The students from the Crown Prince Society were completely shocked.
It was plain as day that Li He, Hua Yinhu, He Jili, and Liang Dong were all heading toward the Academy of Sage Studies. Of course, Liang Dong was already an elite student, so he had no particular reason to return there. And the other three were only inner campus students, so why would they be going there?
There was only one explanation, as unlikely as it seemed, and that was that all of them had reached the Lifeseizing level, and were about to become elite students.
“Q-q-quick… follow them. We have to find out what’s going on.” After only a moment of hesitation, the entire group raced after them.
The scene of the four students heading toward the Academy of Sage Studies, followed by a scrambling group from the Crown Prince Society, immediately attracted a lot of attention.
When they arrived, Elder War-Soldier looked at them in surprise. “What? All three of you reached the Lifeseizing level? Present your techniques for inspection.”
A blast of air rushed through the Academy of Sage Studies as a burning mass of sun-like sword energy rose up.
Shocked, Elder War-Soldier said, “What a pure version of the Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique! The only way to do that would be to use a sun gem combined with moonlight from black floodwyrm demon cores; the complementary aspects of fire and water combined! With sword energy like that to wield in a fight, the three of you will be the best of the best among Lifeseizers. Your future prospects are going to be incredible.”
“You guessed correctly, Elder. With the help of our clans, we got a sun gem and some moonlight from black floodwyrm demon cores. That enabled us to cultivate the Cosmic Sunflare Sword to the next level, and break through to Lifeseizing.”
The other elders in the Academy of Sage Studies all let out exclamations of praise.
“Your meridians are much stronger than those of average elite students!” Elder War-Soldier continued. “And your seas of energy are far larger. All of you could be considered long-time, hardworking students here at the Demi-Immortal Institute. As of this moment, we elders of the Academy of Sage Studies confirm that you are in the Lifeseizing level, and may be promoted to the level of elite students. Men! Bring out the elite student garments, as well as the identity medallions. And arrange for personal residences in the College of Elite Students.”
The events which were playing out were a complete shock to the members of the Crown Prince Society.
The student who was in charge of the eavesdropping group was a ninth phase inner campus student. After a long, long moment passed, he managed to regain his composure and say, “Let’s leave. We have to tell our superiors about what’s happened. This is big.”
All of the students flew off.
Soon, word began to spread about the three new Lifeseizers.
“They’re all fast friends of Yang Qi, and now they all achieved breakthroughs at the same time! They’ve definitely got potential. Whatever society manages to recruit them will instantly be a lot stronger. Elite students are very important to the institute.”
“That's right. Now that they’re all elite students, they're a force to be reckoned with. Although they can’t exactly do anything they want, they’re definitely the type of people that no one will dare to offend now.”
“I have to go tell the higher-ups in my Five Lightnings Society. We need to recruit Yang Qi and his friends as quickly as possible, and especially Yang Qi. Seems he’s a real genius.”
“Yun Hailan from the Crown Prince Society has a grudge with him, right? I wonder what that’s all about.”
“That’s old news. I heard that she betrayed him a while back.”
“Shh! Keep your voice down. Yun Hailan is a hotshot in the institute nowadays. She gained the Crown Prince’s approval, and even became the apprentice of Patriarchs Wind and Cloud. If you talk about her, and people from the Crown Prince Society overhear, you’re going to be in deep trouble.”
“Come on, let’s get out of here….”
Whispering amongst themselves, the students slowly left.
Meanwhile, behind the buildings that made up the Demi-Immortal Institute, in the Heaven Lode Mountains, a group of elite students had gathered on a certain mountain peak to discuss matters.
One of them was the very same Gu Fenxian that Yang Qi had defeated some time ago. Also present was Song Haishan, who was clad in a spectacular suit of leather armor that made him look like a heroic warrior. However, his expression was grim, and his eyes flickered with burning hatred, making him seem more like a hungry wolf lurking on the side of the road.
There were other top experts present, both Secondary and Tertiary Lifeseizers. There was even a Quaternary Lifeseizer.
Song Haishan was now a Lifeseizer as well, and from his energy fluctuations, it seemed that he cultivated some unusual, rare technique.
The leader of the group was a young man named Jiang Fan. 
He was obviously the highest-ranking person present, with a Quaternary Lifeseizing cultivation base.
That said, the mountain peak they currently occupied didn’t belong to him, but rather, to some other member of their society who had already reached Quinary Lifeseizing, and become a conclave student. However, he was out of the institute on business, and had left his mountain available for members of the society to use.
Normally speaking, a group of students like this could not come to the Heaven Lode Mountains without a conclave student to lead them. But being members of the Crown Prince Society, things were different for them.
Snorting coldly, Jiang Fan said, “Where did Chu Tiange get off to? It's been months, and he’s still not back. As a member of the Crown Prince Society, he’s supposed to help with important activities. Does he want to get expelled or something?”
“Elder Brother Jiang,” Gu Fenxian replied, “I heard that Chu Tiange joined some students from the Gentlemen’s Society on a mission into the Fiendcorpse Mountains. Ever since then, no one has seen him. The students from the Gentlemen’s Society all returned, just not him. I’d say there’s a high likelihood he’s actually dead.”
“If he’s dead, good,” one of the Secondary Lifeseizers said. “He was an arrogant prick anyway. I can't believe he teamed up with people from another society. But if he's really dead, the members of the Gentlemen’s Society are going to be investigated by the institute.”
“Look,” Song Haishan said, “If Chu Tiange isn't back in time for the Inter-Institutional Martial Arts Competition, then it means something bad happened to him, and the institute will look into it. For now, it doesn’t matter. Let’s talk about that disaster Yang Qi.”
“Yang Qi is a Lifeseizer already,” Jiang Fan said, “with a very profound cultivation base. Not even Junior Brother Gu Fenxian was a match for him. If he refuses to join us, and even goes so far as to oppose us, we might as well crush him right now. Hailan has the support of the Crown Prince, so for all intents and purposes, her desires should be treated like his. First, we’ll try to get him to acknowledge allegiance. If he refuses, then he ‘disappears’.”
Gu Fenxian didn't seem very happy about Jiang Fan’s analysis. Snorting coldly, he said, “I was just careless that day, Elder Brother Jiang. If I had used my Painting of Immortal Immolation, he would definitely be dead now.”
“Come on, Elder Brother Gu,” one of the other experts said. “This Yang Qi isn’t that easy of an opponent to deal with. Besides, he has the backing of Yang Susu and Holy Daughter Manyflowers. Both of them could be real problems.”
“Who cares about those two?” Song Haishan said. “My cousin took the Patriarchs Wind and Cloud as masters. With the patriarchs and the Crown Prince on our side, if Holy Daughter Manyflowers and Yang Susu try to make a move against us, they’re dead.” He was obviously trying to sound tough; his defeat at the hands of Yang Qi had been a big humiliation, and he dreamed constantly about getting revenge.
When everything began between the two of them, Yang Qi had been little more than an ant. Now, he was becoming famous, and had a higher position in the Demi-Immortal Institute than Song Haishan himself. Considering all that, how could he possibly just sit around doing nothing?
“Fine,” Gu Fenxian said, his voice echoing with hatred, “if you don’t want to go after Yang Qi right now, why don't we do something about those little accomplices of his? What are their names? Li He? Hua Yinhu…? Kill them all! Or at least cripple them. Better yet, we strike at their clans, and thus force them to acknowledge allegiance to us. One at a time, we can take out everyone Yang Qi cares about.”
At this point, the group on the mountain peak heard a voice from down below. “This is bad. Real bad….”
Jiang Fan waved his hand, causing a stream of true energy to descend to the foot of the mountain, wrap around a group of Crown Prince Society students, and pull them to the peak.
“Bad news, Elder Brother Jiang,” said one of the crestfallen students who had been watching Yang Qi’s friends.
“What happened?” Jiang Fan asked his expression flickering. “Spit it out!”
“We just watched with our own eyes as Hua Yinhu, He Jili, and Li He all went to the Academy of Sage Studies. The grand elders there commended them and promoted them to the elite student level. They’re all in the Lifeseizing level! The Academy of Sage Studies already sent an official message to the Sage Ancestor Dynasty requesting that they reward their clans….”
“What?” Song Haishan blurted, shooting to his feet. Stepping forward, he grabbed the student who had just spoken. “Stop jabbering, I can barely understand what you're saying!”
The student he had grabbed looked back, anger flashing in his eyes. Actually, most students in the Crown Prince Society felt that Song Haishan was simply taking advantage of his cousin’s status. As far as they were concerned, he really was trash.
Of course, none of them would dare to say that out loud.
Song Haishan tossed the student to the side. Expression the picture of vicious fury, he said, “Dammit! Damn these friends of Yang Qi. How could they have become elite students? I risked my life to do the same! I cultivated day and night in the Devil-Suppression Tower, where I constantly fought devil-ghosts to temper myself! I'm gonna kill you, Yang Qi!”
“Calm down, Song Haishan,” Jiang Fan said. “Things have changed, so forget about the previous plan. They’re elite students now, and will receive rewards from the Sage Ancestor Dynasty. If we did something to them now, it would be like slapping the ruling dynasty in the face. The institute would never let something like that happen.”
“So what? We just let it all drop?” Song Haishan’s eyes were completely bloodshot. “Yang Qi must die! That’s what my cousin wants. We have to think of a way to deal with him.”
“Well, that’s simple. Since we can't do anything to his friends, we’ll just have to take him out directly!” Jiang Fan chuckled coldly. “Before, Hua Yinhu and those others were just freshman students. It was only after they met Yang Qi that they suddenly became Lifeseizers in only a half a year or so. That's definitely the work of Yang Qi. He has secrets, that's for sure. Alright, I’ll handle it myself tomorrow. I’ll go to the College of Elite Students to call him out, and then we’ll see what tricks he has up his sleeves.”
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