The muscles in Wu Qi's legs throbbed as a powerful fluctuation rushed up from the earth vein along with a rumble, entering his body through his soles and going straight up into his head. It was a stream of Pangu Sacred Energy, and it cleansed his entire body and fused with his flesh, drenching him with sweat while removing the body waste produced from his metabolism. His body flickered and tore through the void, and in just the blink of an eye, he was ten billion miles away.
His body was boiling hot, his blood vessels and meridians stretched to their limits, and the energy was surging and rotating fiercely inside him. Half of the ancient immortal's remains in his interstitial world had been melted away, and about thirty percent of the enormous willpower that came from Buddha Futu, which he temporarily stored in his forehead, had been digested by his divine soul. Stimulated by the Pangu Sacred Energy, the strength of his flesh and his magic power was growing at an incredible rate. Wu Qi felt as if he had a pair of wings growing out of his back now; he felt as if he was flying like a bird.
Kunwu Swords were rapidly drawing the Pangu Sacred Energy from the earth veins like 108 tireless engines, purifying them before injecting them into his body. The speed of each sword drawing the energy was a few times faster than if he were to do it himself; and with all of them working at the same time, his cultivation base was soaring rapidly. Wisps of green light radiated out of 108 vital meridian nodes across his body, pulling streams of energy that were twisting like dragons into him. Wherever he passed, there was not a trace of Pangu Sacred Energy left in the air.
It had taken Wu Qi slightly over a month to reach the Land of Sacred Emperor, but it only took him seven days to return to Zhong Province.
He ran past Zhong Ning City, uttering a long whistle while spreading out his divine sense; what he found alerted him immediately. In Yu clan's mansion, a few Oracles from their principal clan in Liangzhu were talking about the recent changes. Through their conversation, he learned that Princess Zhang Le had visited Yu clan not long ago and caused Yu Mu and Yu Miao to turn against each other, which resulted in the falling apart of their clan. As of now, together with Yu Mu and others, Princess Zhang Le was searching all over the place for Yu Miao and his companions.
"Brilliantly done, Zi Xuan!" Wu Qi laughed. "Well, it seems like I don't have to worry about my home front in the future when I have to be away for a long time!" He halted there and pulled out a jade talisman, which he could use to contact Princess Zhang Le, then sent a beam of light into it.
He waited patiently for ten minutes, but the talisman did not respond, which startled him. The talisman was crafted after he had attained the cultivation base of a Gold Immortal, and with it, he could quickly communicate with Princess Zhang Le even when they were millions of miles apart. But, it did not respond now, and it was most probably due to the princess' one being destroyed, or some formation cutting off the connection between them. In either case, it was plain that she was in a bad situation now.
He quickly sent his divine sense over to Dong Hai Province. The divine sense of a second-tier Gold Immortal was not strong enough to see the whole universe at a glance, but it was more than enough to cover one whole realm. On Pangu Continent, a divine sense of such level could easily cover at least a thousand provinces. Dong Hai Province was not far away from Zhong Province, with only a dozen provinces sitting between them. And as the strength of his divine sense was far stronger than common second-tier Gold Immortals, Wu Qi was able to see everything there almost instantly
Lord Xiansheng was drilling soldiers under the East Sea while his father was drinking and making merry in a great hall with a few other old dragon kings. All of them had beautiful women from either the dragon clan or clam clan sitting on their laps, and it seemed they were ready to give Lord Xiansheng a few more little brothers and sisters.
Gold Horn and Silver Horn were sleeping atop a heap of dead beasts, their mouths opened every now and then to swallow a few carcasses. Wu Qi had not seen them for about a year, and the brothers had grown fatter; especially their bellies, which were ten times the size of the rest of their bodies.
Then he found Catfish laying sprawled in a remote pool somewhere within Dong Hai Province. A group of aquatic demons from Underhand Sect was cleaning her scales and pouring jar after jar of wine into her mouth. At the edge of the pool, a few tiger demons were barbecuing fat cows and lambs. From time to time, some little demons ran to them, grabbed the cows and lambs dripping with grease, and fed them into Catfish's mouth.
The people of Long Bo were farming in the valley where they lived, and some couples were working hard to increase their population, although it was still daytime now. Patriarch Jiang Yun and a few other old immortals were sitting beneath an ancient pine tree on a mountaintop, admiring the beautiful sceneries with smiling faces. They looked free and unfettered.
Everything was perfectly normal in Dong Hai Province, except that Princess Zhang Le had disappeared.
Wu Qi's pupils constricted, and he quickly spread his divine sense into all directions. Before long, in the province ruled by Ye clan, he found a cloud of dense black mist over a sinkhole that should be the province's capital city, measuring over ten thousand miles wide. The massive dark cloud rolled and churned, with gusts of chilly wind constantly blowing out of it. Nearly half of the province's land was blanketed in ice. A vast expanse of ice and snow reigned the region of a billion miles. Countless people had died of cold and hunger.
From time to time, wisps of gold-element energy could be seen shooting out of the dark cloud, and the sound of zither that was as deep and muffled as a distant thunderclap could be heard. Wu Qi recognized the energy and the sound—those were the attacks unleashed from Princess Zhang Le's silver lotus flower and zither.
A God with a height of about a hundred miles sat cross-legged over the dark cloud, his body shrouded in a layer of black air. Two ferocious black flood dragons circled around him, spraying plumes of cold air from time to time into the dark cloud below them. With both hands locked into a strange incantation gesture, the God had turned the surrounding natural energy into a gnawing frost, and used it to lock down the area. His body was covered in a thick layer of ice, a piece of evidence that he was the culprit who had turned that region into a world of ice and snow.
Wu Qi tried to send his divine sense into the dark cloud, but it was so cold that he could not see what was inside. The fact that it could stop his divine sense proved that the dark cloud was the main reason why he could not get in touch with Princess Zhang Le.
He snorted, and his body transformed into a streak of lightning, bolting toward the dark cloud. At the same time, he spread his divine sense far and wide like a giant net. He wanted to know why no army was sent to fight this God, even though it was apparent that he had intruded Great Yu's territory.
Before long, he found small groups of heavily armored elite soldiers stationed along the province's border, about a thousand miles apart from each other. Whenever the patrols of other provinces approached the border, these soldiers would immediately chase them away. It was as if the official papers and medallions they held in hands carried a high power, so none of the patrolling guards dared to disobey their orders.
As for the messengers the local officials had dispatched, Wu Qi had found them as well. In some remote valleys, he found many corpses which had been severely mutilated. Some were clad in the robes of Great Yu's lesser officials, and some donned armors. Clearly, they were the messengers sent out to inform their superiors of what had happened in this province. But, the soldiers stationed along the border had killed them, which was why the God could wantonly trap Princess Zhang Le and the others here.
"B*stard!" Wu Qi cursed under his breath. It was plain to him that someone inside Great Yu was colluding with this God, helping him to cover up what he was doing here.
His divine sense quickly spread out into all directions, sweeping across the lands like a comb. All of a sudden, he found a magnificent field headquarter on the peak of a mountain, about a hundred miles away from the God.
He saw King Zhang Qiu and Liu Bang sitting under a huge flagpole, drinking together. A few master chefs were taking precious ingredients from some demon immortals who were struggling and growling fiercely, and preparing delicious dishes on the spot. Halfway up the mountain, a few demon immortals were thrown on the ground in their true forms, their bodies covered in blood. Roaring hoarsely, they twitched and struggled; but with their cultivation bases destroyed and most of their internal organs taken, none of them could get up to their feet.
"You again, King Zhang Qiu!" Wu Qi gnashed his teeth in anger. He shrunk his divine sense to the size of a needle and poked it into the tent behind the man. To his surprise, he saw Lord Long Yang sitting behind the table of the commander-in-chief, going through all sorts of official papers.
Wu Qi was taken aback, and in the next moment, a flash of anger rose into his head. The relationship between Lord Long Yang and King Zhang Qiu was not his concern, but he was disappointed that as an ally who had pledged to help each other, Lord Long Yang did not do anything when King Zhang Qiu was plotting against him and Princess Zhang Le. He felt betrayed.
Laughing coldly, he stamped his feet hard against the ground. A huge earth vein beneath him twitched as his body abruptly tore through the void, only to appear above the God that was a hundred million miles away in the next moment.
He gave a loud cry when he arrived. Beams of green light shot out from twelve of his vital meridian nodes as twelve Kunwu Swords, transparent and as light as feathers, flew out silently. He injected all the Pangu Sacred Energy in him into these swords, turning them extremely heavy instantly. Then, he waved a hand, causing a vast amount of earth-element energy to rush from the surroundings into the swords. Using only twelve Kunwu Swords, he had formed a small sword formation which emanated the unique aura of mountains as they went hacking down at the God.
As the swords approached, the God looked up in horror at the green sword beams and cried out in shock, "This...Could they be the Kunwu Swords!"
Confused, the God raised his hands reflexively to block the swords. A miserable howl rang out next as the extremely sharp and heavy swords chopped his arms off his shoulders, then went into his body through his waist and destroyed all his internal organs, before coming out of his lower abdomen.
Earth-element energy entered his body and suppressed the rich water vapor inside him. It destroyed his flesh, and even began to affect the core that formed his godly body—the Law of Heaven and Earth he was born with. Countless gashes of all sizes riddled across his skin, from which came pouring out streams of black water, rumbling like thunderclaps. For a moment, it was as if dozens of great rivers were gushing out of his body at the same time. It was a queer scene indeed!
Every drop of the black water was the divine energy essence of this God. Although he was standing a hundred miles tall now, and his true form was over ten thousand miles tall, he could not sustain a loss of such magnitude for too long. He cursed with a terrified voice, then hurriedly transformed into a mass of black water and rushed up into the sky.
But, the twelve Kunwu Swords had only spun, and hundreds of small yellow hills immediately appeared in the sky. They were all condensed from the earth-element energy and driven by the sword formation. Therefore, they came with a myriad of special abilities. Each one of them had a strong suction, which was constantly drawing black water from the God, rapidly depleting his divine energy and lifeforce.
At last, unable to contain his terror, the God roared and opened his mouth to spit out a black trident, stabbing it toward Wu Qi.