Yin Yanan also noticed the prismatic crystal that flew out of Nie Tian's ring of holding. She stopped channeling soul power from the soul crystal in her hand and looked at it with a confused expression. "What's that?"
She thought that Nie Tian had unleashed it in an attempt to use it to collect soul crystals.
Nie Tian didn't answer her. Instead, he gazed unblinkingly at the prismatic crystal with a grim face.
He knew that the Phantasm soul in the skull had long since yearned to fly into that prismatic crystal, but it had failed to do so due to the restrictive ward he had formed inside the skull with the power from the fragmentary stars in his soul.
The Phantasm soul had thrown itself at the ward repeatedly, but had only ended up hurting and weakening itself. It had become so weak that Nie Tian had even forgotten about it.
He had never expected that the strange lake would make the Phantasm soul so powerful that it could break free from the skull.
The soul and the prismatic crystal didn't seem to belong to the same Phantasm. However, the soul had shown an unrelenting desire for that prismatic crystal, which must mean something.
In the next moment, Nie Tian's pupils shrank as his expression flickered drastically.
The fingernail-sized prismatic crystal rapidly flew to a nearby soul crystal and sank into the soul crystal's surface.
The soul crystal then shrank at a speed that was visible to the naked eye.
Nie Tian, who had refined multiple soul crystals himself, instantly realized that the soul crystal was being drained of its soul power at an alarming speed.
The prismatic crystal, which had become home to the Phantasm soul, was recovering its strength with that soul crystal.
After what could be thousands of years, the Phantasm soul had lost almost all of its power, which was why it had failed to charge out of the skull before.
Because of that, it was now in desperate need of soul power. There was still a large number of soul crystals at the lake bottom, which made it a blessed land for it.
With a grim face, Nie Tian hastily rushed over to the soul crystal that was embedded with the prismatic crystal.
However, the prismatic crystal seemed to notice his movement as soon as he moved, and thus escaped with a speed even faster than his.
"Dammit!" Nie Tian realized that he was now in an unfavorable situation. Increasingly anxious, he summoned his profound flesh power and chased after the prismatic crystal at a faster speed.
However, the prismatic crystal seemed to know what he was trying to do, and thus picked up its speed as well.
At the same time, the soul crystal it was attached to grew smaller and smaller, and eventually vanished.
After draining a soul crystal of its soul power, it seemed to have recovered its strength, and became even faster.
Nie Tian then realized that he most likely wouldn't be able to catch that prismatic crystal here under this strange lake.
Meanwhile, he noticed that the prismatic crystal had found another soul crystal, and started absorbing its soul power.
Yin Yanan finally ran out of patience. Frowning deeply, she asked, "What the hell are you doing?! What are you chasing that crystal for? Is it important enough for you to ignore the soul crystals you passed while chasing after it?
"Also, it doesn't seem that you're fast enough. You can chase it all you want, but you won't be able to catch it."
Nie Tian gave a cold harrumph. "You don't know squat!"
Yin Yanan was enraged as she held her fingers to Nie Tian's neck again. "Hey, asshole! You don't believe that I'll kill you?!"
"Shut the hell up!" Nie Tian thundered, giving Yin Yanan's thigh that wrapped around his waist a vigorous slap. "That prismatic crystal belonged to a powerful Phantasm! The soul of another Phantasm has settled inside of it! Right now it's absorbing soul power from the soul crystals!"
The slap ignited Yin Yanan, turning her into a volcano that was on the verge of erupting.
However, she shuddered upon hearing Nie Tian's words, and exclaimed, "Are you sure that prismatic crystal came from a Phantasm, and that another Phantasm's soul has entered it?!"
"Of course I'm sure!!" Nie Tian barked.
Yin Yanan started to panic as she said, "The crystals between Phantasms' eyebrows are called soul cores!
"For Phantasms, their soul cores are even more important than their hearts!
"They have to rely on their soul cores to activate their bloodline talents and cast soul magics. Their soul cores are the home of their souls and the origin of their power! Now that a Phantasm soul has entered that soul core, it's like a human soul that's taken a body. It can start to use the Phantasms' incantations now!"
Nie Tian continued to chase after the so-called soul core while listening to Yin Yanan's explanation of the Phantasms' special features.
He was well-aware that the Phantasm soul was still rather weak at the moment. If he could catch it now, he might still be able to overpower it.
However, if it continued to absorb soul power from soul crystals, once it awakened its bloodline talents and recovered its memories, it would be able to unleash all kinds of Phantasm magics on him.
By that time, he wouldn't have a chance at controlling it again.
However, even though he had thought this through, he still couldn't match its speed.
The soul core was incomparably fast and agile, as if it were born for a place like this.
It became more and more ethereal as it moved from place to place like a flash of lightning. Nie Tian often found it in front of him in the one moment, but behind him in the next.
