Nie Tian and Dong Li fell heavily onto the ground.
The black phoenix let out a screech before morphing into a wisp of black aura and disappearing into Dong Li’s head.
Hurting all over from the fall, Nie Tian rose to his feet and exclaimed, “This is it!”
Bearing the pain, Dong Li struggled to sit up. After glancing around, she grew dumbstruck.
She found that she and Nie Tian were in a dark-yellow wasteland. Not a single blade of grass could be seen around them.
However, merely about a thousand meters in front of them was a dense forest, where each and every tree was luxuriant and nearly a hundred meters tall.
Though separated by a thousand meters, she could sense the intense wood power coming from the forest.
With just a whiff of it, Dong Li felt refreshed, as if she was instantly brimming with energy and life force.
Nie Tian looked up and discovered that the sky was filled with light-green auras, like ribbons that were floating in the wind. Meanwhile, faint spatial energy fluctuations were coming from the depths of the aura-filled sky.
That was when he realized that he and Dong Li had probably entered this place through there.
Standing in the wasteland and looking at the forest of ancient, exuberant trees, the sensations Nie Tian was feeling were much more intense than what Dong Li was feeling.
Even though he wasn’t moving or doing anything, he could sense the wisps of light-green auras around him being naturally channeled into himself.
As he examined himself with rapt attention, he discovered that the wisps of light-green auras were rapidly flying into the vortex of wood power in his spiritual sea.
Without him making any effort, his vortex of wood power was already spinning at an alarming speed on its own, absorbing the incomparably pure wood power around him as quickly as possible.
As the vortex continued to refine the newly-acquired wood power, a drop of liquid gradually came to form at the bottom.
Normally, he would need a large number of wood-attributed spiritual materials in order to form a single drop of liquid that contained extremely concentrated wood power.
But now, his vortex of wood power had acted on its own to channel the ribbons of light-green aura and form a drop of concentrated wood power liquid within a very short time.
Dong Li glanced around. “I-is this...?!”
She was still so shocked that she found it difficult to get out a whole sentence.
“That’s right!” Nie Tian said excitedly. “This is the legendary place known by everyone in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation, the place where wood power is as thick as water!”
Upon hearing his words, Dong Li’s curvaceous body trembled slightly.
She was still seized by excitement as she asked, “H-how did you find this place, Nie Tian? And what happened just now? Are we still in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation?”
“Maybe not!” Nie Tian couldn’t mask his excitement. “The area in the sky I told you to take me to was probably a hidden entrance that led us to this place. That entrance seems to be constantly moving across the Realm of Unbounded Desolation, so it’s very hard to detect.
“It was mere luck that I was able to discover it.”
“Mere luck?” Dong Li asked with a cold snort. “Are you sure it was mere luck?”
Her eyes shone as brightly as lightning. With a guilty conscience, Nie Tian dropped his head and said, “Yeah.”
“I’m not buying that!” Dong Li shot a glare at him. “At first, you wandered around in the area where the Bonebrutes’ headquarters used to be. Apparently, you were searching for something. I thought you were trying to find some valuable items left behind by the Bonebrutes. I was so naive.
“You were actually searching for this place, am I right?
“Just now, you discovered some anomalies, and thus told me to summon my black phoenix and carry you into the secret entrance in the sky. Is that it?”
Nie Tian let out a dry laugh and nodded. “Sort of.”
Seeing that he had admitted it, Dong Li’s eyes shone increasingly brightly. “So tell me. How in the world did you find this place? For thousands of years, who knows how many people with little time left have come to roam the barren land in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation. They left no stone unturned, yet they failed to find this place.
“How did you manage to find it so soon after coming to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation?!”
Dong Li grew more worked up as she spoke. Her scented shoulders trembled, and her eyes became as bright as stars as she stared at Nie Tian.
Nie Tian adopted the same attitude he had always had when she asked questions he didn’t want to answer — silence.
Seeing that he was playing the silence card again, Dong Li gritted her teeth with anger, yet there was nothing she could do. “Alright. Don’t tell me if you don’t want to!”
