Just as Nie Tian was about to jump into the lake, Chu Xuanji's expression flickered, as if he had suddenly thought of something.
"I don't think you should make any attempts, little friend," he said.
Nie Tian fixed him with a puzzled look.
"You're not Yin Yanan. Even though you can manipulate your puppet, you don't necessarily have the ability to sink to the lake bottom," Chu Xuanji said. Apparently, he was warning Nie Tian for his own good. "Normally speaking, the tougher one's body is, the heavier he or she will be. Since that puppet of yours is refined from a powerful Bonebrute, I suppose it'll have no problem sinking to the bottom.
"But you might not be able to resist the strong buoyancy.
"You'll be pushed to the lake's surface. If you hold onto your puppet with all your strength, you may even end up being torn apart by the terrifying buoyancy."
Nie Tian fell silent, pondering the situation he would face.
According to Chu Xuanji, the Bone Blood Demon would probably sink to the lake bottom like piece of metal, but he would still float on the lake's surface like a inflated balloon.
He shouldn't cling to the Bone Blood Demon as it went underwater. If he did, he might be torn to pieces by the opposing forces.
Come to think of it, such a thing might actually happen to Qiao Yunxi, Xing Beichen, and others who hadn't spent much time and effort to refine their bodies.
However, Chu Xuanji knew nothing of his unique body.
"Thanks for the reminder, senior." Nie Tian said, smiling brightly. Then, he commanded the Bone Blood Demon to jump into the emerald lake with him standing on its shoulder.
Water splashed in every direction as he and the Bone Blood Demon dived into the lake.
Seeing that Nie Tian didn't take his advice, Chu Xuanji frowned slightly, as if he were somewhat displeased, but he didn't say or do anything.
"The kid is just too stubborn," Hong Xian from the Beast-controlling Sect muttered. "He clearly doesn't have a correct understanding of his own strength. It's wishful thinking to hope to reach the lake bottom and collect the soul crystals just with the help of that puppet."
Wei Yu agreed, saying, "It won't be long before he gives up and surfaces." Then, his eyes narrowed. "However, it's already very impressive that he can come this close to the lake. Can he be protecting himself with his puppet's soul power? Does his puppet even possess residual soul power?"
Chu Xuanji shook his head. "I don't know."
"Anyways, there's something strange with that kid," Hong Xian chimed in. "That puppet of his seems rather powerful. I have a feeling that it's even stronger us. Since he has such a powerful puppet at his disposal, wherever he comes from, he must be from a powerful background."
Both Chu Xuanji and Wei Yu had thoughtful expressions after hearing these words.
In the emerald lake.
Layers of spiritual power wrapped around Nie Tian, separating him from the lake water completely.
To his surprise, he didn't experience a very strong attractive force on his soul as he started descending towards the lake bottom
As the Bone Blood Demon carried him downwards, he kept glancing around.
The water was rather clear, so he had a fairly good view of things. From the look of it, there was nothing around him except Yin Yanan from the Beast-controlling Sect, who was riding the Frost Blood Python downwards ahead of him.
At this moment, the Frost Blood Python had already sunk dozens of meters under the lake's surface, and was about halfway down to the bottom of the lake.
Having absorbed the blood of numerous powerful outsiders, the toughness and mass of the Bone Blood Demon's body seemed to be far superior to the Frost Blood Python's.
For this reason, he gradually caught up to Yin Yanan.
Yin Yanan had noticed it the moment he dived into the lake.
At this moment, shock filled her eyes as she looked up at Nie Tian and the Bone Blood Demon, who were rapidly approaching her.
Even though she had practiced a special body refining incantation for years, as the Frost Blood Python sank deeper and deeper, she experienced increasingly strong buoyancy. She was only able to descend so rapidly because she was clinging tightly to the Frost Blood Python.
However, Nie Tian was standing unwavering on the Bone Blood Demon's shoulder, as if his feet had taken root. This confused her greatly.
"There's only one possibility: this guy also practices some profound body refining incantation, which makes him as tough as rock and as heavy as metal. Only that can explain why he's able to sink so fast with his puppet in this increasingly strong buoyancy. That also explains why the Frost Blood Python showed an insuppressible desire for his flesh and blood every time it saw him."
After coming to such a conclusion, Yin Yanan's expression grew grim as she fixed her eyes on Nie Tian.
Standing on the lakeshore, Wei Yu exclaimed, "Hmm?! I can't believe that kid didn't rise to the surface!"
Hong Xian's eyes grew wide as he said, "I see what's going on!"
Chu Xuanji's expression also flickered upon seeing this. "Like Yanan, he must also practice some special body refining incantation that makes his body this tough and heavy!"
The three of them rapidly reached the conclusion that, like Yin Yanan, Nie Tian also possessed a uniquely tough body.
Hong Xian took a deep breath and said, "No wonder he behaved so arrogantly earlier! Qiao Yunxi said that he was invited here by Yue Yanxi, and we've never seen him in the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries. He must be from a superior human domain!"
Both Chu Xuanji and Wei Yu nodded in agreement.
While they marveled at Nie Tian's special prowess, the Bone Blood Demon caught up to the Frost Blood Python.
They were now at the same depth, and about ten meters apart from each other.
Even though the Frost Blood Python still yearned for Nie Tian's flesh and blood, it didn't dare to make any rash moves.
Thanks to its shrewd perception of flesh auras, it knew that the Bone Blood Demon had the strength to annihilate it.
Therefore, it subconsciously kept a safe distance from the Bone Blood Demon, fearing that it would attack it under Nie Tian's command.
"I can't believe you're actually afraid of him!" Yin Yanan muttered.
She let out a cold harrumph while fixing Nie Tian with an angry stare.
However, Nie Tian ignored her and commanded the Bone Blood Demon to continue downwards.
Just as the Bone Blood Demon passed the Frost Blood Python, Nie Tian felt a strong sense of danger.
It was also at this moment that the emerald lake water seemed to be instantly covered by a layer of ink.
Hong Xian and the others on the lakeshore couldn't see Nie Tian or Yin Yanan anymore.
Hong Xian's expression flickered drastically.
Under the lake's surface, fierce discarnate souls quietly appeared like a few bloodthirsty sharks.
At this moment, they had become surprisingly large. Since they were still rather indistinct, some of them were in the shape of spirit beasts, while others looked like Demons. All of them gave Nie Tian a strong sense of familiarity.
Nie Tian's expression flickered. "They're the powerful discarnate souls that escaped from the Spirit Pearl!"
He had thought that they had already been eliminated by Hong Xian, Wei Yu, and Chu Xuanji.
Who would have thought that they had actually been hiding in the depths of the lake, where they hadn't been refined into soul crystals by this special spell formation?
Staring at the discarnate souls, Nie Tian had a feeling that the lake water was making them more powerful than ever.
As he had expected, the fierce souls rapidly swam towards him and Yin Yanan like sharks bolting towards their prey.
Vicious, ice-cold soul power quietly spread towards the two of them, covering large areas as it did.
The Frost Blood Python seemed to suffer from a strong blow, and the soul connection between it and Yin Yanan was instantly cut off.
The Frost Blood Python started thrashing violently. Its huge body balled up and stretched out wildly as it rushed towards the lake's surface in fear.
As it did, Yin Yanan was thrown off its back, experiencing a stabbing pain in her mind.
At the same time, the nine fragmentary stars that hung high in Nie Tian's soul blossomed with dazzling light.
Even so, he also suffered a heavy blow, and fell off the Bone Blood Demon's shoulder. As he attempted to communicate with it, he discovered that it seemed to have become the fierce souls' target. Driven by its basic instincts, it was swimming up towards the lake's surface at full speed, as if it was trying to escape from deadly enemies.
The soul connection between him and the Bone Blood Demon also snapped like an overly strained rope.
The fierce souls then madly chased after the Bone Blood Demon and the Frost Blood Python, as if they were very interested in them.
Clearly, Nie Tian and Yin Yanan weren't their primary targets. They left them aside after the first strike.
Abandoned by their pet and puppet, Yin Yanan and Nie Tian floated about ten meters from each other. They exchanged a glance, and saw the insecurity on each others' faces.
After a second of silence, Yin Yanan took the initiative to wave at Nie Tian, signaling him to come to her, as if she were eager to talk to him about their options.