Nie Tian finally shut the heavy stone gate.
This meant that the connection between them and the outside world was now completely cut off. The Void domain experts from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect were all shut out, along with Guan Fu and Jian Tong.
None of them could send their soul awareness through the palace walls to learn the situation inside.
However, Yue Yanxi unleashed his soul awareness, and discovered that he had no problem examining the changes on the outside from inside the palace.
He sensed with great clarity that the spiritual power fluctuations Sha Yan, Ke Jinpeng, Guan Fu, Jian Tong, and the others emanated were growing increasingly weak.
He then realized that their spiritual power was being taken away by the Vitality-returning Celestial Stone at a shocking speed.
According to his estimation, Ke Jinpeng and the other experts would lose all of their spiritual power and become no different from commoners within three days. By that time, they would become lambs waiting to be butchered.
"Did you know there was a Vitality-returning Celestial Stone hidden in the depths of this continent, Nie Tian?" Yue Yanxi asked.
Yin Yanan, Qiao Yunxi, and the others let out sighs of relief after seeing them entering and closing the stone gate behind them.
Through Nie Tian and Yue Yanxi's conversation, they learned what was going on outside the palace.
Eyes narrowed, Nie Tian said, "No. I only knew that this continent was divided into six regions, which form an Ultimates Reverse Grand Spell Formation with this palace as its heart. Just now, I merged my soul awareness with the palace and received many pieces of information.
"From them, I learned about the Ultimates Reverse Grand Spell Formation and how to operate it.
"The moment I stepped through the gate, I activated the Ultimates Reverse Grand Spell Formation."
Astonishment spread across Yue Yanxi's face as he exclaimed, "Ultimates Reverse Grand Spell Formation?! What magical use does it have?"
"Everything will remain normal when it's not activated. Qi warriors who come to this continent will be able to practice cultivation and derive enlightenment with the rich spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth here." With these words, Nie Tian smiled meaningfully. "But once it's activated, the situation will reverse. This continent will channel spiritual power from those who come here and completely drain their spiritual power within a short period of time."
Qiao Yunxi chimed in, "This place is such a trap carefully prepared by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace!"
Yue Yanxi nodded slightly and said with a bitter face, "Perhaps the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth here is only so rich because the Ultimates Reverse Grand Spell Formation has tempted countless powerful experts to this place and drained them of their spiritual power, which they had spent centuries or even millennia to accumulate, and then used that power to nourish this continent."
Nie Tian gave a cunning laugh. "Hahaha!"
That was exactly what he was thinking.
"Have you ever heard of Vitality-returning Celestial Stones, grand elder?" Qiao Yunxi asked.
Yue Yanxi shook his head. "No, but the people from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect seem to know about them. If they're indeed Earth Cultivated grade treasures, they must be far beyond ordinary!"
"Earth Cultivated grade treasures!" Yin Yanan exclaimed. "I heard that Earth Cultivated grade treasures possess their own awareness. They can be forged into Spirit Channeling grade spiritual tools with minimal processing. In fact, every Earth Cultivated grade spiritual material can be viewed as a Spirit Channeling grade treasure. Most importantly, since Earth Cultivated grade spiritual materials possess their own spirits, people won't need to find spirits for them when forging them into Spirit Channeling grade treasures.
"If an expert gains a Spirit Channeling grade treasure that's forged from an Earth Cultivated grade spiritual material and agrees with their cultivation attribute, then the might they can display will be beyond imagination."
Yue Yanxi gave her an approving look. "You're right. Spirit Channeling grade treasures forged from Earth Cultivated spiritual materials are indeed extremely rare and powerful."
"There's no need to worry, everyone," Nie Tian said. "You just stay here and three days from now, I'll change the spell formation again. By that time, the people out there probably won't have any spiritual power left in them."
With a smile, he turned to Yue Yanxi and added, "Let's talk about the other stuff after the people from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect are taken care of."
Yue Yanxi nodded. "Sounds good."
Then, everyone fell silent again.
Eyes narrowed, Nie Tian sat down in the lotus position, and his mind drifted away.
"There was a Vitality-returning Celestial Stone within Master Voidspirit's realm. But that one was far less powerful than the one in the depths of this continent. Could that one be a piece that had been taken from here?"
