Another great bloodshed reigned the arena before the ownership of the remaining fifteen provinces was decided.
With the exception of Yu He, who had won an unexpected victory and caused a surprising turmoil because of Wu Qi, the power of the other fifteen provinces had fallen into the hands of those who deserved it. The seven strongest sons of Yu Clan, including Yu Mou, and eight youths whose age and cultivation base were about the same level as Yu He, got what they deserved.
Afterward, another grand sacrifice ceremony was held. The Elders led more than a hundred sons of Yu Clan to worship the many ghosts and deities on the altar, presenting more plentiful sacrifices such as sheep and black horses. Together with the blood, flesh, and souls of the several thousand Oracles and warriors who were killed in the second duel, the ghosts and deities worshiped by the Yu Clan were finally greatly satisfied.
In Wu Qi's astonished gaze, dozens of ghosts and deities, who were shrouded in a blood-red light that was so dense as if fresh blood was dripping down from them, lifted their hands at the same time. Then, amidst Yu Mu's loud beseech, these ghosts and deities bestowed blessings to the many members of Yu Clan!
Perhaps it was because Wu Qi had killed more than two thousand competitors during the duel and even seriously wounded Yu Miao in front of everyone, he received a great favor from the dozens of ghosts and deities. Vast streams of dense, blood-red light gushed out of the hands of about thirty of them and poured directly into his body, turning into a scorching hot stream that instantly washed through his body.
A strange energy quickly filled up his body. Wu Qi could clearly sense that the strength of his fleshly body and soul was rising by leaps and bounds. What was even more amazing to him was that countless strange runes suddenly appeared in his eyes, many of which were new runes that weren't included in the Dao of Ghost and Deity inherited by Princess Zhang Le. Furthermore, he understood the strange effects of these runes in an instant.
It was the art of initiations and endowing!
Through bloody sacrificial rites, the Oracles of Great Yu had traditionally offered huge amounts of livestock to the ghosts and deities worshiped by their clans in exchange for great power! This was also the main reason why the powerful clans of Great Yu were able to suppress common warriors in term of cultivation base. They could gain great power from the ghosts and deities through sacrificial rites, and therefore, their growth rate was naturally higher than that of the common warriors who had worked hard to cultivate all by themselves.
The hot stream tumbled fiercely in Wu Qi while threatening heat waves emitted from his skin, and a faint red glow radiated out from inside of his body. All the Elders were looking at him with complicated expressions. They had sacrificed the lives of nearly six thousand lower-grade Oracles in this ceremony only to earn the blessing of the ghosts and deities, yet nearly half of the benefits were seized by Wu Qi alone, leaving the rest to be shared by the sons of Yu Clan.
The two duels had claimed the lives of nearly six thousand Star Oracles and lower-grade warriors. Wu Qi alone had killed more than two thousand men, while three thousand or so had lost their lives in the second duel. A large-scale duel and sacrificial rite like this was not an event a powerful clan such as Yu Clan of Zhong Province could always hold. The loss of six thousand men had been the result of several wars combined in the past. If it were held regularly, the power of the Directorate of Celestials in Zhong Province would surely be weakened, and they would be criticized by the other provincial Directorates of Celestials. It would bring the Yu Clan of Zhong Province a great trouble.
Yu Clan would never be willing to sacrifice six thousand lower-grade Oracles at once if it were not for the special circumstances of competing for the power of provinces!
Fortunately, the huge sacrifice had earned the joy of over sixty ghosts and deities worshiped by their clan, and eventually brought them their blessings. During the sacrificial rites in the past, there was usually only one ghost or deity who would bestow them a meager blessing as a mere token, and never once had so many ghosts and deities bestowed so much of power at the same time like today.
But, half of the benefits were taken away by Wu Qi! And it was all because he had killed the most people in the arena, and even brutally beaten an Elder of Yu Clan!
All the Elders, including Yu Mu, felt their hearts filled with mixed feelings. From the joyful howling of those ghosts and deities, they could vaguely sense that it was because Wu Qi had brutally beaten Yu Miao that these ghosts and deities had bestowed so much power to him! Could it be that whenever they held a sacrificial rite in the future, they would have to beat a few Elders so that they could win the favor of these ghosts and deities? But, that was just ridiculous!
Wu Qi felt the hot stream growing larger in him, and the feeling getting unbearable. In the end, he threw his head back and let out a loud long roar that towered into the sky. Amidst the roaring, dull explosions could be heard coming from inside his body. His muscles were expanding and a suffocating pressure kept spreading out of him which blew dozens of sons who knelt next to him away.
Underneath the main hall… No, not just the main hall in Yu Residence, but all the energy veins under the grassland where the entire Zhong Ning City was situated began to surge. They throbbed with loud booms like a human heart, and large sheets of purple mist were rising at the same time across the millions of miles wide grassland around Zhong Ning City. The purple mists, which could not be seen through naked eyes or sensed through divine sense, and could only be contacted through the secret cultivation technique of the human race, transformed into dozens of dragon-shaped waves as they rushed into the main hall and poured into Wu Qi's body.
Of the dozens of ghosts and deities who blessed Wu Qi, seven were Yu Clan's ancestors. It seemed they were delighted with some of Wu Qi's deeds, and therefore, in the blood-red light they poured into his body, they had incorporated some of their understanding of the True Body of Heaven and Earth Scripture, as well as other cultivation techniques which they gained when they were still alive.
