Star picking City was embraced on three sides by the ocean and a wide expanse of mist-covered water, with waves rolling and foaming ceaselessly. Countless demon prawns, fishes, and beasts could be seen swimming around even during the daytime. Every now and then, groups of aquatic demons and ocean creatures would leave the water and come strolling on the land. There were even large groups of fiendish demons and ghosts walking freely in the city, leisurely shopping around just like ordinary humans.
However, no matter it was the residents of the city or the tradesmen and wealthy merchants coming from afar, none of them were bewildered at the sight of these fiendish demons and ghosts. After all, they knew that the Master of Star picking City was Great Yan's Duke of Tianyun, Wu Qi. He was a good friend of the two local dragon kings in the ocean, and as these fiendish demons and ghosts were the two dragon kings' subordinates, none of them would cause any trouble in Star picking City.
On the contrary, because of the visit of these demons from the ocean, Star picking City had attracted even more merchants with great power and wealth. These demons could dive deep into the ocean, and were able to find many rare and precious treasures that ordinary human cultivators couldn’t get themselves. When these demons found something of value, or something even they themselves could not identify, they would bring the treasures to Star picking City and put them on sale excitedly.
These rare and precious treasures were traded with a standard currency - energy stones. When the demons had energy stones, they could go to Star picking Pavilion to exchange all kinds of flying swords, magical items, or even talismans and spirit pills! For lower-grade little demons, these were excellent items crafted by human cultivators that they could never dream of getting a hold of. Therefore, with the high motivation, they laboriously searched across the ocean floor, harvested countless rare treasures, and sent them into Star picking City.
Because of these rare treasures from the deep ocean, Star picking City was constantly frequented by tradesmen and merchants. Even those from the other great dynasties had come here to purchase all sorts of rare and precious items. Compared to three years ago when the city was just built, Star picking City now was packed with people all the time. Vaguely, it had started to look like a massive city. In the meanwhile, Great Yan Dynasty did not stop sending over people here, which was a request Wu Qi made previously. At present, more cities and villages were in the middle of construction, northward of the Star picking City.
A strong light flashed on a long-distance teleportation formation in the city. Bringing with her a large troop of men, Princess Zhang Le walked out of the formation.
The teleportation formation was built specially for the top level individuals in Star picking City. It was connected with all the other major cities in Great Yan, and was placed right at the heart of Star picking City's mayor mansion. When Princess Zhang Le came out of it, a few cultivators keeping guard near the formation quickly greeted her by bowing respectfully.
Waving her hand lightly, Princess Zhang Le said with a deep voice, "Where is Lu Quyuan? Get him here right now!"
In less than the time to finish a pot of tea, Lu Quyuan had brought a few subordinates and arrived in a hurry. Upon seeing Princess Zhang Le from a far distance, he quickly bowed respectfully and said with a smile on his face, "It is our honor to have your presence, Princess. Please forgive me for not going far to welcome you!"
Princess Zhang Le raised her brows, then grinned coldly and said, "Going far to welcome me? How far are you going to welcome me? Save that nonsense. Use your name to summon and assemble all the lady officials and eunuchs in the city. In other words, I want to see everyone that I brought here from the Imperial Palace. Make them gather in mayor mansion's drill ground."
Lu Quyuan answered. Quickly, he glanced at Yan Xiaosan and her company, who were tightly clenched by a few tall and burly disciples of White Cloud Immortal Sect behind Princess Zhang Le, then he spun and left hurriedly. His eyes were rolling fast and his brows frowned, then he hastened his pace. These lady officials were elites secretly trained by Great Yan's imperial clan, the elites that only served the members of the imperial clan. Moreover, Yan Xiaosan and her company were the division leaders among them, holding important positions and high power in their hands, and were having real power in Star picking City.
Obviously, they were currently detained by Princess Zhang Le, and it seemed like they had already gone through a round of punishment. What exactly was happening?
Although his mind was filled with countless thoughts, Lu Quyuan wasted no time and rushed straight into the main hall of mayor mansion, where he managed all sorts of affairs in the city. He hastily ordered his subordinates to ring the golden bells and jade drums that were used to summon all the officials in the city. Upon hearing the ringing of the bells and drums, all the officials in every single department of the city quickly rushed towards the mayor mansion. After giving them an excuse which he simply made up, Lu Quyuan had all three thousand lady officials and one thousand imperial eunuchs assembled in the drill ground located right next to the mayor mansion's back garden.
He counted the total number of people, then hastily came before Princess Zhang Le, who was sitting on the reviewing stand of the drill ground. He bent forward slightly and said in a low voice, "Your Highness, I've counted. Apart from Yan Xiaosan, Yan Xiaowu, and Yan Xiaojiu, the three division leaders, Yan Xiaoqi and the other two are not here as well, while the rest of them are all here. None of the one thousand imperial eunuchs are missing."
"Alright." Princess Zhang Le answered lightly. Slowly, she rose and came to the edge of the reviewing stand, looking down at the several thousand lady officials and eunuchs lining up in the drill ground. Glancing them from left to right, she then said in a deep voice, "Someone should already know the reason for my sudden return. I don't want to waste my breath. Anyone who is Yan Xiaosan and her company's accomplices, step out right now. I'll just kill you and spare your family members!"
She paused for a brief moment, then continued with a sneer, "If you refuse to give yourself up, but are found out by me later, then don't blame me for being merciless! I will definitely kill every single member of your clan! Think about your own clan members, and do not drag them into this!"
A dead silence reigned the drill ground. No one was making a sound.
Princess Zhang Le's face turned extremely unsightly. Grinning coldly, she said, "Well, so you don't want to give yourself up, huh? Heh, you are really audacious to the extreme for faking an imperial decree, trying to lure me over to Dark Radiance Planet! What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to revolt?!"
