The ground shook, causing cracks to open up everywhere, giving Yang Qi the sensation that the land beneath his feet was about to collapse. It felt like some immense power were stirring beneath his feet, causing demon energy to leak up from the ground, power that could surpass the sky, the seas, and even the stars. This truly seemed like the power of an ancient Great Sage of the Demonfolk.
The Legendary level had its nine transformations, and the Great Sage level had something similar.
As for whatever Great Sage had set up this spell formation, that individual seemed far more powerful than the Great Sages of modern times.
At the moment, there were only five individuals in the Rich-Lush Continent who were in the Great Sage level, namely, the chancellors of the four institutes, and the emperor of the Sage Ancestor Dynasty.
Of course, it was possible that there were other Great Sages who remained in hiding. And there was also the possibility that some who were native to the Rich-Lush Continent were traveling in other locations.
‘The Demon Sage spell formation is activating!’ Yang Qi thought. He was ready to enact his plan; he had reached Nonary Lifeseizing, and felt strong enough to take on and possibly even kill a low-level Legendary. In fact, it would probably be appropriate to refer to him as an actual Legendary.
The moment he had been waiting for was near.
Heart pounding, he pondered what it would be like if he could actually acquire the Grand Emperor's Pagoda and prevent the Crown Prince from reaching the Great Sage level. Hopefully, it would end with both the Crown Prince and Young Master Shroud-Heaven exhausted and severely injured.
And the best outcome for Yang Qi would be for him to simply escape with the pagoda.
As long as the Crown Prince didn't become a Great Sage, he would take it to be a victory. And if he did acquire the Grand Emperor's Pagoda, a precious treasure related to space itself, then he would finally have a way to protect his friends and family, to take them from this continent and make sure the Crown Prince could never hurt them.
Although, he would only do that as a last resort.
“Alright brat, it's finally starting. I can sense some vibrations from the Grand Emperor's Pagoda already. Just as I suspected, that despicable chancellor of yours never fully cleansed the Grand Emperor's Pagoda. There is still a noble spirit of antiquity inside that he never fully melted away. That’s why he left the thing hidden in here; he hoped to borrow the power of the spell formation to refine it. After the noble spirit of antiquity is gone, he’ll finally be able to control it. Of course, we’re not going to let him succeed.”
The chained asura let out a whoop of excitement.
“Is that so…?” Yang Qi was now more certain than ever that the chancellor had numerous backup plans in place. He wouldn’t just rely on one simplistic strategy. “Senior, are you sure the chancellor can’t directly wrest control of the Grand Emperor's Pagoda?”
“Enough with the questions, brat. I've already explained enough to you over the past few days. My patience has run thin. Hurry up and teach me that energy art of yours, otherwise I’ll make you wish you could die!” The asura was done with words, and in the blink of an eye, his power filled the entire hall.
All of the doors to the hall suddenly shut of their own accord!
Pretending to be shocked, Yang Qi said, “Senior! You—”
“Enough with the games, brat. You’re a crafty one, I’ll give you that. You knew I had it out for you from the beginning, and that’s the only reason you treated me with that false civility of yours. Look, you're a Nonary Lifeseizer now. Hurry up and teach me the mnemonic for the technique. I’ll give you this one last chance.” The asura looked at him viciously, straining at its chains, which groaned as though they might snap at any moment.
Yang Qi suddenly burst out laughing. “Nice try, asura. You're locked tight by those chains. What are you going to do to me? One of the reasons I dragged out the conversation with you was to do a little test. Perhaps if you could free yourself, you could kill me. Sadly for you, the only thing you can do right now is use sura power to summon sura flame. Except, I love sura flame! So even if you attack me with it, the only thing you’ll do is make me stronger.”
“Ignoramus!” the asura roared. “You think that just because I'm chained up I can’t do anything to you?” He suddenly let out a roar that caused a massive wind to spring up, filled with numerous weapons of the sura people. Space-time rippled everywhere, even the very location where Yang Qi stood.
“Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth!” Yang Qi shouted. Armor instantly spread out over his body, like porcelain, covered with inscriptions of the legion of gods. It didn't seem hellish in the least bit, but rather, like something from the heavenly halls. 
Instantly, the distortions around him were negated.
“Greater Teleportation!” the asura growled. The distortions around Yang Qi suddenly sprang back up with even more intensity than before, causing him to sink down into the ground.
In the blink of an eye, he saw an enormous bronze pagoda, covered with inscriptions of ancient text. This was definitely not a treasure from the modern age, but rather, something from the distant past.
This was the Grand Emperor's Pagoda.
“Get in there!” the asura shouted, unleashing power that actually succeeded in shoving Yang Qi into the pagoda.
