As a matter of fact, these eight girls could not be considered as genuine disciples of Miao Ying Palace. They were more like Goddess Miao Xin's maidservants, and because of their close relationship with Goddess Miao Xin, an exception was made to take them into Miao Ying Palace. Their average cultivation base was at the level of lower-grade Heaven Immortal, with the strongest one having only an overall strength of Thirty-fifth Tier Heaven Immortal.
And, to make the situation worse, while Lao Ai was messing around with Goddess Miao Xin in her chamber, they were having their own session with Madman Xue in the garden. Although he had already inherited Lao Ai's true teaching, Madman Xue was still not strong enough to deal with Goddess Miao Xin, who was a Gold Immortal. But, it was just a piece of cake for him to handle a few girls with only an overall strength of lower-grade Heaven Immortal Realm.
A moment ago, these girls had just finished practicing the Dhyana Technique of Great Delight with Madman Xue, having almost all their energy essence and immortal energy sucked out by him. It had left them with thirty percent of their normal overall strength, while a few of them even dropped to a level lower than Heaven Immortal Realm.
On the other hand, Wu Qi had spent a few years recuperating and building up energy in the mine. With the strength of his fleshly body now equal to the overall strength of a Twenty-fourth Tier Heaven Immortal, he managed to launch a sneak attack, piercing their foreheads and shattering their immortal souls in just a flash, killing them before they could even see his movement. The attack was quick and the movement was swift, while he was attacking with a suppressing power. The immortal items these girls had carried with them simply did not have the time to respond, and were crushed to pieces by him with just one punch.
An immense killing intent lingered in the air. Waves of heat emanated from Wu Qi's skin, caused by the friction of the air when he moved so suddenly just now. Madman Xue nearly dropped to his knees when he saw Wu Qi's murderous eyes.
Wu Qi placed one of his hands on Madman Xue's shoulder and said, "Well done! I was fearing that Lu Buwei had already met with Goddess Miao Xin. Since you've stopped him from doing that, I'll remember this as a favor. Now, stay here and do not let anyone meet her. I just need a couple of hours from you. Can you do that for me?"
Madman Xue's ugly face twisted into a ferocious smile as he said, "You just carry on with your business, Duke of Tianyun. But, don't forget me when you manage to find yourself some good stuff." He laughed strangely, turned around to give Goddess Miao Xin's chamber a quick glance. "But I don't think you have to spare anything good for Master! He has already bagged himself too much of a good fortune over the past two years."
Wu Qi grinned and gave Madman Xue's shoulder a heavy slap, then spun and left the place. Even as he was walking away, his divine will had already connected with the few celestial fiend puppets in An He City. He totally agreed with what Madman Xue had just told him – How could Lao Ai not bag himself a fortune after spending the last two years with Goddess Miao Xin, practicing his Dhyana Technique with her almost every single day?
'How does Lao Ai make himself so likable to women?' Wu Qi could not help but wonder.
Staring at the eight corpses lying on the ground, Madman Xue breathed out a long sigh, put both palms together before his chest, and began to recite some mantra. As his voice echoed out, a flame rose from the corpses and slowly burned them into ashes, then forming several hundred thumb-sized relics that glowed with a strange light. With a wave of his hand, they flew over and fused into his body, transforming into boiling streams that rushed through his meridians.
"For the benevolence of the Buddha!" He announced like an eminent monk, "Sixty percent of eight Heaven Immortals' energy essence and cultivation base are now mine! Hehe, the divine ability Master taught me is truly an incredible technique pointing straight to the Great Dao! Well, too bad that Duke of Tianyun doesn't have a tender heart for these pretty girls!"
Madman Xue spent some time to recall the frightening moment when Wu Qi killed the youth with an elbow strike, severely wounded Lu Buwei with a punch and forced him to flee desperately with the Heavenly Ghost Mirror, and then suddenly darted forward and slaughtered eight Heaven Immortals with his fist. At the thought of that, he could not help but shudder and feel a chill rush down his spine. "What a homicidal maniac...! Tsk, and Master claimed he is just a Nascent Soul cultivator? Has anyone seen a Nascent Soul cultivator who can kill Heaven Immortals with just one punch?"
After pondering for a long while, he spread his arms and said with a bitter smile, "Master must have been blinded. Mm, indulging in carnal pleasure without restraint surely does harm one's body!"
Wu Qi had left a thread of his divine will with Madman Xue. When he saw what Madman Xue did just now, he was shocked by the wicked technique Lao Ai had taught his disciple. However, what Madman Xue said in the end nearly made him burst into laughter. Shaking his head, he returned to the mine while controlling the puppets in An He City to act quickly with Su Qin and the others.
Everything was as usual in the pitch-dark mine. The group of over ten thousand cultivators was working hard to extract ores out from the hard rock walls, while nearly one thousand Yakshas were squatting on stalagmites, some gambling and some fighting each other for fun. When they saw Wu Qi, they quickly rose to their feet and bowed to him with respect.
Although Wu Qi had spent most of his time over the last few years dwelling in his chamber to study Miao Ying Palace's Dao of Formations, with the brutal and violent approaches he showed on a few occasions, he managed to cast a fear into these Yakshas' hearts. He had gained full control over the souls of all the cultivators, forcing everyone to bow their heads before him. It was an achievement that frightened all the Yakshas.
