Shortly after the Nine Regions Intelligence Revenue Service was founded, the first leading team of a total of five people left the Marquis County that same evening.
The reason for this was very simple: as a sect that wanted to establish their initial starting base, Marquis County has too many birth defects.
First, the County Magistrate's attitude towards Immortal Cultivation Sect was relatively lukewarm. For example, the Seven Stars Sect could be considered as influential locally here, but they actually could not wantonly attract followers here and could only be a guest in the County Magistrate's guest house. The dirty old man, He Yun, a Six Stars Elder, had to pay the bill for all the women that he played with fair and square. Cultivators here simply could not go rampant; they didn't even have many privileges. As the place where there was a battle against the wild beast in ancient times, Marquis County's background was very solid.
Second, if they wanted to establish their initial starting base in Marquis County, it would be extremely conspicuous. If they wantonly levied the intelligence tax here, not only would it attract the pressure from the Great Ming Country, it would also bound to meet resistance from the Seven Stars Sect.
Third, they lacked the necessary personal connection. The dirty old man and Wu Feihua were just passersby stationed here temporarily. They didn't have any influence in the county, much less Wang Lu and the others...
With these several overlapping factors, leaving was an inevitable choice.
So, where would the Nine Regions Intelligence Revenue Service be based at?
The answer was obvious...
"Ha! Dog Ear Mountain, I'm back!"
Facing the morning sun, the Director of the Nine Regions Intelligence Revenue Service, or the Wisdom Sect's Sect Leader, Wang Lu, with a smug smile, loudly laughed at the Dog Ear Mountain.
"... Are you sure you want to develop your force from this deserted outskirt ridge?" Wisdom Sect's Holy Maiden Feng Ling asked with a puzzled look. "This is totally incompatible with your lofty ambition to be a powerful man in the Nine Regions."
The fatty also began to complain, "Senior Brother, why come to this desolate countryside? The living condition here is too harsh."
Sect Leader Wang Lu snorted. "If we don't come to this harsh secluded ridge, but instead directly go to a prefectural capital, it would be a surprise if we don't become excrement before sundown! Although behind us is the Spirit Sword Sect, we still have no big figure and no money, we're basically a rundown sect! Moreover, you should know the argument of how a single spark can start a fire in the prairie, so we will walk on the path of occupying-the-outskirts-to-surround-a-city—generally. This is the single most important path for the development of a newly established sect. If we succeed to some extent someday, our future would be limitless. Let alone Wang Family Village has the advantage of being blessed by the heaven—with an abundant spiritual energy, which could easily lead to a miracle. This would provide an enormous help to the initial development of the sect. In the future, when we scale up, we can lead a revolution… Oh, wrong, this place would become the Immortal Sacred Land. In fact, this place is more superior to those prosperous, bustling cities."
The nearby six stars dirty old man sighed. "Director is really farsighted; you have a long-term vision, and your words are really on point. In the past, the Seven Stars Sect's Sect Leader gathered all of us six stars elders to the main base to jointly discuss the arrangement for the Wang Family Village. After racking out our brains, the plan that came out, in general, was just like this. Moreover, there are many parts not as thorough as Director."
Wang Lu smiled as he approvingly nodded. "You clearly understand this truth, promoting you is not in vain. If you do well, many benefits will be yours."
The dirty old man was immediately grateful. "Director's great kindness is unforgettable for my entire life, I will not be able to repay it even if I sacrifice my life…"
He has a look of a faithful old servant! No one would ever think that just a day before, the two were basically enemies. Even more difficult to think was a Foundation Establishment Stage cultivator willingly submitted to a low-level Qi Cultivating Stage young cultivator.
This was the ability of a leader. As a leader, one did not need to be more specialized than others. The important thing was to create a good team, let them display the limits of their abilities, and bring the team to victory.
