Yang Qi was finally getting a glimpse into Proud Heaven’s plot. He really was trying to lure Yang Qi out into the open, and had even roped this emperor into his plan. Sadly for Proud Heaven, Yang Qi had seen through his plan, and could plan countermeasures. Furthermore, even if nothing else came out of this trip, he had learned some of Proud Heaven’s secrets, as well as gotten information about his cultivation base.
His psychic scale was at the level of a hundred billion, and he was in the process of stepping into the half Annulled level.
Once he succeeded, he would be like the Demon Master, True Devil, King Immortal-Slayer, Wretch God, and Sovereign Lord. It would be very difficult to deal with him at that point, and he would definitely be in the position to kill Yang Qi.
There was no way Yang Qi was going to let him succeed.
Clearly, Proud Heaven had been researching the Great Necropolis and had learned something from it. He had also seemed anxious to leave, presumably to go back to the Great Necropolis and continue his work. Apparently, he needed a hundred years before he anticipated carrying out the next step of his plan.
That meant Yang Qi only had a hundred years to work with.
That was enough time to build up the fourth powerful organization in the god world. Once he did that, people would flock to his banner, and his destiny would surge, giving him a cultivation base that could counter Proud Heaven’s. Add in the resources he planned to take from the halls of heaven, and he might even be able to surpass Proud Heaven. If he could reach the half Annulled level, he would definitely kill Proud Heaven and dismantle the Central Dynasty.
Yang Qi remained in place quietly for a short time while Proud Heaven gave a few reminders to Emperor Sprite Totem, as well as some assorted daoist techniques. Then he left.
The emperor did as he had been told and didn’t immediately consume the pill. Instead, he drew on the surrounding destiny to make the net of law around him ten times stronger. Being inside of the area already, though, Yang Qi wasn’t affected.
After the area was secure in the bubble of destiny, Emperor Sprite Totem looked at the talisman with the Heaven-Burying God Pill, and smiled broadly. “You plan things out well, Proud Heaven. But do you really think I would follow your instructions with this pill? You want me to take the pill so you can control me. Sure, it will make me stronger. But as an old-timer who’s been around for hundreds of millions of years, do you really think I would let someone turn me into a zombie puppet like that? You just wait until I join forces with the Invincible Dynasty. As I grow my influence there, I’ll use it to get stronger. Then I’ll just wait for your two dynasties to clash. When both of you are injured and weakened, my time will have come! Hmph! The destiny of the Invincible Dynasty is the only way I’ll get a stronger cultivation base than you!”
As it turned out, Sprite Totem was no slouch. He was trying to play both sides against each other, while simultaneously benefiting from the resources of the House of the Invincible, and at the same time, getting benefits from Proud Heaven.
Inside, Yang Qi smiled coldly.
It was a given that Proud Heaven knew about this. When it came to plots and schemes there was nobody who could outdo Proud Heaven, except for Yang Qi.
As Yang Qi looked on, Sprite Totem wrapped the talismans with destiny, then waved his hand.
A spell formation suddenly took shape in front of him, in the middle of which was an altar that he placed the talismans onto. Immediately, a passageway opened up.
All of a sudden, the energy of the House of the Invincible rushed into the hall.
“Dugu Yunkong!” Sprite Totem said. “I've received some magical treasures from Proud Heaven. It's obviously a trap. I need some of the destiny from the House of the Invincible to make sure he's not using them to spy on me. Can you help?”
“You've planned things out well, haven’t you, Sprite Totem? Trying to play us against each other? What exactly are your intentions with the Invincible Dynasty?”
“We’re on the same side here, Dugu Yunkong. I know you’re fighting for control of the Invincible Dynasty. And I heard that you went into the Myriad Dragons Lair and fell victim to some powerful expert that stole things that belonged to you. How about this: I’ll give you half of everything I received to make up for your loss. I know you’re in a tough spot, so if I get on your good side now, it’ll benefit me greatly in the future!”
“Good idea, Sprite Totem. Except I don’t want anything that comes from Proud Heaven. He’s a vicious schemer, and whatever gifts he gives are definitely a trap. Fine. I’ll use the destiny of the House of the Invincible to cleanse it. After all, it’s not as though the destiny will benefit you directly.”
A stream of destiny flew out onto the altar, causing black smoke to rise up from the talismans, apparently from some sort of warding spell.
Moments later, the two talismans were clean.
