Chapter 998: Exposure in the Starry River

Countless blood-colored veins interwove inside the bone.

Like tiny snakes, they started slithering slowly.

As Nie Tian examined them with rapt attention, he discovered that they were splitting into even finer veins.

This seemed to be caused by the recent massive infusion of his Blood Essence.

Bloodline Crystal Chains that were dozens of times thinner than hairs could be seen within the glowing veins, as if some long-lost bloodline talent had suddenly been awakened.

At this moment, a strange gravitational force was born within the bone, as if it was hoping to attract something.

However, the entire floating continent was enveloped in a layer of gray clouds, which had sealed it away from the starry river.

The gravitational force didn’t seem to be able to find the nourishment it was looking for on this floating continent.

“Don’t tell me that the change the Star Behemoth told me about is actually happening?!” Nie Tian’s eyes widened with astonishment.

Since the first time he had entered the floating continent, he had learned that the explosion of the top continent had formed a thick layer of mixed energies, which was now known as the gray clouds that filled the entire sky.

There was a mysterious tearing force in the depths of the clouds.

That immense force could shatter heaven and earth, destroying even an entire realm. Come to think of it, it might have something to do with the Star Behemoth, which was hiding in the unfathomable sea.

It was the existence of the gray clouds that had prevented Nie Tian from sensing the cores of stars or channeling star power from the depths of the starry river.

The Star Behemoth’s advice was to leave the bone on a dead star that was preferably far from any inhabited realms after its first change.

On a dead star that wasn’t enveloped in separative clouds, the bone would be able to attract energies that were helpful to it from the starry river, and use them to strengthen itself.

“It seems that it’s about time I ended this trip to the floating continent.”

Nie Tian pondered in silence for a few seconds before putting the bone back into his ring of holding and walking over to the palace, where he woke Dong Li from her cultivation and left through a teleportation portal.

Days passed...

Nie Tian appeared by himself in the starry river between the Domain of the Falling Stars and the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries.

He found himself standing inside a teleportation portal that the Lei Clan had set up on a dead star.

Years ago, he had teleported through portals that were identical to this one to the forbidden area, where he had discovered the Realm of Shattered Earth.

There were seven of these teleportation portals, through which people could teleport between the Domain of the Falling Stars and the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries.

This was the second teleportation portal.

Gazing off into the distance, he saw nothing but dim, lifeless meteors, which were pieces of shattered realms. Beyond them were a number of dead stars.

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, there had been a vast domain between the Domain of the Falling Stars and the Domain of Heaven’s Boundaries, where outsiders had set up homes.

Later, human experts from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace had arrived and started a war against the outsiders that lived there. As a result, they had expelled the outsiders, and the war had turned many realms to dead realms.

After that, the entire region was gradually forsaken and forgotten.

WHOOSH!

Nie Tian summoned the bone from within his ring of holding and cast it into the dark starry river.

As he did, the numerous blood-colored veins within it seemed to have caught a whiff of something, as they suddenly started to flicker.

A gravitational force was then born within the bone.

Dross, impurities, and many strange energies that Nie Tian didn’t even recognize seemed to be channeled by the bone, as they started to converge on the bone from all directions.

Countless wisps of energies that humans couldn’t even bear, much less cultivate with, slowly fused into the bone.

The main reason why human Qi warriors couldn’t travel through the starry river on their own before reaching the Void domain was because they wouldn’t be able to protect themselves from the various harmful energies that filled every corner of the starry river after losing the protection of realm shields.

Their spiritual power shields couldn’t ward off those deadly energies over the long term. Once the energies got through, they would rapidly rot their flesh away.

Only after entering the Void domain would they be able to keep those energies away over the long term by relying on their private domains. 

However, what that bone was doing now seemed to be voluntarily channeling the mixed energies in its surroundings and absorbing them.

Standing on the Star Boat and enveloped in a misty starlight shield, Nie Tian couldn’t help but exclaim, “Hmm?!”