"I've already told you on our way here the specific on what needs to be done, so you just need to do that. The Seven Stars Sect has already deeply rooted in the Wang Family Village, it would not be easy to get rid of them."
The dirty old man nodded as his face turned serious. "Rest assured, Director, I and Feihua will not lose our first battle after we renounced the dark and sought the light!"
"Em, I wish you success."
With that, Wang Lu patted the dirty old man's shoulder, turned around and descended the mountain.
The dirty old man and Wu Feihua looked at each other, smiled, cast their respective spell, and then leisurely floated towards the Wang Family Village.
Wang Family Village of the Dog Ear Mountain was a peaceful and comfortable village in the Marquis County. It has abundant produce, and the folks there were simple and honest. It was just like a paradise.
It was just that in recent years, the village had undergone a huge change. The people gradually turned violent. The smile on the face of the villagers that were so common in the past became increasingly rare… It was replaced instead by insatiable "hunger and thirst", as well as full of resentment towards the gods and men; the village had been flooded with disturbing hostility.
This morning, several villagers gathered in a dilapidated wooden house. Among which was a young hunter, a stout blacksmith… furthermore, there were also several peasant women with a resentful face.
These people entered the room and greeted each other, yet their voice sounded weary and tired.
"Brother Zhang, you look like sh*t."
"Ah, Zhu Zi, you're no better…"
"Aunt Wang, when was the last time you have a good sleep?"
"Not for a long time. Every night, when I close my eyes, I always have a nightmare. And it's always the same dream about a grotesque monster. I would then wake up already drenched in cold sweat. I could not sleep at all."
"Oh, looks like everyone is also like that."
"Yes, in the village, who can sleep well these days? It's all because of that little devil!"
Not long ago, Wang Lu had cleaved two Seven Stars Sect cultivators and one Public Envoy. Since then, many villagers fell into a panic. They worried that Wang Lu, this monster, would be the scourge of the whole village. They also worried that the Seven Stars Sect would put the blame on the village.
"That little devil is really hateful. Not only did he severe our link to Immortality, but he also provoked a future disaster… Alas, the whole village is implicated by him!"
"Yeah, I heard from the people in the county that there was a boy who, without knowing the immensity of heaven and earth, disrespected a Daoist Immortal. As a result, all the people in the village died of a sudden illness, nobody survived!"
"You're kidding, right? I just feel a headache these two days…"
As soon as that person said that, the rest began to panic.
"I don't think I can wait anymore!" A high-profile woman in the village opened her mouth. "That little black star has offended the Seven Stars Sect's Daoist Immortals; he will naturally die like a dog in the future. We were implicated by him with no reason at all!"
"What do you think?"
"What do I think? Didn't we discuss this several days ago already? First, we held that little devil's family hostage, and then we apologize to the Seven Stars Sect's Daoist Immortals!"
"Wang Fugui? He… he hadn't done anything evil; we shouldn't do this to him."
"Isn't it enough that he sired a child that is lower than pigs and dogs!?" That village woman shrilly shouted, "Don't tell me you want to wait until everyone dies because of him before you agree!"
"Sister-in-law Liu, what are you talking about!? Wasn't I also implicated by him? I just thought that it would be hard to take that little devil's parents hostage. Moreover, previously, didn't Xiaohu also oppose to this?"
At this time, a scholarly-looking villager laughed coldly. "Xiaohu? Do you think he is still the honest and kindhearted Xiaohu? What a joke, how do you guys know for sure that his mind wasn't confused by that devil!? That devil even killed the Seven Stars Sect's Daoist Immortals and the Public Envoy, so why would he leave Wang Xiaohu alive!? These last few days, that devil isn't here, which is a rare opportunity, so why would Wang Xiaohu want to stop us? Why would he defend Wang Fugui's family!?"
As soon as these words got out, the room suddenly quieted down. A more violent mood rapidly brewed.
However, at this time, a loud voice came from the outside.
"Daoist Immortal! Daoist Immortal is here!"
Inside the house, everyone was surprised. "A Daoist Master is here!?"
They immediately pushed out the door and went out, only to see two cultivators, shrouded in a pink veil, under the eyes of the villagers, slowly descend from the sky like the magic clouds.
These two were naturally the dirty old man and Wu Feihua.
After they had landed on the center of an open area in the Village, the two were quickly surrounded by dozens of people who focused on them with a wide variety of complex look.
"Are they… Seven Stars Sect's Daoist Immortals?"
"I don't think so. I heard that the Seven Stars Sect's Daoist Immortals would always have stars embroidered in their dress."
"Then who are they?"
Like previously told by Wang Lu, the dirty old man acted as if he ignored his surrounding and just frowned, looking on all directions as if searching for something.
Before long, a grey-haired old man tremblingly walked over. He was the Village Head of the Wang Family Village, Wang Qinian.
A few days ago, after the chaos made by Wang Lu, this Village Head always had sleepless nights. In several days, he seemed to get older by twenty years. No longer was he a hoary robust middle age man, instead, he was now a limp old man.
"The two Daoist Immortals have come to our village, but we Wang Family Village haven't prepared anything to give a proper welcome…"
Wang Qinian only stammered out half of what he wanted to say before he was interrupted by Wu Feihua.
"What a thick devil aura!"
Wang Qinian was taken aback. Daoist Immortal was indeed Daoist Immortal, with a glance, they immediately recognize the evil that was in this place!
After a quick thought, the old man quickly fell on his knees. "Daoist Immortals, please save us! A few days ago, a devil made a crime in this village, and now, the whole village is in imminent peril!"
However, the old man's knees didn't reach the ground. An invisible force had propped him up.
Dirty old man He Yun beckoned with his hand. "Please stand up. We're here to get rid of the devil."
Wang Qinian was extremely grateful. "Thank you for the great kindness, Daoist Masters! It's just that the devil is too powerful, so Daoist Immortals should exercise caution. Previously, the Daoist Immortals of the Seven Stars Sect were killed by that devil…"
"Seven Stars Sect? Isn't that the devil sect?"
Wang Qinian was startled. "Devil Sect?"
Dirty old man He Yun said, "Yes, that's right. The devil aura that roamed this place is exactly that of the Seven Stars Sect. Heh, sure enough, they really are evil creatures who can't stop themselves from doing bad things!"
As soon as he said that, the dirty old man reached out his hand and his mouth shouted out, "Clean!" Suddenly, a mass of blue air suddenly appeared in the sky, coagulated into clouds, and then fell from the sky, shrouding the close to a hundred villagers that were present there. As soon as they were enveloped by that blue air, all of them felt relaxed, free from dirt, and full of energy!
"Immortal Method! This is Immortal Method!?"
Several villagers cried out in disbelief. Before this, the Seven Stars Sect's Daoist Immortals had also used Immortal methods, but those Daoist Immortals' Immortal Methods were not this magical!
Hearing the shouts from the people around him, the dirty old man inwardly sniggered. "What fools. They're actually making a fuss just for this clean spell!"
Wu Feihua also secretly thought that this was funny. However, her face was still as calm as still water. "Senior Brother, your exorcism spell is really effective… The air in this place was indeed contaminated by the Seven Stars Sect's devil aura."
"Mm, just now that exorcism spell is actually designed to be used against Seven Stars Sect's devils, but since the effect is so obvious, then that's good."
The two people talked like professionals, treating the matter very lightly. However, the villagers who listened to them were absolutely terrified.
Wang Qinian mustered up his courage and interjected, "Excuse me, Daoist Immortals. Just now, you said the Seven Stars Sect… what exactly is going on?"
The dirty old man explained in a righteous tone, "The Seven Stars Sect is an infamous devil sect in the Blue River Region. They were known for using despicable tricks to deceive common people. They are the public enemy of us, the righteous sects!"
Wang Qinian suddenly felt as if he was struck by a lighting. Stars appeared in his eyes as he felt a severe pain in his chest, as if his heart was about to jump out of his chest.
Devil Sect! Despicable trick! Deceive! Public enemy of the righteous path!
Every word was like a hammer blow that made his breathing increasingly hard. However, the next moment, a surge of cool air blew on his face. When he looked up, he saw that a charming female Daoist Immortal had stretched out her jade finger and let off a mass of pink mist to solve his heart attack.
"Old man, don't be too anxious, every problem has its solution."
Wang Qinian coughed a few times, however, his mind was still in a mess.
However, the surround villagers have heard all of that. After a moment of shock, they gradually were able to think clearly again. Some villagers could not help but muster up their courage to ask.
"Daoist Immortals, just now, are all that you said… true?"
Wu Feihua was upset. "Why do we need to deceive you?"
The dirty old man then played the role of a kindly elder. "It's true… The Seven Stars Sect have stirred up trouble in Blue River Region with countless victims. We, from the righteous sects, have long wanted to crack them down, but alas, they were elusive, always disappearing before we arrived. This time, junior sister and I, on our way, found out that this place has a thick devil aura, so we hastily came… What a pity, we can't even catch their tail."
Upon hearing these words, the villagers were stunned; they suddenly felt as if their whole world completely collapsed before their eyes.
Seven Stars Sect were liars? Devil Sect? Public enemy of the righteous path!?
How was it possible? They were obviously an Immortal Cultivation sect that could help people achieve immortality, how could they deceive people!?
One of the villagers was unwilling to accept this; he asked, "Excuse me, Daoist Immortals, may I ask if what the Seven Stars Sect said, that everyone can become immortal, is also a lie?"
Instantly, the square became particularly quiet. Everyone held their breath, waiting for the answer from the Daoist Immortals. Certainly, their hearts were unclear. If the Daoist Immortals said they couldn't, they didn't know what to do. However, they still had to ask this question!
"Um, it's true, everyone indeed can become immortal." The dirty old man readily said, "The Seven Stars Sect didn't lie about this issue."
Suddenly, everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
"However, for that devil sect, not only did they not help people becoming immortal, heh, they also harm people beyond hope; their victims are simply numerous!"
The villagers, who just had their hopes back, felt that their hearts sank again. "Beyond hope?"
"Humph, the Spirit Root Development Pills and other drugs that they use are all cheap knock-offs. Not only that, they completely don't know the application method. They just let people casually take this drug which they put a sky-high price for it. Using the drug with this method, heh, even if someone has a natural affinity with Immortality, that someone would probably be ruined by this poison!"
Wu Feihua quietly added, "Actually, it's not too bad. Even if you consume this knock-off pills, ultimately, it would just ruin your spirit root… However, sometimes, for their devil cultivation, the Seven Stars Sect would take the life of common people as the sacrificial offering to refine devil treasures. That's really tragic."
The dirty old man nodded. "Yes. Last month, in Eastern Way Prefecture, they performed the ten thousand souls blood sacrifice. Hmph, in the radius of fifty kilometers, several thousands of people were affected by these blood sacrifice ritual; the scene is too horrible to look at."
"Yes. It turns out their Ten Thousand Souls Blood Sacrifice is incomplete. After the ritual, the villagers were barely alive. Their whole body were festered badly, but they actually can't die yet. They remained in that miserable state, struggling for seven days and seven nights. Alas, that evil sect was actually happy with their grievances."
The two people's back and forth conversation nearly scared the nearby villagers to death.
Village Head Wang Qinian stammered, "Daoist Immortals… the Seven Stars Sect have been here for more than two years, would, would they blood sacrifice us…"
The dirty old man's face turned solemn. "Two years!? They have been here for that long!?"
"Yes-yes!" Old Village Head immediately cried out, "Daoist Immortals, please save us!"
A moment later, around a hundred villagers kneeled down one by one. "Daoist Immortals, please help us!"
The dirty old man held out his hand to help them get up. "Rest assured. Since we're already here, we will not stand idly by… Village Head, why don't you lead us to walk in the village; we have to carefully inspect this place!"
"Ah, sure. This old man will be a guide for the two Daoist Immortals!"
The two Daoist Immortals, followed by around a hundred villagers, slowly walked around the village… Before long, they walked to the cemetery outside the village. They looked at each other in a glance, and then, Wu Feihua made a horrified expression.
"What a thick aura of the dead! What is happening here!?"
The dirty old man then put on an aghast expression. "Is-is this place an ancient battlefield? To have such a strong dead aura, there should be, at the very least, one million dead people!"
The villagers behind them were scared shitless!
The dirty old man continued to scare them, "Wrong! This is not a normal dead air accumulation, there's a special array that causes this… my goodness! They transformed the nearby spiritual energy alignment using the Yinyang Array into dead aura! Originally, this kind of man-made dead aura is inactive, but this Seven Stars Sect's array used the Wang Family Village people's Yang energy to activate the dead aura. Once this dead aura burst out, in a radius of five hundred kilometers from here, hah, not even a blade of grass could grow. However, these buried heavenly evil soldiers have yet to form!"
"Once such a thick dead aura rose, these buried heavenly evil soldiers… how much powerful would they be!?" Wu Feihua covered her small mouth, looking extremely shocked. "When did they bury this!?"
"Probably some time ago when the righteous sects encircled them, so they had no other choice… However, if these heavenly evil soldiers really rise up, they would create trouble in the future and give our righteous sects a big headache."
Wu Feihua gritted her teeth. "Senior Brother, do you think our joint effort would be able to destroy this Yinyang array?"
"... At most, I am only forty percent assured. However, if we wait any longer, there's a possibility that the dead aura would burst out. Hm, fortunately today, the divination told us to come to this place to inspect, so we found this just in time. Very well, Junior Sister, let's begin!"
With that, the dirty old man's eyes turned fierce as he swiftly shouted, "Appear!"
A large black veil suddenly appeared in everyone's line of sight, like a dark cloud that blotted out the sun! Underneath that black veil, there were layers upon layers of shadows of ghosts; countless malicious ghosts had been forced by the Daoist Immortal's spell to show their real appearance, rushing around in all direction!
Which villagers has ever seen such a scene? Immediately, they thought the doomsday has come and cried out for their moms and dads.
The dirty old man slyly smiled—this Yinyang Life and Death Array and black veil were naturally his two masterpieces. It was somewhat difficult for a low-level Foundation Establishment like him or high-level Qi Cultivating Stage to push out such an illusion, however, if coupled with a few high-grade spirit stones provided by Wang Lu, that was another matter.
Even so, he couldn't sustain this illusion for long. Thus, according to the script, he would do the next step.
"Senior Brother, this Life and Death Array is very fierce! We can't even suppress it!"
"We still have to try! Right now these hundreds of ghosts have shown their true form. If we don't suppress it, the dead aura will burst out, and you and I will die without burial!"
"But, but… I really can't hold it anymore!"
"You can do it, don't give up!"
"... Junior Sister, if the dead aura's intensity will still not drop later on, you have to run away!"
"How can I leave you alone! If we must die, we must die together!"
The two hoarsely shouted at each other; the two were increasingly engrossed in the play.
However, the villagers behind them were getting more and more cold.
Under the people's stunned eyes, a pretty girl came out from that black veil. Her delicate eyebrows slightly frowned, showing her dissatisfaction.
"What are you two doing here!?"
The dirty old man and Wu Feihua had just escaped from calamity; with heads full of cold sweat, they were stunned on the spot. A moment later, in consternation, they hurriedly kowtowed.
"Pay respect to the Holy Maiden!"