Now that Yang Qi knew there was another piece of the Mahātmā Jade in the Nacrelight Sageland, he at least had a target and goal. No longer was he attempting to fish a needle from the sea. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be easy to get into the Nacrelight Sageland. He wouldn’t be able to use the God Legion Seal without fear of being discovered, which meant he needed to come up with a good plan before moving forward. Thankfully, he had plenty of time to work with; if there was one thing people who practiced cultivation didn’t need to worry about very often, it was time.
And one thing was certain: he would be going alone.
“How about I send the purrling with you?” Jadefall said. “In that case, you’d at least have some insurance to make sure things don’t go horribly wrong.”
The purrling immediately let out two purring sounds which indicated, “There’s no way I'm bothering myself with this. Cultivation inherently comes with a lot of problems, and you need to figure them out on your own. Don’t bother me with your petty melodrama.”
Yang Qi understood, and nodded. “The Mahātmā Jade is my challenge, and I’ll handle it on my own. I actually know someone from there, a young woman named Summer Tearfall. I got the sense she's someone important, so perhaps I can take advantage of my relationship with her to get into the Nacrelight Sageland.” 
“When do you plan on leaving?” Jadefall asked. “Our position in the House of God Ordainment is extremely stable right now, so you don’t need to worry about things here. We just need to wait until the tricentennial election, then either you or I will take over as the houselord, and control the destiny of the entire sect. At that point, the old houselord and his son will have to follow whatever orders we give.”
He shook his head. “I’m afraid we can't wait for the tricentennial election. The destiny of the sect has experienced a sharp drop recently, and I fear it’ll actually be destroyed before the election arrives. Why don’t we just take whatever destiny we need, by force? I think there should be enough to get most of our people to the Consummate God level, and a few of us might even become Perfect Gods. At that point, we can just move on to the Eternal-Life God-Dynasty, and drain them dry as well. The destiny of the dynasty should be enough to make me a Paramount God.”
The Shepherd burst out laughing. “You make us sound like deadly parasites that just move from one fat target to the next.”
“That’s exactly what we are,” Proud World said. “We’re locusts who plunder everything in our path. It’s just the law of survival. It seems to me that the boundless Sovereign Lord of years past actually wanted to use his Sagely Sacrifice on the entire god world, but ultimately failed.”
“If the destiny of the House of God Ordainment is a candle,” Doom said, “then the Eternal-Life God-Dynasty’s is a volcano. Let’s take care of the House of God Ordainment before we worry about anything else. The Shepherd and I recently mastered a consummate art from the dao of devils. If we use it to sacrifice the entire House of God Ordainment and assimilate the quintessence vitality and souls of the Perfect God chief elders, we would definitely become invincible.”
“There’s no need for that,” Yang Qi said. “In the heaven above, there’s virtue in sparing life. We aren’t going to be the kind of people who go around slaughtering everyone. Anyone who tries to kill us will pay the price, but those who back down will be given a chance to survive. For instance, the junior houselord is definitely going to die, otherwise he’ll just become a huge disaster. He’s trying hard to reach the Unbounded level, and if he succeeds....”
“It's not as if the Unbounded level is easy to reach,” Jadefall said, shaking her head. “So what’s our next move? Perhaps you should continue taking advantage of your connections in the Crown Prince Society.”
Yang Qi smiled. “Soon enough, I'm going to take those three chief elders from the Hall of Promotions to see Dream Daylily. They're Perfect Gods, so if they join, I should be able to get a big reward from the crown prince.”
With that, Yang Qi and his people continued working on the Sage Monarch Grand Magic, provoking numerous transformations within them. As for Yang Qi, he was making progress on the path of “Nothing”.
Unfortunately, he wasn't even close to grasping at the Annulled level.
As for his friends and family, they were all making great progress and were either heading into the mid, late, or peak of the Paramount level.
Ever since he had acquired a second piece of the Mahātmā Jade, Yang Qi’s energy arts and cultivation had skyrocketed, and he was able to add deeper levels of enlightenment into the Sage Monarch Grand Magic.
Months passed as they worked on their cultivation. The entire time, Yang Qi didn’t make any public appearances.
At a certain point, three figures appeared at his side, wearing wide, conical hats that obscured their facial features. No one would be able to tell, but these were the three chief elders from the Hall of Promotions, the Perfect Gods Ding Lian’gen, Ding Lian’gong, and Ding Lian’xun. 
They were brothers.
In fact, they were triplets who had worked very hard, climbing their way through the ranks until they were chief elders. However, Yang Qi had wiped the floor with them and infected them with his devil embryos, which meant they had to follow his orders.
“In a moment, I'm going to take you to see someone important from the Crown Prince Society, a woman named Dream Daylily. Despite her status, she doesn’t have the right to make decisions about people as important as you. She’ll definitely send word up the ranks, and they’ll send someone more important to talk with you. I want you to say that I glibly convinced you to join the Crown Prince Society. Don’t tell the truth about things, obviously. After you join the Crown Prince Society, you still need to take orders from me, got it? The infighting in the Crown Prince Society is intense, and without someone to rely on, you’ll quickly get in trouble. But I can make sure you're safe, and benefit from the position.”
“We understand,” the three brothers replied in unison. Of course, if Yang Qi got them into the Crown Prince Society, it would solidify his own power, and enable him to start building his own faction within the society. It was nothing out of the ordinary.
