Chapter 201: Cultivating Together

With one blow, Yang Qi defeated a Blood-Form Legendary.

He earned his respect, and opened up Pontifex Flame’s eyes, forcing him to acknowledge Yang Qi as a true consummate expert. Of course, considering that he had recently won the Inter-Institutional Martial Arts Competition, there were no shortage of people who already thought of him as an expert.

Normally speaking, the champion of the competition would receive endless glory, and would be groomed by their institute, but he was an exception. Because of the way the Crown Prince blithely broke the rules, Yang Qi got no special treatment, and in fact, was brutally suppressed.

But to many, that didn’t change the fact that he was a top expert with an incredible cultivation base.

And now, he defeated a Legendary while only being a Lifeseizer, leaving Pontifex Flame feeling like he was experiencing a heart attack.

It begged the question of what a person like him would be like if he reached the Legendary level.

Flame Midheaven was ashen-faced and visibly embarrassed. Glaring at Yang Qi, he tried to figure out how he had lost, but couldn’t. This was not just a loss, it was complete and utter defeat. He had never even been given a chance to fight back. He was a Legendary, and according to the ancient way of looking at things, that made him an energy warrior. In contrast, Yang Qi was a mortal.

How could an energy warrior be defeated by a mortal? It seemed impossible.

Of course, Flame Midheaven had only recently made his breakthrough, and was only in the first transformation. But there was still a massive gap between the two of them. His meridians, sea of energy, flesh, blood, and bones had all been formed anew, using the Tabernacle of Flame’s most secret of techniques, the True Scripture of the Flame Emperor.

His bones were now made of flamejade steel, and were visible through his skin, like a combination of jade and fire. They were now ten times tougher than even flying swords. His blood was like magma, so hot that a single drop of it could evaporate all of the water in a huge pond, and cook all the fish to death.

Furthermore, his physique was simply beyond the compare of the Lifeseizing level. By way of comparison, the body of a Blood-Form Legendary was like that of a strapping bodybuilder, while a Nonary Lifeseizer was like a toddler who had only just learned to walk.

And yet, Yang Qi had just proved himself to be far stronger than Flame Midheaven. It seemed unbelievable, and yet he had no choice but to swallow his frustration and believe.

Yang Qi could sense the rancor in Flame Midheaven, and realized how much face he had just lost. Before anything else could happen, he said, “You think that was a fluke, Brother Flame Midheaven? Fine. Take a look at my aura.”

RUMBLE!

Immense true energy erupted out of him, shaking and transforming the audience hall so profoundly that everyone suddenly felt like they were in the presence of a fierce beast of battle from the primeval Yore-Wilds. The aura which pulsed out without stop was so shocking that Pontifex Flame’s face drained of blood.

As for Flame Midheaven, he edged backward, now fully convinced that there was no way he could beat Yang Qi in a fight.

“Very well, rein in your true energy,” Pontifex Flame said with a wry smile. “It seems to me you’re about as strong as someone in the second transformation, a Spirit-Soul Legendary. And you didn’t even use your full level of power, did you? There's something stronger in you, some substructural power that leaves even me feeling shaken to the core.”

Yang Qi smiled. “That’s quite perceptive of you, Uncle. You’re right. That wasn’t my full level of power. I actually have an incomparable magical treasure that makes me virtually invincible. Of course, it takes a lot of true energy to use, so I wouldn't do so lightly.”

Pontifex Flame’s interest was piqued. “Oh? What kind of magical treasure is it? Mind giving me a look? Don’t tell me it’s stronger than the Gate of the Great Void. The prize for the tournament was an imitation of the original Gate of the Great Void, but even that is nothing to look down on. It’s really too bad the Crown Prince took it.”

Yang Qi snorted coldly. “That fake Gate of the Great Void is nothing. If you’re interested, Uncle, I’ll show you right now. Come forth, Grand Emperor's Pagoda!”

Instantly, a power ten times stronger than Yang Qi’s true energy from moments ago filled the entire hall. Visibly shocked, Pontifex Flame rose to his feet, waving his hand to send sheets of flame out that sealed the entire hall.

There, right in front of them, was a bronze pagoda of ancient design. It was mighty, intimidating, and so grand that all of the vital energy on the Mountain of Flames bent in its direction as if in worship. Not even the warding magics protecting the mountain were useful in suppressing it.

“The Grand Emperor’s Pagoda!? Is that really the fabled Grand Emperor's Pagoda?! The pagoda made by the first emperor of the Rich-Lush Dynasty, Grand Emperor Rich-Lush? It's a source of unlimited power! It can even command the vital energy and essence of heaven and earth on this continent! How did you end up with it?”

