Together, there were more than twenty Greater Heaven stage and Worldly realm cultivators from the three parties. Many of their air-transportation spiritual tools were damaged.
All of them were injured to different extents. Some seemed to be in critical condition, as they lay in their air-transportation spiritual tools like dying men.
Conspicuous wounds could also be seen in Yin Yanan's exposed tanned skin.
Xing Beichen from the Trisword Sect was the only one at the early Profound realm. His face grew icy as soon as he saw Nie Tian. "It's him!"
Chu Bowen and the others also had unpleasant expressions, as if none of them wanted to see Nie Tian.
Ignoring them, Nie Tian turned to Qiao Yunxi and asked, "What happened?"
Qiao Yunxi's aura was rather weak, and the light in her eyes was also dimmer than before.
Nie Tian could sense significant spiritual power consumption from her, and thus knew they must have gone through a fierce battle.
"What happened to the crystal between your eyebrows?!" Qiao Yunxi exclaimed.
At this moment, Yin Yanan also noticed the change, her gem-like eyes fixed on the spot between Nie Tian's eyebrows.
The two of them had cursed Nie Tian when they had parted ways, saying that he would definitely be possessed by the Phantasm soul and become its puppet.
Who would have thought now that they met again, not only was he not possessed by the Phantasm soul, but the prismatic crystal between his eyebrows was also somehow gone.
Nie Tian smiled and said with an easy tone, "Oh, you're talking about that Phantasm soul, right? I took care of it. It won't be a problem anymore."
Qiao Yunxi was shocked. "How did you do that?!"
"Hahaha." Nie Tian laughed, but didn't say anything.
"Let's get out of here and not waste anymore time on this man," Chu Bowen from the Chu Clan said with a grim face. "Those Stonemen are still pursuing us. They'll catch up to us if we stay here for too long."
Nie Tian was taken aback. "Stonemen?"
"We got in contact with the others soon after parting ways with you, but..." Qiao Yunxi said with a bitter expression. "They turned out to be in a worse state than us. They ran into outsiders. Senior Wei Yu from the Trisword Sect was killed by Demons. Senior Chu Xuanji was also badly wounded. Their Profound realm and Soul realm members fought the outsiders with their lives to cover us while we escaped."
Qiao Yunxi went on and briefly explained what had happened after their separation with Nie Tian.
From her, Nie Tian learned that it had been more than a month since their parting.
During this time, the girls had reestablished contact with the others from the three parties.
However, by the time they had met up with Xing Beichen, Chu Bowen, and the others, they had been on the run from the outsiders.
As it turned out, the members of three parties had been resting on a floating meteor when Demons and Stonemen had suddenly showed up and started killing them.
Before that, Wei Yu had been seriously injured by Nie Tian and lost much of his vital energy.
Therefore, he had lacked battle prowess during his battle against the outsiders, and ended up being bombarded to death.
Chu Xuanji, on the other hand, had led the other Soul realm and Profound realm experts into battle against the Demons and Stonemen, so that Xing Beichen, Chu Bowen, and their weaker members could evacuate safely.
Xing Beichen and Chu Bowen had managed to leave the battlefield with their weaker members, but the Stonemen had pursued them unyieldingly.
Even after joining up with Qiao Yunxi and Yin Yanan, the Stonemen had caught up to them a few times, and they had lost some people in battle.
At the beginning, the Stonemen pursuers had been as strong as them, and they had been able to put up a fight.
But later, sixth grade Stonemen had joined the pursuit, as they seemed to have withdrawn from their battle against Chu Xuanji and the other human experts, which had put them under tremendous pressure.
Fortunately, they had been able to escape with the help of their air-transportation spiritual tools. Otherwise, they would have been wiped out by the Stonemen already.
After learning about what had happened, Nie Tian looked shocked. "I heard that people from your domain have connections with those outsiders. Why were they so eager to kill you upon encountering you?"
Qiao Yunxi snorted coldly. "Our so-called connections are limited to spiritual material trade, which is very fragile and can be thrown away at any moment."
"Why are you still wasting your breath with him?!" Chu Bowen asked with an unpleasant expression. "If it weren't for him, we wouldn't have been so easily defeated by the outsiders!"
The disciples of the Trisword Sect and the Beast-controlling Sect also fixed Nie Tian with angry glares as they chimed in one after another.
"If he hadn't badly injured Senior Wei Yu and killed Senior Hong Xian and most of our Soul realm experts, we wouldn't have had to fear those Demons and Stonemen at all!"
"That's right! It's all because of him that we're in such a difficult situation!"
"He's the one who caused this!"
Face icy, Nie Tian didn't feel the need to explain. Instead, he said to Qiao Yunxi, "You can stay with me. And the others can fuck off."
Qiao Yunxi was the person from the Divine Flame Sect who had been charged with the task of bringing him to Yue Yanxi.
Yue Yanxi had treated him well. Plus, Qiao Yunxi hadn't truly offended him. Therefore, he wanted to keep her safe.
"Didn't you say that we should go on our separate ways?" Qiao Yunxi sounded still disgruntled.
Nie Tian smiled faintly. "I only parted ways with you because I needed to focus on taking care of the Phantasm soul. I don't have a problem with you. You didn't try to harm me or anything. Now that I've gotten rid of the Phantasm soul, I can keep you safe again."
"What about them?" Qiao Yunxi asked.
Nie Tian shot a cold look at Xing Beichen, Chu Bowen, and the others. "Their safety has nothing to do with me. They can live and die on their own."
Qiao Yunxi fell silent, fiery light flowing in the depths of her eyes, as if she was pondering the matter.
She assumed that Nie Tian would still be able to merge with his Bone Blood Demon and display unmatched battle prowess.
According to Xing Beichen and Chu Bowen, there weren't any eighth grade experts among the Demons and Stonemen they had encountered. Considering the shocking battle prowess the Bone Blood Demon had displayed before, she was convinced that Nie Tian did have the ability to keep her safe.
However, she didn't know that Nie Tian was actually thinking of protecting her through another method.
"Listen to me, disciples of the Beast-controlling Sect," Yin Yanan suddenly called out. "We'll take a break on this meteor. Do you best to recover your strength."
Riding the Frost Blood Python, she was the first to descend on the meteor Nie Tian was on, and started recovering with spirit stones and medicinal pills.
Even though the disciples of the Beast-controlling Sect didn't quite understand the reason behind this, they did as they were bid and also landed, and started treating their wounds and recovering their strength.
Chu Bowen was taken aback. "What are you doing, Sister Yanan?"
Without even looking at Nie Tian, Yin Yanan said with a composed expression, "That bastard is here too. If the Stonemen pursue us to this meteor, he'll have to do something. That puppet of his is more than capable of killing all of the Stonemen pursuers for us. We'll just stick closely with him and see what he'll do."
The eyes of the disciples of the three parties lit up upon hearing her words, realizing that this was actually a good idea.
A hint of a smile appeared on Qiao Yunxi's face, as she also felt that Yin Yanan's rascally approach might actually help them get rid of the pursuing Stonemen.
They all assumed that Nie Tian's Bone Blood Demon would still be able to display the same terrifying battle prowess as before.
Only Nie Tian knew that their assumption was wrong.
WHOOSH! WHOOSH! WHOOSH!
One air-transportation spiritual tool after another landed on the meteor.
The members of the three parties clamored as they either treated the injured or recovered with spirit stones and medicinal pills, none of them paying any attention to Nie Tian.
"Have you forgotten that I said that I'll kill you all?" Nie Tian suddenly asked with an icy tone.
Xing Beichen and the others' expressions instantly flickered.
It didn't matter whether they were recovering or healing the injured, they all froze and fixed Nie Tian with vigilant gazes.
Like an enrage female beast, Yin Yanan leapt in front of Nie Tian in the blink of an eye. Fury filling her face, she said, "Come on then! Kill me now!"
Qiao Yunxi hastily rushed over and called out as she did, "Nie Tian! Don't do it!"
Face ice-cold, Yin Yanan looked right into Nie Tian's eyes. Even her well-built body trembled slightly with emotion. "I helped you twice when that Phantasm soul attempted to possess you. Let's see whether you're going to kill the person who saved you!"
Seeing her sticking her neck out, Nie Tian recalled when her soul awareness had flew into his mind to help him fight the Phantasm soul.
His heart grew soft.
He let out a sigh and asked with a somewhat reluctant expression, "How many Stonemen are chasing you, and what grade are they at?"
His original plan was to only keep Qiao Yunxi by his side. With Life Stealth, he would be able to mask their flesh auras.
Stonemen weren't skilled in soul magics. They could normally only scan their surroundings by detecting flesh auras.
As long as they hid in that hole and masked their flesh auras, the Stonemen wouldn't be able to sense their presence.
However, now that Yin Yanan and the others were also staying with him, he had to think of another way.
The fact that he asked about the number and grade of the Stonemen pursuers was because he wanted to know whether they would be able to fight them with their current strength.
"Most of them are at the fifth grade," Qiao Yunxi hastily answered. "Only two or three are at the sixth grade. The only two seventh grade Stonemen experts are fighting Chu Xuanji and the other seniors. So you should be able to take them out with the help of your puppet."
"Three sixth grade Stonemen..." Nie Tian muttered to himself.
Sixth grade outsiders were as powerful as Profound realm human experts. Even though the Bone Blood Demon only had ten percent of its strength left and couldn't merge with him again, it wouldn't be very difficult for it to kill them by just relying on its remaining strength and its solid body.
The Stonemen's flesh aura was much more vigorous than that of humans.
By killing them, the Bone Blood Demon would be able to refine their blood to replenish its flesh power.
Yin Yanan was at the late Worldly realm. Xing Beichen was at the early Profound realm. The others' cultivation bases weren't very low either. They would be able to handle the less powerful Stonemen to shoulder some of the pressure.
As long as they could win this battle, the Bone Blood Demon would be able to recover strength with the dead Stonemen's blood, while he would be able to absorb their remaining flesh power with Life Drain to satisfy his bloodline aura's endless desire.
With these thoughts in mind, he finally made a decision.
"Alright, let's wait for the Stonemen pursuers," Nie Tian said loudly. "But I want to be clear on one thing: I won't take any of their valuables after the battle, but I'll take their bodies."
"Deal!" Qiao Yunxi said decisively.
Nie Tian shot a glance at Yin Yanan.
Yin Yanan let out a cold snort. "You'll be our main battle force. Their corpses are yours as long as we win."