Yang Qi’s energy formation of the dao of monarchs had been constantly active this entire time.
Liang Dong’s aura was rapidly transforming, making him like the fish that wished to leap through the dragon gate and become a dragon itself.
“Lifeseizing level! Vital energy conversion, scorching heat immolates the body, shed the flesh and exchange the bones!” Liang Dong let loose a long howl as the true energy surged through his meridians, and the vital energy of heaven and earth coursed into him.
Shockingly, flames erupted from his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, the manifestation of a tribulation of true flame energy arts. As it turned out, his energy arts were so intensely hot that he lost control of them upon entering the Lifeseizing level, and was bursting into flame himself.
The truth was that because of all the help from Yang Qi, Liang Dong’s true energy had long since reached the point of being able to enter the Lifeseizing level. However, he had been hesitating because of his flame-type energy arts; he knew that if he forced a breakthrough, he might burn out and become nothing more than ash.
Every year there were people in the Demi-Immortal Institute who burst into flames and died when trying to reach the Lifeseizing level.
But then, massive amounts of water vapor erupted from Yang Qi’s trident, subjugating the flames. Water was the ultimate core of the Sea God Institute's energy arts, just as scorching heat was the ultimate core of the Cosmic Sunflare Sword.
In the blink of an eye, fire and water juxtaposed, and the true flame that had engulfed Liang Dong transformed into a sweet dew of quintessence vitality.
His power levels rose, and deep in his sea of energy, a massive sword began to take shape, causing intense rumbling sounds to fill him.
At long last, Liang Dong had reached the Lifeseizing level.
And his version of the Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique vastly surpassed that of Chu Tiange’s.
After all, Chu Tiange’s version had never even come close to reaching its full potential. But Liang Dong had used the power of a sun gem. Furthermore, with the help provided by the spirit weapon that was the trident, his battle prowess was now at a shocking level.
Another hour passed, and Liang Dong reined in his true energy, his eyes sparkling. As of this moment, he didn’t care at all what it had taken to reach this point.
He was now a Lifeseizer!
“Congratulations!” Li He said, his voice filled with admiration and not the slightest bit of jealousy. “Another of us brothers has reached the Lifeseizing level….”
Shaking his head to clear it, Liang Dong said, “I got there a bit sooner than the rest of you, that’s all. Now I understand the situation. We’re cultivating the Cosmic Sunflare Sword, the intense heat of which makes the ascension to the Lifeseizing level incredibly dangerous. If you force the breakthrough without some soft and feminine treasure to help out, there’s a ninety-nine percent chance you’ll burn yourself to death.”
“That’s right,” Yang Qi said. “With that kind of treasure, you can all succeed. It won’t be long now before you’re all Lifeseizers. Although we won’t necessarily be the most domineering force in the institute, we can at least be strong enough to keep each other safe.” It was only after participating in Liang Dong’s breakthrough that Yang Qi realized the dangerous flaw in the Cosmic Sunflare Sword.
Apparently, Liang Dong could now sense that there was something unusual about Yang Qi. “Brother, your aura is so beyond me that I can’t even assess it.”
“Oh, I just reached Secondary Lifeseizing,” Yang Qi explained.
“Secondary Lifeseizing?! Already? It's only been a couple months since you first reached the Lifeseizing level. If word spread, people would pass out from shock.” Li He, He Jili and Hua Yinhu were so astonished that their eyes nearly popped out of their skulls.
Yang Qi chuckled. “Well, you guys have known for a long time how strong I really am, right? Remember how shocked you were when I killed Chu Tiange?” At this point, his expression turned serious. “Right now, you need to get as strong as you can, as quickly as you can. Don’t delay in becoming Lifeseizers! I’ll try to find soft and feminine treasures for all of you within the month, and then I’ll personally help you with the breakthrough. We’ll all become elite students!”
“What happened, Brother? What’s the rush?” His friends could tell that something was amiss, leading them to feel somewhat nervous.
“Yun Hailan is now the apprentice of Patriarchs Wind and Cloud, and as you know she’s allied with the Crown Prince Society. In order to try to clip my wings, she’s threatened to do something to your clans, and to mine….” Not wanting to hide anything from his brothers, he told them everything that had played out with Holy Daughter Manyflowers, the Minorcosm, and Patriarchs Wind and Cloud.
After hearing the whole story, all of his friends sat there in mute shock.
A long moment passed, whereupon Liang Dong took a deep breath and said, “Minorcosm World? Patriarchs Wind and Cloud? They’re Legendaries…. That’s way, way beyond our level. We can’t possibly deal with people like that. If they wanted to kill us, it would be as easy as stepping on an ant.”
“Not necessarily!” Yang Qi said, his eyes glittering. “Anybody who wants to try to kill me will have to pay the price in blood. And if anyone tries to hurt my friends, I’ll kill them even if I die in the process.” Because of his cultivation of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, he was starting to pick up some of the boundlessly domineering characteristics of the technique.
“Hold on a second….” Li He said. “If I remember correctly, Patriarchs Wind and Cloud are old professors. They won’t do anything to students like us. But the fact that the Crown Prince Society has it out for us is really a bit scary. All members of that society have impressive backgrounds, and it wouldn’t be impossible for their clans to do something to ours. Our top priority should be to get stronger. We’re all Masters of Energy, and are members of the younger generation. If we become Lifeseizers, and elite students, then everything would be different. At that point, people would definitely think twice before doing something to us. That said, to a colossal monster of an organization like the Crown Prince Society, we would still be nobodies.”
“All of this is because of the grudge between me and Yun Hailan,” Yang Qi said. “I'm sorry for having dragged you into it, Brothers.”
“Brother, you absolutely, positively must not think that way. We’re brothers for life. We live together and die together, we share honor and disgrace alike. There’s no need to say anything beyond that. We’ll overcome these difficulties together, and that’s that. On the upside, the martial arts competition is coming up. If we perform well, the institute will take us more seriously, and it will be harder for our enemies to make a move against us.”
“Fine, the matter’s settled!” Yang Qi said. “Now we need to figure out where to get something to neutralize the Cosmic Sunflare Sword. What kind of water-type treasure can deal with the fire of that technique? Whatever it is, I’ll get it so that you can all reach the Lifeseizing level.”
“I know!” Li He said. “I know the perfect treasure to deal with the Cosmic Sunflare Sword!”
“What is it?”
“You've heard of the demon kings of the seventy-two grottos, right? Well, one of those grottos is the Black Floodwyrm Grotto, which is led by King Black Floodwyrm himself. The Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique is a consummate discipline from our institute that focuses on intensely hot true energy. The perfect item to counteract that heat would be black floodwyrm demon cores from the Black Sea. The black floodwyrms from there are particularly fierce and violent. Whenever they come ashore, they cause devastation wherever they go. However, at nighttime, they absorb moonlight and store it in their demon core, where they refine and purify it. If you used that refined moonlight with the Cosmic Sunflare Sword, then it would be the perfect combination of sun and moon. Unfortunately, King Black Floodwyrm is indeed one of the demon kings of the seventy-two grottos, and his grotto ranks higher than the Blood Demon Grotto. If anyone from the orthodox institutions enter his territory, the black floodwyrms kill them on sight. It’s a very dangerous place. Even worse, our Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique came from both Chu Tiange’s animadestiny sword manifestation, as well as that sun gem. It would take demon cores from Lifeseizing level black floodwyrm to neutralize its heat. That would make the hunt even more dangerous.” 
“He’s right,” Liang Dong said. “Black floodwyrm demon cores are the perfect counterpoint to fire-type techniques. Lots of top experts in the Demi-Immortal Institute use them. However, not many people actually go to the Black Sea to hunt them.”
“The demon kings of the seventy-two grottos?” Yang Qi's heart suddenly started pounding. “I’ve heard of them. They’re subsidiaries of the Hanging Mountain, aren’t they?”
“Yeah! That's exactly right.”
“In that case, I need to take a trip to the Black Sea. There’s no time to lose. I’ll leave now. Give me a map!”