Chapter 159: Martial Arts Competition

The people gathered on that high mountain were the best of the best, the conclave students, the core power of the Crown Prince Society.

In the Demi-Immortal Institute, the student body was divided into freshman students, outer campus students, inner campus students, elite students, conclave students, and finally, holy neophytes. To become a conclave student, one needed to be a Quinary Lifeseizer. As for the holy neophytes, they were even rarer. After all, the number of people in the Rich-Lush Continent who could become Legendaries was few and far between.

Because of that, the fundamental situation was the same in all the big institutes; the Lifeseizers in the Quinary level or higher, the conclave students, were considered extremely prestigious, and most capable of living up to their potential.

And Yun Hailan was now brushing shoulders with just such individuals, not just because of her having found favor with the Crown Prince, but also because of her own skill and ability.

“Holy Daughter Manyflowers is a genius,” Yun Hailan said. “From what I’ve heard, she reached Nonary Lifeseizing when she was around twenty or so. Now, less than twenty years later, she broke through all the requisite shackles to become a Legendary. And yet, I will still surpass her. I’ll reach the Legendary level ten years before she did.”

Yun Hailan was currently twenty, so if she could do as she claimed, and become a Legendary at the age of thirty, it would be shocking to the extreme.

Perhaps most people would take her claims to be mere boasting, but she was absolutely confident. After all, few people knew that the might of gods and dragons lurked inside of her. Of the people present, only Xie Feng had an inkling of the secrets she kept.

And yet, despite being a Nonary Lifeseizer, not even he was able to see the truth about her level, which was quite surprising to him.

‘The Crown Prince has taken a liking to her,’ he thought, ‘which in and of itself indicates there’s something incredible in her blood. Plus, she took Patriarchs Wind and Cloud as her masters. And she just spent two days practicing cultivation here in the Minorcosm World. I wonder what level she’s reached. From what I heard, the Crown Prince is in some dangerous location cultivating a powerful energy art, the Son of Heaven’s Godfist. Even still, he transported a powerful treasure to her, something that makes her unreadable even to me.

‘I know she has the blood of a sea god, that’s without doubt. But why does she also seem to have true dragon blood in her as well? The power of ‘a dragon in the sea’ is nothing to look down on. The treasures the Crown Prince has access to are godly to say the least. If he gave her something truly powerful, doesn’t it mean she’ll take first place in the martial arts competition?’

All of a sudden, Yun Hailan turned around, looked at Xie Feng, and said, “Elder Brother Xie, what do you think about the upcoming martial arts competition? The whole point of the competition is to watch the Nonary Lifeseizers from the various institutes fight it out, right? The holy neophytes won’t take part. And since you’re the best of the best in the Crown Prince Society, sir, does that mean you’ll be able to dominate the rest of the competitors?”

“Dominate the rest of the competitors? Well, that’s easier said than done.” Xie Feng smiled. Although he made a show of being humble, he was actually very confident in himself. “In all four of the institutes, elite students are as common as sand on the seashore. There are plenty of Nonary Lifeseizers, some of whom have been in that level for hundreds of years, and are right on the verge of becoming Legendaries. I’ll do my best, but there’s no telling what will happen. Junior Sister, I know you’re quite the ambitious type, and would love to make a name for yourself. There are some amazing rewards available during the Inter-Institutional Martial Arts Competition. From what I heard, whoever takes first place will receive a magical item from the distant past.”

“Oh? And what might that be, Elder Brother Xie Feng?”

Xie Feng’s eyes glittered as he replied, “I'm not sure. I heard that the chancellors of the four institutes had a meeting about the subject, and ended up making a bet. One of the chancellors lost the bet, although I'm not sure who. In any case, that chancellor is the one who provided the grand prize. One thing's for sure: it's definitely a precious treasure. And I'm going to be the one taking the prize and reaching the Legendary level. As for anyone who gets in my way, they’ll end up dead!”

When he said the word dead, everyone present shivered, with the exception of Yun Hailan, who stood there by the cliff, looking like the picture of eternal purity in her blue gown. As the wind blew past, she said, “In that case, I guess I should offer my congratulations now, Elder Brother Xie Feng. Oh, by the way. The death of my cousin Song Haishan needs to be thoroughly investigated. There’s something extremely peculiar about the whole situation.”

One of the other leaders of the Crown Prince Society said, “Peculiar? What do you mean? According to Jiang Fan, they were ambushed by monsters. There doesn’t seem much more to it than that. There are students every year who get killed by monsters. It's just the will of heaven, and you know you can’t defy that.”

“In that case, I’ll just have to look into the matter myself. You’d better hope I don’t find any new evidence. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time explaining things to the Crown Prince.”

Before anyone could say anything else, Yun Hailan suddenly exploded, becoming countless blue streaks of lightning-like light that vanished into thin air.

“What incredible true energy,” Xie Feng said, visibly moved. “That's Flight of the Thunderbolt Diffusion, one of the most powerful escape magics of Patriarchs Wind and Cloud. I can’t believe she can use something so incredible.”

