Chapter 41: Three Months Later

After Yan Feixia’s departure, things remained calm and quiet in Yanhaven.

Three months passed by in a flash, and summer was giving way to autumn. The bleak fall wind swept through dried-out trees, sending leaves swirling through the air as the migratory birds made their way south. 

Farmers throughout the lands were harvesting their crops of medicinal herbs to sell to the rich and powerful clans.

In the Rich-Lush Continent, the common people didn’t focus on growing rice or wheat. They grew the spirit plants necessary to create energy convergence pills. Every year when autumn came, the harvest season, new batches of energy convergence pills would be created. Of course, the common people couldn’t concoct the medicinal pills, only grow the ingredients.

There were even some aristocratic clans who were incapable of making the pills.

Only the largest organizations in the lands, including the institutes and the Sage Ancestor Dynasty itself, were capable of such a feat.

However, the clans still participated in the trade, which was very profitable.

Yang Qi had been holed up working on his cultivation for three months.

During that time, he had become thoroughly familiar with the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, and had also remolded his body into something completely new.

He was now far stronger than any Master of Energy, and the membrane beneath his skin had become so tough that it was impervious to all sorts of weapons. In fact, few energy arts attacks would be able to pierce it.

He had also taken plenty of time to train with the various abilities that came with his godly technique, including the Infernal Deity Spear, Infernal Deity Aegis, and Fiend-Devil Wings.

Of those three, the Infernal Deity Spear was the most powerful in terms of attack power. The Fiend-Devil Wings provided speed, and the Infernal Deity Aegis gave him powerful defensive capabilities.

With all three of those abilities combined, he had incomparable strength in battle.

The next thing he needed to do was successfully cultivate his Hellfire Crucible to completion.

This technique was actually one of his most powerful assets, and would allow him to melt, refine, or consume just about anything. He could take life force quintessence from other beings, as well as the sun and moon, the vital energy of heaven and earth, the power of the stars, and use the Hellfire Crucible to add it to his own life force.

If he could create that crucible, then it wouldn’t matter if he lost the benefit of the lightning mammoth.

Inhale, exhale….

Yang Qi currently hovered cross-legged in the air, with absolutely nothing supporting him. He floated on true energy, and could do so for more than two hours without gasping or turning red in the face. That was how incredibly advanced his energy arts were.

If a ninth phase Master of Energy could see what he was doing, that person would likely pass out from shock.

At the same time, Yang Qi could send his true energy into the floor of his meditation chamber, and then expand it out to literally see everything around him as if with the naked eye.

Snakes, insects, rodents, and other small creatures were all going into hibernation, and provided a remarkable subterranean scene.

Yang Qi could even see the tangled waterways beneath Yanhaven, as well as all sorts of secret tunnels and passageways.

Although Yang Zhan could similarly send his true energy into the ground, it could only reach a few dozen meters down, and perhaps a few thousand meters in each direction.

But Yang Qi was different. His true energy could cover the entire Yang Clan mansion, and even further. Everything within four or five blocks of the mansion could be covered by his field of vision. Any powerful expert that even got close would be detected by him, which meant that unless someone dropped down from the sky, they wouldn’t be able to launch a surprise attack. 

This was none other than the legendary Cosmic Surveillance.

Most top masters of energy arts had this ability, but none of them came close to Yang Qi’s version.

“Go,” Yang Qi said, flicking his finger. In response, a gossamer strand of true energy flew out, shot into the pond water, and wrapped around a large, ten-pound fish.

The fish, extremely powerful and green, struggled mightily as it was dragged out of the water. However, it was unable to free itself from the fetters of true energy.

This was Silk Rain of the Spring Silkworm from the Four Seasons Swordplay. When backed by Yang Qi’s cultivation base, it couldn’t be broken by the sharpest magical weapons, much less some big green fish. After practicing by grabbing the fish, Yang Qi let it drop back down into the waters of the pond.

There was a splash of water, and then the fish flapped its tail and disappeared.

Next, Yang Qi tried something a bit different. With the flick of a finger, he sent a thread of true energy up into the clouds, where it wrapped around a wild goose and dragged it out of the sky.

He grabbed the animal, who was so terrified it stuck its head beneath its wing.

“There, there,” Yang Qi said with a smile. “Head back to your buddies. I'm not going to hurt you.” He sent some true energy into the goose to stimulate its blood flow, then planted a tiny seed of energy into it. The goose immediately looked up in delight, then let loose a honk of gratitude.

With that, Yang Qi lifted the goose up, which flapped its wings and shot like an arrow back up into the clouds.

The goose had received quite the bit of good fortune; going forward, it would now be able to practice natural cultivation.

Letting the creature go was an act of mercy on Yang Qi’s part, mercy which came from the heart.

The Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth came with baleful energy like that of a devil from hell, and therefore, anyone who practiced it needed to consciously cultivate mercy. Yang Qi’s recent meditations had gradually revealed this fact to him. Not only had his cultivation base improved, his understanding of heaven and earth had as well. He had also developed a sense of empathy for other living beings. For example, he did his absolute best to not even harm the bugs that crawled around on the ground.

Of course, if he faced a dangerous enemy, he wouldn’t hold back at all. And as a representation of a godmammoth or an infernal deity, he would punish the wicked and promote righteousness. 

As had been written: All living beings are fundamentally good; those who choose evil, should be punished with evil. He who slays endless evildoers is a monster, but with mercy, can become a living Buddha.

Taking a final breath, he floated down and landed on the ground, then stretched out his muscles, which caused a muffled rumble of thunder to echo inside him. As of this point, his true energy was so domineering that mere exhalation of breath on his part could send an eighth phase expert tumbling backward through the air.

And yet, he still didn’t have the spark he needed to propel himself into the Master of Energy level.

Even the rarest geniuses, people who had enlightened masters to help them, would still need fifty years of hard work or more to become a Master of Energy.

Yang Zhan had taken more than forty years himself, and that was only because of the airmastery plant he had consumed as a youth, and the Golden Nine Transformations Pill that Yang Qi had given him.

As for Yan Gufeng, he only succeeded because of the Latent Dragon Pill.

‘I'm not that far from the ninth phase. Although these past few months of hard work didn't awaken another ancient megamammoth, I’ve almost completely mastered the Four Seasons Swordplay. I wonder how my father and brothers are doing.’ He had not progressed past the level of ten megamammoths. However, his understanding of energy had reached a much higher level than before.

Suddenly, a servant girl rushed in and said, “Third Young Master, your father and brothers are waiting for you in the meeting hall. There’s an important matter to discuss.”

“What important matter?” Yang Qi replied. “Oh, I almost forgot. Summer’s over, so it's time for the clan’s autumn hunt. And I'm supposed to compete in martial arts with Yang Honglie! Although, at this point, I could kill that little punk with a single breath. Three months ago he was in the seventh phase, so even if he got some sort of miraculous medicinal pill, he couldn’t be any higher than the eighth.”

With that, Yang Qi hurried over to the meeting hall.

As the servant girl had said, his father and brothers were waiting for him.

In the months since he had seen them last, his eldest brother had reached the seventh phase, and his second brother, the sixth. The vital energy that had come from medicinal pills they acquired from the Chen Clan and their council of chief elders was equivalent to ten or twenty years of bitter cultivation.

Yang Zhan was in high spirits, and his eyes glittered from the enlightenment he had recently gained of the four seasons. From that, Yang Qi could tell that his father had used the Chiliocosm Mirror to full effect, and had succeeded in cultivating a royal-class energy art.

After all, the Invincible King’s Fist, which had once been the top energy art in the clan, had only been quasi-royal-class, and thus couldn’t compare at all to the Four Seasons Swordplay.

Smiling, Yang Qi said, “Congratulations, Father. I can see that you’ve become even more powerful. I guess you wanted to discuss the autumn hunt?” 

“It looks like you’ve improved as well, Qi’er,” Yang Zhan replied. “I’m definitely not a match for you. Now, our direct bloodline can clearly hold our head high during the autumn hunt. The time has come to cow the subsidiary bloodlines, and unite the clan. If we all work together, we can definitely seize control of Yanhaven.” Yang Zhan clearly had some lofty ambitions.

Yang Qi thought for a moment, and then said, “Father, as long as the Yan Clan doesn’t try to take us out, we should be able to live our days in peace. What’s the point of taking control of Yanhaven?”

“You're technically right. But my sources have indicated that Yan Gufeng recently recruited a team of highly skilled fighters. Before long, he’s definitely going to make a move on us.” Yang Zhan shook his head. “In the Rich-Lush Continent, many city magistrates want to found their own nations. Before long, the world is going to descend into chaos. If Yan Gufeng doesn’t do something, then surrounding cities will eventually invade Yanhaven. He knows that there needs to be one major power here, not two.”

Yang Qi didn’t have anything to say in response. He was well aware that there were powerful forces in the area surrounding Yanhaven, such as Yundale-by-the-Sea, which was now the State of Yun. Already, such powerful forces were beginning to swallow up their neighbors, and that meant that an invasion of Yanhaven was only a matter of time.

“Well, enough of that. I just got a message from our council of chief elders. The clan forces are gathering in preparation to enter the Blackcorpse Mountains. The time has come for us to participate in the autumn hunt.”

“Father,” Yang Qi said, “the city magistrate could make a move on us at any time. What happens if he launches a sneak attack while we’re away?”

Yang Zhan shook his head. “He won't. With all of us away, it wouldn’t benefit him. Yan Gufeng wouldn’t do something so stupid. He’ll wait until he’s confident he can take us all out in one fell swoop.”

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