"Who's there?!" Ning Yang let out a violent shout as he backed away from the meteor. The skin on his hand was cut open and blood was flowing out of his torn flesh.
With a thought, he summoned the spiritual sword he had hacked into the meteor, and it rapidly flew back into his hand.
At that very moment, Tong Jianfeng's corpse landed heavily at the bottom of the crater, creating a loud crash.
Numerous threads of cyan light were still snaking around on Tong Jianfeng's corpse.
Tong Jianfeng had harbored intentions to rescue Ning Yang. However, he ended up being the one penetrated and killed by the numerous threads of cyan light.
In the meantime, more copious amounts of phantasm Qi, which originated from the Phantasms' realms, continued to converge on the gigantic meteor. The originally subtle life aura inside the meteor instantly grew vigorous and conspicuous.
The part of the meteor where Ning Yang's spiritual sword had hacked at suddenly exploded, and a vague figure whizzed out, wreathed in rich, cyan phantasm Qi.
As soon as it appeared, it shot directly towards Ning Yang.
All the phantasm Qi within the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth in this region seemed to have found a vent and rushed towards the vague figure.
"A legacy mark from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace!" The vague figure said in broken human language as it immediately focused its attention on Ning Yang.
Just now, as Ning Yang had attempted to shatter the meteor with his sword, he had opened his lapels and looked down at the fragmentary star mark on his chest from time to time, hoping to uncover the mysteries within it.
That was why the vague figure had caught sight of the fragmentary star mark on his chest the moment it flew out of the meteor.
This Phantasm seemed to know that it was a legacy mark he had acquired from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, and thus gave voice to its findings.
Ning Yang immediately grew psyched. "W-who are you? How do you know that this is a legacy mark I obtained from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace?"
Staring coldly at the mark on Ning Yang's chest, the vague figure said, "It's a shame that you haven't refined it. This means that you haven't been acknowledged by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, and this is why you haven't been able to learn secret magics from it. Also, an unrefined legacy mark can be stripped from its owner!"
SHEW! SHEW! SHEW!
One after another, numerous ribbon-like, cyan lights shot out from within the vague figure.
The threads of cyan light moved like spiritual snakes, and there were hundreds of them.
In a split second, the substantial amount of cyan light threads surrounded Ning Yang. They rapidly formed a ward around him, inside of which a strange magnetic field was gradually born.
Ning Yang brandished his spiritual sword as he hoped to break the ward with his sword blasts.
However, not only did his sword blasts fail to shatter the strange ward, but it began to shrink continuously.
All of a sudden, the vague figure wreathed in cyan phantasm Qi whizzed into the ward like a ghost, where it reached out its hand and grabbed towards Ning Yang's chest.
An inconceivably strong attraction force was instantly born within its palm. Like a large magnet, it was actually pulling the legacy mark away from Ning Yang's chest bit by bit.
With angry roars, Ning Yang madly unleashed all kinds of secret magics from the Heaven Palace Sect. The area around him was rapidly filled with sword blasts and lightning bolts.
However, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't stop the legacy mark he had acquired from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace from being gradually detached from him.
The fragmentary star mark seemed to have sensed some kind of danger, and thus began to emanate dazzlingly bright starlight.
After being detached, the floating fragmentary star mark seemed to turn into a glorious nebula. The countless ancient magical symbols within it seemed to turn into stars. They shone so brightly that it was as if they were resisting being captured by that foreign Phantasm.
Nie Tian, who had been observing in the dark, noticed that his refined fragmentary star mark had also surfaced from under his skin and detached itself from his chest!
Like another nebula, it floated in front of his chest.
Without any active consciousness of his own, his star power and psychic power madly converged on that fragmentary star mark.
Even the seven fragmentary stars within his soul flew out and rushed into that fragmentary star mark.
Floating in front of Nie Tian's chest, the nebula-like fragmentary star mark unleashed increasingly dazzling, bright starlight.
The starlight was so blindingly bright that Xue Long and Pei Qiqi couldn't even bear to look directly at it.
Astonished by the scene, Xue Long asked, "Nie Tian! What's happening?!"
"What's going on?!" Pei Qiqi also asked hastily.
The two of them hadn't been able to see Tong Jianfeng's death and the battle between Ning Yang and the Phantasm.
Therefore, they were unable to make heads or tails of the sudden drastic changes that were happening to Nie Tian. They thought Ni Tian was in danger.
However, at this moment, Nie Tian was having his star power and psychic power pulled away from him at an extremely fast speed, so he didn't have to time to explain.
He focused all of his attention on the increasingly bright fragmentary star mark that was floating in front of his chest.
"Hmm?!" In the enormous crater, the vague figure wreathed in cyan phantasm Qi suddenly sensed an anomaly as it was just about to harvest the legacy mark it had separated from Ning Yang's body.
It noticed that the legacy mark, which it had already locked down using its thoughts, was shaking violently, as if it was doing its utmost to resist it.
Originally, the Phantasm had no problem handling such resistance.
However, at that moment, it suddenly sensed that another force had started to infuse the legacy mark with power from a distant location. Not only that, but the force even began to summon the legacy mark from within its hand.
Before it could react, it sensed a sudden surge in the force, and the legacy mark shot out of its hand and whizzed in Nie Tian's direction.
In a location about a thousand meters away...
Without any warning, Nie Tian's refined fragmentary star mark suddenly rose and flew straight up into the air, while shining with dazzlingly bright starlight.
Like a rising star, it attracted everyone's attention, including Ning Yang's.
Having his fragmentary star mark stripped from him, Ning Yang almost lost his mind. Staring at the cluster of bright starlight in the distant sky, he couldn't help but let out an enraged roar, "Nie Tian!!!"
He assumed that the vague figure that had come out of the meteor had been invited by Nie Tian, so that it could lure him into a trap and thus take his fragmentary star mark away from him.
Watching the fragmentary star mark he had gone to great lengths to obtain from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace fly further and further away from him and towards the cluster of dazzling starlight, Ning Yang didn't even think for a second before shooting towards Nie Tian's location at his fastest possible speed, completely ignoring the strange creature in front of him.
The visitor from an unknown realm also caught sight of the cluster of bright starlight. "A refined legacy mark!" With a single glance from afar, it was convinced that it was a refined legacy mark that had attracted its newly-acquired legacy mark away.
It went blank for a brief moment, as it didn't understand the relationship between Ning Yang and Nie Tian.
However, in a flash, it snapped back to its senses and dashed towards Nie Tian's location after Ning Yang.
In the blink of an eye, the fragmentary star mark that had belonged to Ning Yang turned into a trail of bright light and arrived in the air above Nie Tian.
Upon contact with Nie Tian's refined fragmentary star mark, the third fragmentary star mark received Nie Tian's star power and psychic power, along with the aura of the seven fragmentary stars from Nie Tian's soul.
Immediately afterwards, the two fragmentary star marks plummeted towards Nie Tian's chest like two falling stars.
The refined fragmentary star mark flew back into Nie Tian's chest and disappeared into his flesh.
However, the fragmentary star mark from Ning Yang appeared on his skin next to his second fragmentary star mark like another mysterious tattoo.
"You've got to leave now!" With a deep breath, Li Langfeng took out his bell and unleashed clusters of green smoke, which carried extremely toxic and corrosive auras.
In a brief moment, he was engulfed by the thick, green smoke, and his eyes took on a dark-green color.
Li Langfeng's bizarre magic and scrawny physique made him looked very much like an evil ghost at this moment.
"That Phantasm from some unknown realm possesses formidable power, and even I don't have any confidence in defeating it." Seeing that Nie Tian, Pei Qiqi, and Xue Long didn't intend to leave, Li Langfeng raised his voice and yelled, "I won't stop Ning Yang from chasing after you. I'll only do my best to stall that Phantasm! You'll only need to escape from Ning Yang's pursuit, and then you'll be fine!
"Ning Yang probably won't be able to do much damage to you, but if that Phantasm somehow catches you, you all will be killed beyond the shadow of a doubt!"
After uttering these words, Li Langfeng shot directly towards the incoming Phantasm, wreathed in thick, green toxic smoke, along with a fierce, gruesome aura.
"Nie Tian!" Ning Yang shouted, his face filled with a mad ecstasy.
He had never expected that he would encounter Nie Tian after days of fruitless exploration and agonizing waiting in this region.
Nie Tian had obtained two fragmentary star marks. As long as Nie Tian hadn't fully refined them, he would be able to strip them from him.
If he could collect all three fragmentary marks and merge them with himself, he would be able to shoulder the important task of sealing the three major spatial rifts. At that time, not only would he be taken back by the Heaven Palace Sect, but he would also become the most famous man across the entire Domain of the Falling Stars.
Nie Tian's appearance made him see the silver lining, so he dropped all other matters and focused on the pursuit of the three fragmentary star marks like a possessed person.
"Nie Tian! Let's go!" Xue Long also sensed the unfavorable situation, so he called out, "Ning Yang isn't the real threat. That Phantasm is what's truly deadly! We have to run as far away as we can from this place while Li Langfeng keeps that Phantasm busy. You absolutely can't be captured by that Phantasm. I believe it's also after the fragmentary star marks you have!"
"I understand!" Nie Tian nodded gently before he followed Xue Long and Pei Qiqi as the three of them sped away at the fastest speed possible.