After returning to Ji City, when Wu Qi walked out from the civilian house he secretly purchased earlier, he was immediately shocked by the suffocating air of grievance that filled the entire sky above. It was so strong and dense that it simply condensed into a thick layer of gray clouds. Although only cultivators could see these clouds, they had affected the mood of ordinary civilians, bringing a very strange and bizarre atmosphere to the entire Ji City.
Wu Qi quickly sent out his divine will and gave the surroundings a brief scan, and the result brought him another shock. Hastily, he put on his imperial outfit, hung his identity token and the token of eight swallows on his waist, then sprung up into the air and flew towards the imperial palace with his flying sword.
The imperial palace of Great Yan Dynasty was located right at the center of Ji City. It had four main gateways, each facing right towards the four main roads of the city. Currently, in front of these four main gateways, countless scholars were seen kneeling on the ground with a white cloth tied around their foreheads. There were so many of them that the line stretched from the gateways to the outermost city gate of Ji City. More than five hundred thousand scholars with the same outfit were now kneeling on all four main roads of the city.
In their hands were held three incense sticks, the smoke curling up from the tip of the incense stick and rising continuously into the sky. Every now and then, these tens of thousands of scholars would cry out together, "The Great Qin is brutal and immoral, their emperor is utterly shameless. We beg Your Majesty for the imperial decree. Send out the army to attack the Great Qin and take revenge for our Master Yu!"
A suffocating air of grievance kept emitting from the bodies of these scholars. It was all because of them that there was a thick layer of gray cloud hovering above Ji City. Especially those scholars who were kneeling closest to the gateways of the imperial palace, the air of grievance that came out from their bodies was the strongest among them all. This group of scholars was wearing the imperial outfits of middle to lower tier officials in the imperial court, and all of them were the civilian officials of Great Yan Dynasty. The air of grievance that was emanating from their bodies could even be comparable to the fiercest ghosts. Wu Qi exercised the Mystic Eyes of Universe and gave them a look. He saw that the energies shrouding these civilian officials had turned pale dark.
"What is going on? I thought I just went for a few days only?" Wu Qi stared at the huge crowds of scholars in a daze, and could not help but twitch his lips.
A few secret agents of Scouting Office happened to pass by the roof. When they saw Wu Qi standing there, they quickly came to him. The secret agent that led the group let out a wry smile and answered his question, "Duke of Tianyun, you might not know this yet. Nine days ago, when the Chief Editor, the master of Yu Academy, Yu Wende, was on his way home after attending the imperial banquet, he was severely wounded by an assassin from Great Qin. He is in a critical condition now. All these scholars have either graduated from Yu Academy, or they were currently furthering their study in Yu Academy. Naturally, they are here to request justice against the culprit."
The leader lowered his voice and continued, "The situation here is still better, as a huge commotion has already broken out inside of the imperial palace. Some ministers are jumping up and down, asking His Majesty to declare an imperial decree immediately so they can send out an army to attack Great Qin. But, they did not even know where to find Great Qin Dynasty. How is the army going to set off?"
After he finished saying that, the group of secret agents cupped their fists at Wu Qi, spun and sprung away, carrying out their patrolling task. Although these scholars lacked the strength to even truss up a chicken, with just their mouths, their tongues, and their writing brushes, they could easily bring up a great commotion in Great Yan Dynasty. This was the first time in the history since Great Yan Dynasty was established that over tens of thousands of scholars presented a petition together. Thus, the people in Scouting Office did not dare to neglect the situation, fearing that some more serious issues might occur if they slacked in their duty.
Wu Qi remained standing on top of the roof and spent some time in looking at those scholars. At last, he shook his head, spun, and returned to Duke Yan Le's Mansion.
In the backyard of the mansion, Lu Chengfeng was seen slowly practicing a set of fist techniques. The technique looked soft and powerless, but in fact, all the energies inside his body had been gathered into a ball of energy. Using it, he was exercising all his bones, tendons and muscles, tempering his corporeal body. Obviously, he had completed the absorption and digestion of the blood essence that Wu Qi gave him. Now, the toughness of Lu Chengfeng's body had improved by many times, and when he shifted from technique to technique, punching out his fist and thrusting out his legs, there were always faint roars that could be heard.
Wu Qi controlled the sword beam and made it descend into the backyard. Then, he jumped off and stood right beside Lu Chengfeng.
Lu Chengfeng was greatly rejoiced upon seeing Wu Qi's return. He asked hastily, "What took you so many days to return? Have you encountered some troubles outside?"
Wu Qi shook his head, raised his left arm up and showed Lu Chengfeng his brand new wrist guard. "No, no troubles at all. Just that I accidentally wasted a little bit of time for the sake of getting myself two defensive tools." Both the Earth Element Dragon Scales Shield and the Chariot of Eight Dragons were treasures of very great power and high grade. Initially, Wu Qi thought he could settle them with just three days, but in the end, he spent a total of nine days only to complete the crafting and subduing of two precious treasures.
Knowing that Wu Qi was safe and sound, Lu Chengfeng quickly told him what happened in the past few days.
Yesterday was the auspicious day that Yan Qijun told them about. Lu Chengfeng had gone to the Imperial Shrine of Great Yan located in the depths of the imperial palace, then officially offered his prayers to the ancestors of Great Yan, and became one of the members in the core circle of Great Yan Dynasty. In addition to that, he also met Yan Buji in the Cloud Swallow Pavilion right next to the Imperial Shrine. Yan Buji, who was in a secluded cultivation and had given birth to his Nascent Soul after going through the death experience, expressed his great appreciation for Lu Chengfeng, and given him many benefits.
Apart from that, the most shocking news in the past few days was the petition of the scholars from Yu Academy.
Yu Wende's right chest was pierced through by a bolt shot out by Wu Qi, who disguised himself as an assassin from Great Qin. The entire right lung of his was ripped into pieces by the bolt. Although he was healed on time with some spirit pills, they only managed to keep him alive. He would need some immortal pills to have the right lung regrown, but that was something that they could not find in Ji City. After losing one of his lungs, talking had become a very strenuous task for Yu Wende. That once elegant and noble, talented and handsome Yu Wende had now become a sick old man who was barely breathing.
In a joint operation, the expert Crafting Masters from Mo Sect and secret agents from Scouting Office had run some tests on the bolts they gathered at the crime scene. They confirmed that those bolts did not come from any sects in Great Yan Dynasty, and indeed came from outside. They found three different types of metals in the bolts, none of which had been discovered in Great Yan before. The serial numbers that were carved on the bolts, which were used to identify the workshop, the name of the crafter, and the name of the Formation Masters, had been identified by Yan Dan and a few other men. They did prove that the bolts were the military gear from Great Qin Dynasty.
The blame was now tightly attached to Great Qin Dynasty. The finding made all the scholars and civilian officials related to Yu Academy fly into a rage, swarming to the imperial palace and kneeling before the gateways to present their petition. As a result, for the past nine days, the four main roads of Ji City were fully packed by them, which had caused a great distraction to the daily commute of ordinary civilians.
Wu Qi sneered. He made no comment on the behavior of those apprentices and disciples from Yu Academy. As for the fact that he was the one who assassinated Yu Wende, he would not be so stupid to tell everybody about that. Lu Chengfeng had also kept the secret deep in his heart, only to be a bystander in the whole event.
Wu Qi grabbed Lu Chengfeng's arm up, briefly sensing the toughness of his body by pinching here and there on the muscles and bones. He nodded and said with a smile on his face, "All these upheavals have nothing to do with us. Taking the time before the people in the palace come out with any decision, I'll help you form your Gold Core. Leave everything on me. You just have to focus your attention on circulating the cultivation technique of Arts of Heaven Patching Formation. Pay no attention to other things."
Wu Qi pushed Lu Chengfeng to the ground and made him sit in a lotus position, asking him to focus all his mind in circulating the cultivation technique that came together with the Arts of Heaven Patching Formation. Then, he waved his left arm and made the Dragon Scale Shield unleash a large sheet of yellow light that enveloped the entire backyard. After that, he began walking fast around Lu Chengfeng, unleashing bits of bright lights from both hands and injecting them into Lu Chengfeng's body, using them to stimulate his acupoints and arouse his blood and energies.
Then, he took out a large amount of flood dragon blood essence. With the help of incantation gestures, Wu Qi slowly injected the blood essence into Lu Chengfeng's body. At the same time, he even used the enormous blood and energy he obtained by cultivating the Dragon Transformation Script to help massaged Lu Chengfeng's acupoints and meridians, using the flood dragon blood essence to once again strengthen his body.
When Lu Chengfeng finally entered a state of deep meditation, Wu Qi took out several dozens of Demon Cores from the Black Dragon Spirit Ring that were emanating powerful demonic energies. He swallowed all of them into his body, using his own Fire of Samadhi to burn off all the impurities in them, and leaving behind only a ball of energy essence; pure and without any impurities or demonic energies.
