The lazy, white-robed Chaoguang was both extremely strong, and profoundly mysterious. There was a strange power within him, to the point that his Ballad of the Dao Testimonial could actually tug at the hearts and minds of the most powerful of experts, pushing them into an empty state of enlightenment in which their dao would begin to conform to his.
Unfortunately for him, now that Yang Qi was a Yin-Yang Legendary, there was absolutely no way that Chaoguang could struggle against him. He was like a baby chicken in the face of a roc with a ninety-thousand-kilometer wingspan.
He struggled, causing shafts of divine light to emanate out from him, and yet he couldn’t even budge within Yang Qi’s grasp. In the blink of an eye, all of the shafts of light shattered.
Yang Qi ignored his struggling. After all, he just wanted him to sing his Ballad of the Dao Testimonial, and watch him practice his cultivation for enlightenment purposes.
“Listen, Chaoguang, I know that you come from some powerful organization. It’s obvious you’ve been plotting against me, but sadly, you’re only a Half Sage, so you’re not strong enough to do anything. Not even Great Sages qualify to scheme against me, so what makes you think you do? Tell me where you’re from. You work for me now, so if you just tell the truth, I’ll forgive everything from the past. I can tell you're a top genius, and are worthy of help. In fact, if you could become a Great Sage, you could be a big help to me.”
Chaoguang looked at Yang Qi, then shook his head in defeat. He knew he was too weak, and that if Yang Qi wanted to, he could force the truth out of him. It was obvious that Yang Qi’s cultivation base was nearly as strong as a Great Sage’s, which was far too powerful to fight against.
If he did, he would end up crushed into a pulp.
After a moment, he composed himself, then went on to speak in a somewhat arrogant tone, saying, “I'm from the Spirit Origin Association. My name is Nie Chaoguang.” 
When some of the other mercenaries heard his words, they rose to their feet in shock.
“What?” Blademaster Thunderbolt said in shock. “You're Nie Chaoguang? From the Spirit Origin Association? The type of genius they say only appears once in ten thousand years?! According to the rumors, you acquired the legacy of the immortal Patriarch Chaoguang, and you're just on the verge of reaching the Great Sage level! Why did you join a mercenary squad working for the Grand-Wilds Mansion? The Spirit Origin Association is just as powerful as the Grand-Wilds Mansion is!”
“Because I was chasing him,” Nie Chaoguang said, pointing at Yang Qi, his eyes flashing with intense light. “He caused a big scene in our territory, and stole our Heaven-Dominating Golden Swordbreaker. I had no choice but to try to get it back! The damned silkpants son of one of our prime elders basically handed over the swordbreaker to him. You know, not even I could control that swordbreaker. It's really meant for Great Sages. I warned them over and over again not to give it to that brat, but they overruled me. And now look what happened!”
“So, that’s how it is,” Yang Qi said, thinking back to how he had been surrounded by the Spirit Origin Association people when he was trying to break open the Space Portal. After taking the Heaven-Dominating Golden Swordbreaker, he had simply left. Unbeknownst to him, this Nie Chaoguang had actually followed him. Considering everything, it was obvious that he couldn't let him go.
Yang Qi had offended the Quake-Dawn Cathedral and the Grand-Wilds Mansion, and on top of it all, the Spirit Origin Association. How could he possibly take them all on by himself?
Of course, he wasn't interested in the details of Nie Chaoguang’s organization, just his technique. “Where did your Ballad of the Dao Testimonial come from?”
“Honestly, I'm surprised that you can defend against it,” Nie Chaoguang replied. “In fact, you simply erased the sealing mark from your soul and sea of consciousness. I really admire you for that. I acquired the Ballad of the Dao Testimonial from an immortal stone I found. It was left behind by an ancient immortal, and surpasses even the Demi-Immortal level. When I sing the song, anyone who hears it will be touched by the dao will of the song. It will mark their soul, and force them into a state of enlightenment. Afterward, they will actually lose control of their soul, which will come under my control. Then, I’ll gain enlightenment of their techniques, cultivation base, and vital energy. And that, of course, will enable me to achieve meteoric advancement.”
“Hold on, Nie Chaoguang,” Ghost Emperor Yama blurted. “Doesn’t that mean you’re a missionary!?”
“A missionary?” For the briefest moment, Nie Chaoguang’s eyes flashed with panic before he managed to cover it up.
“Missionaries come along every once in a while,” Ghost Emperor Yama explained. “Usually they acquire the will of an immortal from a higher plane. Because they conform to the magical laws of the lower planes, they can travel to places the immortals cannot. After all, if an immortal goes too low, they can destroy the planes they enter, or suffer backlash attacks from the magical laws of the universe. However, some immortals who wish to reach a higher level, who wish to struggle with the legion of gods for the faith of people below, will defy heaven, and establish sects in the lower planes. By gathering followers from among the mortals, they can build the power of faith, which they can use to achieve breakthroughs to higher levels. Anyway, because such immortals cannot travel freely in the lower planes, they often appoint missionaries to help them. 
“And you’re a missionary, aren’t you Nie Chaoguang? The will of an immortal from a higher plane looked upon you with favor, and is using you to gather believers in the lower planes. Eventually, you plan to establish your own sect, your own school of thought, and gather a flock of people to worship that immortal. Your Ballad of the Dao Testimonial is a way to gather power, a holy hymn of whatever church you wish to found. Few people can resist it, because it really does contain the profundity of heaven and earth. It is music created by an immortal who has gained enlightenment of all creation, and therefore, not even Great Sages can resist its temptation. Thankfully, I pursue the dao of hell; I use slaughter, destruction, darkness and gloom as my pillars. I instinctively reject the truths of immortal energy.”
