King Yang Qiu had two types of personal guards.
The first type were his personal security guards. They were basically warriors whose heads were filled with muscle, or Oracles whose brains had been replaced by the power of the Ghost God. They had no other skills except killing, torching, or serving as human shields when necessary.
The second type were the talented people whom he had worked very hard to recruit. These were the people who possessed all sorts of amazing talents, such as those who managed his tax revenues, trained his hunting dogs and falcons, trained his subordinates and security guards, and men like Wu Qi, who advised him on government and military affairs.
With all his officials, Bo Zhongfu hospitably escorted King Yang Qiu and his guards out of the mansion. As the king boarded the chariot, Bo Zhongfu warmly took Wu Qi's hand and said something kind to him, trying to bring them closer together. He even lowered his voice and told Wu Qi that if there was anything he could do for Dong Hai County, Wu Qi could just ask him.
Wu Qi accepted Bo Zhongfu's kindness with open arms.
His status was different now. As the personal guard whom King Yang Qiu had personally recruited, his actual status was like that of a retinue. He was no longer related to Zhong Province, but directly under King Yang Qiu. Although Bo Zhongfu was the current Prefecture Overseer of Zhong Province, as well as the Human Emperor's confidant, King Yang Qiu was Great Yu's King, with the blood of the imperial clan flowing in his veins. In Great Yu, where bloodline and tradition were attached with great importance, Bo Zhongfu could not compare with King Yang Qiu at all.
With King Yang Qiu's prestige and important status, Wu Qi would be easily promoted to a higher rank in the future with just some small contributions. So, getting close to him now would be the wisest choice for Bo Zhongfu and his clan in the future. Moreover, he only needed to say a few kind words, so what was hard about that?
Standing outside the gate, Bo Zhongfu watched King Yang Qiu's chariot leave, entering the teleportation formation and then disappearing amidst a strong light. King Yang Qiu had returned to his camp with his personal guards through teleportation formation, but Wu Qi remained in Zhong Ning City. He would wait until dawn before taking his army to join them. The king came and went quickly, but Wu Qi's identity and military medallions, the official document of the appointment, and even the uniform of the personal guards were handed out to him at the mansion.
From these details, it was easy to see that King Yang Qiu was full of strong confidence in himself. He was confident that Wu Qi would not refuse his invitation, and that Bo Zhongfu would give Wu Qi up to him. So, he had everything ready in advance. All the necessary documents had been prepared; the name 'Tan Lang' had been engraved on the identity medallion given to Wu Qi, and even the suit of armor and cloak issued to him were an extraordinary fit.
King Yang Qiu was a man who was extremely confident in himself, tough, direct, superior, and even a little domineering!
As he stood at the corner of the street watching King Yang Qiu's chariot disappear in the bright light, Wu Qi could not help but laugh. It was obviously better for him to work for King Yang Qiu than hang out in Zhong Province; if he could make good use of his new superior's personality, it would be of great help to him.
After cupping his fist and bowing to Bo Zhongfu, Wu Qi hurried out of the city with his guards. King Yang Qiu was currently leading a campaign to destroy the alliance's strongholds in Mingu Province, a first-grade province not far away from Zhong Province. It would take his troops half a month to get to their field headquarter, even with the fastest flying ships available. Therefore, Wu Qi had to get his troops ready for everything, including their provisions, routes, and many other things.
After a busy night, the soldiers from Dong Hai County who had just been settled in the barracks in Zhong Ning City yesterday were ready to set off. With Bo Yunting's help, the Military Court of Zhong Province supplied Wu Qi's army of ten thousand troops with enough arms and provisions for fifty thousand troops. Moreover, they were given a few powerful war machines, such as giant crossbows and the likes.
Even Yu Mu sent hundreds or Oracles to Wu Qi as soon as he got the news. Although Wu Qi knew it was Yu Mu's investment in him, he felt in debt of a favor, so he had no choice but to visit and thank him personally. The fact that he had hundreds of Oracles in his army of merely ten thousand troops was enough to make all the other generals envious.
When everything was ready, Wu Qi gave Huang Liang a map.
It was a small magical artifact containing the route from Zhong Province to King Yang Qiu's field headquarters in Mingu Province, which Huang Liang could refer as he brought the army to join them. Wu Qi's army had no urgent military mission now, and their current operation was just a normal transfer. So, instead of traveling with the costly teleportation formation, it was better for them to travel with ordinary means.
Furthermore, those large war machines such as flying ships would just add to the cost of using a teleportation formation. Now was not the time for Wu Qi to spend so many resources to just transfer his army from one location to the other.
However, Wu Qi himself had to use a teleportation formation to get there. King Yang Qiu only gave him one night to get his army ready, and then he had to go to Mingu Province at once and resume his new role as a military advisor. He could not afford to waste his time traveling.
After having explained everything and watched the flying ships led by Huang Liang take off and speed away in the direction of Mingu Province, Wu Qi put on the armor and cloak of King Yang Qiu's personal guard and hurried back to Zhong Ning City with more than a hundred bodyguards, heading for the square in front of the Prefecture Overseer Mansion.
As a result of successive battles, Zhong Province had entered a period of war-preparedness. The streets in the city were empty, with few civilians and more heavily armed patrols. The crisp sound of wooden clapper could be heard coming from the archer towers around the city, the signal for the sentries to change posts and for the soldiers to have breakfast. Several convoys of carts rolled down the main streets, filled with large quantities of metal ingots and glittering bones, which had been allocated to the Military Court to make weapons and the Directorate of Celestials to craft bone talismans.
Along the streets, shops and restaurants were open, but there were not many customers. Inside the empty shops, the shopkeepers sat in a daze on benches, staring at Wu Qi and his guards as they hurried through the streets.
Wu Qi shook his head at the sight. If the war between Great Yu and Myriad Immortal Alliance dragged on for a long time, even if the alliance was eventually wiped out, Great Yu would have lost more than it gained. The losses would be so great that they would not recover in three to five years.
To get to the square, Wu Qi had to pass by the residence of Yu Clan. Just as he was passing by, Yu Miao's son, Yu Lei, who had gone to Dong Hai County the other day to seize Wu Qi's control over the county, came out with a group of bodyguards.
When he saw Wu Qi passing in a suit of majestic black armor, Yu Lei was a little taken aback at first, then suddenly spat. He pointed a finger at Wu Qi and said with a sneer, "Hey look, isn't this the stray dog that ran out of nowhere and became a little county governor because he licked Yu He's toes? And now, he has found another bigger toe to lick! Hey, Tan Lang, you're just one of my Yu Clan's dogs!"
Wu Qi halted abruptly, annoyed, while Yu Lei stood at the gate and kept making sarcastic remarks. Gradually, Yu Lei's remarks became more and more unpleasant. He even said that Wu Qi was Yu He's favorite bedmate, and that he had slept with Yu He to get the territory of Dong Hai County.
Finally, without thinking about what the possible consequence he might face, Yu Lei burst out laughing and said, "I reckon this fellow must have served his new master very well. Otherwise, he would not have been made a personal guard of King Yang Qiu! I wonder how many times he's been f*cked from the back! Hehe!" The bodyguards who followed him burst out laughing, and he laughed even louder, his dignified and solemn square face twisted and ferocious.
The guards at Wu Qi's side made a few steps forward at the same time. They were all chosen by Wu Qi from among the strong men born in Dong Hai County. These simple and honest men did now know much, but because Wu Qi had tamed them with gratitude and given money to their families, they knew only one thing — Wu Qi was their master, and if they did not react when their master was being insulted by someone, they could never forgive themselves.
But, Wu Qi shouted at them when their swords were only halfway unsheathed. They had no choice but to step back unwillingly.
With a gentle smile on his face, Wu Qi went up to Yu Lei, then cupped his fist and bowed. "Your Excellency Yu Lei, I don't think there is such a deep hatred between us, is there?"
Yu Lei gave him a disdainful sidelong glance and sneered, "You should know better! Just you wait! When my father is spared from his busy schedule, he'll surely turn a dog like you into ashes..."
The air suddenly rang with the sound of flesh ripping and bone cracking, then immediately followed by the shocked shrieks of Yu Lei's bodyguards.
In front of the many servants, doormen, and guards of the Yu Clan, Wu Qi punched through Yu Lei's chest and dug out a beating heart. Then, he gave a strange laugh, ripped Yu Lei's chin off, stuffed his heart into his mouth, and smashed half his head in with a punch.
Accompanied by a shrill ghost howl, a few black plumes of smoke blew out of Wu Qi's palm and trapped Yu Lei's soul tightly within. Then, there came a green flame, and amidst Yu Lei's miserable howl, his soul was burnt to ashes in the blink of an eye.
A murder in the streets!
A murder in the streets in Zhong Ning City!
A murder in the street in front of Yu Clan's residence, the clan who in was charge of the Directorate of Celestials in Zhong Province!
And, the victim was Yu Lei, the son of Yu Miao, the Grand Elder of Yu Clan!
A hush fell over the world, as if all the gusting winds under the heavens had come to a sudden halt. The only sound that could be heard was the faint dripping of blood falling from Wu Qi's fingertips.
A shrill scream rose from within Yu Clan's residence, and before long, Yu Miao rushed out in a great rage, his body shrouded in a boiling ghostly aura.
"Tan Lang, you vile little b*stard! You shall pay with your life!"
Yu Miao's body flickered, and then he was a few miles high up in the sky, thrusting his palm down at Wu Qi's head.