Volume 1 –
Chapter 147: Sword Training
Thus ended a spectacular battle, and a daring rescue.
Then, on an island of peach blossoms in the middle of the East Sea, fifteen people swore oaths to live and die together. Yang Qi was quite pleased with how it all turned out. Now he had sworn siblings from all corners of the lands. Having lots of good friends would always prove to be an advantage. And he would be reuniting with those friends sooner rather than later, at the big martial arts competition between the four institutes.
The fact that experts from all sorts of orthodox organizations would be invited to be spectators at the competition meant that it was a grand occasion involving the entire continent.
The Sage Ancestor Dynasty, which officially ruled over all the lands, would send representatives to oversee the occasion. Sometimes, the emperor himself would come to demonstrate his energy arts as a way of underscoring his majesty and might.
It was also an occasion in which the big institutes could show off their top geniuses.
Furthermore, it was a way for the institutes to identify their top talents, the individuals who would lead the future growth of their respective organizations.
Even more important, if the True Dragon, Sun-Moon, and Sea God Institutes could bring more genius experts to the competition than the Demi-Immortal Institute, it was entirely possible that the Demi-Immortal Institute would no longer be known as the number one institute in the lands.
That was something that the leadership of the Demi-Immortal Institute, the elders, grand elders, prime elders and prime paragon elders couldn’t possibly stand for.
Yang Qi had long since noticed the somewhat tense atmosphere in the institute recently. And many experts had gone into seclusion to work on their cultivation, including his Aunt Susu, and even Holy Daughter Manyflowers.
‘Right. I really need to get some life force springwater to Aunt Susu. She’ll really advance by leaps and bounds then. When Holy Daughter Manyflowers comes out of seclusion and sees me, she’s definitely going to be blown away.’
Unless Holy Daughter Manyflowers managed to reach the Legendary level, she would currently be at the same power level as Yang Qi. And if he went all out, he could probably best her. Of course, if she had become a Legendary, there would be no competition between them.
Unfortunately for her, there was no way Yang Qi would give her life force springwater to help her with a breakthrough. For one thing, it provided life force, not the vital energy that was necessary to reach the Legendary level. Even more pertinent, if word spread about the matter, and the people from the Crown Prince Society found out, they would instantly know that he was responsible for robbing them, which could prove troublesome.
Although Holy Daughter Manyflowers was powerful, she wasn’t powerful enough to protect him from the Crown Prince.
According to the stories, the Crown Prince wasn’t just a Legendary, he was a top expert among Legendaries. He was even more powerful than Patriarchs Wind and Cloud. Otherwise, those patriarchs wouldn’t have treated Holy Daughter Manyflowers so insultingly during their last meeting.
Yang Qi watched all of his new sworn siblings leaving. Eventually, he was alone on the island of peach blossoms, and yet, he didn’t leave. Instead, he decided to enjoy the lovely scenery for a bit.
Although this island had no name, the peach trees that covered it were not ordinary. They bloomed with spectacular colors, and emanated a strong medicinal aroma. They were also enormous, with dark green trunks that resembled jadeite.
Yang Qi sent out a stream of sword energy to slice a branch off one of the trees, whereupon an extremely fragrant, emerald-green sap flowed out. Clearly, these trees were very high-quality spirit plants.
Furthermore, after looking around the island more closely, it was obvious that the trees weren’t growing here naturally, they were being tended by human hands.
Upon arriving, neither Yang Qi nor any of his friends had seen any traces of habitation, nor had they seen any mansion grotto where someone might be in seclusion. That wasn’t necessarily unusual. Islands dotted the sea like stars in the sky or Go pieces on a Go board, whereas human beings were few and far between. Considering that there were underwater spirit meridians everywhere, it wasn’t unusual for energy arts masters to use islands like personal farms to raise spirit plants.
As such, it was likely that whoever tended these trees would eventually come back.
According to what Jun Tianchou had told Yang Qi, the numerous beautiful holy lands that existed in the region surrounding Fiend-Devil Island had long since been abandoned. Energy arts masters just didn’t want to deal with the constant threat of the fiend-devils.
Apparently, that was exactly what this island was.
Flying up into the air, Yang Qi looked around and confirmed that the island was only about five kilometers from end to end, and roughly crescent-shaped. Furthermore, from the various birds that flew about amongst the trees, it seemed unlikely that there were any dangerous devillings present.
Yang Qi sent his true energy out into the air, slowly covering the entire island. As he assessed its layout, he realized that there was some sort of spirit spring in the very middle of the island, emitting a steady stream of spirit energy.
