“My brother sees great potential in you,” Dong Li said with a puzzled expression on her face, her slender eyebrows slightly furrowed. “I don’t understand why he’s not angry at you, considering you took away the fragmentary star mark that belonged to him, but instead, he speaks very highly of you.”
Nie Tian didn’t want to talk, so he remained silent.
“I’ve already finished my part of our agreement by sending your family and friends back to the Cloudsoaring Sect,” Dong Li said. “I hope you can honor your part of our agreement by assisting me without holding back.”
The thought of the fact that this woman had tricked him into agreeing to her terms with Qin Yan’s help, while she had actually sent Nie Donghai and the others back under the pressure from the Yin Sect and the Yang Sect, made Nie Tian furious.
Therefore, he didn’t show any interest in responding to Dong Li.
After realizing that he was sulking, Dong Li snorted coldly and said, “What right do you have to be mad at me? Back when we were in the Realm of Split Void, you repeatedly sabotaged my operation, which I spent a long time planning. You made me lose face in the clan. I already showed you great mercy by not killing you in my clan’s territory. What can you possibly be sulking about?”
“Do you really think you’re in the right?” Nie Tian asked with a low voice. “Did you or did you not first make a move against me in that forest? If I hadn’t been vigilant, I would have already died at your hands like Shen Wei and the others! Only you’re allowed to trick others, and other people can’t pay you back?”
Dong Li sprung to her feet and left in a huff, no longer desiring to talk to Nie Tian.
Nie Tian let out a snort, inwardly cursing the woman’s unwillingness to listen to reason.
“Li!” Gu Haofeng raised his hand and called out to Dong Li with a taunting tone. “This is interesting. Your subordinate actually dares to question you and argue with you. This must not be the Dong Li I know.”
Since they were far away from the others, and Dong Li and Nie Tian had been talking in low voices, even the Worldly realm experts probably wouldn’t have been able to overhear the conversation between them.
Gu Haofeng only saw Dong Li step over to Nie Tian, where they had a few words, and then Dong Li left, fuming with anger.
However, this was enough evidence to know that their conversation hadn’t been pleasant.
That was when Gu Haofeng became suspicious. Normally, as Dong Li’s subordinate, Nie Tian should listen to her no matter what, but instead, he argued with Dong Li. What gave him the courage to do that?
Annoyed, Dong Li shot him a nasty look. “It’s none of your business!”
Feeling like he had run into a stone wall, Gu Haofeng’s face dropped. He was used to being abused by Dong Li. Instead of getting angry, he laid his cold gaze on Nie Tian and said, “Li, if you don’t want to discipline your subordinate, I can help you.”
“Leave me alone!” Dong Li blurted.
Gu Haofeng touched his nose. Even though he was quite angry, he didn’t say anything else.
After Dong Li left, Nie Tian, who was still sitting in a distant corner, took out a spirit stone and started recovering with his eyes narrowed.
Clearly, he wasn’t in the mood to respond to Gu Haofeng.
After marching with and observing everyone for a few days, Nie Tian had long since discovered that Gu Haofeng had affections toward Dong Li. Whenever there was a chance, he would rush to her side and show great concern.
However, it was very obvious that Dong Li didn’t like him. Her face was always filled with impatience and contempt when she saw him.
Gu Haofeng seemed to be blind to her indifferent attitude. He stuck to his own way, as if he believed that, with enough sincerity, he would be able to split open metal and stone.
“Another idiot who’s looking to die,” Nie Tian said inwardly.
In his eyes, those who were ignorant enough to approach Dong Li, this vicious beauty, were all seeking their own doom.
Han Mu suddenly appeared and once again sat down next to him. “Our Miss actually thinks quite highly of you. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have invited you to come to the Realm of Dark Underworld and explore this Phantasms’ relic together.”
Nie Tian’s eyes snapped open, an unpleasant expression appearing on his face. “Invite? She made me, okay?!”
With a smile, Han Mu said, “That depends on how you want to look at it. Both Dong Baijie and Dong Li have the same attitude: they only make friends with those who have defeated them or made them suffer losses. However, you are the only one who has ever defeated both of them.”
“I should be honored then?” A sarcastic smile spread across Nie Tian’s face.
Han Mu’s expression turned serious as he said sincerely, “The fact is that there isn’t any unforgivable feud between you and her. If you want to, you can take this exploration trip as an opportunity to resolve the personal feud that started in the Realm of Split Void. Plus, I heard that our young lord is also quite fond of you.”
“She summoned every force she could find in the Realm of Split Void to round me up and kill me. I’m afraid that’s not so easily forgiven.” Nie Tian said sarcastically.
“You’re alive and well, aren’t you?” Han Mu asked with a smile.
“There were many occasions where I was almost killed,” Nie Tian responded coldly.
“But not only did you manage to survive, but you even thrived after such tempering.” Han Mu lowered his voice and continued, “Actually, our Miss isn’t mad at you for killing her Fang members. She only feels frustrated and angry because you defeated her over and over again. The way I see it, it’s not going to last.”
“All I want is for this exploration trip in the Realm of Dark Underworld to be finished soon so that I can get as far away from her as possible.” Nie Tian make his stance clear again.
Seeing that he was rather determined and didn’t show the slightest intention to resolve the issue between them, Han Mu let out a soft sigh and gave up.
He was well-aware that Nie Tian had been highly regarded by Qi warriors in the Realm of a Thousand Devastations after helping them relieve their crisis.
Meanwhile, Nie Tian possessed the legacy marks from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. As long as he didn’t die prematurely, the sky would be his limit.
Therefore, he was slightly worried that Dong Li would act rashly and get Nie Tian killed somehow, which would definitely draw the Yin Sect and the Yang Sect’s wrath, putting her and the Dong Clan in huge trouble.
In the dark forest, the people from the Realm of a Hundred Battles gradually stopped talking with one another.
They either practiced cultivation with spirit stones, or tried to derive enlightenment from the incantations they practiced. Every single one of them was submerged in their own world.
The same went for Nie Tian.
Firstly, he consumed a substantial amount of spirit beast meat. Then, he conducted rounds of tempering of his spiritual sea, making preparations for his advancement into the Greater Heaven stage.
Late in the night, after finishing another round of the expansion of his spiritual sea, he opened his eyes and glanced around.
He discovered that the two Worldly realm Qi warriors from the Pill Pavilion Sect were nowhere to be seen. Even though he was curious about where they had gone, he didn’t attach much importance to it, but instead closed his eyes and resumed cultivation.
Moments later, he was suddenly awoken by the sounds of garments fluttering. His eyes snapped open, and he saw that one of the Worldly realm experts from the Pill Pavilion Sect was back.
It was Qiu Liang, an early Worldly realm expert. The moment he returned, he said to the crowd in a low voice, “We’ve found some members of the Spirit God Sect in the vicinity. All of them died rather strangely.”
One after another, people were awoken from their cultivation. With furrowed eyebrows, they gazed at him.
Cao Qiushui rose to his feet and said to the crowd, looking at Dong Li, “We’ll go over there and take a look, but we don’t need everyone to come.”
“Han Mu, Wu Tian, you come with us.” Dong Li waved at them.
Qin Yan, Gu Haofeng, and Qian Xin also gathered a couple of subordinates before they left together under Qiu Liang’s leadership.
Dong Mingxuan and the Worldly realm experts from the Gu Clan and the Water Moon Chamber of Commerce only opened their eyes and glanced around after hearing Qiu Liang’s words, but they didn’t move a bit.
It seemed that they felt rather secure having Cao Qiushui, Dong Li, and the other juniors make the decisions.
Seeing Nie Tian and Han Mu rise to their feet and leave with Dong Li, the other members of the Dong Clan started whispering to each other, deeply puzzled.
“Wu Tian?! Miss Dong is actually taking Wu Tian?”
“I understand why she’s taking big brother Han Mu, but why the hell would she take Wu Tian?”
“This is odd.”
Gu Haofeng’s face was also filled with confusion as he constantly looked over his shoulder to check on Dong Li and Nie Tian, not understanding why she would take the man who had dared to have a heated argument with her.
It wasn’t very long before Qiu Liang led the small team to a secluded corner of the forest.
The corpses of seven Qi warriors dressed in the Spirit God Sect’s garments were scattered on the ground, all of whom had bulging eyes and blood at the corners of their eyes.
After a brief scan, they failed to locate lethal wounds on any of them.
Then, they discovered that Shen Zhong, the middle Worldly realm expert from the Pill Pavilion Sect, was standing with his back against a large tree, his face expressionless.
He adopted the same attitude even when Qian Xin, the son of the Pill Pavilion Sect’s sectmaster, came over to him.
However, Qian Xin didn’t seem to mind at all. On the contrary, he bowed to him before going off to examine the corpses with Dong Li and the others.
Nie Tian followed Dong Li and Han Mu to the side of one of the corpses, where they crouched down to conduct a thorough examination.
“This man didn’t suffer any physical wounds, but his soul was shattered.” Han Mu made the judgment after a brief scan. “His soul was probably instantly shattered by some sort of powerful psychic magic. The strange thing is that disciples of the Spirit God Sect should prioritize their cultivation of psychic power. How come they even failed to withstand a single blow?”
“What do you think?” Dong Li asked Nie Tian.
Nie Tian didn’t say a word. Instead, he secretly took a glance at the two Worldly realm experts from the Pill Pavilion Sect, and said, “I don’t think his soul took a strong blow from a fierce psychic attack. Instead, it looks like someone took his soul.”
Upon overhearing his words, Shen Zhong from the Pill Pavilion Sect suddenly shot an astonished gaze at him.