The titan's furious roar resounded through heaven and earth, but it seemed as if Nie Tian and Armes were the only ones who were able to hear it.
As that happened, the discarnate souls swarming within the broad blade light instantly stopped letting out bloodcurdling screams.
Then, the young Qi warriors from different sects were finally relieved from their suffering.
They all jerked their heads towards Nie Tian.
What they saw was Nie Tian shooting up into the air like a flood dragon out of a bottomless lake. Wreathed in raging flames, he dragged a long, burning tail behind him as he slammed hard into the wide blade light of the Nethersoul Saber.
Upon contact, blindingly bright light blossomed, sending out countless shreds of bright aura that lit up the entire sky.
Even the space around where the contact took place seemed to start to fissure as the earth beneath it was quickly riddled with holes.
Armes screamed, his face covered in blood. His sleeves exploded, revealing his mangled arms as numerous fine cuts appeared throughout his body, from which blood was spilling out.
At the same time, Nie Tian coughed up a mouthful of blood. Many of the meridians in the arm he used to wield the Flame Star had burst.
Armes, who was holding the saber with both hands, felt as if he had been hit by a rampant ancient beast, as he was knocked flying back a hundred steps before he could assume a firm foothold.
He discovered that he had used up all his soul power and bloodline essence after unleashing this single slash.
Without any more power to operate on, the Nethersoul Saber had lost its radiance, and now looked no different from an ordinary weapon.
Armes jerked his head in Nie Tian's direction, and discovered that his hands were trembling nonstop as blood kept rolling down his arms.
Through the prismatic crystal between his eyebrows, Armes quickly learned that Nie Tian had also drained all his powers.
However, the originally weak aura of flesh and blood within Nie Tian was rapidly growing stronger.
Armes gasped with astonishment. He had never imagined that Nie Tian would be able to survive the full-force attack he had formed with the Nethersoul Saber, much less that Nie Tian was now in a better condition than him.
The other outsiders, who were observing from afar, all stared at Nie Tian as if they were looking at a mysterious monster.
They didn't say a word, but each and every one of them was deeply shaken.
"A Son of the Stars! I-is this the true strength of a Son of the Stars?!"
"Even Armes' full-force attack with Lord Basto's Nethersoul Saber failed to kill him! And he's only a newborn Son of the Stars!"
"Is it still necessary for this battle to go on?"
Questions flashed across their minds as they stood in place, not daring to make any rash moves.
At that moment, Basto's voice echoed out from the Nethersoul Saber Armes was still gripping tightly. "Time to come back."
After a brief moment of hesitation, he turned back to look at his brother and said, "Take me out of here."
He was too weak to even leave this island himself.
Without thinking, Abreu dashed over, hoisted Armes onto his back, and sped off towards the edge of the island.
Upon seeing this, the other outsiders also quickly retreated like a ebbing tide.
By the vast, black lake, Dong Baijie and the other Qi warriors looked deeply at Nie Tian.
Xuan Ke broke the silence by asking, "Do we go after them, Nie Tian?"
"How are you doing?" Nie Tian asked softly.
Frowning slightly, Xuan Ke said, "I've basically drained my psychic power, but my spiritual power is still at a fairly high level."
Nie Tian glanced over the others, and saw that they all nodded upon meeting his gaze, indicating that they were in similar state.
Nie Tian waved his hand and said, "It's alright. Let them go. We don't have much time to spare. The spatial rift that leads to the Domain of the Falling Stars will open soon. If we get into trouble by chasing after those outsiders, we may not be able to return in time, therefore missing our one chance to return to the Domain of the Falling Stars."
Upon hearing these words, the crowd of youngsters, who were originally rather keen on chasing after their enemies, quickly settled down.
Then, Nie Tian turned to look at Pei Qiqi, who was lying on the ground, unconscious. Concerned, he crouched down and held his finger to her nose. After a few seconds, he discovered that her breaths were still regular. She just seemed to have passed out from overconsuming her strength.
With a wave of his hand, the seventy-two tree branches flew back into his ring of holding as he strode towards another location that was covered in lush plants and vegetation. "Come with me. We need to go to a different location."
The others quickly followed along.
It wasn't very long before they reached the other side of the black lake, where Nie Tian established another Wood Thriving Formation.
Since the mysterious tree patterns had returned to the seventy-two tree branches, the tree branches were now translucent and sparkling, as if their wooden nature had been altered.
With that devastating slash with the Nethersoul Saber, Armes had only managed to shatter the ward of the Wood Thriving Formation, but hadn't destroyed any of the tree branches.
Now that the Wood Thriving Formation was once again surrounded by a copious amount of wood power, a green ward once again formed over Nie Tian. Standing in the spell formation, he said to the others on the outside, "Don't interrupt me unless that spatial rift appears."
With these words, he sat down in the lotus position.
The chosen ones all cast respectful gazes towards him as they sat down in places around the formation, and took it upon themselves to stand guard for him.
They couldn't help but ask themselves, if they had been in Nie Tian's shoes, would they have survived Armes' attack with that saber?
The thought made them curl their lips bitterly.
They were all well-aware that, considering their strength, even if they had brought out everything within their power, they wouldn't have survived that crushing slash.
Nie Tian, however, had not only survived it, but he had ended up in better shape than Armes, who had suffered more serious injuries, and had to ask his brother to carry him away.
After running to the edge of the island, the outsiders summoned their prismatic war chariots and rushed back to their dilapidated ancient starship, tugging their tails.
Basto stood where he had been before. As Armes returned, he raised his hand, and the Nethersoul Saber flew into his palm and disappeared.
With Abreu's help, Armes trudged to Basto and said, looking very shamefaced, "Lord Basto, I..."
"That's alright." Basto's expression was surprisingly calm and peaceful. "Even though I couldn't see what happened on the island due to the barrier that one used to isolate this island, through the Nethersoul Saber, I learned that you did your best. In fact, you threw a very powerful slash, even more powerful than I had anticipated. It's just that..."
Basto pondered briefly before continuing, "As a Son of the Stars of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, that kid is indeed far beyond ordinary. I've underestimated him. Also, I have a feeling that he's different from the other Sons of the Stars, though I still don't know how, since I haven't gotten a chance to face him personally..."
Then, after a moment of silence, he shook his head and said, "Forget it. Let him be if he's bent on hiding on that island like a turtle drawing in its head and legs. As long as he continues to stay here, he won't be able to find his way back to the Domain of the Falling Stars. Let's focus on our operation in the Domain of the Falling Stars first. We'll have plenty of ways to deal with him as long as he doesn't leave here.
"Plus, don't imagine that he'll be able to neutralize that slash so easily!"
With these words, he shot a glance at one of the Phantasms.
Without any delay, the Phantasm turned around and went to start the dilapidated ancient starship. It quickly flew towards the vortex in the distant, gray sky.
By the black lake on the island, the crowd of young Qi warriors fixed their gazes on the Phantasms' ancient starship as it started, making loud rumbling noises, and as it gradually sailed towards the distant sky, they finally let out sighs of relief.
"If Big Brother Nie had failed to counter that slash, we'd all be dead already," Feng Ying said, still shaken from the incident.
"Miss Pei was very helpful too," Qin Yan said with a grim expression as she looked at Pei Qiqi, who was still unconscious. "I still can't believe that Miss Pei's mastery of spatial power is so profound that she was actually able to freeze space."
Upon hearing her words, everyone's expressions flickered as they recalled the few moments when they couldn't even move their fingers.
Pei Qiqi had clearly focused on the Nethersoul Saber, and they had only been the affected unintentionally.
Even so, they had felt as if they had been locusts wrapped inside a drop of pine gum, not able to move a muscle.
If they had been Pei Qiqi's target, instead of the Nethersoul Saber, they couldn't imagine how they would survive.
In their eyes, both her and Nie Tian were freakishly powerful.
By comparison, they, the so-called chosen ones, had a strong sense of inferiority.
They all decided that, after returning to the Domain of the Falling Stars, they would instantly start secluded cultivation to build up their cultivation bases, and at the same time, pick their sects' most difficult and powerful incantations to learn, so that next time they compared themselves to Pei Qiqi and Nie Tian, they wouldn't feel so small and weak.
Enveloped by the Wood Thriving Formation, Nie Tian examined himself with his eyes closed, and soon discovered that he had basically drained his spiritual sea after neutralizing Armes' attack with the Nethersoul Saber.
Not only that, but even the nine fragmentary stars in his soul had become dimmer afterwards.
Meanwhile, he had sustained injuries of different degrees to his meridians, internal organs, and muscles. His bones, which had crystallized with the help of Heavenly Wood Heal, were the only parts on him that remained unscathed.
He realized that he needed some time to heal all these injuries.
However, as he attempted to practice Heavenly Wood Heal with the copious amount of wood power the Wood Thriving Formation had channeled from its surroundings, he instantly experienced stabbing pain all over.
His expression flickered as he hastily conducted a more thorough examination of himself with a bit of his soul power.
To his surprise, he discovered that his meridians, internal organs, and muscles were covered in very small, cyan spots.
The spots were so small that he wouldn't have been able to discover them without using his soul power.
Each and every cyan spot contained the aura of discarnate souls. Apparently, when the Nethersoul Saber's blade light had exploded, the screaming discarnate souls within it had shattered, and tiny bits of them had entered his body.
It was none other than those cyan spots that were causing his pain.
At this moment, he had very little spiritual power he could use, and the green aura in his heart was still dormant.
He could only resort to using his remaining flesh power to try to refine the cyan spots, but soon, he realized that that was a dead end.
In order to burn those cyan spots away, along with the aura of discarnate souls within them, he would have to resort to using his soul power.
Just as he was about to draw upon his precious soul power from the fragmentary stars in his soul, he sense an unusual movement.
The movement was from the prismatic crystal he had acquired from a floating Phantasm corpse back when he had been in the colorful band.
Surprised, he took the prismatic crystal out from within his ring of holding.