The Star Boat suddenly came to a stop as it flew close to the short mountain peak that was enveloped in a sea of white mist.
Even from a certain distance, Nie Tian sensed an unsettling aura from it, as if time had stopped in its surroundings.
The vast white mist seemed to be his master’s sea of soul awareness, within which lay the profound truths of time power.
Nie Tian looked over with rapt attention, and discovered that the white mist had completely blocked the mountaintop from his sight, and his master was nowhere to be seen.
He pondered briefly, then unleashed his Heaven Eyes.
The nine invisible Heaven Eyes floated ethereally towards the short mountain peak. As soon as they made contact with the white mist, they froze completely.
They seemed to become subject to time power’s influence as well, as they were imprisoned in the sea of white mist.
Meanwhile, Nie Tian couldn’t even have his soul awareness separate itself from the Heaven Eyes to sense Wu Ji’s presence.
However, through his Heaven Eyes, Nie Tian could see some medicinal herbs and pills floating in the depths of the mist.
Those herbs and pills, which contained faint soul power, must be the soul-nourishing materials Fang Hui, Chang Sen, and the other experts had found for Wu Ji.
It was just that Nie Tian sensed that Wu Ji’s soul awareness had split into countless wisps that were dispersed within the white mist.
Furthermore, Wu Ji’s soul awareness seemed to be in a disordered and bewildered state as it drifted around the short mountain peak, deriving enlightenment of the profound truths of time power.
Only when Wu Ji’s drifting soul awareness made contact with those floating herbs and pills would it absorb their faint soul power.
It was as if Wu Ji had sealed his body and soul in some unfathomable space, where time was frozen.
Chang Sen, Fang Hui, Li Jing, and the others flew over soundlessly, and came to a stop beside the Star Boat.
Without further approaching the short mountain peak, Chang Sen said with a complicated expression, “He’s been in this state for quite a while now. This short mountain peak is wreathed in time power. Even I can’t get too close. I tried to approach the short mountain peak, but my body and soul started to slow down at an alarming rate. I barely made it out of there.”
Nie Tian’s eyes widened. “Even you failed?!”
At this time, Chang Sen from the Hell Sect had already broken through into the Soul realm, and he had been the first one in the Realm of Flame Heaven to do so in recent centuries.
His breakthrough in cultivation had been as smooth as water.
Wu Ji had entered the Soul realm after him.
However, he had entered such a state soon after his breakthrough, as if he had failed to walk out of the field of time power he had created.
Chang Sen gave a bitter smile. “Your master practices time power, which is very rare even among the powerful experts in other domains, not to mention the Domain of the Falling Stars. It was his profound mastery of time power that allowed him to kill multiple seventh grade outsiders when he was only at the Profound realm.
“But it’s also for this reason that none of us know exactly what he was going through. I only have a feeling that some mishap might have happened during his breakthrough.”
Eyebrows furrowed, Nie Tian said, “Are you sure that soul-nourishing materials will be able to help him?”
Chang Sen nodded. “I think so, but they are very hard to find. In the Domain of the Falling Stars, there are a variety of materials that can help strengthen Worldly realm or Profound realm cultivators’ souls. But cultivators at the Soul realm...” He sighed. “The soul power in the herbs and pills we could find was very limited.”
“This is easy,” Nie Tian said.
With these words, a number of black crystals flew out of his ring of holding.
Glittering like black stars, the black crystals of irregular shapes flew towards the short mountain peak one after another.
Each and every one of them contained pure soul power that was incalculably richer than the soul power in those herbs and pills.
Fang Hui, Li Jing, and the other experts’ expressions flickered drastically as they examined the crystals with their soul awareness.
They sensed incomparably rich soul power from every one of them.
Also, such soul power didn’t contain the slightest impurities, as if any living being’s soul would be able absorb it completely.
Fang Hui couldn’t help but ask, “What are those crystals, Nie Tian?”
“Soul crystals,” Nie Tian answered casually. “They can be used to refine one’s true soul. According to the experts from the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries, soul crystals are very rare, even in their domain. Luckily, I gained some, and I hope they’ll be able to help my master.”
The soul crystals didn’t fall from the air as they were supposed to after making contact with the white mist.
Like numerous pitch-black stars, they floated to the depths of the mist, where they shone with mysterious black light.
As wisps of Wu Ji’s soul awareness flew in a disorderly manner in the mist, they accidentally touched the soul crystals. Immediately afterwards, they somehow flew into the black crystals, where they morphed into Wu Ji’s soul shadows.
Nie Tian had gathered more than two hundred soul crystals from the bottom of that lake. At this time, he took out fifty of them, and cast them towards the short mountain peak where Wu Ji was.
Moments later, Wu Ji’s soul shadows appeared in thirty of the soul crystals.
From the look of it, as long as a wisp of Wu Ji’s scattered soul awareness made contact with a soul crystal, it would be able to merge with it and create a soul shadow inside of it.
Observing from a certain distance, Fang Hui and the other experts were deeply shaken as Wu Ji’s soul shadows appeared in more and more of the black crystals.
Li Jing seemed rather envious as she said, “A crystal alone can turn a wisp of soul awareness into a soul shadow... Those crystals must contain copious amounts of soul power! Plus, there isn’t a shred of impurity in them. That allowed wisps of Wu Ji’s soul awareness to turn into soul shadows with his appearance.
“If there were just a slight impurity in them, Wu Ji’s soul shadows would flicker.”
Chang Sen nodded slightly. “I have a feeling that Wu Ji is still deriving enlightenment of the profound truths of time power. It’s just that it takes a lot of time and energy to do so. He’s lost too much of his soul power, and that’s why he’s in such an unfavorable state. After losing a significant amount of soul power, his true soul became feeble and unable to gather his soul awareness. He even lost the ability to extract himself from the situation.
“The soul crystals you tossed into the mist are helping his wisps of soul awareness regain their strength. The fact that his soul shadows are appearing in those soul crystals shows that he’s rapidly absorbing soul power.
“I believe he’ll be able to solve his problem soon with the help of those soul crystals.”
A spirit beast suddenly appeared in the distant sky and flew to the short mountain peak in the blink of an eye.
With a single glance at it, Nie Tian exclaimed, “It’s my master’s Thunder Beast!”
Years had passed since he had seen it last, and the fifth grade Thunder Beast had already upgraded its bloodline and entered the sixth grade.
The strength of a sixth grade Thunder Beast matched that of a Profound realm Qi warrior.
At this moment, the Thunder Beast’s eyes were fixed on the soul crystals that were floating in the depths of the white mist. Strong desire could be seen in them. But apparently, it knew how important those soul crystals were to Wu Ji, and thus didn’t dare to swoop down and take them.
It only stared unblinkingly at them, yearning filling its eyes.
“I can’t believe this thing wants soul crystals too.” Nie Tian snorted a smile as he waved at the Thunder Beast from afar. “Come here!”
The Thunder Beast recognized him, but took on a disdainful look after seeing Nie Tian waving at it, not showing the slightest intention to fly to him.
“Alright, since you’ve saved me on a few occasions...” Smiling, Nie Tian took five soul crystals from within his ring of holding and flaunted them at the Thunder Beast.
The Thunder Beast grew excited as soon as it saw the soul crystals, and swooped down from the air without hesitation.
It seemed to know that Chang Sen, Li Jing, and the others wouldn’t try to harm it, and thus didn’t seem concerned at all.
As it flew close, Nie Tian tossed the five soul crystals towards it.
The Thunder Beast opened its large mouth and swallowed them at once.
Before Nie Tian could say anything, it let out a ecstatic shriek and flew past the short mountain peak into the distance, as if it were eager to refine the soul crystals.
Li Jing was taken aback. “I can’t believe spirit beasts have such a strong desire for soul crystals too.”
Eyes narrowed, Chang Sen said, “Like us, spirit beasts also have souls. Since the soul power within those soul crystals is extremely pure, spirit beasts will be able to refine them too. As spirit beasts’ souls grow more powerful, their intelligence will develop further, which in return will help them upgrade their bloodlines. It’s at the sixth grade now. Those five soul crystals might be able to help it enter the seventh grade within a short time.”
Fang Hui sighed. “It’s such a waste to bestow such precious treasures upon a spirit beast.”
Nie Tian smiled. “It’s not a waste. It belongs to my master, and has saved me a few times.”
At that moment, he sensed that Wu Ji’s awareness had grown very clear within the soul crystals, as each of them now had Wu Ji’s soul shadow in them.
It was also at that moment a soul connection formed between him and Wu Ji.