Nie Tian stood as straight as a spear on the coast, facing the boundless black sea.
Behind him stood Ye Qin, Chen Hao, and the others. Nie Tian didn't say anything as they issued orders to their people.
He focused all his attention on his eight Heaven Eyes, which, under his control, chased after the Stonemen's teleportation portal towards the distant island.
It wasn't long before the Heaven Eyes reached the limit of their effective range. If they flew any farther, Nie Tian would lose contact with them, yet they were still a significant distance from the island.
Hence, he realized that it would be impossible for him to observe the situation on that island with the help of his Heaven Eyes.
The eight Heaven Eyes floated in the air over the black sea between the island where Nie Tian was standing and the distant island he could barely see.
Nie Tian didn't say a word, his eyes clouded by a faint haze.
If the Stoneman leader had told the truth, and powerful outsider experts were gathered on that island, the human Qi warriors from the Domain of the Falling Stars were now in a very unfavorable situation.
After fighting among themselves for months, the Greater Heaven stage Qi warriors from all over the Domain of the Falling Stars had already lost about half of their people.
Due to the temptation of precious materials, similar fights might be taking place on the other island at this very moment.
He didn't know how many people they could raise to contend against the powerful outsiders on that other island.
Furthermore, he had no idea what kind of power those outsiders possessed. If they were all outsiders that possessed fourth grade bloodline power, which was equal to that of Greater Heaven stage human Qi warriors, they might still be able to manage with some effort. However, if they consisted of outsiders that possessed fifth grade bloodline power, the Qi warriors from the Domain of the Falling Stars would be doomed.
At this moment, the Stonemen had already passed the black sea on their teleportation portal and arrived on the distant island.
According to Feng Ke, it seemed that, after coming to the coast of the island, air-transportation spiritual tools had somehow become functional again, which meant that those Stonemen might very well fly back with reinforcements.
After pondering for some time, Nie Tian once again focused his mind on his Heaven Eyes, hoping that he would be able to uncover some secrets about the black sea.
Under his control, the eight Heaven Eyes slowly descended to a place one meter above the sea's surface, where they unleashed psychic awareness down into the unfathomable sea.
However, as soon as his psychic power made contact with the black seawater, it vanished like a snowflake against the sun's rays.
Nie Tian could only sense that his psychic awareness seemed to be plunged into darkness, and instantly lost contact with him.
Vigilant, he pondered for a while before deciding to make another attempt.
This time, he sent his eight Heaven Eyes, which could only be detected by Worldly realm or Profound realm experts, piercing into the depths of the bottomless sea.
He wanted to learn more about the black sea so that they could be better prepared for the battles to come.
The moment his Heaven Eyes dove into the black sea, the psychic power within them was instantly washed away.
Each and every Heaven Eye had been formed with his psychic power and mystic soul power from the nine fragmentary stars in his soul, in a profound way he had learned from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
The hearts of the Heaven Eyes were the soul power in them, which was wrapped with wisps of psychic power.
At this moment, the psychic power that wrapped the soul power was instantly stripped away and scattered as the Heaven Eyes dove into the black sea.
Only the eight clusters of soul power that were the hearts of the Heaven Eyes remained intact, and continued diving down towards the deepest parts of the pitch-black sea.
As they did, Nie Tian scanned their surroundings through them.
Under the pitch-black sea, the eight clusters of soul power emanated faint starlight, lighting up limited areas around them.
It wasn't very long before he discovered that numerous outsider corpses were floating in the depths of the strait between the two islands.
There were dead Bonebrutes, Phantasms, Fiends, Demons, and Stonemen that looked exactly like the ones that had escaped from them earlier.
To his surprise, all of their corpses seemed to be well-preserved. Even the noble battle armor they were wearing and the strangely-shaped spiritual tools in their hands were in good condition.
He couldn't sense any corrupted aura from them, as if the ages hadn't compromised them at all.
Normally, speaking, since the corpses hadn't rotted, they should still contain copious amounts of power. Perhaps their bones and flesh could be harvested for equipment forging.
However, with the help of his soul power, Nie Tian couldn't detect a single shred of power from them.
Even their exquisite spiritual tools and elegant armor seemed to have lost all of their power.
Gradually, the eight clusters of soul power started to grow dim, as if they were consuming their limited amount of power as they observed the situation under the sea.
With their last remaining soul power, Nie Tian controlled them to dive deeper.
That was when he discovered even more dead outsiders, along with the corpses of enormous spirit beasts.
From the look of it, they had been at the sixth or seventh grade before they had died.
Gasping with astonishment, Nie Tian decided to control his soul power to go further down to see what was there. However, his soul power finally wore out completely and was extinguished.
However, just before that, he detected very subtle, almost undetectable soul fluctuations in the deepest parts of the dark sea.
Furthermore, they didn't come from one spot, but instead, they seemed to be coming from all directions in the depths of the sea.
That gave Nie Tian a feeling that as if a boundless ancient soul awareness filled every inch of the deepest parts of this black sea.
That feeling flabbergasted Nie Tian. He stared blankly at the black sea before him, shock and confusion filling his face.
If there were indeed an ancient, unknown soul awareness in the depths of the sea, what or who could it be?
While he was absorbed in thought, Ye Qin's voice echoed out. "Nie Tian??"
Subconsciously, Nie Tian jerked his head to look at her.
Ye Qin, who was wearing plain but clean garments, looked somewhat skinny. Her waist was very slender, yet her chest was by no means small. She gazed curiously at Nie Tian, as if she had been calling him for some time.
After clearing his mind, Nie Tian asked, "What is it?"
Only at this moment did he notice that Ye Qin, Chen Hao, and Feng Ke were now the only ones behind him; the other Yin Sect, Yang Sect, and Ice Pavilion Sect disciples were gone.
Chen Hao and Feng Ke were also looking at him with inquiring gazes.
Ye Qin's slender eyebrows furrowed slightly as she said, "We've arranged for our people to search and gather every survivor we can find to this place. When everyone returns, do we fly across the strait to that other island? I'm afraid that if we keep waiting while those outsiders gather more forces and head back to us, we'll be in a very passive position. Don't you think?"
Only after hearing these words did Nie Tian realize what the others had been up to.
Nie Tian gazed off at the distant island and said, "To tell you the truth, I don't have an answer either. I think we'd better wait for the other forces to come and then ask for their opinions."
Ye Qin nodded and said, "Alright." Afterwards, she blinked a few times and added, "I hope you won't make any rash moves when the others come."
At this moment, Chen Hao chimed in, "Brother Nie, I heard from Feng Ke that you killed quite a number of Heaven Palace Sect, Thunder Mountain Sect, Heaven Expanse Sect, and Poison Sect disciples. Su Lin from the Heaven Palace Sect seemed to have taken an Earthshatter Beast's eye that belonged to you. We've seen what you're capable of, but I still hope you can think about the bigger picture here and hold your temper.
"Besides, you've already killed Guan Ye from the Heaven Palace Sect and helped Dong Li take that eighth grade black phoenix's corpse."
While Nie Tian had scanned the depths of the black sea with his Heaven Eyes, Ye Qin and Chen Hao had learned of his doings from Feng Ke.
Now, as the two of them looked at Nie Tian, their eyes were filled with respect, but also worry.
Only after hearing these words did Nie Tian come to realize that they were worried that he would take back what had been his with force, therefore ruining the fragile peace among the different forces of the Domain of the Falling Stars.
With a casual laugh, Nie Tian said, "I won't start a fight as long as they don't do anything to provoke me."
"That's good." Ye Qin sounded greatly relieved.
Chen Hao and Feng Ke also seemed relived after hearing his words.
Nie Tian took out his Sound Stone and tried to contact Dong Li, but failed to receive any response. Then, he realized that Dong Li probably hadn't finished her breakthrough.
Now that disciples of the Yin Sect, the Yang Sect, and the Ice Pavilion Sect had left to spread word of the appearance of the outsiders, he assumed that none of the human survivors would try to make any moves against Dong Li anymore.
After feeling relieved himself, Nie Tian chatted briefly with Ye Qin and Chen Hao, learning that the Yin Sect and the Yang Sect had joined hands to take the last spatial rift that led to this dimension.
Then, the Thunder Mountain Sect and the Heaven Expanse Sect had compromised under the joint pressure from the Yin Sect and the Yang Sect, and eventually agreed to share the spatial rifts among the four sects.
Therefore, the four sects had entered this dimension through that last spatial rift.
After learning about why the Yin Sect and the Yang Sect had shown up here, Nie Tian claimed that he needed to recover his strength, and ended his conversation with Ye Qin and Chen Hao. Then, he sat down in the lotus position facing the black sea.
Ye Qin had heard about Nie Tian's incredible deeds in the Realm of a Thousand Devastations, and thus had been very curious about him.
Originally, she had been rather eager to talk to him to deepen their understanding of each other, but after seeing that all Nie Tian wanted was to recover, she could only give up on the idea.
Soon afterwards, the four people that remained on the coast sat down in different locations and started recovering their strength with spirit stones, preparing for their upcoming battle against the outsiders.
Nie Tian held a spirit stone in his hand, yet he didn't absorb its power. The most he had consumed during his battle against the Stonemen was actually his flesh power.
However, after he had killed the first Stoneman and drained his flesh power with Life Drain, he had not only recovered the flesh power he had consumed, but even had some surplus, which then dispersed to his every bone and muscle.
Since the green aura was now coiled dormantly in his heart, all of the flesh power he had absorbed had been used to recover and refine his body.
With these thoughts in mind, he cooked and consumed pieces of spirit beast meat from time to time, hoping to refine his body as much as he could, while the green aura lay dormant.
At the same time, he continued to explore the depths of the black sea with the help of the mysterious soul power from the fragmentary stars in his soul.
It was undetectable when wisps of soul power flew out of Nie Tian's attentive eyes.
However, they flickered with starlight as soon as they fell into the black seawater, as if they had somehow materialized.
"What's that?!" Ye Qin, who was in the middle of her cultivation, accidentally caught sight of the flickering spots, which rapidly sunk into the depths of the sea and disappeared.
As Chen Hao and Feng Ke heard her exclamation and looked over with rapt attention, they failed to see anything.
Nie Tian, however, didn't move a muscle. He focused on controlling his wisps of soul power to dive towards the deepest parts of the sea at full speed.