Grand Elder Feat-Virtue’s words echoed throughout the hall for everyone to hear clearly.
He was a very important person, a Legendary who ran the entire Hall of Feats and Virtue. When it came down to it, he controlled what treasures could be purchased with merit points. Considering he essentially controlled all of the most important supplies in the Demi-Immortal Institute, no one would ever think to defy him. Anyone who did would suddenly find themselves incapable of making any useful purchases.
He was a greedy, hateful man, notorious for his corruption. However, he had long since gained the support of the Crown Prince, and thus, no one could do a thing about him. After all, no one in the institute outranked the Crown Prince other than the chancellor. And for the most part, the chancellor didn’t pay attention to the daily affairs. The Crown Prince and the holy neophytes ran most things. In some ways, the chancellor was like a mortal emperor who sat back and watched his various sons vie for his inheritance.
To continue the comparison, that would make the grand elders like the civil and military officials.
And of course, the princes would always try to get the officials on their side. In this case, Grand Elder Feat-Virtue was clearly working for the Crown Prince. Now that Yang Qi had reached the Legendary level, he was like a brand new prince in an imperial court.
And thus, it was no surprise that Grand Elder Feat-Virtue was the first to leap out and try to put Yang Qi in his place. He absolutely could not allow Yang Qi to be a holy neophyte. Otherwise, things would immediately start going bad for him. Holy neophytes were very powerful people, so if Yang Qi teamed up with someone like Master Wind Gentleman, then it would definitely be troublesome.
“Yang Qi, you really think a hellion like you can become a holy neophyte?” Grand Elder Feat-Virtue shouted. “Everybody, let’s join forces to crush him. If we don’t, it will be a disaster for the Demi-Immortal Institute! He deserves to die!”
Not waiting for anyone to respond he attacked, splaying his fingers wide, which caused a stream of translucent true energy to swirl out and form the shape of a cage. Lightning began to crackle on its surface as it then descended toward Yang Qi.
“Ghost Exterminating God Art. Lightning Cage. Wipe out all wretch-devils!”
Grand Elder Feat-Virtue was clearly hoping to kill Yang Qi as quickly as possible, then discuss the matter afterward. Because of that, he instantly resorted to his most powerful magical treasure, the Lightning Cage.
He also called upon his most powerful technique, the Ghost Exterminating God Art, which was specifically designed for slaying wretch-devils and vengeful souls.
As the Lightning Cage descended, numerous onlookers let out exclamations of shock. No one had expected that Grand Elder Feat-Virtue would disregard all protocol and simply attack the new Legendary, Yang Qi.
It was the type of thing that rarely ever happened.
In the institutes, Legendaries were proud individuals that everyone respected. For a grand elder to ambush one as soon as they applied to be a holy neophyte seemed like an impossibility.
And yet, that was exactly what Grand Elder Feat-Virtue was doing. To him, it clearly didn’t matter that Yang Qi was a Legendary. At the moment, he technically wasn’t a holy neophyte, and therefore, it was the perfect time to end his life.
“Have a death wish?!” Yang Qi snarled.
Even as the Lightning Cage descended, a massive force of energy erupted from him. It was like a million volcanoes, accompanied by blinding light that filled the area. Everything began to tremble as though a god-devil from the distant past had suddenly stepped out into the open.
The Lightning Cage exploded.
As for Yang Qi, he stood in place, aura pulsing, eyes flashing, killing intent burning. And then, he reached out to grab Grand Elder Feat-Virtue.
“How could this be happening!?” Grand Elder Feat-Virtue’s magical treasure had been broken, and he was sent stumbling backward, coughing up blood.
Yang Qi had the Physique of the Sovereign Lord now, and therefore, as his hand pierced through the air, all the energy flows in the area were sucked toward him. Everyone in the area was feeling the same thing: terror. His hand seemed capable of snatching up souls, and as people looked at it, it was as if heaven and earth disappeared, leaving only that shocking hand.
It was a hand that seemed capable of seizing the cosmos itself, with Yang Qi being its sovereign lord.
“Not good! Dammit!” Patriarchs Wind and Cloud both leaped forward, sending attacks heading directly at Yang Qi’s hand.
Everyone in the Academy of Sage Studies was completely taken aback. Massive amounts of force were being unleashed as Patriarchs Wind and Cloud leaped to the defense of Grand Elder Feat-Virtue.
The two patriarchs were very strong. Patriarch Wind was in the third Legendary transformation, making him a Space-Void Legendary, whereas Patriarch Cloud was one level higher, being a Five-Phases Legendary, much the same as Blightczar Manyshadows.
Originally, they had hoped to teach Yang Qi a lesson, but now their focus was saving Grand Elder Feat-Virtue from him.
After pulling him to safety, they exchanged a glance, and both could see the shock in the other’s eyes.
Glaring back at Yang Qi, Patriarch Wind said, “Yang Qi, how dare you make such a vicious move on Grand Elder Feat-Virtue. You’ve really got some gall!”
“I can’t believe you’re so willing to disregard the rules of the Demi-Immortal Institute,” Patriarch Cloud added. “What kind of a wretch-devil are you? Are you really planning to betray the institute?”
The accusations being made by Patriarchs Wind and Cloud were truly serious.
However, in response, Yang Qi chuckled coldly and said, “That’s a damn funny joke! Everyone present can attest to the fact that Grand Elder Feat-Virtue was the one to attack me, and right in the middle of the Academy of Sage Studies at that. All I was doing was defending myself. What difference is there between people like you, who invert right and wrong, and actual wretch-devils?”
“How impudent!” Patriarch Wind shot back. “Who are you in our institute? And who is Grand Elder Feat-Virtue? Perhaps you forgot that you're nothing but a lowly elite student. You’re about as far beneath Grand Elder Feat-Virtue as earth is from heaven. If he wants to punish you for some reason, he has every right to do so. What, you think you’re a holy neophyte or something?”
