Through the formation constructed by the white-robed Oracles, Wu Qi and the two heads of the treasury from Directorate of Celestials were teleported to a cluster of magnificent palaces.
In the middle was a square, ten miles in length and width, surrounded by numerous square shaped black palaces. In front of each palace stood a great number of stone pillars, where green light shone from the fire bowls placed atop them and smeared everyone's face green like ghosts. Gusts of cold wind blew through the gaps between the halls and across the square, filling the air with eerie whistles that sounded like the sighs of ghosts. The place looked quite bleak.
The square and palaces were extremely ancient. Every stone, every pillar, and every paved slab was showing signs of age. The square and palaces here were extremely ancient, every stone, every pillar, and every paved slab showing signs of age. All the palaces lay like ancient monsters on the ground, with a terrible, ferocious, and mysterious aura slowly seeping out of the heavy gloominess that shrouded them.
Many black-robed Oracles could be seen moving in and out of the palaces. Their pace was slow and unhurried, just like how people felt about the entire Great Yu. Their faces were stiff and unsmiling, and their eyes were locked on a spot on the floor in front of them as they walked, which made them look dull and almost vacuous. But, it was clear that these Oracles all possessed a mighty overall strength, judging from the golden suns and silver moons embroidered on their sleeves.
Dull, rigid, lifeless, yet containing a power in their bodies enough to destroy everything…This was not only the impression these Oracles gave, but the entire Great Yu as well.
Wu Qi had no time to take a few more glances at the nearby scenery, for the two black-robed men were escorting him to a distant palace. Using some kind of magic, it only took them a few steps to bring him to the front of the palace.
Like all the palaces in this place, the square palace was constructed from huge black stones. The surface of the stones polished as smooth as mirrors was carved with countless intricate runes and inlaid with numerous black energy stones, forming a powerful defensive formation. On the rooftops of the palace stood a group of black-clothed Heaveneye Men and Heavenear Men, who formed an impenetrable defense system to keep outsiders away from the palace.
Directly in front of the palace was a doorway that was over a hundred feet tall and ten feet wide. Darkness reigned inside the doorway, warding off any pale-green light that tried to sneak into the palace. It gave the impression that the doorway led directly to another world, a world that did not belong to the living.
Sitting on an about thousand feet tall stone platform, the palace could be reached through a flight of steps paved with huge stones stretching upward from the front of Wu Qi. Hundreds of soldiers in heavy armors and black cloaks draped over their shoulders were scattered across the stone steps. Each of them was covered with a variety of tattoos on their exposed skins, which flashed with faint light and wriggled slowly as if they were alive, forming a set of living formation diagram.
'Could this be the unique Tattoo Formation of Great Yu's Directorate of Celestials?' thought Wu Qi as he rested his eyes on those soldiers. It was an art of drawing various rune formations on the human body with a special potion and unique technique. Such formations could actively absorb various natural energies, inject them into the bearer's body and, according to the design of the formation, strengthen the bearer's muscles and bones. Coupled with a variety of special drugs, the warriors with Tattoo Formations could quickly become powerful fighters without going through lengthy cultivation.
This was what Great Yu's Directorate of Celestials excelled at: the ability to quickly produce powerful fighters in large quantities. It was said that there were several fierce clashes between the Heaven's immortals and Great Yu during the ancient times, during which, the immortals, although in an advantageous position where they almost won the battles, were thrown into utter confusion by the fierce and fearless fighters the Directorate of Celestials had produced in a very short period of time. Eventually, all the clashes ended up in internecine outcome with neither side gaining anything but losses.
The most terrible thing was that the souls of the fighters with these tattoos would be imprisoned in their bodies forever after they died. Their fleshly bodies would be transformed into half-zombie and half-ghost existences with a prowess that was a hundred times greater than before. Because of this characteristic, the art of Tattoo Formation was a forbidden art in Great Yu, and the Directorate of Celestials dared not to produce large quantities of such fighters unless it was absolutely necessary.
Wu Qi could not sense the aura of a living person from these fighters in front of him, with only two faint green flames beating in their eyes. Evidently, they were no longer alive, but dead men whose souls were imprisoned forever in their bodies. Then, he cautiously probed their power with his divine sense, and found that they were indeed very, very strong. These fighters were emanating an aura of death that was completely different from the aura of the living, which made their attacks lethal.
Escorted by the two black-clothed old men, Wu Qi made his way up the stone steps as the fighters' ghostly eyes followed him, entering the palace through the pitch-black doorway. No sooner had he entered that a chilly wind with an indescribable smell came blowing at his face, which tickled his nose and made him sneeze several times.
Amidst his sneezing, faint specks of light lit up in the dark hall.
"As decreed by His Majesty, Marquis of Dong Hai Province can pick a Supreme Tower here and take it with you," one of the old men said in a low voice. "Hehe, a genius who cultivates both fleshly body and magic deserves this privilege! I'm sure Marquis of Dong Hai Province will be a mighty Supreme Oracle in the future."
The other old man took Wu Qi by the hand and led him to a corner of the hall. While chuckling, he said, "Please pardon me for taking this opportunity to do you a favor, Marquis of Dong Hai Province. Here are the best Supreme Towers you can find in Directorate of Celestials. I ask not much, just take care of our descendants when you have risen high in the future!"
The faintly lit specks of light allowed Wu Qi to have a clear view of the surroundings.
He was in a space that was hundreds of miles in length and width, and about tens of miles in height. Countless Supreme Towers of varying sizes were hovering in mid-air, with the largest measuring about a mile in height and the smallest only a few inches tall. But, regardless of their sizes, all Supreme Towers had runes flickering across their surfaces and were constantly emitting powerful energy fluctuations.
Every year, the Directorate of Celestials collected countless rare materials to produce a certain number of Supreme Towers. Whenever a new Supreme Oracle was born, he would come here to choose a Supreme Tower, which would serve as his future residence. Of course, the Supreme Tower's ability to shatter through the void also made it the best vehicle for the Supreme Oracle.
Although Great Yu did not give birth to new Supreme Oracles every year, the Directorate of Celestials still produced a certain number of Supreme Towers each year. For this reason, the number of Supreme Towers in this warehouse had increased over the years. Wu Qi roughly estimated that there were at least over 100,000 Supreme Towers here.
As a matter of fact, these Supreme Towers were also strategic weapons that Great Yu prepared for emergencies. If a conflict broke out between Great Yu and some powerhouse, Sun Oracles who were not eligible to own Supreme Towers would come here to pick one for temporary use. As a kind of magical artifact that had incredible offensive and defensive abilities, although only Supreme Oracles had enough power to use them, ordinary Sun Oracles could also use them to fight the enemies for a short period of time, as long as they were supplied with sufficient amount of energy stones and immortal stones.
A Supreme Tower filled with enough energy stones and immortal stones would give an ordinary Sun Oracle offensive and defensive strength infinitely close to a ninth-tier Primordial Immortal. There were more than 100,000 Supreme Towers stored in this hall, all of which had their cores fully filled with energy stones and immortal stones. This showed that Great Yu had an incredibly fearsome latent power.
Dozens of fist-sized Supreme Towers were hovering mid-air in the corner where the old man had led Wu Qi to, all emitting a faint silver light. The old man smiled at Wu Qi and said, "These are the most powerful Supreme Towers built in the recent years. All the materials and runes are personally made by the best craftsman of Directorate of Celestials, Youchao Feng."
Youchao Feng was from the clan of Youchao, a clan that was famous for artifact crafting in Great Yu. The best magical artifacts that one could find in Great Yu were all produced by its people. When Wu Qi scanned the Supreme Towers in front of him with his divine sense, he found that they were indeed excellently crafted. There was not even a single flaw that could be found either in their exteriors or interiors.
But, being flawless did not mean they were the best.
Wu Qi reflected what Yu Chen had told him previously. He gave the two old men who wore ingratiating smiles on their faces a look, then said, "According to His Majesty's decree, is it that I am allowed to pick any one of all the Supreme Towers here in this hall?"
The two old men exchanged a glance, then nodded at the same time and said, "Just so, as it is His Majesty..."
Before the two old men had finished speaking, Wu Qi burst out laughing and spun around the hall like a gust of wind. Streams of flame shrouded in immense ghost aura shot out of his fingertips, leaving twisted lights and shadows along the way as each accurately struck at an invisible restriction spell in the air. When he shot out the last stream of flame, a light flashed on the north wall of the hall, and a door emerged silently.
The two old men froze. They glanced at each other and cursed in low voices at the same time, "How could Master Yu Chen do this?"
Laughing happily, Wu Qi gave the two old men a playful wink and strode through the door. The two old men hurried in after him, their faces sad.
The space within was not as large as the first hall, probably about a few acres or so. Dozens of shelves carved out of stones were sparsely placed, and altogether, they housed approximately three hundred Supreme Towers, the largest of which was about the size of a man's head, and all looked worn-out and battle-scarred.
The air was clean and the ground almost dustless, but the Supreme Towers on the stone shelves were filthy. On the nearest shelf, Wu Qi saw a Supreme Tower covered in spider webs and an inch of dust.
This inner hall was very clean. The ceiling, walls, and floor were dustless, and the air was pure and fresh. Even the stone shelves were clean enough to be used as mirrors.
Only these three hundred or so Supreme Towers were very dirty...
Or maybe they were not dirty...Maybe those were only the signs of age, for they had existed for too long.
Each of these Supreme Towers gave the impression that they had existed in this world for countless years.