Infinite danger lurked in the depths of the starry river.
In order for a human Qi warrior to travel across the starry river relatively safely, one had to be at the Void domain at least.
However, even Void domain human experts wouldn’t be expected to survive long-term travel in the boundless starry river, and that was on the premise that they didn’t run into any serious threats.
Once they did, it would probably result in their imminent deaths.
However, up to this day, there hadn’t been a single person throughout the Domain of the Falling Stars who had stepped into the Void domain.
The moment the Phantasm’s ancient starship appeared and Nie Tian explained what it was to them, both Dong Li and Qin Yan felt not only very excited, but also insecure and uneasy.
They both understood what the appearance of an ancient starship, which could allow its user to travel across the starry river, in this place meant to the Domain of the Falling Stars.
They didn’t dare to imagine where this Phantasms’ ancient starship would travel to.
Would it travel to some remote domain and then ship an army of formidable Phantasms back to the Domain of the Falling Stars, thus dooming every man and woman here?
“A-are you sure that’s one of the Phantasms’ ancient starships!?” Qin Yan’s lips trembled as she spoke.
Apparently, she was quite shaken by the ancient starship’s appearance.
“Absolutely!” Nie Tian blurted.
With a deep breath, Qin Yan turned to Cao Qiushui, Qian Xin, and the others who weren’t aware of the situation, and said, “That is no Phantasm relic, but rather one of the Phantasms’ ancient starships! It’s this ancient starship that has been gathering discarnate souls and Specters. After the Spirit Pearl in it absorbs enough of them, it will be able to restart this ancient starship!”
After she explained Nie Tian’s speculations to everyone in a loud voice, everyone seemed deeply shaken. Some were thrilled, while others were fearful and anxious.
“What?! One of the Phantasms’ ancient starships!?”
“How is one of the Phantasms’ ancient starships here in the Domain of the Falling Stars!?”
“What the hell does this mean!?”
Qian Xin’s eyes grew wide and glittered with the light of greed as she said, “If we can get this ancient starship back to the Realm of a Hundred Battles...”
Upon hearing these words, Cao Qiushui and Gu Haofeng’s eyes were also gradually filled with pure desire, and they couldn’t seem to be able remove their gazes from the ancient starship anymore.
Any Qi warrior sect or clan in the Domain of the Falling Stars that could get this sort of ancient starship would instantly possess the ability to explore the starry river actively.
Endless mysteries were hidden in the depths of the infinite starry river.
What if they could come to find essential materials for Qi warriors to build their inner domains and advance into the Void domain, or discover brand-new domains, or get in touch with other Qi warrior sects that were much older and more powerful…?
With such thoughts on their minds, Cao Qiushui and the others felt an upsurge of emotion, as if they could see their own clans rising to prominence.
“What are you so thrilled about?!” Qin Yan couldn’t help but dampen their enthusiasm. “If we can’t finish off those four Phantasms, whatever you’re picturing in your heads will have no meaning! Once our seniors die, do you really think, with just the few of us, we’ll be able to get that ancient starship back to the Realm of a Hundred Battles?
“Quit your daydreaming! Be realistic and think about how we can help our seniors! Otherwise, they’ll soon be worn down by those Specters!”
Upon hearing her words, the crowd of juniors instantly snapped back to reality.
The enthused crowd quickly calmed down and stared silently at the area above the center of the lake, wracking their minds for a solution.
Gu Haofeng’s attempt had turned out fruitless. Dong Li had almost been possessed by some magic in her attempt to fly to the center of the lake. How on earth would they be able to get Gu Haofeng’s thunderballs to where the Specters were the most densely packed and help relieve their seniors’ burden?
At that moment, Nie Tian, who had been recuperating in silence, sprang to his feet.
His sudden action caught both Dong Li and Qin Yan’s gazes.
“W-what are you doing?” Dong Li was surprised.
“Can you summon your black phoenix again and take me to the center of the lake?” Nie Tian asked with a serious expression on his face.
Dong Li didn’t answer him right away, but rather narrowed her eyes, as if she were communicating with the beast spirit inside of her.
A few seconds later, she nodded and said, “I suppose I can.”
“Let’s try again,” Nie Tian proposed. “Take me with you this time.”
Dong Li’s eyes grew even wider. “But some strange power covers the area above the lake. I’m afraid...”
“I know,” Nie Tian interrupted her. “The soul power fluctuations are coming from the ancient starship, not any of those Phantasms. I’ll think of a way to neutralize the fluctuations. Don’t you worry about that. You just need to focus on casting those thunderballs where the Specters are the most densely packed.”
“Are you sure that you’ll be able to defend your soul against those strange fluctuations?” Dong Li asked, deeply concerned.
“I can’t say that I’m one hundred percent sure, but I want to give it a shot. So... what do you say? Are you in or not?” Nie Tian asked.
“Of course I am!” Dong Li said with decisiveness that could sever nails and chop iron.