“Now, Sprite Totem, you need to work on contacting more empires to discuss our plan of joining forces. Once I’ve fully recovered, I can marry Sprite Susu. And then we can speed up our plan.”
“Of course, of course.”
Sprite Totem closed the passageway, then threw his head back and laughed loudly. “Ah, Proud Heaven. I used the destiny of the House of the Invincible to cleanse the treasures you gave me. You're not strong enough to defy that level of power. Now I can use them safely.”
“You’re quite the opportunist, Sprite Totem,” someone said.
Of course, it was Yang Qi.
It was a case of the mantis stalking the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind it, and Yang Qi was the oriole. In the moment that the destiny from the House of the Invincible cleansed Proud Heaven’s gifts, he had sensed Proud Heaven’s aura flicker, then fade away. It made it clear that Proud Heaven was truly gone.
Clearly, he had more pressing matters, presumably his work on the Great Necropolis and King Immortal-Slayer. Besides, Proud Heaven was the type of person who would have backup plans for his backup plans. There was no way the destiny of the House of the Invincible had truly cleansed the Heaven-Burying God Pill of everything Proud Heaven had hidden in them.
“Who are you?” Sprite Totem blurted, and as he shot to his feet, he drew deeply on the destiny of his own empire. Not even Proud Heaven should have been able to get in without his sensing it, yet Yang Qi just strolled right in. It made the emperor wonder if he was actually a half Annulled expert.
But a half Annulled expert wouldn't need to come inside to cause harm. He could wave his arm from outside the empire and suck it up into his sleeve without any effort.
“I'm the person Proud Heaven just said to watch out for. The Fateless One.” He extended his hand to reveal his copy of the Sage Grail, which looked almost like a tree, its leaves growing with a green light that was the perfect bane of the vital energy in the surrounding empire.
“The Spritely Sage Grail!?” Sprite Totem said, confusion in his eyes.
“Yes, it is. Well, it's a copy. But it’s the perfect thing to keep the destiny of your empire under control. That’s why trying to fight me will be useless.”
“What are you doing here?” Sprite Totem said. He was a consummate expert and an experienced leader, so he was keeping his cool.
“Oh, nothing. You see, Sprite Susu and I have come to an agreement. She’s going to draw on her divine authority to summon all of the Spritefolk to her, give her their royal authority, and allow her to put together a truly grand empire. I'm the leader of the Sage Monarch Empire, and I've come here to recruit you to our side. You need to throw your support behind Sprite Susu. By the way, the person who hurt Dugu Yunkong in the Myriad Dragons Lair was me. I conquered the Dragonfolk, and am in the process of creating the fourth major power in the god world. So forget about your plan of trying to play both sides off each other. Join me. That's the only real choice you have.”
“You....” Sprite Totem’s heart was pounding as he realized he was facing a truly dangerous opponent. Anyone who could conquer the Dragonfolk and found a new kingdom, injuring Dugu Yunkong in the process, was obviously formidable. And it was true that news had spread recently of the Myriad Dragons Lair disappearing.
“What’s your decision?” Yang Qi sat down in the very chair Proud Heaven had been sitting in moments ago. “I'm patient, so I can wait for you to think things through. Look. I'm sitting in the same chair Proud Heaven was just sitting in. I know he has a good cultivation base, but mine is superior. So I’d suggest you refrain from offending me just as you refrained from offending him.”
“You’re Yang Qi.... You’re both ambitious and skilled to be trying to found a fourth empire. And you also conquered the Myriad Dragons Lair? Unfortunately, that's not going to be enough. Even if you get the Spritefolk on your side, it won’t be enough to deal with the other three dynasties. Don’t forget, they form a tripartite balance of power! If you form another dynasty, they’ll join forces to crush you.”
Obviously, he was trying to buy time.
“Don’t you know? With my techniques of administration, I can increase the destiny of an empire by tenfold. You think your destiny is impressive here? From what I can tell, it's actually far from pure. Sadly, there’s nothing you can do to improve it. But I can.” He reached out and took the Heaven-Burying God Pill, which looked like a fist-sized rock that pulsed with incredible power.
“You’re serious, aren’t you? In that case, I’ll join you. I’ll even announce it publicly!” As the words left his mouth, he bent back, then snapped forward toward Yang Qi in a burst of power.
However, what met him was a huge primal-chaos elder-snake with gaping maw. Before he could react, he was swallowed up.
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