Luo City was the capital city of the Mi Province. On the vast Pangu Continent, it was considered a fairly young city, with less than five hundred years of history. Its size was about thirty miles in circumference; it had about five hundred thousand inhabitants, three thousand regular soldiers from the Military Court, one thousand soldiers from the Punishment Court, and an unknown number of Oracles from the Directorate of Celestials, who were working in the dark.
Wu Qi was glancing left and right curiously as he walked down the wide and clean street in Luo City.
This was the first time he visited a province's capital city which was governed by Great Yu. It was the administrative center that managed all the affairs of an entire province, where the life and death of all the living beings in the vast land of the province were decided. If Great Yu's Imperial Court, as well as the Prefecture Overseer of He Province, the first-grade province who governed the Mi Province, did not interfere with the management, the Prefecture Overseer of Mi Province was the sovereign here.
The buildings in the city were all constructed in the typical style of the Great Yu Dynasty. Thick and heavy rocks were stacked on top of each other to form huge houses that looked like castles, while trees were planted and streams were dug between houses to serve as fences. Wearing black clothes and a tall crown on his head, an officer from the Punishment Court was walking down the street with some soldiers at his heels, their faces expressionless. They were maintaining the peace and order of the city.
The people of Luo City had relaxed and peaceful expressions, and most of the pedestrians were wearing friendly smiles on their faces. The atmosphere in the city was simple and honest. Some children were playing games on the street, among which, some were just ordinary children, while some had already begun cultivating the human race's basic cultivation technique. However, no matter how big the gap between their overall strength was, they were playing the game like ordinary children. There was no bullying or whatsoever.
And, there were no beggars or refugees to be found on the streets. In fact, since Wu Qi arrived at Pangu Continent, he had never seen even one beggar or refugee. This was a land with rich resources, and as long as one was willing to work hard, one would be able to fulfill his basic needs. Also, as the people here were simple and honest, even if there were some refugees caused by natural disasters, they would soon be absorbed by the nearby villages and cities.
Wu Qi glanced around at the people of Luo City, who were living a cozy life and whose faces were always smiling. He suddenly discovered that he had begun to like Pangu Continent.
Standing at a random street corner and wearing a smile on his face, Wu Qi was watching a group of kids playing a fighting game with wooden and bamboo sticks. After watching them for fifteen minutes, only then he nodded and strode towards the Prefecture Overseer's Mansion, which was situated in the center of the city. There, at the square in front of the mansion stood the teleportation formation officially constructed by Great Yu, which could be used to travel between the capital cities of various major provinces.
A strong light was radiating from the teleportation formation when Wu Qi arrived at the square, and he saw a few Great Yu's officers, who were clad in green clothes, walking out of it. A few Mi Province's officers who had been waiting for their arrival hurried up from beside the square. One of the green-clothed officers handed them an official paper and a medallion. The men from both sides exchanged a few words in whispers, then the Mi Province's officers smilingly led the visiting officers into a pavilion right next to the square.
After a brief moment of pondering, Wu Qi went before the few officers who were standing next to the teleportation formation. They were all clad in black clothes, and each had a jade crown atop their heads. He cleared his throat and asked, "Your Excellency, may I use the teleportation formation? I wish to visit the Zhong Province."
The officers gave Wu Qi a glance as one of them produced a bone mirror and pointed it at him. A beam of white light shot out from it and landed on his body. Suddenly, a column of purple mist rushed out of his skin, and was made visible to the naked eyes under the white light. A warm smile emerged on the grim faces of the few officers, and the officer who held the bone mirror said, "Oh, a brave warrior of our race! You are welcome to use the formation... Haha, I thought you are one of those ignorant cultivators, and we were prepared to make things difficult for you!"
Wu Qi cupped his fist, gave them some energy stones as the fee, and walked straight into the teleportation formation.
When the officers discovered that Wu Qi was practicing a human race's cultivation technique and had already attained a very strong cultivation base, their attitude had become extremely friendly. They even activated the formation for him, without asking about his destination or purpose. It allowed Wu Qi to find the exact coordinate of Zhong Province and teleport himself away.
The reason why these officers were so friendly to him was that he had deliberately exposed the fact that he was practicing the True Body of Heaven and Earth Scripture. Wu Qi was well aware of that.
If it were an Immortal cultivator wished to use the teleportation formation officially constructed by Great Yu, he would either have to pay an extremely expensive price, or he would vanish completely from this world, never to be found again. That was unless he was supported by some formidable figure who was so strong that the officers of Great Yu would not dare to offend him, and had already obtained his identity certificate from the immortal pass operated by Great Yu.
Great Yu was able to freely move their troops between the provinces through these teleportation formations, but not Immortal cultivators. They were trapped where they were, allowing Great Yu to better manage and suppress them.
As the pressure that came from the operation of the formation receded, a bright light reached into Wu Qi's eyes. He had arrived, standing in the teleportation formation situated before the Prefecture Overseer Mansion of Zhong Ning City. A queer atmosphere was lingering in the city, and he could smell amok in the air.
Lines of armored soldiers were patrolling along the streets around the Prefecture Overseer Mansion. Aggressive glances were thrown at him from time to time. Nearly one hundred flying ships hovered above the mansion, each surrounded by dozens of Oracles who sat cross-legged in mid-air. The flying ships and Oracles formed a complicated formation that protected the mansion.
There were several dozens of extremely powerful auras hiding inside of the mansion, each emanating a stream of surging energy that towered into the sky and ripped the clouds into pieces. The auras joined the flying ships and the Oracles to put a complete lockdown on the void.
Just as Wu Qi stepped out of the teleportation formation, he was immediately greeted by a few swords that pointed at the vital sports of his body. He was surrounded by a few fierce armored Soldiers. One of them, who was clad in a golden armor and had a black python beast soul hovering behind his back, stared at Wu Qi and asked fiercely, "Who are you? Where do you come from? What is your purpose here? Speak now!"
The few swords touched Wu Qi's skin as the captain spoke.
A thought leaped into his mind. His face turned pale as words stammered out of his mouth, "I... I am just an itinerant cultivator... I am here to seek refuge with a few fellow Daoists who I've met in the past. Some Evil cultivators have destroyed my cave abode. Hence, I came here to save my life!"
"You are a cultivator? I don't think so... You look more like a warrior of the human race to me!" the captain snapped.
The few swords pushed further, their tips almost pierced Wu Qi's skin.
Wu Qi cried out in a hurry. With a twist of his body, a stream of white mist shot out from the area between his brows, amidst which came flying out a Nascent Soul who looked exactly like him. It was shrouded in watery clouds, and was emanating the pure aura of a Daoist. "I am a cultivator, not a warrior of the human race! Look General, this is my Nascent Soul!"
The captain gave Wu Qi's Nascent Soul a stern glance, then nodded slowly and said, "True enough. Hmph, you are not a warrior of the human race or a Fiend cultivator… But... since you are a cultivator... a Nascent Soul cultivator... hehe!"
A bright gleam flickered in the captain's eyes as he was about to order his men to kill Wu Qi.
Wu Qi suddenly thought of an idea. "General, my friends are the disciples of the Three Lotus Throne Six Arms Evil Subduing Great Bodhisattva, who is the disciple of the Great Solar Wheel Glorious Buddha from the Great Solar Heavenly Realm. They have invited me to join them as a Buddhist, and I've decided to abandon the path of Dao. If you kill me, the Great Solar Heavenly Realm will definitely seek an answer from you, and I don't think you will be able to answer them!"
The captain was stunned. He gave Wu Qi a fierce glare before waving his hand frustratingly and saying, "Get the hell out from here!"
Without even checking Wu Qi's identity certificate, the captain had let him go free.
Wu Qi narrowed his eyes and gave the captain a glance. Smilingly, he spun and took his leave, walking straight into a quiet alley next to the square. Standing in the alley, he observed the activity at the entrance of the Prefecture Overseer Mansion, wondering what had happened in Zhong Province during the last few months. His celestial fiend puppets did not tell him anything. Presumably, all the information was blocked.
A strong light erupted from the teleportation formation, and a group of nearly one hundred burly men stepped out from it.
But, they were not as lucky as Wu Qi. Right after they made their appearance, one of the Great Oracles who hovered above the Prefecture Overseer Mansion shouted at the top of his voice, "Three beast warriors! Kill them!"
Immediately, a great host of armored soldiers swarmed up to the new arrivals, while countless restrictive spells and bone talismans were falling down from the sky. Before the group of burly men could find out what was happening, they were exterminated by the soldiers who had formed into a formation. The corpses were removed in no time, and even the blood was washed away.
In just less than two hours, more than a dozen men had arrived through the teleportation formation. Apart from a few Daoists who claimed they were supported by some formidable sects, and mentioned that they were just outer realm Immortals who were visiting Pangu Continent for experience, the rest of the new arrivals, no matter they were warriors of the human race or cultivators, were all instantly killed by the soldiers.
As he watched how the army of Zhong Province acted in such a harsh and tyrannical way, Wu Qi slowly figured out what was going on here.
Perhaps Feng Lingling was not killed in the Dark Abyss, and he might have even escaped. But no matter what, he should not be in a good condition. Most likely, he must have received the tiding that King Bai Shan was going to attack him. Therefore, he had imposed such a strict vigilance in Zhong Province.
"How interesting. If Feng Lingling does escape from the Dark Abyss, how will King Bai Shan and Patriarch Miao Ying react to that?"
After pondering for a brief moment, Wu Qi shook his head in puzzlement. If Patriarch Miao Ying wanted to deal with Feng Lingling, he would have been long dead by now. What happened exactly that made him only tighten the security of this place but not come out with other actions?
Could it be that something had happened in Great Yu's Imperial Court?
"I don't have enough information!" Wu Qi frowned in frustration. He could vaguely smell the huge risk and profit in this matter, but the lack of information had prevented him from acting rashly.
He sighed and took a glance at the heavily guarded Prefecture Overseer Mansion. Then, he transformed into a gust of breeze and drifted away.