A shadow swept past the earth, traversing hundreds of thousands of miles with just a few dashes, vanishing and reappearing a few times. After a few hours of strenuous travel, the shadow finally reached Mount Picking Star in An Yi County from Zhong Ning City, and heading straight for the main peak. Clouds seeping out of the valleys and fissures between boulders prevented the shadow from going further. However, as the shadow performed a few hand incantation gestures, the clouds drifted out of the way and revealed a passage that led directly to the main peak.
With just a few leaps, the shadow landed on the platform where the doorway of Underhand Sect was situated. The shadow had a bronze skin tone, but his appearance was exactly the same as Wu Qi. He was none other than the celestial fiend puppet which Wu Qi had sent out from Zhong Ning City.
The platform was now clad in trees, with exotic flowers blooming between their roots. A few waterfalls poured down from the top of the cliff, showering the platform with continuous water vapor that made moss grow everywhere. Flowers and various spirit herbs attached to these mosses looked full of vigor and vitality, and were gently swaying in the breeze.
A thicket of giant pines stretched out from the edge of the platform like dragons, their twisting branches carrying an exquisite wooden hut that moved up and down as the wind blew. Bajie, with a monk's knife in his hand and sitting on the terrace of the wooden hut, suddenly opened his eyes. A golden light flashed through his eyes as he turned his head to look at the celestial fiend puppet. Then, he laughed rustically, sprung to his feet, and waved the knife over his shoulder as he flew towards the puppet.
"Greetings, Master! Is Master well out there?" Bajie fell to his knees and kowtowed to the puppet.
The puppet could sense a pure and strong Buddhist Zen power in Bajie's body when he pressed a hand on his shoulder. "Very good! It seems to me that you have not been wasting any time," said the puppet while nodding in satisfaction. "Keep up the good work! You are born with the good fortune from the previous life, so try your best to form your Relic and Lotus Throne as early as possible, and strive to become an Arhat. There are many things that I need your help with!"
The puppet laughed strangely as Wu Qi, who controlled it across a great distance, suddenly thought of something very interesting. Who could be better than these Buddhist monks at spreading influence and controlling the people's mind in private? He did not mind taking in a group of bald-headed disciples into Underhand Sect. Why should he care when there were already so many demons running wildly in the sect?
Several young disciples dressed in green Daoist robes came forward. Upon seeing the puppet, they bowed deeply while calling him 'Ancestral Master.' A cold gleam flashed across the puppet's eyes. Wu Qi was pleased to find out that in just a very short period of time, these young disciples had possessed the cultivation base of Houtian realm. He could tell that Supremacy Three Flame and You Jin had spent a lot of time and effort on these young disciples, and that Pangu Continent was too suitable for cultivators to cultivate themselves.
"You may raise." He said while nodding approvingly. After that, he strode into the cave abode.
Just as he entered the cave, he heard a deafening battle cry. Lord Xiansheng, who had transformed into a dragon, was flying in the air, and below him were one thousand and two hundred little aquatic demons from Qianzhang Lake falling into three formations and attacking each other. These little demons had no good weapons, and they did not master any powerful divine abilities or spells. However, they charged and retreated in one strict formation, and all of their shabby weapons and weak water-thunder smashed solidly onto their opponents. The drill was so fierce that some little demons were coughing up blood and being forced to leave the formations.
You Jin was standing right next to the battle formations with several hundred young disciples. Whenever there was a wounded demon who left the formation, he would hurry up with those young disciples and use the little demon as props, explaining to them where the demon was wounded, how serious it was, and how to treat and dress the wound, what medicine should they use, and so on.
Wu Qi had taught You Jin the Dao of Alchemy, and his passion toward Alchemy had made him put all his heart into it when he was not meditating. The nearly one hundred young disciples he brought here were actually disciples whom he had carefully selected, and were also showing interest in Alchemy.
A true Immortal Sect must be self-supporting and self-sufficient. Whether it was the crafting of weapons or the refining of pills, or even the production of talismans, formations, and so on, they all needed to be handled by people who were expert in the fields. Now, with You Jin teaching this group of disciples, at least the Underhand Sect would not have to worry about the medicinal pills they would need in the future. Wu Qi had quite a number of recipes for immortal pills and spirit pills, enough for You Jin and the others to study for a long time.
Without disturbing Lord Xiansheng and You Jin, the puppet made a dash and went further down the cave abode.
In the second level of the cave, Supremacy Three Flame was supervising the practice of numerous disciples of Underhand Sect. The little demons of Qianzhang Lake had more or less possessed the cultivation base of Gold Core realm, but of all the disciples of Underhand Sect, only a few possessed the overall strength of peak Houtian Realm, and they were considered the strongest. For an Immortal Sect, the overall strength such as this was too weak. Supremacy Three Flame was a man who was loyal to his friends, and since Wu Qi had made him the Sect Elder, he would do what was required of an Elder.
So, with Wu Qi walking away from his duty, and the others being less reliable, Supremacy Three Flame had assumed the responsibility of teaching and passing down the Dao. The puppet gladly glanced at Supremacy Three Flame, who was sitting on a platform and teaching the Dao to many disciples of Underhand Sect. After that, he went to the lower level of the cave.
In the third level of the cave, Xue Mei was having a sword practice with Qianzhang Dragon King. After cultivating painstakingly for tens of thousands of years, Qianzhang Dragon King had barely attained the body of the lowest level flood dragon, and now, he had barely reached the realm of Nascent Divinity. On the other hand, Xue Mei's cultivation base was not as strong as his, but the gap was not big. With all the extraordinary flying swords and magical items she had, the two had always come to a tie in their practice.
At this moment, they were exchanging sword gestures. In a serious manner, Xue Mei discussed the technique of controlling swords with Qianzhang Dragon King, and the latter listened to her teachings and explanations with unparalleled seriousness as well. Qianzhang Dragon King had always been practicing alone, and had never had such a chance to learn a certain mystic technique in a systematic way. Therefore, his whole mind was immersed in the discussion with Xue Mei, and as for the thousands of demons under his command, he had handed them to Lord Xiansheng.
In the fourth level... Well, it was all thriving and progressing what he saw in the first few cave abodes. But, what he saw here made the puppet stumble and almost fall to the ground. 'Why are these few fellows so disappointing?' thought Wu Qi while gnashing his teeth with rage.
Exotic flowers and spirit herbs spotted the grass-clad ground of the cavernous cave. Three gigantic figures were seen lying with their bellies facing the sky in the center of the cave abode, on top of a spirit cave with the richest immortal energy. Their mouths seemed to be chewing on something. They were none other than Catfish, whose body stretched as long as three miles, and Gold Horn and Silver Horn, whose bodies measured thousands of feet long.
A few young disciples of Underhand Sect were running back and forth around them, panting and sweating as they kept delivering one after another skinned and washed wild animals into the mouths of three big fellows. There were also a few aquatic demons standing next to them, using long bamboo sticks to pick up huge wine jars and pouring the wine into three big months that opened every now and then.
It was a situation in which Wu Qi felt the most helpless. Although these three fellows were so lazy and had their mind totally set on eating and drinking, as the immortal energy here was so abundant, by just relying on the instinct of their fleshly bodies to absorb the energy, their progress was much faster than those cultivators in the outside world who cultivated wholeheartedly. Apparently, this blessed land which Wu Qi found through the copy of Pangu's Map was so good that all three of them had lost their motivation to cultivate.
Wu Qi shook his head and sighed helplessly. He had decided to ignore them and just assume that what they were doing was part of their cultivation. With a dash, the puppet quickly descended to the lower levels.
The lower levels of the cave abode were sparsely made into special rooms such as storehouses, pills rooms, and the likes. Some disciples were counting the immortal plants and spirit herbs collected these days, or were trying to refine some of the most basic pills. All of these disciples were very attentive and serious, which made Wu Qi very happy!
Obviously, it should be Supremacy Three Flame and You Jin's credit that drove such an excellent performance out of these disciples.
The Underhand Sect would still need a group of personnel who could handle internal affairs. Otherwise, Supremacy Three Flame and You Jin would have been too tired to manage such a large sect. Wu Qi reflexively thought of the Luo Clan. As a cultivator clan, they should have the ability to properly run a base. It would be beneficial to draw a few people from Luo Clan to help take care of the matters here.
As he was pondering over some of the development plans for the sect, the puppet went straight to the eighteenth level of the cave abode.
The purple-and-gold immortal energy was rapidly rocking and rolling in the cave abode. With a rich five-colored divine ray radiating from her body, Princess Zhang Le hovered in mid-air while absorbing the immortal energy of the entire cave into her body. Beside her, Peppermint and Angelica were carefully exercising the Dark Yin Water Scripture as she transformed the immortal energy into wisps of pitch-black Water-element energy essence, constantly injecting the energy essence into the sisters' bodies from across the air.
With Princess Zhang Le's help, the cultivation speed of the sisters was much faster than ordinary cultivators. Even when Lady Dark Gold Water was cultivating many years ago when she was still weak, she did not have someone like Princess Zhang Le to help her break down the immortal energy into Water-element energy essence! With the help of Princess Zhang Le, the cultivation speed of the sisters was many times faster than ordinary cultivators.
Upon sensing that the puppet had entered the cave abode, Princess Zhang Le slowly opened her eyes and frowned at him. "Seeing this metal fellow makes me want to smash all of them at once... Why don't you come back personally? I've been missing you these days!"
The puppet said hoarsely, "Yu He has successfully become the Prefecture Overseer of Hai Province. What do you think we should do next?"
Princess Zhang Le leaped to her feet in great joy. "Oh? Doesn't that mean we can finally commence our plan of secretly invading Hai Province? Mm, how can we take Yu He's power away and put Hai Province in our hands?"
Wu Qi sweated profusely when he heard what Princess Zhang Le had said. When he was only thinking of acting on the land promised to him by Yu He, Princess Zhang Le was already plotting on seizing the entire Hai Province. Was that the difference between the princess and the common people?
Then, he heard Princess Zhang Le said again, "Well, since we are going to plot against Hai Province, we'll have to find a way to plant our people in An Yi County as well. Peppermint, tell Yan Bugui to come here with Old Mister Su Qin. We need to come up with a careful plan."
Since Princess Zhang Le was pondering over the various matters, the puppet had no other choice but to stand aside, and Wu Qi simply let go of his control.
Having a capable and dominating wife didn't seemed that bad, wasn't it?
When Wu Qi let go of the puppet's control, it was also when Yu He flagrantly ordered the execution of Mu Hai.
The atmosphere in Ningbo City suddenly tensed up.