There wasn’t a trace of arrogance in Chancellor Sun Moon’s voice.
Yang Qi had just killed eighteen Great Sages, plus the Crown Prince and Yun Hailan. He had also seriously injured Chancellor Demi-Immortal. The fight ended up as a clear rout, causing profound shock to fill the hearts of everyone who had witnessed the spectacle.
The area surrounding Sage Monarch City was occupied by countless elite energy artists, members of famous clans, and imperial princes from the former Sage Ancestor Dynasty, and all of them were trembling with fear with the thought that Yang Qi might exterminate them.
“Patriarch Yang Qi, we were given no alternative but to follow the orders of that vile Crown Prince. Please, please don’t kill us.” That was what the congregated princes, dukes, and other officials were saying.
“Prince Wei, please step forward,” Yang Qi said coolly. “Your emperor willingly followed the Crown Prince in his effort to kill me. In the end, I cut him down. You personally witnessed the result of his stubbornness.
“However, I’ll never forget how you helped me, Prince Wei. So why not let bygones be bygones? The Sage Ancestor Dynasty is no more, but I would like to invite you to join the Sage Monarch Society. Serve me in my effort to unite the continent, and we can avoid years upon years of bloodshed and war. Together, we can turn this continent into a true holy land for cultivation. Furthermore, I plan to send forces into the Western Continent to subjugate it. The six Great Sages from there are already dead, leaving their lands leaderless. Their spirit stones are essentially ripe for the taking.”
Prince Wei immediately dropped to his knees and kowtowed. “Patriarch Yang Qi, we’re absolutely ready to follow your every order.”
At this point, a Half Sage stepped forward. “Patriarch Yang Qi, a certain disciple of my clan, Gu Fenxian, once dared to insult your dignity. We’ve already executed his parents, as well as everyone else from his branch of the clan.”
He was none other than the clan lord of the Gu Clan, and he was holding a pair of heads, both of them dripping with blood. They were none other than Gu Fenxian’s parents, who the clan lord had killed as an offering to Yang Qi, in the hopes that he would spare their clan. 
“I see,” Yang Qi said. Waving his hand, he transformed the severed heads into nothing more than ash. “In that case, I’ll spare your Gu Clan, and cancel my plans to plunder your wealth and execute you down to the last member.”
Breathing a sigh of relief, Clan Lord Gu said, “Many thanks for your magnanimity, Patriarch Yang Qi. Let your glory shine like the sun over all of the Rich-Lush Continent.”
Pontifex Flame and Houselord Spring-Autumn were so excited they were trembling. After all, their sons were sworn brothers of Yang Qi, and obviously, that meant that they would benefit greatly in the future. ‘Can you believe this is happening? From here on out, our prospects are limitless….’
Hua Tianxiong was laughing heartily, as were many of the other people who had chosen to follow Yang Qi. All of them knew that they had picked the right side in the conflict, and as a result, had bright futures ahead of them.
“Pontifex Flame. Houselord Spring-Autumn. Step forward.”
The two immediately presented themselves. Waving his hand, Yang Qi sent them a pile of spirit stones. “I hereby grant you with sovereign-grade spirit stones, as well as some sagely-grade. Henceforth, you are members of the Sage Monarch Society, and are tasked with turning our continent into a prosperous nation.”
“Yes sir!” they replied.
“Your first mission will be to absorb all of the clans and sects into the Sage Monarch Society. And I give you the authority to execute anyone who refuses to comply.”
“Take the Sun Moon Institute to the Western Continent. Relieve them of their spirit stones and wealth, including the reserves of the Sky-Heaven Dynasty, and bring everything here to Sage Monarch City. Chancellor Sun Moon, you provide them with support. Considering there are no Great Sages in the Western Continent anymore, you’ll essentially be invincible there.”
Chancellor Sun Moon looked a bit hesitant. “But… the Western Continent is controlled by the Hanging Mountain, and the Hanging Mountain rules over lots of other planes. Considering all of the Great Sages from the Western Continent were killed, they’ll definitely send more.”
“We’ll be fine. Ghost Emperor Yama is also here to stand guard. If the Hanging Mountain sends more Great Sages, you two kill them. Besides, I’ll be heading to the Hanging Mountain shortly myself. I also need to go deal with the Quake-Dawn Cathedral, considering one of their members tried to kill me.”
“Picking a fight with the Quake-Dawn Cathedral might not be the best move, Yang Qi,” said Ghost Emperor Yama. “You need to be careful. The old-timers there are likely close to the Demi-Immortal level, and you’re not even a Great Sage. At the most, you can handle low-level Great Sages in a fight, but anything higher than that, and you’ll get killed.”
“I’ll be a Great Sage soon,” Yang Qi said with a faint smile.
“Each step within the Great Sage level is more difficult than the previous. You have a tough road ahead of you. Don't rush things, or you’ll end up killing yourself, and then all my hopes for getting that technique will be dashed.”
