Chapter 32: Spoils of War

At a single word from Yang Qi, the Yang Clan’s soldiers and servants, more than a thousand people in total, swiftly and decisively began to search the entire mansion. First, they rounded up all the soldiers, servants, womenfolk and children, and held them in the central square at crossbow-point. If they tried to do anything, they could be put to death instantly.

Next, they began to pull out all the treasure and wealth present in the clan.

Any rich and powerful clan would have storehouses full of demon cores, demonling pelts, medicinal pills, jewels, metals and ores. Many such things weren’t in raw form but had been crafted into various luxury objects such as jewelry or furniture.

When Yang Qi saw the demon cores and medicinal pills piling up, he nodded in satisfaction. The level of wealth here was enough to completely replenish what the Yang Clan had lost.

When Chen Dalei saw his clan being cleared out, he couldn’t take it any longer and coughed up a huge mouthful of blood.

“Don't start coughing up blood now, Chen Dalei! I know that you have secret treasure stores.” Yang Qi chuckled. “Hurry up and spit out the details. If you do, I might spare your life.”

“Yang Qi, you villain! I’ll die before I say anything. I’ll never submit to a little bastard like you!” Chen Dalei didn’t seem willing to back down in the least bit.

“Not gonna talk!? Very stubborn I see. Fine, I guess I’ll just cripple your energy arts and ask someone else. I doubt everyone will be as tight-lipped as you.” Eyes flashing with sinister light, Yang Qi drew on his energy and prepared to strike Chen Dalei in the stomach.

“Don’t!” Chen Dalei shrieked, his eyes radiating terror. “Don’t cripple my martial arts! I’ll tell you where the treasure stores are. There’s a painting in my room that has all the secret tunnels painted on it in code.”

When it came to clan wealth versus personal strength, Chen Dalei knew which choice to make. In a world where respect was earned through strength, as long as you were strong, you could always get up in the world. But no amount of wealth could protect you if you weren’t strong enough. Considering the situation, Chen Dalei's best option was to buy time until the chief elders arrived. Handing over a bit of wealth to stay alive until then would definitely be worth it. After all, the Yang Clan had already earned their face and taken the treasure. Besides, the Chen Clan's chief elders were not the type to be trifled with, and the Yang Clan elders might not necessarily want to end up in a fight to the death.

In response, Yang Qi said, “Yang Lei, get over here!”

One of the soldiers stepped forward, a man in the sixth phase. He was a bastard son of the clan, but was talented in cultivation, and had thus risen to a leadership rank in the army. In the past, Yang Lei had disdained Yang Qi, but now, it was exactly the opposite. Dropping to his knee respectfully, he said, “Yes, Third Young Master?”

“Head to the clan lord’s room and search it thoroughly.”

Before long, Yang Lei found the painting in the room, which depicted all the secret tunnels leading to the treasure stores.

“Plunder all those storerooms!” Yang Qi ordered. Instantly, hundreds of soldiers began to make their way into the depths of the Chen Clan mansion, scouring one hidden room after another. The gold, jade, and other valuable objects they found nearly caused them to cough up vital energy.

At one point, Yang Lei hurried over and said, “Third Young Master, there’s one particularly large chamber in this direction.”

“Alright, let’s go search it.” Yang Qi headed deep into the Chen Clan mansion through a large tunnel. All sorts of precious jewels and pearls could be seen on the ground, but close examination revealed that many of them were booby-trapped with vicious snares and pitfalls. Pits, arrows, cages, darts… there almost seemed no end.

Thankfully, the map they had found included the information about the traps, making it as easy for them to traverse the tunnel as if they were walking down a simple path.

“Third Young Master, there's a treasure storehouse at the end of this tunnel. We already opened the door, but haven’t taken any of the treasure. We wanted to make sure you had a chance to take inventory first. There are also three granaries filled with energy convergence pills that you should inspect. At the very least, there are around ten million energy convergence pills.” Yang Lei seemed to be bubbling with excitement at how the Yang Clan was finally on the path to glory again.

Yang Qi simply strode down the tunnel casually. Even if traps sprung, he had the power of five ancient megamammoths, putting him at almost the level of a Master of Energy. Therefore, a few puny traps were of little concern to him.

At the end of the tunnel, there was a metal door fully three inches thick, beyond which was a room of sparkling pearls and jewels.

There were also plenty of ingredients needed to make luxury items, as well as demon cores, all of them of the highest quality. In one location was a stash of medicinal pills, stored in a box crafted of cold jade, designed for replenishing energy and blood, and also increasing intelligence and latent talents.

The most common type of medicinal pill were energy convergence pills, which were often used like food among people who cultivated energy arts. However, there were also various miraculous pills with unique qualities.

For example, there was the Golden Nine Transformations Pill that Yang Qi had acquired in the past.

Like many other things, medicinal pills were classed according to their quality.

Yang Qi had seen low, mid, and high-grade pills, but never anything beyond that. He had only heard of such things. Even the Golden Nine Transformations Pill he had acquired was only high-grade, although that meant it was very difficult to produce.

Energy convergence pills, of which there were many types, were low-grade.

Everything in this treasure storehouse was mid-grade or high-grade, which went to show the spectacular reserves the Chen Clan had built up. There were demon cores from both seventh and eighth phase demonlings, each of which was worth hundreds of thousands or even millions.

“What’s that?” Yang Qi said, looking toward the center of the storehouse, where there was a statue of some sort of deity, with all sorts of spirits prostrating to it. It was none other than the founding ancestor of the Chen Clan, upon whose chest hung a mirror carved from jade. Its lustrous surface was carved with lightning, clouds, dragons and tigers, all of which were very lifelike and made it seem like it was a window into another world.

Yang Qi took the mirror and then forced Chen Dalei to explain what it was.

“Chiliocosm Mirror! It’s our Chiliocosm Mirror!” [1]

After all, Yang Qi had Chen Dalei thoroughly under control, and could make him live a life worse than death if he wanted to. When Chen Dalei saw that precious treasure being ripped off of the statue of his clan’s most revered founding ancestor, he shook physically, and yet could do absolutely nothing in response.

“What does it do?”

“It’s a precious treasure that has been handed down from generation to generation in the Chen Clan. You can use it to reveal the weaknesses of any sort of martial discipline. Just look into it, practice your forms, and the mirror will correct the mistakes….”

“Well, that could be useful. Correct the flaws in one's martial disciplines…?”

Yang Qi put the mirror away. Although he was fairly sure Chen Dalei was hiding more information, he didn't feel like squabbling at the moment. 

“Clear this place out!”

“Aaaiiiieee!”

Even as the words left his mouth, he heard an agonized shriek from upstairs. It was faint, but his ears were remarkably sensitive, and he could tell that it came from one of his clan's soldiers.

‘What happened?’

Instantly, he became a streak of motion that headed back to the tunnel.

As soon as he reached the door, he saw a dozen or so soldiers whose tendons had been severed and were now laying on the ground, unable to move. The perpetrator was a group of five young people, specifically, three men and two women. One of the young men held a long sword in his hand, that he was currently pointing at the heart of one of the captains among the soldiers. 

“Listen, scum. Get your third young master out here. I have some questions for him.”

One of the young women detected Yang Qi’s arrival, and quickly said, “He’s already here, Elder Brother.”

Five pairs of eyes immediately came to rest on Yang Qi.

The young man with the sword lifted his chin and stared coldly at Yang Qi, the way that an emperor would one of his lowly subjects.

“You’re Yang Qi?” he asked. “Here to plunder the Chen Clan?” 

Yang Qi looked them up and down but couldn’t tell who they were or where they were from. “Yeah, I'm Yang Qi. Who are you people? And why have you hurt my men?” 

The young man let out a harrumph. “These scum, these people who are lower than slaves, dared to block my path. The fact that I didn't kill them is actually giving a lot of face to your clan. We're disciples from the House of Spring and Autumn.” The young man swept his sword through the air, causing droplets of blood to fly off of it. “We’re just passing through Yanhaven, and are a bit short on funds. Since you’re plundering this clan, we decided to come ask for some spare change. How about this: give us all of the Chen Clan’s valuable treasures, and we’ll write you a receipt. If you have any problems in the future, you can just contact the House of Spring and Autumn and say we sent you. This little bit of wealth can establish you a connection to the House of Spring and Autumn, and if you ask around, everyone knows that we take care of our friends.”

‘House of Spring and Autumn?’ Yang Qi thought. He knew that they were a big, domineering sect in the Rich-Lush Continent. Although they weren’t powerful enough to be called an institute, they were by no means weak. They were even more powerful than the House of Shadowblight, so much so that the Yang Clan couldn’t even compare to them. In fact, all the clans of Yanhaven put together would still be meaningless to them. 

Not even ten Yanhavens could equal the House of Spring and Autumn.

In response to Yang Qi’s silence, the young people laughed. 

Then, one of the young men noticed the Chiliocosm Mirror Yang Qi held, and was shaken inwardly. 

“Is that mirror made from Nine Heavens godjade?” he asked. “What’s a treasure like that doing here? Hand it over.”

“What? Nine Heavens godjade?”

“Something from the Nine Heavens?”

“Some divine jade that fell from the heavens? How could something like that be here?” All five of these young people were shaken to the core by what they were seeing.

“Alright, brat,” the young man with the sword said. “Hand over that mirror as tribute to us, this instant.”

“You wouldn’t even be able to use that thing,” another of the young men added, “and what's more, it will definitely bring trouble your way. Divine objects like that belong in the hands of people like us, from mighty sects like the House of Spring and Autumn. You don’t have the character or quality to deserve to touch it.”

“Exactly,” one of the young women said, shaking her head. “You would never be able to use divine jade. Hand it over to us right now. And give us the rest of the Chen Clan’s wealth as well. From now on, your Yang Clan can be considered servants of the House of Spring and Autumn. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of you going forward.”

Flicking his hand impatiently, one of the young men said, “What are you waiting for, punk? We’ve already promised to let your clan be our servants. This is probably the best thing that will ever happen to you in your entire life. Hand over that treasure and then kowtow to us in thanks! Oh, your father just became a Master of Energy, right? Call him over to offer us thanks as well.”

As far as these people from the House of Spring and Autumn were concerned, the people of the Yang Clan were little more than nouveau riche country folk, people that they could frighten easily into submission.

“Really? Kowtow in thanks?” Yang Qi suddenly seemed to stand even more straight and tall than before. “You House of Spring and Autumn disciples are pretty aggressive, aren’t you? Fine. Prepare to go to hell.”

His words were spoken so coldly that, despite the burning sun overhead, it felt like the dead of winter in the Chen Clan mansion. Everyone could feel the killing intent swirling around them.

“What?”

The disciples from the House of Spring and Autumn almost couldn’t believe their ears. As for the young man with the sword, he said, “What did you just say? I dare you to repeat it!”

However, Yang Qi didn’t say a single word. He responded with action.

RUMBLE!

A fist strike roared like the wind directly toward the young man's throat.


1. Chiliocosm is a term from Buddhism which means ‘a collection of many worlds’.

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