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After tidying up the remains of the seven Human Immortals, emptying all seven storage rings of theirs and hanging them around his neck with a chain, Wu Qi rode on his sword beam and left Meng Mountains, rushing to meet Lu Chengfeng in Green Sun City. The city had been thoroughly purged now, and a new mighty city would be built at the same location. It would serve as the capital city of the future Yuanyang Kingdom. According to the agreement of three parties, both the Lu Kingdom and the Li Shan Kingdom should bear seventy percent of the construction cost for the new city.

Wu Qi spent a few days helping Lu Chengfeng in managing some affairs, and when everything was properly settled, the company took a detour to the capital city of Lu Kingdom. They used the teleportation formation there to travel back to Ji City. Great Yan Dynasty had already begun using Spatial Breaching Spirit Gold in many vassal kingdom's teleportation formations. As a result, when Wu Qi and his company used the formation and made their return, the energies used by the formation were reduced by at least one hundred times. Although their group consisted of over several thousand men, the formation did not even need to replace new energy stones.

When they came out from the teleportation formation in the barbican southwest of the Imperial Palace, snowflakes were already falling from the sky like a myriad of feathers. Some whirled and landed on Wu Qi's head and shoulder, bringing him a cold sensation that freshened his spirit. He took in a deep breath, then breathed out a white gas that sprayed to a very far distance. Taking the time of inhaling and exhaling, Wu Qi had his eyes quickly glance over those Human Immortals who were on duty in the barbican.

These Human Immortals were wearing the same expressions when they saw Lu Chengfeng and some other men, but when a few of them saw Wu Qi, their expressions suddenly turned stiff. Some even had their eyes flashed with killing intents. Although it appeared that they were trying their best in suppressing themselves, but Wu Qi could still sense their hostility towards him.

According to the confession made by the old lady from Heavenly Spirit Sect, supposedly, these Human Immortals were from that Myriad Dao Alliance, and they should have known that Wu Qi was under the hunt by Gold Core Elders sent out by Heavenly Spirit Sect. That explained why they had such a shocked expression when they saw Wu Qi was able to return safely to Ji City, and ended up leaking out their killing intent.

Myriad Dao Alliance was a loose organization formed by a group of strongest cultivators from thirteen Immortal Dao Sects of Great Yan Dynasty.

Not including Heaven Breaking Sword Sect, who only had been founded slightly over six hundred years, among all thirteen Immortal Dao Sects of Great Yan Dynasty, a few of them were founded at the same time as the establishment of Great Yan Dynasty. The time of over two thousand years was way more than enough for these sects to cultivate a great deal of Earth Immortals of Nascent Soul realm. According to Great Yan Dynasty's Imperial law, whenever a sect gave birth to a new Earth Immortal, he or she would have to separate from their original sect, join the 'Cloud Swallow Pavilion' formed by Great Yan Dynasty, and became one of the Imperial Sinecures, never showing themselves before the public.

Due to the strict control Great Yan Dynasty imposed over all the Immortal Dao Sects, among all these Earth Immortals, sixty percent were from the bloodline of Great Yan Dynasty's Imperial Clan, and they were the easiest group to control. Meanwhile, twenty percent of them were from influential clans that belonged to Jing Ke, Qin Wuyang, Gao Jianli, and some other important ministers. Thus, there was no doubt about their loyalty. However, for the last nearly twenty percent of Earth Immortals, they did not come from Imperial Clan, nor from any of the influential clans.

Just like Nie Yaonu's childhood playmate-cum-first-lover, who was mysteriously killed by someone, this fraction of Earth Immortals had the background of ordinary civilians. Because of their outstanding talent in cultivating the Dao, they were chosen by some Immortal Dao Sects to further their cultivation. When they were in their respective sects, these group of people had always been bullied by their fellow disciples, who had the background of Imperial Clans or influential clans. Sometimes, they even had to face assassination. So, after going through the hardship and finally attaining the cultivation base of Earth Immortal, these group of people had become someone with a will of iron and outstanding talent. As a result, it wasn't hard to imagine how tough it would be for Great Yan Dynasty to try to control them.

