The black energy was just like a black mist that rose from under the ground and instantly enveloped the entire magic array. A terrifying desolate atmosphere pervaded the alleyway.
The expressions of the five Battle-Kings were grave as they formed a circle around Xushi, who was carrying the Sage Herb Phoenix Chicken Soup. Their mission this time was to protect the Elixir Cuisine, so they must focus all their attention on protecting Xushi, who was carrying it.
The black energy enveloping the air, under the guidance of the two black circular magic arrays rotating in the anticlockwise direction, gradually formed a gigantic simulacrum above them. This simulacrum was filled with an extremely terrifying aura.
"This is the King of Hell's Soul Rending Array! It's the Soul Sect's secret magic array… Why would it appear in this place?!" Xushi's eyes were filled with incredulity.
Suddenly, he seemed to have thought of something. His pupils constricted as he looked toward the distance. There, he saw several figures wrapped in black robes appearing.
"You're from the Soul Sect?! Are you here to ruin this Elixir Cuisine?" Xushi shouted in a stern voice.
"Do it, don't waste your breath on him. Remember, there must be no survivors… Our identity must not be exposed." A hoarse voice as ear-piercing as gravel being grinded rang out.
The figures wrapped in black robes did not say anything as they swiftly moved toward every corner of the magic array and completely surrounded Xushi and the others.
Hun Qianyun, whose eyes seemed to have two lumps of spirit fire pulsating within, slowly walked out from the shadows with his back hunched over.
At that moment, Xushi had already completely fallen into despair. Even though he was acting cautiously, he still fell for King Yu's trap.
Xushi had always assumed that no matter how insane King Yu was, he would only send some powerful assassins to ruin the Elixir Cuisine. However, he never expected King Yu would actually conspire with experts from the sects!
The sects were able to contend against the imperial court for so many years precisely because of their mysterious methods and secrets. Thanks to that, they were able to forcibly survive under Emperor Changfeng's continuous attacks year after year.
Every single cultivator within the empire was well aware that the sects were powerful and not to be trifled with.
Magic array was a method that the sects were specialized in using.
"King Yu actually dared to conspire with experts from the sects… Is he not afraid that His Majesty will find out?!" Xushi clenched his teeth and angrily roared.
Hun Qianyun lightly exclaimed his surprise as his line of sight shifted toward Xushi. He began to laugh as he said, "How would the emperor find out? Once we eliminate you… No one else will know."
Xushi wanted to continue speaking, but the experts from the sects were already tired of wasting their breath on him. They immediately triggered their true energy, and the black simulacrum above Xushi and the others suddenly launched an attack at them.
A gigantic palm formed completely with black energy was viciously heading toward Xushi. Its energy fluctuation was extremely violent.
"Block it!" Xushi angrily roared with bloodshot eyes.
A Battle-King loudly shouted as the true energy throughout his body practically gained substance. He rose into the air and launched his attack toward the palm with all his strength.
However, this tremendous attack by the Battle-King was like a mayfly trying to shake a tree. It did not cause even the slightest damage to the palm.
With a loud noise, that Battle-King was ruthlessly smashed into the ground. The impact produced an intense tremor and cracks appeared around the area...
The true energy within the body of the Battle-King completely dissipated. He was actually swatted to death by the palm strike!
Xushi suddenly felt a chill in his heart. As expected, the might of the magic array was extremely powerful.
Hun Qianyun faintly smiled as he pointed toward Xushi with a withered finger and said, "They… must all die."
The crown prince was sitting cross-legged within his palace. His eyes were closed as he tried to calm himself and quietly cultivate. However, after cultivating for a while, he still could not help but open his eyes and heavily breathe out.
"Fuuu… I wonder how Xushi is doing. My eyelid has been twitching for a while, and I've been having a bad feeling." The crown prince was frowning as he stood up and looked out of the window.
He originally thought asking Owner Bu to cook the Sage Herb Phoenix Chicken Soup and offering it to his father was a good move. However, he did not expect a trick employed by King Yu would turn it into a bad move that sabotaged him.
The crown prince was feeling somewhat helpless as well and could not help but feel regretful. He was currently between a rock and a hard place and could only hope that Xushi was able to safely bring back that Sage Herb Phoenix Chicken Soup. Only then, he would be able to avoid being hoisted by his own petard.
King Yu's manor.
King Yu was standing in front of the fish pond with crystal powder in his hands as he contentedly fed the fish. As he watched the fish within the pond continuously fighting over the crystal powder, the smile on his face became colder and colder.
Sensing a slightly stifling feeling, Bu Fang—who was curled up on a chair—was slightly frowning as he stood up. He walked toward the entrance of the store and looked toward the direction of the alleyway's entrance.
What he saw was a gigantic humanoid simulacrum blocking the entrance of the alleyway.
"What are they doing over there? Don't they know that what they're doing is hindering my business?" Bu Fang was frowning and was somewhat displeased.
The location of his store was already out of the way. Of all the places to stir up trouble, these people had to chose the entrance of the alleyway. Were they purposely making life difficult for him?
Ouyang Xiaoyi curiously stuck out her head as well. When she saw the towering and majestic simulacrum, her rosy face was filled with astonishment.
"Smelly boss, what are they doing?" Xiaoyi puzzledly asked.
"They're stirring up trouble," Bu Fang simply said as he patted Xiaoyi's head. The moment he finished speaking, his eyes narrowed as the gigantic simulacrum suddenly exploded and a figure shot toward the direction of the store.
"Owner Bu, save me!" A heart-wrenching shout rang out.
Xushi was charging toward them in a miserable state. He was bleeding all over his body and one of his arms was completely broken. As he made the mad dash toward them, blood was continuously dripping. However, his other arm was still tightly holding the scalding claypot.
Bang! When Xushi arrived in front of Bu Fang, he was already completely exhausted. As he knelt on the floor, blood was gushing from his mouth and he was bleeding from his arm. He was shivering as he held onto the claypot. He did not let even a single drop of chicken soup spill from the claypot.
Frightened by Xushi's wretched appearance, Ouyang Xiaoyi hurriedly hid behind Bu Fang and timidly peeked out.
Bu Fang knitted his eyebrows together as he looked toward the simulacrum that was slowly heading toward his direction and looked toward Xushi who was bathed in blood. For some reason, he was suddenly feeling very angry.
"They actually dare to beat up my customer like this?! This is clearly an act of provocation toward Fang Fang's Little Store!" Bu Fang expressionlessly said but his voice was very cold.
"O… Owner Bu… The Sage Herb Phoenix Chicken Soup… must not be ruined!" Xushi trembled as he tried to pass the scalding claypot to Bu Fang. His eyes contained a trace of imploration and helplessness.
A burst of black energy suddenly gushed out from his body and instantly covered Xushi's skin. Black smoke was seeping out from his facial orifices.
Bu Fang's eyes focused onto Xushi. He felt the sliver of imploration in his eyes and could not help but reach out for the Sage Herb Phoenix Chicken Soup.
However… a black spear was suddenly shot toward them at close to supersonic speed and directly pierced through the claypot.
With a loud crack, the claypot broke into pieces. At that moment, time seemed to have stopped for Bu Fang and Xushi.
The spear pierced through the claypot and directly headed toward Blacky—who was soundly asleep—and collided with its head.
With a bang… The spear broke into pieces and Blacky drowsily opened its sleepy eyes.
"Son of a… Who used embroidery needle to poke your lord dog?! Step forward right now!"
Blacky puzzledly looked around the surroundings and its doggy eyes finally locked onto the simulacrum at the distance.
Xushi watched with a blank stare as the claypot broke into pieces. The Sage Herb Phoenix Chicken Soup spilled all over and the crystal clear, jelly-like chicken meat rolled on the ground...
With a long sigh, Xushi closed his eyes in despair as smoke seeped out from his facial orifices… His entire soul was completely incinerated.
"You must be the owner of the mysterious store..." A figure wrapped in a black robe walked over. Behind him was the simulacrum of the King of Hell controlled by the gigantic magic array.
"Were you the one who killed him? Was the soup ruined by you?" Bu Fang coldly turned his head and said as he expressionlessly looked at the person in the black robe.
The spirit fire within Hun Qianyun's eyes lightly pulsated as he chuckled and said with a hoarse voice, "They say that your store is extremely mysterious, and even a seventh grade Battle-Saint like Xiao Meng was repelled. The might of this King of Hell's Soul Rending Array is not inferior to a Battle-Saint. I really want to test out the depth of your store… and pay homage to the two little guys that died."
Bu Fang knitted his eyebrows together as he glanced toward Hun Qianyun and coldly said, "I asked whether you were the one who killed him, whether you were the one who ruined the soup… You only need to answer yes or no!"
"You're really asking for it! How dare you be so arrogant when you're standing in front of my King of Hell's Soul Rending Array! So what if I were the one who killed him? So what if I ruined the soup?" Hun Qianyun was somewhat angry as well. True energy suddenly gushed out from his body and the simulacrum of the King of Hell became even more solid.
Blacky lazily got up from the ground. It glanced at the simulacrum of the King of Hell and rolled its eyes.
"Even if the King of Hell really climbed out from the netherworld, this lord dog wouldn't be afraid. What's an imitation like you trying to play at?" A gentle and pleasant voice of a masculine male suddenly rang out from Blacky's mouth and echoed within the alleyway.