As he raised his head and observed the sky above the city, Wu Qi stepped into Tai City.
For several tens of thousands of years, the wind had blown, and the rain had pattered, but Tai City still had the same wall that was erected when the city was built. The bronze-colored wall glinted softly and stately under the bright sunlight, and traces of restrictive runes could be found vaguely on each and every single brick on the wall. As the capital city of the strongest dynasty under White Cloud Immortal Sect, the defensive strength of Tai City was a few times stronger than Ji City. It could only be breached by Heaven Immortals with immortal items as their weapons.
Wu Qi swaggered through the city gate into Tai City, wearing a frivolous smile on his face and acting like he was a prodigal son. Upon entering the city, he immediately realized something wrong in the atmosphere. The pedestrians and wagons that were entering and leaving the city looked hurried on their journey, and there was a panicked and even despairing expression on their faces. The soldiers and gatekeepers keeping guard near the city gate also looked anxious and fearful, as if they were badly frightened. They even failed to notice Wu Qi when he walked past them.
He shook his head with a frown, then looked to his right and left, and saw a coach waiting for customers near the gate. Wu Qi waved at the coach, then casually threw a refined gold ingot at the coachman while saying, "Bring me to the best, the liveliest brothel in the city!"
Gold and silver were commonly used currency in the mortal world, and it was no exception in Liyuan Galaxy; it just depended on their value. The gold ingot Wu Qi gave the coachman was a pure gold ingot refined using the Core Flame of a Human Immortal. It contained no impurities, and weighed about 250 grams. The coachman's face beamed with joy as he caught the gold ingot, and quickly rode the coach to come and greet Wu Qi.
Wu Qi boarded the coach, then signaled the coachman to ride away into the city as he said in a flat tone, "Remember, I want the best, and the liveliest brothel. Don't bring me to those places where you can listen to a girl playing zither under a banana tree in an isolated courtyard. I want a lively brothel, a brothel with spacious hall, a large courtyard, and at least a few hundred regular patrons enjoying wines and little tunes together!"
The coachman turned to look at Wu Qi with a surprise, then quickly nodded with a smile and said, "As you wish! The Hidden Sword Pavilion is the best and the liveliest brothel in Tai City, and it is the largest, liveliest, and the best brothel you can find here!" The coachman laughed and continued, "Well, you can also find those secluded and quiet little courtyards in Tai City. For example, the Little Cottage of Darkmoon has the best girls in the city, possessing a matchless beauty! Do you not want to go there?"
Wu Qi shook his head. He really did not wish to go to those quiet and classy places. The mission given to him by Jiangcheng Zi was to examine which of the eight Princes of Gu Tai Dynasty had the best character, and was the most suitable candidate to take over the throne. In order to find out such information, he would have to find a place where he could have quick access to the information. Apart from a lively brothel, what other places under the heaven could allow him to have a quicker access to what he wished to know? Those private and secluded places were definitely not somewhere he could get what he wanted.
Sitting comfortably in the coach, he peered through the window and observed the surroundings. The building style in Tai City was indeed grand and magnificent, but it was also stately and majestic, ancient in design, yet sending forth an air of elegance. When Wu Qi had his divine will run through the signboards of even those little stores on the side of the street that were selling daily necessities such as fuel, rice, cooking oil, salt, tea, and some other things, he found they were all antiques that were least one thousand years old. It was evidence that those little stores had a very long history. In addition to that, the stepping stones before the little stores were all green bricks engraved with beautiful patterns, giving them a touch of elegance.
When they rode past a medicine store, a little servant clad in green shirt and a small hat had just left after purchasing some medicines. The boxes used by the medicine store to keep the medicines were made using thin incense wood, with patterns of herbs beautifully carved on its surface. It was another clear sign of how the businesses in Tai City were being fastidious in everything.
Wu Qi nodded his head silently. Gu Tai Dynasty had proven itself to be an ancient dynasty with the strongest national strength in White Cloud Planet. It had collected a taste of elegance over several tens of thousands of years, and was not someplace a city such as Ji City could ever be compared with.
However, it was strange that all the pedestrians on the street, and the storekeepers in the little stores on the side of the street, seemed to wear the same fearful expression, as if the heaven was about to collapse. A restless feeling was lingering in the air. The people here were like ants on a hot pan, panicked and nervous, as if a great calamity was about to come at any time. Yet, where the calamity would come from, and what exactly would the calamity be, none of them had any clues. Everyone just waited passively, waiting for the unknown calamity to strike with terror in their mind.
Wu Qi frowned, then shouted softly at the coachman, "Brother, please be faster."
The coachman turned, gave Wu Qi a smile, and said, "Don't worry, Young Master, we still have plenty of time. Although Hidden Sword Pavilion does run its business during daytime, but the best girls are resting at this hour. During daytime, the Hidden Sword Pavilion is just an ordinary restaurant. If you wish to have some fun, you'll have to wait until the night comes!"
A restaurant during daytime? That was even better! A restaurant was where the rumors started to spread! Wu Qi pulled out another gold ingot and threw at the coachman, then cried, "Stop babbling! Do I need you to tell me what to do? Be haste and send me to Hidden Sword Pavilion. I'll pay you more when we arrive!"
Wu Qi had paid the coachman two gold ingots of excellent quality in a row, weighting 500 grams in total, which was an income which the coachman would never be paid even after one whole year of hard labor. A big smile bloomed on the coachman's face, as he flung the whip without hesitation and rode the coach at an even faster speed. It was as if the two black horses that pulled the coach felt the joy of their master, that they exerted all their strength to gallop away through the street.
In less than the time to finish a pot of tea into the journey, a wail came from a side street at the top of one's voice, "Dad…Mom…Save me!!"
Then noises of screaming and beating were heard approaching. Very soon a dozen of burly men, each clad in a body armor and an identity token hanging on their waist, were seen forcibly dragging a teenage girl out from the side street, who looked only twelve years old, but had a very beautiful visage, like a little pearl mounted on the crown. The teenage girl struggled and screamed crazily, but how could a little girl like her manage to shake off the big hands of two armored guards who clutched tightly on her shoulders? Not far behind them came an old couple, their outfits luxurious and being helped and escorted by many servants and maids. They were crying and screaming while running towards the group of armored guards with difficulty.
Hastily, the coachman pulled the leash and halted the horses, then he cried out with a voice filled with a terror that could not be concealed, "The armored guards from the Eighth Prince's Mansion are out abducting teenage girls again? Alas! Master Hu and his clan have been doing all the good deeds for generations, yet they have had only one son for several generations. They are fortunate enough to have a son and a daughter in the current generation, but the daughter is going to be abducted by the Eighth Prince now!"
Bringing with them a group of servants and maids, the old couple chased staggeringly behind the armored guards that behaved like a pack of wild beasts. Suddenly from behind their back came a furious roar, "How dare you abduct an innocent teenage girl in broad daylight like this? Even if you are the guards from the Eighth Prince's Mansion, you cannot do something that violates the imperial law!" As the loud roar echoed out, a youth in his seventeen or eighteen, clad in a long robe but having a deep cut on his head and upper body bathed in blood, charged out with a wooden stick grasped in his hand, right towards the group of armored guards.
The coachman cried out in shock, "He is the only son of Master Hu, Hu Xin!! He is just a scholar. How could he be the match of these burly men? It's finished! The bloodline of Master Hu and his clan is going to be completely cut!"
Before his words could fade away, Hu Xin had raised the wooden stick high up in the air, then swung it down forcefully at the group of armored guards.
An armored guard standing at the back of the group smiled hideously. He drew his sword and swung it across Hu Xin's waist. As the natural energy in White Cloud Planet was less than thirty percent of that Myriad Immortals Planet, the cultivation speed of these warriors was slower than those at the Myriad Immortals Planet. Among these armored guards, the strongest only had the cultivation base of thirty years of Houtian realm, unlike the situation in Myriad Immortals Planet where Xiantian warriors could be found everywhere, while Houtian warriors were as many as the stray dogs on the street. Nevertheless, it was more than enough to deal with a weak scholar like Hu Xin with just the cultivation base of thirty-years of Houtian realm.
Wu Qi shook his head. He casually crooked and snapped his finger, shooting out a powerful wind which split into tens of tiny invisible sword energies, piercing through the air while generating hissing noises. In a twinkle, the hideously laughing armored guards suddenly turned stiff, and every single one of them had a thumb-sized hole opened up at their temples. Blood and brains sprayed out like a fountain from the hole.
