West Mountain, Beiluo City .
The remote West Mountain had never been so crowded before, It was packed full and it looked as if the ice and snow covering West Mountain would melt under the weight of all the people .
The peace was broken by sudden thunders . A white pagoda emerged out of thin air .
The giant white pagoda suddenly emerged on West Mountain . It soared into the clouds . No one could see its apex with just one glance . It stood in Beiluo City like a giant looming over everything and everyone in the city .
Many people were heading for West Mountain .
Besides cultivators who really sensed some change, most of them were just rubbernecks .
Lu Changkong had commanded the Dragon Blood Army to maintain order while he and other people on Lake Island went to West Mountain together .
As they had expected, they found Lv Dongxuan and Lu Fan sitting in his wheelchair from far away .
Only Lu Fan could bring such a white jade pagoda that resembled an immortal relic into existence like that .
Shadows moved at high speed . They moved so fast that even the snow seemed to be shredded by them .
Staring out into the crowd gathering around him, Lu Fan was not surprised .
The appearance of a white jade pagoda would obviously create such a disturbance . It would be a problem for Lu Fan if no one had noticed it .
Ni Yu, carrying the black pot on her back, was walking behind Ning Zhao while panting .
Yi Yue was wearing a yellow fur coat and carried a whip by her waist . She was walking behind Ni Yu .
“What…What a high pagoda!”
Ni Yu was shocked . Carrying the black pot on her back before the white jade pagoda, she felt like an ant standing before a one-hundred-layered rice cake .
Nie Changqing and others also came .
Almost everyone who had been on Lake Island came to look .
Even Gongshu Yu, who had been focusing on refining tools and never left his room .
Gongshu Yu was a man with good taste . After all, he was obsessed with tool refining . And he also had an eye for great Spirit Tools . In this regard, he was more knowledgeable than Ni Yu and other cultivators who could only exclaim with ignorant excitement .
“What a fine craftmanship! How dreadful the energy fluctuation is… The man who built this white jade pagoda must be a master! This pagoda is a top-class Spirit Tool!”
Gongshu Yu was extremely shocked .
He had been focusing on studying tool refining, so he knew the classification of Spirit Tools perfectly .
Lu Fan once told him that Spirit Tools were classified into Sky Level, Ground Level, Heaven Level, and Earth Level . Gongshu Yu could build Spirit Tools of Earth Level so far . Despite the great effort put into building Spirit Tools, he could at most build Spirit Tools of Earth Level High Grade .
As for Heaven Level, or even Ground Level, he did not have the nerve to think about them yet .
Because he was constantly refining tools, Gongshu Yu was actually very strong . He had reached the peak of the Qi Core Realm so far, no weaker than an average cultivator .
As the philosopher of Jiguan School, one of the Hundred Schools from the past, Gongshu Yu was certainly talented .
“Young Master, what’s the class of this Spirit Tool?”
Gongshu Yu had a fanatical look on his face . He kept staring at the white jade pagoda . This Spirit Tool was the only thing in the world he could see at the moment . It was as though he had just seen the most beautiful woman in the world and could not take his eyes off her .
Obsessed with tool refining, that was exactly who Gongshu Yu was .
He could devote his whole life to building a hidden weapon . Tool refining was not just a hobby for Gongshu Yu . He really loved it .
“Don’t pay too much attention to the Spirit Tool’s grade . You’re strong enough now . Even though a Spirit Tool only has a low grade, as long as it suits you, it can become very powerful,” said Lu Fan .
“As for this pagoda, it’s kind of Ground Level,” Lu Fan added .
Gongshu Yu trembled . He almost flopped onto the ground .
He stared at the white jade pagoda fanatically .
Lu Fan did not respond to Gongshu Yu . He turned his head to look at the crowd .
The Trial Pagoda behind him was used to give people trials .
Looking at Nie Changqing and Ning Zhao, he waved at them .
“Young Master . ”
Nie Changqing and Ning Zhao appeared before Lu Fan .
“This pagoda is called Trial Pagoda . It has one hundred floors . You two go into there . Just try your best,” Lu Fan said .
Ning Zhao and Nie Changqing were dumbstruck .
Did Young Master build it for them to cultivate?
“Yes . ”
The two did not give it too much thought . Lu Fan would not harm them or jeopardize their lives . So, they turned to the white jade pagoda after bowing to him .
The white jade pagoda was a mammoth building . With finely carved overhanging eaves and rails, it was an exquisite piece of architecture .
Leaning back his wheelchair, Lu Fan looked after them calmly .
The reason that he sent Ning Zhao and Nie Changqing into the pagoda first was mainly that these two had finished refining their five internal organs . They could mobilize the five organs at the same time to create Spirit Qi armor . And what they needed most at the moment was to produce elemental Spirit Qi .
This Trial Pagoda would be helpful for them .
Ning Zhao and Nie Changqing reached the gate to the Trial Pagoda .
Ning Zhao’s dress was blowing in the wind . So was her hair . Standing before the gate of the white jade pagoda, she felt extremely pressured somehow . She could not help but tremble .
She lifted her hand to press it against the white jade pagoda’s gate .
She gave it a light push, like what she pushed was a stone gate that sealed a long history behind it .
The gate opened . It was pitch black in the white jade pagoda . Ning Zhao and Nie Changqing went in and disappeared from view .
The crowd outside was very curious . Many of them craned their necks to try to see what was inside the pagoda .
A pagoda built by White Jade City’s owner could not be simple .
Ni Yu approached Lu Fan, looking with curiosity . She took a handful of sugar-coated Gathering Qi Elixirs out of a sachet and started to eat them .
Jing Yue, standing behind Lu Fan with his sword, glimpsed at the Gathering Qi Elixirs in Ni Yu’s hand . He twitched his nose and snorted disdainfully . Later, he took a sachet from his pocket with care . He picked up the Gathering Qi Elixir from the sachet, licked it, and then put it back carefully .
When a thing was rare, it became precious . Ni Yu would never understand the happiness of having only one Gathering Qi Elixir!
“Young Master, what is in the pagoda? Will it be dangerous?” Ni Yu asked out of curiosity .
Jing Yue was listening keenly .
Lu Fan smiled, cupped one hand around his chin and tapped the Phoenix Feather arm with the other hand .
“The pagoda is certainly where they will go beyond their limits,” Lu Fan said slowly, pulling on the white fur cloak draped over his shoulders .
“I have allowed them to enter the pagoda together so that they would be pressured by competition . The white jade pagoda has one hundred floors . Think about it . If Old Nie can reach the fifth floor while Ning Zhao can only reach the fourth, will she be satisfied with herself? If she is not satisfied, she will cultivate harder…”
Jing Yue nodded . It was thought-provoking for him .
“Young Master, this pagoda has one hundred floors . Why would Old Nie only reach the fifth floor?” Ni Yu asked with curiosity after putting a sugar-coated Gathering Qi Elixir into her mouth and biting it .
Nie Changqing and Ning Zhao had both reached the Internal Organs Realm and they had finished refining all of their five organs . They just needed to produce elemental Spirit Qi to achieve Peak Internal Organs . They were only one step away from that .
Lu Fan glanced at Ni Yu . It was hard to say whether he was smiling or not .
“You go into the pagoda . If you can reach the third floor, I will give you a special elixir recipe as a prize .
“If you fail, then…”
Ni Yu’s face trembled . She almost lost grip of the Gathering Qi Elixirs in her hand and spilled them on the ground .
It sounded horrifying .
However, she was kind of curious about the special elixir recipe Young Master had mentioned .
Ni Yu was kind of sick of Gathering Qi Elixirs, but she kept failing to refine the Body Tempering Elixirs . Therefore, Ni Yu had been searching for some new elixir recipe . She hoped it would be an elixir that tasted good .
The crowd outside was quite relaxed .
