"Sure!" With a hearty smile, Yue Yanxi prepared to enter the magnificent palace right away.
After realizing that profound changes had already taken place in this heaven and earth, stopping even Jiang Feng from leaving, he grew calm instead of worried.
He knew that Nie Tian was behind all these changes.
He recalled back when he had learned Nie Tian's identity, he had berated the Lei Clan for their deeds and made efforts to become friends with Nie Tian.
At this moment, he realized what a wise decision that had been.
Now that he knew that it was Nie Tian who had made changes to this heaven and earth by using the palace in a profound way, he knew that he would be safe, considering his relationship with him.
"Senior martial brother!" Sha Yan from the Bliss Mountain Sect called out.
"Martial uncle!" Xing Beichen exclaimed towards Ke Jinpeng, looking very anxious. "Once Yue Yanxi and Nie Tian enter the palace, it'll be very hard to force them out again to figure out what's going on here!"
Ke Jinpeng nodded vigorously.
A spot of golden light suddenly shot forth from between Ke Jinpeng's eyebrows. Originally, it was only the size of a grain of rice, but moments later, it expanded a thousand times over.
It was his private domain, which was filled with dazzling golden light and fierce sword intent.
"Heavenly Metal Domain!" he shouted.
Endless sword intent and golden light rapidly forged into a huge golden sword.
As soon as it came to form, it triggered changes around him, causing the rich spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth to explode.
The huge golden sword seemed as if it was being wielded by many invisible gods together, even causing space to bend. Wherever its sword intent went, bottomless rifts were created in the earth.
Standing by the stone gate, Nie Tian only looked at the huge golden sword, and tears began flowing uncontrollably from his pained eyes.
He unleashed his soul awareness, hoping to derive enlightenment from the huge golden sword's sword intent. However, numerous fine rifts immediately appeared within his sea of awareness.
"Get back inside!" Yue Yanxi yelled.
Nie Tian let out a muffled groan. Hiding behind the stone gate, he pressed his hands, which were shining with blinding starlight, on the stone gate with great force.
The mysterious ancient patterns once again came alive and started to change in an unfathomable way. At the same time, the entire palace gave rise to loud rumbles.
Starlight that was as thick as water seemed to be infused into the palace walls, where it flowed like creeks.
He hastily tore his eyes from the huge golden sword, not daring to sense the torrential sword intent with his soul awareness anymore.
At the same time, raging flames burst forth from within Yue Yanxi, forming a blazing domain around him. Yue Yanxi, like the god who owned it, stared coldly at Ke Jinpeng from the depths of the domain.
The huge golden sword Ke Jinpeng had forged with his Heavenly Metal Domain suddenly slashed down from the sky, creating countless fine spatial rifts and illusions as it did.
It was as if the golden mountains in the distance were answering Ke Jinpeng's summons, along with the spiritual energies filling this heaven and earth.
In Nie Tian's senses, the golden sword seemed to have summoned every bit of metal power on this continent to form this devastating attack.
However, not the slightest fear could be seen on his face. Instead, a hint of gloating appeared in his eyes.
"Don't fight him, Senior Yue," Nie Tian said in a loud voice. "There's no need for that."
Yue Yanxi was taken aback.
At this very moment, the spiritual energies and metal power Ke Jinpeng had channeled from the vicinity into the huge golden sword suddenly changed.
The huge sword that was shining with dazzling golden light started to shake violently in the air. The spiritual energies and metal power Ke Jinpeng had channeled from the vicinity turned from guests into hosts, and started to control and devour his power!
Ke Jinpeng could even hear cracking sounds as his power within the huge golden sword was gradually gnawed away.
Shaking unceasingly, the giant golden sword rapidly grew smaller and smaller.
At the same time, a strong attractive force was born from the depths of the earth.
Immediately afterwards, power started to madly spill from every expert's spiritual sea.
It was as if a mysterious magnet existed in the depths of the earth, which was now channeling spiritual power of all attributes towards it.
Even Yue Yanxi was shocked as he shrewdly noticed that the raging flame power within his blaming domain started to leave his side and shoot down towards the depths of the earth.
Yue Yanxi's expression flickered slightly. "W-what's going on?"
"Come inside and you won't be affected anymore," Nie Tian said, smiling.
At this moment, Ke Jinpeng had long since lost the desire to fight Yue Yanxi, but was doing everything he could to stop himself from losing spiritual power.