Next, he moved this ball of energy essence, whose amount was equal to all the energy essence of two peak-stage Gold Core cultivators, and circulated them through his Seven Stealing Heaven Meridians again and again. He slowly fused a part of his innate energy and a tiny bit of five elements innate nectar into the ball of energy essence. He looked at Lu Chengfeng and murmured under his breath, "You are my brother, and I, Wu Qi, am not a stingy person. Although I can’t teach you the Scroll of Stealing, I can still give you some benefits!"
His eyes went wide, as he forcibly pushed the circulation of the blood and energies in his body, extracted a portion of his prime blood and energy from the five important organs, and a portion of energy from the Acquired Pearls of Five elements. Then, he fused them into the ball of energy essence, transforming it into a pure energy that stood between the line of innate and acquired.
Silently, he then exercised a technique in Scroll of Stealing, which was originally intended for putting the blame on someone else - the 'Epiphany of Reverse Energy Injection'. Using it, Wu Qi slowly injected the ball of pure energy into Lu Chengfeng's body, controlling it to slowly fuse with his blood, energy and soul, and descend gradually into his dantian. It communicated with the five element energies that were found in nature, and finally formed a brilliantly glinting Gold Core the size of a human fist.
Wu Qi's whole body was drenched with sweat, while a blinding flame was bursting out from Lu Chengfeng's body, and an endless amount of dark, dirty and filthy blood kept spraying from the pores all over his body.
Actually, the original function of the Epiphany of Reverse Energy Injection was not so presentable. When a cultivator who cultivated Scroll of Stealing stole some magical treasure or energy essence from an almighty expert, and could not escape from the hunt of the said expert, he could always use this evil technique to split out a tiny aura of the stolen magical treasure or energy essence, then inject it into an unlucky scapegoat. He could then use him to attract the owner of the lost property, so the cultivator could take the opportunity to make the escape.
As it was intended to deceive those almighty experts, the technique of injecting aura into someone else's body was very miraculous. The energy that was injected into the scapegoat's body could fuse flawlessly with his blood, energy and soul, without any conflicts or whatsoever.
With the meticulous work of Wu Qi, he managed to help Lu Chengfeng form the Gold Core smoothly.
Suddenly, a large patch of dark cloud began to gather above them. A thunder tribulation stronger than the one faced by the people of Long Bo Kingdom was in the middle of brewing. Using a heaven-defying technique, Wu Qi had helped Lu Chengfeng form a perfect Gold Core, which contained all five elements and stood in the line between innate and acquired. He also forcibly pushed Lu Chengfeng to the peak-stage of Gold Core realm. His action had greatly infuriated the Heavenly Punishment Principle that maintained the balance of the world. Thus, a very powerful thunder tribulation was sent to punish them.
An arrow of blood shot out from Wu Qi's mouth. Right at the moment when Lu Chengfeng formed his Gold Core, he too had collapsed to the ground.
The fact was, not only such technique would consume a huge amount of energy and blood essence, it would also use up a great deal of soul energy. Wu Qi had forcibly cut out ten percent of his soul power and given to Lu Chengfeng, improving the strength of his soul to about thirty times stronger than before. It was true that Lu Chengfeng had obtained great benefits from Wu Qi's help, but Wu Qi had also suffered a great loss.
Nevertheless, Wu Qi felt really happy when he thought of the power that Lu Chengfeng, a man with the cultivation base of peak-stage Gold Core realm and an expert in Dao of Formation, could bring into play.
Suddenly, a large sheet of bright light burst out from behind Lu Chengfeng's back; it was his Gold Core strange sign. Upon seeing what it looked like, Wu Qi could no longer hold his laughter - it was a large turtle shell engraved with an Eight Trigrams, exactly the same as the turtle shell that recorded the Arts of Heaven Patching Formation. He laughed and laughed until tears came out from his eyes, because for a very long period of time in the future, Lu Chengfeng would have to carry this large turtle shell wherever he went!
Then loud booms rang out, and thunderbolts streaked down. Wu Qi stretched his arm out and absorbed all of the thunderbolts, quickly fusing them into his soul and helping him to form another thread of Nascent Divinity.
At the same time, loud ringing of gold bells could be heard coming from the imperial palace. It rang continuously for 108 times, and at the end of it, countless voices echoed out and shook the sky above Ji City, "The Great Yan will march to the west, to the war with Great Qin!"
All the apprentices and disciples of Yu Academy kneeling on the ground immediately cheered and yelled. The cries of 'Long live the emperor!' swept across the entire Ji City like a tidal wave.
The mighty army of Great Yan would be dispatched to the war with Great Qin! At last, the Great Yan, who had been hiding its sharp claws for over two thousand years, had begun to move its enormous body!