“Such speed,” Yan Feixia murmured as Yang Qi vanished without a trace. A moment later, a sonic boom could be heard off in the distance as he raced back toward his clan, towing the clan steward along with him. She was also in the seventh phase, with a deep understanding of energy. Even more importantly, she was a disciple of the True Dragon Institute, placing her far beyond just about everyone else in Yanhaven. And yet, Yang Qi’s incredible speed defied even her understanding of energy arts.
As far as she knew, it wasn’t possible for someone in the same level as herself to have such powerful energy, including the top geniuses in the True Dragon Institute.
‘No wonder father showed such hostility toward him today. For a genius like that to rise up in another clan is a big threat to the Yan Clan. But then again, I owe Yang Qi for saving my life. If he and father end up as enemies, it's going to put me in a really bad position.’
Sighing, she continued to preside over the young ones who remained at the banquet.
Unfortunately, as soon as Yang Qi left, the rest of the young elites in attendance rapidly bid farewell. The fact that the Yang and Chen clans were going to war meant that great changes would be coming to Yanhaven. And who wanted to be stuck in a banquet when things like that were happening? They wanted to watch the fireworks!
Before long, the hall was completely empty.
Mood sinking, Yan Feixia headed toward the depths of the mansion to find her father and update him about the situation.
Meanwhile, Yang Qi had a firm grip on the clan steward as he raced back to the mansion. He was a blur that passed through dozens of streets and intersections, before eventually arriving outside of the clan.
Even from a distance, he could sense wildly murderous auras coming from the square outside the mansion, which was a sprawling location that could house thousands of people.
Troops were arrayed throughout the square, all of them clad in armor. Most of them were in the fourth phase, although the captains of some of the squads were in the fifth phase.
Altogether, there were over a thousand men present.
Some wielded bows or crossbows, others had spears or pikes. From the look of it, this small army was preparing to march on the Yang Clan mansion and slaughter everyone inside.
There was no doubt as to who these people were; they were the private army of the Chen Clan, a formidable fighting force.
Virtually all of the rich clans in the Rich-Lush Continent kept private armies like this. Many had armies that numbered in the thousands, and some even had forces tens of thousands strong.
Such armies protected the clan, and in times of chaos, could be used for campaigning purposes.
The Chen Clan had obviously deployed their private army to the main gate of the Yang Clan, and if the Yang Clan didn’t play their cards exactly right, they would be invaded and wiped off the map.
Of course, it wasn’t as if the Yang Clan made an easy target. Bugle horns could be heard sounding out inside the mansion, whereupon the main gate opened, and the Yang Clan’s own private army emerged. They were also armed with bows and crossbows, as well as enormous tower shields. They made a particularly impressive sight.
The Yang Clan’s army was by no means small; they also had over a thousand men, broad-shouldered as bears and as tough-looking as lions.
The sight of them caused the Chen Clan fighters to frown.
It had only been a short time since the Latent Dragon Pill incident, and everyone had heard about it. And many people had noticed that the Yang Clan had been purchasing large quantities of grain, meat, and other foods which were considered low-quality.
In the Rich-Lush Continent, such foodstuffs were the thing of poor folk; rich and powerful clans used energy convergence pills for nourishment.
If the Yang Clan kept feeding their army things like grain and meat, then their fighting ability would quickly decline, and many of the discouraged soldiers would likely begin to defect.
Aware of this fact, the Chen Clan decided to make their move.
However, it was to their surprise that the Yang Clan’s army didn’t seem weak at all. In fact, they actually looked stronger than they had in the past. They didn't look like they had been eating grain and meat at all.
Of course, the truth was that the wealth Yang Qi had brought back had helped the clan to get through their moment of crisis.
Many of the Chen Clan’s energy arts experts were mixed within the soldiers. Shockingly, one of them was the clan lord himself, Chen Dalei, who stood there, energy swirling, and rage pulsing.
On the other side, leading the Yang Clan’s army, were the two brothers Yang Yunchong and Yang Hualong, whose faces were somberly paled as they faced the experts from the Chen Clan.
Yang Zhan was still in seclusion, and the two brothers were clearly facing a very tough situation.
“Yang Yunchong, Yang Hualong,” Chen Dalei said in a thunderous voice. “What are you two kids doing here? Tell Yang Zhan to get out here right now. I want to ask him why his son crippled so many people from my clan!” His voice was so loud that many of the roof tiles in the Yang Clan mansion cracked and crumbled.
“Clan Lord Chen, please, there’s no need to get so angry,” Yang Yunchong said. “As the old saying goes, harmony is the most prized possession…. We're still unsure of exactly what happened, and why. Is there really a need to mobilize troops and sow chaos in Yanhaven?”
“Impudence! What gives you the right to talk to a clan lord like that? Enough stalling, you dirty little swine. I've heard enough. Yang Zhan is in seclusion, trying to break into the Master of Energy level. And if he succeeds, the first thing he’ll do is exterminate our Chen Clan. Why wait around when I could take the initiative?”
A particularly tall and strapping elder from the Chen Clan stepped forward. “That’s right!” he said loudly. “Chen Dalei, we have the backing of the House of Shadowblight. What do we have to be afraid of? Don’t tell me the Yang Clan is going to make a comeback using their subsidiary branches?”
Also mixed within the Chen Clan forces were a few inconspicuous black-robed men, who had vicious-looking eyes. It was at this moment that one of them spoke in a devilish voice that tugged at the psyches of everyone who heard him.
“Some of the subsidiary branches will be quite happy to see the direct bloodline of the Yang Clan wiped out. Furthermore, our House of Shadowblight has long since decided that we need a representative in Yanhaven. After the Yang Clan is gone, we will exterminate the Yan Clan, and then Yanhaven can become the State of Chen!”
Clan Lord Chen Dalei’s expression flickered dramatically. He had been hesitating earlier, but the words of the black-robed man had caused him to make up his mind. “Excellent. First let’s kill these two dirty swine. There is no reconciling the grudge between our two clans. Men, the time has come! Attack!”
Instantly, the thousand-men army from the Chen Clan cocked crossbows and pulled back bowstrings. Twang. Twang. Twang! The air filled with a locust-swarm of arrows heading directly toward the Yang Clan’s army.
“Shield wall!” Yang Yunchong shouted, his eyes bloodshot. “Now, now, NOW!”
Yang Hualong’s eyes were equally bloodshot. Both brothers circulated their energy and joined the soldiers in thrusting their shields out to meet the hail of arrows.
Thudding sounds echoed out as arrows slammed into the metal shields, denting and bending them in numerous locations.
“You two little swine!” Chen Dalei shouted. Whoosh. Whoosh…! Suddenly, two spears materialized in front of him, which began to rotate rapidly as they shot toward Yang Yunchong and Yang Hualong.
The two spears slammed into the brothers’ tower shields, unleashing a massive explosion of energy that sent the two brothers staggering backward.
A few of the soldiers in the Yang Clan’s private army were experts in the sixth phase, who immediately rushed forward to assist them, throwing out palm strikes to halt the momentum of the spears.
“Maybe you can survive the first volley. But you won't survive fifteen!”
One of the Chen Clan's elders, a man named Chen Dalong, suddenly summoned a shining blade of light, which rapidly grew to a length of nine meters long. Then, it twisted and turned until it was a circular blade. 
The Balefire Chakram was a ranged weapon attack that could be used to kill one’s opponent from a distance. And now it was flying toward Yang Yunchong and Yang Hualong.
However, that was when an angered shout echoed out from a nearby street corner. “Have a death wish?!”
A blur appeared, a person who was moving so quickly it was impossible to see his features. However, any arrows that hit his defensive energy arts were immediately cast to the side.
Not even the most powerful of projectile weapons seemed capable of hurting him in the least bit.
It was Yang Qi!
As he charged toward the scene, his energy arrived even before he did. An enormous palm appeared, which was none other than his True Energy Megahand. Without the slightest pause, he shot toward the Balefire Chakram with meteoric speed.
In the moment of contact, the Balefire Chakram shattered like an empty chicken egg.
“Who dares to make trouble at the main gate of my clan?”
Yang Qi raced onto the battlefield, leaving behind whistling sounds and a trail of broken bolts and arrows.
“Dirty swine!” Chen Dalei said through gritted teeth. “You've shown up just in time to watch your Yang Clan be exterminated.”
Yang Qi snorted coldly. “Your Chen Clan worked with the House of Shadowblight to poison my eldest brother and second brother! Crippling a few people from your clan is fair and reasonable retribution!”
Some of the Chen Clan elders were in the seventh phase of energy arts. There were even a few in the eighth phase; clearly, they had no intention of leaving this fight unless their opponents were wiped out.
Even back when the Yang Clan had been at the height of power, it would have been difficult to deal with a force like this.
“You,” Yang Qi said, singling out someone in the crowd. “And you, in the black clothes. Are you from the Chen Clan? Or from the House of Shadowblight?”
“Good guess, brat. We're from the House of Shadowblight. Drop to your knees and beg for your life, and we might spare you. Otherwise we’ll turn everyone in your clan into blightzombies and blightpuppets. You’ll all become the walking dead! I've had my eye on your father Yang Zhan, you know. He would make a great puppet. You’re not going to escape, I can tell you that. Bwahahahahaha!”
The other black-garbed men from the House of Shadowblight joined in, mocking the Yang Clan in grating voices.
“Henceforth, there will be no Yang Clan in Yanhaven!”
“Hey, Yang Clan scum. Do you really dare to resist the House of Shadowblight? Give us what we want, even if it's your heads and your lives. If you fight back, we’ll make you live a life worse than death.”
Wild, arrogant laughter rang out from the mouths of the black-garbed men.
“Fine,” Yang Qi said grimly. He had heard enough. “Neither the Chen Clan nor the House of Shadowblight have any right to exist in this world any longer.” Without any warning, streams of true energy shot out of him, piercing through the air like flashing swords.
At the same time, all of the broken arrows and bolts on the battlefield suddenly floated up into the air and began to spiral into a flower-like shape. Then, ghost-like wailing could be heard as the arrows and bolts began to burn, sending a pungent smell out across the battlefield.
Secretly drawing on the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, Yang Qi sent the countless burning arrows and crossbow bolts shooting back toward the Chen Clan's army.
As that happened, he charged forward at top speed. Unexpectedly, he was taking on an army of elite enemies, all by himself.
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Hey everyone, I'd like to make a book recommendation. I picked up Fragments of Light by Beth Hodgson at a local convention I exhibited at. It's a gothic cyberpunk sci-fi/fantasy epic. To be honest, for the first hundred pages or so, I was a bit on the fence about whether or not I liked it. But after that point, I got sucked in. Some very cool characters, a unique magic system, and a very intriguing plot. Despite the action scene cover art, it is by no means an action story, especially for the first quarter of the book, which is primarily character development and world-building. In a very odd coincidence, I found out later that Beth used the same editor that I'm using for my own original novel Legends of Ogre gate, which I originally published here on WuxiaWorld, and am now preparing for paperback and eBook release. Anyway, if you're interested in checking out something a bit different than the translated stuff here on WW, check out Fragments of Light.