Volume 1 –
Chapter 126: Entering the Blackcorpse Mountains
It was a sleepless night for Yanhaven.
A major purge played out as countless armored soldiers and energy arts masters descended ruthlessly on the Wang Clan, apprehending everyone in their headquarters, and then pillaging it. Screams and howls echoed through the city as the other rich, aristocratic clans waited, trembling, for the night to pass.
Never for all eternity would they be able to forget the sight of Yang Qi slaying the mighty Blightking Skulkdevil, a top expert from the House of Shadowblight, who ended up as nothing more than ash drifting in the wind.
As for the experts from the House of Spring and Autumn, they had been captured and imprisoned.
In the past, they had feared the name of the Demi-Immortal Institute, but not necessarily Yang Qi himself. Now they were terrified by him, a feeling which was already turning into veneration.
Yang Zhan had just declared himself king, and was not in a very stable position. Although many of the aristocratic clans had agreed to act as ministers in his government, the truth was that many of them were up to mischief, and were wrangling over financial and military matters.
But now, all of them understood how truly powerful Yang Qi had become, and they knew that struggling against the Yang Clan was futile.
In a study in the royal palace, Yang Zhan nodded as he listened to a report regarding the wealth which had been confiscated from the Wang Clan. He couldn’t have been in a better mood. Not only had a major catastrophe been averted, but he was now a Lifeseizer, and had taken a major step to consolidating his royal power in Yanhaven. From now on, the Yang Clan would be as famous and glorious as the sun in the noon sky. Even some of the most powerful organizations in the land would hesitate before thinking of invading their territory.
If they played their cards right, it wouldn’t be impossible to establish a thousand-year legacy.
“Father,” Yang Qi said, “I’m going to head into the Blackcorpse Mountains for some more training. You help eldest brother and second brother with their cultivation. Once I find the right spirit medicine, I’ll help them to reach the Lifeseizing level as well. One of these days, I’ll be strong enough to go to the Hanging Mountain to look for mother.”
“Very well, Qi’er. It’s still hard to believe that you’ve become so strong. However, the Demi-Immortal Institute is full of hidden dragons and crouching tigers. You’d do best to keep the true level of your power a secret.”
“I’ll keep that in mind, Father. By the way, I’ve finished setting up the energy formation of the dao of monarchs in a secret chamber beneath the palace. Considering that eldest brother and second brother already have the Four Seasons Swordplay deeply rooted within them, all they need to do is work on their cultivation in that formation, and they’ll definitely advance by leaps and bounds. Also, I suggest you promote some of the younger, loyal clan members, and give the chief elders less attention. It’s easier to foster devotion amongst the younger generation. You know the old saying, right?
Whoever provides milk is your mother
. The loyalties of the elders are definitely just a matter of convenience for them.”
“Don’t worry, Third Brother,” Yang Yunchong said. “We’ll handle all of the clan affairs properly. The chief elders have long since become useless. We’ll definitely focus our efforts on the energetic young ones. As for the older ones, as long as they don’t betray us, we’ll let them live out their days in peace.”
“Good,” Yang Qi replied, his eyes glittering. “Once I’ve fully established a power base in the Demi-Immortal Institute, I’ll arrange for your children to go there to study.”
By this point, both of his brothers were married and had children.
Now, he was the only one who was single.
Considering that he was nineteen, tradition dictated that he should be married already. But Yang Zhan knew that his son had a long road ahead of him, and plenty of longevity to work with. Therefore, such matters could wait until later.
“Be careful in the Blackcorpse Mountains, Qi’er.”
“Don’t worry.” With that, Yang Qi rose to his feet, simultaneously summoning a manifestation of Humanoid True Energy. It looked exactly like him in every way, so lifelike that it even had body heat.
Yang Qi’s true energy had reached such a high level that his Humanoid True Energy was almost like an out-of-body incarnation, a second nascent divinity.
“I’ll leave behind this Humanoid True Energy to wait for the elder from the House of Spring and Autumn. Hopefully we can resolve the issues with them once and for all. Once that elder arrives, I’ll hurry back from the Blackcorpse Mountains. It should only take a few breaths worth of time.”
Of course, considering that Yang Zhan himself was now a Lifeseizer, the reputation of the Yang Clan itself would be enough to resolve many sticky situations.
Having made all of the necessary arrangements, Yang Qi flew up into the air and vanished.
Yang Zhan watched his mysterious, powerful son leaving, and then sighed. “Greensura, can you see all of this? Your son only continues to grow more and more powerful. Soon, he’ll be the rival of Great Sages. He’ll definitely come to look for you in the Hanging Mountain one day.”
Yundale-by-the-Sea was located on the bluffs overlooking the ocean. It was a flourishing city that had already come to be called the State of Yun. Troops patrolled the streets, and a steady flow of merchants came and went among the countless docks.
This city was many, many times larger than Yanhaven, and the ruler of it all was Yun Hailan’s father, Yun Zhonglong.
