The moment Nie Tian’s seven Heaven Eyes had entered her soul, she had recognized that it was him.
Back then, she had been confined by the mountains of corpses and seas of blood created by the Phantasms’ magics. Trapped in endless illusions, she had been at the most desperate moment of her life.
Even her black phoenix had failed to burst through the barriers of illusions and rescue her soul shadow after she called upon it.
Drowned by surging waves of negative emotions, she had felt bleak and terrified.
She had thought that her soul shadow was going to be gnawed away. She would have become a bloodthirsty, empty shell like the local Qi warriors, and eventually become another Specter added to the army of Specters over the lake.
As a matter of fact, there had been nothing she could do to turn the situation around.
Occasionally, she had gathered all of her psychic power to restore a moment of clarity to her mind. However, what she had seen was Cao Qiushui, Qian Xin, and the others pointing their swords at her.
The way they had looked at her was as if they had been looking at a Specter, which had made her deeply disheartened.
Even though her subordinates had gathered around her, every one of them, except Han Mu, had guarded themselves against her, as if they had been facing a formidable foe.
Upon seeing such a scene, every bit of courage she had left to fight the evil in her mind had been extinguished.
Just as she had been on the verge of giving up, seven spots of bright starlight had suddenly appeared over her soul sea.
They had carried Nie Tian’s soul aura, and their divine light instantly lit up her cold, fearful soul.
Nie Tian’s appearance had given her hope again. She had braced herself and gone all-out to fight the mountains of corpses and seas of blood that had been eating her sanity away.
Eventually, the seven bright spots had shone with a dazzling light that could purge every bit of filth in this world, and eliminated every last bit of the illusions that had been afflicting her.
She had been saved.
Therefore, she knew better than anyone what Nie Tian had done for her, and her feelings about it were the most heartfelt.
As she looked at Nie Tian after recovering a clear mind, her state of mind was different from before.
“I can’t believe that this guy is the one who pulled me out and saved me from the Phantasms’ magics when I had lost all hope...” Dong Li thought to herself with an incomparably complicated expression on her face, as if she had forgotten the situation they were in.
Nie Tian, on the other hand, was still sitting with his eyes closed. Since he had consumed a large amount of soul power, he was focused on recuperating, and ignored her gaze.
Seeing that Dong Li had recovered a sound mind, Cao Qiushui and Qian Xin smiled wordlessly, looking rather shamefaced.
Meanwhile, their gazes followed Dong Li’s to Nie Tian as they discussed among themselves.
“It’s simply unbelievable that this man somehow brought Dong Li back from the verge of losing her senses. He’s only at the Heaven stage. What in the world made him capable of doing that?”
“Why did Han Mu and Qin Yan turn to him instead of anyone else at that critical moment?”
“Who is he exactly?”
Deeply amazed, Cao Qiushui and Qian Xin also wracked their minds for answers.
Gu Haofeng finally struggled free from his subordinates. He scooted over to her and said, “I’m glad that you’re fine.”
At that moment, Qin Yan also walked to her side. “Li,” she said, “I hope you won’t hate us. No one knew what you would do once you lost your senses. It’s great that you’re okay now. I think it’s better that you let bygones be bygones. We still need to work together to figure out a way to turn the situation around.”
Considering that she had also pleaded for Nie Tian to help her, Dong Li nodded at her with a fairly pleasant expression on her face and said, “It’s just that I didn’t expect they would do this... But don’t worry. I’m fine. I know what’s at stake here.”
With a sigh, Qin Yan looked off at the battles taking place above the lake and said to Dong Li, “I knew you would be able to make quick adjustments. Their situation is getting more and more unfavorable. Those four Phantasms are wearing our seniors down with their army of Specters, and the four of them haven’t gone all-out yet.
“Uncle Dong must have noticed when you fell unconscious and were carried back by your black phoenix, yet he didn’t rush back here at the first possible moment, which means he is most likely trapped and can’t free his hands to help you.
“If this goes on, they’ll soon run out of spiritual power dealing with the Specters, and the Phantasms will be able to kill them without breaking a sweat.
