From what the Shepherd had just asked, and from the wide-eyed expression on his face, which was mirrored by Proud World and Doom, it seemed that all of them were worried that Yang Qi had been possessed by a wretch-spirit.
Yet he simply stood there looking completely at ease.
“What are you doing? You three are obviously in an illusion. I’m not possessed.” Yang Qi quickly sent three streams of will into the three of them, hoping to bring them to their senses.
Unfortunately, the result was that all three reacted as though they were seeing something profoundly terrifying. Doom even shouted, “You're attacking us, Yang Qi!? Everybody, watch out! He’s using one of his consummate skills, the Sovereign Lord’s Holy and Far-Reaching Consummate Omnicurse! Quickly, join forces to fight back!”
All three joined forces and launched a combined palm strike at Yang Qi, causing wild winds to spring up and giving him no room to evade.
All he could do was meet the attack head-on.
They were treating him like he was their greatest archenemy, someone they were determined to kill, and it begged the question of what illusion they were wrapped up in that would provoke this reaction.
What exactly was going on?
‘This must be a really powerful illusion,’ Yang Qi thought. ‘But where is it coming from? And why can’t I sense its source? Regardless, I can’t keep fighting them like this. It’s a big waste of energy for all of us, and will just weaken us so the wretch-devils can swoop in and take advantage of the situation. Luckily, my cultivation base is high enough that it isn’t too difficult to slip out of their grasp.’
Countless nascent souls within his sea of energy breathed in and out, pushing his cultivation base to the ultimate peak possible. Drawing on his true energy, he negated the incoming attacks, then flicked his finger.
The true energy in his meridians formed into three clumps that became three bubbles. Of course, they were manifestations of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth and the Unspoiled Body, combined with the Purrfect God Art. In the past, he had only achieved middling success with the Purrfect God Art, but he had recently made significant progress.
Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.
Three bubbles shot out, instantly enveloping Doom, the Shepherd, and Proud World.
“Wake up!” Yang Qi shouted. “You’re stuck in an illusion!”
“Die!” Doom howled, drawing on his God Legion Seal to unleash a devastating attack that popped the bubble and caused the surrounding primal-chaos to roil violently.
Yang Qi backed up as the others also unleashed explosive attacks to free themselves.
Yang Qi was visibly taken aback. Although he couldn’t unleash the full potential of the Purrfect God Art, it should have been impossible for them to break free so easily. Waving the sleeve of his God Legion Battle Robe, he calmed the violent tempests that had erupted.
Suddenly, all heaven and earth went back to normal, and the cave once again became a mysterious and sinister place.
Doom, the Shepherd, and Proud World stood there staring at Yang Qi with blank astonishment. “What's wrong, Brother Yang Qi?”
“Are you clear-headed?” Yang Qi asked. “You’re not stuck in an illusion?”
“What? We were stuck in an illusion?” said Doom, not sure whether to laugh or cry. “Brother Yang Qi, just a moment ago, you suddenly started yelling something about there being a misunderstanding, that we were stuck in an illusion. Then you went crazy and just started attacking us for no reason. Eventually, the true energy in you exploded out and everything went back to normal.”
“That’s right,” the Shepherd said. “What’s going on here? You launched a spectacular attack on us and forced us to retreat. Thankfully, you didn’t press the attack, and everything went back to normal fairly quickly.”
“Brother Yang Qi, you’re the most perceptive and clear-headed of all of us. I never would have guessed that you would get sucked into an illusion.” Proud World glanced around the cave, shivering.
“I attacked you for no reason?” Yang Qi said. “You didn’t attack me?”
“Definitely not,” the Shepherd said. “Why would we attack you? You were definitely struck by an illusion just now. Your attacks didn’t even hit us! It seems we're stuck in a very bizarre dimension, with seemingly no way out. If we don’t figure out a way to work together, I fear we’ll end up dead.”
From what Yang Qi could tell, the three of them did seem completely sober and uninterested in attacking him at all.
All of a sudden, he felt a chill in his bones, which was none other than fear of this enormous stone cave. The attacks they had just launched on him had seemed completely real, and he simply couldn’t believe that it had never happened at all. His energy arts were at such a high level that if he were to actively observe his surroundings and pour all of the true energy in his cultivation base into the effort, then how could he not be able to perceive what was and wasn’t an illusion?
The attack just now had been extremely powerful, and didn’t seem like it could have been an illusion at all.
If this stone cave could project an illusion that could confuse even him, it meant that it was powerful enough to do the same to actual gods.
‘Are these three lying, or is something else going on?’ he thought. In the end, Yang Qi would never put his full trust in other people. Besides, if he trusted what Proud World, Doom, and the Shepherd said, it would imply that he didn’t trust himself, and that could have immense negative connotations.
‘Might as well just forget about it,’ he thought. ‘If I keep second-guessing everything, I’m going to end up experiencing cultivation deviation. Maybe this is the true power of the illusion, to cause doubts and mistrust that compound on each other, leading to devastating consequences.’
With that, Yang Qi pushed away thoughts about what had just occurred. It didn’t matter whether his companions thought of him as an enemy or a friend. When soldiers come, send a general to stop them. When floodwaters come, use earth to block them. All of a sudden, the cultivation method of the Annulled Grand Magic appeared in his sea of consciousness and his psychic scale climbed by another level.
His eyes blazed with flickering light as he looked out into the cave and realized that previously undetectable fluctuations were rolling out of the crimson coffin in the middle of all the other coffins. Although his companions had no way to detect them, with his newly heightened psychic scale, he could.
“I think the illusion is a function of that crimson coffin!” Yang Qi suddenly said, his voice thrumming with the power to devastate wretch-god magics. Instantly, a bubble appeared, surrounding Doom, Proud World, and the Shepherd, placing them in a field of protection that illusions couldn’t encroach upon.
A look of admiration appeared on Doom’s face. “Brother Yang Qi,” he said, “your energy arts have advanced again, haven’t they? Please accept my sincere congratulations, as well as my utmost admiration. You saw through it all and realized that we were the ones in an illusion.”
“The truth is that everything is an illusion,” Yang Qi said. “You. Me. The Great Necropolis. The God Legion Seal. Reality only exists within the heart and spirit. And yes, I really did reach a higher level of enlightenment. Coming here was worth it after all.”
“Brother Yang Qi, it seems you really did gain some deep enlightenment,” Doom said. “Eventually, you really will free yourself from the fetters of the God Legion Seal and achieve your own boundless dao. Congratulations, Brother. You’re on your way to true freedom and independence. Ai! Proud Heaven returned from the god world, abandoning his chance to reach godly ascension, all in the hopes of getting the God Legion Seal. But you've actually abandoned the seal, which just goes to show how superior you are.”
“Don’t worry,” Yang Qi said coolly. “Although I’m removing myself from the constraints of the God Legion Seal, I still have the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth in me. Eventually, I’ll also be able to abandon the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth and make my own heaven-shaking, earth-shattering technique. When that happens, it won’t matter if the God Legion Seal is destroyed or remains whole. It’ll have nothing to do with me. But regardless of all that, I obviously won’t let Proud Heaven have it. He must die.”
“Congratulations, really,” Doom said, shaking his head and seemingly sighing as he wondered if he would ever be able to free himself from the God Legion Seal. “Brother Yang Qi, do you think that, one day, I might also be able to free myself from the God Legion Seal? How did you do it?”
“The truth is a bit embarrassing,” Yang Qi said, chuckling. “It all started when I was able to observe a unique godling. Presumably you’ve heard of it. It’s the purrling from the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect.”
Doom thought for a moment. “Purrling? The same one that caused a huge stir among the experts from the Ancient Road to the Gods? The one that dragged the people from the Royal Palace of Assassins to you from a distance, that not even the King of Assassins could handle? It must be far beyond the level of a mid Terrifying expert. Truth be told, Brother Yang Qi, that purrling is one of the big reasons that I'm not interested in being your enemy, and also why I asked your help to deal with Proud Heaven.”
“Oh?” Yang Qi said. “Brother Doom, are you saying that you know what the purrling is?”
“Sadly no,” Doom replied with a ghastly smile. “I have no idea what the purrling is. Besides, when you know the origin of something, you’ll also come to know its weakness. Not even the King of Godmammoths is an exception in that regard. And since I don't know anything about the purrling, I obviously don’t know its weaknesses.”
“Brother Yang Qi,” Proud World said, “if we had the purrling, maybe we wouldn’t be in such a passive position. Could the purrling possibly deal with Proud Heaven?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter