Black water withdrew through the holes at the lake’s bottom in winding streams.
They were like the Star Behemoth’s tentacles that stealthily dragged the corpses of the Demons the human experts had killed away.
Moments later, the lake grew clear again in front of everyone, so clear that they could see the bottom.
The bottom was as smooth as a mirror, like it had been before. All of the holes Quan Zixuan had created with his Sword Condensing Incantation had magically disappeared.
It was just that not even a piece of outsider remains was left.
“This is...” Qu Mingde touched his forehead with a confused expression, not knowing what to say.
Originally, they had intended to search the seventh grade Demons for valuables.
As for the eighth grade Terry, even dead, his body would still be useful. Therefore, they had planned to take it away.
None of them had expected that the black water would take all of the outsider corpses away as it withdrew.
The whole thing happened right in front of them, as if a thief straight-up took money from their pockets in broad daylight.
Nie Tian was also at a loss for words.
Terry’s body had still contained vigorous flesh power. Even he intended to keep it for himself, so that he would be able to use it to practice Heavenly Wood Heal in the future.
As for the dead Demon’s souls, as long as they hadn’t completely dissipated, he would be able to collect them with the Spirit Pearl.
Not to mention that all those who had died on this island were outsiders. There wasn’t a single human slave.
Therefore, he believed that if he were to summon the Spirit Pearl to collect discarnate souls, Jing Feiyang and the other experts wouldn’t be opposed to it.
However, not only had the black water taken the outsider corpses away, but their souls had also disappeared. Not a shred was left behind.
Somewhat discontent, Nie Tian condensed a Star Eye and sent it into the lake.
However, he couldn’t sense the Star Behemoth’s aura in the lake that had become clear again.
It was also at this moment that the black mist that had sealed the island gradually scattered into black wisps that fused back into the black sea.
With a cold snort, Nie Tian flew to the coast on his Star Boat, and sent his Star Eye into the black sea.
Before, every time he had sent his Star Eye into the black sea, he could gain a view of what was under there, and vaguely sense the Star Behemoth’s aura.
This time, however, he couldn’t see anything, as if his Star Eye had dove into endless darkness.
Not only did the light his Star Eye unleashed fail to defeat the darkness, but it couldn’t even detect anything on a soul level, as if all of its senses were clouded.
Nie Tian sent out an indignant soul message through the Star Eye. “You just stole from us!”
There was no response.
Nie Tian found this both irritating and funny. “What do you need those Demon corpses for anyway? Also, if you wanted them, you could have talked to me first. What’s with the secrecy?”
There was still no response.
“What on earth are you doing?” Nie Tian called out again through his Star Eye.
He still couldn’t detect the Star Behemoth’s aura in the sea.
Just as Nie Tian was about to run out of patience, his Star Eye suddenly gained a view.
However, the area that his Star Eye lit up was nothing but black sea water. There was no sign of the mangled Demon bodies that had been previously taken.
It was as if the Star Behemoth had transported them far beyond the Star Eye’s detection range, even after such a short time.
Moments later, he finally sensed the Star Behemoth’s existence.
“I expended some effort to seal that island. It’s only fair that I take something as compensation.” The Star Behemoth finally gave a response.
“We came here for you! Everything we do is to help you!”
“Help me? Taking care of external problems for me while I lie dormant is the responsibility your sect has agreed to take! Otherwise, why would I agree to allow disciples of your sect to come here every century to gather spiritual materials and plants?”
Before Nie Tian could say anything, it continued, “From now on, if you ask for my assistance to kill those puny insects, their bodies will be mine to take.”
“I’m very curious as to what you’ll do with those outsider corpses and souls,” Nie Tian said.
“That’s none of your business,” The Star Behemoth responded.
From this conversation with it, Nie Tian realized that he was wasting his time talking to it. As long as it viewed its practice as reasonable, it wouldn’t compromise in any way.
After hitting a wall, Nie Tian flew back to the center of the island on his Star Boat, looking rather frustrated.
Jing Feiyang and the others fixed him with puzzled, inquiring gazes.
Nie Tian smiled bitterly. “Forget it. Talking to it didn’t help. As long as it provides assistance, it’ll take something as compensation. However, to be safe, we still need it to help us seal the other islands where the other spatial tunnels are located.”
