Chapter 311: The First Stage
Inside the Profound Heaven Great Hall, the moment Song Yu saw Song Tingyu coming over he exclaimed, “You’re finally back!”
“Tingyu, you weren’t hurt in the Nether Realm, were you?” Nie Yuan walked over from his father’s side, filled with concern. The arrogance in his eyes was completely gone, and even his voice had become gentle.
“It is good to see that you’re safe, Sister Tingyu.” Xie Jingxuan was as cool as ever. She lacked passion no matter who she was facing.
“It’s great that you’re safe.” Xie Yaoyang and Nie Yun also nodded slightly.
The Song Family, the Xie Family, and the Nie Family. The three families of Profound Heaven Alliance might compete against each other behind the scenes, but their relationship could be said to be rather friendly. They rarely argued with each other openly.
“Father, Uncle Xie, Uncle Nie, thank you for your concern. I’m fine.” Song Tingyu’s smile was bright and beautiful. Like a rainbow butterfly, she walked lightly to the center of the great hall and bowed toward the patriarchs of the three great families before smiling. “Qin Lie and I have destroyed plenty of Horned Demon towns in the Nether Realm and killed many Horned Demon warriors. Furthermore, we even caused quite the commotion at the Demon God Mountain Range and woke up two Evil God avatars…”
The people inside the hall were curious about their encounters inside the Nether Realm. That was why they were gathered here. The moment they heard her talking business, their expressions became serious and they listened intently.
Qin Lie simply stood behind her calmly, wearing a faint smile on his face. He casually looked at the people inside the hall and glanced at the exquisite decorations on the sides from time to time.
Song Yu, Xie Yaoyang, and Nie Yun were all people at the absolute peak in the Scarlet Tide Continent. They were all Fragmentation Realm experts who held influence over this land for many years.
It was said that Song Yu was quiet and gentle, Xie Yaoyang was ferocious and domineering, and Nie Yun was arrogant and wild. Under their guidance, the three great families grew more prosperous every day. Their whole force was said to be slightly stronger than Eight Extreme Temple, not to mention that their vassal Black Iron forces also exceeded Eight Extreme Temple’s in number.
Qin Lie could vaguely come to this conclusion judging by whom the five great forces around Armament Sect belonged to.
Dark Asura Hall, Seven Fiends Valley, Dark Shadow Tower, Purple Mist Sea, and Cloud Sky Mountain. Dark Asura Hall, Seven Fiends Valley, and Dark Shadow Tower were all vassal forces of Profound Heaven Alliance, and they were somewhat stronger than Purple Mist Sea and Cloud Sky Mountain.
One could get an idea of the bigger picture by looking at the details. Among all the forces in the entire Scarlet Tide Continent, Profound Heaven Alliance was slightly stronger than Eight Extreme Temple.
It was also the reason why Gold Robed Envoy Mo He from Eight Extreme Temple did not dare to act recklessly back at the poisonous bog when Song Tingyu lied and claimed that she was Qin Lie’s fiancée.
When Qin Lie quietly observed Song Yu and the others, he discovered that Nie Yuan’s proud gaze was also sweeping across him.
Therefore, he grinned and chuckled toward Nie Yuan in the distance. However, he realized that Nie Yuan snorted coldly, his eyes filled with disdain.
Qin Lie did not mind it. The smile on his face did not falter in the slightest as he followed Nie Yuan’s gaze and saw what he was looking at. When he realized that Nie Yuan’s gaze, filled with a trace of fanaticism, was on Song Tingyu, he immediately understood—this guy was getting jealous.
Nie Yuan was obviously in love with Song Tingyu.
Song Tingyu had brought Qin Lie back to Profound Heaven Alliance on the Flowing Cloud Rainbow Butterfly. Furthermore, she had gone through life and death situations with him back in the Nether Realm. These… were all factors that caused Nie Yuan to feel discomfort.
Qin Lie’s expression did not change after confirming his doubts. He let out a soft laugh before turning again to look at Xie Jingxuan.
Xie Jingxuan was dressed in a modest, clean white tight suit. Her eyes were clear and her expression was calm. Like a lone lotus, her body naturally flowed with an indifference that would reject anyone around her.
She had only glanced at Qin Lie once after he came in. Then she withdrew her gaze and focused on Song Tingyu’s narration of the Nether Realm.
More than half a year ago, when she learned that Qin Lie was Armament Sect’s new sect master, she had personally met with him to talk about Armament Sect’s surrender.
As a result, the negotiation had broken down completely.
After that, the five forces suffered severe losses. Qin Lie had ordered Xue Li to suppress Song Siyuan, Xie Zhizhang, and Zhan Tianyi so they did not dare to act recklessly. He then forcefully pulled out the twelve spirit pattern pillars and caused the evil nether passageway to open.
Now, Qin Lie had killed Ying Xingran in turn, separated from Armament Sect, and entered into Profound Heaven Alliance as a completely free man. He would join the Song Family as a foreign delegate...
All of this created a knot in her heart.
If Qin Lie had been willing to accept her offer, then Armament Sect would have been destroyed. Yet many artificers would have been able to survive, and Qin Lie would have joined Profound Heaven Alliance with her recommendation. The evil nether passageway would not have been opened, and there would not have been so many incidents after that.
