Chapter 103: Enemies Meet

“Very well, open the door,” Holy Daughter Manyflowers said with the wave of her hand.

“Yes, ma’am!” Not daring to defy her orders, the giant pulled out a huge silver key which he inserted into the small door.

However, it was in that very moment that a bright beam of light appeared off in the distance. After landing on the sea of clouds, a blur of motion could be seen heading toward them, and an old man became visible, broad-shouldered as a bear and as tough-looking as a lion, with flowing white hair. In that respect, he almost looked like Yang Xingshi. However, his aura was so far beyond Yang Xingshi’s that they could hardly compare to each other.

Clearly, this man had performed multiple lifeseizings.

At the very least, he was someone who Yang Qi couldn’t possibly contend with.

However, Yang Qi hardly noticed the old man. Instead, his gaze was drawn to the individual following him, a spectacularly beautiful young woman wearing blue garments.

Yun Hailan.

As fate would have it, the two rivals were facing off again.

It was just like the old saying, it is always on a narrow, cramped road that enemies meet.

That was exactly what Yang Qi was thinking as he laid eyes on her.

She noticed him at the same time, and when their eyes met, the proverbial sparks were already flying.

When Holy Daughter Manyflowers saw the old man, her expression flickered, and she said, “Grand Elder Godhawk, why might you be bringing this student to the Minorcosm World?” 

Grand Elder Godhawk stopped and looked over at her. “She’s spectacularly talented, that’s why. I was entrusted with the task of bringing her here for the old ones to inspect. Hopefully one of them will take her as an apprentice. You’ve made significant progress in your cultivation, Holy Daughter Manyflowers. When will you be breaking through to the Legendary level? I’m very curious about that.”

Considering the sharp tone both of them were using, it was obvious there was some friction between them.

Snorting coldly, Holy Daughter Manyflowers said, “I’ll reach the Legendary level before you, Grand Elder Godhawk. You’ve been stuck in Nonary Lifeseizing for a hundred years already. I doubt you’ll achieve that next breakthrough at all in this life.”

Grand Elder Godhawk burst out laughing. “Unfortunately, you have that all wrong, Holy Daughter Manyflowers. I've secured aid from the Crown Prince himself. He gave me a bottle gourd of life force springwater which has stirred my waning life force. In two days, I’ll reverse my aging and re-form my physical body. As of now, there’s no question at all whether or not I’ll reach the Legendary level. As it turns out, you’re the slow one. Why don’t you just wait until you’re old and doddering like I am now? Then maybe you’ll succeed.”

“Life force springwater?!” Holy Daughter Manyflowers said, shocked. “I can’t believe the Crown Prince gave you something so valuable! What did you agree to do for him?”

“Convince one of the old-timers to take this girl as an apprentice. I'm friends with them from years ago, you know. Besides, now that I'm a dharmic guard in the Crown Prince Society, it’s only natural that the Crown Prince would help me out a bit.”

“So,” Holy Daughter Manyflowers said disdainfully, “a grand elder has stooped to the level of licking the Crown Prince Society’s dirty boots? Students join the Crown Prince Society, for their own personal interest. We elders aren’t supposed to participate in those sorts of things.”

“People do what they have to to get ahead in the world,” Grand Elder Godhawk replied, “and in the Demi-Immortal Institute too. The Crown Prince is a celestial genius, and favored by the heavens. He’ll only continue to bask in greater and greater glory. Before long, our institute’s current chancellor will rise to a higher level, and when that happens, the Crown Prince will definitely succeed him. What's so wrong with helping him out?”

Holy Daughter Manyflowers chuckled sarcastically. “Quite the show-off the Crown Prince is. Thinks he’s going to become the next chancellor, just like that?” 

“Enough jibber-jabber,” Grand Elder Godhawk said, flicking his sleeve. “I have appointments to keep.”

At this point, Yun Hailan took a step forward and said, “Come over here, Yang Qi. I have something I want to say to you in private.”

With that, she walked off to the side.

Heart thumping, Yang Qi looked over at Yang Susu, who nodded. Gritting his teeth, he walked over until he was about nine meters away from Yun Hailan. “It’s always on a narrow, cramped road that enemies meet. Isn’t that right, Yun Hailan? We met at the Academy of Sage Studies, and yet again in the heart of the Demi-Immortal Institute, right in front of the Minorcosm World. Whatever it is you want to say, spit it out.”

It’s always on a narrow, cramped road that enemies meet?” Yun Hailan brushed her hair behind her ear. She had a musky smell that resembled orchids, something that would drive most men mad, and only seemed to grow more and more mysterious as time went by. Perhaps it was because of the blood of the sea god in her veins, but she only seemed to get more beautiful and more divine. Perhaps that was how she attracted the attention of the fabled Crown Prince.

“As you know, Yang Qi,” she said quietly, “I’ve earned the favor of the Crown Prince, and he’s completely focused on helping me advance my cultivation. The Crown Prince Society is the top society in existence. It holds sway, not just over the institute, but over the Rich-Lush Continent as a whole. It doesn’t matter what sort of good fortune you came across, to the Crown Prince, you’re still like the mantis trying to stop a war chariot.”

“Yeah? So what? You think that because you’re sucking up to someone powerful that I'm afraid of you? If you really believe that after what you did to me I’ll give up on trying to get revenge, well… you couldn’t be more wrong.”

“I’m telling you this for your own good, Yang Qi,” she replied airily. “I’ve already cut you some slack, you know. Both you and Yanhaven. Let me tell you, I know everything there is to know about your old home. Your father plans to establish his own nation, except, it's a farce; it’ll never happen.”

How could Yang Qi not pick up on the threat in her words? “I dare you to do something to my clan! Believe me, if you do, I’ll kill you!” 

“Kill me? You think that you and your paltry energy arts are enough to take me on? Oh. You beat Gu Fenxian, so you think you can beat me, is that right? Listen well, Yang Qi. My energy arts and cultivation base are beyond your comprehension.” She seemed both utterly arrogant, and supremely self-confident. “I don’t care if your aunt is a Secondary Lifeseizer. Not even she’s a match for me. If I felt like it, I could nip things in the bud right now and kill both of you.”

“Go ahead and try!” Yang Qi said calmly. Although he was completely furious, he managed to hide it and keep a cool head. After everything he had been through, he had mastered that ability quite well. “I know you’ve worked yourself up in the world, Yun Hailan. But in the end, the only things that matter are personal power and strength. Schemes and plans will only get you so far.”

“Well said,” she replied in an icy voice. “Personal strength and power are the only way to get ahead. And that’s why I used you like the chump you are. That’s all you are, a measly, useless patsy. And now that you aren’t useful to me anymore, I'm done with you.” Having said her piece, her voice warmed up again as she continued, “Come on, Yang Qi. You shouldn’t take all of this so seriously. It was just a Latent Dragon Pill after all, right? I can make it up to you many times over in the future. All you have to do is join me. Become one of my subordinates. Wouldn’t that be the best of both worlds? Not only would the Crown Prince Society leave you alone, but your father would be safe and sound in Yanhaven. Or at the very least, your clan won’t be wiped off the map.”

“Threatening me will only make me despise you more, Yun Hailan,” he said, his voice as sharp as a blade. “You should feel lucky I was such a fool back when we first met. You want me dead and my clan exterminated? Alright. Let's see you try.”

At this point, Yun Hailan’s voice turned hard again. “Since you insist on being pig-headed, don’t blame me for what happens. Are you hoping that gang of scoundrels you’ve put together can help you? What are their names again? Oh right. Li He. Liang Dong. Hua Yinhu. He Jili. You think their clans can protect you? That's a joke if I've ever heard one. Even the lowliest member of the Crown Prince Society has better clan backing than those four. For example, Gu Fenxian. The Gu Clan has the blood of an ancient Great Sage, and when they stomp their feet, the entire Rich-Lush Continent trembles. If they go on the warpath, those small fries you call your friends will be crushed like porcelain. The only reason they haven’t already is because I told them not to. I wanted to give you a chance to come to your senses and acknowledge allegiance to me. But since you’re set on being obstinate, don’t blame me for changing my mind.”

“You touch one of my brothers, and I’ll kill your whole clan,” Yang Qi said, his voice trembling with killing intent. “If you even insult them, I’ll cut you down!”

“You have a choice to make. Live. Or die. Acknowledge allegiance to me. Or watch everyone you know be exterminated. Ah, Yang Qi. You really have no idea what I'm capable of. Holy Daughter Manyflowers brought you here to get a master, right? Well, unless you acknowledge allegiance, I’ll make sure you never get a master.”

Yang Qi spat in contempt. “What, do you run the Demi-Immortal Institute or something? You’re with the trashy Crown Prince Society so you think you can just do whatever you want? There’s nothing in the entire world that works as simply as that.”

“Frog in a well,” Yun Hailan said. With that, she turned to Grand Elder Godhawk. “Grand Elder, let’s go in.”

“Very well.” Laughing loudly, Grand Elder Godhawk blurred into motion and headed into the door.

Holy Daughter Manyflowers snorted coldly and followed.

As for Yang Qi, he was sure based on the conversation that Yun Hailan was preparing to truly bare her teeth. Not only would he need to be careful going forward, so would all of his friends.

‘I need to think of a way to kill her, just like I killed Chu Tiange. Otherwise, I’ll never be able to get a good night's rest.’

Whizz!

Mind buzzing with deadly thoughts, he entered the Minorcosm World. However, as soon as he was inside, his mind went completely still.

The first thing he saw was blinding light, which gradually dissolved into a scene of shimmering beams of brightness falling from above. There wasn't even a speck of darkness in this place. Everything was filled with light bright enough to shock one to the core.

‘What is that light? Can it…. help temper the mind and heart?’

Based on what he could tell, the light was ten or even a hundred times more effective than an energy formation of the dao of monarchs.

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