The terrifying might the Star Boat displayed shook even Nie Tian himself.
However, he also realized that it would consume a significant amount of Star Stones for the Star Boat to unleash each beam of dazzling starlight. Meanwhile, Star Stones were rather hard to find, and Nie Tian didn't have many left in his possession.
If he were to continue to launch such terrifying attacks with the Star Boat, he would soon run out of Star Stones.
Therefore, he decided that he wouldn't use it again unless it was a matter of life or death.
As he turned the Star Boat around, he saw that Yin Yanan had killed many more Stonemen with the help of the Frost Blood Python.
The Bone Blood Demon moved from place to place and absorbed the bloody mists like a whale preying on shoals of small fish.
Within a short time, the Bone Blood Demon finished absorbing and refining the blood it had gathered from the dead Stonemen.
Still looking far from satisfied, it started flying about to pierce the remaining Stonemen with its blade-sharp, bony hands and absorb power from their blood.
Thanks to the unmatched strength of the Bone Blood Demon and the Frost Blood Python, the battle ended within a short time.
By the time Nie Tian returned on his Star Boat, the Frost Blood Python had frozen the last Stoneman, who was at the fifth grade, but didn't kill him right away.
Eyes narrowed, Nie Tian said with a relaxed tone, "According to our agreement, you'll have the Stonemen's storage rings, along with the valuables inside, but their remains are mine."
At this moment, the chosen ones from the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries had already witnessed the Bone Blood Demon absorb and drain the Stonemen's blood in peculiar ways.
They all knew that Nie Tian wanted the Stonemen's remains so that the Bone Blood Demon would be able to improve its battle prowess with them.
Meanwhile, since the attack Nie Tian had displayed was so formidable, no one dared to oppose him.
"Sure," Yin Yanan said expressionlessly.
Afterwards, Xing Beichen and the others flew around in their air-transportation spiritual tools to loot storage rings from the dead Stonemen.
At the same time, Nie Tian sent the Bone Blood Demon a soul message, and it gathered all of the Stonemen corpses and tied them up in a bundle with its enormous hands.
Afterwards, Nie Tian jumped onto the Bone Blood Demon and flew to a remote area after saying, "Please don't disturb me."
Yin Yanan, Xing Beichen and the others watched him from behind as he left, not knowing what to say.
Chu Bowen from the Chu Clan was the first to snap out of his daze and said, "Let's defrost this Stoneman and see what he knows."
"Sure." Yin Yanan then cast the spell as the others rapidly gathered to her side to watch.
Meanwhile, Xing Beichen held all of the storage rings in his hand and examined their contents with his soul awareness.
After getting to a place far away from the crowd of juniors, Nie Tian told the Bone Blood Demon to drain the dead Stonemen of their blood.
Every time the Bone Blood Demon was finished with a corpse, it would cast it aside. Then, Nie Tian would walk up to it and channel the residual flesh power in its bones and internal organs into his heart.
As soon as the wisps of flesh power flowed into his heart, the green aura would madly devour them. However, not many cyan spots were created in the Bloodline Crystal Chains within the green aura.
Nie Tian frowned.
The residual flesh power within these Stonemen corpses was much richer than the flesh power he had absorbed from the Bone-piercing Blood Thorns.
However, for some reason, the Stonemen's flesh power didn't achieve results nearly as good as the faint flesh power within those Bone-piercing Blood Thorns.
"Bone-devouring Leeches are a species that has been around since the Desolate Antiquity Era. Can it be that the older the creatures' bloodlines are, the more helpful their flesh power will be for the upgrade of my bloodline?"
As Nie Tian pondered the matter, one corpse after another was drained of their flesh power and became dried corpses.
A quarter hour later, the Bone Blood Demon and Nie Tian finished refining all of the Stonemen corpses.
Eyes narrowed, he sensed the changes in his bloodline aura with rapt attention, and gradually grew convinced that his speculations were correct.
The older and rarer a species was, the more helpful their flesh power would be for the upgrade of the green aura in his heart. It didn't matter how weak such flesh power was.
"Bone-devouring Leeches... Species from the Desolate Antiquity Era..."
Then, he came to realize that he would have to find more ancient species like the Bone-devouring Leeches and gather their flesh power to accelerate the upgrade of his bloodline aura.
However, if only it were that easy to find ancient species from the Desolate Antiquity Era...
While he was carried away by his thoughts, Qiao Yunxi and Yin Yanan suddenly flew over to him.
As soon as they did, Yin Yanan noticed the Stonemen corpses that were lying around. She practiced body refining incantations herself, so her perception of flesh aura was also rather keen.
