As soon as the Rainbow Lightning came to a stop before Dong Li, Huang Yuan greeted her with a bright smile. "Big sister, we meet again."
Dong Li seemed to enjoy the sight of her. Smiling, she nodded and said, "Thank you for reminding me before. I found a place to hide and luckily escaped the Death Reign. That was close."
"Hahaha, you're welcome," Huang Yuan said, smiling.
Right before Huang Yuan and the others had descended, Nie Tian had been grilled by Pei Qiqi and Dong Li together, and thus felt a strong headache.
As soon as the Tool Sect youngsters came down from midair on their Rainbow Lightning, Nie Tian sensed them. Therefore, he secretly raised his guard and grew silent.
Pei Qiqi and Li Ye exchanged a glance and also fell silent.
They both knew Wu Ling, and were aware of the fact that Wu Ling had suffered a great loss from Nie Tian during the Heaven Gate trial, and eventually lost his left hand because of it.
Dong Li was also well-aware of the feud between Wu Ling and Nie Tian, and thus stopped messing around.
As soon as Wu Ling and the others landed, they realized that Pei Qiqi, Dong Li, and the others, who were talking just now, had suddenly grown silent.
After a moment of silent pondering, Wu Ling broke the ice by saying, "I heard that you've successfully joined the ranks of Premium grade equipment forgers, Junior Martial Brother Li. Congratulations. You're able to forge Premium grade spiritual tools at such a young age. Your equipment forging talent is simply amazing."
Li Ye and Pei Qiqi were Zhen Huilan's disciples, while Wu Ling's mother Bai Yu and Zhen Huilan had been martial sisters in the Tool Sect, so he naturally referred to Li Ye as his junior martial brother.
"Hahaha! If I didn't have extraordinary equipment forging talent, my master wouldn't have taken me in as her disciple, right?!" Li Ye wasn't modest at all. "My master once told me that not a single person throughout the Tool Sect's history has ever become a Premium grade equipment forger at my age!"
Wu Ling searched briefly in his head before nodding and saying, "That's actually true."
Zhu Han laughed as he played up to Pei Qiqi by initiating a conversation with her. "Junior Martial Sister Pei, your master used to be an important member of the Tool Sect, so we're actually very close. Now that that traitor Zhao Shanling has fled the Realm of Unbounded Desolation again and the turbulence has come to an end, if you're not in a hurry to leave, I'd be happy to show you around the magnificent sites in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation. What do you think?"
"That won't be necessary," Pei Qiqi said indifferently. Then, she turned to Li Ye, who was standing beside her, and said, "Alright, let's go back to Desolate City."
Zhu Han didn't seem to be angered by her rigid attitude, but rather asked warmly, "You're going back to Desolate City? We still have two vacant spots on our Rainbow Lightning. How about we give you a ride?"
"Let me put it this way," Pei Qiqi answered coldly. "I don't want to listen to you and I have no interest in traveling with you. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
The smile on Zhu Han's face froze.
Wu Ling and Huang Yuan beside him were also embarrassed, not sure what to say to relieve the tension.
Even though Wu Ling had met Pei Qiqi and Li Ye before, they hadn't spent much time together, and he thus wasn't aware of Pei Qiqi's notoriously bad temper.
Nie Tian tried hard not to laugh, as he was no stranger to Pei Qiqi's strange temperament. She was the kind of girl who would never mince her words when facing people who she detested.
Zhu Han had targeted the wrong girl. Nothing good would ever come of him trying to play up to Pei Qiqi. He would only end up upset and frustrated.
"Let's go, Li Ye. There's not much to see here anyways, only annoying flies." Pei Qiqi turned right around and walked off, not sparing Wu Ling and the others a glance.
"See you around, Senior Martial Brother Wu," Li Ye said with a smile before he winked at Nie Tian and trotted after Pei Qiqi.
He could tell that his senior martial sister was already unhappy after seeing Nie Tian and Dong Li together. Coming over at such a bad time, Zhu Han could only blame himself for the poor timing.
Seeing that Pei Qiqi and Li Ye had started marching towards the end of the mountain valley in the direction of the Tool Sect and Desolate City, Nie Tian also moved out.
Since Dong Li had been clinging to his arm the entire time, as soon as he moved, Dong Li followed along. She turned around and bid farewell to Huang Yuan, "I hope I'll see you again, little sister."
She was the daughter of the Dong Clan's clanmaster. The Dong Clan was the most influential power in the Realm of a Hundred Battles, whose reserve strength wasn't any poorer than the Tool Sect's.
Dong Li had been to countless important events and met with countless important people. Hence, she didn't attach much significance to Wu Ling and Zhu Han, and she only bid farewell to Huang Yuan before she left.
Zhu Han gave a cold harrumph. "A woman too stupid to appreciate my favor!"
Huang Yuan chuckled softly. "I knew this would happen."
Wu Ling remained silent. Frowning, he watched the four of them walk farther and farther away. Eventually, his gaze landed on Nie Tian.
For some reason, he hadn't felt anything when Nie Tian had faced him earlier, but now that he had his back toward him, he felt a sense of familiarity, which made him quite uncomfortable.
However, as he thought about it, he didn't think he had ever met that man before.
Therefore, shaking his head, he decided to let it go.
It wasn't long before Pei Qiqi, Li Ye, and the others came to the end of the mountain valley.
Zhu Lian and a few other Tool Sect elders nodded as they saw Pei Qiqi and Li Ye. Each and every one of them looked very grave.
As for Nie Tian and Dong Li behind them, they just briefly swept across them with their eyes.
Pei Qiqi and Li Ye bowed to them out of respect and walked out of the valley towards Desolate City.
Nie Tian and Dong Li talked in low voices as they followed along.
When they were a significant distance away from the mountain valley, a chuckle escaped Dong Li's mouth, and she said disdainfully, "That guy from earlier is named Zhu Han. He's the grandson of the Tool Sect elder we met at the entrance of the valley. He's such a fool for thinking he can get a girl like Pei Qiqi. He's like a toad that's after a swan's flesh."
"Zhu Han..." Nie Tian secretly carved the name in his heart.
Disgust filled Dong Li's eyes as she continued, "I heard that that guy is exactly the kind of jerk I told you about. By relying on the fact that two of his grandfathers are elders of the Tool Sect, he has defiled quite a number of pretty girls in the Tool Sect. Pei Qiqi must have heard about his bad reputation. It didn't surprise me at all that she adopted such an indifferent attitude towards him."
A surprised expression spread across Nie Tian's face. "Two grandfathers?"
"Yeah, Zhu Bin, who we've seen twice, and Zhu Lian, who we just passed at the end of the valley," Dong Li explained. "They're cousins. They both practice lightning power, and they're at the same cultivation level. Since Zhu Bin never took a wife, he sees Zhu Han as his own grandson. That's why Zhu Han is so arrogant and has an extremely messed up personal life."
With these words, she let out a cold harrumph. "Just like him, many juniors of the Tool Sect don't know how terrifying Zhao Shanling is. And they've no idea that a huge crisis is looming.
"Zhao Shanling must have returned to take the position of sectmaster of the Tool Sect. By the time Xia Yi enters the late Soul realm with the help of the earthflame essence he's gathered here, he'll definitely return to Realm of Unbounded Desolation again with Zhao Shanling.
"If it comes down to that, I really can't think of anyone in the Tool Sect who'll be able to stop them.
"You saw it yourself that Zhu Lian and the other Tool Sect elders didn't seem relaxed at all even though Zhao Shanling has left. Clearly, something was still weighing on their minds. That means that, as seniors in the Tool Sect, they know how formidable Zhao Shanling is, and that the crisis is far from over.
"Even Wu Ling didn't seem very thrilled about their temporary victory.
"However, there just are fools like Zhu Han who believe the Tool Sect has won a great victory, and are in the mood to hit on Pei Qiqi."
After hearing her words, Nie Tian nodded, agreeing that Zhu Han was a fool indeed.
The four of them marched farther and farther away from the valley where the battle between Qi Bailu and Zhao Shanling had taken place.
Suddenly, Pei Qiqi and Li Ye, who were marching in the front, came to a stop, as if they were waiting for Nie Tian and Dong Li to catch up.
Upon seeing this, Nie Tian turned to Dong Li and said, "Aren't you going to the Tool Sect to claim your rewards for finding Zhao Shanling? See if they'll give you some advanced spiritual tools?"
"There's no rush for that." Dong Li sounded composed and unhurried. "Since Grandpa Qin Yi knows that Zhao Shanling was discovered thanks to my help, there's no escaping that I'll be rewarded for it. It won't matter when I go to them. Or I can simply do nothing, and people from the Tool Sect will probably go to the Dong Clan to express their gratitude to my sect.
"Perhaps I'll benefit even more if I don't take the initiative to find them. If they do come to my clan, my prestige in my clan will surely experience a great lift. My clan can also take the opportunity to ask the Tool Sect to help us forge some advanced spiritual tools.
"Those who receive those high-level spiritual tools will be grateful to me too, for I'm the reason they're receiving such treasures.
"And throw in a Fruit of Life. My status in my clan will truly become stable.
"I believe this will fix the damage caused by my previous losses to you in the Realm of Split Void. I won't need to assume another name and prove myself in horrible places like the Realm of Split Void anymore." Dong Li seemed overjoyed.
Their trip to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation had brought her both fame and material benefits.