Inside the abode, Wu Qi's entire body was seen shrouded in wisps of black gases. Vaguely, there were cries of a dragon that could be heard coming from his throat. His muscles were wriggling and creeping endlessly, moving up and down in a manner that no human muscle could have achieved. At the same time, startling sounds of muscle and bone cracking and mending were echoing out from his body ceaselessly.
A threatening pressure kept spreading out from his body. At this point in time, Wu Qi did not look like a human, but an ancient beast that came from the time of antiquity. Both of his palms were spreading like a pair of dragon claws, while strange incantation gestures were being performed one after another, guiding the enormous flood dragon blood essence to slowly flow through his body, strengthening his corporeal body continuously.
After relying on the massive energy essence and medicinal strength contained in Shi Tianmo and his son's body to obtain the Dharma Body of Earth Immortal, Wu Qi's body had become as strong as an alloy ingot. However, with the mystic body strengthening technique of the dragon clan that the black dragon gave him, the 'Dragon Transformation Script', it had transformed his body from an alloy ingot to a divine weapon that had gone through hundreds and thousands of times of tempering. His muscle had become denser, tougher, and sharper. It helped him become stronger, and possess even greater offensive strength.
On top of that, as the blood essence of flood dragon contained a very powerful life force, it made Wu Qi's vitality become extremely vigorous and healthy. No matter it was the flow of his energy and blood, or the recovery ability of his muscles, all of them had gained an exponential increment.
Although he had only cultivated for seven days, the functioning of his muscles had gone through a tremendous transformation. Back in the day in Meng Mountains, with the cultivation base of Gold Core realm, Bai Qitian was able to fight equally with Wu Qi, who had tempered his body with his previous body strengthening technique. But if Bai Qitian still dared to have a fist fight with Wu Qi now, his body would definitely be smashed into powder form by Wu Qi.
Feeling the immense power that surged through his body like a raging river, feeling the body which had its density and weight increased significantly, Wu Qi clapped his hands lightly and slowly rose from the bed. The black gases around him gradually retracted back into his body, then Wu Qi suddenly punched his fist forward. The air in front of the fist compressed and exploded, generating a very loud popping sound.
Compared to seven days ago, the toughness of his body had increased by about thirty percent, and his meridians had also widened by about ten percent. The total volume and the quality of the energy in his body had improved as well. All of this would bring a huge benefit to Wu Qi's future cultivation. As a matter of fact, this was the reason why the magic power and ability used by dragon clan was usually stronger than ordinary Immortals at the same level, as they possessed an intrepid body, which could contain stronger and purer magical power.
He touched the Black Dragon Spirit Ring and gave out words of warning in a cold voice, "Do what an Item Spirit should, and don't always think about how mighty you were in the past. When you were still alive, you were just a lower-grade Heaven Immortal of Thirty-third Tier, there is nothing to be proud of. Can't you see that your body had been crafted into a Spirit Item now? At any rate, remember my words: as long as I live, you'll get back your freedom one day. If I die, your soul will vanish into nothingness with me. Therefore, do your best to protect me and don't be lazy."
The black dragon poked half of his head out from the ring and gave a whine, then quickly plunged back into the ring. The surrounding natural energies kept being absorbed into the ring through the face, and the scales on the ring began to gradually emanate with a pale glow, making the ring look less eye-catching.
Served by a few maids, Wu Qi washed his face and rinsed his mouth, changed into a clean pale-green long robe and draped a loose white feather mantle over his shoulder. He called upon Meng Xiaobai and a group of men loyal to him, rode on his mount and went out from Duke Yan Le's Mansion. Wu Qi had ordered Xiong Yin to stay by Lu Chengfeng's side, and only brought Xiong Jin, Xiong Qing, and his five brothers together in this trip. Since Zhang Yi had made his appearance in Ji City, nobody knew if there were any other men from Great Qin hiding in the vicinity of Ji City. At present, Ji City had become even more dangerous than before.
There were too many things Wu Qi needed to settle, yet he could only depend on himself for those matters. There were some which had been dragged for a long time. Thus, he had to find some time to complete them.
Riding along the main street, the group of men left the inner city and came to the Mighty Martial Street, which had become rather empty and less flourishing. Wu Qi told a few words to Yan Bugui, then the latter brought a few secret agents from Scouting Office and escorted the administrators who managed the Mighty Martial Street over to him. They spent some time in exchanging some official papers, and without spending too much money, Wu Qi had officially taken over the ownership of all the houses and properties that originally belonged to Shi Martial Club and another twenty martial clubs in the Mighty Martial Street.
As Yan Dan had deployed an army to attack and purge the street, only less than ten percent of martial clubs still existed. The twenty martial clubs that Wu Qi took over occupied a vast land, and the houses and buildings in them were more than enough to house one hundred thousand soldiers.
He brought everyone and took a stroll in these twenty martial clubs, pointing here and there while telling everybody about how he wanted the place to be modified, such as the walls between different martial clubs had to be brought down, and new walls had to be built at the outer perimeter. He had Zhang Hu record down all his requests. Of course, the new wall at the outer perimeter could not be built of the same size as the city wall of Ji City, as that would make him be suspected for trying to plot a revolt. Apart from that, defensive mechanisms and traps were a must between different martial clubs. As a veteran barbarian hunter, Zhang Hu did not need too many instructions on how to build traps and defensive mechanisms, as he knew how that well.
After a round of inspection, Wu Qi and his company returned to the front door of Shi Martial Club. He raised his head and looked at the top of the front door. It was emptied now as the original plaque was removed. Wu Qi then pulled out a ten thousand years old ironwood pillar, very long and about ten feet in diameter. He thrust out Sword of Greedy Wolf and sliced it into a big plaque, that measured ten feet in height and eighty feet in length. After that, using the sword, he engraved a row of characters on it. It was a row of extremely arrogant characters - 'The Number One Martial Club Under the Heaven".
With a blank expression, Yan Bugui and all the people stared at this absurdly huge plaque, and the overly arrogant name engraved on it. They could not help but gasp. Contrary to them, Wu Qi was smiling satisfyingly while looking at his calligraphy. Then, he casually placed the plaque before the front door and said, "Xiaobai, find me a few expert craftsmen. Tell them not to use gold paint, I want pure gold. Emboss the plaque with pure gold, only then it will look exceptional!"
Meng Xiaobai forced a few laughs and answered the order.
Placing both arms on his chest, Wu Qi kept looking pleasingly at the plaque made by himself, then said, "In less than two days, the fifteen thousand soldiers mobilized from Little Meng City will arrive at Ji City, and those good friends of Young Master will come together with them. Prepare to receive them. Make those soldiers stay in our martial club and serve as the apprentices and disciples."
He paused, pointed his finger at Meng Xiaobai, Zhang Hu, Hu Wei, Luo Kedi, Ma Liang, all the retainers who worked for Lu Chengfeng, smiled and said, "You will be the instructors of this martial club. Train these soldiers properly. I want you to turn them into an army of elite soldiers. Actually, an army of fifteen thousand soldiers is far from enough. Once they are settled down, we will need to recruit all those rogue warriors in Ji City. It will be better if we can have an army of a hundred thousand soldiers."
Upon hearing Wu Qi's order, Yan Bugui quickly coughed a few times. "Wu Qi, the Dukes of Great Yan is classified into thirteen tiers. The Clan Leader of mine is the Duke of the highest tier, the tier of Purple Jade Seal. According to the Imperial Law of Great Yan, he is allowed to have a private army of three thousand soldiers. As for you, your title of Duke is the lowest one, the tier of Green Iron Seal, and you can't own more than one hundred private soldiers. When both of you combined, Duke Yan Le's Mansion can at most own a private army of not more than three thousand one hundred soldiers." He tried to remind Wu Qi.
Wu Qi turned and looked thoughtfully at Yan Bugui, nodded and said, "So according to what you said, the fifteen thousand soldiers that we spent months of hard work to bring here from Little Meng City do not conform to the Imperial Law of Great Yan?"
Yan Bugui quickly nodded his head and said, "Yes, that is a violation of the Imperial Law. Only the Eight Governing Princes and the other princes can have a private army of over ten thousand soldiers in Ji City. No matter it is Clan Leader Chengfeng or you, even with the combination of your title, if the private army of fifteen thousand soldiers is made known to others, we will be facing a huge trouble."
Wu Qi happily clapped his hands, smiled and said, "If that is the case, all the apprentices and disciples in this Number One Martial Club Under the Heaven have no relationship with Duke Yan Le's Mansion. It is purely a martial club. However, we can always hire them to do some works for us. Tell me, if we pay someone money and hire them to kill somebody for us, does this violate any of the Imperial Laws?"
