Rumor had it the flower of time could actually control the way time passed in the god world, at least in a small area. It was very useful, especially when forming godhood. If one could insert the flower into their godhood, and use certain special methods, it could actually improve the godhood significantly, and provide immensely better control over one’s godpower.
The flower was considered invincible. However, the downside was that this particular flower lacked a stamen, which meant its time powers were incomplete and would be difficult to properly control. Time in the god world didn't pass like time in the impure lands, and tampering with its flow was an easy way to get killed.
As soon as Yang Qi had arrived in the god world, he realized that all of the magical laws of the impure lands, from the Rich-Lush Continent to the immortal worlds, were illusory. In fact, those places weren’t truly real. Only the god world was real.
Those worlds were like the virtual reality games played in the future world. One could go inside of them, look around, and see things that seemed real. But they weren’t real. Only by reaching godly ascension could one ‘cultivate truth’, thus dispelling all illusions.
For now, he couldn’t use these petals belonging to the flower of time. But one day, he would be able to. Furthermore, there wasn’t just one flower of time. But they were exceedingly rare, similar to how rare Unbounded experts were. It would be easier to find a phoenix feather or a qilin horn than one of those flowers, and if one was found, it would be worth ten times more than all of the wealth Yang Qi had accumulated with his Sage Monarch Consortium. If a master alchemist could take this flower and use it to concoct a god pill, it would be a spectacular medicine that contained the power of a Paramount God. And finding more petals like these would help Yang Qi quickly improve his lifespan and cultivation base.
The time flow of the god world was the true and real flow of time. It was for that reason that the old-timers in the impure lands could live for millions upon millions of years, whereas lifespans in the god world were generally about a hundred years.
Although Yang Qi had formed monarch godhood, he still couldn’t manipulate time. In fact, he was still having difficulty with the space of the god world, let alone the time. If he tried to make a god kingdom, it would be illusory, and would only last for a short time.
And a tiny, temporary god kingdom like that wouldn’t do him any good.
Thus, Yang Qi needed to push his cultivation base to even higher levels. Only by commanding an Unbounded will convergence would he be able to manipulate time. And of course, before he could even think about the Unbounded level, he needed to reach the late stage of Paramount will convergence, then the peak.
Right now, he was only in early Paramount will convergence, and breaking through to the mid level wouldn’t be easy.
‘Now, about this scholar's body...’ he thought. The scholar sat there, looking very much alive. He even had a smile on his face as he perused the book scroll in his hand, as if he found the contents amusing.
Yang Qi drew on his monarch godhood, causing it to flow with immense force. Then he looked closer at the scholar, hoping to determine if he was alive or dead. Regardless, this person had obviously been someone astoundingly powerful. His fleshly body, including his skin, muscles, and everything else, was so powerful that, despite the conditions he had been in, it hadn’t been hurt at all. He was obviously far stronger than the crystal skulls had been.
Reaching out, Yang Qi put his hand on the scholar's back and sent some godpower into him. Almost instantly, he felt a reaction from the scholar’s sea of energy. It began gobbling up the power so rapidly that it seemed like it would go on forever before it would feel sated.
Yang Qi tried again, draining himself of true energy three times in a row during the process, yet the scholar's sea of energy seemed like a bottomless pit.
‘Incredible. This scholar was obviously someone immensely powerful. And he’s currently in a state that is neither dead nor undead. I wonder what happened to him all those years ago in the Chaos Forge God-Shrine. He doesn’t seem like one of the Pill-King God’s people. From what I understand, his people were all daoist priests, not confucian scholars. Furthermore, all of those almighty entities of ancient times ended up dying and dispersing into nothing, but this scholar remained behind. He must be some consummate expert.’
Yang Qi shook his head.
He had the feeling that if he kept sending godpower into the scholar, he would eventually gain something. If nothing else, the body should be worthy of study. Entering a state of being neither dead nor undead wasn’t an easy task, to the point where not even Yang Qi could emulate it.
What did it mean to be neither dead nor undead?
Death implied being without life. But this scholar wasn’t dead. On the other hand, he wasn’t alive, either. It was hard to say exactly what he was. Maybe he was dead, maybe he was alive. Maybe he wasn’t dead, maybe he wasn’t alive. It almost seemed like he had achieved a state of being lifeless and destructionless.
To be able to study someone in that state would lead to huge gains.
Suddenly, he heard someone approaching from behind.
Flicking his sleeve, he sucked the corpse inside, hiding it. Although he was wearing the robe of a law enforcement disciple, underneath it, he still had his God Legion Battle Robe on.
“What’s going on?” he said, having identified the intruder. It was Zhang Jufang.
“Milord,” Zhang Jufang said. “Some experts from the dao of devils are here. They don’t seem very friendly. Apparently they’ve earned a behind-the-scenes supporter in the form of a Consummate God from the dao of devils. I don’t think I should be tangling with a Consummate God, so I decided to report the matter directly to you. Do you want to see them?”
Yang Qi nodded. “Alright. I'm curious to see what these people from the dao of devils are like. Do they really want to do some business, or are they just here to try ordering us around? If it’s the latter, I might as well just wipe them out of existence and be done with the matter.”
He flicked his sleeve and was instantly outside. The Sage Monarch Consortium’s headquarters was huge, and contained all sorts of buildings, including storehouses and meeting halls in which to discuss business.
Upon arriving at the meeting hall where the people from the dao of devils were waiting, he immediately sensed how tense the atmosphere was.
There was a servant girl sprawled out on the floor, dead, her body completely drained of blood in what must have been a horrific death. She was a Quasi-God, and was one of the many employees that the Sage Monarch Consortium had picked up over the past two years.
Obviously, the experts from the dao of devils had killed her. One of them enjoyed feasting on the blood of virgins, and had no qualms about killing them on sight.
Yang Qi’s face immediately turned very grim.
At the moment, none of the other handmaidens dared to enter the hall for fear of being killed, therefore no one was waiting on the experts from the dao of devils.
There were about a dozen experts present, and they all looked different. But Yang Qi quickly identified the four most powerful among them, all of whom were Greater Gods. Of those four, one was completely naked, his body plastered with colorful paints that formed vicious and terrifying designs, even on his face.
Another was a tall, emaciated man clad in a green robe. He was so skinny he looked like a bamboo pole, and was ghostly in a way that made it seem like he might vanish at any moment.
The other two were obviously brothers. They were extremely muscular and radiated fiendish auras. At a glance, it was obvious that they must be important people in the dao of devils. As soon as Yang Qi and Zhang Jufang entered the hall, the eyes of those experts locked on to them in a fashion that would make most people shiver.
One of the muscular brothers currently had a bit of blood dribbling down his chin, making it obvious that he was the one who had killed the handmaiden.
“Milord, these are all elite experts from the dao of devils. As for the four Greater Gods, they're all apprentices of a patriarch of the dao of devils, the famous Lone King Heavenbane. The fellow with the colorful paint on him is Man Tu, the Totem Warlord. His fighting prowess is extremely shocking. The man in green is Shaqing Jun, a famous assassin. And the other two are the Tu Clan Brothers, Tu Xing and Tu Xue. As soon as Tu Xue saw that handmaiden, he killed her and sucked out all her blood. As a group, they belong to a group from the dao of devils called the Emptyhell Throne. Their Master, Lone King Heavenbane, is a very important person from the Emptyhell Throne.”   
“Well, that’s interesting,” Yang Qi said, nodding. Walking over to the conference table, he sat down.
Meanwhile, the people from the dao of devils were visibly surprised to see Yang Qi. After all, it seemed clear that Zhang Jufang’s cultivation base was far beyond his, so how could he be the person in charge?
“What kind of game are you playing, Zhang Jufang?” said one of the experts. “We said to get your boss out here to talk about making a deal with the Emptyhell Throne. So what’s this brat doing here?”
“Watch your mouth,” Zhang Jufang snapped. “This is my boss!”
“Oh? You work for a wimp like this?” They all started laughing. Obviously, people from the dao of devils didn’t follow any conventions or rules, nor did they have the slightest scruples.
“Very well,” said the Totem Warlord, eyeing Yang Qi. “If this brat is here to negotiate, then let's get down to business. From your clothing, I can tell that you're obviously the son of someone important from House of God Ordainment. Our Emptyhell Throne has something we want to sell you: a bunch of living slaves. Agreed?”
“You suck the quintessence-blood out of your slaves,” Yang Qi replied, “turning them into the walking dead. And now you want to sell them to us for three or four times what they're worth? Do you think we’re idiots? Why would we possibly agree to that? Normally speaking, we don’t even do business with you people from the dao of devils. Besides, your slaves are usually infected with devilishness that causes them to randomly go crazy.”
“Shut up, you!” said the Totem Warlord. “We never agreed to make any concessions, and if you refuse to do business with us, aren’t you worried about reprisals?”
“Is that a threat?” Yang Qi said. “Are you trying to force us to do business with you?”
Tu Xing chuckled darkly. “Take it as you will. Our Consummate God patriarch, Lone King Heavenbane, is currently low on funds, and we know that your Sage Monarch Consortium has interfered in the business between the Demonfolk and the dao of devils. In other words, you need to compensate us for our losses.”
Yang Qi smiled faintly. “So you want to do business? As long as there’s profit involved, we can talk things over.”
Upon hearing what they assumed was Yang Qi backing down, the people from the dao of devils looked even haughtier than before.
“You know what’s good for you, boy,” said the Totem Warlord. “But you still need to pay up to apologize. Hand over a million godnotes.”
“Slow down,” Yang Qi said. “If you want to do business, there’s an open account that needs to be settled first.”
“Open account? What do you mean?”
Yang Qi pointed at the corpse of the handmaiden. “You killed my handmaiden, so now you owe me.”