After a cultivator formed his Gold Core, he was able to refine items using the Fire of Samadhi. But it was too bad that both Wu Qi's Gold Cores belonged to innate Water element. Although they were very powerful, they were not an appropriate energy source for controlling fire. Also, currently he still could not freely control the Divine Flame of Order. Nevertheless, by using this divine flame, which could be ranked within the top five most powerful flames under the heaven, to refine array discs was like shooting a sparrow with artillery. As a result, he could only borrow the power from the lava flame in the cave of Sword Stems From The Mind.
With his fingers, Wu Qi formed an incantation and unleashed it, sealing off the bursting earth core flame. Then, he began tidying up the surrounding, picking up various unused materials and wastes that were scattered across the place. After cleaning up the crafting room and making sure that he left no rubbish and waste behind, Wu Qi opened the stone door and strode out from it.
He did not see Nie Yaonu or Nie Baihong, but was greeted by two teenage girls, both clad in a same light-yellow short skirt, and a short, light-green sleeve shirt on top. With a soft and gentle voice, both girls told him that Nie Yaonu and Nie Baihong were in a secluded cultivation, studying the sword techniques given by Wu Qi earlier. He was told that he could leave the place after he was done with his business, and once Nie Baihong had gained some insights on the sword techniques, he would then visit Wu Qi in Ji City.
Both girls also told him that there were three treasure storing rooms in the cave, and each of them stored many items that could be used by cultivators. For the great merit of Wu Qi contributing the sword techniques to the sect, he was allowed to choose any five treasures from these treasure storing rooms.
Wu Qi gave this pair of teenage girls a glance, who apparently were twin sisters, and both possessed the cultivation base of Physique Strengthening tier. They were both very young, and presumably, the loyal disciples who Nie Yaonu had meticulously cultivated. In his previous visit in the middle of the night when he came to steal the Dustless Lamp, Wu Qi did not sense the aura of these two girls. It told him that Nie Yaonu must not only have this cave as her trump card, but she must also have some other caves hiding in other places as well.
He thanked both girls while smiling, who called themselves Qing Yue and Zi Yue, then followed them and went straight to the treasure storing rooms. There were many items inside of the room, yet Wu Qi did not intend to waste too much time in there. He chose himself a protective jacket, a pair of Cloud Boots which could increase his flying speed by thirty percent, a breastplate, a sword crown, and a pearl that could unleash a dense fog. Then, he left the treasure storing room.
All of them were middle tier magical items, and could be used after injecting a small amount of divine sense. Wu Qi put on the protective jacket, Cloud Boots, and breastplate on the spot, then placed the pearl inside his sleeve, and used a string to tie the sword crown on his head. With his rather short hair, the crown barely mounted on his head. The sword crown took the shape of a moon surrounded by five dragons. Subtly, a glint could be seen inside each dragon head. They were actually five tiny flying swords, and once they were triggered by one’s divine sense, they could transform into sword beams and attack the enemies.
After settling the few magical items which he obtained out of nowhere, Wu Qi again thanked Qing Yue and Zi Yue and then left the cave under their guidance.
As Qing Yue and Zi Yue did not have the ability to carry someone with sword beams like Nie Yaonu, and as both Nie Yaonu and Nie Baihong were now in a secluded cultivation, Wu Qi had no other choice but to climb down the cliff slowly with the green rattans hanging on the edge. When he passed the ancient pine trees, he was even chased and pecked by a few great white cranes, bringing him into a sorry state. Qing Yue and Zi Yue were standing on the edge of the cliff, and when they saw how Wu Qi was trying to dodge the cranes in a flurry, they could not refrain themselves and giggle. Wu Qi was so mad that he nearly unleashed his flying sword to kill these few white cranes, but eventually, he was able to press down his anger.
Although he had decided to spare the life of these few white cranes, Wu Qi did not want to let them feel well after bullying him. When he went past the ancient pine trees, he forcefully kicked a few large crane nests and threw them off the tree branches, deep into the canyon. Frightened by his action, the large flock of white cranes soared high up into the sky while crying in panic, yet Wu Qi was laughing out loud while he continued climbing down to the base of the cliff. Both Qing Yue and Zi Yue had their giggles halted in an instant, throwing their glances down the cliff at Wu Qi, who now looked like a tiny sesame seed. They felt depressed now, murmuring in their mind that this man was such a useless man, as he was fussing over with a flock of birds.
While laughing out loud, Wu Qi gave two middle fingers to the white cranes who came chasing after him, then bent down and picked up a handful of rocks, crushing them into countless tiny debris and throwing them towards those birds. The tiny rocks pierced through the air and hit right onto the neck of these big birds, making them cry out miserably, climbing back up into the sky and daring not to come back down to attack Wu Qi again.
"If not for the fact that I don't want to expose my Gold Core, I would definitely kill you all with my flying sword!" said Wu Qi while he kept laughing and looking at those great white cranes. Then, he blew out a loud whistle. From afar, the single-horned deer answered his call, jumping and leaping as it dashed towards Wu Qi, stuck out its big fat tongue and gave Wu Qi's face a few intimate licks.
Wu Qi patted on the body of the deer, who had turned slightly skinny after so many days, then he said with a pitying tone, "It looks like you've suffered a lot for these few days as you could only eat that tasteless grass!" From his storage ring, Wu Qi took out a bag of premium quality fodder and placed it near the mouth of the deer, allowing it to feed to its heart's content.
After finishing the fodder, the stomach of the deer became swollen up. It snorted comfortably, then brought its large head and forcefully rubbed against Wu Qi's body. Wu Qi did not ride on it, but instead, he pulled the leash and walked slowly towards the gateway of Mount White Sun. While on his way, he was pondering what he should do next. Now, as he had successfully crafted the discs of Minor Universal Teleportation Array, he had to construct himself a few escape routes as soon as possible. However, as for how he was going to begin with the construction, he still needed to give it a careful planning.
Meanwhile, Lu Chengfeng had taken the official post of West Supervisor for quite some time, and Yan Dan only gave him a year of time frame to deliver some results. Thus, no matter what, Wu Qi had to come out with a good strategy for Lu Chengfeng. Whether it was a result merely for the face, or a result for the official post, he had to create some momentum for Lu Chengfeng in the near future.
As for Wei Clan, the Wei Merchant was scheming for the Spatial Breaching Spirit Gold that was produced underneath two iron mines found in Lu Chengfeng's fief. Such precious resources could never be given to Wei Merchant. That old fellow, Lu Buwei, must have attained the cultivation base of at least Earth Immortal of Nascent Soul realm. Currently, as he was limited by his cultivation base, he could only travel around the world with the help of the technique of Great Portage of Five Ghosts. If he really found a sufficient amount of Spatial Breaching Spirit Gold, and with their size being big enough, he could construct teleportation arrays that covered super long distances, which would allow him to bring a large group of men anywhere quickly.
Upon thinking that the old unscrupulous careerist, Lu Buwei, could appear in Ji City at any time, then again thinking about Lao Ai, the peerless man of evil, hiding in Ji City for a very long time, Wu Qi could not help but feel a pain in his head. If he had attained the cultivation base of Gold Immortal, he would not have to be worried anymore, as he could just kill these men with a squeeze of his palm. Yet, the problem was that it was Lu Buwei and Lao Ai as of now who could kill him easily with a pinch of their fingers. Thus, he had to careful in planning everything in detail.
A strong feeling of bizarreness was hovering in this world. Wu Qi did not want to slacken in his preparation, as that might get him killed suddenly for no apparent reasons.
Therefore, Wu Qi could never allow Wei Xiaoxiao to get her hands on that Spatial Breaching Spirit Gold. He would steal all those rare resources from the mines in advance, or, should he just wipe out all of Lu Buwei's properties in Ji City? Also, if Lao Ai was informed that Lu Buwei had poked his nose into Ji City, what would be his response?
Different expressions were lingering on Wu Qi's face, as his mind was filled with various vicious and savage thoughts. Suddenly, the voice of Haoying Fengying came from the side of the road, "Brother Wu, Senior Disciple Wu, Marquis Wu, Marquis of Tianyun, your little brother me have waited for you for many days!"
Wu Qi raised his head and saw Haoying Fengying, who had his face bloomed into a smile while bringing a few young men together and came out from a little shady path. With a friendly look on their faces, the group of men came beside him. Haoying Fengying passionately stretched his hands out and grabbed tightly on Wu Qi's hands, let out a loud laugh and said, "My dear Marquis Wu, after someone told me that you returned to our sect a few days ago, I've been waiting for you here. Yet, I failed to see your face for many days. Aye, I don't care what you are going to do next. I've prepared a few jugs of fine wine, and you'll have to finish all of them before leaving us!"
He dragged Wu Qi by force and strode along the shady path into the woods. With great hospitality, Haoying Fengying said, "Thank you, my brother! As Haoying Fenglong is cast to the northernmost lands by His Majesty, ordering him to build a city there, he would never return to Ji City before he could have a stable foundation. With his departure, the strength of the faction where he came from is now greatly reduced, and my status in Haoying Clan has taken a great leap. All this is because of your help, my brother!"
Hearing Haoying Fengying mention that Haoying Fenglong was forced to establish a city in the land of northernmost, Wu Qi smiled. No matter what, the Criminal and Justice Court was currently held in the hand of Haoying Clan, and it was a prestigious position among the Three Prime Counselors and Nine Ministers. If Wu Qi were able to rope in Haoying Fengying and make him as one of his men, then at least the incident of being framed near the city entrance would not happen again. In addition to that, Wu Qi could bring himself another great helper in Ji City.
This was how everything under the heavens ran its course. When Haoying Fenglong was struck by misfortune, it was natural that Haoying Fengying would gain the upper hand in this situation, and Wu Qi too had the reasons to befriend with him.
Also, when Wu Qi was pressured by Qin Xuewen last time in the Heaven's Will Palace, this Haoying Fengying could still stand up and say a few words for him. It showed that he was a man Wu Qi could count on.
With that, Wu Qi threw away the leash, chased the single-horned deer into the woods beside the path, and let it feed on the grass itself. He held on Haoying Fengying's hand, walking side by side with him while laughing and walking to a small open field at the end of the little path. There was a small pond with greenish water and calm surface. Colorful flowers were decorated amidst the dense grass growing on the edge of the pond. The field was circled by a dense bamboo forest, and the rustling of bamboo leaves filled the air whenever a gentle breeze came blowing by. It was a serene and peaceful place.
Between the bamboo forest and the small pond was a tiny pavilion, built using barks of pine and cypress trees. Inside the pavilion were placed a few cushions, a few low tables, together with ten jugs of fine wine, delicious fruits, and tidbits. Everything was neatly and cleanly arranged.
While holding on Wu Qi's hand, Haoying Fengying smiled and said, "For the last few days, I've been waiting for you, my brother, in this place. The fruits and dishes are freshly prepared every day, I hope brother won't find it too shabby." Then, he brought Wu Qi into the pavilion with the utmost respect and sat onto the master seat.
Wu Qi smiled and beckoned, asking the few young men of Haoying Clan standing behind Haoying Fengying to come into the pavilion as well. The group came and sat down, serving each other wine and enjoying the dishes. The nearby scenery was quiet and splendid, undisturbed; the wine was seasoned for at least one hundred years, and the fruits and dishes were excellent in quality. By enjoying such a marvelous meal in a beautiful place, it was a very enjoyable moment.
While Wu Qi had just sat down and finished a jug of wine, back in Ji City, a fist-sized pigeon with golden eyes and black feather, was seen piercing through the air into a house outside the Imperial Palace. In the main hall of this house sat Taba Haofeng. He stretched out his arm and caught the pigeon. Then, from a ring tied to its leg, he pulled out a small piece of paper. No words were written on this paper, except the image a small dagger.
Taba Haofeng let out a cold laugh. Suddenly, he rose to his feet, walked out from the main hall and looked into the sky.
The day had just begun, and the red sun had just risen nearly thirty feet above the ground. A dense fog still lingered in the air.
He crushed and shattered the paper, then cried out with a stern voice, "Inform everyone, it is time to strike. Somebody, follow me to the palace, and bring together the visiting card of young miss Yu. Hmph, I don't believe with young miss Yu acting as the invitee, that bitch Zhang Le would still refuse my invitation!"
From all corners of the courtyard, a couple dozens of dark figures dashed out, producing a barely audible noise of wind breaking as they sprinted into the distance.
Very soon, coaches were prepared. Taba Haofeng boarded the coach, brought together a large troop of personal guards, and off they went straight towards the Imperial Palace.