Volume 1 –
Chapter 33: Disciples of the House of Spring and Autumn
All five of these disciples from the House of Spring and Autumn had profound energy arts. Yang Qi’s initial guess was that they were all in the eighth phase, and were capable of using Mind Incarnation. In that case, they were roughly equivalent to a clan lord from one of the rich and powerful clans in Yanhaven.
However, considering they were from the majestic House of Spring and Autumn, that meant that even if their cultivation base was on the same level of a clan lord, they would definitely be much more dangerous.
It was similar to Yang Qi who, despite being in the seventh phase, could still overcome nearly a dozen eighth phase experts. Only a Master of Energy would have a chance of beating him in a fight.
As for these five, because they were backed by a mighty sect, they felt that they could essentially do whatever they wanted. But there was no way Yang Qi would accept that. He had come here to seize the wealth of the Chen Clan, and conscript all of their people into servitude. He didn’t care how impressive their sect was; if he had to, he would kill these five disciples to keep what was his.
When the young man with the sword felt the gust of air that preceded the fist strike, and realized that Yang Qi was actually attacking him, his heart surged with murderous anger. “Nouveau riche yokel! How dare you insult the House of Spring and Autumn like this! Maybe you wiped out the Chen Clan today, but tomorrow, it’s going to be your turn!”
His sword began to dance like a snake, sending sword light swirling into the air, along with cracking sounds like water freezing into ice and then breaking. Frost even began to spread out on the ground in the area.
Autumn Frost Blankets the Earth!
This was a royal-class energy art from the House of Spring and Autumn, called Four Seasons Swordplay, which could draw upon the power of spring, summer, autumn, and winter to wither all living things. When it was used in a fight, it was as though the power of nature itself was at play, like the most primeval elements of heaven and earth being used as a martial art.
The blast of air caused by the fist strike was instantly dispelled by the snake-like sword light, which then went on to strike toward the pit of Yang Qi’s stomach.
‘The martial disciplines of the House of Spring and Autumn are extraordinary!’ he thought, shocked. To him, it felt like the transition of autumn into winter was something that existed on a higher level than his Invincible King’s Fist. And truth be told, it was only royal-class energy arts that could evoke meteorological or astronomical phenomena.
In the blink of an eye, his fist struck the shining sword light.
The sword pierced his skin, but was rebuffed by the membrane that existed beneath it.
And yet, for some reason, sword energy still entered his meridians, filled with a sensation of autumn frost or winter snow.
The young man who wielded the sword saw all of this happen, watching as a layer of frost immediately covered Yang Qi, and frigid energy began to build up like clouds over his head. Moments later, snowflakes began to pour down, until Yang Qi looked almost like an ice sculpture.
“Elder Brother,” one of the young women said, “you’ve taken the two forms of the Four Seasons Swordplay all the way to the point of ultimate perfection! You have autumn and winter completely mastered. If you can unleash the rain of spring and the lightning of summer, then you’ll be able to step into the Master of Energy level. If you use a royal-class energy art to become a Master of Energy, you’ll be exponentially more powerful than any nouveau riche, country bumpkin Master of Energy.”
“That’s right,” another of the disciples added. “In all of Yanhaven, there are only two Masters of Energy. One is Yan Gufeng, and yet, his cultivation base is so-so at best. The other is Yang Zhan, and he’s even worse. A real moron.”
“Kill Yang Zhan’s son, and then we’ll go take him out. How dare they insult the House of Spring and Autumn like this? How could they possibly have the gall to behave so disgracefully? Considering the Yang Clan has a son like this, they definitely deserve to be exterminated.”
The arrogance of these five disciples was clear for all to see.
‘This Four Seasons Swordplay is pretty incredible,’ Yang Qi thought. ‘Thankfully, I’ve tempered my body by absorbing the lightning mammoth.’ He wasn’t uncomfortable at all being covered by ice, and in fact, he could have neutralized the sword energy from the very beginning. At the last moment, he had changed his mind, and allowed the sword energy to enter his meridians, in order to stimulate the life force quintessence of the lightning mammoth.
When that happened, it only took a single breath of time for the quintessence to completely neutralize the sword energy.
At the same time, the particles within him stirred as two of the embryonic mammoths began to wake up and unleash their power.
The bones in Yang Qi’s body instantly began to grow stronger, and the membrane beneath his skin became thicker. Every bit of muscle in him suddenly surged with barbaric ferocity, making him seem like a volcano that was just about to erupt.
As his energy and blood flowed through him, it sounded almost like the bubbling of a crucible somewhere in the depths of hell.
Supposedly, the crucibles of hell were able to melt anything in existence, even gods and spirits. Thus, when one cultivated the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth to the highest level, a tiny crucible could be produced within oneself, a crucible that could melt and refine anything.
It was known as the Hellfire Crucible. And eventually, it would give him the ability to consume a Golden Nine Transformations Pill, or possibly even directly consume a demon core.
However, Yang Qi was not quite at that level yet. At the moment, the only thing he could do was produce the bubbling sound of the Hellfire Crucible within his energy and blood flow. However, that was still considerable.
The additional power of two ancient megamammoths made Yang Qi stronger by a dramatic degree.
A massive flow of energy erupted out of him, shattering the ice and melting the snow.
He took a step forward, then reached out with his hand, his fingers curled into a claw.
That motion instantly destroyed the sword that had been stabbed into his palm, exploding it and sending shrapnel flying out in numerous directions.
The young man who had just attacked him was caught completely off guard, and the force of the blow sent him stumbling backward, blood spraying out of his mouth.
“You….” he growled, eyes turning bloodshot. Unsure of what was happening, he quickly tried to use his energy arts to counterattack. However, before he could, Yang Qi took another step forward and let loose another punch.
This punch was not a mere probe like the other had been. He left no room for his opponent to evade, and as his fist shot forward, he could hear the hissing that sounded like a crucible from hell as it melted the gods and spirits from the highest of the heavens.
His opponent had no way to fight back, and could only watch as the fist rapidly approached. Then, it slammed into his head, vaporizing it and turning him into a headless corpse that toppled down onto the ground.
Moments ago, that sword-wielding young man had been the picture of arrogance, but only three breaths of time later, his sword was destroyed, and he was killed where he stood. His four companions couldn’t even react.
And in fact, Yang Qi had no intention of letting them react. He was like a divine dragon embodied, his feet as destructive as a megamammoth’s, and his arms as sprightly as an eagle’s wings. Without any hesitation, he unleashed his true energy, locking down everything within a hundred paces; there was no way he was going to allow these four disciples to escape.
If even one of them survived, and reported the matter to the leadership of their sect, the consequences would be unimaginable.
In the blink of an eye, Yang Qi struck each of the young men with a fist, caving in their chests. Blood erupted from their mouths, along with chunks of internal organs, as they flopped onto the ground twitching.
True energy wrapped around the hands and feet of the two young women, and rendered them incapable of moving. Then, Yang Qi flicked his finger, sending deadly strikes into their dantian regions, destroying their seas of energy. Instantly, they flopped to the ground, leaking energy like a pierced balloon would leak air.
And thus, five experts from the House of Spring and Autumn were either killed or crippled.
“You crippled our martial arts….” one of the women said. Even in the face of death, they simply couldn’t believe what had happened. They had always been proud and insufferable, and the subject of immense respect wherever they went. And yet, in this random place in the middle of nowhere, they had encountered the ultimate misfortune.
The disgrace and humiliation they felt was beyond compare.
“Men, form ranks immediately!” Yang Qi said loudly, causing all the soldiers in the area to immediately fall into place. “Wrap these five people up and get them out of here. Make sure nobody sees them. Don’t breathe a word of what just happened, and in fact, just forget it ever occurred! If word gets out, we’ll all be executed!”
The soldiers present were all loyal, and Yang Qi was fairly certain that he could trust them to keep the matter secret.
And yet, he was still worried. He had potentially offended both the House of Shadowblight and the House of Spring and Autumn. The Yan Clan was now eyeing them like a tiger would its prey, and the chief elders of the Chen Clan were likely on the way to exact vengeance. The Yang Clan was definitely in a very precarious situation.
Although the clan was seemingly basking in glory, the coming days would be fraught with danger, and if they didn’t play their cards exactly right, they could end up just like the Chen Clan, plundered and killed.
Chest after chest of treasure left the Chen Clan, as well as a stream of servants and clan members. The other big clans in the city all stayed in their mansions, completely on guard. At the same time, they sent reports to the city magistrate’s mansion.
Armed conflict between clans was not unheard-of, but situations in which an entire clan was destroyed and pillaged were relatively rare.
Yang Qi oversaw everything. The wealth and prisoners were quickly transported to the Yang Clan, as well as the five disciples from the House of Spring and Autumn. After everything was done, Yang Qi met with his father and brothers.
On the ground in front of them were the bodies of the three young men and the unconscious young women with the destroyed seas of energy.
“The House of Spring and Autumn….” Yang Zhan murmured. Considering he had just reached the Master of Energy level, it should have been a time of rejoicing. But the sight of these disciples caused him to frown as he paced back and forth. “If word gets out about this, then all ten branches of the Yang Clan would definitely be exterminated. In fact, Yanhaven itself would probably be razed to the ground. The House of Spring and Autumn is not a sect to trifle with. Some people are even starting to call them the Spring and Autumn Institute.”
“Father,” Yang Qi said coldly, “I already gave strict instructions to all the witnesses not to breathe a word of it. Furthermore, I left these two young women alive. Not only can we possibly get some inside information about their sect, but also, we might even get some energy arts that could strengthen our Yang Clan.”
“Yes. We can’t take back what’s done, so there’s no use wasting time with regrets.” Yang Zhan’s eyes turned as sharp as swords. “Besides, your aunt is a member of the Demi-Immortal Institute. Worst case scenario, we call upon that connection to forestall disaster.”