The three great sects had just cut themselves off from the world and the Iron sect took this moment to appear and rise again, yet everyone respected the sect for having the courage to do something like that after a few years the three great sects would return more strongly.
Even though everyone was very surprised by this they did nothing about it, even the strongest sects had no courage to attack the Iron sect even though they knew they were weaker from the attack of the other three major sects.
After all, everyone knew well about the story that the Iron sect elders managed to escape with the living disciples while killing most enemies because they had more realm elders from the mortal tribulation.
Everyone knew that what differentiated between the strongest sects was the number of elders who could reach the realm of mortal tribulation among the larger sects, so even if they were weakened the smaller sects could not attack the Iron sect.
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