If Nie Tian hadn’t spent such a long time convincing the An sisters to join them, they would have been gone long before the three Blood sect experts came along.
If they hadn’t been discovered, Wu Xing wouldn’t have been forced to make a move and therefore expose their whereabouts.
However, now that the three experts from the Blood Sect had descended into the courtyard, they would undoubtedly find the An sisters no matter what happened.
If Nie Tian chose to leave they would be able to avoid a fierce battle, but the An sisters would most likely be killed.
Annoyed with Nie Tian, Dowager Weng from the Mystic Mist sect whispered, “Nothing is more dangerous than affection!”
The remaining two disciples from the Blood sect were still yelling to their nearby companions.
“Wu Xing is here!”
“Wu Xing from the Cloudsoaring sect!”
The Blood sect experts in the vicinity all heard their cries. They descended from the sky and rapidly converged onto their location.
He knew that person.
Wu Xing looked over with rapt attention and saw a burly, one-armed expert from the Blood sect in blood-colored garments.
“Liu Yan!” Wu Xing shouted. “You lead them and take them to the place Pan Tao talked about. Dowager Weng and I will stay behind to stop them.”
Dowager Weng also made a quick decision. “Zheng Bin, Han Qian, you go with them!”
At that moment, the six experts from the Blood sect had already joined their two comrades who had been screaming for help.
The one-armed man from the Blood sect sneered and said, “Wu Xing! Dowager Weng! Long time no see! Over the past half a year, your four sects have teamed up and killed god knows how many people from my sect! It’s time that you paid your debts!”
With a wave of his right hand, a large number of blood-colored discs immediately whirled out, whistling through the air.
They let out ear-piercing whistles while emanating a suffocating bloody light. Only seconds later, Wu Xing was trapped.
After seeing their friend make a move, the other experts from the Blood sect bolted forward to besiege Dowager Weng.
Receiving his master’s order, Liu Yan didn’t hesitate at all before urging the people around him to move out. “Let’s go!”
The first thing he noticed was that a few Blood sect disciples in the center of the valley seemed to have noticed their activities, and had abandoned their own targets to rapidly head in their direction.
Liu Yan knew perfectly well that once they were surrounded, they wouldn’t have any chance of making it to the foot of the stone peak.
Shi Yi and Luo Xin were also very familiar with Wu Xing’s temper. They knew that once he had made a decision, they, as his disciples, could only obey unconditionally.
Therefore, none of them tried to stay behind and fight alongside Wu Xing. Instead, they helped Liu Yan urge the crowd to move out.
Their unanimous decision stopped Nie Tian from having any ideas of staying and fighting to the death. Hence, he followed Jiang Lingzhu and Ye Gumo to chase after Liu Yan and the others.
Jiang Lingzhu was running while grumbling towards Nie Tian, “Hey you! An Ying didn’t even smile at you once when we were in the Green Illusion dimension. Even when you encountered great danger, she hardly tried at all to help you. Why do you care about her so much?”
Ye Gumo jumped in and said, “He’s fallen for her. There’s no other explanation.”
An Shiyi and An Ying, who were trailing behind, heard the two of them berating Nie Tian. However, the two sisters didn’t say anything.
Under Liu Yan’s lead, the group of people followed Pan Tao’s directions and quickly left Wu Xing and Dowager Weng.
From time to time, Nie Tian turned around to look back, and noticed that Wu Xing and Dowager Weng seemed to have been gradually surrounded by the experts from the Blood sect.
A sudden rush of guilt bloomed in Nie Tian’s heart.
“I’m sorry," An Ying approached him and quietly apologized.
An Shiyi pursed her mouth, and didn’t say anything, however her beautiful eyes were filled with apology.
The two of them were fully aware that if it weren’t for them, Nie Tian wouldn’t have stopped in that courtyard even for a second and probably would not have been noticed by the experts from the Blood sect.
The An sisters knew that they would have been killed beyond the shadow of a doubt, but Wu Xing and Dowager Weng wouldn’t have been trapped in such a dangerous situation.
“Forget about it," Nie Tian replied without thinking, “If senior martial brother Wu and Dowager Weng are killed, I will definitely avenge them, even if it takes me the rest of my life to do it.”
They never stopped moving while they spoke. Every nearby expert from the Blood sect had been attracted by Wu Xing and Dowager Weng, thus none pursued them.
In their eyes, Wu Xing and Dowager Weng were the true big fish; key figures who could change the course of the Realm of Flame Heaven.
Killing the two of them would inflict great damages to the Cloudsoaring sect and Mystic Mist sect. Their value far surpassed all others’.
After they had run along for some time, Pan Tao suddenly stopped and stood beside the mouth of a cave. Flickering flames could still be seen lingering in the area.
Everyone else stopped after him.
“This is the cave?” Liu Yan asked with a suspicious expression.
Pan Tao nodded and turned around to explain to them, “Since the Heaven Burning Earth Flame formation has been breached, these three peaks can no longer draw out blazing Earthflame from the earth core. However, due to the previous attractive force of the grand spell formation, there will still be some residual flames within the stone caves.
“However, as long as we be careful and protect each other, the residual flames… won’t be much of a threat.”
“Are you sure?” Luo Xin asked.
Pan Tao smiled bitterly, “I’m also scared of death. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have chosen to run with you guys. If the residual flames are still lethal, I’ll also die in there myself.”
“Well…” After pausing shortly, in order to convince everyone, Pan Tao continued, “I’ll be the first to go in, and I’ll lead you guys down the stone cave. Will you rest assured now?”
Liu Yan nodded. “Alright!”
“Mr. Liu, do we wait for your master and Dowager Weng?” asked Zheng Bin.
Liu Yan shook his head, and with a convincing tone he said, “No need. My master will be able to follow our aura and accurately find this place. You guys can rest assured. As long as senior Weng stays together with him, they’ll be able to find their way to this stone cave and follow us out to safety, even if there’s no one to guide them.”
“If that’s the case, then alright,” Zheng Bin said, relaxing a bit.
“Okay, I’ll go in first,” Pan Tao said.
Pan Tao actually wasn’t as confident as he appeared. He clenched his teeth, tried to summon up courage, and braced himself to charge inside.
At that very moment, a male figure suddenly walked out of the cave entrance.
The man had messy, red hair, and a beard so bushy that his face seem to be hidden within a pile of madly growing weeds, almost impossible to recognize.
However, in the instant that he exited the cave, the faces of Pan Tao and the An sisters turned pale with fright.
Pan Tao stammered, “Elder... Elder Gan...”
The An sisters seemed especially terrified and panicked after seeing this person.
After coming out, Gan Kang didn’t look at Pan Tao, but instead stared at An Shiyi without even blinking, and reproached, “This is as far as you go. Do you realize what kind of punishment disciples will receive for fleeing the sect during a major change like this one?”
Ferociousness could be seen from his eyes, as if he would immediately unleash murderous attacks on An Shiyi if she failed to provide a good reason.
From the sudden changes to their expressions, Nie Tian instantly realized that the old man in front of him was the fifth highest ranked equipment forger in the Treasure school, Gan Kang.
He was the one who had continuously pressured An Shiyi to marry him!
Anger appeared in Liu Yan’s eyes as he impolitely said, “Senior Gan! Are you just stopping the An Sisters, or all of us?”
“All of you.” Gan Kang put on a disdainful expression. Without giving Liu Yan the slightest face, he continued, “This path to the outside world is too important! No one is allowed to use it! If the Cloudsoaring sect and Mystic Mist sect are unwilling to advance and retreat together with the Spiritual Treasure sect, then I’ll have to ask you to exit through the main gate of the valley just like everyone else does!”
“Elder Gan, it’s my father’s wish that we leave through the stone tunnel!” Pan Tao said angrily.
Gan Kang sneered, “I wouldn’t agree even if it were your grandfather’s wish! The sect is undergoing a great catastrophe, so no one from the Spiritual school or the Treasure school is allowed to leave without permission! If your father told you to leave with the outsiders, then he’s violating the sect rules! It’s your bad luck that you ran into me!
“You can call me inflexible or unreasonable,” Gan Kang said righteously. “No matter what, the path is closed to you all!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter