Nie Tian was flabbergasted. “You’re my senior martial brother?!”
He knew that Wu Ji had only taken in a total of three disciples in his whole life, and he was the latest and youngest one.
Wu Ji’s other two disciples had both attracted great attention throughout the Realm of Flame Heaven, but had vanished shortly afterwards and never returned.
According to Chang Sen, Fang Hui, and the others, Wu Ji’s capability as a mentor was unmatched.
If his two other disciples hadn’t left, they would have been among the most powerful forces in the Realm of Flame Heaven.
The fact that Nie Tian had run into a man who claimed to be Wu Ji’s disciple in a place so distant from the Domain of the Falling Stars made him doubt the truthfulness of the man’s words.
However, the man seemed to be very excited to learn Nie Tian’s identity. He even took the initiative to deactivate the ward of magical symbols.
Nie Tian then returned the Star Boat to his ring of holding and flew onto the ancient starship with Hua Mu and the other experts, who were just as puzzled.
The man, who was more than two meters tall and as large as a bear, grinned. Even his clean, white teeth emanated great warmth as he said, “Let’s talk in the cabin.”
A flight of stairs split open from the middle of the deck, and the man took the initiative to walk inside.
Nie Tian and the others followed along.
The inside of the ancient starship was rather spacious. Countless mysterious symbols could be seen engraved on walls made of refined iron, shining like the stars in the sky.
At the same time, rich spiritual power seemed to pour out of the magical symbols, calming and clearing everyone’s minds.
Laughing wildly, the man called out, “Little Rou, my junior martial brother from the Domain of the Falling Stars is here!”
A gentle, small woman, who was less than 1.6 meters tall, then walked out of a room, dressed in a succinct cyan robe and smiling.
She bowed slightly towards Nie Tian and said, “I’m Jing Rou, Shihu’s wife, and I’m from the Divine Seal Sect.”
Nie Tian hastily returned the bow. “I’m Nie Tian!”
Large as a bear, the man put his arms around Nie Tian and said, laughing, “Junior martial brother, my name is Duan Shihu. I left the Domain of the Falling Stars through a secret spatial rift in the Realm of Split Void a few decades ago, and haven’t returned since then. I heard that Xing Bo from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect discovered a group of Qi warriors from the Domain of the Falling Stars, and thus came here to see what’s going on.
“Who would have thought I’d be so lucky as to meet you here, junior martial brother?
“Right, how’s master? I had scruples about returning to the Domain of the Falling Stars over these years. For one thing, I couldn’t find a way to return. For another, I was afraid that I would expose the Domain of the Falling Stars and put it in danger by returning.
“I’m an unworthy disciple. I should have gone back to see master long ago.”
The man, who said his name was Duan Shihu, embraced Nie Tian tightly as he vented his emotions, his eyes red and filled with emotions.
Jing Rou gazed lovingly at him, but didn’t say a word.
Nie Tian felt suffocated by the man’s thick arms. Even though the man hadn’t used any spiritual power, his seemingly fat body contained incredibly vigorous flesh power.
With the help of his unique bloodline, Nie Tian shrewdly discovered that this senior martial brother of his carried an unusually profound flesh aura, which seemed to be sealed within countless mysterious magical symbols.
Those magical symbols seemed to lie within his flesh and bones and run through his veins, giving rise to noticeable sounds.
Jing Rou laughed softly and said with a blaming tone, “Shihui, you should know how strong you are. You’re suffocating your junior martial brother...”
Only at this moment did Duan Shihu realize it, and hastily let go of Nie Tian.
Then, he examined Nie Tian with rapt attention. His eyes lit up as he exclaimed, “You... You’re no ordinary person, junior martial brother! I sense raging flesh power in you!”
Eyes narrowed, Jing Rou also fixed Nie Tian with a measuring gaze. She seemed to notice something, but didn’t point it out.
“Give me a second. I’ll get you some tea and food.” With these words, she gave them a gentle smile and walked lightly away.
Moments later, she came back with a few porcelain dishes, which she placed on the table they sat at.
On the dishes were spirit fruits that seemed to be freshly picked, along with exquisitely cut meat and some desserts.
All of them contained copious spiritual power.
Zhao Shanling, Hua Mu, and the others helped themselves to the tasty fruits and food. With a single bite, their eyes lit up.
“Such delicacies!” Hua Mu marveled.
Duan Shihu beamed as he pushed a dish of meat to Nie Tian. “Have some, junior martial brother! Little Rou’s spirit beast meat dish is known throughout the Domain of Heaven Python! Since your flesh aura is uncommonly vigorous, you need it more than others!”
Nie Tian expressed his gratitude, and started munching too.
The meat turned out to be so juicy and tender that it melted in his mouth, giving Nie Tian a strong sense of satisfaction.
Most importantly, the meat contained extremely rich flesh power. After sliding into his stomach, it burned like a cluster of flames as it sent wisps of rich flesh power to every part of his body, rapidly warming him up.
Zhao Shanling and the other experts only ate the spirit fruits and dessert. After realizing that they contained copious energy, they repeatedly reached out to grab more, and soon emptied the dishes.
