Wei Lai, Yan Zhan, Xin Qing, and Zu Guangyao, the four members of the parliament of elders, gazed silently down at Nie Tian from the top of another lofty palace.
Their gazes followed him as Tao Jin showed him around this ancient city and threaded through the numerous palaces and pavilions.
Only after Nie Tian entered the Records Pavilion with Tao Jin did they withdraw their gazes.
“Wei, you realized that kid isn’t a pure human, but a hybrid, didn’t you?” Yan Zhan suddenly asked.
Light flashed across Xin Qing and Zu Guangyao’s eyes as they heard him, but they remained silent.
Wei Lai took a deep breath. “Yeah, he’s the product of a successful mixing. The life force inside of him is simply too strong for a human, and there also seems to be something special about his bloodline. Successful hybrids are very rare, and it’s hard to believe a place like the Domain of the Falling Stars would produce one.”
“From the look of it, we need to look into the origin of his special bloodline,” Yan Zhan said with a grim face. “The first thing we need to do after the grand elder’s return is examine his bloodline and determine whether there are problems with his parents.”
Wei Lai nodded. “That’s what I thought. Successful hybrids are very special. If there isn’t anything wrong with his origin, then he’ll have a brilliant future.”
Xin Qing pondered for a brief moment before saying, “You don’t think he’s a part of the outsiders’ plan, do you? If the outsiders made him so that he could steal the legacies of our sect, why on earth would they have him finish the path of stars and come to our headquarters? It won’t be a hard thing for us to figure out the origin of his bloodline.”
“Yeah, but we can’t rule out any possibilities yet,” Wei Lai said, looking very cautious. “And we can’t allow him to leave before we make sure that there aren’t any problems with his bloodline. As for that, we’ll have to wait for the grand elder to come back and do a thorough examination of him. However, there’s something strange about the Heaven Gate trial in the Domain of the Falling Stars...”
Xin Qing went blank. “Something strange?”
“The Heaven Gates in the Domain of the Falling Stars shouldn’t have opened this early,” Wei Lai said. “Something must have happened that activated the Heaven Gates ahead of time.”
Yan Zhan’s expression flickered with astonishment. “You’re not saying that the seventh Son of the Stars was actually manufactured by someone or some force, are you?”
“Everything is possible,” Wei Lai said with an unfathomable look on his face.
Yan Zhan chuckled. “That would make things much more interesting...”
Wei Lai pondered for a while before saying, “Yan Zhan, why don’t you take a trip to the Domain of the Falling Stars and find out more about Nie Tian’s birth? At the same time, see if you can learn something about that Zhao Shanling. As for the Void Spirit Society, I’ll go talk to them about the Domain of Heaven Python. We’ll give it to Nie Tian after we’re absolutely certain that there’s no problem with his origin.”
Yan Zhan nodded.
“Also, be careful, and don’t alarm the people in the Domain of the Falling Stars,” Wei Lai said with a reminding tone.
With a grin, Yan Zhan said, “Rest assured.”
“If he hadn’t finished the path of the stars, then we wouldn’t have to worry about his origin,” Wei Lai said with a grim face. “It’s not a rare thing for future Sons of the Stars to die before reaching our headquarters.
“But since he’s here, and the divine bell has tolled seven times, people know about him now, so we have to treat everything about him seriously.
“Choosing our Sons of the Stars is a matter of great importance. We can’t allow anything to happen to it and make us a laughing-stock.”
Yan Zhan nodded before flying away ethereally.
He retraced Nie Tian’s steps and first teleported to the palace in the Realm of Shattered Earth. From there, he teleported to the palace in the Realm of Split Void.
Unlike Nie Tian, Yan Zhan didn’t open the stone gate and leave immediately after appearing in the teleportation portal in the Realm of Split Void.
He shrewdly sensed Dong Li’s existence as soon as he arrived.
Dong Li had continued to hatch the huge egg in one of the secret rooms since Nie Tian had left.
Since Nie Tian was the only one who could open the gate to the palace and he hadn’t returned, even if she had hatched the huge egg, she wouldn’t be able to leave the palace, just as others wouldn’t be able to enter.
After arriving, Yan Zhan hid his aura, his figure illusory and blurry. Dong Li, who was focused on hatching the huge egg, didn’t sense any anomalies.
