When he had laid down the Underhand Sect's foundation in that nameless valley, Wu Qi suddenly reflected on something the people of Luo Clan had told him in the Mi Province. They claimed that there was a copy of the Pangu's Map in every Prefecture Overseer's Mansion, a treasure that allowed one to clearly see the changes of energy in every single underground energy vein, through which, one could notice the activity of Immortal cultivators!
In order to build a strong and solid foundation for the Underhand Sect, he needed a vast amount of Immortal stones, energy stones, as well as various spirit herbs to cultivate all the disciples. It meant he would have to excavate energy stone veins and harvest various spirit herbs. He even planned to find a blessed land where he could connect all the underground energy veins together, and produce an Immortal Mansion for the sect.
But, all of the operations would definitely be exposed on the copy of Pangu's Map in the Prefecture Overseer's Mansion of Zhong Province, and soon he would have to face the violent suppression from Great Yu's officials. To avoid any potential dangers, Wu Qi had to resolve the threat in Zhong Ning City.
As for how he was going to resolve it, he would find a way when he arrived at Zhong Ning City.
The city was heavily guarded, just as it was three months ago. But, Wu Qi noticed that the number of flying ships wheeling above the city was a few times more than before, and four military camps had been erected on each of the four sides of the city. Tens of thousands of strong human soldiers were stationed in each of the camps. A deep gloom was cast over the city; the people were hurrying through the streets with panic and fear on their faces.
The sight gave Wu Qi a vague feeling that Feng Lingling was in a really bad situation. When facing the double pressures from Patriarch Miao Ying, the Nine Yin Celestial Lady Lord from the Heaven, and King Bai Shan from the Great Yu Imperial Clan, Feng Lingling, the first Grade Marquis of Great Yu and the Prefecture Overseer of Zhong Province, seemed unable to stand firm on his position.
The armies stationed outside the city and the flying ships wheeling above should be the military forces Feng Lingling had assembled.
But Wu Qi was not certain if Feng Lingling really did have the courage to confront the Great Yu Dynasty. There were more first grade provinces out there than one could count, and nobody could ever know how strong the power that Great Yu possessed was, save from the Human Emperor himself. Could Zhong Province, a mere first-grade province, withstand the storm thrown by the entire Great Yu Dynasty?
'Perhaps this fellow is just showing an attitude?'
Wu Qi came out with his own conclusion as he hurried down the street. Perhaps such a desperate struggle was just a show of gesture purposely put out by Feng Lingling so that he could make a deal with Great Yu? Wu Qi could not help but sigh in his mind. 'Has Feng Lingling gone mad? Making a deal with Great Yu? Is he trying to force the Human Emperor to strike personally?'
Nevertheless, Wu Qi couldn't care less about this matter. Although it was his own plot that had dragged Feng Lingling into the current situation, Wu Qi had no sympathy for this man. In fact, there was still old scores to be settled between Wu Qi and Feng Lingling's beloved son, Feng Jiupan. So, how would he have the mood to care about his fate?
The coming events cast their shadows on Zhong Ning City. Wu Qi could not help but think of Su Qin. It had been three months since he returned to An He City, but he had not seen the old man. According to Yan Bugui, Su Qin had once again gone out to travel around, taking the opportunity to inspect the situation faced by the elites of Scouting Office. As Zhong Ning City was in a chaos now, why would this Old Mister not be here to meddle?
The strange atmosphere in the city that came with a vague smell of blood had stirred Ao Buzun, who had cradled himself before Wu Qi's chest to digest the energies he took from Flaming Tiger. Slowly, he craned his head out from the lapel and glanced around, then said in a steadfast manner, "I smell death! Many people will die soon! Mm, tsk, look at that girl! Her legs are sure long!"
When Ao Buzun had just said a few words in a serious way, he suddenly saw a lady captain clad in a soft armor walk past them in a hurry. Drool flowed out of his mouth instantly. His eyes followed the lady captain's slender body as she walked further away, her curvy butt twisting and swaying. The sight of it turned his eyes red.
Wu Qi reached out his hand to push Ao Buzun's head back into his lapel, then said in a grave tone and with sincerity, "Cultivate hard! Right now, you can only look, but not touch them. Isn't that a torture?" Ao Buzun's depressing roar could be heard coming out from his chest, followed by a complete silence. Sure enough, this fellow had begun to wholeheartedly digest the enormous energy he took from Flaming Tiger.
As he approached the Prefecture Overseer's Mansion through the street, Wu Qi saw the teleportation formation situated before it being surrounded by soldiers clad in full armors. A brief glance told him that at least five thousand strong soldiers were protecting the formation. A few captains clad in golden armors were seen standing right next to the formation, each emanating an aura that made Wu Qi hold his breath. They were captains as strong as Gold Immortals.
After losing the Enchanting Skulls Flag and other immortal items that specialized in attacking one's soul, Wu Qi did not have a handy weapon he could use to fight head-on against these captains. From the corner of his eyes, he carefully gave them a quick gaze before he hurried into an alley next to the main street.
Wu Qi had discovered something really strange from the gaze. There had been Oracles hovering above the Prefecture Overseer Mansion, who formed into a defensive formation with all the flying ships. But, they were gone now. Apart from two hundred large flying ships, not even a single Oracle could be found. Without their help, the defense of Prefecture Overseer Mansion was like a wall riddled with large holes. With his Chaotic Divine Eyes, Wu Qi could see many gaps where he could easily sneak through.
He thought for a moment, reflecting on the words Yu He had told him. At last, he came to a conclusion - Yu Mu, the Grand Oracle of Zhong Province's Directorate of Celestials, must have abandoned Feng Lingling. There was even a possibility that he had made a deal with some people in power, that he would betray Feng Lingling so that the rights of his clan in Zhong Province would not be taken away.
'Haha… Feng Lingling, it looks like the situation isn't too good for you!' Wu Qi weighed the current situation with a look of pleasure in his eyes. He was surprised to realize that a chaotic, unstable Zhong Province was actually beneficial for the development of the Underhand Sect. 'Well, I wish you bad luck, Feng Lingling! The more unstable Zhong Province becomes, the more opportunities there will be for the Underhand Sect!'
Wu Qi smiled joyfully as he quickly went through the benefits he would get after the collapse of Feng Lingling. After that, with a twist of his body, he transformed into a clump of earthy-yellow mist and plunged straight into the ground. He quickly sneaked into the Prefecture Overseer's Mansion, swimming here and there under the ground beneath the mansion in a leisurely manner.
Complicated defensive formations had been constructed under the mansion. But, there was a huge difference between the formations used by the human race and those used by Immortal cultivators. The formations used by the human race had to be controlled by powerful Oracles at all time, and only then could they be functional. On the contrary, the formations used by Immortal cultivators could always be functional by drawing natural energy from the surroundings. After Yu Mu withdrew all the Oracles, only a couple formations were still functioning, and they were obviously the copies of formations used by Immortal cultivators. The rest had long ceased operating.
Wu Qi heaved a sigh of relief as he advanced unchecked through the shabby defensive line and entered straight into the mansion's heart.
A great number of soldiers were patrolling the mansion, especially a cluster of magnificent palaces built around a garden. They were heavily guarded by nearly ten thousand soldiers. Every so often, officers clad in long robes and tall crowns, as well as generals wearing full armors, were seen shuttling in and out of the palaces, their expressions complicated. Weeping of women and crying of babies were ringing out from one of the palaces standing in the very center.
A doomsday scene... Wu Qi could not help but shake his head. It was not in his and Su Qin's expectation, both creators of the plan, that Feng Lingling would have fallen to such a miserable situation. He thought Feng Lingling would be killed by someone in the Dark Abyss, yet the man had escaped death and returned, and even dragged the entire Zhong Province into an upheaval.
As he was wandering around, Wu Qi's divine sense caught something interesting in a palace behind the Grand Hall in the mansion. 'That's the thing!' Without hesitation, he immediately sneaked into the palace and resurfaced in its hall.
The hall was emptied, with not even a soul in it. Through his divine sense, Wu Qi discovered that not only was this hall unguarded, all the other important halls in this palace where gold, jade, jewelry, energy stones, immortal stones, officials papers, and other things were stored were unmanned as well. Throughout the entire Prefecture Overseer's Mansion, only the cluster of palaces built around the garden was heavily guarded by ten thousand soldiers. The other places were all emptied.
Wu Qi smiled as he looked over his shoulder at the tightly shut door. Then, he strode to the front of a strange screen placed at the far end of the hall.
At a glance, it was an ordinary screen made of white jade, measuring one hundred and eighty feet in length and thirty feet in height. It looked clean, and was mounted on a frame made of black volcanic rock. Ancient and heavy, ordinary-looking, that was all about it.
But, a closer inspection revealed that every now and then, there were wisps of clouds and streaks of rays flashing across the screen, and sometimes there were images of mountains, rivers, cities, and towns. Countless tiny glowing specks were hiding in the screen, interconnected by glowing threads thousands of times finer than a hair. Using his powerful divine sense, Wu Qi quickly memorized the distribution of the glowing specks and the fine threads that connected them!
If he guessed correctly, those glowing specks were the locations of all the spirit caves in Zhong Province, and the glowing threads were the energy veins that connect them together!
He exercised the Chaotic Divine Eyes to glance around the screen, and smiled gladly when he did not discover any restrictive spells. Then, Wu Qi projected his divine sense onto the screen. Immediately, he sensed a thread of weak intelligence, which felt almost like a newborn baby. The intelligence swam into the depth of the screen when it sensed the invasion of Wu Qi's divine sense.
Like a shapeless spirit, Wu Qi's innate Chaotic Divine Soul followed closely behind the intelligence as it rushed straight to the deepest area in the screen.
A small piece of land was hovering amidst a vast expanse of clouds.
There were mountains, rivers, and countless villages and towns, on the small land. When Wu Qi glanced at it with his divine sense, he immediately discovered An He City, An Le County, and some terrains which he was familiar with. With just a thought, the small piece of land would show him the terrain in Zhong Province which he would like to see.
So, this was the core of the copy of Pangu's Map?
Wu Qi laughed strangely. Without the slightest hesitation, he split a strand of his Innate Chaotic Divine Soul and thrust it into the core.
All of a sudden, numerous plumes of clouds erupted from the core, and countless images of mountains flashed and blinked around it as streaks of thunderbolts came smashing toward Wu Qi.