Under the watchful glance of Wu Qi, the heavenly ghosts rushed to their prey like a gust of wind, cutting numerous large wounds on the giant beast's body with their sharp claws, fangs, and tails. It was only a matter of a few breaths before the hunters got inside the beast's belly, whose body stretched for miles, causing blood to ooze out of its mouth. Before long, two heavenly ghosts leaped out of its mouth. Apparently, they had ruined the poor fellow's entrails and killed it.
Seeing this, Wu Qi could not help but nod approvingly, even though his face was still gloomy with a bad mood. These heavenly ghosts were so much stronger than the one who appeared in Ji City years ago. The difference in their overall strength was like the difference between a baby and an adult tiger. Their speed, their strength, and their ferocity were far superior to the ones he had met. Although the giant beast had the overall strength of a Heaven Immortal, they were still able to kill it without much effort.
A few other heavenly ghosts burrowed out of their prey's body, then threw their heads back and roared with excitement before giving a curious glance at the flying ship hovering dozens of miles away. But, they just waved their claws at it, as if giving it a warning, and went on to leap onto the beast happily. After devouring some of the flesh, they started moving into the distance while dragging the beast behind them.
Wu Qi ordered the ship to quietly follow the few heavenly ghosts. At the same time, he pulled dark clouds from the distance and made them surrounded the ship using his divine sense, then filled them with restrictive spells that could block prying divine sense. Soon, a huge dark cloud was floating along behind the group of heavenly ghosts, who were unaware and walking along a river toward its upper reaches.
The beast's heavy body left a visible trace on the ground, and its blood flowed into the river in streams. The smell of fresh blood triggered a riot in the river, as large fishes and other aquatic creatures covered in hard shells began to leap out of the water. These creatures were very ferocious in appearances and terrifying in strength. Although they could not leave the water to walk on the land, they still leaped out of the water crazily, constantly letting out deafening roars at the few heavenly ghosts striding along the riverbanks.
Several hundreds of feet long monstrous fishes opened their mouths, their sharp teeth glistening in the blood-red moonlight, and then slammed their mouths shut, clashing their teeth together to produce a loud crunch. A few other fishes were shooting streams of pale yellow water from their mouths that pierced through the air and landed on the dead beast, riddling its body with large holes.
The group of heavenly ghosts did not take these big fishes and aquatic creatures seriously. They chattered and laughed, stopping now and then to swing their hips back and forth at the creatures tossing violently in the water. Wu Qi was surprised by their behavior. According to immortal cultivators, heavenly ghosts in the ghost realm were savage and unintelligent by nature, and they acted entirely on instinct. But judging by the arrogant look of these few heavenly ghosts, they were not much different from some naughty human boys. Although they were somewhat ferocious in appearance, they carried themselves in an orderly manner, unlike those witless creatures.
"The world is full of people who take false information as truth!" Wu Qi shook his head silently. It was quite possible that the ghost realm had caused great casualties to immortal cultivators long ago, so all the immortal cultivators deliberately denigrated the existence of the ghost realm. Perhaps, some heavenly ghosts were really savage monsters who only know how to kill, but there were probably other individuals with highly developed intelligence as well.
The behavior of the few heavenly ghosts had given Wu Qi hope. He wished not all of them were savage monsters, and he could find some who were intelligent and cultural, so he could find a way out of here from them.
He wondered if Dong Hai City had heard of his disappearance. 'Hope Zi Xuan can take control of the situation and doesn't try to avenge me rashly. King Zhang Qiu is a King of Great Yu, with King Bai Shan behind him. And Liu Bang, the old rascal and old goat...'
'How could they possibly spare Dong Hai Province when they have already joined hands to conspire against me? It's very likely that they are now coming out with plans to cause some troubles there. If Liu Bang sees Zi Xuan and decides to do something evil to her...'
A cruel smile emerged on Wu Qi's face as he growled through his clenched teeth, "If you lay a finger on my girl, I'll put an end to your family!"
The thoughts that ran through his mind made Wu Qi suddenly emanate a violent murderous aura, which startled Huang Liang and the others. They stood still in place, concentrated on controlling the ship. No one dared to make a sound for fear that they might offend Wu Qi, who had suddenly lost his temper, and receive a hard lesson for nothing.
With his palms clenched into fists, Wu Qi strode to a transparent crystal wall at the front of the bridge, and lightly tapped at it a few times with his fingertip. Immediately, numerous runes and dozens of triangles, squares, and other three-dimensional patterns emerged on the surface of the pale-blue crystal wall, which measured about ten feet thick and looked like a puddle of clear blue water. Then, he sent a wisp of divine sense into it. Purified and amplified by some arrays, the divine sense transformed into an invisible wave, sweeping across the land tens of thousands of miles around the ship, and recording the terrain of the region in a giant soul crystal inside the ship.
