Yang Qi attacked so swiftly and decisively that it almost defied comprehension.
First, he locked onto the ship and hit it with a spectacular sword strike that sent it listing visibly to the side. Next, he identified the location of the Space-Void Legendary who was in command.
Then, he attacked with his Infernal Deity Spear, and opened his Lord's Eye, unleashing a dangerous attack that instantly inflicted a serious injury on Blightczar Manyrivers.
Although Blightczar Manyrivers wanted to continue the fight, unfortunately for him, Yang Qi trapped him with his Grand Emperor's Pagoda, leaving him completely locked down and incapable of moving.
‘Go time!’ Yang Qi thought. The instant Blightczar Manyrivers was locked down, he lunged forward and grabbed the bag. Then he flew back up into the air and looked down at the listing ship, which seemed just on the verge of sinking down into the water. Finally, he sent out a stream of true energy that activated a massive gravitational force from the Grand Emperor's Pagoda, which grabbed the entire bronze ship and sucked it inside.
If he wanted to establish Yanhaven as a trading hub, he could theoretically do it via the Yan River, which eventually reached the ocean. And this ship might be of help in that regard.
It was a bronze ship, far larger and more powerful than ordinary steel ships, and would definitely give Yanhaven an advantage in controlling the nearby waterways.
Thankfully, the interior of the pagoda was enormous, and it had no difficulty taking in the ship. Of course, the very brief fight had severely drained Yang Qi’s true energy, so he dropped down into the water below and then headed off in a random direction.
The power of the Grand Emperor’s Pagoda had already killed the lower-level members of the House of Shadowblight, and as for Blightczar Manyrivers, he was now a mere prisoner. And in order to prevent any other experts from causing problems, Yang Qi left the scene of the crime as quickly as possible.
Not counting anything else, the bag of spirit stones he had acquired were a windfall, and would definitely help him reach the Legendary level. Once he succeeded, the House of Shadowblight would be doomed, and even Blightczar Manyshadows, the houselord, would end up dead.
The Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth would definitely provide amazing transformations once he was a Legendary. Not only would his Physique of the Sovereign Lord improve, his meridians, sea of energy, and fundamental structure would be completely reborn, and he would truly become like a god-spirit.
At that point, his true energy would truly begin to turn into godpower.
Unfortunately, it was an endeavor which would require a stupefying level of resources.
It took only a short moment for Yang Qi to be far, far away in the depths of the sea.
Down by the sea floor, he saw all sorts of underwater terrain, including enormous mountains and impossibly deep trenches, even volcanoes that fueled the enormous waves on the surface.
And there were hordes of demonlings, including fish, mammals, floodwyrms, snakes, and the like. It seemed like each demonling he encountered was stronger than the last. Some of the sea demons had even built cities, with powerful patriarchs standing guard over them.
Yang Qi avoided such locations, and searched around until he found a nameless, abandoned trench.
Staying in a place like this would make it difficult for anyone from the House of Shadowblight to track him down, not without carrying out an enormous search that would involve tangling with Demonfolk.
Even a Legendary would have to deal with true energy wastage in a protracted, underwater battle like that.
Thankfully, Yang Qi was on a completely different level thanks to the Grand Emperor's Pagoda.
The location he picked had once been a thriving, underwater city, with an enormous castle in the middle. Now, it was nothing more than crumbling ruins.
That said, the castle had been built with many factors in mind, including the five phases, eight trigrams, seven stars, and six directions. It was a miraculous place that perfectly conformed to the dao of heaven, and even still contained some defunct spell formations. 
It was clearly an ancient city that had once existed above the surface of the water, but had been sunk in some cataclysmic disaster.
Similar cities could be found in numerous locations in the vicinity of the Rich-Lush Continent.
There were scattered demonlings who had built nests here, which he easily slaughtered. Finding an appropriate location, he used the Grand Emperor's Pagoda to create a bubble of air, then sat down cross-legged and checked on the bound and sealed Blightczar Manyrivers.
The man was both enraged and terrified; after all, he was completely incapable of accessing his true energy right now.
“Who are you? I can’t believe you have a magical treasure like the Grand Emperor's Pagoda! Why have you targeted the Blight Legion Church?”
Yang Qi ignored him. The man was severely injured, and his days were already numbered. Instead, he pulled out the bag of spirit stones to check on their value and type.
His arm actually stung from the effort of breaking open the bag, which had been protected by powerful warding magics. In the end, he had to resort to using his Lord’s Eye, which revealed that it was indeed a spatial magical treasure, and could contain far more items than his Heart of the Sea thumb-ring.
Instantly, an immense force of spirit energy erupted out, leaving him feeling suffocated. Inside of the bag were mountains of spirit stones, all of them dazzlingly bright.
He quickly emptied the spirit stones into the Grand Emperor's Pagoda so that their aura wouldn’t attract nearby demon-devils.
They were roughly walnut-sized, and had been very precisely cut, which made sense considering they were used as currency in the Western Continent, and were all kept a certain size, with a certain amount of spirit energy. During their creation, they would be labeled, each of them with a single character written in the script of the Western Continent. In terms of the possible grades, they were: low, mid, high, supreme, royal, imperial, sagely, heavenly, and godly.
Of course, the rarity increased as the grade increased, with supreme-grade and royal-grade being relatively rare.
A single supreme-grade spirit stone would have so much spirit energy in it that an ordinary person could use it to quickly ascend all the way to the Master of Energy level.
Reaching into one of the mountainous piles of spirit stones, Yang Qi randomly grabbed one, pulled it out, and saw the character ‘supreme’ on it. A few more attempts produced the same result.
Apparently, most of the spirit stones in this collection were at least supreme-grade. He couldn’t find a single low-, mid-, or high-grade.
‘I'm rich! I'm really rich!’
Looking around, he counted forty-nine mountainous piles of spirit stones, which emitted so much spirit energy that he could hardly breathe.
Reaching out, he grabbed a golden-colored spirit stone that pulsed with such intense spirit energy it seemed it might float up into the air at any moment. Instantly, a pleasant sensation spread through him. Looking down, he saw that it was a royal-grade spirit stone.
After some more checking, he realized that about ninety percent of the stones were supreme-grade, but there were quite a few royal-grade mixed in as well.
‘Awesome. These spirit stones should definitely be enough to get me to the Legendary level. I guess I have the House of Shadowblight to thank. Although, are there really enough spirit stones here to build that Superheaven Altar the Crown Prince needs?’ Suddenly speaking out loud, he said, “Blightczar Manyrivers! This is only the first shipment of several, isn’t it!?”
“Who are you, hellion!?” Blightczar Manyrivers spat back.
“I'm an enemy of the Crown Prince, and an enemy of the House of Shadowblight. I can’t believe that useless Crown Prince actually colluded with you heterodox wretch-devils. He's from an orthodox sect! Well, just wait until I'm a Legendary. He’ll get what's coming to him then.”
Glancing at the spirit stone again, he summoned his Hellfire Crucible.
Cleansing Flame of the Heavenly World raged as the crucible appeared. Then, a burning wind sprang up that dragged all of the spirit stones into it.
Crack. Crunch…. The spirit stones shattered, releasing immense spirit power into Yang Qi’s meridians, and beyond, to his sea of energy, where it began to build up, and at the same time, transform his aura.
‘Ignite true energy, break into Legendary!’
He was using the power of the spirit stones to ignite his true energy, and push himself to the absolute peak. Then, he would explode, and his meridians, sea of energy, flesh, and blood would transform into primal-chaos. Sure enough, stepping into the Legendary level was extremely dangerous, and the slightest mistake could lead to being absolutely destroyed.
The flesh and blood of the asura that he had could provide immense power. However, it could only bolster the true energy, not ignite it. Spirit stones were completely pure, as they grew directly out of the quintessence of heaven and earth. Thus, they were the perfect item to ignite true energy.
That was one reason why Yang Qi was so confident that they would help push him into the Legendary level.
Perhaps there weren’t enough spirit stones here to create the so-called Superheaven Altar, but there were enough for Yang Qi’s needs. Win or lose, it would all be determined here. Once he transformed the substructure of his own life force, and then returned to the Demi-Immortal Institute, it would cause a huge stir.
“What?!” Blightczar Manyrivers shrieked. “You’re actually trying to reach the Legendary level right now!? My god! You’re not even a Legendary and you’re already strong enough to defeat me? What will you be like after you break through? What energy art do you cultivate? How could you be so strong?!”
Yang Qi ignored him, and focused instead on the task at hand. Obviously, all of this would be for naught if he ended up killing himself.
“God-spirits of heaven and earth; Physique of the Sovereign Lord; Dao of all living things; First in all creation.” Yang Qi was fully immersed in reciting the mnemonic. “Monarch among monarchs. Dao among daos. Sage among sages. God among gods….”
The power of the spirit stones created such intense friction with his true energy, that a chain reaction occurred almost immediately. Within his acupoints, the true energy nascent divinities exploded, sending raging, destructive force through him.
As the raging flames erupted from his acupoints, the sea water in the area began to fill with lightning bolts.
The flow of electricity was like that of a dragon, which all of the demonlings in the area scrambled to avoid. One unlucky demonling in the Lifeseizing level was too slow, and was hit by the lightning, which instantly transformed it into cinder.
1. The five phases have already come up in this story, and I'm sure many of you are familiar with the eight trigrams. If not, check out the Wuxiaworld article on the topic, or this article. The seven stars refer to the stars of the Big Dipper. Info here. And finally, the six directions literally refer to ‘north, south, east, west, up, down’ and have complex implications. Info here.