The black phoenix rammed into an invisible ward. Dong Li and Nie Tian's dashing momentum was instantly stopped.
Zhao Shanling, who was originally sitting at the bottom of the crater, blurred into action, and in a split second, he was floating in midair.
Staring at Dong Li from afar, he asked, looking rather confused, "How did you find me, girl?"
In fact, he had noticed her and Nie Tian as soon as they had come out of the spatial tunnel created by Zhen Huilan.
However, since their cultivation bases were incredibly low, he hadn't attached any importance to them. After all, many Tool Sect elders had come to search in this area and failed to find any traces of him.
After a mere glance, he had refocused on his battle against Qi Bailu, not caring what Dong Li and Nie Tian said to each other.
Only when Zhen Huilan and Qin Yi had come and learned about his hiding place from her had he finally realized that he had been put in an unfavorable situation.
That was when he had paid serious attention to Dong Li and wondered how she had been able to locate him.
The fact that he had never seen her come to this area, and yet she had pointed out his hiding place with great precision, confused him.
He didn't know that Nie Tian, who was beside her, was actually the one who had found him.
"Why would I tell you?" With these words, Dong Li, who had already summoned her cyan awl, started using it to repeatedly bombard the invisible spatial energy ward. After discovering that her efforts were fruitless, she commanded the black phoenix to take them to another location, hoping to break free from there.
Nie Tian was being carried the whole time, observing everything around him.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Every time the black phoenix tried to break free from another location, they would ram into an invisible ward. After failing to escape after numerous attempts, Dong Li started to look anxious and insecure.
At this moment, the numerous waves of spatial energy Zhen Huilan had created with the flutter of her folding fan were spreading towards Zhao Shanling.
Amidst the spatial energy fluctuations were raging flames, which seemed to be flickering with the profound truths of fire.
With a grim expression, Qin Yi let out an angry roar. In the next moment, he seemed to turn into a giant clad in a suit of golden armor, throwing a fist strike directly towards Zhao Shanling.
Fierce, golden light and golden lightning bolts exploded from within the enormous fist, which was bearing down with the force of tens of thousands of pounds, enveloping the area where Zhao Shaling was floating.
Looking at the giant, golden fist and the fierce, golden lightning, Nie Tian marveled at the profound might of metal power.
SHEW! SHEW! SHEW!
The sky-filling golden light and lightning bolts interacted in midair, morphing into thick lightning bolts that eventually interwove into a gigantic net of golden lightning.
As Qin Yi's fist continued to fall, the net of golden lightning smashed down towards Zhao Shanling with the momentum of a mountain falling from the sky.
Seeing that both Zhen Huilan and Qin Yi had revealed their full strength the moment he showed himself, Zhao Shanling's expression flickered slightly.
At this moment, the majority of his mind and soul were still focused on manipulating the Death Reign to fight Qi Bailu.
He was aware that now that he had been discovered, many powerful experts from the Tool Sect, including Wu Langxie, would swarm towards his location. Therefore, he made a decision at this crucial moment.
He instantly ended his battle against Qi Bailu, which was taking place hundreds of thousands kilometers away, and controlled the Death Reign to return to him using his mind and soul.
At that very moment, the enormous net of golden lightning enveloped his floating body. Immediately afterwards, Qin Yi's giant golden fist smashed down on him.
Upon the incomparably strong impact, Zhao Shanling's body shattered, and pieces of him shot in every direction like bits of broken glass.
His broken body passed through the grid of the huge net of golden lightning bolts.
Nie Tian was flabbergasted. "What?! He just died like that?!"
Dong Li's expression turned especially grim. "If only it were that easy.... He's a master of spatial magics. How could he be so easily killed? Back in the day, that man was notoriously deadly in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation. Even his own master died because of him. He would never be so fragile and unable to withstand a single blow."
Nie Tian's pupils suddenly shrunk as he watched Zhao Shanling's shattered body that looked like broken glass gather to a single point after shooting through the lightning net.
In the blink of an eye, Zhao Shanling returned to human form, unscathed and expression as calm as ever.
Shaking his head, he said, "You're being too sloppy by coming for me with just the two of you. Didn't think I would kill you, did you?"
With these words, he turned to Qin Yi and said with a cold snort, "I'm actually a man who treasures old ties. After all, my junior martial sister and I learned from the same master. Even though she has some misunderstandings about me, I can't bear to kill her with my own hands. But who the hell do you think you are? This is between me and my sect. Who gave you the right to meddle with our internal affairs?"
With these words, he cast out a crimson, metal cauldron with a casual fling of his hand.
