Nie Tian was well-aware of the Flame Dragon Armor's unusually heavy weight.
The Flame Dragon Armor flew out of his ring of holding and descended on Nie Tian over his head. Then, with the help of its unmatched mass, Nie Tian rapidly sank towards the bottom of the lake again with Yin Yanan.
As they did, Yin Yanan's expression flickered. She felt as if the strong buoyant force was going to tear her away from Nie Tian.
After a brief moment of hesitation, she decided that holding Nie Tian's hand wouldn't do, and thus embraced Nie Tian as tightly as she could from behind.
Her slender and muscular arms and legs wrapped around Nie Tian's chest and waist like snakes.
She believed that only in this way would she stop herself from being separated from Nie Tian by the terrifying buoyant force.
With Yin Yanan wrapped around him like an octopus, Nie Tian's expression flickered. "What are you doing?!"
Yin Yanan was only wearing a fur skirt and short leather chest armor. Most of her tan skin was uncovered.
As she hugged Nie Tian from behind, he could feel the explosive life force in her body.
Meanwhile, since she had put her chin on Nie Tian's shoulder, her tempting scent rapidly filled his nose.
"Don't you dare have any wicked ideas," Yin Yanan said. "I'm only doing this to keep myself from being separated from you." Nie Tian could feel Yin Yanan's breaths as she spoke.
"This suit of armor is a Spirit Channeling grade treasure, isn't it?" she added. "I can sense the copious amount of flesh power within it. Perhaps that's why it's so much heavier than regular Spirit Channeling grade treasures."
She was also aware that only Qi warriors who practiced body refining incantations could bear the weight of such a rare treasure without expending much effort.
She realized this from the shocking speed at which they descended after Nie Tian was clad in the Flame Dragon Armor.
Nie Tian's face split into a grin. "Those ideas didn't enter my mind until you said it." Seeing that they would soon reach the bottom of the lake, Nie Tian found himself in the mood for a bit of taunting.
Yin Yanan gave a cold snort. "As long as we can get those soul crystals, you can think all you want. It won't affect me anyways."
Then, she put one arm around Nie Tian's neck and threatened, "But if you dare to take advantage of me, I'll teach you a lesson, even if that means I won't get to take those soul crystals!"
Nie Tian laughed. "Teach me a lesson?" Not only did he not seem scared, but her words seemed to have provoked his desire to mess with her.
He suddenly pressed his large hand on her soft hand and started stroking the back of her hand. Laughing flirtatiously, he said, "Don't tell me that you dare to kill me. If I die, do you think you'll be able to leave this lake alive?"
With her other hand, Yin Yanan slapped Nie Tian's naughty hand with great force.
Nie Tian felt a burning pain from that hand.
Surprised, Nie Tian realized that this woman, who was holding him tightly from behind, was indeed one of a kind.
He had never met anyone who possessed such vigorous flesh power.
In his senses, she was like a spirit beast in human form. With every move she made, she could channel immense flesh power and put him under great pressure.
With his hand, Nie Tian gently tapped on her bare thigh that was wrapped around his waist. "Alright, alright, we still have business to do. Time to gather soul crystals!"
Immediately afterwards, Nie Tian found himself standing at the bottom of the lake, a black crystal about the size of a fist and of irregular shape lying by Nie Tian's feet.
Yin Yanan's eyes lit up upon seeing the soul crystals, so she forgot to berate Nie Tian for his inappropriate behavior.
"I got it." Nie Tian slowly bent down, grabbed the pitch-black crystal, and picked it up.
Holding it close, Nie Tian examined it with his soul awareness.
"Wow!" As soon as a wisp of soul awareness entered the soul crystal, he felt the immense soul power inside.
At the same time, the nine fragmentary stars in his soul went through changes.
A strong attractive force was suddenly born within the fragmentary stars, and the glittering black crystal was rapidly drained of its soul power.
The soul crystal lost its immense soul power at an incredible speed.
Surprised by what was happening, Nie Tian only went blank for a split second, but the soul crystal in his hand rapidly went from the size of a fist to the size of a fingernail.
Yin Yanan's expression flickered, as if she was shocked by what Nie Tian was doing. "You...!? How come you can absorb soul power so efficiently?!"
Then, with a disbelieving look in her eyes, she watched the soul crystal grow even smaller, and then vanish completely.
With his true soul, Nie Tian examined the nine fragmentary stars in his soul with rapt attention, and had a feeling that they seemed to have grown slightly larger after draining that soul crystal.
"Those fragmentary stars have a strong desire for soul power! Even though I still don't know much about those fragmentary stars, it seems that these soul crystals can help them grow at a much faster speed!"
With these thoughts in mind, he started moving towards another soul crystal, completely ignoring Yin Yanan's question.
Pitch-black soul crystals were scattered widely across the bottom of the lake.
He went to the second soul crystal as fast as he could and picked it up the same way he did with the first one.
Then, the crystallized condensation of pure soul power was rapidly drained of its soul power by the nine fragmentary stars in his mind. It shrank with an alarming speed before vanishing completely.
After watching him draining another soul crystal with an incredible speed, Yin Yanan face grew long. "Hey, you can't do this. We're in this together. Don't tell me that you intend to take all of the soul crystals? Also, you're only at the early Worldly realm. Your true soul has just formed. You don't need such a large amount of soul crystals. Will you be able to refine them all?"
Nie Tian's eyes shone with the light of desire as he said, "I have no problem refining them. Don't you worry. Even if I can't refine them now, I'll gather and save them for another day. But don't worry. You'll have your share of the soul crystals. However, since you didn't make any contributions and need me to protect you from those fierce souls, don't imagine that you'll be getting a large amount of them."
His words made Yin Yanan very angry. She yapped by Nie Tian's ears unceasingly, trying to change his mind.
However, Nie Tian pretended that he didn't even hear her as he moved from place to place to gather soul crystals and use them to power the fragmentary stars in his soul.
Yin Yanan was at her wit's end watching him collect and drain one soul crystal after another.
She could only continue to hold tightly onto him with her arms and legs. If she didn't, she would instantly be separated from him and float towards the lake's surface.
Losing the protection from Nie Tian's Spirit Pearl, she would instantly fall prey to the fierce souls, and her death would be certain.
Seeing that her threats had failed, she then adopted another approach. She started to beg Nie Tian.
"I've lost a large amount of soul power. Can you give me a soul crystal and let me recover my soul power first? Please!
"Just one! Will you please give me one?
"I beg you!"
Finally, Nie Tian was sick of listening to her yapping, and thus said, "Will you shut up, woman?"
"No!" Yin Yanan said with a determined tone. "I'll keep talking until you give me a soul crystal!"
"Alright, give me a kiss and I'll give you a soul crystal," Nie Tian said casually, looking deeply annoyed.
"Give you a kiss?" Yin Yanan went blank.