Chapter 286: Captain

Having acquired the five phases spirits, Yang Qi’s mood lifted greatly.

At the moment, he wasn’t in a hurry to try to absorb them. Five phases spirits were nothing to take lightly; they contained massive power, and had many mysterious aspects that would make them very difficult to work with. The slightest mistake, and the spirit energy in them could vanish, and the beast itself could explode. If that happened, the destructive results could be catastrophic.

Furthermore, Yang Qi suspected that there were warding spells in the five phases spirits, left there so that the Great Sages of the Grand-Wilds Mansion could spy on him and his techniques.

He had experienced something similar when acquiring the five phases treasures from Young Master Shroud-Heaven, in the form of a heaven-demon seed. Whenever refining and absorbing things, one had to exercise extreme caution, lest one end up a puppet.

“Our Grand-Wilds Mansion has multiple Great Sages,” Great Sage War-Wilds continued. “Other than the Quake-Dawn Cathedral, there is no organization that can match up to us. The exalted Wilds God has long since left the Quake-Dawn Cathedral to travel to higher planes of existence. However, his might still resounds in these lands.” Clearly, he was trying to impress Yang Qi. “Therefore, friend, the position of guest elder in our organization is one of extreme importance. If you run into any trouble, simply state who you are, and even Great Sages will back down. The mere name of the Grand-Wilds Mansion should be more than enough to put any offenders in check.”

Yang Qi laughed to himself. ‘So seems I'm with the Grand-Wilds Mansion now.’ 

“Overseer Heavenwood, please take our new guest elder to the teleportation portal,” Great Sage War-Wilds said, “and beyond it, the mercenary squad rendezvous point. From there, they can travel through the space-time wormhole to the Rich-Lush Continent!”

“Yes sir!” Overseer Heavenwood said. Extending his hand and looking at Yang Qi, he said, “Please, come with me, Guest Elder.”

Waving his hand, Yang Qi sucked all of the asuras into his Hellfire Crucible. Then, he followed Overseer Heavenwood toward the teleportation portal.

After the two of them were gone, Overseer Redwood said, “Great Sage War-Wilds, this fellow has a very mysterious background, and is clearly backed by powerful forces. He’s only in the third Legendary transformation, but can subjugate extremely powerful fiend-devils. Not even the top geniuses from the Quake-Dawn Cathedral can do such things. Don’t you think it’s a bit inappropriate to randomly invite him to be a guest elder?”

The other overseers all chimed in with their opinions.

“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. He’s very mysterious, and definitely harbors some secrets.”

“Should we run an investigation into his background?”

“What about those five phases spirits? They’re extremely valuable! And we just gave them to him as a gift? What if he gets so strong that we can’t control him? Great Sage, do you really want him to become an official elder in the Grand-Wilds Mansion?”

Great Sage War-Wilds waved his hand dismissively. “Of course he’s from a higher plane in the universe; he’s just down on his luck at the moment. Otherwise, he wouldn't be trying to get spirit stones from us. Besides, I left some of the power of the Wilds God in those five phases spirits. If he tries to absorb them, I’ll be privy to all his secrets, including his origin and techniques. In fact, that's the whole reason I gave them to him.”

The overseers were now grinning from ear to ear. “Oh, so that’s how it is. Very clever! Great Sage, don’t forget that we were the ones who discovered this fellow. If your superiors ask about the situation, we hope you can put in a good word for us.”

“Well that goes without saying,” Great Sage War-Wilds said with a faint smile. “Let’s see exactly how much we benefit from him. Besides, our mission to the Rich-Lush Continent isn’t just about the Yore-Wilds’ Heart fragment. The Quake-Dawn Cathedral sealed a powerful entity there quite some time ago, and we plan to free him. The mercenary squad is just the vanguard. In fact, we’ll be sending them right to where that evil being is located. If they free him, then it’s hard to say whether they’ll make it back alive or not.”

The overseers reacted with open shock.

“An entity sealed in the Rich-Lush Continent by the Quake-Dawn Cathedral? Wait. Do you mean Ghost Emperor Yama from the primeval past?!”

“The ancient records of our Grand-Wilds Mansion mention that the Wilds God used to have dealings with Ghost Emperor Yama.”

Great Sage War-Wilds laughed loudly. “That’s right, I’m talking about Ghost Emperor Yama. And you’re right, he and the Wilds God are actually friends. You see, the Quake-Dawn Cathedral had good reason to seal Ghost Emperor Yama. In their view, if our Wilds God got too strong, and had the help of an ally like him, the duo might have been too powerful for the church to deal with. So, in order to preserve their position of supremacy, they did what was necessary. Incidentally, the mercenary squad will have a third goal. Hopefully, they can find out what exactly happened with the Quake-Dawn Cathedral’s Holy Daughter. Did she have an affair with someone in the Rich-Lush Continent? Or was her pregnancy really a case of a god from heaven descending into the mortal world? Back in those days, Holy Daughter Quake-Dawn was virtually invincible, a top figure even among sages, so it seems unlikely that she would have been impregnated by a random falling star. If that was really what happened, that ‘star’ must have been incredibly powerful.”

“What a terrifying thought!” Overseer Dragonwood said. “Even back then, Holy Daughter Quake-Dawn was a top genius, and was supposedly on the verge of becoming a Demi-Immortal. For a falling star to strike her and result in that means that it had to have been sent by a paramount expert from a much higher plane. I can hardly wrap my mind around what type of person that would be.”

“Well, there’s no need to get carried away talking about it. Let’s wait until the cannon fodder mercenaries get to the Rich-Lush Continent, then decide what the best next step is.”

“That’s true. Some big developments have occurred in the Rich-Lush Continent recently, and a lot of the big organizations are sending people there. If our mercenary squad ends up running into other mercenaries, hopefully this new guest elder can shake things up a bit. Considering that he can summon fiend-devils, I doubt any other mercenary squad will be a match for ours.”

“Very well, all of you,” Great Sage War-Wilds said coolly. “Be ready to take action at any moment. Once the squad reaches the Rich-Lush Continent and ensures there isn’t any great danger, you can follow. Besides, I’ll be keeping an eye on them as well.”

With that, the clone faded away into nothing.

** 

Yang Qi found himself in a mountain valley, surrounded by towering cliffs and waterfalls. It was a very impressive scene; clearly, this was no ordinary valley.

The spirit energy was abundant here, and the terrain was dangerously rugged.

In the middle of it all was a teleportation portal, which was powering down having just transported Overseer Heavenwood and Yang Qi. 

“This is Rubble Valley,” Overseer Heavenwood explained, “the rendezvous point for the mercenaries. Look, there they are right now. They're all equipped with consummate skills and abilities, and hail from a variety of regions. Only the Grand-Wilds Mansion would possibly offer pay high enough to attract people like this. In a moment, I’ll issue the announcement appointing you as the captain of the squad.”

Yang Qi saw a rather large group of people scattered throughout the valley, men and women who were all in the middle of various forms of cultivation. Some hovered cross-legged in the air, others sat by the waterfalls. Some practiced sword forms on the nearby boulders, and one was even training in a dimensional pocket he had created, cultivating some sort of extremely powerful body technique.

All of them had extraordinary cultivation bases. The weakest was in the Never-Dying Transformation, and some were imperious-looking Half Sages. Not a single one was a direct employee of the Grand-Wilds Mansion.

Quite a few of them took note of the arrival of Yang Qi and Overseer Heavenwood. And when they noticed that Yang Qi was only a Space-Void Legendary, looks of disdain appeared on their faces. In fact, most of them simply looked away from him and focused on Overseer Heavenwood.

One of the mercenaries was a middle-aged man clad in a suit of pitch-black armor, a Half Sage. Clasping his hands behind his back, he stepped forward and said, “Say, Overseer Heavenwood, I came from a long way to join this mercenary squad of yours. I passed the assessment, so when exactly are we going to head to the Rich-Lush Continent? Has your space-time wormhole been activated yet?”

“You leave now,” Overseer Heavenwood replied. “Considering that all of you passed our assessment, you’re definitely elites among elites. And of course, you will be paid handsomely for your services. Incidentally, we’ve picked a captain to lead your squad, this young man right here.” He gestured at Yang Qi. “He’s a guest elder of the Grand-Wilds Mansion, and will be given complete authority to make decisions and give orders. All you have to do is find the Yore-Wilds’ Heart fragment, get news about the Holy Daughter of the Quake-Dawn Cathedral, and her son, and then our Wilds God will give you a personal audience. He’ll even impart some boundless techniques to you that will ensure that you achieve major cultivation breakthroughs.”

“What? He's our captain?” one of the mercenaries said.

“Yeah, are you kidding me?” said the man in the black armor. “Him? Did you people make a mistake or something? All I sense from him are spatial fluctuations, and a bit of five phases vital energy. Considering that he hasn’t fused the power of the five phases with the void, it means he’s only in the third Legendary transformation. How could he possibly measure up to us? I can’t believe you’re making him our captain! Are you people brain-dead or something?”

With that, he glared at Yang Qi.

WHIZZZ!

Spatial fluctuations erupted from his eyes, a powerful attack that came in the form of two beams of light. Shockingly he wasn’t holding anything back; he intended to kill Yang Qi.

This man was clearly a vicious person. The truth was that he was actually a notorious bandit who had no problems killing people left and right.

“The Delirium God-Eye!” another of the mercenaries said. “I can’t believe he’s using that. That Space-Void Legendary is dead for sure. So vicious! Pan Yong is a famous bandit who has killed too many experts to even count. All he did was take one look at this captain, and he decided to kill him.” 

“Yeah, Pan Yong is also known as King Delirium, a famous outlaw who kills people without even thinking. He’s the kind of person who defies all laws and principles, even those of heaven. He's a Half Sage, which means that only Great Sages could possibly be a match for him. How could the Grand-Wilds Mansion possibly think that he or any of us would accept some punk kid as our captain?”

“I see what’s going on here. Well, if King Delirium thinks he’s going to be the captain, he’ll have to fight his way through me first. There’s no way he qualifies to give orders to me, Blademaster Thunderbolt!”

Powerful fluctuations began to roll out from all of the vicious and ambitious mercenaries in the squad.

“Delirium God-Eye?” Yang Qi said. “You think a technique like that qualifies to have the word ‘god’ in it?” As soon as the two rays of light hit Yang Qi, they vanished. Then, he blurred into motion, appeared right in front of King Delirium, and punched him in the chest.

BOOM!

King Delirium slammed into the ground, coughing up blood.

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