Atop Manyflowers Peak, two streams of sword energy slashed back and forth.
One was like a dragon, surrounded by the mysterious transformations of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The four seasons. Occasionally, the sword energy would fall like rain, other times it would become like snowflakes, and other times it would crackle like lightning and thunder.
The other stream of energy was like the blossoming of countless flowers. There were peonies, hibiscuses, roses, lilies, orchids, and more…. The swirl of innumerable flower petals was filled with a profoundly threatening true energy.
The first stream of sword energy belonged to Yang Qi, and the second, his aunt, Yang Susu.
He was using the combined Cosmic Sunflare Sword and Four Seasons Swordplay, both of them royal-class energy arts refined and transformed by his Hellfire Crucible.
Of course, top experts would still be able to identify the various elements making it up.
But right now, he wasn’t worried about that. After all, given his current level, he could actually purchase the Four Seasons Swordplay from the institute if he wanted to.
Of course, he hadn’t, but considering it was freely available, and he was an elite student, no one would be suspicious about him using it.
Furthermore, the institute allowed elite students to harbor personal secrets.
The streams of sword energy collided, then separated. Shocked, Yang Susu said, “Qi’er, your energy arts really are incredible. You’re only in Primary Lifeseizing, but you can dominate Secondary Lifeseizers, and even hold your own against Tertiary.”
“This is nothing, Aunt Susu. When the time is right, I’ll show you how truly powerful I am.” Right now, the two of them were alone on Manyflowers Peak, and had no need to fear prying eyes.
“Considering your talents, I think that even some Legendaries might be interested in taking you as an apprentice. Once my master is out of meditation, I’ll ask her to help in that regard. Oh, right. I heard the Yang Clan took over Yanhaven. How are things going there?”
“Father has already established a nation, with himself as the king. Right now, he’s trying to decide what to call the nation. Oh, Aunt Susu, considering how long you’ve been at the Demi-Immortal Institute, do you know anything about the Hanging Mountain?”
Yang Susu’s expression flickered. “The Hanging Mountain? What exactly do you want to know? It's a forbidden location.”
In the hopes of learning more about where the place actually was, Yang Qi had attended quite a few classes on astronomy and geography. Unfortunately, he hadn’t heard a single mention of it, and he wasn’t sure who to go ask about it.
After a moment of thought, he looked at Yang Susu with a very serious expression and said, “You know about my mother, right?”
“Your mother?” She thought for a moment. “Back when we used to play as youngsters, I don't remember seeing her even once. I'm pretty sure she left as soon as you were born. I was too young at that time to be privy to such matters. Then I came here to the Demi-Immortal Institute, and didn’t have much to do with family affairs. Why? Don’t tell me your mother has something to do with the Hanging Mountain?”
“She does. Father told me that she has a very impressive background. Apparently, she's a holy daughter there.”
“What? A holy daughter from the Hanging Mountain? How is that even possible? You know what kind of place the Hanging Mountain is, right? It’s a holy land to the Demonfolk, a place with numerous Great Sages. And do you know what their holy daughters are? They’re the best of the best among the Demonfolk! Compared to that place, the Yang Clan is less significant than a bunch of ants. If your mother is a holy daughter there, why would she possibly have been in a relationship with your father? That would be like someone from heaven getting together with someone from the earth. The disparity is just too immense.”
“I know,” Yang Qi replied, a bitter smile on his face. “That's why I want to get more information. Even if I have to go to the Hanging Mountain itself to find out the truth, I will. Apparently, my mother told my father that they would reunite when he became the ruler of the entire continent.”
“The ruler of the entire Rich-Lush Continent? Yeah right. Do you know how many powerful forces there are here? There are the four institutes, the Sage Ancestor Dynasty, numerous other powerful sects and organizations, the Seafolk, demon-devils of all sorts…. And they’re all interested in gaining dominance. In fact, there isn’t even a true ruler of the continent. The Sage Ancestor Dynasty claims the position of emperor, but it's really in name only. None of the four institutes really have to answer to anyone.”
“What about the Hanging Mountain, though?” Yang Qi said. As far as he was concerned that was the most important topic at hand. “What kind of place is it?”
“The Hanging Mountain is… transcendent. It's not a location anywhere on our continent; it exists in another part of space-time. The Rich-Lush Continent is of only minimal importance to them. That said, the Rich-Lush Continent does have the demon kings of the seventy-two grottos, who are subordinates of the Hanging Mountain. Each and every demon king is already a Legendary…. And that's only one tiny fraction of the forces at the command of the Hanging Mountain. They also have a presence in other continents. Well, since you already know about the Hanging Mountain, I’ll tell you everything I know about it. You see, in the most ancient times, our Rich-Lush Continent wasn’t a continent at all. It was called Rich Prefecture, and was only one part of the massive Yore-Wilds Continent. It all stretches back to the God-Devil Apocalypse, which destroyed lands near and far. During the destruction, the Rich-Lush Continent broke away from the Yore-Wilds Continent, making a new continent of its own. Of course, it wasn’t the only one. It was also during that great war of primeval times, when space-time was in chaos, that the Hanging Mountain created a new world. So, does that give you an idea of how incredible it is?”
“So, that’s how it is,” Yang Qi muttered, nodding. He looked up into the sky, and thought about how his mother was out there somewhere, far, far away.
It all seemed like a fairy tale, in which his mother, an immortal, somehow got involved with a mortal, his father. Now more than ever, he yearned to reunite with her.
As far as he was concerned, the Hanging Mountain was essentially heaven.
Right now, he was only in the Lifeseizing level, but as he continued to practice cultivation, he would add more and more lifespan to his longevity. As such, he wasn’t in a hurry.
During the brief lull in the conversation, the sound of a tolling bell suddenly rang out from the cloud-wreathed top of the mountain. Then, a wave of true energy rolled out to cover the mountain, causing countless demonlings to look up in delight. Massive butterflies flew up into the air, almost as if to welcome the arrival of an important figure.
“Master is out of seclusion,” Yang Susu said. Dragging Yang Qi with her, she dropped to her knees to kowtow.
Yang Qi surreptitiously sent out a stream of true energy to observe what was happening, and saw an enormous energy projection of a woman in the clouds above.
She was dozens of meters tall, almost like a god from heaven. However, moments later, the projection vanished without a trace.
Then, an energy field shot down toward the palace, whereupon a young woman appeared, clad in a many-flowered garment. She was actually very young, seemingly only fifteen or sixteen years old. However, there was awe-inspiring dignity to her that, coupled with the powerful energy field that surrounded her, was sufficient to instantly scatter Yang Qi’s true energy.
‘So strong!’ he thought. ‘I'm definitely not a match for her. Even if I used all of my true energy at once, I couldn’t hold my own against her. What level is she? Nonary Lifeseizing?’
At this point, Yang Susu leaned over and whispered, “My master is a Nonary Lifeseizer, and she came to understand her path toward the Legendary level twenty years ago. Of all the grand elders in the institute, she’s the most likely to become a Legendary. And believe it or not, she's not very old. She's famous at forty, not like the other old fogeys in the institute who are hundreds of years old.”
Looking at Yang Qi, Holy Daughter Manyflowers frowned and said, “Susu, why is there a man here on Manyflowers Peak?”
A stream of true energy suddenly swept over Yang Qi, making him feel almost like he was naked, completely incapable of harboring any secrets. Thankfully, he had already mastered his God-Devil Seal, making it impossible for Holy Daughter Manyflowers to perceive his true marvelous qualities.
Rising to her feet, Yang Susu smiled and said, “Master, this is my nephew from the Yang Clan. He’s a real genius! He reached the Lifeseizing level at only nineteen years of age. He’s already an elite student here at the Demi-Immortal Institute, and I was hoping you could introduce him to a good master.”
Clearly, Yang Susu had a very warm, close relationship with her master.
“Oh? A Lifeseizer at only nineteen?!” Visibly taken aback, she looked Yang Qi up and down. “Not many elite students are only nineteen. You know, there’s an unwritten rule in the Rich-Lush Continent that anyone who becomes a Lifeseizer before twenty is a genius. Seems we have a genius on our hands here!”
Similarly rising to his feet, Yang Qi respectfully said, “Please, you’re being too generous, Grand Elder. I wouldn’t dare accept praise like that.”
Even though he was an elite student, there were still protocols in the way he should address Holy Daughter Manyflowers.
“Master, that Longxuan Ye from the Sun Moon Institute came again. He just broke through to Tertiary Lifeseizing, and wanted to ask for my hand in marriage. Thankfully, Qi’er drove him off. Could you possibly get in touch with the Sun Moon Institute about it? I really want him to stop harassing me.”
“How impudent!” Holy Daughter Manyflowers said, her expression turning grim. “That Longxuan Ye is impossibly dense! No apprentice of mine is going to get married! I require devotion to energy arts, not distraction because of love! Wait, what did you just say? Your nephew drove away a Tertiary Lifeseizer? How is that even possible?” Looking over at Yang Qi, she said, “Your name is Yang Qi, right? As an elite student, you’re already worthy of the attention of an elder like me. But how did you possibly defeat Longxuan Ye, a Tertiary Lifeseizer, when you yourself are only in the Primary Lifeseizing level?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter