The ten thousand soldiers Wu Qi brought from Dong Hai Province, including Huang Liang, heaved a sigh of relief at the same time when they finally saw the blue sky and white clouds again.
Wu Qi floated in front of all the ships, shrouded in swirling starlight that was emanating from the Dark Yin Celestial Tower. He looked like a divine being materialized from starlight, his body radiating a dazzling light that forced all eyes away. For a moment, Huang Liang and the others thought that he was really an incarnation of some ancient deity, that he alone had slain the dozens of divine beasts and even the hundreds of spirit beasts.
"All hail the Marquis!" Huang Liang suddenly unsheathed his sword and pointed it at the sky as he cried out at the top of his lungs. One by one, all the soldiers lifted their weapons and erupted in a ground-shaking cheer. Everyone looked at Wu Qi with awe; from this moment onward, no one could shake his place in their hearts.
Wu Qi took a deep breath. A beam of light shot out of his eyes and swept across all the mountains and hills within ten thousand miles around him. Everything was exposed under his gaze, and it took almost no time at all for his eyes to fix on Liu Bang and others, who were gaping at him from the mountain more than a thousand miles away. 'No wonder these aggressive divine beasts were able to stand in my way so precisely,' he thought with a cold smile on his face.
At the sight of King Zhang Qiu and Liu Bang, Wu Qi did not have to think twice to figure what was going on.
"King Zhang Qiu, by conspiring with immortals and plotting against the Marquis of Great Yu, you've committed a capital crime! Now, come with me to Liangzhu and confess your crimes!" Wu Qi let out a thunderous cry as a plume of Nine Nether Ghost Flame rose from behind him and condensed into a giant hand that was about several miles wide, flying across the sky and grabbing toward Liu Bang and the others. With the cultivation base he had now, he was not concerned about the little overall strength Liu Bang and the others possessed. He was confident that he would be able to capture them all without much effort, and then dig out some extremely secret information from their mouths.
Liu Bang and King Zhang Qiu were sitting at the same table having a feast. No matter how Wu Qi considered it, it reeked of conspiracy, and surely contained extremely valuable information.
Meanwhile, he saw the 30,000-foot flagpole standing between Liu Bang and King Zhang Qiu, as well as the enormous flag fluttering above it, which was emitting a faint cloud of black smoke that completely enveloped the area of 3,000 miles around them. He had no doubt that the delay in the appearance of the garrison in You Xiong Plain must have something to do with this flag.
Beside him, the dragon python sisters had transformed into two giant creatures with bodies that stretched for miles. They gently flapped their translucent wings and opened their mouths to shoot out two beams of light, one gold and one silver, which spun rapidly around each other to form a spiral ray, shooting toward the mountain at an incredible speed.
At the same time as he launched the attack, Wu Qi waved his hand and put all the flying ships into his interstitial world, except for a Jade Armor Dark Turtle flying ship with the strongest defense. He had transferred all the soldiers to this ship, and had it shrouded in a mass of starlight emanated from his Dark Yin Celestial Tower.
A few shadows slithered out from beneath his feet and squeezed into the ground without alerting anyone, hiding in the depths of the earth with all their auras concealed. If truth be told, Wu Qi could not identify the huge flagpole and the flag, but he had a bad feeling about them. Therefore, to be on the safe side, he was already properly prepared for anything that might happen even before the battle truly broke out.
Huang Liang and the ten thousand soldiers were part of his assets, so he had to protect them and not let them die for nothing. And the reason for having a few of his celestial fiend puppets hide in the depths of the earth was that if he did get trapped by some irresistible force, he would at least have a chance to send Princess Zhang Le a message. Wu Qi was confident that even if he were really trapped by Liu Bang and others with a formation or something else, Dong Hai Province would not be thrown into a mess as long as Princess Zhang Le presided over the situation. She would be able to find a way to help him for sure.
Although the giant hand condensed of Nine Nether Ghost Flame was the first to fly out, the divine ray of ice and fire unleashed by the dragon python sisters overtook it halfway, and was only less than ten miles from the mountain in just the blink of an eye. A contemptuous smile emerged on Liu Bang's face as he watched them approach. He patted the thigh of a female immortal beside him, then raised his hand and pointed at the Sky Veiling Flag of Chaos. "Those animals are slain, and Tan Lang, the Marquis of Dong Hai Province, who is in the Human Emperor's good graces, has gone missing," he said to King Zhang Qiu, smilingly. "Does Your Highness think there could be a better outcome than this? Mind you, those animals are the real lineages of the three old fellows of the East, the North, and the West!"
King Zhang Qiu laughed wildly as he pulled a petite female immortal over, separated her legs, and made her sit atop his body. While enjoying the tenderness of the flesh, he said, "Nothing can be better than this! The present Human Emperor is indecisive yet headstrong. It's impossible for him to stay in silence upon realizing the genius he most admired has gone missing. When the time comes, we just need to add some fuel to the fire, and he will surely fall into the trap!"
