However, many of the Qi warriors from the other clans, who were at the middle or late Greater Heaven stage, suddenly fell to the ground with blood coming out of their ears and eyes.
Even worse, some early Greater Heaven stage cultivators, who hadn’t spent much time forging their soul sea and thus didn’t possess significant psychic power, were caught off-guard. With their souls pierced, they died instantly.
Dong Mingxuan’s face turn pale with fright as he reminded everyone loudly, “Watch out! It’s the Phantasms’ psychic attack!”
However, his reminder came a little late.
After yelling out these words, he looked over his shoulder and discovered that some early Greater Heaven stage members who weren’t skilled at using their psychic power had already collapsed to the ground upon the strong impact from the Phantasms’ psychic attack. With their souls riddled with holes or simply shattered, many died instant deaths.
Even those with higher cultivation bases had fallen to the ground, where they hastily fetched medicinal pills with grim expressions to cure the injuries to their souls.
All of them had focused on protecting themselves from the corrosive phantasm Qi with their spiritual power shields, but had ignored the defense of their souls.
As soon as the sharp screech echoed out, they all took serious blows. They were either killed or severely injured, their miserable wails filling the air.
“Hmm?!" Dong Mingxuan couldn’t help but exclaim as he set his eyes on the Dong Clan’s Qi warriors, confusion appearing on his face.
At this moment, the other Worldly realm experts who had been marching in the front, as well as Cao Qiushui, Qian Xin, Gu Haofeng, and Qin Yan, all noticed the Dong Clan members’ condition: none of them died or had blood coming out of their eyes and ears.
All of them seemed unharmed by the Phantasms’ psychic attack.
Each and every one of them cast their shocked and admiring gaze towards Dong Li, as they were all very grateful for her wise instructions.
“Our Miss is so awesome!”
“We made the right decision by following her!”
“Without our Miss’ reminder, none of us would have been able to ward off the Phantasms’ psychic attack. We would either have been killed or severely injured!”
Respect and admiration filled their eyes as they looked at her.
However, under her subordinates’ gazes, Dong Li’s expression grew somewhat uneasy, as she secretly felt ashamed.
“Dong Li!!” Cao Qiushui couldn’t help but yell at her. “How come your men are the only ones who are unhurt? If you knew what was going to happen, why didn’t you remind us?!”
Qian Xin and Gu Haofeng’s expressions also grew unpleasant.
Even Qin Yan’s expression grew grim as she stepped over and asked with her eyes fixed on Dong Li, “What’s that about, Li?”
Dong Li hadn’t expected the change would take place so abruptly and catch everyone else off guard.
By the time she realized she should have told everyone, it was already too late. People from the other clans or sects had already sustained different degrees of injuries.
“Well... I wasn’t sure that the Phantasms would launch psychic attacks,” Dong Li said with a deeply embarrassed expression on her face. “I was going to let Han Mu inform you guys about my speculation after he finished informing my men. However, who would have known that the change would come so abruptly?”
“This is not the time to place blame!” Shen Zhong from the Pill Pavilion Sect called out. “Everyone, learn from your lesson and do your best to guard your souls! There’s something strange about this place. The moment that screech echoed out, the mountain walls on both sides seemed to have enhanced its might. I should taken some of the responsibility, as I failed to notice the anomaly and discover what the Phantasms were up to.”
Upon hearing his words, everyone shut their mouths and hastily gathered their psychic power to form defenses protecting their souls, lest more psychic attacks should come.
Just as they expected, soon after their defenses were raised, another screech rang out.
Hearing the screech, the well-prepared crowd looked at the mountain walls on both sides of the valley as they summoned psychic power to defend their souls.
The sparsely vegetated mountain walls were once again covered in watery, cyan energy. Immediately afterwards, the might of the ear-piercing screech skyrocketed. Like tens of thousands of sharp arrows, they shot towards everyone’s souls.
However, since everyone was prepared, they did their utmost to defend against them. Some of them let out muffled groans, but no one was seriously injured.
Qian Xin let out a cold harrumph and called out, “Dong Li! Next time you discover any anomalies, let us know, alright?”
“Of course, I will!” Dong Li said, grievance filling her stomach. “I was going to remind you. It was just that it happened too fast.”
“That’d better be it.” Qian Xin seemed very displeased. “We’re all from the Realm of a Hundred Battles, and we’ve worked with each other many times. I hope we can trust each other instead of harboring disloyalty! Please save your schemes for our enemies!”
Dong Li seemed rather embarrassed.
After the incident, everyone raised their guard and didn’t rush into the depths of the valley.
Everyone guarded their souls tightly, worrying that they would face more psychic attacks.
However, the Phantasms at the depths of the valley seemed to have discovered that their psychic attacks were no longer effective, and thus stopped attacking them with screeches.
With gritted teeth, Dong Li shot Nie Tian a nasty look and said, “Wu Tian, you come here and march by my side!”
The two of them marched side by side after Dong Mingxuan. Behind them were Han Mu and the other Dong Clan members.
“You got me good!” Dong Li said with a low voice.
Innocence filled Nie Tian’s face as he said, “What?! Without my reminder, at least two of your men would have died, and the others would have sustained serious injuries to their souls. There would be no way that they would be safe and well like they are now!”
“That’s not what I mean.” Dong Li seemed somewhat edgy. “Since you noticed the anomaly, you should have been more certain and clear about it. Everyone is suspicious about my intentions because of you!”
“That’s because I wasn’t completely certain myself!” Nie Tian explained.
“Forget about it.” Dong Li was angry at Nie Tian’s ambiguity as well as her own indecision, which had led to the fact that she had only informed her own subordinates, and the others then raised suspicion and discontent towards her.
“From now on, let me know as soon as you find any anomalies!” She said in a low voice.
“Okay..." Nie Tian coldly.
At that moment, Shen Zhong, who was marching in the front, turned around and said to Qian Xin, who was marching behind him, “Keep an eye out for that kid beside Dong Li. There’s something unusual about him.”
Qian Xin was taken aback. “That Wu Tian person?”
Shen Zhong nodded vigorously. “He was the one who told Dong Li that those people from the Spirit God Sect had died from having their souls taken away.
“Also, did you notice that he was completely unaffected by both psychic attacks?
“Dong Li’s other subordinates were also reminded in time. Every single one of them has a cultivation base higher than his, yet they all staggered and struggled to maintain a firm foothold.
“Only Wu Tian was completely uninfluenced. That doesn’t make sense.”
After hearing Shen Zhong’s analysis, Qian Xin, who was also from the Pill Pavilion Sect, realized that Nie Tian might have some secrets.
Qin Yan from the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce also grew suspicious. Originally, she had been marching rather far from Dong Li. But now, she moved to a position closer to her, where she constantly snuck glances at Dong Li and Nie Tian, who were communicating in low voices.
She knew about Nie Tian’s actual identity, and she knew Dong Li very well.
From the details she had picked up, she suspected that Nie Tian, who was being berated by Dong Li, had been the one to have sensed the danger.
“It must have been him!” Qin Yan muttered to herself.
At that very moment, gray, misty souls rose from the top of the heads of the corpses, who had died from the Phantasms’ psychic attack.
As the discarnate souls flew out, not only did they not dissipate into heaven and earth, but they also rapidly absorbed the faint phantasm Qi and quickly morphed into Specters, before beginning to attack their former clansmen.
Two men, who seemed to have been close friends of one of the deceased, were taken by surprise while they were grieving over their friend’s death.
The dead man’s gray misty soul morphed into a wisp of cyan smoke and shot directly into their heads, where it ravaged their souls.
The two of them cried out as they used the psychic defenses they had formed to fight the Specter that used to be their friend.
Dong Mingxuan realized what was happening and exclaimed, “Something is not right! The souls of the deceased are not disappearing. They must be influenced by the Phantasms’ magics!
“Listen to me everyone! Destroy your dead friends’ discarnate souls as quickly as possible. Otherwise, their discarnate souls will absorb the phantasm Qi in this region and turn into Specters!”
Upon hearing these words, the people who were standing beside their deceased friends started destroying their friends’ discarnate souls, fighting off their grief.
One gray, misty soul after another was rapidly bombarded and scattered before they could take advantage of the special environment and morph into Specters.
After a major scuffle, the two men, who had their souls invaded by the Specter, finally held on to their souls and survived the attack, their faces ghastly.
Even though the discarnate souls of the deceased members had been destroyed one after another, everyone’s hearts grew increasingly heavy.
Though protected by Qiu Liang’s fiery ring, they had already lost many people, and they hadn’t even marched through the valley yet.
According to Cao Qiushui, this valley was only a defensive mechanism. The Phantasm relic was located in the lake behind it.
Now, they truly felt the dreadfulness of the Phantasms.