“If I wanted this woman, I wouldn’t ask for your permission,” Yang Qi’s incarnation replied, looking at Huang Weilong as if he were already a dead man. “I run this mine, and you’re only a novice disciple. If I want to kill you, I’ll kill you. Are you really so bold as to directly oppose me?”
Huang Weilong burst out into maniacal laughter. “You think way too much of yourself, Yang Qi. You really believe you’re the end-all and be-all here? Listen up. The person who runs this mine is me. I'm in charge! I'm the overlord here! Maybe if you become a god you might have what it takes to boss me around. But somehow, I doubt that you’re going to be achieving that breakthrough anytime soon. And that means that you’re mine! You do what I tell you! It’s like the old saying, the barracks are as permanent as iron, the soldiers are as temporary as water. You would do well to understand that you are the temporary water, and I'm the permanent iron!”
Shaking his head, Yang Qi’s incarnation waved his hand, and the young woman’s metal manacles collapsed.
The sight of it caused Huang Weilong to shiver slightly.
Those were godsteel manacles, which meant it would take incredible force to break them. Yet a mere incarnation of Yang Qi had actually destroyed them with ease.
“You might be strong, but do you really think I don’t have contingencies in place? Hmph! I’ve placed spell formations and traps throughout this entire mountain, including your mansion grotto. If you move a muscle, all it’ll take is a single word from me and all the disciples in this mine will revolt. Then, all of the ore that you have to deliver at the end of the year will disappear. And how will you explain that? If you defy me today, then tomorrow you’ll be demoted and forced to work in the mines like an ordinary miner. You see, the novice disciples here aren’t loyal to the House of God Ordainment. We can leave this place any time we want to, and simply disappear. They don’t care about us. But you... you're an official disciple. If you make any mistakes, you’ll be punished, and running away won’t do any good.”
Huang Weilong wasn’t just making idle threats. As he spoke, he sent some godpower out, connecting to a spell formation in the middle of his residence. “I’ll make it very simple for you, Yang Qi. Just walk away. Leave the girl, and I’ll pretend none of this happened. I’ll mind my business, you mind yours. And by the way, one more word of warning: the gang leaders from all fifty-six mines will be meeting soon, so if you cause any problems, you’ll be facing all of their wrath. Do you really think you can deal with both internal and external strife? Would you really dare to kill people from the other mines?”
Huang Weilong’s threats would have probably worked very well on other people. But to Yang Qi, they weren’t particularly moving.
“You clearly don’t understand what I'm capable of,” he said casually. “Why don’t you go ahead and activate one of those spell formations and see what happens. See if it affects my mansion grotto. Go ahead.”
“Fine, you asked for it!” Huang Weilong slapped his hand on the wall, causing one section to sink in and reveal a hidden recess. Then he shoved a relatively high quality godstone into it, which caused the wall to start thrumming and sent a tremor through the whole mountain.
However, after about two or three breaths of time passed, a grinding sound could be heard within the recess and the godstone shot back out into Huang Weilong’s face, accompanied by a mass of destroyed mechanical parts.
“My machine!?” Huang Weilong blurted, his face falling. “It’s broken? How? Not even a god should be capable of that. How could you break it?”
“Simple,” Yang Qi replied coolly. “Because I’m as strong as a god. In fact, I could easily kill a mere Lesser God. You have no way of knowing it, but I actually killed a god during the Bloodgore Trials.”
“Y-y-you...” Huang Weilong stammered. “But why didn't you get selected as an apprentice? If you're really that strong, one of the almighty entities should’ve selected you. You should’ve been promoted! Only the weak disciples get sent here to the mines.”
This was the entire reason Huang Weilong had been acting so haughty. The impressive disciples, including those who became gods, were always selected to be the apprentices of important people. They wouldn't be sent to the mines. Only the weaklings were sent to the mines, and even though they were generally strong, when people like Huang Weilong ganged up on them, they would have no choice but to act as puppets.
“I won’t accept this. I'm going to kill you or die trying!” Huang Weilong spun and prepared to rush out and activate the traps in his mansion. Sadly for him, before he could get anywhere, a huge golden hand appeared and clamped down onto him, making it impossible for him to move.
“You’re coming with me,” Yang Qi said, then a popping sound could be heard as he burst out into the open, destroying any warding spells that got in his way. A moment later, he was atop the mountain, where he exhaled sharply, causing the enormous bell to loudly ring, summoning all of the novice disciples.
The disciples had only just returned to their mansion grottos and were preparing to settle down with their concubines, only to be summoned back for a meeting.
“What’s going on here? We just came down from the mountain, and now the foreman is summoning us back up? Can’t he just leave us be?”
“Come on, let’s go and see what it's all about. Fuck. Unless there’s some big problem, the foreman shouldn’t be calling us out like this.”
Obviously, quite a few of the disciples were grumbling.
“Let’s see what Elder Brother has to say about it.”
“What? Elder Brother is up there already?”
“Come on, hurry up. If Elder Brother is already up there, we can’t afford to tarry. Whatever the issue is, we have to follow his lead. He's in charge, and we have to stick to him.”
Two thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine disciples raced up the mountain, where a nearly unbelievable sight met their eyes. They saw their Elder Brother, trussed up and kneeling in front of the entrance to Yang Qi’s mansion grotto. As for Yang Qi, he sat cross-legged off to the side, seemingly lost in thought.
Huang Weilong’s staunchest supporters were the first to the top.
“What’s wrong, Elder Brother?”
“What happened to you?”
“Hurry up!” Huang Weilong shrieked. “This Yang Qi is being completely unreasonable. He ambushed me and tied me up! Free me and kill him! Today, either the fish dies, or the net splits! I’ll take responsibility for everything.”
“What?!” the disciples growled, surrounding Huang Weilong and simultaneously casting enraged glares at Yang Qi.
“How dare you, Yang Qi!” one of them shouted. “I can't believe you would violate the rules like this.”
“Are you saying you’re planning to defy me?” Yang Qi said coldly. “You're a bunch of novice disciples, and I’m an official disciple blessed by the House of God Ordainment. You think you can just do anything you want? You’re disrespecting the chain of command! Back down!”
“Don’t listen to him!” Huang Weilong said. Grinning viciously, he continued, “He just wants to intimidate you. Don’t give him the chance. Yang Qi, you punk, do you think you’re a god now or something? I can’t believe you’d dare to violate our rules. Kill him! Grab him and throw him to the demonlings!”
Even as he gushed on in this fashion, a blood-colored light flashed and his head flew up in the air. “Everyone join forces and kill him. Kill him! Kill—er... what? What’s going on? How come I can see my neck but not my head? Am I dying?”
Thump! A shriek rang out that only ended when his head landed on the ground.
Everyone backed up in fear. Not a single one of them had seen exactly what Yang Qi did. He had moved with such incredible speed that all they saw was the head dropping to the ground.
“Any who disrespect the chain of command will be killed!” Yang Qi said coolly. “What. Does anyone else want to step forward and make a move against me? Did you really think I’d be scared of a disorderly mob like this?”
“Attack! Kill him! Wipe him out! He’s only capable of so much. He can't stop us if we gang up on him!” A few dozen of Huang Weilong’s most loyal supporters reached for the weapons hanging at their waists, which were of course powerful magical treasures.
However, before they could do anything with them, a host of ripping sounds rang out, and blood sprayed everywhere as a few dozen heads flew into the air.
The other disciples present were shaken to the core and edged away from Yang Qi, eying him fearfully. How could any of them have ever guessed that he would be this formidable?
“Did you moronic idiots really think you could do anything to me? Anyone who defies me today will die. I’ll kill you and promote people to replace you from among the miners. And don’t even think of trying to start a riot among the miners. Anyone who opposes me... dies.”
“There’s nothing to fear if we stick together!” shouted another of Huang Weilong’s supporters. “If he kills us all, the miners will rebel! There’s no way he could handle a situation like that. Besides, we've hidden a lot of the minerals we've mined. If he kills us, he’ll never get them!”
“Minerals?” Yang Qi said. “You’re trying to threaten me with rocks? Very funny.” He snapped his fingers, and to everyone’s astonishment an enormous stone appeared, glittering as if with lightning and rumbling as if with thunder.
“That’s... that’s an imperial caliber godstone! And those are godstone thunderclaps! How could this be possible? Only the most ancient mines in the god world can produce stuff like that!”
“Where did he get it? It's huge! If you put that up for auction, it would sell for multiple godnotes.”
“Hand in an imperial caliber godstone like that to the sect and the rewards would be unimaginable!”
Yang Qi laughed. “You’re right. It’s an imperial caliber godstone. So what do you think? If I handed this in to the sect, how many years’ worth of quotas would it cover?”
Everyone was stunned to find that Yang Qi was actually incredibly rich. He had a single godstone that was worth upwards of ten years of production from the mine. In fact, it was virtually priceless.
Yang Qi waved his hand and the godstone vanished. No one had any idea where it went or how he had made it disappear.
“In other words, I can personally meet the quota of this mine for ten or twenty years. And you think I'm worried about you revolting? That’s a joke if ever I've heard one. In ten years, I could easily replace every single one of you novice disciples!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter