Over the next two days, Armes sought Nie Tian out and fought him six times.
Every time, Armes inflicted serious damage on Nie Tian, so much so that he believed Nie Tian wouldn't be able to escape death.
However, every time, Nie Tian managed to escape with an escape magic he had never seen before. By the time he sought him out again, he had recovered from his severe injuries, and was ready to fight again.
After a few times, Armes started to feel that Nie Tian might be actually inviting him to hurt him. The notion bothered him.
As powerful as he was, after every battle against Nie Tian, he would be covered in injuries himself.
He would have to devour spirit beast hearts to restore his vigorous flesh power.
As time passed, he feel more and more uneasy and insecure.
Through these battles, Nie Tian gradually perfected his originally simple and basic battle skills.
Not only that, but Nie Tian's human body, which should have been fragile, had become increasingly tough and resilient after taking repeated heavy blows from him.
As far as he knew, humans probably possessed the weakest bodies among all of the higher beings.
The majority of humans would focus on cultivating their spiritual sea or strengthening their soul power, but very few would put emphasis on the refinement of their bodies.
That was because humans were born with fragile bodies. Even if they did everything within their power to refine their bodies, the toughness of their bodies wouldn't rise to the same level as outsiders' would.
However, this Nie Tian person somehow possessed an inhumanly tough body, and his superb self-healing ability was simply astonishing.
Even he himself was barely able to recover his damaged body by wolfing down one spirit beast heart after another.
He would usually start chasing after Nie Tian while his injuries started to heal, instead of when they were fully healed.
It would usually take him about four to six hours to find Nie Tian and start another battle with him.
However, when he found him, Nie Tian would always be full of vigor again, every bone he had previously shattered becoming tougher than ever.
Armes also gradually noticed that, when he struck Nie Tian's chest again where he was sure he had broken several bones in their previous battles, he somehow remained unscathed.
Then, as he paid more attention regarding such anomalies in their most recent battle, he realized that Nie Tian's broken bones seemed to be changing, or, to be exact, transforming.
"Who the hell is this person? Could he be doing this intentionally? By provoking me to attack him repeatedly, he's actually using me to temper his body?"
With these thoughts in mind, Armes swallowed another fourth grade spirit beast's heart and practiced his bloodline magic to converge all of the flesh power he acquired from the heart to his injured areas.
Infused with a copious amount of flesh power, his opened wounds once again healed within a short time.
"I've only got one spirit beast heart left. If I fail to finish Nie Tian off during our next encounter, it's gonna be very troublesome." His eyebrows knitted together.
In a forest of tall and lush trees.
Wisps of green aura were being channeled from all directions by a dark-green ward, before converging into a stream and pouring down onto Nie Tian, who was sitting under the ward.
A hint of a smile appeared on his calm and peaceful face.
Faint green light could be vaguely seen coming from under his garments and skin. It was his bones that were emanating such light.
As he examined himself with rapt attention, he could see that every bone in his body had become translucent like emeralds, emanating a misty green light.
Even his smallest knuckle and toe bones had been refined with Heavenly Wood Heal and become translucent and sparkling.
"Is this the actual purpose of Heavenly Wood Heal turning my regular bones into crystal bones?
"I suppose it's possible that crystal bones can just be an early phase. Are there going to be more changes if I continue to refine my body with this profound magic?
"All these years, I have never forgotten about my body refinement. I've absorbed large amounts of flesh power and refined my bones and flesh with it.
"But it looks as if I've only just started to really refine my body, now that I've discovered this wondrous use of Heavenly Wood Heal.
"I can't believe it took me this much effort and luck to finally be able to refine my body with Heavenly Wood Heal.
"It wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for Armes' appearance, the magical tree branches, and the rich wood power on this island.
"However, after going through so much, my body only seems to have entered the first phase."
With these thoughts in mind, Nie Tian caught Armes' aura through the Heaven Eyes he had scattered in the vicinity.
"Here he comes..." With a meaningful smile, Nie Tian rose to his feet and summoned the translucent and sparkling tree branches back into his ring of holding.
At this point, he had long since stopped detesting Armes. After all, it was this formidable opponent who had forced out his potential, allowing him to discover Heavenly Wood Heal's true use.
Now that he had finished crystallizing his bones, he had also consumed all of the flesh power he had accumulated from the outsiders he had killed earlier during the process.
He could feel that he had rather limited flesh power inside of him now.
However, with the toughness of his body rising to a whole new level, he wouldn't need as much flesh power as before to contend against Armes.
Furthermore, after his previous battles against Armes, his battle skills had also improved significantly.
He suddenly summoned the Flame Star into his raised hand.
Without infusing it with all sorts of powers as he always had, he slashed it vigorously down on his other hand, which was open with fingers together.
The Flame Star's incomparably sharp blade easily cut open the flesh on his fingers. However, when it met his knuckle bones, a crisp metallic sound echoed out, as if it had hacked on a piece of steel.
The Flame Star could only split his skin and flesh, but it failed to break his knuckle bones, which were probably the weakest of all of his bones.
He examined his knuckle bones with rapt attention, and couldn't discover even the smallest fissure in them.
Nie Tian's eyes lit up.
Even though he hadn't infused the Flame Star with extra powers, as sharp as it was, and considering his exceptional strength, he would have cut a human Qi warrior at his stage in two before they could even raise their spiritual power ward.
Even powerful spirit beasts would have sustained serious injuries from such a vigorous cut.
However, his crystallized bones had withstood it and remained unscathed.
Putting the Flame Star away, Nie Tian healed his hand with Heavenly Wood Heal.
The gashes on his fingers were instantly wreathed in a misty green aura. Moments later, they healed completely, as if nothing had happened.
With a joyous smile on his face, Nie Tian muttered to himself, "If he has come to fight me up-close again, perhaps I'll put him out of his misery this time."
As he intentionally unleashed his vigorous life force into his surroundings, in Armes' senses, he seemed like a fierce beast that was roaring in a dense forest and waiting for its prey to arrive.
After tracking Nie Tian's aura to this location, Armes scanned him from afar with his bloodline magic. He couldn't help but shudder in shock. "H-his aura is completely different from before! This is so strange..."
Shortly afterwards, Armes entered Nie Tian's view.
With a wild laugh, Nie Tian flashed to right in front of Armes and started another battle with his bare hands, the same as their previous encounters.
However, this time, Armes gasped as he discovered that the mountain-toppling and sedraining force he used to bombard Nie Tian failed to break a single bone.
In contrast, with every move he made, even with his little fingers, Nie Tian was able to inflict noticeable damage on him.
With his strong fingers, Nie Tian actually ripped a piece of bloody flesh off Armes' shoulder.
This was something Nie Tian had never done before.
For the first time, Armes felt somewhat scared of Nie Tian, and started avoiding his attacks.
"How did his fleshly body become so much tougher? The toughness of his body and his self-healing ability can even match that of the Demons or Bonebrutes!" With these thoughts, Armes hastily jumped backwards, where he stared at Nie Tian with his face filled with shock and disbelief. Reflected in the prismatic crystal between his eyebrows, Nie Tian stood unwavering and confident. The mysterious green light Nie Tian was exuding made him seem like a god, as well as a demon.
"Are you really a human?"Armes asked.
Nie Tian tilted his chin, grinning. "I'm Nie Tian from the Domain of the Falling Stars. You'd better remember it this time."
With a grim expression, Armes said, "Don't be so pleased with yourself just yet, Nie Tian! We Phantasms aren't known for our tough fleshly bodies. Of all races, Demons and Bonebrutes have the strongest fleshly bodies and body-related bloodline talents. After they have awakened their core bloodline talents, their bodies can be considered truly impregnable.
"You may think your body is very tough, but compared to theirs, yours is far inferior."
"We Phantasms are only average in this aspect.
"Our true strength lies in our soul power and soul-power-related bloodline talents.
"It seems that it's about time I let you see my true power."