Ten sword beams came thrusting down. Each of them measured about three feet long, and were as wide as a thumb. Their quality seemed excellent, evidence that Reverend San Le was at least one realm stronger than Min Hua and Min E, for his skill in refining sword beams was much higher than them. Numerous pinkish smoke arrows kept shooting out from these sword beams. They came with a pungent fragrance, an exotic scent that felt slippery and could make one feeble upon smelling it. A few little monks collapsed to the ground just by having the waves of fragrance caress their faces, though they were standing fairly far away from the scene.
Hidden Heart gave a furious roar and slammed the ground heavily with one foot. The ground shook as a huge hand formed entirely of muddy sand rushed out of the ground, with a touch of faint Buddhist light, grabbing the few little monks and throwing them back into the temple. "Guarding Heart! Bring everyone inside and request the Buddhist Power to guard the temple!" The old monk cried out at the top of his voice.
Meanwhile, Wu Qi had long sprung to his feet, grabbing Lao Ai and Madman Xue, who had difficulty to move, as he quickly rushed into the grand hall of the temple. He thrust his leg and kicked away the yellow cloth placed on top of the altar in the center of the hall, then shoved Lao Ai and Madman Xue under it, before squeezing himself beside them and sitting down cross-legged. His movement was swift and neat. There was absolutely no way one could tell that he was a patient with broken backbones and ribs.
Guarding Heart scurried into the grand hall with the rest of the monks. They threw Min Hua and the group of men and girls to a corner of the hall messily. Then, under the lead of the oldest monk who Hidden Heart referred to as his Junior Brother earlier, the group of nearly twenty monks dropped their knees onto the hassocks, put their palms together devoutly, and closed their eyes as they began to recite some scriptures. Wu Qi listened attentively to their chanting, which sounded very much like the Vajra Sutra, with a difference of about thirty percent. The words used were more ingenious and ancient, and every single phrase was full of a powerful touch that could not be described.
With a sorry look, Qi Tian dropped to his knees as well. However, as he was overly fat, the grand hall shook when he did that. With efforts, he put his palms together before his bulky chest, and following the rest, he began to chant as well. But something had surprised Wu Qi, as the Buddhist willpower that emanated from Qi Tian was just slightly weaker than that of the old monk and Guarding Heart!
However, it was obvious that Qi Tian did not have any cultivation base. Wu Qi stared at the fat monk with amazement as he nodded silently. It was a known fact that the cultivation technique of Buddhists placed the utmost importance on cultivating one's heart. Perhaps, this fat monk was just like the oldest monk, both having had their hearts thoroughly soaked with Buddhist scriptures.
Hidden Heart's loud shouts were heard coming from outside the temple. Deafening rumbles kept ringing out, coupled with wild winds, thunderbolts, golden beams, and pinkish rays that swept and shot across the place. The strong winds had already brought down the front gate of the temple and the surrounding walls. All of a sudden, a gust of foul wind blew over everyone's heads, as the roof of the temple was rolled up and carried away into a distance, disappearing without a trace in just a twinkle. The sunlight sprinkled down into the now roofless grand hall. The group of cultivators clad in Daoist robes brought here by Reverend San Le was seen hovering above the grand hall, laughing and joking among each other as they stared mockingly at the group of monks that knelt in the hall.
Wu Qi and his companions poked their heads out from under the table and gave the cultivators hovering above a quick glance. Lao Ai's lips were shivering with anger as he said, "If I were not wounded, I could kill tens of thousands of these rubbishes with just a pinch of my finger! They would never have a chance to show off their arrogance before my face!"
Without being courteous, Wu Qi gave him another blow in the face, "Save your breath. As a man who can't even walk in a straight line, you are not qualified to brag. Let me repeat myself again, either you will assist me and obey my orders in the future, or... hahaha!" Wu Qi finished his words with three strange laughs.
Lao Ai felt his scape gone numb when he heard Wu Qi's weird laughs. "What are you laughing at?" he asked angrily.
