It was too harsh.
After being done absorbing a few Gold Cores, Wu Qi inspected the condition inside his body using his divine sense. What he found made him lament. Indeed, the Scroll of Stealing was a profound and fantastic cultivation technique, but at the same time, it was extremely harsh on those who cultivated it. Even after absorbing so many Gold Cores, it only made all ten False Cores of his became slightly solidified. It was only after he absorbed these Gold Cores that Wu Qi realized that Scroll of Stealing would only extract one single thread of purest core energy from them, which was the Innate Nectar produced from the merging of Gold Core and the cultivator's soul. Only the Innate Nectar was merged with his False Cores, while all the other energies of the Gold Core, 99% of them, were discarded.
Following this trend, if Wu Qi had all ten False Cores reach the mastery stage, the density of these ten Innate Gold Cores of five elements would be at least one thousand times greater than ordinary cultivators’, and the power they could unleash would also be one thousand times stronger.
"This is too harsh! If I keep cultivating with the same method, how long would it take before I can cultivate them to the mastery stage? No wonder without relying on external materials, basically no one could have cultivated the Scroll of Stealing himself. In terms of external materials, I need a lot of Gold Cores, energy stones, spirit medicines, natural essences… Only then I can have my cultivation base skyrocket!" Wu Qi sighed with mixed emotions. He transformed all the heterogeneous and useless energies of these Gold Cores into the acquired energies of five elements, which were the energies cultivated by the elementary technique of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, the Qi Circulating Technique of Five Elements.
These Gold Cores seized by him were formed from Acquired Energies through the laborious cultivation of Human Immortals. Only then, a single thread of Innate Nectar was condensed within the core. The Innate Nectars were absorbed by Wu Qi's False Cores, helping in solidifying them, while out of the remaining 99% of the energies, only a tiny bit of the purest energies were being transformed into Innate Energies of Five Elements. The rest of them were all turned into Acquired Energies, circulating endlessly within the primary meridians in his body.
Without considering the pure and powerful innate energies circulating in the Seven Stealing Heaven Meridians within both of his arms, after Wu Qi obtained the enormous energies from these few Gold Cores, the cultivation of Qi Circulating Technique of Five Elements had reached the limit of Xiantian realm. Due to the fact that his body was now extremely strong, just like Shi Tianmo, the energies circulating in his body had turned into a half-liquid, half-solid substance, and many times denser than mercury.
More shockingly, at present, Wu Qi's meridians had become tremendously wide. They could now contain an incredible amount of energies, at least ten times more than Shi Tianmo. Because of that, the total volume of his energies had reached an astonishingly massive figure. At his will, he could form the Heaven Breaking Sword Core any time according to the Five Elements Sword Technique of `the Heaven Breaking Sword Sect.
However, Wu Qi did not care too much about the Heaven Breaking Sword Core formed from cultivating the Five Elements Sword Technique. If he were able to obtain the most profound technique of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, the Unity of Sword Energies Script, he would be able to form a sword core that possessed all five elements in one go, fitting precisely with the innate energies of five elements in his Seven Stealing Heaven Meridians. That was what Wu Qi actually wanted.
Thus, the forming of sword core could be postponed to a few days later. He would like to see if he could obtain the Unity of Sword Energies Script. Only then he would decide what to do next.
Wu Qi rose to his feet and tidied up the messy cave, carefully activated all the defensive formations, and only then stepped onto a teleportation disk and transported out of the cave. Three hundred miles away, at the bank of the nameless great river was a large rock with a hole underneath it, fully filled with water. Suddenly, a large curtain of white light emerged out from the white sand in the hole, and from the dazzling glow, Wu Qi poked his body out.
Holding his breath, Wu Qi swam out from the hole through a narrow waterway. Along the way, he drove away a few large crabs who swung their claws aggressively, trying to attack him. Finally, Wu Qi stuck his head out from the raging water river, nimbly sprung up into the air and landed on the bank.
He spat out a few mouthfuls of water, pulled a brave crab roughly one foot in diameter off from his collar, and threw it back into the river. Then, he threw his head back and let out a few loud laughs into the sky. His laughs were loud and sonorous, subtly with a ringing clash of weapons coming out, like the resonant ringing of a big bell they reached several dozen miles away. Together with the tall waves and running water before him, Wu Qi was vaguely showing a look of restarting everything that had stopped moving under the heavens.
