The Thunder Beast screeched as it repeatedly swooped towards Nie Tian and Huang Fan.
Meanwhile, Huang Fan's 24 yellow banners hovered and rotated around them at a fast speed, creating violent spiritual power fluctuations.
The Thunder Beast made repeated attempts to charge through the protective spell formation formed by the hovering banners, but failed each and every time.
Under Nie Tian's request, Huang Fan forced himself to hold his temper and not kill the Thunder Beast.
Considering his late Profound realm cultivation base and the might of his flying banners, it would be a piece of cake for him to slaughter that Thunder Beast.
What Huang Fan truly attached importance to was the mutant spirit beast that was lurking in the dark this whole time and letting out commanding roars.
Watching the Thunder Beast be bewitched by the demonsounds and swoop towards him repeatedly as if it had completely lost its mind, Nie Tian sighed and said, "I can't believe it also carries a Demon bloodline…
"From the look of it, most of the high-grade spirit beasts in the Realm of Flame Heaven probably carry Demon bloodlines and have deep-rooted bonds with Demons.
"If we let the Realm of Flame Heaven be flooded by demon Qi, I'm afraid it would soon turn into a purgatory for humans."
At that moment, Su Lin said, "That was why the Realm of Earth Sieve and the Realm of Dark Underworld aborted their invasion plan after learning about the Realm of Flame Heaven's situation."
Nie Tian's expression grew grim as he turned to her and asked, "Back when the Heaven Gate opened in our realm, did the Heaven Palace Sect know that it would be followed by a massive Demon invasion? Did the Heaven Palace Sect take part in the Realm of Earth Sieve and the Realm of Dark Underworld's scheme?"
"In the Heaven Palace Sect, I'm just a small figure, and I don't have access to those confidential matters," Su Lin said with an indifferent tone.
Standing off to the side, Huang Fan picked up their conversation between by saying, "We didn't know that the opening of the Heaven Gates would result in the appearance of spatial rifts, much less that Demons would come through them and invade the Realm of Flame Heaven.
"However, we did receive information about the Realm of Earth Sieve and the Realm of Dark Underworld's plan to invade your realm. You should know that, before the Demons' invasion, the nine realms of the Domain of the Falling Stars didn't always get along peacefully. It's natural for wars to break out among realms.
"Weren't the seven sects of the Realm of Flame Heaven engaged in pitched battles right before the Demons came along?
"The same goes for the nine realms in the Domain of the Falling Stars.
"Some realms would go to war with nearby realms due to their contradictory cultivating concepts or feuds between their sects or even individuals. This has always been the main theme of the nine realms. There's nothing unusual about it."
With these words, Huang Fan gave a snort and continued, "As a matter of fact, brawls among powerful sects help talented Qi warriors grow and stand out. Furthermore, as wars break out between realms, their sects will also develop and grow.
"The Heaven Palace Sect hasn't always been the most powerful sect in the Domain of the Falling Stars. We fought our way up through countless battles and wars, and gradually grew into the formidable force we are today.
"The sects in the Realm of Flame Heaven also need to go through similar challenges in order to grow and expand at a fast rate."
Nie Tian listened attentively and mulled over Huang Fan's words.
Huang Fan suddenly waved his large hand, yelling, "Will you leave us alone?!"
Emanating large amounts of blinding golden light, a gigantic banner flew into the air and wrapped the Thunder Beast inside of it.
The Thunder Beast let out a begrudging screech as it madly twisted its body, hoping to struggle free from the banner's constraint. Yet, all of its efforts were in vain.
Huang Fan shot a cold glance at Nie Tian, saying, "I'm only not killing it because I want to give you face, so I'll only imprison it for the time being. Meanwhile, you stay here and don't go anywhere. I doubt that the hidden spirit beast will give up so easily. I have a feeling that it will think of other ways to kill you."
"Okay." Nie Tian sat down on stone ground.
He quietly sent out his seven Heaven Eyes and spread them out to scan the vicinity, hoping to try his luck at finding that mysterious spirit beast.
However, even powerful experts like Huang Fan and Chang Sen had failed to locate that mutant spirit beast; how would his Heaven Eyes would be any different? As expected, he failed.
Even though he failed to find that mutant spirit beast, while his seven Heaven Eyes had floated about and searched for suspicious auras, they accidentally picked up a wisp of soul will from Hua Mu.
The moment Hua Mu's soul will quietly flew into one of Nie Tian's Heaven Eyes, Hua Mu's soul consciousness started to communicate with Nie Tian via that Heaven Eye.
"Those roars are coming from an actual Demon that's hiding in the spatial rift.
"Considering that the strong restrictive spell formation left by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace has already sealed a good portion of the spatial rift, and the formidable might of the pouring rivers of starlight, it can't come through the spatial rift.
"Therefore, it can only use its demonsounds to bewitch those mutant spirit beasts that carry Demon bloodlines and mutated under the demon Qi's influence."
Hua Mu's message was rapidly passed on to Nie Tian's mind via that floating Heaven Eye.
Eyes narrowed, Nie Tian pondered Hua Mu's words for a while before turning to Huang Fan and saying, "Senior Huang, it's an actual Demon that's been hiding in the spatial rift and bewitching the mutant spirit beasts in the Realm of Flame Heaven with its roars."
Surprised and suspicious, Huang Fan asked, "How do you know that?"
"I refined one of the fragmentary star marks, remember?" Nie Tian said. "And I activated the grand spell formation left by the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace."
"Oh, right..." Huang Fan assumed that Nie Tian had derived such conclusions from the profound knowledge recorded in the fragmentary star mark he had refined. Hence, he asked, "So what should we do?"
"Well, my job is finished here," Nie Tian said, looking down at the spatial rift. "Let's go down there and take a closer look at the spatial rift."
Huang Fan followed Nie Tian's gaze and looked down at the spatial rift. After a moment of hesitation, he nodded slightly and said, "Alright, I'll take you down."
With these words, he reached out and grabbed Nie Tian's shoulder before diving down towards the valley in between the three majestic mountain peaks like a falcon swooping down on its prey.
Only when he was flying down did he remember Su Lin and thus remind her casually, "Su Lin, you're not those mutant spirit beasts' target, so just be careful and you'll probably be fine."
"Okay, I will," Su Lin replied with a sour taste in her mouth.
She had long since felt that, after she had lost her fragmentary star mark to Nie Tian in the Lesser Heaven stage battleground during the Heaven Gate trial, her status in the Heaven Palace Sect had dropped significantly.
The fact that she had returned empty-handed disappointed many seniors in the Heaven Palace Sect who had once placed high hopes in her, Huang Fan being one of them.
Now, Huang Fan spent all of his effort and wit on protecting Nie Tian and drawing Nie Tian to his side. It seemed that, by hook or by crook, he was determined to bring Nie Tian back to the Heaven Palace Sect and admit him as a disciple.
However, when it came to her, Huang Fan only told her to be careful, at this perilous time where mutant spirit beasts might appear and attack her at every turn she took.
Deeply disheartened, Su Lin gradually realized that if Nie Tian ever joined the Heaven Palace Sect, he would definitely soon become the one that attracted the most attention and was favored by all the seniors in the Heaven Palace Sect.
Meanwhile, with Ning Yang, the brightest future star of the Heaven Palace Sect, dead, she would also be outshone by Nie Tian and live in his shadow.
"I never imagined that a boy, whose name I didn't even know when we encountered each other in the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, would rise above me and Ning Yang, and become the brightest star in the Heaven Palace Sect."
Mixed emotions rose in Su Lin's heart.