As the sectmaster of the Cloudsoaring Sect, Jiang Zhisu was at the late Worldly realm, only one step away from entering the Profound realm.
No more than a handful of experts in the entire Realm of Flame Heaven had the ability to injure him so badly, and most of them had been gathered by Nie Tian's side.
Nie Tian was shocked by Jiang Zhisu's bedraggled appearance, not knowing what he had gone through on his way over.
Two others came with Jiang Zhisu, one of whom was Yuan Xian from the Grayvale Sect, who Nie Tian knew fairly well.
Since the moment she had arrived, her ice-cold gaze had never left Nie Tian.
She was from the Yuan Clan, and Yuan Fengchun was her older brother.
Apparently, she had already learned about the heaven-overthrowing incident that had happened in Black Cloud City, and that Nie Tian was the one to blame.
"Alright, Yuan Xian!" The other man, Song Wenshi from the Mystic Mist Sect, called out softly. "Every sect gave you face and didn't interfere when the Yuan Clan decided to move to Black Cloud City. However, we didn't foresee that your big brother would actually rely on our mercy and do those underhanded things to the Nie Clan and the An Clan over and over again, which eventually resulted in the tragedy."
Song Wenshi was a middle Profound realm Qi warrior, and the most powerful expert in the Mystic Mist Sect. His status in the Mystic Mist Sect was similar to Wu Ji's status in the Cloudsoaring Sect.
Jiang Zhisu jumped in and said, "What's done is done. I hope you can calm down and not create new disturbances."
Li Jing from the Blood Sect was originally trying to receive enlightenment from the profound grand spell formation. However, the moment Yuan Xian arrived, her eyes snapped open and locked onto her.
In a flash, her eyes turned blood-red as they became filled with an intense killing intent.
Various expressions flashed across Yuan Xian's face.
The Grayvale Sect also had a Profound realm expert. However, he had sustained heavy injuries when the Grayvale Sect had been flooded by the invading Demons.
Seeing that the Grayvale Sect was almost gone, and it would only be a matter of time before the entire realm fell, that Profound realm expert had decided to betray his sect and leave the Realm of Flame Heaven.
The way he had seen it, the Grayvale Sect would never rise to prominence again, and he didn't want to be dragged down by it.
His leaving and the great losses they had suffered were the reasons why the Grayvale Sect existed only in name now.
Chang Sen chimed in by saying, "They're right, Yuan Xian. Try to look at the bigger picture."
After glaring at Nie Tian for a while, Yuan Xian forcibly calmed herself and sat down without uttering a word.
After all, she sensed that, at this sensitive time, Nie Tian shouldered the keen hope and responsibility of the Realm of Flame Heaven, the Realm of Mystic Heaven, and the Realm of a Thousand Devastations.
In this situation, not to mention that Nie Tian had only killed Yuan Fengchun, even if he had killed Yuan Xian as well and annihilated the entire Grayvale Sect, no one would do anything to him.
Since she knew she couldn't do anything to him for the time being, she decided to restrain herself.
"What happened to you, Brother Song?" Chang Sen asked.
With a grim expression, Song Wenshi from the Mystic Mist Sect replied, "We encountered mutant spirit beasts on our way here."
"Mutant spirit beasts?!" With a frown, Chang Sen looked the three of them up and down, and discovered that Song Wenshi seemed unharmed, but both Jiang Zhisu and Yuan Xian had sustained injuries to certain degrees. Surprised, he asked, "The mutant spirit beasts in this area shouldn't be of very high levels. Considering your strengths, how could they possibly hurt you?"
Since the Hell Sect was very close to this area, Chang Sen had recently come to this area every few days to see if there were signs of Demon armies arriving.
He had discovered that, as demon Qi had submerged this area, large amounts of spirit beasts had died. The spirit beasts that had survived the demon Qi had mutated and developed the ability to practice cultivation with demon Qi, instead of the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth.
After mutation, those spirit beasts had become much more powerful, but their grades hadn't seemed to have increased noticeably.
"Jiang Zhisu and Yuan Xian encountered a few fifth grade mutant spirit beasts on their way to this place. I detected the aura of a sixth grade mutant spirit beast on my way over, and I avoided contact with it." Song Wenshi said in a solemn voice.
The strength of a fifth grade spirit beast could match up to that of a Worldly realm human Qi warrior; the strength of a sixth grade spirit beast was roughly equal to that of a Profound realm human cultivator, let alone the fact that their strengths had improved to different extents after mutating.
"What?!" Chang Sen was taken aback. "I examined this area repeatedly. How come I didn't discover any fifth grade or sixth grade mutant spirit beasts?"
At that moment, Huang Fan from the Heaven Palace Sect said with an indifferent tone. "Actually, that's understandable. After reaching the fifth or sixth grade, not only will the spirit beasts' intelligence go through a sharp increase, but their fleshy body will become incomparably tough, which will allow them to adapt to the demon Qi that has leaked into our world from the demon realms.
"Once they have adapted, not only will they not run away from demon Qi, but they will even gather to the places where demon Qi is the richest.
"Since, for them, not only is demon Qi not a burden, but it can even help them improve their strength and spur their bloodline to transcend.
"I'm guessing the fifth and six grade spirit beasts they encountered on their way here didn't live in this area originally. Rather, they were drawn to this area recently.
With these words, Huang Fan took a deep breath and added, "As you probably know, in ancient times, the Realm of Flame Heaven was originally a paradise for Demons. Before the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace came along, there wasn't any spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth in this realm. Instead, it was demon Qi that filled every corner of this vast land.
"During that time, low-tier and high-tier demons were the inhabitants and owners of the Realm of Flame Heaven.
"Till this day, many spirit beasts that practice cultivation with the spiritual Qi of Heaven and Earth in the Realm of Flame Heaven still carry demon bloodlines. It was the spiritual Qi's replacement of demon Qi that forced their bodies to go through dramatic changes and become the spirit beasts we know today.
"However, they still have a thirst for demon Qi in their blood, so they will follow their natural urges and converge on this area, where the rich demon Qi would gradually awaken their true strength.
"In essence, they are low-tier Demons."
Upon hearing these words, everyone's expression flickered as they understood what Huang Fan's words meant.
With an expressionless face, Huang Fan continued, "This is why the Demons haven't been in a hurry to invade us. As demon Qi drowns most parts of the Realm of Flame Heaven, many spirit beasts will mutate and awaken their incubating demon bloodlines, and eventually become low-tier Demons.
"If high-tier Demons launch an invasion at that time, they will have a large amount of low-tier Demons to command at the beginning of the war.
"Even now, when they haven't invaded us, we are forced to deal with those low-tier Demons.
"He's right!" An exclaimation escaped Nie Tian's mouth.
As he listened to Huang Fan's explanation, Nie Tian noticed via his seven Heaven Eyes that large amounts of mutant spirit beasts were converging on them from every direction.
It seemed as if those purple-eyed, sinister spirit beasts didn't want to see that spatial rift be sealed.
On the contrary, they yearned for even richer demon Qi to pour out of that spatial rift, and they wanted the entire Realm of Flame Heaven to be submerged in demon Qi again.
Chang Sen rose to his feet and said to Nie Tian, "You stay here and oversee the operation of the restrictive spell left by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. Make sure that spatial rift is sealed! Since those spirit beasts carry Demon bloodlines, we can't let them live in the Realm of Flame Heaven anymore! If we don't get rid of them now, they'll cause us trouble in the future!"
"I'll stay here and guard Nie Tian," Li Jing said.
Chang Sen nodded, saying, "Good."
Immediately afterwards, the most powerful Qi warriors in the entire Realm of Flame Heaven flew down from the mountain peak and unleashed their divine magics to kill the converging mutant spirit beasts.
"Mutant spirit beasts..." Nie Tian's eyes shone with a strange light.
After his previous experience in the Realm of Split Void, he had learned that the spirit beasts that could bear the corrosion of different types of Qi and survive hostile environments must possess incomparably vigorous life force.
Considering that his own bloodline power need to be bolstered by an endless supply of flesh power, the numerous mutant spirit beasts that were converging on him from every direction were like numerous nourishment pills.