The Flame Dragon Armor and the second fragmentary star mark worked together to build him a great fortune.
When he had been at his wit’s end and could only wait for his imminent death, the Flame Dragon Armor had rushed out, formed a spatial vortex, and brought him to this mysterious heaven and earth.
It had also taken advantage of the dilapidated altar and the eight sets of dragon skeletons surrounding it, and formed an unknown formation of flames.
The Spirit Pearl, which had blindly barged in in an attempt to kill Nie Tian, had immediately been trapped.
The torrential flames smelted every single discarnate soul and Specter it had unleashed and turned them into wisps of pure, cyan-gray soul power.
Then, the wisps of soul power rose from the altar and were channeled into the second fragmentary star mark, where they were refined a second time before being sent into Nie Tian’s soul as wisps of incomparably pure soul power.
As one wisp after another flew into Nie Tian’s soul, the seven darkened fragmentary stars, which had shrunk to the size of grains, began to shine brightly again.
At the same time, Nie Tian could sense with great clarity that the head-splitting pain he had been experiencing was being greatly relieved.
He immediately realized that he had injured his own soul by overly consuming the power within the seven fragmentary stars to ward off the Spirit Pearl’s soul fluctuations.
Right now, his soul and the fragmentary stars in it were gradually healing.
Raging flames were still ravishing the space above the altar. The Spirit Pearl flashed about here and there, but still couldn’t break free from the sea of flames.
The power within the Spirit Pearl, as well as the swarming Specters and discarnate souls it had unleashed, were being purged by the blazing flames. After being refined a second time by the fragmentary star mark floating before Nie Tian’s eyes, they were all turned into wisps of pure soul power that disappeared into Nie Tian’s soul.
As they received this replenishment, not only did the seven fragmentary stars in his soul light up again, but they also began to expand in size.
It wasn’t long before Nie Tian realized that, as the fragmentary stars in his soul absorbed abundant amounts of pure soul power, the spiritual Qi in this mysterious heaven and earth started to quietly converge on him as well.
He was instantly taken over by a strange feeling.
He felt that, thanks to the existence of the Flame Dragon Armor and the fragmentary star mark, his ability to attract and absorb energy from his surroundings had greatly improved.
With this thought in mind, he took out a spirit stone and made an experiment by absorbing its power.
The spiritual power within it poured madly into the spiritual sea in his dantian.
The spirit stone cracked in a split second.
Nie Tian was taken aback.
Immediately afterwards, he took out a number of spiritual materials of fire and wood attributes, as well as some Star Stones.
He spread them out on the ground in front of him. As he placed his hands on some of them and practiced the most basic Qi Refining incantation, the energy within them would be drained within a second.
Soon, they were all reduced to ordinary stones and cracked open.
Just like that, copious amount of flame power, wood power, and star power were channeled into the relevant vortexes and refined at an unprecedentedly high speed.
He examined himself with rapt attention, and discovered that he seemed to have ascended to an incomparably mysterious state, where he had become a bottomless black hole, absorbing all kinds of power at alarming rates.
This was something he had never felt before.
He knew that many factors could have contributed to it.
It could be that the formation of the altar and the eight sets of dragon skeletons were emanating some kind of energy fluctuation; it could be caused by something happening within the second fragmentary star mark; or it could be caused by the unique features of this strange heaven and earth.
Even though he couldn’t figure out what was causing this, he knew that he had better take full advantage of it and try to maximize his gains from it.
Therefore, he took a deep breath and stopped looking at the altar, the Flame Dragon Armor, the Spirit Pearl, and the dragon skeletons.
He took out a large number of Star Stones, spirit stones, and spirit jades, as well as spiritual materials that contained flame power and wood power, and piled them into small hills around him.
Sitting among the pyramids of spiritual materials, he placed his hands on them and practiced the Qi Refining Incantation silently. Then, his whole body seemed to turn into a giant magnet that started madly absorbing power of various attributes from those spiritual materials.
Plain spiritual power, star power, flame power, and wood power condensed into misty rivers of different colors before pouring into his vortexes of spiritual power.
The various vortexes of spiritual power rotated at alarming rates, improving the speed at which they refined spiritual power severalfold.
A huge turbulence also rose in Nie Tian’s spiritual sea as it continued to refine the spiritual power within it and expand its boundaries.
At the same time, the seven fragmentary stars in his soul kept gathering more soul power and growing larger like glittering gems.
Before long, he sensed that he was reaching the bottleneck, through which he would step into the Greater Heaven stage.
