A hint of joy flashed across Yin Yanan's eyes as she grabbed the soul crystal. She nodded at Nie Tian before turning back and dashing towards the meteor where the Frost Blood Python was.
Blood dripped from her body as she did, filling the air with a strangely sweet smell.
She had also been seriously wounded by Xing Beichen's sword lights, and had yet to stop those wounds from bleeding.
Qiao Yunxi snorted disdainfully and said, "Why did you give her a soul crystal? Don't tell me that you like her? Don't forget that she asked to join Xing Beichen in killing you as soon as she saw the unfavorable situation we were in."
"I only did that because we need her to recover as soon as possible," said Nie Tian.
Now that Xing Beichen had turned on them, the three of them had to rely on each other. No one knew whether the people from the Bliss Mountain Sect would come back for them, or when Xing Beichen would recover from his injuries and come for them again.
Besides, it was also possible that outsiders would find the divine flame seals and track them to their location.
The Bone Blood Demon currently lacked strength. If a Soul realm expert came for them now, even with the help of the Bone Blood Demon and the Star Boat, Nie Tian would struggle to fight him or her.
If there was more than one Soul realm expert, escape would be Nie Tian's only choice.
However, if Yin Yanan recovered quickly, she and her Frost Blood Python would provide him with significant help in battle.
She would need her true soul to be strong to smoothen her communication with the Frost Blood Python, and a soul crystal would help her recover the soul power she had lost within a short time.
Looking worried, Qiao Yunxi asked in a low voice, "How do you know that she won't turn on us too? Were you telling the truth when you said that your puppet no longer has the same kind of battle prowess as when it killed Hong Xian and the other experts?"
"Yeah, I'm afraid it doesn't," Nie Tian said.
"If that's the case, we'd better keep an eye on her too," Qiao Yunxi said with a worried face. "What if she tries to kill you for the soul crystals and Metal-devouring Bugs in your possession after her Frost Blood Python finishes refining that spirit beast corpse? What will you do then?"
With a carefree smile, Nie Tian said, "She doesn't have anything like Xing Beichen's Seven Ultimate Soul-splitting Sword Formation, so she won't be able to restrain my soul awareness like he did. I'll be able to get away from her on my Star Boat if she tries anything. So don't worry. Even if we can't defeat her, she won't be able to stop us from leaving. And if she really angers me, I'll teach her a lesson even if that means I have to consume all of my Star Stones."
Qiao Yunxi nodded somewhat reluctantly. "Alright."
Afterwards, the two of them stopped talking and closed their eyes to recover with spirit stones, medicinal pills, and soul crystals.
At the same time, Nie Tian secretly sent a wisp of his unique flesh aura into his ring of holding to find the mother Metal-devouring Bug, and then activated Life Drain.
One wisp of golden flesh power after another, which shone with dazzling golden light, was drained from the mother bug.
The mother bug's grade was unknown. Even though it was significantly larger than the other Metal-devouring Bugs, it was still only the size of a fist, which was much smaller than any spirit beast or outsider that carried powerful bloodlines.
Even so, its insignificant body contained a copious amount of flesh power. As it gradually lost its flesh power, the mysterious patterns on its exterior that seemed to carry the profound truths of metal power faded until they disappeared completely.
At the same time, numerous new cyan spots were born within the Bloodline Crystal Chains that formed the green aura in Nie Tian's heart.
Each and every cyan spot shone as brightly as stars, as if the profound truths of life lay within them.
Nie Tian was well-aware that in order for him to awaken a new bloodline talent, he would have to let more cyan spots be born.
Those bright cyan spots were his bloodline seals.
The generation of new bloodline seals would accelerate the upgrade of his bloodline, as well as the awakening of new bloodline talents.
He grew excited as he saw more and more bloodline seals shining within the green aura.
Two hours passed...
The mother Metal-devouring Bug was completely drained of its flesh power.
After losing all of its residual power, it crumbled and became golden powder within his ring of holding, bereft of any wonder.
However, the green aura still hadn't accumulated enough flesh power to enter dormancy again.
He cursed inwardly and went on to absorb the flesh power of the other Metal-devouring Bugs.
Soon, a Metal-devouring Bug that was the size of a thumb was rapidly drained of its flesh power and reduced to golden powder.
Nie Tian took a close look at the green aura, and discovered that the flesh power of the Metal-devouring Bug didn't cause any changes in it. Not even a single bloodline seal appeared within it.
He pondered the matter briefly before realizing that a Metal-devouring Bug only contained a very limited amount of flesh power.
