Seeing the unfavorable situation, Yang Kan and Lu Jian no longer dared to stay, and left in a hurry.
Standing in place, Nie Tian let out a cold harrumph and watched them speed away.
Then, he dragged the three Heaven Expanse Sect and Thunder Mountain Sect disciples' badly mangled bodies to the place where he had scattered the others, and then took their rings of holding, along with Guan Ye's.
Afterwards, he sat in the midst of the corpses and started recovering with spirit stones.
A long time passed.
With a thought, he formed another spiritual energy ball in his palm.
The new spiritual energy ball was still grayish-brown, with shadows flashing about in it.
During the process, he could sense with great clarity that, as soon as a few wisps of ripping power from the gray mist were channeled down from the air into the spiritual energy ball in his palm, the spiritual energy ball grew unstable, as if it had been infused with terror.
With a fling of his hand, the spiritual energy ball shot out of his hand and exploded, forming a field of ripping power before him, which seemed as if could rip all living beings into shreds.
"The gray mist seems to have been somehow formed by all sorts of energies of heaven and earth when the top continent exploded." Nie Tian's mind drifted away as he gazed up at the mysterious, gray mist that filled the entire sky.
According to Dong Li, anyone who had entered the gray mist, voluntarily or not, had never come out again.
It didn't matter whether the person was at the Greater Heaven stage, the Worldly realm, or even the Soul realm. Once they entered, there was no coming back.
The only reason they had passed it and set foot on the bottom continent was because the enormous vortex served like a ladder that connected to the bottom continent in a unfathomable way. "How many secrets of this place are still waiting to be uncovered?"
Eyebrows furrowed, Nie Tian wracked his mind, but still failed to figure out what had happened in this dimension after the final war between the intelligent beings from the top continent and the gigantic creatures from the bottom continent.
After a while, he looked over his shoulder, and discovered that Dong Li was still sitting beside the gigantic black phoenix's head. Wisps of dark spiritual power were flying back and forth between her and the eighth grade black phoenix.
Time flew, and another day passed...
On this day, Nie Tian killed two other Heaven Palace Sect disciples.
The two of them had probably been summoned to this location by Su Lin and Guan Ye. They had arrived soon after Yang Kan and Lu Jian left. Nie Tian launched lightning quick attacks and added their corpses to the ones around him.
Sitting back in the midst the scattered corpses, Nie Tian calmed himself and recovered power with spiritual materials of different attributes.
A few hours later, a group of people entered the detection range of Nie Tian's Heaven Eyes. Nie Tian examined them with rapt attention, but quickly resumed his cultivation.
The newcomers were Qin Yan, Feng Ying, Cao Qiushui, Gu Haofeng, and Qian Xin from the Realm of a Hundred Battles.
However, Dong Baijie wasn't with them.
Nie Tian hadn't seen them since they had walked into the colorful mist.
He remembered that more than a dozen people had entered the colorful mist before him and Dong Li.
For some reason, there were only five of them who were traveling together now. He wondered what had happened to the others.
The five of them scanned their surroundings with their psychic awarenesses as they marched through the rubble-strewn area. It wasn't very long before they found their way to Nie Tian's location.
At first, they moved stealthily, doing their utmost to hide their traces.
However, as they got closer and discovered that it was Nie Tian, they no longer hid, and dashed towards him.
"Nie Tian!" Qin Yan exclaimed, shock filling her gracefully beautiful face.
The other four were also deeply shaken after seeing Nie Tian sitting in the midst of more than a dozen scattered corpses.
The corpses were dressed in different sects' garments and mangled to different degrees. Clearly, they were from different sects. They gasped with astonishment as they discovered Guan Ye from the Heaven Palace Sect among the dead.
For a moment, they went completely blank, wondering what had happened here.
Moments later, Gu Haofeng snapped out of his daze, and with a sarcastic laugh, he said, "You're quite lucky."
He assumed that people from different forces had engaged in a chaotic battle in this place.
Nie Tian just happened to be the lucky survivor.
After hearing Gu Haofeng's words, the other four realized what he meant, and thought his speculation might be very close to what had happened.
Nie Tian, however, wasn't interested in explaining. He opened his eyes and took a glance at them before resuming his cultivation.
"Look at that huge black phoenix!" Qian Xin from the Pill Pavilion Sect measured the black phoenix's corpse with his eyes before his gaze landed on Dong Li, who was sitting by the black phoenix's head, and said with an envious expression, "This black phoenix must be of a very high grade. After absorbing its residual power, Dong Li will definitely gain a strong boost in her strength and cultivation. I guess I was wrong... Dong Li is the truly lucky one."
