In front of the palace, Mu Biqiong wasn't in the mood for practicing cultivation. She had been gazing into the sky from the beginning.
Unsure of Yin Yanan's situation, she was worried that the Frost Blood Python would lose control and come after her.
"How in the world is that guy going to deal with Yin Yanan?" Worried and puzzled, she started to think of possible answers.
However, she soon saw a streak of starlight shoot out of the thick, multicolored flesh auras and dive towards the region that was filled with wood power.
It was none other than Nie Tian's Star Boat.
However, due to the long distance, she couldn't tell whether Yin Yanan was on board.
After a moment of hesitation, she figured that since she couldn't concentrate on cultivation anyways, she might as well summon an air-transportation spiritual tool and fly to the region where Nie Tian was heading.
Shortly afterwards, she arrived at the region where Nie Tian had landed.
In the depths of the emerald green mountains, lush ancient trees and countless plants could be seen everywhere.
Wisps of wood power, which were invisible to the naked eye but could be sensed with true souls, were converging on a secluded valley from all directions.
In that valley, numerous translucent and sparkling tree branches were planted in the dirt, forming the Wood Thriving Formation, which enveloped a small area in a hemispherical green ward.
Nie Tian was sitting in the middle of the spell formation, practicing cultivation wholeheartedly by absorbing the incoming wood power. He didn't even sense her arrival.
Mu Biqiong's eyebrows furrowed as she steered her air-transportation spiritual tool around the nearby mountains that were covered in vegetation.
She unleashed her soul awareness to scan the area.
Moments later, she said inwardly, "Yin Yanan isn't here!"
Then, she returned to the secluded valley where Nie Tian was practicing cultivation, the look in her eyes becoming increasingly disgusted.
"I was right. He's indeed an ungrateful asshole. He had an intimate relationship with Yin Yanan, however, as soon as she got into trouble, he threw her into that layer of deadly auras, and let the flesh auras of outsiders and ancient spirit beasts devour her so that he'll be safe.
"Since the seventh grade Frost Blood Python hadn't finished upgrading its bloodline, and was still at a precarious stage, I suppose it won't survive either.
"By doing this, he took both Yin Yanan and her Frost Blood Python out with one go!"
Mu Biqiong's veiled face grew cold as she grew even more disgusted by Nie Tian.
"It's so unlucky of Yin Yanan to have met a person like him. She should have left with the people from the Divine Flame Sect. Staying with a person like him, anyone can be abandoned at any time."
With these thoughts in mind, Mu Biqiong assumed she knew what kind of person Nie Tian was, and started to worry about herself.
"I can't get into any trouble myself. Otherwise..."
Feeling a chill in her heart, she no longer dared to stay anywhere near Nie Tian. Therefore, she steered her air-transportation spiritual tool away, and instead of returning to the palace, she went to the water-attributed region that was filled with clear lakes.
After she left, Nie Tian, who was practicing cultivation with the help of Heavenly Wood Heal in the middle of the Wood Thriving Formation, opened his eyes.
"Such an odd person," he muttered, looking in the direction she had left, before closing his eyes and immersing himself in cultivation again.
The majority of the outsider and ancient spirit beast flesh auras that had invaded his body earlier had been wiped out, along with their unyielding fighting will, the moment he had left the atmosphere of mixed auras.
The flesh auras that had remained inside of him had been refined by now. After mixing them with wood power, he had used them to toughen his meridians.
After numerous entrances to the atmosphere of mixed auras, his meridians had been broken and reforged over and over, making them as resilient as rubber, but as hard as iron.
However, he knew that he still hadn't finished with Meridian Toughening, which was the third stage of Heavenly Wood Heal.
After he finished fixing his damaged meridians this time, he didn't return to the atmosphere of mixed auras again. Instead, he went on to channel more wood power into his spiritual sea and concentrate it into drops of liquidized wood power.
He refined his vortex of wood power round after round to prepare himself for his breakthrough into the middle Worldly realm.
Ten days passed in the blink of an eye.
With the help of the exceptionally rich wood power in this region, he finally refined his vortex of wood power to the limit.
At this moment, his spiritual core and vortexes of wood power and flame power had all been fully refined. Only his vortex of star power still lacked refining.
After pondering the matter briefly, he returned to the palace on his Star Boat and entered it.
Misty starlight still showered the palace through the transparent dome, making it an ideal place to absorb star power and refine his vortex of star power. He rapidly submerged himself in cultivation.
An unknown period of time passed.
Yin Yanan's air-transportation spiritual tool suddenly charged out of the atmosphere of outsider and ancient spirit beast auras.
The Frost Blood Python on her waist was still dormant, its aura too weak to be detected.
However, she appeared to be in high spirits, the light of excitement flashing across her bright, energetic eyes.
At the same time, a fierce aura burst forth from within her. Every inch of her largely exposed body seemed to be filled with explosive power.
She flew around on her air-transportation spiritual tool as if she were looking for something.
Moments later, her air-transportation spiritual tool came to the region that was dotted with numerous lakes, and she beamed with excitement.
Mu Biqiong, who had practiced cultivation alone by one of the lakes for quite some time, suddenly opened her eyes.
Looking at Yin Yanan, who Nie Tian had left in the atmosphere of deadly auras, her expression flickered as she exclaimed, "You're still alive?!
"Not only did you survive, but you've even broken through into the Profound realm?!"
Yin Yanan pursed her lips into a vicious smile and said, "You seem to want to see me dead, don't you? When I suffered a backlash from the spirit beast blood inside of me, you snuck to my side with evil intentions. Then, after Nie Tian caught you, you incited him to leave me there to die. You had a good time doing what you did, right?"
Mu Biqiong rapidly calmed down, the look in her eyes growing cold as well. "What are you going to do? Nie Tian kept me here so that he'll be able to use me as a hostage when he negotiates terms with my sect in the future. Don't tell me that you want to kill me?"
She was threatening in manner but cowardly at heart.
She had been at the early Worldly realm when she had met Nie Tian for the first time in the space disruption zone. Even though she had practiced hard and made a breakthrough in her cultivation, she was still only at the middle Worldly realm now.
Yin Yanan, however, had not only recovered from the backlash, but even entered the Profound realm after some unknown encounters in the atmosphere of deadly auras.
Yin Yanan had an unusually tough body. Even cultivators with the same cultivation base as hers would have great difficulty matching her in battle, much less her, whose cultivation base was far lower than hers.
In fact, she felt overshadowed by Yin Yanan's strength. She just assumed that no matter how discontent Yin Yanan was towards her, she wouldn't dare to kill her, as it would undermine Nie Tian.
"Kill you?" Yin Yanan gave a sarcastic chuckle. "How do I dare to kill you?"
Mu Biqiong felt slightly relieved. "Then why are you here?"
Yin Yanan suddenly jumped off her air-transportation spiritual tool, her whole body thrumming with raging flesh power. "I don't need to kill you. There are plenty of other ways to humiliate you!"
Mu Biqiong gasped with shock and fear.
Inside the palace.
Nie Tian was sitting in the lotus position and refining his vortex of star power over and over with the star power he channeled from the palace ceiling. He didn't use any of the precious Star Stones in his possession.
As he did, the wisps of star power that formed his vortex of star power grew increasingly pure.
Because of this, the speed at which the vortex spun, and the rate at which he absorbed and summoned star power, improved considerably.
With the help of the Nine Stars Flower, he was now able to channel star power from the palace very efficiently even without Star Stones.
"Nie Tian!" Yin Yanan's loud exclamation rang out from outside the palace.
The palace walls would stop people on the outside from hearing any sound or sensing any movement inside the palace.
However, sitting inside the palace, Nie Tian was able to hear every sound and sense every movement that was taking place outside the palace.
Surprised by the exclamation, Nie Tian opened the stone gate and walked out of the palace.
In the next moment, he stood aghast at the scene before him.
Yin Yanan was standing holding her head high, while Mu Biqiong beside her had most of her garments torn away. All she had left on her were silk undergarments that barely covered her chest and the forbidden area between her milky-white legs.
However, her face was still blocked from sight by a thin silk veil.
Her knees bent slightly as she held her arms crossed tightly before her chest.
Her body, which was now even more poorly covered than Yin Yanan's, was jade-like and extremely inviting.
However, humiliation filled her eyes, and her arms were covered in bruises, as if Yin Yanan had given her a good beating.
Upon seeing Nie Tian, she fumbled to cover herself and shouted furiously, "Yin Yanan! I won't let you get away with this!"
Yin Yanan smiled coldly. "You think I'm afraid of you?"
Then, she laid her eyes on Nie Tian and said, "Very few people throughout the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries have seen her face. Wanna take a look?"
A mixed expression appeared on Nie Tian's face. "Umm..."
Before he could give an answer, Yin Yanan lifted her hand and tore Mu Biqiong's veil from her face.