The fact that numerous bloodline seals had been created earlier was probably because the mother bug's ancient bloodline had activated part of his bloodline.
Since that mother bug had given birth to all of the other Metal-devouring Bugs, none of their bloodlines were as complete as hers.
Now that he had already channeled the mother bug's bloodline into his, the other Metal-devouring Bugs naturally proved almost useless to him.
After all, compared to powerful outsiders or spirit beasts, the residual power within their tiny bodies was almost negligible.
"Forget it. Since they're not going to provide me with any noticeable help anymore, I might as well save them for selling, or refine them into spiritual tools." He said inwardly.
Then, he went on to recover his battle prowess with soul crystals, all kinds of spiritual materials, and spirit beast meat.
He first restored soul power to his star souls and true soul, and then replenished his spiritual core, vortex of wood power, and vortex of flame power.
Eventually, he refilled his vortex of star power with the help of a few Star Stones.
As he refined the Star Stones, he noticed that his efficiency at channeling star power had become much higher than he remembered.
Deeply surprised, he examined his vortex of star power closely, and discovered that the Nine Stars Flower that had taken root in the lake of stardew had gone through changes.
Three of its nine blossoms had become unprecedentedly translucent and sparkling, as if they had turned into three dazzling stars.
The Nine Stars Flower never stopped channeling starlight from the boundless starry river, refining it, and using it to nourish its blossoms.
Upon a closer look, Nie Tian saw numerous dazzlingly bright spots within each blossom, as if they carried extremely refined star power.
He suddenly had a feeling that, even if his vortex of star power ran dry, he would still be able to channel star power from this Nine Stars Flower and fight with it.
He felt that the amount of star power within the Nine Stars Flower wasn't any less than the star power within the lake of stardew.
"Does this mean that, with the Nine Stars Flower, it's like I now have two vortexes of star power to provide me with power?" he thought to himself. "No wonder the powerful Qi warriors from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace went to great lengths to find them!"
His eyes snapped open, glittering with delight. He came to realize that this strange flower, which he had rather detested at first, would become very important to him in the future.
He fixed Qiao Yunxi with a surprised look. "Hmm? You're awake already?"
Qiao Yunxi was sitting on her Flame Bird and gazing unblinkingly at him, curiosity written across her face.
"I didn't sustain any serious injuries, and I only practice flame power. It's only natural that I recover faster than you." With these words, she pointed at the meteor where Yin Yanan was. "She's almost finished too."
Taken aback, Nie Tian asked, "How do you know that?"
"While you were cultivating, I heard the Frost Blood Python make a joyous sound," Qiao Yunxi answered. "I suppose it finished refining that corpse."
After a short while, Yin Yanan flew over from that meteor, looking enlivened and in high spirits.
The Frost Blood Python had somehow become a tattoo on her perfectly flat abdomen, as if it had merged with her.
The Frost Blood Python seemed to be in a unique dormant state. Even with the help of his bloodline power, Nie Tian could only sense its flesh aura very faintly.
As he sent his flesh aura towards that other meteor, he could no longer sense the aura of the eighth grade Frost Python.
It had been either completely refined or put away in Yin Yanan's ring of holding.
Meanwhile, not the slightest sign of injury could be seen on Yin Yanan. Her aura was rich and vigorous, making her look radiant.
With a surprised tone, Yin Yanan said, "It's hard to believe that you also recovered within such a short time. I can't even see a single scar on you."
She had her unique healing magics, but didn't expect that Nie Tian could heal himself so quickly too.
"We'd better not stay here anymore, and we need to change our direction," Qiao Yunxi said. "Even if it means we'll have to take a detour to get to our destination, we have to steer clear of the direction that the people from the Bliss Mountain Sect left in.
Both Yin Yanan and Nie Tian nodded in assent.
Then, they jumped onto the Flame Bird and headed out in a different direction.
As they flew, they saw signs of exploration on many meteors they passed.
They assumed that the Jian Clan or the Guan Clan had hoped to find more treasures in this area, and thus had explored these meteors. It was just that they didn't know whether they had found anything or not.
They tried to steer clear of those meteors as well, until Qiao Yunxi sensed the presence of another divine flame seal one day.
They gathered it, and Qiao Yunxi learned from it that they were close to the Divine Flame Sect disciples' current location.
A few more days passed before the Flame Bird passed through an area that was densely packed with floating meteors, and came to an enormous floating land.
"That's the place!" Qiao Yunxi exclaimed. "That's where our grand elder and the others are, and it used to be the core of a vast realm! Even now, there is still the spiritual Qi of heaven and earth on that floating land!"