Seventeen black flagpoles stood on the ground, each measuring one hundred and twenty feet tall, and emitting a thick, black gas. At the top of the flagpoles were flags embroidered with images of poisonous insects, which remained motionless amidst the black gas. Faintly, a dim gleam of light was radiating from the surface of these flags.
Standing beneath these flagpoles, Wu Qi and the others looked up at a hazy screen that was created with the dim gleam radiating from the flags.
Meanwhile, outside the valley where the dragon python sisters lived, several strange-looking black insects were crawling about. They resembled centipedes except that they had a natural eye-like pattern on their half-centimeter-long body, and they crawled so fast that even average Heaven Immortals could not compare with them.
They were actually one of the most exotic insects raised by the Oracles who specialized in the art of poison, called the 'Eye Worms'. These insects were born with a special ability to blend their aura with their surroundings at any time. To find them with naked eyes, one would have to learn a very special divine ability, and to find them with divine sense was something that only those with profound cultivation base equivalent to that of a Primordial Immortal could have achieved.
Scattered all around the valley, these black insects were able to send what they saw back to the seventeen 'Eye Worm Flags'. This was the most amazing surveillance method used in the Directorate of Celestials. Unless a person was certain that he was being monitored by an Eye Worm and knew where it was hiding, everything he did, including his exact location, would be leaked, even if he were a Primordial Immortal.
In the valley, the two sisters had transformed back to their true form, and were soaking themselves lazily in the eyes of fire and water, yawning every now and then. Their translucent wings slouched beside their bodies, swaying freely as the energy of fire and ice surged. Occasionally, the sisters stretched their heads out and rubbed against each other's bodies. The intimacy and love between them put a smile on Wu Qi's face.
Just then, several dark shadows sneaked up outside the valley. Like the shadows of men standing under the sun, these shadows clung tightly to the ground as they moved, without making any noise or leaking any energy fluctuation. They were actually immortals cultivated from a very rare kind of demons, the Shadow Beasts. Their overall strength was weak, and often impossible to break through the realm of Heaven Immortals. But, just like the Eye Worms, they were the favorite personal guards of those mighty immortals who held strong power in hands, for they had innate advantages in spying and delivering messages.
Although the cultivation bases of these dark shadows were weak, about the same as thirty-sixth tier Heaven Immortals, they could fly at a speed comparable to that of a top-tier Gold Immortal using the most advanced escape art. However, they did not have much fighting power, and their best-known abilities were their speed of flight and their skill at hiding their traces.
In a few blinks, these shadow beasts had circled the valley several times, and even the valley where Wu Qi and the others were hiding now had been visited by them. Fortunately, Wu Qi had already deployed some small illusion formations outside the valley. Confused by the illusions, these shadow beasts with weak cultivation bases ignored the valley where a deadly trap was hiding.
Before long, these shadow beasts came together and communicated with each other using hand gestures outside the valley silently. Then, two of them flew back in the same direction they had come from, while the rest sneaked into the valley, taking out many formation discs and banners, and carefully laying out a formation along the edge of the valley.
Wu Qi recognized the formation; it was a trap formation capable of reversing the energy of five elements, sealing off the void as well as the underground energy veins. Apparently, fearing that the two dragon pythons would use their innate divine ability to escape, the Sovereign ordered his men to lay out a formation here beforehand.
However, such a move made Wu Qi even more certain that the Sovereign's injury was serious. Otherwise, with his mighty cultivation base as a Primordial Immortal, even if he had only just stepped into the realm of the Primordial Immortals, he should not be so afraid of these two dragon pythons who had yet grown fully. All the Primordial Immortals had unimaginable divine abilities, and the sisters could not possibly escape from him if his injuries were not serious and only a small part of his divine abilities could be used.
King Yang Qiu was already laughing coldly when Wu Qi was thinking to himself. "Looks like the Sovereign's injury is pretty serious! Hehe, although my father was wounded by him with a secret weapon, he was also seriously injured by my father and several Sinecures. When a Primordial Immortal is injured, he doesn't recover as easily as those lower-ranking immortals do!"
Wu Qi nodded to himself. If a Heaven Immortal was injured, he could recover by consuming some spirit pills and spending decades or even hundreds of years recuperating in seclusion. For Gold Immortals, each drop of their essence was accumulated over a long period of time, and every little loss of essence would require them to take a long time to re-accumulate it. Hence, whenever a Gold Immortal was wounded, he needed to recuperate in seclusion for at least thousands or even tens of thousands of years, while taking immortal pills of supreme-grade over and over again to completely heal his immortal body and immortal soul.
But, when a Primordial Immortal was injured, it became something very serious!
Primordial Immortals had incorporated into their bodies the laws of heaven and earth which they had understood. Every hair on their bodies represented the essence of the laws of heaven and earth they studied, and they formed a complete and sophisticated system. Primordial Immortals rarely got hurt, not only because few people could hurt them, but also because they avoided any unnecessary conflict with those existences of the same realm.