All the armored guards collapsed to the ground in an instant. Hu Xin was trembling from top to toe with the wooden stick in his hand, looking at the dead bodies with a blank expression. After a while, he rushed forward and pulled up the teenage girl, who had become limp with fear, then shouted, "Dad, mom, come here quickly, sister is frightened!"
In the meanwhile, the coachman yelled out with great horror, "It's gone, it's finished now! Master Hu and his entire clan are going to face doom! The Eighth Prince is the commander of the three hundred thousand soldiers that are stationed in the perimeter of Tai City. His status is prestigious, and he has great power in his hand. Now that his armored guards are killed by someone here, Master Hu and his entire clan are going to be slaughtered by him!"
Wu Qi looked at the coachman with a vacant face, then asked like a fool, "is there nobody who’s going to punish the Eighth Prince for his evil acts?"
The coachman turned back, then gave Wu Qi a wry smile and said, "Young Master, haven't you heard that? This Eighth Prince is..." He halted, hesitating, then shook his head with his face turned blue and daring not to say anything again. He looked down at the dead bodies of those armored guards, then murmured under his breath, "I wonder who is the expert that killed them. But he has brought doom to Master Hu and his clan."
Hugging each other, Master Hu and his families were crying their hearts out, while their servants and maids were looking at the dead bodies with great fear in their eyes. Then suddenly, some timid maids began to cry and shed bitter tears as well, and slowly, even the servants had their eyes turned red.
Wu Qi shook his head. He pondered for a brief while, then he fished out an identity token which represented the status of the executing-disciple of White Cloud Immortal Sect's Discipline Hall from his storage ring. He cast a little concealing spell on the token and threw it out. The heavy token fell onto the ground at the center of the four persons, while Wu Qi transmitted his voice to them, "Hang this identity token at your front door, and nobody will touch you again. Don't worry, this matter has been settled."
The Eighth Prince of Gu Tai Dynasty? Inside his mind, Wu Qi had already sentenced this guy to death. He could never allow someone like this to be the head of a dynasty.
The four members of Hu clan rested their eyes on the identity token absentmindedly. The token was made from white jade, about the size of a palm, and weighed tens of kilograms. Its surface was engraved with countless raising white clouds, and on its back were the silhouette of an old Daoists sat cross-legged. On its front were two rows of large protruded characters - White Cloud Immortal Sect Discipline Hall Executing-Disciple Wu.
The four members dropped to their knees in an instant, pounding their foreheads on the ground and expressing their thanks to the heaven, their faces filled with a relieving smile. The awe-inspiring reputation of White Cloud Immortal Sect was not a strange thing to the people of Gu Tai Dynasty, as it was the suzerain sect of Gu Tai Dynasty, and most of the imperial clan members were White Cloud Immortal Sect's disciples. Now, with the senior from Discipline Hall standing out and protecting them, the dust would be settled immediately even if the Eighth Prince were killed, let alone the death of a dozen armored guards from his mansion.
Wu Qi shook his head. It was rather early for him to show his identity token, and his targets might be alerted by it. Nevertheless, he was not worried, as he was never a man who followed the rules and orders. Nobody ever told him that the emperor of Gu Tai Dynasty must be from their imperial clan. If they really provoked him, and since this Master Hu looked like a nice man, he could even make Master Hu the new emperor! Oh, the coachman had a kind heart, so he too could be a good candidate for the emperor!
"Damn it! Since I'm here, if none of you prove to be worthy, then don't blame me for wrecking a havoc here!"
A look of determination appeared in his eyes, then Wu Qi slapped the coachman and cried out with a loud voice, "What are you waiting for?! Move on now! Where is the Hidden Sword Pavilion? I'll need to have some wine and delicious dishes first, so that I can have the strength to enjoy the fun at night!"
Wu Qi's facial muscles began to twist and wiggle slowly. Exercising the mystic technique of appearance changing from the Scroll of Stealing, he carefully adjusted his visage.
The four members of Hu Clan turned to look at Wu Qi with consternation, while the cute and beautiful teenage girl turned her head away disgustedly. This young man was going to have some fun in a brothel in broad daylight like this? What a disgusting prodigal son!