As his corporeal body was greatly strengthened, the functionality of his heart, spleen, liver, kidneys, and lungs had also greatly improved. Driven by the Qi Circulating Technique of Five Elements, five colored energies kept shooting out from his five important internal organs, merging into the meridians across his entire body. They amplified his laughter and made it soar high up into the sky. It shook the water in the river and caused several dozen feet tall waves to run ragingly across the surface.
The construction of secret caves was completed, and Wu Qi had finally prepared himself an ample room of advance and retreat in this world. The tempering of the body had also concluded, the strength of it now easily comparable to Earth Immortals of Nascent Soul realm. Actually, it was a few times stronger than them in some aspects. It would serve as a solid foundation to his future cultivation. He had also completed the collection of spirit items of five elements, ad was now able to cultivate innate energies of five elements in his body. On top of that, he also owned the Sword of Greedy Wolf, the silver lotus, the Grand White Spatial Breaching Pearls, which were all supreme-grade treasures. He also had an extremely rare soul replacement puppet hiding in his dantian. With all of these, Wu Qi truly felt that he could venture anywhere he wanted, anytime he deemed necessary.
Gradually, the dark cloud pressing heavily over his heart since he came to this world faded away. Wu Qi felt all his meridians were now flowing without obstruction. His Spiritual Ocean was bright and limpid, and while he gave a loud, long laugh, inhaling and exhaling, it was subtly resonating with the surrounding breeze and clouds. His divine sense slowly echoed with the Dao of heaven and earth, and that was why he could give out such a pleased laugh, and even have the river respond.
While he was enjoying the moment and kept laughing heartily, a deep, muffled noise of wind breaking was heard suddenly coming from his back.
He spun hastily, throwing a glance over to his back. At the same time, from he spat out two lower-grade flying swords his mouth. One was driven using the Azure Water Sword, and transformed into a sword beam enshrouding with water waves, while the other used Mount Crumbling Sword, and transformed into a sword beam with countless thumb-sized, earthy-yellow clay chunks wheeling around it. He used both the flying swords to guard his surrounding. Meanwhile, he had Sword of Greedy Wolf hiding and getting ready in his arm. If the situation turned bad, he could unleash it immediately to assault the enemies.
Besides Sword of Greedy Wolf, the silver lotus was also partly visible on his temple. Wu Qi had done a preliminary tempering of all the 360 Grand White Spatial Breaching Pearls. They were now embedded within the stamen of the lotus flower like the lotus seeds, and could be unleashed instantly. He even picked out a few defensive gears of lower magical treasure grade from among the numerous treasures he obtained after killing those Human Immortals working for Wei Xiaoxiao, having them ready to defend himself.
Now, Wu Qi was like a venomous snake that had coiled up its body, ready to strike a deadly blown at any time.
But out of his instinct, he exercised the mystic technique of concealing his aura which he learned from Scroll of Stealing, hiding all his aura within his body. Looking from the outside, he was still a small potato of Respiration tier, not eye-catching at all. However, who would have known that this guy was actually a tyrannosaurus disguised as a little bunny?
It was a middle-aged man coming fast from behind, clad in an earthy-yellow long robe and having a head of disheveled hair, riding on a bright beam. The bright beam was actually a huge jade slab the size of a door, with its surface fully engraved with countless runes. While streaking through the air, it agitated the surround wind and clouds, and from time to time, energies of four elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, were seen shooting out from the large jade slab. The man had a skinny face, and his body was as thin as a bamboo stick. When a strong wind was blown from the river, it would make his sleeves wave, and it seemed he was about to be blown far away by the wind.
Stepping on top of the large, thirty feet by three feet jade slab, the middle-aged man threw a glance from above. Flustered and exasperated, he breathed out a long sigh, then cried out, "Are you Wu Qi? The Marquis of Tianyun from Great Yan Dynasty, that Wu Qi? The number one running dog of Duke of Yan Le, Yan Chengfeng?"
