According to the agreement between the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace and the Star Behemoth, Nie Tian wasn’t allowed to take a single blade of grass from this floating continent this time.
However, since the withered Godspirit Tree was in desperate need of wood power, and Nie Tian’s wood power core didn’t contain enough wood power for it to finish the change, he decided to provide it with the wood power it needed first.
As the Wood Thriving Formation continued to work its wonders, rich wood power madly converged on it from all directions.
As the bottom part of the Godspirit Tree continued to shed its shriveled bark, the tree trunk, which wasn’t very thick to begin with, grew thinner and thinner.
“Nie Tian!” Jing Feiyang called out as he glanced around nervously. “What you’re doing now might be a bit inappropriate.”
Nie Tian smiled bitterly. “I know.”
Even though he remained inside the Wood Thriving Formation, he didn’t cast any incantations to channel the rich wood power into himself.
That was because he knew that the withered Godspirit Tree needed the converging wood power much more than he did.
“This may alarm the outsiders,” Jing Feiyang warned him.
“But this is far too important,” Nie Tian replied.
“This tree is...?” Jing Feiyang asked.
Since he didn’t practice wood power, and Heaven Nourished grade spiritual materials were extremely hard to find, even he had failed to identify this Godspirit Tree.
“This tree was a treasure when it was alive,” Nie Tian explained. “It’s a Godspirit Tree, a Heaven Nourished grade spiritual material.”
A shudder ran through Jing Feiyang. “A Heaven Nourished grade spiritual material?! But isn’t it dead now?”
“Yes, it is. But... some profound change is taking place.” Nie Tian didn’t know how to explain this either. After all, even he couldn’t tell what kind of change its roots that had stretched deep into ground were going through, and what would happen eventually.
This forest of ancient trees covered a vast area, and contained a copious amount of wood power.
Originally, the Wood Thriving Formation could only channel wood power from the plants within a fifty kilometer radius.
However, whether it was because of the three Godspirit Tree leaves or some other reason, Nie Tian felt that the Wood Thriving Formation’s sphere of influence had somehow expanded to a great extent.
Now, trees and plants within a several hundred kilometer radius were subject to the spell formation’s influence, as rich wood power was being channeled out of them towards Nie Tian’s location.
The bottom part of the tree continued to shrink as it shed its bark.
After a short while, emerald green light suddenly burst forth from under the dried-up ground where the Godspirit Tree had taken root.
The three leaves that had left Nie Tian’s wood power core seemed to have long since vanished.
Nie Tian sensed a familiar aura spewing from underground, where the emerald green light was blossoming.
All of a sudden, a small, fresh green sapling stuck out of one of the cracks in the ground.
It exuded a heavenly aura as it grew out of the withered Godspirit Tree’s roots, as if it had its own awareness.
Before Nie Tian came out of his daze, it wobbled towards him like a baby learning to walk.
It flew into Nie Tian’s abdomen in a flash.
Nie Tian’s jaw dropped. He hastily examined himself, and realized that the sapling had entered his wood power core.
Immediately afterwards, the rich wood power that was converging from all directions seemed to be drawn by the sapling as it started to pour madly into his wood power core.
Wisps of emerald green aura could be seen swirling around within the core, refining the incoming wood power before fusing it into the sapling.
Jing Feiyang’s eyes lit up. “Is that...?”
“That’s a Godspirit Tree sapling,” Nie Tian said, looking amazed himself. “The Godspirit Tree leaves within me must have stimulated it, allowing it to channel wood power from its surroundings, and eventually grow out of the withered Godspirit Tree’s root.”
“How will it help you?” Jing Feiyang asked.
“I don’t know yet,” Nie Tian answered frankly.
He realized that as soon as the emerald green sapling took root in his wood power core, it stopped taking the wood power the Wood Thriving Formation was gathering from its surroundings.
Furthermore, he was surprised to find that the Wood Thriving Formation seemed to be holding back as it channeled wood power from its surroundings.
Before, whenever the Wood Thriving Formation had been activated, all trees within a fifty kilometer radius would soon wither and die as they lost every last wisp of their wood power.
But this time, due to the existence of the Godspirit Tree sapling, the wood power the Wood Thriving Formation was channeling from the nearby trees only took up a small portion of the total amount.
Even though the trees and grass had turned yellow and shriveled to some extent, they didn’t die.
At this moment, the tips of Jing Feiyang’s brows flickered as he received a message from Quan Zixuan. Without the slightest delay, he said to Nie, “Quan Zixuan has discovered a black lake!”
“Great! Take me there!” Nie Tian exclaimed joyously.
“Sure. We’d better get there as soon as possible, lest the outsiders notice something and become prepared.” Jing Feiyang also knew that time was of the essence. Without hesitation, he unleashed more than fifty magical symbols that joined the other ones in carrying Nie Tian forward. The two of them flew towards Quan Zixuan’s location at full speed.
