During the following two days, Nie Tian followed the Blood Skull members as they marched toward the Dark Moon's base in the Void Illusion Mountain Range. As they did, Gu Yu arranged for his men to investigate Ma Jiu's whereabouts through various approaches.
A large number of Qi warriors who lived in Shatter City would explore the Void Illusion Mountain Range from time to time.
Most of them kept relatively close relationships with the Blood Skull. Therefore, when the Blood Skull scouts asked them for information regarding the Dark Moon's trail, they were usually able to obtain truthful answers.
Today, Gu Yu learned the rough location of Ma Jiu and his men from one of the scouts he had sent out.
Then, they stopped in a place where numerous spatial rifts floated in the air, so that Gu Yu could discuss their next move with Shi Qing, Cai Yuan, and Pei Qiqi.
Since Nie Tian didn't have the qualifications to participate in their discussion, he stood quite a distance away and contemplated.
"Bloodline power..." Eyes narrowed, Nie Tian quietly sensed the subtle changes within his own body.
During the past few days, he had consumed a substantial amount of the second grade spirit beast meat he had stocked up in his bracelet of holding.
Whenever there was a chance, he would intentionally separate himself from the rest of the group and refine a barrel of the Golden Stone Rhino's blood.
At this point, he had used up all the spirit beast meat he had reserved from the Realm of Flame Heaven, as well as all the Golden Stone Rhino's blood.
Every bit of flesh power had been pulled away and devoured by the green aura coiled in his heart the moment it was generated.
In his eyes, that slender green aura was like an abysmal creature that was never satisfied.
The essence of flesh the spirit beast meat and Golden Stone Rhino's blood had provided was like a drop in the bucket, far from enough to feed this monster.
He had a distinct feeling that only when it was satisfied, would it calm down and, after lying dormant for a period time, give birth to a new bloodline talent.
However, Nie Tian had already run out of everything that contained flesh power, including the medicinal pills he had previously obtained.
Stimulated by the green aura's yearning, Nie Tian once again searched within his ring of holding and bracelet of holding.
After a thorough examination, he found that the only remaining thing he had that could provide flesh power was the Golden Stone Rhino's meat. "This is all there's left."
According to Li Ye and Pei Qiqi, all the spirit beasts that roamed in the Void Illusion Mountain Range had been tainted by the poisonous spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth. Because of that, both their blood and flesh carried various sorts of deadly impurities, and thus was no longer edible to humans. That had been the reason why Pei Qiqi had only taken the Golden Stone Rhino's horn and skin.
No one would spend a single spirit stone on a tainted spirit beast's blood and meat, no matter how high-leveled the spirit beast was.
"I can only try it and see." After a moment of pondering, Nie Tian assumed that since his body had proven to be different from others', perhaps he would be able to absorb the rich flesh power from the meat of this fourth grade spirit beast, and thereby fulfill the green aura's needs.
He made up his mind that next time he had a chance, he would try some of the Golden Stone Rhino's meat.
Afterwards, he paid attention to the conversation between Pei Qiqi and the Blood Skull members from a certain distance away, and learned what they were discussing.
According to their current knowledge, the route Ma Jiu and his men had taken didn't lead them straight back to their base.
In this situation, Gu Yu faced two options: chase after and strike Ma Jiu and his band, or raid the Dark Moon's base in the Void Illusion Mountain Range.
If they chose to chase after and attack Ma Jiu, they would have a great chance of dealing a significant blow to Ma Jiu and his band. However, it wasn't likely that they would be able to wipe out all of them.
Once they let Ma Jiu escape, he would communicate with his men at their base and assemble powerful experts from the Land of the Abandoned using their teleportation portal.
Once that happened, not only would they be forced to abort their plan to attack the Dark Moon's base, but they would also have to retreat as fast as possible.
On the other hand, if they chose to lead a direct raid on the Dark Moon's base and have Pei Qiqi use her spatial magics to shut down their teleportation portal, they would be able to start a bloodbath.
However, they weren't sure how many Dark Moon experts were were stationed at their base.
If there were too many of them, even though they could go all-out to attack the Dark Moon's base while their teleportation portal was deactivated by Pei Qiqi, they might not be able to take out every Dark Moon defender within that limited timeframe.
Whenever the teleportation portal was fully functioning again, they would have to retreat.
Unless they got lucky and the Dark Moon's base was poorly manned.
However, even if things worked out at the Dark Moon base, Ma Jiu and his band might show up at any moment.
At that time, they would have consumed large amounts of their strength, so their battle prowess could be even weaker than Ma Jiu and his men's.
Both options had a number of uncertainties. In contrast, catching up to and attacking Ma Jiu and his band would be the safer option.
However, they would have a chance at wiping out all their defenders and destroying their teleportation portal if they raided the Dark Moon's base directly. The spoils of their victory would be much greater.
After a moment of contemplation, Gu Yu gritted his teeth and said, "Handsome rewards come only with great risk! Let's head out to the Dark Moon's base!"
He finally picked the path that was more dangerous, but would also be more fruitful if they succeeded.
After a brief period of adjustment and reorganization, Gu Yu led the group as they marched out towards the Dark Moon's base, instead of Ma Jiu and his band.
Two more days passed...
At sundown, Gu Yu waved his hand as he beckoned for everyone to stop and recuperate. "The Dark Moon's base is right in front of us. Let's take our last break to replenish our spiritual power; eat and drink to our fill. Then, we'll attack the Dark Moon's base under the cover of darkness.
Because of the imminent bloody battle, everyone remained silent, and the atmosphere was a bit sullen.
Not knowing what they would face, people were either recovering their strength, examining their spiritual tools, checking their stock of medicinal pills, or donning their spiritual armor to protect their vital parts.
Nie Tian, on the other hand, made up an excuse by telling Cai Yuan that he had a belly-ache, and walked away from the group.
Only after he was convinced that there was a significant distance between him and everyone else did he take out a large piece of Golden Stone Rhino meat. Then, he used the Flame Spirit Incantation to start a fire, pierced the meat with a thin sword and cooked it on the fire.
After a short while, the Golden Stone Rhino's meat was cooked.
Looking at the meat which he knew contained numerous impurities, he hesitated for a brief moment, then started munching.
Even though the meat was cooked, it didn't taste good at all. It was bitter and hard to chew.
However, he ate it for its rich flesh power that only a fourth grade spirit beast would contain, and thus didn't have much of a standard for its taste.
After wolfing down several dozen kilos of meat, he sat there and waited in silence.
Time slowly passed...
Fifteen minutes later, wisps of flesh power gradually rose from within his stomach and rapidly increased in volume.
At the same time, he began to experience an intense pain in his abdomen, along with a burning sensation.
Soaked in sweat, he couldn't help but twist his face.
When he sent out his psychic power to examine himself, he could see his sweat carrying bits of gray, brown, green, and purple slime out of his pores.
The slime, which had a foul smell, seemed to be the impurities within the meat.
As more slime left Nie Tian's body, the excruciating pain in his abdomen was gradually relieved.
That was when he realized although he would experience discomfort, he was able to absorb energy from tainted spirit beast meat into his exceptional body.
As the pain grew more and more bearable, he could sense wisps of rich flesh power being dragged into his heart, where they were engulfed by the greedy green aura.
"It's time to go!" Gu Yu's voice rang out from afar.
Immediately after hearing Gu Yu's call, Nie Tian went to join the Blood Skull members, his body slowly returning to its normal state.