Shock filled Cao Qiushui's face that was prettier than most women as he exclaimed, "He actually knocked Yang Kan to the ground with one punch!"
Gu Haofeng, who was babbling on about Nie Tian's incompetence, suddenly shut his mouth.
In his eyes, Nie Tian was just a nobody, so he had never paid any attention to him.
He found it unbelievable that Nie Tian's one punch had actually forced Yang Kan to kneel.
Dong Kang also stood aghast, and gazed at Nie Tian with a measuring gaze for the first time.
Qian Xin was the only one who had a vague understanding of Nie Tian's battle prowess, since the two of them had killed Chang Yuan together.
But even still, he was flabbergasted by the scene.
Even though Chang Yuan and Yang Kan were both at the late Greater Heaven stage, there was a large gap in their battle prowess.
Chang Yuan was nothing but a normal disciple of the Spirit God Sect, while Yang Kan was not only one of the Flame God Sect's core disciples, but someone even the Flame God himself treated as the one who might take his place in the future.
The fact that Yang Kan's six crimson stone columns contained earthflame crystal strings was enough evidence of his special status.
In order to make his next breakthrough in cultivation, Xia Yi had to team up with Zhao Shanling to steal earthflame essence from the Realm of Unbounded Desolation, which proved how important earthflame essence was to him.
The fact that he was willing to spare some of the earthflame essence to forge those crimson stone columns for Yang Kan and fill his crystal ball with earthflame crystal strings proved Yang Kan's special status in Xia Yi's heart.
With all that in the background, it didn't make any sense that Yang Kan would suffer a loss from Nie Tian.
Kneeling, Yang Kan burst into raging flames as he asked, glaring at Nie Tian with his wide eyes, "Who are you exactly?!"
Lights of various colors flickered in the hand he had used to meet Nie Tian's Rage Punch.
Streaks of violent aura laced with endless rage were following his meridians down his arm towards his vital organs.
After a brief examination, he sensed that the streaks of violent aura were actually a mixture of flame power, wood power, and star power.
He felt as if his meridians were going to explode as the streaks of violent aura infiltrated into his flesh and flooded through his meridians. Seeing this, he held the crystal ball in his other hand close to his raised hand.
Wisps of earthflame essence left the crystal ball and flew into his raised hand.
The devastating flame power from the earthflame essence madly chased after and collided with the violent aura Nie Tian had unleashed into his meridians, rapidly neutralizing the residual power of Nie Tian's Rage Punch.
Fine and sparkling earthflame crystal strings flew out of the crystal ball one after another, neutralizing Dong Baijie and Dong Li's attacks, which they had launched upon seeing the opportunity.
Face distorted, Yang Kan let out an angry roar.
In the next moment, the flame ward formed by six crimson stone columns began to rattle.
Torrential flames rushed into the air and fell like a waterfall.
Dong Baijie and Dong Li's gray wolf and black phoenix were both hit by the flames that poured down from midair, and fled while howling in pain.
"My name is Mu Han," Nie Tian answered, shaking his sore and aching right arm. With every shake, sparks fell from it like fine raindrops.
The sparks were the flame power Yang Kan had forced into Nie Tian's arm with his punch. At this moment, spots of fiery light could still be seen flickering in Nie Tian's arm.
However, as he shook his arm, his rich flesh power rapidly expelled the residual flame power left by Yang Kan from his system.
As the fiery sparks fell onto the colorful band, they sputtered and died out.
Nie Tian had drained one third of the power within his spiritual sea in his dantian.
However, Yang Kan had managed to take the hit without sustaining any serious injuries.
He couldn't help but inwardly marvel at Yang Kan's formidable strength.
He had thought that his Rage Punch would have at least rendered Yang Kan severely injured, if not dead. However, he had never expected that not only did he manage to withstand the impact, but he was also able to eliminate the aftermath of his Rage Punch with his crystal ball within such a short time.
"Mu Han? I've never heard of such a name, but I've got to admit that you're pretty good." With these words, Yang Kan rose to his feet. The hand he had used to meet Nie Tian's punch was slightly stiff, but nothing more.
The sharp pole of a Soul Banner suddenly pierced through one side of Feng Ying's waist.
Feng Ying's fluttering garment was instantly paint red by her blood. Apparently, after Lu Jian had joined the battle, Feng Ying and Qin Yan were plunged into a very unfavorable situation.
Qin Yan's slender waist twisted as her hands wove skillfully in the air, forming exquisite hand seals.
Multiple frosty, watery wards instantly came to form around the two of them. However, scorched by the net of flames formed by the two late Greater Heaven stage Flame God Sect disciples, the watery wards melted and dissipated at a fast speed.
Upon seeing Feng Ying taking another injury, Qin Yan's eyes filled with more anxiety. As she noticed Lu Jian unleash the discarnate souls in his Soul Banner on Feng Ying with a gruesome grin, she finally passed her limit of endurance and let out an angry roar, "Nie Tian! The formation those six crimson stone columns have formed is the Flame God Sect's Spiritual Hexaflame Formation!
"That formation is powered by earthflame essence and earthflame crystal strings, so what are you still waiting for?
"Your Flame Dragon Armor happens to need earthflame essence and earthflame crystal strings to recharge. This is the perfect opportunity!"
Her words rendered everyone present confused.
"Nie Tian? Who's Nie Tian?" Dong Kang asked, a confused expression spreading across his face.
Gu Haofeng, Qian Xin, and Cao Qiushui were also deeply puzzled.
Even Lu Jian from the Spirit God Sect failed to understand who she was talking about at first. He just felt that the name 'Nie Tian' sounded quite familiar.
However, Yang Kan was the first one to come back to his senses after his brief bewilderment. "Nie Tian! You're the Nie Tian who obtained the fragmentary star marks during the Heaven Gate trial?!"
The other two Flame God Sect disciples were also shocked into a daze upon hearing Qin Yan calling the name 'Nie Tian'. Therefore, the pressure on Qin Yan and Feng Ying's shoulders was instantly relieved.
One of them snapped back to his senses and exclaimed, "The Flame Dragon Armor! He has the Flame Dragon Armor with him!"
"He's the kid our sectmaster has been looking for!" the other chimed in.
Yang Kan's words reminded Dong Kang, Qian Xin, and the others on the outside, and they finally remembered who Nie Tian was.
It was the young man who had obtained two fragmentary star marks during the Heaven Gate trial, later obtained the third from Ning Yang, and sealed the spatial rifts in the Realm of Flame Heaven, the Realm of Mystic Heaven, and the Realm of a Thousand Devastations, stifling the Demons' invasion plan.
Afterwards, he had turned down the Heaven Palace Sect's offer of joining their sect. His incredible achievements and unconventional behavior had long since made him a household name throughout the Domain of the Falling Stars.
It was just that he had been so mysterious and unpredictable that very few people had ever seen him.
After coming back to their senses, everyone's gazes focused on Nie Tian, who was previously known as Mu Han.
They couldn't know Feng Ying, Dong Baijie, and Dong Li better.
Mu Han was the only one behind the flame ward who they knew very little of, but possessed shocking battle prowess. Who else could Qin Yan be talking to, if it wasn't Nie Tian?
"So you're Nie Tian! That explains it!" With a cunning laugh, Yang Kan ended his battle with Dong Baijie and Dong Li, and dashed directly towards Nie Tian. "Hand over the Flame Dragon Armor! The Flame Dragon Armor is a Spirit Channeling grade treasure that rightfully belongs to our sect. If I can bring it back to our sectmaster, my status in our sect will surely rise over Tang Yang's!
"The Flame Dragon Armor will never take you as its master, and you will never be able to wear it!"
With an excited expression, Yang Kan once again held out his crystal ball, which glittered with fiery light, and used it to channel raging flames from the flame ward in an attempt to engulf him with them.
As Xia Yi's potential successor, he had the privilege of listening Xia Yi explain the profound truths of flame power to him.
From Xia Yi, he had learned that the lost Blood Core was a very important part of the Flame Dragon Armor.
According to him, during a great war, the Blood Core had been drained of flame power, and the soul within it had also been damaged, causing it to fall into a state of dormancy.
Only when the Blood Core was in the hand of the right person would its soul be awakened, and would it take that person as its master.
This would only happen to those who were born with an unmatched flame power cultivation talent.
However, even if the Flame Dragon Armor's soul was awakened, it would still take a very long time for it to recover flame power and fix the damage it had taken.
From his previous exchange with Nie Tian, Yang Kan had learned that Nie Tian practiced flame power, wood power, and star power. Therefore, considering that he practiced power of multiple attributes, he deemed it was impossible for the Flame Dragon armor to take him as its master.
That meant that even if Nie Tian had the Flame Dragon Armor in his possession, its soul would still be dormant, and it couldn't be used.
That was why he was thrilled, instead of afraid, when he learned Nie Tian's true identity from Qin Yan. He assumed that the Flame Dragon Armor was already his to take.
After Qin Yan revealed his true identity, Nie Tian smiled in an unconstrained manner and asked, "You want the Flame Dragon Armor? Okay, as you wish!"
The Flame Dragon Armor flew out of his ring of holding, giving rise to thunderous sounds.
In the next moment, the earthflame crystal strings in the six crimson stone columns, as well as the earthflame crystal strings in the crystal ball in Yang Kan's hand, grew restless.
Yang Kan's expression instantly flickered.
As the Flame Dragon Armor shot towards Yang Kan, earthflame essence and earthflame crystal strings rushed out of the crystal ball in his hand uncontrollably.
The earthflame essence within the crimson stone columns was also forcibly sucked out by the Flame Dragon Armor.
"T-this is impossible!" After a brief hesitation, Yang Kan decisively gave up the crystal ball in his hand and cast it at Nie Tian.
Under his disbelieving gaze, one earthflame crystal string after another flew into the central chest area of the Flame Dragon Armor, where they were absorbed by a dragon bone that glittered with bright, blood-colored light.
Gnashing his teeth, Yang Kan distanced himself from Nie Tian and the Flame Dragon Armor, and dashed towards the end of the colorful area.
Just as he was about to touch the thick, colorful mist at the very end of the segment, a violent aura suddenly burst forth from within him. He forcibly gathered all of his flame power, and a new vortex of spiritual power came to form in his spiritual sea.
"Take me with you, Big Brother Yang!"
Lu Jian cried for his life as he exerted all his strength and caught up to Yang Kan, holding onto the tip of Yang Kan's garment.
As Yang Kan thrummed with a violent aura, giving rise to loud rumbles, the crimson stone columns and the flame ward morphed into a river of raging flames and flew back to him.
Yang Kan's sudden breakthrough in cultivation created a spherical aura around him, which also enveloped Lu Jian. In the next moment, the two of them flew through the colorful mist that separated the two segments, instantly disappearing from everyone else's view.
Everyone present stood aghast.