Chapter 23: Going Home

Yang Qi’s training in the Blackcorpse Mountains had turned out to be very profitable, as he acquired demon cores worth millions. In the white ape’s mansion grotto, he acquired fully five million energy convergence pills' worth of banknotes, as well as the Golden Nine Transformations Pill, which was probably worth ten million.

Although it still wasn't enough to make up for the Latent Dragon Pill, it would still do much to help the clan recover.

Even better, his cultivation base had advanced after awakening the fifth particle within him. With the power of five ancient megamammoths, he had pushed his cultivation to the seventh phase of energy arts, the Energy Manifestation level. Combined with his remarkable Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, it meant that he could easily crush experts in the eighth phase.

The white ape’s cultivation base had already reached the peak of the eighth phase; considering that he was a demonling, that made him much stronger than a human, and the fact that Yang Qi had bested him indicated that it would be much easier to defeat humans.

For example, if he ran into Yang Shi right now, he could easily win. And there wasn't even a need to mention the number one young genius of the clan, Yang Honglie.

Hmph. If Yun Hailan and Song Haishan were in Yundale-by-the-Sea instead of the Demi-Immortal Institute, I would sneak in to kill the both of them. It’d serve them right.’

The stronger he got, the angrier he felt about how he had been betrayed by Yun Hailan. Unfortunately, the fact that she was in the Demi-Immortal Institute made her impossible to touch.

The Demi-Immortal Institute was the number one institution in the continent, with more experts than the sky had clouds. They even had people higher than the Master of Energy level, which was the Lifeseizing level. With people like that around Yun Hailan, Yang Qi knew that even if he were stronger than he already was, he would still be courting death to try to lay a hand on her.

The best thing to do now was focus on cultivation, get stronger, restore the glory of the Yang Clan, and slowly develop a plan about how to get revenge.

The political situation in the continent was tenuous and unstable. Numerous vassals were declaring themselves to be nations, and it seemed likely that open conflicts would soon break out. If the Yang Clan remained weak in a situation like that, it was highly possible they could end up being wiped out of existence.

As Yang Qi’s Fiend-Devil Wings carried him closer and closer to Yanhaven, a gust of demonic wind swept through the mansion grotto back in the Blackcorpse Mountains, and a new ape appeared, an ape even more enormous than the white ape.

This ape's fur was the color of gold.

His energy arts and cultivation base were so advanced that he could travel about on gusts of winds; clearly, he was powerful to a profound degree. From the look of it, he was an elder family member of the white ape, with arms so thick and long that they nearly touched the ground even when he was standing on two legs.

The claws on his fingers were more than a foot long, and could reduce rock to dust.

When the golden-furred ape saw the white ape laying dead on the ground, he let out a miserable cry. “Little White! Oh, who killed you, Little White….? I’ll find your killer and wipe out his entire clan, I swear it. He even stole your demon core!”

Even as he wept, he inhaled deeply, which enabled him to detect a certain aroma on the white ape….

Bursting with ferocity, the golden-furred ape exploded out of the waterfall. From the look of it, his energy arts were already in the ninth phase, the Master of Energy level….

**

A shadow slid through the darkness of night, entering Yanhaven as stealthily as a ghost, to arrive moments later in the Yang Clan mansion.

It was none other than Yang Qi.

Little Yan was dozing outside of his room when he arrived. 

“Young Master, you’re back!” she said. Then she noticed the huge cudgel he was carrying, and the dilapidated state of his clothing. Leaping to her feet excitedly, she said, “I’ll get a bath ready for you, and a set of clothing. I can comb your hair too!”

Yang Qi waved his hand dismissively, “Nah, I’m clean enough. I’ll change clothes real quickly and then go see eldest brother and second brother. You just keep sleeping.”

With that, he went to his room, changed into a fine, brocaded garment and then headed over to the main hall. Upon arriving, he found Yang Yunchong going through accounting books with some of the clan's accountants. When the accountants saw Yang Qi entering the hall, they all rose to their feet to offer greetings.

Yang Qi looked at them expressionlessly, aware that they were all secretly cursing him for shoving the clan into bankruptcy. The only reason they were restraining themselves was his cultivation base breakthrough, and the fact that he had defeated Yang Kui in combat.

After all, strength was the most important thing in the world, even more so than wealth. If someone was strong enough, then wealth was easy to obtain.

‘If they knew I was already in the seventh phase, and that I just killed an eighth phase demonling, they'd be so scared they’d drop down and worship me.’ Waving his hand dismissively, he said, “You’re all dismissed for the moment. I have some business to discuss with my eldest brother.”

“You're dismissed,” Yang Yunchong echoed.

The accountants all left, closing the door behind them.

“Third Brother, I heard that you went alone into the Blackcorpse Mountains to work on your cultivation. I have to admit I was worried, but at the same time, I'm surprised to see you back so soon. What happened?” At that point, his eyes widened a bit. “Your energy arts advanced again?”

Thump!

Yang Qi’s bag landed onto the table, and demon cores immediately began to spill out of it.

Yang Yunchong’s eyes widened further. “Are these… all from demonlings you killed? How many did you take out? Is this a devil-hunting spider core? It’s… it’s so big! How did you do this?” 

Then he saw the fist-sized demon core from the white ape.

Yang Qi gestured at it. “That’s from a white ape I killed. He was in the peak of the eighth phase. I also got these banknotes from his lair.”