She gave a heavy slap on Yan Xiaosan's face backhandedly. "Yan Xiaosan, tell me, who are your accomplices?" Princess Zhang Le cried sternly.
Yan Xiaosan, who had half of her cheekbone crushed, coughed out a mouthful of blood. Staring at Princess Zhang Le, she suddenly dropped to her knees and cried out in a hoarse voice, "Your Highness, it is all Xiaosan's fault! Xiaosan has let you down! Xiaosan will be honest with you. Among all our sisters, there are a total of 723 who have joined Great Sun Sect!"
Princess Zhang Le's face fell. Suddenly, several hundred from among the parade of lady officials cast out their sword beams and shot up into the sky, while another several hundred of them with insufficient cultivation base simply exercised body maneuver techniques, sprung up into the sky and fled in a flurry. Regardless they were using flying swords or body maneuver techniques, all of them had used their fastest speed to flee in all directions. Like a disturbed hornet's nest, they flew or ran away in a messy order.
Princess Zhang Le's face turned blue with anger. Ginning coldly, she said, "Senior Sisters, please help me!"
Jiang Xin and Jiang Rui gave a loud cry together, transforming into two streams of white mist as they shot up into the sky, spread their arms, and performed a gripping gesture. Two early-stage Nascent Divinity cultivators had worked hand in hand to unleash the mystic divine ability of White Cloud Immortal Sect - the 'Heaven Shrouding Cloud Barrier'. In an instant, a large amount of water vapor came rolling over from all directions. Following the two Nascent Divinity cultivators' thought, it transformed into misty clouds, blotted the sky and covered the earth, and tightly wrapped around all the escaping lady officials.
Then, the clouds shrunk abruptly, freezing all the fleeing lady officials in midair. None of them could move even their fingers. The group of several hundred cultivators who Princess Zhang Le brought from White Cloud Immortal Sect flew up into the sky, each produced a special restricting robe, and were about to capture these lady officials with the robe.
Princess Zhang Le frowned, then cried out fiercely, "What's the point of tying them up? Destroy their cultivation base! Since they have already betrayed Great Yan, their cultivation base which was given by Great Yan will have to be recalled! Destroy their cultivation base straightaway. Don't waste our precious time with them!"
The many cultivators from White Cloud Immortal Sect were taken aback. One after another, they put away the restricting robes, then lightly pressed their palms on those lady officials' abdomen. With just a light hit, over seven hundred lady officials had their meridians and acupoints completely destroyed, and their cultivation base was gone forever. Finally, Jiang Xin and Jiang Rui waved their hands, controlling the clouds to gently place these lady officials on the ground. Two ladies exchanged a smile, nodding their heads at Princess Zhang Le and asking, "Junior Sister, how should we handle these people?"
Coldly Princess Zhang Le gazed at Yan Xiaosan, who was kneeling on the ground while wailing and crying. She shook her head lightly.
Pointing her finger at those lady officials lying around motionlessly on the ground, Princess Zhang Le said with a sneer, "Somebody, chop off their heads, then hang them at the four city gates to serve as a warning. Find out their names and their origins, and hand the information to Scouting Office to punish their clan members according to the imperial laws... I've said this, if they refuse to give themselves up, I'll kill every single member of their clans. Remember, don't let any of their clan members escape. Tell Scouting Office that if anyone from their clans escapes, I'll never spare them lightly!"
Lu Quyuan bowed his head and answered, then clapped his hands forcefully. A large group of Star picking City's armored soldiers rushed into the drill ground, dragging all the wailing and crying lady officials out. Not long after that, sounds of axes chopping at flesh and bones were heard coming from outside the drill ground. A strong and unpleasant smell of blood wafted into the drill ground.
Princess Zhang Le gave a cold snort. From the corner of her eyes, she gazed at the remaining lady officials and eunuchs. "Yan Xiaosan had exposed some of you who harbored evil intentions…," she said coolly, "…but I'm sure there are more. Surrender yourself now, and I'll spare the lives of your entire clan."
Yan Xiaosan was struck dumb. Weeping and wailing she said, "Your Highness, all 723 sisters of mine are already..."
Smiling lightly, Princess Zhang Le thrust her leg and gave a powerful kick to Yan Xiaosan's face. "Do you really think I am stupider than you? I've not even tortured you, and you've already sold out all 723 of your accomplices? Are you trying to hide or shield something or someone from me? Or perhaps, you are just borrowing my hand to wipe out Great Sun Sect's disciples? Yan Xiaosan, who exactly instigated you to mislead me?"
Upon hearing Princess Zhang Le's words, Yan Xiaosan did not say a word for a long while. At last, she chuckled suddenly, then shook her head slowly.
She sighed, staring at Princess Zhang Le and said coldly, "Your Highness, I never expected that you've become so clever."
Princess Zhang Le was fuming with rage. "So, you think I'm a stupid person all this while?" she cried out furiously.
Yan Xiaosan narrowed her eyes and laughed. "I've to say this, compared to those years, Your Highness is much more cleaver now!"
Princess Zhang Le had her lips twitching with extreme anger. Suddenly the five-colored divine ray behind her back condensed, transforming into a sword beam and thrust out. Yan Xiaosan gave an anguished howl, and one of her arms was taken away, with blood spilling all over. "I know your accomplices are still down there. Tell me their names!"
A deep voice filled with evil forces was heard coming from afar, "Princess Zhang Le, do you feel proud after killing so many of my disciples?"
Amidst the unique strong light of teleportation formation, a tall figure soared up into the sky. Wearing a gloomy face, Lao Ai was seen flying straight towards the drill ground.