Wu Qi shook his head as he stared at the Yakshas. Miao Ying Palace had long claimed full control over their life and death. Thus, it was impossible for him to make them follow him. It was a pity, as not only did they possess some decent innate abilities, they were not a witty species, and would be very loyal to their master once subdued, making them the perfect candidates to keep guard on one's residence. But too bad that Miao Ying Palace had subdued them first, leaving Wu Qi no room to do that anymore.
He leaped into the air and landed on a platform near the ceiling. There was a small teleportation formation, through which, the Yakshas brought the unlucky cultivators who they captured on the ocean into the mine.
A few Yaksha resting near the formation quickly rose to their feet when they saw Wu Qi, all putting up flattering smiles on their faces as they kept bowing to him.
"All of you, come up here," Wu Qi gave the order as he stood facing all the Yakshas in the mine, "I've something good for you today."
Laughing merrily, the one thousand Yakshas quickly flew up onto the platform. They knew Wu Qi was a generous man. Over the last few years, they had received quite a number of energy stones from him. For someone as poor as them, Wu Qi was their paymaster. Therefore, when they heard him calling them, even those Yakshas supervising in the pits had come rushing out and landed on the platform obediently.
Seeing that all the Yakshas had arrived, Wu Qi breathed out a faint sigh and stamped his feet on the ground. Abruptly, the teleportation formation crumbled and collapsed, and with a casual waving of his hand, all the energy stones mounted in it were in his grip. Before any of the Yakshas could come up with a response, the Enchanting Skulls Flag flew whistling out from the top of his head, unleashing countless skeletons made of dark smoke who wheeled rapidly and messily in the air, issuing jarring screeches as they leaped onto all the transfixed Yakshas.
Bloodcurdling shrieks kept echoing out. One Yaksha after another had his soul forcibly dragged out from their bodies, then ripped and torn into pieces in just a blink of an eye, while the fleshly bodies they left behind were all consumed by the dark smoke. Before long, nearly one thousand Yakshas had vanished without a trace, all becoming nutrients for the Enchanting Skulls Flag.
The cultivators working in the mine were struck dumb. They stared blankly at Wu Qi, as none of them could seem to understand why he suddenly killed all the Yakshas.
Wu Qi grunted faintly and waved his hand to cast a primordial rune that sealed off the mine entrance and isolated all the sounds in the mine. "Gather up, everyone!" he shouted, "Make no sound. I'll kill anyone who dares make the slightest noise! Now, move as quickly as you can!"
Upon hearing the order, the cultivators seemed to suddenly realize something. Some had their faces flushed with excitement, raising their arms up high in the air while rushing out from the pits and assembling in the largest cave. Led by the few hundred foremen who Wu Qi had picked previously, over fifteen thousand cultivators had gathered up in the cave, with the strongest being Thirty-third Tier Heaven Immortals and the weakest being Gold Core cultivators.
Even as they were scrambling into the cave, Wu Qi was placing down some formation discs in the center of the mine, a teleportation formation crafted in advance.
As all the materials he owned were gone, it was Lao Ai who prepared these formation discs for him. Lao Ai had once possessed a very strong latent power in Great Yan, so it was very easy for him to gather resources. For example, this formation had been mounted with eighteen pieces of Spatial Breaching Spirit Gold, each as large as a human head. They could lower the energy consumption of the formation to the lowest level.
All the cultivators had now recognized the things Wu Qi was placing on the ground. Some of them were out of breath with excitement as they suddenly realized what Wu Qi was trying to do: he was about to bring them out from here, away from the hell where they could not see the sun or absorb even a single thread of natural energy.
When the setup of the formation was completed, Wu Qi flew up into the air and told the cultivators in a deep voice, "Save your breath! Now, divide yourself into groups of one hundred people and quickly leave through the teleportation formation. There is someone waiting for you on the other side. I want you to obey all his commands. You better don't forget that your life is still in my hand, and I'll not hesitate to kill those who try to create any troubles!"
Everyone bowed their heads. Who dared to be disrespectful to Wu Qi, who had gained full control over their souls?
The formation began to radiate a fuzzy white light. Groups after groups of cultivators kept walking into it and vanished in the light.
Wu Qi stood quietly next to the formation, watching one cultivator leave this place after another. He squinted, with a strange smile on his face.
This group of over ten thousand cultivators was a huge gift given to him by Miao Ying Palace. With the high-end power among them comparable to a major sect in Puluo Heavenly Realm, it was a perfect gift that came at the right time.
"An He City!"
"Miao Ying Palace!"
"The authority of Great Yu!"
He murmured each of the names under his breath as the smile spread across his face.
"Mm, of course, the innate Yang energy under the Dark Abyss is the most important thing." When the last cultivator entered the formation, he took a deep breath and put away the formation discs, then swaggered out of the mine.
With the same indifferent attitude, the thirty-six Fiend guards were still sitting cross-legged near the mine entrance, having their minds wandering to somewhere nobody knew.
Wu Qi gave them a glance with a friendly smile on his face. After that, he flew straight back into Miao Ying Palace.