Flood stallions were incredibly fast, and could tear through mountainous terrain as though they were a flat plain.
They could even run on water, meaning that enormous lakes and rivers were not obstacles for them. Generally speaking, only incredibly rich people, government officials, and aristocratic clans could afford them.
The rider leading the group was an old man who, at a certain point along the path, raised his hand, causing an energy field to spring up that forced the entire group of flood stallions to stop in place.
That old man was the leader of the Chen Clan’s chief elders, and had an incredibly profound cultivation base. Tugging on the reins of his flood stallion, he looked over at Yang Qi, his gaze as fierce as a tiger's. His eyes even glowed in the darkness of the night.
Yang Qi could sense the man’s gaze locking down onto his soul; if he tried to flee now, the man would be able to track him down wherever he went.
He had obviously comprehended the Thousand Kilometer Soul Locking technique.
There was also some devilish power contained in his eyes, something that battered at Yang Qi’s soul, making him want to fall asleep. Obviously, the old man was capable of hypnosis as well, which was an energy art that far surpassed the eighth phase.
He was in the ninth phase, making him a Master of Energy.
This was the only member of the Chen Clan’s older generation who was a Master of Energy, the venerable Chen Tianxiong. 
He had been famous for sixty years already, and was also known as the Hundred-Armed Demonoid. The implication of his nickname was that his energy arts resembled those of a demon. He was inhumanly fast, and could unleash a hundred attacks in the blink of an eye, enough to destroy anyone he targeted.
He had been in seclusion for years now as he attempted to break through into the Lifeseizing level. Masters of Energy could usually live for one hundred fifty to two hundred years, and Chen Tianxiong was already more than a hundred. He was already starting to run out of time. His body was beginning to wear down, and his quintessence was running out. Unless he achieved a breakthrough, the only thing that existed at the end of his path was death.
But now, the Chen Clan had been wiped out and plundered, giving him no choice other than to go deal with the Yang Clan.
As soon as the Hundred-Armed Demonoid Chen Tianxiong assessed Yang Qi’s cultivation base, he could see that he was in the seventh phase. “Who are you? How dare you try to block my path, you seventh phase whelp.”
A Master of Energy was two levels higher than someone in the Energy Manifestation level, with true energy levels so high that one was like the heaven and the other, the earth. Although Yang Qi’s true energy was vigorous, in terms of level, he just didn’t match up. He couldn’t even form Humanoid True Energy, let alone think about performing Thousand Kilometer Soul Locking.
“You’re the Hundred-Armed Demonoid?” Yang Qi said loudly. “Chen Tianxiong? The only patriarch in the Chen Clan to have reached the Master of Energy level?”
“Who are you, punk?” one of the eighth phase chief elders barked.
“I'm Yang Qi,” he said, looking particularly impressive as he stood there calmly. “Here to execute the Chen Clan’s chief elders. Forget about the Yang Clan in Yanhaven. You’re all going to meet your end here in these remote mountains.”
Raucous laughter erupted from the dozens of people present, who included both the chief elders as well as clan lords from subsidiary branches. Their laughter was laced with killing intent; after all, these people were the top figures in their clan.
“Elder Tianxiong,” said one of the chief elders, “allow me to dispatch this little punk.” Without another word, he flew off his flood stallion, his hand already clenched into a fist as he shot toward Yang Qi, as fast as a bullet. He looked like a fierce tiger, his fist thrumming with furious energy, surrounded by a vortex of true energy that could crush metal or stone.
This was a profound energy art from the Chen Clan: Devastation of the Rolling Stone.
And this particular chief elder was Chen Tianhua, who was an uncle of Chen Dalei. He was at the peak of the eighth phase, the type of person who virtually no one could defend against. Throughout the course of his life, he had torn dozens of opponents to shreds with his bare hands, and when he used Mind Incarnation to power his Devastation of the Rolling Stone, it could melt metal.  
In fact, there were even stories about how he had once clenched his hand down onto some iron until it ran like liquid onto the ground.
However, Yang Qi hardly paid him any attention at all. He simply waved his hand out in casual and even weak fashion. When Chen Tianhua saw that, his expression twisted with vicious ferocity. “You think your true energy can stop me, you brat? I guess the expression a mantis trying to stop a war chariot was invented for you.”
How could he ever have guessed that, even as the words left his mouth, Yang Qi’s palm movement completely changed. A trumpeting sound like that of a dracomammoth could be heard, thrumming with energy that could dominate everything for thousands of kilometers in every direction. At the same time, seven ancient megamammoths appeared, ready to trample everything in their path.
“Not good!” Chen Tianxiong blurted. Without any hesitation, he flew over to help.
Unfortunately, he was too late.
Chen Tianhua was completely incapable of standing up to the attack; his true energy was smashed aside, and a palm hit his chest, which caved in, causing blood to spurt out everywhere.
His corpse landed onto the ground, a mass of gore and blood that had been a living person only moments ago.
That was when Chen Tianxiong arrived. Reaching out, he grabbed Chen Tianhua’s corpse and poured true energy into it in the hopes of saving him. Unfortunately, he was completely dead and beyond any help.
Yang Qi clasped his hands behind his back, making himself look like a true grandmaster. “Don’t bother. He overestimated himself. He tried to compete with me using true energy, which meant he was just looking to get killed, don’t you agree?”
The truth was that he actually looked forward to fighting a Master of Energy; a deadly battle like that would likely lead to another breakthrough for him.
The Yang Clan was facing troubling times, so the higher his cultivation base got, the better.
Furthermore, once he reached the Lifeseizing level, his father would tell him the secrets pertaining to his mother.
“You’re really a vicious one, aren’t you, boy? Ruthless to the core.” Chen Tianxiong’s white eyebrows twitched as he looked over at Yang Qi, killing intent swirling in his eyes.
He could tell that this young man would not be easy to deal with, and that it would take everything he had to come out on top.
“Not really,” Yang Qi replied. “But our two clans are at odds, and the only way to resolve the situation is for one of us to be wiped out. You people actually colluded with the House of Shadowblight to harm my two brothers. That in itself doomed you to be plundered and exterminated.”
“Oh, really?” Chen Tianxiong began to stride forward. “You've been possessed by a freakish hellion, haven’t you boy? You might have gained incredible power, but the only thing you’ll get in the end is calamity. Well, that's fine. I’ll kill you now, and destroy whatever hellion is inside of you. Afterward, I’ll go kill Yang Zhan too.”
“Bring it on. A fight with a Master of Energy is just what I need to achieve my next breakthrough.”
Yang Qi swept his hands out in front of him, drawing deeply on his energy arts. As he did, his blood and true energy flowed in unison, causing the bubbling sound of the Hellfire Crucible to once again echo out, a sound that would cause anyone who heard it to instantly think about the fires of hell.
“What kung fu is this?”
That was what all the Chen Clan experts were thinking as they looked on, their faces draining of color.
“Prepare yourselves to end this kid’s life,” Chen Tianxiong said loudly. “Surround him, and on my command, we all attack with full force. Turn him into a pool of blood!”
The Chen Clan experts all dismounted and spread out to surround Yang Qi.
At the moment, the survival of their entire clan was at stake, so there was no way they would follow the normal customs of the jianghu, and fight him one by one.
Even as they took their positions, Chen Tianxiong attacked, splaying his fingers as he unleashed pulses of true energy that seemed powerful enough to crush mountains. This was a consummate energy art known as Landslide Devastation.
However, Yang Qi simply sidestepped the attack, then released numerous palm strikes, drawing fully on the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth. The power of seven ancient megamammoths drove his true energy with such force that the ground in the area was scraped away, and boulders shattered.
In the blink of an eye, the two of them had exchanged seven blows.
Each one was powerful enough to shake heaven and earth, and destroyed much of the surrounding terrain features. Moments later, Chen Tianxiong’s face was flushed bright red as he stood there on a pile of rubble.
Yang Qi dropped down to the ground, his true energy surging with even more ferocity than his opponent's.
Unexpectedly, those seven interchanges were not enough to determine victory or defeat between the two of them.
“You have some impressive true energy, Chen Tianxiong,” Yang Qi said. “A hundred years of hard work gave you what it takes to stand on equal ground with me. Sadly, you’re getting old, and your body is already starting to decay. Can your meridians really take all of this?” Clearly, he wasn’t afraid at all of the fact that his opponent had a hundred years of experience. He was still confident in being able to take him out.
“I might be getting old, but I can still kill you easily.” Chen Tianxiong’s white hair began to float up, and heatwaves began to roll off of him. He was now preparing to use the true might of a ninth phase Master of Energy as, all of a sudden, a gust of wind shot out, and his true energy took physical shape in front of him in the form of a person.
That person was transparent, with facial features that looked exactly like Chen Tianxiong. It was a clone made by the Humanoid True Energy ability.
This manifestation actually had meridians inside of it, and a sea of energy that was clearly visible because of its transparent state.
It almost looked alive, and also intelligent. This was a much more profound version of Humanoid True Energy than what Yang Zhan had utilized.
As soon as it took form, it seemed to form a connection to the vital energy of heaven and earth. Black clouds formed high in the sky, as well as other meteorological and astronomical phenomena.
“Fleshly body transformation! Form energy into gods and spirits, seize life from the heavens! I became a Master of Energy sixty years ago, you little punk. I have a complete understanding of the Lifeseizing level, and energy arts so profound that there's no way a shallow whelp like yourself could possibly compare to me. Pay attention…. I'm going to show you what people call Energy Gods and Energy Souls!”
In response to Chen Tianxiong’s confident words, his Humanoid True Energy sprang into motion. At the same time, a gale-force wind erupted, filled with mists and clouds. Shockingly, within those winds and clouds appeared the images of dragons and tigers. 
Because the Humanoid True Energy was not constrained by the shackles of a physical body, every move it made was fierce beyond compare. In fact, it was actually three to four times more powerful than Chen Tianxiong himself was. It unleashed a palm strike, sending out fire hot enough to scorch the heavens.
The fire instantly took the shape of numerous blades, connected together like a net that then descended toward Yang Qi.
Yang Qi let out a shout, causing black energy to erupt out of him, which became his Infernal Deity Aegis, a swirling defense that blocked the intense flames.
“Infernal Deity Spear!”
The long spear appeared in his hand, and the aura of devils from hell erupted. Above Yang Qi’s head, black energy transformed into devil horns, vicious to the extreme. At the same time, a godmammoth appeared behind him, ready to trample hell beneath its feet.
Then, the Infernal Deity Spear became a streak of dark light as it shot forth.
It was a move that contained infinite variations, and could destroy any true energy that it encountered. Even the hardest metals or the thickest walls would be pierced through by it.
“God-Silk Snakehands!” Chen Tianxiong shouted from his position behind his Humanoid True Energy. In response, the manifestation twisted its hand into a new form, causing true energy to erupt out. Even as it shot through the air, it became strands of silk that wrapped around the Infernal Deity Spear.
3. You might notice that both Chen Tianxiong and Chen Tianhua have the same character Tian in their name. In Chinese culture, it is customary for all the children born in the same generation to have identical Chinese characters for the first of their two-character name. Such names are decided generations in advance. This is a custom that is still followed by many Chinese even nowadays.
4. This line contains an obscure reference to a line from the Book of Changes. Literally, the line says “clouds come from dragons, wind comes from tigers” and is a metaphor implying a unison between powerful entities. In this section, he ties it to “reality” by saying that dragons and tigers appeared within the wind and clouds