The volcano that belonged to the Tool Sect had been completely taken over by the Lei Clan.
Eight spheres filled with lightning bolts could be seen floating over the volcano.
Each of them had numerous arm-thick lightning bolts stretching down from it. Together, they formed a curtain that surrounded the volcano.
Those lightning spheres had been left by the Void domain expert from the Lei Clan. They hadn't been put to use until Zhao Shanling had suddenly shown up and started a massacre. Only then had the late Soul realm expert from the Lei Clan taken them out and enveloped the entire volcano with them.
As powerful as Zhao Shanling was, he had only been able to kill the Lei Clan and Thunder Mountain Sect members at the foot of the volcano, who weren't protected by the lightning spheres.
Just as he had gathered strength in an attempt to destroy the spell formation, the late Soul realm expert from the Lei Clan, Lu Minhuang, and Zhang Zhongchi rushed down toward him and prevented him from doing that.
After the battle, a large number of unnaturally-formed holes and rifts could be seen around the volcano. The crimson barren land seemed to have been carved and pierced repeatedly by enormous blades.
A Lei Clan member was sitting by the mouth of a cave halfway up the volcano, not making a sound.
In the depths of the cave was a room that was originally used for equipment forging. All kinds of catalyzing materials and spirit stones could be seen in the room, as well as a three-legged cauldron that was filled with boiling lava that was placed in the middle.
Nie Donghai, Nie Qian, and Dong Li were standing in front of the cauldron, sweating heavily from the high temperature.
Chains of lightning that looked like small, silver snakes were wrapped around their necks.
Those chains had been put there by the late Soul realm expert from the Lei Clan. Not only were they stopping Nie Donghai, Nie Qian, and Dong Li from using spiritual power, but they had also infiltrated their minds. Once the idea of committing suicide entered their minds, the chains would immediately release enough lightning power to numb their bodies.
The chains around Nie Qian's neck released tiny lightning bolts. Nie Qian let out a muffled groan and collapsed to the ground.
"Auntie!" Heart aching, Dong Li rapidly helped Nie Qian to her feet. "Don't make another idle attempt. It won't work. As soon as the idea of killing yourself enters your mind, these lightning chains will stun you. You'll only end up suffering even more."
Nie Donghai's face looked rather pale. A few burn marks could also be seen around his neck. He let out a deep sigh and said, "Save your strength. It won't work."
Apparently, he had also tried to kill himself after learning the Lei Clan's intentions.
However, every time he even thought of doing it, the lightning chains around his neck would stun him to the point where he couldn't even move a finger.
Tears trickled down Nie Qian's cheeks as she said, "This is all because we're so useless that we've become Little Tian's burden. I don't want him to throw himself into danger just for us."
Dong Li consoled her by saying, "Don't worry too much, Aunt Nie. And don't try to commit suicide again. Things might not be that bad."
Nie Qian touched Dong Li's cheek and said with an apologetic tone, "I'm sorry, Little Li. We dragged you into this. You're a chosen one from the Realm of a Hundred Battles. Now you have to suffer with us because of Little Tian."
"Don't say that," Dong Li said. "We'll be alright. I'm sure people will think of a way to help us."
Even though Dong Li consoled Nie Qian, she actually felt very anxious deep down.
As resourceful as she was, she couldn't think of a way for her clan and those who wanted to help them to stop this.
The Lei Clan had a Void domain expert and was backed by the Divine Flame Sect. Now that the Heaven Expanse Sect, the Poison Sect, the Spirit God Sect, and the Flame God Sect had all chosen to submit to the Lei Clan, who in the Domain of the Falling Stars would have the audacity and strength to force the Lei Clan to release them?
Even Zhao Shanling, who was a man with no scruples and unparalleled battle prowess, had failed to sack the Lei Clan's stronghold, facing multiple late Soul realm experts.
When the Void domain expert from the Lei Clan returned, and powerful experts from the Divine Flame Sect descended, it would be even less possible for the sects in the Domain of the Falling Stars to revolt against them.
Dong Li pondered the matter long and hard, but still failed to find a way to force the Lei Clan to let them go. Therefore, she gradually grew desperate, and only hoped that Nie Tian was still alive, but hadn't returned to the Domain of the Falling Stars.
"Hmm?!" The eyebrows of the Lei Clan member who was guarding the cave rose as he fixed his eyes on a spot in the air.
Intense spatial fluctuations were rapidly brooding in the air outside of the curtain of lightning bolts.
Numerous members of the Thunder Mountain Sect, the Lei Clan, the Heaven Expanse Sect, and the Spirit God Sect came out from their buildings to see what was happening.
As the spatial fluctuations built up, a vague figure appeared in the air and rapidly grew clear.
