The Shatter Battlefield used to be a super-large-scale realm as well.
But compared to this floating realm, its fate had been much sadder.
Even though the floating realm had been torn asunder by the interracial war, the Star Behemoth had steered it to a secluded area after the outsiders and Ancientbeasts had left, and thanks to it, the realm had been channeling power from the starry river to recover its lost vitality.
The Shatter Battlefield, however, had been torn apart by endless battles between different races, and lost its chance at prospering again.
It had gradually fallen, and become an arena where powerful experts of different races flaunted their strength by killing each other.
Even so, it still held many wonders, some of which were even more fascinating that what the floating realm had to offer.
For this reason, it had attracted countless explorers to seek fortunes and make breakthroughs in it over the past hundreds of thousands of years.
The ninth grade ice phoenix had entered the Shatter Battlefield from the Realm of Maelstrom after taking Pei Qiqi.
Nie Tian and the others had entered the same way she had.
Stella was taken aback. “Are you talking about the hybrid girl whose bloodline carried the profound truths of spatial power?”
Nie Tian nodded.
“She escaped,” Stella said, looking somewhat frustrated. “I discovered her special bloodline shortly after entering the Shatter Battlefield. Even I hadn’t seen someone with such a unique bloodline before. Originally, I had planned to bring her back to my domain, where I would take my time to study her bloodline.
“But one day, when I was cultivating, a Heaven Nourished grade spatial material in the Shatter Battlefield somehow established a connection with her.
“By the time I sensed the anomaly, she had already broken my restrictive bloodline spell with the power she received from that spatial treasure.
“With its help and the wonders of her unique bloodline, she split the void and disappeared. I couldn’t keep track of her.
“It wasn’t long before I lost her completely. After some time, I heard people say that a Heaven Nourished grade spatial treasure appeared in the depths of the Shatter Battlefield. Even powerful experts from the Void Spirit Society descended to search for it everywhere.
“But I didn’t hear a word about her again.”
Stella didn’t hide anything that had happened between her and Pei Qiqi.
Nie Tian listened closely and took his time to sort through his thoughts. Then, he realized that that spatial treasure had been drawn to Pei Qiqi’s unique bloodline, and after seeking her out, it had helped her break Stella’s restriction spell and escape.
He didn’t know what she had gone through after that.
All he knew was that she had later returned to the Domain of Heaven Python through the spatial rift which connected to the Realm of Maelstrom, and started hunting down and killing those that had taken part in her master’s death.
After that, the sectmaster of the Void Spirit Society had set his eyes on her, and taken her back to their headquarters as a legacy disciple.
Give the unique wonders of her bloodline and the sectmaster’s unreserved cultivation, she would definitely become a star that shone across the starry river one day.
“What about the river of time? Did you...?” Nie Tian asked again.
Stella shook her head. “I didn’t go anywhere close to the river of time. It’s located in the depths of the Shatter Battlefield, where many Saint domain members and a God domain member of the Void Spirit Society soon arrived and started searching. I didn’t want any trouble, so I didn’t go there.”
“So nothing really useful...” Nie Tian thought to himself.
“No matter what brought you to this floating continent, since you’ve saved the remains of my people from the outsiders, I owe you one.” After a moment of hesitation, Stella added, “But of course this doesn’t change my attitude towards the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace and humans.
“Anyways, I’ll remember what you’ve done, and I’ll repay you when an opportunity presents itself.”
“Alright,” McEleney chimed in, “it’s about time we parted ways, as I’m sure we all have business to attend to.”
The flame spark that had flown out of Nie Tian’s flame power core into the desert suddenly burst out from underneath the sand, and disappeared into him like a bolt of lightning.
After returning to his flame power core, it blazed even more fiercely.
Disbelief filled McEleney’s eyes as his gaze switched back and forth between Nie Tian and the sand. “That flame spark...”
A hint of apprehension appeared on the ninth grade ice phoenix’s face.
As the flame spark whizzed back into Nie Tian, a great part of the frosty mist that enveloped her vaporized, almost revealing her appearance.
Both the dragon and the ice phoenix knew that the flame spark was the reason why the two Demon grand patriarchs had been forced to leave.
After all, it had driven Hazlitt’s bloodline aura out of the desert, stopping him from using the desert’s blazing power to negate Stella’s frosty magics.
Then, Hazlitt’s leaving had put Feimos the Controller in a panic, and eventually resulted in his retreat.
If it weren’t for that flame spark, the battle would have still been going on, and it would be hard to say who would have prevailed.
After the flame spark flew back into his flame power core, Nie Tian was surprised to discover that the flame power the desert exuded had dropped significantly. He no longer felt scorched and bothered.
“This desert...” He muttered, looking baffled.
“This desert goes all the way down to the core of this continent, and connects to an enormous lava lake,” McEleney explained without holding anything back. “Back in the day, my people used to refine their bloodline power and temper their fleshly bodies in it. But as our war against the outsiders went on, we practically drained it of its boiling lava.
“Now that so many years have passed, it seems to have regathered some flame power.
“But I suppose Hazlitt and that flame spark of yours sucked it dry again. I wonder how many years it’ll take for it to recover its seething lava again.”
After a short pause, McEleney fixed Nie Tian with a deep look and asked, “Where did you get that flame spark?”
“Sorry, it’s a secret,” Nie Tian answered.
“Alright then.” McEleney nodded, showing that he understood. Then, he shot Stella a meaningful glance, signaling her that it was time to leave.
After rising into the sky, they each resumed their original forms and flew off in two different directions.
Nie Tian knew that one of them was heading back to the domain they had come from, while the other was going to unearth the corpses of their deceased members.
“Even though it wasn’t my intention to absorb flame power from the underground lava lake, it could be viewed as me breaking the deal,” Nie Tian thought to himself, worrying that the Star Behemoth would find out about this and hold him accountable.
Shortly after the ninth grade dragon and ice phoenix left, Jing Feiyang and the others returned.
“They left?” Jing Feiyang asked curiously.
“Yes, they did. They have their own missions.” Nie Tian said, gazing off into the distant sky. “Alright, we’ve finally finished our mission. It’s about time we left this floating continent.”
As soon as Nie Tian gave the order, all of the Saint and Void domain experts sped off.
The three Saint domain experts had summoned a few air-transportation spiritual tools to carry the numerous dead eighth grade outsiders they had collected. Quan Zixuan turned to Nie Tian and said, “There’s a total of twenty-seven eighth grade outsiders and a dozen seventh grade ones. What should we do with them and their storage rings?”
“Split the storage rings among yourselves evenly. I won’t take any.” With these words, Nie Tian paused briefly to think. “As for the corpses... give them to me. I’ll put them to good use.”
Everyone nodded, looking delighted.
They had already examined the contents of those storage rings. They held a large number of rare spiritual materials and medicinal herbs, many of which couldn’t be found in the Domain of Heaven Python. Some even couldn’t be found in most human domains.
All of them were of great value. Some could be forged into cultivators’ domains to boost their cultivations.
As for the items that weren’t useful to them, they could take them back to the Domain of Heaven Python and trade them for spirit jades and spirit crystals, or other materials that were helpful to them.
Nie Tian carried Dong Li on his Star Boat on their way back.
She kept complaining about the fact that Meng Li had taken her away, depriving her of a chance at witnessing the battle between the ninth grade dragon, the ice phoenix, and the two Demon grand patriarchs.
Meanwhile, the black tortoise seemed to be stirred awake by the flesh auras of the dead demonic bugs on the other air-transportation spiritual tools.
Without any hesitation, it pounced on them and started munching exclusively on the demonic bugs that had come out of Feimos’ split lumps.
Soon, it finished every last demonic bug.
“Those demonic bugs’ shells seem to be helpful to it.” With these words, Dong Li initiated a soul communication with the black tortoise. Afterwards, she informed Nie Tian with great excitement that it was about to advance to the eighth grade.
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Hey guys, Zhongyuan Jie (中元节) was yesterday. My father and I went to burn joss paper for my deceased grandparents. I wanted to do a special feature after I came back, but somehow forgot about it... Anyways, this is perhaps the festival I found the most thrilling as a child. After all, my grandma always told us to go home early on this day.
The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, Zhongyuan Jie (中元节), Gui Jie (鬼节) or Yulan Festival (盂兰盆节) is a traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival held in certain Asian countries. According to the Chinese calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Ghost Festival is on the 15th night of the seventh month.
In Chinese culture, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. Distinct from both the Qingming Festival (in spring) and Double Ninth Festival (in autumn) in which living descendants pay homage to their deceased ancestors, during Ghost Festival, the deceased are believed to visit the living.
On the fifteenth day the realms of Heaven and Hell and the realm of the living are open and both Taoists and Buddhists would perform rituals to transmute and absolve the sufferings of the deceased. Intrinsic to the Ghost Month is veneration of the dead, where traditionally the filial piety of descendants extends to their ancestors even after their deaths. Activities during the month would include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, and burning joss paper, a papier-mâché form of material items such as clothes, gold and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors. Elaborate meals (often vegetarian meals) would be served with empty seats for each of the deceased in the family treating the deceased as if they are still living. Ancestor worship is what distinguishes Qingming Festival from Ghost Festival because the latter includes paying respects to all deceased, including the same and younger generations, while the former only includes older generations. Other festivities may include buying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water, which signifies giving directions to the lost ghosts and spirits of the ancestors and other deities.
Here’s a short video about the festival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjj1Wk9Xzpw