“I won’t be dying by heavenly tribulation, nor by the hands of any enemies, so just be patient.” Turning to his sworn brothers and sisters, he said, “Very well, the time has come to unite the continent. Brothers and sisters, come. I hereby appoint you as the founding parliament of grand elders of the Sage Monarch Society. You now have the power to oversee all affairs in the continent.”
“Yes, Brother….” His sworn brothers and sisters rose to their feet to comply. There was no doubt that, at the moment, they were the most important allies to Yang Qi. They had sworn to live and die with him, and therefore, he didn’t need to question their loyalties. “In a moment, I’ll help bolster your cultivation bases, making you even stronger. Come, all of you enter my God Legion Paradise!”
As they did, they were surrounded by holy light that extruded the impurities within them, and calmed their minds.
Without any hesitation, Yang Qi fed sagely-grade spirit stones into them, filling their seas of energy with power.
Yang Qi was essentially giving them brand new foundations, ensuring that they would be able to leave the Lifeseizing level and become Legendaries. Of course, the actual breakthrough would need to come from their own ability and enlightenment; Yang Qi couldn’t force that.
However, they would now have a much higher likelihood of succeeding. There was almost no doubt at all that they would eventually reach that fabled level of the ancient energy warriors.
As was very well known, in ancient times, Legendaries were known as energy warriors, Great Sages were called saints, Demi-Immortals were half-immortals, and Demolishers were immortals.
In terms of the levels beyond Demolishing, they were not commonly understood or talked about.
Half a month passed by. Word of Yang Qi’s deeds had already spread throughout the Rich-Lush Continent, and countless experts traveled the lands to consolidate the power of the various sects and clans, including the other institutes. Of course, there were people in the Sea God Institute and True Dragon Institute who resisted, but they were executed.
For a brief time, a rain of death and carnage struck the Rich-Lush Continent.
Many former members of the Crown Prince Society were killed, and countless other rebels were imprisoned and magically sealed.
After another half-month, things stabilized. Considering that the Demi-Immortal Institute and the former Sage Ancestor Dynasty’s Capital City were located in the very center of the Rich-Lush Continent, where the spirit energy was most abundant, it made sense for Yang Qi to relocate Sage Monarch City there. The terrain was adjusted as necessary to accommodate the change. Also, space-time wormholes were set up in the primal-chaos paleo-energy beneath the continent, allowing for the harvesting of energy from immortal planes, which further went to strengthen the city.
As a result, Sage Monarch City continued to grow and expand. It was ruled by a parliament of elders staffed by his sworn siblings and his father, who made the decisions about resources, population, governance and the like. Yang Qi didn’t need to personally handle such matters.
Another half-month went by, and Chancellor Sun Moon returned with Hua Tianxiong, carrying abundant spirit stones and wealth from the Western Continent, as well as magical treasures and slaves.
Considering all of the work that was underway in the Rich-Lush Continent, slave labor was a very useful asset. To energy arts cultivators, spirit stones were like food, and the more one had, the more one could accomplish.
With an influx of spirit stones, it meant that the inhabitants of the Rich-Lush Continent wouldn’t need to be so dependent on energy convergence pills. It was such a significant improvement that it was hard to describe in words.
There had been a lot of fighting with the locals in the Western Continent. The Blight Legion Church put up the biggest resistance, and a huge battle was fought there which ended with the church being eliminated. The Western Continent was in very poor shape now. It was almost as if hordes of ravenous locusts had swept through them. Strangely, no one from the Hanging Mountain ever showed up.
Meanwhile, the Sage Monarch Society handled matters in the Rich-Lush Continent. They put an end to demon-devils of all sorts, exterminating the devil kings of the seventy-two grottos, and the demon kings of the thirty-six caverns.
The old evils were being rooted out, allowing the common people to live lives of prosperity and peace.
Roads and canals were built, stretching out from Sage Monarch City in all directions, making travel within the continent that much easier.
Yang Qi made the decision to split the Rich-Lush Continent into nine prefectures, each of which was ruled by an expert energy artist. 
A month passed, and the continent was in a very stable situation, and had reached new heights of glory. The balance of power between the four institutes and the imperial dynasty was now a thing of the past.
Chancellor Sun Moon was currently the strongest member of the parliament.
Every day, caravans would head to the Western Continent to open up new spirit stone mines.
Shipment after shipment of spirit stones flowed into the Rich-Lush Continent, and specifically Sage Monarch City. As of this moment, the Yang Clan was now the richest and most powerful force in the entire continent.
If someone could stand at a very high vantage point and look down at the Rich-Lush Continent, they would see a very flourishing place. Furthermore, there was power stirring in the depths of the lands, something that sought to expand, to change the continent from a place with a curved heaven and flat earth into a planet like the Quake-Dawn Continent.
2. The “Nine Prefectures” or “Nine Provinces” is a poetic name for ancient China, which, during certain times in history, was made up of nine actual administrative divisions. In these Chinese fantasy novels, “nine prefectures/provinces” is sometimes just a synonym for “the world”. In this chapter you can see the term used literally.