Once inside, he immediately realized that he was trapped. Everything around him was bronze, except for a transparent window, beyond which was grotesque and monstrous scenery. He was now located in the dimension that existed inside of the Grand Emperor's Pagoda.
At this point, he heard the asura speaking to him from beyond that window. “Don’t worry, brat. You’ve been trapped inside of the Grand Emperor's Pagoda by me. Soon enough, I’ll refine you into a suitable substitute for my own body. And now, let's see how things are progressing outside.”
Suddenly, the view outside the window shifted to the Heavendawn Quarry.
It looked different now. Towering demon energy raged everywhere, and the auras of powerful fiend-devils surged. Burning demon light rose high into the sky, illuminating all heaven and earth.
There were countless daemons in the mine, enough to strike fear into the heart of anyone. There were even dozens of Legendary-level entities, lurking at various spell formation nodes. Meanwhile, out over the sea, in a pocket dimension somewhere, deafening booms rang out without cease.
Clearly, powerful entities were out there fighting a deadly battle.
Yang Qi could actually see the faint image of two people locked in combat, fighting back and forth with shocking stances and forms.
Suddenly, all heaven and earth trembled as two figures shot out from the dimension, one of them being the Crown Prince. There was no way Yang Qi would forget what he looked like, this arch enemy of his who had proudly declared his intention to kill all of Yang Qi’s friends and family.
The other of the two figures looked like a young man. He wielded a long spear, a seemingly ancient weapon of copper, and was clad in a voluminous blood-red cloak embroidered with countless gigantic beasts. They looked extremely lifelike, as if they had just emerged from the jungles of yore, complete with profoundly ancient auras.
The Crown Prince was fighting with the same dual-crescent-bladed halberd he had before. The energy which swirled around him seemed to form millions of wild dragons, whose energy caused the seawater in all directions to evaporate into steam. Within moments, the muddy seafloor was revealed. Every sweep of his halberd would pierce through the evil aura of his opponent, and would cause the light of the sun and the stars to shine brightly.
Normally speaking, the presence of the blazing sun would cause the glory of the stars to diminish. But this halberd caused starlight to stream down like a waterfall from the highest heavens.
Soon, the sea around him was like a sea of stars, shining with resplendent glory.
Although Yang Qi hated the Crown Prince to his very core, even he had to admit that it was a glorious scene. The Crown Prince looked like a powerful hero, so much stronger than himself that he was obviously impossible to fight.
As for the young man with the spear and the blood-red cloak, he seemed a perfect match for the Crown Prince. Evil clouds surrounded his spear, obscuring the starlight. At the same time, dimensional cracks spread out behind him, which revealed demonic eyes that shot demon light to attack the Crown Prince.
“The Heavendawn Quarry? So, Young Master Shroud-Heaven, you actually set up a spell formation for me here. All of these days of fighting were a setup to lead me here? Who do you think I am? You think a flimsy plot like this would work on me? Sadly for you, I've beaten you at your own game. The Heavendawn Quarry is going to be where I kill you and all your demon-devil subordinates! And I’ll also destroy this spell formation! Henceforth, demon energy will not exist in this heaven and earth!”
The Crown Prince didn’t seem worried at all by the carefully-laid trap. It was almost as if he had already planned for it. Even as the power of the spell formation caused the space around him to shrink in on itself, trapping him, he looked around with casual abandon, like an emperor looking at his own territory.
And within moments, an expression of anticipation appeared on his face.
“You’re strong, Crown Prince,” Young Master Shroud-Heaven said. “You’re a god from heaven descended into the mortal world, born of a mother who dreamed of falling stars. You’re destined to eventually become a Great Sage. But that’s why I have to kill you. Your mere existence pains me, and now, I will avenge my previous defeat. This Nine-Heavens Ten-Earths Demon-Devil-Horde World-Ending Grand Spell Formation is being powered by the demon kings of the seventy-two grottos, and by powerful fiend-devil viscounts. This place is going to be your grave!”
“Oh really?” the Crown Prince said, his smile widening. “Even I’ve lost track of how many powerful entities I've killed. So isn’t it fitting that I reach the Great Sage level in the middle of a heaven-shaking, earth-shattering battle? Prepare for death, all of you!”
1. The ‘heavenly halls’ is a word that is often directly translated as ‘heaven’, especially in the Christian mythos of ‘heaven and hell’. When you read about ‘heaven’ in the Bible in Chinese, this is the word that you will see. However, it is also used in other religious and mythological contexts, for example in Buddhism, where it is sometimes translated ‘heavenly halls’ or ‘heavenly mansions’. Because of how often ‘heaven’ stuff is referenced in the story, I want to make this term stand out, and will consistently use ‘heavenly halls’ when it comes up.