After eating his full, Hua Mu burped and smiled at Duan Shihu. “We’re new to this region. Could you tell us where we are?”
However, Jing Rou took over and explained, “We’re in a corner of the Domain of Heaven Python. All of these dead stars belong to the Golden Vast Sect. Even though these stars are uninhabited now, people from the Golden Vast Sect are still mining minerals on them. Not long ago, Bonebrutes invaded this region and encountered strong resistance from the Golden Vast Sect. Eventually, the Bonebrutes lost, and retreated...”
She went on and explained what had happened recently.
Duan Shihu, however, looked dotingly at her from the moment she started talking.
From her, Nie Tian learned that they were in the Domain of Heaven Python, in a desolate region that belonged to the Golden Vast Sect.
Bonebrutes had recently invaded this region, and the Golden Vast Sect had sent powerful experts to fight them off.
However, after a few battles, the Golden Vast Sect had learned that the Bonebrutes had a few burial grounds nearby, all of which were filled with a shocking number of human skeletons.
This discovery had infuriated the Golden Vast Sect. Therefore, they had sent more powerful experts to launch a mass retaliation.
However, who had put such a great number of human corpses in those burial grounds and how they had done it had remained a mystery.
Later, Xing Bo from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect had discovered foreign Qi warriors in one of the Bonebrutes’ burial grounds.
He and experts from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect had learned that they were from the Domain of the Falling Stars, and slaughtered them.
Immediately afterwards, Xing Bo had informed the Golden Vast Sect that it was the Qi warriors from the Domain of the Falling Stars who had made unspeakable deals with the Bonebrutes and provided them with all of those human corpses, so that they could build those burial grounds and have a strong performance in their battles against the Golden Vast Sect.
Later, when Jing Rou had learned through her connections in the Divine Seal Sect that a group of Qi warriors from the Domain of the Falling Stars had arrived at this region and were being pursued by people from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect, she had informed Duan Shihu of it right away.
Throughout the entire Domain of Heaven Python, she was the only one who knew that her husband was from the Domain of the Falling Stars.
Without any delay, Duan Shihu had rushed to this region on this ancient starship, hoping to discover the truth.
After giving a detailed explanation, Jing Rou gave everyone a moment to digest all of the information.
Then, she turned to Nie Tian and asked with a calm expression, “Do you have anything to do with the human corpses in those burial grounds?”
Duan Shihu became displeased as he gave Jing Rou a stern look. “I told you that can’t be the doing of people from the Domain of the Falling Stars! The Domain of the Falling Stars has always considered outsiders their enemy. How would they collude with them? Not to mention that there are only nine realms in the Domain of the Falling Stars. With such a limited population, how could they possibly provide the Bonebrutes with so many corpses?”
Jing Rou pressed her small body towards her large, bear-like husband and said in a soft voice, “Don’t get angry, dear. Of course I trust you. I’m only asking here.”
“That has nothing to do with us,” Nie Tian said with an unquestionable tone. “Outsiders invaded the Domain of the Falling Stars twice in recent years, and we won both wars by luck. As for Bonebrutes, they haven’t shown up in the Domain of the Falling Stars for centuries. I can promise you that not a single sect in the Domain of the Falling Stars has any connections with them.”
“Don’t you believe my junior martial brother?” Duan Shihu asked grumpily.
Jing Rou thumped him on the chest to calm him down, and then said, “Of course I do, but I just received a piece of information. They said that you have a Bonebrute puppet and a spiritual tool forged from a magical item acquired from Bonebrutes.”
“That is actually true,” Qi Bailu from the Tool Sect said. “But both of them had been discovered from the Bonebrutes’ relics in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation. The Realm of Unbounded Desolation in our domain used to be home to Bonebrutes in ancient times, but that was it.”
Jing Rou nodded gently and said, “Okay, I have no other questions now.”
At this moment, the rumble of an ancient starship echoed in the distance.
Eyebrows furrowed, Jing Rou took out a prism and looked into it. In the next moment, she said, “It’s Xing Bo from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect.”
Horse race between Tian Ji and the king
Tian Ji and the king of State Qi had a horse racing game. Each of them had three horses: a good horse, an average horse and an inferior horse. The speeds of these horses varied greatly among different grades. However, the king's horses were generally faster than Tian Ji's horses. That is to say, king's good horse was faster than Tian Ji's good horse; king's average horse was faster than Tian Ji's average horse; king's inferior horse was faster than Tian Ji's inferior horse. In the racing game, Tian Ji lost in all three rounds. Then, Tian Ji's advisor, Sun Bin (yes, the same person in the previous story), taught him a new way to compete. In the next game, Tian Ji used his inferior horse to race against king's good horse, and lost the first round. Then, he used his good horse to race the king's average horse, and won the second round. At last, he used his average horst to race the king's inferior horse, and won the third round. Eventually, Tian Ji won the game 2-1. The king was surprised and pleased to see the talent of Tian Ji, and appointed him as a military general.