By possessing Reverend San Le with a celestial fiend puppet and occupying An He City, Wu Qi's intention was to get himself a safe place where he could cure himself, while taking the opportunity to loot a batch of Pangu Continent's local products. This was the primeval land opened up by the Great Saint Pangu, where a full array of resources was available. Those outer heavenly realms could just not compare with it.
On top of that, Wu Qi also wished to get his hand on a current map of the Pangu Continent!
Yes, a map!
It was true that the few exact locations where he could find innate Yang energy were recorded in the Scroll of Stealing. However, as the shadowy figure who left him the Scroll of Stealing was a person who existed who knew how many Aeons ago, and Pangu Continent was constantly expanding by absorbing the chaotic airflows, its current size was many times larger than what was found in Scroll of Stealing, and the landscapes had changed drastically. Without a complete and updated map of Pangu Continent, how was Wu Qi going to find the exact locations to those few innate Yang energy sources?
Although he did not care a whit about the Euphoria Heavenly Palace or An He City, which in his opinion was just a tiny city, after all, they were the first power which he made contact with after arriving at the Pangu Continent. If he could bring them under his control, it would be beneficial for him to gather various intelligence related to the Pangu Continent, especially in finding its current map.
As he had already taken Euphoria Heavenly Palace and An He City as his own properties, it was natural that Wu Qi could not allow these immortal sects represented by the white-clothed scholar to leave the city and move their businesses elsewhere. Under Wu Qi's control, Reverend San Le hastily patted his own chest and promised, "Rest assured, my fellow Daoists, we'll get rid of those monks who blocked off the city gates immediately. Mm, please be patience, Euphoria Heavenly Palace will definitely compensate fellow Daoists for delaying the journeys of your Sect Elders!"
Reverend San Le threw himself into the company of cultivators and began to flatter, promise, form ties with them, and sometimes even threatened them in a low voice. Finally, he managed to calm down the noisy cultivators with much effort. After that, Wu Qi's face turned dark as he prepared to go out and break the bald heads of the four monks. 'No matter what are the resentments between you, the Golden Pavilion Temple, and the Euphoria Heavenly Palace, you have no rights to delay my businesses!'
Even as he was about to strike, from a tavern exquisitely built with pale-yellow wood and pale-green jade bricks below him came a cheerful laugh, "You are not a wise man, Reverend San Le. The backsliding behavior of Golden Pavilion Temple has given you a great opportunity. How could you just prepare to drive them away and let the matter settle like this?"
As the cheerful laughter echoed out, a handsome and elegant-looking young man, standing eight feet tall and clad in white clothes walked slowly to the balcony. His hand was holding a jade folding fan that portrayed a flying spirit, and had a demeanor that could make any man feel ashamed of one's own unseemliness. He unfolded the fan with one clean move, waving it gently as he pointed at Reverend San Le and cried out, "A rare opportunity is before you, so why is Reverend San Le not seizing it to build yourself a great achievement? How foolish is that?"
"Tsk, tsk..." Wu Qi clicked his tongue. He found the scene looking extremely familiar. 'Mm, a holy hermit who has millions of armored-soldiers hiding in his heart will always perform peculiarly and utter heroic statements in a busy street like what an extraordinary man should, using that to humiliate the Master who he has set his mind on. From there, the interesting story of a Master and a minister would unfold, then leave behind a legend that would be told for many years to come!'
Of course, an interlude was a must before that scene could unfold, just like what was happening next!
Upon hearing the disrespectful comments uttered by the white-clothed man, the cultivators from Min clan refuted him angrily. Meanwhile, two of Reverend San Le's great-grandsons pointed their fingers out, unleashing two wisps of pinkish smoke which transformed into two sword beams and thrust towards the man. Yet, showing no sign of fear, the young man raised his head up to look at Reverend San Le and shouted, "Could Reverend San Le really want to let this rare opportunity slip from your fingers?"
'So, you like to put up an act, huh? Well, I can go along with you!' Wu Qi laughed in his mind. Casually, Reverend San Le reached out his hands to grab the two sword beams. An invisible force was unleashed and brought the white-clothed man up into the air, pulling him over and making him hover before Reverend San Le.
Reverend San Le laughed hideously. While fiddling with the flying swords, he came before the young man and whispered, "Make haste and tell me what solutions you have for me. If you try to hide anything, don't blame me for... hehe… Among my grandsons and friends, I know some of them have a great interest in a handsome and elegant man like you!"
The white-clothed man's face flickered. He had no fear if Reverend San Le threatened to kill him, as that was already within his expectations. However, his heart cramped instantly upon hearing the nasty threat from Reverend San Le. It had greatly disturbed his mentality and filled his heart with restlessness. With efforts, he swallowed a lump in his throat, then laughed dryly and said, "Reverend San Le, please..."
Grinning coldly off to a side, Wu Qi grumbled in his mind, "Trying to be a poser before me? Now, let's see how long can you keep that for?"
Reverend San Le chuckled, then suddenly touched the white-clothed man's face with his hand and said, "Such fair skin and tender flesh, and that handsome visage! Hehe, although I've always been fond of girls only, if you can't give me a reasonable solution, don't blame me for eating you alive!"
Though he had been forcing himself to stay calm, the young man was thrown into an utter confusion by now. Sweat was rolling off his forehead, and the color of his face swung between blue and pale. He could no longer maintain the demeanor of a lofty and holy hermit anymore. While shivering, he bowed his head, forcing himself to stay calm as he said dryly, "There are too many ears here. Please find us a quiet place so I can tell you everything!"
Reverend San Le chuckled again, sounding very much like a hen who was laying eggs. "Fine, I have high hopes in you. If you can't satisfy me, don't blame me... hehe!"
The other few cultivators from Min clan who had been possessed by Fiend Immortals issued an evil laughter as well. They kept glancing across the youth's body lasciviously, clicking their tongues while murmuring some remarks such as 'such fair skin', 'such rounded butt', and some other nasty comments which made the youth feel like wanting to kill himself by slamming his head onto a wall.
Amidst wild laughter, Reverend San Le cupped his fist and bowed to the company of cultivators around him, whose faces were unsightly. After that, riding on a pinkish cloud, he and his companions rushed towards a mansion located right in the center of An He City.
The mansion was the residence of the past City Lords of An He City. As the previous City Lord was Jing An, the monk from the Jade Pagoda Temple, he had built a thirteen-storied Buddhist pagoda using jade bricks at the back of the mansion. However, it was now completely demolished, leaving only jade bricks scattered across the ground. A spacious hall was in the middle of constructing on top of the ruin. Many workers and craftsmen were seen bustling around the site.
In the main hall of the mansion, Reverend San Le sat loftily on the main seat, while Wu Qi and Lao Ai randomly picked a seat each and sat down. The rest of the company was standing around the hall. Everyone had their eyes rested on the face of the white-clothed youth like a pack of hungry wolves staring fiercely at a poor little lamb. Some of them even had a bizarre pink gleam flashing in their eyes. It made the youth feel as if he was a falling leaf amidst a wild wind. The demeanor of a holy hermit had been thrown to the wind.
Sitting arrogantly on the chair, Reverend San Le pointed his finger at the youth and cried out, "Tell me your name, your background, where is your hometown, how many family members do you have, the number of your siblings, your animals… I want the number of chickens, ducks, pigs, and dogs as well. Tell me everything in detail! If you dare to deceive me, I can send someone to kill every single member of your family, and even the chickens and dogs will not be spared!"
Cold sweat was rolling off the youth's forehead. Trembling violently, he began to speak.
His name was Liu Yi. He did not have parents, as he was an orphan who survived after a city was massacred during a battle. He was adopted by his Master, a mysterious hermit who dwelt in the depth of a mountain! The nameless hermit was an expert in many fields, including astronomy, geography, as well as the art of war, and the knowledge of running a kingdom. There was nothing he did not know. Since little, Liu Yi had been following this hermit and learned from him. Then, after the hermit passed away three years ago, Liu Yi buried him and embarked on a journey of searching for a wise Master that he could provide his assistance to!
When he heard that the Euphoria Heavenly Palace had defeated Jade Pagoda Temple, and Reverend San Le had taken the position of City Lord for An He City, Liu Yi felt that Reverend San Le was a man worthy of his service. Therefore, he had decided to offer his service to Reverend San Le, preparing to pour in all his efforts and help Reverend San Le establish a great career!
After listening to Liu Yi's story, Wu Qi could not help but gnash his teeth.
Meanwhile, Lao Ai's voice rang out in his ears, "In my times, when those retinues were offering services to their Masters, they were uttering the same bullsh*t! I've seen too many of them in my life! Also, this man does look like someone from Yu Academy!" Lao Ai nodded at Wu Qi with a hinting look on his face.
Wu Qi nodded with a smile, signaling Lao Ai that he had the same feeling. Both men exchanged a deep glance, then turned to look at Liu Yi at the same time.
"En..." Reverend San Le sounded indifferent as he shook his head and continued, "You have no parents and siblings, which that means you are not afraid that I will kill all your family members. Then, less of your nonsense, and tell me straight away what solution you have which can help me seize the opportunity and build myself a great achievement. If that makes me happy, you can have all the fine wines, beautiful girls, wealth and glory you want. Or else, I'll punish you with one thousand burly men! Be wise with your words!"
Punish him with one thousand burly men? Lao Ai gave Wu Qi a strange gaze as he sent a voice transmission over, "Do you really don't have any intimate relationship with the Duke of Longyang?"
Wu Qi's face fell instantly. Fiercely, he turned to Lao Ai and performed a gesture of cutting a throat.
Liu Yi had proven himself to be a man with courage. After he overcame the initial fear, he had become much calmer now. Forcing himself to ignore the threat of one thousand burly men, he clenched his jaw tightly and said, "After Euphoria Heavenly Palace eliminated the Jade Pagoda Temple, it has caused an imbalance of powers within a radius of one million miles around An He City. Reverend San Le, you as the current ruler of An He City, you can take the opportunity and stir up a full war between Euphoria Heavenly Palace and Golden Pavilion Temple, dragging the few experts who backed the Euphoria Heavenly Palace and Golden Pavilion Temple into it and making them fight against each other, eventually coming to an internecine outcome. If you do that, Reverend San Le, the window of replacing the position of both Euphoria Heavenly Palace and Golden Pavilion Temple here will be opened before you!"
Reverend San Le was briefly stunned, then he roared with laughter suddenly, "How absurd! With my cultivation base of early-stage Nascent Soul realm, how am I going to replace them?"
Liu Yi took a pace forward, staring at Reverend San Le as he cried out, "How about if all the other immortal sects are dragged into the war, and you, Reverend San Le, have your cultivation base taking a great leap?"
"This!" Reverend San Le knitted his brows into a tight frown as he stared at Liu Yi, then grinned coldly and said, "Could you really have the ability to make me reach the sky in a single bound?"
Liu Yi smiled reservedly and said, "I can't make you reach the sky with a single bound, but I can help you become a Heaven Immortal! Reverend, you can't afford to let this opportunity slip through your fingers!"
Sitting with his ankles on his knees, Wu Qi tilted his head sideways and stared at Liu Yi.
After a brief moment of silence, Reverend San Le nodded and said, "Fine, now tell me your plan! If things work out as your plan..."
Liu Yi bowed deeply and said, "If things do work out as my plan, you just have to promise me one thing! Reverend, you have to help me slaughter the city where my parents lived, and kill the culprit who murdered my parents!"
Once again, Reverend San Le pretended that he was pondering over the conditions. Finally, he nodded and agreed!