Wu Qi seemed to perceive something in his heart when Princess Zhang Le launched her attack, and he glanced abruptly back in the direction of Zhong Province.
'Eh, Zi Xuan is fighting someone? Give me a few more days. Once I've completed the task, I'll return to Zhong Province and settle the score with Yu Miao. Before that, you better not dismantle that old fool's bones. He is too old and frail to withstand your ferocity. Still, why are you fighting him now? Has he done something ill again?'
Little did he know that while he was worrying for Yu Miao here, fearing that he might not be able to take revenge himself when he returned, Princess Zhang Le had already slain most of Yu Miao's family, and Yu clan of Zhong Province was hanging on the end of their line now. Had it not been because of Yu You's sudden appearance, this branch of Yu clan would have been completely wiped out.
Wrapped in clouds, the bronze chariots zoomed through the air, heading in the direction of the Xuanyuan Peak.
As mentioned before, Xuanyuan Peak was once the upper part of the mountain that was now the Land of Sacred Emperor. Across the distance, it looked like a cone-shaped mountain with a magnificent scenery. Although once the peak of a mountain, it stood hundreds of thousands of miles tall on a base that was tens of thousands of miles wide. Countless exotic flowers and plants grew all over it, and palaces and pagodas of all sizes could be seen standing randomly amid the green foliage. Unlike the old-fashioned architectural style of Great Yu, the buildings here came in all kinds of styles.
Dozens of mountains were suspended in the air around Xuanyuan Peak, revolving slowly. Their colors, materials, and sizes were all different; the largest one was half the size of the Xuanyuan Peak, and the smallest one stood only tens of miles tall, with a base hundreds of miles wide. There were mountains of pure gold, pure silver, pure jade, and pure crystal, and there was also a mountain which was one whole ancient green tree by itself, with crystalline sprays splashing out of its roots.
The tree was the 'Dragon Blood Rejuvenation Tree', a strange species that was extremely rare even in the ancient times, and the only species in the universe which had no limit to its size. Growing in the void, this amazing tree expanded by a millimeter every ten thousand years; the longer it survived, the larger it would become. As long as no one cut it down, it could grow without a limit. The one here had a height of thirty thousand miles; the thickest part of the trunk measured three thousand miles in circumference, and the widest part of its crown and root had a radius of hundreds of thousands of miles. Judging by its enormous size, it had perhaps been growing since the dawn of time.
Its sap was bright red and smelled like dragon blood, hence giving its name. As for the 'rejuvenation' in the name, it meant that the tree was always breathing natural energy, and its roots were constantly oozing out rejuvenating spring water. It was a kind of spirit liquid that could keep one's appearance and energy in youth forever, and could bring life back to dead flowers and trees.
As enormous as it was, the amount of rejuvenating spring water produced by this Dragon Blood Rejuvenation Tree every day was prodigious. Just looking at how the crystalline spring water enveloped the entire Xuanyuan Peak and the dozens of mountains around it, one could know that the people living up there would never grow old in appearance, and also imagine how flourishing the flowers and trees growing across the mountains were.
As Wu Qi studied the ancient tree with curiosity, a dragon gracefully soared up from a mountain of supreme-grade jade not far away. A young man and woman in white Daoist robes were riding on the back of the dragon, laughing merrily, as a gust of wind pushed away the cloud in front of them and brought them far away.
They were a pair of immortals, and judging by their obscure and simple aura, they were a pair of ancient immortals who cultivated the ancient cultivation techniques. Unlike the cultivators and immortals of the present time, ancient immortals paid more attention to the understanding of the natural way, and more emphasis on borrowing the power of nature rather than accumulating their own strength. The overall strength of this pair of ancient immortals was probably only equivalent to a thirtieth-tier Heaven Immortal of the present time. However, when they struck, they could unleash a power that was not weaker than that of a Primordial Immortal.
Wu Qi cried out in shock, pointing at the pair of man and woman as he said, "They are..."
The captain looked over in the direction. A smile emerged on his face as he said, "Oh, they are Sacred Emperor's good friends, Lord Cloud and Fairy Greenleaf." He turned to give Wu Qi a look, who was gaping with feigned shock. While guffawing, he slapped Wu Qi on the shoulder and said, "Don't be so surprised, lad! They are Sacred Emperor's brother and sister in arms from back in the days. The ancient immortals and the immortals of the present time are...well, vastly different! Both Lord Cloud and Fairy Greenleaf are entitled to free access to Liangzhu. Does this tell you anything?"
Only high-ranking officials of Great Yu were entitled to free access to Liangzhu, and Wu Qi knew that. But, he was surprised to learn that Lord Cloud and Fairy Greenleaf, both of whom were not well-known figures in the myths and legends he read when he was young, were actually Xuanyuan's brother and sister in arms. His eyes followed them in marvel, and he wondered if he would ever have a chance of obtaining their cultivation techniques?
Ancient immortals consumed rain, dew, and clouds, their hearts were pure and without any impurities, and they could harness the great power of nature with their weak strength. They grasped the power, but did not blindly pursue it. They had used their great ability to drive out the savage beasts and ferocious demons and fiends, protect the weak human race, and render a meritorious service during the rise of the human race. The cultivation techniques they cultivated pointed straight to the Great Dao, which allowed them to communicate with the Heaven and Earth, but provided little benefits to their own cultivation bases. However, even the Primordial Immortals of the present time were inferior to them in the use of the Laws of Heaven and Earth.
