In the depths of the valley, Li Ye noticed that Pei Qiqi was staring at a stranger. Confused, he asked, "Anything wrong, senior martial sister? Why are you staring at that man?"
Pei Qiqi had seen Nie Tian wearing the same mask he was wearing now on many occasions, and thus recognized him the moment he entered her sight.
Meanwhile, Li Ye had never seen Nie Tian wearing that mask before, and therefore didn't understand what was going on.
Before people from the Tool Sect had come to evacuate equipment forgers attending the assessment assembly, Li Ye had successfully forged a premium grade spiritual tool, and was therefore acknowledged by the Tool Sect as a premium grade equipment forger.
Thanks to Zhen Huilan, the two of them had long since learned of Zhao Shanling's return. After Zhao Shanling had been found and the turmoil in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation came to an end, they had come to the mountain valley in an attempt to broaden their view by observing the place where two powerful Soul realm experts had engaged in battle.
"I can't believe that bastard is here in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation!" Pei Qiqi cursed in a low voice.
She couldn't help but grow angry as she looked at the incomparably tempting Dong Li walking closely beside Nie Tian and the way they were talking to each other.
"Who?" Li Ye didn't understand who she was talking about.
"The bastard with the surname 'Nie' of course," Pei Qiqi reminded him.
Li Ye was instantly enlightened. "That's Nie Tian you're staring at?!"
"Who else can it be?" Pei Qiqi said with a cold face. "He travels here and there, being deliberately mysterious. Now, he's come to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation. I wonder what he's after."
Looking surprised, Li Ye said, "Senior martial sister, that guy seems to be coming from the other end of the valley. All land that lies beyond that side of the valley has been regarded as a forbidden zone by the Tool Sect. Since he's coming from that direction, does that mean he was wandering in the forbidden zone before the turbulence ended? If that's the case, it's quite impressive of him for not being killed by the Death Reign and returning alive."
Pei Qiqi shook her head. "Mere luck is all that is. Considering his current cultivation base, if he did run into the Death Reign, he would have definitely been killed."
"You're right." Li Ye agreed, and then started laughing. "I'll go talk to him!"
"Don't!" Pei Qiqi stopped him with a cold tone. "Now that he's seen us, if he's at all respectful, he should come to greet us."
"Alright." Li Ye nodded as he took out a bottle of alcohol and started drinking with a smile on his face. "I'll tell him the good news that not only have I become a premium grade equipment forger acknowledged by the Tool Sect, but I've also advanced to the late Greater Heaven stage. Right, I'll also tell him about your recent breakthrough in cultivation thanks to the enlightenment you've derived from the spatial rift in the Realm of Flame Heaven."
Dong Li followed Nie Tian's gaze and discovered Pei Qiqi, who was staring at them from the depths of the valley. Her lips pursed into a smile as she intentionally pressed herself towards Nie Tian and hooked his arm with hers. Then, with a taunting tone, she asked, "Pei Qiqi recognized you, didn't she?"
"Yeah, she's seen me wearing this mask on many occasions," Nie Tian answered.
"Do you wanna go over?" Dong Li asked, smiling.
"Yeah, of course," Nie Tian answered without thinking.
"Okay, I'll go with you." Looking excited, Dong Li clutched Nie Tian's arm tightly, stuck out her ample chest slightly, and marched towards Pei Qiqi and Li Ye with her head high.
Nie Tian felt uncomfortable being dragged forward. Confused by her suddenly intimate actions, he asked, "What are you doing?"
"Nothing," Dong Li said with an innocent and wronged expression. "What? Now that your old lover is here, you don't want to have anything to do with me, right?"
"I don't know what you're talking about." Nie Tian with a bitter face.
Dong Li snorted coldly. "I can tell that your relationship with Pei Qiqi is beyond normal."
"You're wrong. My relationship with her is very normal." A tiresome expression filled Nie Tian's face. "My relationship with her is just as normal as my relationship with you."
Dong Li lowered her voice, her watery eyes glittering with charming light. "Oh, you're wrong. Our relationship is far beyond normal. You touched me and I kissed you. Do you call this normal? Or are you saying that you've done the same things with Pei Qiqi? You've touched her and she's kissed you?"
"N-no." Nie Tian started to feel a headache coming on.
Dong Li's abnormal behavior made him very uncomfortable, and he did not know why she had started behaving so strangely immediately after seeing Pei Qiqi.
"Good." Dong Li laughed softly, looking pleased.
The two of them talked as they approached Pei Qiqi and Li Ye. in the meantime, Nie Tian made numerous attempts to struggle free from Dong Li's hooked arms, yet the harder he tried, the more tightly Dong Li clung to him.
The two of them didn't catch too much attention as they fumbled forward in the mountain valley. After all, their cultivation bases weren't impressive, and Dong Li wasn't very eye-catching after assuming a different appearance.
Moments later, Dong Li practically dragged Nie Tian to Pei Qiqi and Li Ye.
Nie Tian seemed somewhat embarrassed having Dong Li clinging so closely to him. He cleared his throat and said with a wry smile, "Long time no see, Miss Pei. I didn't know you'd also come to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation. I had actually planned to visit you and Li Ye in Shatter City. It's a happy coincidence that we can meet here in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation..."
Before he could finish, Pei Qiqi interrupted him. Looking suspiciously at Dong Li, who was clinging to him like a little girl clinging to her father, she asked coldly, "Who's she?"
"Who is she, Little Tian?" Dong Li also asked, even though she already knew the answer.
"Little Tian?" Li Ye, who was just about to find fault with Nie Tian, went blank as his eyes widened. His gaze switched back and forth between Nie Tian and Dong Li before finally landing on Nie Tian. Grinning, he said, "I didn't know you had it in you."
Nie Tian felt even more embarrassed.
"I asked who is she?" Pei Qiqi asked again.
"Yeah, who is she, Little Tian?" Dong Li blinked unwittingly with a curious expression on her face, as if she had no idea who Pei Qiqi was.
The four of them stood in the middle of the mountain valley while many others observed the battlefield and engaged in heated discussion around them.
At that moment, Huan Yuan from the Tool Sect pointed at Dong Li from a Rainbow Lightning that was floating in the distant sky as she said to Wu Ling and the others beside her, "Look! It's that big sister we met not long ago. I can't believe she's still alive. I reminded her to be careful on her own before we left.
"I thought she would be dead already. Who could have guessed that she actually returned unscathed."
Wu Ling and the others were also here to derive enlightenment from the place where powerful Soul realm experts had fought.
After hearing Huang Yuan's words, they all cast their curious gazes towards Dong Li.
However, none of them paid much attention to Nie Tian, who was standing right beside her. It had been years since Wu Ling had last seen Nie Tian. Both his aura and cultivation base had changed greatly since then, so he failed to recognize him.
Zhu Han's lustful gaze landed on Pei Qiqi after roaming Dong Li's body for a few seconds. "Isn't that Miss Pei?! She's Master Zhen's disciple. Don't tell me that they know each other."
Back when Wu Ling and the others had discovered Dong Li, he had volunteered to search her to determine if she had been illegally gathering earthflame essence, though Wu Ling had stopped him.
Now that he saw Dong Li again, he was once again aroused. However, since Dong Li looked rather average, his eyes were rapidly seized by Pei Qiqi instead.
Huang Yuan pursed her lips into a smile. "Brother Han, you're just like a dog that can't fight its urge to eat shit. (Idiom: people having bad habits that are very hard to change) Miss Pei is Master Zhen's disciple. Don't you even think about it."
Zhu Han didn't seem scared at all. "She is Master Zhen's disciple. So what? I'm from a noble background myself. Are you telling me that I'm not good enough for her?"
"I just don't think you'll be able to land her," Huang Yuan ridiculed him.
Standing on the Rainbow Lightning, Wu Ling's eyes narrowed as he gazed at Dong Li and Pei Qiqi, who seemed to be talking to each other, from afar. With an expressionless face, he said, "Miss Pei has already entered the middle Greater Heaven stage, which is higher than you and me. Meanwhile, she practices the spatial magics she has learned from Master Zhen. Given time, she'll surely grow to be the most skilled spatial energy wielder in the Domain of the Falling Stars.
"Zhu Han, if you can actually make her fall for you, it'll work out great for you and the Tool Sect."
Zhu Han's eyes lit up as he blurted, "So does this mean that I have your support, Big Brother Ling?"
"Sure, I'll support you if you want to pursue her, but don't you dare come up with any crooked ideas," Wu Ling said with an indifferent tone.
Zhu Han let out a cunning laugh. "Hahaha! How would I do anything like that to a true beauty?! Lower the Rainbow Lightning, Big Brother Ling. Let's go over there and say hi."
Huang Yuan frowned. "Won't that be a bit abrupt?"
Wu Ling's gaze swept across the four of them in the valley. He had seen Pei Qiqi and Li Ye before. Both of them had given him deep impressions.
As for Dong Li and Nie Tian, he couldn't care less who they were.
"Well, Master Zhen and my father are old friends. It doesn't hurt to go down there and greet Pei Qiqi and Li Ye." With these words, Wu Ling steered the Rainbow Lightning down towards Nie Tian and the others.