Seeing that rich phantasm Qi covered the surface of the cyan lake, the juniors didn’t have the audacity to enter the lake water, fearing that something might happen to them if they did.
Therefore, even though they were burning with anxiety, they didn’t know how to help their seniors, who were fighting in midair above the lake.
As they attempted to cast their spiritual tools into the area above the lake, they would be affected by the same soul power field that Gu Haofeng had.
Their spiritual tools that glittered with multi-colored light would sway soon after shooting into the air, and the juniors would have to retract them, their faces turning pale with fright.
Translucent and sparkling beads of sweat could be seen on Qin Yan’s forehead as she said, “Those Specters are weighing our seniors down.”
Her soul had also been invaded by a frosty aura when she had attempted to help Zhou Ruyun with her spiritual tool moments ago. Afterwards, she had been forced to retract her spiritual tool in a muddle.
She seemed to have sensed the unfavorable situation. “We can’t simply stand here and do nothing. Gu Haofeng’s thunderballs can deal massive damage to the Specters. As long as we can get his thunderballs to where the Specters are the most densely packed, we’ll be able to greatly relieve our seniors’ pressure. It’s just that...”
“I’ll give it a shot!” Dong Li blurted.
With these words, intense, dark spiritual power suddenly exploded from within her, who had been pondering silently this whole time.
In the next moment, a dark beast spirit flew out from the top of her head and rapidly morphed into the black phoenix in midair behind her.
She reached out with one hand and demanded, “Give me the thunderballs!”
The enormous, black phoenix fluttered its wide wings as if it was ready to take off, giving Dong Li, who was standing in front of it, a dangerous yet gorgeous look.
Looking at her, Gu Haofeng was bewildered for a moment, but he quickly snapped out of his daze, hastily stuffed some thunderballs into a leather pouch, and handed it to her. “Umm.. be careful. The area above the lake is covered in some sort of mysterious soul power. Even though you can sail through the air temporarily with the help of your black phoenix, you have to be extra careful!” He sounded very sincere.
“I will!” Growing impatient, Dong Li grabbed the leather pouch with a swift move before communicating with the black phoenix.
The spirit-form black phoenix spread its long, feathered, black wings.
Dong Li’s bright eyes glittered with a devilish light as she summoned her dark spiritual power and opened her own arms.
A mysterious connection seemed to suddenly be established between her body and the black phoenix’s, vesting her with the short-term ability to soar through the sky even though she was only at the early Greater Heaven stage.
With a vigorous flutter of its wings, the black phoenix seemed to bring Dong Li into the air. The scene was stunning when her curvaceous body was put together with the beautiful black phoenix. It was as if the two of them were dancing in midair, perfectly synchronized.
Bedazzled expressions appeared on the faces of Gu Haofeng and many other young male Qi warriors as they watched her from the lakeside.
Soon, Dong Li and her black phoenix flew to the center of the lake.
“Be careful, Miss!” Han Mu reminded her in a loud voice from the lakeside, fearing that she would be attacked by the bizarre soul power.
At that moment, the five Worldly realm human experts were engaged in fierce battles with the Phantasms and their army of Specters, so they could no longer spare their attention to keep a close watch on what was happening in the vicinity.
Therefore, Nie Tian formed and unleashed his seven Heaven Eyes.
The moment they appeared, Nie Tian’s perception multiplied.
With their help, he was able to detect even the slightest changes in the vicinity, including energy flows and odd auras in the air.
He immediately noticed that strange soul power fluctuations had appeared in midair the moment Dong Li flew to the center of the lake.
They were the same soul power fluctuations that had caused Gu Haofeng’s thunderballs to explode before reaching the swarming Specters, and that had stopped the other juniors’ spiritual tools from flying to the center of the lake.
To his surprise, the strange soul power fluctuations didn’t come from the four Phantasms, but rather from the cyan lake underneath!
With one of his Heaven Eyes, Nie Tian conducted a more thorough scan and discovered that the soul power fluctuations were actually coming from under the lake’s surface.
“The Phantasm relic!” A shudder ran through Nie Tian’s body as he figured out the truth.
It was neither the Phantasms nor the lake water that were causing the anomaly. Instead, it was the relic that had been slowly floating up from the bottom of the lake.
As soon as the soul power fluctuations appeared, a mysterious soul power field once again appeared, enveloping a half-sphere area over the lake.
Shen Zhong and the other Worldly realm experts, whose psychic power had transcended into soul power, didn’t seem to be affected by the soul power field at all.
However, Dong Li, who had just flown to the center of the lake with the help of her black phoenix, shuddered violently.
A frosty soul power fluctuation ran straight into her soul without encountering any obstacles.
Since she hadn’t entered the Worldly realm, the defenses she had formed around her soul were only made of psychic power. Facing the more advanced soul power, she was instantly bewildered.
Endless illusions appeared in her mind, making her feel as if she were surrounded by mountains of corpses and engulfed by seas of blood. She could almost taste the blood in her mouth.
“Kill them! Kill them all!” An uncontrollable thirst for blood was suddenly born in her mind. Her originally clear eyes suddenly turned red, as if they had been painted with blood.
The black phoenix let out sharp screams as it hastily flew back towards the lakeside with her.
However, at that moment, Dong Li seemed to be bewitched by the endless illusions in her head. Some sort of change seemed to be taking place in her mind.
The black phoenix flew down from the sky and landed right next to Han Mu.
Blood-colored and cyan light could be seen in the depths of Dong Li’s pupils as she stood still on the ground. Intense killing intent seemed to be rapidly brewing in her heart, and soon she would need a vent.
Cao Qiushui’s face turned pale with fright. “S-she seems to be in the same state as the local Qi warriors who had lost their senses!”
Subconsciously, he took a step backwards and readied his spiritual tool towards Dong Li.
Upon hearing those words, everyone’s expressions flickered as they saw what had gone wrong with her.
At that moment, Dong Li was indeed in a very similar state as the local Qi warriors they had killed not long ago.
Those people hadn’t even been able to recognize their own friends and family after being influenced by what seemed to be the Phantasms’ evil spell. The only thing in their minds had been killing everyone in sight.
“I’ll strike down whoever dares to make a move against our Miss!” Expression flickering, Han Mu hastily gathered the other Dong Clan members to form a circle around Dong Li.
His gaze switched back and forth between Cao Qiushui and the others, enmity filling his eyes.
Cao Qiushui and Qian Xin fell silent as they stepped backwards, putting a significant distance between them and Dong Li.
With a concerned and agonized expression, Gu Haofeng called out repeatedly, “Dong Li! Wake up, Dong Li!...”
Mixed expressions flashed across Qin Yan’s face, as if she were wrestling with dilemmas.
After a moment of pondering, she eventually stepped backward and said, looking in Han Mu’s eyes, “I’m afraid that Dong Li has been influenced by the Phantasms’ magic. She might lose her senses shortly. If you’re bent on protecting her, then... you should. Be careful though. I’m afraid that she’ll soon start attacking you and your men.”
Upon hearing her words, many Dong Clan members seemed to be suddenly enlightened.
One after another, their eyes started to flicker. On the one hand, they didn’t want to abandon Dong Li; on the other, they were afraid that Dong Li would make them her first targets of attack after she turned.
Having fully refined her black phoenix beast spirit, Dong Li’s battle prowess was very terrifying. If she really lost her senses and started attacking them, they wouldn’t know if they would be able to survive.
Han Mu was the only one who stood loyally by her side, calling her name repeatedly, hoping that would wake her. At that moment, the black phoenix that had taken her back also returned to her.
Moments later, dark spiritual power started to thrum within Dong Li’s body, as if she were struggling to contend against the magic that was trying to seize her mind.
Sometimes, Dong Li’s eyes would shine with strong killing intent, her gorgeous face filled with a thirst for blood.
At other times, she would hold her head in agony and cry out like a trapped beast, as if she were doing her utmost to break free from something.
“Nie... Wu Tian! Do something!!” Eyes wide, Han Mu stared at Nie Tian like a man at death’s door turning to any doctor he could find. (See note 1)
By now, he and Nie Tian were the only ones still by her side.
Even the other Dong Clan members had stepped back uneasily to keep at least a ten meter distance from her.
Desperate, Han Mu placed all of his hopes in Nie Tian, hoping that he would be able to help Dong Li pull through.
“Wu Tian?!” Shock filled Qian Xin and Cao Qiushui’s faces, as they didn’t understand why Han Mu would plead to a Heaven stage person at such a critical moment.
“What can he do to help?!” Gu Haofeng called out angrily.
1. 病急乱投医 (bìng jí luàn tóu yī ) is the idiom the author has used here. It’s very commonly-used in everyday life. Meaning: (lit.) to turn to any doctor one can find when critically ill; (fig.) to try anyone or anything in a crisis.