Chapter 40: Preparing a Diversion

Twenty-eight flood stallions, each one worth tens of thousands of energy convergence pills. There was no way Yang Qi would simply leave them behind.

Ordinary Masters of Energy weren’t capable of sustained flight for more than several dozen kilometers, much less use true energy to carry a team of flood stallions.

But Yang Qi had seemingly limitless strength, and boundless true energy, so to him, carrying a group of beasts like this wasn’t a problem at all.

Back in the Yang Clan mansion, Yang Yunchong and Yang Hualong were pacing back and forth, while Yang Zhan calmly sat off to the side.

“Father, why isn’t third brother back yet? Did his ambush fail? One of the Chen Clan’s chief elders is the Hundred-Armed Demonoid Chen Tianxiong, a Master of Energy. Is it possible that third brother met defeat?”

“That's right, the Chen Clan’s council of chief elders is not much weaker than our own. They’re all top masters. That’s at least twenty-three people in the eighth phase. Even a god or immortal who attacked a group like that might end up dead.”

Clearly, Yang Qi’s brothers were both very anxious.

Yang Zhan also seemed a bit restless as he sat there. “You’re right. Even Yan Gufeng and I working together would probably lose if we took on the Chen Clan’s entire council of chief elders. And Qi’er is only a single person, no matter how powerful he is.”

“What should we do, Father?”

“Stay calm,” Yang Zhan replied, waving his hand dismissively. “Ever since the incident with the pill, and getting struck by lightning, Qi’er has grown up a lot. He plans things out before acting, so he definitely wouldn’t do something stupid and leap to his own death. I think he wants to use this as an opportunity to temper himself. Let’s just wait. If he isn't back by dawn, then I’ll go look for him personally.”

Thump!

In the same moment that the words left his mouth, a gust of wind swept over them from above, and they heard a sound like something falling onto the ground. Then, they heard a bray like that of horses. Finally, someone appeared in the darkness, leading a group of enormous creatures.

“Who goes there?”

“Father, it's me,” Yang Qi said, walking over.

“Qi’er, you’re back!” Yang Zhan said, leaping to his feet. Then, he saw the more than twenty flood stallions, and his jaw dropped. “Are those… flood stallions? You have so many….”

“These flood stallions used to belong to the Chen Clan’s council of chief elders. I killed all of them, as well as some of their subsidiary clan lords, and took their mounts. I also got some banknotes….” Yang Qi plopped a big stack of banknotes onto the table, along with the weapons and medicinal pills he had taken.

Yang Zhan let out a long sigh of satisfaction. Sitting back down, he said, “With a son like this, what else could a man ask for?”

As for Yang Yunchong and Yang Hualong, they almost felt like they were looking at a stranger. After all, hadn’t Yang Zhan just said that not even he and Yan Gufeng could handle the Chen Clan's council of chief elders? And yet Yang Qi had killed them all?

It was like an ordinary citizen suddenly declaring himself to be a rebel, then breaking into the imperial fortress and killing the emperor.

Yang Yunchong was actually at a loss for words, and could only stammer, “Third Brother, is this real…?”

Yang Qi nodded. “It’s real, Eldest Brother. I killed them all. The Chen Clan is done for. They’ll never be strong enough to threaten the Yang Clan, ever again.” 

Yang Hualong was similarly taken aback. “Are you saying… that not even a Master of Energy is a threat to you?”

“Indeed. I can take out Masters of Energy now. And thanks to the fight, I've unlocked more of my potential, and reached the eighth phase.” The calm way that Yang Qi answered the question immediately served to calm the hearts of his brothers and father.

Only at that point were his brothers finally able to accept what was happening. And yet, they still weren’t exactly sure how to react. Originally, they had assumed that Yang Qi would try to kill one or two of the Chen Clan’s chief elders, to throw them into chaos and delay their arrival in Yanhaven.

Never could they have guessed that Yang Qi would actually wipe them all out.

“Well, that puts an end to the matter,” Yang Zhan said, his eyes once again flashing like those of a fierce tiger. “None of us must ever breathe a word about the fact that Qi’er wiped out the Chen Clan’s entire council of chief elders. Qi’er, I'm going to make an announcement that you’ve fallen ill, and are bedridden. As the saying goes, the tallest tree attracts the most attention. If word got out about what you’ve done, the big sects and organizations would start investigating, and that could lead to a big disaster for us.”

Yang Yunchong and Yang Hualong both shivered.

“I agree, Father,” Yang Qi said. “However, what about me fighting Chen Dalei? Word of that is bound to spread, and there could be consequences.”

“He was only in the eighth phase, not the ninth,” Yang Zhan replied calmly. “The difference between the two is like the difference between heaven and earth. Therefore, it’s not a very big deal. Besides, I’ve been spreading word that you were possessed by a demon, but that during your fight with Chen Dalei, it was killed. I’ll also make sure people hear that the reason you’re bedridden is because of that very demon, and the injuries you sustained in the fight. If you stay out of sight in the clan mansion for a while, then eventually, all of it will blow over.”