“Not only that, but they’re Worldly realm experts. Once they die, and their discarnate souls transform into Specters, then...”
Qin Yan didn’t dare to finish.
However, upon hearing the consequences she had depicted for them, everyone started to grow terrified and panicked.
Their expressions became increasingly anxious as they looked off into the distance, where their seniors were currently deeply besieged by Specters, as if they were afraid that they would be killed by those Phantasms, transform into Specters, and turn on them in the next moment.
At that very moment, Nie Tian suddenly felt that the second fragmentary star mark on his chest had become scalding hot.
Since he hadn’t refined the second fragmentary star mark, it hadn’t merged with his flesh and blood. Instead, it was like a tattoo branded on his chest.
Something within it seemed to have been triggered when Nie Tian’s Heaven Eyes had flown into Dong Li’s soul and purged the mountains of corpses and seas of blood with glorious starlight.
Sensing the anomaly, Nie Tian sent a mixture of his psychic power and soul power from the fragmentary stars into that mark.
As soon as it entered, a cluster of memories that looked like a small ball of light merged with it.
A profound description regarding the Phantasms, which seemed to be relevant to what they were facing, was instantly imprinted in his soul and became a part of his own memory.
PLOP! PLOP! PLOP!
As time passed, a part of the Phantasm relic finally rose above the lake’s surface.
Even so, it still looked like an iceberg that had just unveiled its tip.
With a single glance at it, Nie Tian matched this so-called Phantasm relic with the secret regarding the Phantasms he had just acquired.
“This is...!” A shudder ran through his body.
The Phantasm relic that had risen above the lake’s surface was a hundred-meter long, pyramid-shaped object. It seemed to be forged out of pure cyan iron that glittered with an ice-cold, metallic luster.
Numerous large cyan needles stuck out of its surface, their tips facing every direction.
Each and every needle was engraved with detailed and beautiful patterns, their sharp tips shining with cold light.
The rising Phantasm relic at the center of the lake also caught Dong Li and the others’ attention. They all exclaimed in surprise, and hastily turned to Cao Qiushui.
Cao Qiushui’s expression looked grim as he said, “Yeah, that’s the Phantasm relic I discovered!”
“An ancient starship!” Nie Tian’s eyes lit up as he turned to Dong Li and Qin Yan beside him and said, “That’s one of the Phantasms’ ancient starships! A Spirit Pearl is needed to start it. In order for their Spirit Pearl to work, a large amount of Specters are needed.
“The reason why those Phantasms have intentionally attracted so many local Qi warriors and spirit beasts to this place is that they need the Specters that they transform into after their deaths.
“Only when their Spirit Pearl has absorbed enough Specters will they be able to start that ancient starship, steer it out of the Realm of Dark Underworld, and embark upon a journey across the starry river.”
As soon as he matched his newly-acquired knowledge regarding the Phantasms with the “Phantasm relic” before him, Nie Tian realized what was happening.
Upon hearing Nie Tian’s explanation as to what that magnificent object really was, both Dong Li and Qin Yan’s faces turned pale with fright. “One of the Phantasms’ ancient starships?!”
This so-called ancient starship was by nature a gigantic transportation vehicle that would allow its users to sail across the starry river.
It was a brilliant creation that only the truly advanced and powerful beings with high intelligence and advanced technology would be able to create.
The Phantasms were indeed one of the most powerful and advanced species in this vast starry river.
Every ancient and powerful species would need this sort of advanced vehicle, which could carry numerous lives to any remote corner of the starry river and explore its profound mysteries.
People said that it required an endless amount of resources to build this sort of starship.
It was said that, thousands of years ago, powerful experts from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had come from a remote location in the starry river on similar starships.
However, even though there were countless Qi warrior sects in the Domain of the Falling Stars, none of them possessed enough information and resources to build this kind of starship.
Their explorations of the outside world were limited to the exploration of other domains through spatial rifts that occasionally appeared in their realms, which was very passive and inefficient.
However, this was their only option.