Yang Qi had just set up a Seven-Seven Reincarnation Formation, and had also created stone swords using his godpower. It was an imitation of the Lord of the Sword Dao and his Unbounded Sword River. Once unleashed, it would send out waves of sword energy that would cut down anything they touched. And the power of stone was connected to the earth in a way that would make the defenses impervious to assault.
They really were the perfect defenses.
‘I'm curious to see how strong these demonlings are!’ he thought.
Before long, they heard the pounding of drums and the piercing cry of bugles. “What’s that?” Yang Qi asked. "Don't tell me the demonlings are organized into an actual army.”
“Those aren’t demonlings,” Zhang Jufang replied. “Those are the other fifty-five mines, calling a meeting among the foremen. The call is coming from Mine One, which is where the foremen will gather. Considering a demonling invasion is expected, the foreman of Mine One wants to have everyone united in defense of the mines.”
“I see,” Yang Qi replied. “Now that I think about it, the god that brought us here from the sect mentioned something about this. That said, although Mine One might have the authority to call a meeting, they don’t have the right to order us around. Our mine is already completely secure, and there’s no way any demonlings will make it inside. But if the other foremen are expecting trouble, I suppose I can help them out. You stay on guard here. The formation I've set up won’t fall, and you can use it to kill hordes of enemies without being in danger.”
“Understood,” the disciples replied. “We won’t let you down!”
With a flick of his sleeve, Yang Qi flew up into the air.
In the darkness of night, the mines shone like torches, making it very easy to see them. Although they were separated, they were close enough that travel was possible without the use of teleportation portals.
Yang Qi flew toward the largest of the mines, Mine One, which was fully three times as big as his Mine Thirteen. It had over a million miners, making it even more difficult to govern. However, from what he had heard, the foreman of Mine One had a good relationship with an important elder from the House of God Ordainment, making his job a lot easier.
And it gave Mine One a lot more authority in general.
Drums pounded and bugles called out into the night.
Eventually, Yang Qi touched down in Mine One and saw a group of over fifty official disciples sitting in a square on a mountain peak. A glimmering shield protected the area from the cold wind. It would surely take a lot of godstones to keep a shield like that operational, but Mine One could afford it.
The gathered disciples noticed Yang Qi’s arrival, and most of them nodded in greeting.
“Yang Qi,” one of them said, “you’re the foreman of Mine Thirteen, right? We heard that you killed Huang Weilong right before the meeting of gang leaders. That bastard had it coming. Amazing!”
“You flatter me,” Yang Qi said, finding a seat. “We’re all official disciples, after all. How could we let ourselves be pushed around by some novice disciples?”
“But I heard that you had some rebels in your mine,” another disciple said. “If you go around killing them too readily, they’ll be difficult to control. All of the mines have gang leaders who cause problems. Some of them even have deals worked out with people from the dao of devils. In other words, if you handle them wrong it can easily lead to violent riots. And anyone who doesn’t meet the yearly quota will be severely punished.”
“Alright, everyone, quiet down,” someone said. Everyone looked over and saw a handsome, well-built young man walking out of the nearby mansion grotto. He was clearly an extraordinary individual and seemed to radiate the air of a leader. He had obviously done well for himself after becoming an official disciple.
“Elder Brother Yue, did you finally succeed in cultivating your Myriad-Hills God-Mountain Subjugation? Congratulations! You must be just on the verge of becoming a god!”
“You’re exactly right. The Yue Clan has elders in the House of God Ordainment, and they’re very powerful. Of course, I’m only an official student, so they can’t be too brazen in helping me. But after passing the Bloodgore Trials, things changed. I benefited a lot last time I went to the sect, and it won’t be long now before I reach godly ascension. If you people stick with me, I’ll make sure to take good care of you.”
This Elder Brother Yue seemed to fairly pulse with a powerful aura.
‘His energy arts are profound,’ Yang Qi thought. ‘He’s benefited a lot in the last month, and he seems to have put Mine One in order. Whatever elder supports him back in the sect, it seems they might not be just a Lesser God. Perhaps it was with that elder’s help that he took care of the gang leader in his mine. It seems to me he called this meeting because he wants to take advantage of the situation to benefit himself.’
“Elder Brother Yue, why did you call this meeting?” asked a female disciple. “Is it because of the demonling invasion?”
She was the foreman of Mine Thirty-Six. However, from the expression on her face, Yang Qi could tell that she was working with Elder Brother Yue.
“Yes, it's because of the demonling invasion,” Elder Brother Yue replied. “As you’ve all probably noticed, over the past few days there have been many more demonlings in the area than there used to be. And here and there some will pop up that are particularly powerful. That’s a sign of an upcoming invasion. Considering how your mines are so spread out, it's going to be impossible to simply repel the invasion. So we need to work together. We disciples of the Guardian Mines need to be united and focus our strength. The miners as well. If we don’t, we won’t be able to stand up to this invasion.”
“A demonling invasion. How terrifying....”
“You’re right. We haven’t even been here for a month, and there's already going to be an invasion. I guess we just have really bad luck. They say that there are always casualties during demonling invasions. Even foremen can die. What are we supposed to do?”
“Just listen to Elder Brother Yue. He has the backing of an elder, which means that if things get really bad, a god will probably come help out.”
“But he said we need to focus our strength. How? If we try to join the forces of all fifty-six mines, I doubt it would be very orderly. It’d be pure chaos.”
After the disciples discussed the matter amongst themselves for a moment, Elder Brother Yue chuckled. “There’s no need to worry, I’ve already taken care of everything. All of you will be fine. I’ve prepared plenty of spell formations here in Mine One. Plus, there’s plenty of open space for the rest of you and I’ve also stockpiled resources. Therefore, over the next two days, you need to bring as much of your ores and godstones over here as you can. The invasion will begin at any moment, so there's no time to lose.”
“Er....” The other disciples exchanged awkward glances. Only complete fools wouldn't realize by now what Elder Brother Yue was getting at. Obviously, he was trying to take advantage of the situation to seize complete control of all of the mines! He wanted control of all the resources!
Some of the disciples were inclined to leave, but when they saw Elder Brother Yue’s cold eyes, they reconsidered. The House of God Ordainment had strict rules, so Elder Brother Yue couldn't just kill them. But he could lend someone a knife and have them do his dirty work for him. Besides, if they went out on their own, they would have to deal with the demonling invasion on their own. And a mistake in that regard could lead to a quick death. Obviously, fleeing wasn't an option either, as the punishment for that was even more severe.
“That’s a great idea, Elder Brother Yue,” said the foreman of Mine Thirty-Six. “It’s simple. We combine the resources of all fifty-six mines, and follow your orders. You can hand everything over to the sect for us. I was just thinking recently about how difficult it would be to actually meet the quota. But with you in charge of all the resources, you can easily make up for any deficit. Then we’ll all end the year successfully. It's a really good idea.”
It was obvious what Elder Brother Yue wanted. The mines actually produced a lot more ore than the quotas demanded, which was why everyone who worked there could benefit to some extent.
But Elder Brother Yue wanted all the resources to go to him, which would mean that he could keep all the extra. Either that, or he could hand in the extra and receive amazing rewards from the sect.
If Yang Qi understood this, then how could the others not?
They had all passed the Bloodgore Trials, which meant they were all formidable figures. And none of them were fools.
“I agree with this proposal, Elder Brother,” another disciple said, the foreman of Mine Fifty. Considering how quick he was to speak, it seemed obvious that he and Elder Brother Yue had come to an agreement earlier. “After all, we’re all just simple cultivators. Who wants to worry about all the complicated aspects of running a mine? If you can make up for any deficit on our part, we’ll be eternally grateful to you.”
“I also agree. This will be the best for everyone. From now on, we don’t need to worry about meeting the yearly quota.” It was the foreman of Mine Forty. After him, another foreman spoke up, then another, and all of them were siding with Elder Brother Yue.Previous Chapter Next Chapter