Days passed, and Nie Tian slowly opened his eyes.
Even though Meridian Toughening, the third phase of Heavenly Wood Heal, was not yet finished, he had broken and reforged most of his meridians. The only meridians he had yet to toughen were the ones that connected his heart and other internal organs.
He had a feeling that he would be finished with the Meridian Toughening phase once he finished toughening those meridians.
However, that also seemed to be the most difficult part of this phase.
He had long since used up the flesh power he had absorbed from the Silver Beetles, and he had consumed a large amount of spirit beast meat as well.
As he opened his eyes, Yin Yanan seemed to notice something, and also gradually awoke from an intense cultivation state.
She was wreathed in the strong flesh auras of more than a hundred kinds of ferocious spirit beasts. Nie Tian listened with rapt attention, and could faintly hear their roars.
Their air-transportation spiritual tool suddenly came to a stop.
Because of this, Mu Biqiong also awoke from her cultivation.
Her soul awareness spread out like a huge net, but failed to discover anything strange.
Nie Tian fixed Yin Yanan with a puzzled look.
Yin Yanan jumped off the air-transportation spiritual tool and landed on the dark gray ground. Gazing up at Nie Tian, she said, “Let’s have a friendly battle, you and me. I won’t use any spiritual power or have the Frost Blood Python help me, nothing but flesh power. I want to see how powerful your body really is.”
Taken aback, Nie Tian asked, “Is that necessary?”
“It’ll be a friendly battle. That’s all. You’re not afraid, are you?” Yin Yanan said with a teasing tone. “I felt something when you practiced cultivation, and realized that the body refining incantation you practice is far beyond ordinary. I knew you were special back when you sank to the bottom of that soul crystal lake in the forbidden region.”
A surprised and intrigued look appeared in Mu Biqiong’s eyes as she realized that the reason why Yin Yanan had stopped her air-transportation spiritual tool was just because she wanted to challenge Nie Tian to a friendly battle.
“You’re not actually afraid of her, are you?” Mu Biqiong tried to fan the fire. “She won’t use her spiritual power or Frost Blood Python. It’ll only be a clash between your fleshly bodies. What’s there to worry about?”
Provoked by the girls, Nie Tian gave a unrestrained laugh and nodded. “Alright then.”
He then leapt off the air-transportation spiritual tool.
Before he even landed, Yin Yanan let out a bellow and dashed to the place where Nie Tian was going to land like leopard waiting for its prey.
Clusters of blood-colored light came to form between her hands, from which came fierce beast roars.
Like the eyes of some ancient beast, the seven clusters of blood-colored light, each of which was the size of a lantern and carried her vigorous flesh power, bombarded Nie Tian.
With a chuckle, Nie Tian swung his fists repeatedly in the air, and fist seals shot towards the clusters of blood-colored light one after another.
The seven clusters of blood-colored light exploded in the next moment.
In a rain of spattering blood-colored light, Nie Tian landed heavily like a cannonball, his feet making two deep holes in the solid ground.
A impressed look flashed across Yin Yanan’s eyes as she exclaimed, “Not bad.”
She swung her fists, sending out fist blasts along with streaks of blood-colored light, which constantly morphed as they sped through the air.
In Nie Tian’s eyes, she seemed to be changing between different kinds of ancient spirit beasts. In one moment, she was a raging bull from the Desolate Antiquity Era; in the next moment, she turned into a giant ape clad in golden armor; after that, she morphed into a bloodthirsty python.
Yin Yanan’s fist blasts came swirling towards him, stirring the air so much that they gave rise to crackling sounds.
Streaks of blood-colored light eventually came together to form a ferocious Blood Stripe Python, which opened its mouth as if to devour Nie Tian whole.
Standing unwavering like a large rock, Nie Tian planted his feet into the ground and threw a palm strike skywards.
An intense flesh aura instantly shot out of his palm, morphing into a large, crimson hand that was the size of a table.
The Blood Stripe Python’s head shattered as it slammed into the large hand. Then, Yin Yanan revealed herself.
The two of them tangled up in close-up combat as they attacked each other repeatedly with their elbows, knees, fists, and feet. Every clash of their bodies gave rise to thunderous sounds.
Nie Tian had plenty of experience of fighting outsiders in close quarters, so all sorts of exquisite battle techniques appeared as the fight went on.
Yin Yanan was also very skilled at fighting in close quarters. The toughness of her body was not any inferior to Nie Tian’s.
The two of them were well-matched, and the battle became increasingly fierce.
Soon, after suffering repeated blows from Yin Yanan’s vigorous flesh power attacks, Nie Tian was the first to have tears appear on his skin with beads of blood coming out of them.
Yin Yanan, however, seemed completely unscratched.
But somehow, the look on her face grew increasingly grim as she fought on.
She had a good understanding of Nie Tian’s condition as wisps of her flesh power slammed into his body.
She could tell that, even though Nie Tian seemed to have suffered injuries, those were actually only flesh wounds. None of his internal organs, bones, or meridians had been damaged.
However, her flesh power would scatter and vanish soon after entering Nie Tian’s body,
She discovered that Nie Tian’s bones were tough like crystals, his internal organs were solid like rocks, and his meridians looked as if they had been forged from metal strings. All of these three most important and fragile parts of a living creature were stronger than she had imagined.
At the same time, the raging flesh auras Nie Tian unleashed on her afflicted her with great pain.
Even though she didn’t sustain any fleshly wounds, her five yin organs and six yang organs gradually ruptured after taking repeated blows.
Only a few minutes later, she ended the increasingly fierce battle.
