Wu Qi glanced back over his shoulder at the few huge stone pillars that loomed before the Directorate of Celestials, his mouth curving into a smile.
Was this the internal struggle of those clans in Great Yu? Each of their children was sparing no efforts to climb to a higher position, and when something of interest appeared, they would leap over and devour it in an instant like a pack of mad dogs. No kinship or brotherhood would come into their minds in such a naked competition, only the plain, cold exchange of interests.
'Is this the way for the clans in Great Yu to survive on Pangu Continent? Only the strongest clan member can make the clan thrive.' thought Wu Qi.
Yu Mu was handsomely paid for betraying Feng Lingling. For the Yu Clan, the power of Prefecture Overseers in thirty provinces was undoubtedly the best opportunity to strengthen their overall strength. And for every member of Yu Clan, it was also the best time to raise their status in the clan and accumulate personal power.
It went without saying how many benefits a province could bring to a man. With the rich resources of a province as the backing, an ordinary member of Yu Clan could get any spirit pills and herbs he had ever wished for. Even a pig could be turned into a Gold Immortal with such an immense amount of resources! And not to mention that these members of the Yu Clan were not pigs, but smart and experienced elites.
'I have to improve my cultivation base as much as possible within a month.' He made a dash into the mountain near An He City, exercising the Kuafu Chasing The Sun Step and disappearing without a trace. After taking a great detour, he returned to Mount Picking Star.
Yu He had found Wu Qi as his helper, but the brothers who were competing with him were certainly not some weaklings, and they might have already found some strong experts as their retainers. It was the position of Prefecture Overseer they were fighting for, so everyone would definitely be fighting with their full force, and any careless mistake would mean death. On top of that, in the upcoming battle, Wu Qi could not use any of his divine abilities or spells, but only the power of the True Body of Heaven and Earth Scripture. It had greatly restricted his overall strength. If he wished to win, he would have to push his cultivation base further within a month.
With numerous thoughts tumbling in his mind, Wu Qi strode into the cave abode of Underhand Sect and came to the great hall situated on the first level - a huge building built with logs by Supremacy Three Flame and some disciples when he was out for a little bit over a month.
Inside the great hall, Princess Zhang Le and You Jin were counting all the resources the Underhand Sect now possessed, calculating how long it would take for them to produce a batch of worthy disciples by equally distributing the resources to each one of them. The people who formed the top tier of Underhand Sect were mostly absentee leaders who took no liking to such trifling tasks, except Princess Zhang Le and You Jin.
In one corner of the hall, Lord Xiansheng was grinding his teeth with a writing brush in his hand as he sat there counting the number of human and demon disciples the Underhand Sect now had, as well as the level of their cultivation base. He had no interest in the drudgery of the sect either, but he had a great passion for training soldiers and leading an army to battles. So, there he sat, dividing the disciples into groups while planning how he could produce an elite army through training.
As for Catfish, Gold Horn and Silver Horn... Well, they were huddled in another corner of the hall, humming some little tunes while digesting the immortal souls and flesh they had devoured some time ago. Peppermint and Angelica were seen laboriously bringing them one after another bloody carcass of river deer, goats, and the likes, which they took as desserts. Wu Qi's admiration for the three of them was beyond words, as they had never forgotten to satisfy their appetite while digesting the enormous energy essence in their bodies.
But as his mind was occupied, Wu Qi did not bother to pay any attention to these trifling matters. He rushed straight to Princess Zhang Le, grabbed her hand, and walked out of the hall immediately. Even as he was walking away, he turned to give You Jin a smile and said, "You Jin, you'll handle all the tasks here. Be it counting the resources or any other drudgery, do as you see fit. Oh, find someone you can talk to about the routine meditation for the disciples."
You Jin blinked and could not regain his composure for a long while. Find someone he could talk to? Who else could he talk to in this place?
But as a benign and uncontentious man, since Wu Qi had already given him the order, You Jin just responded with a nod and turned around to attend to the drudgery of the entire Underhand Sect. He was the only man who was capable of carrying out this task, as there was no one else who could be counted on.
They went straight to the eighteenth level of the cave abode. Looking at the cave, which measured about one hundred miles in circumference and was thoroughly soaked with liquefied immortal energy, Princess Zhang Le could not help but cry out in surprise. The wall was full of white stalactites that shone brilliantly like jade. The rich immortal energy in the atmosphere had filled them with energy, causing them to radiate a strong white light that made the cave as bright as broad daylight.
Then she saw a pool right in the center of the cave, one thousand feet in diameter and tens of feet deep. It was a pool fully filled with thick immortal energy that flowed like mercury. It was where Wu Qi had soaked himself in when he was having a secluded meditation some time ago. By meditating here, he could yield twice the result with half the effort, and the speed of cultivating was at least one hundred times faster than ordinary Immortals. The density of immortal energy in this place was simply too high.