The crimson cauldron had three legs and was covered in elegant and simple patterns. Raging lava spewed out of its mouth unceasingly.
One stream of fierce lava after another shot up and converged on Qin Yi's huge, golden fist like numerous long, crimson rivers.
A glittering, golden glove seemed to exist at the center of the immeasurably large, golden fist, which appeared to be Qin Yi's spiritual tool.
However, as the rivers of boiling lava sprayed on the golden fist, which was formed by Qin Yi's pure spiritual power, the huge fist was instantly ignited and started to shrink.
The normal-sized golden glove in the middle of it also instantly grew dim and lifeless.
Qin Yi let out a muffled groan as his expression flickered dramatically, yet his eyes shone brightly with golden light.
After neutralizing the golden fist with its burning lava, the crimson cauldron started floating towards Qin Yi.
Zhao Shanling laughed madly. "Even though there seems to be a fine line between the late Profound realm and the early Soul realm, you should know how big the gap really is. I've already achieved my goal on this trip. I can leave or stay as I want. I admit that there are quite a few people with cultivation bases higher than mine in the Domain of the Falling Stars, but, since master has died, the next person who can trap me hasn't been born yet!"
With these words, a spatial portal slowly opened behind Zhao Shanling.
Countless rays of light could be seen flashing across within it, as if they were paths to different spaces where endless and unknown danger was lurking.
Gazing at the spatial portal created by Zhao Shanling, Zhen Huilan's expression flickered slightly, as if she knew that Zhao Shanling's statement was true.
As a master of spatial magics herself, she was well-aware of the meaning of the appearance of that portal, which even she wouldn't dare to step into rashly. Zhao Shanling was planning to leave through it.
There were very few masters of spatial magics throughout the entire Domain of the Falling Stars. Zhen Huilan had only ever known one person who was equally as skilled in spatial magics as Zhao Shanling - her master.
Unfortunately, her master had already died.
As for cultivators who weren't skilled in spatial magics, even if their cultivation bases were higher than Zhao Shanling's, they wouldn't be able to stop him from leaving unless they had shattered the barriers in their cultivation and joined the ranks of the three domains.
However, not a single person in the Domain of the Falling Stars had managed to enter the Void domain, the Saint Domain, or the God Domain yet.
That meant even if Wu Langxie and Qi Bailu were here, the lot of them wouldn't be able to kill Zhao Shanling or trap him in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation.
With such thoughts on her mind, Zhen Huilan couldn't help but feel deeply helpless and worried about the future of their sect.
By the time Xia Yi from the Flame God Sect had refined the earthflame essence he had gathered and broken through into the late Soul realm, he would be able to overtake every powerful expert in the Tool Sect one-on-one. Even if Qi Bailu and Wu Langxie teamed up, it would still be hard to say if they would be able to stop Xia Yi and his ally, Zhao Shanling, who possessed the Death Reign...
Zhen Huilan didn't dare to further her thoughts.
One river of burning lava after another shot out from within the crimson cauldron and arrived before Qin Yi in the blink of an eye.
Sighing inwardly, Zhen Huilan cast out her folding fan, forming multiple spatial energy wards to stop the incoming rivers of raging lava. Then, she said to Qin Yi in a low voice, "Wu Langxie and my eldest martial brother will be here soon. I believe the traitor's vengeful trip to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation is coming to an end, but I doubt that we'll be able to kill him, even together."
"So you mean...?" Qin Yi asked with a grim expression.
"Don't go all-out to attack him anymore." Zhen Huilan said helplessly. "Stall him and wait for the arrival of Wu Langxie and my eldest martial brother."
An incomparably thick bolt of lightning suddenly appeared in the distant sky.
With loud rumbles, it shot directly towards Nie Tian and Dong Li's location at an alarming speed, and in a brief moment, shattered the invisible spatial energy ward Zhao Shanling had created. Then, as the lightning cleared, Zhu Bin emerged.
Seeing that the ward was down, Dong Li was overjoyed, and immediately flew away with Nie Tian.
"Let's go!" Dong Li blurted. "A battle at such a level isn't something we can take part in. It's gonna be too dangerous for us if we stay."
Nie Tian, who was being carried farther and farther away, frowned as he gazed at Zhao Shanling, who was still laughing madly, as if there was no one in this world he would fear.
Zhao Shanling had committed unforgivable crimes by plunging the people in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation into misery and suffering and even killing his own master. However, due to his unmatched expertise in spatial magics, Soul realm cultivation base, and the Death Reign at his disposal, no one seemed to be able to subdue him.
The wild arrogance and rampancy on display gave Nie Tian a very deep impression, and left him in a shocked state for a long while.