Yue Yanxi flashed through the stone gate, and was instantly free of the unusual influence.
He now realized that he wouldn't lose a single shred of spiritual power as long as he remained in the palace.
In the distance, the ancient golden starship had crashed into the earth. Some Bliss Mountain Sect disciples were wailing, while many had already died from the terrifyingly strong impact.
Mu Biqiong from the Bliss Mountain Sect was standing at the prow of the starship and gazing up at the atmosphere of mixed energies. A pained look appeared in her eyes.
"Holy Daughter! This place..." Yao Zhilan exclaimed, looking deeply panicked. "How come this place is going through the same thing as Master Voidspirit's realm?"
It was Mu Biqiong who had initiated the operation to look for Master Voidspirit's legacies. She had led the first few exploration trips.
Unlike Yin Yanan, she didn't have an unusually strong fleshly body. Every time, she had had to return shortly after entering due to the rapid spiritual power loss she had experienced.
Any Qi warrior who had entered Master Voidspirit's realm lost all of their spiritual power over a short period of time.
Right now, the exact same thing was happening on this continent. Everyone was being drained of their spiritual power at an alarming rate. How would they not be shocked?
"Can it be that Master Voidspirit came here before?" Tian Ziping muttered with a grim expression. "It's hard to believe how similar this place is to the arcane realm where Master Voidspirit perished! Did he obtain something here and then merge it with his own realm?!"
"Who knows!" Mu Biqiong said bitterly.
Jiang Feng from the Bliss Mountain Sect suddenly flew into the golden starship.
Face filled with shock and fear, Yao Zhilan said, "Elder Jiang..."
She saw wisps of spiritual power flying out of his body uncontrollably.
"There's an Earth Cultivated grade treasure in the depths of the earth, and it has become a part of this continent," Jiang Feng said with a grim expression. "It seems to be controlled by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, and can be used to channel spiritual power from all living beings.
"Unlike Elementary, Medium, and Premium grade items, Earth Cultivated grade treasures possess their own spirit and awareness."
Tian Ziping gasped with astonishment. "Earth Cultivated grade treasures!"
Almost at the same time, Sha Yan from the Bliss Mountain Sect shouted, looking down at the earth under his feet, "Vitality-returning Celestial Stone! It must be a Vitality-returning Celestial Stone! Only a Vitality-returning Celestial Stone can achieve such unbelievable effects and absorb the spiritual power Qi warriors have gone to great lengths to gather!"
Ke Jinpeng's expression flickered. "That must be it! There's a Vitality-returning Celestial Stone in the depths of this floating continent! This is terrible news for us. If we continue to stay here, every last bit of our spiritual power, which took us many years to gather, will be taken from our spiritual seas to nourish this piece of land and enrich the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth in this place!
"I'm afraid this damned place is a trap set up by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace! That layer of mixed auras seems to be an obstacle, yet it was actually put there to provoke explorers' curiosity, and tempt them into charging through it at all costs!
"I even suspect that the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth here is only so rich because a large number of powerful experts have been tempted into this place, and had their spiritual power drained by the Vitality-returning Celestial Stone. Only after a long period of accumulation did the density of the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth build up to such a high level."
Even though Guan Fu from the Guan Clan and Jian Tong from the Jian Clan had never heard of Vitality-returning Celestial Stones, their expressions flickered after hearing Ke Jinpeng's words.
"What Earth Cultivated grade treasure?!" Jian Tong exclaimed. "It should be called a life-claiming item instead!!"
Standing behind the stone gate, Nie Tian rubbed his chin and sad, "A Vitality-returning Celestial Stone... Earth Cultivated grade… What does Earth Cultivated grade mean, Senior Yue?"
Yue Yanxi seemed to be in a good mood as explained, "Spiritual materials can be divided into many grades. Other than the Elemental, Medium, and Premium grades, there are also Earth Cultivated and Heaven Nourished grades, which are truly rare and unique treasures. Such treasures are born with a vague level of awareness, and can't be treated as lifeless and ordinary spiritual materials.
"You know people say that everything in this world has a spirit, and that's because there's a slim chance for even trees, grass, rocks, and mountains to develop awarenesses.
"These materials that have developed an awareness are called either Earth Cultivated or Heaven Nourished treasures. And they have endless wonderful uses.
"I've only heard of Earth Cultivated grade spiritual materials, but never seen any throughout the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries."