Volume 1 –
Chapter 16: Profoundly Shocking
“Thankfully some noble and qualified young hero was around to kill the villains from the House of Shadowblight!” Yan Gufeng said. “Who was he? Do I know him? I definitely need to offer my profound thanks to whoever he is. Which clan did he come from? Or was he someone from the senior generation?”
“I believe you do know him, Father. He’s a prodigy from the Yang Clan. Despite being only in the sixth phase of energy arts, he’s by no means inferior to experts in the seventh phase. If he were a member of the True Dragon Institute, he would be considered a top-rate genius.” Yan Feixia had nothing but praise for Yang Qi. After all, she had personally witnessed his grand performance; not only had he vanquished the Golden Bell Rampart, he had easily dispatched the leader of the black-garbed men. As such, she had a glowing impression of him.
In fact, never before had she encountered someone like him among her peers.
Yang Qi hadn’t even practiced cultivation to the peak of his current level, and yet possessed the power to cow countless devils and gods.
In response to his daughter’s words, Yan Gufeng’s expression flickered. “A prodigy from the Yang Clan? Who, exactly?”
“Yang Qi,” she replied.
His face fell, and he nearly lost control over his energy arts. “What? Yang Qi? Are you sure it was him? Impossible! His energy arts were crippled by Luo Hun! And then he was struck by lightning! How could he possibly have been the one to help you?”
“I hadn’t heard about that,” said Yan Feixia, clearly surprised. “Father, why did Luo Hun cripple his energy arts?”
Yan Gufeng let out a cold snort, and his eyes flashed with killing intent. “That little punk stole my Latent Dragon Pill. As you know, it was years ago that I traveled far and wide in my quest to acquire the two Latent Dragon Pills that were all that remained of the legacy of Daoist Master Latent Dragon. By consuming one of the pills, I was able to reach the Master of Energy level. I’d planned to give the other one to you, and was merely waiting for you to return to visit. It would definitely have boosted both your energy arts and your place in the True Dragon Institute. But then that brat came along and stole it! I was so angry I wanted to just kill him. The only reason I didn’t was because of Yang Susu and her place at the Demi-Immortal Institute.”
“Father, I only just met Yang Qi, but he seemed like quite the heroic individual. Why would he steal your Latent Dragon Pill? Could it all have been some misunderstanding? Besides, didn’t you keep the Latent Dragon Pill guarded in a secret chamber? How could he even have stolen it to begin with?”
“Someone in the know gave him information about the chamber itself!” Yan Gufeng said angrily. “And he used a host of other methods to get inside. I investigated things later on, and as it turns out, that siren Yun Hailan from Yundale-by-the-Sea seduced him. When she realized that the city magistrate’s mansion had a lot of dealings with the Yang Clan, she pulled him into her scheme. In the end, the little punk just turned out to be a complete and utter fool.”
Yan Feixia frowned. “But how could his energy arts have recovered? And how did he end up being so powerful?”
After a moment of silence, Yan Gufeng waved his arm to send a blast of energy out of his chamber, which caused quite the stir within the mansion, and said, “Men, enter!”
Moments later, numerous figures came hurrying in, all of them wearing fancy, embroidered garments. Dropping to their knees, they joined their voices together to offer greetings.
“Our respects, Lord, Miss!”
Considering that Yan Gufeng presided over armies of followers, it was easy for him to summon top masters to do work like this. “Supposedly that brat from the Yang Clan got his energy arts back. Go investigate the matter immediately!”
The masters all kowtowed and then vanished. About an hour later, they returned and assembled outside of his chamber. However, the one to actually enter and report was the hulking brute of a man, Luo Hun. Dropping to his knees, he said, “City Magistrate, it seems that the young miss heard correctly. That punk Yang Qi actually benefited from being struck by lightning. I’m not sure what exactly changed or transformed about him, but I confirmed that his true energy is stronger than ever. Despite only being in the fifth phase, he made a big splash at the Yang Clan forum, and actually defeated Yang Kui of the senior generation, who’s in the sixth phase. He performed so outstandingly that even one of their chief elders praised him.”
Yan Gufeng was indeed a powerful person, with deep access to intelligence resources. Many of the rich and powerful clans in the city had no idea what had occurred in the Yang Clan forum, and yet, in one short hour, his men uncovered all of the details.
“Struck by lightning? Experienced some transformation? How did that kid get so lucky?” A thoughtful expression could be seen on Yan Gufeng’s face as he pondered the situation. “He broke through from the fourth phase into the fifth, and is now all the way into the sixth. Daughter, are you sure his energy arts are in the sixth phase?”
“Absolutely. Otherwise, how could he have defeated an expert from the House of Shadowblight who is in the seventh?” With that, Yan Feixia went on to provide a detailed recounting of the fight.
Yan Gufeng listened with increasing shock. “You’re telling me that Yang Qi, who is only in the sixth phase, actually defeated an expert in the seventh phase, who was using the Golden Bell Rampart? And his opponent was boosting his own energy arts with a magical item? This is extraordinary!”
Considering how advanced his cultivation base was, he was very familiar with the differences between various cultivation levels. Fundamentally speaking, it was almost impossible for someone in the sixth phase to fight someone in the seventh. Only the most spectacular of geniuses could do something like that. And that was without even taking into consideration that the enemy had been using the Golden Bell Rampart.
