Since a spatial rift that led to the Shatter Battlefield was going to open soon, the Realm of Maelstrom became increasingly clamorous and bustling with activity.
Nie Tian stepped out of a teleportation portal in the Divine Seal Sect, and found himself surrounded by towering stone pavilions. He gazed up and saw ancient starships berthed in the sky.
Some of them belonged to the Divine Seal Sect, the Golden Vast Sect, and the Thousandsword Mountain Sect from the Domain of Heaven Python, but more belonged to sects he didn’t even know.
There were also oddly-shaped ancient starships, which clearly didn’t belong to humans.
Duan Shihu, who had come with him, said in a low voice, “Not every human or outsider domain has access to the Shatter Battlefield. Some outsiders will also come to the Realm of Maelstrom and enter the Shatter Battlefield through the spatial tunnels here.”
Nie Tian nodded, then turned to Jing Rou and asked, “What will the Qi warriors from the Domain of the Falling Stars and the Divine Flame Sect have to do if they want to enter the Shatter Battlefield?”
With a bright smile, Jing Rou said, “It’s very simple. Each of them will need to pay ten thousand spirit jades. After being counted, those spirit jades will be split evenly among the Divine Seal Sect, the Golden Vast Sect, and the Thousandsword Mountain Sect.”
“Ten thousand spirit jades...” Nie Tian muttered with a dry smile.
The Pure Heaven Sect had charged him twenty thousand spirit jades to observe the stone statues in the Seven-star Blue Sea. Who would have thought he would have to pay another ten thousand spirit jades to enter the Shatter Battlefield?
Ten thousand spirit jades were worth a million spirit stones. As wealthy as he was, he had a headache over such a high price.
He had only used about ten spirit jades to smooth his breakthrough into the Worldly realm. Now, as he had traveled to the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries and the Domain of Heaven Python, an entrance fee alone could easily cost him ten thousand spirit jades. This made him rather frustrated.
As far as he knew, the Cloudsoaring Sect’s ten years’ revenue was barely a million spirit stones.
“This is actually a fair price,” Jing Rou explained, smiling. “The Shatter Battlefield is a wondrous place. If people can survive in there, their gains will most certainly be significant. Normally speaking, any Earth Cultivated grade spiritual material will be priced at a hundred thousand spirit jades or more. So if you can get you hands on one Earth Cultivated grade spiritual material in there, then you’ll be able to make up for all your losses, and even make a significant profit.
“Furthermore, countless powerful outsiders and Ancientbeasts have died in the Shatter Battlefield. If you’re so lucky as to bring their remains back to the Realm of Maelstrom, you’ll make a fortune out of them as well.
“Besides, cultivators at the Soul realm and Void domain will have great chances at deriving new enlightenment and advancing to the next cultivation realm in there. If Soul realm cultivators can advance to the Void domain, and Void domain cultivators can advance to the Saint domain in there, what does ten thousand spirit jades matter?”
Nie Tian smiled bitterly. “That’s on the condition that they can return alive.”
With a smile, Jing Rou said, “Yeah, but that’s the rule set up together by the Golden Vast Sect, the Thousandsword Mountain Sect, and our sect. Ten thousand spirit jades per person. As the rule-maker, of course we can’t break it. Besides, ten thousand spirit jades shouldn’t be a big number for cultivators who have entered the Soul realm. They should be able to afford it.”
Pointing at himself, Nie Tian asked, “What about me then?”
Duan Shihu’s face grew grim as he asked, “You want to go there too?”
Nie Tian nodded slightly. “Yeah.”
Jing Rou stopped smiling and said with a straight face, “Nie Tian, I know that you’re a Son of the Stars, but you’re still only at the Worldly realm. I don’t think you should take such a big risk.”
“I want to go and take a look for myself,” Nie Tian said.
Duan Shihu fell silent.
After a moment of pondering, Jing Rou said, “The Golden Vast Sect, the Thousandsword Mountain Sect, and our sect all have free quotas. Since you’re Shihu’s junior martial brother, and Senior Wu is your master, you two can take our free quotas, and enter the Shatter Battlefield without paying a single spirit jade. But the rest of them will have to follow the rule strictly, no matter whether they’re from the Domain of the Falling Stars or the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries.”