He then flew up into the starry river as well, protected by the Star Boat’s defensive system.

However, as he did, the flame spark in his flame power core suddenly grew restless.

After a moment of hesitation, he canceled the Star Boat’s defensive shield.

Countless fine wisps of energies immediately poured in from all directions. The energies were so heterogeneous that they seemed to include the energies that every single species in this starry river thrived on.

Demon qi, Phantasm qi, metal power, wood power, water power, fire power, earth power, lightning power, frost power, wind power, light power, and dark power...

A variety of powers that mingled together in a disorderly manner rapidly engulfed him.

The flame spark within his flame power core started to burn fiercely.

In the next moment, wisp after wisp flame power was separated from the mixture of various powers and sucked into the flame spark.

It was just that such flame power was so faint that it didn’t even match the amount of flame power held by a single Heavenflame Crystal.

Moments later, the Godspirit Tree sapling that had taken root in his wood power core was suddenly stirred by something, and started to channel wisps of faint wood power from his surroundings as well.

The Nine Stars Flower within his star power core also stretched its leaves and absorbed a few rays of faint starlight.

However, the majority of the countless types of energies poured uncontrollably into his body, not his spiritual sea.

He first felt numb all over, then it was stabbing pain. It rapidly aggravated to the point where he felt as if his body was going to explode.

His expression flickered as he hastily reactivated the spell formation within the Star Boat, separating himself from mixed energies in the starry river.

Face grim, he continued to wash his flesh and bones with his bloodline power, ridding himself of the various harmful energies that were gnawing at him.

“Back in the day, the Realm of Split Void was also enveloped in mixed energies that were harmful to humans. Later, when I visited the Bloody Grave Mountain Range, the corrosive energies there turned out to be dozens of times stronger than those in the Realm of Split Void, but I still managed to keep them off with my spiritual power ward. But the energies in the starry river...”

A bitter smile appeared on his face as his train of thought came to this point.

The mixed energies in the starry river were so heterogeneous that they were countless times more destructive than the mixed energies in the Realm of Split Void or the Bloody Grave Mountain Range.

Even though they also contained flame power, wood power, and star power, they were too faint to make a difference. 

Besides, by absorbing them, he would allow a much larger amount of harmful energies to take the opportunity to infiltrate him, and cause him unbearable pain.

Nie Tian turned to look at the bone that was floating in the starry river.

To his surprise, he discovered that it was only absorbing the energies that were helpful to it.

As for the energies it didn’t need, they seemed to be unable to infiltrate the bone at all, much less cause it any damage.

“I wonder if I’ll be able to refine my body to the point where I can keep off the harmful energies automatically like this bone is doing now. Then I’ll be able to wander the starry river freely.” Nie Tian drifted away in thought.

“Also, every realm seems to be channeling certain types of energies from the starry river, and in ways we don’t understand, turning them into the spiritual Qi of heaven and earth, Demon Qi, Phantasm Qi, and all kinds of materials and treasures.”

“Meanwhile, every realm has its star core, that can refine its own star soul. So in a sense, they can be viewed as a kind of being too.

“They absorb energies that suit them, turning themselves into flame realms, ice realms, Demon realms, or human realms.

“They can also lose their energies and die, unless they’re super-large-scale realms.

“If the beings that live in them are keen on exploring them for spiritual materials and cultivating with their qi, it’ll accelerate their deaths.

 “In this sense, humans, outsiders, Ancientbeasts, and titans are all draining their realms of their energies, which they had spent countless years gathering, speeding up their withering.

“Star Behemoths, however, absorb energies directly from the starry river to strengthen themselves like realms do from the moment they’re born. Then, after they grow to a certain point, they’ll start to strengthen themselves by devouring realms.”

 

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Translator: Alcohol Sword Immortal a.k.a. Beerblade. (Follow me on Twitter)  Editor: GNE, Zach Consulting Editor: Deathblade  LOAR Glossary   LOAR Artworks