After taking a moment to adjust her mind, she gazed off at the forest of towering trees and said, “The wood power is richer over there. Rumor has it that Fruits of Life exist in this magical place. Let’s go and take a look. If we can actually find Fruits of Life here, our trip to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation will prove to be wildly productive!”
In the Domain of the Falling Stars, the Fruits of Life were lifespan-prolonging items that only existed in legends.
Many grand Qi warriors with divine abilities had faced lifespan problems in the evenings of their cultivation careers. Many of them had been willing to give up all of their possessions to gain extra years.
Therefore, she knew very well how precious the Fruits of Life were.
Even the Dong Clan’s patriarch, who was at the Soul realm, was currently worrying about his lifespan running out day and night.
If she were able to take a Fruit of Life back to him, her status in the Dong Clan would immediately rise to a high level, and she would receive handsome rewards from him, who had already placed high hopes in her.
“Fruits of Life!” A shudder ran through Nie Tian’s body as he gazed at the dense forest. He suddenly remembered his master Wu Ji and Hua Mu, who had helped him over and over.
As powerful as they were, the two of them were facing the same impasse as the old man he had encountered earlier; they were nearing the end of their lifespan.
If miracles didn’t happen, they would soon run out of time and die from old age.
However, as a magical item, one Fruit of Life alone would extend their lifespan by at least a hundred years.
With the extra one hundred years, they would most likely be able to shatter the obstacles in their cultivation and make new breakthroughs, which would extend their lifespan again, allowing them to continue marching down their cultivation paths.
With these thoughts in mind, Nie Tian said, “If the Fruits of Life do exist in that forest, I’ll take two.”
“I’ll take one!” Dong Li exclaimed longingly.
“Let’s hope we’ll be lucky enough to find three Fruits of Life then.” With a smile, Nie Tian attempted to summon his Heaven Eyes to scan the area before him.
However, he discovered that his Heaven Eyes hadn’t followed him into this mysterious dimension.
Also, as he attempted to form new Heaven Eyes, his attempts were disrupted by some kind of unknown force, and thus failed.
He even failed to sense anything as he attempted to scan his surroundings with his psychic awareness.
Frowning, he thought something was wrong with him. “This is strange. I unleashed my psychic awareness, but I can’t sense anything.”
Upon hearing his words, Dong Li also made attempts to sense with her psychic awareness. Then she said, “It’s the same with me!”
After a brief pondering, Nie Tian said, “I suppose it won’t matter, since there don’t seem to be people here anyways. Alright! Let’s go and see if we can find some Fruits of Life in that forest and get them out of this place!”
“Great!” That was when Dong Li realized that the malfunction of their psychic awarenesses might be caused by the special environment.
The two of them rapidly marched forward.
The closer they got to the forest, the more floating ribbons of light-green aura they could see in the air. Nie Tian’s vortex of wood power spun madly as it absorbed the pure wood power.
When they arrived at the edge of the forest, Nie Tian faced the enormous, sky-reaching trees and said, “Be careful.”
Dong Li nodded with a serious expression, not daring to treat their entrance lightly.
However, as soon as they stepped into the forest and stepped from the dark-yellow, barren land to the green, vegetated ground, an ancient hundred-meter-tall tree that was the closest to them suddenly shook.
In the next moment, its branches seemed to turn into sharp blades, which then pierced directly towards Dong Li.
However, Nie Tian, who was standing right beside her, didn’t seem to be the ancient tree’s target. Not a single one of the incoming branches was coming at him.
Dong Li’s face turn pale with fright as she not only formed a protective ward with her dark spiritual power, but she also took out her bone shield.
CLANK! CLANK! CLANK!
The sharp branches pierced into her bone shield, giving rise to metallic clanking sounds and sputtering sparks.
Dong Li let out a muffled groan, as if she had taken a strong blow. Then, she instantly jumped backwards.
The moment she landed back on the dark-yellow, barren land, the branches that were coming at her froze midway.
Dong Li glared at Nie Tian. “Why aren’t you being attacked?”
A puzzled expression spread out on Nie Tian’s face as he stood under that enormous tree. Looking at the sharp branches, which seemed to have lost their target and thus were shrinking back, he said, “I have no idea.”