It was a moonlit night. The moon was bright, yet there were not many stars in the night sky. Wu Qi was sitting in a quiet room. He could hear the sounds of grass growing in the soil and the blooming of flowers. The winter had given place to spring, the snow and frozen soil in Great Yan had started to melt and defrost, while all the plants and creatures were too impatient to release the life force they had accumulated over the past few months.
Flowers, grasses, trees, all green plants were busy in sprouting and growing new leaves. In this spring night full of vigorous life force, Wu Qi even heard the moaning and groaning of she-bears coming from the courtyard adjoined to his. Not knowing from where, Xiong Qing and his demon bear brothers had caught a group of she-bears, who appeared to have just woken up from their hibernation, and were carrying out their grand plan of reproduction in high spirits. This was actually the request Xiong Wanling had for all his offspring. Therefore, during this period of time, all the demon bears from Black Wind Mountain had to work day and night, pouring out their best effort to help the expansion of the demon bear population of Black Wind Mountain.
"I think this is the 153rd she-bear that was ruined by Xiong Qing and his brothers, right?" Wu Qi took a deep breath and slowly exhaled a jet of variegated air mixed with five different colors. He had just further purified the energy in his body, and formed a tiny thread of Innate Nectar, about the size of a dust particle, from his five internal organs, and slowly fused it into the false cores residing in both arms. This was all the result he got after spending a full night of cultivating arduously.
After he formed the Innate Gold Cores of Five Elements, the progress in the cultivation of Scroll of Stealing had become greatly slowed down. According to the Scroll of Stealing, Gold Core realm was still the period of laying the foundation, and the foundation Wu Qi needed to lay at this period was hundreds to thousands of times stricter than when he was at Xiantian realm.
He felt that the ten False Cores in his arms had become slightly brighter. Then, Wu Qi pushed open the door of the room, took a deep breath of the air that was mixed with the fresh scent of the vegetation and the stinking odor coming from those demon bears. In the courtyard next to him, those she-bears were still howling and yelling miserably. It was tough to tell from the voice alone whether they were enjoying or suffering, yet it was a great distraction to one's mind, and Wu Qi did not want to comment on it. "You've destroyed 153 virgin she-bears who were as clean as ice and as pure as jade!" Wu Qi breathed out a long sigh, as he used his divine will to give the courtyard a quick glance.
He then stepped onto a watery cloud and flew up into the sky, exercising the Mystic Eyes of Universe as he gave the surroundings a glance.
Vaguely, there was a bright gleam that shone from his eyes, with which, all activities within an area of one hundred miles in circumference, even if it were a tiny sand, became visible in his eyes. In a distance of one thousand miles, Wu Qi saw a night owl fly hurriedly through the night sky. As a matter of fact, the furthest distance where his vision could reach was one thousand and five hundred miles. Within this distance, he could even discover the man that hiding in the darkest shadow.
The construction of the wall around Meng Fortress had been completed. Troops of Yan soldiers were now patrolling on top of it. Every now and then, figures of Sky Patrolling Eagle Guards could be seen streaking past the sky while leaving behind pale blue tails behind them. At about one thousand feet under the ground, there were many Great Yan cultivators traveling back and forth by using the escape art of Earth element. They were patrolling along the direction where the underground energy veins were flowing, putting up high vigilance for any possible enemies.
Except for the lights shone from the archery towers, no light could be found in the Meng Fortress.
Actually, there was one place that still shone with light. It was a window of a room where Lu Chengfeng was having his cultivation. After forming his Gold Core, Lu Chengfeng's interest in the Dao of Formation had increased by a few times. Nowadays, he was spending days and night in studying the Arts of Heaven Patching Formation, and his spirit was much greater than Xiong Qing brothers, who spent days and nights in working tirelessly on the bodies of she-bears.
After looking around for a while, Wu Qi clasped hands behind his back and looked lazily into the bright moon in the sky. "Ying Zheng, Xiang Yu, what are you waiting for? Why are you not showing up yet? Four months have passed since the battle, don't tell me that you are waiting for other people to strike first? Ying Zheng is aided by many counselors and strategists, thus, he can settle down and wait for the best moment to strike. But, what are you waiting for, Xiang Yu? What are you trying to accomplish by bringing your army up north? Are you here just for a sightseeing? What exactly are you guys waiting for?"
