Besides, you killed five Void domain experts from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect. You should actually try your best to avoid contact with them.
“So I think...”
Nie Tian interrupted her before she could finish. “These are different times. I would have definitely avoided contact with the Thousandsword Mountain Sect if Master Zhen hadn’t died at their hands.”
Dong Li seemed deeply worried as she countered, “But they have Saint domain experts!”
Eyes narrowed, Nie Tian said, “Their Saint domain experts may not stay in the Thousandsword Mountain Sect all the time. Even they do, they’re probably in secluded cultivation most of the time. They wouldn’t come out of their secluded cultivation unless their entire sect was in danger. In their eyes, Master Zhen’s death is probably just a trivial matter, which none of their Saint domain experts would attach importance to.”
“Even if you won’t have to deal with Saint domain experts, there’ll still be Void domain experts.” Dong Li still seemed very worried.
“They’ve lost five of their Void domain experts already,” Nie Tian said with an icy face. “I refuse to believe that they have countless Void domain experts! Also, I’ve examined the residual sword intent in Master Zhen’s body. It wasn’t a Void domain expert’s doing. The murderer’s cultivation base can’t be higher than the late Soul realm.
“All we’re going to do there is find and kill the murderer, and determine whether senior martial sister Pei is still alive. We’ll bring her back if she’s still alive.”
Seeing that he had already made up his mind, Dong Li realized that she wouldn’t be able to change it, and thus said, “Do you want me to go with you?”
“No,” Nie Tian said, “you should go to that continent and focus on your cultivation.”
Even though he seemed confident in this operation, he knew perfectly well that plenty of uncertainties lay ahead.
It was possible that the spatial rift would lead them right into the Thousandsword Mountain Sect’s headquarters.
If that was the case, the moment they got there, they’d face numerous powerful experts of the Thousandsword Mountain Sect.
That was the reason why he didn’t want Dong Li to go with them. There was simply too much risk.
By the time the Star Boat flew to the palace, Nie Tian glanced down and instantly spotted Yin Yanan from the Beast-controlling Sect. It had only been a few days, but she seemed to have finished examining the Realm of Split Void, and been waiting for him.
The Star Boat came to a stop, and Dong Li flew off it in a graceful manner. With an unpleasant expression, she ran her bright eyes up and down Yin Yanan.
Frowning, Yin Yanan examined her carefully as well, and then asked, “What incantation do you practice? Why do you have a powerful black phoenix’s spirit inside of you?”
Hey guys, we entered Jingzhe (惊蛰) today, which is the 3rd of the 24 solar terms in the traditional East Asian calendars.
It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 345° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 360°. More often, it refers to the day when the Sun is exactly at a celestial longitude of 345°. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around March 5 and ends around March 20.
The word 惊蛰 means the awakening of hibernating insects. 惊 is to startle and 蛰 means hibernating insects. Traditional Chinese folklore says that during Jingzhe, thunderstorms will wake up the hibernating insects, which implies that the weather is getting warmer.
I guess I can finally practice cultivation outside :)