‘This Black Sea is really deep.’
On the sea floor, it was common to see vents spewing black liquid, which was none other than the water from the subterranean rivers that fed the sea. The armored Yang Qi sank deeper and deeper into the black waters, encountering more demonlings as he did.
At one point he saw a five-colored sea snake with a Master of Energy cultivation base. It had created a mansion grotto for itself in the reefs below the surface of the water, and was currently lounging there absorbing the baleful energy around it. There were numerous demonlings in the area that it had obviously subjugated and forced to serve it.
The sea snake was as wide as a water bucket, and dozens of meters long. It had clearly guided the growth of the reef around it, ensuring that it was a perfect defensive structure within which to practice cultivation.
In fact, the reef was so large that it was almost like a city, similar to the kinds built on the surface by humans.
Demonfolk were innately intelligent, and were born with legacy techniques from ancient Great Sages of the Demonfolk. Obviously, their cultivation went very different than humans’.
In fact, Yang Qi even noticed that the snake was intelligent enough to have directed some demonlings to grow black, magical mushrooms in the fertile waters of the sea, and also ginseng and other medicinal plants that could be used to make energy convergence pills. Some demonlings were intelligent enough to concoct pills to use in their cultivation, much the same way humans did.
The truth was that the Demonfolk in primeval times had many paths of cultivation, and in the beginning, humans had simply imitated them.
As for this sea snake, the projected image of a human rested on its head, formed from true energy, his skin five-colored just as the snake’s.
It was Humanoid True Energy, and in the position where a human’s heart would have been, it had a five-colored demon core, the size of a fist. It was hard to say how many years of cultivation it would take to develop a demon core that size.
The snake immediately sensed the fluctuations indicating Yang Qi’s presence, and looked over in his direction.
Without waiting for a response, the snake suddenly shot through the water at incredible speed, heading directly toward Yang Qi as if to consume him.
A Master of Energy who was in this situation would likely have been taken out by this demonling before even being able to react.
However, Yang Qi waved his hand, sending out streams of sword energy into the water, creating a massive sword net that surrounded the sea snake.
“Spare me, oh Greater Demon! I beg of you!”
The sea snake didn’t fight back at all; it could tell immediately that it was dealing with a Lifeseizer. Of course, it didn’t speak with words. However, the fluctuations which rolled out of it would be understandable to anyone with a high enough cultivation base.
Actually, even people in the eighth phase were already capable of fusing with their own soul to a certain level. With a little effort, and enough time, they could understand just about any spoken language.
And that power only got greater in the Master of Energy level.
Therefore, it wasn’t even necessary to mention Lifeseizers. They could easily use their true energy to communicate with others on the soul level, without even using spoken words.
“Spare you? Tell me where the Black Floodwyrm Grotto is! And where can I find black floodwyrms in the Lifeseizing level?”
Considering that Yang Qi was completely unfamiliar with the Black Sea, he didn’t want to waste time blindly searching. It would be much more efficient to find some locals to get information from.
“You’re looking for Black Floodwyrm Grotto, oh Greater Demon?” The five-colored snake shivered inwardly. “It’s far, far away in the east of the Black Sea. There’s a deep gully there where they’ve built a massive city. That's where all the top black floodwyrm experts are.”
“Oh really?” With that, Yang Qi tightened the net, slicing the snake to pieces, causing blood to swirl out and fill the area.
The demonlings in the Black Sea were vicious to the core, and frequently came out of the sea itself to hunt and eat humans. Therefore, there was no way Yang Qi would let one in the Master of Energy level go free.
Reaching out, he took the fist-sized demon core, looked at it, and then crushed it with his true energy.
Moments later, his Hellfire Crucible appeared above his head. He placed the demon core inside, and the bubbling lava immediately began to melt it. Only ten breaths of time later, it was a stream of true energy that flowed through his meridians to his sea of energy, and then into one of the particles inside him.
By this point, his Hellfire Crucible was strong enough that it could melt demon cores almost immediately, and convert them to life force quintessence.
It was something most people would find unimaginable.
There weren’t even any imperial- or saintly-class energy arts that could do such a thing.
Whack. Whack. Whack! Whack!! WHACK!!!
