Chapter 285: Assessment

‘Five phases spirits? Those things are incredible….’ Yang Qi was frankly surprised that an amazing set of items like that would become available to him here. Right now, he had reached a point where he needed to plan out his path of cultivation in great detail. Although his cultivation generally went hundreds of times faster than most people, he was still fairly certain that it would take a year or even a year and a half for him to reach the fourth Legendary transformation.

Unfortunately, what he lacked most of right now was time.

He absolutely had to get back to the Rich-Lush Continent, and then head through the passageway to the Superheaven Badlands, and kill the Crown Prince.

If he could reach the Five-Phases Transformation sooner than expected, then he could be even more assured of victory. His hope was to make the trip to the Superheaven Badlands within ten days, or two weeks at the most. If he let too much time slip by, the consequences could be too horrible to contemplate.

Right now, acquiring a set of five phases spirits seemed like the best way to achieve an early breakthrough.

The so-called five phases spirits were pure living spirits birthed directly from the power of the five phases. They possessed preheaven godpower, and came in the form of things such as wood-based azure dragons, metal-based white tigers, fire-based vermilion birds, water-based black turtles and earth-based flying snakes.

Such things were rare in the Western Continent, let alone the Rich-Lush Continent. However, this was the Quake-Dawn Continent, and things were different here.

With a set of five phases spirits, Yang Qi was fairly certain that he could reach the next cultivation level within ten days to two weeks. If he became a Five-Phases Legendary, then the power of the Heaven-Dominating Golden Swordbreaker would also ascend, and the Grand Emperor's Pagoda would become mighty to a heaven-shaking, earth-toppling level.

He definitely couldn’t let an opportunity like this slip by.

“And how might I acquire this set of five phases spirits?” Yang Qi asked.

Overseer Heavenwood was the one to answer. “Five phases spirits are precious beyond compare, and can be used by cultivators of all levels. Overseer Redwood, why don’t you bring out what we have in stock?”

Overseer Redwood immediately pulled a case out of thin air, an object locked with incredibly powerful sealing marks and paper talismans.

As soon as the talismans were removed, a wave of pure five phases quintessence energy surged out.

Inside of the case were five dimensions, within which could be seen powerful spirits formed from five phases quintessence energy: an azure dragon, white tiger, vermillion bird, black turtle and flying snake.

The five spirit creatures drifted about, occasionally attempting to break free from their seals. On a substructural level, these things surpassed asuras, and the power they emanated would cause anyone who sensed it to tremble. After all, five phases spirits were, in their substructure, close to being god-spirits.

“A Great Sage from our Grand-Wilds Mansion encountered these spirits while traversing space-time,” Overseer Heavenwood said. “It was difficult to capture them, and took a huge expenditure of energy, but in the end, he succeeded. They’re worth more than a hundred sagely-grade spirit stones.”

“A hundred sagely-grade spirit stones?” Yang Qi was visibly stunned. That was an astronomical price that no one could possibly pay. However, to him, it just meant capturing some more asuras. “What if I gave you living, sealed asuras?”

“Are you telling me you have more?” Overseer Heavenwood said, looking skeptical.

“I would have to go out and capture some more. It would take a lot of time to get some Never-Dying asuras, but Astral-Star versions are much easier. I could get as many as you wanted.”

Yang Qi was very anxious to get his hands on those five phases spirits. Of course, he also knew that these people were doing this for their own benefit. They could tell that he was an extraordinary individual, and wanted to fill their own pockets because of it. Therefore, he decided to give them a bit of a surprise.

“Get out here, asura!”

RUMBLE!

A dimensional portal opened up which was none other than his Hell Portal in disguise. Of course, only a Great Sage could possibly tell that it was something other than an ordinary portal. However, the overseers were all Half Sages, so they simply looked at the portal, wondering what Yang Qi planned to do with it.

But then, a moment later, they began to back away as they saw an enormous asura emerging, radiating the power of the stars, and filled with wretch energy and battle spirit beyond comprehension. Although the overseers were all Half Sages who shouldn't need to fear an asura in the eighth Legendary transformation, the fact was that people from lower-level planes would instinctively fear asuras from higher-level planes. In fact, they would be terrified of them.

“That’s…!” Overseer Heavenwood was already on the verge of launching an attack.

However, that was when the asura kneeled in front of Yang Qi and said, “Milord!”

The eyes of the overseers nearly popped out of their skulls, and they were absolutely dumbstruck. Almost nothing could have surprised them more than to see a mighty asura step out and kneel respectfully in front of Yang Qi. After that, more asuras stepped out of the Hell Portal, dozens of them. Some were in the fifth Legendary transformation, as well as the sixth, seventh, and eighth.

Before an incense stick of time could pass, more than a hundred asuras stepped out and knelt, making Yang Qi seem like an invincible god of battle, or a suzerain of hell.

‘They can’t be real. They’re fake!’ That was what the five overseers were thinking as they backed away. After all, the asuras were all lower level than them, but if they joined together as an army, they would be unstoppable.

For one thing, if this entire group self-detonated, which asuras were known to do, then the overseers would be wiped out of existence.

