Gao Han seemed deeply worried as he said, “Are we really going to allow the Divine Seal Sect to investigate that dead star?
“You’ve planned this for so long. All of these efforts have been made so that you’ll be able to take the Domain of the Falling Stars into our sect’s possession. If the Divine Seal Sect is actually going to stick their nose into this matter, they’ll probably ruin your plan. What should we do?”
Xing Bo sat down in the cabin, looking rather tired. “Now that both the Golden Vast Sect and the Divine Seal Sect have learned about the existence of the Domain of the Falling Stars, I’m afraid it’s no longer possible for our sect to have it all to ourselves.
“Fortunately, they don’t know about our secret connections with the Bonebrutes.
“As long as that remains a secret, everything will be fine. From the look of it, we’ll have to split the Domain of the Falling Stars among us three sects. All we can do now is make good preparations so that we’ll be at an advantage when it comes to dividing that domain.”
Gao Han sighed. “If we could take the entire Domain of the Falling Stars for our own, then your status in our sect would be completely unchallenged.
With a sigh of frustration, Xing Bo said, “We can’t demand that everything go the way we intend it.”
Then, he turned around and entered the secret room where he kept Pei Qiqi by himself.
Fixing Pei Qiqi with a fascinated gaze, he muttered, “Fortunately, I still have you. Now that I have you, I can settle for losing a part of the Domain of the Falling Stars.”
Inside the other starship, the shape of the Voidspirit Pagoda appeared in between Zhao Shanling’s eyebrows for a flash, and vanished immediately afterwards.
“Qiqi is still alive!” he exclaimed.
Duan Shihu and Jing Rou happened to walk down the stairs at this moment, and caught his soft exclamation.
Hua Mu and Qi Bailu were thrilled by these words.
“Are you sure?” Han Mu asked in a loud voice.
Jing Rou had told them just now that people from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect had discovered and killed two Qi warriors from the Domain of the Falling Stars.
They had been in deep grief, expecting that, like Zhen Huilan, Pei Qiqi had also died at the hands of the Thousandsword Mountain Sect.
Now, after hearing that Pei Qiqi was still alive, they all grew excited and overjoyed.
As the shape of the Voidspirit Pagoda gradually disappeared into Zhao Shanling’s flesh between his eyebrows, he said, “It should be her. This spiritual tool has many wondrous uses. With its help, I sensed unusual spatial fluctuations just now. If there are no mishaps, those fluctuations were created by Pei Qiqi. It’s just that what caused the spatial fluctuations was only a very faint wisp of her soul awareness, bereft of any spatial power.
“So I suspect that she’s under some sort of confinement, which is keeping her from channeling power from her spiritual sea.
“However, thanks to her deep understanding of spatial power, she was able to trigger changes in space with nothing but a wisp of her soul awareness.”
“This Qiqi you’re talking about, was she one of the two cultivators who came here from the Domain of the Falling Stars?” Duan Shihu asked curiously.
Nie Tian nodded.
Jing Rou pondered briefly and then said, “Perhaps you’re right, and she is still alive. The source of our information was a few external disciples of the Thousandsword Mountain Sect, not Xing Bo’s confidantes.”
Nie Tian sprang to his feet and said, “Senior martial brother, is it possible for us to break the defense of that ancient starship from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect?”
“Well...” Duan Shihu touched his head. “I don’t know for sure. It’ll depend on how many powerful experts are on that ancient starship.”
Jing Rou shook her head. “I don’t think it’s wise to act so rashly.”
After pausing for a few seconds, she added with a solemn expression. “Considering our sect’s strength, of course we won’t be afraid of the Thousandsword Mountain Sect. But even so, we can’t make a move against Xing Bo without a good reason. Shihu and I represent the Divine Seal Sect. If we attack Xing Bo, it’ll trigger great changes in the Domain of Heaven Python.
“An all-out war may break out between the Divine Seal Sect and the Thousandsword Mountain Sect. Both sects may fight to the last man. If it comes down to that, the Golden Vast Sect may take the Thousandsword Mountain Sect’s side because we initiated a strike without any reason.”
Duan Shihu nodded. “The Thousandsword Mountain Sect alone won’t be able to cause much trouble for our sect, but if the Golden Vast Sect joins them...” Even he seemed to find the matter somewhat tricky.
With a smile, Jing Rou advised, “Let’s not make rash decisions, Nie Tian. It’s better if we take things one step at a time. If that girl you talked about is actually still alive, it means Xing Bo won’t kill her within a short time. There must be something he wants from her. Otherwise, he would have killed her long ago.
“Give me some time to do a thorough investigation and find out the truth.
“As long as we can prove that it was Xing Bo who has been secretly working with the Bonebrutes, not you, then we’ll have sufficient reason to send in the troops. (Idiom: do something with good reason)
“If we can prove this point, then the Golden Vast Sect will probably take our side, and Xing Bo will die without a burial place! (Idiom: die a tragic death or come to a bad end)”
Hua Mu chimed in, “That does sound like a better plan.”
Duan Shihu stepped over to Nie Tian’s side and pressed him into sitting down again. Then, he promised, “Rest assured, junior martial brother. As long as we can prove Xing Bo’s collusion with the Bonebrutes, I assure you that Xing Bo will pay for his crime with his life!”
As powerful as Nie Tian was, he felt great, mountain-like pressure from Duan Shihu’s pressing hand.
Nie Tian didn’t try to resist him, but sat down accordingly. “Alright, so... where do we go now?”
With a hearty smile, Duan Shihu said, “Let’s return to my territory, where we can think out our plan, and you can tell me how our master has been doing, and how you managed to kill Xing Beichen.”