‘I see,’ Yang Qi thought. As it turned out, Nie Chaoguang had been touched by immortal destiny, and was the representative of some incredibly powerful figure from an immortal plane.
“Well then, why don’t you sing the full song?” Yang Qi said. “I’d love to see what profound truths of heaven and earth it contains.”
“Are you crazy, Yang Qi?!” Ghost Emperor Yama exclaimed. “That Ballad of the Dao Testimonial contains the will of an immortal! Once it gets into you, it will only burrow deeper and deeper. Eventually, the song will connect you to the person singing it, and your soul will become theirs. You’ll be completely and utterly possessed, a true believer! It will be profoundly harmful to your cultivation.”
“I’m not worried about it,” Yang Qi replied. “Let’s see how strong this immortal’s will is. It’s like the saying goes: the valiant go into the mountains even though they know tigers lurk therein. My current state of enlightenment is lacking, and ordinary methods aren’t going to help. How else am I supposed to reach the sixth Legendary transformation in less than a hundred days? And how else am I going to win our little bet and defeat the Crown Prince?”
To achieve the breakthrough he needed, Yang Qi was willing to take some risks. As was written in the Art of War: Place someone on a field of death, and he will fight to live.
Ghost Emperor Yama shook his head. “Well, if that's your decision, I'm not going to get in your way. It’s going to be up to your own willpower. You bear the will of the legion of gods, so perhaps you can actually wrest control of the will of an immortal.”
“Very well,” Yang Qi said. “In that case, I'm going into seclusion. The rest of you, be on your way. Continue your work with Sage Monarch City. Ghost Emperor Yama, would you mind giving the Fierceblood Falx and Black Golden Dragon-Smelting Cauldron to my father?” Waving his hand, he sent the two sage weapons over to Ghost Emperor Yama.
Ghost Emperor Yama caught them and shook his head again. “A waste. A complete and utter waste. Your father is only in Quinary Lifeseizing, and you're giving him a sage weapon? I doubt he’ll even be able to use it.”
“Stop worrying all the time. I placed seeds of power in both weapons. Anyone who absorbs the seeds will acquire some power as a legacy from me. It should be more than enough to control the cauldron and the falx.”
“You know what, chatting with you is really boring,” Ghost Emperor Yama said. “Don't forget, if you screw up, I’ll go in, disperse the will of that immortal, and save you. But that will count as you losing our bet, and you’ll have no choice but to give me the cultivation method for the Infernal Deity Spear.” Of course, there was no way that Ghost Emperor Yama had forgotten about the bet.
“That goes without saying,” Yang Qi said. “For the time being, don't allow anyone to disturb me. If I fail because of something like that, then the bet’s off.”
“Don’t worry. Until the hundred-day-period is over, nobody will disturb you. Do you really think that I, Ghost Emperor Yama, earned my reputation for no reason?” With that, he turned to leave. “Good thing I have those infernal king sutras. With some extra enlightenment, I’ll be in an even better place to deal with the people from the Quake-Dawn Cathedral.”
After he was gone, Yang Qi could sense warding magics falling into place to cover everything for hundreds of kilometers. Clearly, not even a Great Sage would be able to break past Ghost Emperor Yama’s defensive measures very easily.
“It's time, Nie Chaoguang. Let’s see if I can fight back against the will of this immortal. You might think of yourself as the missionary of an immortal, but in the end, you’re a puppet. The only way to truly practice cultivation is with a will of your own.” He waved his hand. “Start singing the Ballad of the Dao Testimonial.”
“Alright,” Nie Chaoguang said. “The Dawn Breaks, the Dao of Time Immemorial; Immortal Motes are Refined, Dao Motes form the Web of Heaven….” One after another, the words entered Yang Qi’s sea of consciousness, like pearls dropping into water.
In the shortest of moments, Yang Qi was once again wrapped up in the dangerous state of enlightenment that came with the Ballad of the Dao Testimonial.
Time passed, one day after another.
Nothing much had changed in Sage Monarch City. Everyone was working hard on their cultivation, trying to achieve the next breakthrough.
However, strange things were happening in the sky above the Demi-Immortal Institute.
The institute had been rebuilt, and looked even more glorious and beautiful than before. It abounded with spirit energy. It was currently dawn, but for some strange reason, the sunlight was as blue as a sapphire.
Many students looked up at the blue shafts of light, and grand elders from the Minorcosm World flew out to see what was happening.
Mountains shook as a blue space-time wormhole opened up, and a young woman stepped out: Yun Hailan.
1. Nie Chaoguang: Nie is a surname which also means “whisper”. Chao means “super, surpass, exceed, super-, ultra-” and Guang means “light”. Remember, his surname was actually introduced in chapter 279, where he used a move that actually contained the same characters as his given name. Incidentally “Nie” is pronounced “nyeh” (rhymes with “meh” but also has a Y sound at the beginning.
2. The word for missionary here is the common word used for missionaries, preachers, evangelists, etc. It literally means “a person who spreads/passes/conveys/transmits the dao/way/path”, but has been used for a long time in China to refer to Christian missionaries and preachers.