It had been four months since the last battle, but no sign of disturbance or trouble actually occurred. The construction of all 270 outposts and Meng Fortress had been fully completed, all the defensive and restrictive formations had been deployed, and the front line in Meng Mountains had interlocked into a perfect defensive circle. Yet, there was no sign of the Qin army, and the army brought here by Xiang Yu had also disappeared without a trace. It was a bad feeling, for having two fierce and savage tigers hiding someone near him, waiting to strike at any moment. It was especially true when Wu Qi was now standing in the front line. As he was the deputy chief supervisor of west field headquarter, it made him feel even worse.
He cursed in frustration, then brought his left arm up and gave the Earth Element Dragon Scales Shield a look. It made his mind relieved by a little bit.
After obtaining over thirty thousand pieces of dragon scales from Wanying Dragon King, Wu Qi had selected the best quality of them and fused them with the shield, then crafted it once again. Now, when the shield was activated, it would unleash thirty-six thousand dragon scales and wrap around his body. No matter it was the defensive or offensive strength, it was many times stronger than before. On top of that, as these dragon scales were nourished by the innate earth element energies at all time, they were getting stronger with every moment passing by. Wu Qi did a calculation, that if these dragon scales were not destroyed after eight hundred to one thousand years, perhaps their strength would be improved to the level that equaled the scales of a True Dragon of Heaven Immortal realm.
Gently, he stroked the glossy and clean surface of the shield, and gradually his mood settled down.
Despite what planning Ying Zheng and Xiang Yu were brewing, with this shield, Wu Qi had the confidence to keep his life safe. However, the feeling of having someone always peeking from behind was really bad. In this night, when the warmth of spring was coming, and the flowers were blooming with a rush, Wu Qi suddenly had a desire to destroy something. It would be best if he could kill someone and see some blood, as that would make him feel much better.
Loud laughs could be heard coming from Xiong Qing and his brothers. It seemed they were fighting for the last she-bear.
"What a bunch of lustful bears! I wish they will have kidney failure for the rest of their life!" Wu Qi cursed viciously at this group of demon bears who did not sleep during the small hours of the night, then rode the cloud as he flew towards a small mountain located outside the Meng Fortress. This small mountain was part of the Meng Fortress's defensive system, and was deployed with countless restrictive formations around its perimeters. The person who was stationed in this small mountain was Nie Baihong, who took the initiative for the task.
Nie Yaonu had announced to the public that she was in a secluded cultivation for breaking through Nascent Soul realm, but in fact, she was now in the mineral vein in the depths of Meng Mountains, focusing all her energy in expanding the overall strength of the inner sect of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. Thus, currently, Nie Baihong had become the man who held the highest power in Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. While Great Yan was on the verge of a war with foreign powers, it was his duty to bring a group of Gold Core Elders and station in the Meng Fortress.
When Wu Qi was approaching the little mountain, a sword beam immediately shot out from it and stopped before him. It was Qin Xuewen. Wearing an unsightly expression, he stopped Wu Qi from going further, and asked with a gloomy voice, "Wu Qi, why are you here in this small hour of the night? What are you trying to do?"
Wu Qi smiled when he saw Qin Xuewen. Nie Baihong was indeed not a kind person. He had volunteered himself and brought the elite Gold Core Elders from Heaven Breaking Sword Sect to Meng Fortress, and all these twenty-seven Gold Core Elders were Yan Li's loyal subordinates. When faced with the formidable Qin army, these Gold Core Elders could get themselves killed at any time. However, they had no other choice but be forced to come to the front line with Nie Baihong. Hence, Qin Xuewen was having a gloomy and unsightly expression when he saw Wu Qi.
Shaking his head, Wu Qi smiled and said, "So it is Elder Qin's turn to keep watch tonight? Thank you for the hard work. I'll definitely let the Chief Supervisor know about this, and ask him to record your great merit in the book." He took a deep breath, turned to look at the bright moon, and said, "Elder Qin, please help me inform Sect Elder that tonight's moon is bright and beautiful. Wu Qi suddenly has the desire to kill someone, and hence, I'm here to stab him with my sword! Please bring this question to him: do you still remember the innocent girl on the floating restaurant on the Myriad Red River? Since the night is beautiful, it is also the best moment for Wu Qi to thrust my sword and make him bleed!"