After all, even the factions in the House of God Ordainment had smaller groups within them.
A moment later, Yang Qi was secretly leading them into the restaurant run by the Eternal-Life God-Dynasty to see Dream Daylily. As soon as Dream Daylily caught sight of Yang Qi, her eyes flashed with anger. “So, you’re finally coming to see me, Yang Qi? It’s been over three years! Almost four! What have you been doing this whole time? Working on cultivation? You haven’t accomplished a single thing! The leaders of the Crown Prince Society are very angry, and if I hadn’t worked hard to smooth things over, they might have decided to just eliminate you. If you don’t accomplish something noteworthy, you’re going to end up punished.”
“What was I doing for the past three years?” Yang Qi asked. “I was working hard on my cultivation. Now I'm a Consummate God, and also a child of primeval chaos. And I have plenty of plans for how to further the interests of the crown prince. I suggest you tell the leaders to have a bit more patience. Furthermore, I've brought these three top experts here to join the Crown Prince Society.”
Only then did Dream Daylily look over at the three figures, who removed their hats to reveal their faces. When Dream Daylily saw who they were, her eyes widened. “Are those the three chief elders from the Hall of Promotions? Ding Lian’gen, Ding Lian’gong, and Ding Lian’xun? All Perfect Gods? How could people like that agree to join the Crown Prince Society?”
The three chief elders went on to do exactly as Yang Qi had ordered.
“Yang Qi offered some very persuasive arguments,” said Ding Lian’gen. “We used to support the junior houselord, who is of course backed by the third prince. But Yang Qi revealed the truth to us, and showed how unreliable the third prince is. We realized that if we didn’t make a change, we wouldn’t have any foundation in the future. We obviously have to stick with the Crown Prince.”
“Oh?” Dream Daylily’s look of shock only continued to grow. “You three are very important people. I don’t have the authority to recruit you. Please wait a moment while I get in touch with one of my superiors. As for you, Yang Qi, if you really convinced three chief elders to join the Crown Prince Society, you’ve provided a huge service. In fact, I'm not even sure how you’ll be rewarded.”
With that, Dream Daylily burned several different paper talismans to send messages to her superiors.
A few hours passed, then an immense energy weighed down and three figures pierced through space, landing right in front of them.
Yang Qi recognized two of them. One was Grand Eunuch Nie Yinyang, who was a peak Perfect God, and the other was God-King Ruthless. The third wore a long, golden robe, and held a fan in one hand. He was obviously a very important person, and had an extremely impressive cultivation base. It was very telling that both God-King Ruthless and Nie Yinyang stood slightly behind him on either side.
Yang Qi could immediately tell that this was some lower-ranked prince that worked for the crown prince.
There were thousands of princes in the Eternal-Life God-Dynasty, but only a few dozen of them could be considered truly powerful. So it was only natural that some of them would join up with someone like the crown prince.
“Yang Qi, this is the eighteenth prince,” God-King Ruthless barked, “quickly get on your knees and kowtow in salute.”
Yang Qi hurried to comply, but the eighteenth prince waved his hand dismissively and said, “There’s no need for that mumbo-jumbo. Let’s just get down to business. Do you three chief elders really want to join the Crown Prince Society? You need to think this through carefully. Once you join the Crown Prince Society, you can’t leave it without being severely punished. Furthermore, the crown prince will insert a warding spell into you, which he can use to kill you if you betray him. Of course, there’s plenty of benefits. The third prince is a ruthless and ambitious figure who wants to control the entire House of God Ordainment and gain access to their reserve power, all in the hopes of crushing the crown prince. We have to make sure he fails.”
“We want to join!” the three brothers said in unison.
Then Ding Lian’gen said, “Yang Qi has explained that the crown prince treats the virtuous men courteously and the scholars with respect, and is a gentleman who will die for his friends. So it’s only natural that we would want to serve him. If a measly person like Yang Qi could receive such excellent treatment, then surely we Perfect Gods will be treated even better.”
“Excellent!” the eighteenth prince said in delight. “Then the time has come to swear your oaths. This is a talisman provided by the crown prince, which I will use to officiate the ceremony. Unfortunately, the crown prince is off fighting some Paramount Gods, and won’t be back for another three years. In any case, considering your outstanding backgrounds, you’ll definitely rank as counts in the Eternal-Life God-Dynasty, at the minimum.”
The three chief elders bowed their heads as the crown prince’s warding spell entered them, taking away their freedom and ensuring that they never betrayed the crown prince.
“You’ve done shockingly well, Yang Qi,” the eighteenth prince said. “As the saying goes, he who hasn’t made a splash yet will often make the biggest splash of all. What reward are you aiming for in this? Say the word, and I’ll approve your request on the behalf of the crown prince.”
1. Summer Tearfall was introduced in chapter 1253. She was a captive of the Eternal-Life God-Dynasty. Yang Qi purchased her freedom and let her go back home to the Nacrelight Sageland in chapter 1254.
2. Ding Lian’gen, Lian’gong, Lian’xun: Ding is a surname which also happens to be the fourth of the heavenly stems. Lian means “link, connect, include.” Gen means “root, basis”. Gong means “public, common, noble, honorable”. Xun means “modest, unpretentious”.