Nie Tian didn’t try to pursue her, but rather looked down at his tattered garments and the fine wounds all over him. Smiling, he said, “You seem to be better than I am.”
Without saying a word, Yin Yanan jumped back onto the air-transportation spiritual tool, where she sat down, took out spirit beast meat from within her ring of holding, and started munching on it. At the same time, she took out a medicinal pill that reeked of blood and stuffed it down her throat.
Nie Tian let out a low chuckle as he also took out pieces of spirit beast meat and wolfed them down.
Mu Biqiong, who had been observing this whole time, didn’t have a keen perception of flesh aura. Judging by their looks, Yin Yanan was clearly in better shape, as she hadn’t sustained any noticeable injuries.
Nie Tian, however, was covered in bloody wounds, looking rather bedraggled.
A hint of disdain appeared in Mu Biqiong’s eyes. “He isn’t so invincible for a Son of the Stars who has been acknowledged by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace after all, right? His battle prowess seems to be just so so without that puppet and special air-transportation spiritual tool to help him.”
After stuffing the medicinal pill down her throat, Yin Yanan shot her a cold look. “You don’t know squat!”
Yin Yanan was well-aware that all of the injuries Nie Tian had sustained were just flesh wounds, which wouldn’t affect his battle prowess at all.
She, on the other hand, had sustained injuries to her internal organs, meridians, and bones. If the fight had continued, her internal organs and meridians would have ruptured, causing her to bleed from the inside.
She also knew that Nie Tian not only hadn’t used a shred of spiritual power, but he hadn’t even used any of the secret magics he had learned from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
This meant, fighting by relying solely on flesh power, she was actually the one who had lost.
Nie Tian leapt into the air-transportation spiritual tool, yet his wounds had already scabbed over.
Yin Yanan’s face grew very sullen as she glanced at Nie Tian, and saw that his wounds that were already almost healed.
Her air-transportation spiritual tool suddenly restarted and shot off at full speed.
She sat there in the lotus position, completely silent, as if she were trying to heal herself as fast as possible.
Nie Tian, however, had already healed his fleshly wounds to a great extent after wolfing down some spirit beast meat and activating Heavenly Wood Heal.
Yin Yanan didn’t challenge Nie Tian to another fight after that.
A few days passed...
Their air-transportation spiritual tool suddenly entered a vast, open mountain valley, where they saw the corpses of hundreds of human Qi warriors.
Judging from their garments, they had clearly belonged to different sects.
All of the corpses were shriveled and scattered in every corner of the valley, and an intense aura of death pervaded the valley.
After the air-transportation spiritual tool came to a stop, Mu Biqiong from the Bliss Mountain Sect looked down and said in a soft voice, “A fierce battle must have broken out between two human sects here. It’s said that some human sects choose to settle their feuds by coming to fight in the Shatter Battlefield.”
“This battle must have taken place many years ago,” Nie Tian muttered.
None of the shriveled corpses contained a shred of flesh aura, which indicated that they had all died a very long time ago. Furthermore, someone seemed to have already taken their spiritual tools and rings of holding. The three of them wouldn’t find anything even if they searched them again.
After a few glances, Yin Yanan decided not to waste their time here, and thus restarted her air-transportation spiritual tool and left.
A few minutes after their air-transportation spiritual tool left, a translucent, sparkling skeleton climbed from under a pile of several corpses.
It was a young Bonebrute.
All of his bones looked like beautiful jade, and had sparkling light flowing through them. Not only was he not as lifeless as the other Bonebrutes, but he actually seemed to be brimming with life force.
His eyes glittered as he watched the air-transportation spiritual tool fly farther and farther away, indicating that he was also very intelligent and spiritual.
After they disappeared, he stopped looking at it, but refocused on absorbing death power from the numerous human corpses and refining himself with it.
A long time passed...
The Phantasm youngster arrived on that enormous skull of discarnate souls.
The Bonebrute youngster had hidden his soul fluctuations and unique aura with a secret magic when Nie Tian and the girls had arrived. Thus, even Nie Tian had failed to sense his existence.
However, he didn’t try to hide himself when the Phantasm youngster arrived. Instead, he continued to practice cultivation on a pile of human corpses.
The Phantasm youngster seemed to know him, as he asked upon arrival, “Did you see three humans passing though this area? One of the girls has an eighth grade python with her.”
“I did,” the Bonebrute youngster said coldly. “That python seemed to be rather powerful, and the other two also seemed dangerous.”
The Phantasm youngster nodded and said with a smile, “Yeah, perhaps neither of us can take them single-handedly, but we’ll have better odds if we join up. Are you interested?”
The Bonebrute youngster’s eyes looked around for a bit before saying, “No, I still don’t like the odds.”
The Phantasm youngster pondered briefly before saying, “What if I can persuade Gutas to join us?”
“Alright, I’ll do it with you if Gutas agrees to join us,” The Bonebrute youngster said.
“Okay, I’ll be back.” With a chuckle, the Phantasm youngster shot into the distance on that enormous skull of his, as if he had left to get powerful reinforcements.
A few days later, a cyan-brown mountain peak entered Nie Tian’s view.
Scattered around the mountain peak were about a dozen human Qi warriors, all of whom were at the Worldly or Profound realm.
All of them were facing the mountain peak, their glittering eyes fixed on its rocky surface, as if they were trying to derive enlightenment from something.
After coming closer, Nie Tian discovered that the mountain peak’s surface was actually carved with countless peculiar patterns, which seemed to carry profound meaning.
Yin Yanan stopped and jumped off the air-transportation spiritual tool. Approaching the mysterious mountain peak, she asked one of the Qi warriors, “What are you all looking at?”