Flying out of the secret outpost together with the terrified core disciple from the Heavenly Dragon Temple, Xuan Hao found a small, isolated spot at the base of a nearby mountain to land before carving out a small cave where he could question the core disciple about his reason for breaking into the Star Shattering Sect without anyone coming to disturb him in the process.

"W-what do you want to do!? The Heavenly Dragon Temple isn't going to let you go after doing something like this to a core disciple and- Mmmh!" Hearing the core disciple start complaining loudly without showing any signs of understanding his current situation, Xuan Hao put the rag back into his mouth and prevented him from continuing to threaten him with the might of the Heavenly Dragon Temple.

Although he thought that this core disciple might have figured out that there was none coming to avenge or search for him after his disappearance due to the fact that the people back in the secret outpost going back and informing the rest of the Heavenly Dragon Temple that someone from the Blue Sea Empire had taken him away- Or maybe he had already realized this and intend to remain silent to the end…

"How troublesome… I'm only going to ask you this once, what is the reason you broke into the Star Shattering Sect? Was your goal only to find that ancient ruin at the Fifth Star Peak or did you also have some other goal for entering the Star Shattering Sect?" Removing the rag once again after he had finished talking, Xuan Hao penitently gazed down at the core disciple of the Heavenly Dragon Temple.

Different from before, the core disciple didn't start cursing and threatening him like he had done before. Instead, his eyes darted back and forth between Xuan Hao and the exit of the cave as a struggling look appeared on his face.

Although he understood that there was no way Xuan Hao would let him escape given that he knew about his identity as someone from the Star Shattering Sect and would undoubtedly tell his master and the rest of the Heavenly Dragon Temple about what had happened, he still found himself hesitating.

"You… Can you ensure that I can leave alive if I tell you why I broke into your sect…?"

In the end, the fear of death was simply far too terrifying for a core disciple of a major power who had never really been in any real life and death situation before today.

"Sure, but I hope you understand that I will put a few restrictions on you to ensure you don't end up causing trouble to the Star Shattering Sect in the future." Nodding his head with a slight smile on his face in response to what the core disciple of the Heavenly Dragon Temple said, Xuan Hao didn't mind agreeing with his request of being able to leave alive. In any case, he was still someone in the Dao Domain Lord Realm, he had more than one way to ensure that he wouldn't end up implicating him in the future.

For now, the most important thing was to learn why someone from a powerful force like the Heavenly Dragon Temple had suddenly decided to send someone to the borders of a small empire like the Sky Empire.

"Thank you senior!" Understanding that Xuan Hao had no reason to lie to him in his current situation, the core disciple of the Heavenly Dragon Temple was overcome with joy upon hearing him agree on him leaving alive. Even if he understood that all sorts of restrictions would end up being placed on him as a result of this, it was still far better than being killed.

Not to mention, after he returned to the Heavenly Dragon Temple, he could always ask his master to help him undo the restriction. After all, he highly doubted someone from a backwards empire located at the edges of the continent to be more powerful than his master, one of the pillars of the Heavenly Dragon Temple!

"No need to waste time, the sooner you finish, the faster you can leave."

"I understand senior. Ehm… First off, the reason why I entered the Star Shattering Sect was to investigate the state of the ruins located at the Fifth Star Peak and see if they were about to open up. After all, the ancient protective formation placed on those ruins far exceed the Earth Immortal Realm and is not something that can be dealt with by someone in the Earth Immortal Realm… And, from my investigation, it looks like the ruins were indeed about to open up.

Outside of this, I also ran into some people before entering the Star Shattering Sect who asked me if I could gather some information about the strength of the Star Shattering Sect. Normally, I would never do something like this, but the people who asked me already knew about my identity and had also reached the Soul Ascension Realm.

Although I could escape by using the teleportation talisman my master gave me, I decided not to and agreed to help them. After all, if I used the teleportation talisman before even entering the Star Shattering Sect, I would have failed my master's mission…" Going quiet after he finished saying this, the core disciple of the Heavenly Dragon Temple nervously fidgeted with his hands as he looked towards him filled with fear.

Even if he had gotten Xuan Hao's word that he would spare him if he told him the reason for him entering the Star Shattering Sect, he didn't fully believe that Xuan Hao would allow him to leave alive. After all, if he could think of his master helping him with the restrictions, so could Xuan Hao…

"Hm… I understand, do you know anything about the ruins on the Fifth Star Peak?"

"N-no… My master never told me anything other than the fact that the ruins once belonged to a powerful ancient sect from the past." Shaking his head fearfully as he instantly responded to Xuan Hao's question, the core disciple of the Heavenly Dragon Temple began feeling even more nervous about his fate compared to before.

"Haaa… Do you know anything about the people who asked you to investigate the strength of the Star Shattering Sect? Given that they had reached the Soul Ascension Realm, you should at least have some impression of them." Shaking his head in disappointment after hearing the answer from the core disciple, Xuan Hao instead decided to try and ask about the group of people who had stopped him before he snuck inside the Star Shattering Sect.

All things considered. Finding out who these people were was far more important than the ancient ruins about to open at the Fifth Star Peak.

Not only did they clearly sound hostile to the Star Shattering Sect from the task they had given to the core disciple of the Heavenly Dragon Temple, but they were clearly also powerful enough to know about a power like the Heavenly Dragon Temple, someone that he had never heard about inside the Sky Empire before today.

Maybe they are the people behind the secret technique spreading among the different major kingdoms… But why would someone like that target the Star Shattering Sect? Is it perhaps related to the ancient ruins about to open up at the Fifth Star Peak?

As he thought about all of this, the core disciple of the Heavenly Dragon Temple nervously looked at the visible frown on his face and understood that he might not be able to leave the Blue Sea Empire alive if he didn't come out with any useful information-

"S-senior… Although I'm not certain about the identity of those people, I might have an idea…"

For this Reason, he could only use everything he had. Even if his master was going to kill him personally if he found out…

"Hm? Go on…"

"Thank you senior… The people who recognized me and asked me to investigate the strength of your sect might also be related to my Heavenly Dragon Temple…"

"Also related to the Heavenly Dragon Temple? What do you mean?" Not knowing what to say when he heard that the group of people causing trouble for the Star Shattering Sect in the Sky Empire might be related to the Heavenly Dragon Temple as well, Xuan Hao could not help showing a confused expression on his face as he asked for the core disciple to clarify what he meant.

"To be more precise, I think they are part of a special group trained by my master outside the supervision of the Heavenly Dragon Temple. My presence here to investigate the Fifth Star Peak might not have been to help my master learn about the state of the ancient ruins at the Fifth Star Peak but should be a rouse to mislead the rest of the elders from the Heavenly Dragon Temple.

If I'm not wrong, my master should have wanted to falsely show me that the ancient runs were nowhere near opening and have me report this back to the rest of the sect, just… He miscalculated and didn't account for a powerful sect like the Star Shattering Sect to appear and occupy the Shattered Star Peaks before he could set any of his plans into action…"


Listening to what the core disciple of the Heavenly Dragon Temple said, Xuan Hao could not help freezing on spot as he realized that things were far more complicated than he had first expected. Not to mention, it looked like he wouldn't be able to avoid the Heavenly Dragon Temple…