One step at a time, Wu Qi was walking slowly on a vast expanse of grassland.
The grassland was part of Zhong Province's territory. He was heading towards the administrative center of Zhong Province, Zhong Ning City, from where he could proceed further to the Dark Abyss under the Northern Ocean, following the map provided by Supremacy Three Flame. According to the Scroll of Stealing, Dark Abyss had bred a thread of innate Yang energy. It was the thing which Wu Qi needed urgently now.
He had briefly healed the wound on his chest. The broken bones and ripped flesh had regenerated, but he paid no heed to the rest. It was a mess on his chest, with filthy blood dripping down. His broken arm was not healed either, but just wrapped tightly to the shoulder with a dirty cloth. It dangled freely as he walked towards the destination.
A pain was constantly washing over his body.
But, what made him feel even worse was not the injury, it was his heart. He could not believe that Daoist Chi had obeyed the order to hunt him down, and the reason was for the innate divine ability which Princess Zhang Le had inherited from her bloodline, the divine ability that could transform bad into good. It was a plain robbery, and it had forced Wu Qi to once again face the world of cultivators directly.
Lacking any compassion, affection, justice, and kindness.
It was a dark forest governed only by the law of the jungle. In this world, only one kind of people could survive, the people without a heart!
As he sensed the pain coming from the wounds, Wu Qi smiled pleasantly. For every city he went past on the vast grassland, there would be a fiend shadow dashing out from within his body. The celestial fiend puppet would then disguise into the look of a random mortal and walk slowly towards the city together with Wu Qi.
Along the journey, Wu Qi had released all his celestial fiend puppets into different cities. He had given them only one order: surviving in the city while growing their own overall strength and influence. They could do whatever they deemed necessary, as long as they kept developing themselves, waiting for the moment when Wu Qi summoned them again.
Apart from these celestial fiend puppets, he had also left behind a puppet in An He City to protect... well, to keep a watch on Lao Ai. The administrative right of the Euphoria Heavenly Palace had been given to Lao Ai, and the puppet would serve as the communicator between him and Wu Qi. Even though Lao Ai had sworn an oath, Wu Qi did not feel safe to leave him alone. It was better to have a pair of eyes keeping a watch on him.
Also, in just a few years, Reverend Li Yang would arrive on Pangu Continent to claim ownership of the region one million miles around An He City. Wu Qi did not want to let him off easily. Though he had found the map to the Dark Abyss now, there were still many things on Reverend Li Yang which he urgently needed. Therefore, he made the two celestial fiend puppets continue staying in Greenwood Mountain, keeping an eye on Daoist Yun Zang.
He had given the Bone Rotting and Burying Beetles, as well as the Energy Rotting Ghost Mushroom, to the two puppets. Wu Qi planned to give Reverend Li Yang a surprise. As long as he arrived a few years later, he would definitely be greeted with a great surprise.
As he endured the severe pain that kept washing through his body, Wu Qi walked step by step towards his destination with a pleasant smile on his face. He was over four thousand miles away from Zhong Ning City, and had decided to finish the journey on foot. He took it as a tribulation, an overall examination, or even a thorough trial for himself.
"Zi Xuan, it will take me three years to return to Green Cliff Planet! As Daoist Chi and Daoist Min are dead now, their soul jade slips must have broken, and Patriarch Yuan Hua will definitely do something too you in the shortest time!" Blood dripped to the ground as he walked and murmured under his breath, "I cannot make it back on time, and you have to save yourself! If you manage to escape, I'll kill Patriarch Yuan Hua to vent your anger. If you fail and something bad happens to you, I'll definitely wash the entire Yuan Hua Sect with their own blood!"
His arm dangled freely like a broken robe as he said. "Patriarch Jiang Yun, you better don't disappoint me! If you obey Patriarch Yuan Hua's order, kidnapping Great Yan's Imperial Clan and using them to force Zi Xuan, I'll make sure that White Cloud Immortal Sect will no longer exist in the future! And, I'll kill every single member of your clan!"
An anxiety was torturing Wu Qi's heart. He was worried about the current situation Princess Zhang Le was facing, worried if Great Yan would be dragged into it, and worried if Lu Chengfeng and other friends would face any dangers because of this incident. He suddenly realized that he had too many people to worry about. In this world, he had had too many things that he could not let go. He had devoted his feelings to them, and he could not just simply ignore them anymore. Therefore, his heart was twitching with pain, a severe pain that felt like the burning of a raging flame.
He kept walking, and his mind was blank. Suddenly, he recalled something that Wu Wang had once told him.
"No wild animals in a forest are willing to offend a tiger. Because, the tiger is fierce, savage, and if you offend him, he will kill you. Therefore, the tiger can be the king that prowls across the forest unchallenged, and that is a mighty reputation painted with the blood from all the tigers of previous generations! It is the same for humans. The human society is like a mountain, and the people living in the society are the wild animals in the forest. If you do not wish to be eaten by someone else, you have to be the tiger in the forest!"
Wu Qi kept on walking, one step at a time. His eyes narrowed, and his face was filled with a hearty smile.
"I used to think that my goodwill and kindness will be repaid with the same. I used to misunderstand, that Yuan Hua Sect and White Cloud Immortal Sect are managed by the people similar to Master. But, I was wrong. Master and the others are my family members. But, the people in Yuan Hua Sect and White Cloud Immortal Sect are Immortals, they are not humans. They are Immortals greedier than ordinary humans, who worship nothing but absolute power and hegemony!"
In the world of Immortals, those with a stronger power would be the victors!
On this Pangu Continent, those with a stronger power would be the victors!
With a stronger overall strength, Reverend San Le could force Hidden Heart to move out of the temple where he had lived for several hundreds of year.
