Using his powerful magic, Yu Gu had created a small hall in the valley, in which King Yang Qiu and his confidants were having a discussion. In order to kill the Sovereign, King Yang Qiu had brought all the experts who worked for him. Of these, more than a thousand were generals and Oracles whose prowess was equivalent to that of Gold Immortals. Together with Yu Gu, a Supreme Oracle strong enough to compete with Primordial Immortals, they formed a mighty force.
In addition to this group of more than a thousand experts, King Yang Qiu also brought an army of 120,000 soldiers, and had them deployed in the formation. These soldiers were all elites who had done very well in practicing the various cultivation techniques of the human race, and they all possessed the cultivation bases above the Seven Stars Realm of the First Pangu Heaven. Alone, any soldier in this army had the ability to control a small outer heavenly realm.
At the moment, only King Yang Qiu and dozens of his confidants were in the hall. Holding the diagram of the Myriad Poisons Formation, Wu Qi was explaining the various functions in the formation to King Yang Qiu and others. He told them how vicious and treacherous the formation was, and that it was in fact a pure killing formation. Once activated, the poison would spread throughout the valley, which would then be combined into an invisible poison to attack the trapped targets. At the same time, there were countless venomous insects and beasts in hiding, waiting to strike at the targets. If truth be told, it was an incredibly dreadful formation.
Everyone listened attentively to Wu Qi explaining the functions of the formation and what to pay attention to, except Yu Qingcheng. Sitting on his four-wheeled wooden chair, he stroked his beard with an expression of disapproval. After giving King Yang Qiu a quick glance from the corner of his eyes, he suddenly clapped his hands and laughed. "General Tan Lang, you seem confident in the power of this formation. But, what if the Sovereign escaped because of any defect in it? Would you be willing to take full responsibility for His Excellency laborious journey here, as well as all the precious materials you've spent to construct the formation?"
King Yang Qiu narrowed his eyes and looked at Wu Qi without a word.
Wu Qi darted a look at Yu Qingcheng. With an indifferent smile on his face, he said, "Your Excellency, how can there be a foolproof formation in this world?"
Yu Qingcheng smiled. He was about to show off his accomplishments in the field of formation when he suddenly realized that he could not take up the subject. He shut his mouth quickly and gave Wu Qi an angry stare. If he told King Yang Qiu that his formation was better than Wu Qi's, the consequences would be serious. After all, when the Sovereign cracked Wu Qi's formation and escaped, someone was going to blame him—why didn't he offer his formation in the first place when he claimed to be better than Wu Qi?
With a cold grunt, Yu Qingcheng said dryly, "In any case, this operation is very important. Sure enough, it will be a meritorious service for His Excellency if we succeed. But, I think General Tan Lang has to take full responsibility for spending so much manpower and resources!"
Wu Qi paid him no heed but cupped his fist to King Yang Qiu and said, "Your Excellency, this subject has done his best to lay out the Myriad Poisons Formation."
Nodding slowly, King Yang Qiu said in a deep voice, "Tan Lang has done his best. If the Myriad Poisons Formation doesn't kill the Sovereign, it's a sign that he's not fated to die this time. Anyhow, we've captured the Sovereign's son alive this time, which is also a substantial achievement. Of course, it would be best if we can kill the Sovereign. But if we fail, it's nothing…just think of this operation as a training exercise."
Yu Qingcheng's brows frowned slightly. King Yang Qiu's friendly attitude toward Wu Qi made him very uncomfortable.
Wu Qi, on the other hand, cupped his fist and bowed to King Yang Qiu before turning to give Yu Qingcheng a cold stare.
With a cold snort, King Yang Qiu leaned on his throne and said, "I heard that during the construction of the formation, some people spread rumors and caused the morale of the army to be shaken... If we succeed in killing the Sovereign this time, I won't bother myself to find out who did that. But if the Sovereign escaped from the formation... don't blame me for digging you out and holding you accountable. Whoever is behind this, I'll punish him severely!"
The smile on Yu Qingcheng's face froze in an instant, but he immediately put on a relaxed expression as if it had nothing to do with him.
After giving his warning, King Yang Qiu moved his finger. In the next moment, a palm-sized, square jade tablet with a ferocious dragon carved on its surface flew out of his sleeve and fell into Wu Qi's hand. "This is a mystic art from the Secret Palace of Great Yu. We called it the 'Dragon Kill'." He said in a deep voice. "It's a special set of mystic arts for people who cultivate both magic and fleshly body, which is created based on the dragon clan's Dragon Transformation Script and combined with the various mystic arts of Great Yu, an extremely powerful mystic art. Tan Lang, try and see if you can cultivate it."
Holding the jade tablet, Wu Qi sent his divine sense into it. Immediately, countless secret scripts poured into his mind. As King Yang Qiu put it, this was a powerful divine ability based on the Dragon Transformation Script, combined with the various mystic arts of Great Yu. With one's fleshly body as the foundation and combined with powerful magic, it allowed the user to unleash an extraordinary offensive power.
Wu Qi could not help laughing in his heart. His cultivation of the Dragon Transformation Script was now at its peak realm, so this Dragon Kill was just right for him! Without the slightest hesitation, he held the jade tablet in his hand and quickly converted the chaotic energy in his body into dragon energy, then made it surge through his extremely wide meridians like a fierce river.
It was usual for other cultivators and immortals to produce some noise when they were having their immortal energy circulating in their bodies, but they would never produce a terribly loud noise that sounded like a wave crashing on the coast, just like what was coming out of Wu Qi's body now. Deafening noises rang out of his body without an end, and everyone could see waves of black dragon energy rolling violently under his skin. It sounded as if a waterfall was flowing backward, or dozens of seas had been turned upside down.
Yu Qingcheng's face suddenly turned blue with shock. Staring at Wu Qi, he murmured under his breath, "What a freak!"
Meanwhile, King Yang Qiu's eyes were wide open as he rose to his feet happily, nodding in approval and praising, "Great! The aptitude of those who cultivate both magic and fleshly body is indeed different from the average people. It's worth my labor of returning to Liangzhu and getting this mystic art from the Sinecure of the Secret Palace at a high price!"
A deep dragon roar burst out of Wu Qi's mouth while black scales were emerging from beneath his skin. Standing in the middle of the hall, the natural energy in the atmosphere and the Pangu Sacred Energy pouring out of the ground kept rushing into his body, and soon afterward, gusts of chilly wind and ghost flames began to rise out of the ground and fuse into his body. Two hours later, in front of the aghast glances of the crowd, he suddenly flicked open his eyes, from which came shooting out two blood-colored beams of light.
Fierce dragon roars kept spewing out of Wu Qi's mouth, and suddenly, his skin was covered with three thick layers of black dragon scales. Each scale emitted a strong murderous aura, and gusts of chilly wind were blowing out of them. Amidst a rapid crackling noise, his body began to grow taller, and in just less than ten minutes, he was standing thirty feet tall.
With a swing of his arms, dozens of black dragon shadows bolted out of his body. Shrouded in the chilly wind and ghost flame, these dragon shadows pierced through the void, creating numerous holes as large as bowls in the void hundreds of feet around him. As they did that, the dragon shadows let out sharp shrieks that were unpleasant to the ears, which contained a fiend tune that could shake one's soul. The horrible waves of sound shook King Yang Qiu and the generals in the hall, nearly knocking them to the ground.
Sticky, black ghost flame came spreading out of Wu Qi's body, and quickly formed a thick layer of ghost flame about twenty feet around him. It was called the 'Nine Nether Ghost Flame', formed from the aura of the Yellow Springs and an immense amount of death aura, which was considered as one of the filthiest and most evil flames under heaven. Not only did it possess an amazing heat, but it was also good at contaminating all souls, spirits, and magical artifacts of all kinds.
With the exception of a very few powerful immortal artifacts crafted using the purest Yang energy, all the other immortal artifacts, even the supreme-grade Gold Immortal Artifacts, if contaminated by this flame, would immediately change from glittering artifacts to something as useless as a stone in a pit.
Even Yu Gu, who had been sitting calmly at a corner, rose in horror. His eyes were wide open as he stared at Wu Qi blankly and shouted, "The Nine Nether Ghost Flame? You've only just started practicing the Dragon Kill, and yet you can use its most powerful technique? Tan Lang, are you married? I have tens of thousands of granddaughters and great-granddaughters. If you like, you can choose any one of them to be your wife!"
Wu Qi burst into laughter, unimpressed. Using his eyes that flashed with a blood-red gleam, he gave the pale-faced Yu Qingcheng a fierce glance and then said loudly, "I'm afraid your granddaughter and great-granddaughter can only be my concubines, for I already have a loved one!" What was the big deal about being able to use the Dragon Kill's strongest technique when Wu Qi was just beginning to practice it? The chaotic energy in his body could be transformed into any kind of energy. Therefore, so long as he understood the secret of the Dragon Kill, he could certainly use its strongest technique.
In just two hours, Wu Qi had mastered all the techniques in the Dragon Kill! He had even improved this mystic art by making the techniques in it several times more powerful, and enhancing the defensive strength of the dragon body which he had transformed into now.
The fact that such an amazing feat could be achieved at the very beginning of the practice of Dragon Kill meant that Wu Qi's worth was almost priceless. Even King Yang Qiu himself was thinking of inveigling Wu Qi by means of wedding his younger sisters to him. 'What are you doing here? What makes you think your Yu Clan in Zhong Province can recruit an extraordinary talent like this?' thought King Yang Qiu as he gave Yu Clan in Zhong Province an angry look.
Clapping his hands, King Yang Qiu said pleasingly, "Amazing, this is really amazing! The Dragon Kill is so powerful, that if you can cultivate it to the mastery level, you can challenge someone who is several realms stronger than you. Tan Lang, serve me well, and I'll never treat you unfairly!"
If it were not for the fact that Wu Qi had not done anything great yet, King Yang Qiu would have written to the Human Emperor and asked him to be made a marquis! But, it did not matter, as he could always give Wu Qi a part of the credit once they had killed the Sovereign, which would be more than enough to make him a marquis!
As the crowd continued to comment on Wu Qi's unbelievable aptitude, Yangqiu Yushi, who was put in charge of the army outside, hurried in with several military officers. As soon as he came in, he knelt down on one knee and cried out, "Your Excellency, our boys detected some activity outside the valley where the two pythons are hiding, and it is highly probable to be caused by the scouts the Sovereign had sent!"
Upon hearing that, there was a cold gleam flashing in everyone's eyes. Without saying a word, King Yang Qiu strode out of the hall while Wu Qi and the others followed closely behind him.
As he was about to step out of the hall, Wu Qi suddenly turned his head and looked at Yu Qingcheng.
Yu Qingcheng was staring at Wu Qi's back with a ferocious look in his eyes, and he hastily squeezed out a smile when he saw the latter turning his head to look at him.
Wu Qi smiled and gave Yu Qingcheng the middle finger.