At this point, Yang Qi said, “Overseers, I remember you mentioning that the space-time wormholes leading to the Rich-Lush Continent will be rife with fiend-devils. Well, sirs, I may not excel at much, but if there’s one thing I can do, its handle fiend-devils. You see, I happened to stumble across the chance to enter a formal agreement with hell, giving me innate control over fiend-devils. In fact, I can even summon them through the void. I'm going to guess that abilities such as this will make me useful to the Grand-Wilds Mansion.”

Yang Qi was casually stabbing right to the heart of the situation.

“Th-this… th-th-this is….” None of the overseers could do anything other than stammer meaninglessly. 

After a long moment passed, Overseer Heavenwood managed to compose himself.  “Amazing… simply amazing. You can do this all on your own? You, a Space-Void Legendary, can control Astral-Star asuras? You’re definitely not from this continent, are you? Which higher plane are you from?”

“I'm not at liberty to say,” Yang Qi replied. “I'm a customer of the Grand-Wilds Mansion, and an important customer at that. I'm also key to whatever plans you have in store for the Rich-Lush Continent. Let's just leave it at that.”

Obviously, there was no way Yang Qi would reveal that he was actually from the lower-level Rich-Lush Continent. Instead, he tried to make himself as mysterious as possible.

“By the way,” he added, “if I reach the Five-Phases Transformation, then I’ll be able to summon, not just Astral-Star fiend-devils, but those in the Never-Dying level.”

That was the final nail in the coffin. Not only was it a warning to these people that they weren’t just dealing with him, they were dealing with a potential army of asuras. Second, it was an indication that he wasn’t just strong, he had the potential to be far stronger than he already was.

“Just wait a moment, sir,” Overseer Heavenwood said. “I need to confer with my superior, a Great Sage.”

With that, he opened a spatial rift and left.

Yang Qi simply closed his eyes to wait, curious as to whether the Grand-Wilds Mansion would actually send a Great Sage to discuss the matter with him.

The other overseers couldn’t help but marvel at how he kept his cool, and also began to wonder what powerful backers he might have.

After enough time passed to enjoy three cups of tea, immense rumbling sounds filled the air.

Then, sagely might erupted out from a spatial rift. A Great Sage had arrived!

He was an old man in a white robe, with halos floating behind his head, and he was followed closely behind by Overseer Heavenwood. As soon as the old man stepped into the room, the kneeling asuras trembled as though a great weight had come to rest on their shoulders. After all, this was a sage, a type of living being that surpassed humans and monsters alike.

As soon as Yang Qi laid eyes on the man, he realized what he was. ‘He’s a clone!’

He was actually very similar to the enormous hand that Great Sage Pure Emptiness had sent chasing after him. Immediately, Yang Qi felt a bit calmer; if this had been an actual Great Sage, he might have been worried, but since it was only a clone, he felt a lot more confident.

Nodding at Yang Qi, the sage clone said, “I'm Great Sage War-Wilds. Friend, might I ask which high-level plane you come from?”

Yang Qi rose to his feet courteously and replied, “Please forgive me for this, but I'm really unable to say. I'm just an ordinary customer hoping to get some five phases spirits. They’re very important to me at the moment. And I'm also interested in joining your mercenary squad. What’s involved in the assessment? I'm more than happy to participate, and also, pay whatever price you want for the five phases spirits.”

“You can have the five phases spirits,” Great Sage War-Wilds said. 

Yang Qi had assumed this old man had come to cause problems, but instead, he agreed immediately.

“And there’s no need for you to undergo the assessment. Friend, you’re definitely strong enough to join our mercenary squad. In fact, we’d like to hire you as a guest elder. Just count the five phases spirits as the recruitment gift. How about that?”

“Great Sage,” Overseer Heavenwood interjected, “those five phases spirits are worth over a hundred sagely-grade spirit stones!”

“So?” Great Sage War-Wilds said, waving his hand dismissively. “Our friend here can summon fiend-devils, which means that, as long as he agrees to help us, the Grand-Wilds Mansion will never be short on stock ever again. Wouldn't you say that’s a fortune worth more than a couple five phases spirits?”

The eyes of the overseers began to glitter brightly.

“Well, friend, what do you think?” Great Sage War-Wilds even held out the case with the five phases spirits in it.

“It’s a deal!” Yang Qi said, not mincing words. He knew that being a guest elder of the Grand-Wilds Mansion would likely come with some annoying responsibilities. However, having a good relationship with a powerful organization could be a good thing. And most importantly, it would help him grow faster, stronger. And that would only make it easier to kill the Crown Prince.

Besides, there would definitely be all sorts of information to be had in the Grand-Wilds Mansion. For example, he might be able to get new details about the Hanging Mountain. After he dealt with the Crown Prince, he wanted to go looking for his mother, and find out the truth about his origins.

“Excellent! Straight talk from a straight person. I like it!” Great Sage War-Wilds handed the box of five phases spirits over, along with an identity medallion that had the words Guest Elder carved on one side, and the character Wilds on the other. It fairly radiated an aura of the Yore-Wilds.

“The Grand-Wilds Mansion is one of the most powerful organizations in the Quake-Dawn Continent,” Great Sage War-Wilds said. “And that is because we were established by the primeval Wilds God.”

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