Chapter 359: Power Struggles

Yang Qi hadn’t even considered that a situation like this would arise.

The Lionfolk, Leopardfolk, Rhinofolk, Sharkfolk, and Horsefolk were all openly aligned against him, and they were joined by a ninth step Great Sage Apefolk chief, Ape Heavenhelve. To most people, this group could be considered completely invincible and domineering.

Considering that so many Demon Sages wanted him dead, and he was only a Legendary, most onlookers assumed that he would soon begin groveling in terror. However, Yang Qi was the successor of the legion of gods, and had the God Legion Seal in his forehead. Even Demi-Immortals who trifled with the God Legion Seal would be killed, and even more telling, the seal was getting more powerful as he furthered his cultivation.

“Step forward, Leviathan Truesoaring. You’re the chief of the Leviathanfolk, and I'm the chief of the Apefolk. Both of our peoples are considered top forces in the Hanging Mountain.” The hulking chief of the Apefolk pointed his halberd at Yang Qi, and his killing intent erupted with boiling rage. “However, you’re protecting that brat, and I want him dead. Believe me, not even the Holy Mother could protect him right now.”

Ai!” sighed Father Leviathan. “Why are you throwing your lot in with these villains, Ape Heavenhelve? What did the Holy Mother’s son ever do to you?”

“He killed a member of my clan!” Ape Heavenhelve replied coolly. Looking like he was about to cut Yang Qi in half with his halberd, he said, “Did you or did you not kill a white ape in the Blackcorpse Mountains in the Rich-Lush Continent? Did you ransack his mansion grotto? Did you steal his golden pills?”

All of a sudden, Yang Qi remembered something that happened a long time ago. Back when he first got the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, he went into the Blackcorpse Mountains to train, and encountered a white ape, who he later killed. The fight with that ape was his first real battle, and it had been a struggle to come out on top. 

Later, he packed the memory of the fight away as something of little importance. But now, to hear it brought up by this chief of the Apefolk was like a bolt from the blue. [1]

“Wait a second,” he said. “You, chief of the Apefolk, a top figure from the Hanging Mountain, just so happened to have a puny relative in the Rich-Lush Continent?”

Ape Heavenhelve threw his head back and laughed heartily. “Yes, I did. You were in the Rich-Lush Continent, weren’t you? And you're the son of the Holy Mother. Why are you surprised that a relative of mine would be in the Rich-Lush Continent? The white ape that you killed was a direct descendant of mine. He was my thirty-sixth grandson! Thankfully, his corpse was discovered and the evidence brought directly to me. Now you tell me, did he deserve to die at your hands!?”

“Deserve to die? Well, he attacked me. What else was I supposed to do?” Suddenly, Yang Qi’s expression flickered. “In this world, life and death are common things. Gratitude and grudges exist everywhere. Some people kill others, some people get killed. We see such things all the time. Hmm. Could it be possible that you want to kill me for another reason, and are just using this as an excuse? If you want to kill me, well, bring it on. You might be an Epic Saga Sage, and I'm only an Astral-Star Legendary, but I'm not scared. Besides, you couldn't kill me even if you tried.”

Yang Qi didn’t seem flustered at all, and in fact, he was completely calm.

Quite a few onlookers clicked their tongue in admiration.

“Well, that’s just what you would expect from the Holy Mother’s son. Considering how calm he is right now, it's obvious he’s no silkpants. He definitely climbed mountains of corpses and swam through seas of blood to become an Astral-Star Legendary. However, he's basically the same as an ancient eighth rank energy warrior, which is pitifully weak. I can’t believe that he’s actually standing up to an Epic Saga Sage. The two of them are on completely different levels.”

“He’s probably just bluffing. After all, he has Leviathan Truesoaring there to keep him safe.”

“I don’t think so. Even if he’s relying on Father Leviathan to protect him, he couldn’t possibly remain so calm. The levels here are just too far apart.”

“I agree. There’s too much of a disparity. Ape Heavenhelve’s psychic pressure alone is so strong that most people couldn’t stand up to it.”

“He’s definitely not bluffing. After all, he already killed some of Mammoth Force’s Great Sage followers. Considering he’s already stood up to fifth step Great Sages, it just goes to show that he's obviously the successor of King Immortal-Slayer.”

“Maybe, but Ape Heavenhelve is really worked up. There’s no way he’ll back down until Yang Qi is dead. If Leviathan Truesoaring were in the Plateau of the Leviathan, he would definitely be able to trounce Ape Heavenhelve. But here, they’re both just ninth step Great Sages. Besides, Ape Heavenhelve is the best of the best among the chiefs of the Hanging Mountain. He already has immortal motes!”

“That's right, nobody’s a match for Ape Heavenhelve, at least, not unless the Holy Mother herself shows up.”

“Let's just wait and see what happens. The Holy Mother made a big deal about bringing her son here to join the training competition. That in itself is a violation of the rules.”

“It is. The Demonfolk in general aren’t happy with her, and want nothing more than to kill this Yang Qi. Besides, he provoked Mammoth Force, and you know who he is, right? He's the son of August Patriarch Mammoth Heaven. It’s hard to say for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if these chiefs have come to cause trouble for Yang Qi because of that incident!”

“Actually, that might be the case. Hey, look! Mammoth Force is right over there. He’s heading this way!”

A cheer could be heard from off in the distance as Mammoth Force appeared, flanked by his Demonfolk followers. All of the members of his retinue were first step Great Sages, and were relatively famous individuals among the Demonfolk. Actually, many of them were new recruits. Even though first step Great Sages were essentially nobility in the Hanging Mountain, it was still difficult for them to rise through the ranks.

