BLUB! BLUB! BLUB!
The starship, the majority of which was still underwater, suddenly emerged from under the lake’s surface completely.
Under everyone’s gaze, it slowly rose up into the air.
Meanwhile, a sphere glowing with cyan light suddenly shot out from among the numerous cyan, needle-like protrusions.
As soon as it appeared, all the Specters that hadn’t been extinguished by the thunderballs converged madly on it like moths to a flame, as if they were irresistibly attracted to it.
In a split second, all of the remaining Specters floating in midair disappeared into the cyan light ball.
The Spirit Pearl!
With a single glance at it, Nie Tian realized that it was none other than the core and soul of that ancient starship, and also the key to restarting it.
The reason why the Spirit Pearl hadn’t absorbed the large amount of Specters earlier was probably that it was waiting for them to build up.
The discarnate spirits of Shen Zhong, Dong Mingxuan, and the other Worldly realm experts would be more helpful to the Spirit Pearl than all the other Specters combined. Therefore, it seemed to be using those Specters to gain what was truly useful for it.
However, as Nie Tian and Dong Li came along and bombarded the Specters with thunderballs, the army of spirit-form Specters suffered great losses.
It was as if the Spirit Pearl knew that if it didn’t absorb those Specters, it would end up losing more to the thunderballs.
Therefore, it had no choice but to separate itself from the ancient starship and collect all the remaining Specters immediately.
In a brief moment, the army of Specters floating in midair above the ancient starship vanished completely.
Without the distraction of the numerous Specters, Shen Zhong and the other powerful experts were finally able to concentrate on dealing with their true opponents: the Phantasms.
After losing the Specters which they had been using as shields and distractions, even though the Phantasms were still moving about in the rich phantasm Qi, their movements became traceable.
“Brother Dong, who in the world is that Wu Tian?” asked Shen Zhong.
Relieved of a heavy burden, Shen Zhong continued to strengthen his gravitational field as he swung his greatsword and struck his Phantasm opponent with incomparable force.
As he brandished his giant sword, even the heavens seemed to sink. His grayish-yellow spiritual power seemed to suddenly morph into mountains that weighed down on everything around him.
While handling his fierce attacks, the Phantasm constantly shot glances at Nie Tian, his bizarre, cyan pupils shining with a strange light, as if his mind was seized by something else, instead of focusing on his battle against Shen Zhong.
Because of this, Shen Zhong could spare his attention to talk to Dong Mingxuan beside him and ask about Nie Tian.
“I don’t know either.” Dong Mingxuan found time to reply to him during his battle against another Phantasm. “But that can wait. We need to finish this first. We can’t allow these Phantasms to do whatever they want in the Domain of the Falling Stars!”
“You’re right!” Shen Zhong replied.
He no longer turned to look at Nie Tian and Dong Li, but rather focused all of his energy on his opponent.
The other human experts also felt greatly relieved after the Specters were gone. Their tensed nerves were finally slightly soothed.
Meanwhile, the disappearance of the army of Specters made Dong Li lose all her targets. Holding more thunderballs in her hand, she paused in midair.
At this moment, even though every Worldly realm expert became less stressed thanks to the disappearance of the Specters, the pressure Nie Tian felt was multiplying by the second.
The moment the Specters disappeared into the Spirit Pearl, Nie Tian sensed that unprecedentedly strong soul power fluctuations had burst forth from within it, along with all kinds of negative emotions. Like endless waves, they repeatedly smashed into Nie Tian’s defenses.
He suddenly realized that, after absorbing such a large number of Specters, the Spirit Pearl was able to mobilize more power, thus magnifying its might severalfold.
The mysterious formation of Heaven Eyes around Nie Tian and Dong Li continued to take unceasing impacts from the evil soul influence.
As sparks sputtered and cyan smoke rose from the spherical shield around them, the seven fragmentary stars in Nie Tian’s soul grew smaller and smaller, like a candle flickering in the wind that could go out at any moment.
Immediately afterwards, he realized that the power within those fragmentary stars was about to run out.
“Take me out of here!” He exclaimed.
Upon hearing these words, Dong Li saw blood flowing out of his ears and became shocked.
What she didn’t know was that, at this moment, blood had also started slowly flowing out of his mouth, eyes, and nose.
These were signs that his soul was on the verge of collapsing after taking numerous heavy blows.
For some reason, looking at Nie Tian is such a poor condition, Dong Li grew unprecedentedly panicked.
“Let’s go!” She screamed like a mad person.
Her black phoenix immediately understood what she was thinking. Fluttering its incomparably wide wings, it took her and Nie Tian towards the lakeside where Qin Yan and the others were gathered.
“Don’t die... Don’t you dare die! You’ve got to hang on! Just hang on, you hear me?!”
She shouted continuously in Nie Tian’s ears, as if she had no choice but to encourage Nie Tian with this powerless method.
She didn’t know why she felt so much heartache and fear at this moment, but she knew that she was afraid of Nie Tian dying.
She had thought that she truly detested Nie Tian, and that she would be glad to see terrible things happen to him. She couldn’t figure out why she was so worried about him now.
However, confused as she was, she knew that the only thing her heart wanted at this moment was for Nie Tian to survive.
Even if he had to die, she should be the one who killed him, not some Phantasm or anybody else.
While the two of them left the center of the lake at a high speed, the Spirit Pearl that had been floating right above the ancient starship suddenly shot towards them, rapidly shortening the distance between them.
It was as if only when the Spirit Pearl was close enough to them would it be able to launch its most mighty attacks.
Sensing the approaching sphere of glowing, cyan light, Dong Li grew increasingly anxious. However, there wasn’t anything she could do to stop it.
Watching it gradually gaining on them, Dong Li cast a handful of thunderballs at it with great force, looking enraged.
The thunderballs exploded one after another.
However, the Spirit Pearl seemed to possess its own intelligence and spirit. It swiftly maneuvered about in the air and successfully dodged the series of explosions. Afterwards, it continued to chase after her and Nie Tian with unrelenting effort.
At the same time, a strong and strange attractive force was suddenly born within the Spirit Pearl.
Numerous wandering Specters charged through the wall of cyan light and out of the mountain valley. On the other side of the lake, the discarnate souls of dead spirit beasts also started flying toward the Spirit Pearl at full speed.
In no more than a few seconds, all of the misty, gray Specters and discarnate souls of the spirit beasts merged into Spirit Pearl.
As that happened, the cyan and profound light the Spirit Pearl emanated grew increasingly bright.
In the meantime, more blood flowed out of Nie Tian’s nose, eyes, and ears.
Dong Li didn’t need to be brilliant to see that as the Spirit Pearl absorbed every Specter it could find, the burden on Shen Zhong, Dong Mingxuan, and the other powerful experts was greatly relieved, yet all of their relieved pressure was now weighing on Nie Tian.
Nie Tian’s breaths gradually grew weak, and he seemed to start having difficulty keeping his eyes open, as if his eyelids were now as heavy as hundreds of thousands of kilos.
Soon, he couldn’t help but open and close his eyes repeatedly. Watching the approaching Spirit Pearl, he relied on his last remaining consciousness to brokenly say to Dong Li, “Take... Take me away from this place, as far away as possible. Hurry...”
He knew that Qin Yan and the others wouldn’t be able to help him.
He also knew that, no matter whether or not he would eventually be able to fight off the Spirit Pearl, he shouldn’t stop.
Perhaps, only when they were far enough away from the ancient starship would the Spirit Pearl give up chasing after him, turn back, and steer the ancient starship out of the Realm of Dark Underworld to some remote area in the starry river, where more powerful Phantasms were waiting.
He believed that the Spirit Pearl would eventually let him go and leave with the Phantasms’ ancient starship.
“Alright! As you wish!” Dong Li said loudly.