With a simple swipe of his hand, Yang Qi sent Chen Qing and his retinue flying. Chen Qing, one of the elite young ones of the Chen Clan, an outstanding and respected individual, had been easily vanquished. Even his sedan chair was destroyed.
Yang Qi remained standing in place, where he dusted his shoulders off and said, “How dare you talk smack to me, you trash. The Chen Clan calls scum like you a young elite? You seem completely useless to me.”
In this moment, Yang Qi was the epitome of strength and dominance.
The Yang Clan had been in sore straits for days now. Because of their weakened state, many other forces in Yanhaven had done everything they could to hit them when they were still down. As a result, the work of Yang Yunchong and Yang Hualong had been made much more difficult.
Therefore, Yang Qi had intentionally showed overbearing dominance and strength as soon as he could, in order to make sure everyone in Yanhaven knew that the Yang Clan still had life left in them, and were a force to be reckoned with.
He was fully confident that word of what had happened today would spread throughout the city like wildfire. The Yang Clan’s business affairs would also be affected positively because of it.
As would be expected, everyone else in the area was shocked.
“Defeated? Chen Qing was actually beaten by a single move? Was that even a full move, or just half a move? How could Yang Qi’s true energy be so strong? What level of cultivation base does he actually have? The ability to injure people from a distance comes only after reaching the fifth phase.”
“Yeah, I wasn’t able to see the level of his cultivation base either. All he did was wave his hand, and then something like a palm flew out. And look what happened to Chen Qing and his retinue. The Chen Clan isn’t going to just let this slide. They didn’t just send Chen Qing here today, right?”
“Well, I say we just do like the famous saying. Sit on the mountain top and watch the tigers fight, then reap the spoils when they tire out. It seems Yang Qi didn't just recover, he actually made some progress with his martial arts.”
Although all of the young elites present were shocked, they continued to watch with serious expressions on their faces. They could now tell that Yang Qi was a formidable opponent, and knew they could benefit by closely watching his conflict with the Chen Clan.
As some of the Chen Clan servants were trying to help Chen Qing to his feet, other experts from the clan were turning furious gazes onto Yang Qi.
A moment later, a young man of about twenty-five years of age strode out into the open, causing everyone in the area to feel their breath stifled because of his mere presence.
“What’s going on here?” he said, sounding openly aggressive. “What gall you have, Yang Qi! This is a gathering organized by the city magistrate’s mansion! How dare you cause trouble by fighting so ruthlessly here! That’s an insult to the dignity of the city magistrate, and is definitely worthy of punishment!”
This young man was even more famous than Chen Qing.
“That’s their number one elite, Chen Miejin. Supposedly, he's been in love with the martial arts since he was a child, and has long since been declared a genius in terms of his potential and talents. From what I've heard, he never got married, and has no children. Supposedly, he swore not to marry until he got to the Master of Energy level. Considering that he's already in the seventh phase of energy arts, he’s pretty much on the same level as Yang Honglie from the Yang Clan.” 
Chen Miejin seemed like a mighty mountain or a deep well, his words incisive, and his demeanor the type that brooked no challenges.
As he spoke, he wore a slight smile, and yet his eyes flickered with killing intent, and his tone was openly aggressive. That was especially true considering how he tried to use the city magistrate as a threat.
“Intentionally causing trouble?” Yang Qi said calmly. “This Chen Qing tried to harm me with his energy arts, and all I did was fight back. If anyone is causing trouble, it's your clan.”
Chen Miejin’s smile faded, to be replaced by icy coldness. At the same time, his energy began to surge. “Young Chen Qing did nothing but offer you a greeting. Then you went crazy and hurt him with a sneak attack! However, we’re here at the city magistrate’s mansion for a banquet. Why don't we wait until we're in City Magistrate Yan’s presence before we offer each other fighting tips? Just kowtow and give our Chen Clan a gift of apology, say, a thousand energy convergence pills. Then I’ll forgive you.”
When the young elites present heard that, they immediately began to talk amongst themselves.
“Oh boy! He wants him to kowtow in apology and offer a thousand energy convergence pills. This is going to cause a big grudge between the Yang Clan and the Chen Clan! Everybody knows that the Yang Clan has gone completely broke. They don’t even have enough energy convergence pills to pay their servants and guards.”
“That’s right. The other day I saw some rice and meat shipments going to the Yang Clan. Everybody knows that food like that is for poor people. Rich clans like us subsist on energy convergence pills. If they can’t afford energy convergence pills, they’re definitely done for. Pretty soon, even their servants are going to abandon them. After all, the main reason people work for the rich clans is to get energy convergence pills.”
“The Chen Clan is being really insulting and aggressive toward them. But then again, the Yang Clan is really in a bad position now, making it the perfect time to kick them while they’re down.”
“What do you say?” Chen Miejin said, clasping his hands behind his back. Although he looked very calm, his eyes burned with killing intent. “If you don’t kowtow in apology, then I’ll just cripple your energy arts for the second time in your life. Then we can see if that aunt of yours at the Demi-Immortal Institute will have more spirit medicine to help you out with.”
“Cripple my energy arts?” Yang Qi laughed. “Sure. Why don't you give it a shot? In fact, not just you. Why don’t you ask your clan lord Chen Dalei to try as well? Except that he’ll fail.”
