After a moment of hesitation, Dong Baijie made his decision.
He steered his Rainbow Lightning away from the top of the ward, where the tree patterns were converging from all directions, and sought to reenter the continent through another location on the ward.
The moment he left, Qin Yi snapped back to reality, and shouted furiously, “What are you waiting for, idiots!? With us Worldly and Profound realm cultivators unable to go through the ward, why are you Greater Heaven stage ones also still standing here like fools?”
Upon hearing these words, all of the other Greater Heaven stage cultivators in the crowd snapped back to their senses.
One after another, they followed Dong Baijie’s example and flew towards areas where there weren’t many tree patterns on the ward.
Dong Baijie and his Rainbow Lightning rammed hard into the dark-green ward, and instantly bounced back.
He stood aghast. “What the hell?! Even Greater Heaven stage cultivators are stopped from entering now?!”
In the next moment, Dong Kang and the other Greater Heaven stage cultivators were also denied entrance, and repulsed by the dark-green ward one after another.
“Someone must have discovered something!” Eyes blazing like a torch, Dong Tuodi became increasingly convinced that someone had triggered the secrets of the continent, therefore causing new changes that stopped even Greater Heaven stage cultivators from entering.
“Perhaps it’s Qin Yan...” Qin Yi said.
Recalling Qin Yan’s sudden return and summoning Feng Ying, he couldn’t help but grow excited, anticipation gradually appearing in his eyes.
Everyone else’s expressions flickered as they heard his words.
They all recalled the sense of urgency and excitement of finding something on Qin Yan’s face when she had returned previously.
Therefore, they all assumed it was Qin Yan who had previously discovered the secrets of this floating continent, and thus came back to ask Feng Ying to resolve it with her.
Of everyone, Dong Baijie was the only one who was convinced that Qin Yan had nothing to do with what was happening.
After all, he knew the spot where the tree patterns were converging was directly above the place where Nie Tian had sat in the lotus position when he had left.
Before going on this trip, he had also learned from Dong Li that Nie Tian was the reason why she had been able to obtain a Fruit of Life and bring it back to the Dong Clan.
“It must be you again...” With a bitter smile, Dong Baijie shook his head. Even though he inwardly envied him, he didn’t say anything.
Meanwhile, on the floating continent...
Qin Yan, who had just arranged the tree branches and told Feng Ying to infuse them with her wood power, looked up into the heavens, a confused expression spreading on her face.
The sudden changes over their heads caught her attention before Feng Ying could infuse her refined wood power into the seventy-two branches.
She noticed the movements of the complicated tree patterns in the dark-green ward.
Without even thinking about it, she knew it was Nie Tian who had triggered these changes.
“Hurry up!” She urged Feng Ying.
“Nothing seems to be happening,” Feng Ying said, grievance filling her face. “I’ve already infused my wood power into these branches, but there don’t seem to be any changes.”
Qin Yan tore her eyes away from the changes in the sky and looked down. Like Feng Ying had said, nothing seemed to be happening.
At that moment, loud rumbles echoed out from the earth under their feet. It occurred to her that this floating continent might crack and shatter shortly.
With a hateful tone, she said, “He beat us to it after all...”
Feng Ying was confused. “Who?”
Grudges filling the corner of her mouth, Qin Yan let out a sigh and muttered, “We were just one step away, but we were still too late. Perhaps Dong Li was right. Only he can find and take the fortunes from this floating continent.”
With these words, she waved her hands and signaled for Feng Ying to stop wasting her time.
“You can go back now. Be careful though. I’m afraid this floating continent will be destroyed soon. Don’t sink with it.” With these words, she sped away towards the location where Nie Tian and Dong Li were.
Guarding Nie Tian, Dong Li’s bright eyes were filled with vigor as she giggled and said to herself, “What did I tell you, Qin Yan? If there’s any secret in this place, he’ll be the only one to find it. It’s not in your destiny.”
As she looked up, she saw streams of emerald green aura falling down from the sky directly above Nie Tian’s head.
Each and every one of them had complicated and beautiful tree patterns flowing in them, as if they were from the oldest trees this world had ever seen, and they carried the profound truths of wood power.
The streams of emerald green aura slowly extended towards the tree branches before Nie Tian.
As soon as they flew into the branches, dazzling light blossomed from the branches. Meanwhile, the branches became semi-transparent and crystalline, as if they had somehow changed from wood into some sort of sparkling crystal.
Each and every branch rapidly changed after receiving the streams filled with mysterious tree patterns.
After a brief pondering, Dong Li realized that the exquisite tree patterns must be the ones that were gathering from all directions in the dark-green ward above their heads.
Then, she realized that Nie Tian had truly uncovered the secrets of this floating continent.
All of a sudden, a blue-garbed figure flashed into appearance.
It was Pei Qiqi. She had noticed the streams of emerald green aura falling from the heavens to this location, and thus rushed over from where she had been practicing cultivation. Her face was also filled with shock as she saw the streams of emerald green aura flowing into the branches before Nie Tian.
“What are you doing here?” She asked.
“Protecting Nie Tian, of course,” Dong Li answered with a casual tone, then she shot a glance at Pei Qiqi out of the corner of her eye and said, “Do you have a problem with that?”
Pei Qiqi ignored her question, her attentive gaze switching back and forth between Nie Tian and the mutating branches before him.
Moments later, she also stepped to Nie Tian’s side and glanced around vigilantly.
Dong Li immediately realized that she also intended to protect Nie Tian, and thus said with a taunting tone, “He’s safe for now. Those who aren’t concerned here can leave now.”
“You’re the one who should leave,” Pei Qiqi said coldly.
“You are!” Dong Li refuted.
While the two of them bickered, the streams of green aura that carried exquisite tree patterns fell from directly above Nie Tian and found their way to all of the seventy-two branches on the ground, turning them semi-transparent and sparkling with dazzling light.
Loud rumbles suddenly echoed out from under them as rifts started to appear on the ground around them.
As the earth began to rip apart, the whole continent, which seemed to have floated quietly for tens of thousands of years, started to sink slowly towards the endless void.
At that moment, Qin Yan finally rushed to their location.
Upon seeing her, Pei Qiqi instantly tensed up. Frosty light began to swirl in her watery eyes as her whole body began to thrum with violent spatial fluctuations.
She knew something about Dong Li’s relationship with Nie Tian. Even though she wasn’t fond of her, she felt she could trust her.
However, she instantly grew vigilant upon seeing Qin Yan, who she had actually met quite a few times before. She was worried that Qin Yan would attempt to snatch this fortune from Nie Tian’s hands.
“Why are you back?” Dong Li asked with a forced smile.
With a sigh, Qin Yan spread out her hands and said, “I guess you’re right. I summoned Feng Ying to help me uncover the secrets of this place, just like that guy has done, but it turned out that we couldn’t.”
A pleased expression appeared on Dong Li’s face as she said, “I told you that if there are any secrets on this floating continent, he’ll end up being the one to uncover them. You, on the other hand... Even though you’re very smart, you’re not destined to uncover those secrets. Nie Tian is.”
Qin Yan rolled her eyes at her and said, “Alright, alright, you were right… I can’t believe we wasted so much time and energy here. We haven’t gained a single thing while an outsider gets all the fortunes.”
Dong Li chuckled. “An outsider?” She shot a glance at Pei Qiqi and said, “Nie Tian is no outsider in my eyes.”
The earth split apart, forming bottomless rifts, while ancient trees that were hundreds of meters tall fell down one after another.
Watching the continent sink and ancient trees fall, the three women instantly grew nervous.
Compared to Pei Qiqi, Dong Li and Qin Yan seemed more worried, as if they knew that their lives were in imminent danger.
“Why is he still not waking up?” Qin Yan asked anxiously. “I’m not going to stay for him. I’m leaving. If we stay on this falling continent, none of us will survive.”
People from the Realm of a Hundred Battles had examined the vast, gray mist underneath the floating continent when they had first arrived. However, even their Profound realm experts’ soul awarenesses had failed to enter the gray mist and learn what was in it.
While Qin Yan, Dong Li, and the others entered this floating continent, those who had stayed outside had come across people from the Realm of Endless Ice, and learned that a Profound realm expert from the Ice Pavilion Sect had entered the gray mist under this floating continent, hoping to uncover the mysteries of it. However, he never came out again.
Hence, in Qin Yan’s eyes, the vast, gray mist underneath was a deadly place where no one could come back out alive.
Meanwhile, floating above the continent, Dong Tuodi and Qin Yi’s expressions also flickered drastically as they saw the entire continent begin to sink while giving rise to loud rumbles.
“Why is Little Li still not coming out of there?” Dong Tuodi’s heart burned with anxiety.
At this moment, the special ward around the floating continent had already lost all of its tree patterns, yet it was still up.
Even though he was very worried, he couldn’t swoop down there and grab Dong Li from the falling continent.
Just like him, Qin Yi was also very nervous about Qin Yan’s safety.
Qin Yan, who had brought out her full strength and charged up into the heavens, flew into the ward and bounced right back.
Through the semi-transparent, dark-green ward, she could see the crowd of Dong Clan and Water Moon Chamber of Commerce members gathered in the space above her.
Each and every one of them saw Qin Yan soar towards them before being stopped by the ward. Under their gazes, she fell back down towards the ground, her charming face filled with terror.
“Nooo!!!" The members of the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce exclaimed.
The hearts of the Dong Clan members also sank upon seeing Qin Yan fail to charge through the ward. After all, Dong Li was in there as well.