Her conversation with Nie Tian attracted everyone’s attention. Cao Qiushui, Qian Xin, and the others all cast their gazes towards them.
Qin Yan’s eyes shone with the light of astonishment as she said, “If you want to do this, you need to keep your guard up at all times!”
Nie Tian turned to look at Gu Haofeng and said, “Will you please give us your remaining thunderballs, Young Master Gu? Since nobody can think of a solution, let Dong Li and I try again. To be honest, I don’t have full confidence that we’ll be able to return safely. This will be the only chance we’ve got. If our plan works, we’ll be able to deal great damage to the Specters. If it doesn’t, we might have to wait for death.”
“Why should I trust you?” Gu Haofeng asked with an unpleasant expression.
Dong Li flashed into action and stopped before him. She reached out with one hand. “Give them, Gu Haofeng! All of them!”
“I...” Gu Haofeng said, sulking.
Almost everyone started urging Gu Haofeng to hand out his thunderballs.
“Give them to her!”
“Just give them to her, will you?”
“Grant her this one chance, Haofeng!”
“There’s no time to hesitate!”
Even though Gu Haofeng was very reluctant, since this was everyone’s demand, he had no choice but to hand all of his remaining thunderballs to Dong Li. Then, he said to her in a low voice, “Li, it’s not that I don’t want to give them to you. I-I’m worried about you. I don’t trust that guy. I’m afraid that...”
“Thank you for being so concerned for my well-being,” Dong Li said with a sarcastic tone. “But what did you do to help me other than calling my name when I suffered from the Phantasms’ soul magics? You say you don’t trust that guy, but that guy helped me come out of that crisis alive. If I can’t trust him, who else can I trust?”
With these words, Dong Li ripped the leather pouch filled with thunderballs out of his hand and walked straight back towards Nie Tian, not sparing him another glance.
After hearing Dong Li’s hardhearted words, and watching her turn around and walk away determinedly, Gu Haofeng was both shamefaced and furious.
Dong Li walked back to Nie Tian’s side. With an unprecedentedly soft and natural tone, she said, “I’m ready to summon my black phoenix. You can prepare yourself now.”
An uncomfortable expression appeared on Nie Tian’s face. “Okay.”
He had never seen Dong Li so gentle before. He needed some time to get used to it.
Even Dong Li seemed to be shocked by her own uncommonly gentle tone. Her cheeks reddened slightly. Looking somewhat embarrassed, she suddenly grew angry for no apparent reason. “You behave yourself when we’re in the air!”
Nie Tian was stunned, not knowing what she meant.
At that moment, Dong Li suddenly started to thrum with dark spiritual power.
A wisp of a beast spirit once again flew out from the top of her head, rapidly morphing into a huge, black phoenix.
“Are you ready?” Dong Li asked loudly.
“I am!” Nie Tian replied.
In the next moment, Dong Li moved behind his back, where she extended her arms through the space under his arms and held him up.
A shudder ran through Nie Tian’s body.
He hadn’t expected that the way Dong Li was going to take him into the air was just by embracing him from behind.
In this intimate position, he couldn’t help but recall the time when he had locked down this very beautiful woman in the dense forest and taken advantage of her.
Immediately afterwards, he noticed that Gu Haofeng, who was now standing directly in front of them, was glowering at him, as if his eyes were about to spit fire.
Everyone else’s expressions, including Cao Qiushui’s, Qian Xin’s, and those of their subordinates, also grew strange as they looked at the two of them in such a position.
Meanwhile, Qin Yan let out a low chuckle.
“Let’s go!” Dong Li’s voice rang out from beside his left ear, and then she carried him slowly into the air.
He looked down and noticed that the crowd of juniors was watching them fly further and further away.
In the meantime, Dong Li’s ample and soft chest was pressing against his back. A whiff of Dong Li’s natural scent suddenly made his mind wander...
“If you dare to think about the time when we were in the dense forest, I’ll drop you immediately!” With these words, the sounds of Dong Li gnashing her teeth came from behind him.
He hastily cleared his throat and said, “No, I’m not!”
Dong Li grew angry. “Then why did you clear your throat before you spoke?! I knew you were thinking about it!”
Nie Tian fell silent.
Since his position didn’t allow him to turn his head, he couldn’t see that, at this moment, Dong Li was unprecedentedly blushing with shyness.
As much as she didn’t want it to, their current position also jogged her memory about the things Nie Tian had done to her in the dense forest.
That was the most embarrassing and humiliating moment of her life.
Even now, the thought of it made her want to flay this guy she was holding alive. However, she now had no choice but to take him into the air in such an intimate position under the gazes of so many of her companions from the Realm of a Hundred Battles.
She even didn’t dare to look down and see the looks on Qin Yan, Cao Qiushui, Gu Haofeng, and Qian Xin’s faces, and she didn’t dare to imagine how they would regard her relationship with Nie Tian.