“You’re right, Father.” It was a good time for Yang Qi to rest, and to stabilize his cultivation base. After all, his progress recently had all been thanks to the life force from the lightning mammoth. He had actually neglected his own personal cultivation.

For the rest of the night, father and sons discussed their plans and strategies, before finally dispersing to get some rest.

Nothing eventful happened in the following days. Yang Qi made no public appearances, which lent much credibility to the rumors that he had fallen ill. He spent his time meditating on his energy arts, and pondering the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth. He also continued to absorb the lightning mammoth’s life force.

After all of the advancement Yang Qi had made, the lightning mammoth had shrunk down significantly, and he could tell that it wouldn't be long before it was gone.

Based on his guesses, he was fairly certain that there was enough left to push him past the ninth phase, and actually reach the Lifeseizing level.

Days passed in which Yanhaven remained very quiet.

The aristocratic clans in the city, and even the city magistrate’s mansion, were all waiting for an army of Chen Clan experts to come and fight things out with the Yang Clan. However, such events never materialized. It was as if the Chen Clan had simply vanished.

Everyone found it to be quite odd.

Eventually, word spread that Yang Qi had been possessed by an old demon. Supposedly, the demon had been eradicated, but the result was that Yang Qi fell seriously ill, and had regressed in his energy arts.

Not too long ago, everyone had worried that a spectacular genius had risen up in the Yang Clan. But now everyone believed it was all because of a demon, and thus breathed sighs of relief.

People who were possessed would often develop monstrous personality traits, and eventually transform into actual monsters that few people could ever fight. However, if the demon in question were expelled, then the previously possessed victim would become very weak.

A new genius was something everyone would talk about. But someone who was possessed, then cured and left incredibly weak, would be fated to be a laughingstock.

After an entire month passed, Yan Gufeng was starting to get extremely nervous.

He had already recruited numerous experts, who were all waiting in the city magistrate’s mansion, ready to spring to action as soon as the Chen and Yang Clans began to fight. Unfortunately, no such fighting broke out. The Chen Clan had been plundered, and their mansion occupied by Yang Clan experts. In fact, they had even removed the sign from above the main gate, and replaced it with their own.

Yan Gufeng smacked the table. “Luo Hun, go find out what’s going on.”

“City Magistrate, I've already run the investigation. The Chen Clan’s subsidiary clan lords were mobilized, along with their chief elders. But they never showed up here, and they never returned to their clans. They went missing.”

“Missing? The Chen Clan's council of chief elders has plenty of eighth phase experts, as well as the Hundred-Armed Demonoid Chen Tianxiong, a Master of Energy. How could they all have gone missing? Don’t tell me they’re dead?” Yan Gufeng simply refused to believe that something like that could have happened. “Perhaps they’re still preparing. Maybe they want to kill all of the experts in the Yang Clan, all in one shot.”

Luo Hun nodded. “City Magistrate, it’s definitely impossible that they were all killed. The only realistic explanation is that they're not confident in being able to take on the Yang Clan, so they went out to find allies.”

“Fine. What about that brat Yang Qi? Was he really possessed? If the demon was driven out, shouldn’t he be extremely weak?”

“I’d say there’s an eighty to ninety percent chance the rumors are true,” Luo Hun replied. “I’ve had people watching the Yang Clan mansion day and night, and Yang Qi hasn’t stepped outside at all over the past month. It seems he’s simply too weak. Like I said from the beginning, the only explanation for his unusual behavior is a demon. If he wasn’t possessed, then how could he possibly have become so strong that he could defeat me?”

“That demon must have been at the Master of Energy level, but bereft of a fleshly body. What a pity. If we could have captured that brat and then extracted the demon, it would have made a medicinal ingredient no inferior to a Latent Dragon Pill.” Yan Gufeng licked his lips.

“So, what do we do now?” Luo Hun said. “Do you want to make a move on Yang Zhan?”

“There’s no rush,” Yan Gufeng replied with the wave of his hand. “If the Chen Clan’s council of chief elders is working on some big plan, let them have at it. Meanwhile, we wait patiently and see how the situation develops.”

Even as the two of them discussed the matter, Yan Feixia’s voice suddenly reached their ears. 

“Father….”

“What’s wrong, Xia’er?” Yan Gufeng said, rising to his feet.

“Father, I just received a message from the True Dragon Institute. I have to go back. The sexagenary Inter-Institutional Martial Arts Competition is going to be starting soon, and my master wants me to work on my cultivation ahead of time.”

“Well, hurry back then,” Yan Gufeng said. “This competition is a big deal, and your performance will have a big influence on your future.” Yan Gufeng knew well that the competition between the True Dragon Institute, the Demi-Immortal Institute, and the other two big institutions was nothing to take lightly, and was actually much more important than anything that could happen in Yanhaven.

To the big institutes, Yanhaven was like an ant.

“Take care, father,” Yan Feixia said. As she turned, a pair of white crane wings sprouted out of her back, and she vanished.

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