In the depths of the starry river.
A sea of grayish-brown clouds that stretched as far as the eye could see were floating slowly.
Pieces of land could be seen floating over the vast sea of clouds, while a continent that was incomparably vast was floating underneath it.
That continent was even more vast than the entirety of the Domain of the Falling Stars.
Stars that had been dead for hundreds of thousands of years were scattered in the region. Perhaps certain living beings had lived on them once, but all of them had left a very long time ago.
Compared to the vast bottom continent, those dead stars were dozens of times smaller.
At first, the continent had been a super-large-scale realm that could channel energies from the starry river to sustain itself.
Since Star Behemoths were as colossal as medium-scale realms, only realms this large would be able to contain them.
Gazing down at it, one could see that large areas of the floating continent were covered in a black sea.
On vast lands, there were mountains ranges, lakes, dense forests, scorching deserts, and snow-capped mountains.
Meanwhile, a large number of islands dotted the boundless black sea like stars.
At this moment, a large island in the middle of the sea suddenly quaked, giving rise to loud rumbles.
A small mountain peak shook especially violently.
As cracked rocks rolled down the mountain peak, it lost its disguise.
A palace of the same scale as the ones in the Realm of Split Void and the Realm of Shattered Earth gradually revealed itself.
The spatial fluctuations it emanated grew increasingly strong.
Dazzling starlight started to shine over the palace, with small sparks swimming around.
Inside the palace, Nie Tian and many others streamed out of an activated ancient teleportation portal.
The palace’s heavy stone gate, which had remained closed for many years, suddenly opened wide. Nie Tian was the first to walk through it. Taking a deep breath, he looked skywards, and said, “It’s hard to believe that I’m here again so soon.”
The sky was filled by a sea of grayish-brown clouds, with terrifying splitting auras coming from the depths of it.
An enormous vortex could be vaguely seen stretching up into the grayish-brown clouds in the distance, connecting the bottom continent with the top continent like a heavenly ladder.
There was spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth on the floating continent. However, since it had been badly damaged, the intensity of the spiritual energy was far inferior to that in the Realm of Fragmentary Star.
Dong Li suddenly appeared from behind Nie Tian, taking a sniff of the air, as if to recollect memories from the past. “Here we are, again.”
Saint domain experts, including Jing Feiyang, Quan Zixuan, and Qu Mingde, walked through the palace gate, followed by Yue Yanxi, Jiang Feng, Dou Tengshang, and other Void domain experts from the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries.
One immense soul awareness after another raised strong fluctuations that spread in all directions.
Moments later, Jing Feiyang and the others couldn’t help but marvel.
“This continent is indeed vast beyond measure!”
“This floating continent isn’t recorded in the records of the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries or the Domain of Heaven Python.”
“This place must be worth exploring. Even combined, the three Lizardman realms aren’t even one-tenth as vast as this continent. No wonder it’s a super-large-scale realm.”
In a soft voice, Nie Tian said, “This used to be a super-large-scale realm that was rich in natural and cultivation resources. However, a great war broke out between the Demons, Phantasms, Fiend, and Ancientbeasts. The top continent was destroyed. Pieces of it crashed into the bottom continent, reshaping it to what it is today.”
Dong Li pursed her lips into a smile and chimed in, “In another six months, we’ll finish mining the resources in that Lizardman realm. I didn’t expect that the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace would arrange for you to come to a new blessed land before we’re finished over there.”
“I know what you’re thinking,” Nie Tian said with a serious face. “But no. We’re not here to explore and gather spiritual materials from this floating continent. Our mission is to find the intruding outsiders, and then kill them or expel them. And we’ll need to destroy any spatial rift or teleportation portal that connects their realm to this one.”
As for the Star Behemoth, since Mo Heng had told him not to tell anyone, he kept it to himself.
He only told the others that this floating continent belonged to the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. Now that it had been invaded by a group of outsiders led by a ninth grade grand patriarch, his sect had asked him to take care of them.
