After arriving on this island, Nie Tian had come across quite a number of lakes and swamps. However, all of them were so clear that he was able to see the bottoms, and surrounded by green, thriving plants and vegetation.
The vast lake before him, however, was ink-black, and not a single blade of grass could be seen around it. Everything was deadly silent.
Nie Tian suspected that the lake water might be from the black sea, since just like the black sea water, he couldn't see anything within it with his bare eyes either.
Yet this wasn't the thing that surprised him the most.
The truly strange thing was that a vast, colorful mist was floating directly above the black lake.
Like a sea of colorful clouds, it floated quietly in the air, swaying slowly but never leaving the area above the lake.
With a single glance at the mist, Nie Tian realized that it was the same as the one he and the others had entered to arrive on that other island.
Not only that, but as he looked over with rapt attention, he discovered that bright light was flickering within the heart of the colorful mist.
Without delay, he summoned his Heaven Eyes over the mist. With their help, he instantly discovered that the flickering, bright light was actually from a number of spatial rifts!
Filled with flowing, bright light, those spatial rifts fluctuated between contracting and snapping open.
As one of them expanded to its limit, the tall figure of an outsider could be vaguely seen within it, as if he were trying to pass through it into this dimension.
However, just as the tall outsider was about to come through, some unknown force seemed to suddenly tear him to bits. The outsider suffered a miserable death.
Nie Tian's expression flickered slightly as he continued to observe the spatial rifts in the depths of the colorful mist.
Moments later, he saw another spatial rift snapping wide open, with another vague figure appearing within it.
That figure seemed to have a pair of wide feathered wings like the Birdmen.
However, he also failed to pass through that spatial rift, and was killed during his attempt.
After observing for some time, Nie Tian realized that every once in a while, one of the spatial rifts would snap wide, and at that time, outsiders would try to charge through it into this realm.
However, with no exception, all of them had died miserably in those spatial rifts.
Nie Tian soon realized that those spatial rifts were how all the outsiders had descended upon this island.
As he thought about it, he recognized that those spatial rifts looked exactly like the six spatial rifts that had mysteriously appeared in the Void Illusion Mountain Range.
He and all the other human Qi warriors had passed through them onto the floating continents above the separating gray mist.
Later, through the endless band that spiraled downward, they came to the bottom continent.
However, it seemed that the outsiders had come directly from their own realms to the bottom continent through these spatial rifts.
According to Zhen Huilan, a grandmaster of spatial power, the spatial rifts that they had entered hadn't been stable all the time. They could only go through them without being harmed during certain periods.
If they were to leap into them before they stabilized, chances were that they would suffer miserable deaths.
After contemplating for a short while, Nie Tian realized that these spatial rifts in the heart of the colorful mist must have been stable over a period of time, during which the high-tier Demons, Fiends, and Phantasms had rushed through them onto this island.
However, now that the spatial rifts had become unstable and violent again, those who dared to enter them at this point would have a ninety percent chance of dying in them.
Even so, some of the outsiders on the other side of the spatial rifts were obviously unwilling to give up, and thus made attempts risking their lives.
From the look of it, most of these gamblers had died before they could emerge from these spatial rifts.
After observing for a long time, and seeing that not a single outsider had managed to come through those unstable spatial rifts, Nie Tian slowly put his heart at ease.
Instead of leaving this lake for other areas, where he might be able to find and kill more less powerful outsiders, he stood on the lakeshore and scanned the vicinity for signs of outsiders.
He thought that if the joint team of Phantasms and Demons was coming to search this area, he would leave as soon as possible with Starshifts.
"I wonder what's in this vast, black lake..." After making sure that there weren't any outsiders in the vicinity, he finally decided to examine the lake.
As soon as a small cluster of star power flew out of one of the fragmentary stars in his mind and made contact with the black lake water, it started to shine dazzlingly brightly.
With rapt attention, he controlled it to dive towards the deepest parts of the lake.
Like a lone star that shone in the night sky, the cluster of soul power flickered as it plunged into the pitch darkness.
With the misty starlight it emanated, it lit up a small area around it.
Not a single outsider or human corpse entered its limited detection range. Black water was all that Nie Tian could see through it.
Then, as the cluster of star power came to a stop in the depths of the lake, Nie Tian focused all his attention on scanning the environment.
Soon, he sensed a faint but powerful wisp of awareness looming from an extremely far location.
That faint awareness felt very ancient and vast, as if it had instantly appeared and taken up the entire lake.
At this moment, the cluster of soul power wore out its power and died out.
Nie Tian found himself staring at the vast, black lake. Quiet and rippleless, nothing seemed to have happened.
However, Nie Tian was almost certain that a wisp of very profound awareness and unknown origin had just been infused into the lake.
"Unlike in the black sea, there aren't any outsider or human corpses in the lake. Empty, pitch-black water is all there is. Since the soul power was too weak to reach the bottom of the lake, I still don't know what's down there." He pondered whether he should gather soul power and conduct another scan.
However, at that moment, through one of his Heaven Eyes that were floating above the colorful mist, he saw a vague shape flashing out of one of the spatial rifts.
Nie Tian's expression flickered slightly as he quietly backed away from the barren lakeshore and hid himself in the tall bushes far away from the lakeshore.
From there, he discovered that it was a Phantasm clad in a fine suit of armor that had flashed out of that spatial rift.
However, his garments were torn, and his armor was badly damaged. Blood could be seen flowing out of gashes under his ripped armor.
From the look of it, his journey through the spatial rift had been full of danger.
Even though his life-saving armor was ruined and he was covered in injuries, he had come out alive, which made him the first one that had managed to do so after Nie Tian had arrived.
This Phantasm was also at the fourth grade, a prismatic crystal shining between his eyebrows.
As soon as he steadied himself in midair, instead of examining his injuries, he jerked his head up to stare at that Heaven Eye of Nie Tian's, which should have been invisible.
"What the hell is that!?" He muttered in the Phantasms' language. Immediately afterwards, a profound soul magic suddenly formed in the depths of the prismatic crystal between his eyebrows.
That Heaven Eye instantly suffered a strong blow, as if it were being pierced by countless spears.
In the next moment, the Heaven Eye exploded. Nie Tian instantly lost contact with it.
The Phantasm let out a cold harrumph as he unleashed profound soul fluctuations to scan his surroundings.
A pained look appeared on Nie Tian's face as he hastily moved his other Heaven Eyes away from him.
After failing to find other potential dangers, floating in the colorful mist, the Phantasm took out a conch shell and said into it in Phantasms' language, "Where are you, Abreu?"
The conch shell seemed to have similar functions to the Sound Stones that humans used. Phantasms could contact each other through them.
Soon, the conch shell hummed, as it appeared that another Phantasm had given a response.
The Phantasm held the conch shell to his ear and then whispered something into it. Afterwards, he jumped from the colorful mist and landed lightly on the shore of the black lake.
The place he landed was very close to where Nie Tian was hiding.
As soon as his feet touched the ground, the prismatic crystal between his eyebrows started to shine with cyan light.
He chuckled, looking at the place where Nie Tian was hiding. "Why don't you show yourself? It's very impressive that you're able to hide your aura of flesh and blood. However, your soul fluctuations gave you away. You might be able to hide from the others, but you can't hide from me, Armes."
Nie Tian, who had already scattered his Heaven Eyes on the perimeter, hadn't discovered any sign of outsiders in the area.
Thus, he walked slowly out of the bush. Facing the Phantasm, who referred to himself as Armes, he smiled and said, "I'm Nie Tian, from the Domain of the Falling Stars."