She briefly sensed around, then her expression flickered as she asked, "Why do those Stonemen corpses not have a shred of flesh power left in them anymore? Did that puppet of yours drain them of their flesh power? How come I didn't know that Bonebrutes had such bloodline talents?"
Nie Tian let out a cold snort and said, "Didn't I tell you that I don't want to be disturbed? What are you doing here?"
"We found a divine flame seal in one of the Stonemen's storage rings, Nie Tian!" Qiao Yunxi said excitedly.
Nie Tian was taken aback. "A divine flame seal?!"
"Exactly!" Qiao Yunxi answered, looking overjoyed. "Our grand elder must have noticed the anomaly, and thus arranged for people to leave divine flame seals for me, hoping that I'll be able to find them with their help!
"Now that we have that divine flame seal, we can use it to find the other divine flame seals and eventually meet up with our grand elder!
"The Stonemen must have only found this divine flame seal recently, and soon afterwards, they ran into Wei Yu and the others. From the look of it, they didn't get to follow the vine to the melon." (Idiom: track someone down by following clues)
Surprised, Nie Tian asked. "So are you saying that you now want to find Senior Yue Yanxi with the help of that divine flame seal?"
Qiao Yunxi nodded excitedly. "That's right! I don't plan to go back anymore. What about you?"
"If we can track down more divine flame seals with it, I'll go with you," Nie Tian said.
After a short pause, he looked over at Yin Yanan and asked with furrowed eyebrows, "What's their plan?"
"Chu Bowen and most of the other members of the three parties will withdraw to their ancient starships that are berthed by the edge of the forbidden region. From there, they'll summon reinforcements from the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries." With these words, Qiao Yunxi took a glance at Yin Yanan. "But she and Xing Beichen hope to travel with us. What do you say?"
Nie Tian's tone was filled with mockery as he said, "They're not leaving with the others? That's quite bold of them."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Yin Yanan fixed him with an angry stare.
"Nothing," Nie Tian answered casually. "It's fine by me. But I've got to make one thing clear: their safety is none of my concern. If we're caught up in a battle we can't win, I won't risk my life to save them. At best, I'll take you with me when I escape."
He had gotten some of his confidence back now that he had discovered another powerful use of the Star Boat, and the Bone Blood Demon had accumulated quite some strength with the Stonemen corpses.
Since there was now a good chance that they would be able to find Yue Yanxi, he decided to stay. Even if they were to run into powerful outsiders, he would probably be able to escape from them with the help of the Star Boat.
Yin Yanan let out a cold harrumph. "We don't dare to presume to have you worry about us."
Nie Tian nodded at Qiao Yunxi. "It's settled then. We'll move out when you're ready to go."
The girls then turned around and left.
Chu Bowen and the juniors from the three parties prepared the wounded for the journey and left on their air-transportation spiritual tools.
Xing Beichen from the Trisword Sect and Yin Yanan from the Beast-controlling Sect stayed, hoping to go with Qiao Yunxi to see what the Divine Flame Sect was up to.
Qiao Yunxi only agreed to take them with her and Nie Tian because of the Frost Blood Python's formidable strength and Xing Beichen's superior cultivation base.
Besides, the two of them represented the futures of the Trisword Sect and the Beast-controlling Sect. She was afraid that their sects would find fault with the Divine Flame Sect for what Nie Tian had done, since they obviously wouldn't dare to hurt Nie Tian, who was a member of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. Therefore, by agreeing to their proposal, she actually wanted to ease the tension with them.
A few hours later, Qiao Yunxi, Yin Yanan, and Xing Beichen found Nie Tian again and told him that they were good to go.
Nie Tian ended his cultivation and rose to his feet. He put his Star Boat away and leapt onto Qiao Yunxi's Flame Bird. "The consumption of my air-transportation spiritual tool is far too great. Let's use your Flame Bird for now."
Upon hearing these words, Yin Yanan said with a cold face, "There's limited space on the Flame Bird!"
Even though the Frost Blood Python's battle prowess was unmatched, it couldn't travel at a high speed through the void. Therefore, she had it shrink down and stayed on the Flame Bird with her.
Meanwhile, Xing Beichen was also on the Flame Bird's back. As Nie Tian jumped on board, it instantly became very crowded.
"Well, Nie Tian is an honored guest of our sect, so..." Qiao Yunxi said with a meaningful tone.
Xing Beichen smiled bitterly. Seeing that no one else had the slightest intention of leaving, he said, "Alright, I'll take another air-transportation spiritual tool and follow you guys."
He jumped off the Flame Bird voluntarily and summoned the air-transportation spiritual tool the Trisword Sect had specially forged for him from within his ring of holding.
Afterwards, he called out, "Do you want to join me, Junior Martial Sister Yin?"
"No, I'm good," Yin Yanan refused him without any hesitation.