Qin Yan was a member of the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce, which had countless ties with the mysterious Spirit Condor.
Since the Spirit Condor was the most well-informed organization throughout the entire Domain of the Falling Stars, as a core member of the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce, Qin Yan had knowledge about almost every talented youngster in the Domain of the Falling Stars.
However, the young man before her didn’t seem to be among them.
“Who is he exactly?” Qin Yan asked, deeply intrigued.
Dong Li still hadn’t decided how she would deal with Nie Tian and the people from the Cloudsoaring Sect, so she decided to put that matter on hold and figure out why Qin Yan had come first. She turned to Nie Tian and said, “I’ll deal with you later. You can go and meet those people from the Cloudsoaring Sect, but I forbid you to leave Black Water Lake.”
Without saying a word, Nie Tian immediately sped off towards the area where the people from the Cloudsoaring Sect were gathered.
Dong Li held her bracelet to her red lips and whispered orders into it, instructing Han Mu and his men not to stop Nie Tian from reuniting with his family and friends, but confine them to where they were and keep a close watch on every move Nie Tian and the others made.
The moment Nie Tian left, Qin Yan asked, a strange expression her face, “Who the hell is he, Li? That guy’s cultivation base is lower than yours, but he managed to battle you for so long without being at a disadvantage. That was very impressive. I bet he’s not a nobody. However, I can’t figure out who he is, no matter how hard I try.”
Even though Dong Li was close friends with her, she didn’t intend to reveal the truth to her.
An agitated expression filled Dong Li’s singularly beautiful face as she said, “Enough about him. What made you come to me so urgently?”
“I received word that a group of people from the Realm of Black Marsh are killing other explorers in this area, in your clan’s territory,” Qin Yan said.
“They’ve already been taken care of,” Dong Li said without thinking.
Qin Yan nodded gently, seemingly unsurprised. “Yeah, now that I’ve found you here, near Black Water Lake, I figured you’d already taken care of them. I just heard that your subordinate, Han Mu, escorted a team of Cloudsoaring Sect members here, is that true?”
“Yes, it is.”
“It’s good news that they’re okay. You’d better arrange for people to escort them back to Water Moon City as soon as possible. The Yin Sect and the Yang Sect from the Realm of a Thousand Devastations asked us to find those people and make sure they return to the Realm of Flame Heaven safely.” Qin Yan sounded very serious.
“The Yin Sect and the Yang Sect asked you to do that?” Dong Li was taken aback.
Not only were the Yin Sect and the Yang Sect in the Realm of a Thousand Devastations by no means weaker than the Dong Clan, but they also had close relationships with the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce. Now that they had asked the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce to do them a favor, the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce would surely give them face.
“As you know,” Qin Yan explained, “that Nie Tian from the Realm of Flame Heaven went to the Realm of a Thousand Devastations not long ago, and sealed that spatial rift for them. Every Qi warrior sect in the Realm of a Thousand Devastations is quite grateful for what he did. After learning that he is a member of the Cloudsoaring Sect in the Realm of Flame Heaven, and his dearest family are currently in your clan’s territory, they...”
Qin Yan suddenly stopped.
Her bright eyes lit up as lightning seemed to flash across her mind.
“Wu Tian... Wu Tian is Nie Tian, right?!” Qin Yan suddenly came to realize the truth. Looking in the direction Nie Tian had left, she asked, “He’s the one who obtained the legacies from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, isn’t he?!”
She tapped her own forehead and smiled embarrassedly. “I should have known that it was him. When he first came to Water Moon City, Liu Ling from the Yin Sect came with him. There are only a handful of male disciples in the entire Yin Sect. And Liu Ling’s attitude towards him was surprisingly pleasant and polite. She even asked me to show him to the Cloudsoaring Sect’s residence in Water Moon City.”
“Alright…” Dong Li said with a reluctant tone. “It seems that I can’t hide it from you after all.”
She knew that Qin Yan was very smart. Considering she had just caught them in the middle of a battle, it would only be a matter of time before she figured out that Wu Tian was none other than Nie Tian, who had recently become a household name throughout the entire Domain of the Falling Stars.
“Then why did you get into a battle with him?” Qin Yan was confused.
“He offended me in the Realm of Split Void!” Dong Li gritted her teeth as she said these words.
Qin Yan’s mind wondered briefly before she snapped to her senses and called out, “He’s the Hua Tian you met in the Realm of Split Void, isn’t he?”
“Who else can it be?” Dong Li said with a cold snort.
Qin Yan felt that all the dots had connected.
Since she had been close with Dong Li, she even knew about Dong Li’s tempering trip to the Realm of Split Void, where she had disguised herself as the leader of the Fang.
She had also heard from Dong Li’s mouth that this Hua Tian person had tampered with her plans and humiliated her in the Realm of Split Void.
