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Upon hearing Patriarch Jiang Yun's loud laugh coming from outside the door, Wu Qi hastily transformed into a stream of yellow mist, plunged into the ground and out of the place through the route he came from.

After he was far away from the Treasures Pagoda, only then Wu Qi used his divine will to communicate with the Fivethunders Soul-Shattering Zither, trying to find out why it was not brought out by the Master of Cang Ao Immortal Abode. After getting in touch with the zither's item spirit, Wu Qi was rendered speechless once again, as it was also an immortal item with a flaw.

Unless one had the cultivation base of Thirty-Third Tier Heaven Immortal or above, anyone who used this zither to fight would have his or her energy completely drawn out and turned into a full power attack. If the Fivethunders Soul-Shattering Tune unleashed by the zither could kill the enemy, of course, the victory would be at hand, but if the enemy survived the attack, the user would be easily killed with just one single strike from the enemy. It was an immortal item which would bring either victory or complete defeat! Therefore, any Heaven Immortal with a sensible mind would definitely place it in the Treasures Pagoda as a collectible item, and would never bring it out to fight the enemy.

"What kind of crappy treasures are these?" Wu Qi had no choice but to keep the zither with him, as it had now hung on him and refused to go knowing that Wu Qi had the innate energy essence. Because of that, Wu Qi could not give it to someone else, for the fear of it might tell others that he had the innate energy essence. In the end, he decided to just give it to Princess Zhang Le, and would warn her not to use it before she attained a sufficient cultivation base.

It was an item that could get people killed if not used with care.



Wu Qi randomly found a spirit cave and hid himself underground, pulling out the smooth and clean ball and giving it a careful examination. This ball did not have an item spirit, and thus, he could not communicate with it to find out its origin. It was light as a feather, and he could vaguely see countless clouds and fogs swirling inside it. However, he could not sense any energy being emanated out from it. Wu Qi really had no idea what this item exactly was.

With his Mystic Eyes of Universe activated, Wu Qi could not find out anything unusual; he sent out his divine will, but he sensed a complete nothingness within the boundary which the divine will covered, as if nothing existed in the area. Wu Qi pondered for a brief moment, then he bit his fingertip and dripped two drops of blood onto it. The blood rolled off the smooth surface, and nothing happened.

After a moment of silence, Wu Qi shook his head. He fiddled the ball for a while by squeezing and flattening it, and was about to shove it back into Black Dragon Spirit Ring, but the Black Dragon Soul suddenly squeezed out from the ring while burping. He gave the ball a look and said surprisingly, "Hmm, who is so bold to steal an unhatched Phoenix egg, using its membrane to craft a fire pouch? Hmm, this is a fire pouch that can be used to hold all kinds of innate or acquired spirit flames!"

It could be used to hold all kinds of innate or acquired spirit flames? A thought suddenly leaped into Wu Qi's mind. Without hesitation, he brought the ball up and pressed it against his forehead. Immediately, an invisible suction force surged from the ball, and the lightweight ball transformed into a stream of light and plunged into his spiritual ocean. Then, he heard a loud and melodious Phoenix cry, and saw a vague figure of a golden phoenix take a graceful round in the spiritual ocean, before transforming into an exquisite and translucent palace lantern that took the shape of a phoenix, hovering midair and glinting brilliantly.

The wisp of Divine Flame of Order, which took Wu Qi a great effort to restrain in his spiritual ocean, was now dancing happily above the peck of the Phoenix that pointed high up in the air. The five spirit items, which were the manifestation of Wu Qi's innate five element energies, were seen rolling violently inside the spirit ocean, unleashing a great amount of innate five elements energies into the phoenix-shaped palace lantern. They were being slowly transformed into a wisp of extremely pure innate spirit flame essence, gradually fusing into the Divine Flame of Order.

Having nourished by this innate spirit flame essence, the Divine Flame of Order was growing stronger at a rate Wu Qi could clearly feel, and gradually, it was fusing with his divine will as well. With every second that passed, Wu Q's divine will could penetrate a little bit into it.

Wu Qi praised, "This is indeed a good treasure! I could have never expected it to have such a use?!"

The Black Dragon Soul laughed coldly and said, "Of course, it is a good treasure! But, try to think about its origin. If some almighty expert from the Phoenix clan discovered it, you'll definitely have your corpse whipped ten thousand times, before being burned and having the ashes scattered in the wind! The crafting of every Phoenix Fire Pouch means one of their offspring was killed! Hehe! This is a serious grudge that can never be resolved peacefully!"