The higher one progressed in the Great Sage level, the more difficult it became to acquire the spirit stones necessary to make progress. At the very least, they would need imperial- or sovereign-grade spirit stones, and preferably sagely-grade.

Some Great Sages even required heavenly-grade.

And how could ordinary Great Sages get their hands on such resources? The only way to do so was to attach themselves to an important person.

Laughing derisively, Mammoth Force said, “Well, if it isn't Yang Qi! Still on that ego trip of yours? The chief of the Apefolk wants you dead, and it’s no wonder; your mere existence is an insult to the Hanging Mountain!

“Although, you still have a chance to make it out of this alive. Hand over King Immortal-Slayer’s command medallion. I know that the only reason you can kill Great Sages is that medallion. If you give it to me, I’ll plead your case with the chiefs, and ask them to merely cripple your energy arts and turn you into a commoner.”

“Well, you can just die, then,” Yang Qi said.

“What did you just say?” Mammoth Force replied, his eyes widening. “You want me to die?”

“Exactly,” Yang Qi replied. “Don’t even think of coming back from the training competition alive. Right here, in front of all these people, I hereby openly challenge you to a fight to the death in hell. I'm only in the eighth Legendary transformation, a puny, measly Astral-Star Legendary. But I'm not afraid of you, even if you are a Light King Sage.”

A buzz instantly rose up from the crowd. Humans and demons alike were completely taken aback by Yang Qi. His cultivation level was low, but he had heart, and even more importantly, was obviously stronger than the average person.

“You just committed suicide!” Mammoth Force said angrily.

“Calm down, Mammoth Force,” said Ape Heavenhelve. “You don’t need to wait until the two of you are in hell to kill him. I’ll send him to hell right now! Yang Qi, you’re the son of the Holy Mother. However, she should never have had a son. And therefore, I will execute you to remove this humiliation from the Hanging Mountain. If word got out to cultivators from other important planes or planetary systems, or to the numerous daoist temples, then we would become a laughingstock.”

Hefting his halberd, he began to stride forward, causing enormous cracking sounds to emanate out, as if he planned to crush all heaven and earth beneath his feet.

“In that case, noble sir,” Father Leviathan said, “I suppose I have no other choice than to engage you in deadly combat.” Waving Yang Qi away, he said, “Stay clear, Young Master.”

“You think you can protect him?” Ape Heavenhelve said, laughing loudly. “The mere fluctuations of our energy arts will likely kill him. You can’t keep him safe!”

Cough….

It was in that very moment that a weak cough suddenly echoed out off in the distance. Although it wasn’t very loud, it caused everyone present to suddenly stop moving. Even Ape Heavenhelve suddenly looked around very seriously. 

“There’s no need to be deliberately mystifying, Yan Wubing. Show yourself. I know that you’re a human, and that you're completely loyal to the Holy Mother. Back when you tried to reach the Demi-Immortal level, you experienced cultivation deviation, and were saved at the last minute by the Holy Mother’s Retroconversion Cosmic Reversal Immortal Skill. From then on, you became her flunky. Back when the Hell of Euphoria invaded the Yore-Wilds Continent, you might have outranked me. But you're a human, and therefore, our daos are different, and our fundamental natures, irreconcilable.”

“Yes, I'm old,” Yan Wubing said as he appeared off in the distance. Striding up to stand next to Yang Qi, he said, “But Young Master Yang Qi is the flesh and blood of the Holy Mother. Thanks to her, I was given a new lease on life, and therefore, nobody is going to harm a single hair on the young master’s head.”

“If that's your attitude, then you can die along with him!”

All of the white fur on Ape Heavenhelve’s body stood on end, making him look even more ferocious than before. “Yan Wubing, you’re the top follower of the Holy Mother, with a cultivation base better than virtually anyone in the Hanging Mountain. And everyone knows that I'm the top subordinate of the August Patriarch, also the best of the best. So that leaves an important question: which of us is number one, and which is number two? Why don't we find out right now?”

“If that’s what you want, fine,” Yan Wubing replied, completely unperturbed. “Young Master, you stay close to Father Leviathan. He’ll keep you safe. In the meantime, I’ll get rid of this damn monkey for you.”

“Be careful, Senior Yan,” Yang Qi said. “Although, you won’t lose. I bear the will of the legion of gods, and their glory will bless and protect you. Their will brings a holy paradise with it wherever it goes. Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust. That Which is Evil Will Perish; That Which is True and Real is Deathless. That Which is Glorious, Exists Eternally in the World of Men.”

As he spoke, he waved his hand, sending a stream of sagelight out to cover Yan Wubing. A droning sound could be heard as some boundless will connected with the old man. In the blink of an eye, Yang Qi had transferred some of the enlightenment of the God Legion Seal to Yan Wubing. It wasn’t the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, only some scattered aspects of information and enlightenment. But it was from the legion of gods in heaven on high, and was ten times anything he had given to Ghost Emperor Yama.

RUMBLE!

A look of shock played out on Yan Wubing's face, then thoughtfulness, and finally, enlightenment.

“Young Master! Sir, you….” In that moment, he realized the truth. Yang Qi had not been bragging or exaggerating. He truly did have the will of the legion of gods in him, something that vastly surpassed anything from the host of immortals.


1. Considering that there were countless comments questioning whether the ape situation was forgotten, I’m sure you all remember how he encountered and killed a white ape back in chapter 20.

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