Eighteen celestial fiend puppets lined up behind Princess Zhang Le on the beach in Dong Hai Province.
Some of the puppets were released by Wu Qi outside You Xiong Plain, while others were summoned back by Princess Zhang Le using the spell he had left behind. Years ago, after he was attacked by Daoist Chi and Daoist Min with a Primordial talisman, he had released some puppets and ordered them to develop their own powers throughout Pangu Continent. Later on, he also sent the tens of thousands of cultivators and immortals he rescued from the mine in the Dark Abyss to aid these puppets.
Upon learning that someone had torn apart the void and sent Wu Qi to an unknown place, Princess Zhang Le immediately summoned all the puppets and ordered them to return to Dong Hai City with all their subordinates; as well as all the treasures and money they had accumulated over the years, as quickly as possible.
It was said that troubled times were the best time to accumulate wealth. Thanks to the war between Great Yu and Myriad Immortal Alliance, these puppets had recruited tens of thousands of cultivators and immortals who had been forced to wander about because their homes had been destroyed in just a few years. In addition, taking the opportunity that Great Yu was caught up in the war, they wantonly mined all kinds of minerals and energy veins, and harvested numerous natural treasures from different places. Therefore, they had also brought back countless rare and precious treasures.
As Princess Zhang Le was listening to the intelligence brought back by a few secret agents of the Scouting Office, nearly a hundred thousand cultivators and immortals were hiding in the dragon palace built by Lord Xiansheng in the depths of the East Sea. Standing in silence behind her, eighteen puppets fixed their deep and emotionless eyes on the few secret agents, sending forth an immense pressure that caused cold sweats to roll off the informers' foreheads. Despite that, the agents stood straight like pillars, and their bodies did not shiver or sway.
The news of Wu Qi's disappearance had reached Zhong Province, and as expected, Yu Miao was the first to jump out. He openly demanded that Great Yu should strip Wu Qi of his title and recover his land, since he had perished together with the divine beasts, who came at him for revenge, and left no heir to inherit his title. Yu Miao even suggested that since most of Dong Hai Province was made up of land divided from Zhong Province, then Zhong Province should have jurisdiction over it.
He had also suggested to all the rich and powerful clans in Zhong Province that after retaking Dong Hai Province, all of them should send their elite sons to compete for the Prefecture Overseer's office, on the grounds that a large, populous province like this should never be thrown into chaos because no one was in charge.
Yes, Dong Hai Province had a large population today!
After the Human Emperor conferred Wu Qi the third-grade Marquis of Dong Hai Province, the province was put on Great Yu's list of third-grade provinces. As it was upgraded to a third-grade province, Dong Hai Province should look like one. At the very least, a population of several million did not live up to its grade. As a result, the officials of Great Yu were busy migrating more people over while Ji Ao was doing all he could as a good superior, transferring tens of millions of people under his rule to Dong Hai Province.
In any way, as a super province with land comparable to several ordinary provinces combined, and a population destined for rapid growth, Dong Hai Province had already aroused the greed of many people even without the need of Yu Miao jumping out to stir up the storm. Nevertheless, after Yu Miao made his claim openly, many of Zhong Province's rich and powerful clans began to echo him. They demanded Bo Zhongfu to quickly plead with the Human Emperor that if Wu Qi was unable to fulfill his duties as Prefecture Overseer, his title and the land of Dong Hai Province should be taken back immediately.
What the few secret agents brought back was exactly the intelligence of Yu Miao's dealings with many powerful figures in Zhong Province these days.
With her hands tucked up in her sleeves and a calm expression, Princess Zhang Le looked at the moon rising slowly from the horizon as she said in a soft voice, "How could Wu Qi die so easily? I can feel that he is still alive and having some nasty ideas."
She pursed her lips in a smile, then said airily, "But, since someone is looking to die, I have no choice but to teach him a lesson! Step up the assassination of Yu Miao's lineal descendants! Increase manpower, spare no efforts and cost! I want all those associated with him killed, even the relatives of the servants working in his mansion!"
A strange gleam could be seen flickering in her eyes as she said in a grim tone, "Inform brother Chengfeng that all hands in Dong Hai Province are at his disposal. He can freely command all the cultivators, immortals, and demons we had subdued, except for our immediate subordinates. Tell him to do whatever it takes to make Yu Miao suffer, and take revenge on him with the most brutal means. Kill his male relatives, captive his female relatives, and then get the news of his relatives' murder out as fast as possible, so that the world know that he can't even protect his own relatives!"
She gave a cold laugh, then clenched her teeth and said, "Also, I want those powerful figures who colluded with Yu Miao to be killed. As for those who cannot be assassinated due to their tight defense or formidable strength, kill their children and grandchildren! In short, give them a hard time! If their children and grandchildren are also heavily protected, poison the rivers in their territories, burn their fields and forests, destroy their underground energy veins, spread all kinds of plague, and throw their territory into chaos!"
She flicked her long sleeves, sending two gusts of wind that whistled forward and smashed a few large rocks on the beach to pieces. "Since they are eying our territory, let us destroy their lands!" snapped the princess. "At any cost and casualties, using all means to deter them, destroy them, make them cry, make them fear, make them despair…so that in the end, they can only kneel in front of us in tears!"
A five-color beam of light soared into the sky from the top of her head. For a moment, a terrible aura swept through the air while a vast, mysterious force blanketed the entire Dong Hai Province in a flash. Thunderclouds gathered and rocked violently high in the sky, from which, countless bolts of lightning slithered in all directions, but none dared to approach the princess.
A strange sound came slowly out of Princess Zhang Le's mouth. As she sang, swarms of locusts poured out from under the ground, forming clouds that sped away in all directions. At the same time, toxins and plague viruses so tiny that they could not be seen by the naked eyes were rapidly growing in the air and drifting into the distance at the princess' will. Then, invisible curses arose in the void; all the mountains, rivers, flowers, trees, and even animals in Dong Hai Province emitted strange sounds that no mortals, cultivators, immortals, and even Great Yu's Oracles and warriors could hear. These curses spread through the air and quickly turned into ominous forces of disaster that struck toward some of the people the princess was thinking of in her mind.
"Primordial Dao of Divinity…The Divine Meridian of Heaven Punishment…The Dao of Scourge!"
Princess Zhang Le's hair suddenly turned an ominous purplish red, and her eyes slowly began to glow with a magnificent red gleam that could strike despair in one's heart. As she sang these words repeatedly, a spherical, purple-red light suddenly appeared in the five-color beam of light above her head, in which hovered a shrine inlaid with gold and jade. A throne could be seen hovering within the light, with a three-feet-high goddess who looked identical to the princess sitting proudly on it.
Because of the immense pressure brought to her by Wu Qi's disappearance, and the towering rage ignited by Yu Miao and the others who had tried to stir up a storm, Princess Zhang Le's Ancient God bloodline was aroused. In that instant, she communicated with the heaven and earth, broke through her current bottleneck, and formed her first golden body of the Ancient God in the bloodline she had inherited.
This golden body of the Ancient God controlled the Dao of Scourge in the Divine Meridian of Heaven Punishment inherited through the Ancient God's bloodline, which was a horrible divine Dao that sent all kinds of disasters to the world. Although Princess Zhang Le had only just risen to this level, she immediately mastered the three terrible powers of locust plagues, pestilence, and curse of the evil spirit, and had at once launched an attack on the enemies she had identified.
The locusts had scarcely flown miles before they disappeared into the void, and later reappeared out of thin air in the provinces governed by certain powerful clans in Zhong Province. It was the same for those viruses, who vanished and emerged out of thin air, then began spreading rapidly in some provinces.
Meanwhile, the curses had directly taken effect on some people, including a few of Yu Miao's sons whom he relied heavily upon and was having a private discussion with currently. They fell headlong upon the floor with a cry of indescribable horror, and their skins were soon covered with innumerable abscesses. All sorts of strange diseases were wreaking havoc in their bodies, while some even had hairy poisonous insects crawling out of their eyes.
Yu Miao cried out in terror, then hastily tried to cure them with spells. However, as the divine power of the Ancient God of Scourge was completely different from the spells of Ghost God he mastered, none of the spells was effective against these symptoms. As a result, he could barely control the conditions, but not completely heal his sons.
"This... is a very interesting divine power!"
Princess Zhang Le chuckled as she squinted at her hands, and the goddess who sat in the shrine above her laughed the same way. But, the princess's laughter was crisp and charming, while the goddess' had a dark and mysterious air, full of the uneasiness and fear of some impending disaster.
As she gently brushed her hair with one hand, Princess Zhang Le said, "Alright, make haste and send my word…It's settled! Ask everyone to focus on Yu Miao and his accomplices…I want them to suffer day and night. We need to buy Marquis enough time to get back here!"
Her long purplish-red hair slowly returned to their original state as the few secret agents bowed deeply to her and quickly disappeared into the shadows.
Looking up at the sky, Princess Zhang Le murmured with a slight frown on her face, "It's no doubt a very interesting divine power, but I'm still too weak to deal with Yu Miao and others... I need more power... Sacrifice the cultivators and immortals you recruited, for that is their only use now!"
Eighteen puppets bowed silently to her, then quickly turned into shadows and plunged into the sea.
"Before Wu Qi comes back, I have to take good care of his territory. Whoever dares to lay his hand here, he better be ready to have his head chopped off by me!
"How dare you take advantage of my husband? Are you all looking to die?
"Let me take this opportunity to see if any of your daughters and granddaughters are beautiful. Wu Qi hasn't had a concubine yet, and this is a shame to my status. How could my husband not have thousands of concubines?"
With her hands clasped behind her back, Princess Zhang Le paced slowly along the beach, her steps filled with a chilling sense of destruction.
It was even more terrifying than the fury of Wu Qi.