Xie Feng’s scream instantly attracted a lot of attention.
Blood sprayed out of the stumps of his wrists as his hands were cut clean off by Yang Qi’s sword, and his gauntlets tumbled to the ground, soaked in blood.
Xie Feng’s momentum ended, completely and utterly.
His scream sounded like that of a wild beast, and he completely lost control of his true energy. His eyes were now completely bloodshot and filled with terror.
Fights between top experts usually came down to a single moment. And Xie Feng could never have known that Yang Qi would use an improvised infernal deity sword technique, and accompany it with the Nightfall Symphony.
In fact, not even Yang Qi had been aware of what would happen. By combining the spear technique with his sword, he received the Nightfall Symphony from the golden imp, and immediately used it to sever his opponent's hands.
“I'm gonna kill you!” Xie Feng shouted. He still had some energy arts to rely on, and therefore, it was just as the old saying went: a centipede does not stop wriggling even after being stomped on.
“Piece of trash.” Yang Qi sneered, flicking his sword toward Xie Feng’s throat. Xie Feng felt his blood run cold as he realized that he couldn’t make another move without being killed.
He swallowed hard as the tip of the sword slowly pierced into the skin of his throat, causing a bead of blood to run down toward his chest. A single stir of Yang Qi’s true energy, and Xie Feng would be dead.
Yang Qi stirred his true energy, and yet, didn’t stab Xie Feng through the throat. Instead, he destroyed his identity medallion. “I'm not going to kill you, Xie Feng. Screw the hell off, and take your hands with you. I'm sure you can find the right spirit medicine to reattach them.”
“I'm going to get revenge for this, Yang Qi!” Xie Feng said, his expression incomparably malicious.
“I’ll be waiting,” Yang Qi replied calmly. “I could have killed you today, and it’ll be the same tomorrow too. Considering how badly I damaged your vital energy, there’s no way you’ll reach the Legendary level any time soon. Soon enough, I’ll seize life again, and leave you in the dust. Once I’m a Legendary, your Crown Prince Society won’t be able to do anything about me. Nor will your Crown Prince.”
“You just wait!” Xie Feng spat. Then he turned and left, taking his hands, and his shame, with him.
Yet again, exclamations of praise and shock could be heard.
A broad smile could be seen on Holy Daughter Manyflowers’ face. “What an incredible fight! If he wins the next round, he’ll be in the top three.”
Meanwhile, fierce fighting played out as the rest of the battles between the top ten contenders played out.
The next round would have only five finalists, and would feature two fights, with one competitor sitting out. And thus, the top three would be selected.
After that, the top three would draw lots to determine the order of the fight for the final prize.
Patriarchs Wind and Cloud looked completely ashen-faced, as did many of the other experts who had wagered on the outcome of Yang Qi’s progress. None of them could possibly have imagined that he would actually beat Xie Feng. There was no more spectacular dark horse in the competition than him.
Thanks to the wagers with Holy Daughter Manyflowers, many of them would be losing precious treasures, and thus, a large contingent was dearly hoping that Yang Qi would be defeated in the next round.
Bells tolled, and Yang Qi once again entered the fighting arena.
Of the five people present, one was Yun Hailan!
The other three were students from the Sea God Institute, True Dragon Institute, and Sun Moon Institute respectively. The Sun Moon Institute student was a young woman who looked over at Yang Qi and nodded. From the look of it, she had a good impression of him.
There was something familiar about this young woman, so Yang Qi said, “Elder Sister, might I ask for your honored surname and distinguished given name?”
“You’re Hua Fengfeng’s sworn brother, right?” she replied. “I'm her older sister Hua Piaomiao. My sister told me all about you. She said you’re supremely honorable and righteous, and that you put your life on the line to save your sworn brother, by fighting devils. You actually charged right into a Preheaven Devil-Eye.” 
“Yang Qi!” Yun Hailan interjected. “You really have worked up a pack of rogues as friends.”
“Calm down, Yun Hailan,” he replied. “I don't care what happens today, you won’t be escaping the tip of my sword! I got to where I am by relying on my own cultivation base, so I can’t help but feel a bit disgusted having you here. After all, the only thing you know how to do is manipulate men. Women who toy with men are virtually the same as prostitutes. After all, both of them can reach incredible heights of power in society. Don’t tell me that God really doesn’t care about this sort of thing?”
“Hmph!” Yun Hailan’s eyes blazed with intense killing intent. Even if she had greater self-restraint than she did, she wouldn’t have been able to ignore Yang Qi’s jab. “If you’re looking to die, I can accommodate you.”
Suddenly, massive force weighed down on the area as one of the Legendary grand elders of the Demi-Immortal Institute appeared, a jade tray in hand, upon which rested five jade markers. “The five of you will draw lots to determine who fights next. There is one blank marker. Whichever of you is lucky enough to draw it will sit out the next round.”
“Yes sir!” The five students nodded. This method for competitions was an old tradition, and thus, none of them found it strange. As for Yang Qi, he stepped forward, drew a marker, and found that his next opponent was Hua Piaomiao. Unfortunately, he hadn’t struck it lucky.
Hua Piaomiao was Hua Fengfeng’s sister, but now she was his opponent. How was he supposed to fight her considering that?
“Looks like you’re a lot luckier than me, Yang Qi,” Yun Hailan said snidely. In her hand was a blank marker. She would sit out the round and advance directly into the top three.
In the blink of an eye, the arena was split into two fighting zones.
On one side, Yang Qi would fight Hua Piaomiao, and on the other, the students from the True Dragon and Sea God Institutes would compete.
As Hua Piaomiao took her place, she looked at Yang Qi with a faint smile and said, “I don’t think there’s any need for us to fight, Yang Qi. You want to kill Yun Hailan, right? How about I give you the chance you’re looking for? I’ll simply step out of the competition.”
“What?!” Yang Qi said. Shaking his head, he continued, “No, you can’t do that.”
“Why not? You saved Hua Fengfeng, so the Hua Clan owes you. If you have the time, why not come to the Sun Moon Institute for a visit? I hope you end up taking first place, and pull off a miracle. Besides, I know that I can’t defeat you. Your sword technique is beyond the comprehension of even ghosts and gods.”
Before he could say anything else, she pulled out her identity medallion and crushed it. “Good luck.”
Then, she flew off of the fighting platform.
“What’s going on?! Why’d she just give up?” This caused an even bigger commotion than Yang Qi’s previous victories. This time, he didn’t even fight.
Furthermore, it indicated that he was now in the top three.
Patriarchs Wind and Cloud, as well as the other Legendary grand elders who had placed wagers howled in rage, as if they planned to interfere. After all, they had all just suffered disastrous losses.
“What,” Holy Daughter Manyflowers said with a chuckle. “Don’t tell me you’re going to resort to rule-breaking? In this competition, just like those in the past, any competitor can admit defeat. You think everyone should fight to the death or something?”
Those were indeed the rules of the competition. And there was nothing anyone could say to argue with her.
“Patriarchs Wind and Cloud, hand over your Wind and Cloud Flag,” she said, extending her hand toward them. “I heard that you forged it with hundreds of years’ worth of heart-blood, plus dragon-king goldsilk. You even had to refine it with water, fire, wind, and lightning. Well, it will make a great defensive item for Yang Susu when she comes out of seclusion. And you over there, hand over that Wild-Calming Pearl….”
Although many a glare was cast in her direction, there was nothing any of the other grand elders could do to try to wriggle out of their agreement, and thus, one treasure after another changed hands. The sight of so many treasures caused Holy Daughter Manyflowers’ impression of Yang Qi to improve more and more. But at the same time, so did her curiosity over what mysterious power he had access to.
Soon enough, the other battle came to an end, and the student from the Sea God Institute prevailed over his opponent from the True Dragon Institute.
The victor was a young man with a snow-white complexion, making him look almost sickly. However, he fought with incredible speed, using a trident that he could wield with incredible dexterity. Each blow he struck contained massive power, and occasionally, it was possible to glimpse the image of a huge whale within the blur of his movements.
Similar to the way that Yang Qi had awoken ancient megamammoths, this young man could call upon the power of leviathans. Of course, despite being formidable, it couldn’t compare to the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth. 
Considering how long he had been watching the fighting in the competition, Yang Qi knew that this young man’s name was Yun He. He was the very same student who, in the previous competition, had defeated several elite students when he himself was only a Master of Energy. Because of that, he was widely regarded as a genius. 
Supposedly, he could draw upon the power of a primeval leviathan, which allowed him to virtually dominate the sea. He was a genius like Holy Daughter Manyflowers, a person who was rumored to be the next Legendary in his institute.
There were now three competitors left: Yang Qi, Yun Hailan, and Yun He.
Next, the Legendary elder had Yang Qi and Yun He draw lots.
Whoever got the blank marker would sit out, and the other would fight Yun Hailan. The winner of that match would then fight the person who had just sat out.
As for Yun Hailan, considering she had sat out the last round, according to the long-standing rules, she had to fight now.
The lots were drawn, and Yang Qi picked the blank marker. He would sit out while Yun He and Yun Hailan fought.
As of this moment, he was only one round of fighting away from taking first place.
‘Unless you forfeit this round, Yun Hailan, I'm going to kill you.’ Of Yang Qi’s two great ambitions, one was very close to becoming a reality: killing Yun Hailan.
“Junior Sister,” Yun He said, “I know that you really want to take first place, so I’ll accommodate your desire, and help the Crown Prince out at the same time. Although the prize for first place is a very rare magical treasure, I’d much rather provide a helping hand. Besides, the Crown Prince will reward me, and likely, help me reach the Legendary level.”
Unexpectedly, Yun He broke his medallion, backing out of the fight with Yun Hailan.
Now, only Yang Qi and Yun Hailan were left in the competition.
‘Good!’ Yang Qi thought, his excitement building. His biggest fear had been that Yun Hailan would forfeit. Never could he have imagined that Yun He would be the one to do so.
As Yun He walked past Yang Qi to leave the fighting platform, he leaned over and whispered, “You’d better forfeit, punk. Otherwise you’ll die a miserable death….”
2. The word I’m translating as leviathan literally means “giant whale” and contains one of the same characters as “megamammoth”. It theoretically could have been “megawhale”, but I’m going with “leviathan”, one definition of which is “sea monster; a huge marine animal, such as the whale”.