Moments later, they arrived, and found that Qu Mingde, another Saint domain expert, had also arrived.
Nie Tian saw a black lake surrounded by a forest so dense that it blocked all sunlight. The lake seemed to have been silent for countless years. Not a single ripple could be seen on its surface.
Without delay, Nie Tian formed a Star Eye and plunged it into the lakewater.
Soon, the Star Behemoth’s awareness descended through means he couldn’t comprehend.
Nie Tian picked up the Star Behemoth’s soul message that came from the depths of the lake. Every word of it was clear. “Good. You’re here, and you’ve reached me through this lake. So like we did before, I’ll help you mask your auras and seal those insects off. In return, I’ll...”
It suddenly stopped, and then it continued with a different tone, “You broke the agreement!”
“What do you mean?” Nie Tian pretended that he didn’t understand.
“Don’t you mess with me!” The Star Behemoth sounded somewhat angered. “I can tell that a certain region in this heaven and earth has gone through changes. The trees and vegetation there have lost a third of their wood power! And I sense changes in you too. It must be you who did this!”
“Umm...” Seeing that he wouldn’t be able to pass the buck, Nie Tian gave a bitter smile and explained, “There was a little accident. You see, I had three Godspirit Tree leaves in my spiritual sea. They...” he went on and briefly explained the matter.
Immediately afterwards, he asked with an urgent tone, “Will you help us seal the area where those eighth grade outsiders are garrisoned first?”
The Star Behemoth fell silent, as if to weigh the matter. Moments later, he replied, “Alright. I’ll straighten things out with you after you finish your job!”
A vast, black mist then gradually rose from the black lake. Driven by the Star Behemoth, it slowly floated towards the spatial tunnel that was guarded by a group of powerful outsiders.
“But I won’t be able to help you with the other two portals. You’ll have to rely on yourselves!”
The mist traveled at a fast speed as it floated farther and farther into the distance.
The three Saint domain experts then communicated with their subordinates via Sound Stones, instructing them to stay put.
Afterwards, the three of them flew into the black mist, carrying Nie Tian, and then moved forward with it.
In the depths of the black mist, Nie Tian could only vaguely see Jing Feiyang, who was flying right next to him. Quan Zixuan and Qu Mingde were nowhere to be seen.
At the same time, he lost his other senses in the black mist, including his hearing and soul perception.
After an unknown period of time, Nie Tian noticed that the black mist had stopped moving. That was when he knew they had arrived at their target area.
Jing Feiyang approached him and gestured, signaling him to remain where he was and not to leave the black mist.
Nie Tian nodded to show that he understood.
Immediately afterwards, Jing Feiyang vanished into the boundless black mist.
Nie Tian knew that the three Saint domain experts would have to destroy the sixth spatial tunnel with thunderous means first, and then slaughter the powerful outsiders that were guarding it.
Even though he couldn’t see, hear, or sense anything in the black mist, he could tell that a deadly battle, or exactly speaking, a massacre, was taking place in his surroundings.
After a while, Yuna, the eighth grade Phantasm, suddenly entered Nie Tian’s view in the pitch-black mist.
She was none other than the female Phantasm at the peak of the eighth grade Jing Feiyang had detected earlier.
She, who had always been graceful and devilishly gorgeous, had clearly suffered heavy injuries. Even the prismatic crystal between her eyebrows, which was unique to Phantasms, had fine fissures on it.
This was the sign that a Phantasm’s soul had sustained serious injuries.
As the devilish Yuna flashed through the black mist, magical symbols could be seen sputtering from her body, which was covered in wounds.
She had activated her bloodline power to the fullest. With each magical symbol she drove out of her, she experienced agonizing pain. Even her face twisted.
Like a flash, Yuna once again vanished from Nie Tian’s sight.
With an astounded expression, Nie Tian looked in the direction Yuna had just vanished in. He suddenly cast a Starshift that allowed him to instantly leave the black mist.
“Come on out!”
He summoned the Star Behemoth bone he had taken from the Lizardman patriarch.
The moment he cast it, he was drained of every last bit of his flesh power.
Flying out of his hand, the bone locked down onto Yuna, who had escaped the black mist and was dashing away like a bolt of lightning.
The bone that was more than ten meters long pierced into Yuna’s back and out her chest, nailing her to the spot. Blood came pouring out of the wounds.
SHEW! SHEW! SHEW!
Jing Feiyang, Quan Zixuan, and Qu Mingde all shot out of the black mist, burning with anxiety.
Yuna turned around, the prismatic crystal between her eyebrows rapidly growing dim.
Gazing at Nie Tian from afar, she looked deeply confused, as if she couldn’t believe that a human that was only at the Profound realm had gotten her, when she had avoided Jing Feiyang’s fatal attack.