Five hexagonal spell formations were operating at the center of the Heaven Palace Sect's headquarters.
Golden, cyan, white, red, and yellow auras continued to flow out of the five spell formations, which were paved with numerous spirit stones.
Like streams of spiritual power, the multi-colored auras poured into a pool in the middle of the spell formations.
There was a dense network of tubes that looked like a man's meridians at the bottom of the pool. They carried pure energy to every corner of the Heaven Palace Sect.
The pool was called a Fortune Pool, and the spell formation was called the Five Elements Fortune Formation.
The Heaven Palace Sect's Five Elements Fortune Formation was connected to five different arcane realms, each of which contained rich metal, wood, water, fire, and earth power.
The five hexagonal spell formations channeled the five types of power into the Fortune Pool from the five arcane realms, where the powers were mixed in a profound way before being delivered to every corner of the Heaven Palace Sect.
Infused with power, the small spell formations in the palace walls would unleash waves of spiritual power every once in a while.
These waves seemed to contain the profound truths of the fortunes of heaven and earth. Not only could it protect the heaven and earth, but it could also deal out massive damage.
Upon contact with a spiritual power wave, anything or anyone would suffer an unimaginably heavy blow, regardless of whether they were tangible or illusory entities.
The mountain peaks that the Stoneman experts used to attack the grand spell formation were instantly reduced to dust. Basto even commanded their forces that were under the seventh grade to retreat to a location that was ten thousand meters from the Heaven Palace Sect, so they didn't get annihilated by the waves of spiritual power.
At this moment, almost all of the Soul realm experts in the Domain of the Falling Stars were gathered by the central hubs of the Five Elements Fortune Formation in the Heaven Palace Sect.
With a grim face, Zhao Luofeng looked at Dong Tengfei, who was the last to arrive, and asked, "Why isn't Nie Tian coming with that puppet of his?"
He was well aware that the Five Elements Fortune Formation would not hold very long, facing the outsiders' continuous bombardment.
The Heaven Palace Sect possessed profound reserve power. One of the seven arcane realms they owned was now being used by their late Soul realm patriarch as his private cultivation location.
Another arcane realm was used to relocate their juniors.
The other five were used to power the Five Elements Fortune Formation.
Originally, the consumption of power by the Five Elements Fortune Formation had been acceptable.
However, after the outsider forces in the Realm of Flame Heaven and the Realm of a Hundred Battles had been wiped out, Basto had shrewdly sensed the anomaly, and thus summoned all of their forces to this realm.
Under Basto's command, the seventh grade outsiders had started bombarding the Heaven Palace Sect with their secret magics as soon as they had arrived.
Because of this, the Five Elements Fortune Formation now consumed an alarming amount of power every day. It wouldn't be very long before the five arcane realms that the grand spell formation was connected to were drained of their power.
According to Zhao Luofeng's assessment, the Five Elements Fortune Formation would only hold another two weeks, at most.
Then, it would be time for the final battle between the humans of the Domain of the Falling Stars and the outsider invaders.
If the humans lost that battle, the Domain of the Falling Stars would be fated to fall into the outsiders' hands.
A meaningful look flashed across Dong Wangling's eyes. "Nie Tian? He's just a Greater Heaven stage kid. What difference can he make to the situation? Perhaps you don't know this yet, Sectmaster Zhao. His Bone Blood Demon suffered serious damage while helping us kill the outsiders in the Realm of a Hundred Battles. It's not functional for the time being."
Zhao Luofeng let out a cold harrumph. "Even if his Bone Blood Demon can't be sent into the battlefield, he could have brought his Flame Dragon Armor. Everyone here should know that Basto is at the late seventh grade. Aside from Brother Xia, I'm afraid none of us will be able to contend against him single-handedly.
"However, Brother Xia has just entered the late Soul realm. He's in need of a powerful fire-attributed spiritual tool to help him fight Basto."
Looking somewhat impatient, Hua Mu said, "There's no need for us to dwell on this. I've already made it perfectly clear that the Flame Dragon Armor doesn't belong to Xia Yi!"
Sitting straight next to Zhao Luofeng, Xia Yi was bald and had crimson skin, as if flames were burning in his flesh.
There seemed to be two ever-burning volcanoes in the depths of his eyes.
"The Flame Dragon Armor was mine!" Xia Yi exclaimed, looking disgruntled.
Not the slightest fear could be seen on Hua Mu's face as he said, "All you had was an empty shell. It was Nie Tian who completed it with the Blood Core and fixed its damage, restoring it to its original state."
Eyes narrowed, Xia Yi snorted disdainfully and said, "If you insist on thinking this way, then you'll have to figure out a way to deal with Basto yourself. I won't be able to help you."
With these words, he closed his eyes, as if none of this concerned him anymore.
Zhao Luofeng, Ling Dong, and the others grew anxious upon seeing his attitude.
With their patriarch in secluded cultivation, Xia Yi was the only late Soul realm expert throughout the entire Domain of the Falling Stars.
That meant that only he had the ability to stop Basto.
If he refused to contribute, the human alliance would have to send several middle Soul realm experts to contend against Basto, but even that wasn't safe.
In this situation, once the Five Elements Fortune Formation failed, the Soul realm experts would face mountain-like pressure from the outsiders.
Zhao Luofeng had a headache over the tough situation, and thus couldn't help but make a suggestion, "Mr. Hua, I know that you're close to Nie Tian. How about this: You tell Nie Tian to bring his Flame Dragon Armor here, and I'll trade it with a Spirit Channeling grade treasure that agrees with him.
"As far as I know, Nie Tian practices flame power, wood power, and star power.
"We happen to have a wood-attributed Spirit Channeling grade treasure.
"If I trade it for Nie Tian's Flame Dragon Armor, then he has no reason to refuse, right?"
"Sectmaster!" Ling Dong called out with a deep powerful voice.
Ling Dong had placed high hopes on one of the chosen from the Heaven Palace Sect. Ling Dong had assumed that that wood-attributed Spirit Channeling grade treasure had been prepared for that promising disciple.
He hadn't expected that Zhao Luofeng was actually willing to trade that treasure for Nie Tian's Flame Dragon Armor.
Zhao Luofeng then jerked his head towards him and gave him a meaningful look.
Ling Dong went blank briefly, and then fell silent.
That was because he suddenly understood what Zhao Luofeng was planning.
The Five Elements Fortune Formation wouldn't hold for very long. Once it failed, and Xia Yi refused to help, the Heaven Palace Sect would be the first to suffer from the outsiders' wrath.
The entire Domain of the Falling Stars might fall if they lost this battle.
At such a crucial moment, the only solution would be to trade the Flame Dragon Armor with that wood-attributed Spirit Channeling grade treasure, so that Xia Yi would join the battle.
Then, after the crisis was over and their patriarch entered the Void domain, would Nie Tian dare to not give the wood-attributed treasure back if they asked?
Hua Mu shook his head. "Sorry, I can't persuade him to do that. That Spirit Channeling grade treasure has already merged with his flesh and soul. If he forcibly separates himself from it, it'll put him in great danger, even if it doesn't kill him."
Upon hearing these words, Zhao Luofeng burst into a flaming rage. "Even this won't do?!"
Xia Yi opened his eyes. Shock could be seen in his eyes as well, as he hadn't expected that even such an offer wouldn't be enough.
Xia Yi laughed sinisterly. "The kid is a man of character! Well then, let's see who is going to stop Basto after the Five Elements Fortune Formation collapses!"
His gaze swept over Hua Mu, Zong Zheng, Dong Wangling, and the others with them. The threat in his words couldn't be more obvious.
All of those who met his gaze frowned, and had a headache over the difficult situation.
They all knew that only Xia Yi possessed the battle prowess to contend against Basto. Any of the other Soul realm experts would run the risk of being killed while facing Basto on the battlefield.
Since they only had two weeks left, negotiations went on amongst the Soul realm experts, all of whom wore worried faces. However, they failed to come to an agreement.
Seeing this, Xia Yi shot a meaningful glance at Zhao Luofeng, and shut his eyes.
Zhao Luofeng and the others also fell silent one after another, their faces long.
The Soul realm experts that supported Nie Tian found an excuse and left the central hubs of the grand spell formation for a secret room.
After soundproofing the room, Hua Mu sighed and said with a worried expression, "If Xia Yi indeed won't join the battle after the Five Elements Fortune Formation fails, we three from the Spirit Condor will hold Basto off."
Zong Zheng from the Ice Pavilion Sect looked surprised as he asked, "Will you be able to do that?"
"We have a secret magic that'll allow us to stall Basto for two hours." Hua Mu smiled bitterly. "But only two hours. I hope you'll spare no means to slaughter the enemy during that time.
"If things go well, perhaps you can finish off the other seventh grade outsiders with the help of those from the Heaven Palace Sect and the other sects. Then, you can come back to Basto, and we may be able to kill him together.
"If that doesn't work..." Hua Mu shook his head and didn't finish his sentence.
They all knew that, if they failed to kill all the other seventh grade outsiders within two hours, then Basto would break free and kill them instead.
After their battle in the Realm of a Hundred Battles, they knew that none of the seventh grade outsiders would be easy to deal with.
The reason why they had won the battle in the Realm of a Hundred Battles was because they had superior numbers and the assistance from Zhao Shanling and Nie Tian's Bone Blood Demon.
Even so, the battle had lasted days.
It would be very difficult for them to slaughter their opponents in just two hours.
However, they also knew that, if Xia Yi refused to help, this would be their only workable plan.
While they frowned deeply, Xia Yi laughed sinisterly by the hubs of the grand spell formation and said, "If they refuse to make Nie Tian cough up the Flame Dragon Armor, then let them deal with Basto."
Zhao Luofeng nodded. "This is their decision. They must shoulder the consequences."
"Hahaha!" Xia Yi laughed wildly. "We'll see who'll be there to protect Nie Tian after the Soul realm cultivators from the Spirit Condor, the Ice Pavilion Sect, and those other sects are killed in this battle!"