“Are you planning on making a move on the House of God Bastards right away?” Yang Qi said coolly. “That Bastard Seacliff seems too powerful to kill already. Even if the two of us worked together, I don’t think we can handle him yet. And that’s not to mention what he’ll be like if he makes use of the distiller’s yeast. If he reaches the mid Terrifying level and gets a psychic scale of a hundred or more, he’ll be beyond deadly to deal with.”
“You’re right, except for the fact that he won’t be breaking through to the mid Terrifying level. You see, I tweaked the distiller’s yeast so that it will take an unusually long time for him to assimilate it. And if he does, it will put him under my control. That said, he’s smart, so I doubt he’ll try to assimilate it. He’ll just put it into storage. By the way, I've already updated my father and mother about all of this. They have their own important plans and are interested in providing you with help to get stronger. In fact, I can take you to meet them right now.”
“What?!” Yang Qi said, shocked.
The leaders of the Woodfern Couple Palace were mid Terrifying experts, similar to the Shepherd. Why would people like that be interested in helping him? Did they really want him to be the puppet league-lord? Perhaps the sudden appearance of the House of God Bastards had cemented their desire to do just that. And even if becoming the league-lord meant being their puppet, it would still give him access to immense universal fortune, which he could then use to gain enlightenment.
It wouldn’t be like being the league-lord of the Dao Defense League. This was an alliance of superpower sects from the Ancient Road to the Gods! The destiny of even a single superpower sect would surpass that of the Dao Defense League by millions upon millions of times.
Absorbing the Dao Defense League into the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect had been like adding a spoonful of sugar into a river. It wasn’t as if that sugar would make the water taste sweeter.
But if he could become the new league-lord, the destiny he would have access to would definitely push his Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth and other energy arts to a much higher level. And perhaps then he wouldn’t be a puppet, but rather the actual league-lord.
“I said I would follow your lead in everything, Junior Empress. If your mother and father want to see me, I’d be more than pleased to accept the invitation. But I have to ask: if you’re intending to make me the league-lord to help fight the House of God Bastards, are you sure the people from the Genesis Sanctum will agree?”
“They won’t,” she replied. “Whoever we choose to back, that person will need to win fair and square in the assembly in a few days. Based on what I've seen, I think you should be able to sweep the competition. If you could kill the Flower-Seizing Marauder at your current level, just imagine how domineering you’ll be in the Terrifying level. Come on, let’s go; there’s no time to lose.”
With that, he followed the junior empress deeper into the pill repository to a teleportation portal. They stepped inside and were whisked to a hall that was initially pitch black. But even as Yang Qi scanned it, light flared to life and filled the entire place with a brightness like that of the sun.
Within the hall were two ancient woodfern trees. One was withered, and one was vibrantly alive, which was the perfect representation of the cycle of a person’s life.
Two people sat beneath the woodfern trees, one a man, the other a woman. Both seemed middle-aged, and their cultivation bases were unreadable. At a glance, Yang Qi realized that they were the leaders of the sect. After all, it was called the Woodfern Couple Palace.
This was the ‘couple’ referenced in the name of the sect; obviously, they were husband and wife.
Yang Qi immediately offered a formal salute. “Well met, Seniors!”
“There’s no need for formalities!” the woman said. The instant this man and woman looked at Yang Qi, he felt his psychic power suddenly circulating at immense speed. Knowing that this was actually dangerous, he quickly took control and stabilized the power.
“Well done,” the man said. “You really are quite a genius. You actually resisted our Permanence and Impermanence Art. An ordinary young one would have tried to take advantage of that art to improve his psychic power. However, the temporary benefit of such an act would’ve been negated by the overall harm.” 
“Many thanks,” Yang Qi said. “The two of you are sitting between twin sal trees, one withered and one robust, which is a direct reference to the permanence and impermanence that exists in the universe. At any moment, one may be struck by either misfortune or blessing. But the so-called misfortune can actually be a blessing, and blessings can sometimes be misfortune. The instant the two of you stimulated my psychic power, I gained new enlightenment and realized that achieving a breakthrough would actually not be a blessing. Furthermore, holding back from a breakthrough would not be misfortune. In fact, maintaining equilibrium is the best choice.” 
“Excellent,” the woman said, nodding in admiration. “You really are a prodigy. That Bastard Seacliff might have injured you, but he’s a god bastard who can never join the legion of gods in the god world. He's strong now, but his potential is limited. As for the god bastards in general, not even the legion of gods can tolerate them, so there’s no way we’ll let them steal the position of league-lord. Unfortunately, up to this point, we haven’t found a suitable young one to groom for the position. Considering your strength and potential, we think that, with our help, you would make the perfect league-lord. Are you willing?”
The empress was beautiful, and was clad in a simple and unadorned silk robe. Her expression was placid and devoid of anything like anger, making her seem merciful and kind. As for her cultivation base, it was impossible to detect any clues as to its level.
“As I've already said, I'm willing to follow the junior empress’ lead in everything. If you wish to help me, Emperor, Empress, then I would be profoundly grateful. And of course, I’ll do anything you ask.”
“Aren’t you worried about becoming our puppet?” the emperor asked.
