Duan Shihu was so shocked that he sprang to his feet, gasping. “What?! You’ve passed the Heaven Gate Trial in the Domain of the Falling Stars and become the seventh Son of the Stars!?”
Countless magical symbols could be seen interweaving in the depths of his eyes, his whole body wreathed in an immense divine aura.
His conversation with Nie Tian was taking place in another room, where a large number of spirit stones were placed in a way that formed a spell formation that could gather spiritual power for Qi warriors.
Sitting among them, Nie Tian didn’t need to do anything, and rich spiritual power would take it upon itself to fly into his spiritual sea to strengthen his spiritual core.
A silver plate fell out of Jing Rou’s hands and broke, as she was also deeply shaken by Nie Tian’s words.
The large piece of spirit beast meat, which she had cooked specially for Nie Tian, rolled on the ground.
“A Son of the Stars?!” She, who had just entered the room, was also flabbergasted upon hearing Duan Shihu’s exclamation.
“Why do you seem so shocked, senior martial brother?” Nie Tian asked, smiling.
Eyes wide, Duan Shihu fixed him with a disbelieving gaze and said, “You… You don’t even know what being a Son of the Stars means, do you?! That trial is only called the Heaven Gate Trial because its a gate through which you can reach the heavens! I can’t believe that you’ve actually passed the Heaven Gate Trial and become the seventh Son of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. You’re such a lucky dog!
“In all the years I lived in the Domain of the Falling Stars, I only heard about the Heaven Gate Trials, but never had the chance to participate in one.
“But come to think of it, even if I was there when the Heaven Gate Trial opened, I doubt that I’d have been able to pass it and become a Son of the Stars.
“Heaven Gates opened quite a few times in the Domain of the Falling Stars before you. But not a single youngster from the Domain of the Falling Stars had ever won the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s favor and had the privilege to become their Son of the Stars!”
The way Jing Rou looked at Nie Tian had changed now that she knew that Nie Tian was the seventh Son of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
Originally, she had been rather hesitant to mobilize the Divine Seal Sect’s chess pieces and resources just to help this junior martial brother of Duan Shihu to save Pei Qiqi.
The Divine Seal Sect’s reserve power was the most profound in the Domain of Heaven Python. They had many informants in both the Thousandsword Mountain Sect and the Golden Vast Sect.
However, those informants were high ranking officials. The Divine Seal Sect had planted them there so that they would be able to make significant contributions in the future.
They would lose their value if they were exposed so early.
She was reluctant to spoil the insiders her sect had spent years planting and cultivating just for a woman from the Domain of the Falling Stars.
However, now that she had learned that Nie Tian was the seventh Son of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, everything had changed.
She had long since learned from Duan Shihu that the Domain of the Falling Stars was a very weak domain.
In her eyes, Duan Shihu’s master, who he couldn’t seem to forget, and even the entire Domain of the Falling Stars didn’t have much value.
This was also the reason why she had advised patience every time Duan Shihu had expressed his strong intention to find a way to return to the Domain of the Falling Stars to visit Wu Ji.
However, now that she had learned the identity of this junior martial brother of Duan Shihu’s, she instantly realized that this was a great opportunity for the Divine Seal Sect.
With a hearty smile, she said to Nie Tian, “That woman named Pei Qiqi... Don’t you worry about her anymore. We’ll learn about her situation within the shortest time possible. I promise you that she’s safe for the time being, and our sect will do everything within our power to rescue her.”
Nie Tian was taken aback.
Not so long ago, Jing Rou had urged them to take their time and make thorough plans to save Pei Qiqi.
She had seemed rather hesitant back then.
But now, she suddenly became so determined and even guaranteed Pei Qiqi’s safety. Such a sudden change in attitude caught Nie Tian by surprise.
Jing Rou smiled. “I might as well be honest with you. I grew up in the Divine Seal Sect. My parents had high hopes for me, so it’s my instinct to think for my sect every time I make a decision. The reason why I was hesitant earlier was because I was worried that if my sect went all-out to get to the bottom of this matter, it might cause great turbulences in the Domain of Heaven Python. The Thousandsword Mountain Sect and the Divine Seal Sect might team up against us.
“The elders of my sect won’t be happy if I make a mess just to save a woman from the Domain of the Falling Stars.
“However, everything will be different if you’re not only Shihu’s junior martial brother, but also a Son of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. Those elders will never blame me for making efforts to help a Son of the Stars.”
Duan Shihu let out a snort. “People like you who grew up in powerful sects always see benefits first!”
He had intended to help Nie Tian at all costs since the beginning.
He didn’t want to help Nie Tian because he was a Son of the Stars, but because he was also Wu Ji’s disciple.
Duan Shihu and Jing Rou then asked a few more questions. Their expressions relaxed completely after they learned that a magnificent palace had surfaced in the Realm of Split Void because of Nie Tian.
With a smile of relief, Jing Rou said, “You don’t need to worry about the safety of the Domain of the Falling Stars either. The surfacing of that palace proves that the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace left that domain for their Son of the Stars.
“Even if the Thousandsword Mountain Sect and the Golden Vast Sect find their way to the Domain of the Falling Stars, they won’t dare to make any rash moves after learning about that place.
“Even our sect wouldn’t dare to act rashly on the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s territory, much less them.
“The Domain of the Falling Stars is one hundred percent safe. Any major Qi warrior sect would pull back three days’ march (idiom: give way in the face of superior strength) upon seeing that palace. ”
Nie Tian grinned. “Alright.”
Afterwards, Nie Tian told them about what had happened in the forbidden region, and that Xing Beichen had summoned Ke Jinpeng and other experts to that region in an attempt to take that magical continent for their own, but had eventually died under the influence of the Ultimates Reverse Grand Spell Formation.
After hearing about the deaths of Xing Beichen and the other five Void domain experts, Duan Shihu let out a wild laugh and exclaimed, “Good job!”
Even though the Thousandsword Mountain Sect was more powerful than the eight major powers in the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries, the number of Void domain experts they had was still fairly limited.
The deaths of five Void domain experts must have greatly hurt the Thousandsword Mountain Sect’s strength.
Jing Rou would be more confident when she held the Thousandsword Mountain Sect accountable for their deeds.
The two martial brothers went on and talked more about what had happened in the Domain of the Falling Stars in that secret room. Then, Duan Shihu told Nie Tian to recover his strength and get ready to deal with Xing Bo and rescue Pei Qiqi.
Right before they left, Jing Rou gave her entire collection of Star Stones, which she had planned to trade for other cultivation materials, to Nie Tian, knowing that he practiced star power and was running out of Star Stones.
The Star Stones she gave Nie Tian turned out to be more than two thousand pieces, enough for him to cultivate with and power the Star Boat for quite a while.
According to her, many meteors that fell out of the void would contain Star Stones.
However, since very few cultivators practiced star power, she would usually trade the Star Stones for materials she needed once she had her hands on some.
With the help of these Star Stones and the rich spiritual power inside the room, Nie Tian rapidly settled down and started practicing cultivation wholeheartedly.
Jing Rou also noticed that his fleshly body was different from others’, and thus came over with cooked spirit beast meat from time to time.
The spirit beast meat she brought for him was not only tasty, but also taken from high grade spirit beasts. It helped the green aura in Nie Tian’s heart accumulate flesh power at an alarming rate.
Later, after she discovered Nie Tian’s unusually large appetite, she prepared more spirit beast meat for him, as if her spirit beast meat reserve couldn’t be exhausted.
With the help of her spirit beast meat, Nie Tian’s bloodline absorbed flesh power without restraint. Shortly afterwards, it finally had its fill, and entered dormancy again.
Time passed without him noticing it, while the ancient starship sailed across the starry river at full speed.
This ancient starship, which was known throughout the Domain of Heaven Python, encountered starships from other powers along its way, but they all avoided it out of respect.
Those who approached their starship all came to greet Jing Rou and Duan Shihu.
Three months later, Duan Shihu and Jing Rou’s ancient starship finally arrived in the depths of the Domain of Heaven Python, where Duan Shihu’s personal territory was.
The ancient starship landed, and Duan Shihu invited Nie Tian and the others to come out of the cabin. With a broad laugh, he said, “We’re here, junior martial brother. This realm used to be the headquarters of the Star Hunters, and the place Little Rou and I met. It’s mine now.”
A forest of plums that never existed
During a battle, a troop was marching towards a remote town. Their water supply was cut off by the enemy. Many soldiers were too thirsty to move on. The general leading this troop was Cao Cao. He told everybody that he was familiar with this route, and there was a forest of plums right ahead of them. Picturing juicy plums, soldiers gained motivation. They marched on as fast as they could in order to find those plums. Finally, they ran into a brook on their way, which solved their problem. Only then did Cao Cao tell his subordinates that he had never been on this route, and there was no plums at all. He was merely trying to console his soldiers with a false hope.