"Why is Pei Qiqi here?" Nie Tian was deeply puzzled. Every human Qi warrior, including him, had originally arrived at that other island.
However, for some reason, Pei Qiqi had ended up on this island where the outsiders were gathered.
Even so, it was good news to know that those high-tier Demons were looking for Pei Qiqi.
At least, this proved that Pei Qiqi was still alive.
As long as she was alive and on this island, he would have a good chance to run into her here.
Meanwhile, since those high-tier Demons were all at the fourth grade, he believed that, if he were to sneak up on them, he would probably be able to kill them by himself.
However, he didn't do it.
After all, he wasn't sure whether there were other outsiders in the vicinity. Once he made a move against them, he would most likely be exposed. He was worried that other nearby outsiders would come to their friends' aid.
Therefore, he decided to steer clear of these high-tier Demons and continue to scout with the help of his Heaven Eyes.
Soon, he discovered that there were other groups of Demons scattered around the lake, all of which consisted of several high-tier Demons.
From the look of it, they were all wreathed in intense killing intent while searching for Pei Qiqi.
From their conversations, Nie Tian learned that Pei Qiqi had killed many outsiders on this island, the Demons among them.
Therefore, they became rather scared of her, and only dared to travel in groups.
Furthermore, they had already learned about the human Qi warriors on the other island through the Stonemen that had recently returned. However, they still considered Pei Qiqi the bigger threat, and thus decided to get rid of her before finding an opportunity to kill the humans on the other island.
"I can't believe that Pei Qiqi has kept so many outsiders occupied by herself!" Nie Tian thought to himself.
His Heaven Eyes slowly floated and searched along the lakeshore, yet failed to discover any signs of her.
After realizing that Pei Qiqi had probably already left this area, Nie Tian stopped searching and headed forward, masking his aura with Life Stealth and completely ignoring the Demons.
Roughly an hour later, he discovered a few groups of Phantasms by a long and winding river.
The Phantasms also seemed to be at the fourth grade, meaning that they were as strong as Greater Heaven stage human Qi warriors.
After spotting the Phantasms, Nie Tian started to move more discreetly. He kept a rather long distance from them, fearing that they might be able to sense his existence.
Most Phantasms were well-versed in soul magics. Even though he had masked his aura of flesh and blood with Life Stealth, the Phantasms would be able to detect him with their unique soul magics if he were to get too close to them.
After a brief observation through his Heaven Eyes, he learned that they were also searching for Pei Qiqi.
As he left the area where the Phantasms were gathered, Nie Tian's expression grew grim. Even though all the Phantasms and Demons he had come across along his way were only at the fourth grade, together they were in great numbers.
Counting just the ones he had discovered, there were about thirty high-tier Demons and Phantasms, which was already greater than the total number of human Qi warriors from the Domain of the Falling Stars.
Not to mention that these were only the Demons and Phantasms.
Back on the move, Nie Tian soon came to a marshland, where he discovered a number of Fiends.
Each and every one of them was wreathed in toxic mists of different colors. Since they absorbed and cultivated different toxins, the toxic mists they released varied.
All of them had dark-green skin and gruesome, green eyes that looked like burning, ghostly flames.
The marshland where the Fiends were gathered also looked very strange.
The water in the marshland was multi-colored, with a multi-colored miasma rising from it.
Not only weren't the Fiends affected by the miasma as they roamed about in the marshland, but they even breathed deeply, as if they were taking the toxins in intentionally.
Every once in a while, the Fiends would cheer in loud voices as they picked flowers and plants that seemed extremely poisonous from the marshland.
They ate some of them right away, but put others away very carefully, as if they were for pill-making or refining use in the future.
From the look of it, they weren't trying to look for Pei Qiqi, but were instead focused on searching for poisonous plants and ingredients they could use in the special marshland.
Compared to the Demons and Phantasms he had discovered earlier, they were in smaller numbers.
However, Nie Tian could feel that these Fiends, who released toxic mist even as they spoke, must be very hard to kill.
Therefore, he decided to play it safe, and left the area quietly.
Over the following hours, he discovered a few groups of outsiders that he wasn't familiar with along his way.
They were in smaller groups and seemed weaker than the Fiends, Phantasms, or Demons. They seemed to possess strength that was roughly equal to the Stonemen.
They had all seemed to have learned from the Stonemen that human Qi warriors were gathered on a nearby island.
However, none of them seemed eager to cross the strait and kill the humans.
It was as if most of them had suffered great losses from Pei Qiqi, and thus were bent on finding and killing her before marching to that other island.
Moreover, it seemed that a few minor outsider races had just come to this island, and were still consumed with the idea of searching the island for valuable spirit ingredients and toxic plants, hoping to go take care of the humans after they had gained enough treasures.
The outsiders' combined strength was unquestionably greater than that of the human Qi warriors from the Domain of the Falling Stars.
Nie Tian hadn't covered the entire island yet, but the number of the outsiders he had discovered so far was already so great that it would discourage the chosen ones' desire to take the initiative to attack the outsiders.
Through his Sound Stone, he described the siltation to Dong Li.
"A day and a half," Dong Li, who possessed a special timing device, said as she took out her Sound Stone and listened to the message.
Moments later, she lowered her Sound Stone and said to the crowd, "Nie Tian said the outsiders on that island are in much greater numbers than us. He has only searched part of the island, but the number of outsiders he has discovered is already a few times more than us.
"The good news is that the outsiders all seem to be at the fourth grade. He didn't discover any very powerful outsider experts.
"But even so, we'll be outnumbered if we're going to take the initiative to strike out.
"So, what do you think?"
After hearing her words, all of the chosen ones from all over the Domain of the Falling Stars fell silent.
They had expected that there might be a large number of outsiders of that other island. The Stonemen leader's threat right before leaving had prepared them for such a situation.
After the outsiders had gathered enough spiritual materials and medicinal plants on that other island, they would surely cross the strait to attack them on this island.
If it came down to that, they would soon be swamped by the outsider forces.
Su Lin from the Heaven Palace Sect spent a while pondering in silence before saying, "If that's the case, our only option would be to form defenses here and hold fast to them when the outsiders come."
Eyebrows furrowed, Qin Yan asked, "Are you sure it's wise to do that?"
Su Lin smiled bitterly. "What? Do you think we should leave? Sure, we can evacuate this island on our air-transportation spiritual tools. But where would we go? At least we now have a rough idea of the number and strength of the outsiders on that other island. We can predict the danger we're getting into. But if we go somewhere else, who knows what we'll run into.
"What if we run into outsiders that are even more powerful, or other dangers? We can easily get killed."
After she uttered these words, a clamor broke out in the crowd. Some suggested leaving, while others believed that leaving would mean a quicker death.
The clamor went on and on, and they couldn't agree on what to do.
After some time, Ye Qin from the Yin Sect stepped forward and said, "How about this: we split into two groups. One group is in charge of building defenses here, while the other group explores the areas around this island on air-transportation spiritual tools. If we find a safer place, we'll go there together. If not, we can still stay here, surrounded by our defenses. What do you think?"
With a sigh, Su Lin said, "Explore? What if they run into powerful outsiders? Or are secretly discovered? Outsider experts might follow them back to this place. Won't that be worse? Our defenses will only ward off fourth grade outsiders. They'll be completely useless in the face of fifth or sixth grade outsiders."
The few young leaders all had their own ideas and reasons. After debating for a long time, they still failed to come up with a solution that everyone was happy with.
The fundamental reason behind this was because they didn't have a leader who they all looked up to.
There wasn't a person who could make the decision for everyone.
"How about we ask for Nie Tian's opinion?" Xuan Ke from the Ice Pavilion Sect, who had remained silent this whole time, suddenly proposed. "He only gave us the information, but he didn't give any suggestions. He's on that island, and he has some first-hand experience. We should hear what he has to say."
Surprisingly, upon hearing his words, everyone fell silent. Many in the crowd nodded slightly.
Even Yang Kan and Lu Jian nodded in assent.
After a moment of silence, Su Lin said, "Alright, I'm willing to hear Nie Tian's opinion on this matter."
Zhang Jiu from the Poison Sect chimed in, "Sure, let's see if he has any suggestions."
Liao Yan and Yu Yang from the Thunder Mountain Sect and Heaven Expanse Sect nodded in silence.