"You! Stop!" Standing in front of her, the two members of the Yuan Clan looked at Nie You out of the corner of their eyes, their faces filled with malicious smiles.
Nie You's expression flickered slightly as she asked timidly, "Who are you? What do you want?"
"Didn't your seniors tell you not to leave your clan recently?" One man said with an evil grin. "If members of your clan dare to come out and walk in Black Cloud City, they'll be treated like rats crossing the street. You should have stayed inside your clan at all times and never come out."
Upon hearing the man's words, Nie You subconsciously took a step backward.
She knew that senior clan members had repeatedly warned them against going out recently.
However, since she had made an appointment with someone, she had snuck out when the guard at the clan gate hadn't been looking.
She didn't expect that she would be trapped when she was this close to returning safely.
She glanced around and discovered that Nie Tian, Pei Qiqi, and Hua Mu were the only ones on the street.
Nie You's eyes lit up before she immediately ran towards them at the fastest possible speed.
Within seconds, she arrived in front of Nie Tian, Pei Qiqi, and Hua Mu.
"Uncle, Big Brother, Sister, those bad men won't let me go. Will you please help me?" She implored, panting slightly. Urgency could be seen in her eyes.
Nie Tian had left the Nie Clan long before he had even left the Realm of Flame Heaven.
After that, he had spent two years in the Realm of Split Void. Adding the time together, he hadn't returned to Black Cloud City in about four to five years.
During this period of time, he had gone through great changes, not to mention that he had altered his appearance, so no matter what, Nie You wouldn't be able to imagine that the tall, well-built man was the Nie Tian from her clan who had repeatedly worked wonders in the past.
"Don't worry. Everything is going to be fine," Nie Tian said with a comforting tone.
Looking at the thin but graceful young woman standing in front of him, he couldn't help but get carried away by his thoughts.
I can't believe it's been five years already, and she has grown up... After sighing inwardly over how fast time passed, Nie Tian snapped back to reality. With a frown, he looked at the two Yuan Clan Qi warriors who were taking their time as they stepped towards him.
Nie Tian had never expected that they would actually dare to come towards them and pursue the matter.
Even though they had intentionally concealed their auras, the two Yuan Clan members, who were only at the Lesser Heaven stage, should be able to sense that these mysterious strangers were not to be trifled with.
However, not only did they come, but they even assumed an attitude as if they feared no one with the Yuan Clan at their back.
"Hey buddy, I don't think I've ever seen you in Black Cloud City. Visitors, aren't you?" One man said with a casual and arrogant tone.
Nie Tian's eyebrows furrowed. "Yeah, so?"
"So you'd better stay out of our business, newcomer," The other man said with a cold harrumph. "This girl is a member of the Nie Clan, the clan that Nie Tian is from!
"Nie Tian is the sinner who led the Realm of Flame Heaven to hell!
"The bastard thought too much of himself after obtaining two fragmentary star marks by luck. Not only did he refuse to hand them over to the Heaven Palace Sect, but he even holed up somewhere. It's because of him that one fourth of the Realm of Flame Heaven is now submerged in raging demon Qi!
"It's because of him that people are living in fear, and every major sect is trying every possible method to evacuate their core disciples.
"Meanwhile, people like us and those from subordinate clans probably won't even have a chance to be evacuated. Our deaths are certain, and it's all that bastard's fault! For that, he and all of his clan members have to take the blame and bear the wrath of every man and woman in the Realm of Flame Heaven!"
After blurting out his indignant complaint in Nie Tian's face, the man added, "Those who dare to be on friendly terms with the Nie Clan are also enemies to every sect and clan in the Realm of Flame Heaven! We're all victims of Nie Clan's actions. You lot better be smart and stay out of this."
Nie You shook her head repeatedly as she protested eagerly. "No! It's not like that! Brother Tian isn't the man you say he is! When the Realm of Flame Heaven was invaded by Demon armies, it was him who helped save the Blood Sect and killed countless Demons! He's a hero! A hero of the Nie Clan, and the entire Realm of Flame Heaven!
"He must be exerting all effort to uncover the secrets within those fragmentary star marks. Once he's mastered the spells recorded within them, he will definitely come back to our rescue at the first possible moment!
"He'll work with the Heaven Palace Sect and Ning Yang to seal the ripped-open spatial rift!
"I won't allow you to slander his good name!"
With flushed cheeks, Nie You glared at the two Yuan Clan members. Her fists were clenched so tightly that it was as if she would launch attacks if they didn't shut their mouths.
"Even Nie Beichuan and Nie Nanshan have admitted to Nie Tian's crimes. Who would take the words of a silly little girl seriously? Don't make a fool of yourself, will you?" A man mocked impatiently. "I don't have the time to argue with you. Come on. Let's go."
With these words, he reached out his hand to grab Nie You's arm.
Meanwhile, the other man stared coldly at Nie Tian and said, "You'd better stay out of our business. Make no mistake, the Yuan Clan owns Black Cloud City now. Also, Black Cloud City isn't what it used to be. People die every day. If you dare to mess with our clan, don't you imagine that you can live in peace in Black Cloud City."
A violent explosion rang out, and the first man's extended arm, as well as that side of his torso, were blown to shreds.
Just as Nie You cried out in fear, another spiritual energy ball left Nie Tian and hit the other Yuan Clan member, reducing him to a bloody mist.
In the blink of an eye, the two Yuan Clan members were reduced to scattered broken limbs and bits of flesh.
A strong bloody smell instantly filled the air. Nie You's face turned pale from fright, her slender body trembling nonstop.
Nie Tian's face was expressionless as he asked her with a plain tone, "Are there many people in the Nie Clan who consider Nie Tian to be the one to blame for what's happening to the Realm of Flame Heaven?"
"Don't listen to them," Nie You hastily explained. "Those people are only trying to undermine Brother Nie Tian and Grandpa Nie Donghai."
After a moment of silence, Nie Tian said, "You can go back now. No one from the Yuan Clan will ever give you trouble again."
"Thank you," Nie You replied timidly.
Having watched the two Yuan Clan members dying such bloody and horrible deaths, she was slightly fearful towards Nie Tian. Therefore, after hearing that she was free to leave, she seemed like a person absolved of guilt. She carefully ran through the area scattered with bits of human flesh and rapidly disappeared from Nie Tian's sight.
"Nie Tian..." Hua Mu wanted to say something, but stopped on second thought.
Nie Tian forced a smile and said, "I'm fine. Nie Beichuan and Nie Nanshan have never been fond of me since I was little. I have been like a thorn in their flesh. I'm not at all surprised that they would intentionally undermine me."
With these words, he walked past this bloody street block. Soon, he came to a stop in front of the Nie Clan's gate, where he closed his eyes and unleashed his Heaven Eyes.
His Heaven Eyes quietly flew into the Nie Clan...
After some time, his eyes opened. He turned to Pei Qiqi and Hua Mu, who had been waiting for him, and with an apologetic smile, he said, "We can go now."
Surprised, Hua Mu asked, "Do you not want to go in?"
Pei Qiqi's eyes were also filled with surprise and confusion.
Even though she didn't know much about Nie Tian's past, when Nie Tian had demanded to go to Black Cloud City and take a look, she had assumed that he would definitely visit his home.
She had never expected that Nie Tian would only stand outside the Nie Clan for some time and then leave.
She couldn't figure out the reason.
Nie Tian shook his head. "It's okay. Only a handful of people in my clan were close to me. Most Nie Clan members disliked me. Since they see me as trouble, why would I go back and make everybody unhappy?" With those words, he strode towards the An Clan.
The reason he had decided to leave was that via his seven Heaven Eyes, he had heard nothing but conversations that made him very unhappy.
He found it hard to believe that his own clansmen were actually no different from people he had seen in the streets. Most of them blamed him for the perilous situation the Realm of Flame Heaven was in. They also blamed him for bringing the tremendous blame and hostility of others upon the Nie Clan.
Before, only a handful of people had acknowledged and accepted him. However, even those few people had now turned on him, and were complaining about what he had done.
That being the case, he couldn't think of any reason to return to the Nie Clan.
The reason why he had decided to stop by the An Clan before he left was that An Rong, the clanmaster of the An Clan, had helped him contend against Nie Beichuan before. Furthermore, he had gone through a lot with An Shiyi and her sister.
He wanted to see how the An Clan was holding up.
By the time he saw the An Clan's front gate, he discovered that many powerful experts of the Yuan Clan were gathered there, including Yuan Fengchun, the clanmaster of the Yuan Clan.
Nie Tian stepped closer and blended into the chattering crowd of onlookers. After listening for a brief moment, he understood what was happening.
The Yuan Clan was forcing the An Clan to move out of their property so that they could take it for their own.
Before the Yuan Clan had come along, the An Clan had always been the most powerful clan in Black Cloud City. Therefore, their property was located in the most prosperous section of the city, and their buildings were the most splendid and magnificent.
It hadn't been long since the Yuan Clan had moved to Black Cloud City. They hadn't had the time or energy to build a new property with all the stone pavilions and courts that suited their needs.
Forcibly occupying the An Clan or the Nie Clan would be a simpler solution, considering the Yun Clan was already in ruins.
Even though some people within the Cloudsoaring Sect weren't happy with the Nie Clan, they were still one of their subordinate clans. Therefore, the Yuan Clan only dared to play little tricks or make secret moves against them.
They wouldn't dare to force the Nie Clan to abandon their property.
However, that wasn't the case for the An Clan. Ever since An Shiyi had left the Spiritual Treasure Sect and sought shelter in the Blood Sect, the Spiritual Treasure Sect had removed the An Clan from their list of subordinate clans.
Meanwhile, the Blood Sect hadn't decided to take the An Clan under their protection yet, which had put the An Clan in a very difficult position.
It was exactly because the An Clan didn't have a backer for the time being that Yuan Fengchun dared to make such an unreasonable demand.
"Give me a few moments," Nie Tian said to Pei Qiqi and Hua Mu. "I want to settle some things for good before I leave."