Yin Yanan, however, recovered a calm mind. After a moment of silent pondering, she suggested, "If you can't catch it, you might as well try to gather all of the remaining soul crystals!
"That Phantasm soul can only refine one soul crystal at a time. If you quickly gather all of the remaining soul crystals and put them away in your ring of holding, it won't be able to get more soul power. That way you'll minimize its threat!"
Nie Tian's eyes lit up.
He realized that Yin Yanan's advice was wise.
Therefore, he stopped wasting time chasing after the soul core, but instead started looking for soul crystals and stuffing them into an unused ring of holding.
As he did, he added a sealing ward to the ring of holding with the power from the fragmentary stars in his soul, in case the Phantasm soul tried to steal the soul crystals.
Just like that, he gathered soul crystals as fast as he could.
Seeing that Nie Tian had given up on chasing after it, the Phantasm soul that had lodged inside a soul core stopped at a place about ten meters from him.
At this moment, it was clinging to a soul crystal and rapidly absorbing its soul power.
Nie Tian's reflection could be vaguely seen in in the spinning prismatic crystal.
It seemed that the soul core had become an eye that was observing and secretly unleashing negative emotions at Nie Tian.
It seemed to be displeased to see Nie Tian gathering the soul crystals which could be used to recover its strength. However, it also seemed to know that it was still very weak at the moment, and that if it dared to attack Nie Tian now, it would end up annihilated or sealed away again.
Therefore, it gave up on the idea, but focused on channeling soul power from soul crystals, hoping to gain enough strength to fight Nie Tian within a short time.
Yin Yanan had realized the dangerous situation they were in, and thus remained silent while Nie Tian went from place to place to gather soul crystals with her on his back.
She chose to bury Nie Tian's previous inappropriate actions in her heart for now, and find another time to settle accounts with him.
After all, she was aware that if the soul crystal became much stronger, both her and Nie Tian would die in this lake.
"One hundred!" After putting another soul crystal into his ring of holding, Nie Tian scanned around him for new targets.
Having collected a large number of soul crystals, he finally felt slightly secure. He had noticed that the speed at which the Phantasm soul refined soul crystals was far slower than his speed in collecting them.
At this moment, he realized that there were already very few soul crystals at the lake bottom.
He would have to search for a while before he could find a new one.
Furthermore, he also noticed that the strange soul attracting force seemed to become weaker and weaker as he collected more and more soul crystals.
Even the unknown black substance that had covered the lake's surface had faded away, restoring clarity to the lake again.
"The lake is going through changes as I collect the soul crystals. It seems that the strange soul attracting force will be completely gone after I gather all of the soul crystals! By that time, perhaps Hong Xian and the others on the lakeshore will be able to help me subdue or even refine that Phantasm soul!"
Nie Tian decided to get rid of the Phantasm soul as soon as an opportunity appeared, leaving no potential trouble.
At this moment, the several powerful souls were still howling and hovering restlessly around him and Yin Yanan.
However, they still seemed rather afraid of the Spirit Pearl in Nie Tian's hand, and thus didn't dare to come too close to them.
"Hmm?!" Nie Tian noticed that the fierce souls had suddenly left him and Yin Yanan, but swam towards the soul core one after another.
The soul core that was the size of a fingernail was now translucent and glowing with cyan light, as if there were a cluster of cyan flames burning inside of it.
Nie Tian sudden came to a realization. "The Phantasm soul seems to have recovered enough strength to command discarnate souls!"
SHEW! SHEW! SHEW!
One fierce soul after another started hovering around the soul core, forming a profound spell formation.
As soon as the spell formation came to form, the speed at which the soul core drained soul crystals improved greatly. Under Nie Tian's gaze, a soul crystal rapidly shrank down and vanished.
Nie Tian went blank briefly before suddenly exclaiming, "The soul core is using those discarnate souls to improve the speed at which it absorbs soul power and recovers strength!"
"So?" Yin Yanan asked.
"You need to let go of me now!" Nie Tian said with a very serious expression. "Tell Hong Xian and the others to prepare for battle as soon as you surface!"
"What about you?!" Yin Yanan asked.
"I'll stay and continue to gather soul crystals. We can't leave any soul crystals for it!" With these words, before Yin Yanan could say anything, he wiggled free from her arms and legs with great force.
After being separated from him, Yin Yanan was instantly pushed to the lake's surface by the terrifying buoyant force, like a balloon that had been cut loose.
Meanwhile, Nie Tian stared unblinkingly at the soul core, fearing that it would make a move on Yin Yanan.
However, it seemed to be consumed with absorbing soul power, and didn't show any interest in her.
Yin Yanan fixed her bright eyes on Nie Tian as she rapidly rose upwards towards the lake's surface, a complicated expression filling her face.
Standing at the lake bottom, Nie Tian only waved at her in silence.