The six fierce discarnate souls rapidly approached the Flame Bird, and a wave of evil soul power came flooding towards the girls.
Qiao Yunxi's expression flickered as she exclaimed, "Dammit! That bastard left by himself. What should we do?!"
Yin Yanan frowned deeply and said, "My Frost Blood Python isn't strong enough to handle them yet."
"I hope it's not too late to fly away." Qiao Yunxi didn't dare to waste any time as she started the Flame Bird in an attempt to escape from the fierce souls.
The six fierce souls once again formed a special formation that resembled the Spirit God Sect's Grand Soul Grind.
A strong soul attracting force was suddenly born, and started to channel Qiao Yunxi and Yin Yanan's true souls towards the formation.
Their true souls were bound as if by hundreds of ropes and slowly dragged out of their seas of awareness. Once their true souls were pulled into the strange vortex that looked like a grinder, they would be ground to pieces.
The girls had a hard time resisting the attractive force.
At this moment, they finally realized that without Nie Tian's Spirit Pearl, they didn't stand a chance at fighting these fierce souls by themselves.
Just as their true souls were about to be separated from their seas of awareness, the Star Boat flew back to them like a dashing meteor.
It stopped beside the Flame Bird in the blink of an eye.
Nie Tian jumped onto the Flame Bird, and as he lifted his hand, the Star Boat disappeared into his ring of holding.
With his other hand, he held the Spirit Pearl up as he fixed the fierce souls with a cold stare.
Upon sensing the presence of the Spirit Pearl, the fierce souls hastily shrank back in fear and eyed it from afar.
The attracting force they had unleashed on Yin Yanan and Qiao Yunxi's souls also disappeared.
The girls' true souls were finally free again.
"You finally remembered to come back for us?!" Qiao Yunxi shouted, still furious.
Nie Tian smiled somewhat embarrassedly as he explained, "I only left so that you could return to your senses. I didn't actually want you to die."
He was aware that if the Phantasm soul launched another soul attack, the two of them would be able to provide him with some help, especially Yin Yanan.
After merging her soul power with the Frost Blood Python's, Yin Yanan would be able to take a lot of pressure off of him, allowing him to resist the Phantasm soul's attacks on his sea of awareness fairly effortlessly.
He believed that as long as he had Yin Yanan there to help him, the Phantasm soul wouldn't stand a chance at breaching his defenses.
Not just that, but as it gradually drained its power, perhaps he would be able to find a way to get rid of it for good.
"Let's get out of here first!" Yin Yanan said with a cold face.
Even though they were still very angry with Nie Tian, they knew that this wasn't the time to lash out at him.
Qiao Yunxi nodded as she steered the Flame Bird into the distance like a bolt of lightning.
Moments later, the Flame Bird left the six fierce souls far behind.
The tip of one of Qiao Yunxi's eyebrows rose as she asked, "That air-transportation spiritual tool of yours, where did you get it? It seems every bit as fast as my Flame Bird, if not faster. I didn't get a good look at it just now, but I have a feeling that it's even more advanced than my Flame Bird."
A shocked expression appeared on Yin Yanan's face.
The Flame Bird was a famous air-transportation spiritual tool throughout the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries. The other few air-transportation spiritual tools that were even more valuable than the Flame Bird were all in the hands of powerful patriarchs.
Nie Tian's Star Boat was clearly not one of them, yet it turned out to be more advanced than the Flame Bird, which was quite shocking.
Facing Qiao Yunxi's questions, Nie Tian only laughed, but didn't give an answer.
Yin Yanan grew angry again seeing him laugh. That was when she suddenly noticed the teeth marks on the back of his neck.
She couldn't help but make a fist and slam Nie Tian's chest with it.
A drumming sound echoed out, and Nie Tian felt his chest almost explode. His expression flickered drastically as a muffled groan escaped his mouth.
Yin Yanan's fist strike was even more explosive than the vigorous attack of a spirit beast. If he hadn't spent so much time and effort refining his body, each and every one of his ribs would have been shattered.
He took a deep breath. With one hand on his chest, he stopped Yin Yanan from launching another strike with the other, and said coldly, "Are you done yet!?"
"I'm not!" Yin Yanan exclaimed.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
In the narrow space on the Flame Bird's back, Yin Yanan struck repeatedly, and Nie Tian handled her moves with his palms, knees, and elbows.
A series of muffled clashing sounds echoed out as they exchanged moves. The Flame Bird even shook violently because of it.
Nie Tian had experience fighting powerful outsiders, so he was rather good at fighting in close quarters. However, he couldn't seem to gain an upper hand in his battle against Yin Yanan.
As quickly as lightning, Yin Yanan's right elbow went through Nie Tian's defenses and struck him hard in his shoulder, causing him to stumble back a step, almost falling off the Flame Bird's back.
While the two of them fought, the Flame Bird gradually slowed down.
"Alright, alright!" Qiao Yunxi yelled as she found an opportunity to jump between them.
Nie Tian rubbed his burning shoulder as he said with a grim face, "You're such a female beast!"
Each of Yin Yanan's strikes seemed to be vested with the power of a hundred ancient beasts. Nie Tian felt he could almost hear beast roars every time she struck.
It was as if she had spirit beast blood running in her veins.
Nie Tian had a feeling that she hadn't even used the slightest bit of spiritual power when she struck him.
She only relied on her explosive flesh power, and the battle prowess she displayed already put Nie Tian under great pressure.
It seemed that her combat techniques were even better than his. If it weren't for his exceptionally resilient body, he would have had his bones shattered in many places already.
Yin Yanan stopped attacking due to Qiao Yunxi's interference, but her expression was still very unpleasant as she said, "Don't you imagine that we're even just because you saved me from the fierce souls. You killed many members of my sect and... and you defiled me. We'll settle these accounts sooner or later."
Nie Tian laughed. "Settle accounts with me? I don't think I've done anything wrong."
Qiao Yunxi gave a bitter smile and interrupted them. "Let's think of a way to survive first. Those fierce souls keep chasing after us. As long as they don't give up, we can't leave your side.
"On the other hand, that Phantasm soul still hasn't given up on the idea of possessing you. If we follow you around, once that Phantasm soul actually succeeds, we'll also be in danger.
"What's even more troublesome is that we've lost our bearings, and don't know where to go."
The problems she pointed out were also bothering Yin Yanan. They both fell silent.
Eyes narrowed, Nie Tian pondered for a long time before saying, "It's about time we go our separate ways."
Qiao Yunxi was taken aback. "What!?"
Pointing at the prismatic crystal between his eyebrows, Nie Tian said, "It's summoning those fierce souls and giving them directions. As long as it's still here, those fierce souls will always be able to find me. Even your Flame Bird can't separate us from them long enough to cut the Phantasm soul's connection with them completely.
"My suggestion is that I leave by myself while those fierce souls are still far from us. At the same time, you go in the opposite direction. This way, you should be able to break away from their pursuit."
Qiao Yunxi pondered briefly before saying, "That's actually a feasible plan."
Yin Yanan also thought her plan made sense.
"Alright, this is goodbye then!" Without any hesitation, Nie Tian summoned his Star Boat, jumped on board, and dashed off into the distance.
The girls stared blankly at him as the Star Boat rapidly disappeared from their sight. For some reason, dejected expressions appeared on their faces.
"He... left just like that?" Qiao Yunxi said blankly.
Yin Yanan's eyebrows were knitted and she didn't utter a word.
After a while, Qiao Yunxi suddenly exclaimed, "Wait! Our grand elder invited him here. He must have his reasons! Plus, it was him who led me to that strange meteor where we found those soul crystals! He must have cooked up some other plans, and didn't want us to stand in his way!"
With these words, she gritted her teeth and said to Yin Yanan, "Even without my Flame Bird, you can travel with the help of your Frost Blood Python. He's those fierce souls' target, so as long as you stay away from us, they won't pursue you anymore. You go ahead and leave. I'll follow him and see what he's up to."
Yin Yanan gazed off in the direction Nie Tian had left in. After a moment of silence, she said with great determination, "I'll go with you."
"Why?" Qiao Yunxi asked confusedly.
"I still have to settle accounts with him." After uttering these words, Yin Yanan's face grew grim. "Also, I don't know where to go if I don't go with you. I don't want to drift around in this vast heaven and earth by myself."
Qiao Yunxi was taken aback. After a moment of hesitation, she nodded and said, "Alright then."
She knew that it wasn't wise for anyone to wander around in this boundless unknown space alone.
Therefore, the Flame Bird sped off after the Star Boat.
Merely a quarter hour later, the Flame Bird caught up to the Star Boat, which was berthed on a floating, greenish-black meteor.
Nie Tian was sitting completely still in his Star Boat, his eyes closed and his expression twisted.
"The Phantasm soul is attacking his sea of awareness again!"