In the Realm of Dark Underworld.
Dong Li had stayed in that very location since Nie Tian had vanished.
Soon after Shen Zhong had found her and asked her about Nie Tian and the Spirit Pearl’s whereabouts, her martial uncle, Dong Mingxuan, had also sought her out and asked the same questions.
However, even though Dong Mingxuan was a senior in her clan, she had chosen not to tell him the truth, but instead told him that the Spirit Pearl had chased Nie Tian away.
Dong Mingxuan had also failed to detect any signs of life in the vicinity.
Seeing that she was recovering her strength, Dong Mingxuan had reminded her to be careful.
Dong Li had told her that she would leave the Realm of Dark Underworld as soon as her strength was restored.
With a nod, Dong Mingxuan had sped away. Dong Li, however, had stayed in place.
A few days passed...
Shen Zhong, Dong Mingxuan, and Zhou Ruyun had failed to find the Spirit Pearl or Nie Tian after conducting a thorough search of the area.
However, the three of them had been unwilling to give up, and thus spent two more weeks searching in other areas of the Realm of Dark Underworld.
Yet, they still hadn’t discovered a single sign of the Spirit Pearl or Nie Tian.
Therefore, they had given up, as reluctant as they had been. Then, they had returned via the inter-realm teleportation portal they had set up in the Realm of Dark Underworld.
By the time they had returned to the Realm of a Hundred Battles, all the juniors had already returned, but Dong Li hadn’t been among them.
Dong Li had never left the location where Nie Tian had vanished.
Time flew... Another month passed...
Having long since recovered her strength, Dong Li hid herself in the luxuriant foliage of a huge ancient tree, practicing cultivation with spirit stones as she waited for Nie Tian.
Her instincts told her that Nie Tian would show up in this place at some point.
Recently, she had repeatedly spotted air-transportation spiritual tools flashing by over her head, as well as search teams consisting of local Heaven and Greater Heaven stage Qi warriors.
She had been lucky that no Worldly realm Qi warriors like Tang Yang had come to search in this area, so she hadn’t exposed herself yet.
Even so, she felt increasingly insecure and uneasy.
Over the past few days, local Qi warriors had come to this area more frequently than before. She felt that if she continued to stay in this place, it would be very likely that she would be discovered.
Hence, she began to consider the option of returning to the Realm of a Hundred Battles.
However, for some reason, she seemed to be obsessed with this matter. She just wanted to wait for Nie Tian’s return, or the Spirit Pearl’s, which would at least prove Nie Tian’s death.
Either way, she needed an answer.
Another three days passed, and the local Qi warriors visited this area more and more frequently. There were even a few times where she was on the verge of being exposed.
She suspected that they must have learned what had happened in that lake.
Due to the leaving of the Phantasms’ ancient starship and the explorers from the Realm of a Hundred Battles, the local Qi warriors couldn’t find a single living person to question.
They probably had determined that people from the other realms had visited that area, and thus were conducting an inch-by-inch search of the nearby areas.
As much as she wanted to keep waiting, knowing that if she didn’t leave soon she would be exposed, she finally decided to leave.
In the mysterious land, Nie Tian opened his eyes.
Nine bright sparks could be seen in the depths of each of his eyes as he paced towards the altar.
The flames had already gone out; the Flame Dragon Armor and the Spirit Pearl were both sitting silently at the center of the altar. The Flame Dragon Armor seemed to have consumed too much flame power, and thus was no longer radiant with fiery light.
Every shred of power within the Spirit Pearl had been refined by the Flame Dragon Armor, along with the Specters and discarnate souls it had gathered. Now, it seemed empty and without any wonder.
Nie Tian had successfully entered the Greater Heaven stage. Nine fragmentary stars were shining brightly in his soul.
With a frown, he bent down and picked up the Spirit Pearl. Then, he sent a wisp of his psychic awareness into the wondrous item forged by the Phantasms.
As his psychic awareness roamed inside of it, Nie Tian realized that there was another dimension inside, which seemed to be able to attract and gather discarnate souls.
However, it was completely empty and lifeless at this moment.
Withdrawing his psychic awareness, he reached out to grab the Flame Dragon Armor.
The moment his hand made contact with it, it started to rapidly absorb his flame power and flesh power.
In the next moment, the same spatial vortex that had taken him to this place formed in front of him.
Nie Tian’s eyebrows flickered as he immediately understood what was happening.
The Flame Dragon Armor had almost completely drained the flame power it had gathered all these years by refining the Spirit Pearl.
Its remaining power was already insufficient to create another spatial vortex and teleport him out of this place. Therefore, it could only channel power from him.
Originally, he had intended to remain in this mysterious heaven and earth for some time.
He still wanted to derive new enlightenment from the enormous mountain-like arms sticking out of the earth. Perhaps he would be able to learn some new profound magics and incantations.
However, since the Blood Core had taken him to this mysterious dimension a few times now, he had learned that it would require a substantial amount of energy to take him either into or out of here.
At this moment, the Flame Dragon Armor had already spent too much energy refining the Spirit Pearl.
He realized that it was about time he left.
He was also aware that he probably wouldn’t be able to revisit this mysterious dimension with the help of the Flame Dragon Armor in the near future.
He would have to seek out a unique place that was extremely rich in flame power for the Flame Dragon Armor to recharge itself.
The spatial vortex rapidly took shape.
Realizing that he had no choice, Nie Tian stopped hesitating and jumped right into it.
In the Realm of Dark Underworld...
In the location Nie Tian and the Spirit Pearl had vanished from, a small but bright spatial vortex suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
Upon returning to the Realm of Dark Underworld, Nie Tian subconsciously glanced around, but found no one.
He was well-aware that he must have spent quite some time in that mysterious land.
He had no idea what the situation was going to be here.
Without even thinking about it, he unleashed his Heaven Eyes.
Considering there were nine fragmentary stars in his soul now, nine Heaven Eyes came to form this time.
Furthermore, both the coverage and perception of his nine Heaven Eyes seemed to have been greatly enhanced.
As they slowly spread out and floated in different directions, clear scenes of the vicinity appeared in Nie Tian’s mind.
Soon, he discovered a large number of local Qi warriors in a ten kilometer radius around him. From the way they were dressed, he rapidly recognized that some of them were from the Flame God Sect and the Spirit God Sect.
Via one of his Heaven Eyes, he caught sight of Dong Li, who was now marching forward cautiously, hoping not to expose her tracks. “Dong Li! How come she’s still here!?”
He blurred into action and approached Dong Li with a few short-range Starshifts.
Moments later, he flashed into appearance right before her.
Moving stealthily, Dong Li was dazzled by a flash of starlight before a man appeared in front of her. “Nie Tian!”
“Why haven’t you returned to the Realm of a Hundred Battles?” Nie Tian asked, looking puzzled.
Dong Li’s eyes shone with the light of excitement, yet she glared at him and said, gnashing her teeth, “What do you think?! I was waiting for you!”
A confused expression spread out across Nie Tian’s face. “Waiting for me?! Why would you do that?”
Dong Li’s expression stiffened as her heart was filled with a sudden anger. She even wanted to lunge forward and scratch Nie Tian’s confused face off.
However, she curbed her impulse.
After all, she knew that local Qi warriors were still searching for clues in this area.
If she got into a fight with Nie Tian here, the noise would instantly attract those Qi warriors’ attention and thus expose them.
Seeing the furious expression on her face, Nie Tian changed the subject. “What’s situation here? Where is everybody?”
“They’ve all returned to the Realm of a Hundred Battles!” Dong Li blurted angrily.
Surprised, Nie Tian asked again, “Then why didn’t you go with them?”
“I’ve been waiting for you! How many times do you need to hear me say it?!” Dong Li thundered in a restrained manner.
Rubbing his chin, Nie Tian said with an innocent expression on his face, “But I didn’t tell you to wait for me.”
“I don’t want to speak to you anymore!” Dong Li thundered, her eyes wide. “I know you have your unique methods. Guide us out of this place, and don’t let the people from the Realm of Dark Underworld discover us! I’ll settle things with you when we are out of here!”
“Okay..." Nie Tian nodded as he tapped into his nine Heaven Eyes in the vicinity and determined the best evacuation route.
Standing beside him, Dong Li glared silently at him, her heart filled with grievance and anger.
Moments later, Nie Tian picked out a direction and marched out, leading the way for Dong Li. “Follow me.”
Following him, Dong Li panted with fury. Every once in a while, she would curse in low voice, “Dumb ingrate! I should have let you die over that lake!
“Your conscientiousness must have been eaten by a dog!
“I’ll make you pay for this!”