Surprised and puzzled, Wu Qi gave the middle-aged man a look, who apparently possessed the cultivation base of middle stage Gold Core realm. Wu Qi sighed and said, "You're speaking to your master Wu Qi, and that Marquis of Tianyun mentioned by you is also your master, me! But as for that running dog, it is not nice for you to say that. Can you not ever mention that again? No matter what, your master is the chief hanger-on for Duke Chengfeng. I'm his hanger-on, his brother, not his running dog, do you understand? Now, come over here. Call me 'Master' for once, and let me enjoy for a moment."
The moment they met, the middle-aged man had come out with harsh words. Thus, Wu Qi was too lazy to answer him in a proper manner. He simply stirred up the conversation with a casual and senseless manner.
The middle-aged man smiled in a ferocious way. He nodded his head and said, "Indeed, you're Wu Qi! It is him, we've found him at last!" He took a deep breath, then roared out in a near hysterical manner, "You bastard! Do you know how long we have been searching for you? Can't you just be nice and quiet, staying in a place obediently, and let us find and kill you? Why are you running amok in these vast mountains?"
Wu Qi stared at the man in a daze. At last, after the man spat out all his saliva, Wu Qi asked with a shocked look on his face, "What did you just say?"
The man took a deep breath, wiped away the saliva from his lips, sneered and said, "From Ji City, I and my other four senior and junior brothers had been following you to the Lu Kingdom, then from the Lu Kingdom to Meng Village, from Meng village to Meng Mountains… We are here to kill you! But it seems like you are a lucky man. Every time, either you were accompanied by someone, or you were at some places with many people around, and it was not convenient for us to strike. At last, you've ventured into the Meng Mountains..."
The man had his facial muscles twitch a few times, staring at Wu Qi with a hidden bitterness on his face. He sighed pitifully and said, "After you entered Meng Mountains, Eldest Brother had failed to trace your exact position even with his 'Heavenly Star Positioning Disk', and could only calculate to a rough position of yours. In these remote mountains and wilderness, we've been following you for months!"
He furiously swallowed a lump in his throat and said angrily, "For months, we've been fed on the wind and slept in the dew in these barren mountains! We did not have any clean clothes to change, we did not eat, drink, found no pretty girls to serve us, and no apprentice to carry out our orders. Everything had to be done by ourselves, and, we still had to follow behind your butt! Do you have any idea what kind of hardship we had gone through for the past few months?!"
He waved his hand and unleashed a talisman high up into the sky. A dazzling blue glare shot and reached ten thousand feet above, before violently exploding into countless blue specks that interwove into a massive talisman, with a circumference of several dozen miles. The rumbling of explosions kept echoing out in the sky, as the blue specks exploded one after another. The streams of light produced from the explosion crossed and interwove into a massive rune, with three vague characters hovering in the middle: Heavenly Spirit Sect.
Heavenly Spirit Sect was the sect that specifically studied the Dao of talisman and defensive mechanism among all thirteen sects of Great Yan Dynasty. All the offensive and supplementary talismans used by Great Yan Dynasty were produced by them. All of the defensive formations of every city and mansion were constructed by them as well. In addition to that, the construction of all the military gears of mass destruction in Great Yan Dynasty, where the parts required the engraving of talismans, were all handled by Heavenly Spirit Sect.
It was a filthy rich sect, a sect that almost merged into one with the official of Great Yan Dynasty, where they had a very close relationship with many people who held high power in their hand. Compared to the poor Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, any disciple of Heavenly Spirit Sect was like a super wealthy man.
"Excuse me senior, since when have Wu Qi offended the Heavenly Spirit Sect?" asked Wu Qi, looking at the middle-aged while wearing a puzzled look on his face.
Suddenly, an angry roar came from a far distance, "Not only did you offend, you've actually greatly provoked us, the Heavenly Spirit Sect!"
Four bright beams came shooting in from four directions. They were four jade slabs with different designs and colors, with one yellow-robed cultivator standing on top of each.
Five Gold Core cultivators who hunted Wu Qi had now gathered in one place. Among them, the strongest cultivator had reached the peak stage of Gold Core realm, just one step away from breaking into Nascent Soul realm. Though he was still several dozens of miles away, he had unleashed a tremendous pressure that felt like a great tornado, pressing towards Wu Qi from afar.