Yan Bugui was speechless, then nodded his head helplessly.
Wu Qi laughed. He nodded his head satisfyingly and said, "That's what I mean! So, there is no relationship or whatsoever connections between this Number One Martial Club Under the Heaven, Duke of Yan Le, and me, Duke of Tianyun. They are just a 'plain', 'non-governmental' martial club, and all the apprentices and disciples are 'free people and rogue warriors'. And of course, we, from the Duke of Yan Le's Mansion, would 'occasionally pay them money' and hire them to do some works for us! That's totally legal!"
Yan Bugui twitched his lips, trying to say something. But in the end, he just shut his mouth.
Wu Qi laughed complacently, then beckoned at Meng Xiaobai and the group of men loyal to him while saying, "Alright, everybody follow me. Since this place is wide enough, I'll take this opportunity to give you all some benefits. All of you have been following me for a long time, and you've worked pretty hard. Wu Qi will never forget about my own brothers." Actually, the reason Wu Qi brought all six hundred elite soldiers from Meng Village, and all Hu Wei's subordinates here, was to give them some benefits.
The blood essence of flood dragon would make them be reborn completely and thoroughly, and after that, Wu Qi would teach them the body strengthening technique of flood dragons, which was given to him by catfish-flood-dragon.
After went through some period of observation, these men had gained a complete trust from him. They were all loyal and dependable men, and worthed every effort from Wu Qi’s side to help them become stronger. By giving them the blood essence and body strengthening technique of flood dragon, Wu Qi believed that in the future, they could at least attain the cultivation base of Respiration tier.
Meanwhile, the group of one hundred men from the Long Bo Kingdom would be the high-level force that Wu Qi could use in the future. He planned that for the next two days, he would concoct the Ancestral Awakening and Body Tempering Soup by hook or by crook, so that he could let these people from Long Bo Kingdom temper their bodies and increase their cultivation base as soon as possible.
While walking into the martial club, Wu Qi was thinking about those matters that he had to handle next. It was at this point he realized that he was overloaded with too many things. Not only did he have to cultivate, he also had to handle these miscellaneous matters, which was annoying and frustrating. He had to spend some time to carefully ponder and solve all these issues. Luckily, Lu Chengfeng's good friends, those sons of concubines from influential clans, were about to arrive at Ji City. Once they arrived, Wu Qi could have many of the burdens lifted off from his shoulders.
He had prepared an overall development strategy for Duke Yan Le's Mansion. Once these people arrived, he could then let them handle and settle many things he laid out in the strategy. At that point in time, Wu Qi could finally focus all his attention to cultivate his own Dao, and train and develop a group of powerful fighters who were only loyal to him. Only then would he be much relaxed.
While he was pondering about all these issues, from the other end of the Mighty Martial Street came a hurried clattering of hooves, deep and muffled like the roaring of thunder.
A Golden-eyed Qilin Horse with a single horn on its head, body fully covered by a layer of red scales, and red flaming clouds shrouding its four hooves, was seen charging madly like a streak of lightning from the far end of the street. On its back sat a general, clad in red heavy armor and holding an eighteen feet long golden coiling-dragon spear in his hand. A blinding flame shrouded the tip of the spear while the general and the qilin horse kept charging towards them.
Luo Kedi let out a furious cry. As he was standing at the outermost side, he drew his sword and greeted the heavy-armored general.
*CLANG!* In just a blink of an eye, Luo Kedi's sword was shattered into pieces by the golden spear. The spear continued thrusting forward, pierced into his right shoulder and came out from his back. It then raised him high up before throwing him several hundred feet away.
The Qilin Horse halted abruptly. The general slowly lifted the golden spear, pointed at Wu Qi and cried out, "Are you Duke of Tianyun, Wu Qi? Where did you jester come from? How dare you hurt my beloved son? I'm the general of the Tiger Howling Battalion of Great Yan, Yue Xu, also serving as the general to the vanguard army. I'm here to challenge the Duke of Tianyun, Duke Wu Qi... and I won't stop fighting until one of us is dead!"
After roaring out the last sentence, a large sheet of flame suddenly burst out from Yue Xu's body. Amidst the flame, one could see a fierce tiger leaping back and forth while roaring furiously.
Also, driven by his cultivation base of peak-stage Gold Core realm, Yue Xu's cry instantly echoed throughout the entire Ji City.