Wu Qi snorted coldly and said, "If you refuse, I'll seal off your divine will and throw you out of here, letting those men and women from Euphoria Heavenly Palace harvest your energy essence and make you, the Prince of Changxin, their great tonic pill! Once they have harvested everything out of you, I'll rescue you and cripple your cultivation base, before selling you to a brothel... I'm sure those wealthy, old, and ugly ladies who dwell in their mansions would definitely show you their great passion!"
Lao Ai was shivering from head to toe with great anger. However, when he thought about the miserable situation he would be in after being wantonly bullied by Wu Qi, his flame of anger died down immediately. Weakly, he breathed out a long sigh and said, "Little fellow, you better not fall into my hands in the future!"
Wu Qi looked deeply into Lao Ai's eyes and said, "Swear a blood oath with your soul that you will be totally willing to act according to my orders. I'll not push you into a desperate situation, and if the person who controlled your soul asked you to do something, I'll not stop you either! But, if there is a conflict between that person and me, you have to inform me in advance!"
Lao Ai cried out in shock and sprung up to his feet, nearly toppling the heavy table. He stared at Wu Qi with terror and asked, "How did you know about that? Damn, it must be Yan Dan! How could he tell you this secret? Oh right, you are his..."
With his eyes darting from side to side, Lao Ai lowered his voice and said, "Hehe, he sent you here to find the ways to solve that restrictive spell?"
Wu Qi smiled, reaching out his right hand as he said, "My conditions are very favorable. In the future, if that person asks you to do something, you just have to inform me. I will not stop you from doing anything. And, if a conflict breaks out between me and that person, which makes me into his enemy, you just have to inform me in advance. Before that could happen, I'll save you from today's calamity, and you will work for me. Don't you think these are excellent conditions?"
After a brief moment of silence, Lao Ai gave Wu Qi a deep look, reaching out his right hand and grabbing Wu Qi's palm. "If you manage to find the method to get rid of that restrictive spell... if you can help me escape from being controlled by that person, so what if I work for you with total willingness? But, you cannot control my behavior!"
Wu Qi spent some time in thought, before he nodded and said, "I've no intention of being a holy man who saves the world. You are free to do whatever you like! As long as you are not endangering the people around me and their friends!"
Both men squeezed each other's palm heavily as they reached an agreement. Immediately, Lao Ai bit his fingertip and swore a poisonous blood oath with his soul. Madman Xue followed suit and swore the same oath as his Master. A blood oath sworn with a cultivator's soul was not easy to be violated. Unless the cultivator could cultivate to a realm which allowed him to ignore the Heavenly Dao, the oath would follow him for the rest of his life.
When Lao Ai and Madman Xue were swearing their oaths, Wu Qi squeezed out two drops of his own blood essence and blended them with their blood oaths. With that, the blood oaths of the Master and disciple were in Wu Qi's total control. Even if they found some spirit item such as a soul replacement puppet in the future, as long as the power of that spirit item did not exceed the limit of Wu Qi's ability, he did not fear that the pair of Master and disciple would violate the blood oath and do something that would harm him.
Noticing that Wu Qi was adding another layer of restrictive spell on top of their blood oath, Lao Ai said sulkily, "You are one careful fellow!"
Wu Qi gave him a gaze from the corner of his eyes and said mockingly, "When I am dealing with a respectable gentleman, I'll naturally use the method of a gentleman!"
Lao Ai was stunned before flying into a great rage, "Are you saying that I am a treacherous man?"
Wu Qi did not answer him. Instead, he took out two Ninth-grade immortal pills from the black dragon spirit ring and gave them to Lao Ai, as well as two upper-grade spirit pills to Madman Xue. "Your broken meridians should be healed soon after consuming these two immortal pills. Madman Xue's cultivation base is too weak, so he cannot withstand the power of immortal pills. Two upper-grade spirit pills are more than enough for him to be fully recovered!"
The pair of Master and disciple snatched the pills in an instant and hurriedly shoved them into their mouths, fearing that Wu Qi would regret and pull back the pills. Over the past half a year, the pair had gone through the hardship of being ordinary mortals who did not have the strength to even capture a chicken. They did not want to return to that miserable situation again.
After downing the immortal pills, they could sense the enormous medicinal strength that rolled and rocked rapidly in his body, breaking through the clogged up blood and energy and reconnecting the broken meridians. Lao Ai could not help but praise, "These are immortal pills indeed! Hehe, I owe you a great favor! Hmph, anyhow, I've never regarded myself as a good man!"
Rolling his eyes, Lao Ai murmured under his breath, "When Ying Zheng killed both of my children by throwing them onto the ground, my soul was standing right next to him, watching. Since then, I've completely transformed into a b*stard!" He laughed hideously, staring at the group of cultivators who were hovering in the sky, his eyes filled with deep hatred. Although he had yet to recover even a little bit of his cultivation base, in his eyes, these cultivators were merely a bunch of ants which he could kill at any time.
Right at this moment, Hidden Heart rushed into the grand hall, panting heavily while his body was bathed in blood. Even as he entered the hall, he tripped on the threshold and fell tumbling down, rolled a few times before he rose back to his feet. "Guarding Heart, the flame of evil is upsurging! Quickly request the Buddhist Power to guard the temple! Quick!" The old monk cried through his tightly clenched teeth.
Reverend San Le's wild laughter was heard coming from above. He had brought a group of cultivators and came right above the grand hall, looking down into the now roofless hall. He laughed and said, "Bald donkeys, you had been given a chance to move out peacefully, but you just resorted to violence. Well, if this is what you want, I'll wipe out every single one of you today! Now, release my grandsons and my guests, and I'll spare you a quick death!"
Then, he pointed his finger forward to shoot out a pinkish sword beam. Suddenly, Guarding Heart called out the name of Buddha, spreading his arms and sprinkling out a sheet of dazzling Buddhist light.
The Buddhist light poured down onto the five golden Buddha statues being worshipped in the center of the hall. A loud chant echoed out and towered into the sky. Hiding under the table, Wu Qi could still maintain his composure, but Lao Ai and Madman Xue were shaken by the sudden chant, with their visions turning dimmed as they nearly threw themselves to the ground. Together, the five Buddha statues emanated a faint golden light, and amidst wave after wave of chanting, a great sheet of golden flame soared high up into the sky. It transformed into a layer of energy barrier that was about several tens of feet thick, wrapping the entire Temple of Hidden Heart within.
The five Buddha statues were personally carved by Hidden Heart when he built the Temple of Hidden Heart many years ago. Over the past several hundred years, the group of monks had been chanting Buddhist scriptures before these statues, storing a great amount of Buddhist willpower in them. Now, using the Minor Buddhist Technique, they had triggered the willpower, transforming it into an airtight energy barrier.
The Buddhist willpower stored in the five statues was extremely pure, and the volume was significant. After all, it was the accumulation of several hundreds of years, making it surge out like a vast and endless river. When Reverend San Le's sword beam touched the energy barrier, it sprayed out a clump of pinkish smoke, issuing a miserable howl as it spun and flew back to where it came from.
Reverend San Le exploded with anger instantly. "Good bald donkey! Little did I expect that with your puny cultivation base, you actually possessed such an incredible ability!" he bellowed.
"Fellow Daoist Flaming Crow, please use your divine ability and refine all these bald donkeys!" Reverend San Le snapped, "Since Golden Pavilion Temple can swallow the anger of us destroying Jade Pagoda Temple, I'm sure they would not come after us for the sake of just a few itinerant cultivators!"
A handsome Daoist, who was clad in a bright red Daoist robe, his face looking kind and benevolent and as young as a virgin, chuckled as he took a few mincing steps forward. He reached his hand under the sleeve and pulled out a fist-sized, red gourd.
Very carefully, he uncorked the gourd with two fingers and quickly threw it away.
A muffled boom echoed out. Like a volcano hanging upside down in the sky, a vast stream of burning lava was poured out of the gourd.
In just a blink of an eye, the valley that stretched ten miles wide turned into an ocean of flame. Apart from the temple, everything in the vicinity was burned off by the raging flame.