Volume 1 –
Chapter 74: Giant Guards
There had been many important tasks at hand, including his personal cultivation and the mission to go hunt vampire brigands in the northwest. Because of all of that, the matter of his aunt Yang Susu had skipped his mind.
But now, here he was, an outer campus student with a more impressive cultivation base than ever. He had the freedom to come and go within the institute as he pleased, unlike when he had been a freshman student and had been subject to many rules about where to go and what to do.
Now, he could go seek out Yang Susu.
Besides, he was interested in getting a better look at the institute. It covered hundreds and hundreds of kilometers, and was filled with pavilions, kiosks, towers, pagodas, and temples. It was a multi-level maze of structures that hid so many secrets it was impossible to even guess how many there were.
Hopefully, a bit of a tour might net more information about Yun Hailan.
Considering the bottleneck he was in, there was no way he would be able to awaken that twenty-first particle any time soon.
The more one cultivated the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, the harder it got, especially considering that the life force quintessence requirement grew with each particle that awoke. In other words, each one was more difficult to wake up than the previous. That was one reason why godly-class energy arts were usually only cultivated by gods, not humans.
Making sure that his thumb-ring was well concealed, Yang Qi walked out of his room, hopping directly from the thirty-sixth floor all the way down to the ground.
Every floor of the tower was a different room or ‘mansion grotto’. Each one belonged to a different outer campus student. However, Yang Qi didn’t know any of them and actually wasn’t very interested in getting too close.
At the bottom of the building was a well-manicured park filled with towering trees, flowing streams, and little pavilions. It was a lovely place, with teams of freshman students visible cleaning up, or trimming and fertilizing the plants.
Yang Qi had done such work himself in past months, but now, he was exempt from such chores.
As he walked along, the freshman students noticed his clothing, and the large ‘Demi-Immortal’ word stitched on the front in bright red. The envy in their eyes was impossible to mask.
Freshman students had no such marking on their garments. Theirs were pure white, which indicated that they were persons without any academic title or official rank.
Yang Qi noticed the envious gazes, and sighed. There was nothing he could do about how the Demi-Immortal Institute was so strictly organized by rank and title. It was hard to even imagine what the freshman students would think of him if he reached the Lifeseizing level and became an elite student.
He strolled out of the garden, and then began to walk through the various paths that made up the institute, passing buildings, pagodas, walls, and other scenery. Before long, he was at an area filled with majestic temples.
It was a glorious sight. At the tops of the temples were glowing halos that would fill the area with light even during nighttime.
And all of them were augmented by spell formations.
This place was a restricted area, the College of Elite Students.
Only elite students and Lifeseizers could enter, with the exception of lower-ranking students who had authentication tokens.
If any other person tried to enter unlawfully, they would be killed without question.
As he neared the place, and sensed the glory of the temples’ spell formations touching him, he felt blessed. His true energy seemed to grow stronger, and he felt more agile and free. It was almost as if he were being cleansed.
“What incredible spell formations,” he murmured.
The spell formations in the College of Elite Students were far more powerful than formations of spirit convergence. No wonder Yun Hailan and Song Haishan had experienced such rapid progress with their cultivation.
Now that Yang Qi had been in the Demi-Immortal Institute for several months, there were certain things he understood that had been a mystery at first.
Outer campus students had their formations of spirit convergence, and inner campus students had formations of vital convergence. Each such upgrade led to faster and more efficient cultivation.
As for the College of Elite Students, they had
energy formations of the dao of monarchs
. Such formations allowed the user to constantly absorb the spirit energy of heaven and earth, and the quintessence of the sun and moon. Even more importantly, they allowed one to develop the energy of the dao of monarchs.
Practicing cultivation there led to speed ten times superior to even a formation of vital convergence.
Yun Hailan had almost immediately been admitted into the College of Elite Students, and had been able to cultivate with an energy formation of the dao of monarchs. Thus, her progress was almost unimaginable.
As he thought about the matter, he stood there basking in the glory of the temples, and the feeling of his true energy being stimulated. It was hard to imagine what it would be like if he could actually go inside.
Suddenly, a thunderous shout emerged from one of the outer chambers bordering the temples. “Stop right there!”
The profound killing intent he sensed caused him to stop in place immediately.
From what he could tell, if he took another step forward, he would be attacked with deadly abandon.
Looking over at the outer chambers, he saw several towering men emerge, fully twice as tall as an ordinary person. They wore full suits of steel armor, and wielded dual-crescent-bladed halberds. As for their auras, they were so wild that they seemed like titans emerged from the wilds of yore.
Furthermore, they were clearly Masters of Energy.
These were giants tasked with guarding the entrance to the College of Elite Students. People with the blood of ancient giant-spirits possessed boundless power, and were the perfect guards.
They were by no means simpletons, and their meridians were ten times as powerful as ordinary humans. A single one who was a Master of Energy could easily defeat ten ordinary ninth phase experts.
They were often tasked with guarding important locations in the Demi-Immortal Institute, and their orders were simple: first give a warning to any trespassers, and if the warning was ignored, execute them.
Given the current level of Yang Qi’s cultivation base, he didn’t fear Lifeseizers, let alone some giant guards. That said, he also wasn’t looking for trouble.
Clasping hands respectfully, he said, “Greetings, guards. I’ve come to the College of Elite Students to see my aunt, Yang Susu. Would you mind notifying her I’m here?”
The leader of the giants looked Yang Qi up and down, his eyes glinting with what seemed like greed. “Notify her? Sorry, we’re busy. Come back tomorrow.”
“Oh?” At this point, Yang Qi realized that these greedy giant guards made a practice of soliciting bribes from students.
Not in the mood to bicker, and fairly brimming with wealth, he waved his hand and sent a banknote worth a million energy convergence pills flying over to him. “Please, take this. I hope that you can be a bit flexible here.”
“Oh?” The giant leader grabbed the banknote, looked at it, then put it away. However, he didn’t seem to have any intention of letting Yang Qi pass. “Listen, punk. We have a hundred guards here. You really think one banknote is enough? What are we supposed to do, cut it up into pieces? One banknote like this is only enough for one of us. Give me some more treasures, enough for a hundred of my brothers, and then maybe I’ll let you pass.”
“What?” As of this moment, Yang Qi realized what was going on. These giants were specifically making things hard for him! Frowning, he said, “This is ridiculous. All I want is for you to notify someone of my presence. Do you people do this all the time? Aren’t you worried that you’ll get in trouble if the higher-ups find out about this?”
The giants all burst out into raucous laughter. “Get in trouble? We stand guard here, and the unwritten rule is that we can use our position to earn a bit of extra money. How dare you, an outer campus student, provoke us giants! You really don’t know what’s good for you, do you? Screw the hell off!”
A massive hand waved through the air, sending a massive tornado spinning toward Yang Qi.
Tornadoes were wind-type energy arts, and the type of thing that could uproot massive trees and send them flying through the air. Obviously, it could hurl a human like Yang Qi far off into the distance.
Yang Qi’s eyes suddenly turned as cold as ice, and even began to flicker with killing intent. “Have a death wish, you bunch of watchdogs? Who told you to cause problems for me?”
As the tornado bore down on him, he unleashed some energy, dissipating it instantly.
Then, he made a snatching gesture, causing all of the energy within ten thousand paces to rush toward him.
Suddenly, the dozen or so giants felt their true energy surging out of control; it almost seemed like it might burst out of their bodies and flow toward Yang Qi’s palm.
Both shocked and enraged, they scrambled to gain control of their energy.
However, that was when Yang Qi opened his hand, causing all the energy flows to vanish.
As a result, all of the true energy they had been struggling to pull back suddenly rushed back and slammed into their seas of energy.
It was almost like Yang Qi had personally struck them.
Blood sprayed out of the giants’ mouths, even their leader.
‘How could a student from the outer campus be so strong?’ the leader thought, shocked.
Making another grasping motion, Yang Qi pulled the leader toward him through the air, then forced him onto his knees. “I know someone put you up to this, giant-spirit. Someone told you to cause problems for me, right? But I don’t feel like bickering with you. Now you see that I’m virtually as strong as a Lifeseizer, right? Once I achieve my next breakthrough, I could easily cause problems for you. I could make your life
True energy swirled out, grabbed the banknote, and pulled it back to Yang Qi. “I gave you a banknote to give you some face. But if you don’t want face, then don’t blame me for taking it back. Now go notify Yang Susu that I’m here, immediately. Furthermore, I’m going to plant a seed of true energy in your sea of energy, so if you disobey, I can cripple you instantly.”
1. To some extent this is a slight play on words as the word for “person without academic title or official rank, a.k.a. a commoner”, actually contains the character which means “white”
2. The dual-crescent-bladed halberd is literally a “square heaven picture halberd”. The name in Chinese comes because of how the crescent blades on either side of the halberd make a “square heaven”. You have probably seen them in games/movies/TV shows, in which they are often just called halberds.
Here’s what they look like
. In any case, I will translate it as dual-crescent-bladed halberd. This type of weapon will come up again occasionally throughout the story, so try to keep a mental picture in the back of your mind