Yang Qi’s proposal of a duel in three months once again shocked everyone to the core.
Eyes sparkling, Yang Honglie said, “Is this some kind of joke, Yang Qi?”
He simply couldn’t believe that Yang Qi’s cultivation base could possibly catch up to his own. It seemed like a completely preposterous notion.
Even if some consummate master came along and tried to impart his energy arts into Yang Qi, it still wouldn’t be possible. If things were that easy, then people wouldn’t need to actually practice cultivation to make progress.
“No joke,” Yang Qi replied with decisiveness that could sever nails and chop iron. “In the presence of all of these members of the older generation, we can both promise to compete in the hunt three months from now. Regardless of who wins or loses, we can at least have a good time of it. What do you say? Do you dare to accept?”
Yang Honglie laughed uproariously in response. “Cousin, you really think too much of yourself. But since you want to come looking for trouble, how could I refuse you?”
And thus, in the presence of all the members of the older generation, the two of them agreed to settle things in three months during the autumn hunt.
The Yang Clan’s autumn hunt was modeled after the Sage Ancestor Dynasty’s imperial hunts. All of the top experts in the clan would gather to hunt demons and devils, to practice martial arts, and to promote the overall strength of the clan.
The truth was that in the Rich-Lush Continent, martial prowess was the most important thing of all. All of the rich and powerful clans wanted to see whose cultivation base and energy arts were the most powerful. The strongest would become famous, would have much power and authority… as well as other benefits.
Whenever it came time for the autumn hunt, the young ones in the clan would arrange for various competitions and contests to see who was the most outstanding of all.
When Yang Zhan saw what was happening, he blinked, then transmitted a message to Yang Qi using his energy arts. “Qi’er, are you sure about this?”
Sending his response with his own energy arts, Yang Qi said, “Don’t worry, Father. I'm absolutely confident.”
Yang Zhan nodded and replied, “Very well. After this forum is over, you and I will have a chat to plan for the future. We also need to figure out how to save your two brothers.”
With that, he raked his gaze across the crowd and said, “Gentlemen, I invited you here today to talk about important clan matters. And now, we have a final answer to the three main questions. First: I, Yang Zhan, will provide the compensation for the Latent Dragon Pill. Second: My son benefited greatly from his disaster, and his energy arts advanced significantly. Not only is he not a cripple, he has proven himself to be a genius. Do any of you dare to talk about punishing him now? Third: As far as the issue of who will serve as clan lord, we will wait for word to come down from the council of chief elders.”
Even as the words left his mouth, the cry of an eagle could be heard from above. A moment later, a golden bird appeared, as large as a horse, bathed in radiant sunlight as it flew toward them. It almost looked like it was made from pure gold as it landed in the courtyard in a gust of wind.
“The clan's golden eagle!” a few people murmured.
All of the experts of the older generation rose to their feet. After all, this golden eagle had a very extraordinary background, and was the mount used by the ancient chief elders.
Powerful energy fluctuations rolled out as an old man dismounted. He had white hair, and a long white beard, and appeared to be in his late nineties.
“Great Uncle!” Yang Zhan said, saluting formally.
This old man was Yang Zhougong, and although he wasn’t in the ninth phase, only the eighth, with a cultivation base the same as Yang Zhan’s, he represented the council of chief elders, and was thus given the utmost respect. 
“I heard your son caused a big disaster,” he said, “so I'm here on behalf of the council of chief elders to address the issue.” Patting his golden eagle, he looked at Yang Zhan, his eyebrows dancing up and down. “Yang Zhan, your cultivation base continues to advance spectacularly. In all likelihood, you’ll reach the ninth phase within eight to ten years, whereupon you will be a true grandmaster of energy arts.”
“Great Uncle, my son might have caused a big disaster, but he grew because of it, and even acquired great good fortune.”
When further explanation was provided, Yang Zhougong was visibly shocked. He looked over at Yang Qi’s defeated foes, Yang Feng and Yang Kui, and then turned his attention to Yang Qi himself.
Reaching out, he sent out a stream of blue true energy, which took the shape of a hand that grabbed at Yang Qi.
Yang Qi didn’t even have time to react. The hand instantly reached him, whereupon Yang Zhougong’s boundless energy arts entered his meridians.
Yang Qi had no visible reaction. After all, he had already made sure that his Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth was well-hidden, as deep as if they were in the pits of hell. And the lightning mammoth had vanished without a trace, making it impossible for Yang Zhougong to see it.
“Very tough body,” Yang Zhougong murmured. “Durable. Thrumming life force. Less like a human and more like a primeval beast….”
“Great Uncle,” Yang Zhan explained, “Qi’er was struck by lightning, and it made him like this. His meridians were actually refined by the process.”
In the end, Yang Zhougong couldn’t find any evidence to provide any other explanation. All he knew was that Yang Qi had spectacular potential. “Even experts in the Lifeseizing level would find it difficult to escape with their lives after being struck by lightning like that. And he benefited from it. Simply miraculous.”
Releasing Yang Qi, Yang Zhougong looked around at the crowd. “Yang Zhan will continue to serve as the clan lord. The clan will be facing some tough times, so we all need to stick together. No infighting will be permitted. This is simply a matter of paying back some money. As long as we all remain standing in the end, we’ll be able to make a comeback eventually. Yang Zhan, take good care of your son. In the future, he’ll be sure to serve the clan well.”
“Yes sir,” everyone said, bowing their heads. When the chief elders spoke, even top masters would have no choice but to rein in their ambitions.
Everyone realized that Yang Qi was now a major force to be reckoned with. He had fought for the honor of his father, and only a father with a spectacular son could hope to hold on to the title of clan lord.
Yang Zhougong leaped back up onto his golden eagle, then flew off into the air. He left just as quickly as he had arrived.
And thus, the internal crisis within the clan was put to rest.
As for Yang Shi, he let out a cold snort. “I’ll be taking my leave now. See you in three months, at the autumn hunt.”
Flicking his sleeve, he led his subordinates away.
One by one, the experts from the other subsidiary branches also took their leave.
Two hours later, the Yang Clan mansion was quiet, and the only people left behind in the meeting hall were Yang Zhan, Yang Qi, his two poisoned brothers and the steward.
“Qi’er,” Yang Zhan said, “I never could have imagined that your catastrophe would turn into a blessing.” At this point, his eyes flickered with cold light. “However, your brothers were hit with shadowblight. It seems to me someone was targeting me specifically, in concert with the disaster you incited. We have to uncover the truth of who was behind it.”
“You’re right,” Yang Qi replied. “We have to get revenge, and we must also heal eldest brother and second brother.” Kneeling down, he sent his powerful energy arts to work inside his brothers, and soon confirmed that the poison could not be driven away. As the energy and blood flowed through them, the poison joined it, becoming a part of the body itself, and its metabolism.
The shadowblight was almost like sweat that simply couldn’t be removed from the body.
Yang Qi’s eldest brother sighed when he felt Yang Qi’s true energy enter him. “Third Brother, your true energy is different from father’s. It feels much more pleasant.”
“Really?” Yang Qi said, surprised. Inside, he thought, ‘I wonder if my Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth could be uniquely useful in combating the shadowblight. My true energy isn't particularly strong, so it’s possible the effects are limited. But if I worked hard at cultivation….’
At this point, Yang Zhan said, “Qi’er, there does seem to be something strange with your true energy. You’ve been tempered by lightning, and have transformed in certain ways. Starting today, I'm going to teach you one of the most profound techniques of the Yang Clan, the Invincible King’s Fist. Since you swore an oath to defeat Yang Honglie in three months, you need to make sure to follow through on your word to fight him.”
“Invincible King’s Fist…?” Yang Qi murmured, shaken. He had heard of this technique, and knew it was one of the most powerful in the clan. In fact, it was nearly a royal-class energy art.
Energy arts were generally divided into classes, those being: third-class, second-class, first-class, royal-class, imperial-class, saintly-class, heavenly-class, and godly-class.
The Invincible King’s Fist was a cultivation technique that existed right between the first-class and royal-class level.
For the most part, a first-class energy art cultivation technique could support an aristocratic clan for hundreds of years, perhaps even thousands.
Royal-class energy arts were enough to found royal dynasties.
As for imperial-class, saintly-class, and heavenly-class energy arts, they were the things of legend.
When it came to the godly-class energy arts, as the name implied, they were the type that ordinary humans couldn’t even cultivate. They were the techniques of spirits and gods.
Yang Qi was fairly certain that his Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth was at the very least a heavenly-class energy art. And he was even convinced that it might be godly-class. After all, it was simply too profound. Each of the eight hundred forty million tiny particles within him had the power of an ancient megamammoth, and when they combined would equal the power of a godmammoth. That was indeed the power of a god or spirit, something that surpassed humankind.
If word leaked that a godly-class energy art had appeared in the lands, it could lead to a major catastrophe, and therefore, Yang Qi kept the truth hidden from his father.
The more people who knew the truth, the more danger there would be. This was the type of thing that could lead to entire clans being exterminated. Yang Qi knew that before he told his father, he had to make sure that he was strong enough to protect the clan as a whole.
After a moment of silence, the steward said, “Lord, if you plan to pass on a technique to the third young master, then I’ll go out to stand guard.” Bowing, he left.
“Qi’er, watch closely. This is the first stance of the Invincible King’s Fist. It's called: Triumph in Every Battle….”
Fiery streams of energy shot out of Yang Zhan. In the blink of an eye, the true energy behind him took the form of six long arms that resembled those of crabs or spiders.
The powerful arms of true energy thrummed with muscle and power as they moved into a magical sealing mark. At the same time, Yang Zhan’s aura surged. All in all, Yang Qi was left completely shocked by what he was seeing.
“The ultimate expression of the Invincible King’s Fist is a three-headed six-armed image. At the moment, I can only summon the six arms. I haven’t yet succeeded with the three heads. By the time I do, I’ll be in the ninth phase, the Master of Energy level. Watch closely. There are six moves in total. Triumph in Every Battle, Victory in Every Fight, No Stronghold Too Powerful, Defy All Laws and Principles, Eternally Undefeated and All Phenomena Bend to the Master.”
The six arms behind him began to move in shocking fashion as he went through the forms, right there in the hall, unleashing attacks that even affected the gardens and lakes surrounding the area.
At one point, the lake reacted as though it had been hit with a falling star, causing water to explode in all directions, filling the entire Yang Clan mansion with mist.
“Such incredible power!” Yang Qi murmured, his face pale from shock. Although this attack couldn't be considered world-rattling, it was enough to dry out a lake or topple a low-lying mountain.