In fact, Zhao Shanling cared about neither the shattering of that spatial energy ward, nor the escape of Nie Tian and Dong Li.
He was indeed somewhat curious as to how Dong Li had managed to locate him.
However, such curiosity wasn't so strong that it would motivate him to stop Dong Li from leaving regardless of everything else.
Therefore, seeing that Dong Li and Nie Tian had broken free from the spatial energy ward he had created and were flying further and further away, he didn't make another move.
His attention remained focused on the three opponents before him.
As they flew further and further away with the help of the black phoenix, Dong Li's furrowed brow finally gradually relaxed. "It's not always a bad thing that our cultivation bases are low. Like this time, it's all because our cultivation bases are too low to make any difference that Zhao Shanling didn't give a damn about our escape. He might be just a little bit curious as to how I managed to find him, but he won't come after us."
Hugged by Dong Li from behind, Nie Tian listened to the whistling wind as they traveled high in the air. Looking back at the intense energy fluctuations in the Bonebrutes' former headquarters, he nodded and said with a grim expression, "You're right. Zhao Shanling didn't attach any importance to us. Considering his cultivation base and diverse means, even though Zhu Bin rushed to our aid, he would have no problem capturing us if he wanted to."
"We were saved by our insignificant cultivation bases," Dong Li said with a thankful tone.
As they continued flying further away, they saw a number of Profound realm experts flashing through the air towards the Bonebrutes' former headquarters.
Most of them were from the Tool Sect, and were probably rushing over after receiving word from Zhen Huilan, Qin Yi, and Zhu Bin that they had found Zhao Shanling there.
Some of them noticed Dong Li and Nie Tian, yet none of them even bothered to stop.
Apparently, their primary goal was Zhao Shanling. Anyone or anything else was intentionally blocked from their minds.
The black phoenix started plunging towards a silent mountain valley as Dong Li said, "Prepare for landing. I can't control the black phoenix to fly for much longer. We'll have to march on foot from now on."
Nie Tian nodded, showing that he understood.
It was sundown. The evening glow filled the sky. Nie Tian seemed somewhat depressed as he was carried down from midair.
After landing smoothly, the black phoenix flew back into Dong Li's head. She gulped down a few medicinal pills and urged Nie Tian to keep marching away from the Bonebrutes' former headquarters on foot with her.
That was when Nie Tian noticed that the direction Dong Li was heading in wasn't towards the location where Li Jing and the other Blood Sect members would be waiting for him.
Confusion appeared in his eyes.
"Now that Zhao Shanling's hiding place has been exposed, the turbulent situation in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation will most likely come to an end within a short time," Dong Li explained. "In such a sensitive period of time, you'd better quit thinking about gathering more earthflame essence. The way I see it, Desolate City and the Tool Sect's headquarters are the safest places right now. We no longer need to join those from the Blood Sect."
Earlier, in order to break free from Zhao Shanling's spatial energy blockade, Dong Li had rammed into the blockade in many different locations, like a brainless fly flying into the wall repeatedly.
Later, when Zhu Bin had shattered the spatial energy ward, she had finally seen a chance, and thus escaped without thinking.
The location where Zhu Bin had broken the ward hadn't been in line with the direction of the people from Blood Sect. Meanwhile, Dong Li hadn't thought about joining the people from the Blood Sect at all. Rather, her destination had always been Desolate City or the Tool Sect's headquarters.
"Sectmaster Li and the others won't be in danger, will they?" Nie Tian seemed worried.
Dong Li chuckled softly. "Rest assured. They'll be fine. Sectmaster Li is a middle Profound realm expert, after all. Not many people can hurt her. Besides, Wu Langxie seriously wounded Meng Qing's soul by using his soul transmitting art on him. Plus, he also lost his Bone Giant to Sectmaster Li. With such a significant drop in his battle prowess, even if he met Sectmaster Li again, he wouldn't be able to do anything to her."
Upon hearing these words, Nie Tian felt slightly relieved.
"Furthermore, Sectmaster Li and the others will soon learn about the twist in the situation, and that the turmoil that has horrified the Realm of Unbounded Desolation is coming to an end. By that time, they'll naturally return to Desolate City." Dong Li seemed relaxed as she added, "If you still want to see them, I'll arrange for people from my clan to help you look for them after we get back to Desolate City."
When she and Nie Tian had first come to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation, she hadn't contacted any Dong Clan members here for the purpose of discretion.
Now that Qin Yi had seen her and she had pointed out Zhao Shanling's hiding place with Nie Tian's help, people would definitely start talking about her shortly.
Therefore, there would be no need for her to continue to hide from people's attention. After returning to Desolate City, she would be free to openly contact her clansmen there and have them search for the people from the Blood Sect for Nie Tian.
"Alright then. Let's return to Desolate City first." Nie Tian agreed to her plan.
A few days passed...
Nie Tian and Dong Li came to the long and narrow mountain valley where Qi Bailu and the other Tool Sect experts had set up defensive wards to stop the Death Reign.
To avoid attracting attention, Nie Tian hadn't released his Heaven Eyes. However, as soon as they arrived at the mouth of the mountain valley, he detected the aura of numerous lives.
Surprised, Dong Li muttered, "Why are there so many people here?"
Neither she nor Nie Tian knew that Tool Sect experts had set up defenses here to stop the Death Reign, or that Qi Bailu and Zhao Shanling had engaged in fierce battle in this place not long ago.
Gazing at the charred ground in the depths of the valley, as well as the shattered mountain walls on both sides, she suddenly came to a realization. "This place must have just witnessed a heaven-shaking, earth-shattering battle!"
Nie Tian glanced around and came to the same realization.
As soon as they stepped into the mountain valley, clamorous discussions filled Nie Tian's ears. Numerous Qi warriors and equipment forgers of various origins were discussing or muttering to themselves as they observed the valley after the fierce battle.
"A battle between Spirit Realm experts!"
"Zhao Shanling's Death Reign ravaged this land, and the battle between him and the sectmaster of the Tool Sect also took place here not long ago. I hope we can come to some sort of understanding regarding Soul realm experts' profound power from the signs of their battle here."
"It's hard to believe that the Tool Sect has managed to hold off the Death Reign and find Zhao Shanling within such a short time."
"I hear that it was that Dong Li from the Dong Clan who found Zhao Shanling's hiding place."
"That girl is so lucky. By finding Zhao Shanling's hiding place, she has actually helped the Tool Sect avoid an imminent calamity. Meanwhile, she's not a member of the Tool Sect, so the Tool Sect will definitely reward her handsomely when the whole thing is over."
"I'm afraid that woman is about to become famous throughout the Domain of the Falling Stars."
"Yeah, no kidding."
A few Rainbow Lightnings from the Tool Sect were either parked or hovering in the valley. Young Tool Sect members could be seen on them.
Wu Ling was standing on one of them, steering it as he carefully examined the battlefield that had witnessed the fight between Zhao Shanling and Qi Bailu.
At the end of the mountain valley, a few elders of the Tool Sect were standing with grim expressions on their faces. It was hard to say if they were protecting the scene, or on guard for some kind of danger.
Dong Li came to a stop and said to Nie Tian in a low voice, "I bet Zhao Shanling has already left the Realm of Unbounded Desolation. These people are equipment forgers who came to attend the assessment assembly and curious cultivators from Desolate City. They must have received word that Zhao Shanling has left and the crisis has been lifted, so they dared to come here to pay their respects and observe the battlefield where a fierce battle between Soul realm experts took place."
Nie Tian laughed softly and said, "I see that many of them are talking about you."
Dong Li, who had already put on another mask, looked rather plain, yet she still looked very tempting as her bright eyes gently blinked. She glanced at Nie Tian in a very charming fashion and said with a smile, "Well, isn't that all thanks to your meritorious service? You don't say. It does feel good to be at the center of the stage and have people's eyes on me. Before, when people talked about me, they barely used any good words. Mostly, they would use words like vicious, venomous, slutty, and sly."
Her lips curled as her eyes were filled with disdain, as if she hadn't been affected by those baleful words at all.
"I know you're not the kind of woman they say you are," Nie Tian said with a plain tone.
As he spent more and more time with Dong Li, he gradually realized that even though she was fierce and ruthless, she wasn't exactly slutty. She seemed casual about male-female relationships, yet she actually had her principles.
"Of course I'm not the things they say I am." It seemed that Dong Li couldn't care less about how people thought of her. "Most men are jerks. You smile at them, and they think you're willing to get intimate with them. If they get what they want, they'll call you loose. If they don't, they'll badmouth you and call you degrading things.
"Those men who call me degrading things are the most degrading themselves! Well, they can say whatever they like about me. It's not like I'll lose anything or stop living."
A surprised expression spread across Nie Tian's face. "I didn't think you'd be so open-minded about this."
"Well... people get used to things." Dong Li chuckled softly. "Also, I got to kill quite a number of jerks like that. I have a full bag of tricks to use on those men. I can fool them like animals. Not only will they not get anything from me, but I'll make them pay, even with their lives."
The two of them talked in low voices as they marched deeper into the mountain valley.
All of a sudden, Nie Tian felt a frosty gaze on him from a distant location. He traced it and discovered that it was Pei Qiqi, who was staring at him from afar.