The Spirit Pearl had been forged by the Phantasms. It had an unusually strong restraining force on souls. It was almost impossible for souls to break free once they were trapped inside.
Furthermore, those souls had lost all of their memories. All they had left were negative emotions.
Not once had a single soul broken free from the Spirit Pearl since Nie Tian had come to own it.
However, now in this place, those powerful discarnate souls somehow broke free from the restraints and flew out of the Spirit Pearl.
SHEW! SHEW! SHEW!
One discarnate soul after another flew directly towards the lake like streaks of gray smoke.
Meanwhile, the Spirit Pearl was still in Nie Tian's ring of holding.
Nie Tian gasped at the scene.
He glanced around with rapt attention, but couldn't see Qiao Yunxi anywhere.
At this moment, the nearly one thousand Qi warriors that were gathered by the lake were all holding their heads and howling in pain.
Nie Tian's true soul, which hadn't taken a distinct form yet, also seemed to be dragged by an invisible chain, and wanted to leave his sea of awareness.
At his moment, the nine fragmentary stars that hung high over his sea of awareness suddenly shone as dazzlingly as diamonds.
One wisp of cleansing star power after another poured down from the fragmentary stars and bound his true soul firmly.
His true soul seemed as if it had taken root in his sea of awareness, and couldn't be moved in the slightest again.
WHOOSH! WHOOSH! WHOOSH!
Numerous wisps of souls rose from the tops of many Qi warriors' heads and gradually flew towards the lake, as if they were attracted by some mysterious force.
"What the...?!" Frowning, Nie Tian dashed off in the lake's direction, hoping to learn what was happening.
As he did, he saw the several powerful discarnate souls, which had broken free from the Spirit Pearl, devouring the Qi warriors' souls that had risen into the air while flying towards the lake.
Afterwards, those discarnate souls became even stronger.
"Get away from the lake!" Wei Yu from the Trisword Sect called out, a streak of golden light shooting out of his cuff as he did.
Carrying an immense aura, the streak of light rapidly expanded, turning into a huge, golden sword that floated high over Wei Yu's head.
Like golden raindrops, sparks fell off the huge, mountain-like sword, each drop containing fine magical symbols.
The golden sparks then rained down on the powerful discarnate souls in an attempt to intercept and annihilate them.
As the fierce discarnate souls were touched by the golden sparks, holes appeared on their illusory bodies, as if they were pieces of ice that were exposed to a rain of bits of melted metal.
However, the few discarnate souls rapidly changed direction and flew out of the golden sparks' attacking range. They pounced on the Qi warriors' souls that had risen into the air in an even fiercer manner.
It seemed as if these discarnate souls had been vested with some kind of power on this strange meteor.
Hong Xian from the Beast-controlling Sect, Chu Xuanji from the Chu Clan, and the other Soul realm experts all brought out their most powerful magics.
Since their souls were much stronger than the others, they were able to resist the mysterious attractive force from the lake. They either formed spell formations to protect their weak sect members or attacked those powerful discarnate souls with their spiritual tools.
"They probably still don't know that those discarnate souls came from my possession," Nie Tian thought to himself.
He grew more and more cautious as he slowly approached the lakeside.
"Ahh!!!" Qiao Yunxi's sharp scream echoed out from a location not far from him.
Nie Tian rushed over at full speed, and saw her holding her head with an agonized look on her face.
Even though she possessed extraordinary cultivation talent, she was only at the Worldly realm. Unlike Nie Tian, she didn't have those mysterious fragmentary stars to steady her sea of awareness and protect her soul.
"Dammit!" Nie Tian muttered. "She's been affected as well!"
After a moment of hesitation, Nie Tian dashed to Qiao Yunxi's side and formed the Wood Thriving Formation around the two of them.
He wondered whether the green energy ward of the Wood Thriving Formation would be able to stop Qiao Yunxi's soul from being sucked away by that unknown force.
The moment the Wood Thriving Formation came to form, a green ward that was as thin as a cicada's wings enveloped the two of them.
In the next moment, Qiao Yunxi stopped screaming, and gradually settled down.
Nie Tian then realized that the Wood Thriving Formation, which he had derived from the Floragrims' ancestral land, had worked.
Qiao Yunxi came to her senses and said, "It's you!"
She glanced around at the tree branches on the ground that were glowing and translucent like jade, and realized that it was Nie Tian's unique spell formation, which he had used to practice cultivation, that had saved her.
Covered in cold sweat, she said anxiously, "Those people from the Trisword Sect, the Beast-controlling Sect, and the Chu Clan must have done something that triggered such upheavals! That lake seems to have turned into a deadly soul magnet, and started channeling the souls of every living being in its surroundings!
"I almost lost my soul just now!"
With a grim expression, Nie Tian said, "Yeah, the closer you are to the lake, the stronger the channeling force will get. It's not too bad where we are now."
He had come to such a realization earlier when he had come to Qiao Yunxi's aid.
The fact that he arrived in time to save her was because she had a strong will, and she was still some distance from the lake.
While the two of them talked, Nie Tian suddenly heard hissing sounds. Eyebrows furrowed, he instantly jerked his head in the direction of the source of the sounds, and he saw Yin Yanan from the Beast-controlling Sect rushing towards him, riding her Frost Blood Python.
Apparently, the seventh grade Frost Blood Python was able to resist the terrifying soul channeling force. At the same time, as Yin Yanan's pet beast, it was protecting her from it as well.
However, even with the Frost Blood Python's help, Yin Yanan looked rather panicked, and was desperate to get away from the lake.
After coming closer, Yin Yanan was deeply surprised to see Nie Tian and Qiao Yunxi standing in the Wood Thriving Formation, looking rather relaxed. "I can't believe that you two are actually unaffected!"
Yin Yanan stared blankly at them for a while before her eyes suddenly lit up. "Qiao Yunxi! This spell formation can protect people from that strange force, right?! Tell him to open it and let us in!"
At this moment, Hong Xian from the Beast-controlling Sect also arrived with an anxious expression, wrapping his profound soul power around a few dozen of their sect members.
As high as Hong Xian's cultivation base was, it was impossible for him to get all of their sect members to safety in one go.
All those he had brought with him were weak juniors who were completely unable to defend themselves.
He was hoping that he could get these juniors to safety, and then return for the others.
Upon seeing Nie Tian and Qiao Yunxi standing there completely unaffected, he instantly cheered up and shouted, "Qiao Yunxi, tell your friend to open the ward and let us in!"
Qiao Yunxi looked hesitant as she turned to Nie Tian and said, "It seems that all of our air-transportation spiritual tools lost their effect as soon as the changes took place. That means none of us will be able to leave this meteor for now. So do you think you can let the disciples of the Beast-controlling Sect take shelter in your spell formation?"
"No," Nie Tian refused with a cold tone.
Faced with the deaths of his sect members, Hong Xian dropped his pleasant face. "Hey, brat! I know you have something powerful at your disposal, but right now we have to stick together to survive this difficult time! If you refuse to open that ward for us, then don't blame me for breaking it with force!"
He threatened Nie Tian, and even assumed an attacking stance.
Nie Tian laughed disdainfully. "You want to break my ward? If you begged me to help you, I might have given you face and allowed you in. But instead of doing that, you're threatening me. Alright, let's see what you can do."
"Come on out!" With these words, he summoned the Bone Blood Demon.