That made things even more astounding.
‘What secrets does this kid have?’ Yan Gufeng thought. ‘It can’t be as simple as having been struck by lightning….’
When Yan Feixia saw how angry her father looked, she couldn’t help but say, “Father, it doesn’t really matter. He saved my life, and I’ll never be able to forget that. He was tricked into stealing the Latent Dragon Pill, wasn’t he? And didn’t the Yang Clan provide compensation already?”
“Fine,” Yan Gufeng said, his tone softer than before. “I won’t look into the matter any further. Originally I was going to make sure the Yang Clan was wiped out from Yanhaven, but now…. Luo Hun.”
“Sir?” Luo Hun said. “What orders do you have?”
“Carry out another investigation, this time, into the House of Shadowblight. Find out how strong they are, and what exactly they want in this area. What gave them the guts to come to Yanhaven and threaten my daughter?
“Daughter, spend the next few days in rest. Go see your brothers and sisters, and give them some tips regarding the energy arts of the True Dragon Institute. If any of them qualify, perhaps you could take them back with you to study.”
The True Dragon Institute was one of the largest institutions in the Rich-Lush Continent. Although they hadn’t been around as long as the Demi-Immortal Institute, they were at least comparable. Most people considered them to be in the top five, placing them far beyond the House of Shadowblight in terms of power.
“Very well, Father,” Yan Feixia said. After all, she had wasted a lot of true energy in her fight with the black-garbed men, and was feeling particularly exhausted.
After his daughter left, Yan Gufeng sat back down in his throne and thought about the situation for a bit more. Eventually, a smile touched his lips. ‘So, a new freak has appeared in the Yang Clan. That brat actually benefited from his catastrophe, and experienced a body tempering because of the lightning strike. I’ve heard of things like this happening before…. The Yang Clan has always been a big threat. If this kid continues to advance like this, then within ten years, we’ll have another Master of Energy to worry about. And Yang Zhan is already on the verge of reaching it as well. Pretty soon, my position as city magistrate will be difficult to defend. It’s not uncommon for the aristocratic clans to rise up in rebellion, kill the city magistrate, and take over the city.’
The cities in the Rich-Lush Continent were mostly self-governing, and were like city-states. Although they offered tribute to the Sage Ancestor Dynasty, that was where the relationship ended.
As for the aristocratic clans within the cities, they were like vassals underneath the city magistrate’s mansion. And many of them were more than happy to revolt and kill the person they served.
In fact, such events were so common that virtually all city magistrates had to be on guard against the possibility. Most of the time, the Sage Ancestor Dynasty wouldn’t pay any attention to such things, as long as their yearly tributes always came in.
Besides, the Sage Ancestor Dynasty was on the decline, ensuring that the hundreds upon hundreds of nations in the Rich-Lush Continent were always at odds. The number of groups who could be considered rebellious were too many to count.
Case in point: the numerous locations in the hundreds of kilometers surrounding Yanhaven that the Yan Clan controlled. Such places had a different name for the area they lived in. They called it the State of Yan. And in the grand scheme of things, Yanhaven was only a third-rate city, albeit within the top of that group. That having been said, considering the wealth they had access to, it was possible that they could gain even more honor and glory.
Slapping his hand on the table, Yan Gufeng said, “Luo Hun, spread word that in half a month, I want to invite all of the elite young ones from Yanhaven to a banquet. Make sure it’s common knowledge that my daughter Yan Feixia has returned from the True Dragon Institute for a visit, and that this is a welcoming feast. And if my daughter takes a liking to any of those who attend, I could very well pick him as a son-in-law….”
Luo Hun understood immediately. “Excellent idea, City Magistrate. First of all, this will give us a good idea of what aristocratic clans have been up to lately, and what level their top disciples have reached. Second, if we can use the other clans to kill Yang Qi and sow discord among them, then it will serve to consolidate your power.”
“That’s right, Luo Hun,” Yan Gufeng said coldly. “You’re as clever as always. Also, keep your eyes on Yang Zhan. He’s always been a talented individual, and I know he used an airmastery plant in the past. If he reaches the Master of Energy level, he’ll be a major threat to the Yan Clan. Furthermore, we need to consolidate power over all the clans in Yanhaven. If we do that, and also get the support of the True Dragon Institute, then we really can proclaim ourselves the State of Yan.”
Luo Hun shivered. “Proclaim ourselves the State of Yan? You mean declare independence from the Sage Ancestor Dynasty?”
“Exactly. If Yanhaven can become an independent nation, and then begins to absorb other cities, we will only continue to grow stronger and stronger. In the years to come, it would not be entirely impossible to unite the entire Rich-Lush Continent under our banner. I’ve already reached the peak of the Master of Energy level. If the right good fortune comes along, and I break into the Lifeseizing level, then I’ll increase my longevity. I could theoretically rule for hundreds of years! Perhaps thousands! That has been the dream of all the leaders of the Yan Clan, going all the way back to our founding ancestor. Much of this will depend on your help, Luo Hun!”
“Yes sir,” Luo Hun said, ducking his head in deference.