Star Swordlife coughed up a huge mouthful of blood. His skin was cracked and bleeding as he glared with hateful disbelief at Yang Qi. “You... you just reached the mid Terrifying level? Oh... I get it. You were using my attacks to refine your nascent divinity, or possibly some secret treasure. Now that you’re finished, you’re finally going to start fighting back.”
“That’s right,” Yang Qi said, walking slowly toward him with a look of disdain on his face. All of a sudden, a mask appeared on his face that also bore an expression of disdain, the kind that would infuriate anyone who it was directed at.
Star Swordlife coughed up more blood; obviously, his vital energy had been severely damaged. “I knew you were a rapacious wolf, Yang Qi. You were only pretending to be hurt. Thankfully, I saw through the ruse. But why wasn’t I able to seal you? Don’t tell me that heaven really does want you alive, you beast.”
Clicking his tongue, Yang Qi said, “Cursing like that doesn't seem very benevolent. Considering how many times you stabbed me with your sword, I’d say I earned the right to strike back.” Even as Yang Qi loomed over Star Swordlife, he continuously swept the area with divine will, in order to be fully on guard in case Proud Heaven showed up.
Star Swordlife was Proud Heaven’s pawn and had been personally blessed by him. So if Yang Qi tried to kill him, it seemed entirely likely that Proud Heaven would step in, especially if it interfered with his plans.
“You can't kill me, Yang Qi,” Star Swordlife said, his eyes suddenly shining with the blazing light of hope. His injuries began healing up, perhaps by means of some mysterious medicinal pill. At the same time, his vital energy was restored. Rising to his feet, he said, “Maybe you don’t believe me, but it’s true. It doesn’t matter that you’re in the mid Terrifying level now, and have the Unspoiled Body and the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth combined. That’s still not enough to kill me.”
“Oh really?” Yang Qi said, stopping in his tracks. “In that case, I guess we should have a real fight. You know, true men don’t rely on the help of others to stay alive. It’s obvious that you've received some information from Proud Heaven, and that he's lurking in the shadows, ready to help you. That’s why you think you can kill me. If all you do is get help from others, you’re nothing more than a parasite. Do you really think a parasite is worthy to fight me? I, Yang Qi, can prop up heaven and earth, and pronounce sentences of life or death. I'm far beyond the level of a loser like you who needs the help of others. I'm a man of character, and you're a limp-limbed shrimp. Before, I was actually interested in sparing your life. But if you’re fully invested in being Proud Heaven’s lackey, then even though killing you will dirty my hands, I have no other choice.”
Yang Qi’s words were so biting that everything he said stabbed directly into Star Swordlife’s heart, causing him to vomit up another mouthful of blood. It helped that Yang Qi was wearing the disdainful mask.
“Coughing up more blood?” he added. “How could a weakling like you possibly fight me? Get on your knees!”
As the words left his mouth, he reached out and used a simple energy art to exert immense pressure on Star Swordlife. However, Star Swordlife maintained his foothold, and even managed to unleash some of his sword technique. Unfortunately for him, he was too slow. Yang Qi was now in the mid Terrifying level, which meant he was invincible to anyone under the level of a god.
Star Swordlife’s sword energy was like a piece of ice facing the burning sun; it instantly cracked and melted away.
Yang Qi's might weighed down on Star Swordlife, who let loose an agonized shriek as his bones creaked. He tried using his defensive empyrean energy to resist, but it did no good and he was quickly forced down onto both knees.
A sensation of deep humiliation instantly filled him.
Inwardly, Yang Qi was clicking his tongue in wonder. The palm move he had used was actually intended to crush Star Swordlife out of existence, not just force him to his knees. It had used his imperial-heaven pre-beginning powers, the ultimate manifestation of the Engine of the One God, which were even more formidable now that he was in the mid Terrifying level.
If Star Swordlife wasn’t able to hold strong, he would be reduced into a smear of bloody gore.
But he did manage to hold strong, although the true energy inside him was being destroyed left and right. It was a testament to the formidability of the triple-combined Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, which had pushed Star Swordlife’s power index to eight thousand and his psychic scale to around two hundred.
Unfortunately, he paled into insignificance compared to Yang Qi. Yang Qi had a psychic scale of over three hundred, which meant he could dominate all of heaven and earth. Even in the god world, there were peak Terrifying experts who wouldn’t be able to match up to him in that regard.
As Star Swordlife was forced to his knees beneath the imperial-heaven pre-beginning powers, Yang Qi unleashed another incredible art.
A primal-chaos elder-snake appeared behind him, ready to devour anything it encountered. Considering the level of his cultivation base, he could recreate King Heaven-Devourer’s talismans. The actual talismans were in the hands of his immortal-slaying clone. That said, the versions that Yang Qi could create on his own were still profoundly powerful.
Yang Qi was now so skilled in recreating duplicate versions of various magical treasures that no one would be able to tell the difference, even if the real talismans were present.
Star Swordlife had thirsted to seal Yang Qi away for millions upon millions of years. And he had hoped to inflict immense torment on him, to the point where Yang Qi longed for death. But now, Yang Qi had him on his knees, his true energy pouring out of him like a waterfall and his heart filled with intense humiliation.
Star Swordlife wanted to fight back, but simply couldn’t.
He was being drained, and could tell death was approaching. However, in that moment, a stream of power entered him, filling him with such might that he managed to struggle to his feet. The primal-chaos elder-snake that was devouring his energy exploded, and his energy flowed back into him.
Yang Qi immediately backed up.
“Well, hello, Proud Heaven,” he said. “You’ve finally decided to step in? Couldn’t bear to see your pawn killed? It seems Star Swordlife has some destiny from the god world, and you need him to get at what you want. Am I right?”
“Proud Heaven…?” Doom, Proud World, and the Shepherd all suddenly felt very nervous as they huddled together behind Yang Qi, worried that Proud Heaven might just attack them outright.
At the moment, Yang Qi’s gaze was fixed on the location of the sealing mark, as though he could see something there that no one else could see.
“Show yourself, Proud Heaven,” Yang Qi said. “Your energy arts are definitely formidable. But I'm in the mid Terrifying level now. I’ve cultivated the energy arts in the thirty-six masks, so I can personally track you down if I have to.”
Sinister, cackling laughter rang out as a young man in an azure robe appeared in the exact spot Yang Qi had been staring, right behind Star Swordlife. He was incomparably good-looking and pulsed with an aura that seemed both righteous and wretched, but at the same time, neither of those things. It was like looking at something that was black and white at the same time.
It was none other than Proud Heaven himself.
Only he could project an aura like this.
No one could tell whether he was righteous or wretched, whether he was black or white. His cultivation base did not belong to the mortal world anymore. And he was the only person to have ever gone to the god world... and returned.
He had finally shown his face.
The Proud Heaven that Yang Qi had encountered in the mortal world had been nothing but a tiny projection of will, but this was his true self, which meant that he couldn’t have been more different than the version Yang Qi had met in the past.
“I never would’ve guessed that we would actually meet in the flesh like this, Yang Qi,” Stepping forward, he clasped Star Swordlife on the shoulder. “It was not in vain that I helped you, Star Swordlife. But even so, you're not a match for Yang Qi. You did well in your mission to get the triple-combined Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth. Thus, I saved you and will take you to the god world with me. Together, we’ll find that object that has been decreed to you by fate and forever leave behind these four people.”
“Do you see now, Star Swordlife?” Yang Qi said. “Proud Heaven really does view you as nothing more than a pawn. And you're still willing to serve him?”
“I don’t care about anything other than sealing you!” Star Swordlife said. “Proud Heaven is Proud Heaven. You are you. It doesn’t have anything to do with me. Right now, there’s only one important thing for me to do, and that's seal you. Then my will can reach new heights. You are my heart-devil; without sealing you, I can never rest at ease.”
"Pig-headed fool!” Yang Qi spat.
Meanwhile, Proud Heaven was looking at Proud World. “You're my son, Proud World. I can’t believe that you would betray me after everything I did for you. You’re even conspiring against me with my enemies. I think the time has come to take back everything I blessed you with.”
“Bah!” Proud World said. “You're an evil creature, Proud Heaven. After the way you treated me, I'm not your son. I was nothing more than an experiment to you. You raised me as a prisoner in the future world, making me live a life of torment to reach my current level. I swore an oath long ago to kill you.”
Proud Heaven laughed. “If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t be as strong as you are. How could anyone truly know the pains I went through to ensure that? You may be strong, but to me, you’re nothing more than trash. Where’s your mother? Call her out.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter