Of all people, Dong Li had hoped to avoid people from the Heaven Palace Sect the most.
She was well-aware that the Heaven Palace Sect had been after Nie Tian's fragmentary star marks. Meanwhile, the fact that Nie Tian had somehow obtained Ning Yang's fragmentary star mark suggested that he had something to do with his death.
The only reason the Heaven Palace Sect hadn't found fault with Nie Tian before was that they had needed him to seal the spatial rift and stop the Demon army from flooding their realm.
Now that the invasion crisis was long over, and Nie Tian had refused to join the Heaven Palace Sect, they would stop at nothing to capture him.
If it were any other sect in the Domain of the Falling Stars, the Dong Clan might still have the strength to stand up against it.
However, ever since the Void Palace Sect had vanished, the Heaven Palace Sect had become the most powerful sect throughout the Domain of the Falling Stars that was backed by a late Soul realm expert. Even the Dong Clan's profound strength was overshadowed in comparison.
Dong Li didn't spare Huang Hu a single glance. Instead, she looked at Su Lin and asked coldly, "What's the meaning of this, Sister Su?"
She was well-aware that, over the past few days, Su Lin had risen to become the Heaven Palace Sect's most valued core disciple, especially after Ning Yang's unexpected death.
The Heaven Palace Sect had placed high hopes in her.
Even though Huang Hu was backed by Huang Fan, who was a revered senior member of the sect, he was only deemed promising because of his mediocre cultivation talent.
With a smile, Su Lin shot a glance at the Earthshatter Beast's corpse and Nie Tian, who was sitting with his eyes closed, and said, "It seems that your friend is in the middle of a cultivation breakthrough."
Dong Li's expression flickered slightly.
She was slightly relieved that Su Lin hadn't recognized Nie Tian, who had altered his appearance.
After a moment of hesitation, Dong Li took the eye out of her ring of holding and tossed it to Su Lin. "You want the Earthshatter Beast's eye, right? Happy now?"
After all, Dong Li was worried that it would interrupt Nie Tian's breakthrough if she were to fight with the three people before her.
Worst of all, she was worried that Nie Tian's identity would be exposed.
In her eyes, even though the Earthshatter Beast's eye was of great value, it was far from as important as Nie Tian.
To make sure Nie Tian could make his breakthrough uninterrupted, she could only give up the Earthshatter Beast's eye, reluctant as she was to do so.
After giving the eye away, she seemed very disgruntled. Her face grew long, and she didn't utter another word.
Su Lin caught the Earthshatter Beast's eye with one hand, and after a brief scan with her spiritual power, she learned that the eye still contained copious amounts of power and profound mysteries. After she brought it back to the Heaven Palace Sect, it could probably be forged into a Spirit Channeling grade treasure.
Rather satisfied with Dong Li's submissive attitude, she nodded and said, "Smart choice. See you around."
With these words, she signaled Huang Hu and the other man, whose name was Hong He, to leave.
Both Huang Hu and Hong He felt disappointed after seeing that Dong Li had done she as she had been told and handed over the most precious part of the Earthshatter Beast.
Originally, they had looked forward to Dong Li standing up to them so that they could have some fun humiliating her and the person in the middle of cultivation.
It would have been ideal if they had started a fight, which would end up in them killing them and taking all of their valuable belongings.
They had sensed that Dong Li and Nie Tian had been here for some time. Hence, they might have quite a few Premium grade spiritual materials and rare treasures in their possession.
However, they were aware that, even though Su Lin's cultivation base wasn't higher than theirs, she was one of the sect's core disciples, so they had to follow her instructions, let alone the fact that Huang Fan had explicitly told Huang Hu to do so as well.
"I figured people from the Dong Clan would have the balls to stand up for themselves. Who knew they're just as spineless as the rest." Hong Ke said these few words of mockery as he jumped onto the enormous Earthshatter Beast.
After a brief examination, he said to Su Lin with an increasingly disappointed expression, "There isn't a shred of power left in this Earthshatter Beast's corpse, Junior Martial Sister Su. It's completely useless."
If there were still residual power within the Earthshatter Beast's corpse, at least its bones would have still been useful. Many spiritual tools were forged with spirit animal bones.
However, now that it was bereft of any power, it had become worthless to them. Even if they skinned it and collected its bones, no one would pay for them.
Nodding, Su Lin instructed, "Alright, let's get out of here."
Afterwards, the three of them walked into the distance under Dong Li's begrudging gaze.
Only after they disappeared from her sight did she feel somewhat relieved.
"The Heaven Palace sect!" Gnashing her teeth, she pondered how she should get back at those from the Heaven Palace Sect after Nie Tian made his breakthrough.
Soon after leaving the area where Dong Li and Nie Tian were, Hong He proposed, "Let's spread out and search this area for treasures, shall we?"
Huang Hu took a glance at him, then grinning, he waved his hand and said, "Alright, you search around here. We'll search up ahead."
Hong He rapidly disappeared from their sight.
After some time, when Dong Li was finally relaxed and sitting beside Nie Tian, waiting in silence, Hong He suddenly reappeared before her.
Surprised, Dong Li asked in a cold voice, "What are you doing here?"
Eyes shining with the light of lust, Hong He's eyes roamed over Dong Li's curvaceous body as he said, "I haven't gotten the thing I want yet."
Dong Li let out a cold harrumph. "What do you want?"
"I want you!" With a lustful laugh, Hong He lunged towards Nie Tian with the intention of slamming his large hand down towards the top of Nie Tian's head. "Either you do what I say, or I kill this guy!"
Dong Li sprang to her feet. Without any hesitation, she summoned her black phoenix and cast her cyan awl directly towards Hong He. "Don't you dare touch him!"
Hong He laughed wildly. "Even though my status in the Heaven Palace Sect isn't as high as Su Lin's or Huang Hu's, my cultivation base is higher than theirs. Considering my late Greater Heaven stage cultivation base, killing him is as easy as turning my hand over! (Idiom: very easy, no effort at all) You'd better be smart about this. Otherwise, you'll get him killed."
As he spoke, numerous lighting bolts that looked like golden tentacles shot out of Hong He's palm. As they approached Dong Li, they morphed into golden snakes with long, sharp teeth.
At the same time, he swiftly twisted his body, and successfully avoided the incoming cyan awl.
As his hand slammed towards Nie Tian's head, the black phoenix suddenly let out a bellow. In the next moment, a pained look flashed across Hong He's eyes, and he jerked to a stop.
However, in a split second, he got rid of the influence of the black phoenix's bellow and recovered his clear mind.
Standing right beside Nie Tian, he held his hand in midair and said, smiling, "Miss Dong, you're known for both your battle skills and slutty nature. I heard that you've slept with quite a number of men. It's not a big deal to add me to the list, right?"
"Go to hell!" Dong Li's bright eyes brimmed with burning rage as she heard Hong He's words.
Before Hong He had gotten this close to Nie Tian, Dong Li's cyan awl had already turned into a misty, cyan aura and formed a ward around him.
Hong He snorted coldly and said, "It seems that you're quite concerned with this guy's safety, but since you refuse to cooperate, I'll have to kill him!"
Disregarding the cyan ward, he threw his pending strike downwards with full force.