And so, the imperial banquet started. Except for Yan Dan, who had got it all worked out and was perfectly calm, only Princess Zhang Le could enjoy the meal with great appetite, as she never really bothered by what was going on. For all the other people including Wu Qi, the food tasted no better than chewed tallow. Many of them looked dispirited and discouraged, while they kept running their eyes across the surroundings.
After Mo Di and that old mister Xun came to the dais, the five great demon kings, who made their debut just now with an easy grace while looking unperturbed, became rather restless with anxiety. They kept sizing up Mo Di and old mister Xun from the corners of their eyes, and every now and then, some menacing demonic energies would leak out from their bodies. On the other hand, threatened by the demonic energies, Mo Di and old mister Xun had no choice but to emanate energies of similar strength to counter them.
The energies of both men blended together, and surprisingly, they could actually fight equally with the five demon kings. This made Wu Qi gasp with astonishment.
Wu Qi knew Mo Di pretty well. But from Yan Dan's introduction, that old mister Xun was really the Xun Kuang who Wu Qi had guessed. He was one of the ministers in the state of Zhao during the late Warring States period, Han Fei and Li Si’s teacher. Although he was the minister of Zhao, Wu Qi had no idea why he had abandoned the state of Zhao and lived in seclusion in Great Yan.
The term of 'living in seclusion' was a very frightening term. Xun Kuang had the ability of teaching and bringing out someone like Li Si and Han Fei, and he had lived in a seclusion for over two thousand years in Great Yan Dynasty, only to be known by the many ministers and influential members today. So, how many disciples and apprentices did he have in the course of two thousand years? And how many of them were geniuses that were comparable to Li Si and Han Fei? Also, among the many civilian and military ministers in the Imperial Court, how many of them were actually Xun Kuang's apprentices?
As Wu Qi knew the exact background of Xun Kuang, he felt his scalp go completely numb, and cold sweats break out all over his body.
So, this was one of the sharp claws that was hiding in the dark behind Great Yan Dynasty? Although only a tiny part of it was shown, it had greatly frightened Wu Qi and made his muscles turn stiff. Instinctively, he had gotten himself ready to flee from this place at any time. Actually, Xun Kuang did not bring any threat to Wu Qi, as there was no enmity between them. But, as the overall strength represented by Xun Kuang was way too incredible and frightful, Wu Qi felt like he was a little bunny who just heard the wild roars of a savage beast. His instincts told him to run away from the danger as far as possible.
After a while, he finally managed to suppress the shock in his mind. Then, Wu Qi stole a glance at Han Fei, who sat right next to Su Qin.
Wooden, a man who looked like a wooden pillar; this was the first impression Wu Qi had of Han Fei. From his outlook alone, no one could relate him to a man with a brilliant mind and extraordinary talents. When he took up the wine glass and drank the wine, when he used the chopsticks to pick up some meat, every movement looked exactly like a wooden puppet. He was precise and formal, yet there was a touch of stiffness in his movements. Su Qin was seen babbling endlessly beside him, but Han Fei only moved his lips every now and then, replying Su Qin with a few polite remarks.
The atmosphere in the hall had become unusually queer. As if deep in thought, some ministers were stealing glances at Su Qin, Han Fei, and Xun Kuang. Su Qin, a pedantic old fogey who spent years fooling around in the Editor Academy of Great Yan Dynasty, made his sudden debut in the drill ground and made a bet with many influentials. The incident had already struck awe in many people's mind. But to their shock, he was actually invited to the dais and was drinking together with Yan Dan. This had made more people be overwhelmed with terror.
As for Xun Kuang and Han Fei, not many people in the Imperial Court of Great Yan Dynasty knew them actually.
Mo Di had founded the Mo Sect, occupied a piece of land and turned it into the Mo Forest, the place where he could teach. The influential officials of Great Yan would request him to craft all kinds of magical items for their descendants from time to time, so he was no stranger to everyone. But who were this Xun Kuang and Han Fei? What were their roles and what rights did they have to sit drinking right next to Yan Dan? Also, they looked perfectly calm and composed, a sign that they were on intimate terms with Yan Dan.
And there was one more thing that shocked them the most. The joined hands of Mo Di and Xun Kuang could actually counter the demonic energies emanated by all five demon kings. What kind of cultivation base and overall strength could have done that? Old mister Mo Di had a great reputation in Great Yan Dynasty. Thus, it was not surprising for him to have such a formidable cultivation base. But how about Xun Kuang? A man who was unknown to many, yet he actually possessed the cultivation base of Nascent Divinity realm. Were there any more fearsome men like him hiding somewhere in Great Yan Dynasty? If there were, how many of them were there?
Wu Qi turned his head and happened to see a drop of cold sweat flow down from Yu Wende's brows, and then drip down from his nose into his wine glass.
Yu Wende noticed that Wu Qi was looking at him. He raised the wine glass up smilingly and gulped down the wine that was mixed with his own cold sweat.
"The composition of sweat is roughly the same as pee, just that they are coming out from different parts of the body. So, this guy likes to drink his own pee?" Wu Qi though inwardly and sneered mischievously, looking coldly at Yu Wende. Then, he sighed and murmured under his breath, "If you have done nothing wrong, why should you be afraid of Xun Kuang and Han Fei? The Editor Academy is the territory of Yu Clan… and Su Qin, the old fogey, had been hiding and fooling around in there? Interesting, this is interesting!"
He raised the wine glass up and return a toast to Yu Wende. After that, Wu Qi turned to Lu Chengfeng and said in a low voice, "Now, without a strong overall strength, it will be very tough for us to survive in Great Yan Dynasty. West General, the Chief Supervisor of West Field Headquarter, it seems that your cultivation base is still at Respiration tier of Xiantian realm, eh?"
Lu Chengfeng covered his face with his hand and gave an unsightly smile. Then, he complained in a low voice, "You have no idea how many things I've to manage in West Supervisor Court. Fortunately, Quyuan and my friends are here, as they have lifted some burdens off my shoulder. I should be able to have more free time after some days. Then, I'll work on my cultivation and spend some time in studying the Arts of Heaven Patching Formation."
Wu Qi shook his head and said, "There's not enough time for that. Your West Field Headquarter is facing the Qin army straight, and you are the Chief Supervisor who is in charge of the rear supply and military law. If I am the Great Qin's commander in chief, you will be my first target for assassination. Without sufficient overall strength, you will be dead within three days after you assume the position."
He reached out to his finger and pulled out two storage rings, each with a very large capacity, and handed them over to Lu Chengfeng.
"Keep these rings. There are energy stones and various materials you can use to study the Dao of Formation. Also, you can find some talismans in them, which are from those Elders of Heavenly Spirit Sect which I've killed. Many of these talismans are very powerful, able to hurt or even kill Earth Immortals of Nascent Soul realm. Use them with care. As for the many life-saving spirit pills, they were looted by me as well. Take them with you as they can come in handy. The most important thing is the 15kg blood essence of flood dragon, and a body strengthening technique from the flood dragon clan. Use the technique and absorb all the blood essence in three days."
Lu Chengfeng took over the rings and wore them on his fingers, then asked excitedly, "So, after absorbing and digesting the blood essence of flood dragon, I will become invulnerable like a flood dragon?"
Wu Qi shook his head and said, "The reason why the Human Immortal of Gold Core realm is called Human Immortal is because at the realm of Gold Core, the primary focus is at the accumulation of energies, and doesn't require the cultivator to understand the Heavenly Dao. As long as the corporeal body can endure the process, you should use the quickest speed in forming your Gold Core, and then focus on increasing your cultivation base of Gold Core realm. I'll find ways to let you form your Gold Core in one month, and try my best to increase your cultivation base."
Clenching his fists tightly, Wu Qi chuckled and said, "If you do not want your body to explode into pieces, then try your best to absorb all the flood dragon blood essence. Only with a strong enough body can you withstand the impact of energies and form your Gold Core. With the overall strength of Gold Core realm, the power of the formations constructed by you would increase by at least ten times. You should know this very well, a Master of Formation can always fight enemies who are stronger than him."
A bright gleam was shimmering in Lu Chengfeng's eyes. Now he understood what Wu Qi was trying to tell him. A Master of Formation could always fight enemies who were stronger than himself. As long as he could form his Gold Core, he would be able to construct the formations of Seven Stars, the Eight Trigrams, and the Nine Halls, which were more than enough to trap ordinary Nascent Soul cultivators. Even if he could not kill them, it would be no problem for him to keep his life safe. With that, once the war between Great Yan and Great Qin erupted, he would have the confidence to keep himself safe.
Only the Human Immortals of Gold Core realm could use such a hasty method. With a strong body that was able to withstand the impact of energies, they could always increase their cultivation base at an incredible speed. When a cultivator stepped into the realm of Nascent Soul, he would have to gain enlightenment of the Heaven and Earth, fusing the Dao of Heaven and Earth into his own Nascent Soul. That was the only way to progress at that stage. At that point in time, the cultivator could still use such evil techniques to increase his cultivation base quickly, but that would cause him to have an unstable foundation. Usually, such a cultivator would have to face a deadly consequence.
While both men were busy discussing how to help Lu Chengfeng increase his cultivation base and make sure that he would not self-explode during the process, the main door of the hall was suddenly pushed open by someone. The strong wind rushed through the open door and brought along a large amount of snow into the hall. Amidst the biting cold air was a faint smell of blood. Then, Yue Yi, clad in a black heavy armor and a dark cloak dragging behind his back, walked into the hall with a sword held in his hand.
After taking one hundred steps into the hall, Yue Yi went down on his knee before the dais. He bowed his head and cried out in a deep voice, "Your Majesty, my youngest son, Yue Xu, was killed by someone."
Many ministers in the hall immediately straightened their back, their eyes filled with the look of delight at the misfortunes of others as they turned t look at Wu Qi. A few imperial eunuchs quickly closed the door in a flurry, preventing the cold wind and snow from blowing into the hall. The cold wind that had come into the hall moments ago vanished completely after whirling for a while, causing the candlelight to flicker and the shadows on the wall to sway.
Amidst the swaying shadows and light, a strange smile emerged on Yu Wende's face, which was noticed by Wu Qi.
Above the dais, the five demon kings, Mo Di and Xun Kuang, had retracted their aura. When these Nascent Divinity existences retracted their aura, they looked no different than ordinary old men.
Yan Dan looked down at Yue Xu loftily, who was kneeling on one knee below. After a long while, he began speaking in an indifferent voice, "It was Yue Xu who started the provocation. Both of them signed the official paper of a deathmatch, and he was killed by Duke of Tianyun in a fair fight."
"If not for someone playing tricks in secret, Yue Xu would not have died," said Yue Yi in a deep voice.
Suddenly, Jing Ke slammed both hands on the table before him. His eyes went wide as he stared at Yue Yi like a fierce tiger. Gao Jianli quickly grabbed his shoulder and pushed him back to the seat, while Tian Guang was holding on Jing Ke's thigh from the side, using all his strength to prevent him from standing up again. Meanwhile, Qin Wuyang was still drinking and eating, as if what was happening had nothing to do with him.
"During his youth, Duke of Tianyun had consumed some spirit medicines, which made his body as sturdy as flood dragon, and was able to form his Gold Core with external forces." said Yan Dan indifferently, "He had also purchased two Acquired Spirit Pearls in the auction of Rare Treasures Conference. And that is the reason why he was able to kill Yue Xu. No one is playing tricks in secret. Do you understand me, Yue Yi?"
"Yue Xu shouldn't be dead." said Yue Yi.
Suddenly, Wu Qi straightened his back, sneered and said, "Does that mean I am the one who deserved to be killed? Yue Yi, is this what you're trying to say? Your grandson had provoked me with his spear and pierced a large hole in my shoulder. Not only that, he even repeatedly accused me of being an assassin. F*ck the assassin!"
Although Yan Dan was in front of him, Wu Qi just cursed as his will. "Although he had the cultivation base of peak-stage Gold Core realm, Yue Xu still provoked me, a mere Xiantian Daoist. Fortunately, luck was with me, as I managed to forcibly form my Gold Core with a mystic technique, and finally killed him before everyone. Yue Yi, is that only the people from your clan can kill me, and I can't kill them for the sake of defending myself?"
Yue Yi rose, turned looking at Wu Qi and said indifferently, "Yue Yi was a warrior. A warrior only considers life and death, and pays no attention to right or wrong."
He gave Wu Qi a cold look, then turned his head disdainfully, cupping his fist at Yan Dan as he said, "Your Majesty, please pardon my misconduct of returning to Ji City without authorization. I'll return to the frontline now and put down the rebellion. I'll bring Yue Xiao with me and train him in the frontline. Duke of Tianyun, please remember this, you have just made yourself one more enemy in Great Yan."
Cupping his fist and bowing towards Yan Dan, Yue Yi spun and strode out from the hall.
Wu Qi let out a cold laugh. There was a bright, five colored gleam flickering in his eyes.