On the contrary, the immortals of the present time paid more attention to the tempering of their own bodies and souls, and more emphasis on their own strength. They wantonly plundered natural energy and natural treasures to benefit themselves, and resorted to all means to pursue greater power. They and the carefree ancient immortals had embarked on two completely different paths.
Wu Qi sighed with emotion in his heart while shaking his head. He knew that the immortals who currently occupied the outer heavenly realms were once a branch of the ancient immortals. However, while the ancient immortals living on Xuanyuan Peak still kept their natural kindness, saw themselves as humans, and therefore were allowed free access to Xuanyuan Peak and Liangzhu, the immortals of the present time were greedy, abusive, mean, selfish. Hence, they had taken a completely different path, becoming the rivals of the entire human race.
The chariots raced on. Along the way, Wu Qi saw many ancient immortals who were laughing merrily as they traveled between the mountains surrounding the Xuanyuan Peak. Riding on either dragons, phoenixes, or some other divine beasts, they were calling friends for a drink or a meal. They all looked carefree and leisurely, and did not hustle about nervously to make some profits or fight against each other over a piece of energy stone, like what the immortals in the outside world did.
These ancient immortals did not care about their own cultivation bases. What they focused on was the communication and integration with the Heaven and Earth, and what they pursued was the freedom of their spirit. Their own strengths were weak, with some merely stepping into the realm of the thirty-sixth-tier Heaven Immortal, barely enough for them to live forever. However, their minds and spirits had already fused with the Heaven and Earth, and every move of theirs was in harmony with the Heavenly Dao. Once they attacked, their destructive power was absolutely extraordinary.
Apart from these ancient immortals, the sky around Xuanyuan Peak was also crowded with many ancient deities. At least thirty percent of them were the blood of Xuanyuan. After becoming the Sacred Emperor with his immense virtue, Xuanyuan had wedded many women from different races, and given birth to many children with special abilities, some of whom were even blessed with a part of the power of the Heavenly Dao. All his offspring were born as deities; Prince Chang Qin was one such example. As the direct descendant of Xuanyuan, he was born with a great divine power, unlike ordinary humans.
These deities all had strange appearances: some had the body of a beast and the head of a man, some were the opposite of that. Some looked exactly like a man but had a pair of hooves, and some had the head of a man, the body of a beast, and the tail of a snake. Despite how bizarre they looked, most of them were smiling and mingling with those ancient immortals. They were either drinking, contesting magic, or traveling together. Their carefree lifestyle filled Wu Qi's heart with envy.
'When will I be able to avoid all the conflicts and fights in the outside world, and provide a paradise such as this for the people around me, so that they can also live in peace and leisure?' But, when he thought of Xuanyuan's status, he could not help but heave a helpless sigh. 'Perhaps, only an almighty expert with such a lofty status can enjoy a carefree lifestyle like this? But, even with his status and prowess, there are still things that Xuanyuan has to worry about!'
If Xuanyuan really did not have anything to worry about, why did he send Prince Chang Qin to the Ghost Realm?
Amidst the rumbling of thunder, the chariot brought Wu Qi straight up to the Xuanyuan Peak. Outside one of the gates, a few guards in fine armors who apparently were deities, judging from their cow heads and human bodies, made him answer a few questions. After that, two of them gestured him to follow as they began to trot uphill. Meanwhile, the patrol who brought him here wheeled and went back to their duty. They were not allowed on Xuanyuan Peak without an urgent business.
Wu Qi approached the two guards with great care. They had huge bodies, standing almost sixty feet tall. Their exposed skins had a metallic tone, and they did not look like they were made of flesh. The sound of their footsteps was loud and powerful, and when he gave their feet a glance, he was shocked to see each having a pair of massive hooves. It was as if their hooves were forged of metal; each step they took would send bright sparks flying off the mountain rocks. It made Wu Qi's scalp go numb just by looking at them.
Evidently, the two guards' fleshly bodies were extremely strong. Wu Qi had a feeling that even if he combined his True Body of Heaven and Earth, which was at the level of the second-tier Gold Immortal realm, the Dragon Kill, and the Dragon Transformation Script, his body would still not be as strong as the two big fellows.
As they led Wu Qi while running up toward the peak, the two fellows occasionally grabbed the shiny metal ores on the side of the road and shoved them into their mouths to chew. Wu Qi recognized these ores; Xuanyuan Peak was littered with rare treasures. These ores were actually rare and supreme-grade minerals in the outside world, all of which could be used to craft supreme-grade Gold Immortal Artifacts, which proved how hard they were.
But in their mouths, these rare ores they grabbed at will were merely snacks like popcorn. They munched on the ores and crushed them to bits before swallowing, then grabbed some other ores and stuffed them into their mouths.
"Seniors, how do I address you, if I may ask?" Wu Qi could not help but relate these two cow-headed guards with a name in his memory.
" Chiyou 1 !" They stared at Wu Qi with their big, wide eyes. "We are the people of the clan of Chiyou! Why? What's so strange about that? Why are you looking at us like that? You like to get beaten up?"
Wu Qi felt beads of cold sweat trickling down his forehead. The people of the clan of Chiyou were used as guards on the Xuanyuan Peak?Chiyou (蚩尤) was a tribal leader of the Nine Li tribe (九黎) in ancient China. He is best known as a king who lost against the future Yellow Emperor during the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors era in Chinese mythology. Today, Chiyou is honored and worshipped as the God of War and one of the three legendary founding fathers of China.