He was clad in a white linen cloth and a pair of boots woven from weeds, and his hair were bound up with a stone hair stick. He emanated no towering arrogance and carried no dignified bearing. He just sat there like an old man who had just finished chatting with a neighbor, simple and ordinary, without any extraordinary signs of the legendary figure. He was the Sacred Emperor of the human race, the Yellow Emperor, Xuanyuan.
Wu Qi felt he could not lie in front of a mighty figure like this. So, he gave out his true name.
Xuanyuan smiled. He lightly patted the armrest of his throne and said, "I thought Tan Lang is the name of the new Marquis of Dong Hai Province?"
Still kneeling, Wu Qi bowed and said, "Wu Qi is this subject's true name, and Tan Lang is the name of this subject's Master."
"Oh, I see!" The emperor nodded with a smile and did not ask further. It was only a name. Whatever Wu Qi's name was, be it Tan Lang, Le Xiaobai, or any other name, he was a descendant of the human race in the eyes of Xuanyuan, and that was all that mattered.
"What news does Chang Qin have for me?" Xuanyuan asked Wu Qi. "It has been a while since I last heard anything from him. I've tried sending many people to contact him, but none could reach him, for the three Buddhas sitting outside the Ghost Realm have blocked off the passage between us. It's nice to see you come back from there."
Wu Qi pulled out a jade slip from under his sleeve and handed it to an old man in white standing beside Xuanyuan, who was no more than three feet tall and looked energetic. He heard the emperor call this man Feng Hou 1 . 'So, he is the one who invented the compass cart which destroyed the Formation of Fog when the Xuanyuan waged war against Chiyou?' It was said that Feng Hou was the best master craftsman under the Yellow Emperor, and he had invented countless strange things, while many powerful weapons currently used by Great Yu's Military Court originated from his ideas.
Feng Hou took the jade slip and passed it over to Xuanyuan. The emperor narrowed his eyes and gently stroked it with a finger, then his face suddenly flickered. Wu Qi's heart gave a jolt. A military intelligence that could startle even Xuanyuan was clearly not something insignificant, he knew that for sure.
With his finger lightly tapping at the jade slip, Xuanyuan heaved a faint sigh and murmured, "My carelessness and negligence have brought me the short end of the stick... 372 planets in the outer heavenly realms we used to accommodate the heroes of the various races taken from the mortal worlds were destroyed over the last few years? Heh, they are really serious about this, aren't they?"
Wu Qi felt beads of cold sweat breaking out from his back. The planets used to accommodate the heroes of the various races taken from the mortal worlds? Wasn't that the same as Myriad Immortals Planet, where the heroes of the six dynasties once lived? And, 372 of them were destroyed? Who did this?
The Yellow Emperor bowed his head and sunk into deep thought. At last, he shook his head and muttered to himself again, "I've spent too much time and effort dealing with Black Emperor recently, which has made me overlook this... Perhaps Great Yu has yet to discover this as well, for all their attention is drawn toward the Myriad Immortal Alliance, who had been causing troubles on Pangu Continent in the recent years."
He gave a cold snort, and there was a cold gleam flashing in his eyes. Wu Qi suddenly sensed a vast wave of pressure sweeping across the great hall like a sharp blade. Then, a terrible chill washed over him, and he felt as if an invisible blade was cutting at his inner organs. The pressure had gone straight into his body, causing his blood and energy to surge and rock violently. It was a nasty feeling that shocked Wu Qi, as only a slight stir of his willpower could allow Xuanyuan to put out such a mighty pressure, so much so that he could not resist it with his cultivation base of the second-tier Gold Immortal realm. He wondered what realm the Yellow Emperor had achieved!
"It is nothing but a small loss," the emperor said to himself again while sighing, "But, the messengers of the Green Emperor, the Black Emperor, and the White Emperor are colluding with those old fogies over the last few years? What are they trying to do? Why did those old fools visit the Palace of Empress Wa, and why did that few bald donkeys block the main entrance of her palace for a whole year? What do they want to achieve?"
Wu Qi's heart was racing. He knew the three emperors. They were the ancient almighty experts who had existed since the dawn of time, terrible figures who had survived countless Apocalypses. They were much, much older than Xuanyuan. As for the old fogies the emperor had mentioned, he did not know who they were. However, to be called 'old fogies' by the Yellow Emperor, who himself was a legendary figure, told Wu Qi that they were some truly frightening existences.
And he did not need to guess who was the master of the Palace of Empress Wa. When the Great Saints of old created the mankind, they had only created the bodies. The one who filled the bodies with souls was none other than Goddess Nüwa, the master of the Palace of Empress Wa! A few bald donkeys had blocked the main entrance of her palace for a whole year? Could those include the Lord Buddha, Amitabha? Did he really have the guts to do that?
If it were not Amitabha, who would it be? Were there other existences stronger and holding a higher status than him in the Buddhist League?
Wu Qi stared blankly at Xuanyuan, his mind filled with questions arisen from the murmur he had overheard. But clearly, no one would explain anything to him. After all, he was only a little Marquis of Dong Hai Province. In Great Yu, only those imperial Kings like King Yang Shan had the right to meddle in such matters, provided that they held high power in hands and possessed strong enough cultivation bases.
