Wu Qi's wicked laughter rang out in the dimly lit great hall. His eyes began to gleam. In his Chaotic Divine Eyes, the fire of retribution shrouded the dozen of men around King Bai Shan looked so striking. Though they were all covered under hooded capes, they moved like burning torches in the black of night, the crimson light of the fire emanated a deadly attraction.
The fire of retribution, so much of them. It was a kind of fire kindled by the various filthy thoughts of men. The Buddhism League called it the Retribution Fire of Red Lotus, and considered it the most filthy and powerful fire in the world. Orthodox cultivators of the Dao League and Buddhism League avoided it like the plague, for a tiny wisp of it could destroy their bodies, forcing them to enter transmigration and start all over again.
The fire, invisible to the naked eyes, towered hundreds of feet up into the sky from those men's bodies. Clearly, they were not cultivators of the Dao League or Buddhism League. Even fiend immortals and ghost immortals dared not to touch such a terrifying fire, so it was evident that they were pure human.
"How many evil deeds did they do to be shrouded in such a strong fire of retribution?"
Wu Qi wondered how many people had they killed, how many Laws of the Heavenly Dao had they violated, and how much virtues would he be rewarded if he killed them all? "How could we reject the virtues that are presented to us on a silver platter?"
He roared with laughter, then opened his mouth and shot out a beam of green light. 360 Kunwu Swords, smaller than usual, made their appearance. One-third the size of the original, they were the maximum number he could produce now. Though smaller, their functions were exactly the same as the full-size Kunwu Swords, and they did not affect his overall strength. If they were used to construct Fiend Slaying Sword Formation, the power of the formation was about twice of that constructed with just 108 swords.
Wu Qi handed the swords to twelve people who he deemed to be prudent, including Patriarch Jiang Yun, and told them, "In addition to twelve of you, select 348 men who are skillful in the art of formations, who are as prudent as you, and get ready to construct Fiend Slaying Sword Formation. Since King Bai Shan is here, we can't let him go just like that. Perhaps, those men around him are your chance to make the breakthrough!"
Patriarch Jiang Yun and others had their eyes lit up, and hurriedly they received the swords and took their leave of the great hall.
Then, Wu Qi turned to look at the rest of the group, mostly demon cultivators, and said with a cold grin, "Come with me, let's us see what this King Bai Shan really wants!" After saying that, he frowned and muttered to himself, somewhat puzzled, "I thought Emperor Haozun has imprisoned him forever in the imperial dungeon and decreed that his title of nobility will be inherited by someone from the imperial clan? Why is he here?"
Princess Zhang Le carefully kept the three phoenix feathers in her sleeve, yawned, and said lazily, "It doesn't matter how he escaped. Let's kill him and all his family first, then only find out who let him out of the dungeon!"
A five-colored divine ray gushed out from the top of her head, in which three shrines inlaid with gold and jade, about ten feet tall each, made their appearances. In addition to her first avatar, the God of Scourge, over the past thousand years, with Wu Qi's help, Princess Zhang Le had also produced her second and third avatars: the God of Plague and the God of Thunder.
She could use her avatar of the God of Plague to fill a land hundreds of millions of miles around with plagues, infecting anyone whose cultivation base was weaker than her in that region. And when she focused its power on one person, she could hurt even those whose cultivation bases were many times stronger than her. With the avatar of the God of Thunder, she could turn a region hundreds of millions of miles into a world of thunder, where nothing else could exist but thunderbolts. If she focused all its power, she could unleash the Ancient Void-shattering Divine Thunder, a supreme divine ability that according to legend, could shatter even the Primal Chaos.
Even the thunderbolt the Great Saint Pangu used to open this world was originated from this divine thunder, which showed how powerful this divine ability was. In term of physical strength, the princess was far inferior to Wu Qi, but he could never match her in the bizarreness, unpredictability, and the power of her divine abilities.
The couple left Dark Yin Celestial Tower hand in hand, with Ao Buzun, Lord Xiansheng, and other demon cultivators who did not have the patience to study the sword formation followed closely behind them. Huang Liang, too, was coming with them, leading a group of captains who were absolutely loyal to Wu Qi, after being brainwashed for over a thousand years. The cultivation technique of the human race was easy to achieve a considerable result in a short period of time, so over the years, Wu Qi had accumulated tens of thousands of soldiers and captains whose cultivation bases were at the Second Pangu Heaven. Those who followed them now were hundreds of captains whose cultivation bases were at the Eight or Nine Stars Realm of the Second Pangu Heaven.
They were armed to the teeth, clad in armors of supreme-grade and holding weapons of the same grade Wu Qi had personally crafted for them over the years.
For more than a thousand years, Wu Qi had been helping everyone without a break. He had trained with them, channeled his own blood essence and energy essence to them, crafted various armors and weapons, and even helped Patriarch Jiang Yun to concoct pills and draw talismans. If he had not had eighteen clones sharing all the tasks, he would have died of weariness. He had to take care of more than a million people, and even though he only focused his time and effort on a handful elite, it was still too much work for him.
But now, when he looked over his shoulder at the captains in their shining armors and towering killing intents, he was swelled with pride. He threw his head back and gave a wild laugh, then put his arm around the princess's waist and strode on.
With Princess Zhang Le's help, it took the company only two or three short breaths of time to come back up the surface. Quietly and stealthily, they stood atop the roof of the tallest building, fixing their gazes at King Bai Shan and his men, who were carefully approaching.
Under cover of the night, the twenty thousand soldiers led by King Bai Shan had divided into two thousand teams, and were approaching the heart of the palaces from all directions. They moved swiftly and quietly like passing clouds, and with just a few leaps they were dozens of miles closer.
The two palaces Emperor Haozun had given Wu Qi occupied a land hundreds of miles around, and they came with guards, maidservants, and many eunuchs. Wu Qi was an easy master, for most of the time he dwelt in seclusion and rarely made an appearance in front of the servants. As it was late at night now, all the maidservants and eunuchs had gone to bed. Only the guards on night watch were walking about absentmindedly.
Wu Qi's foundation in Liangzhu was, after all, still shallow. He did not have any kin here, and he did not store any important things in the palaces. So, there was no pressure on the guards, and the night watch was no more than a show. Ignoring the fact that there was no thieve in Liangzhu, even if there were, there was nothing valuable they could steal and no important person they could hurt.
But King Bai Shan's soldiers did not think so. They invaded the palaces like a fierce flood, killing all the living things along the way. Guards of the night watch, maidservants and eunuchs sleeping on their beds, trained birds and animals used by the night patrols, every living being were killed by these fearsome and savage soldiers.
"Even birds and dogs are not spared!" said Wu Qi, his lips twitched. "Is there really such a great hatred between me and him?"
Though it was dark, he and others could clearly see the soldiers' actions. When he saw a captain, whose cultivation base was at the Seven Stars Realm of the Second Pangu Heaven, crushed a cricket that jumped out of the grass with a foot, Wu Qi could not help but grumble, "Not only are you killing my dogs and birds, you even want to kill all the insects? Do you really hate me that much?"
Everyone was shocked when they saw a few invaders jumped up a tree, strangled all the birds in a few nests, adult or nestling, and crushed all the eggs. Even Tu Xiaobai, the gentlest demon cultivator among the others, waved her little fist in anger.
In her human form, Tu Xiaobai was petite and cute, with a height half that of a teenage girl. Because of the rabbit's nature, she was usually gentle and kind, not willing to argue with others, let alone fight. But when she saw the intruders did not even spare the eggs in the nests, she could not help but growled furiously, "Master, these men deserve to die ten thousand deaths!"
"Yes, they deserve to die. Let me teach them a lesson first!" said Princess Zhang Le coldly.
Her hands began to move gently in the air. Silently, her divine power poured forth, and she had locked on all the over twenty thousand soldiers with her divine soul. But she did not attack them. Instead, she followed an invisible thread stretching out of each soldier's body and found their kin. Behind each of these soldiers was a large clan, some of which had more than several thousand people.
Grinning coldly, she weaved these threads into a gray net invisible to the naked eyes. When she was done, the God of Plague hovering over her puffed out a mouthful of gray smoke. In just the blink of an eye, all the kin of these soldiers were infected with all kinds of strange sicknesses.
Wu Qi could not help but marvel at Princess Zhang Le's attainments in divine arts. Such means of manipulating the lives of others was not yet mastered by him. The terrible power that could kill one's whole family secretly had made him raised his alertness against the Gods who he might have to face in the future.
In addition to the soldiers, King Bai Shan also brought thousands of Oracles dressed in black. They too had divided into nearly a thousand squads, and were following silently after the soldiers. As they pressed on, they threw numerous bone talismans, spirit bones, flags, and formation discs all over the place, and quickly constructed a formation with both of Wu Qi's palaces in the center. It was called the 'Ten Traps Formation', a formation the Directorate of Celestial used to trap and kill powerful enemies.
It could trap heaven, earth, god, immortal, buddha, fiend, ghost, demon, spirit, and human, fuse with all the most murderous energies in the world, and wipe out all the lives within the formation. As the Oracles worked restlessly, a faint black mist began to rose from the ground, spreading out in all directions. Plants and trees died and rotted, buildings collapsed and decayed; what remained in place where the black mist swept past was a lifeless, rotten land.
"Aye, it looks like he really hates me to the bone. I thought I've only killed his two sons?" Wu Qi frowned and sighed, then he shouted an order, "Construct the formation!"
With Kunwu Swords in hands, the group of more than three hundred Gold Immortals selected by Patriarch Jiang Yun had sneaked behind King Bai Shan and his men and formed a circle a thousand miles in diameter. At Wu Qi's order, they unleashed their swords at the same time.
Sword beams invisible to the naked eyes flew up into the sky, slowly drawing over natural energy in the surrounding to construct the Fiend Slaying Sword Formation.
A colossal iron plate was quietly appearing in front of King Bai Shan, who was dashing forward in a blaze of anger.