Chapter 304: Progress

“A few months ago, when you went to the Western Continent, I assumed that I could get in touch with you using the talisman, to tell you when Young Master Shroud-Heaven and I planned to go to the Superheaven Badlands to kill the Crown Prince. But then….”

As they sat down to hear Hua Tianxiong’s story, Ghost Emperor Yama teleported them back to the Sun Moon Institute.

Ghost Emperor Yama was also interested in the Crown Prince. After all, he had hoped to use him as a pawn in the past, although that effort had failed.

It was now clear that the Crown Prince was actually from an immortal plane. However, to Ghost Emperor Yama, that still didn’t make him worthy of compare to Yang Qi. After all, the God Legion Seal far surpassed anything that could come from an immortal plane.

Back in the ancient era, it wasn’t unheard-of for immortals to descend to the Yore-Wilds Continent, which wasn’t an immortal plane itself, but was close to it. As such, Ghost Emperor Yama had heard a lot of stories of immortals, and had even seen some treasures left behind by them.

Demi-Immortals were called half-immortal. As for beings who surpassed that cultivation level, they were actual immortals.

Back in those days, Ghost Emperor Yama had looked up to immortals in the same way that modern-day individuals in the Energy Arts or Lifeseizing level would look up to Great Sages. Although Great Sages were something of a myth to most people, they were still real.

When it came to the gods, Ghost Emperor Yama had obviously never seen any of them. He had only read of them in books and scrolls left behind by immortals. Such books contained epic sagas and mythological stories that many people considered to be fictional. But Ghost Emperor Yama was a fiend-devil with the blood of hell in him, and on an instinctual level, he knew that the legion of gods was anything but fictional.

They just didn't exist in the world of men; they were in another, vastly distant location.

Because of all of that, Ghost Emperor Yama was fairly certain that Yang Qi was going to win in the fight with the Crown Prince. Of course, he was essentially the only person to hold that view. Everyone else in the Rich-Lush Continent believed that Yang Qi was no match for the Crown Prince.

“The Crown Prince really was in the Superheaven Badlands. However, he had set up something called the Azure Heavens Grand Spell Formation, an aspect of profoundly ancient military strategy called Operation Azure Heavens. Young Master Shroud-Heaven and I brought a host of top experts with us, but as soon as we encountered that spell formation, we were stuck. Shockingly, the Crown Prince was also in the formation, and he had transformed into an enormous embryo! Next to him was a woman holding a pearl, and off to the side was a huge altar built entirely from spirit stones. Some of them were even sagely-grade. It was in that moment that I realized all the stories of the Crown Prince gathering spirit stones to build an altar, well, it was a smoke screen. The truth was that he had long since finished constructing the Superheaven Altar.

“Young Master Shroud-Heaven and I fought to get free, but it was all in vain. The Crown Prince emerged from the embryo and killed Young Master Shroud-Heaven. Then he turned to me, and it seemed as though his will had fused with the azure heavens above. I fought as hard as I could to escape, but in the end, I was ripped to shreds. In the moment before I died, I saw that a vast and boundless world had come to exist above the Crown Prince’s head. It was massive, millions upon millions of times as large as the Rich-Lush Continent. In fact, it was larger than anything I’ve read about in the ancient records. Based on what I’ve learned in my studies, I would say that world was a plane even higher than the Yore-Wilds Continent.”

“An immortal plane!” Ghost Emperor Yama exclaimed. “The Azure Heavens Grand Spell Formation…. It seems this Crown Prince completely and utterly awakened his aura, and connected to the immortal plane he comes from. You know, there are countless planes in the universe, and while the lower-level ones are called continents, the higher-level ones are called planetary systems. And beyond that are even higher planes that are called heavens. Those heavens are the planes inhabited by immortals. For example, one of the heavens I've heard about is the Titan Emperor Heaven, which existed above the Yore-Wilds Continent. You see, the Yore-Wilds Continent, the Brute-Wilds Continent, the Waste-Wilds Continent and the Proto-Wilds Continent, these four continents, actually contain hundreds of millions of planets, all of which are administered by the immortal plane above them. As for which heaven the Crown Prince actually comes from, I have no idea.” [1]

“Incredible,” Yang Qi murmured. He felt like a new world had just opened up to him.

The Rich-Lush Continent was really like a tiny pond, and he was like a fish swimming around in it. Actually, it wasn’t even a pond, more like a puddle.

After all, it had once been just a small part of the Yore-Wilds Continent. And the Yore-Wilds Continent, along with the three other major continents around it, contained hundreds of millions of planets, and was overseen by Titan Emperor Heaven.

From what Yang Qi could guess, the legion of gods must exist on a plane higher than the numerous heavens that existed.

‘I can hardly wrap my mind around how large it all is. No wonder you have to reach the Great Sage level before you can leave this place.’ From what he could tell, there was really no good reason to stay in the Rich-Lush Continent any longer.

“Hey Ghost Emperor Yama, how much do you know about the Hanging Mountain?” Yang Qi asked.

“The Hanging Mountain?” He frowned slightly. “It's a holy mountain created by immortals of the ancient Demonfolk. It’s also subsidiary to Titan Emperor Heaven. From what I've heard, the immortals from Titan Emperor Heaven are divided into factions, with the Humanfolk immortals opposing the Demonfolk immortals for control over the mortal world. Of course, when hell-born fiend-devils enter the picture, like those from the Hell of Euphoria, then all types of immortals in Titan Emperor Heaven will fight them, no matter what faction they come from.”

“I see. That explains why the Hell of Euphoria destroyed the Yore-Wilds Continent. Does the Hanging Mountain have powerful people in it still?”

“Of course. This brat just mentioned Young Master Shroud-Heaven, whose father is a minor figure in the Hanging Mountain. I would imagine that the Hanging Mountain takes orders directly from Titan Emperor Heaven nowadays. You see, it exists far out in the boundless void. It’s essentially an entire world, connected by wormholes to countless other Demonfolk continents. If I remember correctly, the patriarch who leads the Hanging Mountain should be on the verge of entering the Demolishing level.”

“The Demolishing level?” Yang Qi said. “Is that the level after Demi-Immortal?”

“Exactly. The nine steps of the Great Sage level all involve heaven-shaking, earth-toppling transformations. In the ninth step, you form immortal motes, which is how you break into the Demi-Immortal level. The Demi-Immortal level also has nine sub-levels. You have Lesser Demi-Immortals, Potent Demi-Immortals, Tyrant Demi-Immortals, et cetera. And after the Demi-Immortal is the Demolishing level. Once you reach that level, you're considered a true immortal.”

Feeling completely shaken by all the new information, Yang Qi asked, “What’s after the Demolishing level?”

“After the Demolishing level is the fabled Godmyth level. Although, I've never even heard of such an entity existing in our area of space-time, much less seen one. I'm sure there are higher levels after Godmyth, but I'm not sure of the details, and have no idea how to even practice such cultivation. If I ever become a Demi-Immortal, I’ll definitely try to make my way to an immortal plane and find a proper energy art to do so. Of course, if you gave me that energy art of yours, I wouldn’t have to worry about such things. How about this, Yang Qi: you give me that energy art, I’ll help you accomplish anything you want to accomplish. Kill gods. Slay devils. Whatever. In fact, we can start with the Crown Prince. What do you say?”

“I don’t think so,” Yang Qi replied. “What good would that do? I need to handle my own affairs. The Crown Prince is a stumbling block on my path of cultivation, and I need to kick him out of the way on my own. If I didn't do it myself, how could I proceed with my cultivation?”

Ghost Emperor Yama flashed a vicious smile. “Well fine then. But at least give me the full Primeval Infernal Deity Sutra.”

The truth was that Yang Qi wasn’t very worried about the ramifications of giving the Primeval Infernal Deity Sutra to Ghost Emperor Yama. It was a sutra after all, not an energy art, and definitely not the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth. With a thought, he sent countless magical symbols flowing into Ghost Emperor Yama’s mind.

Ghost Emperor Yama accepted them, and soon, his devil energy surged with even more might than before. Immense transformations began to occur within him as his every inhalation and exhalation caused terrifying devil energy to sweep about.

Some time passed, and he opened his eyes, which shone with the glow of enlightenment. “It’s too bad I didn’t have this a long time ago. If I had, I probably wouldn’t have ended up imprisoned. It really does contain enlightenment from a primeval infernal deity. It might not be a cultivation technique on its own, but it’s already pushed me to a higher level, and helped me to have a much deeper understanding of hell.”

At this point, Yang Qi rose to his feet. “I need to head back to Yanhaven now, and call my sworn siblings together to discuss matters at hand. By the way, how has Hua Fengfeng fared in reaching the Legendary level?”

“There’s good news on that front,” Yan Chenxing said. “She suffered untold hardships in the Minorbrilliance World, but she finally broke through. Right now she’s in rest and recovery.”

“Well that’s good to hear,” Yang Qi said. After returning to the Rich-Lush Continent, he had only been hit with one bit of bad news after another, so this information was most welcome.

“Yang Qi,” Ghost Emperor Yama said, “there’s no way you’re going to increase your cultivation base in such a short time. And it's a real pity that you keep refusing to strike a deal with me. Remember, I still have those sage motes. They would definitely give you the strength you need to fight the Crown Prince. He's in contact with an immortal plane, which means he can get immortal energy. With that level of power, he should be able to decimate just about any other Great Sage. At the very minimum, he’ll be a lot stronger than that piece of trash Great Sage Quake-Cloud was. Think about it! You couldn't even kill Great Sage Quake-Cloud, could you?”

“We’ll talk about that later,” Yang Qi said. “All I need to do is advance by two levels. As long as I'm in the Personal-Domain Transformation, I should be fine.”

“Personal Domain Transformation?” Ghost Emperor Yama chuckled. “Considering your energy arts are a gift from the legion of gods, just how strong will your personal domain be?”

“Wait and see,” Yang Qi replied. “If you're anxious to find out, you could always help me. What do you say?”

“I will, if it’s worth it for me.” Suddenly, his voice turned grim. “Don’t forget that you’re my prey.”

All of a sudden Chancellor Sun Moon jumped into the conversation. “Yang Qi, what level is your energy art? Don’t tell me it’s….”

“Yep, it’s a godly-class energy art!” Ghost Emperor Yama said. “It’s something you wouldn’t even see in the Yore-Wilds Continent. Only immortal planes would have godly-class energy arts. And I can guarantee that, at the very least, it’s a paramount godly energy art. Not even a lesser godly energy art could compare to it.”

1. Titan Emperor Heaven: translating it this way is a tiny spoiler, but necessary. Basically, the name uses one character out of the two characters that mean “titan”. Without the second character, the first character can be interpreted many ways, which led to me originally interpret it as “peace”, only to change it later. There is no other interpretation of the two-character combo besides “titan”, and no real way to hide the meaning until the “second character reveal”.

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