Just as Wu Qi's mind was still troubled by all the questions, Xuanyuan waved a hand and sent out a gentle force to lift him up from his knees. "You don't have to go to Liangzhu," the emperor said in a deep voice. "I'll inform Emperor Haozun about what had happened, though he can provide me with no solutions. This is not a matter that Great Yu can interfere in."
After pondering for a moment, Xuanyuan squinted at Wu Qi and said, "I was told that a group of divine beasts had stopped you outside of You Xiong Plain."
Wu Qi went blank momentarily, then he gave the back of his head a slap. A plume of dark smoke rose from the top of his head as the Dark Yin Celestial Tower came flying out with a deep whistle. A gust of cold air blew out of its bottom, and in just the blink of an eye Bai Zhu, Bai Er, and the other divine beasts, including the two Star Golden Rhinos, were thrown onto the ground. He had been keeping them in the tower since he subdued them, and their souls had been in a deep slumber because of the restrictive spell he had put on them.
Xuanyuan gave a brittle laugh. "What a plan! It seems that the death of a mere Sovereign is not enough, and they are trying to get the sons and heirs of the subjects who served the Green Emperor, the White Emperor, and the Black Emperor killed. Plus, that Prabhutaratna Buddha... What do they want to do with so little sacrifices?"
Wu Qi did not speak. Standing off to the side, he was quickly analyzing Xuanyuan's words so he could grasp some details of the matter.
Xuanyuan looked up at the ceiling of the great hall while frowning. There was a star chart, with all the stars moving slowly according to the orbits of the real stars in the universe. He sunk into deep thought, and at last, he broke the silence, "Wu Qi, leave these divine beasts here. I have a use for them."
With just a few words, the emperor had taken away all the divine beasts of Gold Immortal realm he had subdued, but Wu Qi did not feel resentful. Instead, he said respectfully, "They are all yours, Your Majesty!"
A faint smile emerged on Xuanyuan's face. He reached one hand into a sleeve, then drew out 108 swords and threw them to Wu Qi, the color of which were green and looked as if they were forged from crystal. They flew to Wu Qi gracefully like feathers, wheeling slowly around him. "They are the Kunwu Swords. I'll have Feng Hou teach you the sword formation that comes with them later. I need you to do something for me."
The emperor waved a hand, and a medallion carved of black jade fell into Wu Qi's hand. "This medallion gives you free access to Liangzhu, as well as the power to mobilize an army of less than a million soldiers," he said coldly. "Keep it well, and use it to keep a close watch on the Celestial Ambassador of the Heaven, Liu Bang! No matter what he does, keep a close watch on him, or sabotage all his plans. If you can dig up any valuable information from Liu Bang, you will be rewarded well!"
Wu Qi stared at Xuanyuan in shock, wondering how 'well' would the reward be!
He could not imagine what would be the reward. Even the 108 Kunwu Swords he was just given was already a set of priceless treasure. Forged by Xuanyuan with the red copper from Mount Kunwu for the purpose of defeating Chiyou, these swords were so sharp that they could easily cut the fearsomely tough body of any Chiyou in two. And when they were used with the sword formation that came with them, their power would be even mightier.
Wu Qi went down on his knees as he bowed to Xuanyuan and said, "This subject is willing to give my life for Your Majesty!"
Xuanyuan smiled. While shaking his head, he said, "I don't need you to give your life for me. Just do your best, that's all! Feng Hou, teach Wu Qi the Xuanyuan Fiend Slaying Sword Formation. Also, send a messenger to inform Emperor Haozun what's going on here, and ask him to cooperate with Wu Qi. Tell him that as long as he can pin down that Liu Bang and prevent him from causing troubles in Great Yu, I'll record that as an outstanding service in his book."
A look of worry flashed across the emperor's face. "Zhong, Li, prepare my chariot and follow me to seek an audience with Goddess Nüwa. I hope it's not too late. They had been working in the dark for so long... Had it not been for Chang Qin's discovery of something wrong, I'm afraid we would still be kept in the dark by the time they struck. Pray that Goddess Nüwa will continue to protect mankind this time!"
He heaved a long sigh and waved his sleeve, sending Wu Qi and Feng Hou out of the great hall with a gust of wind.
Staring blankly at the palace in front of him, Wu Qi could not help but try to guess what the contents of the jade slip were. Apart from the destruction of the 372 planets and the death of all the heroes King Yang Shan and the others had moved out of the mortal worlds, could Prince Chang Qin have discovered something even more devastating?
The thirteen Great Heavenly Ghost Kings had blockaded the Ghost Realm while three Buddhas from the Buddhist League had blocked off the passage to the Ghost Realm. There was much to ponder over in terms of the implications of this information. And, the fact that someone had blocked the main entrance of Palace of Empress Wa indicated that all their plans were targeted directly at the human race!
Wu Qi was deeply troubled. But, when he saw the 108 Kunwu Swords floating around him, his mood suddenly changed for the better.
As the famous divine artifact in the ancient times, how powerful were these Kunwu Swords?According to the legends, Feng Hou, the "Lord of the Winds", was a minister of the Yellow Emperor. The book Yishi even calls Feng Hou his counselor-in-chief. The Song period (960-1279) encyclopedia Taiping yulan quotes from the (now lost) book Zhilin, where it is said that when the Yellow Emperor waged war against Chi You, the latter produced an impenetrable fog that lasted for three days. Feng Hou thereupon invented the compass cart to find out the direction into which the army had to march.