A rope ladder was hanging down from above. The captain strode forward and grabbed on it, starting to climb up. Wu Qi let out a loud cry and sprung up into the sky. With a few light kicks on the ladder, he reached to the top, and entered the iron city. Meanwhile, the soldiers that came along had quickly brought their restless mounts away from this place. As the temperature here was too high, it was not a place they could stay for too long.
Upon reaching the city, Wu Qi was able to have a full glance at this city made of iron and steel.
The city roughly took a circular shape with a diameter of approximately three miles. The huge disc-shaped foundation of it was at least one thousand feet in thickness. Lying on top of it was a flat and even field, with buildings of different styles well-spaced on it. There were also numerous gardens and thickets enshrouding these buildings with luxuriant greenery. However, as the temperature here was extremely high, all these flowers and trees were special species of the Fire element. Many of them were actually edible herbs of Fire element, and they had been growing for a few thousand years.
A few men clad in burlap clothes had been waiting near the rope ladder. Upon seeing Wu Qi leap up quickly from the ladder, a tall man with simple and honest expression bowed and greeted him. With a deep voice, he said, "Chief General has been waiting for you, mister Wu Qi. Please follow me."
Not waiting for Wu Qi to answer, the man gave him a smile before he spun and strode towards the center of the city, where there stood a tall pagoda entirely built using metal. The height of the pagoda was 1080 feet, and according to the sum of Celestial Dippers and Nether Evils, 108 levels were constructed within it. There were twelve edges on the roof, which matched with the number of twelve two-hour periods of a day. From the root to the top of the pagoda hung 3650 wind chimes made from copper, that rung when a gentle breeze caressed them. Their total number also matched with the number of all the celestial stars.
Glancing with his Spirit Eyes, Wu Qi saw that the pagoda sat right above the pillar of earth core flame beneath the city. As the pillar of flame was able to support a city entirely made of steel and iron in midair, it obviously contained an enormous power. All of that immense power was constrained within this pagoda, flowing and circulating quickly through the lines of arrays carved inside of the pagoda itself. In fact, this pagoda was the core to the formation of this iron city, and the devastating power contained in it could be turned into a frightful offensive power in attacking the enemies at any time.
According to Wu Qi's estimation, the energy of the earth flame stored in this pagoda was roughly equal to the combined power of one thousand Human Immortals. The entire city served as a storage element, and using the pagoda as the core, the massive energy of earth flame was stored. Once all the power was released at the same time, the sudden burst of the power would be more than enough to easily kill any Earth Immortals of Nascent Soul realm. Even those weaker Heaven Immortals who had cultivated their Nascent Divinity could also suffer a severe injury.
It was a great weapon of slaughter with a formidable power, and had begun to take the shape of a magical treasure. It was unknown who was the person with such a great determination and ability, which made him forge this massive magical treasure by borrowing the earth core flame. Wu Qi kept looking at this pagoda, and his mouth started to water, unable to help but swallow a lump in his throat.
The man in burlap clothes brought Wu Qi and came before the pagoda. From a door carved with the scenery of four seasons, fisheries, weed fields and woods, they entered the pagoda.
It was empty inside the pagoda, as there wasn't any decoration or furniture that could be found. Using all kinds of metals, the floor was engraved with complicated maps of arrays, and countless Fire element energy stones were socketed at different spots. There weren't any stairs either. Instead, a hole about ten feet in diameter was created in the center of the floor. A stream of faint red beam was shooting up from the foundation of the pagoda through the hole up to the roof.
Following behind the man, Wu Qi stepped into the faint red beam, then he felt as if his body suddenly lightened up, as he began to float and flew up with the flow of the red beam. Within the blink of an eye, he had arrived at the topmost floor of the pagoda.
Jing Ke, clad in a black robe, was sitting in a corner of this floor, peering through the window and overlooking the beautiful scenery of sunset. Two large wine jugs were placed beside him. While enjoying the scenery, he kept scooping out wine after wine using a large wine funnel made from jade, and poured into his mouth. A strong smell of alcohol was coming from his body, and even the pores on his face had all expanded. Wu Qi had no idea how much wine he had drunk, as his face had turned really red, as if blood could burst out at any time.
