Neither Summer Vastcold nor Summer Soundfyre were inconsequential figures.
Yang Qi couldn’t help but be surprised at how, in the briefest of moments, Summer Vastcold came up with a ruthless plan to rake the firewood from beneath the kettle of her opponent, and inflict treacherous losses. ‘This woman is vicious and merciless,’ he thought. ‘It doesn’t matter if I help her or not, she won’t be grateful. She didn’t even ask my opinion on the matter. She just told me to give Summer Soundfyre the two hundred billion godnotes and then wait to take advantage of the situation later. I guess I’m working for her now.’
Everything from Summer Vastcold’s tone to her words put Yang Qi on guard as he realized that she was not someone to take lightly.
After all, the other men she had drawn into her web had ended up picked clean to the point where not even their bones remained behind.
It made sense. In the Nacrelight Sageland, men generally didn’t suffer good fates. Ninety-nine percent were fools who ended up getting killed. But many of them were fine with that. They were people who became too devoted to women, and allowed themselves to be used and discarded.
Thankfully, Yang Qi wasn’t the kind of person that could be easily taken advantage of. He would allow these women to use him as a pawn, and as long as they didn’t harm him, he wouldn’t take the initiative to harm them.
“What?” Yang Qi said with glittering eyes. Not wanting there to be any misunderstandings, he continued, “You want me to give Summer Soundfyre the two hundred billion godnotes? That's no small sum. If I give her that much wealth, I need to benefit from it as well, and right now, I don’t see how I will.”
Looking up at Yang Qi, Summer Vastcold said, “You’re right. Two hundred billion is a huge sum, but this is a good opportunity. As I said, even a Wisdom and Knowledge God Pill doesn’t guarantee a breakthrough. But if I could benefit from that ceremony, it would be a very different story. Young Sir Void Qi, I have to beseech you for your aid in this. Afterward, I’ll fulfill any request you have.”
“Any request?” His heart pounded a bit at her statement; it was very clear that she was willing to do anything for him if he could help her succeed. Other men might have felt overwhelmed at this, but not Yang Qi. He wasn’t inclined to trust women, and had never developed romantic feelings for a member of the opposite sex. Of course, all of that stemmed back to the situation with Yun Hailan, which had set him on the path of being distrustful of women. 
As for Jadefall and the other women like her, he considered them his siblings, which was a completely different matter.
In other words, seduction just wouldn’t work on Yang Qi.
In the exact same moment that Summer Vastcold said “any request you have”, Yang Qi felt a pulsing psychic fluctuation that was obviously her attempting to seduce him, to change his thoughts and desires so she would be better able to manipulate him.
‘This is a very powerful art of seduction,’ he thought, shaken. ‘She's trying to entice me with her most powerful technique, something that can actually change a person’s view of the world. Incredible. I wonder if this is some secret magic from the High Priestess.’
Moments ago, Yang Qi had suddenly felt as though her suggestion wasn’t a very bad idea at all, which was a complete reversal of his actual worldview.
His world didn’t contain romantic feelings for the opposite sex. He espoused nothingness, and pursued the dao of the Annulled, which was empty, devoid of anything, and completely pure. But she had attempted to change that worldview, and had even succeeded to some extent, showing how incredibly powerful the technique was.
It would have worked on any other person, without them even realizing what was happening.
He quickly severed such thoughts, leaving no trace of them behind. However, he didn’t show any trace of that externally. He simply smiled and said, “Fine, it's a deal. As long as I have your word, Miss Vastcold, then I can die without regrets. Even if I go broke helping you reach the Unbounded level, it would be worth it.”
Smiling broadly at his words, she said, “Oh, don’t crack jokes, Young Sir Void Qi. How could you possibly go broke? Actually, we need to talk this matter over. You might have a lot of wealth, but you can’t just go throwing it around. Summer Soundfyre isn’t a moron, so you can’t let her on to your weaknesses. Thankfully, I have a lot of information about her, and can reveal many of her secrets to you. That way, you can be a lot more confident in dealing with her.”
“That sounds great. I’ll follow your lead in everything.” Yang Qi was making sure to seem like he was willing to follow all of Summer Vastcold’s orders.
In response, her smile grew even broader, and her attitude, more genial.
“Young Sir Void Qi, your daoist techniques are incredible, so I hope you’ll give me some advice. I’ve heard that the imperial-heaven pre-beginning powers are among the most refined of psychic secret magics. Is there any more information you can give me about them? Of course, I'm not asking for a handout. I’ll explain some of the psychic cultivation techniques we have here in the Nacrelight Sageland. For instance, the Chiliocosm Unrestrained Mental Dharma. How about it?”
Summer Vastcold was trying to slowly lure Yang Qi deeper and deeper into her control.
“Chiliocosm Unrestrained Mental Dharma?” Yang Qi said, looking surprised. “I’ve never even heard of it. I thought the Nacrelight Sageland's top mental dharma was called the Soul-Sacrificing Heaven Method. It involves sacrificing one’s psyche to reverse the dao of heaven and take control of anything and everything.”
“Wrong. Our top mental cultivation is indeed the Chiliocosm Unrestrained Mental Dharma. The chiliocosm aspect isn’t to be taken literally, but rather relates to a chiliocosm of worlds that exists within your heart and mind. In other words, it relates to your worldview. Every person has their own unique perspective on the world, which is what leads to there being a ‘chiliocosm’ of worlds. You see, everything about you, including your thoughts, your will, your soul, your spirit... perhaps even the world itself, are all products of the way you view what is around you. Illusions are unrestrained, and we must transform those illusions, pierce through them, and leap past them, returning to the world that is real. And that is the fundamental nature and meaning of the Chiliocosm Unrestrained Mental Dharma.”
“How exquisite!” Yang Qi said. He truly had received a sudden flash of enlightenment, but at the same time was more on guard than ever. This technique was shocking, and befitting of something that had been created by the High Priestess. And it was more obvious than ever that Summer Vastcold was using this moment of discussion about daoist techniques to actually try to take control of and transform him.
As he put on his act, he drew on the devil embryo inside Summer Vastcold to peer into what she was thinking.
This was actually a contest of wills, and even if Summer Vastcold were more formidable than she was, she couldn’t possibly be a match for Yang Qi. After all, he had the God Legion Seal, monarch godhood, and some of the Mahātmā Jade.
Meanwhile, Summer Vastcold was thinking to herself, ‘After seeing Void Qi, my Master taught me the Chiliocosm Unrestrained Mental Dharma. No wonder. Using it right now is the perfect way to get control of him. There’s no way that he wants my help to open the supposed treasure trove of the Lord of Civilization. He must have some other scheme afoot, otherwise he wouldn’t be throwing away so much wealth. Well, now I'm using him. He’s making a fool of himself in trying to be clever, and now that he's fallen for my Chiliocosm Unrestrained Mental Dharma, it’ll only take a thought on my part to make him fulfill any request I make. Such as giving me every last bit of his wealth....’
All such thoughts were now clearly apparent right in Yang Qi’s sea of consciousness.
Inside, he chuckled coldly. Despite offering up his imperial-heaven pre-beginning powers, it was a given that Summer Vastcold wouldn't give him the complete Chiliocosm Unrestrained Mental Dharma. She would only give him bits and pieces. That said, he didn't care. He could fill in the missing parts on his own later.
They were both double-dealing, but in the end, Summer Vastcold was convinced that Yang Qi had fallen right into her trap, even though he hadn't.
The discussion went on for half a month, during which time Yang Qi’s cultivation base grew more and more refined. He had taken about thirty to forty percent of the Chiliocosm Unrestrained Mental Dharma, and still had plenty of energy to spare to defend against Summer Vastcold. At the same time, he would occasionally reach out to Summer Soundfyre and give her godnotes.
He also took time to absorb some of the Unbounded medicinal pills he had already acquired to bolster his godpower, improve his cultivation base, and refine his godhood. He was now a mid Consummate God, and was confident that he would soon reach the late and peak levels. All he needed was enough power.
As for Summer Vastcold, she was elated in her belief that she had thoroughly entranced Yang Qi.
Yang Qi knew he had to be very careful. Summer Vastcold’s Master, Mother Voidwalker, was a very ferocious individual, and if she came to realize that he had infected her apprentice with a devil embryo, the consequences would be horrific. In fact, he would likely die.
Another month passed, whereupon Summer Vastcold anxiously summoned Yang Qi into her presence. “Young Sir Void Qi, have you prepared all the godstones? My Master has gathered all of the ingredients for the Wisdom and Knowledge Pill, and has extended the invitation to the other two Paramount Gods to help. They’ll fire up the pill furnace soon, so now is when we need your help.”
“They’re ready this soon?” Yang Qi said. “Yes, I have the godstones ready. Unfortunately, they’re only holy caliber, not perfect caliber.”
“Holy caliber is fine. After all, perfect caliber stones are extremely rare, and are best saved for the defense of the sect in critical moments. Let’s hurry to the Pill-King’s God Palace! That’s where they’ll use the Light King God-Furnace to start concocting the pill!”
There are two paragraphs I'm leaving out that contain mostly repeated information, and completely break the flow of the narrative. One paragraph repeats that godstones are broken down into the following calibers: shoddy, normal, greater, noble, imperial, holy, and perfect. It also points out that holy caliber is generally considered the best, with perfect caliber being as rare as phoenix feathers or qilin horns, and so powerful they could determine the fate of a sect. There’s also a sentence that points out that Yang Qi can’t make perfect caliber yet, but needs to be in the Unbounded level first.