He was currently sitting in a study in his mansion, opposite of a middle-aged man who was none other than Yan Gufeng. After being driven out of Yanhaven, he had shifted his loyalties to Yundale-by-the-Sea, or more properly, the State of Yun.
“I’m very pleased to have you on our side now, Yan Gufeng.” Both of these men were Masters of Energy, and city magistrates as well.
“After being driven out by the Yang Clan, I became little more than a stray dog. I’m very grateful for how you’ve treated me, Supreme Leader.” Although Yan Gufeng kept his expression placid, it was impossible to conceal the raging enmity in his eyes. “My daughter is studying at the True Dragon Institute, and was recently promoted. Furthermore, she’s in the good graces of one of the top experts there. Sooner or later, she’ll get revenge for me. She definitely won’t let the Yang Clan get away with this.”
“Getting revenge will be easier said than done,” Yun Zhonglong said with a faint smile. “I heard that Yang Qi joined the Demi-Immortal Institute, and that he’s already reached the Lifeseizing level. That makes him an elite student there. With every day that passes, he seems to be getting more powerful.”
“I heard that too. Your daughter is in the Demi-Immortal Institute as well, and has the backing of a very powerful person. She’s also an elite student, correct? From what I understand, it was for the purpose of awakening the blood of the sea god in her that she had Yang Qi steal that Latent Dragon Pill. I think you owe me some help here, Supreme Leader. Yang Qi hates your daughter, and will definitely try to get revenge eventually. Both you and I have grudges with the Yang Clan that can only be ended in death. You understand all of this, right?”
Yun Zhonglong nodded. “Of course I understand.”
At this point, a light tapping could be heard on the door.
“Come in,” Yun Zhonglong said.
One of Yun Zhonglong’s agents entered and kneeled. Voice trembling, he said, “Supreme Leader, I have some bad news. I just received a report about something that happened in Yanhaven yesterday. Yang Qi returned home to visit his family, and both the House of Spring and Autumn and the House of Shadowblight showed up. In the end, Yang Qi completely decimated Blightking Skulkdevil from the House of Shadowblight, a Secondary Lifeseizer. He reduced him to nothing more than ashes….”
“What?” Yun Zhonglong grabbed the report and read every word. After reaching the end, he sagged into his chair, seemingly having aged by an entire decade. “Yang Zhan’s a Lifeseizer now too….”
“This is big news,” Yan Gufeng said. “Supreme Leader, may I read the report as well?”
“Take a look,” Yun Zhonglong replied, handing the report to him.
Yan Gufeng read it, and his face fell. Hands trembling, he said, “Is Yang Qi a god from heaven descended into the mortal world? How could he be this strong? What did he learn at the Demi-Immortal Institute? No. Wait. This doesn’t have anything to do with the institute, does it? It must be that lightning strike! My subordinate Luo Hun crippled his energy arts, and then he was struck by lightning. That’s when everything changed.”
After a long moment passed, Yun Zhonglong took a deep breath and said, “Quick, send a message to my daughter and tell her what’s happened! There’s something very mysterious about this Yang Qi. My daughter surely has connections at the Demi-Immortal Institute that can help.” Looking back at Yan Gufeng, he continued, “The time has come to take a trip out to the sea. We need to talk to one of the Seafolk kings.”
Meanwhile, in the Heaven Lode Mountains, high above the sea of clouds, Yun Hailan had just emerged from the Minorcosm World. The first thing she noticed was an eagle flying toward her; she reached out, and it landed on her arm, allowing her to take the message from its leg.
‘A letter from home?’ The eagle flew away, and she opened the message. ‘Yang Qi went home. How did he get so powerful? He helped his father to reach the Lifeseizing level? How did he do it? Didn’t I tell Song Haishan and the Crown Prince Society to keep an eye on him? Why didn’t they tell me about this?’
Without any hesitation, she flew down from the clouds and left the Heaven Lode Mountains. Back in the main part of the institute, she was greeted by some of the high-ranking members of the Crown Prince Society. Considering that she had the favor of the Crown Prince, and also had Patriarchs Wind and Cloud as her masters, everyone was quick to fawn over her.
“Where’s Jiang Fan and Song Haishan?” she asked coldly. “Bring them to me.”
“Elder Brother Jiang Fan went to stir up trouble with Yang Qi. However, it seems Yang Qi knew what was coming, and went into hiding. Later, Jiang Fan sent a message indicating that he and Song Haishan went out on a mission. They haven’t reported back yet.”
The fact that Song Haishan and Gu Fenxian were dead was still a big secret. Jiang Fan and the others were still away from the sect, and were planning to wait until their return before reporting the deaths.
However, Yun Hailan was clever enough to be suspicious about the situation.
“The Crown Prince Society has secret ways to transmit messages, right? Send word to them to return immediately. We have something very important to discuss.”
After she entered her room, the members of the Crown Prince Society exchanged glances and then shook their heads.
“This girl is advancing like crazy. What level is she now, anyway? Do we really need to contact Elder Brother Jiang Fan?”