Chapter 248: Astral-Star Fiend-Devil

The Young Lady was here to see how Yang Qi went about repairing the sealing marks, and also in the hopes of getting information about his Great Sage backer. However, despite tangling with enemies over and over again, no Great Sage had appeared at all. At this point, she was starting to suspect that there was no such backer at all.

In another aspect of space-time, deep in the Minorcosm World, where the sun burned bright overhead, there was a mirror which converged the falling sunlight and sent it shooting out into the void.

Standing in front of the mirror was the Young Lady in her true form. Next to her was a saintly figure, who was none other than the chancellor of the Demi-Immortal Institute, her father.

His gaze was so powerful that it could pierce into the void on its own to watch Yang Qi dealing with the Ghost-God Transformation fiend-devil.

“My dear Father.”

“Guang’er, what do you think of Yang Qi after dealing with him for these past few days?” [1] As he stood there with his hands clasped behind his back, it was completely impossible to read the expression on his face.

The Young Lady thought for a moment and then said, “I think there are two words that perfectly describe him, Father. Unlimited potential. I bet he even surpasses the Crown Prince. Unfortunately for him, he has a severe lack of time, and there’s no way the Crown Prince will give him any extra. If Yang Qi had a hundred years to work with, or better yet three hundred, he would definitely end up as a Great Sage, and someone who could rival the Crown Prince. It would bring immense glory to the Demi-Immortal Institute, you know.”

“Don’t be so modest, Guang’er,” the chancellor said. “It’s entirely likely that you could reach the Great Sage level before the Crown Prince does. Your body type is none other than the Nascent Divinity Starlight Body, which comes from one of the most respected of the ancient humans, the Starfolk. It's definitely comparable to the Seven Apertures Sprite Body, both of which were created by the ancient legion of gods. You are essentially a member of one of the holiest races in history.” [2]

“Father, who exactly is the Crown Prince?” the Young Lady asked quizzically. “Or should I say, what is he? I've always had the feeling he’s some unique form of life, something extremely powerful. To me, he seems terrifying, all the way down to his substructure.”

“The Crown Prince isn’t human,” the chancellor said, tossing out a shocking piece of information in a completely casual fashion. “He’s someone from a much, much higher plane of existence. That's why he’s advanced through his cultivation so quickly. No ordinary human could possibly match speed like that. Some people say he’s a god from heaven descended into the mortal world, and for all intents and purposes, that’s true. There is something noble about his aura, something that surpasses all the various races of humans. Deep inside, he feels that he’s superior to everyone. To him, the Demi-Immortal Institute is merely a starting point, and in fact, the respect he shows me is just for show. Once he reaches the Great Sage level, it’s entirely possible he’ll undermine all the traditions of the institute.”

The Young Lady truly didn’t understand. “Then why are you helping him, Father? Why have you been protecting him all these years?”

“Because of a promise. A promise I made to his mother.” The chancellor closed his eyes for a long moment. “What they say is true: she dreamed of a falling star, and then gave birth to him. In other words, the Crown Prince has no blood relationship to her. However, she and I go way back. Because of that, I'm helping him, and even giving him the Demi-Immortal Institute. Besides, he’s the type of ruthless leader that can control an entire institute.”

“But what about Yang Qi? Isn’t all this a bit unfair to him?”

“His fate will depend on his own good fortune.” The chancellor looked at the distant Grand Emperor's Pagoda. Because of the glowing golden light which surrounded it, it was impossible for him to see exactly what Yang Qi was doing inside. “There’s some mysterious power in him that I can’t assess, and I very much want to see what it is. That’s the whole purpose of this little exercise. I spent years trying to defeat the noble spirit of the Grand Emperor's Pagoda that Grand Emperor Rich-Lush left behind years ago, all to no avail. Then, Yang Qi came along and defeated both the noble spirit and me in one fell swoop. That’s not the power of mortal humans. And it's not the power of Great Sages.”

“Wait. Don’t tell me he's stronger than a Great Sage!” Beads of cold sweat broke out on the face of the Young Lady. “Father, is that power of his really equivalent to the fabled Demi-Immortal level?”

“Yes. The Demi-Immortal level, the level after Great Sage. That’s what our institute was named after. For generation after generation, the chancellors of our institute have sought the glory of the Demi-Immortal level. And yet, throughout all the years, the only one to actually succeed was the original founder.” The chancellor shook his head. “Only in the Demi-Immortal level can one pursue the vestiges of the dao, and begin to form immortal life force. It’s actually a starting point. You know, in ancient times, Great Sages were still considered human. They were saints, the ultimate peak of humanity, and yet, they still had human life force. Only by surpassing that level, and becoming a Demi-Immortal, could one be considered an immortal. Back in the old days, Legendaries were mere energy warriors, people who were just beginning to understand energy arts and magical laws. As for Lifeseizers, they were ants, not even worth mentioning.”

