"Hehe, are you trying to tickle me?"
Purple mists rose from all over Wu Qi as he used his fleshly body to withstand the attack unleashed by the copy of the Pangu's Map. The power of the thunderbolts was insignificant, perhaps as strong as the Palm Thunder unleashed by an ordinary Gold Core cultivator with full force. Not even a hair of his was harmed by the attack. This item was just an assisting treasure, not some magical item a cultivator could use to do battle. It did not have too great of an offensive strength.
"Be obedient and don't run away from me. You are not a living thing, so why are you so afraid of death?"
Wu Qi muttered as he thrust his enormous willpower into the core of the treasure, devouring the nimble intelligence. In a flash, his spiritual ocean was flooded with innumerable information. That was the information relating to all the spirit caves, energy veins, mountains, and rivers found in the entire Zhong Province. And the information was extremely detailed, allowing Wu Qi to clearly find out almost everything, such as how many ten thousand years old ginseng or ten thousand years old ganoderma were growing in which mountains.
In just the duration of fifteen minutes, about thirty thousand spirit herbs growing in several thousand mountains had lost connection with the underground energy veins. It was a proof that there were activities of cultivators in these several thousand mountains. He even found out that almost seven thousand spirit herbs were harvested at the same time in just one mountain alone. A rather sizable immortal sect must have established their base there, and they were in the middle of harvesting spirit herbs on a large scale.
A dot of red light was blinking on the huge white jade screen, and it happened to be a mountain. Wu Qi compared it to what he had just sensed. Sure enough, it was the mountain where all seven thousand spirit herbs were harvest at the same time.
If it were during the normal time, an army would have been dispatched to investigate the mountain. However, as the entire Zhong Province was in a chaos because of the upcoming war, nobody was on duty in this hall. Hence, the information feedback by the screen was ignored.
"How amazing! So, this is how it works. This copy of Pangu's Map is actually interconnected with all the underground energy veins throughout the entire Zhong Province. Any unusual activities will be shown on the screen, so long as the place is covered by the underground veins!" Wu Qi heaved an emotional sigh as he muttered, "Luckily, the people of the Luo Clan had told me about this treasure. Otherwise, we would be inviting the officials of Zhong Province to attack us once the Underhand Sect grew bigger, when we needed to harvest a great number of spirit herbs and gather a vast amount of energy from underground energy veins."
He had controlled the core of the jade screen, using a strand of his innate Chaotic Divine Soul to replace the intelligence of the copy of Pangu's Map. All of its actions were now under his control, as well as the information. From today onwards, any activities the Underhand Sect carried out in Zhong Province would not be detected by the officials.
Wu Qi sized up the huge jade screen with pleasure as he memorized some of the information he found in it. Information such as the locations of fine quality energy veins and cave abodes, the seasoned spirit herbs, energy stones veins of excellent quality, as well as all the other metalliferous veins... So long as they were useful to the Underhand Sect, he would extract them and put them into categories.
There was a nameless mountain in An Yi County which was situated right next to An Le County, and in it he found a massive energy vein of immortal grade. It had formed into an immortal abode by nature. On top of that, it was surrounded by rich resources. All of that made it the perfect location for an immortal sect of major scale to thrive in.
Without thinking twice, Wu Qi had decided to make this mountain as the future base of the Underhand Sect. As for An Le County, according to his plan, it would be a base which he would use to control a territory with the identity of a human. 'Never put all your eggs in one basket,' he was told. It would be better to not place the Underhand Sect's base in An Le County.
Wu Qi gave the surroundings a careful examination. After making sure that he did not leave behind any traces, he stealthily left the hall and went to the other few important storehouses in the mansion. Great Yu had dictated that all the first-grade provinces had to pay a tribute to the capital city once every ten years. Now, the offering with the highest value gathered by the Prefecture Overseers of various provinces under Zhong Province was stored in these storehouses.
With a happy smile on his face, Wu Qi entered the storehouse situated on the west side of the mansion. It was where the immortal stones were stored. The yearly consumption of energy stones and immortal stones in Great Yu was an astronomical figure. Regardless it was the bone talismans and the formations used by the Directorate of Celestials, or the teleportation formations and the flying ships and other gears of war, they all needed energy stones and immortal stones to function properly. Therefore, both energy stones and immortal stones had occupied a large portion of the tributes offered by the various provinces.
The storehouse was buried deep under the ground beneath the Prefecture Overseer's Mansion, and it measured more than ten miles in both width and length. Upon entering it, Wu Qi finally learned the true meaning of 'piled up like a mountain'. Before him were literal mountains of immortal stones and energy stones.
In order for the Underhand Sect to grow and expand, Wu Qi would need to deploy many big and small formations around the base, and they would cost immortal stones and energy stones to be constructed. An offensive formation covering an entire mountain would need tens of thousands of immortal stones, as well as millions of energy stones. The amount of work and time required to harvest these resources would just be too great if the people of the Underhand Sect were to harvest them themselves.
But here, right in front of him, were mountains of immortal stones and energy stones, waiting for Wu Qi to collect them.
He laughed heartily. A spell was cast as he flicked his sleeve to shoot out a stream of light. Countless energy stones and immortal stones came flying over through the void and fell into his sleeve, being stored in a space which he had temporarily created. Such a space was something that only a Heaven Immortal and above could have created. However, having it created in his sleeve and storing such a huge quantity of items would constantly draw his energy.
Helplessly, he touched the shabby storage ring he wore on one of his fingers, which had only the storage space of three rooms. How he missed the Black Dragon Spirit Ring with the huge storage space! He sighed and gave the emptied storehouse a glance before sneaking into another room next to it, where the massive quantities of metal ores were stored. He looted them all as well.
Then, he went on to visit the other storehouses, where he found spirit herbs, pills, and other valuables. One of the storehouses was used to store only the bones of spirit beasts which were used to produce bone talismans. Pale bones were piled up together into a tall mountain, one hundred thousand of them at the very least. Since there were methods of using these beast bones to craft magical items in the Inferno Hell Fiend Scripture, so Wu Qi would naturally not leave them untouched.
He had also found a blood bank under the mansion, where the blood essences extracted from countless demon beasts and spirit beasts, and were preserved with mystic techniques, were stored. They were excellent ingredients used by the Great Oracles of the human race to refine magical treasures and produce talismans. Jars of beast blood were placed in neat rows, filling the entire room with the smell of blood that could make one's heart raced.
Wu Qi considered a moment. 'Well, I can always use this blood to make talismans of the Fiend League.' And so, he emptied the blood bank.
The plunder had completely emptied the several dozens of storehouses buried under the Prefecture Overseer Mansion, and the temporary interspatial space Wu Qi created had expanded to over one hundred miles in diameter. The constantly drawing of his energy had made him feel a little bit weary.
He grunted sulkily. After prowling for one last round in the mansion and finding nothing worthy of being looted, he finally sneaked out of the mansion and stealthily resurfaced in a nearby street. Then, he flicked the heavy sleeves and began to run toward the gate of the city in a hurry. The existence of the interspatial space depended entirely on his energy, and the level of energy in his body was constantly reducing. Even a Gold Immortal would have wept because of the constant drawing of the energy, was he to maintain a one-hundred-miles wide space without the help of some treasure.
Wu Qi had to rush over to An Yi County as soon as possible, where he would create a cave abode in the mountain he found previously and store all the treasures he had looted today. His jaws clenched tightly as he raced through the street. He had decided that afterward, he would find himself a storage ring of immortal item grade. It was just extremely inconvenient to carry things around like this!
However, the crafting of a storage ring of immortal item grade required the use of several rare materials with spatial attributes. As he did not have all of the required materials now, he had no other choice but to utter bootless cries.
All the horns in the city blared suddenly when Wu Qi was just a few steps away from the gate. The forlorn cries spewing out of the horns towered into the sky as the gates slowly closed up, shutting Wu Qi inside the city. He lifted his head to glance around in shock, and saw sheets of white light radiating out of the towers situated in the four corners of the city, spreading out and turning into a thick energy barrier that enveloped the entire city.
A loud and sonorous voice rang out across the entire city, "Prepare the armies for war! Deserters will have his entire clan annihilated!"
Wu Qi's heart sunk. 'Did I just run into bad luck? Could it be that someone is finally launching an attack on Feng Lingling? But damn it, why now?!' He felt like weeping as he stared at the tightly shut gate. If he took his leave earlier, he would have been out of the city now. With the defensive mechanisms in the city fully activated now, how was he going to leave the place? 'Should I fight my way out?'
The space in his sleeve was constantly depleting his energy. If he were to fight his way out, he could not guarantee that he would have the energy to protect it. Once he was short of energy, the interspatial space would explode, turning all the items inside into nothingness. Those were the treasures which Zhong Province had spent years to accumulate! They were more than enough for the six hundred people in the Underhand Sect to develop peacefully for thousands of years!
As he was hesitating, a column of soldiers clad in heavy armors was marching in his direction. A captain who carried a broadsword with both hands gave his shoulder a fierce push as they went past. "Move aside if you want to stay alive! Now, get the hell out of here!"
Wu Qi's finger twitched as a killing intent rose in his heart. But before he could do anything, he saw four beams of strong light suddenly shooting up into the sky from the east, west, south, and north, all about one hundred miles away from the city. The beams went several dozens of miles up into the air, their flickering glow clearly visible to all the people in the city.
The ground was trembling, and deep, muffled rumbling that sounded like the roaring of thunder was heard coming from all directions. They rang in unison, as if a giant had lifted up a lofty mountain and used it to smash the ground.
Wu Qi was shocked. He quickly leaped into the air and stood on top of a one-hundred-feet tall stone pillar next to him, casting his glance over the city wall and looking into the distance.
Plumes of smoke and dust were rising from the ground outside Zhong Ning City. Four great armies were marching out from the four pillars of light as they formed a huge circle around the city.
As he stared at the four menacing great armies, Wu Qi could not help but gasp.