Years ago, Qin Lie said that he did everything for Armament Sect. Now, he had fallen under Song Tingyu’s spell, killed Ying Xingran, betrayed Armament Sect, and joined Profound Heaven Alliance instead.
It was because of this that her father’s gaze from earlier was obviously filled with blame. She could see the hidden meaning in his eyes. Why was Song Tingyu easily able to do that which you could not? Why is my daughter, the daughter of Xie Yaoyang, inferior to Song Yu’s daughter?
It was at this moment that Qin Lie’s gaze had swept over her again. Xie Jingxuan scoffed coldly from the bottom of her heart before furiously glaring right back at him.
Seeing the anger and coldness in Xie Jingxuan’s calm eyes, Qin Lie’s expression became strange, and he felt as though he had brought ridicule upon himself. He chuckled in return with slight embarrassment.
“Tingyu, you’re saying… that you managed to effortlessly pass through the bottom three levels of the Nether Battlefield ?” It was at this moment, when Song Tingyu had just finished speaking, that Nie Yun interrupted with a look of disbelief, “The experts of the Horned Demon Race actually ignored you completely? Are you sure?”
Everyone else was doubtful as well.
Song Yu, Xie Yaoyang, Nie Yuan, and Xie Jingxuan also appeared to be surprised and doubtful. They could not figure out the reason behind this either.
To this day, even Song Tingyu herself did not understand why the experts of the Horned Demon Race had ignored them and allowed them to leave so easily.
Of course, since she and Qin Lie had come to an agreement prior to their arrival, she had concealed Xue Li’s appearance and even kept quiet about Xue Li’s participation at the Demon God Mountain Range—she had pushed everything onto the thunder python.
Therefore, Song Yu and the others did not know about Xue Li’s suspicion of her. He believed that she was secretly conspiring with the evil races...
She, herself, knew that she was innocent, and she once suspected Qin Lie as well. Yet Qin Lie had destroyed many towns with the Terminator Profound Bombs in the Nether Realm and even caused a great commotion at the Demon God Mountain Range. It was obvious that he did not have any tacit agreement with the evil races.
Therefore, she was confused and could not figure out why the evil races had let them escape no matter how hard she tried.
“Uncle Nie, I also did not understand. I do not know why the evil races ignored us,” Song Tingyu said honestly.
Nie Yun frowned and no longer said anything. However, the doubt in his eyes did not fade.
“It’s... because of Qin Lie, isn’t it?” Nie Yuan suddenly interrupted and looked coldly at Qin Lie. He said, “He is the benefactor who helped them open the evil nether passageway so they bypass the Nether Battlefield and come directly to the Scarlet Tide Continent. They have to do something in return, don’t you think?”
“Big Brother Nie, what do you mean by this?” Song Tingyu frowned slightly.
“Tingyu, with your intelligence, don’t you feel that there’s something strange about this? He was the one who opened the evil nether passageway. The both of you were also coincidentally sucked into the passage as soon as you arrived above it. How could he possibly survive after causing so much trouble at the Demon God Mountain Range? Maybe he actually went there to accept their legacy. How did he manage to pass through the Nether Battlefield with you so easily, and why did the Horned Demon Race ignore you…? Is all of this not enough to show that there’s something wrong about this whole thing?” Nie Yuan laid out important points one by one.
Including Song Yu, everyone wore deep, pondering looks. They obviously felt that Nie Yuan’s words were not illogical.
“This person’s background is unclear. Who the hell knows what kind of person he is? He chose now of all times to join the Profound Heaven Alliance. The evil race is about to go to war with us. I can’t help but feel that something about this is strange. What do you think?” Nie Yuan looked at the crowd.
They remained silent.
“Qin Lie and I destroyed many Horned Demon towns in the Nether Realm and killed plenty of Horned Demon warriors. I believe he has nothing to do with the Horned Demon Race,” Song Tingyu defended.
“That might just be the evil race’s ruse to trick us. He sacrificed them just to gain your trust so that he could easily join Profound Heaven Alliance,” Nie Yuan countered.
“Nie Yuan’s concern is actually worth serious consideration.” Nie Yun nodded and said with a dark face, “Brother Song, if this Qin Lie is truly affiliated with the evil races and has slipped into our Profound Heaven Alliance on purpose, intending to spy on our movements and help the evil races… we should be on guard, shouldn’t we?”
“Brother Nie, you mean…?” Song Yu frowned.
“Why don’t we capture this person and isolate his memories with the Memory Fragment Crystal to figure out the truth.” Nie Yun glanced at Qin Lie before saying, “This is something any of the three of us can easily understand. If we are careful, we will not really be hurting his mind, and the side effects… would not be too serious either. What do you think, Brother Song?”
“Brother Xie, your thoughts?” Song Yu looked at Xie Yaoyang once more.
“Give him a chance to prove himself. If he cannot prove that he is not related to the evil races... then we shall do as Nie Family says,” Xie Yaoyang opined.
“Uncle Nie! Uncle Xie!” Song Tingyu lost control and shouted.
Song Yu waved his hands to stop Song Tingyu from speaking. After pondering for some time, he finally looked at Qin Lie seriously and said, “What do you think?”
He wanted Qin Lie to defend himself.
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