As Zhao Shanling relayed the information to him, Nie Tian learned what had happened in the Domain of the Falling Stars during the time when they were gone.
A year ago, an ancient starship had arrived in the Domain of the Falling Stars after taking a long journey through the starry river.
It was a starship from the Lei Clan in the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries, and the Lei Clan was a subordinate clan of the Divine Flame Sect, which was one of the eight major powers in the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries.
The Lei Clan had sent an early Void domain expert to lead this trip to the Domain of the Falling Stars.
Soon after their arrival, they had discovered that many of the Thunder Mountain Sect's incantations were identical to their clan's.
That early Void domain expert then visited the Thunder Mountain Sect and asked Lei Zhenyu about their sect's founder. That was when he had realized that the Thunder Mountain Sect's founder had been an elder of their clan.
Thousands of years ago, that elder of the Lei Clan had left the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries to explore the starry river. However, he had never returned.
Who would have known that he had actually come to the Domain of the Falling Stars by accident and put down roots here. It was that elder who had single-handedly founded the Thunder Mountain Sect.
After learning about this, the Thunder Mountain Sect had acknowledged their origin immediately by deciding to become a subordinate sect to the Lei Clan.
Later, the Lei Clan had chosen the Realm of Unbounded Desolation to be the place to establish their foothold, so that they could bring the Divine Flame Sect, their master sect, into the Domain of the Falling Stars.
As one of the most powerful sects in the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries, the Divine Flame Sect ruled multiple realms.
After realizing that there were only nine realms and not a single Void domain expert in the Domain of the Falling Stars, the Lei Clan had planned for the Divine Flame Sect to take control of the Domain of the Falling Stars and make its nine realms their colonies.
That way, the Lei Clan would be rewarded for such a significant contribution.
The Divine Flame Sect would surely set up a branch in the Domain of the Falling Stars. Since most of the Divine Flame Sect disciples practiced flame-related incantations, the Realm of Unbounded Desolation had become an ideal place to establish their branch. For this reason, the Lei Clan had expelled the Tool Sect from their headquarters.
Since the Lei Clan had a Void domain expert and were backed by the formidable Divine Flame Sect, the Tool Sect had been forced to leave the Realm of Unbounded Desolation.
After communicating with the sects in the Realm of Flame Heaven, the Tool Sect had moved to a location in the Scarlet Flame Mountain Range, where they had built their new headquarters.
Meanwhile, the Domain of the Falling Stars and the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries were separated by the endless starry river. It wasn't an easy task to bring the powerful experts of the Divine Flame Sect to the Domain of the Falling Stars.
At this moment, the members of the Lei Clan were looking for suitable locations between the two domains to set up spatial teleportation portals.
They hoped that, with enough teleportation portals, they could soon link the two domains up.
The Lei Clan had already sent word to every sect in the Domain of the Falling Stars that it wouldn't be very long before the connection was established.
At that time, the Divine Flame Sect would set up a branch in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation. Like the Lei Clan, every major sect and clan in the Domain of the Falling Stars would become the Divine Flame Sect's subordinate, to whom they would give tribute every year.
Even though almost every sect and clan in the Domain of the Falling Stars had been infuriated by this, their hands had been tied.
After all, the early Void domain expert from the Lei Clan was an unparalleled force, since that the patriarch of the Heaven Palace Sect had yet to enter the Void domain. No one dared to stand up against the Lei Clan.
Even if the patriarch of the Heaven Palace Sect entered the Void domain, it wouldn't change anything, since the Lei Clan was backed by the Divine Flame Sect, which was even more powerful.
The Divine Flame Sect had multiple Void domain experts, some of whom were even at the late Void domain.
The Divine Flame Sect was far more powerful than the sects in the Domain of the Falling Stars. It weighed on the sects' shoulders like a lofty mountain peak.
At this moment, Desolate City was also controlled by the Lei Clan. The Thunder Mountain Sect, which had submitted to the Lei Clan, was now taking Desolate City as their headquarters, and worked as a liason for the Lei Clan and the major sects in the Domain of the Falling Stars.
Several sects that had been friendly with the Thunder Mountain Sect, like the Heaven Expanse Sect, had already made their stance clear that they would be willing to take the Divine Flame Sect as their master sect when the powerful experts of the Divine Flame Sect arrived.
However, even more sects were still hesitating and hadn't made any statements.
The Void domain expert of the Lei Clan had spread word that, by the time people from the Divine Flame Sect arrived, he would like every Soul realm expert throughout the Domain of the Falling Stars to come and pay their respects.
Those who refused to do so would have their sects banished from the Domain of the Falling Stars, and would never be allowed to return.
Now that no sect or clan dared to challenge the Lei Clan, the Thunder Mountain Sect had finally changed their fate. Their disciples had become even more arrogant and unreasonable than the Heaven Palace Sect.
