Meng Qing's scream made even Li Jing's hair stand on end.
Since she knew the black-robed man's identity, she knew that Meng Qing must have suffered great injuries, even if he survived.
Therefore, she turned to Zhu Bin and Zhen Huilan and said, "We are from the Blood Sect in the Realm of Flame Heaven. Meng Qing tricked us into coming to this place. He said he had a Bonebrute's corpse to sell to us, but who would have thought that he had other plans."
Zhen Huilan's expression flickered as she asked instantly, "The Blood sect in the Realm of Flame Heaven? I heard that earlier, when Nie Tian returned to the Realm of Flame Heaven, he went straight to your sect, instead of the Cloudsoaring Sect. Is that right?"
A puzzled expression spread across Li Jing's face. Even though she didn't know why Zhen Huilan would ask such a question, she answered with the truth, "Yeah. Nie Tian has saved our sect more than once, and it was him who somehow managed to awaken the Bone Blood Demon in our sect."
"I see." Zhen Huilan nodded gently, as if she grasped Nie Tian's relationship with the Blood Sect. Immediately afterwards, she waved her hand and said, "You may leave now."
Both Li Jing and Shen Xiu went blank upon hearing these words.
Zhu Bin even kindly pointed out the direction for them, saying, "Two members of your sect are not far in that direction. It was them who referred me to this place."
"Feng Luo and Little Tong are still alive!" Shen Xiu exclaimed, overjoyed.
"You may go find them now. I believe what we're doing here doesn't concern you anymore." Zhen Huilan smiled heartily and added, "If Nie Tian ever goes back to the Blood Sect, please tell him that Mr. Hua is worried about him, and that he should try to get in contact with him. He'll probably know how to find Mr. Hua."
"Okay, I will," Li Jing promised, though she didn't understand the reason behind it.
She had thought she was doomed during this trip to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation. Never had she imagined that not only did she and Shen Xiu survive this tribulation, but Feng Luo and Yu Tong also turned out to be fine.
Just as she and Shen Xiu jumped onto her Blood Lotus and were about to leave, Zhen Huilan's eyebrows rose, looking at the hundreds-of-meters-tall Bone Giant which was standing witlessly to the side.
Meng Qing had fled so urgently that he had even forgotten about his Bone Giant.
Without its master's soul commands, the Bone Giant had long since stopped attacking the Blood Lotus, but rather stood in place, holding its huge bone saber.
"Wait!" Zhen Huilan called out.
Puzzled, Li Jing turned to look at her from atop the Blood Lotus. "What's up?"
"You said that Nie Tian awakened your sect's Bone Blood Demon, right?" Zhen Huilan asked.
Li Jing smiled bitterly and said, "Yes, he did. He awakened that Bone Blood Demon. But immediately after he left, it fell dormant again. I promised him that that Bone Blood Demon belongs to him now. He'll be free to take him whenever he wants."
Zhen Huilan dragged her words as she said, nodding, "So that's how it is. Take this Bone Giant with you. Consider it compensation for your sect's loss."
As she uttered these words, one streak of flames after another flew out from her fingertips, formed some sort of magical fiery pattern in the air, and finally infused into the enormous Bone Giant.
The imprints Meng Qing had left in each and every bone that formed the Bone Giant were rapidly erased.
Dozens of seconds later, Li Jing was no longer able to detect the slightest bit of Meng Qing's aura from the Bone Giant.
That was when she realized that the connection between Meng Qing and the Bone Giant had been completely eradicated.
As the third disciple of the Tool Sect's former sectmaster, Zhen Huilan was one of the best equipment forgers throughout the entire Domain of the Falling Stars.
Therefore, the fact that she was able to erase the soul imprints Meng Qing had left in the Bone Giant effortlessly didn't surprise her at all.
What surprised her was that she wasn't friends with or related to Zhen Huilan. She had never even seen her in person before. However, not only did she allow her and Shen Xiu to leave without questioning them, but she even erased Meng Qing's imprints in the Bone Giant and let her take it with her.
It was such a big surprise that it bewildered her, not knowing why Zhen Huilan would do this.
"Nie Tian is also a junior of mine," Zhen Huilan explained smiling. "He's good friends with my two disciples."
A smile appeared on Shen Xiu's puzzled face. "So this is all because of Nie Tian!"
As an elder of the Blood Sect, she had once had a poor opinion of Nie Tian because of his personal feud with Yu Tong.
Even later, after he had awakened the Bone Blood Demon and saved the Blood Sect from the outsiders, she had still harbored ill feelings about him.
Originally, she had been responsible for that Bone Blood Demon, so she had been rather upset when Nie Tian had awakened it and brought it under his command.
Afterwards, Li Jing had favored Nie Tian both overtly and covertly. Li Jing had even jeopardized the Blood Sect's relationship with the Spiritual Treasure Sect by taking the An sisters in after Nie Tian had disappeared from the Realm of Flame Heaven, which had made her feel that Li Jing had attached too much importance to Nie Tian.
Only at this point, after seeing Zhen Huilan's surprisingly friendly attitude towards them when they were trapped in a foreign realm, did she finally realize what a wise decision her junior martial sister had made.
As Shen Xiu's furrowed eyebrows straightened, her negative opinions about Nie Tian dissolved. "So all of this... she has done to give Nie Tian face."
"Many thanks!" Li Jing said, overjoyed. With a swing of her arm, streaks of bloody aura shot out, wreathed the Bone Giant, and started pulling it towards her ring of holding.
"The Realm of Unbounded Desolation is seeing a perilous time," Zhen Huilan reminded them. "Travel safe, and don't return to Desolate City for a while."
Li Jing and Shen Xiu nodded and flew away on the Blood Lotus under her and Zhu Bin's gazes.
As they flew away from the Bone Sect's ruins, mixed emotions rose in Shen Xiu's heart. "I can't believe Nie Tian has such a big influence! Junior martial sister, I just realized how wise your decision was to favor Nie Tian so much back in the day. And how petty I was for being upset about losing that Bone Blood Demon to him."
Sitting atop the Blood Lotus, Li Jing took out and swallowed a handful of Blood Pills. With an entranced look in her eyes, she said, "Truth be told, I had never imagined that he would have obtained two fragmentary star marks during the Heaven Gate trial. From the look of it, he didn't squander his time during the few years he was gone. He seems to have made friends with some of the best equipment forgers."
With a smile, Shen Xiu said, "If it weren't for that, we might not have been able to pull through this tribulation and obtain that Bone Giant so easily. Now that Little Tong and Feng Luo are also alive, it seems that, even though the process has been tough, the result has turned out to be satisfying."
Li Jing, who had always been cold and graceful, nodded gently as a hearty smile appeared on her face. "We got this Bone Giant without spending a single spirit stone. And Meng Qing has already refined it with the Bone Sect's secret magics. This trip sure has been productive."
As the two of them spoke, the Blood Lotus traveled through the air at an alarming speed. It wasn't long before it came to the location where Feng Luo, Yu Tong, and the others were.
"Master!" Yu Tong exclaimed, looking up into the sky.
Feng Luo was also overjoyed as he saw them. "Sectmaster and Elder Shen have successfully escaped!"
With a bright smile, Dong Li turned to Nie Tian and said, "Well?"
Seeing that the Blood Lotus was gradually approaching with Li Jing and Shen Xiu on it, Nie Tian let out a sigh of relief. He clasped his hands towards Dong Li and said, "You're truly amazing, Sister Dong. I'll be true to my words. Whatever you want me to do, I shall go all-out to deliver."
"Now that's the way to talk," Dong Li said, her charming face splitting into a hearty smile.
As the Blood Lotus landed, Li Jing examined Nie Tian and Dong Li, who looked unfamiliar, and asked Feng Luo with a confused expression on her face, "These are?"
Pointing at Dong Li, Feng Luo said, "This is the daughter of the clanmaster of the Dong Clan from the Realm of a Hundred Battles."
Immediately afterwards, he turned to look at Nie Tian and said, "Guess who this is, sectmaster."
Li Jing was deeply confused.
At that moment, Nie Tian bowed towards her and said, "Greetings, Senior Li."
"Nie Tian!" A shudder ran through Li Jing's body, as the moment Nie Tian opened his mouth, she knew it was him. "How come you're here?"
Feng Luo's expression grew serious as he explained, "All of this is thanks to Nie Tian and Miss Dong. If it weren't for them, Little Tong and I would have been killed by Ji Kuang and his friends. Without Miss Dong's brilliant idea, I'm afraid you and Elder Shen probably would have..." He went on and explained everything in detail.
After hearing his description, both Li Jing and Shen Xiu's eyes grew wide in shock, realizing that it hadn't been a coincidence that Zhu Bin from the Tool Sect had appeared in the Bone Sect earlier.
After a moment of silence, Li Jing turned to Dong Li and said, "Thank you for helping us, Miss Dong."
With a wave of her hand, Dong Li said, "You're welcome. I did all that for Nie Tian."
Afterwards, she asked, "Did Zhu Bin scare the attackers off?"
Li Jing shook her head. "Not him alone. Master Zhen and Mr. Wu also rushed over there." She went on and briefly explained what had happened in the Bone Sect.
After she was finished, she gazed at Nie Tian and said with a confused expression, "Apparently, Master Zhen did all that to give you face. How did you make her acquaintance?"
Nie Tian seemed bewildered.
Dong Li shot him a contemptuous look and said, "You fool! Master Zhen is Li Ye and Pei Qiqi's master, Zhen Huilan!"
Nie Tian was instantly enlightened.