“Exactly!” shouted Grand Elder Feat-Virtue. “I was just trying to see what type of wretch-devil energy you have on you. The Demi-Immortal Institute is righteous and orthodox, so there’s no way we can allow wretch-devils like you here. It’s my job to rid the world of devils and demons! But you, bedeviled as you are, simply attacked me, a grand elder! It’s unforgivable! Elders, join me in attacking him! Seven Preheaven Masters! Three Pure Yang Elders! Patriarchs Wind and Cloud! Let’s kill him!”
The elders to which he spoke were the staunchest supporters of the Crown Prince Society present.
As for the other grand elders present, they merely looked on with cold eyes, waiting to see what would happen.
Holy Daughter Manyflowers was the only one to stride over to stand next to Yang Qi. Glaring coldly, she said, “Have you gone crazy, Grand Elder Feat-Virtue? Yang Qi is here to become a holy neophyte. Why are you causing such a scene? Any institute in this continent would be overjoyed to have a new Legendary, but instead, you humiliate Yang Qi by calling him a wretch-devil, and then attack him? What’s going on here? I’ll tell you. The lot of you work for the Crown Prince Society, and you just have it out for Yang Qi personally. Do you care for the Demi-Immortal Institute at all? Or just the Crown Prince?”
At this point, one of the Seven Preheaven Masters stepped forward, Master Jadecrux.
“How impudent of you, Holy Daughter Manyflowers!” he said. “What level is your cultivation base? How dare you speak to us in such a way!” He had the most powerful and enigmatic cultivation base of the group, being in the fifth Legendary transformation. As a Yin-Yang Legendary, he was roughly on the same level as Old Man Superdestruction, and clearly outranked Holy Daughter Manyflowers. In fact, complete silence filled the hall in response to his words.
All of the grand elders were Legendaries, but at the moment, there were none in the sixth transformation. After all, Personal-Domain Legendaries such as that could travel into the depths of space-time to harvest empyrean-baleful energy. Using that energy to form their personal domain, they could then attempt to reach the seventh transformation, the Ghost-God Transformation.
There were countless different heavens and earths in the universe, and each one had a different version of the thirty-six types of empyrean energy and seventy-two types of baleful energy. By absorbing them, one could empower ghost-gods in one’s domain, and thus have access to incredible force. 
All of the institute’s Personal-Domain Legendaries were currently in secluded cultivation sessions, and thus Master Jadecrux of the Seven Preheaven Masters had the most authority of anyone present.
There were some others who had the same level of cultivation base, but at the moment, they were just waiting to see how things played out. After all, the combined force of the Seven Preheaven Masters, the Three Pure Yang Elders, Patriarchs Wind and Cloud, and Grand Elder Feat-Virtue was formidable to say the least.
“What did you just say, Master Jadecrux?” Holy Daughter Manyflowers said, her anger burning.
“I said your cultivation base is too low, so shut up and back down immediately!” Master Jadecrux had lost some very valuable items to Holy Daughter Manyflowers during the martial arts competition, thanks to him betting against Yang Qi. As far as he was concerned, this was the perfect opportunity to vent a bit of anger. “If you refuse, then don’t blame me for accusing you of being a heretical wretch-devil too. I’ll smash you down and lock you up in Myriad Devils Hall and let the horde of devils there feast on your skin. You’re a Blood-Form Legendary and I'm a Yin-Yang Legendary. We’re so far apart from each other that I'm like the sky and you're like the mud. What. You think you’re going to help Yang Qi or something?”
Master Jadecrux was blatantly using his cultivation base to push Holy Daughter Manyflowers around.
“You!” she growled, seething with anger. “One of these days, Master Jadecrux, I’ll slaughter you. Personally!”
“Are you threatening me?” he replied, his expression darkening. “We’re both grand elders, and yet you're openly saying you're going to slaughter me? I guess if I don’t crush you now, you’ll end up like this Yang Qi, a heretical wretch-devil to the core.”
With that, he began to walk forward, his eyes flashing with sinister light as he prepared to capture and humiliate Holy Daughter Manyflowers.
After all, with the chancellor not present, and the threat of the Crown Prince to rely on, no one would possibly try to stop him.
“Stay your hand!” Yang Qi said.
“What,” Master Jadecrux said, looking over at him with cold eyes. “What do you think you're going to do, you little wretch-devil? Wicked Daughter Manyflowers has obviously experienced cultivation deviation. You think you’re going to protect her? Well, fine. Just kneel and admit you're a wretch-devil. Then I’ll lock you in Myriad Devils Hall with her to await interrogation. As long as you confess, you’ll be able to keep living, but if you don’t, I’ll beat you till your souls disperse.”
“You think you’re strong enough to do that?” Yang Qi said, seemingly without a care in the world.
“Clearly, nobody can criticize me for what I'm about to do,” Master Jadecrux said with a chuckle. “There’s nothing you could say to defend yourself at this point. You will not become a holy neophyte this day.”
“Oh? What if I kill you? Could I be a holy neophyte then? Do you really qualify to stand in my way?”
A spear shot out, seemingly from the depths of hell, piercing through the air until it was right in front of Master Jadecrux’s throat.
1. In real life, the term I’m translating as “empyrean” relates to the seven stars that make up the Big Dipper constellation, “baleful” refers to “evil stars” from astrology. 36 and 72 are also important in numerology, but this is not the time and place to get into that. In any case, the author is using these terms in his own way, so instead of worrying too much about what they mean in "real life”, just rely on his descriptions in the narrative to understand their importance to the story, and how they function in the story universe.