In the outermost ring of the Shatter Battlefield.
Numerous spatial rifts were densely interweaving with one another in the sky, emanating extremely vigorous fluctuations.
One of the spatial rifts grew wide, and figures streamed out of it. They dove out of the sky and landed on the desolate land, which was covered with yellow sand.
Nie Tian flashed out of the the spatial rift and landed heavily on the land with a loud crash, along with Yin Yanan and Mu Biqiong.
Seeing him flashing out of the spatial rift, Zhao Shanling called out, “You don’t have to worry about Pei Qiqi, Nie Tian. I’ll find her.”
With these words, he morphed into a streak of light and left.
Nie Tian looked over with rapt attention, and saw Zhao Shanling covering fifty kilometers in a breath’s time, soon disappearing from his view.
Air-transportation spiritual tools of different shapes appeared over the heads of explorers from the Domain of Heaven Python and the outsiders before they left one after another on their own air-transportation spiritual tools.
Some of them sped off towards the heart of the Shatter Battlefield like Zhao Shanling, while others constantly changed directions to remain in the outermost ring, considering their unimpressive cultivation bases.
Fan Kai, Zong Zheng, and the other experts from the Domain of the Falling Stars flew off after nodding at Nie Tian.
Moments later, Hua Mu, Wu Ji, and Qi Bailu were the only experts that were still standing beside him.
Meng Li from the Divine Seal Sect slowly flew out of the spatial rift and landed beside Yue Yanxi.
He glanced at Nie Tian from afar and said, “According to our estimation, this spatial rift that leads to the Realm of Maelstrom will remain open for three to five years. This means you’ll have at least three years in the Shatter Battlefield. When the time is up, you can just come back by retracing your steps, and you’ll be able to return to the Realm of Maelstrom.”
Smiling, Yue Yanxi nodded and said, “I see.”
At this moment, Meng Li beckoned him. “Nie Tian.”
Nie Tian approached.
Meng Li took out a compass from within his inner pocket and handed it to Nie Tian. “Our sectmaster made this compass after his return from the Shatter Battlefield. See? This is where the spatial rift is. This compass will allow you to find your way back, at least.”
Then, he told Nie Tian to send a wisp of a soul awareness into the compass.
As soon as his soul awareness flew into the compass, it was absorbed by a small magnet.
Then, a glowing soul spot appeared within the compass.
That spot represented Nie Tian.
Aside from that spot, there was also another bright spot the size of a grain of rice, which stood for the spatial rift.
Nie Tian had seen many similar tools, and thus wasn’t surprised by the changes.
However, the fact that the Divine Seal Sect’s sectmaster had made this compass, which could tell directions within the Shatter Battlefield, proved his unusual power.
After all, most of those who were able to make this kind of compass were spatial power experts like Zhao Shanling.
Meng Li let out a soft sigh. “Unfortunately, our sectmaster didn’t know much about the Shatter Battlefield, and thus couldn’t mark the special regions out on the compass. You’d better be careful and not go too deep.” With this reminder, he returned to the Realm of Maelstrom through the spatial rift.
After watching him leave, Nie Tian threw the compass into his ring of holding.
At this moment, Nie Tian noticed that the Divine Seal Sect, the Golden Vast Sect, and the Thousandsword Mountain Sect had also sent small groups of their disciples here. Most of them were at the Soul realm; not a single Void domain expert could be seen among them.
These three parties were the most familiar with the Shatter Battlefield, and had participated the most actively when the Shatter Battlefield had opened before.
However, the heavy losses they had suffered from their previous entries had made them very apprehensive. Therefore, they had long since restrained their disciples from entering the Shatter Battlefield.
Altogether, the three parties had sent less than twenty Qi warriors this time.
With a grim expression, Jiang Feng warned Mu Biqiong, “Stay in the outermost ring with Nie Tian, and don’t try to go any deeper.”
Then, after exchanging a glance with Yue Yanxi, he flew off with the other Void domain experts from the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries, and soon disappeared in the direction Zhao Shanling had left in.
Mu Biqiong and Yin Yanan stood beside Nie Tian.
The deeper people went into the Shatter Battlefield, the more powerful experts they would be likely to encounter. Even Void domain experts like Yue Yanxi and Jiang Feng would find themselves in unpredictable danger in the depths of the Shatter Battlefield.
If they had taken Mu Biqiong and Yin Yanan with them, they would have become their burden.
Not only would their own safety be undermined, but they wouldn’t necessarily be able to keep the girls safe. Therefore, they had decided not to take the girls with them.
Furthermore, they had told the girls before coming that their uniqueness would only give them advantages in the outermost ring.
Once they went deeper into the Shatter Battlefield, such advantages would be completely gone.
“Master...” Nie Tian called out softly.
Before he could say anything else, Wu Ji shook his head and said, “You’d better stay in the outermost ring. You’re not ready to go deeper yet.”
Hua Mu chimed in, “The outermost ring of the Shatter Battlefield is the most vast. Considering you three’s cultivation bases and resourcefulness, you’ll be able to gain fortunes just the same here.”
Nie Tian sighed weakly and said, “You take care then.”
Wu Ji and the other experts then left.
Soon, the only people who remained under the interweaving spatial rifts were Yin Yanan, Mu Biqiong, and Nie Tian.
The others had either gone into the depths of the Shatter Battlefield or scattered to explore the place.
The three of them gazed skywards at the spatial rift they had come from, and examined it with their soul awarenesses.
Yin Yanan suddenly frowned and said, “Even though that spatial rift is still there, it doesn’t seem to be stable anymore. Even if we want to return through it now, I don’t think we’ll be able to.”
Nie Tian had the same feeling, and thus said, “Many spatial rifts are like this, changing all the time. Perhaps we’ll have to wait for three to five years for that spatial rift to stabilize again. Only then will we be able to return to the Realm of Maelstrom.”
