Major breakthroughs in cultivation were usually accompanied by fundamental changes.
Back when Nie Tian had entered the Worldly realm from the Greater Heaven stage, his nine vortexes of spiritual power had come together and formed a spiritual core.
At the same time, his psychic power had transformed into soul power, and his true soul had come to form.
The breakthrough from the Worldly realm to the Profound realm also came with significant changes.
As a large number of Star Stones and fire-attributed and wood-attributed materials were drained of their power, Nie Tian’s three vortexes of different attributes underwent wondrous changes.
They transformed into cores as well...
One was misty white, one was fiery red, and one was emerald green.
All of them were surrounded by rings that looked like planetary rings.
They were respectively the condensations of liquidized star power, flame power, and wood power.
At first glance, the three cores of different colors were like shining stars in the depths of the boundless starry river.
His spiritual sea, however, looked like a domain that consisted of four realms.
One contained pure spiritual power, while the other three contained star power, flame power, and wood power, respectively.
The Nine Stars Flower could be seen floating in the middle of the star power core, while three emerald green tree leaves could be seen floating in the wood power core, whose color matched that of the leaves.
The flame power core was the only one that didn’t have anything floating in it.
“All of my vortexes with attributes have also transformed into cores. Is this what’s supposed to happen when cultivators enter the Profound realm?”
With this thought, Nie Tian examined himself with rapt attention, and then discovered that the gaseous rings that surrounded the three cores would rotate as he channeled power of different attributes into his spiritual sea. They would refine the newly-acquired flame power, wood power, and star power, turn them into liquidized power, and eventually fuse them into their respective cores.
After the formation of the three new cores, his efficiency in channeling the three types of power from spiritual materials enhanced nearly ten times over.
Before, he would need about a quarter hour to drain a Star Stone of its star power.
But now, thanks to his star power core, he could drain a Star Stone in a couple of minutes.
However, he also discovered that the speed at which he absorbed flame power wasn’t as fast as the speed at which he absorbed star power or wood power.
The Nine Stars Flower and the three tree leaves were what were causing such a difference.
Nie Tian then came to an enlightenment. “The Nine Stars Flower and those tree leaves are unique treasures that can merge with spiritual cores and help them channel power more efficiently!”
Aside from that, he also found that the Nine Stars Flower and the tree leaves were also taking in star power and wood power to strengthen themselves.
They seemed to be additional vessels to store star power and wood power.
“These two magical items are, in a sense, similar to Mu Biqiong’s coexisting flowers. They rely on my star power and wood power. As I grow stronger, they will too, and they’ll gradually develop their own intelligence. Perhaps I’ll be able to establish soul connections with them someday, and communicate with them on a soul level.
“By that time, I’ll probably learn more about their profound uses, and even fight with their help, as Mu Biqiong does with her coexisting flowers!”
Such thoughts put Nie Tian in good spirits.
After the formation of the flame power, star power, and wood power cores, his spiritual sea gradually grew silent again.
Seeing this, Nie Tian shifted his focus on his sea of awareness.
Floating over his sea of awareness were his true soul and three sub-souls, each of which carried his soul imprints, and could be considered an independent soul.
Without ever ceasing, the three sub-souls took it upon themselves to derive enlightenment of the profound truths of flame power, wood power, and star power.
“Entering the Profound realm not only means being able to separate one’s soul from one’s body, but also the ability to fly without external help!”
Nie Tian’s expression flickered as he attempted to channel power from his spiritual core and true soul to see if he could rise into the air without an air-transportation spiritual tool.
As this thought entered his mind, he started to experience a light, ethereal feeling.
Wreathed in spiritual power, he indeed gradually left the ground to float in midair.
However, his expression flickered after only a short while.
He discovered that, just by floating close to the ground, he was consuming his spiritual power at an alarming rate.
He flew briefly around the stone pavilion before landing in his original place.
“The spiritual power consumption to fly shouldn’t be so high!” Eyebrows furrowed, he pondered what had gone wrong.
Other Qi warriors could soar in the sky with little effort as soon as they entered the Profound realm. It was as if they would be able to fly for however long they wanted, as long as their spiritual seas weren’t dry to begin with.
However, even though he could also fly after entering the Profound realm, his spiritual power consumption was alarmingly high.
“In order for a body of flesh and blood to rise into the sky, one has to fight gravity. The heavier one is, the more effort one will have to expend to do so. However, my body is very different from that of a regular cultivator. After years of painstaking refinement, it has become as solid as a piece of metal, so I’m naturally many times heavier than others.
“This means, to fight gravity and fly over a long period of time, I’ll have to expend more effort than others.
“The thought was that I wouldn’t have to rely on the Star Boat to fly anymore after entering the Profound realm. Who would have known that’s not the case?”
Nie Tian gave a bitter smile after figuring out what the problem was.
At this very moment, Nie Tian was the only person left in the Divine Seal Sect’s empty stronghold.
Two weeks had long since passed. Nie Tian had broken through into the Profound realm, but Zhao Shanling still hadn’t returned from the watery curtain over the Realm of Maelstrom.
Nie Tian discovered that even his senior martial brother, Duan Shihu, hadn’t returned from his trip to the Divine Seal Sect’s headquarters.
“Can it be a battle has already broken out between the Divine Seal Sect and the outsiders?” Nie Tian suspected.
However, what surprised him the most was that Hua Mu, Qi Bailu, and the others hadn’t returned. According to Hua Mu, they would first return to the Domain of the Falling Stars, check out the situation there, and if he didn’t show up after a long time, they would come back to the Realm of Maelstrom to fight alongside him.
“Don’t tell me that something has happened to the Domain of the Falling Stars.” He suddenly grew worried.
He started to think that he might have to have a talk with Duan Shihu and Zhao Shanling after they returned, and then take a trip back to the Domain of the Falling Stars first.
Zhao Shanling had sworn to kill Xing Lifeng. He hoped to take part in the operation as well.
It was just that Xing Lifeng was at the late Void domain. Even though he had entered the Profound realm and had numerous powerful resources at his disposal, he didn’t have the slightest confidence when facing Xing Lifeng.
He even felt that if he joined Zhao Shanling in the operation, he might become a burden for him.
“Perhaps what I should do now is return to the Realm of Shattered Earth, activate the teleportation portal that leads to the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, and finish the path of stars.”
As his train of thought came to this point, the teleportation portal suddenly lit up.
Moments later, Duan Shihu walked out of it, along with Jing Rou.
The moment the couple saw him, ecstasy burst forth from their eyes.
“You’ve broken through into the Profound realm, junior martial brother?!” Duan Shihu exclaimed.
Nie Tian smiled. “Luckily, I didn’t let you down.”
Jing Rou’s eyes were filled with the flames of hope as she said, “This is terrific! The Demons and Phantasms are already attacking our sect’s headquarters in the Realm of Divine Seal! We’re having a hard time fighting them. Everyone has been waiting for a turn in our favor! Shihu and I only came to check on you. Who would have thought you’ve actually made the breakthrough?!”
Duan Shihu asked with an urgent tone. “Why don’t you try to get in touch with the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace?!”
“Zhao Shanling...” Nie Tian said.
“We’ll stay in the Realm of Maelstrom,” Duan Shihu said. “Once he returns, I’ll show him the way, and make sure that he finds that Xing Lifeng. But Xing Lifeng’s death won’t change the situation of the Domain of Heaven Python. Only you can turn the situation around by establishing a connection with the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace!”
Nie Tian took a deep breath and said, “I see.”
Without any hesitation, he stepped into the inter-domain teleportation portal that led to the Realm of Split Void.