The leading sword beam moved as agilely as a serpent, skirting over thin clouds as it made its way toward Wu Qi. From within, a young Daoist called out, "Greetings, fellow Daoist! May I know your name, and what is your purpose of visiting Uncle Master Miao Yuan?"
Wu Qi stared at the approaching sword beam, his eyes gleaming red.
The air in front of the mountain where Green City was situated was heavy with incense smoke. Countless believers packed the Daoist and Buddhist temples there, whilst half-true and half-fake Daoists and monks were selling all kinds of fake talismans and accessories to pilgrims, believers, and tourists outside. There were even wealthy men offering generous donations in the great halls of the temples. The place looked peaceful and bustled with activity.
But, a faint killing intent lingered between the heaven and earth behind the mountain. Squinting at the dozens of sword beams that were coming at him, Wu Qi sighed and said in a low voice, "I am not here to be your friends or reason things out, but to kill someone! I have found you, Daoist Miao Yun!"
With a wave of his hand, Blood Centipede Sword burst into numerous fine threads of blood, which then interwove into a great net and wrapped up the dozens of sword beams. Following his will, the net collapsed inwardly, crushing all of them together. The air rang with cries of alarm and despair. A brief moment later, the net spat out countless chunks of bones and flesh, each less than an inch wide, together with streams of blood. The Daoists' souls were also ripped to shreds.
"Why don't you come out here and welcome me, Daoist Miao Yun? I can't believe you have a talisman given by some immortal, one that can reverse time...You do have the devil's own luck!" Wu Qi laughed in a deep voice. Although it was not loud, the laughter had easily spread through all the cave abodes behind the mountain, as well as the temples between boulders and streams, and under the green foliage and valleys.
A deep ringing of a bell echoed out again as plumes of clouds soared up into the sky from the peaks of the various hills behind Green City, spreading out into a dense cloud barrier in the blink of an eye to envelop the entire mountain. Colorful lights swirled about over the barrier. On the top of a few cliffs in front of the mountain, countless tourists cried out in shock and took out their cameras or cellphones to capture the rare sight. No one seemed to have any idea what terrible killing intent was hiding behind the splendid view, or the grave danger that was lurking behind the magnificent show of light.
Wu Qi hovered in midair and did not move, doing nothing to stop Green City's protective formation from swallowing him up. Streams of bright light swirled nonstop in the depths of the formation as the clouds around him tumbled restlessly, pulling him into the most lethal formation gate.
The mountain and hills were submerged in a sea of white clouds. A dozen peaks poked through the vast expanse of little white islands. Each of the peaks was packed with Daoists in green robes, and monks in yellow or red kasayas. It was apparent that there were more Daoists than the monks, the ratio being about ten to one. After all, Green City was a Daoist site, and the cultivators who dwelt in seclusion behind the mountain were mainly Daoists.
Soon, the clouds blotting the sky condensed into dozens of huge cloud flags around Wu Qi. As they fluttered, an enormous force poured over to restrain his body while sheets of bright light coagulated into countless flying swords and wheeled around him restlessly. The swords were cold and sharp, looking no different from those forged with real steel. In addition to these flags and swords were dark clouds tumbling over him, with bolts of lightning rocking violently within. A great red cloud spun below his feet, sending tongues of piping hot flame up to lick his legs. They were the poisonous flames taken from the depth of the ground, judging from the poison that came from the crimson flames.
Wu Qi nodded silently; it was a pretty decent formation. It had the means to trap someone, swords that could kill, and thunderbolts and earth fire to stop people from escaping. If its core was presided over with a powerful magical treasure, it could easily trap anyone who was below the realm of thirtieth-tier Heaven Immortal realm, while making it tough for even mid-tiered Heaven Immortals to escape.
Still, for someone who had mastered various formations like Wu Qi, this protective formation could pose no threat.
He scanned the whole mountain that was Green City with his divine sense, locking down every single Daoist and monk, including those who were having secluded cultivation in some cave abodes. Then, he had Blood Centipede Sword split into countless threads of blood and sent them down.
Each thread of blood was over several miles long, and a hundred times finer than a hair. They slithered nimbly across the air fast as a wind, ripping and tearing everything along the way—including those cloud flags, swords, and even hills and mountains. Cultivators who looked on from the hilltops in distance were startled, and they hastily unleashed their swords and magical treasures to defend themselves against the approaching bloody threads. But, how could they put up an effective fight with their acquired magical treasures, when the Blood Centipede Sword was an innate spirit artifact with an incredible power?
Sword and magical treasures shattered all the same, and the Daoists and monks perished in both body and soul. The cultivators here in Green City were poorly equipped, with only a few of them owning lower-grade magical treasures. So, it was only natural that they were no match for the Blood Centipede Sword.
It had only taken him less than the time for a deep breath, from unleashing the Blood Centipede Sword to killing all the cultivators. Of the few thousand cultivators here, the strongest ones were merely peak Nascent Soul cultivators, while the weakest ones had just stepped into the Xiantian realm. Regardless of their cultivation bases, they thought they would witness a grand show of fiend slaying. But, little did they know that in the end, it was the 'fiend' who had slain them all.
"Namo Amitabha! Vile creature, how dare you!" A furious roar suddenly rang out of the mountainside of a distant mountain.
Wu Qi laughed. "Namo Amitabha? Which Buddha is that? Amitabha?" He cried out in a low voice, "Bah, is he one of the incarnations the Lord Buddha has in the mortal world?" As he said that, he pointed a finger out, causing the countless threads of blood to fuse into one, transforming into a several miles long blood-red centipede that flew toward the mountain.