“I know all that, Father. The Demi-Immortal level is the first step on the path to immortal ascension, but doesn’t that mean there are levels beyond it? What are they? The ancient legion of gods could create universal planes with casual abandon, and they could destroy suns, moons, and stars. What level is that? Even our institute's most ancient records, the ones which describe the Demi-Immortal Sage Magic, don’t have any information beyond the Demi-Immortal level.”

“I only know a smattering about such matters,” the chancellor said. “I’ve traveled to many places, and seen many relics of the past. From all of that, I've pieced together some clues to what lays beyond the Demi-Immortal level. After the nine stages in the Demi-Immortal level comes boundless demolishing. It's known as the Demolishing level. As for what comes after that, I'm not sure.”

“Demi-Immortal level and Demolishing level….” murmured the Young Lady, her eyes flickering with thirst for what was to come in the future. “Father, if Yang Qi really does have a Demi-Immortal backer, no one in the Rich-Lush Continent could possibly be a match for him. It would probably take someone from a higher plane like the Quake-Dawn Continent to handle him.”

“Let’s wait and see what happens. I'm also curious to see whether or not it’s a Demi-Immortal. If it is, then I’ll switch priorities back to Yang Qi. I’ll even give him a hundred years to try to crush the Crown Prince.” The chancellor almost sounded like he looked forward to that possibility.

“Father, the Crown Prince is going to be a Great Sage sooner rather than later. If you switch loyalties, will you really be able to deal with him? Although, perhaps I’m overthinking things. If Yang Qi has a Demi-Immortal backer, the Crown Prince will have trouble defending himself. After all, in ancient times, Demi-Immortals are essentially half-immortals who have already begun to connect with magical laws pertaining to the dao of heaven. At least, that is what the ancient stories say.”

The chancellor chuckled. “Guang’er, why do I get the sense that you approve of Yang Qi and disapprove of the Crown Prince? I realized a long time ago that whoever this Demi-Immortal backer is, he must have been restrained by certain magical laws, keeping him away on a distant plane of existence. Obviously, he can only give assistance in the form of a psychic projection. If someone in the Demi-Immortal level came to the Rich-Lush Continent in person, it would shatter the lands and destroy the fragment of the Yore-Wilds’ Heart that exists in the depths of the continent. Our lands simply couldn’t handle that level of power. In other words, the protection Yang Qi enjoys is limited, and it's still possible that the Crown Prince will become a Great Sage and kill him.”

“Oh look,” the Young Lady said. “Here comes another fiend-devil trying to refine Yang Qi. He definitely won't be able to defend himself this time. Seems we’re finally going to see the power of this backer of his.”

The two of them looked on with rapt attention.

Cackling laughter could be heard from the depths of the hell monsoon as another fiend-devil appeared, this one a sinister and emaciated female. Even her most casual movement caused the surrounding void to shatter. She was surrounded by the faint images of stars, all of them pulsing with evil auras that indicated she was far more powerful than the Ghost-God Transformation.

She was in the eighth Legendary transformation, making her an Astral-Star Legendary.

“Are you planning to fight me for this treasure, Wroggbâllazath?” the first fiend-devil said, trembling as if from either fear or rage.

“I’m here to help!” the old female fiend-devil said in a piercing, savage voice. “You’ve been trying to refine that pagoda for a while now, and still haven’t succeeded. Why don’t you let me help out, and then you can help me later on when I try to break through to the Great Sage level?”

“Fine, please do help out.” Of course, there was little the first fiend-devil could do. An Astral-Star Legendary could kill him with hardly any effort at all, leaving him no choice other than to bow his head in submission.

“I refuse to believe that if I help boost your Heaven-Devil Rageflame, that little brat will be able to take it. Starry Vilefire!” Eyes flashing with sinister light, she waved her hand, summoning an enormous, evil star formed from baleful energy, and wreathed with eternal, wicked fire. This was also an expression of Heaven-Devil Rageflame, except, far, far more powerful than what the other fiend-devil was capable of. It was Starry Vilefire, and it was capable of shaking heavenly bodies; in fact, it caused the Grand Emperor's Pagoda to begin to tremble.

Yang Qi was immediately shaken out of his previous reverie. Looking very serious, he thought, ‘Great, another fiend-devil. And this one is an Astral-Star Legendary. If my Physique of the Sovereign Lord hadn’t just acquired that dimensional ability, the mere vibrations would have destroyed me.’

Pouring true energy into the pagoda, he activated various warding magics that caused bronze light to emanate out from the pagoda and block the Heaven-Devil Rageflame.

“So, this brat can actually stand up to my power? Is he really only in the second Legendary transformation?” Shocked, the female fiend-devil poured more power into her attack.

‘They’re really holding nothing back to make me stronger!’

Yang Qi pulled out another sovereign-grade spirit stone, and drew on its power to wake up another five thousand megamammoths. Since another selfless philanthropist had arrived, he would not hold back out of courtesy.

1. The chancellor refers to his daughter as Guang’er, implying that one of the characters in her given name is Guang, which means “light”.

2. Her body type contains the same character Guang which means “light”. Another quick note: Divine Dreamwalker actually used a different name for the body type in this chapter, but later changed it. I'm using the later, “corrected” version.

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