“Elder Brother,” one of the conclave students said, “this Yun Hailan is no one to take lightly. The Crown Prince is holding nothing back to help her progress, and she’s already strong enough to dominate Quinary Lifeseizers. I'd say there’s a high likelihood she's actually much stronger than that. And I bet she’s actually going to try to take first place in the competition. You know, only true geniuses can challenge people multiple levels higher than them. In antiquity, there were supposedly some Lifeseizers who could defeat Legendaries, but they were the children of gods. Although no such beings exist nowadays, there are still people who are close.”

‘I’m aware of all that,’ Xie Feng thought. ‘I'm not sure what the Crown Prince has in mind, but if he wants her to take first place, I won’t interfere. Of course, in the interests of fairness, I'm sure the Crown Prince would compensate me for that.’ 

“In any case,” he continued out loud, “the most important thing right now isn’t Yun Hailan, it’s the Shroud-Heaven Alliance that was recently formed. The Crown Prince’s old defeated foe Young Master Shroud-Heaven is back. Apparently, he’s mastered an invincible devil art unique to the Demonfolk. In fact, that's why the Crown Prince went to a distant danger zone to cultivate that extremely deadly energy art of his; to kill Young Master Shroud-Heaven. That technique is so amazing that not even the fabled Great Sage Shroud-Heaven himself will be able to resurrect his son after his nascent divinity is killed.

“Let’s keep track of all the movements of this alliance. That’s our most important task right now. By the way, considering the matter is connected to the Hanging Mountain, you all need to be very careful. Most organizations in the lands fear the Demi-Immortal Institute enough that they wouldn't dare to do anything to us. But the Hanging Mountain harbors no such fear. It’s been quite some time that they’ve been eyeing the Rich-Lush Continent like a tiger eyeing prey.

“Mobilize all our spies and agents. Make sure we know everything about the Shroud-Heaven Alliance!”

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh…. Blasts of wind swirled out as the students blurred into motion.

Meanwhile, Yun Hailan hovered high above the sea of clouds, looking down at the conclave students vanishing into the night. Shaking her head, she murmured to herself, ‘Everyone in the Crown Prince Society thinks that all my success is because of the Crown Prince. Little do they know that, as far as I'm concerned, the Crown Prince is no different from that Yang Qi. They’re all pawns. I’ll never let any man use me…. The Crown Prince Society people treat me politely, but in their bones, they hate me. Eventually, they’ll all be forced to kneel in front of me.’

Expression flickering, she turned to look in the direction of Manyflowers Peak. ‘Yang Qi…. I have to admit that I underestimated you. You were once nothing more than a country bumpkin brat, but you’ve changed. You really stand out from the crowd now. It's almost hard to believe how vicious and merciless you’ve become. If only you would bow your head and swear loyalty to me, I could use you to accomplish incredible things here in the Demi-Immortal Institute. I need to find a good opportunity to force you to submit….’

Suddenly, her eyes flickered with shining light. ‘I know that you were involved in the deaths of Song Haishan and Gu Fenxian. And I can’t help but admire how perfectly you covered it all up. But I know you. You’re an amateur, so you definitely left some evidence somewhere. Once I find it, I’ll push you into a life-or-death situation in which you have no choice but to agree to become my slave.’

** 

Back in the grand hall on Manyflowers Peak, Yang Qi continued to send a flow of life force springwater into Yang Susu, who was glowing with dazzling light. Unexpectedly, there were seven specific locations within her that were absorbing the life force and, as a result, transforming into seas of true energy.

‘What? Seven seas of energy?’ Yang Qi was shocked at what his acute senses were telling him. There was no doubt about it; they were not acupoints or meridians, they were seas of energy.

Seas of energy and acupoints were very different. Seas of energy converted life force quintessence, and also balanced the blood and energy in the body. In Quinary Lifeseizing, one formed true energy vestiges, but all they did was store true energy that was built up during breathing exercises. Eventually, it would be turned into animadestiny true energy, which could then flow out into the acupoints.

In contrast, seas of energy were like furnaces. They were a core element of the body that simply couldn’t be substituted or replaced.

And yet, now Yang Susu had seven swirling vortexes inside of her that were becoming seas of energy. Those seas of energy could absorb power from outside the body, and transform it into true energy.

In other words, when Yang Susu took a single breath, she would be absorbing seven times the normal amount of spirit energy. Obviously, she could also circulate her energy at a much higher speed than ordinary people.

Furthermore, Yang Qi could also sense that those seven seas of energy were larger than normal. If he closed his eyes, shutting Yang Susu’s physical form from his senses, he could see the seven massive vortexes, spinning endlessly as they sucked in vital energy.

The seven seas of energy also served to organize, sort, and distribute the absorbed vital energy in a perfect way, and used it to cleanse the fleshly body.

Those seas of energy, each one a furnace, were nearly as marvelous as his Hellfire Crucible.

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