While Nie Tian and Hua Mu talked, a figure suddenly flashed into the cottage, his face pale.
Hua Mu was taken aback. "What happened?"
It was Lu Yuanxi, one of the three potentates of the Spirit Condor.
Nie Tian had met him on many occasions, and he had always been composed and calm. Never had he seen him so panicked.
Apparently, something bad had happened.
"I just received word that Zhao Shanling has started a massacre in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation!" Lu Yuanxi said urgently. "That maniac has entered the late Soul realm!"
Hua Mu had expected that Zhao Shanling would soon enter the late Soul realm, after learning from Nie Tian that he had obtained the Voidspirit Pagoda and gone to the Realm of Split Void to focus on his cultivation.
However, he hadn't expected that Zhao Shanling would make the breakthrough within such a short time.
It had only been a few months since their return to the Domain of the Falling Stars, and he had already advanced to the late Soul realm. This proved how helpful Master Voidspirit's legacies were to him.
"He's started killing people in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation...?" Nie Tian's expression flickered as he instantly realized that the people Zhao Shanling was killing must be the Lei Clan members.
After descending upon the Realm of Unbounded Desolation, members of the Lei Clan had not only expelled the Tool Sect, but also taken his inter-realm teleportation portal and destroyed his master's stele in his secret stronghold.
Before he had gone to the Realm of Split Void, Zhao Shanling had told Nie Tian that he intended to settle accounts with the Lei Clan once he entered the late Soul realm.
However, he hadn't expected his retaliation to come so soon.
"What's the situation over there?" Hua Mu asked, his face grim.
After taking a deep breath, Lu Yuanxi said, "Zhao Shanling killed quite a few members of the Lei Clan and the Thunder Mountain Sect when he tried to breach the protective ward the Lei Clan has established around the volcano where the Tool Sect was located. That early Void domain expert from the Lei Clan is still away building transit teleportation portals in the starry river.
"A late Soul realm expert from the Lei Clan that stayed behind, Lei Zhenyu from the Thunder Mountain Sect, Zhang Zhongchi from the Poison Sect, and Lu Minhuang from the Spirit God Sect teamed up on Zhao Shanling, but they were only able to force him to leave.
"Lei Zhenyu, who's only at the middle Soul realm, was badly injured during the battle.
"Holding a mysterious miniature pagoda in his hand, Zhao Shanling killed numerous Qi warriors from the Lei Clan and the Thunder Mountain Sect while contending against the four experts.
"Before leaving, that maniac claimed that he would wipe out the entire Lei Clan."
Nie Tian gasped with astonishment after hearing Lu Yuanxi's words.
Zhao Shanling, who had just entered the late Soul realm, was able to contend against three late Soul realm and a middle Soul realm experts at the same time. Not only did he manage to leave unharmed, but he even inflicted serious damage on Lei Zhenyu. Nie Tian couldn't help but admire such formidable battle prowess.
After a deep sigh, Hua Mu said, "I can't believe that it's that maniac who took the initiative to strike the Lei Clan when all of the major sects have chosen to either keep silent or become submissive."
"He only dared to do so because he's all alone," Lu Yuanxi said, his face gray. "He has no ties anywhere, and he practices spatial magics."
Hua Mu nodded. "That's right. Of all of the Soul realm cultivators in the Domain of the Falling Stars, he's the only one who doesn't have any disciples or people who depend on him. Now, with the help of that Spirit Channeling grade treasure, I even doubt that early Void domain expert from the Lei Clan will be able to take him in battle. Besides him, who else dares to ignore all consequences and make a move against the Lei Clan?"
"This is bad news." With these words, Lu Yuanxi shot a glance at Nie Tian.
Nie Tian went blank briefly before pointing at himself and asking, "What does it have to do with me?"
Lu Yuanxi's face was grim as he explained, "The fact that he showed up and started a massacre in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation means that he's back. A few years ago, he left with you. Now that he's back, it means you must be back in the Domain of the Falling Stars as well.
"Those from the Lei Clan have long since set their mind on the legacies you obtained from the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace. They would probably forget about it if you died in some remote corner of the starry river, or vanished completely.
"But if they're convinced that you're alive and in the Domain of the Falling Stars, they'll do everything within their power to catch you.
"Even though there's very little they can do to Zhao Shanling, they can do plenty of things to you."
At this moment, Hua Mu seemed to think of something, and thus interrupted Lu Yuanxi by saying, "We need to arrange for our people to go to the green bamboo forest to bring Mr. Nie and Nie Tian's aunt here now."
"I already did," Lu Yuanxi said in a worried voice. "Let's just hope that we're being overly cautious."
