Yin Yanan charged out of the lake’s surface. Her flexible but explosive body turned swiftly in the air and landed on the lakeshore.
“Yin Yanan!” Hong Xian and a few other experts from the Beast-controlling Sect exclaimed simultaneously, letting out sighs of relief.
Afterwards, many experts from the three parties refocused their gazes on the lake, which was already rid of the black substance. They could vaguely see the situation at the lake bottom.
“I’m glad that you’re fine.” Hong Xian seemed very concerned with Yin Yanan’s safety, but didn’t care so much about Nie Tian’s safety. “So? Did you get some soul crystals? How many are there at the bottom of the lake? I noticed that you seemed to be collecting soul crystals earlier with Nie Tian. How many did you get?”
Full of smiles, Hong Xian asked a series of questions, deep concern filling his eyes.
Wei Yu and Chu Xuanji also walked to Yin Yanan’s side and fixed her with inquiring gazes.
“I only got one soul crystal,” Yin Yanan said with a bitter expression. “And it was given to me by that guy. He has collected more than a hundred soul crystals at the lake bottom, and he’s still collecting more.”
Wei Yu frowned and snorted disdainfully. His eyes shone with greedy light as he said, “He has all of the soul crystals? We found this special place. We can’t let him take all of the spoils. No matter what powerful background he’s from, he’ll have to give the majority of the soul crystals to us!”
Hong Xian grinned and agreed. “As far as I see it, since he’s made his contribution to collect those soul crystals, we can allow him to have a tenth of the soul crystals, which will be generous enough. We three parties will each take three tenths. What do you say?”
Wei Yu nodded. “That’s what I’m thinking.”
Chu Xuanji saw that they had already agreed on this. He thought briefly before nodding in assent.
Qiao Yunxi was angered after hearing their conversation. “What right do you have to take so many of the soul crystals? Nie Tian represents my sect, and he’s the reason you’ll have those soul crystal in the first place. It’s unreasonable to give us just one tenth of the soul crystals, right?”
Hong Xian and Wei Yu exchanged a glance and ignored her, holding their heads high.
The fact that the Divine Flame Sect’s main force still hadn’t arrived made the two of them realize that Qiao Yunxi and Nie Tian had traveled alone.
Without Yue Yanxi at her back, Qiao Yunxi didn’t qualify to haggle with them.
Because of this, they dared to come up with such an unfair distribution plan in front of her.
Yin Yanan also grew angry as she stared at Hong Xian and Wei Yu, and said, “You don’t even know what’s going on and you’re already talking about splitting spoils! It’s a bit too early, isn’t it?!”
Hong Xian laughed broadly and said, “Yanan, the strange soul attractive force is already gone. Don’t tell me that new changes will take place after Nie Tian collects all of the soul crystals.”
Since Yin Yanan knew about the situation they were in, she didn’t look so relaxed as she said loudly, “A Phantasm soul escaped from within Nie Tian’s ring of holding and flew into the soul core of another Phantasm. Now, it’s gathering strength at the bottom of the lake. Other than that Phantasm soul, a few fierce spirits of unknown origin are also roaming the depths of the lake.”
“Right before I surfaced, the Phantasm soul seemed to have recovered enough strength to control the fierce spirits.
“After the Phantasm soul gathers more soul power and becomes even more powerful, it’ll become a major threat to all of us. Nie Tian released me so that I could surface and tell you to get ready for the upcoming battle with that Phantasm soul!
“We can talk about splitting soul crystals after we get rid of that Phantasm soul and the fierce spirits it controls!”
Everyone’s expressions flickered as they heard these words.
All of the Soul realm experts from the three parties had a certain knowledge of Phantasms. They knew that once a Phantasm soul found its way into a soul core, it would soon recover the ability to unleash all sorts of profound soul magics.
Even though they didn’t know how powerful that Phantasm soul was, they had witnessed the fierce spirits killing their sect members earlier, and knew they were already hard to deal with.
Now that the Phantasm soul had recovered some of its strength and gained control of those fierce spirits, wouldn’t it mean that it was even more formidable?
“What’s Nie Tian still doing at the lake bottom then?” Wei Yu asked with a grim face.
“That Phantasm soul needs soul crystals to recover its strength,” Yin Yanan answered. “Nie Tian is gathering the remaining soul crystals so that it’ll have fewer soul crystals to recover strength with.”
“Why didn’t that Phantasm soul try to kill him?” Wei Yu asked.
“Well, he has a strange pearl that the Phantasm soul seems to be rather afraid of, but I don’t think the Phantasm soul will fear it anymore after it’s gathered enough strength...”
Chu Xuanji, who had remained silent for a while, chimed in, “Since the situation isn’t as pleasant as we thought, let’s prepare to kill that Phantasm soul!”
At the increasingly clear lake bottom.
Nie Tian’s temples throbbed as he madly summoned flesh power to move from place to place in search of soul crystals.
At this moment, there were already very few soul crystals left, which made them rather difficult to find.
There were already one hundred and sixty soul crystals in the ring of holding he was using to hold them. Even so, he still didn’t feel relieved.
He noticed that the efficiency of the Phantasm soul finding and draining soul crystals had improved significantly after gaining control of those fierce spirits.
Furthermore, every time he saw the prismatic crystal, which was called a soul core, he could see his own reflection in it, which meant the Phantasm soul was observing him this whole time.
At first, his reflection would only exist for a short while in the prismatic crystal before blurring and vanishing.
However, his reflection in the prismatic crystal was now very distinct, and never vanished.
From his previous experience of fighting Phantasms, he knew that the Phantasm soul had locked onto him, and was prepared to unleash soul attacks on him at any moment.
Growing increasingly uneasy, he was prepared to defend against the Phantasm soul’s attack at any time.
A hour passed...
The number of soul crystals in his ring of holding had risen to one hundred and eighty, and it had become very difficult to find new soul crystals.
He felt an increasingly strong sense of crisis as he saw his own reflection in the prismatic crystal.
Therefore, he decided to stop playing games with the Phantasm soul at the bottom of the lake.
As the Flame Dragon Armor flew back into his ring of holding, he was pushed upwards towards the lake’s surface by the terrifying buoyancy like a cannonball.
The Qi warriors from the three parties that were standing on the lakeshore exclaimed, “He’s rising to the surface!”
“Fifty meters to go! Thirty meters! Twenty!” Getting closer and closer towards the lake’s surface, Nie Tian knew that once he flew out of the lake, even if the Phantasm soul chased him out as well, it would become everyone’s problem.
He wouldn’t have to deal with it by himself.
However, just as he was about to charge through the lake’s surface, fine soul strings suddenly appeared within the prismatic crystal and bound Nie Tian’s reflection like a densely-woven net.
At the same time, Nie Tian instantly stopped dashing upwards only ten meters from reaching the lake’s surface.
Like a frozen locust, he couldn’t even move his limbs.
WHOOSH! WHOOSH! WHOOSH!
About ten soul crystals suddenly gathered to the prismatic crystal by themselves from different corners of the lake, as if they were attracted by some force.
A gruesome, nasty laugh then came through from the prismatic crystal to the depths of Nie Tian’s soul.
In the next moment, the small crystal dashed towards Nie Tian from the bottom of the lake like a cyan lightning bolt.
Hovering around the prismatic crystal, the six powerful discarnate souls no longer seemed afraid of the Spirit Pearl in Nie Tian’s hand.
The Spirit Pearl had been forged by powerful Phantasm experts.
Therefore, it frightened any discarnate soul that wasn’t a Phantasm soul.
However, with the help of the powerful Phantasm soul, the discarnate souls around it were no longer subject to the Spirit Pearl’s aweing effect.
Nie Tian’s eyes brimmed with fear as he watched the prismatic crystal fly towards him at full speed.
Subconsciously, he summoned soul power to form a protective ward around his soul.
The prismatic crystal that was the size of a fingernail slammed hard into Nie Tian’s forehead and embedded itself between his eyebrows.
As soon as it did, Nie Tian sensed a burning pain from between his eyebrows. The prismatic crystal seemed to unleash countless fine soul strings that pierced into his flesh.
An icy, evil soul awareness rapidly followed the soul strings into Nie Tian’s sea of awareness in an attempt to possess his soul and become the master of his body.
At this crucial moment, the nine fragmentary stars over his sea of awareness suddenly blossomed with immense, profound starlight, lighting up his entire soul.
The dazzling starlight instantly clashed with the dark-cyan evil soul awareness, sending off countless rays of mixed sparks in every direction, which gave Nie Tian a headache so strong that he wanted to give up on his soul to stop it.
The six fierce discarnate souls assumed the forms of sinister monsters as they hovered around Nie Tian, as if they were helping the evil soul awareness infiltrate Nie Tian’s soul.
However, after absorbing the soul power of numerous soul crystals, the fragmentary stars in Nie Tian’s mind had become so unprecedentedly powerful that they actually stopped the evil soul awareness from further infiltrating his soul.
Nie Tian could feel the Phantasm soul exerting itself.
However, the Phantasm soul had consumed a significant amount of soul power in merely a few seconds, but still failed to gain an upper hand in the confrontation.
The countless soul strings retreated like an ebbing tide.
While Nie Tian felt somewhat relieved, the Phantasm soul suddenly adopted another approach, and unleashed negative emotions, including violence, enmity, fear, madness, and a thirst for blood.
It wreathed Nie Tian in these negative auras in an attempt to bend Nie Tian’s will and lead him onto a path of violence and slaughter.