While Nie Tian talked to Chu Xuanji, Hong Xian and Wei Yu also rushed to the lakeside.
Wei Yu's eyes shone with the light of greed as he stared unblinkingly at the numerous pitch-black crystals at the bottom of the lake. "Soul crystals!"
Chu Xuanji, however, didn't pay much attention to the curious crystals at the lake bottom. Instead, he looked Nie Tian up and down with a measuring gaze.
Chu Xuanji couldn't help but say in a low voice, "I'm surprised that you're standing here."
Even so, Hong Xian and Wei Yu overheard him, and looked over with slightly furrowed eyebrows.
The lake hadn't ceased emanating soul fluctuations since the beginning. Even though they were late Soul realm experts, they still had to expend some effort to suppress their stirring seas of awareness and lock their true souls down.
As chosen ones of their respective sects, Yin Yanan, Chu Bowen, and Xing Beihuan were all at a higher realm than Nie Tian.
However, none of them were able to come this close to the lake.
It was shocking that Nie Tian was able to suppress the unusual movements of his true soul when he was only at the early Worldly realm.
Sensing the amount of attention he was receiving, Nie Tian felt somewhat uneasy. He could tell that the three experts wanted to examine him with their soul awareness.
However, something seemed to be stopping them from doing so.
As he unleashed his soul awareness, he realized what the problem was.
As soon as his soul awareness flew out of his mind, it was drawn by the mysterious attractive force that originated from the lake. Just like that, wisps of pure soul power plunged towards the bottom of the lake.
At the same time, his connection with those wisps of pure soul power was cut off, and he lost them for good.
That was when he realized what was preventing Chu Xuanji and the others from examining him with their soul awareness and finding a way to gather those soul crystals at the lake bottom.
Like an enormous magnet, the emerald lake was absorbing every wisp of soul power it could find.
Once anyone dared to have their soul power leave their minds, a mysterious force would instantly drag it into the lake.
Under such circumstances, it seemed impossible to fish the soul crystals out of the lake without jumping into it.
"This place probably has a great deal to do with the Phantasms," Nie Tian suddenly said.
Chu Xuanji's eye widened slightly. "Phantasms?" After a brief moment of pondering, he nodded and added, "Hmm. That's actually very likely.
"Soul crystals don't form by themselves. One would have to gather a large number of souls in one place in order to make them.
"Only when the souls are purged of all of their impurities and refined many times will they eventually crystallize. The Phantasms' exploration of souls and soul power leads most races. They have the ability to build spell formations to attract and refine souls, and turn them into pure soul power."
Wei Yu chimed in with a serious face, "Soul crystals are very valuable and rare. That's even the case with the Phantasms. Many of their most powerful incantations and spells are soul-related. Soul crystals can help them make advancements in their bloodline power and improve the might of their soul magics. I wouldn't be surprised if these soul crystals were made by Phantasms."
"So this lake is a spell formation built by the Phantasms…" Hong Xian said. "But why is the lake here?"
From the look of it, they didn't know much about this region, which had been completely inaccessible for who knew how long, either. They didn't know what had happened here or why the Phantasms' spell formation would still exist after so long.
What puzzled them the most was where the spell formation had channeled so many souls to form such a large amount of soul crystals.
Everyone pondered in silence for a long time before Wei Yu said, "We can't just stand here and make no attempts."
With these words, he summoned a golden sword, carved out a large rock from the ground beside him and cast it into the lake.
The large rock fell into the lake, causing water to splash in every direction.
However, the rock seemed to be subject to an unusually strong buoyant force.
It only went a few meters under lake's surface before being lifted back to the surface, where it floated like a feather.
Wei Yu's expression flickered slightly as he said, "The buoyancy in the lake is beyond our imagination. Even large rocks can't fall to the lake bottom!" However, he didn't seem to want to give up yet.
A glowing ward suddenly formed around him, with dozens of golden magical symbols swimming in the ward like fish.
Each and every golden magical symbol seemed to be branded with the profound truths of metal power.
Under everyone's amazed gazes, he jumped high into the air before diving steeply into the lake, holding his golden sword as he did.
As he went underwater, the golden ward around him didn't shatter upon contact with the emerald lake water.
An overjoyed look appeared in Wei Yu's eyes. However, he instantly felt the shockingly strong buoyancy. He exerted himself to descend towards the bottom of the lake with the help of the heavy golden sword in his hand.
Even so, he only managed to sink a few meters deeper than the large rock.
After that, he was pushed to the lake's surface, and no matter how hard he summoned his spiritual power again, he couldn't sink an inch deeper.
He could see the soul crystals with great clarity, but he just couldn't reach them.
After many failed attempts, as reluctant as he was, he finally gave up and flew out of the lake.
"The buoyancy in the lake is too strong. My heavy sword can't help me descend to the bottom." Wei Yu sounded rather frustrated, then he sighed and added, "This terrible feeling of being able to see the soul crystals but being unable to take them makes me want to puke blood."
Seeing that it wasn't dangerous to jump into the lake, Chu Xuanji and Hong Xian itched to make their own attempts.
In the same way Wei Yu had done, the two of them also formed protective wards around themselves and summoned their spiritual tools, hoping to sink to the bottom of the lake by relying on the mass of their spiritual tools.
However, their spiritual tools turned out to be even lighter than Wei Yu's golden sword, since they failed to even go as deep as him.
After a quarter hour and many failed attempts, they gave up too, even though they were very reluctant to.
Hong Xian's eyes rolled about in their sockets as he seemed to suddenly think of something. Then, he sped away.
Originally, Nie Tian had wanted to make an attempt himself. However, after seeing Hong Xian's strange behavior, he decided to wait and see what Hong Xian was going to do first.
A few minutes later, Hong Xian returned with Yin Yanan, an excited look filling his eyes.
He had wrapped his soul power around Yin Yanan, who was riding the Frost Blood Python, her eyes also shining with expectant light.
Yin Yanan, who was dressed in a tight fur skirt and looked extremely curvy, commanded the Frost Blood Python to dive into the lake as soon as they arrived by the lakeside.
Each of the Frost Blood Python's eyes shone with a different light as it made contact with the lake water. One eye shone with silver-white light, while the other shone with blood-red light.
Meanwhile, the marks of two different bloodlines seemed to appear in the depths of the Frost Blood Python's eyes.
At that very moment, a profound connection seemed to be established between Yin Yanan and the Frost Blood Python, and a soul aura from the Frost Blood Python started to help Yin Yanan resist the soul attracting force from the bottom of the lake.
Upon seeing this, Hong Xian stopped protecting Yin Yanan with his soul power.
Yin Yanan then rode the Frost Blood Python towards the bottom of the lake at a fast speed, as if they had become one.
Watching her sinking at a much faster speed than any of them, Wei Yu from the Trisword Sect seemed to have seen through the reason behind it, and said to Hong Xian, "That kid was born with a uniquely tough body. Later, she practiced your sect's special body refining incantations. After refining her body with spirit beast blood for many years, her body has become much heavier than ours.
"Now with the Frost Blood Python's help, she may actually succeed."
Hong Xian laughed broadly and said, "Brother Wei, I heard that your sect somehow learned the location of Master Voidspirit's legacies, and engaged in a fierce competition over it with people from the Bliss Mountain Sect. One of your sect elders, Qi Jiuchuan, even made a freak called Liang Hao with the sole purpose of fighting for Master Voidspirit's legacies.
"However, Liang Hao was only a product of replacing human bones with spirit beast bones. How can he compare to Yanan?
"If your sect sought our help back then, and had Yanan go to Master Voidspirit's personal domain instead of Liang Hao, you'd have obtained Master Voidspirit's legacies long ago!"
Wei Yu let out a cold harrumph, but didn't try to refute him.
"Can I make an attempt, if you don't mind?" Nie Tian suddenly said, smiling.
Chu Xuanji's expression flickered. "You?!"
Wei Yu took a deep look at the Bone Blood Demon and nodded. "That's right. You have this puppet to help you. You might actually have a chance to reach the lake bottom as well."
Hong Xian's smile froze on his face as he said, "It's fine if you want to make an attempt, but don't disturb Yanan."