Nie Tian still didn’t show any intent to explain who he was referring to. Jing Feiyang and the others were sensible enough not to ask about it.
However, at this point, they had all realized that an incredibly powerful being was hiding in this boundless black sea.
“Come on,” Nie Tian said. “Let’s move on to our next target. I’ll have another talk with it after we’ve destroyed all of the portals and finished off all of the outsider intruders.”
The Star Boat then flew out, along with all of the Saint and Void domain experts.
Six months passed...
All five spatial tunnels in the black sea that connected to outsider domains had been destroyed with the Star Behemoth’s help.
Those five islands had been guarded by eighth grade Phantasms, Fiends, Stonemen, and Blackscales respectively.
As they had traveled from one target to another, they had discovered and freed more human slaves along their way.
As they had done before, they had left them certain amounts of medicinal pills, spirit stones, and food, and told them that they would come back to get them out of here after the outsiders were all taken care of.
At every target island, Nie Tian had asked the Star Behemoth to help seal it with a black mist.
In return, the Star Behemoth had either taken the dead outsiders’ corpses, or they had thrown the corpses into the black sea according to the Star Behemoth’s instructions.
Meanwhile, Nie Tian and his people, who had done most of the work, had gained nothing so far. Not only had they not gotten to loot any valuables from the outsiders, but they had even given away a large amount of spirit stones and medicinal pills to the slaves they had freed.
On this day, Nie Tian frowned after his brief communication with the Star Behemoth.
Nie Tian recaptured the map that the Star Behemoth had fused into his mind with great clarity. “The last three portals aren’t located in this black sea. That means we won’t be able to seek help from it in the battles to come. Also, once we leave the sea, it’ll be much more difficult for me to establish a soul connection with it.
“I suppose this means that we’re on our own from now on.
“That ninth grade grand patriarch is probably waiting by one of the remaining portals. Let’s be extra careful, everyone.”
The Star Boat then flew out at a high speed.
What Nie Tian chose to be their next target was a portal that was located in a dense forest on a vast piece of land.
The reason why he had chosen this one was because he had learned from the Star Behemoth that there were a number of rivers on this piece of land that flowed into the black sea.
According to it, wherever Nie Tian saw rivers, creeks, or lakes that were black, he would be able to establish a connection with it.
That was because every black stream or lake was like an eye or tentacle of the Star Behemoth, which covered almost every corner of this floating continent.
However, as for the other two portals, one was located in a scorching hot desert, while the other was surrounded by frozen mountains. The Star Behemoth’s tentacles couldn’t reach either of these two locations.
At least there were black streams in the dense forest, through which he might be able to reach out to the Star Behemoth during their operation.
The floating continent was incomparably vast. Even with the Star Boat’s help, it would take a very long time to travel from one target to another.
After all, the Star Boat wasn’t an ancient starship that could sail between domains. Its speed was still limited.
Two months later, after covering countless kilometers over a boundless wasteland, the Star Boat finally came to a dense forest where the sixth portal was marked out on the map.
Gazing at the forest from afar, Nie Tian could tell that each and every tree was dozens of meters tall, and so lush that they blocked the sun.
As the Star Boat flew closer, Nie Tian sensed the rich wood power the forest emanated. One sniff of the air seemed to nourish the Godspirit Tree leaves in his wood power core.
“Those who practice wood power will be able to cultivate incomparably efficiently here!” Quan Zixuan marveled. “This floating continent used to be a super-large-scale realm. Realms this size are hard to find even across the starry river. If it weren’t badly damaged, who knows how many races would have waged wars to take this realm during the past hundreds of thousands of years.”
“This place suits you very much, Nie Tian,” Dong Li said.
Nie Tian seemed somewhat frustrated as he said, “Yes, it does. Unfortunately, we’re on a mission, and we can’t be delayed. Besides, according to a certain agreement, it’s not time for people from the Fragmentary Star Palace to enter this continent yet.”
People talked in low voices as they traveled through the dense forest.
A few days later, Jing Feiyang was the first one to sense something.
“There are humans ahead, and they’re chopping the ancient trees down!”