Dong Baijie and the others were completely shocked as they arrived on their air-transportation spiritual tools.
Nie Tian was sitting on the Bone Blood Demon's shoulder, unwavering and unscathed. A hint of a cold smile appeared at the corner of his mouth.
Badly mangled bodies were scattered around the Bone Blood Demon. A faint bloody smell filled the air.
"You're only one step too late," Nie Tian said, smiling.
Qin Yan's charming face was filled with shock and disbelief as she asked, "Did you kill all these people with this puppet? Those were five Profound realm experts!"
Nie Tian nodded. "Indeed they were, but unfortunately for them, this puppet of mine has no problem killing any Profound realm expert! Not to mention that there were only five of them, even if more Profound realm experts came, they would have been killed all the same!"
After slaughtering the five Profound realm experts, the Bone Blood Demon didn't try to absorb and refine their blood with the Blood Refining Incantation as Nie Tian had expected.
After a moment of pondering, Nie Tian came to the conclusion that, even though they were Profound realm experts, they were still humans.
Normally, humans' flesh power wouldn't become more profound as they made advancements in their cultivation.
The source of humans' power was mainly the spiritual power in their spiritual sea. Therefore, even combined, the five Profound realm experts wouldn't have as much flesh power as a third grade outsider.
Only copious amounts of flesh power would help the Bone Blood Demon with its battle prowess.
That was the reason why it hadn't showed the slightest interest in the five Profound realm experts' corpses.
"Nie Tian!!" Dong Li called out with an extremely excited expression. "This puppet of yours killed those five Profound realm experts so effortlessly. Does this mean that its actual battle prowess is equal to that of a Soul realm expert?"
With a smile, Nie Tian said, "I believe it'd be able to contend against an early Soul realm expert!"
Qian Xin from the Pill Pavilion Sect let out a sigh and said, "No wonder you dared to leave the city. It seems that we worried too much. I knew you wouldn't make rash decisions."
Nie Tian stared coldly in the direction of Shatter City and said, "I'll stay here a while longer. I wanna see who else dares to come and try to take my spiritual materials!"
By one of the spatial rifts that continuously leaked cyan Phantasm Qi into the Void Illusion Mountain Range.
Qi warriors from the Poison Sect, the Spirit God Sect, and the Heaven Expanse Sect had set up defenses a certain distance around it.
By a river not far from that spatial rift stood a small-scale teleportation portal that led only to Shatter City, Ash City, and the Land of the Abandoned.
At this moment, Qian Qiong from the Ice Pavilion Sect, Dong Tengfei from the Dong Clan, and various seniors of the Yin Sect, the Yang Sect, and the sects from the Realm of Flame Heaven were all glaring at Hou Qingsen from the Poison Sect.
Upon receiving word that Nie Tian had left Shatter City and five Profound realm rogue cultivators had gone after him, they had realized that Nie Tian was in danger.
This small-scale teleportation portal was the closest one to where they had set up defenses. Through this portal, they would be able to return to Shatter City within the shortest time.
However, under their gazes, Hou Qingsen said with a helpless and apologetic expression, "I'm sorry. The teleportation portal broke down because too many people have been using it recently. It'll take at least an hour to fix it."
With these words, he took a step back, showing that Qian Qiong and the others were welcome to check it personally.
Qian Qiong stepped forward, and quickly realized that a minor spell formation within the teleportation portal had been destroyed. At this moment, a Qi warrior from the Poison Sect was fixing it with caution.
Dong Tengfei let out a cold snort and said, "We've just received word that Nie Tian has left Shatter City, and five Profound realm rogue cultivators went after him. And this teleportation portal happened to break down at this moment. A bit too coincidental, isn't it?"
"Yeah, who would have known," Hou Qingsen said with a faint smile. "Don't read too much into it though. I've got nothing to do with those rogue cultivators. As you know, those rogue cultivators always act on their own, and never answer the summons of any sect."
Ji Qingyun from the Heaven Expanse Sect added in a low voice, "Who knows why Nie Tian won't stay in Shatter City. He courts death by leaving the city. You can't blame that on us, right?"
Qian Qiong and the other experts also didn't understand why Nie Tian would ignore their warnings and leave the city, and thus couldn't refute their statement.
However, they were sure that those five profound realm rogue cultivators had sent by the few people in front of them.
Otherwise, the five of them wouldn't have acted simultaneously.
It was just that, since they didn't have any solid proof, they couldn't do anything to Hou Qingsen or Ji Qingyun.
Only if those five rogue cultivators agreed to testify against them would they be able to determine that they were guilty.
"Don't worry," Hou Qingsen said casually. "Now that we're in the same alliance, I'd never try to stop you from using our small-scale teleportation portal. You just need to wait for an hour. You're welcome to use it all you want once it's fixed."
Li Jing sighed inwardly. "An hour..."
When they had received word of Nie Tian leaving, the five Profound realm rogue cultivators had already gone after him. Considering their strength, any one of them would be able to kill Nie Tian within seconds. Therefore, they were afraid that Nie Tian's body would be cold in an hour.
"Let's go to the other nearby teleportation portals!" Qian Qiong said decisively.
There were other small-scale teleportation portals in the Void Illusion Mountain Range. It was just that the others were all rather far from this location, but now that this teleportation portal had broken down, they couldn't think of a better choice.
"It's already too late," Fang Hui said, his expression very grim.
He knew that even if they went to another teleportation portal now, they wouldn't make it back in time to save Nie Tian.