Dozens of shiny runes flashed and blinked beside Wu Qi, which quickly merged into his body and burst into a dazzling light beneath his skin. Attracted by these runes, those purple mists whistled into his body and instantly became part of his fleshly body.
His muscles spasmed, his faces twitched, and his eyes shone with two beams of purple light, each measuring ten feet long. He painstakingly exercised the True Body of Heaven and Earth Scripture, packing the purple mists into his body and filling them into every muscle fiber, every bone, and every inch of his vessels and meridians. He kept strengthening his body and pushing the cultivation of True Body of Heaven and Earth Scripture to the peak.
Each of the ghosts and deities worshiped by Yu Clan possessed an unimaginable power, and a random reward from them would mean a great blessing for Wu Qi. Under the stimulation of the bloody glow and the purple mists, his cultivation of the True Body of Heaven and Earth Scripture was gradually climbing to the highest realm.
Eighth tier Heaven Immortal, seventh tier Heaven Immortal, sixth tier Heaven Immortal...
With an efficiency that shocked and horrified Wu Qi, his cultivation of True Body of Heaven and Earth Scripture made a rapid breakthrough. In just an hour, under conditions that he could not understand, the strength of his fleshly body had broken through the limit of the Foundation Chapter. Now, it was strong enough to compete with that of a first tier Heaven Immortal who specialized in body cultivation!
With a brief inhalation, a layer of purple halo, about the thickness of a finger and translucent like crystal, emerged to cover his skin. It flowed like water over his body and roughly carved out the outline of a suit of armor. Without even trying, Wu Qi could briefly sense the insane defensive strength of the armor. Every inch of it contained a great power. This suit of armor purely formed from energy might not have the magical auxiliary function of a defensive immortal item, but its pure physical defense was absolutely beyond any upper-grade immortal item.
The Elders of Yu Clan looked at the odd sign on the surface of Wu Qi's skin in astonishment. Yu Mou and several other sons of Yu Clan also looked enviously at Wu Qi. They ground their teeth and whispered, "The Nine Stars Realm of the First Pangu Heaven! Hmph! The cultivation base of a top-tiered Heaven Immortal… How could this fellow be so lucky?"
The Nine Stars Realm of the First Pangu Heaven? It was the highest realm a human warrior could reach by cultivating the True Body of Heaven and Earth Scripture, the strongest cultivation base that a first tier Heaven Immortal could have ever achieved! With just one step forward, Wu Qi would step into the realm of Gold Immortal! From the fragmentary information inherited from the ghosts and deities, he knew that with just one step further, he would break through the Foundation Chapter of the True Body of Heaven and Earth Scripture. And when he began to cultivate the Skin Refining Chapter, he would achieve the overall strength of a Gold Immortal!
At that point in time, he would break through the so-called First Pangu Heaven, and begin the cultivation of the Second Pangu Heaven!
The Second Pangu Heaven was also divided into nine star realms, corresponding to the eighteen tiers of the Gold Immortal realm. Each star realm was corresponding to the overall strength of two tiers of Gold Immortal.
Wu Qi's heart was filled with questions and surprise. He had just broken into the realm of ninth tier Heaven Immortal with Princess Zhang Le's innate energy, and that had already greatly delighted him. But now, with the lives of six thousand men and several thousand livestock, he was bestowed with the blessing of over thirty ghosts and deities. A strange power that pushed the overall strength of his fleshly body from ninth tier Heaven Immortal to the peak of the first tier Heaven Immortal!
He couldn't help but maliciously speculate that if there were enough lower-grade Oracles for the sacrificial rite, wouldn't the Yu Clan be able to easily raise a few experts of Gold Immortal level? But then, it was unlikely that they would ever do that, for they could never sacrifice so many lower-grade Oracles at once, unless they killed all the lower-grade Oracles of the entire Directorate of Celestials in Zhong Province. And, if they really did that, the Yu Clan would most probably be completely removed from the Directorate of Celestials!
Amidst a gloomy laughter, the ghosts and deities on the altar gradually disappeared into a chilly breeze.
Suddenly the steps of hosting a weird blood sacrifice ritual appeared in Wu Qi's mind, something that the ghosts and deities had given him before they departed. They seemed to want Wu Qi to host a blood sacrifice ritual such as this, and they even told him directly that if he could offer sufficient sacrificial offerings, they could give him even greater power!
After silently putting the steps in his heart, Wu Qi took in a deep breath.
Yu Mu looked at Wu Qi with a complicated gaze, then grinned as he waved his hand feebly and said, "Well, at least some of us got something from today's ritual. Go back to rest for a few days, and then report to your own duty!"
All the Elders' eyes were fixated on Wu Qi. It made him feel as if numerous daggers were stabbing and hacking on his skin.
He could hardly endure such atmosphere, and hence, quickly followed Yu He as they took leave of the main hall.
Right at the moment they walked out of the door, a shadow abruptly appeared before them. Yu Huai, who looked like a ghost himself, grabbed Wu Qi and Yu He's arms as he said in a deep voice, "You've attracted troubles! Now follow me quickly! Hmph, that old bastard Yu Miao, how could he do that to you?"
In a daze, Wu Qi let Yu Huai drag him and Yu He away from the main hall.