Mu Hai, the Minister of Agriculture Court in Hai Province, was a thin, old man, with a neatly trimmed goatee. The most eye-catching part about him was a dazzling green jade finger guard that he wore on his left little finger, whose surface was covered with tiny and complicated runes. The sharp, pointy tip glinted with a bright gleam that made one shudder at the sight of it. Obviously, it was a powerful magical item.
The former Prefecture Overseer of Hai Province had already fled, as well as those officials who were loyal to him. Therefore, those who remained in Ningbo City were from the neutral fraction who had little to do with the former Prefecture Overseer, and felt that there would be no danger to their lives. Or so they thought.
When they heard that Yu He had ordered Mu Hai to be captured and executed, the officials of Ningbo City shivered and looked at Yu He in shock. Mu Hai, in particular, jumped up in horror, waved his hands about in the air, and shrieked, "Your Excellency Prefecture Overseer, what crime have I committed? I have always been conscientious and done my very best. Never once have I made the slightest mistake!"
A cold gleam flashed across Yu He's eyes as he shook his head and said with a grin, "You have never made a mistake? Three years ago, you led a team of pathfinders and found a 'Nine-hearts Jade-bones Fragrance Tree' on a nameless mountain. Now tell me, where did the 'Nine-hearts Jade-bones Spirit Replenishing Grass' attached to the tree go?"
Mu Hai froze on the spot with a jolt.
Shrouded in the cold, grayish-white flame, Yu He slowly landed on the ground. The square was paved with thick black boulders, and as he landed, the boulders beneath his feet produced a faint crackling noise. A large patch of black boulder became grayish white as if their life force was completely sucked away, and gradually caved in. A breeze blew by and brought away dust from the boulders, leaving behind a deep pit in their place.
In Wu Qi's mind, he quickly went through the information of the Nine-hearts Jade-bones Fragrance Tree and the Nine-hearts Jade-bones Spirit Replenishing Grass. The tree was a supreme material for crafting, and even a peak first tier Heaven Immortal could use it to craft all sorts of wonderful things. Although it was only a supplementary item, its value was extremely high. The pill box crafted with it could preserve the medicinal strength of pills to the greatest degree, and if a spirit pill was stored in the box all the year round, the pill would gain a wisp of wood element energy that could nourish one's internal organs and restore one's immortal soul. It was an extremely valuable effect.
And, if it fell into the hands of Fiend Immortals or Demon Immortals who practiced mystic arts such as Poisonous Gu and the likes, it could be made into an Insect Gu that had the ability to fuse with the poison of various vegetation, which would add endless variations and power to the Gu.
In addition, the Nine-hearts Jade-bones Fragrance Tree could also be used in a variety of offensive magical treasures as supplementary crafting material, especially immortal items of thunder, fire, and wind element. More or less, after adding a piece of it as one of the crafting materials, the power of the immortal item could be improved by an average of thirty percent.
This proved how precious the Nine-hearts Jade-bones Fragrance Tree was. But, compared with the Nine-hearts Jade-bones Spirit Replenishing Grass, the tree was no different from garbage. The grass must be grown on the Fragrance Tree. A seasoned Spirit Replenishing Grass was a fourth-grade spirit grass, and the pill refined from it could only be used by Gold Immortals. A pill concocted with it could instantly restore the immortal energy of a Gold Immortal who had depleted all his energy. And the most shocking of all, after consuming it, the immortal energy in his body would always maintain itself at its maximum level for one whole month! Despite how powerful the spells he cast were, his immortal energy would never reduce!
If two Gold Immortals were locked in a desperate battle, the one who had taken the pill concocted with the Spirit Replenishing Grass could unleash powerful immortal spells at any time, while the other had his immortal energy reducing at a constant rate. It went without asking who would the final victor be. Among Gold Immortals, the price of Nine-hearts Jade-bones Spirit Replenishing Grass had been touted as being astronomical!
Yu He stared at Mu Hai in a stately manner and with a cold grin. "At the expense of the Fragrance Tree and Spirit Replenishing Grass, you had sent your two b*stard sons to some supreme Gold Immortal and made them his disciples. I can slaughter your entire clan with just this crime alone. In addition, you have also received many benefits from that Gold Immortal, such as some spirit herbs that can prolong your life. Am I right?"
Mu Hai stepped back while shuddering, staring at Yu He with his teeth clenched. "How did you know this?"
Yu He smiled and shook his head indifferently. "This is not the only thing I know. After you ganged up with that Gold Immortal, using the advantage of being the Minister of Agriculture Court who is in charge of the farmlands and forests, you have harvested countless spirit herbs and secretly traded with him. Do you want me to list down all the notorious deeds you've done one by one?"
Mu Hai howled at the top of his voice, "Let me know the reason that brings death to me! How did you get to know these things?"
Yu He smiled at Wu Qi and clapped his hands. As the crisp clapping echoed out, a group of fierce soldiers clad in black armor, who were the private guards of the Yu Clan, rushed out of a street from the east side of the square, escorting a group of men and women. An old woman, tightly bound with python tendons and with two steel blades placed behind her neck, was shoved to the front by four soldiers. Upon seeing the old woman, Mu Hai snapped, "What is going on? Your Excellency, are you really going to slaughter my entire clan?"
With a cruel smile on his face, Yu He said coolly, "The person who reported you is your wife."
The old woman rolled her eyes, and a fierce gleam suddenly flashed through her dull eyes. Mu Hai stepped back in horror. "Impossible!" He screamed, "Wei Wa and I have had nine sons. How could she betray me when the love between us is so deeply rooted?"
