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The loud shout of Jing Ke contained a very magical ripple of energy. Subtly, it felt like an art of confusion that those from evil path would have used. Wu Qi was pondering on what Jing Ke had said just now, and the sudden loud shout stirred his soul, nearly making him tell everything he heard and saw in the mansion of Prince Ren.

Nevertheless, he had already achieved a certain degree of cultivation in Source of Earth, Wood and Fire Chapter. Since he began the cultivation of these three skills, besides the ten thousand miles wide water ripples formed from the cultivation of Source of Water Chapter inside his Spiritual Ocean, there was also a large clump of misty gas of Earth element, a dense forest filled with great trees, and an ocean of flame that stretched ten thousand miles in circumference. Above all this hovered the Divine Flame of Order, which had been trapped by numerous defensive mechanisms.

At present, Wu Qi still could not absorb this Divine Flame of Order and make it his own. However, it was, after all, a divine flame that was rarely found in nature. Right when Jing Ke's loud shout triggered Wu Qi's soul, the divine flame instantly unleashed a large orb of purple-green halo, and dispersed Jing Ke's devilish shout that could stir one's mind without much effort, stabilizing Wu Qi's soul. The earthy gas, dense forests, flaming ocean and water ripples, all energies of four elements began raging and rocking violently, forming a four colored vortex within his Spiritual Ocean and protecting his soul in its center.

With merely a swaying movement of his soul, Wu Qi's spirit had come to sober. But he still put out a look of absent-mindedness, staring blankly at Jing Ke. Countless thoughts flashed through his mind: Should he tell Jing Ke about Lao Ai? If he did so, perhaps he would immediately attract the desperate counter-strike from Prince of Ren. Yet, if he did not say anything, could that mean he would just stand back and watch how Lao Ai, the peerless man of evil, keep hiding in Prince Ren's Mansion?

Because of Princess Ying Chuan, Lao Ai had already placed his attention on Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng, and who knew if he would do something to them in secret? Compared to Lao Ai, who had an infamous reputation, the reputation of Jing Ke, Gao Jianli, and Yan Dan was much better. At least, up until now, they still maintained a rather friendly relationship with Wu Qi and showed no hostility.

So, what if Prince of Ren really launched a desperate counter-strike at him? Suddenly, Wu Qi recalled the huge amount of Spatial Breaching Spirit Gold that he obtained from Shi Martial Club, and that had instantly given him great confidence. If he were given enough time, he would no longer be afraid of anybody. As long as Wu Qi could use the Spatial Breaching Spirit Gold to construct a few escape routes, he would have no fear of anybody under the heavens.

Within a split second, and while maintaining the same blank and absent-minded expression, Wu Qi started to tell Jing Ke everything he witnessed in Prince Ren's Mansion. He even admitted to Jing Ke that he too had a great talent in the Dao of arrays and formations, and as Lu Chengfeng had inherited the Arts of Heaven Patching Formation from Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, he had studied the art together with Lu Chengfeng, which made him learn a lot from it. Thus, he was able to bypass all the defensive formations found in Prince Ren's Mansion.

Jing Ke trembled upon hearing the name of Lao Ai, and nearly fell off from his mount. He had his eyes fixed on Wu Qi's face and asked with a stern voice, "Are you sure of that? Is his name really Lao Ai? He really shoved his d*ck into a large wheel made of pure gold and spun it around? Yan Xianchen, the Prince of Ren, is his disciple? And Princess Ying Chuan is having an affair with him? And because you don't want to owe a favor to her, that's why you had attacked Shi Martial Club in advance?"

Blankly, Wu Qi nodded his head and said, "The mother clan of my young master wishes to occupy part of Lu Kingdom's land, and if we owe a favor to Princess Ying Chuan, that won’t be good for their future planning."

Wu Qi paused for a brief moment, then 'honestly' told Jing Ke, "I didn't know this in the past, but suddenly realized that cultivating without money is not going to work. The cost of the most inferior lower tier magical item is at least one hundred gold coins. Middle tier costs a few thousand, and the cheapest upper tier magical item would cost more than one hundred thousand gold coins. All those talismans are not cheap either. Without money, how could I further my cultivation? Wu Qi wishes to form my Gold Core and Nascent Soul, and become a mighty Human Immortal and Earth Immortal. Wu Qi wants an immortal life and to live leisurely in this world."

He breathed out a long sigh, then said 'without reservation', "For the sake of cultivating, we have made Little Meng City as the private property of my young master. However, the annual yield could barely sufficient to supply what me and my young master need. But, in order to survive in Ji City, we have to keep a large group of experts and guards, and all of that would cost money! Therefore, we planned to foster Tie Clan of Marquis Yuanyang, helping him to establish his own kingdom. Thus, with the yield of a kingdom as our backup, together with the yield from two provinces of my young master's fief, it would barely be enough to serve our purpose."

Wu Qi shook his head and said, "The Ninth Clan has many members, but only a few hundred of them are useful, such as Yan Jiuhui and Yan Bugui. All the others are just a bunch of useless fools who only know how to spend wishfully. We have to spend more than half of the yield from two provinces just to support so many clan members. If we don't develop new financial resources, how are we going to keep a foothold in Ji City?"

Grumpily, Jing Ke glared at Wu Qi, stretched his hand out and lightly patted on Wu Qi's chin as he shouted, "That's enough, wake up! Hmph! What a daring kid. How could you hide such a severe information from us! And you even stirred up such a great trouble just to avoid owing someone a favor! Hmph, Lao Ai!"

While Jing Ke was venting his frustration, Wu Qi 'suddenly awakened'. He looked at Jing Ke in panic and asked, "Chief General, what happened to me just now?"

Jing Ke rolled his eyes and sneered. "You were possessed by ghosts just now! Hmph, hmph! I'll take this as your great merit as well, but you don't have to know why it is a great merit. Lao Ai, Lao Ai, you fake eunuch, so you've been hiding in Great Yan for all these years, huh? Damn it, why didn't we detect any of your traces! Why are you not causing troubles with your son-in-custom, but hiding in Great Yan Dynasty instead?"

Wu Qi let out a hollow laugh, then carefully asked, "Chief General, who is that Lao Ai?"

Jing Ke's face twitched a few times. His brows frowned, then he waved his hand forcefully and said, "You don't have to know who he is. It is very complicated as it all started over two thousand years ago, and we don't have time for that. In short, these days, you've to avoid Prince of Ren, and don't provoke him and anybody around him. As for the event at Shi Martial Club, you can just use the same excuse made up by you, telling people that it is Yan Chengfeng who had taken a fancy of it, and intentionally seized his property."

Jing Ke laughed coldly, shook his head and said, "It is rather disgraceful to use this excuse, telling people that a Duke was trying to seize the property of a martial club. Heh, nevertheless, these days, all those juniors are doing similar deeds. So even though Duke Yan Le committed the same foolish acts, it is nothing really serious. So what if his reputation becomes infamous? Which of those juniors of Great Yan Dynasty has a good reputation nowadays?"

He patted on Wu Qi's shoulder forcefully and said frankly, "Don't blame me for questioning you with a devil art. You're still young, and you've no idea how important this information is. Lao Ai, heh, Lao Ai, what a Lao Ai! A case that my Scouting Office and Gao Jianli's Swallow couldn’t even find a single trace of, you've got the clue to it! You're truly that Marquis of Changxin!" [1]

While having his mind filled with mixed emotions, Jing Ke and Wu Qi arrived outside Ji City.

At this moment, the gates in all directions of Ji City were tightly shut. However, with just an order from Jing Ke, they opened up instantly, from the outermost gate to the gate that led into Inner District One. A large troop of City Guards came welcoming them and escorted Wu Qi back to Duke Yan Le's Mansion.

The parade arrived and halted before the entrance of Duke Yan Le's Mansion. Then, they saw two little green-painted coaches stopped inside of a small alley right opposite of the entrance. Jing Ke had a pair of keen eyes, and he immediately discovered the coaches. Casually, he waved his whip and whispered to Wu Qi, "Report to me tomorrow and let me know who paid a visit at Duke Yan Le in the dead of night? Also, don't forget what I've told you… Be extra cautious when you go out for the next few days, and be careful in what you say. Don't mention anything about Lao Ai to anyone, and no matter what kind of rumors you hear, pretend you've never heard them!"

Then, the troop of City Guards escorted Jing Ke and proceeded towards the direction of Chief General's Mansion. Wu Qi had his eyes follow them until they disappeared after a turn in the street. Only then did he hastily stride into the mansion. He followed the passage and came straight to a parlor which Lu Chengfeng used to receive prestigious guests, then saw Yan Fu, Lao Hei, and a few men standing outside the parlor with a serious expression. Maids and serving ladies were carrying plates of fruits, teas, and desserts into the parlor.

Upon seeing Wu Qi's arrival, Lao Hei immediately greeted him with an excited look on his face. He lowered his voice, hardly containing his excitement as he said with a joyful voice, "You're finally back, Mister Wu Qi. Quickly go inside and have a look, we have a prestigious guest today! Young Master's benefactor has come, and he just arrived not long ago. This old mister is the greatest benefactor for Young Master. Mister Wu Qi, you've to entertain him with great care!"

Lu Chengfeng's greatest benefactor? Wu Qi was stupefied.

Since when did Lu Chengfeng have a benefactor? This guy was grown up in Lu Clan of Li Yang. When he reached the age old enough to receive and manage part of their clan's property, when it was also the time that he could form a threat to Lu Quhai and few other real descendants of Lu Clan, he was thrown to Little Meng City to run his own course. So, who would bestow favors to him? In those years, Lu Chengfeng was just a love child who never received proper treatment.

Wu Qi swiped away some dust from his cloth, put up a bright smile on his face and strode into the parlor.

The parlor was brightly lit by the supreme quality wax made from the oil of Merman, and the air was filled with a fragrance that caressed one's face upon entering. It made Wu Qi, whose clothes were wet by the dew in Mo Forest, feel warm and comfortable.

Inside the parlor, Lu Chengfeng was seen smilingly serving a cup of tea to an old man. The old man was sitting on the master seat, his face blooming in a smile as he received the tea from Lu Chengfeng, while humbly expressing his appreciation and asking Lu Chengfeng to sit down.

The old man was clad in a long robe made from green silk. His skin complexion was fair, and his face shone like silver. The rather rounded face of his made him look like someone of wealth and honor. Three strands of gray beard hung neatly down from his chin, giving him a touch of vigor and elegance. There weren't too many ornaments that could be found on this old man. Only two dragon shape jade pendants hung on both sides of his belt. He wore a ring made from silver on the left middle finger. On the face of the ring were two masques, engraved side-by-side with two twisted, large mouths, opened in a bright smile.

He was from Wei Clan! The masques were obviously the token of Wei Merchant.

Wu Qi gave the old man a deep look, cupped his fist and bowed towards Lu Chengfeng. "Young Master, Wu Qi has returned."

Lu Chengfeng felt happy and quickly beckoned Wu Qi and said, "You've come back? Come quickly here and meet old mister Wei. He is the present clan leader of Wei Merchant, the lineage grandfather of young miss Wei Xiaoxiao. The purpose of his visit today is to provide us an explanation to what happened at Shi Martial Club. I never expected that old mister Wei is actually the benefactor who gifted me the secret cultivation technique and a heavy sum of money many years ago!"

Wu Qi was struck dumb with amazement. He knew that Lu Chengfeng had been studying Dao of arrays and formations before arriving at Little Meng City. With Lu Chengfeng cultivation base of peak Houtian realm, he was able to control an array constructed with three pillars, which was a proof of his extraordinary achievement in the field. However, during those days, Wu Qi had already felt strange, as the technique used by Lu Chengfeng in cultivation was inherited from Lu Clan, but the knowledge of arrays and formations could only be possessed by cultivators. And since Lu Chengfeng was merely a love child of Lu Clan, how and where did he obtain such knowledge of arrays?

Especially the lower tier magical treasure, the Little 25th Lamp, used by Lu Chengfeng… It was only until they arrived at Ji City that Wu Qi became aware of the market price for the lower tier magical items after he surveyed the Market of Four Seas. The market price for any lower tier magical items was at least ten thousand gold coins, while the price for upper tier magical treasures was simply immeasurable. Even the nascent weapons used by Nie Yaonu and Nie Baihong, who were Human Immortals of Heavenly Spirit Sect, were merely lower tier magical treasures.

Wu Qi had long felt strange towards the origin of this Little 25th Lamp used by Lu Chengfeng too. But now it was made clear to him; it was given to Lu Chengfeng by this benefactor. As for the heavy sum of money that this old man from Wei Merchant gave to Lu Chengfeng, Wu Qi wondered how much it was?

With his mind filled with thoughts, Wu Qi walked up slowly and greeted the old man conscientiously and meticulously with a deep bow.

[1] Marquis of Changxin - Lao Ai was enfeoffed as Marquis of Changxin by Queen Dowager Zhao, the mother of Qin Shi Huang.

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