Nie Tian hid behind a huge rock and observed through his Heaven Eyes.
The standoff between the Heaven Palace Sect and the Thunder Mountain Sect went on. The four Thunder Mountain Sect disciples continued to watch the black phoenix's corpse from afar, and didn't show any intention of leaving.
Nie Tian decided to wait.
If he charged over now, those from the Heaven Palace Sect and the Thunder Mountain Sect would probably target him simultaneously. Having entered the middle Greater Heaven stage, he was confident that he would be able to defeat anyone in this region in a one-on-one battle.
However, if he were to face disciples of the Heaven Palace Sect and the Thunder Mountain Sect together, he might be able to leave unharmed, yet it wouldn't be realistic for him to kill them all.
Therefore, he hid in the dark and waited for those from the Heaven Palace Sect and the Thunder Mountain Sect to go to war with each other, then when the time came, he would swoop in and reap the spoils.
After a while, through one of his Heaven Eyes, he saw Xuan Ke and the others from the Ice Pavilion Sect approaching him.
The four of them were so afraid of being discovered by him that they traveled stealthily after entering the rubble-strewn area.
After a brief moment of pondering, Nie Tian practiced his Life Stealth bloodline talent, completely masking his intense flesh power fluctuations and killing intent.
No one could possibly detect any sign of life or energy fluctuations from him, unless they were Worldly realm or Profound realm experts.
"The guy vanished?!" Zhao Le from the Ice Pavilion Sect muttered as Nie Tian's aura suddenly vanished from the detection range of his psychic awareness.
"He should be somewhere around here or up ahead," Xuan Ke said with a grim expression. "There must be a reason behind him rushing to this place at full speed. That guy is very dangerous. Watch out everyone. Do your best to search for him, but also try not to get in a fight with him."
Even though Zhao Le and the other three inwardly disagreed with his discretion, they followed his order and fanned out to search for Nie Tian. They unleashed their psychic awarenesses and moved slowly forward.
Meanwhile, Dong Li was rapidly closing in on Nie Tian's location with the help of her black phoenix.
Nie Tian quietly took out his Sound Stone and contacted her in a very low voice, telling her to slow down and move in stealth after reaching the rubble-strewn area.
In the meantime, he kept a close watch on the Heaven Palace Sect and Thunder Mountain Sect disciples.
As he had expected, through one of his Heaven Eyes he had deployed on the perimeter, he discovered two Greater Heaven stage Qi warriors dressed in Thunder Mountain Sect garments rushing over at full speed.
However, Su Lin and the other Heaven Palace Sect disciples hadn't sensed the looming crisis. They were still attempting to get in contact with Hong He and Huang Hu through their Sound Stones.
Moments later, one of the Heaven Palace Sect disciples finally detected the aura of the two incoming Thunder Mountain Sect disciples with his psychic awareness.
"Junior Martial Sister Su! The Thunder Mountain Sect's backup is here!" The man, who was at the late Greater Heaven stage, exclaimed as soon as he discovered the unfavorable situation.
Su Lin's pretty face instantly grew intense. "Kill those bastards!" she exclaimed with great determination.
As soon as she uttered these words, the five Heaven Palace Sect disciples charged towards the group of Thunder Mountain Sect disciples without the slightest hesitation.
Upon seeing this, the four Thunder Mountain Sect disciples realized that the Heaven Palace Sect must have detected their reinforcements approaching.
"We need to join with our backup first!" one of them exclaimed. "Don't get tangled up with those from the Heaven Palace Sect!"
Immediately afterwards, the four Thunder Mountain Sect disciples started moving towards their two incoming friends, hoping to join them first, and then go all-out to fight the Heaven Palace Sect disciples.
"Don't give them the opportunity to join their reinforcements!" Su Lin exclaimed the order.
Via his Heaven Eyes, Nie Tian saw the five Heaven Palace Sect disciples burst across the distance between them and the Thunder Mountain Sect disciples in the blink of an eye, as they summoned their spiritual tools and started fighting right away.
Just like that, the people from the Heaven Palace Sect and the Thunder Mountain Sect were engaged in a fierce battle, both sides instantly bringing out everything in their power.
Flashing lightning, streaking flames, and multicolored sparks created by spiritual tools clashing together soon filled the air over the rubble-strewn area.
The Heaven Palace Sect disciples knew perfectly well that only if they could finish their current opponents off within a short time would they be able to handle the Thunder Mountain Sect's reinforcements when they arrived.
Only by doing that would they be able to eliminate their opponents' potential advantage in numbers. Should they fail to do that, they would end up in a losing battle.
"People are fighting over there!"
Zhao Le from the Ice Pavilion Sect suddenly caught sight of the spiritual light in midair up ahead.
"Those are people from the Thunder Mountain Sect," Xuan Ke said with furrowed eyebrows. "Their lightning magics are easy to recognize. But who are they fighting? Can it be the guy we've been following? Would he have the audacity to fight those Thunder Mountain Sect members single-handedly?"
Observing from a significant distance, Xuan Ke was only able to see the spiritual light that constantly shot up into the air, therefore knowing the Thunder Mountain Sect was involved, but not knowing who they were fighting.
"Do we go over there now?" Wang Rong asked.
Xuan Ke pondered a few seconds in silence before shaking his head and saying, "No. Judging from the lightning in the sky, there are multiple Thunder Mountain Sect disciples over there. Whoever they're fighting must be also hard to deal with. We don't want to get in the middle of their fight right away. We'd better wait for a winning side to emerge, and then go in."
Zhao Le gave a cold smile. "Good call. Whichever side survives will also have suffered great losses and consumed significant amounts of spiritual power from their battle. Then, we can go in and reap the spoils. Killing the survivors and looting their rings of holding will be much more efficient than searching and gathering valuables ourselves!"
Wang Rong and Luo Xue also nodded in assent.
Thus, the four Ice Pavilion Sect disciples remained where they were and observed in silence, harboring the same intention as Nie Tian.
Nie Tian had noticed every move they made through his Heaven Eyes, and speculated as to their intentions.
Meanwhile, the four of them didn't have Heaven Eyes at their disposal. Due to the long distance, they didn't see the black phoenix's corpse in the rubble, which was the reason behind the conflict between the Thunder Mountain Sect and the Heaven Palace Sect.
"Ice Pavilion Sect..." Nie Tian rubbed his chin, absorbed in thought. He racked his mind for a way to drag those from the Ice Pavilion Sect into the messy battle between the Thunder Mountain Sect and the Heaven Palace Sect.
The more chaotic the situation, and the more people died, the better it would be for him and Dong Li.
With these thoughts in mind, he immediately informed Dong Li to put away her black phoenix and move in stealth once she came close enough, steering clear of those from the Ice Pavilion Sect and hiding from the detection of their psychic awarenesses.
After learning about the situation, Dong Li, who possessed a quick mind, actually didn't need Nie Tian to finish to know what to do.
Knowing the locations of Nie Tian, the eighth grade black phoenix, the Heaven Palace Sect disciples, the Thunder Mountain Sect disciples, and the Ice Pavilion Sect disciples, Dong Li slowly descended from the air and looked for a place to land.
The battle between the Heaven Palace Sect disciples and the Thunder Mountain Sect disciples carried on like an unstoppable fire. Soon, one of the Thunder Mountain Sect disciples was killed.
Via his Heaven Eyes, Nie Tian gradually realized that, even though the Thunder Mountain Sect disciples' strength seemed roughly equal to that of the Heaven Palace Sect disciples', when the deadly battle broke out, the Thunder Mountain Sect disciples were clearly disadvantaged.
That was because the Heaven Palace Sect disciples possessed more advanced spiritual tools, practiced more exquisite incantations, and had more solid fundamentals.
Only after the Thunder Mountain Sect's two newcomers joined them did they barely recover from their unfavorable situation.
A few minutes passed, and each of the Heaven Palace Sect and the Thunder Mountain Sect had two people killed. All the living ones were also covered in wounds and blood.
Moments later, another Heaven Expanse Sect Qi warrior arrived under the Thunder Mountain Sect disciples' summons, which gave the advantage to the Thunder Mountain Sect, allowing them to kill another Heaven Palace Sect disciple shortly afterwards.
That left the Heaven Palace Sect with only Su Lin and another late Greater Heaven stage Qi warrior, who struggled to stay alive.
Still seeing no sign of Hong He or Huang Hu coming, Su Lin finally gave up and withdrew from the battlefield.
"Don't let them escape!!" With these words, the Thunder Mountain Sect survivors split up to chase after Su Lin and the other late Greater Heaven stage Heaven Palace Sect disciple, leaving only one person behind to pillage the eighth grade black phoenix.
At this moment, the Ice Pavilion Sect disciples could see no more lightning flashing across the sky, and thus finally charged out of their hiding place under Xuan Ke's leadership.
Shock appeared in the eyes of Xuan Ke and the others as soon as they discovered the eighth grade black phoenix's corpse. They immediately picked up their pace, and easily annihilated the Thunder Mountain Sect disciple who had stayed behind to gather valuable materials from the black phoenix's corpse.
Holding his bloodstained longsword, Xuan Ke said, wreathed in a cold aura, "It was actually a battle between the Heaven Palace Sect and the Thunder Mountain Sect!"
From the way the dead were dressed, he quickly determined that it was the Heaven Palace Sect that the Thunder Mountain Sect had been fighting. The black phoenix's corpse made it clear what they had been fighting for.
Gazing at the eighth grade black phoenix, Xuan Ke said, "Forget about everything else. Let's cut this black phoenix open, and take everything but its flesh! Those from the Heaven Palace Sect and the Thunder Mountain Sect will definitely come back for this black phoenix, so we need to finish and leave as quickly as we can!"
Thrilled to bits, the other three started without any delay.
At this moment, Nie Tian, who had been observing for quite a while, finally launched a Starshift after sending Dong Li another message.