When an ant stood before a giant dragon, even if the dragon were showing the utmost friendliness, the ant would still flee with the highest speed possible.
Not because of anything else, just because there was a tremendous gap between them, a gap between their realms, their overall strength, as well as the superiority between the species. Ordinary Immortal cultivators were still humans, but there was only a tiny trace of human entity left in Heaven Immortals, while Gold Immortals were completely inhuman. As for Primordial Immortals, only heaven knew what they were.
In short, Wu Qi was like a pitiful ant who had just escaped from the claws of a giant dragon, fleeing towards the Northern Ocean at the highest speed. He dared not to even look back over his shoulder, fearing that it might drag him into a vortex that could crush him to powder. 'Never poke your nose into something that you can never afford to interfere without a sufficient overall strength', this was the only way to keep one's life safe in the world of Immortal cultivators.
He had given up walking slowly like he did previously. Instead, using all methods available to him, he was rushing straight towards the Dark Abyss in Northern Ocean at the quickest speed.
He only halted twice, sitting cross-legged down to communicate with his celestial fiend puppets.
The first time, Wu Qi was told that Supremacy Three Flame had actually decided to stay back in An He City. He told Wu Qi's puppet that he was not a man who would betray friends after obtaining some generous benefits. Therefore, he was now staying in An He City with the status of Wu Qi's friend, further strengthening the combative force that was available to Wu Qi. Wu Qi could understand his decision, because it was not convenient and right for Supremacy Three Flame to wander about with a little girl, Xue Mei. At her age, she needed to live in a stable environment.
Hence, Wu Qi expressed a rousing welcome for Supremacy Three Flame's decision.
The second time was because Zhong Province's Punishment Court had once again sent a Criminal Officer to An He City, investigating the truth behind the complete wipeout of Miao Yihu's army. This time, Wu Qi had his puppet changed into a different look, then told the people from Punishment Court that 'Daoist Greed' was just an itinerant cultivator who temporarily joined Euphoria Heavenly Palace. And, after Miao Yihu appeared, that Daoist Greed had disappeared suddenly. As for the rest, he told them that he did not know anything.
The people from the Punishment Court had no other choice but to retreat from An He City. However, according to Lao Ai's investigation, many people with unknown identity had been hiding in the city since then. With regards to this, Wu Qi did not come out with any response. To him, it could not be better if the authority from Zhong Province wished to attack An He City. All he needed to do was delay them for three years, until Reverend Li Yang arrived at An He City with the Gold Immortals from Green City. At that point in time, he would have many ways to make them devour each other.
After settling these matters, Wu Qi temporary cut off the connection between him and all the celestial fiend puppets, focusing his attention to push on with his journey.
Without any rest and sleep, he ran and flew at top speed for slightly over two months, until he suddenly saw a vast mass of water vapor raising not far before him, his ears filled with a muffled roaring of waves. He had finally arrived at the Northern Ocean. Wu Qi gave a joyful cry, shooting himself several tens of miles further in a bright beam of light and landing on a rock at the shore.
The Dark Abyss of Northern Ocean was once a harsh and dangerous land on the northernmost part of Pangu Continent. However, following the constant expanding of the continent, it was currently just an insignificant dot on the boundless Pangu Continent. It had lost its fearsome reputation inherited since the ancient era.
Tens of thousands of lakes of different sizes came into Wu Qi's line of sight, scattered across the land like the stars that had fallen from the sky. Among them, the smaller ones were about several thousand miles in circumference, and the larger ones could reach as wide as several tens, or even hundreds of thousands of mile. They were mostly separated by mountain ridges and hills that stretched for tens of miles, and were interconnected with countless water channels that looked like a huge spider web.
Regardless of their sizes, all these lakes had one thing in common- they were very, very deep.
When overlooking these lakes from up high, their colors were either deep blue or deep purple, that looked almost black. It was a sign that they were very deep, and in fact, most of them were several tens of thousands of miles deep. Numerous creatures lived at the bottom of these lakes, such as giant turtles, large fishes and prawns, as well as flood dragons.
And, at the center of these lakes that chained up like a string of pearls, there laid a vast expanse of ocean with a diameter stretching over tens of millions of miles. The water from all the surrounding lakes and rivers ended their journey here, in this ocean. It was none other than the legendary Dark Abyss of Northern Ocean. Since the ancient times, rarely anybody could find out the exact depth of this Dark Abyss.
Could it be one hundred thousand, one million, or even more than ten million miles deep? For anyone below the realm of Gold Immortal who wished to find out the answer, the price they had to pay might be their own lives. Especially after someone had occupied the Northern Ocean and established an immortal abode here, there was even fewer person who were willing to do that.
A strong wind came blowing from a distance, drawing away an immense amount of water vapor as it swept across the ocean surface, then forming into numerous twisters that spun rapidly with their heads poked into the clouds. Some huge birds could be vaguely seen flapping their wings amidst the twisters, now flying higher, and then flying lower. Big fishes were leaping out from under the ocean, and either those huge birds would swoop down to catch the big fishes, or some big fishes would borrow the momentum of leaping out of the water to slap the birds with their giant tails. One way or another, their gigantic bodies had risen waves of great height, which then fell back and slammed the water, producing deafening booms here and there.
Wu Qi stood on the rock, stooping forward and glancing around with wide eyes. Off in a distance, on a small island surrounded by a few huge lakes, he saw some houses. From the look of it, he estimated that the island was inhabited by about a few thousand families. There were fishnets and some other things hanging at the front and back of the houses. There were also some fishing boats anchored next to a dock on the island.
It happened that a few fishing boats were anchored next to the shore several tens of miles away to Wu Qi's right. A few strong men were squatting on the nose of the boat, laughing and joking with each other while gesticulating at the huge birds and large fishes who were wrecking a havoc on the ocean. Wu Qi thought of an idea. Without hesitation, he removed the dirty and tattered burlap cloth and put on a gray Daoist robe that looked clean and tidy. After that, he strode towards the few men.
When he was still a few hundred feet away from the boats, those men had stopped talking, turning their eyes over to Wu Qi with vigilance.
One of the men shouted across the distance, "Hey, Daoist, what is your business here?"
Wu Qi cupped his fist and bowed, shouting back at the man, "I've traveled far from Zhong Province, and I'm here to appreciate the nice scenery of the Northern Ocean!"
The few men exchanged a glance and roared with laughter, shaking their heads. One of them said, "Appreciate the nice scenery? Hehe, what scenery can one appreciate in this harsh land of Northern Ocean? He is one dishonest Daoist, take no notice of him!" Someone blew a whistle, and the few men thrust their oars into the water, steering the boat and gliding away. Wu Qi was struck dumb as he stared at them paddling further away, shaking his head helplessly.
Previously, when he was still several millions of miles away from the Northern Ocean, he had already discovered that the land around him was remote and uninhabited. However, he was pleasantly surprised to find a small town here with a population of several tens of thousands of people, and it had prompted him to find out some information from these people. Nevertheless, he did not expect that these fishermen were so difficult to handle. He had only given an inappropriate reply, yet they simply turned around and left. 'Should I chase up to them and find out the information about Northern Ocean with force and violence?' He wondered.
The current Northern Ocean had a Master, and presumably, there was a reason to why these people were living at the edge of Northern Ocean.
'Well, it is not wise to act rashly!' With one hand touching his jaw, Wu Qi shook his head as the fishermen went away.
After spending some time to look to the left and right, Wu Qi found another fishing boat several hundred of miles away from him, floating alone on a body of water separated by a ridge shaped like a screen and connected to this lake with a one-hundred-miles long water channel. He quickly exercised an escape art and went straight towards the boat, then quietly stopped on the shore next to where the boat was anchored. With a bright smile on his face, he stepped onto the stern of the boat.
The boat sunk a little as Wu Qi stepped onto it, stirring the fisherman who was squatting on the prow of the boat. He turned around and asked, "What is your business here, Daoist?"
The fisherman with a bamboo hat and a straw rain cape looked in his late eighties or early nineties. His left arm was missing, completely broken off from the shoulder, making him look rather similar to Wu Qi's current condition. Half of his right foot was gone as well, leaving only the other half connecting with his ankle. Most shockingly, the old fisherman had four awful scars on his face. It was as if a big claw from some creature similar to that of a flood dragon had ripped his face from the left temple down to his right jaw, marking his face with four scars that almost cut his head apart. Even now, there was only a thin layer of skin clinging tightly to his skull.
Wu Qi sucked in a cold air through his teeth, heart filled with a very strong respect for the old man who was able to survive that nasty injury. He cupped his fist and bowed, then said smilingly, "Old Sir, my business is whatever business you think that I am here for. Is there anything interesting here in the Northern Ocean?"
The old fisherman gave a faint smile, then shook his head and said, "Committing murder and arson? Tsk, Northern Ocean is a remote place. Apart from where we live, the Ling Ao Island, you will find no trace of human habitation within tens of millions of miles outside of here. I don't think you have any relatives or friend here, and it is just a joke to have a sightseeing tour here. Well, I do think that you are here to murder someone and set up some fires."
Laughing dryly, Wu Qi came to the prow of the boat and squatted next to the fisherman. "I do murder and arson occasionally, but it is not my main job." He shook his head. "I come to Northern Ocean... tsk… Old Sir, have your people lived here on the Ling Ao Island for generations?"
Even as he talked, he lowered his head and noticed that in the water near the nose of the boat, there was a dozen of ten-feet long creatures, who looked like eels but had dragon scales covering their bodies, and were emitting a faint red light. They were floating lazily near the water surface, sleeping with bubbles coming out of their mouths.
The fisherman pointed at the strange creatures and said indifferently, "They are Blood Dragon Eels, the mixed-blood descendants of ten thousand years old Moon staring Blood-marked Eels and flood dragons, well-known for their ability to search for rare and precious treasures under the deep water. They are the treasures unique to Ling Ao Island, and we are living on the various rare and precious treasures which they scoop out of the Dark Abyss of Northern Ocean. Mm, Ling Ao Island is the place where all the extraordinary treasures found from under the water gather, designated by the Treasure Gathering Hall of the Imperial Palace of Great Yu. Don't you know this, Daoist?"
Wu Qi shook his head, staring thoughtfully at the Ling Ao Island with smoke rising up from kitchen chimneys. "I really didn't know."
Apparently, this Ling Ao Island was a place established by the Imperial Clan of Yu Dynasty, a place to gather the aquatic products harvested from the Northern Ocean. It was no wonder that these people could live here peacefully. Perhaps, the island even had an official administrative center of Yu Dynasty, and was stationed with an army.
As Wu Qi lost himself in thoughts, a speedy boat suddenly came rowing over from behind a small island, tens of miles away. A strong-looking man, who was clad only a short pant, was seen paddling with all his force, steering the boat towards their direction.
While he was still several miles away, the burly man had already shouted at the top of his voice, "Grandpa Chan, you have to go back quickly! That Niu Han is causing trouble at your home again!"
The old fisherman was taken aback. Ignoring Wu Qi, he hastily blew a whistle. Immediately, those Blood Dragon Eels floating lazily near the water surface leaped out from the water, then darted under the fishing boat, carrying it up and rushing towards Ling Ao Island like a gust of wind.
The sudden change stunned Wu Qi. But, he did not say a word, and just remained squatting on the prow, letting the fishing boat bring him into the Ling Ao Island.