After staying out of touch with worldly affairs, Zhou Bao seemed to have all the time in the world. In his spare time, he usually played with his two children in the inner yard and slept with Yan Yunfei. When he was in the mood, he would exercise in order to tone his muscles. Sometimes, he really felt like a retiree.
But was that the actual situation?
For the entire three months, he spent most of his time in the Sea of Divine Power, honing his punching skills and practicing the Mysterious Divine Light. Meanwhile, he began to pay attention to all the happenings in the Azure Big World.
After all, he had no choice!
He had been wondering ever since Mysterious Turtle Sage told him the secret of the Infinite Star Sea. When the 99 Emperors in antiquity times suppressed the Primordial Demon, would the said Primordial Demon have anything to do with Azure Heaven?
It was unlikely, though. For there was a Void Map in the Sealed Land of every Demon. But what if the Emperor of Azure Heaven had gone mad?
Primordial Demons had the power to destroy the world, but their bodies were filled with treasures. If someone could refine them completely, he would reap numerous benefits. Therefore, once the Emperor of Azure Heaven came up with this idea, it was possible for him to link his Azure Heaven, one of the 33 Heavens, to the Sealed Land.
Due to the Wheel of Time, the time in the Azure Heaven was twice as long than the outside world. Taking this opportunity, Zhou Bao combed the whole Azure Heaven thoroughly during the three months. He discovered many mysteries, but he was not satisfied until he had confirmed that these places had little or nothing to do with the sealed Primordial Demon.
As for the problems in the Azure Big World, Zhou Bao did not want to intervene. Now, the Azure Big World had begun to look like a macro world. Inside, the Yang True Fire and the Yin Evil Qi had turned into a sun and a moon, alternating between day and night. It was only in the early stages, but it seemed to be working well. Besides, the Essential Qi Tide had begun to ebb as the rules of Great Ways were completed. Life at the bottom of the food chain had more room to live, and other creatures had opened their spiritual intelligence to absorbing the Sun and Moon Essence.
Above all, the endless resources and spiritual things in Azure Heaven were available to him. Most of these things didn't work for him, but they were good for building up his subordinates' strength.
But he dared not overdo it. No one in Azure Big World dared to question his actions in such a macro world. What his Wuyang Region needed was only a drop in the ocean. However if he did it too conspicuously, it would certainly arouse the suspicions of those who had been keeping an eye on him. Zhou Bao was not really bothered by it, but if word got out, it would cause a lot of trouble.
Over the course of three months, there had been a bizarre scramble for medicinal herbs in the Jin following a leak of prescriptions for the elixir. Big store druggists and small drug dealers made a fortune. And the most aggressive buyers, of course, were the nine biggest well-known families, as well as Anyuan Store.
Anyuan Store had shown a tremendous amount of financial power in the race to procure medicinal herbs. They had snapped up a third of the medicinal herbs on the market used to make two kinds of elixirs. In addition, they also bought up a lot of medicinal herbs that were not on the prescription list of the elixirs. However, no one cared about this.
Neither the nine biggest well-known families nor some martial arts schools dared to speak out against Anyuan Store. Although Anyuan Store was a merchant store, the medicinal herbs were not for sale but were shipped to Wuyang Region through Wuyang Road. For hundreds of thousands of kilometers, the escorts were just a few masters and soldiers with cultivation less than Level Seven. However, no influence dared to attack them to get the much sought after medicinal herbs.
It was because they heeded the warning after the incident of the South Mountains.
Crazy Zhou Bao had mercilessly destroyed the Qin family, which had existed for thousands of years. The reason being that their men had attacked several ancient couriers on Wuyang Road. And these influences were aware that they were not as powerful as the Qin Family.
Of course, they did not know that Zhou Bao had been forced by the five biggest sects and eight biggest well-known families to keep out of worldly affairs or, it might have been a different story. Even those who knew that Zhou Bao was now under restraint, did not dare to act rashly. The five biggest sects didn't care. As for the eight biggest well-known families, although they were rooted in the secular world, the strongest in these families were all immortals. If they did something, Zhou Bao would not find fault with the family, but would fight against their Metaphysic Individual Immortals and kill them. In this way, it was not considered a worldly affair. By that time, they would have regretted it already.
A millennium family without Individual Immortals would not have enough strength to rule its roost and could only be called a second-rate well-known family. Hence, the eight biggest well-known families did not dare to play any tricks in secret. They could only watch as Anyuan Store's carriages passed through Wuyang Road continuously.