Anger filled Dong Tengfei's eyes as he said, "Why did Nie Tian ignore our warnings and leave the city anyways?! I told Dong Li repeatedly before we left that she shouldn't let Nie Tian take one step outside Shatter City! Why would he still do such a rash thing!?"
This was the biggest question of all those who cared about Nie Tian.
Seeing them feel frustrated and anxious, Hou Qingsen and Ji Qingyun exchanged a glance and smiled subtly, as they both thought that Nie Tian would die beyond the shadow of a doubt this time, and they finally had their revenge.
At that moment, rapid sounds came from within Dong Tengfei's cuff.
With a grim and anxious expression, Dong Tengfei took out his Sound Stone, assuming that it was Dong Baijie messaging him to inform him of Nie Tian's death.
Soon after sending a wisp of psychic awareness into the Sound Stone, his expression quickly became very strange.
At that moment, the Sound Stones of Qian Qiong, Lu Ling, Kong Hong, and the others also rang one after another.
They also assumed it was their juniors messaging them to inform them of Nie Tian's death at the first possible moment.
However, like Dong Tengfei, their expressions also grew very strange after they received their messages via their respective Sound Stones.
Seeing this, Dong Tengfei quickly put his Sound Stone away and asked, "Y-you've received the same messages, didn't you?"
Qian Qiong nodded and said numbingly, "I didn't see this coming... at all."
Mixed emotions rose in Kong Hong's heart as he said, "It seems that we've all underestimated him. That young man is special indeed!"
Li Jing, Fang Hui, and the others who hadn't received any messages looked deeply puzzled, not knowing what they were talking about.
The same went for Hou Qingsen and Ji Qingyun.
However, Qian Qiong didn't explain anything to Li Jing and the others. Instead, he took a deep look at Hou Qingsen and Ji Qingyun and said, "You'd better watch out."
With these words, he signaled Li Jing and the others, who had been very anxious a moment ago, to leave.
After they were all gone, Hou Qingsen took out his Sound Stone. With a wisp of his awareness, he asked confusedly, "What the hell happened?"
Moments later, one of the Poison Sect disciples that he had deployed in Shatter City replied, "All five Profound realm rogue cultivators were killed!"
At the same time, a sharp sound also came from Ji Qingyun's Sound Stone. His face dropped as he sent a wisp of awareness into it.
Hou Qingsen couldn't help but exclaim, "That kid had a puppet whose battle prowess is equal to that of a Soul realm expert! How is that possible?! How can a puppet possess such formidable battle prowess?!"
"Three of them were even at the late Profound realm! Only someone with Soul realm battle prowess could have killed all five of them within such a short time!" With these words, Ji Qingyun finally realized why Qian Qiong and the others had looked so strange after receiving their messages.
Hou Qingsen took a deep breath, his expression incomparably grim. "I can't believe that the Realm of Flame Heaven possesses Soul realm battle force now! Even though it's only a puppet, it's as powerful as a Soul realm expert. From now on, whoever wants to ride roughshod over the sects from the Realm of Flame Heaven will have to think about the consequences."
It wasn't long before Li Jing realized that Qian Qiong wasn't leading them towards any of the other teleportation portals. She could no longer suppress her curiosity, and thus asked, "What happened?"
All of the Worldly realm and Profound realm experts from the Realm of Flame Heaven had come to the Void Illusion Mountain Range to help with the defenses, and they didn't have any informants in Shatter City. Therefore, Li Jing hadn't received any word of what had happened outside Shatter City.
She knew that powerful sects like the Ice Pavilion Sect and the Spirit Condor were only taking special care of the sects from the Realm of Flame Heaven because of Nie Tian.
If Nie Tian died, would they still care for them?
Without Nie Tian, would they be once again used as cannon fodder in the upcoming battle against the outsiders?
If the alliance tided over the outsiders' invasion, would those forces still stand by their side when the Heaven Expanse Sect and Poison Sect sought trouble with them?
Qian Qiong sighed with a smile, and decided to tell Li Jing and the others the truth. "Your realm has produced an extraordinary Qi warrior. Nie Tian killed all five Profound realm experts with a puppet outside Shatter City, and three of them were at the late Profound realm. The battle prowess of that puppet is equal to that of an early Soul realm expert. From now on, people won't dare to ride roughshod over the Realm of Flame Heaven anymore."
A shudder ran through Li Jing's body. "W-what?!"
"Soul realm experts are the true foundation of major sects," Dong Tengfei chimed in. "Only those that have Soul realm experts can be considered major sects. Now that the Realm of Flame Heaven possesses Soul realm battle force, no one will dare to slight you anymore, even though it's only a puppet."
Fang Hui, Chang Sen, and Ghost Eye were also flabbergasted upon hearing these words.
Not having a Soul realm expert was the fundamental reason why the Realm of Flame Heaven hadn't been acknowledged by the other eight realms over the recent centuries.
It was also because of this that the Realm of Earth Sieve, the Realm of Dark Underworld, and the Realm of Black Marsh had dared to plot to take the Realm of Flame Heaven.
But now, since the Bone Blood Demon which Nie Tian had awakened possessed Soul realm battle force, it had completely changed the situation.
As Fang Hui, Li Jing, and the others exchanged glances, they could see great excitement and joy in each other's eyes.
"It's the greatest honor of the Realm of Flame Heaven that Nie Tian is from the Realm of Flame Heaven!"