More than ten experts, most of them conclave students from top organizations, were looking at Yang Qi.
They had already been stuck in the Preheaven Devil Formation for several days by now, and no attempts to break free had succeeded; they were forced to pool their true energy to power the magical item that was the Flameking Cauldron.
The protective shield generated by that cauldron was the only thing keeping them safe from harm.
After days of strenuous effort, they were all like oil lamps on the verge of flickering out. They were almost completely out of medicinal pills to replenish their true energy, and although they were all skeptical about what Yang Qi could do, at least he offered them a tiny scrap of hope.
The beautiful young woman from the Sun Moon Institute wanted Yang Qi to take over the effort of running the Flameking Cauldron for a moment to let everyone else rest and recuperate.
“Sure,” Yang Qi said. “All of you are friends of my brother Jun Tianchou, so that means you’re friends of Yang Qi. We're going to get out of this together, I guarantee it.”
“Oh really,” Flame Clearspring replied. “Fine, send your true energy into the cauldron. And cut it with the bragging. For all you know, we’ll end up having to take care of you. This Preheaven Devil Formation is easy to get into; in fact, it will suck you in whether you want to enter or not. As for getting out, well, that's a different matter altogether. It contains magical laws from the dao of devils, so unless you’re a Legendary, you have little hope of breaking free.”
He wasn’t from one of the four great institutes. However, he was from an organization that was nearly as strong as one. He was a conclave student from the Tabernacle of Flame, and held the rank of deputy pontifex. He was in the Octonary Lifeseizing level, and his enlightenment of the good fortune of heaven and earth was the only reason he had been able to keep the Preheaven Devil Formation at bay for so long.
As far as he was concerned, Yang Qi was no one special, and that was reflected in his tone of voice.
Everyone present was a spectacular hero, far beyond the Quinary Lifeseizer Yang Qi, and thus, none of them were particularly convinced that he would really be able to help them.
Yang Qi wasn't upset by the chilly reception, and realized that the best thing to do in the situation was simply prove himself.
“Cosmic Sunflare,” he said, taking a step forward and looking up at the Flameking Cauldron. With that, he summoned a crimson burst of sword energy as thick as a bucket.
The sword energy emanated deafening rumbling sounds as it shot out, and everyone present could sense that it contained dangerous levels of heat.
When the energy touched the Flameking Cauldron, a projection of Yang Qi appeared inside of it. He looked like a sun god, shining with boundless sunlight that spread out and began to burn the black-gold light of the spell formation around them.
“Such strong true energy!” the girl with the phoenix earrings exclaimed, her eyes glittering with delight. “The Cosmic Sunflare Sword contains fire-type true energy that’s the perfect fuel for the Flameking Cauldron! There’s no way a Quinary Lifeseizer can unleash energy like that! In fact, not even ten Quinary Lifeseizers put together could match up to it!”
Now that Yang Qi was in Quinary Lifeseizing, all of his acupoints contained true energy vestiges that could store true energy. He also had the power of ninety-nine ancient megamammoths. And his Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique transformed in nature along with them. As of now, it was like he could truly communicate with the sun, and control the sun god that existed inside of it.
The flare of that sun could fill the cosmos!
Considering that he didn’t feel safe using the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth in front of so many strangers, his best alternative was to use a sword technique from another sect. And obviously, the Cosmic Sunflare Sword was the best choice.
He had already imparted all of the true energy from the Four Seasons Swordplay that he had built up to his father and brothers, for use in their cultivation.
However, he had also fused the meaning of that sword technique into the Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique. Now, it was a combination of hard and soft, with elements of both fire and water mixed together. The mere sight of it was profoundly shocking to all onlookers.
‘How could his true energy be so strong?’ Flame Clearspring marveled. After all, he had the highest cultivation base among everyone present. Eventually, this deputy pontifex of the Tabernacle of Flame would become a Legendary. But now, he was only an Octonary Lifeseizer. And yet, from what he could tell, Yang Qi was just as strong as he was. How could that be?
Jun Tianchou laughed heartily. “Sure enough, Brother, you didn't let me down. I knew you could pull off a miracle. Come come, let me introduce everyone. This is Elder Sister Hua Fengfeng from the Sun Moon Institute. Her father is Hua Tianxiong, a Legendary grand elder. And this is Elder Brother Flame Clearspring, a deputy pontifex from the Tabernacle of Flame. Over here is another conclave student from the Sea God Institute….” 
Not including Jun Tianchou and Yang Qi, there were thirteen people present, and as it turned out, not all of them were conclave students. Some were deputy leaders of their sects or clans. In any case, none of them could be considered common people.
As the saying went, birds of a feather flock together. It only made sense that as a conclave student from the Sea God Institute, Jun Tianchou would go on missions with people who had a similar standing as himself.
One of the experts nodded and said, “Brother Yang, I could never have guessed that your true energy would be so impressive. That said, we’re still stuck in here. Even your true energy will eventually run out, and then we’ll fall prey to those monsters out there.”
“I’m fine for now,” Yang Qi said. With that, he made some adjustments to his energy flow, causing the Flameking Cauldron to shine with even brighter light than before.
As everyone bathed in the radiant light, they felt their true energy being replenished rapidly.
That happened because of the aura of the life force springwater that now existed within Yang Qi’s true energy. When Flame Clearspring and Hua Fengfeng sensed what was happening, their eyes glittered with thankfulness.
“Brother Yang,” Flame Clearspring said, “we can't help but feel ashamed to have you sacrificing yourself like this on our behalf. Considering the strong life force aura in your true energy, could it be possible that you acquired that most fabled of precious treasures from the Demi-Immortal Institute, the life force springwater? That seems to be the perfect explanation for this.”
“You're exactly right. I did get a bit of it.” Yang Qi knew that many of the conclave students back in the Demi-Immortal Institute had used life force springwater, mostly thanks to the Crown Prince, so there would be little point in hiding the truth.
“Brother Yang,” Hua Fengfeng said, “don’t draw too deeply on your true energy. Save as much as you can. We need to figure out a way to get out of this spell formation, or at least, last for long enough to be rescued.”
“How long have you been stuck so far?”
“Seven days and nights,” replied a young man named Zhao Wuhun. “All of us have tried to contact the chief elders of our sects, but haven’t received any responses from them. Those few people who did get our messages and came to help were all Lifeseizers, and are now stuck here as well. No Legendaries have come.” 
Zhao Wuhun was a conclave student from the House of Martial Saints, which was a powerful organization similar to the House of Spring and Autumn, and ranked just below the four institutes.
“Only Lifeseizers received your messages?” Yang Qi said, expression tightening. “The Legendaries don’t even know the situation? This is bad. My guess is that it’s all part of these fiend-devils’ plan. Our top priority right now should be to escape. If too much time passes, and we really run out of true energy, we’ll definitely be in a bad situation.”
“We’re all well aware of that, Brother Yang,” said a young man in green. “But we really have no options. The Preheaven Devil Formation has the power to bend space. And the eye of the formation is packed with gravitational force, so no matter how you try to break free, you end up getting dragged back in. If you don’t believe us, Brother Yang, just try to make a break for it with the Flameking Cauldron, and see how far you can get.”
Yang Qi looked down at the black-gold devil energy that made up the formation, and could see a large eye staring back up at them.
It was deathly white, and terrifying to even look at. That was the eye of the spell formation, which was actually located deep beneath the surface of the ground.
As a test, he sent some true energy out of the formation, only to find that a huge gravitational force sprang up from the devil-eye and pulled it back.
“A Deathly Devil-Eye?” he said, shocked.
“No, not a Deathly Devil-Eye,” Flame Clearspring said, shaking his head. “Deathly Devil-Eyes are objects from the dao of ghosts and corpses. This is a Preheaven Devil-Eye from the dao of fiend-devils. Obviously, a Preheaven Devil Formation would need one to operate. The devil-eye uses the wretch energy of fiend-devils to bend space-time, and right now, we're completely under its control. If we got sucked into the eye itself, well, then we would be done for.”
“As for those five fiend-devil viscounts,” said another of the experts, a student from the True Dragon Institute, “their true bodies are in the Preheaven Devil-Eye itself. The versions we can see are just projections. One of those viscounts is a Nonary Lifeseizer, which makes that devil-eye even stronger than normal. Their whole goal here is to wear us down until we get sucked into the eye, which will obviously lead to a fate worse than death.”
As of now, there were students from the True Dragon, Sun-Moon, Sea God, and Demi-Immortal Institutes present. All four institutes were represented.
After some thought, Yang Qi said, “It seems the best plan of attack would be to send someone into the Preheaven Devil-Eye to attack those five fiend-devils. If we could disrupt their control over the eye, then everyone else would have a chance to escape.”
Flame Clearspring shook his head. “In the end, that wouldn’t work even if we teamed up. Only a Legendary could stand up to the wretch energy fluctuations in the devil-eye. Anyone under that level would be killed.”
“I’ll go,” Yang Qi said. “I’ll buy you the time you need to escape.”
“What?” everyone exclaimed in shock.
“Brother,” Jun Tianchou said in a serious tone, “are you crazy? Going down there alone would be suicide.”
1. Hua Fengfeng: Hua is a common surname. It can mean “magnificent, flowery, grand” and is often used as an abbreviation for “China, Chinese”. She has two Feng characters doubled up. Feng means “phoenix”.
3. Zhao Wuhun: Zhao is a common surname. Wu means “martial, military, fierce” and Hun means “soul”, specifically the spiritual soul. If you want more information about souls, you can check out this video I did about the subject.