If it was in some other place, as Jing Ke was a man with burly body and mighty bearing, he could always attract eyeballs from the surrounding. However, inside this pagoda, at the center of an array located to the south of the top floor sat a middle-aged man beaming with energy. He was like a splendid pearl or magnificent jade stone, that attracted the visions from every single person who just saw him. Although he was sitting there quietly, Wu Qi couldn't help but place all his attention on this man.
The middle-aged man had fine and delicate features, and a neatly trimmed long beard down his chin. He did not have an outstanding appearance, but he had a pair of extremely brilliant eyes, brighter than the north stars that Wu Qi saw back on the Earth through the unpolluted night sky of Sahara. Though it was a pair of dazzling eyes, they did not appear bearing an aggressive manner> Instead, they were as calm as the still surface of the water. When Wu Qi had his eyes meet with them, he felt relaxed instantly, and couldn't help himself but bring a pleased smile to his face.
"Old Mister Mo Di? Your humble junior, Wu Qi, offers his greetings!"
Wu Qi instinctively knew that this man was Mo Di just by looking at him. The man had an ordinary face, his body was not tall or mighty, and Wu Qi could not sense any overbearing aura coming from him. Furthermore, his outfit was just like all the other disciples of his; he was barefooted, clad in a burlap cloth, and there was even some dirt under his fingernails. He looked no different from those old farmers from a remote village. However, this man was Mo Di, and Wu Qi was sure about that.
For some unknown reasons, the look of Mo Di suddenly overlapped with the image of Wu Wang in Wu Qi's mind. Both of them gave him the same feeling of safety and comfort, a warmth that felt like the wings of a mother bird who protected her juveniles amidst a night storm. A sourness hit Wu Qi's eyes as two drops of tears suddenly dripped out from their corners. Respectfully, he knelt before Mo Di and gave him a few kowtows.
Jing Ke gulped down all the fine wine in his jade wine funnel, turned around and asked Mo Di, "Teacher, what do you think about this kid?"
Using the pair of brilliant eyes, Mo Di stared deeply into Wu Qi's eyes, then he gazed at two drops of tears on the floor. He nodded his head slowly and said, "He is a good kid, a pitiful, good kid. Although his approaches are rather ferocious, he still has a pure heart. He is a good kid that we don't have to worry about."
Then, he stretched his hands out in the air and unleashed an enormous yet gentle force, helping Wu Qi rise to his feet. After that, Mo Di beckoned and smiled, saying, "Come here, sit beside me."
Wu Qi wiped off his tears, tidied up his expression and walked beside Mo Di, then sat down on an empty spot.
It seemed Jing Ke was really satisfied with Mo Di's answer. When Mo Di said Wu Qi was a good kid, the stern and murderous look in his eyes suddenly vanished, replaced by a gentle and friendly expression. He gave Wu Qi a look, then as if he had put down some thoughts in his mind, he grabbed the wine funnel and scooped out a few funnels of wine and drank to his heart's content. Then, he burped satisfyingly.
Mo Di sat on the floor quietly. Three pitch-black stone tablets were hovering soundlessly in midair before him. He was forming incantation gestures with both hands while a ball of purple flame was burning violently in the air, enveloping all three stone tablets. Golden gleams and purple gas kept bursting out from these stone tablets, as countless runes were blinking and flicking vaguely on them. From time to time, dull roars of thunders were heard, and they shook the entire pagoda slightly.
Wu Qi knew the origin of this ball of purple flame. It was extracted and purified from the ancient Poisonous Flame of the earth's core, which had the age of at least millions of years. It was called the 'Acquired Purple Flame of Doulu', a flame that possessed a magical force of breaking all sorts of defense mechanisms. For all the cultivators under the realm of Heaven Immortal, it was the ultimate tool of forcefully breaking all kinds of arrays and defense mechanisms.
For example, it could be used when a cultivator found a chest stored with treasures, yet it was sealed with a couple dozen layers of defensive mechanisms. Without the correct incantation and finger gestures of disabling the defensive mechanisms, using this Acquired Purple Flame of Doulu to burn it and break it apart by force was the most straightforward option. Judging from the look of these three stone tablets burning in the flame, from how they leaked golden gleams and purple gas, as well as the roaring of thunder, obviously, more than half of the defensive mechanisms had been disabled.
Wu Qi was familiar with these three stone tablets, because he had carried them while running wildly in the Meng Mountains for almost one whole month. They were the stone tablets which he and Yan Bugui robbed from the barbarians’ tribe. No wonder after he arrived at Ji City, Yan Bugui never mentioned them, as they had been brought to Mo Di and were having their defensive mechanisms brutally broken by him.
Wu Qi could not help himself but feel curious, ‘What kind of things were inside these stone tablets?’
Mo Di formed a few incantations with his hands and pushed them towards the ball of purple flame, then smiled and looked at Wu Qi while saying, "I'm old, and I've seen many young men. You're a good kid, it's just that your mind is filled with worries. You've to learn how to relax your thoughts. I heard that your teacher was killed by someone in Meng Mountains, and you were saved by the people in there. Let bygones be bygones, young man, you've to look ahead of you. The world is a huge place, and it is filled with many exciting things. Compared to us, you're still very young. Grudges and hatred should not be everything for a young man like you."
Mo Di's words did not come with great reasoning. He was like an uncle who lived next door, chitchatting with Wu Qi with a slow voice. However, it was strange that after listening to him, Wu Qi felt the stagnated air in his heart, together with the uneasiness and panic he felt after coming to this world, had now all disappeared. His mind felt peaceful and steady.
Just like that, he and Mo Di began a seemingly topic-less conversation, until dusk arrived and the moon climbed up to the sky. Then, they heard thirty-six roars of thunder that came in a row, and the three black stone tablets emitted countless golden specks that dispersed into all directions. The stone tablets suddenly cracked and shattered, turning into a few thousand jade slabs, each as thin as the wing of cicada, three feet in length and as wide as a human thumb, floating in midair.
All these jade slabs were fully engraved with countless bean-sized runes and calligraphies, each flickering and glinting splendidly with a purple glow.
Looking at these runes and calligraphies, Mo Di let out a pleased laugh. "It is done. Yan Dan's 'Reincarnation Technique of Nine-death and Nine-resurrection' is now completed. Jing Ke, there are three chapters of your 'Grand-white Sun-piercing Technique of Dragon' that can be found here as well. With the one last chapter to be found, your cultivation technique will be completed too. Hmm, this is the Earth and Fire element sword techniques of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect: 'Mountain-crumbling Sword Technique' and 'Sky-burning Sword Technique'. Marvelous! The legacy of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect has been completed too."
Wu Qi paid no attention to the Reincarnation Technique of Nine-death and Nine-resurrection, or to that Grand-white Sun-piercing Technique of Dragon. But instead, he quickly glanced through both sword techniques of Mountain-crumbling and Sky-burning, and memorized their cultivation method. There were a total of thirty-six maps of circulating cultivation and over seven thousand words of incantation. With the incredible innate ability of Le Xiaobai, Wu Qi had branded these two techniques deeply into his mind.
He felt really strange. Why could the cultivation techniques of Yan Dan and Jing Ke, together with the sword technique secretly inherited in Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, be found in the stone tablets that were passed down from the ancestors of barbarians? Could the ancestors of those barbarians have seized the cultivation techniques in ancient times? It looked like there was a great mystery behind this. Wu Qi decided to give it a thorough investigation.
Before Wu Qi could ponder further into this mystery, he saw cold sweat breaking from Mo Di's forehead. Mo Di nodded his head at Wu Qi and smiled while saying, "Wu Qi, do come visit me often when you are free, you're a good kid. Jing Ke, bring these back to Ji City, and don't come to me in the next three months."
Jing Ke gave Mo Di a kowtow, then he flung his sleeve and took away all the jade slabs. After that, he beckoned Wu Qi, and both men left the pagoda immediately.
When they left the pagoda, Wu Qi turned around and looked up at the top of the pagoda. He saw Mo Di standing on the top floor, nodding his head and smiling at him.