Wu Qi shook his head slightly. It was clear that Yu He's series of blows had driven Mu Hai to the brink of collapse. He did not know how old Mu Hai was, but judging from his cultivation base, he should be hundreds of years old at the least. The wife who he had married for hundreds of years, the woman whom he had loved and shared the same bed with, was actually the person who betrayed him. How could Mu Hai accept it?
Wu Qi glanced again at the many retinues standing behind Yu He. In order to allow Yu He to quickly gain control over Hai Province, Yu Huai had assigned a large number of loyal servants to his son. Among them were those who were skilled in the military and government affairs, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and so on. He reckoned that some of these men were surely good at spying. Otherwise, how could Mu Hai and his old wife have gotten into such trouble?
Obviously, the Yu Clan's control over Hai Province had actually begun a long time ago.
Mu Hai's eyes were shot with blood. He gave Yu He a fierce glare, then turned to look at his wife and asked in a gentle voice, "Tell me, Wei Wa, why are you doing this? What good is it for reporting me to them?"
A strange laugh broke loose from the old woman's mouth as she suddenly struggled violently. Her force was so strong that it took the four soldiers a great effort to barely hold her down. "Why am I doing this?" She roared hoarsely, "You old rascal, how could you father b*stards with those b*tches? Of all the benefits you've gotten, how much have you given to your own sons? Nothing! You've given them all to your b*stards!"
The forlorn howling of the old woman became the only sound in the spacious square. The officials of Hai Province had dropped to their knees as their bodies shivered and their heads were bowed deeply, none daring to look up.
Wu Qi shook his head. Apparently, it was pure jealousy that drove this old woman to report her husband! But, what were the consequences of that? It was true that Mu Hai was sentenced to death, but all his clan members, including her, were brought here as well, and Yu He was certainly not inviting them here for a feast!
With an indifferent smile, Wu Qi said, "A jealous woman with a vicious heart has brought an end to the life of all the people in Mu Hai's clan!"
Yu He guffawed, and with a raised eyebrow, he ordered, "By the decree of the Great Yu Dynasty, kill all the clan members of the traitor, Mu Hai!"
Mu Hai roared like a savage beast as the soldiers lifted their steel blades at the same time. The blades glinted dazzlingly as they ripped through the air and hacked heavily on the necks of his clan members. More than two thousand heads went flying up and blood spilled all over the place. His wife and children, along with the members from the collateral branches of his clan, servants, and maids, and even the members of some small clans who were related to him by marriage, a total of over two thousand people were executed in just the blink of an eye.
His old wife's head flew up with blood and spun three times in the air, yet her eyes never left her husband's face. Vaguely, a few rather ambiguous words could be heard coming from her mouth, "Old rascal... I'll not let you get away with it easily... even if I am dead!" Her sheer jealousy made Wu Qi shiver from head to toe.
"Luckily, my Zhang Le is a good girl, and she is planning to find me concubines!" Compared with Mu Hai's old wife, Wu Qi suddenly felt a great sense of relief.
Witnessing the slaughter of his clan members, the corners of Mu Hai's eyes suddenly burst open and two streams of blood coursed down his cheeks. He threw his head back, opened his mouth, and howled silently. Then, he turned around, and the jade finger guard on his left little finger abruptly shot toward Yu He's chest along with a bright green beam of light. The mysterious runes on the finger guard flashed rapidly, and as it approached Yu He's chest, it had transformed into a one-foot long, green viper.
Wu Qi grunted coldly, and with just a dash, he came standing before Yu He, letting the little viper slam into his chest.
A loud boom rang out like the toll of a bronze bell. The viper pulverized into jade powder that drifted away from Wu Qi's chest. He felt a pain washing through his chest as a tremendous force made his body sway a little. A whiff of sourness rushed up from his throat and made him nearly cough up a mouthful of blood. He forced down the blood, curved his lips into a brief smile, and stared at the dumbfounded Mu Hai.
"Impossible! This is the Thousand Snakes Awl the Gold Immortal crafted for me, and it can instantly kill anyone who is below the realm of Gold Immortal! How can you be alright?" Mu Hai looked at Wu Qi in shock as his body shivered violently. At the same time, a look of despair emerged on his face as a heavy aura of death was seeping out of his body.
Wu Qi did not answer Mu Hai's stupid question. He patted his chest lightly and swept off the jade powder.
Two heavily armored soldiers behind Yu He saw the opportunity. "Surrender now, you traitor!" They shouted in unison while making a dash for Mu Hai with their swords drawn. In just a flash, the edges of their swords had approached his throat.
All of a sudden, Mu Hai burst into a strange laugh and lifted both arms. Shrouded in a plume of dense dark smoke, countless needles that were as tiny as hairs shot out from under his sleeves. The two soldiers were caught off guard and instantly wrapped by the dark smoke. A sharp and unpleasant ghost howl was heard coming out of the dark smoke, and the souls of both soldiers were pulled out of their bodies. Their fleshly bodies, which had lost the souls, became extremely fragile, allowing the needles to easily pierce through them and riddle them with tiny holes.
Mu Hai laughed gruesomely and cried out, "Since you have killed my clan, all of you present today shall be the sacrifices for my people!"
But, as he was about to exercise some mystic fiend technique, Wu Qi bolted towards him.
The Shen energy gushed out of his body and conjured into a dozen figures that looked exactly as him around Mu Hai. Then, taking the opportunity that Mu Hai was struck dumb and trying to dodge, Wu Qi thrust his fist and slammed into Mu Hai's head with full power.
Mu Hai, who was only a Four Moons Oracle, gave a terrible cry and died on the spot with his brain bursting out of his skull.