With a stronger overall strength, Wu Qi could scheme Euphoria Heavenly Palace, seized their base in An He City.
With a stronger overall strength, Patriarch Muji and Arhat Wrath could invade and occupy An He City, turning the region into a territory controlled by immortal sects.
With a stronger overall strength, Patriarch Green Heart and his companions could act wantonly in Qing Xu Immortal Pass, abducting, killing, robbing others as they wished, and even imposing an unwritten rule to split the loots.
With a stronger overall strength, Feng Qingya could openly bring his army and carry out a dog eat dog business, waiting quietly outside Myriad Herbs Hall for the appearance of the last lucky fellow.
With a stronger overall strength, Feng Qingwu could command her army wilfully. Even if Wu Qi were just an innocent passerby, she could also give out an order to kill him.
With a stronger overall strength, Supremacy Three Flame could freely slaughter Miao Yihu and his warriors, as well as some other officials from Yu Dynasty, exchanging their bloody heads into merit points, and using the points to trade for spirit medicines and immortal items.
There was no distinct difference between good and evil, between justice and wrong, there was no compassion or pity, no affection or love. The naked truth was that those with a stronger power would be the victors, and those who were weak would have their bones taken, becoming the sticks that beat the drums, just like those who Wu Qi had killed in the past.
"Master..." Wu Qi kept calling Wu Wang's name in his heart, thoroughly going through every single word Wu Wang had once told him.
"I'll never let the people kind to me fall into a perilous situation like this again! Zhang Le is the girl who I love, and I'll never let anyone cast their covetous eyes on her, as well as all the things around me!" Wu Qi stuck out his shoulder, and when he walked, a part of him actually looked like Wu Wang.
Wu Qi was, after all, a youth in his early twenties! Even though he had been killing people like flies, he was still full of hope for this world. Whenever there was someone who showed him some kindness, he would always respond with a warm attitude. Therefore, he had regarded Patriarch Jiang Yun as his Master, and he felt grateful for what Patriarch Yuan Hua had done for him.
But, when Patriarch Yuan Hua smashed and shattered all the warm feelings he had for them with a big stick, the experience and knowledge that belonged to Wu Wang had fused with his soul finally awakened. Wu Wang's soul was no longer an auxiliary part of him, but had fully integrated with him.
"I like this damn world!" Staring at the sky, Wu Qi laughed suddenly. "I love this damn world!"
At last, he nodded and said again, "I really do love this place!"
His unsteady steps slowly became stable; the distance between each step taken was exactly the same, as if measured with a ruler. And, he walked in a straight line towards his destination, Zhong Ning City. Every step was extremely firm, as if he wanted to leave a deep footprint on Pangu Continent.
"Thank you, Patriarch Yuan Hua!" Wu Qi laughed again.
A firm step at a time, he kept marching forward, passing city after city, village after village.
After walking for slightly over two months, Wu Qi finally saw the outline of Zhong Ning City emerging at the horizon.
There was a village next to him. It happened that the wounds on his chest and shoulder were giving him a severe pain, so he halted to catch a breath and turned to give the village a look before continuing his journey. Right at this moment, on the dirt road that led into the village, an oxcart came towards his direction with a cart full of weeds behind. On top of the weeds sat a few burly youths, who were chatting and joking among themselves.
Wu Qi gave the group of youths a glance, and was stunned instantly.
Abruptly, one of the extra stocky youths sprung up from the heap of weeds and landed on the ground with a somersault. He laughed heartily while rushing towards Wu Qi as he cried out, "Wu... Brother Wu! How did you manage to come here? For heaven's sake, you've escaped from the flood, but you are wounded!"
While running towards Wu Qi, the youth quickly winked at Wu Qi.
Wu Qi stared blankly at the youth, then blinked as he turned to look around. The wind was mild and the sun was bright, it was midday and not midnight. Clearly, he was not seeing things. The youth rushing towards him was the leader of Great Yan Scouting Officers, one of the members of Great Yan Imperial Clan, Yan Bugui.
Yan Bugui came rushing before Wu Qi and braced him tightly. Then, he placed his mouth near Wu Qi's ear and whispered, "My current name is Hu Bugui, and I am seeking refuge here after my hometown was destroyed in a flood. Our village is called 'Little Leaf Village', which was destroyed two years ago in a flood, and all the people in the village are dead. Remember this, the Little Leaf Village is located in a valley within the Leaf Mountain four thousand miles northwest of Zhong Ning City... Mm, I've been here for over a month!"
Wu Qi squeezed the corner of his eyes, and tears immediately rushed out of his eyes. He braced Yan Bugui with one arm and wailed like a baby, "Brother Bugui, I've finally seen you again! Wuwu... How did you come to this place? I couldn't help but keep thinking about all of you!"
Yan Bugui was an elite from Scouting Office. Without too much effort, his tears had rolled off his face, just a brief second slower than Wu Qi. He cried sorrowfully and said, "Brother Wu, oh brother Wu, I never dreamt that we could meet again! Where have you been all this while?"
"Apart from you, who else?" Wu Qi whispered in Yan Bugui's ear.
Yan Bugui lowered his voice and said, "Master Su Qin is leading us here personally, and he is the one who found out about the Little Leaf Village. Mm, we are the first batch which arrived on Pangu Continent, one thousand brothers from Scouting Office! Damn it, it is bloody expensive to come here!"
While Wu Qi and Yan Bugui embraced each other and were crying their hearts out, the oxcart had halted next to them. The youths had jumped off from the heap of weeds, throwing a curious glance at Wu Qi.
Yan Bugui grabbed Wu Qi's hand and dragged him into the village.