Jing Rou gave him a gentle smile and said, “You go ahead and catch up. I’ll go prepare more food for you.”
They had a long road ahead of them. While the ancient starship sped through void, Nie Tian sat and had a long talk with Duan Shihu.
From their conversation, he learned that Duan Shihu was Wu Ji’s first disciple, his eldest martial brother.
He was from Thunderclap City, which was not far from Black Cloud City. Since he didn’t have a particular cultivation attribute, people hadn’t expected him to have a promising future when he had been a kid.
He had visited the Spiritual Treasure Sect and the Grayvale Sect successively, hoping they would take him in. However, they had both shut their gates in his face because he had practiced nothing but pure spiritual power.
However, he had been sensitive to spiritual power since he had been a kid, and he had a particularly strong interest in spell formations. Later, Wu Ji had set his eyes on him during the Cloudsoaring Sect’s recruiting trial, and thus taken him in as his first disciple.
Wu Ji’s teaching had been in line with his abilities, as Wu Ji had introduced him to many records of spell formations and let him derive enlightenment of their profundity.
Soon, he had shown his unmatched talent in spell formations. Even though he hadn’t had a particular cultivation attribute, he had made rapid progress in his cultivation and become a famous name in the Realm of Flame Heaven.
He had left the Realm of Flame Heaven for the Realm of Split Void in search of a breakthrough in his cultivation through learning the broken spell formations the Void Palace Sect had left behind.
He had stayed in the Realm of Split Void for years, and even spent some time living as a hunter. Once, he had chased a target into the depths of the Void Illusion Mountain Range, where he had entered a mysterious spatial rift and somehow ended up in the Domain of Heaven Python.
That spatial rift wasn’t the one through which Nie Tian and the others had come here. It had led him to a strange corner of the Domain of Heaven Python, and then vanished completely.
He hadn’t found a way to return to the Domain of the Falling Stars since then.
In that remote area of the Domain of Heaven Python, he had resumed his old profession and joined a notorious hunter organization.
Like the hunters in the Realm of Split Void, hunters of that organization also preyed on Qi warriors and plundered their spiritual materials.
He had even once made it to the top of that organization.
Later, they had grown so daring that they had actually robbed a merchant ship that belonged to the Divine Seal Sect.
Then, Jing Rou had been charged with the mission to root out their organization, which she had achieved. But Duan Shihu had escaped her quite a few times.
When Jing Rou and her people finally captured him, she had discovered to her surprise that he had had a large number of spell formations scrolls on him.
His talent in spell formations had, to a great extent, agreed with the Divine Seal Sect’s incantations and magics. Jing Rou hadn’t wanted his talent to go to waste, and thus had spared his life and brought him back to the Divine Seal Sect.
The Divine Seal Sect had made him go through a series of tests, and discovered that his talent and instinct for spell formations and magical symbols was unprecedented.
Therefore, they had viewed him as a paramount treasure since then.
After gaining unlimited access to the Divine Seal Sect’s cultivation resources, he had broken many of the Divine Seal Sect’s records as a disciple. The Divine Seal Sect had thus declared him their chosen one.
Since he and Jing Rou had spent a long time together, they developed affection for each other, and eventually got married.
Jing Rou, however, happened to be the daughter of the Divine Seal Sect’s only two Saint domain Qi warriors.
His marriage with Jing Rou had not only attracted the attention of the Divine Seal Sect, but also made them famous throughout the entire Domain of Heaven Python.
There were only a total of three major sects in the Domain of Heaven Python: the Divine Seal Sect, the Thousandsword Mountain Sect, and the Golden Vast Sect.
Both the Thousandsword Mountain Sect and the Golden Vast Sect had only one early Saint domain expert.
The Divine Seal Sect, however, had two early Saint domain experts.
For this reason, the Divine Seal Sect had been viewed as the well-deserved most powerful sect in the Domain of Heaven Python.
Meanwhile, the Thousandsword Mountain Sect had maintained a good relationship with the Golden Vast Sect because only together would they be able to contend against the Divine Seal Sect and keep a balance among the three major powers.
The fact that Xing Bo had behaved so cautiously when facing him and Jing Rou had been because of the Divine Seal Sect’s formidable might.
From their heart-to-heart conversation, Nie Tian finally realized what kind of lofty status this senior martial brother of his now enjoyed in the Domain of Heaven Python.
No wonder Xing Beichen had fled the Domain of Heaven Python after offending him.
Zhang Liang and an old man
Zhang Liang tried to assassinate the tyrannical Qin Shihuang emperor but failed. He fled to Xiapi and lived in solitude. One day he met an old man on a bridge. Seeing Zhang Liang, the old man dropped his shoes into the water under bridge on purpose, and yelled to Zhang Liang, "Help get my shoes back, young man!". Zhang Liang went down and took the shoes back with respect. However, the old man threw his shoes under bridge again and yelled at Zhang Liang, "Get them back for me, young man!" Again, Zhang Liang took the shoes back with respect. The old man repeated his action over and over, but Zhang Liang wasn't angered. Finally, the old man smiled and told Zhang Liang, "You are a fine young man. Come back here in the morning five days from now." Five days later, Zhang Liang arrived very early, but the old man was already there. The old man was angry and said, "How could you be late when you are meeting with a senior? Come here again after five days!" Five days later, Zhang Liang went back to the bridge early in the morning. The old man came later. This time ,the old man was pleased, and said, "You shall be successful in the future." Then, the old man took out several books and handed them to Zhang Liang. Those were books of military strategies. Zhang Liang learned the strategies and eventually became the most important advisor of Liu Bang, the founder of Han Dynasty.