Chapter 156: Power Rising Everywhere

“Brother,” He Jili said, “you really wouldn’t back down to those experts from the Gentlemen’s Society. That Yuan Kun is anything but a nice guy, you know. Back when he killed the Seven Scourges of the Sea of Trees, he got their incomplete version of the Sutra of Myriad Evils, which contains all sorts of evil energy arts cultivation techniques from the dao of devils. Although he handed the scripture over to the institute, he definitely took a look at it first.”

“That’s right,” Hua Yinhu added. “What are we supposed to do if we’re enemies of both the Crown Prince Society and the Gentlemen’s Society?”

“Yang Qi did the right thing,” Li He said. “If we joined them, it would cause no end of trouble.”

“No end of trouble?” Liang Dong said. “What do you mean?”

“A year ago we were freshman students. And now, we’ve blazed ahead to our current position. It's obvious that we must have come across some sort of good fortune, and nothing trivial at that. If we joined the Gentlemen’s Society, they would definitely require an explanation. And then what? It’s not like they’re going to keep all our secrets for us. Word would get around eventually.” Li He looked at Yang Qi. “That’s what you were thinking, right Brother?”

“Exactly,” Yang Qi said with a grim smile. “They aren’t a bunch of humanitarians. They’re fierce and domineering, just like the Crown Prince Society. None of these organizations got where they are by following the rules; they definitely did their fair share of cheating and robbing on their way to power. I’d rather just refuse them outright than make things complicated by joining them. In any case, their leadership isn’t going to do anything outrageous against us as long as we’re in the institute.”

“Fair enough,” said Liang Dong. “But back to the topic at hand. The Gentlemen’s Society just lost a lot of face, and they’re not going to let it drop. If word spread, they would become a laughingstock amongst the sea of students, and it would make their future recruitment efforts much more difficult. I guarantee you they're going to retaliate, so we have to be careful.”

Yang Qi nodded. “I know. But it doesn’t matter. I can guess what those petty fools are thinking. They’ll wait until we leave the institute, then surround us and humiliate us to no end. Or, they might try to do something to our clans to force us to acknowledge allegiance to them. Either way, we can deal with any of that. From now, until the martial arts competition, we’ll keep our heads down in the College of Elite Students, and focus on cultivation. After all, I already got my hands on something to help you achieve another breakthrough.”

Even as the words left his mouth, he waved his hand, causing four streams of light to fly out and enter his brothers’ seas of energy.

All of them could feel their life force quintessence surging within them as a result.

“Brother, what spirit medicine was that!? It's so strong!”

“Don’t worry about the details. Absorb it, and you should be able to reach Secondary or possibly even Tertiary Lifeseizing. The stronger you are, the more importantly the institute will view you, which means that anyone who made a move against us would risk offending the elders.” Next, Yang Qi went on to explain certain matters of sword enlightenment. Long after night fell, he left, and surreptitiously made his way toward the Heaven Lode Mountains to see Holy Daughter Manyflowers and Yang Susu.

He didn't give the seven powerful sword stances to his brothers. After all, they couldn't cultivate them now even if they wanted; it would simply have been a waste of time and energy. It would be much better for them to work on perfecting their Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique. Later, when they reached Quinary Lifeseizing, they could form true energy vestiges.

Freezing Night. Flying Stars. Rustling Wind…. The ultimate meaning of the seven deadly moves was profound to say the least. At long last, Yang Qi didn’t need to rely on the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth to fight a Nonary Lifeseizer. 

But right now, he was anxious to see how his Aunt Susu and Holy Daughter Manyflowers were doing. He moved with incredible speed along the same path as before, passing through the numerous castles, temples, and campuses of the institute until he was in the seemingly endless mountains that were the Heaven Lode Mountains.

Almost immediately, he could sense the milky quintessence energy flowing through the meridians and springs beneath his feet. Magical power surged, pushing the subterranean true energy into the mountains, which then flowed into Yang Qi, providing both a pleasing sensation, and also, a significant boost to his own true energy.

Based on what he could sense, it was almost like a sea existed beneath the Heaven Lode Mountains, milky white true energy and subterranean quintessence. It was as if this place were the mother of all creation.

However, that milky sea had been sealed down tight so that none of it leaked outside.

Comparing the Heaven Lode Mountains to the spring he had encountered on the island of peach blossoms was like comparing a mighty beast to a tiny worm.

It made sense, considering that the Demi-Immortal Institute was the number one power in the Rich-Lush Continent.

‘No wonder conclave students reside in mountains. From there, they can connect to the milky, subterranean sea, and use that energy to further their cultivation. Although cultivating in such a fashion might seem slower than using an energy formation of the dao of monarchs, it will actually lead to much quicker progress. Unfortunately, you have to be a Quinary Lifeseizer to take up residence here. If it weren’t for the special control the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth has over the land, I wouldn't be able to absorb any of it.’

He licked his lips as he looked out at all of the mountains, each and every one had a spring connecting to the quintessence below.

Some of the springs were larger, and some were smaller, depending on the resonance between them and the milky, subterranean quintessence and spirit energy. Off in the distance were some mountains that were particularly mighty and impressive. Likely, those belonged to important conclave students, Nonary Lifeseizers who would likely become Legendaries sooner or later.