‘No wonder. Without that spirit spring, it seems unlikely that all these trees would be growing here. The sap from the trees would help in energy arts cultivation even more than energy convergence pills. However, to a Lifeseizer, it would be relatively useless.’
Before going back to the Demi-Immortal Institute, Yang Qi wanted to do a bit of practice with his Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique and Invincible King’s Fist, and this deserted island seemed like the perfect place to do so.
Obviously, he couldn’t use his Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth in the middle of the big competition, with numerous experts all looking on. Even trying to use it in disguise would be too risky with so many extremely knowledgeable individuals present. Even the most righteous and sanctimonious energy artists would transform into worse fiends than Ghost Emperor Yama if they thought they could get their hands on a godly-class energy art. And the result would be his own death.
Despite all that, though, he didn’t want to just blindly press on without any greater strategy. Therefore, his plan was to take the true energy of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth and convert it into sword energy that could be used by his Cosmic Sunflare Sword. That would turn the sword technique into something that surpassed anything which had ever been seen, either in the past or the present.
With a sword technique like that, he would be like a shining sun high in the sky, capable of defeating any genius who tried to fight him.
With that, he made his way to the spirit spring in the middle of the island. Because of the spirit energy it emitted, everything surrounding it was completely pure and clean.
The mouth of the spring was like a little pond that stretched down to depths unknown. In fact, it was actually impossible to see its bottom, as though the spring descended into the very depths of the ocean.
Yang Qi sat down next to it and sent out a field of energy that would make him invisible to any people or demonlings who were observing from outside.
‘I need to thoroughly understand the Cosmic Sunflare Sword, and then combine it with my own true energy.’ Although the Cosmic Sunflare Sword was a royal-class energy art, it actually existed on the very cusp of imperial-class. The person who originally invented it used it to dominate all creation, to raze mountains to the ground and evaporate entire seas. Its sword energy was formed by the quintessence of the burning sun, and was capable of emitting heat like that of ten suns combined.
He had acquired the full and complete technique from the Demi-Immortal Institute some time ago, but had never spent the time to study it thoroughly.
The sun burned high in the sky, and as he began to work with the technique, a smaller sun appeared above his head. Two suns shone with brilliant radiance, causing the entire island of peach trees to be covered with golden light.
From a distance, the island almost looked like it was on fire.
‘Sword Energy Convergence!’ As he continued to work with the technique, the sword energy of the Cosmic Sunflare Sword became a swirling, golden vortex as the sunlight was sucked into it. The quintessence of the burning sun in the sky created numerous shafts of bright light, inborn flame that writhed like fiery serpents.
‘Sensing the Star God!’ Yang Qi’s sword energy vortex was like a black hole, dragging all of the light in the area into it, and causing the devillings nearby to sink down to the depths of the ocean in fear.
Eventually, the gravitational force began to drag the energy from the spirit spring into it, combining it with the aggressive, masculine energy therein.
As of this moment, Yang Qi had pushed his Cosmic Sunflare Sword to the level of Sensing the Star God.
That indicated that his version of the technique had reached the level intended by its original creator. He could actually sense the star god that existed in the huge sun overhead, and could call on its power by communicating to it with his nascent divinity. Even in the pitch black of night, his sword energy could summon burning true flame of the sun that would dispel all darkness.
By cultivating it to the proper level, one could literally turn night into day. In fact, experts of the past had used that ability to create areas around them that didn’t see night for months at a time.
Obviously, that was something that came with the Legendary level, as it involved mysterious transformations of the magical laws of space.
Once Yang Qi succeeded with Sensing the Star God, he felt his true energy flowing into the sword energy vortex, and reaching an indescribable state.
A boom rang out as the sword energy shot upward, causing everything for fifty kilometers to tremble, heading into the sea of clouds and then beyond.
Yang Qi could sense that, far out into the void, there was a sphere of fire, burning endlessly, majestic beyond the compare of any human. It was a thing of god-spirits, something created by the legion of gods. It was the sun! The sun!
The sun was something that surpassed Legendaries or Great Sages. In fact, compared to that massive entity, a Great Sage would be like nothing more than an ant.
With his thoughts cast into the sword energy, Yang Qi could feel the enormous burning sun, and could sense the intense heat branding itself onto his soul.
Finally, the sword energy returned to him, causing endless sparks to rain down on the island of peach trees.
It was a heavenly sign that his energy art had stirred the inborn flame of the sun itself.
In that moment, something deep in the island reacted to the sword energy, and stirred. Suddenly, the spirit spring turned intensely cold.