Nie Tian moved deeper and deeper into the forest of sinister-looking trees and plants as he formed new Wood Thriving Formations to heal Li Langfeng.
Wood power was very rich in this forest, which was named Graydusk Forest. However, as Nie Tian moved from one place to another, the areas he covered rapidly became bereft of wood power, and the odd-looking trees and thorny plants rapidly withered and died.
As the Wood Thriving Formation continued to channel rich wood power from its surroundings, Li Langfeng's festering wounds, severed meridians, and damaged muscles were quickly healed.
All the damage he had sustained by breaking through into the late Worldly realm was rapidly fixed.
Time flew. Five days passed in the blink of an eye.
During this time, Nie Tian didn't summon the Bone Blood Demon and reignite its flame of life.
That was because he hadn't detected any mutant spirit beasts in his surroundings as he slowly moved deeper and deeper into Graydusk Forest.
Every time he formed the Wood Thriving Formation to heal Li Langfeng's injuries, it would take him a large amount of time and effort.
Because of this, it took him five days to march only fifty kilometers into Graydusk Forest.
However, he left a trail of dead trees and plants behind him.
On the sixth day.
After Nie Tian moved to a new location and established another Wood Thriving Formation, Li Langfeng took the initiative to say, "I'm good now. Given my current condition, I can take care of my injuries for the time being. I won't sustain any more significant damage for a while, before I advance to the Profound realm."
After Nie Tian's unrelenting efforts, Li Langfeng's face was no longer as pale as a piece of paper, and he no longer coughed up blood all the time.
Even his shriveled figure became somewhat muscular.
Looking at him now, Nie Tian could no longer see the gruesome, scrawny person who looked like a corpse that had crawled from hell.
Instead, he now looked somewhat gentle and graceful, like an experienced scholar who taught in a school.
Looking up at the Wood Thriving Formation that he had just established, Nie Tian nodded, smiling. "Alright, it's your turn to help me now."
With this spell formation, he planned to recover the power he had consumed to heal Li Langfeng and restore himself to his peak state so that he could make his breakthrough whenever an opportunity presented itself.
"No problem!" Li Langfeng replied.
On the seventh day, Nie Tian continued to form new Wood Thriving Formations as they moved deeper into the forest.
By this time, he had already replenished the liquidized wood power in his vortex of wood power, and recovered all the power he had consumed recently.
He wondered if he was now able to start the next round of refinement of his fleshly body with Heavenly Wood Heal and the newly-established Wood Thriving Formation.
However, before he could act on it, he finally detected the movements of mutant spirit beasts through one of his Heaven Eyes that he had scattered in the vicinity.
This was the first time he had discovered spirit beasts over the seven days he had entered Graydusk Forest, and there were five of them.
In the Wood Thriving Formation, Nie Tian's eyes snapped open as he called out to Li Langfeng, who was standing on guard outside the spell formation, "There are mutant spirit beasts in the vicinity. There're two fourth grade Golden Stone Rhinos, two fourth grade Blood Eye Crocodiles, and a fifth grade Strongwind Beast."
With a pondering expression, Li Langfeng said, "If that's it, you don't need to summon your Bone Blood Demon. I can hunt them for you."
The strength of a fifth grade Strongwind Beast matched that of a Worldly realm human Qi warrior. Meanwhile, Li Langfeng was at the late Worldly realm, and he practiced special poisonous incantations, which made his actual battle prowess higher than most at the late Worldly realm.
Seeing the determination and confidence on his face, Nie Tian decided to grant him the opportunity, and thus said, "Okay, but be careful though. The mutant spirit beasts in the Realm of Split Void are no ordinary spirit beasts."
"Don't worry," Li Langfeng said, smiling. "I'll be fine."
"Alright," Nie Tian said. "But also, try not to pollute their flesh and blood too much with your deadly toxins. I'll have an important use for them."
Li Langfeng went blank briefly before saying, "I'll try my best."
Immediately afterwards, he dashed off in the direction Nie Tian pointed out for him.
Nie Tian, however, sat unwavering in the Wood Thriving Formation. Through his Heaven Eyes, he kept a close watch on Li Langfeng and the mutant spirit beasts he was after.
As Li Langfeng had promised, he returned in fifteen minutes with the bodies of the five mutant spirit beasts.
As he did, his whole body was still wreathed in an intense spiritual aura, which was filled with deadly toxins that could rot the flesh of any living being.
Even though the mutant spirit beasts in the Realm of Split Void were tougher than those in other realms of the Domain of the Falling Stars, and they had already developed a strong resistance to the various toxins in the tainted spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth, they had still fallen under Li Langfeng's fatally poisonous attacks.
Meanwhile, Li Langfeng had heeded Nie Tian's reminders, and only attacked their heads. As soon as they had fallen, he had rush over and cut their poisoned heads off.
He had done that to stop the deadly toxins from flowing to other parts of the mutant spirit beasts' bodies. That way Nie Tian would still be able to use the spirit beasts' flesh and blood as he wished.
After placing the five headless bodies in front of Nie Tian, Li Langfeng said, "You were right. These mutant spirit beasts were hard to kill, especially that fifth grade Strongwind Beast. I could only attack their heads with my poisonous magics and cut their heads off afterwards."
Nie Tian, who had already seen everything through his Heaven Eyes, nodded slightly as he deactivated the spell formation and let Li Langfeng in.
After Li Langfeng dragged the bodies of the mutant spirit beasts into the spell formation, Nie Tian placed his hands on two of the fourth grade mutant spirit beasts' bodies and unleashed Life Drain.
Like crimson snakes, wisps of blood-colored light flew out of his fingertips and infiltrated the corpses.
Li Langfeng's eyes suddenly widened, shock filling his face.
Under his gaze, the two corpses rapidly shriveled and shrank like deflating balloons.
As they did, the originally pungent bloody smell on the corpses quickly became fainter and fainter.
From that, Li Langfeng could tell that the dead mutant spirit beasts were quickly being drained of their profound and pure flesh power.
Moments later, not a shred of flesh aura could be sensed on the two corpses anymore.
Then, Nie Tian took a deep breath and applied the same method to two of the other dead mutant spirit beasts.
Similarly, they also shriveled rapidly and looked like dried up meat that had been left in fierce sunlight for years.
"Here comes the last one!" Nie Tian's eyes shone with the light of excitement as he placed both hands on the fifth grade Strongwind Beast. Even Li Langfeng, who was standing off to the side, looked somewhat afraid.
The Strongwind Beast, which was eight meters long, also rapidly shriveled as Nie Tian unleashed Life Drain.
Moments later, it shrank to one third of its original size.
Li Langfeng was flabbergasted by the scene, feeling that he had discovered a prodigious secret of Nie Tian's.
However, he said nothing.
Shortly afterwards, Nie Tian pulled his hands back from the dried up corpse.
Without saying anything to Li Langfeng, he restarted the Wood Thriving Formation to channel wood power from the trees and plants in a ten kilometers radius.
At the same time, he closed his eyes to concentrate on himself.
"Such rich flesh power!" he marveled inwardly.
The flesh power of mutant spirit beasts was richer than that of regular spirit beasts to begin with, not to mention that they were four fourth grade and one fifth grade mutant spirit beasts.
The strength of a fifth grade mutant spirit beast wasn't any weaker than that of a fifth grade outsider.
After channeling such copious flesh power into himself, Nie Tian felt as if a sea of flesh power was storming inside of him.
He sensed it with rapt attention, and discovered that the torrential flesh power first flowed into his bones, and then his internal organs, meridians, muscles, and eventually his blood.
Instead of rushing into cultivation, he took his time to observe the process. Suddenly, a realization came to him.
He realized that the refinement of his body would follow the sequence of the parts that his flesh power naturally flowed to.
Bones first, then internal organs, meridians, muscles, and finally blood.
That was when the five steps of refining his body with Heavenly Wood Heal suddenly appeared in his mind. "Bone Crystallizing, Internal Organ Nourishing, Meridian Toughening, Muscle Tempering, and Blood Condensing!"
It seemed that crystallizing his bones was only the first step. Bones were the foundation of people's bodies. Meanwhile, since they were the most solid, they were the easiest to refine.
The following steps would be more and more difficult, and would each take more time to achieve.
After coming to such enlightenment, he started channeling the raging flesh power and rich wood power, and launched Heavenly Wood Heal without the slightest hesitation.
One after another, streams of crimson flesh power and green wood power fused into rivers that rushed into his heart.
Since the heart was the most important of his internal organs, it needed to be the first to be nourished and refined.
Thump! Thump! Thump! Thump! Thump!
His heart suddenly started to race.
However, the green aura was still lying completely still at the bottom of his heart, like a snake during hibernation.
Every time his heart pounded, he felt as if he were being stabbed with a thousand needles.
He could see with great clarity that as the essences of flesh and wood poured madly into his heart, every fiber of his heart was being rapidly severed and reattached.
Every part of his heart was being transformed and becoming more resilient.
He even felt as if he was being reborn.
However, to be reborn, he had to die first. The excruciating pain he was now experiencing wasn't something anyone could bear.
Within seconds, sweat started to roll down his distorted face as he panted heavily.
Three days passed as he struggled with pain he had never imagined was possible, until he finally used up all of the flesh power he had absorbed from the mutant spirit beasts. However, he had only finished one third of the refinement of his heart.
His eyes snapped open. "I can't believe that it requires so much flesh power to refine my heart!"
Eyes glittering with fierce light, he said to Li Langfeng, "Let's move to another location! And I need you to kill more mutant spirit beasts! Fifth grade mutant spirit beasts would be the best!"
Li Langfeng sprang to his feet. "No problem!"