Lao Ai's expression changed when he heard the voice. With a casual pointing of his finger at the ground, the monk blade which Hidden Heart dropped previously transformed into a beam of green light, thrusting towards the outside of the valley to kill the member of Min clan who came here to inform the news.
Wu Qi pointed his finger out and unleashed a grayish rune, which transformed into a twisting human face and hit the blade, knocking it nearly one hundred feet away, stabbing into a pillar within the hall. He smiled and said, "This is a place of Buddhists. How could you kill someone so wantonly, my dear Bodhisattva?"
Lao Ai gave him a glare and said, "I am a Bodhisattva who kills, and I protect the justice in the mortal realm by killing!"
'Tsk, protecting the justice in the mortal realm by killing?' Wu Qi felt the hair near his neck standing on their ends, wondering how shameless Lao Ai could be to say something like that. Twitching his lips, Wu Qi's body swayed a little as eighteen celestial fiend puppets silently walked out of him, transforming into eighteen shadows that sprung into the air and fused into Reverend San Le, Daoist Flaming Crow, and a few other cultivators with the strongest cultivation base. The group of men and girls, including Min Hua and Min E, who were squatting at a corner of the hall and saw what was happening, were also knocked out by Wu Qi using drunken dragon incense, then possessed by the celestial fiend puppets.
A bloodcurdling noise of bone and flesh being munched through was heard coming from within the bodies of these cultivators. A vast dark smoke rose from their bodies. Before long, they opened their eyes and rose to their feet. They still had the same appearance of Reverend San Le and Daoist Flaming Crow, but in fact, they had been replaced by the puppets.
It was an unorthodox mystic technique of Fiend Dao found in the Celestial Fiend Battle the Heaven Script- the Puppet Possession and Soul Seizing Grand Magic. When a person was possessed by a celestial fiend puppet, all of his cultivation base, his spirit, energy, and vitality would be seized by the puppet, as well as all his memories and knowledge. Wu Qi only found out about this mystic technique after his puppets transcended the tribulation and became Fiend Immortals.
It was a very powerful technique, only that it had a very strict condition. It could only be exercised when the target was in a state of total defenselessness. But with the drunken dragon incense, Reverend San Le and his companions were no different from a group of dead people. Therefore, it required little to no effort for the puppets to possess them.
A few specks of fiend flame were seen flashing in Daoist Flaming Crow's eyes as he pointed his finger at the sky. Immediately, the fire gourd fell tottering down and returned to his grip. After that, he touched his emptied fingers and laughed dryly while standing behind Wu Qi with hands clasped behind his back. Wu Qi transferred all the things inside Daoist Flaming Crow's storage bracelets into the black dragon spirit ring, then returned them to him.
Reverend San Le and the rest of the cultivators had also received their emptied storage treasures from Wu Qi. Apart from their flying swords and magical treasures, nothing was left for them. After being done with all that, Reverend San Le cleared his throat and cried out, "Why are you so panicked? What's the big deal? They are just a few bald donkeys from Golden Pavilion Temple! I'll return now and teach them a good lesson!"
Wu Qi produced a few jade bottles of powder and potion, using them he concocted a handful of antidotes for the drunken dragon incense, then let Reverend San Le wipe some of the powder under the noses of those cultivators who were still unconscious. It woke them up almost instantly.
Then, Reverend San Le assumed his might as their Patriarch and began to explain that Wu Qi and the people here had already been brought under control by him using a great magic power, and everyone was willing to join Min clan of An He City as subordinates. After that, he gave those cultivators who appeared to be at a loss a fierce scolding, cursing them as a bunch of useless fools for losing their consciousness just by a Lion Roar unleashed by Hidden Heart, bringing shame to the Min clan for no apparent reasons.
Things had been covered up with a mere puppet show. Of course, Wu Qi had no other choice but to let Reverend San Le return the storage bags and some other similar things which he robbed earlier back to those cultivators. He had to pretend that he robbed them after they lost their consciousness and fell into the hall.
After bustling for fifteen minutes, the company of cultivators finally embarked on their journey of rushing back to An He City on clouds, together with the member of Min clan who brought them the news.
Hidden Heart was greatly astounded by Wu Qi's incredibly queer approach. But with Lao Ai, who Hidden Heart regarded as a living Bodhisattva, now becoming his Master, and Wu Qi being the savior who just helped his cultivation base rise abruptly by two realms, the old monk decided to hide everything in his heart, pretending like nothing had ever happened. He asked Guarding Heart to stay back in the temple and settle the mess caused by the battle, while he himself followed Wu Qi and Lao Ai with great hospitality as they rushed on their way back to An He City.
The distance between the valley where the temple was built and An He City was less than five hundred miles. When the monk, Jing An, was the City Lord, he used to come visit Hidden Heart at the Temple of Hidden Heart to discuss Buddhist scriptures. Now, Hidden Heart had found his great fortune and nearly become a Gold Arhat with just one step, but Jing An was dead, destroyed completely by the cultivators from Euphoria Heavenly Palace.
Staring at the walls around An He City from afar, Hidden Heart could not help but breath out a long sigh with mixed emotions.
An He City was the largest city within a radius of one hundred thousand miles. A long time ago, it served as the county office of the Great Yu's An Le County. Later on, when immortal sects gradually invaded the foundation of An Le County, the influence of the Human Emperor was slowly and eventually driven out. By now, it was a self-governed city.
The ancient and humble looking An He City was surrounded by six rivers. The water flowed while gurgling across the vicinity of the city like six ribbons, bringing it fertilized soil and beautiful scenery. The buildings in the city were anciently and solemnly fashioned. Over seventy percent of them were constructed with huge and neatly hewed rocks and large logs that required a few men to encompass with outreached arms, giving them a touch of grandness and mightiness. They gave off a sturdy feeling that they would never be moved even after tens of thousands of years. On top of that, the surfaces of all the buildings were decorated with fine and splendid carvings, which brought a touch of spirituality to them, and made them look even livelier.
Apart from these buildings, the remaining thirty percent of the buildings were extremely luxurious and exquisitely built. All kinds of exotic building techniques could be found in them. Some even spent a great amount of resources to construct various formations and lift the buildings up into the air, making them hover on top of clouds one thousand feet above the ground. Numerous gold and jade pavilions shone brilliantly under the sunlight, forming a contrasting view against those ancient and solemn buildings.
These buildings were built by all the past City Lords and Immortal cultivators, after the An He City was controlled by Immortal sects.
Today, not only was An He City the economic center of An Le County, it was also the trading venue for all the Immortal powers of various sizes within the radius of one million miles. Its status was similar to that of Green Cliff Immortal Market. The city had a mortal population of over one million, and the number of Immortal cultivators who were permanently and temporarily staying in the city was about several tens of thousands.
When Wu Qi and his companions arrived on clouds to the vicinity of An He City, they saw a tall and burly monk sitting cross-legged outside all four city gates. Each one of them had an object placed before them: a Gada, a wooden staff, an alms bowl, and a wooden fish. The few objects were emitting a faint golden light, which transformed into a beam of golden light that completely blanketed the city from all four sides.
Although the golden light appeared to be very thin, it was extremely tough. A few cultivators tried to attack it from within the city using flying swords and magical treasures, but all of them coughed blood after being wounded by a tremendous backlash. A large group of cultivators hovered midair as they stared at the golden light speechlessly. Those who wished to enter the city from the outside would not be stopped by the golden light, but anyone who tried to leave, regardless they were ordinary mortals or cultivators, could not walk beyond the golden light that blocked off the city gates.
A huge water tank that could hold over 500 liters of water was placed next to each of the monks. They were placed within the boundary of the golden light. Every now and then, some mortals would throw either gold pellets, silver ingots, copper coins, or buns, fried dough cakes, and some other foods into the tanks. When they did that, they could walk out of the city without any obstacle.
One of the monks had the most gains. His water tank was half-full, filled with gold, silver, copper, and various foods. Wu Qi even saw two braised pig heads lying in the tank. They must be from someone who tried to make fun of the monk.
Although Reverend San Le and Daoist Flaming Crow did not do anything, all four monks turned to look at them from a distance of several tens of miles.
A stentorian calling of Buddha's name rang out, then four monks cried out together, "We are the Guarding Monks from Golden Pavilion Temple. We are here today to seek alms from fellow Daoists in An He City, for the purpose of remolding the golden statue of Buddha. We hope fellow Daoists can make generous contributions to our cause! Your great kindness is much appreciated!"
Wu Qi had already slightly adjusted his visage before he came here. Staring at the monks, he shouted, "Aren't you here because of what happened to Jade Pagoda Temple?"
Wu Qi asked that deliberately as he already knew the answer. By suddenly blocking off the city gates of An He City, how could these monks from the Golden Pavilion Temple not be here because of what happened to Jade Pagoda Temple? In fact, it was more than that. The entrances to the Golden Pavilion Temple were completely blocked off by Lady Qiao's bedmates,, which prevented their experts from leaving the temple, and eventually resulted in the massacre of Jade Pagoda Temple. It caused an anger to pent-up among the people of Golden Pavilion Temple. Therefore, after Reverend San Le resumed the position of An He City's City Lord, they immediately sent these monks here to stir up some troubles.
Perhaps, it was because the people behind Euphoria Heavenly Palace were too strong, or maybe Golden Pavilion Temple did not want to shed all pretenses of cordiality, the four monks only blocked off the city gates and did not straight away attack it. Then again, with what they were doing now, it was no different from causing troubles right at Euphoria Heavenly Palace's doorstep. Nevertheless, they did not resort to violence, and if Euphoria Heavenly Palace overreacted to their trick, perhaps Golden Pavilion Temple would seize the chance to take a stern action.
After all, what the few of Lady Qiao's bedmates did was only block off the entrances to Golden Pavilion Temple. They did not help her eliminate Golden Pavilion Temple. Obviously, it was either Lady Qiao was not someone who her bedmates would be willing to sacrifice greatly for, or Golden Pavilion Temple had a rather powerful backing as well. Now, as Golden Pavilion Temple had assumed an attitude of purposely disgusting their opponents, it was now Euphoria Heavenly Palace's turn to come out with their reaction!
After pondering for a brief moment, Wu Qi laughed and asked, "The City Lord of An He City, Reverend San Le, is here! Grandmasters, can we enter the city now?"
One of the monks gave Reverend San Le a deep look, then said with a nod, "You can enter the city. But if you wish to leave later, you have to contribute to the Buddha!"
With a thought in Wu Qi's mind, Reverend San Le suddenly sneered and said, "Everyone follow me! Hmph, a few bald donkeys can do no harm to us! Let's enter the city first. We'll settle the score with them later!"
Riding on the cloud, the company went through the golden barrier easily and entered the city.
The four monks had their glances swept across Hidden Heart. They were very curious as to why there was a monk mixed among Wu Qi and the company. However, it was clear that they did not know Hidden Heart, so they just remembered his face and let the company enter the city. There were countless itinerant monks on Pangu Continent, so it was natural for Reverend San Le to have a few monk friends.
Right after they entered the city, a group of cultivators ranging from early-stage Nascent Soul realm to early-stage Gold Core realm came rushing towards them in panic.
The man with the strongest cultivation base among them, a white-clothed scholar of early-stage Nascent Soul realm, pointed his finger at Reverend San Le and cried out sternly, "San Le, I don't care what troubles have Euphoria Heavenly Palace run into, you cannot delay our businesses here. A few of my Sect Elders are here to inspect, but they are blocked in the city by those monks! This is the resentment between Euphoria Heavenly Palace and Golden Pavilion Temple. You better not drag us into that!"
He raised his head to look at the sun, then said furiously, "I'll give you fifteen minutes. If my Sect Elders still cannot leave the city, we will move all our shops over to He Le City! Euphoria Heavenly Palace can go ahead to collect taxes and commissions from those ordinary mortals!"
Wu Qi's heart cramped slightly. He could not allow this from happening. If those merchants from various immortal sects abandoned this place, what benefits could he harvest by occupying An He City?
 Gada - The gada is a club or blunt mace from South Asia. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gada_(mace))The gada is a club or blunt mace from South Asia. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gada_(mace))