‘Life force springwater is an amazing thing,’ Yang Qi thought. ‘And considering what happened in the Yama Mountains, it's going to be a lot harder for the Crown Prince to get any more of it to help Yun Hailan.’
Yang Qi used true energy to handle the huge bottle gourd, so as to avoid allowing the immensely heavy life force springwater from breaking it.
After all, the gourd was not a magical item, but a mundane object forged from metal. Using true energy, he carefully opened it, and pulled out a single drop of the scintillating liquid.
Taking a step forward, he looked closely at the water. Even just this single drop weighed dozens of kilograms.
If a person consumed it directly, the water would dissolve them from the inside out. However, it was possible to use true energy to refine it into life force, which could then be sent into the meridians.
“Eldest Brother. Second Brother. Circulate your energy and relax your muscles.”
Yang Yunchong and Yang Hualong were already ready.
Waving his finger, Yang Qi used true energy to pull out another drop. Then, he waved his finger again, causing them to transform into two shimmering, swirling expressions of energy that thrummed with life force.
Without any hesitation, he sent that energy into his two brothers.
Yang Yunchong was the first to let out a hoarse bellow as his muscles bulged, making him look like he was about to explode. After all, a drop of life force springwater was all it took to force a person’s life force to the ultimate limit. Watering a tree with a drop of the stuff would cause a sapling to grow into a mighty tree in only a few days. It was truly terrifying.
Of course, no one would go to the ridiculous extent of watering trees with life force springwater. Not even the rarest of spirit herbs needed treatment like that.
“Brothers,” Yang Qi said, “the quintessence of the four seasons are connected to the twenty-four solar terms, and their corresponding twenty-four acupoints. Your bodies are heaven and earth, the sovereign lords of all astrological phenomena. Understand this enigmatic truth, and you can seize life from the heavens!”
With that, he poured his own true energy into his brothers to help them.
With the life force springwater replenishing them, they were given the same benefit that would come from a hundred years of bitter cultivation. As the moments ticked by, their true energy climbed higher and higher toward the Lifeseizing level.
Powerful rumbling sounds echoed out as the vital energy of heaven and earth formed vortexes around Yang Yunchong and Yang Hualong, causing them to experience a baptism of sorts as they broke out of the ninth phase and into Lifeseizing.
‘Amazing!’ Yang Qi thought. ‘This life force springwater is truly incredible. No wonder that useless Song Haishan actually made it to the Lifeseizing level. Too bad I killed him, making it all pointless.’ Although Yang Qi was still pleased that he had managed to get his revenge on Song Haishan, he wouldn’t be able to rest at ease until he exacted revenge on Yun Hailan.
‘All four of us, Lifeseizers!’ Yang Zhan thought, filled with pride and excitement. In all his life, he had never even seen a Lifeseizer. For generations, Yanhaven had been ruled by puny Masters of Energy. But now, he and his sons were all Lifeseizers. It was almost impossible to even comprehend the glory that represented. Their clan was now comparable to some of the most powerful organizations in existence. ‘If word spread, even our staunchest opponents would pray to the gods for mercy.’
At this point, Yang Qi retracted his true energy. Eyes sparkling, he said, “Okay, brothers. Your energy arts are now solidly in the Lifeseizing level. As long as you continue to focus on your cultivation, you will continue to progress, and at the same time, be able to care for Yanhaven and the Yang Clan for generations to come. Our direct bloodline is completely stable. The next thing to focus on is grooming the younger generation. Incidentally, how have things been going with the chief elders?”
“They want access to the energy formation of the dao of monarchs to further their cultivation,” Yang Zhan answered. “Unfortunately, none of them have performed any particularly meritorious service. In fact, I assigned some younger ones to spy on Yang Xingshi and Dowager Yan, to see whether they were truly on our side, or whether they were interested in sowing discord in the clan. If they’ve truly repented, and can prove their loyalty by doing good for the clan, I might give them the opportunity they seek. If not, well….”
His eyes glittered with killing intent.
“That does seem like the best thing to do,” Yang Qi said. “The chief elders used to be completely high and mighty, so it’s only natural that they would chafe under your leadership. Give them some assignments and see how they perform. Only the loyal ones should be given a chance.”
“Third Brother,” Yang Yunchong said, “not only have your energy arts and cultivation base improved in the Demi-Immortal Institute, but also, you’ve come to understand how to run a clan and a nation. After you went into the Blackcorpse Mountains, father founded the Yang Clan College, and appointed the chief elders as the faculty. Tests are being administered in the various counties subsidiary to Yanhaven, and the best and brightest young ones will be brought here to study. The top performers will eventually become government officials, allowing the nation to thrive on the backs of loyal, aristocratic clans.”
Yang Qi nodded. “Excellent plan. I just wonder if the chief elders will do their best to teach the younger ones.”
“If they don’t,” Yang Zhan said, “then for the good of the clan I might just have to institute the death penalty. Although, enticing rewards will also be on the table.”
“Sounds good, Father. By the way, do you have a vessel I could use to separate out some of this life force springwater for the three of you to use later on in your cultivation? Remember, you mustn’t allow anyone to know about this water. If word leaked, the consequences would be too horrible to contemplate.” Yang Qi gave about one fifth of the life force springwater to his father.
Yang Zhan accepted it with trembling hands. After all, if only one drop of that water had been enough to push two of his sons into the Lifeseizing level, then it could only be imagined how much an entire bottle gourd was worth. Perhaps it would lead to an entire clan of experts! And who knew how far it could push Yang Zhan’s cultivation base?
“And if you use it on the loyal young ones, don’t directly give it to them. Water it down first, otherwise, they won’t be able to absorb it.” With that, he put the bottle-gourd away, and went on to discuss other important clan matters with his father and brothers.
Sometime later, a deafening rumbling sound could be heard from outside, and a massive beam of sword energy descended on the clan. Apparently, some consummate expert was arriving. Heart thumping, Yang Qi flew out to the main square in front of the city magistrate’s mansion, to find a group of people landing.
All of them were Lifeseizers.
For countless generations, the tiny Yanhaven had never been graced by the presence of even a single Lifeseizer, and yet now, they were showing up left and right.
This group was made up of five people. Four were elderly, with bold, powerful demeanors and haughty eyes. Obviously, they were grand elders from a major organization. And yet, most eye-catching of all in this group was a young man who the four elders flanked. He appeared to be seventeen or eighteen years old, younger than Yang Qi. He wore light blue clothing, and even as his feet touched the ground, his eyes locked onto Yang Qi.
“Are you Yang Qi from the Demi-Immortal Institute?” he asked. “The one who imprisoned Zhang Lie from the House of Spring and Autumn?”
“That's right. I'm Yang Qi, elite student from the Demi-Immortal Institute.” He examined the group for a moment, then continued, “You must be from the House of Spring and Autumn. Welcome, guests. Please, come in and sit down.”
“There’s no need. We’re here for punitive purposes, so you can cut the courteous act. I can’t believe that a measly elite student like you would dare to haggle with the House of Spring and Autumn. Let’s see how tough you really are!”
Even as the words left his mouth, the young man attacked Yang Qi.
He arrived in a blur, striking out with lightning-like speed, causing swirling snow to fill the air. Unsurprisingly, he was using the Four Seasons Swordplay, and with a degree of skill that far surpassed Yang Qi’s ability with the technique.
Moments ago, they had been surrounded by the heat of summer, but this one move caused clouds to fill the air and a snowstorm to cover Yanhaven.
Even more surprising was that he was using a palm strike.
This young man’s energy arts were profound to say the least. The House of Spring and Autumn had sent a Quinary Lifeseizer to Yanhaven to deal with Yang Qi, indicating that they intended to crush him.
“Cosmic Sunflare,” Yang Qi said with a faint smile. A beam of scorching hot sword energy exploded from his palm, which surged forward to meet the young man’s attack.
At the same time, the image of an enormous sword shot up into the sky, tearing open the cloud cover and allowing a golden stream of sunlight to fall down.
The combination of the brilliant sunlight and Yang Qi’s Cosmic Sunflare Sword was virtually unstoppable, and caused scorching flames to completely surround him.
In the blink of an eye, the young man was surrounded by fiery, raging sword energy.
“You’ve cultivated the Cosmic Sunflare Sword to this level…?” the young man said, clearly shocked. Never could he have guessed that Yang Qi would have such an incredible technique at his disposal. “You’re really only an elite student? You seem more like a conclave student!”
“Watch out, Young Lord!”
The four old men lunged forward, unleashing their own Four Seasons Swordplay to intercept Yang Qi’s invincible sword energy, causing innumerable strands of silk to fill the air.
"Silk Rain of the Spring Silkworm!" they shouted.
Yang Qi smiled and casually said, “Sunflare Illuminates the Nine Prefectures.”
A burning mass of red sword energy appeared behind him, sending bright light out to fill the entire square, and causing the temperature to rise so high that the Silk Rain of the Spring Silkworm was instantly vanquished.
“Stay your hand!” the young man barked.
Yang Qi had never been interested in getting in a fight with the House of Spring and Autumn, so as soon as the young man spoke, he reined in his energy arts and said, “Young Lord, did you have something you wanted to say?”
The young lord hesitated for a moment, then said, “I see now that you are indeed strong enough to make demands of the House of Spring and Autumn. How about this: We’ll pay whatever ransom you demand to get back Zhang Lie and the other elders.”
From the straightforward manner in which he spoke, it was obvious he had been put in his place by Yang Qi.Previous Chapter Next Chapter