"Had Master Voidspirit ever come to this forbidden region before?"
"This region had been hidden away behind a veil for hundreds of thousands of years. No starships could sail into it. Many powerful experts who came here never returned again."
"But Master Voidspirit is different. He was an expert of spatial magics."
"He probably knew about the Vitality-returning Celestial Stone's incredible use. If he were still alive, perhaps I'd be able to get more information from him."
While Nie Tian was consumed with these thoughts, Xing Beichen and the others who were stranded outside the palace grew increasingly panicked.
Even Ke Jinpeng lost his composure as he felt his spiritual power slipping away from him, and could do nothing to stop it.
In another location, Jiang Feng shouted at Tian Ziping and the others, urging them to start the ancient golden starship again.
He still hoped to charge through the layer of mixed auras and get as far away from this bizarre continent as possible with the help of the starship.
The ancient golden starship was started, and once again sailed into the atmosphere of mixed auras.
However, it fell from the sky again shortly afterwards, only to inflict more casualties on the Bliss Mountain Sect group.
At the same time, Ke Jinpeng and the other Void domain experts from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect sought methods to leave this continent with panicked expressions.
However, it didn't matter whether it was escape magics or space manipulation magics, they all failed.
Every one of them ran into impassable obstacles when they tried to go through the atmosphere of mixed energies, and thus had to return to the ground with even less spiritual power within them.
Guan Fu and Jiang Tong, however, got away from the palace before they ran out of spiritual power.
By the time they met up with their clan members, they realized that they were also losing spiritual power at a terrifying rate, and their eyes were filled with despair.
Upon seeing Guan Pu, Guan He shouted with a panicked expression. "Patriarch! We're all losing our spiritual power! It's like there's a monster in the depths of the earth that's devouring our spiritual power."
Guan Fu sighed. "I'm just glad that you're not hurt. Don't you worry. The worst case is that we lose all of our spiritual power. We never had any conflicts with the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace or that Nie Tian. Plus, Yue Yanxi and I have known each other for a long time. So I don't think they'll try to harm us."
Guan Qi chimed in, "I guess I can offer Qiao Yunxi that Heaven Flame Beast corpse next time we meet up with them in exchange for our safety."
"There's no need to worry too much. We'll be alright." Jian Tong tried to comfort the crowd. "The people from the Thousandsword Mountain Sect are those who should be worried. They had feuds with Nie Tian before and after coming to this continent. By the time the Vitality-returning Celestial Stone drains their spiritual power completely, Nie Tian will probably deal with them first."
After hearing his words, everyone came to realize there was indeed no reason for Nie Tian to target them.
Three days later...
Everyone on this continent had every last shred of their spiritual power taken away by the Vitality-returning Celestial Stone. No matter how fast they channeled spiritual power from spirit stones, it all turned out to be in vain.
As soon as new spiritual power flew into their spiritual seas, it would be taken away again.
By this time, people had already given up after many failed attempts.
The heavy stone gate was pushed open, and Nie Tian emerged. He glanced around at this heaven and earth, which didn't seem to have changed at all, a faint and cold smile appearing at the corner of his mouth.
Frowning slightly, Yue Yanxi called out from inside the palace, "Nie Tian! If they've only lost their spiritual power, then it's still not safe for you to leave the palace.
"Void domain cultivators can also penetrate metal and cut rocks with their soul power. You still won't be able to withstand a single strike from them."
With an unrestrained smile, Nie Tian was just about to say something when his eyebrows suddenly furrowed.
The thick atmosphere of mixed auras that surrounded this entire continent suddenly started to billow.
Nie Tian gazed up into the heavens, his heart starting to race.
Even from very far, he could vaguely sense the presence of two immense, selike flesh auras beyond the atmosphere of mixed auras.
He had never sensed flesh auras so strong from any living beings he had met. "Eighth grade bloodline power?!"
"Is something wrong?" Yue Yanxi asked with a grim face.
"Outsiders have arrived following the divine flame seals you left behind," Nie Tian said.
Yue Yanxi's expression flickered. "Outsiders?! They don't use spiritual power. If they got here, they probably wouldn't be affected by the Vitality-returning Celestial Stone!"
This was exactly what was worrying Nie Tian.