Although this group of people had officially separated from their original sect, they were still tied with many apprentices and disciples in innumerable ways. How was it possible for Great Yan Dynasty to take away the connections between a master and his disciples? And when these Earth Immortals, who were discontented with the ways Great Yan Dynasty treated them, grouped together and shared their thoughts, a semi-public alliance of cultivators was formed.

On the whole, the high-level members of Great Yan Dynasty such as Yan Dan were delighted to see the existence of this Myriad Dao Alliance. This loosely organized alliance played a positive role in many aspects of Great Yan Dynasty. However, where there was sunlight, there would always be a shadow. Goodness only knew what these Earth Immortals of Myriad Dao Alliance were thinking in their mind. The second set of teleportation formation that was spread throughout every single vassal kingdoms of Great Yan Dynasty was actually secretly built by some powerful, influential Earth Immortals from the Myriad Dao Alliance.

Yan Dan and his company knew the existence of this second set of teleportation formations, but there was absolutely no way they could have the control over it. All these teleportation formations were always placed in remote and desolate places outside major cities in Great Yan Dynasty, and their location changed from time to time. Even the Scouting Office, Swallow, and some other secret organizations, who were well-known for their skills in poking into every nook and corner, failed in finding out the exact operating pattern of this teleportation formation. Also, as Earth Immortals of Nascent Soul realm already possessed the ability of Soul Search, even if they wished to deploy some undercover to investigate the detail, that would be something impossible as well.

Now, because Wu Qi had 'taken the lead and wiped out Wei Merchant', destroying one main source of income for Heavenly Spirit Sect, not only had he offended the Sect Leader and many Elders of Heavenly Spirit Sect, he also provoked some Earth Immortals in Myriad Dao Alliance who came from Heavenly Spirit Sect. To make things worse, among all thirteen Gold Core Elders who were killed, two of them were the direct descendants of some Earth Immortals. This debt of blood had also been counted as one of Wu Qi's contribution.

When he heard the confession from that old lady, Wu Qi could not help but raise his head up and look at the sky. He heard nothing coming from the heaven, he heard no roaring of winter thunder, nor did he see snowfall in June [1]. Nobody was complaining loudly about an alleged injustice for Wu Qi. Yan Dan had forcibly made Wu Qi the biggest contributor to the mission of wiping out Wei Merchant. Thus, no matter he liked it or not, he had become a scapegoat. Although those Earth Immortals of Myriad Dao Alliance did not have the courage to challenge Great Yan Dynasty, or to be more precise, Yan Dan, if they wanted to kill Wu Qi, that would be as simple as playing a game.

As a result, Ling Wuju and his four fellow Gold Core brothers brought their sect's cornerstone treasure to hunt down Wu Qi. Myriad Dao Alliance's teleportation formation was opened up for them, and Wu Qi was besieged by Human Immortals of Gold Core realm in the depth of Meng Mountains. If not because Wu Qi possessed nearly endless trump cards, he would have had long been crushed to ashes.

Looking at those few Human Immortals with unsightly expression, thoughts began spinning and wheeling fast in Wu Qi's mind. After a short moment, Wu Qi suddenly let out a sharp cry, "I want to see His Majesty! I want to see his Majesty! Your loyal subordinate, Marquis of Tianyun, Wu Qi, requests to see Your Majesty!"

Wu Qi roared out with the loudest voice he could. With his current cultivation base, his voice rolled and echoed out in the entire Imperial Palace, shook the walls of the barbican and made them produce buzzing noises. Thick snow on the ground was blown far away, chicken were sent flying and dogs were jumping everywhere. On the top of city walls, archery tower, artillery tower, countless strongbow and ballistae turned their noses and aimed right at Wu Qi. A group of several dozen Gold Core Imperial Guards sprung into the sky on their sword beams. One of them, who was clad in an outfit of Imperial Eunuch, with a cultivation base at peak-stage Gold Core realm, gave a stern cry at Wu Qi, "How dare you! Do you know what this place is? This is not a place where you can shout like a mad dog!"

Beside him, another Imperial Eunuch with the same peak-stage Gold Core cultivation base pointed his finger at Wu Qi and roared out furiously, "Somebody, bring down this absolutely lawless Marquis Tianyun immediately. He has disturbed His Majesty, and according to the Imperial Law of Great Yan, he shall be punished with three hundred strikes! What an unruly fellow! You're just a mere Marquis of Tianyun, how dare you act wantonly in the Imperial Palace?"

Wu Qi glared at the two Gold Core eunuchs, then, under the panicked glances from Lu Chengfeng and his company, he exerted all his energies and roared out slowly and steadily, word by word, "Iron Armor Army of Great Qin, the emperor of Qin Dynasty - Ying Zheng, the chief general of Great Qin, Prince of Wu'an, Bai Qi… the leader of Great Qin internal ministers - Xu Fu… the Prime Minister of Great Qin - Li Si… the mighty generals of Great Qin - Wang Jian, Li Xin."

Hovering in midair on their flying swords, two Gold Core eunuchs became even more furious, and at the same time, more alarmed. They pointed their fingers at Wu Qi, their bodies shivering from top to toe, and cried out angrily, "Ridi... ridiculous! You, you... what nonsense are you talking about?! Marquis Tianyun, are you having a hysteria, or you are just plain crazy or stupid? Somebody, bring Marquis Tianyun down immediately. Punish him with three hundred stroke strikes, then send some physicians to have a look at him!"

Before the furious cries of two eunuchs could fade away, a wild wind suddenly rolled by, bringing Yan Dan, Jing Ke, Gao Jianli, and all the core members of Great Yan Dynasty to this barbican. Upon their arrival, Ma Yi, who stood closely behind Yan Dan, gazed at the two Gold Core eunuchs hovered in midair from the corners of his eyes. Then he snapped, "Come down right now! Why are you still standing up there? I want a curfew in the surrounding area. No one is allowed to come here. Those who dare intrude, kill!"

Groups of secret agents from Swallows, which were under the direct control of Gao Jianli came, replaced the guarding soldiers and took over the security of this barbican.

Except for Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng, all other retinues were chased out from the barbican. When the surrounding was finally quiet and free from distraction, only then Yan Dan walked slowly up and came before Wu Qi, asking him in a low voice and a gloomy expression, "What did you say just now? Wu Qi, you little kid, what nonsenses are you talking about? You've gone out for several months, what had you bumped into? Hmm? Are you really having a hysteria or something?"

Yan Dan's body was shivering, clenching both fists tightly and staring right into Wu Qi's eyes. An immense pressure surged out from his body. Beside them, Lu Chengfeng had already dropped to his knees as he bowed and bid his greeting at Yan Dan. Meanwhile, Wu Qi rolled his eyes and looked back into Yan Dan's face, gnashing his teeth and held up his index finger while saying, "Unless Your Majesty can guarantee Wu Qi an absolute safety in Great Yan, Wu Qi would know nothing about what I said just now. Whatever Ying Zheng, whatever Nine Dragons Cauldron Grand Magic, Bone Bugle of Dragon Ying, Universal Water Spirits Divine Cauldron of Yu the Great… I've no idea what all these names are."

Yan Dan was struck dumb. The corner of his lips twitched, then he asked in a cold voice, "Who wants to kill you?"

Wu Qi stared at Yan Dan, snorted coldly and said, "I've no idea who, but someone from Myriad Dao Alliance is trying to kill me, and Heavenly Spirit Sect had already sent someone to hunt me down. I believe that Your Majesty is not aware of this matter, but I hope this won't happen again in the future."

Without being urged by Yan Dan, using the most concise words, Wu Qi began narrating his experience of being pursued by Elders of Heavenly Spirit Sect in Meng Mountains. Of course, he had excluded many details that could not be exposed to, such as his secret caves.

After finishing with that, he looked at Yan Dan, whose expression turned extremely unsightly, and continued saying in a cold voice, "No matter what, Wu Qi has performed many deeds of valor, and I'm the Marquis of Tianyun personally conferred by Your Majesty. I even had my fief doubled once, which made me own three hundred cities to the south of Huai Yang. But, there are Gold Core Elders from Heavenly Spirit Sect trying to kill me, and some random Nascent Soul Patriarchs from Myriad Dao Alliance also want to kill me. I fear that once I step out from Imperial Palace, I'll be immediately killed by some Earth Immortals. I've no other choice but to seek help from Your Majesty."

After a moment of silence, Yan Dan nodded with a smile and said, "What an undaunted and reckless Heavenly Spirit Sect. What makes them so brave trying to kill you? This is the first time I've learned about this. But don't you worry. No matter who the one that pulls wool over my eyes is, hiding this incident from me, I'll find that person out and bring justice to you. But, how did you escape from the pursuit of twelve Gold Core Human Immortals?"

Wu Qi did not waste time in talking. He simply pulled out the token given to him by Wanying Dragon King and handed over to Yan Dan.

As Wu Qi expected, Yan Dan did recognize this token, as he gave a loud laugh and said, "So it is all because of that old dragon who refused to be one of Great Yan's Sinecure? Hehe, so it was he who helped you kill those people from Heavenly Spirit Sect? Now I understand everything."

Wu Qi was laughing in his mind, as Yan drew out the conclusion himself, without Wu Qi trying to deceive him.

Yan Dan pondered in silence for a brief moment, then nodded and said, "I've now understood the causes and effects of this event. I'll personally bring the warning to somebody, so that they will never touch even a single hair of yours. Now tell me, tell me about that Ying... Ying Zheng." Yan Dan fixed his eyes right at Wu Qi's face, while Jing Ke, Gao Jianli and all the other men walked up to him as well. They surrounded Wu Qi like a pack of fierce stray cats, who was a mere little mouse.

There was a green gleam shimmering in the eyes of these few Great Yan Dynasty's core members, while sending forth a bizarre air that felt rather unusual.

Wu Qi dared not waste any more time and quickly told them everything that he went through in the mountains. Of course, he still excluded many details in the entire process, and only highlighted his credit of how he cudgeled his brains and used the conflicts between Qin army and Wanying Dragon King to kill a great amount of Qin army, and even severely wounded Ying Zheng.

Yan Dan kept staring at Wu Qi in a daze, then asked hastily, "You really severely wounded that Ying Zheng? And even killed several tens of thousands of his army?"

Wu Qi nodded his head and quickly swore a few vicious curses, then shyly he said, "Everything I said is true. But, I did not contribute too much of effort in the entire process, as it was all done by Wanying Dragon King himself. Tsk, you have no idea how many millions of aquatic demons in Longyuan River were sacrificed in the battle… What a tragic scene!"

Yan Dan could not help but burst out into wild laughter. He stretched his arm out and heavily nudged on Wu Qi's chest, then said with a loud laugh, "Announce my decree: those who kill ten thousand Qin soldiers will be conferred with the title of Marquis, and those who kill one hundred thousand Qin soldiers will be conferred the title of Duke. Also, those who inflict a severe wound to the emperor and ministers of Qin Dynasty, or kill famous and important ministers of Qin Dynasty, will be rewarded handsomely!"

Wu Qi thrust his chest forward immediately. It seemed he had just been conferred with the title of Duke?

[1] 'he heard no roaring of winter thunder, of snowflakes in June' - This is a play usually found in drama. When someone suffers an injustice treatment, thunder would suddenly roar even in the winter, and snow would fall even in June.

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