Nie Tian's expression flickered drastically as he asked, "Are you saying that those from the Lei Clan might try to kidnap my grandfather and aunt?!"
"Yeah, since you haven't shown yourself, they can only kidnap your family and use them to draw you to them," Hua Mu said.
Nie Tian gnashed his teeth furiously and thundered, "The Lei Clan!!!"
Lu Yuanxi smiled bitterly as he said, "My only fear right now is that we're already too late. We pulled our branch in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation back soon after the Lei Clan expelled the Tool Sect. Because of this, we didn't receive word of Zhao Shanling's deed in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation until after the battle ended and he had left.
"If the Lei Clan thought of making such a move, I'm afraid we're already too late."
With these words, Lu Yuanxi took out a glowing sphere, inside of which numerous magical symbols would light up from time to time.
Lu Yuanxi laid his hand on the glowing sphere. Every time a magical symbol lit up, he seemed to be able to receive a piece of information from it.
Nie Tian noticed that Lu Yuanxi fixed his eyes unblinkingly on a brown magical symbol. The same went for Hua Mu.
It was as if once that magical symbol lit up, it would mean that they had received word from their branch in the Realm of Flame Heaven.
A long time passed before that brown magical symbol finally lit up.
A wisp of light left Lu Yuanxi's palm and flew into the brown magical symbol at the center of the glowing sphere.
In the next moment, his face gradually fell as he let out a frustrated sigh and said, "We're too late. People from the Lei Clan have already brought your grandfather and aunt to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation under the company of some powerful experts from the Poison Sect, the Heaven Expanse Sect, and the Spirit God Sect. Your master, however, left for Desolate City days ago after the Lei Clan's 'invitation', where he's waiting to meet the people from the Divine Flame Sect.
"Since your master wasn't in the Cloudsoaring Sect at that time, no one was able to stop those Lei Clan members from taking your grandfather and aunt. I suppose they've already been imprisoned by the Lei Clan."
Nie Tian's eyes brimmed with burning rage as he roared, "Damn those bastards!!"
At that moment, another magical symbol lit up within the glowing sphere. Without any hesitation, Lu Yuanxi channeled the information into his mind.
Afterwards, with a grim face, he turned to Nie Tian and said, "We've got another piece of bad news."
Struggling to suppress his wrath, Nie Tian said, "Go ahead and spill it."
With a reluctant expression, Lu Yuanxi said, "That girl you know, Dong Li, also went to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation, along with Dong Wangling and a few other Dong Clan members, where they were waiting to meet people from the Divine Flame Sect. But while she was walking in the street in Desolate City, a band of Lei Clan members suddenly showed up and 'invited' her to the Lei Clan's stronghold.
"By the time Dong Wangling learned about it, Dong Li had already been taken to the volcano that the Lei Clan had seized for their own. Even though Dong Wangling immediately rushed over there to talk to the late Soul realm expert from the Lei Clan, Zhang Zhongchi, and Lu Minhuang, he failed to get her out of there.
"Dong Wangling is only at the middle Soul realm, and he was facing three late Soul realm experts. What could he have done?
"The way I see it, you're the reason why they 'invited' Dong Li to their stronghold. Many people know about your close relationship with that girl. If it weren't for you, the Lei Clan wouldn't have any reason to kidnap a junior like her."
After hearing Lu Yuanxi's words, Nie Tian's eyes looked as if they were about to spew flames. With great force, he spit out the words, "I'm going to the Realm of Unbounded Desolation, Uncle Hua."
Hua Mu seemed somewhat panicked as he exclaimed, "No, you can't! You're not Zhao Shanling. You'll definitely be captured if you go! The reason why those people from the Lei Clan did this was to draw you to them, so that they could catch you and give you to the people from the Divine Flame Sect when they arrive.
"Since you have the legacies of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace, you're a precious treasure to them.
"They must want to present you to the people from the Divine Flame Sect as a gift. The Divine Flame Sect will probably try to strip those fragmentary star marks from you.
"Even if they can't do that, they'll probably use Soulsearch on you to learn everything you know about the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace.
"If they do that to you, your soul will sustain heavy injuries, if you're lucky enough to survive. But then, your cultivation will be finished."
Nie Tian had recently witnessed Zhao Shanling use Soulsearch on a junior from the Thunder Mountain Sect.
He knew perfectly well what would happen if someone were to use it on him.
At that moment, Lu Yuanxi chimed in, "Don't make any rash moves, Nie Tian. We can wait a bit longer. Perhaps they don't know for sure that you came back with Zhao Shanling. They might just be flying a kite here."
Nie Tian shook his head. "Flying a kite? I don't think so."