Nie Tian nodded. “I see.”
Then, he went to see Wu Ji with Duan Shihu.
After coming to the Realm of Maelstrom, Wu Ji had gathered some spiritual materials with Duan Shihu’s help, and had been practicing cultivation in the stone pavilion the Divine Seal Sect had assigned to Nie Tian while he waited for the opening of the Shatter Battlefield.
As the two of them arrived, Wu Ji’s face split into a bright smile, and he beckoned for them to take their seats.
Duan Shihu then said in a serious voice, “I hope you can reconsider going to the Shatter Battlefield, master.”
Wu Ji waved his hand and said with a composed expression, “I’ve made up my mind. Don’t try to persuade me anymore.”
“I’ll go with you, master,” Nie Tian chimed in, smiling.
Wu Ji went blank for a moment before recovering his smile and saying, “Alright.”
Duan Shihu said with a slight frown, “You two...”
“Great rewards come only with great risk.” Wu Ji didn’t seem to take the risks to heart. “Whatever danger lies in the Shatter Battlefield, as long as there are people who managed to come back alive, we have a chance at doing the same. I didn’t leave the Realm of Flame Heaven for many years because I was worried that the Realm of Black Marsh and the Realm of Earth Sieve would invade if I wasn’t there.
“After all, as a member of the Cloudsoaring Sect, it’s my responsibility to protect it.
“But now, whether I stay in the Realm of Flame Heaven or not, it’ll thrive because of Nie Tian. Also, I believe disciples of the Cloudsoaring Sect will be treated with respect throughout the Domain of the Falling Stars from now on.
“With that burden lifted from my mind, I can finally put my heart at rest and travel around.
“Now, since the river of time has appeared in the Shatter Battlefield, and the spatial tunnel that leads to it doesn’t stay open all the time, of course I have to go and try my luck.
“If, by luck, I can actually find the river of time and derive profound enlightenment from it, my future path of cultivation will be free of obstacles.
“So I have to take a shot with this opportunity. As vast as this universe is, there are very few places that can help me derive enlightenment of time power.”
Seeing that Wu Ji insisted on going, Duan Shihu let out a sigh and didn’t waste his breath anymore.
The three of them went on and talked for a long time in the small room.
Eventually, Wu Ji urged Nie Tian to go and prepare the spiritual materials and other resources that they would need for daily cultivation and battle, so that he would be able to fight others in the Shatter Battlefield for a longer time.
Therefore, Nie Tian left with Duan Shihu and asked him to purchase some Star Stones, high-grade spirit beast meat, high-tier outsider corpses, and spiritual materials of fire and wood attributes.
At the same time, he gave a large number of spirit stones and materials that he didn’t need to Duan Shihu to sell or trade.
While Duan Shihu went off to sell his spirit stones and materials and purchase the things he needed, he went to inform the experts from the Domain of the Falling Stars, who had come to the Realm of Maelstrom, of the situation.
Fan Kai and Zong Zheng agreed to the ten thousand spirit jades entrance fee, so they went to find Meng Li from the Divine Seal Sect, and each paid ten thousand spirit jades for their qualifications to enter the Shatter Battlefield.
Hua Mu and Qi Bailu also decided to go to the Shatter Battlefield.
Li Muyang and Xing Huanyue were the only ones who decided to continue to stay and practice cultivation in the Realm of Withering Flame, since the Realm of Withering Flame was a blessed land for the two of them.
A few days later, Yue Yanxi also teleported to the Realm of Maelstrom through the teleportation portal in the Realm of Split Void after receiving word from Nie Tian.
Not only did he come, but he also brought Guan Fu, Jian Tong, and Jiang Feng.
Yin Yanan and Mu Biqiong also came.
After Nie Tian told them that they would have to pay ten thousand spirit jades each to enter the Shatter Battlefield, they all deemed this price to be a fair one.
Nie Tian frowned. “Do you really know how dangerous the Shatter Battlefield is?”
Yue Yanxi nodded slightly. “Of course we do. Yin Yanan and Mu Biqiong have their unique advantages. I believe they’ll be fine as long as they stay in the outermost ring. But since Yunxi doesn’t have any unique advantages like they do, we didn’t bring her along.”
“Unique advantages...” Nie Tian pondered briefly, and then understood what he was referring to.
Yin Yanan’s Frost Blood Python had probably already broken through into the eighth grade and gained a Void domain human expert’s battle prowess.
Even though Nie Tian hadn’t witnessed that Frost Blood Python separate itself from Yin Yanan, the flesh aura Yin Yanan exuded had already made him rather apprehensive.
If the Frost Blood Python had indeed entered the eighth grade and Yin Yanan had entered the Profound realm herself, then she might actually have a chance at gaining a fortune in the outermost ring of the Shatter Battlefield.
As for Mu Biqiong, she had a peculiar flower growing inside of her. The fact that Jiang Feng had dared to let her come proved that he had confidence in her abilities too.
Nie Tian nodded. “Alright.”
Then, Yue Yanxi led the others to find Meng Li from the Divine Seal Sect to pay the required amount of spirit jades.
After that, they took advantage of the uniqueness of the Realm of Maelstrom and traded with outsiders for spiritual materials that they would need in battle and daily cultivation.
Soon, Duan Shihu came back to Nie Tian with a ring of holding. “I’ve traded in all of the spiritual materials and tools you don’t need for the stuff you will need.”
His expression grew complicated as he added, “The spatial tunnel that leads to the Shatter Battlefield will open in two weeks.”
After grabbing the ring of holding, Nie Tian sent a wisp of soul awareness into it, and saw tons of spirit beast meat, thirty thousand Star Stones, all sorts of fire-attributed stones, and stems and roots that contained rich wood power.
Aside from that, there were also a thousand spirit jades.
After a brief glance at the contents, Nie Tian realized that the value of the things he had given Duan Shihu weren’t this high, and that Duan Shihu must have taken money out of his own pocket to get the additional contents for him. “Senior martial brother, the spiritual materials and tools I gave you weren’t enough to trade for this many things, were they?”
Duan Shihu chuckled but didn’t say anything.
Nie Tian pondered in silence for a few seconds before taking fifty soul crystals out of another ring of holding and stuffing them into Duan Shihu’s hands. “These soul crystals are for you and Jing Rou.”
Duan Shihu’s expression flickered. “I can’t accept them! The value of these soul crystals is far higher than the value of the spiritual materials and tools I got for you. Soul crystals are very precious for anyone of any race. Considering that your cultivation base is still rather low, and you’re going to fight fierce battles in the Shatter Battlefield, you need to keep them, as they could come in handy!”
“I still have a good number of them, enough for me to practice cultivation with,” Nie Tian said. “You must take them!”
Before Duan Shihu could say anything, he shoved the soul crystals into his hands.
With a weak sigh, Duan Shihu nodded and said, “Alright, I won’t stand on ceremony with you then. To be honest, these soul crystals will indeed be very helpful to me and Little Rou.”
Time flew, and the day came when that spatial rift was supposed to open.
On this very day, Zhao Shanling flew out of the water curtain that surrounded the Realm of Maelstrom.
Immediately afterwards, he waved his hand, and the Voidspirit Pagoda, which he had placed inside the large-scale teleportation portal, suddenly flew skywards and vanished between his eyebrows.
At the same time, the spatial rift that led to the Shatter Battlefield gradually split open.
Then, powerful experts from the Divine Seal Sect, the Golden Vast Sect, and the Thousandsword Mountain Sect, who had been waiting for this moment, flashed into it one after another.
People from other domains and realms also flew inside after receiving Meng Li’s signals.
Zhao Shanling tossed Meng Li a ring of holding as he flew close to him, and shot into the spatial rift as soon as he nodded.
Fan Kai, Zong Zheng, Hua Mu, and the others from the Domain of the Falling Stars all gasped with astonishment upon seeing Zhao Shanling flying into the spatial rift.
“The Void domain?!”
“That guy has actually entered the Void domain as he promised!”
“The Domain of the Falling Stars has seen its second Void domain cultivator now.”
Zhao Shanling’s achievement put great pressure on them, and drove them to gather enough spiritual materials to build their inner own domains, and derive groundbreaking enlightenment in the Shatter Battlefield.
Under Meng Li’s urging, Nie Tian, Mu Biqiong, Yin Yanan, and other juniors flew into the spatial rift as well.