As soon as they saw Wu Qi, the captured assassins self-detonated, without giving him a chance to question them at all. Their souls transformed into countless strands of black and green smoke that was visible to the naked eye, shooting in all directions and combining into a huge net to engulf Wu Qi and the others. Sharp and unpleasant ghost howls could be faintly heard coming out of the net. Apparently, the attack contained a powerful force of the Ghost God.
The hundred-acre dungeon collapsed in an instant. With both hands quickly pointing in the air in front of him, numerous primordial runes flew out of Wu Qi's fingertips like running water, and then formed into a dark energy barrier shaped like a bronze bell to firmly protect him and those around him from the terrible explosion. Only when the blast of the explosion had subsided did he bring the crowd out of the ground.
The dungeon had turned into a pit with a radius of about one hundred acres, and hundreds of feet deep. When the assassins' bodies exploded, their flesh and blood turned into a thick venom, which was now corroding the rocks and earth, turning them into green smoke that rose ceaselessly from the pit. It filled the air with hissing noises that sounded like countless silkworms munching on mulberry leaves. It made one's scalp go numb and flesh creep just by listening to that sound.
"Oh, men of sacrifice?" Wu Qi flew back to the ground with the others. Clenching his jaws and looking at the completely destroyed dungeon, he waved his hand and ordered Huang Liang to neutralize the venom in the pit with some antidote from the Directorate of Celestials, and get the workers to fill it up immediately. Without even asking, he knew who sent these men of sacrifice to kill him with such a vicious method. Who else would it be except Yu Miao, who hated him so much?
Wu Qi had become embroiled in the power struggle between Yu Clan in Zhong Province and Yu Clan in Liangzhu. Although he was only a small part in this, how could Yu Miao, who thought his face was lost and his plan was ruined because of Wu Qi, let him go so easily? The assassination, perhaps was just the vanguard of the countless upcoming assassinations.
With all the malevolence and viciousness of Yu Miao's curses, Wu Qi was not sure what was in the venom which the assassins' bodies had turned into. It was highly possible that this piece of land could never be used again. His instincts told him that the venom would turn it to a barren ground. Although grasses might still grow on it, it would never become a fertile field again.
"Men of sacrifice?" said Lu Chengfeng with a ghastly smile. "People on Pangu Continent also raise men of sacrifice? I'd like to see who is better, their men of sacrifice or the assassins cultivated by us, the Great Yan!"
Wu Qi's eyes lit up. He remembered the assassins of Great Yan he and Lu Chengfeng had encountered, who were savage, fierce, cunning, ferocious, and had no fear of death. He immediately gave a task to Lu Chengfeng, asking him to contact Princess Zhang Le as soon as possible to get her to provide the viable vicious methods of training assassins. He told Lu Chengfeng to train a batch of assassins at once.
'Assassination?' Wu Qi could not help smiling coldly. 'How many sons and grandsons do you have, Yu Miao? And how many of them will you have in the end with me sending assassins to assassinate them constantly? Since you want to play, I'll play this game of assassination with you!' Wu Qi clenched his teeth and made up his mind secretly.
Just as they were dealing with the mess caused by the assassins, several guards of the County Governor Mansion came to them hurriedly. They told Wu Qi that the Prefecture Overseer of Hai Province, Yu He, had come with a group of entourages and had asked Wu Qi to see him. These guards were brought to Wu Qi by a civil official, Yan Feiyu, who was brought to Pangu Continent by Lu Chengfeng. These civil officials, trained by Lu Chengfeng, were very clever. Yan Feiyu respectfully told Wu Qi that Yu He looked unhappy, and that several middle-aged men around him seemed to be rude to him. It seemed that Yu He was being suppressed by them.
Yan Feiyu was now the house steward of the County Governor Mansion, responsible for welcoming guests, serving tea and refreshments, arranging duty roster for gatehouse and guards, and other similar affairs. Just now, by taking the opportunity of having her maidservants serving them tea, she observed Yu He's relationship with the few middle-aged men. When Yu He asked about Wu Qi's current condition, he looked concerned and worried. But, the middle-aged men's words were mean. Their gloating tone seemed to be wishing for Wu Qi to die soon.
'One trouble follows another!'
The corner of Wu Qi's mouth curved into a cold grin. He nodded to Lu Chengfeng, signaling him to carry on with the work. He himself took hundreds of guards who practiced the True Body of Heaven and Earth Scripture, mounted a tall horse, and galloped to the County Governor Mansion.
Up above the County Governor Mansion constructed of black boulders, at an altitude of about three miles from the ground, there hovered two flying ships, one shaped like a serpent and one like a scorpion. Wu Qi was familiar with the serpent-shaped flying ship, which belonged to Yu He. But, he did not recognize the one next to it, which looked like a giant scorpion with two pairs of wings behind its back. He could sense an evil aura from it.
The surface of the dark scorpion-shaped flying ship was covered with a layer of unknown scales. Wu Qi guessed they were scales taken from some kind of python. The ship's nose was round, and he saw a faint flicker of green light in its scorpion-like mouthpiece, which told him that it was the nozzle of some powerful weapon. A long tail with a pointed end stretched out of the ship's stern, looking like a scorpion's tail as it flashed with a faint green light. Dozens of strange runes could be vaguely seen blinking on its sharp end, and although it was high up in the sky, Wu Qi could smell the stench coming out of it.