Everyone's attention quickly fell on the black phoenix and Dong Li, who they envied very much.
Qin Yan took a circle around the black phoenix's corpse, and discovered the formation of tree branches in the vicinity. Quickly, she realized that Nie Tian was using the tree branches he had obtained from the floating continent to protect Dong Li.
She walked back to Nie Tian's side, took a glance at the corpses on the ground, and said, "What happened here?"
"Nothing," Nie Tian responded coldly, not even looking up at her.
At this moment, Gu Haofeng said with a grim face, "Others may find their way to this place too. Let's regroup here and move out again after Dong Li is finished."
"Battles await if we choose to stay," Cao Qiushui said with a very grim face. "We've already lost too many people in this damned place. We might be the only ones from the Realm of a Hundred Battles who are still alive now. But since different sects have lost people fighting for this black phoenix's corpse, I don't think they'll just give up."
Upon hearing his words, everyone fell silent, their faces grim.
From the look of it, this recent period of time hadn't been easy for them, and they had probably suffered great losses.
Otherwise, these youngsters wouldn't have been so worried and grim after seeing the eighth grade black phoenix.
Something must have happened that had hurt their confidence in their strength.
Sitting in silence, Nie Tian took out another spirit stone and started absorbing its spiritual power.
He closed his eyes, and was apparently not in the mood to talk. The others were discouraged by his attitude and gave up on the idea of asking about the situation. Instead, they sat down in a circle and started chatting with each other.
From their conversation, Nie Tian soon learned that, after coming to this continent, they had encountered people from the Thunder Mountain Sect, the Heaven Expanse Sect, and the Heaven Palace Sect. Fights had broken out over precious spiritual materials, during which they had lost many people.
Fortunately, the few leaders had gotten in contact with each other via Sound Stones and joined up.
However, many of those who had come with them had been killed in battle.
After some time, Nie Tian saw through his Heaven Eyes that Dong Li had stopped absorbing power from the black phoenix's corpse.
Her black phoenix beast spirit had also surfaced from the eighth grade black phoenix's corpse and slowly flew back into Dong Li, dragging glorious light with it as it did.
As soon as her beast spirit returned to her, Dong Li's eyes snapped open.
After glancing over the crowd and the corpses scattered around, she seemed somewhat relieved, and then once again closed her eyes.
Terrifyingly intense energy fluctuations suddenly exploded from within her and spread into her surroundings. She took out a number of spirit jades, and with a deep breath, started her advancement to the late Greater Heaven stage.
The five people from the Realm of a Hundred Battles clamored over the incredible fortune Dong Li had so luckily seized, envy filling their faces.
"Dong Li is going to make a breakthrough!"
"That black phoenix's corpse must have provided her with great help. Otherwise, she wouldn't have been ready for a breakthrough in cultivation right after refining its power!"
"She's so lucky!"
A few hours later, Xuan Ke came back with six other Ice Pavilion Sect disciples.
By the time they paced to Nie Tian, Nie Tian had already fully recovered his spiritual power. His eyes snapped open as he gazed coldly at him and asked, "Changed your mind, have you?"
Xuan Ke had left with three subordinates, but now he had returned with three more, one of which was at the late Greater Heaven stage, the same stage as Xuan Ke, and the others at the middle Greater Heaven stage.
Nie Tian assumed that, now that Xuan Ke had gathered enough people, he had come back for the black phoenix's corpse.
Xuan Ke shook his head and said, "I gave you my word that we won't want anything to do with that eighth grade black phoenix anymore."
Zhao Le laughed somewhat unnaturally as he said with a surprisingly flattering attitude, "Well, we ran into Yang Kan and Lu Jian on our way back here. How can we still dare to have such a thought after learning what you've done here?"
Wang Rong nodded as she chimed in, bitterness filling the corner of her mouth, "You've killed so many people, including Guan Ye. You even scared Yang Kan away. We definitely will live by our pact."
"We've come back to you because of something else," Luo Xue explained.
After hearing their words, the five from the Realm of a Hundred Battles were flabbergasted, as if they had been struck by lightning.
They all turned to stare blankly at Nie Tian, their mouths opening slightly, as if they wanted to say something, yet lost their words.
No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't picture Nie Tian killing all these Qi warriors.
No one at his cultivation stage should possess such battle prowess. Some of the dead were even at higher stages than him!
How was this possible!?