“Dark power...” Yan Zhan sensed Dong Li’s uncommon aura. His body seem to merge with the palace as he examined his surroundings with his soul.
Moments later, a soul shadow was separated from his sea of awareness and rose from the top of his head.
It flew through the spell formation that enveloped the palace without meeting any resistance, and floated just outside. Then, like an invisible and undetectable spirit, it examined the teleportation portal that led to the Realm of Maelstrom, along with the numerous experts from all over the Domain of the Falling Stars who were guarding it.
None of the experts, including Qi Bailu and Zong Zheng, felt its existence, or sensed his soul aura in the slightest.
After spending a while listening to the conversations between Qi Bailu and the other experts about the Domain of the Falling Stars and the Domain of Heaven Python, Yan Zhan’s soul shadow followed Chang Sen and a few others into the teleportation portal, and teleported to the Realm of Flame Heaven.
It soon flew to the Nie Clan, and came to a stop over the place where Nie Tian had been born.
Yan Zhan’s soul shadow secretly read every memory the Nie Clan members had of Nie Tian while they were fast asleep.
Afterwards, it flew to the Cloudsoaring Sect, the Spiritual Treasure Sect, the Blood Sect, and every other place that Nie Tian had been to, where it read people’s memories of Nie Tian.
Yan Zhan didn’t alarm a single person. No one knew that his soul shadow had already traveled to the Realm of Flame Heaven and learned everything that everyone knew about Nie Tian.
“So his mother is a local human Qi warrior in the Domain of the Falling Stars. There’s nothing special about her.
“His special bloodline must have come from his father.
“But the strange thing is that not a single member of the Nie Clan or anyone else in the Realm of Flame Heaven seems to have any memories of him. They only know that he existed, but none of them have ever seen him.
“He was definitely here, yet he didn’t leave any traces behind.
“Also, Nie Tian’s mother’s grave is empty. In the Nie Clan members’ memories, they had definitely buried his mother, so why is there not a skeleton in that grave?
“I’m afraid there’s something very special about Nie Tian’s father. We’ve got to find out more about him in order to figure out the origin of his bloodline.”
While Yan Zhan’s true form remained hidden at the heart of the palace in the Realm of Split Void, a wisp of his soul was able to separate itself from his sea of awareness and travel around independently for a long time.
Even though his soul shadow traveled across the Realm of Flame Heaven, the Realm of Split Void, the Realm of Mystic Heaven, and other realms Nie Tian had been to, and tried to learn everything about Nie Tian through the people who knew him, he failed to find any information about his father.
However, he discovered a shocking fact while investigating Nie Tian.
“Nie Tian’s master, Wu Ji, practices time power, and he’s currently in the Shatter Battlefield, deriving enlightenment from that mysterious river of time.
“Time power is probably the most profound power in this universe. All of the records we have of it in the Records Pavilion are descriptions of its wonders, not how to practice it.
“How to practice time power has always been a mystery. Our sect hasn’t even mastered the basics.
“But that Wu Ji is already an expert in time power magics.
“Aside from that, the Yin Sect and the Yang Sect practice the same incantations as those of the Grand Sun Palace and the Chilly Moon Palace. Both of their sectmasters have extraordinary cultivation talent and great potential.
“And about the mysterious Void Palace Sect... a large number of Void Palace Sect disciples, who practice spatial magics, left for an unidentified realm, and never showed up again.
“Who would have thought the Domain of the Falling Stars, which has been forgotten for so long, would actually hold so many surprising secrets?”
Yan Zhan gradually grew more and more interested in the Domain of the Falling Stars, and thus decided to spend more time traveling through its realms.
There were scrolls in the Records Pavilion that were about the Domain of the Falling Stars. However, since it was in a remote corner, it had been forgotten for who knew how long.
Even Yan Zhan only vaguely knew that it existed, and that it had been included in the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s map by powerful experts from their first generation.
Those experts had long since perished and been buried in endless time. Now, even experts like Yan Zhan didn’t know why they had planted a Heaven Gate in the Domain of the Falling Stars, which was such an insignificant place.
“Don’t tell me that there are more secrets of the Domain of the Falling Stars that we have yet to discover.” The more Yan Zhan learned, the more curious he became.
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