She had gone to see Dong Li soon after her return to the Realm of a Hundred Battles. She could still recall Dong Li’s face being filled with rage upon mentioning the name “Hua Tian”.
“Wu Tian, Hua Tian, Nie Tian...” Qin Yan shook her head and burst into laughter. “This guy is really uncreative when it comes to assumed names.”
Dong Li looked rather grim as she apparently recalled what Nie Tian had done.
“Did you plan to use those people from the Cloudsoaring Sect against Nie Tian?” Qin Yan came to realize what Dong Li planned to do, and thus advised, “I don’t think that would be appropriate. Nie Tian has recently helped save the Realm of a Thousand Devastations. Every sect in the Realm of a Thousand Devastations is very grateful for what he did. The Yin Sect and the Yang Sect even jeopardized their relationships with the Heaven Palace Sect by supporting his decisions.
“Even though the Cloudsoaring Sect is rather weak, the Yin Sect and the Yang Sect are ancient sects with deep-rooted strength.
“If you kill Nie Tian’s family to get back at him, the Yin Sect and the Yang Sect surely won’t let you off, especially now that they’ve already asked us to help them find and secure them. If you ignore all that and kill them anyways, you’ll probably get the entire Dong Clan in trouble. Even your patriarch might be stirred because of it.”
“I know this is a bit tricky.” Dong Li’s eyes turned as she weighed her choices inwardly.
Qin Yan knew that Dong Li was independent and full of tricks, so she didn’t think she needed to say more than that. Therefore, she said, “There’s another thing I’ve come to talk to you about. Cao Qiushui discovered a relic of the Phantasms in the Realm of Dark Underworld. He plans to invite some people to explore that area with him. He came to me and asked me to find out if you’re interested.”
“What the hell was that dumbass doing in the Realm of Dark Underworld?” Dong Li seemed surprised.
Qin Yan smiled. “You know him. His only hobby is to explore unknown places, even though he’s gotten into a lot of trouble doing that over the years. However, I’ve been to some of those places with him, and gained quite a fortune. Those were some fun trips we took together.
“According to him, there are only a handful of people who know about this relic in the Realm of Dark Underworld. After all, the Realm of Dark Underworld isn’t our territory. People from the Flame God Sect and Spirit God Sect are everywhere. He only asked us to go because he was worried that it wouldn’t be safe if he went alone.”
“Who else is going?” Dong Li asked.
“That person from the Gu Clan and that other person from the Pill Pavilion Sect,” Qin Yan answered.
“When does the team leave?”
“In seven days. I was only so eager to find you because the team is leaving very soon.”
“Alright, I’m in.” With these words, the tip of Dong Li’s eyebrow rose as an idea suddenly occurred to her. Then, she turned to Qin Yan and asked, “What do you think of Nie Tian?”
“What do you mean?” Qin Yan asked, looking surprised.
“His battle prowess, of course.”
“The fact that he was able to stay alive while facing you and your black phoenix proves that he’s quite good.”
Dong Li cracked a smile, her eyes shining with a delighted light. “Don’t say anything to the Yin Sect or the Yang Sect. Just pretend you don’t know anything about me and Nie Tian. I’ll arrange for those people from the Cloudsoaring Sect to return to the Realm of Flame Heaven, but I’ll force Nie Tian to go with us. He’s good in battle and full of wicked ideas. Plus, he has a uniquely strong sensing ability. He should be able to help us in many aspects.
“Also, that guy offended me. I need to keep him by my side so that I can take my time torturing him after this!”
With a hearty smile, Qin Yan nodded and said, “Sure, I can do that, considering our relationship. However, people who play with fire usually get burned. I can tell that that guy isn’t that easily handled. You’d better not get tangled with him.”
Dong Li let out a cold harrumph. “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying that I’m afraid that you will suffer more losses from him,” Qin Yan said with a smile.
A disdainful expression filled Dong Li’s face. “Who? Him?! I’ve beaten everyone at mind games since the day I started my cultivation path. I don’t see how that Nie Tian is any different from the other men I’ve outmaneuvered.”
“But when you were in the Realm of Split Void, didn’t you...?” Of all the pots, Qin Yan went for the pot that didn’t boil. (idiom: Qin Yan touched a sore spot by mentioning that, instead of any other matter).
“That was because I hadn’t fully mastered the black phoenix’s strength back then!” Dong Li interrupted her and shot her a nasty look. Before she could say anything, Dong Li added, “Alright, I don’t want to hear anymore of that nonsense. I’ll force Nie Tian to go to the Realm of Dark Underworld with us. You just pretend that he’s a guest elder of my clan, and don’t tell anyone his real identity.”
“We’ll give him some time to catch up with his family and friends. I’ll go over there and settle this matter with him in an hour, and then I’ll arrange for his family and friends to leave for the Realm of the Flame Heaven.”
“You’re quite a crafty woman.”
“Right back at you.”