The disciples of the Thunder Mountain Sect had been doing whatever they liked in all of the nine realms, completely unrestrained by rules. Even Zhao Luofeng from the Heaven Palace Sect had warned their disciples against getting into conflicts with them.
After hearing about the current situation, Nie Tian's face grew grim as he said, "No wonder that man dared to talk so arrogantly even after realizing who you were. Who would have known that while we worried about not knowing a way to enter the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries, people from there had already come to the Domain of the Falling Stars. By the time the connection is established between the Domain of the Falling Stars and the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries, I'm afraid the entire Domain of the Falling Stars will become a colony to the Divine Flame Sect. Everyone in the Domain of the Falling Stars will have to follow the whims of the Divine Flame Sect."
As Zhao Shanling flicked his sleeve, the Thunder Mountain Sect junior who he had just used Soulsearch on was instantly reduced to a bloody mist.
He must be furious. Otherwise, he wouldn't have vented his anger on the man's corpse.
With an icy look in his eyes, he gazed in the Tool Sect's direction before jerking his head around in Desolate City's direction and saying, "The Divine Flame Sect!
"I can't believe they actually dared to expel the Tool Sect. I'll settle accounts with them after advancing to the Void domain!
"Nie Tian, I'll spend some time going over the spatial incantations I got from Master Voidspirit. I need to enter the late Soul realm first.
"Now that you've learned about the situation, you'd better be more discreet and learn to choose your battles."
"Since the Lei Clan has established their foothold in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation, and their early Void domain expert is probably here, I can't cultivate here. I'm going to spend some time in the Realm of Split Void and figure something out after I enter the late Soul realm. What about you? Where you do want to go? I'll give you a ride."
"I want to visit Hua Mu first. I promised that I'd give the broken Heaven-shattering Crystal Cannon to the Spirit Condor, the Tool Sect, and the Dong Clan." After a brief pause, he added, "Also, the Spirit Condor are well-informed. I want to ask them about the Divine Flame Sect's arrival."
Zhao Shanling nodded. "Alright, I'll take you to the Realm of Endless Ice. Then you can go find Xuan Ke, and he'll show you to the Spirit Condor's headquarters."
With these words, he created a spatial rift and took Nie Tian to his secret stronghold in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation.
The moment they appeared in the mountain valley, Zhao Shanling cursed furiously, "Dammit!"
The spatial wards that had protected the secret stronghold were gone, exposing the entire mountain valley.
Zhao Shanling's secret inter-realm teleportation portal was also nowhere to be seen. It seemed that someone had discovered it, and taken it for their own.
Not just that, but the stone stele Zhao Shanling had established for his master was also broken, its pieces blending with the rocks around it.
Zhao Shanling stamped with fury. "This must be the Lei Clan's doing!! The spatial wards I used to isolate this place should have been able to prevent Soul realm cultivators from sensing the subtle fluctuations the inter-realm teleportation portal emanated. The person who discovered it must be at the Void domain or higher.
"The Lei Clan searched the Realm of Unbounded Desolation for Fruits of Life. Their Void domain expert must have found this place during their search.
"I can live with the fact that they took my inter-realm teleportation portal, but they even broke my master's stele! I'll never forgive such an action! Reckoning will come the day I enter the late Soul realm and fully refine the Voidspirit Pagoda! Even the Divine Flame Sect won't be able to shelter them!"
Apparently, he had been completely infuriated upon seeing his master's stele shattered.
"Can we still leave the Realm of Unbounded Desolation without that inter-realm teleportation portal?" Nie Tian asked.
Zhao Shanling took a deep breath to calm himself before saying with an arrogant expression, "Don't worry. The Voidspirit Pagoda has many miraculous uses. Even without that teleportation portal, I'll still be able to get you to the Realm of Endless Ice. It'll just take a bit more work. That's all."
The Voidspirit Pagoda flew out from between his eyebrows. Immediately afterwards, incomparably intense spatial fluctuations filled the entire region. Numerous spatial blades flew out of the Voidspirit Pagoda, forming a large glowing spatial rift.
As Zhao Shanling closed his eyes, his spiritual power and soul power was madly infused into the spatial rift.
Moments later, he let out a sigh of relief, and said, "Fortunately, my secret inter-realm teleportation portal in the Realm of Endless Ice is still untouched. With that inter-realm teleportation portal and the Voidspirit Pagoda, we can still travel there now."
With these words, he grabbed Nie Tian and pulled him into the glowing spatial rift.
In the next moment, they appeared in his inter-realm teleportation portal in the Realm of Endless Ice. After pointing out the way to the Ice Pavilion Sect for Nie Tian and giving him some advice, he teleported to the Realm of Split Void through the same portal.