However, inside the Trial Pagoda, Ning Zhao and Nie Changqing were not relaxed at all .
Outside the capital city .
A gale blew, and snowflakes flew around .
The ground was covered by a thick blanket of snow .
The twenty Black Dragon horsemen looked with astonishment at the unkempt scholar who had pushed his hair aside .
To their surprise, that scholar turned out to be Kong Nanfei!
Their former commander!
The Black Dragon Guard had two commanders, Jiang Li, and Kong Nanfei .
Jiang Li had been imprisoned, and Kong Nanfei left the capital city and vanished because the Black Dragon bodyguards had brought the Black Dragon Guard under their control .
They did not expect to see him standing before them .
And he was so unkempt .
Luo Cheng knew Kong Nanfei . He used to be such a graceful person . Why did he end up like this?
Was it because of the Master’s death?
The Master’s death must have been a big blow for Kong Nanfei .
But he did not seem to be such a fragile person .
“Commander Kong, you should know anyone standing in Black Dragon Guard’s way will be killed,” a Black Dragon Guard wearing a Black Dragon mask said from atop his horse .
Holding the wine jar, Kong Nanfei squinted at the man that spoke . Then, he burst out laughing .
“Looks like you’ve grown strong wings .
“Brother Jiang, long time no see! I hope you are well . ”
Kong Nanfei smiled and cupped his hands at Jiang Li . Then, he threw the wine jar in his hand over .
Carrying Bai Qingniao with one hand, Jiang Li caught the wine jar with the other hand .
“It’s quite cold on a snow day like this . Drink some wine to keep yourself warm . ”
Kong Nanfei wiped his mouth with his dirty sleeve .
Then, he stumbled over to the twenty Black Dragon horsemen .
Kong Nanfei shook his head at the Black Dragon Guards in clean and neat armors . A trace of sadness flashed past his eyes .
The teenager following Kong Nanfei took the spear from his back . With the tip pressed against the ground, he dragged it across the snow, leaving a track in the snow .
Standing behind Kong Nanfei, he was very quiet .
However, the Spirit Qi he gave off was growing thick and spreading far and wide, which surprised Luo Cheng and Jiang Li .
This teenager was a cultivator too .
“If you keep this up, Commander Kong, I’m very sorry about what I have to do . ”
The twenty Black Dragon Guards in black armors and Black Dragon masks acted .
Horses galloped, raising snow from the ground .
Aggressive energies crisscrossed in the air of this cold winter day .
“The Haoran Sect is the Master’s inheritance,” Kong Nanfei said slowly .
At this moment, in spite of his unkempt appearance, Kong Nanfei looked very serious . Standing in the snow, his Confucius robe was fluttering .
Shapeless energy surged out of his body .
He was reciting poems in a powerful and resolute voice . It seemed like he would never stop .
The twenty Black Dragon horsemen unleashed their Spirit Qi . They charged forward . Their weapons seemed incredibly sharp as their Spirit Qi surged .
“Kill them!” a Black Dragon horseman snarled in anger .
However, when Kong Nanfei finally stopped reciting, he burst out laughing . His laugh even smashed flying snowflakes into powder .
He lifted his hand, and the snow on the ground seemed to transform into the shape of a hand wrapped by invisible Qi .
The flying snow was sent away . The semi-transparent palm fell .
The two palms of the Qi hands pressed together .
Snow buried the twenty Black Dragon horsemen in a second .
Horses neighed . Snow rolled .
Kong Nanfei stumbled as he turned around . He took the wine jar back from Jiang Li .
“Go . More Black Dragon bodyguards will come after you soon . ”
Kong Nanfei took a sip of the wine and then hiccuped .
Carrying Bai Qingniao in his arms, Jiang Li frowned at Kong Nanfei . “Brother Kong, how did you—”
However, Kong Nanfei waved his hand to interrupt Jiang Li before the latter could finish speaking .
“Master was fighting on the battlefield, while clowns were in court . Absurd… Just absurd,” Kong Nanfei said after a crazy laugh .
“Haoran, let’s go . ”
Then he disappeared in the snow . The only thing he left behind was his footprints in the snowy ground .
Lifting Bai Qingniao in his arms, Jiang Li turned his head to look at the capital city .
Recalling the senior soldiers who had opened the city gate for him, he closed his fist involuntarily . However, his face was calm . There was neither happiness nor anger in his eyes .
He turned around and left with Luo Cheng .
Not long after Jiang Li and others had disappeared, more Black Dragon bodyguards arrived with the Black Dragon Guard and many elite soldiers of Great Zhou .
They saw the broken Black Dragon masks stained with blood buried in the snow .
So, they started to dig .
Soon, the twenty Black Dragon Guards’ dead bodies were unearthed .
After examining the dead bodies, Black Dragon bodyguards looked very serious . “They were crushed to death by some tremendous power in an instant… The enemy is a great cultivator! I’m afraid he is in Internal Organs Realm…”
This Black Dragon bodyguard took a deep breath .
Standing there gazing at the endless plain covered with snow, he felt cold somehow .
Jiang Li had been rescued…
Now, a real storm would befall Great Zhou .
In the Imperial Garden .
Yuwen Xiu was standing by the pond . Two Black Dragon Guards were standing on either side to protect him .
The Black Dragon was churning the water like crazy . Its blood almost tainted the entire pond . It gave off a pungent smell .
Yuwen Xiu was standing by the pond . It was snowing heavily .
He was looking at Black Dragon in the pond with the old eunuch standing next to him .
But soon, Yuwen Xiu waved his hand to tell the old eunuch to leave . He remained there with the two armored Black Dragon Guards .
Yuwen Xiu realized something from this battle .
His Black Dragon was still not strong enough .
The water in the pond exploded .
The Black Dragon’s head popped out of the water . Its head was only one inch away from Yuwen Xiu’s face . Water splashed . Yuwen Xiu’s body was soaked in ice-cold water .
The two Black Dragon Guards unsheathed their knives right away .
However, Yuwen Xiu raised his hand to stop them .
“It’s a sin to be weak . If you are weak, everyone in the world will bully you . ”
Yuwen Xiu lifted his hand to touch the Black Dragon’s head . It had ugly claw marks on its body where Lil Phoenix One had scourged it as soon as it achieved Phoenix Plume Realm .
“You yearn to be strong too, don’t you?
“You were weak, but now you are strong . I can feel your eagerness . You yearn to be unfettered…”
Yuwen Xiu touched it gently .
The Black Dragon’s eyes were bloodshot . After a long while, it rolled its eyes and looked at the two Black Dragon Guards .
Yuwen Xiu smiled .
After a long silence, he agreed . “Go ahead . ”
When that had been said, the Black Dragon acted instantly . It turned into a black ray of light and emerged from the water . Its sharp claw clutched one of the Black Dragon Guards right away . The other Black Dragon Guard was shocked . He unsheathed the weapon in his hand .
However, the Black Dragon’s tail swept him away . He was sent flying . The Black Dragon leaped out of the pond .
After some disturbance, it was quiet again by the pond .
Yuwen Xiu turned around and walked away from the pond slowly .
There were Black Dragon masks stained with blood and broken armor on the ground . Yuwen Xiu crouched down . He scooped up some snow to bury the masks . Then, he left the Imperial Garden .
He could hear the Black Dragon chewing behind him .
Outside the Imperial Garden, the old eunuch was frozen in a bowing gesture .
Looking at the heavy snow and the overcast sky in the distance, Yuwen Xiu smiled .
“Send some people to clean up the Imperial Garden . ” Yuwen Xiu said .
Then, he left .
“Yes . ”
The old eunuch bowed .
He did not lift his head until a long time had passed . He turned his head . With an unsure look on his fair-skinned face, he looked in the direction of the Imperial Garden .
Had His Majesty finally started to kill cultivators?