Yang Qi looked around here and there as he made his way through the Heaven Lode Mountains toward Manyflowers Peak.

The last time he had been here, his cultivation base had been so low that the experience was completely different. Now, he realized that the mountains almost looked like they had been painted in place, creating a huge image that almost looked like a meridian map of the human body.

And as for that milky sea of spirit energy, it was like that body’s sea of energy in its dantian region.

The Heaven Lode Mountains were like a huge giant, laying there silently, slowly practicing cultivation, just waiting for the day in which it would wake up and dominate all the lands.

Just looking at the mountains, Yang Qi could grasp at slightly better enlightenment of various martial disciplines.

‘Don’t tell me that there are martial truths hidden within the Heaven Lode Mountains themselves? Does understanding the mountains and the way the energy and water flows through them lead to profound insights into martial arts?’ Although Yang Qi was shocked, he didn’t have the extended time that would be required to seek enlightenment right now.

Even as he pondered the subject, he suddenly realized that a huge burst of true energy was rising up beneath him, a heaven-defying ripple that rose up into a massive, terrifying wave, the type that might result if a mountain or a star were violently thrown into the ocean.

Considering that Yang Qi’s true energy was already connected to the milky, subterranean quintessence, he instantly sensed that, off in the distance, a huge gravitational force had appeared on one of the mountain peaks. It was currently absorbing the quintessence madly, forming something like a huge tornado, or a black hole that was sucking in massive amounts of quintessence.

Wind raged through the mountains, to the shock of many experts in the area, who Yang Qi saw flying up into the air and looking toward the same mountain he was.

Despite it being some distance away, Yang Qi suddenly realized that what he was looking at was actually Manyflowers Peak!

A heaven-shaking, earth-shattering event was playing out there.

‘Crap! How could this be happening? Considering the energy forces at play, does it mean that some powerful expert is at Manyflowers Peak right now? Is someone trying to capture Holy Daughter Manyflowers and Aunt Susu?’ 

Even as Yang Qi was preparing to fly over to the mountain, some of the other experts who had flown up into the air began to comment in loud voices. 

“Earthlode activity? Vital energy eruption? Astrological phenomena? Is someone becoming a Legendary? Holy Daughter Manyflowers must have succeeded. She’s finally going to reach the Legendary level!”

‘What? Holy Daughter Manyflowers is stepping into the Legendary level?’ Yang Qi had never witnessed something like this before, but considering everything, he was confident that he knew what was going on, and was delighted. ‘She’s going to become a Legendary, and Aunt Susu is her only apprentice. From now on, nobody will dare to look down on either of them ever again. Holy Daughter Manyflowers is incredible! Not even forty and already a Legendary? Back in Yanhaven, people who reached the seventh phase by forty were considered the best of the best.’

Yang Qi remained in place, looking over at Manyflowers Peak. Vital energy of heaven and earth swirled madly everywhere, and as it did, monsters appeared, deadly beings from beyond the heavens.

Yang Qi knew exactly what these were: heaven-devils. ‘When becoming a Legendary, heaven and earth are shaken to the core, and the monsters react with envy. That’s when heaven-devils appear!’

Their hope was to interfere with Holy Daughter Manyflowers and make sure she didn't become a Legendary.

The heaven-devils were bizarre in appearance; some had tentacles like an octopus, others were like shapeless specters. There were many that took humanoid shape, with green skin and long fangs.

Lightning gathered in the sky, terrifying to the extreme, so powerful that even Yang Qi felt his hair standing on end. Shockingly, the lightning bolts also began to take human shape.

Yang Qi even saw a palace, which began to descend in crushing fashion toward Manyflowers Peak, as if to level it into dust. The energy emanating off it seemed like that of tens of thousands of Legendaries all self-detonating at the same time.

Tribulations of all sorts appeared, expressions of earth, water, fire, wind, and endless baleful energy. The air shattered as everything within dozens of kilometers became a massive Legendary tribulation.

When one reached the Legendary level, one was no longer human, but rather, close to being an immortal. That was when one came to understand magical laws, and thus, would be the subject of jealousy on the part of heaven and earth. This was a tribulation a hundred times as severe as that from the Lifeseizing level. The only way to succeed was to defeat the monsters and subjugate the tribulation, with the alternative being permanent death.

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Deathblade's Thoughts

Quasi-mini-spoiler: I’m putting this note here because I keep seeing a certain question popping up in the comments. What about the ape from earlier on in the story? Was that part forgotten? No, it was not. This author is not afraid of waiting hundreds of chapters to revisit certain earlier aspects of the story. I’ve mentioned that this is not a completely linear story; there are many plot threads that get woven in and out of the narrative. Anway, I’m not going to say anything more about the ape, or respond to questions about it in the comments anymore. And generally speaking, I'll try to avoid commenting on this type of thing at all.

P.S. This doesn't mean that there are no aspects of the story which end up forgotten, or at least, "left behind". I came across something a while back that does indeed get forgotten. Informal poll in the comments: how do you want me to handle such things. Would you like me to confirm if something is "forgotten", or not?