The brutal slapping had dimmed Fu Tianming's vision, and made his head reeling when Wu Qi threw him back into the chair where he had been sitting. Wu Qi gave the fat man's bloody and broken face a glance while frowning, then suddenly thrust his leg and gave Fu Qianxi a kick in the stomach, who was standing in a daze next to the chair like a wooden pole.
Wu Qi had exercised a little bit more strength in the kick. The tip of his toe had cut open Fu Qianxi's belly, and a small air-blast produced by the kick had ripped and torn his entrails into pieces. Fu Qianxi howled painfully as he flew tumbling back hundreds of feet away. Slamming head first into the wooden wall with a crack, he shattered it and fell out of the foyer, rolling and struggling on the grassy ground outside the main house with blood rushing out of his belly.
A severe injury such as this would have long killed an ordinary man, but not Fu Qianxi, as he was a Nascent Soul cultivator with a much stronger vitality than ordinary people. He had covered the large opening on his belly with both hands, and was twitching and rolling on the ground while he kept letting out forlorn howls.
Everyone in the foyer was struck dumb, especially the people of Luo Clan, who were petrified like some statues made of stone. They were shocked by Wu Qi's quick and merciless action, and stunned by the fact that Fu Tianming, one of the ten strongest experts in Mi Province, had failed to defend himself before Wu Qi. This had told them that Wu Qi possessed a cultivation base of at least Heaven Immortal realm. Otherwise, there was no way he could have easily tortured a Nascent Divinity cultivator.
"I really hate these pretty boys who are always presumptuous and opinionated, as well as the old fools who always backed their grandchildren regardless of right and wrong." Wu Qi gave Fu Tianming a backhanded slap in the face and threw him to the ground. "You should be grateful when I do not mess with you, the Fu Clan. But, why are you messing with me? Don't you know that you are courting death by doing that? You are just a mere Nascent Divinity cultivator. What makes you think that you are above everyone else?"
Fu Tianming had finally collected his wits. He struggled to his feet, staring at Wu Qi with a pair of malevolent eyes as words came out from between his clenched teeth, "Give me your name, Senior... for the insult you've given me today..."
Wu Qi's face turned cold, and he reached out his left hand to grab Fu Tianming's neck. A vast stream of fiend energy rushed from his palm and enveloped Fu Tianming in an instant. A bloodcurdling sound of worms chewing through leaves was heard coming out of the dark energy, and before long, a few rotten bones fell to the ground. Those were the remnants of Fu Tianming. All his energy essence, as well as his Nascent Divinity, were devoured by Wu Qi, becoming an insignificant part of his chaotic energies.
"When you have yet attained a sufficient overall strength, you should never provoke someone who is stronger than you, for it will only bring you death! This is the iron rule of the world of cultivators! How dare you cultivate the Immortality when you are not aware of this unwritten rule?" Wu Qi sneered as he landed his feet on the bones and crushed them into tiny fragments. "Do you think I will allow Fu Clan to have the chance to avenge you? I've told you that I'll wipe out the entire Fu Clan after this!"
When someone had offended him, he would definitely strangle all the future risks in the cradle. Unknowingly, Wu Qi had begun to transform into a genuine Immortal cultivator. And, when that was merged with Wu Wang's memory and experience, he was even more fearful than any ordinary Immortals!
Upon seeing that his grandfather was mercilessly murdered before him, Fu Qianxi could not help but shriek at the top of his voice, "Grandpa!"
Wu Qi flipped his palm. The air around Fu Qianxi rattled violently, and a loud 'crack' rang out as crisscrossing lines spread across his body, before it exploded into a cloud of fine blood mist. His fleshly body, as well as Nascent Soul, vanished in an instant. As he was only a Nascent Soul cultivator, Wu Qi did not lower to raid his insignificant amount of energy essence. He wanted to establish his authority here, and that was the reason why he had killed Fu Qianxi with such a cruel method, a scene that would make a strong visual impact on the people around.
Luo Le was stunned. He stared at Wu Qi as his body trembled with fear. Without the slightest hesitation, he bowed lowly and said, "Senior Greed, please have a seat!"
Wu Qi went ahead and sat down in the large chair which Luo Le was sitting on just now, the seat of the Master. He placed his hands flat on the chair's arms and said coolly, "Don't be afraid and don't worry. I am not some Fiend cultivator who kills innocent people. If Fu Tianming and Fu Qianxi hadn't messed with me, I wouldn't have killed them. I have a few questions to ask, and once they are answered, I'll leave."
Luo Le, Luo Hao, the triplets, the members of the Luo Clan, as well as their maidservants and slaves, no one dared to speak a word or make a sound. The core members of the Luo Clan stood in waiting across the foyer with great respect, staring at Wu Qi. A few maidservants crept timidly into the foyer to do the cleanup, then served Wu Qi a pot of hot tea as well as a few platters of decent spirit fruits.
Wu Qi gave them an approving nod. Without wasting time, he asked Luo Le a few questions.
Firstly, he asked where Mi Province's administrative center was, the personality of its Prefecture Overseer, and the overall strength of its military forces.
Secondly, he asked for the estimated number of itinerant cultivators in the Mi Province, and were there any other powerful organizations of itinerant cultivators apart from the Myriad Demons Den. He also asked if there was any immortal market in the Mi Province where itinerant cultivators gathered, and if there were, where he could find them and if any strange natural treasures were being traded.
Thirdly, he asked if they knew about the situation at the perimeter of Mi Province, and where he could find the maps for the regions around it. He wanted to know if any itinerant cultivators were existing in the provinces and counties around Mi Province, and if any of them were strong enough to establish their bases in any nearby major provinces.
He also asked Luo Le some other questions, but none were as important as these.
Luo Le did not know the answers to all the questions, but he managed to answer over ninety percent of them. Based on what he had told Wu Qi, Mi Province and the provinces around it were all lower-grade provinces, with weak overall strength. Though many itinerant cultivators were living in the regions, none were strong enough to pose a real threat.
Although they were lower-grade provinces with not so powerful military forces, they scarcely had itinerant cultivators establishing their bases here. As a matter of fact, the provinces surrounding Mi Province were not some hot spots which Immortals from outer heavenly realms would want to occupy. In Zhong Province, the conflict between the Immortals and the officials of Great Yu had elevated to open battles, but in the provinces here, there was not a single organization of itinerant cultivators that dared to fight against Great Yu.
However, there were indeed a few immortal markets secretly operated by itinerant cultivators in Mi Province. The largest among them was only several tens of thousands of miles from Luo Clan's current base. It was also the most disordered market, with the highest chance of finding supreme-grade items, as most of its patrons were unorthodox cultivators such as Evil, Fiend, and Ghost cultivators. They were bold enough to loot minerals and spirit herbs all over the place, ignoring the restrictive order put out by Great Yu. As a result, this immortal market had always had more supreme-grade items when compared to the rest.
Also, through Luo Le's narration, Wu Qi was surprised to learn that the Great Yu's control over the entire Pangu Continent had reached a flawless state!
He was once told by the blind old man who he had met in An He City that there was an extraordinary treasure in Great Yu's Imperial Palace, the Pangu Map, a precious treasure that could reveal the terrains of the entire Pangu Continent in real time. But now, he had learned something else. The Pangu Map had copies, and they were given to all Prefecture Overseers. Through the copies, they could monitor the changes in the energy level of all the energy veins that ran across their territory, and the changes in energy level found in every single mountain.
In other words, whenever a cultivator began to extract a mineral vein or harvest some spirit herbs, it would be immediately reflected on these copies of Pangu Map, allowing the Prefecture Overseer to notice that some Immortal cultivators were carrying out some activities in some place. With the information, the Prefecture Overseer would be able to assemble his army to suppress or even hunt down the cultivators!
Therefore, it was very difficult for Immortal cultivators to carry out any operation on Pangu Continent, unless they were strong enough to occupy a mountain range as their base. Itinerant cultivators such as Luo Clan could only eke out a meager existence under the hard suppression from the Great Yu.
Wu Qi sucked in a cold breath as he raised his head to stare into the ceiling, his eyes flickering. 'The copies of Pangu Map! Giving them to Great Yu's Prefecture Overseers is similar to a reckless waste of grain!' he thought. If he had these copies, he would be able to find out which underground energy vein had the most copious amount of energy, which mountain range was best to make into a base, and where the rare and precious natural treasures could be found!
'Mm, I have to start collecting these copies of Pangu Map!'
After pondering for a brief moment, Wu Qi turned to smile at Luo Le as he called out, "Luo Le!"
Luo Le was startled at the call of his name, and he bowed and answered both hurriedly and respectfully, "Yes, my Senior?"
His heart fluttered in his chest. He did not know why Wu Qi suddenly called out his name, and had been wary of this fearful figure who had killed Fu Tianming as easy as killing an ant. He feared that the entire Luo Clan would be wiped out just because of some words he had mistakenly spoken.
Wu Qi lightly tapped the chair's armrest with his fingers as he said in a deep voice, "Is there no powerful organization of Immortal cultivators in Mi Province?"
Luo Le answered, "Indeed. The itinerant cultivators here are too weak to defend against the attack from Great Yu's officials."
Wu Qi nodded and continued, "Fate has made me rescue Luo Shui, Luo Yu, and Luo Ling. I've decided to take them as my in-name disciples... Mm, Luo Clan will be the nail I hammer in the Mi Province. I will give you cultivation techniques, formation maps, spirit pills, as well as teach you the Dao of Talismans. Also, I will send a few Heaven Immortals here to protect the Luo Clan. They will be Luo Clan's Elders."
He smiled faintly and said, "According to what you have told me just now, the military force of Mi Province is not strong enough to pose a real threat. With the few Heaven Immortals and the formations which I will personally deploy later, the Luo Clan will no longer have to relocate again. Once your overall strength grows strong enough, we will occupy a few mountains and establish our own base. Don't you think this is a good idea?"
Luo Le was struck dumb as he stared blankly at Wu Qi. But soon he was seized with a wild joy, and he dropped to his knees immediately and cried out, "Your kindness is too great for me to repay, my Senior!" At the moment, he knew Luo Clan had been struck with an opportunity to rise in power. Although it was very risky, it had also brought them a formidable backing.
Meanwhile, Luo Shui, Luo Yu, and Luo Ling went down to their knees obediently as they greeted in a unified voice, "Greetings, Master!"
Wu Qi laughed as he touched his sleeve. But, he suddenly realized that he had nothing of value now. With no other choice, he produced three hundred immortal stones from the storage ring he had claimed earlier and placed them on the table. "Well, I've nothing to give you now, so just take these three hundred immortal stones as the gift from your Master."
He laughed bitterly, then shook his head and said, "You need to work harder to improve your cultivation base, as you cannot use these immortal stones before reaching the Heaven Immortal realm!"
The three hundred immortal stones shone brilliantly on the table, attracting the eyeballs of all Luo Clan's members. This time, they had really climbed onto the shoulder of a giant.
Luo Le gathered up some courage and asked, "Senior, what is the name of our sect?"
Wu Qi thought for a moment. A reminiscing smile crept over his face as he said, "The Underhand Sect! This shall be the name of our sect!"
With its origin tracing back to Earth, the Underhand Sect had hammered its first nail on Pangu Continent.