In fact, even if they did not care about these, they did not have the courage to act on Wuyang Road, because there was a clause in their agreement with Zhou Bao. Zhou Bao had added a condition which was in his favor. That was, if anyone should create trouble in the territory of Wuyang Region, for whatever reason, they would be pursued by Zhou Bao. This was also the unspoken rule in each family. The Patriarchs of Individual Immortals of the family did not usually intervene in family affairs, but once the family was under attack, they would then make a move. Otherwise, what was their use?
The five biggest sects had no objection to this condition. However there was a limit on the scope of Wuyang Region, which was now under the jurisdiction of Wuyang Region, regardless how much the territory expanded in the future. Or else, if Zhou Bao wanted to become an Emperor on a whim and start attacking all the territories, every area conquered by him then would belong to Wuyang Region. In the event he should seize the whole of Central Mainland Region, then it was within his rights to intervene in everything in the Central Mainland Region.
Zhou Bao agreed, but included Wuyang Road, which stretched for hundreds of thousands of kilometers, into the territory of Wuyang Region. This condition, though initially disputed, was finally agreed on.
Emissaries of the eight families had no right to interfere at that time. Had it not been for the sake of the five biggest sects, Zhou Bao would have driven them all out and talked only with the emissaries of the five biggest sects. Therefore, although these eight families were present at this historic meeting, they had no say at all.
Even so, they dared not voice the slightest dissatisfaction, for fear of offending Zhou Bao, in case he turned capricious and decided to kill someone on the spot.
Carriages filled with medicinal herbs were sent to Wuyang Region. Think of the number of Bone-Forging Pills and Pulse-Setting Pills that would be refined! And the number of masters and experts that would be cultivated!
No one could figure it out, because no one knew exactly how much medicinal herbs Anyuan Store had snapped up. Due to the substantial purchases and monopoly by Anyuan Store, the competition for limited medicinal herbs had multiplied. Three months had already passed and there was still no sign of stopping. The eight biggest well-known families, however, were already overwhelmed and started to negotiate. However, these were all worldly affairs, and Zhou Bao didn't pay much attention to them. Neither did he pay much attention to the amount of medicinal herbs entering his territory. The prescriptions of Bone-Forging Pill and Pulse-Setting Pill had been leaked out, so it was not difficult to refine them. Besides, he had been able to make them since he was a mere child. It was therefore impossible for Wuyang Region, with the resources, not to be able to make it.
Over the years, Wuyang Region had set up a complete management system. Even if something eventful happened, he did not have to deal with it, because his subordinates would handle it. His responsibility was to protect the territory at critical times and give a general rule on how to use elixirs. After all, the dynamics and direction of the whole Wuyang Region still needed to come under his control.
Zhou Bao was a little tired of this, but had no choice.
The fifth year of Yongping passed amid the hustle and bustle.
One day, Zhou Bao felt very idle and went to do a closed-door training. All of a sudden, he felt his heart blood surging, as if something vital had happened. He frowned.
After nearly a year of practicing, he had almost broken through to the Blood-changing Realm. However, for some reason it seemed as if there was always a thin line between the Pulse-steadying Realm and the Blood-changing Realm, which he could not get through. This made him a little anxious. Now, suddenly, he had a bad feeling. He did not have the skill of divination, but he had his own ways of finding out. Immediately leaving the Sea of Divine Power, Zhou Bao returned to Wuyang Region, where he summoned Jiang Xiao and asked him for updates of world happenings that had occurred recently. He did not have a good grasp of the events, but he did learn something through his questions.
"Traces of divine beast Kylin have been found in the underground fire vein of the Greensword Mountain in Sui Province?" Zhou Bao raised his eyebrows and looked at Jiang Xiao, "Is it true?"
"I don't know. This news has been going around. Even if it's not true, it has become true. Tian Long Taoism and Sect of Flame have sent some people there. The eight biggest well-known families and the newly built School of Five Virtues have also sent many experts. As for Anyuan Store, I arranged several masters to go there. But I only asked them to go and confirm the facts and not to fight."
"I see. You did a good job. You can go back!"
"Yes!" Zhou Bao had suddenly summoned him, and immediately asked him to leave. This made Jiang Xiao feel little odd, but he did not dare to disobey the order, so he bowed and left.
It was not because Zhou Bao had no further questions to ask, but because when Jiang Xiao mentioned the divine beast Kylin, Zhou Bao clearly felt a strange message coming from his bloodline. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far