‘They both got hurt, and the Crown Prince actually escaped. It seems he’s in really bad shape. I wonder if he’ll pull through. What should I do? If he really gets away, it could cause big problems in the future.’
Yang Qi had half a mind to try to track down the Crown Prince and take advantage of his weak state to kill him.
However, as soon as he sent his true energy out to look for clues, a spatial tempest erupted out, destroying any traces of the Crown Prince’s passage. There was now no way for anyone to know where he went.
Apparently, whatever spatial dimension he had traveled through to escape had been destroyed after his passage.
Considering there was no way to track the Crown Prince, Yang Qi prepared to just leave. However, that was when the voice of Young Master Shroud-Heaven erupted out.
“After him! Track him down! My deadly spear strike definitely hit him, infecting him with the true energy of an ancient Demon Sage. Even a Great Sage would need years to cleanse himself. He’s definitely hiding somewhere to recover. Search the highest heavens and the deepest hells, and drag him out!”
The fact that Young Master Shroud-Heaven could issue such orders even after having been cut in half went to show that his injuries weren’t as severe as they seemed.
“Young Master Shroud-Heaven, don’t exacerbate your injuries!”
“I'm fine! The Crown Prince is hurt even worse than I am. I stabbed his head and injured his sea of consciousness. All he did was hurt my torso. A Never-Dying cultivation base can always be healed. That last halberd strike could have killed me, but thankfully he was stuck in the formation. That weapon of his definitely conforms to the dao of heaven, and the essence of demi-immortals! He can’t be allowed to heal up! If he does, he’ll definitely end up improving his cultivation base, and then he’ll be unstoppable.” Young Master Shroud-Heaven actually sounded extremely nervous.
In response to his orders, a black cloud of demon-devils erupted from the Heavendawn Quarry and scattered in all directions to look for clues.
At that point, Yang Qi stealthily made his way off.
Based on what he had heard from Young Master Shroud-Heaven himself, the Crown Prince would need years to recover, and would most likely require the help of the chancellor himself. However many years the Crown Prince took licking his wounds, those would be years Yang Qi could use to improve his own cultivation.
‘A few years….’ he thought, clenching his hands into fists. ‘That’s not much, but it should be enough to reach the Legendary level. Stepping from the Lifeseizing level to the Legendary level is a change from quantitative to qualitative. Once I succeed, my Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth will transform to even more invincible heights.’
Although rising to the Legendary level would be harder for him than the average person, if he succeeded, the results would be terrifying.
‘What next? Where should I go? Back to the Demi-Immortal Institute?’ He had benefited greatly in the Heavendawn Quarry by acquiring the Grand Emperor's Pagoda, and reaching Nonary Lifeseizing. However, time was very limited, and he needed to get a lot stronger before the Crown Prince returned from recovery.
It seemed the best thing to do would be to return to the Demi-Immortal Institute, improve his cultivation base, and learn more about the pagoda. At the moment, he only knew about ten percent of its secrets. If he could unlock all of those secrets, he could definitely kill any Legendary he came across.
Another task he needed to focus on was reviewing the fight he had witnessed, especially the various moves the Crown Prince had used.
His final attack with his halberd had pierced through the air and consumed magical laws. It had fairly thrummed with the might of heaven, and seemed capable of destroying any life it touched. It was a level that Yang Qi could hardly comprehend.
It seemed like evidence of a breakthrough, as though being trapped in the huge spell formation had actually provided the Crown Prince with some level of enlightenment.
Without the Grand Emperor's Pagoda, there was no way the Crown Prince would easily reach the Great Sage level. However, if he did eventually gain all the enlightenment he needed, then after he healed, he would be completely terrifying, and would be the type of person other Great Sages simply couldn’t contend with.
Yang Qi had already learned quite a bit from just watching him fight with that halberd. By adding certain elements from it into the dao of the quick strike, and the Nightfall Symphony, those techniques could become even more profound.
As he flew closer to the Demi-Immortal Institute, something suddenly occurred to him, and he stopped in place.
‘I probably shouldn’t go to the institute now,’ he thought. ‘Grand Elder Feat-Virtue would surely cause trouble for me. And Patriarchs Wind and Cloud were openly working for the Crown Prince Society, and would certainly do their best to oppose me too.
There was no way he would be able to focus on cultivation that way. Besides, he didn’t feel that he could truly trust any of the elders in the institute.
Right now, the only people he had faith in were his sworn siblings.
‘I should probably take my brothers to Yanhaven, and let them work on their cultivation in the Grand Emperor's Pagoda. If we remain united, we can face any obstacle.’ The more he thought about it, the more it seemed like a good idea to have his sworn siblings further their cultivation in the treasure. Back when he had faced off with the Crown Prince, they had taken their stand with him, and had been willing to fight to the death at his side. If he couldn’t trust them, then who could he trust?
The Crown Prince was so strong that even most Legendaries could do nothing more than shake in their boots in his presence. And yet, his sworn siblings hadn’t hesitated to join him. That was true comradeship.
Yang Qi valued friendship deeply, and would never forget the kindness that had been shown to him by his sworn siblings.
The Grand Emperor's Pagoda currently contained the flesh, blood, and vital energy of a Never-Dying Legendary asura, so there was no doubt that his sworn siblings could benefit from cultivating there.
His decision was made.
Pulling out various messaging talismans from his Heart of the Sea thumb-ring, he sent messages to everyone to meet him at Yanhaven.
A moment later, he received replies. Most agreed, but not all. For example, Flame Clearspring said that his father, Pontifex Flame, demanded that he stay at the Tabernacle of Flame. Apparently, his father had completely acquiesced to the tyrannical Crown Prince.
‘I don’t think Pontifex Flame understands the situation fully. Perhaps I should go pay a visit and explain things. He would never have given me the time of day before, but now that I'm strong enough to stand up to Legendaries, he should at least listen to me.’ Frowning, Yang Qi headed south toward the Tabernacle of Flame.
The south was a scorching place, the perfect location for the fiery Tabernacle of Flame. The weather was never cold, and there were deserts everywhere. No matter what season it was, the sun always burned hot in the sky, scorching the lands and causing the air to twist and distort.
The Tabernacle of Flame was a very large organization, and Yang Qi knew exactly where the headquarters was located. It sat on the enormous Mountain of Flames, in the middle of a sprawling desert that was so hot and dry it could kill people who spent too much time in it. This mountain actually resembled a raging fire, as it was made from a type of red stone called flamejade. Anyone who cultivated fire-type energy arts here would feel like they were in heaven.
It was incredibly hot there, and yet there were still natural springs filled with icy-cold water. That water was like liquid jade made for immortals, and even one drop of it would quench all thirst. It was a wonderful elixir for people who practiced cultivation.
Because of those factors, all disciples of the Tabernacle of Flame dreamed of practicing their cultivation there.
At the top of the Mountain of Flames, in a sprawling, castle-like temple, Pontifex Flame was in the middle of giving some advice to his son, Flame Clearspring.
“Clearspring, from now on, you can’t have any dealings with that Yang Qi.” He almost looked nervous as he sat there on his throne. “The Crown Prince is just too strong! Besides, he’s destined to be the next chancellor of the Demi-Immortal Institute, and that will make him the most powerful person in the continent! Yang Qi will definitely end up getting killed by him. If you continue to claim to be Yang Qi’s sworn brother, the entire Tabernacle of Flame is going to be dragged into ruin.”
“Father,” Flame Clearspring replied forcefully, “I swore to be Yang Qi’s brother for life! We’re going to live and die together, and if either of us betray our oath, we’ll be exterminated by heaven and executed by the earth! We swore oaths together! The Crown Prince might want him dead, but I’ll fight to the death to defend him!”
At this point, a burly fellow who had been standing next to Pontifex Flame took a step forward. “Clearspring, your emotions are clouding your judgement. I know that Yang Qi is your sworn brother, but I'm your brother too, your blood brother! If you drag the Tabernacle of Flame into this feud with the Crown Prince, then all of your friends and family will be dead. Then what? Brother, you really need to think this through clearly.”
This man was Flame Midheaven, Pontifex Flame's oldest son. He had just recently broken through to the Legendary level, and was the official successor of his father the pontifex.
From this it was possible to see the vast difference between the Tabernacle of Flame and the Demi-Immortal Institute.
The Legendary level was the prerequisite for the successor of the Tabernacle of Flame, whereas the Demi-Immortal Institute required a Great Sage.
“Brother, I think you’re missing the point. Even if I broke ties with Brother Yang Qi, the Crown Prince isn’t just going to let us off the hook. He’s merciless and sinister, and seeks revenge over the smallest grievance. The only thing we can do now is stand together! Form an alliance with the other organizations, and maybe even the Sage Ancestor Dynasty. That’s the only way to stay alive!”
“Nonsense,” Pontifex Flame said. “You think some sort of alliance can do anything to someone as powerful as the Crown Prince? If we go up against him, our church will be nothing more than cannon fodder. How about this: sever ties with Yang Qi, and I’ll send a messenger to the leadership of the Crown Prince Society, telling them that we want to turn weapons of war into gifts of jade and silk. We’ll even send some gifts to whoever has the Crown Prince's ear.”
“Father,” Flame Midheaven said, “if there’s one person who has the Crown Prince’s ear, it's Yun Hailan. And I've already thought of the perfect gift to give her.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter