“You heard me, sir,” Luo Hun said. “I'm afraid the Yang Clan moved too quickly, and the Chen Clan simply couldn’t stand up to them. They’ve been completely wiped out. Even we couldn’t have taken out the combination of the Chen Clan and the House of Shadowblight so quickly. This Yang Qi is on the same level as a Master of Energy. If I fought him right now, I would definitely meet defeat.”
Luo Hun could only sigh at the fact that the kid whose martial arts he had crippled only a few weeks ago was now on the level of a grandmaster.
It was almost like a dream. Or a nightmare.
“Yang Zhan is now a Master of Energy, and his son is essentially on the same level….” Yan Gufeng was so shaken that he almost wanted to go out that very instant and raze the Yang Clan to the ground.
The main thing holding him back was that he knew that if he attacked the Yang Clan without an ironclad reason, the other rich and powerful clans in the city would rise to their defense. Yanhaven was heading toward chaos, and that was not to mention that other cities in the area were eyeing them covetously, and could theoretically attack them at any time.
Also holding Yan Gufeng back was Yang Zhan’s cultivation base, and the fact that Yang Qi seemed to have been possessed by a thousand-year-old demon. Even if the Yan Clan mobilized all of their forces to try to take them out, they would probably lose eighty percent of their men to achieve victory. And a victory like that was anything but a victory.
Yan Gufeng was struggling to contain his rage, and at the same time, was overwhelmed with regret. If he had known things would end up like this, he would have killed Yang Qi days ago. “What do you think we should do, Mr. Sun?”
“We’re in a moment of extreme crisis,” Mr. Sun said, rising to his feet. “City Magistrate, you can’t go to war with the Yang Clan right now. Maybe you could wipe them out, but Yang Qi and Yang Zhan would likely escape, and that could cause major problems in the future. But if you don’t wipe them out, then sooner or later, Yanhaven is going to end up being called Yanghaven. And in that case, you can forget about your thousand-year-dream. Very well. I’ll head immediately to my Master’s school and find an expert to help. City Magistrate, you absolutely must not do anything rash in the next few days. The Chen Clan will definitely send people to try to deal with the Yang Clan. And the House of Shadowblight won’t let this go either. The more problems they cause for the Yang Clan, the better your chances of winning in the end.”
“Well said,” replied Yan Gufeng. “Alright, I won’t mobilize a single man from my clan. And I’ll send messages to all the Yan Clan experts outside the city to return immediately! Originally I didn’t want to get the clan’s council of chief elders involved, but at the moment, it seems I have no other choice.”
“In that case, I’ll take my leave. My next task is to convince Master to send someone to help you achieve your thousand-year-dream.” Mr. Sun vanished in a streak of light.
Yan Gufeng stared off in the direction of the Yang Clan, his murderous aura caused the images of sabers, blades, spears, axes, and other weapons to appear in the air behind him. There were even devil-ghost designs and patterns.
Before long, numerous orders were being sent out from the city magistrate’s mansion.
Meanwhile, back in the Yang Clan mansion, the two young women from the House of Spring and Autumn had already divulged all the details of the Four Seasons Swordplay. There were all sorts of stances and forms, as well as complex descriptions of how to send energy flowing through one’s meridians. There were many things to consider, even ways of training the soul. On top of all that, one needed to perform special breathing exercises to absorb the quintessence of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. It was a massive amount of information that left the four men of the Yang Clan with heads spinning.
After making sure he had all the information memorized, Yang Zhan once again immobilized the two young women.
“Father, what do we do with them now?” Yang Yunchong said, immediately touching on the most important issue at hand. “If we leave them alive, it could lead to a major disaster.”
Apparently, he thought it might be best to kill them.
“Imprison them for now,” Yang Qi said. “It wouldn’t be appropriate to just kill them. Besides, they might be able to give us more information about the House of Spring and Autumn. And with their martial arts crippled, they won't be able to cause many problems.”
“Alright, Third Brother,” Yang Yunchong said with a nod. “You’ve clearly thought things through.”
At the moment, everything seemed to revolve around Yang Qi. Even Yang Zhan seemed to be under the impression that his son would soon surpass him in all ways.
Yang Zhan took the two women to the clan dungeon, then returned. Eyes glittering, he said, “Qi’er, what exactly happened to you when you got struck by lightning? There’s no way that a bit of body tempering could have gotten you to your current level.”
Yang Qi took a long moment before answering. “It’s a bit too embarrassing to talk about, Father. I’ll explain eventually. But I have a lot of secrets, and I don’t want to put the clan in harm’s way. I hope you can understand.”
“If that’s the case, I won’t push you any further. But if you've been possessed by a thousand-year-old demon, then your rapid cultivation advancement could end with you losing your mind and becoming a demon. You wouldn’t even be human at that point.”
Such things had actually happened in the Rich-Lush Continent before; when people were possessed, the end result was always tragic. And right now, anyone who had seen what was happening with Yang Qi would suspect that he had been possessed. However, Yang Zhan could see that Yang Qi still had all of his faculties, and didn’t have the slightest bit of demon energy on him. In those respects, it didn’t seem at all like he had been possessed.
Suddenly, Yang Qi had an idea. “Father, what if you start secretly spreading rumors that I've been possessed by an old demon? That might do a lot to prevent people from finding out the truth.”
