On the island where the Greater Heaven stage human Qi warriors were gathered.
A number of stone columns that were carved with detailed patterns were planted into the ground in a circle, with lightning flashing across them every once in a while.
At the center of the circle of stone columns, numerous glittering spirit stones filled a slender hole in the ground, along with wooden slips. Together, they seemed to be forming a special spell formation.
This was the main defense they had set up to ward off the outsiders' attacks once they came.
Disciples of various sects were still bustling to add stronger and more complicated defensive spells to them.
As Dong Li took out her Sound Stone and once again attempted to contact Nie Tian, the young leaders all put their work on hold and gathered around her.
Holding the Sound Stone to her ear, Dong Li smiled like a blossoming flower as she said to the so-called chosen ones, "He just killed another three outsiders. It's only been two days since he started, and he's already taken out thirteen fourth grade outsiders. A bit shocking, isn't it?"
Complicated expressions appeared on those gathered before her. None of them said a word.
After a moment of silence, Liao Yan from the Thunder Mountain Sect said, "I wonder if the guy is telling the truth."
He had heard about Nie Tian's deed of slaying multiple Thunder Mountain Sect and Heaven Expanse Sect disciples while protecting Dong Li while she had refined the eighth grade black phoenix.
However, he hadn't seen it himself, and thus was somewhat suspicious.
He wondered whether Nie Tian's reports were truthful, that he had indeed killed thirteen powerful outsiders within merely two days.
He wasn't the only one. Yu Yang from the Heaven Expanse Sect, Zhang Jiu from the Poison Sect, and a few others were also rather suspicious.
They were worried that Nie Tian would provide them with false information for his own benefit.
After all, they were nothing but words. They hadn't seen any of his battle results with their own eyes.
Dong Li glanced over the people before her and immediately realized what they were thinking. She pursed her lips into a smile and said, "You don't seem to quite believe him, do you? It's too bad that we're not there and you can't see the outsiders he's killed for yourself. Otherwise, you wouldn't have anything to say."
Yu Yang let out a soft snort and said, "Well, I've got to admit that I have doubts. What if he's lying to us? How would we tell? What if there actually isn't a single outsider on that island, and he's just roaming the island and gathering precious spiritual materials?"
A few people nodded along, and chimed in, saying that was a possibility.
"If you really think that's the case, you might as well go over there and take a look for yourself," Dong Li said coldly.
At this moment, Xuan Ke from the Ice Pavilion Sect jumped in and said, "Miss Dong, I've got a method that will answer everyone's questions and eliminate their doubts."
"I'm all ears." Dong Li looked intrigued.
Xuan Ke summoned a piece of crystal-clear ice from within his ring of holding. It was the size of a table, sparkling, and exuding a frigid cold aura.
"This piece of ice is a spiritual tool forged by powerful experts from my sect. It'll allow us to have a peek of what others are seeing." Xuan Ke placed the ice on the ground and continued, "All you need to do is place your Sound Stone on the ice and then tell Nie Tian to concentrate on the image he was looking at before closing his eyes.
"This ice crystal will process the message from him and reproduce what he has last seen. The image will exist for three to five seconds."
"That's great!" Lu Jian from the Spirit God Sect exclaimed in admiration. "That way we'll be able to tell whether Nie Tian is telling us the truth!"
Everyone else nodded in assent.
Even Su Lin, Yang Kan, and a few others who believed in Nie Tian's strength nodded repeatedly, urging Dong Li to do as Xuan Ke had said.
Dong Li, who had unwavering faith in Nie Tian, gave a hearty smile and said, "Alright."
She had confidence that not a single word of Nie Tian's report was false, and she had nothing to worry about.
Thus, after informing Nie Tian of their decision through her Sound Stone, she placed it at the center of the table-sized ice.
As soon as the Sound Stone made contact with the ice, wisps of frosty aura that carried faint traces of soul power slowly rose from the ice and wreathed the small Sound Stone.
The soul power from the ice seemed to have unlocked the Sound Stone, and was decoding the messages from it.
Soon, the Sound Stone started to flicker with a faint light, as if the messages were being transformed.
At the same time, the sparkling and crystal-clear ice started to shine brightly as an image quietly appeared in the ice, like a reflection in a silent well.
All of the young leaders leaned over to have a close look. They soon saw the corpses of two bulky outsiders.
They were covered in black scales, and seemed to have had their hearts pierced through by some sharp weapon.
Judging from the nasty wounds in their chests, they must be the work of Nie Tian's Flame Star.
Strangely, the tall and bulky outsiders looked somewhat shriveled. Not much blood could be seen around the burnt puncture wounds in their chests. However, the looks on their faces were distorted and filled with horror.
After a few seconds, the image in the ice dissipated.
Everyone present fell silent. Apparently, no one doubted the authenticity of the information Nie Tian had given anymore.
"This piece of ice can only transmit the image Nie Tian saw right before he closed his eyes," Xuan Ke explained calmly. "If he wasn't looking at those dead outsiders, but instead imagining them, they wouldn't have shown up here. So I can promise you that what we just saw was what Nie Tian was looking at, and everything was real."
"I believe you," Su Lin said softly.
The others also nodded slightly.
Now, the chosen ones were all convinced that Nie Tian had indeed killed more than a dozen outsiders over the past two days, even though they would rather it wasn't true.
After all, the fact that Nie Tian had managed to single-handedly take out so many outsiders within such a short time was a bit hard to take in for them.
Where were Nie Tian's limits?
How had he managed to do that?
Why wasn't he surrounded by outsiders?
What were those outsiders doing?
A series of questions rose in their hearts. All those who hated Nie Tian looked very grim and bothered, while those who were friendly with Nie Tian, like Dong Li and Ye Qin, looked deeply shocked and excited.
While everyone was considering how they should treat their relationships with Nie Tian in the future, the Sound Stone Dong Li had placed on the ice once again flickered with a new message.
As it did, the ice under it started to shine brightly again.
A brand-new image quickly appeared within the ice.
Everyone leaned over and saw a tall outsider falling from the sky.
As a blinding blade light slashed across the air, the outsider's throat was slit open, blood immediately spurting out of it.
The image lasted a few seconds, then dissipated again.
However, the shocking image lingered in the minds of everyone staring into the ice.
"I don't think we need to see more of it." Xuan Ke cleared his throat and nodded at Dong Li. "I think it's safe to say that none of us will question the authenticity of Nie Tian's reports anymore. Thank you, Miss Dong."
Only after hearing Xuan Ke's words did a few people snap out of their daze, and leave without saying a word.
After rejoining their subordinates, they told them to just focus on forming defenses and wait for more news from Nie Tian. There was no need to come up with other ideas.
All those who left were people who weren't fond of Nie Tian, like Su Lin and Yang Kan.
All those who stayed were the leaders from the Yin Sect, the Yang Sect, the Ice Pavilion sect, and the Realm of a Hundred Battles.
With a faint smile at the corner of her mouth, Ye Qin looked at those who left and said with a meaningful tone, "Perhaps they need to reconsider whether they'll still be able to get their treasures back from Nie Tian like they have planned. It'll be a question of what price they'll pay if they're going to try."
Dong Li laughed heartily and charmingly.
Xuan Ke put the ice away and said with a serious expression, "Miss Dong, I think we can form a small alliance around Nie Tian to make our operation in this place smoother. Just the Yin Sect, the Yang Sect, the Ice Pavilion sect, and you from the Realm of a Hundred Battles. We can prevent fighting among ourselves and share information and resources. What do you think?"
Upon hearing these words, Ye Qin and Chen Hao's eyes lit up.
Qin Yan hastily nodded and said, "That's brilliant!"
Dong Li chuckled, knowing that the reason why Xuan Ke had made such a proposal was completely because of Nie Tian.
If it weren't for Nie Tian, as arrogant as Xuan Ke was, he would have disdained to join up with other forces.
"What would you and the Ice Pavilion sect do if those other forces team up and seek trouble with Nie Tian later?" Dong Li asked, smiling.
"I'll stand by Nie Tian," Xuan Ke answered with decisiveness that could sever nails and chop iron.
"Good! Then I agree to your proposal!" Dong Li nodded, looking satisfied.
The reason why she didn't ask Ye Qin or Chen Hao was because she knew that, considering their sects' friendly relationship with Nie Tian, they would support Nie Tian no matter what.