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Since Wu Qi formed his Gold Cores in the water meridians, the total amount of blood and energy essence he could absorb from a cultivator had increased to a jaw-dropping thirty percent. A total of thirty percent of blood and energy essence of two Human Immortals of Gold Core realm had been extracted and absorbed into his body. He then carefully hid them within the meridians in both arms. The two Human Immortals were cultivating with Fire element technique, and the Spirit Root grown from their heart had stretched over to their lungs and livers. Nearly half of their bodies had turned into a fiery-red color.

As Wu Qi had already stolen their blood and energy essence, he decided not to stop there. Exerting the most powerful force he could, Wu Qi had stolen a tiny thread of both men's innate source energy, using them to nourish his heart and Nascent Embryo. With that, the source energy in his heart suddenly took a great leap, and with every heartbeat, it pumped more blood into his body. The energies contained in the blood pumped out from the heart had become stronger as well. Meanwhile, he also sensed that the five feet tall Nascent Embryo of his had expanded slightly, and its height had increased by approximately one centimeter.

Upon detecting the bizarre changes that happened in their bodies, the two Human Immortals were greatly frightened. They opened their mouths and were about to cry out, yet the Sword of Greedy Wolf suddenly came whistling by, impaled their dantian in an instant and shattered their Gold Cores, extracting and absorbing all of their blood and energy essence.

Wu Qi shook his head and rose to his feet, spun and smiled at Xiong Qing and his brothers, who were now standing behind him and wearing a flattering smile on their face. "You've done well, and all of you can go to the Bear Garden tonight and have a great time. Don't worry, I'll send someone to lead the way for you, so no one is going to stop you."

The six brothers of Xiong Qing had their eyes smiled into a narrow line. Hastily they bowed and nodded their heads while thanking Wu Qi for the reward. At this moment, their dignity as a Demon Immortal was all gone, and they simply looked like a group of lustful beasts who had their minds overwhelmed by sex. They couldn't wait to plunge into the Bear Garden and give those female bears, who just had been captured from forests, a good time.

The cries of slaughtering coming from the surroundings had soon faded away. Six thousand elite soldiers, clad in the same blood red armors and war-kilts and enshrouded in a blood red aura, had slaughtered nearly every single soldier of that private army brought by the young girl in white, leaving behind only the young girl and a couple dozens of captains as prisoners who could furnish information. Each of these six thousand blood red armored soldiers possessed the cultivation base of Respiration tier of Xiantian realm. They were six thousand Xiantian warriors, and had been trained with the strictest drill of the military. As an army, their combative strength was devastating.

The armors clad by these soldiers and the weapons used by them, were all middle and lower tier magical items. The menacing and murderous aura that made one's flesh creep had enshrouded them, making them look extraordinarily aggressive and fearsome. Neatly and orderly, they began to tidy up the battlefield, arranging the dead bodies of those private soldiers properly on one side of the field. A few young men clad in green clothes had their eyes glinting with a witty look. They were strolling around and identifying the appearance of these dead bodies.

Suddenly, noises of trampling came by. Surrounded by a troop of nearly one hundred elite soldiers, Ma Yi was seen striding toward Wu Qi, clad in a blood red official outfit and having a broad blade hanging on one side of his waist. On his face of purple-red complexion, he had his pair of deep eyes which were narrowed into a fine line. A dangerous and menacing vision was casting out from the fine line, darting back and forth between those private soldiers who had been captured alive.

"Those men from Middle Wind Guard must have been fed with sh*t." With his tall stature, Ma Yi was looking down at Wu Qi and continued saying with a deep voice, "A private army consisting of three thousand peak Houtian realm warriors… About a strong army like this, the Central Wind Guard actually knows nothing. If not because they were deployed to assault Marquis Tianyun, who would have thought that in Ji City, under the feet of His Majesty, someone actually hid a powerful private army like this!"

Wu Qi cupped his fist and greeted Ma Yi. He threw a curious look over at Ma Yi, who had his body emanating a vigorous aura of blood and energy, and sending forth an air of pure Yang which was at least one hundred times stronger than an ordinary man. Wu Qi was puzzled by this, as Ma Yi was a eunuch who had been castrated, yet obviously was cultivating with a technique of pure Yang. Did Ma Yi have no fear of getting himself burned by the internal flame? Yet, this was what made Ma Yi look so strange to Wu Qi. Not only was he cultivating with a technique of pure Yang, he even formed his Gold Core smoothly. This was something unimaginably queer.

Wu Qi let out a brief cough, gave Ma Yi a smile and said, "Internal Counselor Ma, thank you for the help. If not for you to have agreed to deploy an army and help me, Wu Qi really had no courage to step out from the city gate of Ji City. No matter what, you cannot spare any of these undaunted and reckless criminals."

