Yang Qi could not possibly allow the Crown Prince to reach the Great Sage level, not if he had a way to prevent it. Even if the Crown Prince somehow spared him in the moment, Yun Hailan wouldn’t let him off easily. And Yang Qi was not the type who could accept a life of humiliation.
The chancellor wanted him to just wait here until the fight between the Crown Prince and Young Master Shroud-Heaven reached the point where the Grand Emperor's Pagoda would fly out. After the Crown Prince became a Great Sage, Yang Qi’s supposed ‘service’ would be enough that the Crown Prince would pardon him.
Everything made sense now.
The chancellor wasn’t giving Yang Qi any reward at all. He was simply going through the motions, and trying to arrange things so that the Crown Prince wouldn’t cause problems for him.
‘There’s no way I’ll let that happen. The Crown Prince will not become a Great Sage, and I will not live a life of humiliation!’ He clenched his hands into fists. ‘In the eyes of the chancellor, I'm nowhere near as important as the Crown Prince. Well, that's not surprising. Compared to someone who’s on the very verge of becoming a Great Sage, I'm basically an ant. And the Crown Prince is also supposed to succeed the chancellor. Well, I'm going to give them all a bit of a shock! That Grand Emperor's Pagoda is going to be mine. And I'm going to take this asura’s power and blood quintessence for my own!’
Yang Qi’s eyes flashed as his aura surged. Sura flames leapt up around him as he tried to push toward Nonary Lifeseizing, and face the tribulation that came with it.
Once he did that, he would snatch the Grand Emperor's Pagoda and use it to vanquish the asura.
After all, the chancellor had said that he was to kill the monster and take its treasure. That was supposed to be his compensation for the Gate of the Great Void. In the end, there would be nothing the chancellor could find fault with.
In fact, what would be even better would be if he could kill the Crown Prince at the same time. Then he wouldn’t have anyone to fear.
By now, Yang Qi’s main enemy in the Rich-Lush Continent wasn’t Yun Hailan, it was the Crown Prince. Even if Yun Hailan encountered better fortune than she already had, she wouldn’t be a threat to him. Only the Crown Prince was strong enough for that.
Of course, accomplishing what he wanted to do would be easier said than done.
The chancellor’s plan seemed like a perfect one, and of course, considering the difference between Yang Qi’s cultivation base and the Crown Prince’s, directly fighting him wasn’t a possibility.
‘But there’s one thing the chancellor couldn’t have taken into consideration. And that’s my God Legion Seal!’
In Yang Qi’s plan, the God Legion Seal and the golden imp were his greatest assets. That sealing mark had nearly killed Ghost Emperor Yama, so it could definitely wreck the chancellor’s plan with the Grand Emperor's Pagoda.
The only downside was that Yang Qi couldn’t directly control it. Therefore, factoring it into his plans would require meticulous forethought.
‘Ah, my dear chancellor. Win or lose, it all ends here. I refuse to believe that I'm fundamentally weaker than the Crown Prince. I’ll show you. I have far more potential than him, and I might not be interested in becoming the next chancellor, but I definitely won’t let the Crown Prince have the position.’ As he absorbed more sura flame and used it to push himself toward his breakthrough, he waited, keeping some attention focused outside to detect when the Crown Prince and Young Master Shroud-Heaven began fighting.
When top experts fought, it could often go on for a long time, even months. In fact, in the distant past, there were Great Sages who engaged in duels that lasted for many years.
And according to the legends, the wars between the legion of gods and the fiend-devils had lasted for tens upon tens of thousands of years.
“You’re absorbing that sura flame pretty quickly,” the asura said. “Heading for a breakthrough, I suppose? Well, it won't be long before you find out the truth about those flaws I mentioned.” By this point, it seemed the asura realized Yang Qi wasn’t the type of person to be easily fooled. However, he still was needling him about his cultivation, trying to find an opening.
“Oh, right,” Yang Qi said. “Senior, you probably know quite a bit about cultivation. What are the nine Legendary transformations about? Mind explaining a bit? I'm really close to the Legendary level right now, but there are still many things I don’t understand. I never learned much back in the Demi-Immortal Institute because I spent most of my time working on my own cultivation. If you give me some good tips, then maybe I can show you a bit of my technique.”
“Hmm….” The asura thought about it for a moment, and apparently decided that answering a few cultivation questions shouldn’t be a problem.
“Well, if you want to know,” he said confidently, “I guess I can help out a bit. Since you’re on the verge of reaching the Legendary level already, you could probably benefit from my own steady rise through that level. In fact, when the people on the outside activate the spell formation, you could probably benefit from the power surges, and even use them to temper your physical body.”
“I’d love to hear your advice, Senior. And if you can help me temper my physical body when they activate the spell formation, I would definitely be in your debt.”
“Very well, listen up. The Lifeseizing level is all about building up resources. There isn't anything particularly mystical about the nine seizings of life. You just have to have enough willpower and natural talent. However, in the Legendary level, you have to connect with magical law. Once you’re in Nonary Lifeseizing, the requirements to break through to Legendary are as follows: a full sea of energy, strong bones and tendons, adequate acupoints, unhindered meridians and a sharp mind. When the moment comes, combine all of the true energy nascent divinities in your acupoints into one. After it’s done, they will explode, sending power coursing through your body, turning it into a mass of primal-chaos. In that moment, stick voraciously to life, and remold both your meridians and your sea of energy. At the same time, refashion your body into something uniquely your own. Of course, the more superior the technique you cultivate, the more powerful your life force will burn when you reach the Legendary level, and the more prospects you’ll have for the future.”
“Oh really?” Yang Qi was actually surprised. He had never heard that one's technique could affect one’s breakthrough into the Legendary level. Apparently, entering the Legendary level with a mere royal-class energy art would make one almost useless as a Legendary. An imperial-class energy art would be a bit better, as it would aid in remolding the meridians and sea of energy.
Of course, Yang Qi knew that when he finally did achieve that next breakthrough, the golden imp would impart a new technique to him. Most likely, it would be a marvelous ability used for remolding the body in the form of a godmammoth.
He very much looked forward to that moment.
“If you have flaws in your technique,” the asura continued, “then the moment of remolding will be extremely dangerous. Of course, the sura people have a special technique for just that. I wouldn’t mind explaining it to you, although I'm not sure if it would conflict with your current technique. You’d definitely need to show me your current technique ahead of time, otherwise I wouldn’t feel comfortable explaining mine to you.” The asura clearly was not giving up on its attempts to get his technique.
Yang Qi nodded vigorously. “Oh, right, right. But first, Senior, do you mind explaining the important aspects of the various transformations of the Legendary level?”
“Very well. The first is called the Blood-Form Transformation, in which you remold your meridians, sea of energy, blood, flesh and bones. In this transformation, the ‘blood’ refers to your literal blood, and the ‘form’ refers to your physical form. It's a fundamental transformation of incredible power. It essentially forms the basis of everything after that, much like the base of a thirty-thousand meter pagoda will ensure how stable it is.” In his desire to get Yang Qi’s technique, the asura was actually holding nothing back in his explanation.
“The second transformation is known as the Spirit-Soul Transformation, in which you strengthen your mind and cultivate your divine will. In that transformation, a single thought of yours can cause the wind to blow and the clouds to stir. By sending your divine will into heaven and earth, you can become one with nature, and understand magical laws.
“Third is the Space-Void Transformation. After pushing the first two transformations to the limit, and ensuring that both your soul and your physical form are at the ultimate peak, you can begin to seek enlightenment of the magical laws that govern the operation of space and the void. You can create small-scale spatial dimensions, albeit unstable ones. You will also be able to travel through space, at least to some extent. Of course, your understanding of magical laws at this point will be superficial at best. If you really want to be able to travel the depths of the void, you’ll need to become a Great Sage.”
The asura almost sounded like a professor teaching a class in college. He had plentiful stores of knowledge, and was using it like a torch in the night, dispelling much of the confusion Yang Qi had felt before.
‘Now I get it,’ Yang Qi thought. ‘If I want to make the God Legion Paradise, I need to reach the third transformation of the Legendary level, the Space-Void Transformation. The God Legion Paradise is a unique dimension, and thus, I need to have a basic understanding of magical law to use it.’
Clearing his throat, he said, “I wonder what the fourth transformation is…?”
“It’s called the Five-Phases Transformation, in which you collect the elements of the five phases, and gain enlightenment of the five convergences. When you understand the principles of mutual augmentation and suppression, you can mix the power of the five phases into your attacks. It all depends on enlightenment of the five phases. For example, fire can negate water, water can give birth to wood, and so on. It's all very profound. 
“The fifth transformation is none other than the Yin-Yang Transformation, in which you use the yin and yang energies that exist in heaven and earth and combine them with the energy of the five phases. By understanding the profundity of yin and yang, you can fully master this step of cultivation.”
Yang Qi listened with rapt attention to this detailed information. As it turned out, the Legendary level was essentially split up into three subsections. No wonder the Crown Prince had been able to easily defeat Houselord Spring-Autumn, Pontifex Flame, Prince Wei and Elder Hua from the Sun Moon Institute. The truth was that he could have killed them if he wanted.
“What about the sixth transformation?”
“The sixth transformation is the Personal-Domain Transformation! By using yin and yang, the five phases, the power of the void and space, and a remolded body, one can create a personal domain, a place in which you will be almost completely invincible.”
1. In the past I always used ‘five elements’ but in SaMo I'm going with ‘five phases’, which is another common way to translate it. Some of the reason for that is obvious even in this chapter. For example, he talks about the ‘elements of the five phases’. That’s a pretty literal translation. As it turns out, he uses the actual term for element to describe the five phases. For more information, you can check out this wikipedia article. However, do bear in mind that this is fiction; the author isn’t required to conform to the traditional interpretations of the source inspiration. Of course, there are plenty of real-life books about this kind of thing including the self-help and the philosophy type. Jokes aside, if you are a big fan of cultivation novels, I recommend this chart (which I actually bought myself) as an easy reference for the five phases/elements stuff.