In a split second, the nine fragmentary stars in Nie Tian's soul blossomed with blindingly bright light.
As soon as the light of the floating fragmentary stars shone upon his sea of awareness, all dizziness and discomfort were eliminated.
His stirred soul was instantly soothed, and he recovered a clear mind.
"What the-?!" Armes gasped, shock appearing in his eyes. "I thought humans at the Greater Heaven stage wouldn't have developed their soul power yet. Was I mistaken?!"
He seemed to be rather familiar with human cultivation, and thus had expected that Nie Tian wouldn't be able to withstand his soul attack, and would fall into bewilderment.
The fact that Nie Tian had so effortlessly neutralized his soul magic took him by surprise.
At this moment, Nie Tian realized that the pieces of broken armor wreathed in a misty, cyan aura were already rather close to him.
With a cold snort, he cast a short-range Starshift, and suddenly appeared before Armes.
Dragging a tail of blazing flames, the Flame Star in his hand slashed down with the crushing momentum of thunder.
At the same time, his chaotic magnetic field instantly enveloped Armes.
But what surprised Nie Tian was that Armes didn't seem to experience any discomfort. He only frowned slightly, and nothing more than a minor stir seemed to occur in his soul.
In his experience, when his previous opponents had been enveloped by his chaotic magnetic field, their spiritual seas would have been thrown into disorder, and their souls would have been distorted, causing great pain.
However, this Phantasm stood unwavering in his chaotic magnetic field, as if nothing had happened.
As Armes raised his hand, his fingers suddenly became as translucent as jade. Wisps of cyan aura flowed within his jade-like fingers. All of a suddenly, the Phantasm's unique, terrifying power burst forth from those fingers, with which he effortlessly stopped the Flame Star's crushing momentum.
Glorious sparks sputtered from the contact point, as if the Flame Star had hacked onto a piece of solid iron.
Before Nie Tian could unleash the various powers he had vested the Flame Star with, they were scattered by the cyan aura that exploded out of Armes' fingers.
With a low chuckle, fine cyan lightning could be seen swimming in the depths of Armes' unfathomable eyes.
Armes splayed his other hand and pressed it towards Nie Tian's unprotected chest.
As he did, a cluster of cyan light was quickly born within his palm, which then suddenly exploded, creating a storm of countless fine cyan lightning bolts that instantly engulfed Nie Tian.
Each and every bolt of cyan lightning contained shocking amounts of flesh power, as well as Armes' profound soul power.
Aching and sore all over, Nie Tian felt as if he had been caught in a electric net. Even his inner spiritual power flow was slowed down, holding him back from unleashing powerful counterattacks.
Armes shoved his palm into Nie Tian's chest.
Feeling as if he had been hit by a mountain of steel, Nie Tian was thrown into the air, and fell with a loud crash.
As he struggled to assume a firm foothold, he could still see cyan lightning bolts slithering all over him. Formed with copious flesh and soul power, they were madly drilling into his flesh in an attempt to destroy his meridians and bones.
Cracks appeared in several of his ribs after he took Armes' violent palm strike.
With a thought, he cast Heavenly Wood Heal.
Refined wood power was instantly summoned out of his spiritual sea, which morphed into bright sparks of life force and infused into his damaged ribs.
Simultaneously, his heart started pounding violently. The blood it pumped into his veins made it seem as if it were seething.
Like an erupting volcano, his raging flesh power wiped out all of the cyan lightning from Armes.
In no more than a few seconds' time, every last bit of Armes' flesh power and soul power was washed away from Nie Tian's body, like smoke blown away by a severe gale.
Confusion and shock filled Armes's eyes that looked like a pair of cyan gems. "You… I can't believe you survived my attack! Are you not human? Why do you possess such strong flesh power?!"
With these words, he dashed over, wreathed in cyan light shields.
Even though he was only at the fourth grade, he was much faster than spirit beasts at his grade.
He practically teleported to Nie Tian's face. Within arm's reach from him, Nie Tian couldn't possible display the might of his Flame Star, which was about two meters long.
Therefore, he quickly put his Flame Star away in his ring of holding, and started fighting Armes with punches and kicks at this very limited distance.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Every time their fists and feet clashed, it gave rise to thunderous sounds, as if two gigantic beasts were charging into each other and trying to tear each other to bits.
Armes' battle prowess was surprisingly high. At first, Nie Tian could only struggle to defend himself against Armes' storming attacks.
Armes's punches and kicks were so fast that they dazzled Nie Tian's eyes. He even felt that the speed at which his spiritual power circulated wasn't fast enough to support his defensive efforts.
However, in contrast, his rich flesh power that was now scattered in every bone and muscle all over him could flow very rapidly to any part he wanted it to.
The defensive shield he formed with his spiritual power was easily smashed by Armes' deluge of attacks.
BANG BANG BANG!
Armes' attacks with his fists, palms, elbows, knees, and feet were all as swift as lightning.
Nie Tian felt as if he were being attacked by a dozen fierce beasts in a variety of ways at the same time.
As he defended against these moves, and with every clash, the flesh power he had absorbed from the outsiders earlier was rapidly being drained.
Soon, his spiritual power failed to support such intense and high frequency exchanges, and thus he could only keep fighting with his flesh power.
His whole life, he had had great confidence in his ability to fight with his bare hands.
Almost all of the opponents he had come across growing up had greatly relied on their exquisite spiritual tools or all sorts of spiritual incantations.
This had given him a great advantage when they had to fight with bare hands. Thanks to his exceptionally tough body, he had won almost every time when it had come to that.
However, this Phantasm named Armes was nothing like the other opponents he had encountered before. The vigor of his flesh power was something he had never seen before.
According to his master, Wu Ji, Phantasms weren't even the outsiders that possessed the strongest fleshly bodies.
However, the terrifying close-up battle skills Armes displayed shocked Nie Tian deeply.
As the fight went on and his heart pounded more and more violently, his veins were about to explode with seething flesh power.
Having defended passively for so long, his heart was now brimming with rage. At this moment, he suddenly summoned his burning rage and formed a Rage Punch along with his flesh power and all sorts of spiritual power.
With this punch that contained one third of his overall strength, he met Armes' incoming attack with his splayed, translucent palm.
Upon contact, Armes, who had been attacking actively this whole time, coughed up a mouthful of blood and staggered a few steps backwards.
The wounds that had closed up and healed to a great extent once again burst open, blood spilling from them.
A shocked look once again appeared in Armes' eyes as he exclaimed, "Who are you exactly?!"
After unleashing the Rage Punch, Nie Tian still hadn't recovered from his mental state, and was still panting with rage.
At that moment, when he finally had the opportunity to catch his breath, he saw through his Heaven Eyes that more and more Birdmen were flying towards his location.
Nie Tian took a deep look at Armes and said, "I've told you. I'm from the Domain of the Falling Stars."
His voice still lingered, but he was already nowhere to be seen.
With a grim look in his eyes, Armes was just about to put on a new suit of armor and really get into the fight with Nie Tian when he realized that Nie Tian had vanished into thin air right before his eyes.
He looked into the air and saw the incoming Birdmen, and thus thundered, "Get the hell away! Don't you dare interrupt my battle with him!"
The prismatic crystal between his eyebrows thrummed with ripples of invisible soul fluctuations as he started to scan the vicinity for signs of Nie Tian.
"I'm gonna kill that human kid named Nie Tian by myself. Stay out of my way!"
Upon hearing his angry roars, all of the Birdmen that had rushed to this place kept their distance from him, as if they were intimidated by his strength and status.
With the help of the Phantasm's special soul magics and his profound bloodline talent, he quickly determined the direction Nie Tian had left in, and then sped away in that direction.
Cowed by his warnings, the Birdmen could only remain in place and watch him disappear into the distance.
Moments later, Abreu arrived with Tago and other Phantasms and high-tier Demons.