Wu Qi stood before the entrance to one of the pits, hand gripping on a lower-grade energy stone as he quietly absorbed energy from it. He had looted several thousand cultivators, taking away all the lower-grade energy stones which Lu Buwei gave them. He kept half of them, and from the other half, he gave forty percent to the several hundred foremen, and sixty percent to those Yakshas. Regardless it was those cultivators whose energy was depleted, Nascent Souls and Nascent Divinities were exhausted, or the poor Yakshas who did not possess anything, all of them were seized with a wild joy. Some took him as their savior, while some took him as their benefactor.
The energy contained in one lower-grade energy stone was approximately enough to fill the need of a peak Xiantian cultivator for three months. If it were a Gold Core cultivator, it could last only half a month. And when it came to a Nascent Soul cultivator, the energy would be completely emptied in just one hour. Thus, it only took Wu Qi the time to finish a pot of tea to draw out all the energy in the lower-grade energy stone in his hand.
The energy stone crumbled as he clenched his palm. With his single arm placed behind his back, he watched the cultivators working themselves to the bone, and he shook his head. Sure enough, there were people who should never be treated with kindness and fairness, and would only move when threatened with violence and death.
Since Wu Qi had controlled their Nascent Divinities and Immortal Souls, these cultivators had been working with all their effort as if they were fed with some kind of stimulant. The number of ores they extracted within fifteen minutes was almost equal to the amount it took them two hours to mine in the past. The efficiency had increased by a whopping four times. Wu Qi sighed in his heart, wondering why they did not cherish the excellent conditions he had provided two days ago. Why would they work in such a high efficiency only after having their lives controlled by him?
He sighed, throwing away the powder in his hand as he spun and flew towards the chamber which he had claimed as his own residence.
He pondered as he flew. He had offered the Fragrant Ganoderma, and even purposely showed the vicious and wicked cultivation technique from the Fiend League just now. With what he did, Goddess Miao Xin should soon summon him. The Fragrant Ganoderma was a great favor, and as he was a cultivator from the Fiend League as well as the deputy supervisor of the mine, it was reasonable and logical that she should see him personally.
Only after he had met Goddess Miao Xin could he then weigh his next step.
While he was deep in thought, a beam of dark light came flying out from one of the cave entrances. Before long, a beautiful maidservant with a slim body landed gracefully before him. "Supervisor Wu, Goddess has need of you. Hehe, you looked impressive just now!" The maidservant said, her voice sounding sweet.
Wu Qi's heart raced when he gave the maidservant a glance. She looked like a teenage girl who was fourteen or maybe fifteen years old. But, the viciousness and wicked look that lingered between her brows and eyes, as well as her graceful bearing of a matured lady all, showed that she was a seasoned old demon with the appearance of a teenage girl. And, what shocked him the most was the ring of faint fiend light hovering behind her head. It consisted of three fiend wheels, inside of which were nine exquisite-looking fiend runes divided into three layers. All of them were emanating a faint aura that cast terror into one's heart.
'She has a cultivation base of at least Heaven Immortal realm, and it must be mid-grade or above, at least Twenty-seventh Tier Heaven Immortal realm!'
He dared not to show any slight disrespect. Without hesitation, he cupped his fist and bowed to the maidservant, "Your junior, Wu Wang, offers greetings!"
She responded with a reserved smile. Although she was chuckling with her sweet voice like a girl in love a moment ago, her face looked stately and cold now. "Mm, you are a sensible man with a pair of keen eyes. No wonder you offered that Fragrant Ganoderma. Now, come with me!"
She gave a faint snort, then transformed into a beam of dark light and sped away. Very quickly, Wu Qi transformed into a clump of black smoke and followed her.
Wu Qi dared not to use any of his innate escape arts or the Acquired Magnetic Sword beam, as that would attract unwanted attention. Therefore, he was flying behind her with the Fiend Cloud escape art found in the Inferno Hell Fiend Scripture. He did not know what escape art the maidservant was using, as even though the speed of Fiend Cloud escape art was considered very fast, she had drawn a fairly large distance between them in just a short amount of time. She was forced to halt and wait for Wu Qi to catch up.
Wu Qi laughed dryly as he caught up next to the maidservant. While they continued flying, he asked, "Thank you for the understanding, Senior. May I make bold to ask your name?"
The maidservant chuckled as she gave Wu Qi a glance with her amorous eyes. However, when she moved her eyes down to his broken arm, her face had taken a disappointing expression that could not be concealed. It was as if a housewife had gone to the market to buy a free-range chicken, but was disappointed to find out that the chicken was not a genuine free-range chicken, but was raised with fodder. She sighed and said coolly, "I'm Miao Feng, a maidservant who serves Elder Miao Xin."
She paused for a brief while before continuing, "Miao Yue is another maidservant who serves Elder, and she is not as easygoing as I am. Remember to be respectful when you see her later."
"Yes!" Wu Qi answered. He followed closely next to Miao Feng as they flew upward through a dark tunnel, and went on for nearly one thousand miles in total darkness before a faint light gradually came into their sight. They left the tunnel in a beam of dark light and a fiend cloud, plunging straight into the deep ocean. In front of them, at a distance about one hundred miles ahead, there loomed their destination, Miao Ying Palace, where four tall pillars could be seen erected at its four corners.
Wu Qi turned around to look over his shoulder at the mine entrance, and was frightened by what he saw. Six altars were floating around the entrance, on top of which sat thirty-six Daoists who were clad in dark Daoist robes, faces deadly pale, and their hands carried bone swords shrouded in green light. The altars were also surrounded by numerous obscure figures of Godfiends. It was the profound mystic technique of controlling fiends from the Fiend League.
The mine entrance happened to open right on a spirit cave of the ore vein. With the six altars and countless Godfiends guarding it, the entire ore vein was like a heavily guarded city. There was no other way those cultivators in the mine could escape, unless they had the power to suppress the combined overall strength of thirty-six Fiend cultivators and countless Godfiends. And, with the Nether Ocean Dark Gold Copper's unique characteristic of absorbing natural energy, if those cultivators could not escape even when they had the full energy or immortal energy, their chances of escape would just turn slimmer as time went by.
But, what frightened Wu were the thirty-six Daoists who guarded the entrance. Each of them had a fiend wheel hovering behind their heads, and each of the wheels had different numbers of fiend runes. The least had three, and the most were more than what Miao Feng had in her fiend wheel. Their dull, lifeless, and emotionless eyes swept across his face, raising goosebumps on his skin and washing his heart with a coldness.
"They are the Thirty-six Fiend Guards under the Elder." Miao Feng noticed Wu Qi had shown some interest in those black-clothed Daoists, so she explained with a smile on her face, "If Elder has errands to be completed, they will be the one she summons. To put it in a plain language, they are Elder's lackeys. You don't have to mind them."
Wu Qi blinked his eyes and said as if nothing were on his mind, "The Thirty-six Fiend Guards... I can feel all of them have very profound cultivation base, as when they glanced at me with their eyes, a death threat immediately rose from the bottom of my heart. Tsk, these Seniors' cultivation base is really unfathomable!"
Miao Feng shook her head in a disapproving manner and said, "It is not because they are strong, but your cultivation base is weak. Hmph, they are just worthy to carry out some minor tasks!"
Wu Qi did not say a word again as they had already arrived before the main entrance of Miao Ying Palace.
The main entrance of Miao Ying Palace was constructed with the same materials, made of bones. It was a huge archway that stood nine stories tall and eighteen standard rooms wide, with large pillars taken from some huge unknown beasts, each measuring ten feet in diameter. Green flames danced atop the archway just like the four lofty pillars, radiating a light that dimly lit the surrounding and veiled everything with a sheet of green.
A row of burly men, several dozen feet in height, stood under the archway with a space of a standard-room between each other. Obviously, they were the people of Long Bo Kingdom. Their skins were densely covered with black fiend runes, their bodies emanated a strong fiend aura, and their eyes shone with a faint scarlet light. No black or white color could be found in their eyeballs, just a dreadful deathly paleness. They too had fiend wheels hovering behind their heads, each with six layers of at least 108 bizarre-looking fiend runes.
When Wu Qi took a few steps towards the archway following behind Miao Feng, these burly men suddenly had their eyes went wide as they gave him a fierce glare together. An enormous aura surged from within their bodies, filling his heart with despair, and the fiend wheels behind their heads brightened up abruptly.
Dense and almost materialized fiend aura transformed into eighteen gigantic fiend beasts that one could see with naked eyes, leaping and snapping towards Wu Qi. His body stiffened, shivering from head to toe. He could barely stand straight before these ferocious fiend beasts.
Right at this moment, the iron medallion hanging on his hip unleashed a beam of green light and enveloped him. Upon seeing that, eighteen burly men snorted together, and the fiend beasts transformed from their fiend aura quickly retracted and went back inside their bodies. Two men standing in the middle moved to each side, making way for them to enter the main entrance.
Miao Feng smiled faintly and said, "They are the Eighteen Divine Guards, eighteen Heaven Immortals born in the Long Bo Kingdom who Patriarch had carefully picked. Though they are Heaven Immortals, their overall strength could allow them to fight head-on with any Gold Immortals!"
Wu Qi gasped with amazement.
He knew what latent potential the people of Long Bo Kingdom possessed, as he had once raised ten thousand people from the Long Bo Kingdom. But unfortunately, before they could become seasoned, the Primordial Gold Talisman had turned them into ashes. And yet now, standing before his eyes were eighteen Heaven Immortals from the Long Bo Kingdom, whose overall strength could be compared to that of a Gold Immortal! He wondered how much effort had the Patriarch of Miao Ying Palace poured onto these Eighteen Divine Guards.
Miao Feng was satisfied with the shocked expression on Wu Qi's face. She brought him into Miao Ying Palace, taking one step at a time as she told him which way was safe and which part he had to avoid at all cost.
The Patriarch of Miao Ying Palace was from the Fiend League, so it was natural for her to conduct every matter in the Fiend way. Every single brick in Miao Ying Palace had infinite dangers hidden in it, and any slight careless mistake would turn one's bone and flesh into ashes. In just the passage after the entrance alone, a distance of merely tens of miles hid no less than three thousand vicious and wicked spells. Each one was increasingly hideous than the previous, wicked and merciless. As Wu Qi listened to Miao Feng's explanation, cold sweats trickled down his back.
With so many wicked restrictive spells deployed within her own palace, Wu Qi began to suspect if the Patriarch of Miao Ying Palace had some mental issue.
But, it was not the worst thing he had found. He was terrified to find that he could not fully understand the various formations in Miao Ying Palace!
And, this was what threw him into an utter confusion. Through his Mystic Eyes of Universe, every single formation in Miao Ying Palace looked familiar to him, but a further observation told him that they were different. As a result, he could not find out their flaws and loopholes! Not even one!
It also meant that even with all the profound knowledge relating to arrays and formations recorded in Scroll of Stealing, Wu Qi would still find it extremely hard to make even a single move in this palace!
And, this was what struck Wu Qi with an utter despair for the first time in his life!
If he could not understand these formations, how was he going to go down into the Land of Nine Yin Negate Yang and obtain the thread of innate Yang energy?