“So what do we do now?” Yin Yanan asked.
Nie Tian was also at a loss as to what to do.
They were currently in the outermost ring of the Shatter Battlefield. He scanned the vicinity and discovered that there was faint spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth in the air, which they could use for cultivation.
It was just that the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth here wasn’t pure, but mixed with all kinds of unknown energies and auras.
Before coming here, he had learned from Duan Shihu and Jing Rou that the Shatter Battlefield was a very vast place. There could be unusually rich spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth in some regions, but none at all in others.
Certain regions might even be filled with rich Demon Qi and Phantasm Qi, or pervaded by all sorts of energies like the Realm of Split Void.
In a word, they had told him that the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth, all sorts of energies, and even gravity could vary greatly as he went to different regions.
“The Shatter Battlefield is like a giant plate. The closer to the center we go, the more dangerous it’ll be...” After pondering for a while, Nie Tian said in an unhurried manner, “Since it’s a plate, if we travel by sticking to the outermost part of the plate, we should be able to make a circle and return to where we started. Since I don’t think we should go any deeper yet, let’s make the circle.”
The two girls nodded respectively.
Instead of summoning the Star Boat, Nie Tian signaled Yin Yanan to summon her air-transportation spiritual tool, which the Beast-controlling Sect had customized for her.
The three of them picked a direction and sped off on it.
As they did, Nie Tian started to wonder. Back when they had been in the Realm of Shattered Earth, Yin Yanan had torn off Mu Biqiong’s veil and strip her half-naked.
The demonic flower inside of Mu Biqiong seemed to have received nourishment from the huge vines and gone through great changes. Later, after she had entered the Profound realm, she had even claimed that she would have her revenge.
Even when the two of them had met in the Seven-star Blue Sea, Mu Biqiong had glared at Yin Yanan, her eyes filled with hatred.
Nie Tian wondered what had happened that allowed them stay in the same air-transportation spiritual tool now, even though they hated each other’s guts.
As the air-transportation spiritual tool sped through the air at full speed, Nie Tian glanced down from time to time, and saw a desert that stretched as far as the eye could see.
Occasionally, he could see some half-buried corpses. Some belonged to humans, some belonged to outsiders, while other unusually large ones clearly belonged to spirit beasts.
However, none of them emanated even the slightest flesh aura, which meant they had been searched countless times over, and had long since lost their value.
Therefore, Nie Tian didn’t tell Yin Yanan to stop and examine them.
Instead, he practiced cultivation the whole time.
A sea of stars filled the sky in the Shatter Battlefield. Even if he did nothing, starlight would pour out of the sky and stream into his spiritual sea on its own.
The Nine Stars Flower in his vortex of star power further sped up the speed at which he absorbed star power.
Thanks to this, stardew rapidly built up at the bottom of his vortex of star power.
Since he no longer needed to worry about his vortex of star power, he focused on refining his vortexes of wood power and flame power with fire-attributed and wood-attributed materials. His hope was to refine his vortexes to the limit and break through into the late Worldly realm as soon as possible.
More than ten days passed.
Their air-transportation spiritual tool had already traveled more than fifty thousand kilometers from the spatial rift. Nie Tian took out the compass Meng Li had given him and took a look at it.
On the compass, his soul spot and the spot that represented the spatial rift were still close together.
His expression flickered in shock as he suddenly realized that the vastness of the Shatter Battlefield had far exceeded his imagination.
He realized that it wasn’t practical to hope to cover the outermost ring even if they could travel day and night on an air-transportation spiritual tool.
It would be even less possible if they were to be delayed by something.
Seeing the look on his face, Yin Yanan asked in a low voice. “Well...?”
Nie Tian recovered from his astonishment and said plainly, “The compass indicates that we actually haven’t traveled very far from the spatial rift. From the look of it, we need to change our plan. Given our speed, it’s impossible for us to circle around to the spatial rift within three to five years. I’ll keep an eye on the compass and calculate the time. We’ll head back to the spatial rift when it’s about time.”
“Okay.” Yin Yanan didn’t say anything else.
A few more days passed.
Their air-transportation spiritual tool finally left the seemingly boundless desert, and came to a region wreathed in a mixture of spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth and Phantasm Qi.
As soon as they did, they heard a piercing, bloodcurdling shriek.
The three of them exchanged a glance before Yin Yanan accelerated the air-transportation spiritual tool, which shot off towards the source of the shriek.
Two hours later, they arrived at a mountain peak that had been cut in the middle. The upper half of the mountain peak had shattered, and turned into countless rocks that had scattered around in the vicinity.
Numerous wrecked air-transportation spiritual tools and hundreds of corpses could be seen on the leveled mountaintop, and at the foot of the mountain peak.
Some of the corpses belonged to humans, who had been dressed differently, while others belonged to outsiders.
Nie Tian discovered that more than ten Worldly realm and Profound realm Qi warriors from the Domain of Heaven Python, who had come with him, were among the dead.
Atop the short mountain peak stood a handsome young Phantasm, dressed in noble garments.
An enormous, cyan-gray skull that seemed to be formed by countless discarnate souls was floating above him.
The three of them only took a glance at it from afar, and felt as if their true souls were going to be sucked out of them into the skull’s unfathomable dark eye sockets.
Around the short mountain peak, discarnate souls that had dissipated into heaven and earth at the first moment after their deaths were letting out miserable wails as they were sucked into the floating skull’s large, empty mouth.
Eyes narrowed, the young Phantasm was gazing around.
As he caught sight of Nie Tian and the girls, the prismatic crystal between his eyebrows suddenly lit up, an overjoyed expression of finding new prey appearing on his handsome face.