With a nasty look in his eyes, Ma Yi threw his glance over at those young men clad in green clothes, who were now in the middle of identifying the dead bodies. Then, he sneered and said, "Rest assured, today is the joint operation between the Swallow of Central-Prime-Counselors Gao and the 'Blood Swallow Army' personally led by me. We have excluded Criminal and Justice Court and Scouting Office, and I guarantee that we will dig out every single ancestor's tomb of these men."

He let out a few hideous laughs, then continued saying in a low, muffled voice, "What happened here, Marquis Tianyun, please pretend that you know nothing about it. You can make your return to the city now." He sneered, lowered his voice and gave out a warning, "Both Duke Yan Le and Chief Supervisor of West Wind Guard have been dragged by someone today. If not for Marquis Tianyun having long received attention from His Majesty, Chief General, and Central-Prime-Counselors Gao, which made them secretly deploy the Swallow and Blood Swallow Army, hehe… Marquis Tianyun, you would have been in a true isolated and helpless situation today."

Wu Qi took a deep breath, shook his head helplessly, put up a pathetic look on his face and stared at Ma Yi.

Ma Yi laughed. He forcefully patted on Wu Qi's shoulder and said indifferently, "Just hand everything here to me, Marquis Tianyun. You can return to the city with peace of mind. For today's incident and the assassination of Duke Buji, His Majesty is determined in finding out the truth. Regardless who is the mastermind, none of them can ever escape from us."

With that, Wu Qi said no more. He cupped his fist and exchanged a farewell with Ma Yi, then let out a whistle and summoned the single-horned deer. He mounted on it and rode back towards Ji City. The six brothers of Xiong Qing waved their hands lazily at Ma Yi and proudly wagged their lower body back and forth, performing a movement which all male creatures knew the true meaning behind. Then, they transformed into human shape while laughing merrily. With high spirits, they followed behind Wu Qi and left the place.

The gesture performed by the Xiong Qing brothers had made Ma Yi be at a loss whether to cry or to laugh. Furiously, he glared at the back of these few demon bears, touched his chin thoughtfully and said, "As we lack manpower in the Imperial Palace recently, shall I find a day and castrate these few lustful bears to bring them into the Imperial Palace and assign them as Imperial Eunuchs? Tsk, the few pen*s cut off from their bodies can be used to soak in wine and serve as a great tonic for His Majesty."

As Xiong Qing brothers were all Demon Immortals, their hearings were keen. Thus, they overheard the murmurs of Ma Yi. It scared them instantly and made them cry out, quickly holding tightly between their legs and running towards Wu Qi. Within the blink of an eye, they had reached to a distance of a few thousand feet away, and no one could see their backs anymore.

Riding on the deer, Wu Qi arrived at the city gate of Ji City. He was pondering about who the true mastermind behind today's ambush was, and who could deploy two Human Immortals, thirty-two Xiantian warriors, and an entire private army of three thousand peak Houtian warriors to kill him. Also, he was wondering who could use perfectly logical and reasonable excuses to drag both Yan Jiuhui and Lu Chengfeng in Ji City, so that none of them could provide rescue to him. If not for the fact that he had been expecting this, which made him set up an ambush two weeks in advance to trap the possible ambush, he would really have to face a nasty situation today.

While he had his mind filled with all kinds of strange and queer thoughts, from a room inside of the city gate which was used by the City Guards as their resting place, Bai Zu'er suddenly rushed out together with a group of palace guards. Then, she enthusiastically grabbed onto Wu Qi's sleeve. The cute Bai Zu'er with a rather well-developed body kept pulling Wu Qi's sleeve and cried out, "Marquis Tianyun, our Princess is attending the meeting of poem and drawing hosted by young miss Yu Qianqian. She asked me to bring you to Myriad Red River and meet her there. Let's go now, hurry up! That Yu Qianqian has always been giving troubles to Princess. Since you have a silver tongue, I'm sure you can piss off that Yu Qianqian, am I right?"

By force, she snatched over the leash held in Wu Qi's hand, then began pulling the deer towards the direction of Myriad Red River.

Wu Qi was struck dumb and had no idea what was going on. Quickly, he asked Bai Zu'er about who that Yu Qianqian was, and what kind of grudges lied between her and Princess Zhang Le, and also what was hiding behind her meeting of poem and drawing.

With a nimble tongue, Bai Zu'er quickly told Wu Qi everything she knew in detail.

Yu Qianqian was a descendant of Yu Clan, which was a famous, influential clan in Great Yan Dynasty. For approximately 1500 years, Yu Clan had gained their fame under the heavens for their 'poems and drawings'. All the previous Clan Leaders of Yu Clan had been assigned to the official post of Chief Editor for Great Yan Dynasty, responsible for gathering and editing all sorts of historical records of Great Yan Dynasty. They did not have a flourishing clan for so many years. Yu Clan had been continued for several dozens of generations, and even at the time when they had the most population, there were less than one hundred of them.

However, regardless it was a male or female descendant from this clan, they were all born with a great talent in writing, and were all talented people who knew how to compose poems and create great drawings. On top of that, there was a magical technique inherited from the ancestor of Yu Clan, which allowed them to specifically cultivate their soul. Thus, no matter it was a male or female descendant of Yu Clan, every single one of them possessed an extraordinary intelligence, and could always come out with brilliant plans and plots.

For so many years, unless they were some unfortunate fellows who were struck by natural disasters and had all their clan members dying overnight, when someone was married with the daughter from Yu Clan, his clan would definitely experience a rapid promotion to a great status. He would either be assigned to a prestigious official post in the Imperial Court, or be successful in the business of merchant and became a wealthy merchant who possessed a great wealth. There was no exception to this. As a result, the daughter of Yu Clan had become a rare resource which was sought after by many people in Great Yan Dynasty, at least one hundred times more popular than the Princess of Great Yan Dynasty.

In the current Yu Clan, Yu Qianqian was the only daughter who had reached the age of marrying, yet was still single. Therefore, numerous eyes from prestigious and influential members of Great Yan Dynasty had gathered around her, hoping to marry this girl and bring her back into their clan. She was a girl who had the talent in writing that exceeded all men under the heavens, and possessed the same extraordinary talent in the art of scheming.

She was an outstanding young girl who attracted the attention from the whole world, simply a natural opponent to Princess Zhang Le. Thus, without needing any reasons or excuses, since Princess Zhang Le was old enough to gain her sense, she had developed an irritated feeling towards Yu Qianqian. But because of the influential status of Yu Clan in Great Yan Dynasty, and because of the Yu Clan's lofty status in the mind of all scholars, Princess Zhang Le and Yu Qianqian had been behaving intimately in public, addressing each other as sisters. However, even Princess Zhang Le herself could not count how many times she had been stabbing needles onto a paper puppet with Yu Qianqian's name written on it, privately.

If Princess Zhang Le really knew the art of Gu[1] or curses, she would have long cursed Yu Qianqian to have her face fully grow with blemishes, and not be able to marry someone for the rest of her life.

"So, this is the grudge between Princess and Yu Qianqian?" With a lifeless expression, Wu Qi stared at Bai Zu'er, who had her head poked out from the window of her coach. For a long moment, he did not know what responses he should give.

Bai Zu'er stuck her chest forward, clenched her jaw and said, "What else could that be? Not only is she always seizing the limelight from Princess, every time during her meeting of poem and drawing, but she would also always find ways to make Princess a laughing stock. She is a wicked woman, how could we not show her some colors? Marquis Wu, you're a man with great abilities. You have to help our Princess vent her grudge this time!"

"I'll try my best!" Helplessly, Wu Qi forced a smile on his face. How was he going to show some colors to a girl who had an extraordinary talent in writing? By giving her a round of brutal beating? That was absurd! As a matter of fact, some unspoken rules in this Great Yan Dynasty were truly troublesome. As a Princess herself, how difficult was it to show some colors to a daughter of a minister? Then why would Princess Zhang Le have to employ such petty approaches?

Shaking his head and sighing along the way, Wu Qi and the company arrived at the Myriad Red River.

A ferry had been waiting for them at the bank of the river. Very soon, it brought Wu Qi onto the luxuriously decorated wooden platform.

Upon stepping onto the platform, Wu Qi immediately saw Princess Zhang Le. She was sitting behind the table placed in the center of the platform. Hues of green and red were seen varying on her face. Obviously, she was in an extremely embarrassing situation. A young girl, clad in a white robe and having a tall white goose feather crown mounted on her head, was seen standing beside Princess Zhang Le with her hands behind. It looked like she was whispering something to Princess Zhang Le, causing the hue on Princess Zhang Le's face to change unpredictably, becoming even more unsightly.

Wu Qi let out a brief cough, then cried out with a loud voice, "Princess, Wu Qi is here."

Amidst the crowd, Shangguan Yuhen suddenly turned his head and looked towards Wu Qi, throwing over a glance as sharp as a sword. It was emanating a sword intent that felt like a corporeal energy, and almost penetrated Wu Qi's body.

[1] Gu (蛊) - It is an art of harming people with poisonous bugs.

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