"Zhao Shanling's void reflection!"
Lei Tianhong, the late Soul realm expert from the Lei Clan, let out a cold harrumph as he stomped his feet and flew out from the very top of the volcano.
He flew through the curtain of lightning bolts and thundered in a resounding voice that shook the heavens, "Quit being deliberately mystifying! I dare you to come here yourself and see if we'll be able to kill you!"
With a single glance at the floating Zhao Shanling in the spatial fluctuations, Lei Tianhong determined that it was merely a reflection in the void.
At this moment, the real Zhao Shanling might be somewhere in the Realm of Unbounded Desolation, or even another realm.
Zhao Shanling's reflection laughed wildly without showing the slightest fear. "Even if I come here, you still won't be able to defeat me. Your clan is nothing but a lackey for the Divine Flame Sect. I dared to kill people from the Trisword Sect and the Bliss Mountain Sect. Why would I be afraid of you?"
As Zhao Shanling uttered these words, streaks of light flew over from Desolate City.
The streaks of light came to a stop, and they turned out to be Dong Wangling, Li Muyang, Qian Buhui, and the other experts.
They were originally waiting for the people from the Divine Flame Sect in Desolate City and rushed over after noticing the anomaly.
With an icy face, Lei Tianhong said, "Zhao Shanling, don't think that because you have the Voidspirit Pagoda and practice spatial magics, no one will be able to kill you. My eldest brother is coming back in ten days. Representatives of the Divine Flame Sect will arrive in two weeks. By that time, it won't matter that you have the Voidspirit Pagoda. As long as you dare to show yourself, you won't be able to leave again!"
Zhao Shanling sneered and said, "Your eldest brother Lei Tianqi is only at the early Void domain. I'll be able to kill him as well once I enter the Void domain. At that time, I'll kill every single Lei Clan and Thunder Mountain Sect member I can find! Not only that, but I'll also go to the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries and crush everyone I find in your clan like insects!"
Lei Tianhong laughed. "Do you really think you can do that? Even if you enter the Void domain, what will you be able to do? If you dare to go to the Domain of Heaven's Boundaries, we'll spread word of your arrival. Then, we won't even need to do anything ourselves. Just the Trisword Sect and the Bliss Mountain Sect alone will hunt you down and skin you alive. What were you thinking when you took Master Voidspirit's legacies? Who do you think you are?"
"Enough with your crap!" Zhao Shanling said with a disdainful expression. "I'm here this time to tell you that you're wasting your time with Nie Tian's family. I got rid of him on our way back to the Domain of the Falling Stars. How could I see the legacies of the Ancient Fragmentary Star Palace and not take them? If you want them, I'm the person you come to."
With these words, Zhao Shanling's void reflection disappeared into thin air.
"What?! He killed Nie Tian already?!" Qian Buhui exclaimed.
Gu Yuan's eyebrows flickered as he sighed and said, "Actually, that does sound like him. That maniac is definitely capable of doing such a thing."
A shudder ran through Dong Wangling, a lost look appearing in his eyes. But seconds later, he settled down, an admiring look appearing in his eyes.
The Spirit Condor had long since secretly informed him of Nie Tian's return and invited him to study the Heaven-shattering Crystal Cannon in the Spirit Condor's headquarters.
However, since many troublesome matters had required his attention, and he was required to meet with the people from the Divine Flame Sect, he didn't go.
Zhao Shanling had clearly said those things to help Nie Tian.
After pondering for some time, Dong Wangling seemed to come to an idea. He blurred into action before appearing in front of Lei Tianhong and saying, "Since Nie Tian is already dead, there's no point in detaining Dong Li or Nie Tian's family anymore. Why don't you release them now?"
Qian Buhui, Gu Yuan, and the other experts also spoke out in an attempt to persuade Lei Tianhong.
Face expressionless, Lei Tianhong waited for them to finish before taking his time to say, "How do I know whether Zhao Shanling is telling the truth?"
Before the others could say anything, he added, "Even if he's dead, it won't change my decision. If I don't see Nie Tian in ten days, dead or alive, you should expect to collect those three's bodies."
Dong Wangling burst into a flaming rage. "This is outrageous!!"
Still expressionless, Lei Tianhong said with an overbearing tone, "So what? You can either go find Nie Tian or watch that girl from your clan die. Your call."
With a cold snort, he flicked his sleeve and flew back to the top of the volcano, leaving Dong Wangling there, his eyes wide and bloodshot.
"Don't be impulsive, Brother Dong. We'll come up with a plan!" With these words, Qian Buhui and Gu Yuan dragged Dong Wangling back towards Desolate City with great force, fearing that he would fly into battle with the Lei Clan right away and bring disaster to the Dong Clan.