A blood-red light flashed, and the mountain was torn into pieces by the centipede with its sharp claws and fangs. Three old monks in red robes had just flown up into the air with their relics hovering above them when the centipede caught them and began to devour their flesh. As they shrieked and howled miserably, their relics sped away in an attempt to escape, only to be quickly crushed and destroyed by a few beams of red light. In just the blink of an eye, the Blood Centipede Sword had sucked away all the essence of their flesh and blood, turning them into specks of ashes that drifted away with the wind.
Cries of alarm could be heard coming from the distant sky, uttered by seven old Daoists clad in pale purple robes, whom Wu Qi had long locked down with his divine sense. Just like the three old monks, they had the cultivation bases of Nascent Divinity realm. In a mortal world like earth where humans were kept like cattle, this was the strongest cultivation base that the cultivators here could have achieved.
All these cultivators who had been recruited into the Dao League or Buddhist League either had excellent aptitudes or were devout believers in their previous lives. So, they had been blessed with the opportunity to tread the path of cultivating the Dao. When they cultivated to the peak realm of Nascent Divinity, they would face their first heavenly tribulation, and once they succeeded in transcending it, they would depart the mortal world to ascend to the Heaven or the Pure Land of the Buddhist League.
This kind of ascension was the kind familiar to the people in the mortal worlds. All the cultivators who had transcended the tribulation would be forcibly taken to either the Heaven or the Pure Land, thenceforth becoming the immortal officials or servants of the Heaven, or the Arhats or Guardians of the Buddhist League. The itinerant cultivators in the outer heavenly realms still had the choice in their hands, though. They could choose to serve either the Heaven or the Buddhist League. But, the cultivators in the mortal worlds were not given such privilege. Their only destiny was to become low-level existences driven by either one of the two mighty powers.
Wu Qi gave a cold snort and pointed a finger out. With the gesture, the Blood Centipede Sword whistled forward in a beam of blood-red light, going straight for the waists of the seven old Daoists in purple robes. The Daoists snorted in unison and raised their hands to unleash a dozen magical treasures that shone brilliantly, all piercing through the air to meet the sword. These were decent magical treasures, most of which had the quality of upper-grade magical treasures; three of them were actually lower-grade spirit artifacts.
But, the Blood Centipede Sword was an innate spirit artifact with its power stronger than any Gold Immortal artifact, one that was as strong as a Primordial Immortal artifact.
The beam of blood-red light had only wheeled about them, and the dozen of magical treasures and spirit artifacts were shattered to bits. Then, following Wu Qi's will, it spun around the seven Daoists, cutting each one into two. They let out cries of pain and their foreheads burst open, from where their bloody Nascent Divinities rose and tried to flee with some mystic art.
But, their attempt to flee was no different from a crippled toddler trying to escape a black hole when their opponent was someone as strong as a Gold Immortal. All Wu Qi did was clench his palm into a fist, and the void around them immediately collapsed, causing an immense pressure to weigh down on them. Before those Nascent Divinities could let out a cry or shriek, the collapsed void had ground them into nothing but ashes.
"Are you still not coming out to see me, Daoist Miao Yun? How long are you going to hide in that hole of yours?"
Wu Qi's words exploded like thunder right next to Daoist Miao Yun's ears, even though he was hiding beneath some mountain. The deafening rumble made him howl in a hoarse voice as blood spewed out of his seven orifices while the mountain over him crumbled and exploded, sending rocks and boulders flying in all directions. The cave abode where he was hiding was completely exposed.
He collapsed to the ground while howling, his body twitching convulsively and his ears covered with his palms. Suddenly, a talisman floated up from his body. It was stained with his blood, and began to burn as soon as a breeze came blowing at it. Smoke rose into the sky from the talisman and formed into the shape of a Ruyi scepter, which shot into the sky and vanished in just the blink of an eye.
Before Wu Qi could react, thunders and lightning began to rumble and flash high up in the sky. Then, all of a sudden, a colorful aurora emerged above the mountain that was Green City.
Upon seeing the aurora that could only be witnessed at the Arctic Pole, the tourists in front of the mountain broke out in a cheer that churned the clouds in the sky. The splendid light twisted and shifted, and soon, the entire mountain was blanketed by a colorful glow.
A ring of light that no mortal eyes could see flashed out of the aurora, and three immortals clad in deep purple robes rushed out of it.
"How dare you intrude the mortal world and stir up such trouble? You are going to die today, by the order of the Immortal Lord in charge of this world!"
Three immortals, who were peak first-tier Heaven Immortals and just one step away from becoming Gold Immortals, raised their hands and threw out three red swords, all shrouded in raging flames. As soon as they were in the air, the swords transformed into fire dragons, each measuring over ten miles long, and swooped down on Wu Qi.
Just then, a deep intonation of a Buddhist epithet rang out as three Arhats strode out of another ring of light. One of them cried out in a strong voice, "Surrender now, you vile spawn! We are here to capture you by the decree of the Bodhisattva!"
Like their counterparts, the Arhats raised their hands and produced three scepters, which transformed into three ten-miles-tall pagodas and smashed down toward Wu Qi. A vast pressure spread in all directions, causing the hills behind the mountain to crumble and collapse. The aura of peak Heaven Immortals and Arhats were too powerful for the hills in the mortal world to withstand.
Wu Qi chuckled and lightly stomped his foot. An invisible force spread through the ground and killed Daoist Miao Yun in just a flash, along with all the cultivators in Green City.
The Heaven Immortals and Arhats who descended into this mortal world burst into anger. They roared and sent more energy into their weapons while charging toward Wu Qi with all their might.