“While many young ones might balk at the idea of becoming a puppet,” Yang Qi replied coolly, “I view it more as good fortune. Furthermore, the junior empress just explained about the six major factions in the Great Necropolis, and how our sects are the weakest. Right now, we're as disunited as a dish of loose sand. As the junior sectlord of the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect, I’m powerless to do anything if disaster strikes. But if I can become the league-lord, even a puppet league-lord, then I’d at least be strong enough to fight back.”
“Well said,” the emperor said. “You can see the bigger picture, but at the same time, you’re optimistic. Star Swordlife had potential, but sadly, he’s too pedantic and refuses to kill anyone. He aims for good, but brings about evil as a result. He definitely isn’t fit to be the league-lord. That’s why we’ve picked you. Of course, you need to be careful. Even if you improve your energy arts with our help, that doesn’t guarantee you the spot.”
Yang Qi nodded. “I'm well aware of that. The first thing I’ll have to do is deal with Bastard Seacliff.”
“Not just Bastard Seacliff,” the emperor said. “You’ll also have to deal with whatever genius the Genesis Sanctum is backing.”
“Will the candidate from the Genesis Sanctum really be a force to reckon with?” Yang Qi asked. “They only have one leader, their pontiff, and while he’s in the mid Terrifying level, there are two of you. Could he really cause problems for you?”
“Before getting into an explanation,” the emperor said, “allow me to introduce myself. I'm Mu Renwang, and this is my wife Su Xin. As for my daughter, she’s Mu Yexi. If you’re really going to join forces with the Woodfern Couple Palace and take orders from us, I can answer your question.” 
“Yes sir, I am,” Yang Qi said.
Mu Renwang nodded. “Good. Then allow me to explain. The pontiff of the Genesis Sanctum is named Huangfu Genesis, and although he’s formidable, in a one-on-one fight, he wouldn’t be able to defeat me alone, much less my wife and I together. We would definitely kill him. At least, that’s how things used to be. Unfortunately, he acquired a very powerful god item called the Book of Genesis. Initially, we didn’t know which god from the god world penned the book, but we could tell from the outset that the book is extremely profound. After Huangfu Genesis cultivated it to perfection, he reached a point where he can handle both my wife and I at the same time. That's how the Genesis Sanctum came to be on the same level as our Woodfern Couple Palace.”  
“Oh, I see,” Yang Qi murmured. “The Book of Genesis, huh. Sounds very impressive.”
“It is,” Su Xin said. “After years of consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Book of Genesis was actually written years ago by one of the top subordinates of the Sovereign Lord, specifically the Lord of Radiance and Light. Later, the Lord of Radiance and Light was killed by King Immortal-Slayer. During that incident, King Immortal-Slayer used the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart to rip the Book of Genesis to pieces. However, Huangfu Genesis recovered those pieces and restored the book. You see, it really was a case of misfortune turning out to be a blessing. The only reason Huangfu Genesis managed to get the book and master it was because it had been ripped apart.”
“Father, Mother,” Mu Yexi said, “let’s get on with helping Yang Qi. We need to think of a way to deal with Bastard Seacliff.”
“Since when did you become so impatient, child?” Su Xin said with a smile. “Young Sir Yang Qi is obviously the kind of person who likes to analyze a situation fully in the search for enlightenment. There’s no reason to get anxious. By the way, I heard that some new type of powerful godling appeared within the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect recently. Is that true?”
“Yes,” Yang Qi replied. “I'm not really sure where it’s from. If the two of you happen to know, I’d love to get some more information.” If he could get some more information about the purrling, it could very well lead to further enlightenment for himself.
“Unfortunately, we've racked our brains and can’t think of even a single clue to explain the thing.” Both the empress and the emperor shook their heads.
1. Impermanence is a real thing from Buddhism. More here.
2. It’s said that Buddha was lying between a pair of sal trees when he achieved nirvana (in other words, died). More info here. Technically, the sal tree is shorea robusta, a different type of tree than alsophila spinulosa (which I’m translating as “woodfern”). Obviously Yang Qi is making an allusion, which is why he’s using the name of a different tree.
3. Mu Renwang: Mu is a common surname that also means “solemn, reverent, calm. Ren means “person, people” and Wang means “king, royal”. Su Xin: Su is a common surname which has a variety of meanings including “raw silk, white, plain, vegetarian, essence, nature”. Xin means “heart”. Mu Yexi: Mu is explained above. Ye means “night” and Xi means “creek, rivulet, ravine”. Incidentally, as I talk about in this video, Xin is pronounced more like “sheen” and Yexi would be like “yeah she”.
5. The Book of Genesis mentioned here does indeed share the exact same name as the first book of the Bible. Literally it would be translated “Record of the Creation of the World”. I thought about using some version of “Creation” in the name of the organization, but considering that it’s an obvious reference to Genesis from the Bible, I went in that direction instead.
Here's my reaction to Neflix's Scissor Seven, the first two episodes. This is a Chinese animated show set in modern times in which the MC aspires to be an assassin. It's a comedy with some cool action scenes thrown in. I think many of you in the audience would like this show if you haven't seen it already.