When a Primordial Immortal's body and soul were wounded, the laws of heaven and earth he understood became incomplete. Every damaged law of heaven and earth took the Primordial Immortal countless years to restudy and incorporate into his body. Therefore, whenever a Primordial Immortal was wounded, even if it were only a minor injury, it would take him at least a few Aeons to slowly recover. And, if he were injured severely, and the injury even affected his immortal soul, then the problem was very serious.
If the immortal souls of average Heaven Immortals or Gold Immortals were wounded, all it took for them to fully recover was meditating in seclusion. But, if the soul of a Primordial Immortal was hurt, there was a good chance that it would trigger a chain reaction that would eventually lead to the disintegration of his body and soul. That was exactly the situation which the Sovereign was facing right now.
Through schemes and ambush, King Yang Qiu and his father had severely injured the Sovereign, forcing him to offer astronomical rewards for all sorts of spirit herbs that could save his life. But, no matter how hard the alliance tried, it could not find all the spirit herbs needed. Wu Qi reckoned that King Yang Qiu and his father must have done something in the dark. It was highly probable that all the missing spirit herbs had actually been bought by King Yang Qiu through official channels.
With the help of the copies of Pangu's Map owned by every province, it was rather easy to get ahead of the alliance and take away the supreme-grade spirit herbs, which each province might only have two or three that were still growing.
As Wu Qi was secretly sighing over King Yang Qiu and his father's brilliant tactic, colorful gleams began to shine from the screen of light above him.
In the light screen, a purple cloud was flying from the distant sky toward the valley. The rolling purple cloud covered an area of about hundreds of acres, and in it was a chariot pulled by three crystal heaven horses. Bright lights of red, blue, white, and yellow color shone from the ancient-looking chariot, so bright that they could be seen from dozens of miles away. The crystal heaven horses pulling the chariot were about tens of feet tall and over a hundred feet long; the wings behind their back were about four hundred feet wide when fully spread out. Their bodies were translucent, as if they had been carved out of a crystal. They were a kind of horses that existed since the primal time and were bred in small quantities only in the Heaven. They were rumored to have the bloodline of Dragons. Every adult crystal heaven horse had the overall strength equivalent to that of a high-tier Gold Immortal.
On the chariot, beside the two drivers sat another man behind the swaying bead curtain. But, Wu Qi and others could not see the man's face because the bead curtain, strung with thumb-sized pearls, was constantly emitting a sharp white light.
Riding dragon-scaled heaven horses, six hundred soldiers in golden armors protected the chariot from either side, and behind the chariot were a thousand immortals in white robes and white jade crowns, all identical in outfits.
In addition, amidst the dense purple cloud were hundreds of vague figures who were shrouded in bright purple-gold gleam. Apparently, they were all Gold Immortals. But, because of the dense purple cloud, Wu Qi could not figure out exactly how many Gold Immortals were hidden inside.
"What an extravagant entrance!" King Yang Qiu laughed sarcastically. "Legend has it that the Sovereign is a very low-key man who travels with a maximum of three to five attendants. But, why is he bringing more than a thousand guards today? Was he frightened by what happened the last time?"
Yangqiu Fengbo and others laughed together. They all knew that it was a great triumph for King Yang Qiu to succeed in setting a trap and severely wounding the Sovereign. And today, they would take advantage of the Sovereign's serious injuries to kill him! If the plan succeeded, not only would King Yang Qiu be handsomely rewarded, but even the confidants working for him would naturally get a lot of benefits.
So, for them, the more Gold Immortals the Sovereign brought here, the better; each Gold Immortal was a huge credit for them!
In order to kill the Sovereign, King Yang Qiu had brought all his elites here. How could he allow the Sovereign to escape after spending so much manpower and resources?
The chariot was alarmingly fast. In just a few short breaths of time, it had traversed across hundreds of thousands of miles, broke through numerous thick layers of cloud, and stopped over the valley. As soon as it arrived, the purple cloud around it spread out and fully engulfed the whole valley in the blink of an eye. Then, a deep, powerful voice rang out suddenly, "Somebody, capture these two wild pythons alive. Bring them back so we can concoct medicine for the Sovereign!"
A thunderous cry rang out, and in the next moment, dozens of people rushed out from amongst the six hundred soldiers in golden armors standing guard next to the chariot. They swooped down on their dragon-scaled heaven horses and sprinted toward the two sisters, who were playing in the eyes of the fire and water. Gusts of strong wind suddenly blew from all directions, and one bolt of lightning after another darted out of the purple cloud. The immortals were conjuring all kinds of weather with their divine abilities to cheer the soldiers.
The two sisters were startled by the sudden change. They quickly coiled up their bodies while hastily absorbing the water and fire-elemental energy in the eyes of water and fire. The next moment, the sisters opened their mouths and shot out two gold and silver beams of light. The group of soldiers who were flying toward them immediately raised the wrist shields in their left hands, unleashing a thick energy shield to protect their bodies. But, amidst a dull rumble, these energy shields cracked and crumbled. Without too much of an effort, the sisters had killed dozens of soldiers who possessed the cultivation base of high-tier Heaven Immortals.
Wu Qi clapped his hands and exclaimed, "Beautifully done!"
King Yang Qiu and the many generals present laughed in unison, all delighted at the sight of the soldiers falling to the ground visible in the light curtain.