Before Yang Qi could even reply, his eyes flickered with understanding. “Oh, right. I remember hearing that the chancellor of the Demi-Immortal Institute somehow acquired it. Don’t tell me that he gave it to you as compensation for the Crown Prince taking the Gate of the Great Void? Compensation like that… it’s simply unimaginable. Does the chancellor really care that much about you? If so, does that mean that the Crown Prince—”

‘You think the chancellor gave this to me as compensation?’ Yang Qi thought, chuckling coldly in his heart. However, he didn’t say anything. The chancellor had meant for the Grand Emperor's Pagoda to go to the Crown Prince, but obviously, Yang Qi couldn’t tell the truth to Pontifex Flame. It would be much better for people to assume that the chancellor was supporting him. After all, backing like that would make it a lot more plausible that he could fight the Crown Prince.

Thanks to the God Legion Seal, he had completely wrecked the chancellor’s plans, to the point where the shocked chancellor would never reveal the truth publicly.

“Exactly,” Yang Qi said. “The chancellor gave me this treasure as compensation, and in the hopes that I could use it to keep the Crown Prince in check. Uncle, you would do best to quash any thoughts of trying to improve your relationship with the Crown Prince Society. The Crown Prince doesn’t believe in turning weapons of war into gifts of jade and silk. He’ll definitely take the first chance he can get to kill all of us. I'm completely confident that I can prepare to fight it out with him in a few years.”

“The Grand Emperor's Pagoda….” Pontifex Flame’s eyes flickered with a bit of envy. Of course, he wouldn’t dare to think of trying to snatch the treasure, not considering that he believed the chancellor had given it as a reward to Yang Qi.

“Brother, that’s a huge upgrade for you!” Flame Clearspring said. “I've heard stories of the Grand Emperor's Pagoda. With it, your true energy would be so powerful you could easily kill Legendaries. And using it for cultivation could provide tremendous benefits.” 

“You’re right. That's why I came to the Tabernacle of Flame today. I'm calling all of my sworn siblings over to work on their cultivation in the Grand Emperor's Pagoda. In fact, I have the remains of a Never-Dying asura in the pagoda as well. I used the power of the pagoda to cleanse its evil, and now its magical laws and life force quintessence can be used for purposes of cultivation! With that, I'd bet that all of my sworn siblings can reach the Legendary level within only a few years. Hmph! Even if the Crown Prince does become a Great Sage, there’s no way he’ll be killing my sworn siblings.”

“What did you just say?” Pontifex Flame said. “An asura in the Never-Dying Transformation?” He and Flame Midheaven exchanged a glance. Pontifex Flame was already in the third transformation, and had sustained a blow from the Crown Prince. He knew exactly how powerful the ninth transformation was; it had left him completely incapable of even fighting back.

Seeing that he had won the pontifex over, Yang Qi didn’t feel like wasting any more time. “Well, the time has come for Flame Clearspring and I to leave. Once we’re back in Yanhaven, we can start working with the Grand Emperor's Pagoda and the remains of that asura.”

“My dear nephew, why not stay a while?” Pontifex Flame said quickly. “I haven’t even served you any food or wine yet.”

“No, it's fine. Besides, I didn’t bring any proper gifts of introduction for you, Uncle. There’s no time to lose. Although we have a few years to work with, it's still a race against time. Farewell! When I’m strong enough to fight the Crown Prince, the Tabernacle of Flame will benefit as well.”

Swish!

Wrapping up Flame Clearspring with some true energy, he entered the Grand Emperor's Pagoda, which then vibrated and vanished into thin air. Not even Pontifex Flame was able to deduce how it departed.

“The Grand Emperor's Pagoda is truly miraculous,” Pontifex Flame said, looking at the spot the item had occupied only a moment before. “With that pagoda, it would be difficult for any Legendary to kill Yang Qi. I guess your brother is going to benefit quite a bit in the coming period of time. It’s really surprising that the chancellor cares for Yang Qi this much. Giving him that treasure ensures that he won't be killed by the Crown Prince, at least not now.”

Finally shaking free from his reverie, Flame Midheaven clenched his hands into fists and said, “If Yang Qi is this strong right now, how strong do you think he’ll be when he's a Legendary?”

“Midheaven, those are people you simply can't contend with. Both Yang Qi and the Crown Prince are gods from heaven descended into the mortal world. Don’t let yourself feel jealous, it’s just fate.”

“But what do we do now, Father? Should I send word for my people to hold off on giving those gifts to Yun Hailan?”

“No, send the gifts. There’s no harm in it, and we can afford it. In fact, double the value of the gifts! In the end, Clearspring is a sworn brother of Yang Qi, and although Yang Qi will likely never do anything to the Tabernacle of Flame, the Crown Prince will. We need to have as much insurance as possible. Ai….”

“We need to be prepared on all fronts,” Flame Midheaven said, his fists clenching even harder. “What a pity. I wish I were stronger. The Tabernacle of Flame still hasn’t produced a Great Sage. If we had, we would be the Flame Institute by now.”

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