In a flash, the golden Buddhist light arrived before Wu Qi. A scent of sandalwood caressed his face, freshening his spirit and calming his mind. It was mild and gentle, like the spring waters passing through the mountains that showered one with a bit of chill. It was a supreme grade sandalwood which had been refined with Buddhist techniques.
A fair and burly monk stood amidst the golden light, putting his palms together as he offered Wu Qi a greeting with a big smile on his face. He was clad in a yellow kasaya, wearing a pair of boots threaded with numerous tiny pearls, and a Buddhist crown socketed with jades on his head. To his left and right were a pair of boy and girl, whose skin was fair and smooth, as if they were made out of flour. Both of them had an upward ponytail above their heads, and were staring at Wu Qi with their big, black eyes.
"For the benevolence of the Buddha! Sādhu! Sādhu!" The monk gave the heap of storage treasures placed before Wu Qi a glance with his bright eyes, then bowed and said with a smile, "Fellow Daoist, there is a fate between you and Buddha. I am Arhat Bao Sheng, the disciple of the Three Lotus Thrones Six Arms Evil Subduing Great Bodhisattva, who is the disciple of the Great Solar Wheel Glorious Buddha from the Great Solar Heavenly Realm. Right at the moment I saw you, I knew that because of the fates in your previous lives, you are destined to convert to a Buddhist in this life!"
'Another fate with the Buddha!' A disgusted feeling filled Wu Qi's heart. He pointed at the heap of storage treasures as he put up a mocking smile and said, "Monk, I'll split half of these treasures with you, and I'll no longer have any fate with the Buddha. What say you?"
Arhat Bao Sheng chuckled reflexively and said, "That will do!"
However, he immediately felt wrong after saying that. Under Wu Qi's mocking glance, he smiled gladly without having his fair skin blushing even a little bit as he said, "Fellow Daoist, why are you making fun of me? How can the fate between you and the Buddha be removed by mere mortal objects? I hope fellow Daoist can devote yourself to Buddhism, as that will allow you to enjoy endless wonderful scenery, an endless happiness. Isn't this better than struggling in the mortal world?"
After a brief moment of pondering, Wu Qi picked up one storage treasure after another and shoved them into his own ring, while Arhat Bao Sheng's eyes went wide watching him did that. At last, Wu Qi turned to the monk and asked with a smile, "May I ask, how many Buddhas are there exactly? You keep saying 'for the benevolence of the Buddha', and it makes me wonder, how many Buddhas are you actually worshiping?"
An Arhat possessed a cultivation base of that a Heaven Immortal, and the overall strength of a Bodhisattva was similar to a Gold Immortal, while a Buddha was at the level of a Primordial Immortal. Throughout the entire universe, there were only a handful of supreme Primordial Immortals who were well-known to everyone. Therefore, Wu Qi was really curious as to how many Buddhas were out there, who were almighty experts as strong as Primordial Immortals?
Arhat Bao Sheng smiled and began to speak thoughtlessly without even pausing, "The size of Buddhism is vast and full of miracles. Throughout millions upon millions of heavenly realms in the universe, each one of them is stationed by one Buddha. Simply put, you can find a Buddha in all 8.4 billion heavenly realms!"
Wu Qi gave Arhat Bao Sheng a cold gaze. Apparently, this was a monk who had a loose tongue. While sneering, he said, "8.4 billion heavenly realms? Are there really so many heavenly realms out there? And each of them is stationed by one Buddha? Doesn't that mean Buddhism has 8.4 billion Primordial Immortals? Monk, you are really good at cooking up wild tales!"
Arhat Bao Sheng put on a solemn face and said seriously, "I'm not cooking up wild tales! Fellow Daoist, I believe you have not left Pangu Continent even once in your life. Therefore, you have no idea how flourishing is Buddhism in the outer heavenly realms. There is really one Buddha stationed in each of the 8.4 billion heavenly realms. If you don't believe me, Fellow Daoist, you can follow me to the Great Solar Heavenly Realm and ask any random Buddhist disciple. They will give you the same answer as me!"
Wu Qi shook his head and ignored the monk. There was a Buddha stationed in every single heavenly realm? At the very least, he had never heard or met one Buddha in the tens of thousands of heavenly realms ruled by Yu Hua Heavenly Realm, not even a Bodhisattva. Nevertheless, he did hear that there were a couple of Arhats there. Clearly, Arhat Bao Sheng's words were not credible.
He snorted coldly and shoved the last storage bracelet under his sleeve, then turned to the cultivators in Qing Xu Immortal Square and snapped, "That's enough! I'll not go too far today, and I'll not rob everything from you. Remember, the world is boundless and there are countless extraordinary experts around you. This is not a place where you, a bunch of wild chickens and stray dogs, can act wantonly!"
Flicking his sleeve and without giving Arhat Bao Sheng another look, he spun and flew on a cloud towards the palace where he registered himself to obtain the identity certificate. In Qing Xu Immortal Pass, there was only one voice transmitting formation which could allow him to have a real-time communication with people in the outer heavenly realms, and it was located right in that palace. Yu Dynasty constructed it, so that the Immortals and cultivators here could communicate with their sects in outer heavenly realms.
Of course, it cost a hefty resource to use the voice transmitting formation even just once. For a session that lasted the time to finish a pot of tea, it would consume all the energy of several hundred upper-grade energy stones. On the other hand, the authority was asking one thousand upper-grade energy stones to use it once, which was totally predatory pricing. But then, it was really expensive to construct a voice transmitting formation which enabled real-time conversations with outer heavenly realms, as only a 'Dark Tune Divine Stone' could be used as its core. It was a material hundreds and thousands of times more precious than Spatial Breaching Spirit Gold, something that no ordinary immortal sects could afford. Therefore, the rate was actually reasonable.
Wu Qi left on a cloud without giving Arhat Bao Sheng another look. The monk's face darkened as he shouted furiously, "Why are you so rude, fellow Daoist?"
He extended his right arm. The arm stretched to about two miles of distance, moving like a flexible rubber snake enshrouded in a golden light as it grabbed towards Wu Qi's shoulder. At the same time, golden specks were shooting out of the fingers, and vaguely, there were some swastikas that appeared on the fingertips. The grab came with an irresistible force, and coupled with Arhat Bao Sheng's Buddhist restrictive divine ability, it was more than enough to capture any ordinary Heaven Immortals.
However, Wu Qi was not an ordinary Heaven Immortal. His body trembled as he abruptly teleported here and there within a small radius. Each of the teleportations would only move him across a distance of thirty to fifty feet. A series of ear-splitting wind breaking noises kept ringing out, and Wu Qi's silhouette could be seen blinking and flashing within the void one thousand feet in circumference.
Arhat Bao Sheng grabbed three times in a row, but he just could not touch Wu Qi. It had greatly infuriated him, and he bellowed, "You are insulting me! Fellow Daoist, since you cannot distinguish good from bad, don't blame me for being cruel and annihilating you, an evil cultivator from the Fiend League!" He took a deep breath, then roared with the technique of Lion Roar, "You evil cultivator! How dare you plunder Qing Xu Immortal Pass? Do you still have respect for all the fellow Daoists, as well as Yu Dynasty?"
After putting the blame on Wu Qi, Arhat Bao Sheng glared angrily as a column of green cloud rose from his head. Three fist-sized relics could be seen rolling about above him, and a lotus throne was radiating a large sheet of green light under each of them, resonating with the vast brilliance emitting from all three relics.
As the relics made their appearance, a golden flame burst from all over Arhat Bao Sheng's body. Shrouded by the Buddhist light and the raging flame, he looked like a legendary Evil Subduing Vajra, and was sending forth a boundless might that made all the cultivators and mortals below him to drop to their knees, lower their heads, and bowe deeply.
With a swing of his right hand, a Vajra Wheel appeared in his grip amidst a large ball of red flame. He cried, getting ready to thrust the wheel.
Right at the moment before the monk thrust the wheel, Wu Qi spun and lazily crooked his finger at him, "Monk, fate brings us together today. I'm going to plunger Qing Xu Immortal Pass's General Palace now, robbing all the energy stones they have accumulated over the years! Mm, you can join me if you are interested. Otherwise, you can leave now!"
Arhat Bao Sheng halted instantly, and the Buddhist light around him vanished as well, revealing his face with a solemn expression. He took a deep breath, put his palms together, and said with a deep voice, "Sādhu! Sādhu! Fellow Daoist... aren't you afraid that the authority from Yu Dynasty will find out who is to be blamed for this?"
Wu Qi breathed out a long sigh, spreading both arms to the sides as he said with a bitter smile, "I've killed Feng Qingya! And also, over thirty Heaven Immortals!"
Arhat Bao Sheng nearly had his eyes popped out as he cried out in shock, "You've killed Feng Qingya? And also those stubborn Daoists who have dwelt in Qing Xu Immortal Square for years? No wonder none of them showed up even when I created such a commotion! Aye, this... How are we going to split the loot? Fifty-fifty?"
Wu Qi shook his head, staring coldly at Arhat Bao Sheng as he said, "Fifty-fifty? What a wishful thinking! Thirty-seventy… I'll take seventy percent, and thirty percent for you!"
After a long while of hesitating and pondering, Arhat Bao Sheng clenched his jaws tightly, shook his head, and said, "I'll do it for sixty-forty. Otherwise, it will be a disgrace to the Buddhism!"
Wu Qi thought for a moment, then nodded slowly. "So be it! Monk, you've taken a fair share of the loot out of nothing. Hence, you have to take the lead in the attack! Mm, I'll need to use the voice transmitting formation in the palace, so I'll sneak into the palace and find it first. You can go ahead with the attack on the outside!"
With such a huge profit before his face, Arhat Bao Sheng had thrown all his worries to the wind. Feng Qingya was dead, and the group of over thirty Heaven Immortals who dwelt in Qing Xu Immortal Square for years were also dead. Nobody could be a threat for him now. Therefore, he agreed to Wu Qi's condition excitedly, and even addressed him as brother, as if they were a pair of sworn friends for life or death who had been together for numerous Aeons.
Grinning coldly, Wu Qi hastily flew towards the General Palace on a cloud.
Because of the long distance, nobody in the General Palace had learned of the incident that happened in Qing Xu Immortal Square. Under the lead of those officials from Yu Dynasty, there were still cultivators who came visiting the place, walking inside to get their identity certificates made. Wu Qi descended his cloud, walking straight toward the west side hall, where he could find the voice transmitting formation.
A few armored soldiers stopped him. One of them asked fiercely, "What is your purpose here?"
Wu Qi pointed at the west side hall and said coolly, "I'm here to borrow the voice transmitting formation. I've some news to send to outer heavenly realms!"
The soldier measured Wu Qi's not so luxurious clothing with his eyes, then sneered and said, "A man with a shabby appearance like you wants to use the voice transmitting formation? Do you have enough energy stones? Don't ever dream of stepping closer to it if you can't afford to pay one thousand upper-grade energy stones!"
Wu Qi shook his head and glanced around. Suddenly, he flung his left sleeve and threw out a scorching fireball, burning and charring the few soldiers, then ripping them into a couple dozen pieces of charred body parts that scattered across the place.
Near and far, numerous soldiers and officials growled and bellowed together. Those who could not fight were retreating quickly, while those who thought they could fight were approaching Wu Qi with weapons in their hands. However, before they could get closer to Wu Qi, a huge Vajra Evil Subduing Ring radiating with a bright golden Buddhism light had wrapped around the entire General Palace, which occupied several hundred acres of land.
Arhat Bao Sheng, who had his face covered with a thick black cloth and assumed a thievish look, hovered midair as he gave a furious roar, "Wayayayaya! Listen, you people! Surrender all the wealth you've corrupted from the innocent people all these years! Those who refuse will receive a lesson from the sharp blade in my hand! Mind you, I only take care of killing, but not burying!"
Wu Qi nearly fell to the ground. It seemed this Arhat Bao Sheng was rather familiar with the words used when robbing someone!
A deafening bugle call echoed out, as troops after troops of soldiers rushed out from all corners of the Palace.