He placed the five million energy convergence pills' worth of banknotes onto the table.

Yang Yunchong’s eyes couldn't have been wider, and he was actually trembling physically. “Third Brother, you…? You single-handedly killed a white ape at the peak of the eighth phase?”

Yang Qi nodded. “Yup. I'm already in the seventh phase myself.” Sitting down, he took a drink of tea. “Eldest Brother, why don’t you call second brother, and then we can all go see father? I acquired something else that should help him break through to the Master of Energy level.”

“Really?” Yang Yunchong was completely blown away by this point. Leaping to his feet, he anxiously said, “Alright, let’s call second brother. Hurry!”

Soon, Yang Hualong got the message, and was just as shocked as his eldest brother. And before long, all three brothers were heading toward Yang Zhan’s private chamber.

Yang Qi walked up to the closed door and knocked firmly, using his energy arts to make sure the sound penetrated the thick, iron door. As soon as his skin made contact with the door, he could sense a powerful energy flow inside the room.

RUMMMBLE!

The iron door opened, and Yang Zhan stopped performing his energy arts forms. Eyes sparkling with delight, he looked at Yang Qi and said, “Qi’er, did you just send your energy into the door? That’s the sign of the Energy Manifestation level. Energy flowing like water, entering sealed locations! Did you break through?”

“Yes, Father. I broke through. Not even ten Yang Honglies working together could kill me now. In fact, I could even defeat Yang Shi if I had to. Father, look at what I got on my trip to the Blackcorpse Mountains!”

With that, he pulled out the box with the Golden Nine Transformations Pill in it. When he opened the lid, light erupted out, along with a refreshing medicinal aroma tinged with the fragrance of orchid and musk.

“A Golden Nine Transformations Pill?” Yang Zhan said, his eyes glittering. “How did you get it?”

“From a white ape I killed.” With that, he went on to provide a detailed account of his fight with the white ape, although he left out some of the details of his use of the Fiend-Devil Wings and his Infernal Deity Spear. He simply said that his experience of being struck by lightning helped him to achieve victory.

Yang Zhan looked at the Golden Nine Transformations Pill for a moment, then shook his head. “That pill is yours to use. I don't need it.” 

“Father, I’ve already thought this through,” Yang Qi said. And indeed he had. He had even thought of the specific words to express his stance. “Because of how I was tempered by the lightning, my cultivation is proceeding with astonishing quickness. In the short time since the incident, I've already progressed from the fourth phase all the way to the seventh. That’s three entire levels. And I can tell that my momentum will keep going. What I need to do right now is stabilize my cultivation base. Father, you're in a different position, and can break through to the Master of Energy level right away. Once you do that, the Yang Clan will be in a very different position. New nations are springing up left and right, and the continent is likely to descend into war soon. We need the Yang Clan to be as strong as possible; that’s the only way to keep safe.”

After a moment of silence, Yang Zhan said, “Very well, Qi’er. Since you’ve clearly put a lot of thought into the subject, I won’t continue to refuse your offer.” With that, he reached out and took the pill.

At this point, Yang Qi took out the Nine Transformations Pill Sutra. “Father, this book has the instructions for how to use the pill.”

Yang Zhan took the book, sat down cross-legged, and followed the instructions, sending out a stream of true energy to wrap around the pill. As soon as he did, the pill began to glow brightly.

The light spread, until Yang Zhan himself was glowing brightly, making him look pure and holy to the extreme.

Golden Nine Transformations Pills were not consumed like most medicinal pills. If someone tried to eat them the normal way, the pill would burn one’s digestive system. Perhaps the white ape had only recently acquired the pill, and had intended to temper his true energy to a certain degree before using it, only to have then encountered Yang Qi.

It remained to be seen whether Yang Zhan would be able to use the pill to actually achieve the breakthrough or not.

As the Golden Nine Transformations Pill began to shrink, sucked away by the true energy, Yang Zhan glittered with bright, multicolored light. He almost looked like a golden Buddha statue.

“I’ll need three days to absorb the medicine,” Yang Zhan said. “I need to remain in complete seclusion during that time. Even if the heavens begin to fall, don't let anyone disturb me.”

“Yes, Father,” the three brothers said. Aware of how important the situation was, they left, returning to the main hall to continue discussing business. The first task at hand was to sell the treasures Yang Qi had acquired and use the funds to further clan interests.

“Third Brother, you have to go to the city magistrate’s mansion in a few days for that banquet. Be completely on guard when you do. As for what we’re going to do with this six or seven million energy convergence pills' worth of wealth, I think the best thing to do is….”

Yang Yunchong was actually very adept at business matters.

Earlier, the Yang Clan’s wealth had been stripped in one fell swoop. And as the saying goes, not even the cleverest housewife can cook good food without rice. Thankfully, Yang Qi had just brought a massive amount of wealth, which completely changed the situation. 

‘Seven million energy convergence pills is a lot, but it’s still nothing compared to what I lost the clan. Ai….’ The truth was that Yang Qi had never paid much attention to how much wealth the clan had accumulated, and actually had no idea how much money had been lost because of him. All he knew was that the clan had suffered a severe blow.

He had nearly caused their end.

‘I have to earn more money. Only if I can fully restore the clan to its former glory will I be content. But, as far as I can tell, the only way to do that is hunt demonlings. I guess the next time I’ll have to go deeper into the mountains, and take on even riskier prey.’

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