As Nie Tian took off his mask and killed Yuan Fengchun, Hua Mu couldn't help but marvel in a soft voice, "Impressive kid!"
In fact, this was the first time Hua Mu had witnessed Nie Tian battle against someone.
Before, he had only heard about his stunning battle achievements in the Green Illusion dimension, Heaven Gate trial, and the Realm of Split Void.
Even though he had never doubted Nie Tian's extraordinary battle prowess, knowing that he possessed bloodline power, two fragmentary star marks, and the Flame Dragon Armor, he had never expected that Nie Tian would actually be able to sneak up on and kill the middle Greater Heaven stage Yuan Fengchun so effortlessly.
Furthermore, the numerous clan members and guest elders Yuan Fengchun had brought with him were all at the Heaven stage, roughly at the same stage as Nie Tian.
However, none of them had survived Nie Tian's attacks. In fact, they were not even capable of withstanding a single strike.
The outstanding battle prowess Nie Tian had displayed shocked Hua Mu to the core. He had an increasingly strong feeling that he had made a smart decision by saving Nie Tian many years ago when he had stopped by Black Cloud City and accidentally discovered that he had been seriously ill.
On the other hand, he had become more confident that Nie Tian would be able to progress and transcend at a fast speed, considering his unique qualities.
Sooner or later, Nie Tian would be able to help him with his lifespan problem.
After seeing Nie Tian take off his mask, state his real identity, and behead Yuan Fengchun, a clamor immediately burst forth amongst the onlookers that had stayed.
"He's Nie Tian?!"
Shocked, An Rong stood in silence.
An He took a deep breath to calm himself. His eyes glittered with the light of excitement as he gazed at Nie Tian.
Neither An Rong nor An He had expected that Nie Tian would show up while the Yuan Clan was forcing them to move out of their own home.
Mixed emotions rose in An He's heart as he muttered to himself, "Shiyi's insightful judgment was indeed our clan's most valuable fortune!"
He still remembered many years ago when An Shiyi had ignored their clan's rules and gifted one of their Green Illusion dimension trial slots to Nie Tian. Many seniors in the An Clan had strongly opposed her decision, and thought it had been beyond ridiculous.
Back then, even An He hadn't quite understood why An Shiyi had made such an odd decision.
He could still remember distinctively that when he had escorted Nie Tian to participate in the Green Illusion dimension trial, he had only been at the Qi Refining stage.
A few years passed so quickly, and Nie Tian had finished the Green Illusion dimension trial, gone through the upheaval in the Scarlet Flame Mountain Range, survived the bloodbaths in Heaven Gate trial, repulsed the Demon invaders, and eventually grown into a figure that attracted the entire Realm of Flame Heaven's focus.
Today, he had even killed Yuan Fengchun, the clanmaster of the Yuan Clan, a middle Greater Heaven stage expert.
None of the Yuan Clan's members or guest elders could withstand a single strike from him.
Within such a short time, he had greatly damaged the Yuan Clan's vital force. Even though they didn't get annihilated, they would probably wither away from this point forward.
An He searched in his memories, and then looked at Nie Tian, who was standing right before his eyes. A sense of inauthenticity rose in his heart.
After Yuan Fengchun died, Nie Tian walked over to An He and An Rong in a composed manner. He bowed to them and said with a grin, "Uncle An, Grandpa An."
As for the dead Yuan Clan members, guest elders, and Yuan Fengchun, he didn't even have the slightest intention to spare them another glance.
Similarly, he turned a blind eye to the onlooking citizens of Black Cloud City.
An Rong snapped to reality and hastily took a step forward. Face filled with complicated emotions, he gently patted Nie Tian's shoulder and said, "It's so nice to see that you're back. If your grandfather knew that you've killed Yuan Fengchun, whom he hated with all his heart, he would surely be very happy."
He knew the dispute between the Nie Clan and the Yun Clan and Yuan Clan better than anyone.
An He took the initiative and invited Nie Tian. "Come on, Nie Tian. Let's go in and have a talk."
"Sorry, I still have business to tend to." Nie Tian refused respectfully.
An He seemed to suddenly realize something, and nodded repeatedly as he said, "Oh, right. You've probably just returned to Black Cloud City. It's only right that you go back to your clan first. How about this: you go ahead and return to your clan. Later, you'll come visit us?" He assumed that Nie Tian had just returned to Black Cloud City, and was on his way to the Nie Clan.
An Rong chimed in. "Yeah, don't forget to visit us after you get things settled in your clan. Now that you've taken Shiyi as your sworn sister, we're family. We don't treat you as an outsider, so you shouldn't either. Plus, you helped our clan so much this time, we'll arrange a feast as a thank you!"
"There isn't anyone in the Nie Clan I feel attached to now, so I won't be going back." Nie Tian said with a expression that was the same as ever, "I'll go to the Blood Sect and visit Big Sister An and An Ying."
Upon hearing these words, An Rong and An He fell silent.
The onlookers went blank as well. They all wondered with their eyebrows furrowed.
After a few seconds of silence, An Rong seemed to have realized something. He sighed softly and said, "Alright then. If you're going to the Blood Sect, will you tell Shiyi and Little Ying that everything is fine here in the An Clan, they need not worry about us, and tell them to focus on their cultivation. We have placed all of our hopes on them. Only if they are strong enough will the An Clan have a possible future."
An Rong was actually thinking that if the Realm of Flame Heaven was really sacked by Demon armies someday, the Blood Sect might give face to the pair of sisters and evacuate several core members of the An Clan.
"Don't worry, Grandpa An," Nie Tian said with a faint smile. "Nothing will happen to the Realm of Flame Heaven. Even if the day comes when you need to be evacuated from the Realm of Flame Heaven, you won't need the Blood Sect for that. I'll personally arrange for you to move out of the Realm of Flame Heaven and reestablish your clan in another realm."
An Rong's eyes instantly lit up.
At that very moment, Hua Mu, who was standing among the onlookers, cleared his throat, signalling him that they shouldn't waste too much time here.
"See you, Grandpa An, Uncle An." With these words, Nie Tian stepped away from the An Clan's front gate. The onlookers saw him coming towards them and automatically stepped back to clear a path for him.
Before Nie Tian had revealed himself, those onlookers had chattered about him being the one to blame for the misfortune happening to the Realm of Flame Heaven.
However, after witnessing him slaughter Yuan Fengchun, as well as his numerous clan members and guest elders, with such fierce and merciless methods, they had all fallen silent.
The moment they saw Nie Tian move his feet, they voluntarily stepped back and didn't dare to say another disrespectful word.
Their eyes were filled with fear and insecurity as they looked at Nie Tian.
Nie Tian, however, didn't spare them a glance, and strode directly towards the city gate in an imposing manner. Even after he had gone through the city gate, no one dared to stop him. Only a few onlookers dared to whisper something to each other in low voices.
After exiting Black Cloud City and returning to a secluded location, Hua Mu once again brought out his Lightning Shuttle and urged Nie Tian and Pei Qiqi to get on board.
Afterwards, the Lightning Shuttle rose up into the air and whizzed away from Black Cloud City like a bolt of lightning. Hua Mu steered clear of the Cloudsoaring Sect and steered directly towards the Blood Sect.
Soon after their Lightning Shuttle flew past the Cloudsoaring Sect, Jiang Zhisu, the sectmaster of the Cloudsoaring Sect, heard about what had just happened in Black Cloud City.
Without any delay, he summoned all of the elders.
"Nie Tian came back." Jiang Zhisu said with a frown. "He went to Black Cloud City, where he killed Yuan Fengchun and practically annihilated the Yuan Clan single-handedly. However, he told An Rong that he would return to the Blood Sect, instead of the Cloudsoaring Sect."
The expression of every elder flickered as they heard these words.
With a deep sigh, Wu Xing said, "Back in the day, I made many mistakes with Little Jin. Only later when I saw Nie Tian was the burden that had been weighing on my mind gradually lifted. I told you long ago that Nie Tian was far beyond ordinary, and that he would definitely come back, but you never listened."
With a complaining gaze, he looked at the other three elders standing beside him, who hadn't believed that Nie Tian would be able to survive the Heaven Palace Sect and return to the Realm of Flame Heaven alive.
They detested Nie Tian for not thinking of the greater good and handing his fragmentary star marks over to the Heaven Palace Sect.
It was their panicking mindset that had spread out to the entire Realm of Flame Heaven. It was also because of their endless pleading that Wu Ji had agreed to go to the Realm of a Hundred Battles and make arrangements for the Cloudsoaring Sect's evacuation.
Furthermore, the reason why Nie Donghai and Nie Qian had lived uncomfortably in the Cloudsoaring Sect was because they had failed to restrain their disciples. Their disciples would usually say mean things to them every time they met, which deeply disappointed them.
"He was capable of killing Yuan Fengchun?! Can it be that he has actually refined his fragmentary star marks?" Elder Feng He said in a hoarse voice.
"That's very likely," Jiang Zhisu said with a plain tone.
Discontent could be seen in his eyes as he gazed at Feng He and the other two elders. As a matter of fact, just like Wu Xing, he had also believed that Nie Tian would eventually come back to the Realm of Flame Heaven.
However, because Feng He and the others hadn't restrained their disciples from secretly creating difficulties for Nie Donghai and Nie Qian, they eventually decided to leave.
They were also the reason why people had dared to treated the Nie Clan so harshly.
Feng He let out a cold snort and said, "We have always been kind to him. Yet, he didn't come to our sect after returning to the Realm of Flame Heaven, but rather went to the Blood Sect. What is this?! Don't tell me that he wants to leave the Cloudsoaring Sect and join the Blood Sect."
Wu Xing shook his head. "Since he obtained those fragmentary star marks, he was destined to be outstanding in the future. Neither the Cloudsoaring Sect nor the Blood Sect is the best choice for him. I'm afraid that the Heaven Palace Sect and many other powerful sects from the other realms will reach out to him and ask him to join them.
"Considering that he has received the legacies of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace and learned the profound incantations they recorded, whichever sect he decides to join, he will make a great impact and give a strong boost to the sect's strength.
"Originally, we could have gained an upper hand in the contest by relying on our deep connection with him and his family.
"But it doesn't seem we have much hope now."
Wu Xing felt very regretful, and secretly blamed Feng He and the others for causing Nie Tian to lose faith in the Cloudsoaring Sect.