The ability to quickly scan and record the terrain of unfamiliar regions was a unique feature of Great Yu's flying ships. With just a dozen of them, the Military Court was able to obtain the detailed terrain of a vast region in a very short period of time, and provide it to the armies. Now that Wu Qi and his subordinates had been sent into the ghost realm, he had to be ready for anything. There was nothing he could do about Dong Hai Province for the time being, and the most important thing now was to bring Huang Liang and all the soldiers safely back to the Pangu Continent.
"Huang Liang, tell all our brothers that we are now in the land of death, the legendary 'Ghost Realm'.
"Let all the brothers remember that the culprit who caused us to be trapped here is King Bai Shan's son, King Zhang Qiu. He has colluded with the immortals from the Heaven and done many evil deeds that brought nothing but harm to Great Yu. It was his plan to get us all killed here, and I say no brave man of Dong Hai shall take his assault lying down! Once we get out of here, we will make him bleed for what he did to us!"
Wu Qi's voice was cold as ice and hard as stone, filled with a horrifyingly murderous aura of the battlefield. Huang Liang and the others bristled at his words, but at the same time, a fit of great anger rose from their hearts.
Who was King Zhang Qiu? He was a King of Great Yu! As a King himself, he actually colluded with the immortals of the Heaven to plot against a Marquis of Great Yu, and threw ten thousand soldiers who had contributed in the battle against Myriad Immortal Alliance into the ghost realm? Fuming with rage, Huang Liang and the other officers strode off the bridge to pass on Wu Qi's words to all the soldiers.
Soon after, deafening roars began to echo across the ship. All the soldiers were shouting 'Let him bleed for what he did! Blood for blood!'.
Wu Qi gave a cold snort. 'Some things need to be done quickly after I get out of here. Otherwise, the whole world will think that I am an easy target to bully! Again and again you brought me trouble…Do you really take me for someone who will never draw my sword and fight back?' He had grown bolder after attaining the cultivation base of a fifth-tier Gold Immortal and taming a group of divine beasts who were as strong as Gold Immortals, and his initial thought of making concessions to achieve his purpose was gradually fading away.
The ship advanced slowly as the group of heavenly ghosts ran along the river happily, dragging the giant beast behind them. After running for more than thirty hours, they finally came to a valley surrounded by mountains in the upper reaches of the river. Wu Qi was overjoyed when he looked into the valley from the bridge—there were crude buildings made of boulders! Although they looked messy like dog kennels, he had no doubt that they were buildings!
The fact that these heavenly ghosts knew how to construct buildings proved they had some basic intelligence.
Wu Qi also saw a large pit on one side of the valley, with a lot of pale black bones piled up inside. The valley was so clean that no bones could be seen scattered about. Clearly, these heavenly ghosts had learned to gather the bones of their prey in one place. The awareness of environmental hygiene was also a sign of intelligence.
Shrouded in thick dark clouds, the ship slowly flew over the valley, suspending several miles above the ground. The sky above the valley had been blotted with dark clouds and black mists, so the addition of a cloud brought by Wu Qi did not attract any attention.
The few heavenly ghosts whistled sharply when they were still miles away from the narrow passage into the valley. In an instant, dozens of smaller, apparently juvenile heavenly ghosts bolted out of the valley, shouting happily as they were running and jumping toward the returning adults.
With the help of the dozens of younger heavenly ghosts, the giant beast was quickly carried into the valley. Inside, a group of heavenly ghosts with missing arms, legs, or tails, walked trembling out of the crooked and worn-out buildings. Grunting with delight, they walked slowly to the square in the middle of the valley to help cut the beast into pieces.
Wu Qi's eyes widened in astonishment as he observed the hundred miles long and wide valley with his divine sense.
Apart from the few heavenly ghosts who went out to hunt being adults, the valley was occupied only by the dozens of smaller heavenly ghosts who were supposed to be juveniles, and slightly over a hundred who had lost their arms, legs, or tails.
This was not at all a proportion of the population that a normal clan should have. A couple of adults, dozens of juveniles, and a bunch of old folks?
Wu Qi frowned. What was going on here?
Just as Wu Qi was pondering over it, a shrill and unpleasant ghost howl suddenly came from a great distance. Wu Qi quickly turned his divine sense in that direction. About a hundred miles away, a group of more than three hundred heavenly ghosts, their bodies covered with pale-green blood, were being pursued by more than a thousand savage and ferocious heavenly ghosts, and were fleeing straight toward the valley.
Meanwhile, upon hearing the howl, the heavenly ghosts who were cutting up the beast's body in the valley hastily rushed to the end of the narrow passage at the entrance, assuming a defensive posture. From time to time, they uttered mournful howls, echoing with the howls let out by the heavenly ghosts in the distance.
To these heavenly ghosts who could run and jump as fast as flying, traveling across a distance of a hundred miles was only a matter of a few breaths. Before long, all the heavenly ghosts who had been pursued rushed into the valley, and then turned and joined the others in their position to defend the narrow passage.
The group of more than a thousand heavenly ghosts slowed down as they approached the valley. Laughing grimly in deep voices, they drew closer to the valley one step at a time.