Both men laughed triumphantly. However, little did they know that Wu Qi could not only see the slightest movements of their lips from a thousand miles away, but was also proficient in reading lips. As a result, their conversation was completely captured by him, and it filled his mind with questions. 'What is their plan actually? How are they able to drag the Eastern Green Emperor, Northern Black Emperor, and Western White Emperor, the three figures who existed from the ancient times to the present, as well as the Human Emperor into their scheme? And, how is Liu Bang going to make me go missing?'
Just when Wu Qi was pondering over the matter, a huge star in the sky suddenly burst into dazzling light. Then, another big star radiated a light that suddenly lit up the whole sky, and then another, and another. A total of seven brilliant stars hung high in the sky, interconnecting into the outline of a dipper that Wu Qi was familiar with as they outshone all the other stars.
But, just as the seven stars began to shine splendidly, a great star, which was brighter than the seven stars combined and situated right in front of the handle of the dipper, suddenly radiated a blinding light that covered the whole heaven and earth. In just the blink of an eye, a total of eight silver beams of light whistled down from the sky, and were instantly devoured by the Sky Veiling Flag of Chaos. The dark flagpole and flag were now covered with shimmering silver light, and the seven stars of the Big Dipper and the North Star silently appeared across the surface of the flag.
The flag fluttered gently, rolling up the divine ray of fire and ice unleashed by the dragon python sisters that vanished into nothingness. And, just when the giant hand condensed of the Nine Nether Ghost Flame reached above the mountain, the flag shot out a silver torrent and wiped it out completely.
Before Wu Qi could react, Liu Bang lightly flicked his finger. At the gesture, a strong beam of light, ten feet in diameter, whizzed out of the flag and pierced through the air, landing right next to Wu Qi and his companions in just a flash. A deafening rumble echoed out as the void several hundred miles around them shattered and collapsed. In an instant, he and everything around him were dragged into the collapsed void, along with dozens of mountains, hills, and vast tracts of land.
Luckily, the few celestial fiend puppets had gone far away along the underground energy veins after they slipped into the earth. Otherwise, they would have been dragged into the void as well, and Wu Qi would have no one to inform what had happened to him.
After Wu Qi and his companions were swallowed up by the void, the silver light swirled in place for a while, and the shattered void was completely repaired in just the blink of an eye. Liu Bang chuckled and waved his hand, causing the Sky Veiling Flag of Chaos to transform into a small flag and fall into his palm. Then, he sprinkled out a vast sheet of silver light to sweep up everything on the mountain, including the remains of the flood dragon and the deer, leaving not even a hair behind. With that being done, the silver light engulfed him and his companions, who all vanished into nothingness.
Almost at the same time they disappeared, eighteen Supreme Towers silently emerged out of the void and appeared over the mountain. A cold, emotionless void rang out, "Which fellow immortal from the Heaven is here? Why are you in such a hurry to leave? Do you think this is a place where you can come and go as you please?"
As the cold voice echoed out, a bizarre force invisible to the naked eyes swept across the mountain, accompanied by the shrill cries of ghosts. The mountain where Liu Bang and others had been was silently reduced to clouds of dust that drifted away in the wind. Along with it, mountains, rivers, and even several small villages within a radius of thousands of miles were disintegrated by the mysterious force. Except for the bewildered farmers, everything was wiped out by the force, including their clothes.
Although they had been taken away by the Sky Veiling Flag of Chaos, the attack jointly unleashed by eighteen Supreme Oracles still shook Liu Bang and others, causing blood to spray out of their bodies. Some with weaker cultivation bases, such as the female immortals beside Liu Bang, as well as the maidservants and cooks they brought with them, exploded into blood mists and blotted the sky.
Fortunately, the flag was a mighty artifact. Although Liu Bang could not exert its full power, it was able to quickly bring the few leading figures away across the void, undetected by the Supreme Oracles.
Fifteen minutes later, the news of Tan Lang, the Marquis of Dong Hai Province, having been assaulted and gone missing had quickly spread throughout Liangzhu.
Meanwhile, Wu Qi was standing in the main control chamber of the ship, his hands pressed against a huge crystal in front of him that was over one hundred feet tall, constantly injecting all of his energy into it. Shrouded in a layer of light that looked like a tortoise shell, the giant ship tumbled like a bale of straw through the dark, nameless turbulence of space.
In the cabins, Huang Liang and the ten thousand soldiers were knocked unconscious by the impact of breaking through the void. Had it not been for the ship's protection, they would have been crushed into meat paste by the pressure of the violent spatial turbulence.
Wu Qi's chaotic energy was rapidly draining away. Just as his energy was running out, the ship gave a violent jolt and plunged through a thick, black barrier that stretched for billions of miles, into a strange world with hundreds of blood-red moons hanging in its pitch-black sky. Waves of evil auras rippled in the air as the ship whizzed through them before crashing into the middle of a huge mountain rising a hundred thousand miles from the ground, and being trapped deep within the pitch-black mountain.
Wu Qi took a deep breath and panted violently.
"Damn it! Where the hell am I being dragged to?"