Feng Lingling's roar sounded bleak and despairing, like that of a wounded beast that had fallen into a trap. The sonorous yet hoarse voice towered into the sky, stirring the air and filling the streets of the city with strong wind as if some Gales had raised twisters in the place. Gray dust was being pushed away in all directions. It looked like a gray iron curtain was being unfolded.
The old man smiled faintly. With the imperial decree held in his hands, he shouted in a deep voice, "It is not you who will decide what crime you have committed. Feng Lingling, surrender now and you will still have a chance to live. If you continue to put up a stiff resistance, do not blame the army for being merciless, as they will definitely slaughter the entire Zhong Ning City!"
Wu Qi was shocked. 'How could you slaughter the entire Zhong Ning City?' He had no problem with them annihilating Feng Lingling's entire clan, but he would be trapped here when they began to slaughter the city! While frowning, he transformed into a clump of dark mist and plunged straight down into the ground. Abruptly, the four watchtowers in the city flicked with a bright white light, and a powerful force knocked him back to the surface. A severe pain was washing through his body as the force nearly broke his bones. He gave the surroundings a furious glance, and noticed that the strategic defensive mechanism in the city had been activated. It had prevented him from fleeing, even with the Fiend Escape Art found in the Inferno Hell Fiend Scripture.
With a twist of his body, he transformed into a gust of wind and flew up into the sky. But, a sheet of white light sprinkled down from above, and numerous runes could be vaguely seen blinking in the air. He had once again thrust his head straight into an iron wall, and was knocked back with his body twitching convulsively and stars dancing before his eyes. He nearly passed out from the strong impact.
The defensive mechanism in Zhong Ning City was extraordinarily powerful and absurdly dense. Even though no Oracles of the Directorate of Celestials were controlling it, it still gave play to a formidable defensive power enough to bind Wu Qi's hands. After all, as the administrative center of a first-grade province, the defensive mechanism in Zhong Ning City represented the highest level of restrictive spells and formations in Great Yu. Its defensive strength was just one tier lower than that of Great Yu's capital city.
Wu Qi could only utter bootless cries when facing such a rigid and strong defensive mechanism. He had exercised the innate escape art, yet the powerful restrictive force that filled the void had actually knocked him back. The person who designed the defense of the city must be some top expert from the Directorate of Celestials, and perhaps that person was someone as strong as a Primordial Immortal. Only a person like that could impose a restriction against the innate chaotic force.
With his brows frowned, he glanced around in frustration. Then, he stealthily transformed into a shadow and drifted into the shadow of a pilaster.
"I commanded armies of several tens of thousands of soldiers. How dare you mess with me?" Feng Lingling's voice towered into the sky.
The old man giggled and shook his head. Suddenly, he leaped up and hovered himself about one mile from the ground. He unfolded the imperial decree, and immediately, thousands of bright yellow beams and streams of purple mist came rushing out of the scroll. A vast amount of golden energy transformed into nine golden dragons, which flew out of the scroll and wheeled rapidly around the old man. "I am Fusang Ye, Marquis of Ming and the Left Minister of Great Yu Imperial Edict Court. In the name of the Human Emperor, I have brought a great army to crusade against the rebellion!"
Fusang Ye took a deep breath and shouted at the top of his voice, "Listen here, brave soldiers of Great Yu! You shall not fight for a rebel!"
As his voice rang out, the imperial decree trembled, and the ground surrounding Zhong Ning City began to tremble as well. A faint dragon roar could be heard coming from not far below the ground. In the next moment, countless soldiers in all four camps situated on four sides of the city were clamoring. One after another, they turned their weapons to point at the city.
Wu Qi sensed a fearsome aura being emanated from the imperial decree. It lorded above everything, making one's heart race with fear and be compelled to kneel down and kowtow. Under the aura, the several tens of thousands of soldiers did not have the power to resist. Regardless of their loyalty to Feng Lingling, all of them had turned their weapons and pointed the tips at Feng Lingling, at the Generals who commanded the armies in each camp.
A few Generals who were absolutely loyal to Feng Lingling roared furiously, swinging and thrusting their weapons to the soldiers who had betrayed them at the critical moment. However, before their weapons could land on the targets, Fusang Ye had cried out once again, "Traitors! How dare you to rebel against the dynasty? Lower your weapons and pay allegiance to the dynasty now! You can save your entire clan, your parents, and wives if you do so. But if you refuse to realize your mistake, your only punishment will be death!"
A one-feet long golden dragon suddenly emerged right below the weapons held by these Generals, their mouths spraying out streams of auspicious light that blocked the weapons from going further. Wu Qi sensed that these dragons were transformed from the fearsome, stately aura that came out of the imperial decree, and the aura was coming from the ancient characters written in golden ink on the scroll. It was as if an Emperor who lorded the realm was roaring from each of the strokes that formed the characters. All the Generals were instantly subdued by the aura.
He was surely a frightening expert, if the imperial decree was personally written by the current Human Emperor. With just the willpower concealed within the characters, he was able to easily subdue these Generals whose overall strength was equal to a Gold Immortal. It showed how incredibly powerful was the overall strength of Great Yu Human Emperor. And, if the imperial decree was not personally written by him, but by some minister of the Imperial Edict Court, then the Human Emperor who could control these mighty ministers was even more terrifying.
Wu Qi gasped as he gave his head a hard shake. Thoughts were leaping and flashing through his mind. He tried to figure out how he was going to escape from this awkward and dangerous situation. Glancing around with the Chaotic Divine Eyes, he saw that the void was filled with white energy barriers which were invisible to naked eyes, as well as huge and complicated white runes. The runes and the energy barriers fused with each other as they blanketed the entire Zhong Ning City, forming into an enormous, strategic, defensive mechanism.
Soon, he had discovered the core of all these runes and energy barriers. The Directorate of Celestials, the Military Court, and the Punishment Court, three palaces in Zhong Ning City were the sources of their energy. They formed a circle around the Prefecture Overseer Mansion, which was the core that managed all three energy sources, as well as the center that controlled the transformations of all the defensive formations. It was buried deep under the ground.
Wu Qi felt absurdly regretful. Had he known that the core of Zhong Ning City's strategic defensive mechanism was situated right under the Mansion, he would have destroyed it when he was looting those storehouses. Too bad that he was completely absorbed in looting the treasures, and hence, failed to discover that there was such a secret place hiding right under his nose.
The aura emanated by the core was concealed by some kind of extraordinary treasure, which had allowed it to escape from Wu Qi's divine sense and Chaotic Divine Eyes. Were it not for the fact that it was activated now, with all the energy surging and flowing into the palaces, Wu Qi would still be unable to discover that the core was situated right under the Prefecture Overseer Mansion.
He frowned bitterly and stared helplessly at Fusang Ye, who was laughing outside the city. The imperial decree trembled, and a stream of golden light blended with purple mist rushed out of it. Without even letting out a grunt, the Generals who refused to surrender were rolled up and brought back into the imperial decree by the streams of light. Fusang Ye roared with laughter as he rolled up the scroll, waved his hand, and cast a grayish-white thunderbolt into it. Dark ashes were falling out when he unrolled it afterward. All the Generals had turned into a heap of ashes.
'What a powerful imperial decree!' Wu Qi noticed that those Generals did not put up any resistance, and they did not seem to have the will to resist either. The aura of Human Emperor emanated from the scroll had stunned them, turning them into wooden puppets who had lost their desire and courage to resist.
Wu Qi clenched his jaws tightly as he fixed his gaze at the imperial decree, trying to find out its secret. He was puzzled as to how it could possess such an incredible power, and how it was able to easily wipe out those Generals. However, no matter it was his divine sense or Chaotic Divine Eyes, even with the chaotic energy being exercised, his vision was blocked by an invisible strong light at a distance of hundreds of feet from Fusang Ye.
Not only did the strong light block his vision, both his divine sense and Chaotic Divine Eyes had suffered a counterattack from a force. He felt a slight pain in his divine sense, and as if countless tiny needles were poking at his eyes, tears began to trickle down from the corner of his eyes. For the moment, he could not see anything clearly, even though they were only a few feet away from him.
Wu Qi was taken aback, and he quickly retracted his divine sense and glance.
What kind of force was this? How could it actually defend against chaotic energy? It felt strange, but familiar at the same time. He had once sensed such power on the Chariot of Eight Horses. Could it be the legendary Power of the Human Emperor? The Willpower of the people?
The city was surrounded by armies from all four sides. The several tens of thousands of soldiers who were once loyal to Feng Lingling had turned their weapons. Under the commands of several hundred Generals who Fusang Ye had brought here, these armies were regrouped with the great armies that approached from four directions.
A menacing aura towered into the sky. A gust of scorching wind swept across the armies, then its temperature instantly dropped and turned extremely cold. The biting wind swirled around the city. Although there was a thick defensive barrier, Wu Qi could still feel the cold wind. It went into his body through his pores and made all his internal organs shiver.
Wu Qi could not help but grind his teeth as he stared at the armies around the city. He knew very well that even if he had a cultivation base one hundred times stronger than now, it would still be impossible for him to make an escape amidst so many soldiers. Together with the imperial decree, the armies could easily trap and kill a dozen powerful experts who were as strong as Gold Immortals.
In the world of cultivators, more people did not necessarily mean greater strength, as a Gold Immortal could easily slaughter countless Heaven Immortals. But it was a different case for the human soldiers of Great Yu. As long as they were many, and were given sufficient amount of spirit talismans and formations, they would possess an overall strength that could trap and kill a Gold Immortal, or some even higher tier existences.
'Are these fellows really intending to slaughter the entire Zhong Ning City?' Wu Qi thought as he bit his lips and gnawed his teeth.
While Wu Qi's heart was burning with anxiety, Lao Ai slowly rose to his feet, his arms around Goddess Miao Xin's slender waist. He stared at Fusang Ye, who was hovering in the sky, and said coolly, "Your Excellency, I don't think we should waste any more time with them. Why don't we just launch the siege? Let's kill all the men in the city, and all the beautiful girls will belong to Miao Ying Palace. It will compensate for what we've lost. As for gold, silver, and other valuables, we will split according to the agreement."
"That's right. After bringing all the forces here, isn't that a waste of effort if we do not give them a good battle?" Goddess Miao Xin said in a sweet, seductive tone, "Quickly launch the siege! It will be boring should Feng Lingling decide to surrender!"
Fusang Ye's expression turned solemn as he turned to give the immortal officer a look.
However, the immortal officer was clearly led by Goddess Miao Xin, as he was seen staring at Goddess Miao Xin with a smile on his face and did not utter a single word.
Fusang Ye's face darkened. He raised the imperial decree and was about to announce the order of slaughtering the city. At that moment, Lord Long Yang suddenly rose to his feet and cried out in a leisurely tone, "
"Hold on! Feng Lingling, there is still a chance for you to live! The only chance!"