The changes happened so suddenly. No one had foreseen that Hua Mu could actually display such destructive force.
Numerous sharp, pitch-black vines that looked as if they were made of iron slithered in the air, reaping the lives of the nearby Demons.
Every fourth and fifth grade Demon within a three hundred meter radius around Hua Mu had their hearts pierced through and were drained of their blood by the vines.
After absorbing the Demons' blood, the vines rapidly grew larger and sharper.
After killing every last Demon in the vicinity, the expanded vines then targeted the Fiends, Phantasms, Blackscales, and Stonemen.
It seemed that the vines had their priorities.
PUFF! PUFF! PUFF!
At an alarming rate, the expanding vines pierced through more outsiders' hearts and harvested their blood.
Thick outsider blood was rapidly channeled into the killer vines, providing them with nutrition and power.
Moments later, there wasn't a single living being within a thousand meter radius around Hua Mu.
Each and every outsider had died with terrified looks on their faces.
"What the hell is going on, Mr. Lu?!" Zhao Luofeng from the Heaven Palace Sect shouted, staring at one of the Spirit Condor's potentates.
As of this moment, he finally realized why the other two potentates of the Spirit Condor had urged everyone to fall back into the Heaven Palace Sect's Five Elements Fortune Formation.
"Long story," The potentate of the Spirit Condor named Lu Yuanxi said with a grim face. "Just tell the disciples of all the sects to retreat to the Five Elements Fortune Formation as soon as possible."
Fortunately, he and that other potentate had ignored Zhao Luofeng's hindrance and pulled those who had refused to leave away from Hua Mu.
Otherwise, those Worldly realm and Profound realm Qi warriors would have died at Hua Mu's hands as well.
At that moment, everyone could see that Hua Mu had already lost his senses.
The look in his eyes was even more terrifying than that of the Demon expert who had activated Ancestral Awakening.
With a flick of his fingers, Zhao Shanling controlled his void realm to float to Xia Yi's side. "What happened while we were gone, Flame God?"
At this point, Xia Yi had already lost his desire to deal with Nie Tian. Staring at Hua Mu with a grim expression, he explained without turning his head, "After you went missing, Basto's giant claw made Hua Mu its new target. Hua Mu fought that ghostly claw and sustained some injuries to his soul. That's when it happened. Something inside of him seemed to stir and was very eager to charge out of him.
"Then, you came back and saw what happened afterwards.
"I can't believe that Hua Mu actually has a plant from the Demons' realm growing inside of him. Even though I know nothing about that plant, since it killed a seventh grade Demon that easily, it must be far beyond ordinary.
"Hua Mu must have been suppressing it all these years. It must be the soul injuries he sustained that awakened the plant and caused such results."
As powerful as Xia Yi was, he started to look at Hua Mu with apprehension in his eyes.
The truth was that he hadn't attached much importance to Hua Mu before this incident. He had thought that, even joining up with the other two potentates of the Spirit Condor, they wouldn't pose much of a threat to him.
However, after witnessing the overwhelmingly destructive force of the madly growing vines, he started to feel uneasy around him.
"A powerful plant from a Demon realm... Uncle Hua has been to a Demon realm!" Nie Tian's expression flickered as he suddenly recalled what Hua Mu had said to him years ago when he had tried to seal the spatial rift in the Realm of Flame Heaven.
According to him, the spatial rifts in the Realm of Flame Heaven, the Realm of Mystic Heaven, and the Realm of a Thousand Devastations had opened a few times over the past thousands of years.
It was just that, during those times, the Demons had been stopped from entering the Domain of the Falling Stars by some restrictive spell, but the humans from the Domain of the Falling Stars had been able to visit the Demons' realms through those spatial rifts.
According to Hua Mu, Qi warriors had formed exploration teams that had gone through the spatial rifts to the realms where the Demons lived.
Most of those Qi warriors had never returned.
Hua Mu had grown very sad when he had mentioned this, as if he had been reliving some very unpleasant memories.
Back then, Nie Tian had had a feeling that Hua Mu must have been on one of the exploration teams, and that he was one of the few brave men who had walked out of the Domain of the Falling Stars in the recent thousands of years.
Now, after seeing the formidable plant that had been hiding inside of him, he was completely convinced that Hua Mu was one of those who had returned from the Demon realms, if he wasn't the only one.
However, it seemed that he had paid a heavy price to come back alive; he had come back with a scary plant inside of him.
Perhaps he had made great efforts to suppress the plant ever since he had returned, so the public didn't know about it.
This time, the killer plant had only broken free from his restraint and come before the public eye because he had consumed too much power fighting Basto with the other two potentates of the Spirit Condor, and he had injured his soul contending against Basto's soul attack.
SHEW! SHEW! SHEW!
The enormous vines continued to fly through the air. They seemed to be sharp enough to pierce through solid steel after absorbing outsider blood to their fill.
The parts of the vines that were close to Hua Mu were still rather thin. It was the parts that were far from him that had become as thick as man-eating pythons.
The vines seemed to be very spiritual as they searched about by themselves for more fresh blood. Therefore, carried by the vines, Hua Mu started moving towards areas where living beings were gathered.
Hua Mu seemed to be the movable root of the killer vines. He floated wherever the vines wanted to go.
Zong Zheng from the Ice Pavilion Sect saw that there were experts of the Ice Pavilion Sect in the direction where Hua Mu was heading, and thus exclaimed, "Mr. Lu! Do you have a way to sober Hua Mu up and tell him to target only the outsiders?"
Lu Yuanxi was holding his jade ruler as numerous streaks of spiritual light fell from him like willow leaves. "No. If we knew how to do that, we would have done it already."
"Brother Zong," he said in a serious voice, "The only way to save those disciples of your sect is to tell them to retreat to the Five Elements Fortune Formation as quickly as possible!"
Zong Zheng pondered for a few seconds before issuing the order, "All disciples of the Ice Pavilion Sect, steer clear of Mr. Hua and retreat to the Heaven Palace Sect immediately!"
After hearing his words, Dong Wangling, Li Muyang, Qi Bailu, and the others also realized what they should do, and thus called out to the disciples of their own sects.
Therefore, without consulting the Heaven Palace Sect, all of their Worldly realm and Profound realm Qi warriors started retreating like an ebbing tide.
"Sectmaster! What should we do?!" Ling Dong asked loudly.
After glancing around briefly, Zhao Luofeng gave the order. "Retreat!"
Upon hearing him, the disciples of the Heaven Palace Sect also ran as fast as they could from Hua Mu towards the Five Elements Fortune Formation.
The Soul realm experts of the Poison Sect and the Spirit God Sect hesitated briefly, and then issued the same order.
However, because they hesitated for a couple of seconds, Hua Mu flew to the area where their disciples were fighting outsiders. In the blink of an eye, numerous thick vines found their way through the Demons' hearts.
Meanwhile, since many new vines had grown out of Hua Mu after the first round of killing, many vines couldn't find Demons to kill. Therefore, they no longer had a priority but instead killed whichever humans or outsiders were close to them.
Many Worldly realm and Profound realm disciples of the Poison Sect and the Spirit God Sect failed to evacuate in time and thus fell prey to the killer vines.
"Hua Mu!!!" The sectmaster of the Spirit God Sect thundered furiously as he ended his battle against a seventh grade Birdman and bolted towards Hua Mu.
Not long ago, Hua Mu had shattered the Spirit God Sect's grand spell formation and engaged in a fierce battle against him.
Only after many other sects had come to intermediate between them had they ended their battle.
At that time, the sectmaster of the Spirit God Sect hadn't considered Hua Mu a very formidable opponent. If the outsiders hadn't started their invasion, he believed that he would have been able to defeat him eventually.
Now that he saw Hua Mu entering such a state and start killing Qi warriors of the Spirit God Sect, he deemed that Hua Mu had done it on purpose. Then, recalling what Hua Mu had done before, he decided to ignore the outsiders and settle accounts with Hua Mu first.