He had just made a minor breakthrough in his cultivation several months ago atop one of the three extremely lofty mountain peaks in the Realm of a Thousand Devastations.
Normally speaking, it was very unlikely that he would come to another bottleneck in such a short time.
He had never thought that his next breakthrough would come so soon.
What he didn’t know was that he had already passed a major mental tribulation when he had returned from the Realm of Split Void to the Realm of Flame Heaven and revisited Black Cloud City.
The dark side of human nature he had witnessed in Black Cloud City had almost caused him to deviate from the righteous cultivation path and sink into killing and plundering.
He had seen too much of the ugliness of human nature after returning to the Realm of Flame Heaven. His values and personality almost grew twisted because of it.
Later, when he had gone to the Realm of Mystic Heaven, he had witnessed the Heaven Palace Sect, which was the most powerful and revered of the Domain of the Falling Stars, making deals with Demon outsiders, which had deeply disappointed him.
Afterwards, when he had visited the Realm of a Thousand Devastations, he hadn’t held his hopes very high. However, the Qi warriors from the Yin Sect, the Yang Sect, and the other smaller sects had finally brought him a shred of warmth and shone a beam of light into his heart.
To this point, he had both seen the bright side and the dark side of human nature from the things he had experienced.
After going through so many complicated and unforeseen events, his mind had grown remarkably, even though he didn’t realize it himself.
Several months ago, in order to help the Yin Sect and the Yang Sect secure the scrolls in those mountain peaks, he had spent numerous days and nights accumulating strength and deriving enlightenment from the profundity of flame power, star power, and wood power. That had greatly improved his mastery of these powers.
Therefore, he had long since achieved the most important thing to a breakthrough in cultivation: new understanding and mental growth.
At this moment, as wisps of pure soul power continued to infuse into him along with copious amount of various powers, the other requirement of achieving a breakthrough in cultivation, strength accumulation, was also nearing its breakthrough point.
That was why he was able to come to another bottleneck in his cultivation after merely a few months.
“The Greater Heaven stage!” He grew excited as he took advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity and did his utmost to absorb all sorts of powers.
Without a sun, a moon, or any stars, Nie Tian couldn’t keep track of time.
Indulged in his inner world, he practice cultivation wholeheartedly, waiting for his next breakthrough.
He was aware that considering he practiced flame power incantations, star power incantations, and wood power incantations, his advancing speed should have been slower than others’.
If it weren’t for this miraculous incident, even though he possessed extraordinary talent, he would have had to spend a long time accumulating strength mentally and physically to come to the next bottleneck.
Therefore, he cherished this opportunity a great deal. No matter what, he planned to keep practicing as long as the situation allowed.
Wisps of cyan-gray soul power continued to rise from the Spirit Pearl, which was engulfed by the raging flames.
The discarnate souls and Specters it had previously unleashed had long since been transformed into pure soul power and fed to the fragmentary stars in Nie Tian’s soul.
After an unknown period of time, a brand new vortex of spiritual power came to shape in Nie Tian’s spiritual sea.
Almost at the same time, two more fragmentary stars gradually formed over his soul sea.
At this moment, the seven original fragmentary stars had already expanded to the size of fists. The light they emanated had also become even more dazzling.
However, they seemed to be subject to some kind of restriction and couldn’t split into more.
By the time they grew as large as fists, they stopped absorbing soul power, as if they had reached their limit.
However, as soon as a seventh vortex of spiritual power appeared in his spiritual sea, the restriction in his soul seemed to be broken.
That was when two new fragmentary stars were born.
The two new fragmentary stars continued to absorb soul power, and only after a while did they fully form and stabilize.
However, they were only the size of grains, far smaller compared to the other seven fragmentary stars.
But as they became fully formed, their attraction towards the soul power seemed to grow increasingly strong.
A long time passed...
The flames over the dilapidated altar went out. Every last shred of power within the Spirit Pearl, as well as every discarnate soul and Specter it had gathered, had been refined and absorbed by Nie Tian.
The Spirit Pearl sat still in the middle of the altar. Translucent and cyan, not the slightest anomaly could be sensed in it, much less any soul power fluctuations.
The two newly-formed fragmentary stars in Nie Tian’s soul had stopped expanding.
Compared to the other seven, the two new fragmentary stars seemed noticeably smaller, as if they hadn’t received enough soul power from the Spirit Pearl.
Meanwhile, the seventh vortex of spiritual power was also fully formed in Nie Tian’s spiritual sea.
All these signs marked his advancement to the Greater Heaven stage!