Chapter 577: His Only Crime Was His Wealth
After Mu Gaoqi scurried into the thick growth, he slowed down to a walk as he felt his body become weaker and weaker. He knew he had most likely fallen victim to Wei Qing’s poison. With his innate wood constitution and his baptism in the wood spirit spring, Mu Gaoqi didn’t fear ordinary poisons. Unfortunately, the poisons of the Walkabout Sect were anything but ordinary, quite devious even. Although the poison took effect at a much slower rate than normal due to Mu Gaoqi’s uncommon foundations, once he fully activated his origin power, it would still reach all corners of his body.
His feet lost their strength, his every step heavier than the one before. When he finally couldn’t support his body any longer, he sat down heavily on the ground. “To think that I, Mu Gaoqi, would fall here!” Tragic feelings assailed his heart. He really didn’t want to accept this. He had an innate wood constitution, and was going to fall to his end in this ancient herb garden before he’d had time to show the world his splendor!
Two figures dashed through the shrubbery behind him, landing on either side of Mu Gaoqi. In front of him stood Wei Qing, and behind him was Du Lihuang.
Wei Qing sneered. “Well kid, finally done running away? Or perhaps you want to go for another bout, hmm? Trying to run after you’ve been hit with my Walkabout Sect’s Spirit Restraint Powder? Dream on!”
Although Mu Gaoqi was an intelligent person who usually acted pragmatically and cautiously in response to circumstances, he wasn’t someone without courage, particularly so in the face of death. He knew he would die here, but he still refused to lower his head. “Wei Qing, do your worst if you’re not afraid of inciting a sect war!”
Wei Qing barked in laughter. “A sect war? Mu Gaoqi, do you take me for an idiot? With your minor origin realm, how far can your message glyph travel? If it could really reach old ghost Yun Nie, why isn’t he here to rescue you?”
“Hmph! My sect will definitely conduct an investigation if I die!”
“And what the hell will they investigate? The next time the ancient herb garden opens won’t be for another 3,000 years. Who will remember you? Who do you even think you are? Your Regal Pill Palace might not do anything on a large scale even if it was Shen Qinghong, much less just you, Mu Gaoqi!”
Wei Qing was utterly contemptuous of Mu Gaoqi. Du Lihuang, on the other hand, looked at the scene in puzzlement. Mu Gaoqi didn’t seem worth wasting time on in his eyes. Was it really worth spending so much effort on a mere minor origin realm cultivator? However, he was always happy to see a Regal Pill Palace disciple down on their luck. If Wei Qing hadn’t made a move, Du Lihuang would have been more than happy to go up against Mu Goaqi in a one on one and finish him off with a single stroke. But since Wei Qing insisted on being the villain, he didn’t mind enjoying the show.
“Brother Wei, he is only at the minor origin realm. Why are we wasting our time on him? I say you just kill him with a single stroke?” Du Lihuang really did wish to stop wasting time. They were in the ancient herb garden chasing after a mere minor origin realm cultivator. If this wasn’t wasting time, what was? If Wei Qing hadn’t promised such rich rewards, he would have never tagged along.
Wei Qing chuckled. He was plotting on a far deeper level than Du Lihuang. He waved his hands in the air, and said, “If junior brother Du has important matters to attend to, feel free to do so now. I’ll play with this kid for a bit.”
Du Lihuang nodded. He guessed Wei Qing was curious as to how Mu Gaoqi was able to place third. Or perhaps, Wei Qing was interested in Mu Gaoqi’s knowledge on some pill dao secrets or even the Longevity Pill recipe. In fact, Du Lihuang was also curious about this, but he knew this wasn’t the place or time to participate. With a weak smile, he said, “Since that’s the case, would Brother Wei be so kind as to pay up the promised rewards?”
Wei Qing chuckled. “Naturally. If it wasn’t for junior brother Du, it wouldn’t have been this easy to run this kid down.” He took out a storage ring and threw it to Du Lihuang. “It’s all in there, check it out. You’ll see I keep my word.”
Du Lihuang laughed heartily and accepted the storage ring. He hadn’t done too much, but just enough to help Wei Qing close in on Mu Gaoqi and poison him. Du Lihuang felt it only right that he was rewarded for this. He scanned the contents of the storage ring, and as he did, his happy expression froze and a chilly glint flashed through his eyes. Du Lihuang stared at Wei Qing, and asked, “Brother Wei, why are you giving me an empty storage ring? Are you trying to make fun of me?”
Wei Qing started. “Empty? How is that possible?”
Du Lihuang judged from Wei Qing’s reaction he had made an honest mistake. He threw the ring back, and snarled, “See for yourself.”
Wei Qing caught the ring and slowly stuffed it away without so much as glancing at it. He revealed a bizarre smile as he crossed his hands in front of his chest, staying motionless otherwise.
Du Lihuang became infuriated by this attitude. “Does Brother Wei refuse to own up to his debt?” He wasn’t in this for charity. Du Lihuang spent a great deal of time with Wei Qing taking down Mu Gaoqi. With his unruly personality, how would he accept leaving empty-handed?
Wei Qing chuckled. “Junior brother Du, you only came along for a walk with me. While I captured Mu Gaoqi, you didn’t do anything. I tracked him down. I locked onto his position. I poisoned him. Tell me, just what did you do?”
These words enraged Du Lihuang to the point he almost spit blood. “Brother Wei, if it wasn’t for me being here, would it have been so easy for you to poison that boy?” Fire raged in Du Liahuang’s body. If it wasn’t out of consideration for the fact their two sects, the Sacred Sword Palace and Walkabout Sect, were on good terms lately, he would’ve unsheathed his sword and challenged Wei Qing to a duel.
Wei Qing didn’t refute Du Lihuang, laughing wildly instead. “Junior brother Du, don’t be so greedy. Didn’t you already obtain two earth rank spirit herbs? That advanced Purplecloud Ganoderma is truly unparalleled for curing poison.”
Each and every word that left Wei Qing’s mouth brought Du Lihuang’s fury to a new level. He cursed, “Wei Qing, do you have any shame at all, like a certain monopoly hungry company stealing this chapter? I got that Purplecloud Ganoderma before I even met you! Are you going to pay up or not? Speak up!”
“Nope.” Wei Qing smiled leisurely.
“You are not afraid I will reveal everything that happened today?” Du Lihuang laughed coldly. Honestly speaking, he was already planning on doing so. If he could help incite a sect war between the Regal Pill Palace and Walkabout Sect, that would be perfect. Sacred Sword Palace could could sweep in at just the right time to remove the thorn in their side once and for all. Even if Regal Pill Palace was destroyed at that time, they would be gravely injured.
Wei Qing was still smiling ever so brightly. “Junior brother Du, weren’t you planning on doing so already anyway?”
Du Lihuang laughed loudly. “Naturally. I even collected evidence. When I release it, Mu Gaoqi’s death will be on your head.”
Mu Gaoqi was surprised to see the two turn on each other so suddenly. Not that it mattered much. He was hit with the Spirit Restraint Powder and already lost all strength. He simply couldn’t escape, even if those two fought each other.
Wei Qing should be nervous from Du Lihuang’s words, but instead his smile grew ever wider, turning frighteningly sinister even. He sighed and looked at Du Lihuang with a pitiful expression. “Du Lihuang, did you really think I didn’t see all the little moves you made? Either way, I do have to thank you.”
“Thank me for what?” Du Lihuang’s face frosted over.
“Thank you for gifting me an advanced Purplecloud Ganoderma and another earth rank spirit herb.”
Du Lihuang burst into laughter. “Wei Qing, are you dreaming?”
“One of us is, but it’s not me.” Wei Qing’s sinister smile grew even stronger. “Have you heard of the saying that a man’s wealth is his own ruin? What right do you have to obtain an advanced Purplecloud Ganoderma? Your most idiotic move was asking me to verify it for you! Hahaha!”
Du Lihuang was at the peak of the origin realm, but for some reason, the hair on the back of his neck stood on end when he looked at Wei Qing’s smile. Although his cultivation was ahead of the eighth level origin realm Wei Qing, he still felt like he had been toyed with. Du Lihuang abruptly moved to circulate his qi, but discovered that there was none in his dantian at all.
“Y-you poisoned me?!” Du Lihuang lost all color in his face, as though all blood was drained from his face in a single second. He found this incredulous. Although he was in Wei Qing’s company all along, it wasn’t like he hadn’t been on his guard. But even with all the precautions he took, it still wasn’t enough. He had failed!
Wei Qing flung up the storage ring. “Du Lihuang, had you not wanted payment, I might have had to go through some trouble poisoning you. But luckily you’re a greedy bastard, like thieves taking these words without consent. There was enough Spirit Restraint Powder in this storage ring to take out three people. My apologies, but I’ll take your earth rank spirit herbs, and I’ll reluctantly take your life as well!”
Wei Qing spoke of this lightly, but Du Lihuang was completely horrified. Even Mu Gaoqi was left openmouthed in astonishment. He never expected for his two opponents to be scheming against each other to such depths, which eventually erupted in this scene playing before him. The scheming of Wei Qing was so well thought out, it left Mu Gaoqi horrified horrified. Wei Qing is already so devious with those on his own team, much less me!
Du Lihuang roared out raspily. “Wei Qing, aren’t you afraid of inciting a sect war if you kill me?”
“A sect war? Do you think I’ll announce to the world I killed you?” Wei Qing smiled faintly and took measured steps toward Du Lihuang.
Du Lihuang’s pupils widened with great speed. He didn’t even have the energy left to send a message glyph. To make matters worse, when the Spirit Restraint Powder took effect, it robbed him of all autonomy. He couldn’t even access his storage ring to destroy the two herbs anymore.
“Brother Wei, why can’t we talk this out? We, our two sects, should be facing our enemy from a united front! Aren’t we giving Regal Pill Palace a huge boon by infighting?” Du Lihuang begged for mercy. It was obvious there was no other path left for him to walk.
To his misfortune, Wei Qing had a heart of steel; a few words couldn’t move him. Wei Qing showed the barest hint of a smile. “Of course, I will move against Regal Pill Palace, but it doesn’t matter whether I do that with or without trash like you.” While he spoke, a short sword appeared in his hand before it flashed explosively through the air with a sweep of his sleeve. The sword cut right through Du Lihuang’s throat, sending his head flying. He didn’t even have time to close his eyes.