Wu Qi took her to the edge of the pond and sat down on a rock almost entirely formed with immortal energy, then placed his arms around her slender body while whispering into her ear about Yu He's request. Then, he told her about his plans and concerns. By helping Yu He, he would definitely be dragged into the conflicts among their brothers, and his current overall strength was not enough to guarantee his safety.
Perhaps, because of selfish motive, some Elders of Yu Clan had already sent a few secretly trained experts to assist their direct descendants. He might be killed if he were to face such personal guards without proper preparation.
Princess Zhang Le frowned. Her hands clutched tightly at Wu Qi's as she carefully weighted the stakes involved.
It was a good fifteen minutes before Princess Zhang Le finally said, "There is nothing in the world that can benefit without taking risks. After helping Yu He acquire the power of a province, we can totally make him our puppet and let us have full control over the entire province."
Then, she sunk back into a silence to ponder further. At last, she nodded and said, "It can be done. Not only we must do it, we have to do it right. I want the land of a province as well!"
Princess Zhang Le once again exhibited the kind of snooty smile that Wu Qi knew so well. She raised her head proudly and said in a cold voice, "A strong cultivation base is more vital than anything else in this world. I do not want to be pursued and schemed against again, to worry that someone might kill my lover one day. I do not want to live in fear anymore. Therefore..."
A gentle look flashed across her eyes as she fell into Wu Qi's arms and whispered, "Since Grandpa has approved us to be together, why don't we officially marry each other today? The heaven and the earth can be our witnesses."
Wu Qi looked at Princess Zhang Le in astonishment. "Today? I..."
He felt that his head was reeling. He really wasn't prepared for this. Even though he and Princess Zhang Le had become so accustomed to each other and a deep affection had been developed between them, as well as the fact they were engaged with each other, her words still exploded in his ears like a sudden thunderclap.
While he was stumped by the question and remained tongue-tied for a good while, he almost asked the dumbest question of his life - 'Don't we need to get a certificate of marriageability if we want to officially marry each other?'
But luckily, just as he was about to say that, he bit his tongue and withdrew the foolish remark. He stared at Princess Zhang Le, who looked as proud as a Queen, and nodded thoughtfully. She was right, and her idea was exactly the same as his. Their future would be completely different when they had the land of a province. The value of it was so great that it was worth risking everything.
Princess Zhang Le rose to her feet like a proud rooster and her palace dress vanished with a shudder as she threw herself into Wu Qi's arms. She squinted at the dumbfounded man and said with a smile, "You said a few days ago that you had devoured an unlucky God, Mu Bai. Well, let me help you completely digest his divine power. As I possess a thread of innate energy, I might be able to help you break through some major bottlenecks as well."
Wu Qi, put his arms around Princess Zhang Le's slender and flawless body, feeling a little panicked as he asked stupidly, "I thought we have to get married first?"
She gave him a fierce glare while dragging him into the pond. "The heaven and the earth are watching us. They know we are getting married! Hey, you are a man. Why are you acting more like a girl than me?"
Wu Qi's vague curse could be heard coming out from the thick immortal energy liquid of purple-and-gold, then it was followed by a cry of pain from both of them. As the sound of flesh spanking on flesh echoed out, Princess Zhang Le complained in a low voice, "Why is it so painful? Can't you be more careful?"
The liquid in the pond began to rock and splash violently, accompanied by Wu Qi's cries of pain. "I am feeling as pained as you! Aye, be gentle! Why are you biting me?" Wu Qi gasped as the immortal energy fluid which was thousands of time heavier than mercury rose into waves.
Immortal energy poured in from all directions while the immortal energy fluid that had been accumulated for unknown ages in the pond was reducing at a rate visible to the naked eyes.
The sound of a dull, thunderous heartbeat kept echoing out of the pond, as if an extraordinary savage beast was gestating and growing in it. A horrible aura gradually spread out, filling the atmosphere with a chaotic, barbaric, ancient, and vicissitudinous smell, the unique decadent smell of time. Chaotic spirit light and divine ray of five-colors continued to flicker at the bottom of the pond, and gradually fused into one, forming a magnificent halo that could not be described with words.
The howling of the Gale, the long hissing of the Dragon Pythons of Fire and Ice, and the roaring of the Heaven Dragon swelled up from the bottom of the pond. Vaguely, countless shadows of Ghosts and Deities could be seen flashing, accompanied by cold mist, scorching flame, dazzling starlights, dark magnetic forces, and many other abnormalities.
Amidst all the glorious lights and shadows came Princess Zhang Le's delightful moan, sweet as a bowl of honey water that could seep straight into one's heart.
Time passed on, and in just the blink of an eye, a month had gone by.