Clan Lord Chen Dalei was in the peak of the Energy Incarnation level, and was incredibly famous. He had held his position as clan lord for roughly thirty years now. However, what Yang Qi had just said was indeed true. After defeating the white ape in battle, his cultivation base had reached the point where only those in the Master of Energy level were a threat to him. 
Of course, everyone else took his words to be the ravings of a lunatic. Even if he were more of an elite than he was, there was no way he could take on someone so powerful. He was just blatantly insulting the clan lord, as well as all of the other Chen Clan experts present.
Words like his were enough to cause a major conflict to break out between the Chen and Yang Clans.
Everyone from the Chen Clan immediately broke out into loud cursing and swearing.
“Cripple him! Kill him! He's obviously tired of living!”
“What humiliation! How dare he insult our clan lord like that! Nobody alive could take such disrespect standing. We should have expected this from the Yang Clan. Yang Zhan’s an animal, and so is his son.”
“Hmm?” Yang Qi’s eyes glittered, and thunderous cracking sounds could be heard from his tendons and bones. Sweeping his gaze across the people from the Chen Clan, he said, “Who was it? Who was talking nonsense just now? Who insulted my father? Step forward immediately and get on your knees. Otherwise I’ll turn you into a clan of corpses. Are the young ones in the Chen Clan all tired of living?”
“You!” Chen Miejin blurted, almost incapable of speaking. Face turning even more sinister and icy, he said, “Since you clearly want to die, Yang Qi, I’ll accommodate you! Dragon-Tiger Tornado!”
Instantly, a tornado sprang up behind him, filled with images of wind tigers and dragons. Seemingly surging with the power of those beasts, he chopped his hand out in front of him.
In the blink of an eye, a wave of energy was right in front of Yang Qi.
Stretched behind it was shattered air and broken ground, as if some enormous hammer were tearing through the area. If such energy smashed into a human, it would likely rip them to pieces.
A moment later, it hit, and yet did not rip Yang Qi into pieces, or even crush his bones. Instead, it seemed to hit some sort of bell, causing a sonorous boom to echo out. As for Yang Qi, he didn't even move.
“Golden Bell Rampart?” Chen Miejin blurted in shock.
Before he could do anything else, Yang Qi was right in front of him, moving so quickly that Chen Miejin had no way to even react.
Chen Miejin’s defensive true energy shattered, and blood sprayed out of his mouth as he was flung backward. Even as Yang Qi’s Golden Bell Rampart faded away, he placed his foot right on top of Chen Miejin’s abdomen, where his dantian region and sea of energy lay.
“How could this be happening? I'm in the seventh phase….” Chen Miejin struggled to free himself, but it did no good. Yang Qi’s foot was like that of a mammoth’s, and made it impossible for him to move.
“What’s so special about the seventh phase?” Yang Qi said coldly. “Like I said, Clan Lord Chen Dalei wouldn’t be able to hurt me, let alone you. You Chen Clan people insulted me first. Didn't you want to cripple my energy arts? Well, I’ll return the favor. I’ll destroy your sea of energy and make sure you live the rest of your life as a commoner.”
And then, as everyone looked on, he lifted his foot up as if he were preparing to smash it down onto Chen Miejin.
If he really did that, he would cripple Chen Miejin’s martial arts forever.
“Stay your hand!” someone shouted in a powerful voice. A moment later, a burly figure appeared, clad in a suit of armor. He looked like a devil-ghost of battle, and was none other than the sergeant major of the city magistrate’s guard, Luo Hun. 
It was Luo Hun who had crippled Yang Qi’s sea of energy, and were it not for the bolt of lightning, Yang Qi would have been forced to live his life as a commoner, completely disgraced.
Luo Hun’s energy arts and cultivation base were among the highest in Yanhaven; he was even stronger than some of the clan lords. He also had a nickname: the Armored Devil-Ghost.
The reason for that was, no matter what season it was, spring, autumn, winter, or summer, he always wore his cold-forged iron armor. He would take it off when bathing, but other than that, never, not even when he slept. Apparently, he cultivated some sort of remarkable ability that made him as ferocious as a devil-ghost.
Yang Qi had noticed earlier that he was watching the conflict with him and the Chen Clan.
But only in the most critical of moments did he finally intervene.
However, in response to Luo Hun’s words, Yang Qi chuckled coldly, and stomped his foot down. Apparently, he wanted Luo Hun to simply look on as he crippled Chen Miejin’s sea of energy, unable to do anything to stop it from happening.
“What nerve you have!” Luo Hun shouted, his face falling at the realization that Yang Qi was going to ignore his command. At that point, Luo Hun’s sword-like eyebrows shot up, and his eyes turned as cold as ice. Anyone who crossed paths with that gaze would be immediately compelled to move out of the way lest they suffer agonizing pain. It was an ability that came with the Energy Incarnation level, Gaze Barrage.
He also let out a powerful roar, causing a screaming wind to rush out, like a beast backed by floodwaters as it closed in rapidly on Yang Qi.
3. In Chinese it's common to combine the characters for words of mythological beings together. If you want more info, you can check out this YouTube video of mine where I talk about the characters for immortal, demon, god, devil, ghost. For example, immortal-god is just immortal and devil-ghost is just devil, etc. However, in this novel, there are actually distinctions between some of the different character combinations. When they come up, I'm going to translate them literally. So you will see devil-ghosts, demon-gods, etc. Oftentimes the author will have a play on words associated with that particular type of entity, so I feel it's important to get both Chinese characters into the translation. For example, with the devil-ghosts, they are supposed to be both devils and ghosts.