Nie Tian examined himself, and saw that after nineteen Star Eyes came to form, his true soul had become as blurry and illusory as a cluster of thin smoke, as if a puff of air would scatter it.
Being drained of most of its power, his true soul was now shriveled like a body that was drained of its blood.
His nine Star souls, however, still shone like bright stars, although they had shrunk in size after losing part of their power.
“So my true soul is what’s stopping me from forming the Sea of Illusory Stars. I have to summon soul power from my true soul to form Star Eyes. Such soul power contains my soul awareness, which allows me to gain full control of the Star Eyes, including using them to scan my surroundings. I have nine star souls, but only one true soul. If my true soul isn’t strong enough, then I won’t be able to fuse new Star Eyes with my soul awareness to complete them.
“To form the Sea of Illusory Stars, I’ll need ninety-nine Star Eyes. Only after my true soul has become strong enough to hold a copious amount of soul power will it be possible.”
With this thought in mind, he withdrew the nineteen Star Eyes he had exerted himself to form. One after another, they flew back to him and fused into his sea of awareness.
The power that made up the Star Eyes scattered and returned to his star souls and true soul.
“Luckily, the power I use to form Star Eyes can be recycled.”
When he summoned spiritual power from within his spiritual sea to cast Flame Dragon’s Cry, Flaming Finger Swords, and other spiritual magics, he wouldn’t be able recycle the used power.
This was one of the differences between spiritual power and soul power.
Even though his star power sub-soul had helped him derive the Sea of Illusory Stars, he didn’t have the Star Eyes it needed to operate. Therefore, it seemed that he couldn’t use this profound soul magic for the time being.
He had long since discovered that he would have to take steps to learn the magics and incantations recorded in the fragmentary star marks.
That meant since he hadn’t mastered the Sea of Illusory Stars, no new soul magics would show themselves in the second fragmentary star mark.
Feeling somewhat frustrated, Nie Tian thought to himself, “Perhaps only after I enter the Soul realm will my true soul become strong enough to form as many as ninety-nine Star Eyes.”
Lou Hongyan, the Daughter of Flames, arrived soundlessly. Standing a few dozen meters from him, she said with furrowed brow, “You’ve already received the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s most profound star power legacy incantations, yet you still practice flame and wood power incantations. I don’t understand what you’re thinking. Everyone has limited time and energy. If you practice more than one type of incantation, the result will be that you’ll progress at a much slower speed than others.
“The cultivation base is a Qi warrior’s foundation. You’ve neglected the root to pursue the tip.” (Idiom: neglect fundamentals and concentrate on details)
Slightly startled, Nie Tian ceased his cultivation completely. Fixing her with a baffled gaze, he asked, “Why are you here?”
“My junior martial brother is carving spell formations, and doesn’t need my help, so I thought I might look around,” Lou Hongyan explained with a plain tone. “The aura of your Star Eyes caught my attention, so I came. Nineteen Star Eyes... From the look of it, you’ve derived the Sea of Illusory Stars, one of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s most famous soul magics, but since your cultivation base is still not high enough and your true soul still lacks refining, you can’t cast it yet.
“That’s normal though. Any Son of the Stars would have to enter the Soul realm to gain an opportunity to master a soul magic so profound and mighty.
“Of course, some Sons of the Stars have true souls that are stronger than usual. They’re able to use the Sea of Illusory Stars when they’re at the early or middle Soul realm, while others only gain the ability to use it after they enter the late Soul realm.”
With these words, Lou Hongyan curled her lips and fixed Nie Tian with a measuring gaze. “As for you, since star power incantations aren’t the only ones you practice, I suppose you’ll have to wait till you enter the late Soul realm to be able to use the Sea of Illusory Stars, if not later.”
Nie Tian shrugged. “I’m not in a hurry anyways.”
All of a sudden, a shade of blood-red appeared in Lou Hongyan’s bright, gem-like eyes. “You carry a unique fire-attributed treasure which is far beyond ordinary!”
Her face, which didn’t look very impressive, suddenly flickered with excitement.
Nie Tian’s expression froze. “The Flame Dragon Armor is still in my ring of holding, and she can sense it despite the sealing magic?!”
While he anxiously pondered what to do next, Lou Hongyan opened her mouth again. “That treasure allows you to channel flame power from your surroundings, even when you’re not doing anything. Now that I’m standing close to you, I can feel my internal flame power growing restless, as if it wants to leave my body.”
In Nie Tian’s spiritual sea in his dantian region, the flame spark he had gained from that cluster of Divine Flame flickered actively in the middle of his flame power core.
“Will you tell me where you got that flame spark in your flame power core?” Lou Hongyan asked.
Nie Tian instantly let out a sigh of relief. “So that’s what she’s talking about...”
Then, with a forced grin, he said, “I can’t tell you that.”
Lou Hongyan fixed him with a cold look, but didn’t show any intent to pursue the matter. “If I got that unique treasure instead of you, my cultivation efficiency would improve significantly. It’s too bad that it’s already merged with your flame power core, and you distract yourself with other incantations. It doesn’t seem you’ll be able to rise to the peak of the God domain with its help.”
“Let me worry about that.” Nie Tian muddled through the topic.
“Too foolish to appreciate my advice!” With a disdainful snort, Lou Hongyan turned around and flew lightly away.
Originally, she had wanted to propose a deal to Nie Tian: she would pay him handsomely if he would tell her about the source of that flame spark.
However, Nie Tian’s hard refusal irritated her, so she left without proposing that deal.
Watching her fly farther and farther away, Nie Tian frowned. “It seems that I can’t use the Flame Dragon Armor or the secret magics I derived from the titans. Otherwise, she might actually see some clues. My most important task right now is to improve my cultivation base. Only when I’m stronger than her will I stop being afraid to be discovered.”
With these thoughts, Nie Tian resumed his cultivation.
A few days later, while he practiced cultivation wholeheartedly, a number of grayish-brown meteors streaked through the highest sky, plummeting out of the starry river.
Upon a closer look, everyone could see that a total of eight meteors had penetrated the realm barrier and were falling towards a location that was very far from them.
Due to the long distance, Nie Tian could only see the number of meteors, but not what was on them.
Standing at the foot of the Golden Obsidian mountain peak, one of Lou Hongyan’s subordinates called out, “The Lizardman warriors from the other two realms are here! They must have come for us!!”
“Falling meteors...” Nie Tian’s expression suddenly flickered as he hastily flew to the location where the others were gathered on his Star Boat. “Which senior can give me a ride towards those falling meteors?”
Huang Jinnan was taken aback. “What the hell do you want to do!?”
Lou Hongyan’s eyes suddenly lit up as she realized what Nie Tian was up to. “Are you going to manipulate those meteors with your sect’s Starfall magic?”
Nie Tian nodded. “I want to give it a shot!”
Apparently, they were the reason why those Lizardmen had come to this realm. Nie Tian assumed that if he could get close enough to those meteors before they landed, he might be able to change their track with Starfall.
After all, not many outsider races were skilled in soul magics. There were very few that were like the Phantasms.
Starfall would allow him to manipulate and reroute the meteors using his star power and soul power.
“Uncle Yang!” Lou Hongyan said. “Why don’t you go with him?”
Upon hearing her words, the late Saint domain expert who practiced lightning incantations went into action.
With a swift move, he grabbed Nie Tian. As his domain spread out, the two of them shot into the heavens like a lightning bolt that split the air.
Like a bolt of lightning, they traveled hundreds of kilometers in a breath’s time, rapidly closing in on the eight falling meteors.
When they were close enough to the falling meteors, Nie Tian was surprised to see that a large number of Lizardmen were clinging to each of them.
Most of them seemed to be at the seventh and eighth grade, which was roughly equal to the Soul realm and Void domain.
“Starfall!” As Nie Tian cast the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace’s secret magic, his star power mixed with his soul power in a profound way before shooting towards the grayish-brown meteors.
The plummeting meteors were instantly influenced by an irresistible force.
It was like he had gained control of the meteors the moment his power fused into them.
“Turn!” Nie Tian exclaimed inwardly.
In the next moment, the meteors that were originally plummeting straight towards the earth took a sudden turn.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
Dragging long tails, they abruptly changed their paths in midair and slammed into each other.
As the grayish-brown meteors exploded one after another, heaven-shaking, earth-moving rumbles spread out, filling this entire realm.
Some of the Lizardman warriors on the meteors died from the devastating collisions, while others screamed as they hastily abandoned their meteors.
The late Saint domain expert noticed the direction that most of the survivors were heading, and thus pointed it out for Nie Tian. “Nie Tian! Over there! That’s their capital!”
“Go!” As Nie Tian continued the spell, countless giant pieces from the exploded meteors changed directions and plummeted towards the Lizardman capital, where a great number of Lizardmen were gathered.