Wu Qi glared at Black Dragon Soul, then casually threw a tiny wisp of Divine Flame of Order at him. The intense heat burned the Black Dragon Soul and made it howl miserably, wailing for mercy while quickly plunging back into Black Dragon Spirit Ring, daring not to throw any mocking words at Wu Qi again.

Wu Qi smiled proudly, lowering his voice to murmur, "Do you think I'll be afraid of the almighty experts from the Phoenix clan?"

Then, he pursed his lips, seeming like he lacked confidence as he sneered in an even lower voice and said, "If I can't defeat them, can't I just turn around and flee?"

Right at this moment, the voice of Lu Buwei suddenly came from the surface several feet above Wu Qi, "A bunch of useless fools! It has been a month, and yet you still can't find that little thief? I want him to be found as soon as possible! And tell that young master Zhao Ling that he has to kill Wu Qi by all means! I've not suffered such a great loss for so many years!"

Obviously, Lu Buwei was coming in Wu Qi's direction as his voice became clearer. "Let Zhao Ling know that if he kills Wu Qi, I'll marry Le'er to him, and help him build his own power in Great Zhao with all my resources, suppressing all his elder brothers. If he fails to do so, don't blame me for working with the other people instead of him!" said Lu Buwei with a cold laugh.

Surely that was Lu Buwei! And he was still plotting a scheme to kill Wu Qi?

A spell of wrath rose from Wu Qi's heart, which made him decide to kill Lu Buwei right here, right now, without considering the consequences. While he was about to resurface, a nippy gust of ghostly aura suddenly came caressing his face from above, as Lu Buwei had already activated the Five Ghosts Grand Magic and vanished without a trace, leaving behind only four subordinates who knelt on one knee to send him off. Wu Qi cursed the hasty retreat of Lu Buwei, and decided to exercise an escape art and follow behind these four subordinates who worked for Lu Buwei.

Four men rose and sped away, passing several dozens of courtyards and pavilions, straight to a remote courtyard located in the northeast corner of the immortal abode.

In the courtyard stood a few exquisitely built abodes and pavilions. A tall youth clad in a soft armor, his face handsome and mighty, was sitting on a stone bench right in the center of the courtyard. In his arms were two beautiful girls, who were also clad in soft armors and looked like generals from their outfits. His hands were moving up and down quickly under the soft armors of both girls, while the girls appeared calm and at ease, letting the youth to do whatever he liked to them. In the meanwhile, their calm and sharp blade-like glances were resting on a few cultivators standing before the entrance of the abode, looking how they were breaking the restrictive spells on the door.

After a while, as if he were bored, the youth pulled his hands out from under the soft armor of the girls, and said with a cold tone, "Useless fools! Why have you not broken the restrictive spells after so long? I thought you are the best Masters of Formation from Han Dan[1]? How could it take you so long to open a door? We've been here for so many days, and have you found me anything good in this immortal abode? Hmm?"

The few cultivators hung their heads lowly, and no one said a word, just performing hand incantations carefully to break the various restrictive spells found outside the little abode. Although these restrictive spells were considered nothing in the eyes of Wu Qi, they were too profound and complicated to be broken apart by these cultivators. After all, they were the restrictive spells left behind by ancient Immortals, not something they, some Masters of Formation with the cultivation base of mid-stage Nascent Soul realm, could break easily.

Even though two Great Apocalypses had passed, even though the structure to the underground energy veins below this immortal abode had changed tremendously, causing all restrictive spells to slowly lose their source of energy and their effectiveness reduced by more than half, they were still not something these Nascent Soul cultivators could easily break apart. Only Patriarch Jiang Yun and the others with similar overall strength could roam freely in this immortal abode, while all the rest of the people were too weak to do that.

Four loyal servants of Lu Buwei came striding into the courtyard. They came before the youth and bowed, as one of them said in a low voice, "Young Master, by the words of our Patriarch, if Young Master can find Wu Qi and kill him, Patriarch will marry Young Miss Le'er to you."

The youth, Zhao Ling, raised his brows, then pushed the two beautiful generals away from him. Clapping his hands lightly, he smiled and said, "So Old Mister Lu has finally given me his word? Haha, Young Miss Le'er is endowed by nature with unusual intelligence and a gentle character. Although she is not as resolute and murderous as Young Miss Xiaoxiao, she is a better candidate to be my wife. Well, since Old Mister Lu has agreed to my request, I'll do everything I can to find that Wu Qi."

Laughing coldly, Zhao Ling continued in a flat tone, "Apart from these few useless fools, I want all of you to go search for that Wu Qi. Once you have found him, do not confront him. Let me finish him myself. Hehe, I heard that he has engaged with Princess Zhang Le of Great Yan? Well, I'll kill him and take away his wife then! How wonderful would that be?"

It seemed the thought of that gave him a great joy, as Zhao Ling suddenly threw his head back and let out a wild laugh, emanating an aura of early-stage Nascent Soul realm that swept across the area.

Hiding under the ground, Wu Qi was greatly infuriated by what Zhao Ling had just said. He could accept that Zhao Ling was trying to kill him in order to please Lu Buwei, yet he could not accept the fact that he was trying to scheme against Princess Zhang Le! A spell of wrath rose from Wu Qi's heart, and a killing intent began to breed, targeting Zhao Ling and even his entire clan. Zhao Ling was the youngest son of Great Zhao's Emperor, Zhao Sheng, which made Wu Qi have a bad impression towards Great Zhao's imperial clan, even including all their civilian and military officials. Although there were famous ministers such as Lian Po and Lin Xiangru among them, whose names were sung for thousands of year, because of Zhao Ling, Wu Qi began to hate them now.

As the ringing of footsteps filled the air and slowly faded away, two female generals and the rest of the people left the quiet and remote courtyard, leaving behind only Zhao Ling, and the group of five early-stage Nascent Soul cultivators who were working hard in breaking the restrictive spells. Not knowing from where, Zhao Ling pulled out a jug of wine, and while taking sips out from it, he kept scolding the five Masters of Formation, cursing their Ancestral Masters down to their descendants that went beyond the eighteen generations.

Five Masters of Formation hung their heads low because of the scolding. Their faces were gloomy, and they simply shut their five senses, focusing all their attention on breaking the restrictive spells while ignoring all the malicious curses from Zhao Ling. As Zhao Ling was a member of Great Zhao's imperial clan, and a young master who was very popular among the rest of the members from the imperial clan, how could these Masters of Formation dare to offend him?

Wu Qi smiled, and when he noticed that those Masters of Formation were shutting their five senses, the smile became even brighter.

He just wanted to kill a tiny little Zhao Ling, and did not want to stir up too much of commotion. Letting out Long Bo people to deal with those Masters of Formation was just too much of a hassle. Wu Qi chuckled, then suddenly poked his head out from the ground and shot out the Spirit-Restricting Rope, transforming it into a purple light beam and lashing Zhao Ling tightly. Even a Heaven Immortal would be lashed by this immortal item, let alone Zhao Ling, who was just an early-stage Nascent Soul cultivator.

Zhao Ling was struck dumb, as all the activities of his blood essence, energy, and Nascent Divinity came to a complete halt immediately, while all his physiological functions entered a state of complete numbness.

Wu Qi reached out to Zhao Ling and pulled him into the ground with a swing of his arm. Then, the Sword of Greedy Wolf was drawn and thrust with a dark gleam, making a large cut on Zhao Ling's throat, while the sword began to suck his blood essence. After that, Wu Qi swung the sword and pierced it into Zhao Ling's forehead, reaching into his spiritual ocean and destroying his Nascent Soul. The enormous energy inside the spiritual ocean was also sucked clean by the Sword of Greedy Wolf.

With a crook of his finger, Wu Qi broke all the restrictive spells found in Zhao Ling's storage rings. He looted every single piece of energy stone he could find in the ring, while not taking anything that came with an obvious symbol of Great Zhao, such as spirit pills and talismans. After that, he dragged Zhao Ling's corpse and traveled several hundred feet further. He resurfaced and threw the dead body messily under a tall tree.

A cold gleam pierced through the air as Sword of Greedy Wolf was thrust to split Zhao Ling's head and limbs from his body. With the tip of the sword smeared with Zhao Ling's blood, Wu Qi wrote a row of big characters on the ground using the most standard Seal Letter[2]: 'I, Lu Buwei, kill this man!'

After killing the man and leaving behind the characters, Wu Qi spun and fled into a far distance.

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