Qin Xuewen was struck dumb and did not say a word. At last, he gave Wu Qi a strange look, and a gloating smile that could hardly be concealed emerged on his face as he said, "Are you saying that you want to stab Sect Elder with your sword? Haha, Wu Qi, are you going to defy your master and start a rebellion? You... you're..."
Suddenly, Nie Baihong's deep and powerful voice was heard coming from a far distance, "Shut up, Qin Xuewen! Do what you suppose to do!"
Then, a white light flashed by, as Nie Baihong suddenly appeared right next to Qin Xuewen, his body emanating immense sword energies and looking many times aggressive than the first time when Wu Qi saw him. Upon his arrival, he pressed his palm against Qin Xuewen's body and unleashed a powerful sword energy which knocked Qin Xuewen flying several thousand feet away, coughing blood and smashing onto a huge tree. Qin Xuewen gazed at Nie Baihong viciously, who was shrouded in a murderous aura. Then, not daring to say a word, he bowed his head and dissolved into the darkness.
Nie Baihong tilted his head up, looked at Wu Qi and said coolly, "I've been waiting for your sword for over a few months. Since you've formed your Gold Core, what took you so long to come find me? Do you know that during this period, I could not rest in peace as I knew there was a sword waiting to stab into my body!"
Wu Qi laughed. He looked at the bright moon in the sky and said, "Tonight is a good night, and therefore, I hope to see some blood spill."
"Are there any other reasons?" Nie Baihong smiled and asked.
Wu Qi stretched out his palm and did some calculation with his fingers, then said hesitatingly, "If my memory serves me well, at daybreak, Wu Qi will turn eighteen years old. So, let's consider this as my birthday present, shall we?"
Nie Baihong was surprised, "Eighteen years old? You are only eighteen years old now? And you've formed your Gold Core? You... you are a little monster!" Staring blankly at Wu Qi for a while, Nie Baihong frowned and asked again, "Are you really just turned eighteen years old? I thought you should be about the same age as Duke of Yan Le, about thirty years old?"
Wu Qi touched his chin and chuckled, "Look at my tender and delicate face, how is it possible that I'm that old? Is it really that rare to form my Gold Core at the age of eighteen years? I'm just a lucky person who had a little bit too many strange encounters, and that is the reason I can have my own Gold Core at this young age."
Nie Baihong nodded his head slowly. While he was about to say something again, suddenly Wu Qi's focused his vision and waved his right hand, a black sword beam shot whistling out together with an aggressive sword energy that could destroy any obstacles, and immediately pierced through Nie Baihong's chest. Nie Baihong gave a painful howl as a large transparent hole, about the size of a human head, was opened up by Wu Qi's sword beam. He was knocked flying a few miles away while coughing blood, and eventually smashed into a cliff wall right behind his back.
Wu Qi's eyes followed Nie Baihong as he was knocked flying away, then in he said a leisurely tone, "There is another reason. Today, you can finally control the Acquired Spirit Pearl of Wood Element, and that is the reason why your disciple, I, thrust my sword at you! You will not die with the protection of the spirit pearl of wood element. At most, you have to suffer a painful wound. Master, I hope you can remember this, that both you and I are just some pitiful creatures struggling in this world, and none of us are nobler than the other."
Taking a deep breath, Wu Qi continued in a deep voice, "So, in the future, when you are about to thrust your sword and kill someone again, please recall this sword of mine before you act!"
After that, he suddenly sprung and stepped onto the sword beam, transforming into a black beam and shot into the depth of Meng Mountains.
He flew crazily, flew and flew for over several thousands of miles, and finally came to the peak of a lofty mountain. He stood on the mountain peak, raising his head and staring at the silver moon that looked as large as a basin. Then all of a sudden, he threw his head back and cried out, "Master! Xiaobai! Wu Qi has turned eighteen years old now! I'm an adult now! Damn it, how I miss both of you!"
Abruptly, he stretched both arms out, as countless tiny sword energies burst and shot out from them. They fell and smashed onto the mountain beneath him, crushing it into pieces.
Tears coursed down Wu Qi's face, then he roared out again suddenly, "I'm f*cking missing both of you! I'm all alone in this place!"
"I don't want to live alone in this world! I want to go back, I miss both of you! I miss all our brothers who are dead now!"
The sad and shrill howling of a wolf came from a far distance, slowly blending with Wu Qi's roars and yelling. Soon, no one could differentiate which was Wu Qi's cry, and which was the sad howling of the wolf.