The wave of his hand sent a burst of energy toward the other demonlings in the area, causing them to explode, and dragging all of their demon cores into his Hellfire Crucible.
Clearing this part of the sea floor had netted him over a hundred cores. Yang Qi let out a long sigh. This was definitely much better than sitting around meditating to further his cultivation, although it wasn't quite as amazing as using Nine-Yang Immortal Energy.
Unfortunately, he currently had no valid reason to go to the Minorcosm World. Even someone like Holy Daughter Manyflowers could only remain there for a short time without violating sect rules.
To him, it seemed like a huge waste that Yun Hailan was allowed inside. Although, she couldn’t absorb Nine-Yang Immortal Energy, so perhaps it didn't matter.
Yang Qi could tell that it wouldn’t even take a month of working with Nine-Yang Immortal Energy for him to blow past Tertiary Lifeseizing and possibly go all the way to Quinary.
Unfortunately, it was currently nothing more than a fantasy.
'Ah, whatever. Since I can't get into the Minorcosm World, I’ll just hunt demonlings here in the Black Sea. Demon cores are better than nothing. Hopefully I can find some that are in the Lifeseizing level, which will at least be closer to the effectiveness of Nine-Yang Immortal Energy.' With that, he headed toward the eastern part of the Black Sea.
In that direction, the cities grew more numerous, as did the demonlings.
A few hundred kilometers in, he ran into a pack of sea spiders in the middle of hunting some other demonlings. They were as large as horses, and were all in the Master of Energy level.
As soon as they saw him, they lunged toward him, sending out silk-like streams of true energy in the form of a net that cut off all avenues of escape.
“Welcome!” Yang Qi said. Suddenly, the Infernal Deity Spear appeared, sending out streams of lava-like true flame that destroyed all of the silk strands.
The spear stabbed through one of the sea spiders, and the intensely hot true energy caused it to explode. As for its demon core, he pulled it into the Heart of the Sea.
He shot forward, easily dispatching the rest of the nine sea spiders, and then harvesting their demon cores.
As he proceeded along, he was like a god of death ridding the world of devils and demons. He cut down every demonling in his path. Sea lions, walruses, sea centipedes, sea scorpions, sea wolves. Not a single sea demonling could stand up to the Infernal Deity Spear. 
Two hours later, he had killed over a hundred demonlings in the Master of Energy level, and had their demon cores in his thumb-ring.
After finding a rather remote valley, he sat down cross-legged and pulled out the cores. After melting them in his Hellfire Crucible to remove the demon energy, he sent the resulting life force quintessence into his body.
By this point, he could tell that the fiftieth particle within him was starting to stir.
However, he wouldn’t be able to wake it in this fashion. After all, Yang Susu had used the Sage Devil Painting to reach Secondary Lifeseizing, and that had contained ten thousand demon cores in the Master of Energy level, and one that was from a Lifeseizer. He would need a massive amount of force to breakthrough. Using a few hundred Master of Energy demon cores would be like throwing a cup of water on a burning cart of firewood.
That said, this experience was giving him a much better practical understanding of the Hellfire Crucible.
Rising to his feet, he once again shot through the depths of the sea, a god of death, a bodhisattva of killing.
Eventually, he ran into a nest of black snakes in a valley. Almost instantly, vortexes sprang up around the entrance of their nest, sending out shocking energy fluctuations.
Then, from within the depths of the valley, a black floodwyrm appeared.
It had long horns, vicious claws, and scales that glittered in a way that vastly surpassed any snakes.
He had finally found one. Unfortunately, it was not at the Lifeseizing level, although it was close, making it worth dozens of Master of Energy demonlings.
Demonlings were different from people, and generally had much stronger true energy.
‘I'm finally getting close to Black Floodwyrm Grotto.’
After spotting the black floodwyrm, he looked into the depths of the valley, and realized that further in, there were even more powerful auras to be sensed. And he could just barely make out what appeared to be an underwater city.
It was the palace of the black floodwyrms.
The Black Floodwyrm Grotto, home to one of the seventy-two demon kings.
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Starting with this chapter and in a few subsequent chapters, the author made some mistakes with the math in terms of the number of particles/megamammoths. I think I fixed them, but if you notice any inconsistencies, please leave a comment pointing out the specific mistake.