“So that they don’t realize how powerful you really are?” Yang Zhan mused. “Make them let their guard down?” He nodded. “I have an even better idea. I’ll make a big deal about buying some medicinal pills designed to suppress evil demons. Then, let others start spreading rumors.”
“Perfect,” Yang Qi said. “Another upside is that people who have it out for me will be more inclined to wait until the supposed demon tries to take control of me before they make a move. Little do they know that the longer they wait, the higher my cultivation base will get. Once I reach the eighth phase, not even a Master of Energy will be a threat to me.”
“Father,” Yang Yunchong said, “we need to get ready. It will only be a few more days before the Chen Clan’s council of chief elders arrives, as well as their subsidiary branches. Perhaps you should send a message to our own council of chief elders and ask them to take control of the situation.”
“There’s no need,” Yang Qi said. “The chief elders are working hard at their cultivation, so we shouldn’t disturb them. We should be able to handle the coming difficulties. The strongest of the Chen Clan chief elders is a mere Masters of Energy. I’ll intercept them on their way to the city, kill a few and slow them down. That will solve our biggest problem.”
“You can do that?” Yang Zhan exclaimed. “Excellent. Kill as many experts from the Chen Clan as you can, outside of the city where nobody will know what happened. By now, the Yan Clan must have been informed that we exterminated the Chen Clan, and are probably thinking of making a move, but holding back for fear of causing problems for themselves. I know exactly what kind of person Yan Gufeng is. He’s probably recruiting some top experts to help deal with us, and is waiting until the fight with the Chen Clan resumes again. If we can neutralize the threat of the Chen Clan experts before they get here, the Yan Clan will get confused, and we’ll definitely be able to secure a victory.”
“Father, allow me to help third brother with this,” Yang Yunchong said.
Yang Qi waved his hand dismissively. “There’s no need. Father, you stay here in the mansion. It's the safest place to be right now. I’ll go ambush the Chen Clan experts. Not only will that push my cultivation higher, it will also make sure that our Yang Clan is in the safest position possible. With a Master of Energy on guard, who would dare to launch a sudden attack? Even Yan Gufeng would hesitate before attacking us on our home ground.”
Yang Zhan sighed. “You’re absolutely right. What an incredible son! Can you see all of this, Greensura? Before long, your son is going to surpass me.”
The Greensura was Yang Qi’s mother, who had left soon after he was born.
She hadn’t died, but rather, had supposedly left to work on her cultivation. She was a strange woman who remained married to Yang Zhan for only a year, gave birth to Yang Qi, and then vanished.
Yang Yunchong and Yang Hualong were actually Yang Qi’s half-brothers, whose mother was a previous wife of Yang Zhan. Despite being half-brothers, they were all very close with each other, and there was never any friction between them.
After hearing his mother’s name, Yang Qi said nervously, “Father, what exactly happened with mother? Where is she now? I've never even seen her. When I was young, you always said that when my cultivation base was high enough, you would tell me. Now I'm almost a Master of Energy. Don’t you think the time has come?”
Yang Qi had always wondered about his mother, who had been a mystery to him ever since he was young.
“Your mother….” A look of pain could be seen on Yang Zhan’s face. “She’s wrapped up in a monumental secret. The truth is that we were fated to only be together for a single year, and during that time, I never pressed her for information. I didn’t want to be privy to any secrets that might bring disaster to our clan. That said, your mother is a very important person. How about this: When you break out of the Energy Arts level and into the Lifeseizing level, I’ll tell you everything I know.”
“Okay….” Yang Qi said. Sighing, he continued, “If you’re that reluctant to talk about it, it must be something pretty important. I’ll work as hard as I can to push my cultivation base higher.”
“Father,” Yang Yunchong said, “aren’t you setting the mark a bit too high? In the Rich-Lush Continent, Masters of Energy aren’t uncommon, but we almost never see Lifeseizers.”
Yang Zhan smiled wryly. “That’s because to Lifeseizers, the rest of us are like bugs, even Masters of Energy. And there are some things in life that can be dangerous for bugs to know about.”
Yang Qi nodded. “Alright, father. Well, I'm going to head out to take care of the Chen Clan experts.” With that, he turned to leave.
“Hold on,” Yang Zhan said. “You still have some time on your hands. Before you leave, why don’t we try out the Chiliocosm Mirror.”
Yang Qi took out the Chiliocosm Mirror he had acquired at the Chen Clan, which the House of Spring and Autumn disciples had said was made from Nine Heavens godjade. Yang Qi still had no idea exactly what the mirror did.
Waving his hand, he sent the mirror flying over to Yang Zhan, who grabbed it. Of course, considering Yang Zhan had been at odds with the Chen Clan for years, it was only natural that he knew exactly what this terrifying object could do.
“What an incredible mirror,” he murmured. Rubbing its surface, he sent a bit of true energy into it.
When he did, transformations of the seasons appeared, such as the spring rain, summer lightning, autumn frost, and winter snow. There was also a male figure practicing sword forms.
Obviously, this was the Four Seasons Swordplay, and the man, Yang Zhan.
As Yang Zhan stood there, it almost seemed like he had sunk into a trance, with his soul having been pulled into the mirror to practice the Four Seasons Swordplay.
After some time passed, his eyes flickered, and he retracted his true energy. Instantly, the images within the mirror vanished.
“Incredible. Send some true energy into the mirror, and you can practice artificial cultivation inside. You can try out all sorts of energy circulation techniques, and not worry about experiencing cultivation deviation.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter