By the edge of the floating continent.
Covered in blood, Zhang Jiu dashed to Sun Xuan's side. Looking exhausted, he exclaimed, "Senior Martial Brother Sun!"
"Are you alright?" Sun Xuan hastily asked.
He was well-aware of Zhang Jiu's special status in the Poison Sect. Therefore, he was apparently concerned seeing Zhang Jiu in such sore straits.
"Sha Cheng got my life-spirit vermin killed," Zhang Jiu said with a cold face. Then, he glanced around and asked, "Where is he?"
"I sent him back to rescue you," Sun Xuan explained.
"Rescue me?" Zhang Jiu asked with a sarcastic smile. "I'll thank god if he doesn't get me in trouble."
As the two of them spoke, Sha Cheng dashed over from the distance. Seeing that Zhang Jiu was fine, he hastily explained, "Junior Martial Brother Zhang, I only cast a magic to detonate my own life-spirit vermin because there was something special about that guy. Not only were neither of our life-spirit vermin able to break away from him, but they were also rapidly losing their flesh power to him."
Even though Sun Xuan was standing right beside them, Zhang Jiu slapped Sha Cheng across his face without any scruple.
"Even if you needed to detonate your life-spirit vermin, you should have told me beforehand!" Zhang Jiu shouted with a cold face. "You should have expected that the death of my life-spirit vermin would instantly take its toll on me! Just because you didn't tell me about it, that bitch got me when I was trying to escape, and cut off a chunk of my flesh!"
Pointing at the bloody mess on his left shoulder, he yelled, "You almost got me killed!!"
Sha Cheng touched his face and said in a low voice, "You were too far away from me. I couldn't remind you even if I wanted to."
Zhang Jiu grew furious. "Shut up! You didn't remind me because you wanted to catch that guy off guard!"
Two other Poison Sect disciples came from the distant void on floating rocks, and then arrived by their side.
"What happened?" One of them was surprised by Zhang Jiu's condition.
Hoping to smooth things over, Sun Xuan said, "Alright, alright. Tell us what happened with your team."
Zhang Jiu shot another nasty glance at Sha Cheng. Seeing that he had fallen silent, he finally decided to let it go. He turned to look at Sun Xuan and said, "Two strangers came to this continent, a young man and a young woman. The woman is skilled in spatial magics. The man is even weirder. When we unleashed our spirit vermin to gnaw on his flesh and inject venom into him, not only did he not die, but he even drained our spirit vermin of their flesh power."
Sun Xuan spent a short while pondering in silence before saying, "That woman who's skilled in using spatial power is probably Zhen Huilan's disciple, Pei Qiqi. As for that weird young man, I can't think of a name."
Zhang Jiu gave a low chuckle. "Zhen Huilan's disciple?" His face recovered its calm and peaceful state as he said, "The Tool Sect has lost its glory. It'll only be a matter of time before Zhao Shanling takes it into his hands. As for Zhen Huilan, she's nothing more than an exceptional equipment forger. Her battle prowess actually isn't that formidable."
Apparently, he didn't put the deaths of He Xu, Wu Cui, and Luo Ting on his mind.
"Now, they're trapped on this floating continent. Senior Martial Brother Sun, if you guys go after them, they'll die beyond the shadow of a doubt." With a grin, Zhang Jiu added, "But I prefer you capture them and let me finish them off."
Sun Xuan smiled bitterly and said, "I'm afraid that can't happen."
"Why?" Zhang Jiu was confused.
Sun Xuan pointed at the floating continent and said with a grim expression, "There's something strange about this place. I tried to approach the land mass earlier, but I was stopped by an invisible barrier. I even sustained injuries from it."
Upon hearing these words, the two Poison Sect disciples who had arrived just now were also taken aback.
Hence, the two of them, who were both at the early Worldly realm, also made an attempt to slowly approach the floating continent.
Just as they were about to reach the edge of the continent, they sensed the existence of a special ward. No matter what they tried, they couldn't get through it.
Then, they rapidly shifted to other locations and tried to enter from there.
After a while, the two of them returned. Under Sun Xuan's inquiring gaze, one of them shook his head in frustration and said, "You're right. There is an invisible barrier around this floating continent. We tried everything from every direction, but whatever we did, we couldn't go through the barrier."
"You go and try again," Sun Xuan said to Sha Cheng.
Sha Cheng didn't dare to say no, and thus shot towards the floating continent under the others' gazes. In the next moment, he went through without encountering the slightest obstacle.
As Sha Cheng circled back, Sun Xuan realized what was happening. "The barrier is only effective on Qi warriors at the Worldly realm or higher. Those at the Greater Heaven stage and lower won't be affected at all."
"Are you sure, Senior Martial Brother Sun?" Zhang Jiu asked.
Sun Xuan nodded as he took out his Sound Stone and said, "Don't worry, junior martial brother. I'll summon our Greater Heaven stage disciples to this place right now."
Also at that moment, Zhang Jiu and Sha Cheng realized why Pei Qiqi and Nie Tian's seniors hadn't showed up.
In Zhang Jiu's eyes, Nie Tian and Pei Qiqi were already trapped on this floating continent. All he needed to do was wait for other Greater Heaven stage sectmates to come. Then, together, they would be able to take their time searching for and killing Nie Tian and Pei Qiqi, like catching a couple of turtles in a jar.
In the dense forest, Nie Tian stood beside Wu Cui and Luo Ting's corpses, and observed Sun Xuan and the others via one of his Heaven Eyes. Increasingly certain of his speculation, he said to Pei Qiqi, "Listen to me. Worldly realm experts can't set foot on this floating continent due to a special ward around it. Those from the Poison Sect are waiting for their Greater Heaven stage members to gather to this place and wipe us out together."
Pei Qiqi settled down, and with a sharp and chilly look in her eyes, she said, "If Worldly realm experts can't set foot on this continent, I suppose Profound realm experts can't either. Let's hope Profound realm experts from the Poison Sect won't be able to penetrate that barrier after arriving here."
After pausing for a few seconds, she added, intense killing intent filling her eyes, "If they can only send Greater Heaven stage Qi warriors onto this continent, then this is where they will be buried!"
Nie Tian laughed wildly and said, "Alright then, let's wait for the arrival of more Greater Heaven stage Poison Sect disciples!"
With these words, he assumed the lotus position and started preparing himself with his eyes narrowed.
One spirit stone after another flew out of his ring of holding and piled up before his crossed legs.
He placed his hand on the pile of spirit stones and started absorbing their spiritual power with the Qi Refining Incantation.
Pei Qiqi also stopped talking, sat down next to Nie Tian, and closed her eyes.
As he replenished his spiritual power with spirit stones, Nie Tian spared some of his attention to examine himself.
Earlier, he had drained the flesh power of the spirit vermin which had belonged to Zhang Jiu, Sha Cheng and the others.
Even the smallest bugs had turned out to contain copious amounts of flesh power. The flesh power Luo Ting's and Wu Cui's life-spirit vermin had carried wasn't any less than two fourth grade spirit beasts, which had shocked Nie Tian.
Even though Zhang Jiu's and Sha Cheng's spirit vermin had self-detonated, Nie Tian had still absorbed a tremendous amount of flesh power from them before they had exploded.
At this moment, as he examined himself with a wisp of his psychic awareness, he could see fine wisps of flesh power flowing towards his heart like small streams, where they were savagely devoured by the green aura.
At the same time, the wood power he had absorbed earlier healed his wounds and injuries, which had been caused by the spirit vermin and their venom.
He had long since realized that, even though wood power had a limited effect on refining his body, its nourishing and healing ability went far beyond flesh power.
As wisps of rich wood power swam about inside of him, the flesh that had been rotted by toxins rapidly healed.
Even the fissures in several of his bones, which had been created by the toxins, flattened and healed under the nourishment of his wood power.
Then, he focused his attention on his vortex of wood power.
As he summoned liquidized wood power from the bottom of the vortex, he suddenly felt wisps of wood power starting to rise from the hundreds-of-meters-tall trees around him and converging on him.
Instead of flowing into his vortex of wood power, the wisps of wood power circulated within his meridians.
A warm and comfortable feeling made him feel as if he were bathing in a warm spring. All of his injuries caused by the spirit vermin healed at an alarming speed.
Only an hour later, he was fully healed.
Furthermore, the green aura in his heart had also devoured every last bit of the flesh power he had previously absorbed from the spirit vermin.
He felt very refreshed.
Meanwhile, his nine Heaven Eyes were still floating by the edge of the floating continent, keeping a close watch on the Poison Sect disciples.
He discovered that some Worldly realm disciples seemed to have received word and come over, though none of them had managed to penetrate the barrier.
Perhaps because Greater Heaven stage disciples were relatively weak, or they were rushing over from farther locations, but they hadn't arrived yet.
Upon seeing this, Nie Tian continued to recover his strength with spirit stones. By the time his spiritual sea was replenished, he went on to refine it.
After some time, a Profound realm member of the Poison Sect arrived.
"A Profound realm expert!"