After quietly studying the flying ship with his divine sense, Wu Qi was shocked to discover that it was really made from the shell of a giant, three miles long scorpion. According to the Scroll of Stealing, the only scorpion that could grow so large was the 'Green-tailed Red-hearted Scorpion', whose venom could easily kill Gold Immortals. In other words, the scorpion was as strong as Gold Immortals. It was clear to him as to how expensive the cost was to build a flying ship with such a formidable scorpion.
Compared to this flying ship, Yu He's flying ship was like a junk tricycle parked next to a luxury saloon car.
Wu Qi quietly dismounted at the front gate of the mansion, and then entered with the large group of guards.
In the main hall of the mansion, Yu He was dazed with a cup of tea in his hand, his face unsightly. The tea had cooled down to room temperature, but he remained motionless. Next to him stood six Moon Oracles. A few middle-aged men dressed in black linen robes sat comfortably on large stone chairs not far away from him, slowly sipping the tea that had been brewed too many times and tasted like plain water. Each of them had at least seven crescent moons embroidered on their sleeves, while a dozen Oracles standing behind them had at least four crescent moons on their sleeves.
Among the middle-aged men, one had a square face with keen eyes, his skin fair like jade; with three dark green jade rings on his fingers.
Apparently, he was the leader of the group. Nine crescent moons were embroidered on his sleeve, and they were all made of golden threads. This showed that he was an almighty expert whose cultivation base could break through the Sun realm at any time, and become as strong as a Gold Immortal.
As the sound of footsteps grew louder, Wu Qi walked slowly into the main hall. He left all his guards outside the hall and walked steadily in alone.
With a smile on his face, he bowed to Yu He and said slowly, "My brother, the war between Great Yu and Myriad Immortal Alliance is fierce now. How did you get the time to come here? Please forgive my uselessness, for it took me so long to only fully recover now after being injured by a few fiend immortals!"
As soon as he saw Wu Qi come in, Yu He threw down his teacup and rose to his feet. He could not conceal the joy that gushed out of his heart when he heard Wu Qi say that he had fully recovered, and burst into laughter before he could even speak.
Striding excitedly to Wu Qi, he grabbed the latter's hand and said, "Wonderful! Did you really recover from your injuries? I've been so busy these months that I really didn't have time to visit you here. Tell me, are you really fully recovered?"
Grinning coldly, Wu Qi gave the middle-aged men a look from the corner of his eyes and said, "Of course, I'm fully recovered. Otherwise, why would assassins come and try to kill me? A while ago, after I had digested hundreds of millions of evil spirits that had rushed into my head and given my overall strength a big boost, I was visited by a few assassins. Too bad that they were all captured alive by me, and they even told me that Elder Yu Miao sent them to kill me!"
No sooner had Wu Qi said that than Yu He's face suddenly fell. The man with a square face raised his brow and rose slowly to his feet while sneering. "Don't talk nonsense, Tan Lang! My father could not have done such a thing."
Wu Qi cocked his head and pointed his chin at the man, asking coolly, "Who is this man?"
With an insidious smile on his face and hands clasped behind his back, Yu He looked at the man and said, "He is Yu Lei, Elder Yu Miao's son and my uncle. The reason I'm here is that someone made a complaint to Prefecture Overseer Bo, saying that we, the Yu Clan, are running a county with a cripple who is seriously wounded and his soul is being devoured by evil spirits. As the county occupies more than thirty percent of Hai Province's land… Hehe, Elder Yu Miao is sending uncle Yu Lei here to..."
Wu Qi nodded and smiled with a look as if he was suddenly enlightened. "If I was still badly injured, or had been killed by the assassins, His Excellency Yu Lei would replace me as the new County Governor, won't he? Aye, it's a pity that I was able to get out of bed two months ago, and it's been all the better these days. The assassins had confessed that Elder Yu Miao sent them to kill me...What should we do now?"
Yu He chided pretendedly, "Aye! Tan Lang, you can't simply accuse Elder Yu Miao of sending assassins to kill you. You need evidence!"
However, Wu Qi just smiled and said nothing.
Yu Lei's face flickered as he stared at Wu Qi, who was beaming with energy and looked perfectly healthy, then shook his head thoughtfully. After studying Wu Qi for a long while, he said with an indifferent smile, "Well, now that General Tan Lang is safe, I can finally answer to the Prefecture Overseer. You look so healthy and strong that I'm sure you'll be able to manage Dong Hai County well!"
All of a sudden, Yu Lei stuck out a finger and pointed quickly at Wu Qi, like a scorpion's venomous tail. A sharp whistle rang out as a green beam of light shot toward Wu Qi's forehead.
Wu Qi snorted coldly as a plume of black mist exuded out of him with numerous bolts of lightning flashing in it; he then performed a hand incantation gesture without the slightest hesitation. Immediately, thirteen bolts of lightning came darting out of the black mist, shattering the beam of green light, and then went on to shoot toward Yu Lei's face.
While laughing, a stinking mass of green mist gushed out of Yu Lei's body and destroyed the bolts of lightning. Then, with all his entourage, he turned away without saying a word and walked out of the hall in the blink of an eye. They flew up into the sky and entered the scorpion-shaped flying ship, which soon disappeared into the distant sky.
After a full quarter of an hour, a cold grunt was heard coming from the distant horizon. "Cultivating both fleshly body and magic? You're really worthy of the reputation! I'll remember your name, Tan Lang!"