As the others discussed plans, Nie Tian flew to the coast on his Star Boat.
Gazing at the boundless black sea, he mixed his soul awareness with power from his star souls, and spread it deep into the sea.
He had long since learned that an ancient awareness dwelt in the depths of the black sea.
It was just that he hadn’t been clear as to what it was. Now, he knew that it was a Star Behemoth.
By spreading his soul awareness into the sea, he attempted to establish a connection with the Star Behemoth’s soul.
Moments later, the Star Behemoth’s immense soul awareness suddenly emerged. “It’s you again?”
Spirited, Nie Tian hastily answered, “Yes, it’s me. I was given the mission to come here and help you get rid of those intruding outsiders, so they don’t disturb your sleep. Also, I want to thank you for helping me leave this floating continent years ago.”
The Star Behemoth’s soul awareness didn’t reply right away.
Nie Tian scanned his surroundings with his soul awareness, and discovered that the soul aura coming from the depths of the black sea was growing increasingly strong.
At the center of the island, Jing Feiyang, Quan Zixuan, and Qu Mingde, who were at the Saint domain, suddenly noticed the anomaly, and flew into the sky.
“Something invisible seems to be heading towards us!”
“It’s coming from the depths of the sea!”
“No need to panic!” Nie Tian called out to them. “It’s not an outsider!”
Looking baffled, Jing Feiyang asked, “You’re communicating with someone on a soul level, aren’t you?”
Nie Tian nodded, signaling them to hold their horses. Then, he closed his eyes again and asked with his soul, “Could you tell me where the intruders are right now? How many are there, and what grades are they at? What are they after?”
The Star Behemoth still didn’t reply, as if it was sensing something attentively.
Only after a long while did it send a soul message. “I just did a quick scan. The forces you’ve brought with you should be enough to take care of them for me. Don’t ask so many questions yet. I’ll give you a few sets of coordinates. Go destroy those insects’ entrances first.”
“Okay,” Nie Tian said.
Part of his mission was to destroy the connections between the outsider realms and this floating continent, lest more outsiders swarm in.
Furthermore, it was wise to cut off those outsiders’ route of retreat before dealing with them. Therefore, he gladly agreed.
“Back in the day, I had to use a bit of my power to send you out of here,” The Star Behemoth said. “Because of that, I didn’t have any extra power to wipe out the portals those insects used to come here without ending my dormancy. So you caused this in the first place.”
Nie Tian smiled bitterly before hastily asking in a humble manner, “Didn’t I come here at the first moment to fix the holes I made?”
“You’d better clean them well!” The Star Behemoth sounded somewhat snippy.
In the next moment, a wisp of soul awareness suddenly flew into Nie Tian’s sea of awareness.
A vast map of the floating continent was then branded in the depths of his mind, as if it would never be erased.
The map was not only vast, but also complicated. A total of eight locations were marked on it, which seemed to be the portals through which the outsiders had entered.
Five of them were on five islands.
The other three were on an extensive land. One was in a hot desert, one was in a frozen mountain, and the last one was in a dense forest.
“All eight of them are guarded, but not by the powerful ones,” The Star Behemoth said.
“The closest one is rather close to here. Why don’t you go destroy it first? You’ll be able to get in contact with me by sending your soul awareness into the black sea and calling me a few times.
“Remember, you and your men aren’t here to explore this continent and gather resources.
“Also, try not to damage this continent when you make moves against them. I still need it to channel power from the starry river to sustain me. If this continent shatters like the one on the top, I’ll have no choice but to awaken.
“Whoever sent you here should be well-aware of what will happen if I awake.”
The instructions the Star Behemoth gave Nie Tian were very detailed, as if it was afraid that he would act unruly.
Nie Tian listened humbly.
After memorizing everything the Star Behemoth had said, Nie Tian led his people to their first target according to the map and the directions the Star Behemoth had given him.