Yang Qi had assumed the chancellor called him to the Minorcosm World to offer some reward or another. Instead, he had shared his opinion about the Crown Prince, offered no reward, and instead, assigned him a dangerous mission.
The west? An ancient mine? A monster, and a Legendary at that?
And he was to kill this monster and steal a treasure, in a place originally created by Demonfolk of the distant past? That was like snatching food from the tiger’s mouth. It would definitely be profoundly dangerous.
According to the rumors, the Demonfolk of the distant past practiced cultivation using a certain type of spirit stone that contained particularly powerful spirit energy. And humans who used such spirit stones would achieve incredibly rapid progress. Unfortunately, the Heavendawn Quarry had long since dried up, and people had learned to either eat physical food to gain strength, or use medicinal plants to make energy convergence pills.
Cultivation in modern times went much more slowly than in the past.
The powerful divine abilities and energy arts of the primeval world were all available because of the spirit stones, and the vital energy they produced.
Of course, there were still scattered pockets of spirit stones that remained deep in the mine. However, such areas were usually occupied by freakish hellions, ensuring that only Legendaries would dare to go there.
Why exactly was the chancellor sending him there? In the hopes that he would get killed? Or was it a form of training?
Yang Qi literally had no idea what the chancellor might be thinking. The man was like a bottomless abyss that was impossible to assess.
“Yes sir, Chancellor. I shall abide by your orders.” He didn’t argue. He knew that it was not his place to do so, and that he had to simply listen to what the man said.
“Here’s a map of the Heavendawn Quarry, which includes the location where the monster is imprisoned.” The chancellor waved his hand, causing a map to emerge from thin air, formed from crystalline manifestations of the power of space.
“Take care,” the chancellor said, fading into thin air. Soon, Yang Qi was completely alone.
He looked down at the map, which was as thin as a cicada's wing, and filled with detailed information of a mountain range in the west. It almost looked like a small world unto itself.
The power to manipulate space went far beyond his own capabilities. People like the Crown Prince and the chancellor could use it to simply step through space itself. Yang Qi couldn’t help but be a bit jealous.
However, it wouldn't do any good to worry about that right now.
Snorting coldly in his heart, he thought, ‘It seems now is the time to throw caution to the wind. The Crown Prince isn't going to let me off the hook, so there’s no need to sit around worrying. If I stick my neck out, he’ll try to kill me, and if I do the opposite, the result will be the same.’
Now that he was alone, Yang Qi decided to do some breathing exercises, to absorb some of the Nine-Yang Immortal Energy in the Minorcosm World.
He completely opened his body and mind.
Cracking sounds filled the air as the explosive vital energy of heaven and earth rushed toward him as Septenary Lifeseizing tribulation began.
The attacking gaze of the Crown Prince had become true energy that pushed him to the brink of a breakthrough, and considering he was currently alone, he decided that now was the perfect time to finish the process.
He was soon surrounded by a maelstrom of soil, water, fire, wind and even lightning. Numerous monsters appeared within the vital energy, all of whom tried to burrow into Yang Qi’s body.
Unfortunately for them, he was too strong. With minimal effort, he sent out boundless sword light, destroying the monsters and vanquishing the vital energy. As for the lightning, it coursed through his bloodstream, creating dazzling vein-like designs.
More particles within him stirred. In the blink of an eye, more than ten awoke, bringing him to the total power of over one hundred forty ancient megamammoths.
And his power continued to climb.
He took a deep breath, inhaling masses of Nine-Yang Immortal Energy. It was like a river flowing into him, pouring into his Hellfire Crucible and transforming into life force quintessence.
The Minorcosm World was huge, almost like its own heaven and earth. And the location where the chancellor had summoned Yang Qi to was very remote. Therefore, no one noticed any disturbance to the vital energy of the place.
Furthermore, only a Legendary would have noticed what he was doing with the Nine-Yang Immortal Energy. Therefore, this was an amazing opportunity to acquire the life force quintessence he needed.
He was consuming the energy like a voracious gobblewock, not holding back in any way as he sucked it in. A short time later, his Hellfire Crucible was completely full. 
And yet, he still wasn’t pleased, and decided to go all out.
Crick. Crack…. The Nine-Yang Immortal Energy in the crucible began to crystalize, and transform into gemstones. Each beautiful stone had nine colors, and would cause any human who looked at it to feel like an immortal who had abandoned the vulgar mortal world.
He was now almost completely filled with crystallized nine-yang energy, even in his meridians.
It was almost impossible to say how much of the stuff he had absorbed.
All of a sudden, a massive energy fluctuation hit him and shoved him out of the Minorcosm World and into the sea of clouds above.
Only then did he stop absorbing the Nine-Yang Immortal Energy.
Non-Legendary students who stayed in the Minorcosm World for too long would be automatically ejected.
However, Yang Qi had still benefited greatly. The yang energy built up in his meridians and Hellfire Crucible was equivalent to an entire bottle gourd of life force springwater.
After absorbing it fully, he would definitely be able to reach Octonary Lifeseizing.
For now, he was a Septenary Lifeseizer with one hundred and fifty awakened particles within him, making him vastly stronger than before. He was very pleased with the results. Unfortunately, he knew that the Crown Prince was now eyeing him like a tiger watching its prey, and that his current level of power was still like nothing compared to him.
The Legendary level.
He had to reach the Legendary level.
He knew that there were nine transformations within the Legendary level, each one of which led to heightened senses and awareness. Unfortunately, just reaching the level wouldn’t be enough. Although the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth would improve, making it more difficult for the Crown Prince to kill him, unless he was able to communicate better with the enigmatic golden imp, he would need to be stronger.
‘Should I go to this Heavendawn Quarry? I guess there’s no reason not to. I wonder what the Legendary level monster is like.’ Map in hand, he began to fly through the sea of clouds.
Evening had fallen, and the hubbub because of the events of the martial arts competition had died down. The visitors to the institute had left, and the entire place was relatively quiet.
However, when he reached Manyflowers Peak, he found that his sworn siblings were waiting for him.
Holy Daughter Manyflowers was also there. As a Legendary, she had a position in the Minorcosm World, but considering that this was a special occasion, had come to talk with him. “Yang Qi! You’re back! What did the chancellor have to say to you? Did he give you any sort of reward?”
“He gave me this map. He said that there’s a monster imprisoned in the Heavendawn Quarry, and that I'm supposed to kill it. It has a magical treasure that's supposedly my reward.”
With that, he pulled out the map.
“Bullcrap!” Holy Daughter Manyflowers said. “The Heavendawn Quarry is a very dangerous place. Not even I would venture too deeply inside of it. That's the reward the chancellor gave you? It seems more like a death sentence to me. Does the Demi-Immortal Institute really belong to the Crown Prince now? After the scene he caused, the chancellor actually gave him the institute to calm him down! You can't go to that mine, Yang Qi. You’ll end up dead and buried there.”
“She’s right, Brother,” Jun Tianchou said, sounding worried. “The Heavendawn Quarry is a ruined mine of antiquity. There are countless freakish hellions who occupy the place. According to the rumors, a Great Sage sealed some enormous devil there. All of the sects and organizations in the Rich-Lush Continent consider it a forbidden region. Only Legendaries ever go there, and plenty have never come back out alive. You definitely must not go. You’ll die for sure.”
“Little Bro Qi, it seems to me you’re not safe in the Demi-Immortal Institute any longer,” Hua Fengfeng said. “Why not come to the Sun Moon Institute? My father is the Junior Brother of the chancellor, and the most likely expert to become a Great Sage. Once he succeeds, he’ll definitely be able to protect you from the Crown Prince.”
“Yeah, Brother,” Meng Qingshan said. He sighed. “Even I thought your chancellor would give you some sort of reward. He placated the Crown Prince, so it only makes sense that he would try to placate you. But the only thing he gave you was a dangerous mission? It seems obvious to me that he’s on the side of the Crown Prince. Ai…. If you stick around the Demi-Immortal Institute, you’ll be dead for sure.”
Yang Qi shook his head. “No. I can’t leave the Demi-Immortal Institute. At least not yet. If I scurried off with my tail between my legs now, how could I ever hold my head high in public? Besides, I would be a laughingstock to Yun Hailan and the Crown Prince, and I just can’t let that happen. If I abandoned the institute, he could just declare me a traitor, which would make it less of an issue for him to kill me. I have to become a Legendary, or maybe even a Great Sage. Only then would he have to think twice about trying to kill me, not like now, when he can basically do it without even trying. My importance to the institute compared to his is like the difference between heaven and earth. He has performed all sorts of services, and provided an enormous amount of life force springwater to various students to aid in their progress. With the Hanging Mountain and other continents harboring designs on the Rich-Lush Continent, he's the only one who can answer the challenge of the geniuses from other continents. For example, he already beat Young Master Shroud-Heaven once, and now he's fighting him again. I need to prove to the institute that I'm stronger than him. I need to prove to the institute that I'm important! If I do that, perhaps the chancellor's opinion of me will change.
“It's not necessarily true that he gave me this mission in an attempt to kill me. If he were that superficial, he wouldn't have become the chancellor. He must have other reasons. Perhaps it's a test, a challenge to see if I can accomplish important missions. True geniuses, people like the Crown Prince, should be able to fight Legendaries even when they’re only a Lifeseizer! If I finish this mission, at least it’ll mean I have the potential to tangle with the Crown Prince. And in that case, the chancellor will be interested in seeing me progress. If I fail the mission, he won’t care at all. In the end, I have to rely on myself to screw over the Crown Prince. And considering how haughty he is, as long as I'm still alive, he won’t do anything to my friends and family. He would never stoop so low.”
1. This ‘gobblewock’ is a creature name that I am inventing. It describes a mythological Chinese beast that is a ferocious and gluttonous monster. I was unable to find any existing translation for it, and couldn’t even find any general descriptions. This term will appear again throughout the story, so keep it in mind.