The water that flooded many mountains had finally gone down. The land was now filled with huge trees that had collapsed due to the raging water.
The hot sun was shining right overhead. A jarring bugle call was sounded from the Qin army camp. Less than two hundred thousand Qin soldiers, who survived the previous battle, were seen stepping on their wing-shaped magical items, carrying bone ashes urns on their back, and lining up in a neat formation while flying towards the northwest. Clustered by a great troop of Qin soldiers, a dragon coach pulled by nine black dragon horses was flying in the center of the army. The huge Cauldron of Yu was hovering above the dragon coach, emitting a faint dark-green glow, deterring any aquatic demons who might return.
Even when they were retreating, the army of Great Qin would never provide any opportunities to their enemies to hinder them.
Wu Qi was standing on the bald peak of a lofty mountain, where the trees were all decimated by the raging flood, overlooking the retreating Qin army. He smiled, rejoicing at their misfortune, but then he breathed out a deep, long sigh. Although Qin army had suffered a great loss this time, their core strength was still intact. None of those important ministers were killed in the battle, and only a great number of their soldiers and practitioners were sacrificed. Perhaps, it was only a hair off a bull's back to Great Qin Dynasty.
What a pity, he was unable to bring a greater loss to the Qin army, and did not fish more benefits out from them. Wu Qi gave a wistful look at the retreating Qin army, sighed deeply again and said, "Is Old Dragon King not going to pursue them? It is highly possible that they can no longer activate the Cauldron of Yu."
Indeed, the Cauldron of Yu was a powerful weapon. But it was also an ancient item of virtue. Thus, how could it be easily used by some mere cultivators of Nascent Soul realm? Xu Fu had gathered the blood essence from countless dead aquatic demon beasts, and together with a thread of Human Emperor's blood essence from Ying Zheng, only then was he able to barely unleash one strike from the Cauldron of Yu, using it to injure Wanying Dragon King. Wu Qi believed that currently, Qin army did not have the strength and power to activate this incredible treasure again. If Wanying Dragon King could regroup his army and pursue them, it was highly possible that he could wipe out the entire Qin army in this place.
Standing beside Wu Qi, catfish-flood-dragon, Han Zhu, Tan Xue, and Le Hai, three great demons who had also transformed into human form, brought up a frightful expression and shook their heads at the same time, "That won't do, that won't do! That treasure can be used in limiting us, all the members of the aquatic clan. There is no way we can get closer to them. Apart from Old Dragon King, none of us can withstand its aura. But, Old Dragon King had his backbone broken in the battle, and even two of his dragon tendons. It will take him ten years of resting and healing before he can restore his cultivation base."
Wu Qi did not say anything. The condition of Wanying Dragon King's injury was definitely not as serious as what they said. The old demon dragon must be scared, fearing the death. For he only had to go through one last Thunder Tribulation, and he would be able to transcend into a True Dragon. At this critical moment, he dared not take any risk again. If he were severely wounded on the eve of his transcending and died because of some careless mistakes, that would make him a huge laughing stock. Those who lived longer would be the ones who were scared of death the most, and such reasoning was also applicable to Wanying Dragon King.
Shaking his head with a sigh, Wu Qi said, "So, we can only watch how they leave before our eyes?"
Catfish-flood-dragon and her fellow great demons also breathed out a long sigh, then said with a relieving voice as if they were sending off some God of plague, "Yes, we can only watch how they leave before our eyes!"
Wu Qi rested his eyes on the faces of these few great demons. He disliked seeing the relaxed smile on their faces, so he said with a sneer, "Though they have left, they will return one day! Don't you forget that Ying Zheng still wants to cultivate his Nine Dragons Cauldron Grand Magic, and he only needs the blood essence and soul from one flood dragon. Then, he will be able to complete his first-stage of cultivation, and become a Heaven Immortal. When they really return to this place, hmph!"
The black face of catfish-flood-dragon suddenly turned deadly pale. Her mouth went wide, and could not utter a word for a long while. Standing beside her, Han Zhu, Tan Xue, and Le Hai breathed out a sigh of relief at the same time, throwing a pitying look at catfish-flood-dragon and said, "He needs the blood essence and soul from a flood dragon!"
Catfish-flood-dragon blinked her eyes, stomped her feet and suddenly cried out, "I can no longer stay in Longyuan River! This is not a safe place anymore! I want to move to somewhere else! I want to move! I can't go to the Great Ocean in the west, as those people are retreating to that direction. I'm going to find a new place to stay in the Great Ocean in the east. I'll go find Old Dragon King now, asking him to give me an official paper, allowing me to move over to the Great Ocean in the east!"
She shook her head, stomped her feet, spun and left hastily.
But only a few steps away, she turned back again, clenched her jaws and pulled thirty-six pale golden scales off her body, giving them to Wu Qi. "Little brother Wu Qi, thank you for saving my life. Among those treasures I gave you in my cave, I do not know the exact usage of many of them. The gifts are little to repay your gratitude for saving my life. I know these scales are very useful to you human cultivators. Here, take them!"
Wu Qi stonily stared at the scales in her hand, and could not help but throw his head back and breathe out a long sigh. What a virtuous and kind catfish! He had already taken away all the treasures found in catfish-flood-dragon's cave, thirty percent of her blood essence, and even the body strengthening technique that she was practicing. All of that had made him fully satisfied and contented. But in the end, she still gave him thirty-six dragon scales? Did he really deserve this great hospitality?
Without hesitation, he took over the dragon scales, looked at catfish-flood-dragon, nodded and said, "Those are just trifles, not worth mentioning at all. If you need any help from me in the future, you can look for me in the capital city of Great Yan Dynasty, Ji City, at Duke Yan Le's Mansion."
Catfish-flood-dragon and three great demons exchanged a glance, then shook their heads at the same time. "We can't go there! That is not the place we should go! As part of aquatic clans, we cannot leave too far from the water. We know about Ji City. There are many birds and beasts from the mountains and forests which have attained a considerable cultivation base. They had joined Great Yan Dynasty and become their sinecures. Among them, there are three Beast Kings and two Bird Kings who are equally famous as our Old Dragon King, and a few other demon kings who live a secluded life. They all are the sinecures of Great Yan Dynasty. But as we are aquatic demons, our power will be weakened once we come out from the water, and we don't feel comfortable staying on the land. We won't go there."
Then, Le Hai joined the conversation and said with a sneer, "We, the aquatic clan of Longyuan River, have a deep enmity with the subordinates of those few birds and beasts. As they are Great Yan Dynasty's sinecures, how could we visit that place? If we do that, perhaps we could never return! Although those old demons are staying in the depth of Meng Mountains and only listen to Great Yan Dynasty's imperial edict but never obey them, many of their disciples and followers are working in the imperial court of Great Yan Dynasty. The enmity between us is too great. Thus, Ji City is not a place we should visit."
These few aquatic demons kept shaking their heads, then rode on their clouds and flew towards the direction of Longyuan River.
Meanwhile, Wu Qi was struck dumb by the information given out by them! A few demon kings equally famous as Wanying Dragon King were Great Yan Dynasty's sinecures? But why had Yan Dan and his brothers never told Wu Qi about it? But then, it did make sense. Weren't Xiong Qing and his brothers demon bears who lived in mountain forest? All twelve of them had joined Great Yan Dynasty and become imperial guards, then how about their parents, or other seniors in their clan? How could they have nothing to do with Great Yan Dynasty?
Staring at the demon clouds that went further in the sky, Wu Qi shook his head lightly. Sure enough, he should never underestimate anybody under the heaven. So, Yan Dan did have a great trump card hiding somewhere! Based on this new finding, weren’t the so-called thirteen sects that cultivated the Dao of Immortal in Great Yan Dynasty merely a joke? What was the use of these thirteen sects? Were they trying to make fun of the people under the heaven?
Wu Qi looked over his shoulder at the Qin army, who almost faded away in the horizon, and breathed out a long sigh. Luckily, Qin army did not leave Meng Mountains and attacked Great Yan Dynasty. If those sinecures of Great Yan Dynasty struck out, this great army of Qin would have to definitely suffer. No wonder Yan Dan could just delegate his responsibility, dwell in a prolonged cultivation and never pay any attention to the state affairs, causing the internal of Great Yan Dynasty to be in a pandemonium. As long as the dynasty was guarded by demon kings who had cultivated their Nascent Divinity, he would never have to fear that someone might seize the throne from him.
"Wu Qi, you're such a poor little thing, taking the blame for others for no reasons. All the people under the heaven must have thought that I'm the one who wiped out the Wei Merchant in Great Yan. Who should I complain to about this wrongful treatment? Lu Buwei, oh Lu Buwei, I hope you will never seek revenge on me!" He sighed again, rode on a bright beam and plunged into the ground at a far distance, where one of his secret hideouts was located.
Inside his secret hideout, Wu Qi spent half a month to digest all Gold Cores he had gathered this time, nearly one hundred of them. After that, all ten False Cores of his had finally produced a thread of Innate Nectar which belonged to him, and the once fog-like cores had begun emitting a faint silvery-white glow, becoming much denser than before. His cultivation base was now many times stronger than before.
While digesting those Gold Cores, he also kept digesting the blood essence obtained from catfish-flood-dragon, using it to further strengthen his muscles.
Like the Acquired Pearl of Fire Element which Wu Qi owned, the black pearl used by catfish-flood-dragon was also a natural Spirit Item formed entirely from Acquired Water element essences. It was an Acquired Pearl of Water Element, and contained very powerful Water element energies in it. After giving it a preliminary refining, Wu Qi placed it in his dantian, using his own energies to keep nourishing the pearl. The pearls of Fire and Water element were now wheeling ceaselessly like a diagram of Taiji, and nourished by this two pearls, Wu Qi's heart and kidneys had become stronger. The blood and energy flowing in his body had also been greatly improved.
Meanwhile, the several dozen treasures Wu Qi obtained from catfish-flood-dragon's cave had greatly surprised him. Wu Qi reckoned that the cave must have been found accidentally by her, and those treasures should also have been found together with the cave.
These treasures were all refined by the earlier owner, and had pretty excellent power. Presumably, the cave originally belonged to some senior cultivators. There were many lower-grade magical treasures among them which were not worth mentioning, but there was a tiny diamond-shaped mirror that caught Wu Qi's attention. The mirror was beautifully fashioned into a diamond shape, its back engraved with numerous interlocking ancient runes, and there was a large water cloud behind the face of it, fading and emerging constantly.
There was also a tiny knob found on the back, shape like three interlocking little alligators, with two tiny characters engraved on it - 'Cold Electric'.
Wu Qi sent his divine sense into the mirror. Vaguely, he detected a divine sense in it. It seemed like a mirror which almost gave birth to its own Item Spirit. Perhaps it was because the catfish-flood-dragon did not obtain any specific legacy regarding the mirror that she actually did not discover its great usage, and just simply placed it in her cave. She did not even think of taking it out and fighting the enemies.
According to Wu Qi's judgment, this Cold Electric Mirror was much more precious than the Water element pearl. But too bad, in the hands of catfish-flood-dragon, the great treasure was covered with a thick layer of dust, unable to bring its power into play. He casually wiped the face of the mirror and sent a thread of energy into it. Then, according to the runes found on the back of the mirror, he performed an incantation gesture, unleashing a stream of spirit light that flashed on the face of the mirror. In an instant, a bright gleam shimmered, as several dozens of very tiny electric arcs shot out at lightning speed, piercing deeply into a small cliff wall a few miles away.
The Yin thunder exploded soundlessly, turning the one thousand feet tall cliff wall into powder that drifted and wafted in the air. No matter it was the unleashing of electric arcs or the explosion of the Yin thunder, none of them made any sound, truly worthy of the name of Cold Electric. Wu Qi was very satisfied with the power of this mirror. It was an ultimate weapon that he could use to launch a sneak attack from someone's back!
Now, with this Cold Electric Mirror in his possession, those crossbows lying quietly in his storage ring could be officially retired.
He could hardly bear to put down the mirror and kept fiddling with it in his hands for some time. Then, he tried to calculate how many days he came into Meng Mountains for using his fingers. The result made him nearly jump out of his skin, as it had been quite a long time! He sprang up hastily, carefully left the secret cave using the teleportation formation, rode on the sword beam and flew towards the outside of the mountains at top speed.
After a few days of high-speed flying, Wu Qi had finally left the boundary of Meng Mountains and landed outside Meng Village.
Right after he walked into Meng Village, which was now packed with people and construction material, he saw Meng Xiaobai run quickly towards him.
"You're finally back, big brother! According to your strategy and planning, Duke Chengfeng has reached the last step, nearly getting the mission accomplished!"
Meng Xiaobai paused for a brief moment, let out a wry smile and continued, "But currently, the capital city of Gao Ling Kingdom is protected by a few talisman masters from Heavenly Spirit Sect. Duke Chengfeng has no idea how to take them down!"
Upon hearing what Meng Xiaobai said, a spark of wrath immediately rose in Wu Qi's heart. It was the Heavenly Spirit Sect again?!
 Taiji Diagram - A diagram in Chinese philosophy representing Taiji. Taiji is a Chinese cosmological term for the "Supreme Ultimate" state of undifferentiated absolute and infinite potential, the oneness before duality, from which Yin and Yang originate, can be compared with the old Wuji (無極, "without ridgepole"). (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taijitu)