Just when Yang Qi was about to be overwhelmed by a whole host of imperial snakecharms, a powerful individual came and, with the mere sweep of his whisk, sent the talismans flying off to the side.
As a result, Yang Qi and Sword Seventeen were both freed from the impasse.
However, after moving some distance away, they turned and looked back to see that although the newcomer had dealt a significant blow to the imperial snakecharms, he hadn’t fully defeated them.
Meanwhile, the black-robed figure noticed their retreat and turned to look at them.
“Eee? Two nobodies?”
It took only a moment for this Demi-Immortal to come to the realization that Yang Qi and Sword Seventeen were only Great Sages. To Demi-Immortals, Great Sages were like nothing.
When he realized that Yang Qi and Sword Seventeen wanted to stay and watch him fight the imperial snakecharms, he snorted coldly and said, “Listen, brats. You should be glad an emperor like me was willing to save you from the imperial snakecharms. Are you really going to try to take further advantage of me? Don’t tell me you hope that the battle will end with both sides suffering injuries, and you’ll be able to swoop in and win the ultimate victory? You two clearly don't know the height of the heavens and the breadth of the earth. Prepare to die! Dual World Cleaving!”
He swept his whisk out in front of him and a beam of silver light shot forth, quickly turning into a shining moon that headed in Yang Qi’s direction.
“Watch out, Junior Brother!” Sword Seventeen said, his eyes flickering with shock. “Dual World Cleaving is nothing to take lightly!”
“Oh really?” Without any hesitation, Yang Qi reached out and summoned his Infernal Deity Spear and unleashed four successive moves. “One Flourish Shakes the Four Directions. Two Flourishes Summons Tempests. Three Flourishes Locks Down Mountains and Rivers. Four Flourishes Alters the Cosmos.”
The four attacks created a forest of spear projections that stabbed into the shining moon, causing it to shatter into countless fragments. The Dual World Cleaving move had been completely vanquished.
This self-proclaimed emperor looked at Yang Qi in surprise and said, “So, you two measly Great Sages are strong enough to stop my Dual World Cleaving? How is that possible? You must really have some good fortune from heaven. Well I’ll just kill you and take it! With that imperial snakecharm you already have, and these additional twenty-seven, I’ll have a total of twenty-eight! The same as the number of constellations! Pagoda Suppression!” 
Suddenly, a projection of a precious pagoda shot out over his head, covered with carvings of god-devils, immortal-buddhas, spirit creatures, beasts, mountains, and rivers. The mere appearance of the pagoda seemed to cause space to freeze up and everything in the macrocosm to go still. 
Yang Qi felt his God Legion Paradise stirring in response to this pagoda. It was something that could shake heaven and earth to the point where ghosts and gods would weep, and seemed capable of actually creating macrocosms.
“So strong!” Sword Seventeen exclaimed. “This black-robed daoist is at least a seventh order Revered Demi-Immortal!” Drawing his sword, he said, “Heaven Cleansing Solitary Sword. Seventeenth Sword!”
A massive sword nimbus appeared as Sword Seventeen prepared to put everything on the line.
‘That pagoda really reminds me of the Grand Emperor's Pagoda, although it's obviously many times stronger.’ The sight of the pagoda left Yang Qi feeling very shaken. Just looking at it made him feel like he was peering into a macrocosm, as if the pagoda represented a prismatic representation of space.
In fact, the unique arrangement of the spatial nexuses which made it up caused his godworm to reach a new level of enlightenment. Even he felt like he was on the verge of experiencing a breakthrough.
All of a sudden, Yang Qi began singing a song. “The will of the macrocosm governs space, but one day the universe will collapse into ruins. Even the macrocosm will rot. Only the Eternal Heavenly Aria will resound for all time….”
It was the ability that came after the Fist of the Halls of Heaven and the Hand of the One True God, the one designed for the Demi-Immortal level. The Eternal Heavenly Aria.
The lyrics of the song could create a chiliocosm of worlds, and would flow for all eternity into the very depths of the universe. The Eternal Heavenly Aria was a source of power for anything and everything.
As the lyrics floated around him, Yang Qi began floating upward and, at the same time, everything around him was locked down. A moment later, he and Sword Seventeen vanished without a trace.
‘What energy art was that?’ the black-robed expert thought. ‘It actually broke through the spatial fetters of my Macrocosm Pagoda?’ Looking around with flashing eyes, he tried to determine where Yang Qi and Sword Seventeen were, but couldn’t find any clues.
Normally speaking, even the most powerful of experts would be restricted by the godly laws of the world junction. However, Yang Qi had his primeval godworm and was exempt from such things. He could move about in the world junction as easily as a fish in water, and also reach incredible speeds.
‘Gone? Well, that’s fine. I’ll take these twenty-seven imperial snakecharms, and then use their aura to track down those brats. They can run to the ends of the earth, but they won’t be able to escape me.’
With that, he resumed his fight with the imperial snakecharms, using a host of devastating and powerful energy arts. Originally, the twenty-seven imperial snakecharms had been part of a larger nest that included the one Yang Qi had taken. Now, being incomplete, the tide was shifted in favor of this black-robed cultivator.
Just as the black-robed man seemed on the verge of winning the fight and taking hold of unheard-of treasure, cackling laughter rang out and a palm appeared, bursting with deadly power. Before the black-robed cultivator could react, that palm passed through his defensive empyrean energy and slapped him square on the back, sending him tumbling to the side, coughing up blood.
“As you well know, Grand Emperor Rich-Lush, those imperial snakecharms are from King Heaven-Devourer, and are thus extremely valuable. Even immortals would fight to get them. You think you can just hog them all for yourself? Those things are connected to me by destiny!”
Spinning, the black-robed man summoned his pagoda and turned to look at the new arrival that had ambushed him.
“King Langya!” he growled.
‘I knew that guy’s pagoda seemed familiar!’ Yang Qi thought. He and Sword Seventeen were hidden in the depths of a nearby plane and were able to see everything that was happening. ‘So, he’s actually the creator of the Grand Emperor's Pagoda! He’s Grand Emperor Rich-Lush!’
Grand Emperor Rich-Lush was the creator of the Rich-Lush Continent and had founded its first royal dynasty, which was called the Rich-Lush Dynasty. Back in those days he was a ninth step Great Sage, but had never been able to step into the Demi-Immortal level. But here he was in the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart, a seventh order Demi-Immortal.
He was so strong that, without the godworm and the imperial snakecharm, it would have been impossible to escape him.
But now, Yang Qi could sit on the mountaintop and watch the tigers fight, then reap the spoils when they tired out. As of now, Grand Emperor Rich-Lush and King Langya were both involved in fighting with the twenty-seven imperial snakecharms.
Three major forces were struggling for dominance.
Unfortunately, Grand Emperor Rich-Lush and King Langya were completely at odds with each other, therefore the snakecharms were actually turning the tide of battle.
The massive shockwaves of the battle had thrown the true energy in the area into chaos and was turning this part of the world junction into ruins.
“We’re way weaker than any of them, Junior Brother. But you never know, we might be able to swoop in at the end like the fisherman.” Sword Seventeen seemed itching to make a move, although, in the end he knew that they weren’t strong enough and ran the risk of getting killed.
“We might get that chance,” Yang Qi said. “Grand Emperor Rich-Lush and King Langya aren’t holding anything back. Let’s wait until they start running low on true energy….”
Sword Seventeen sighed. “With those twenty-seven talismans missing the one in your hands, they’re incomplete. Otherwise they would definitely be causing big problems for those two.”
“Let’s just keep waiting. That’s the only thing we can do.” Eyes sparkling, Yang Qi reached into his God Legion Paradise and pulled out his imperial snakecharm. He sent some vital energy into it and opened his Lord's Eye. Instantly, all aspects of the thing became visible to him.
It was marvelously created and filled with a heaven-devouring will, as though it desired to consume all creation. Yang Qi could also sense how it was connected to the will of King Heaven-Devourer, that ancient contemporary of King Immortal-Slayer. All of a sudden, Yang Qi saw an enormous, vastly powerful snake inside of the talisman, struggling as it fought a godmammoth. In fact, the snake had its mouth open wide as it attempted to consume the godmammoth.
Snakes devour mammoths.
In the moment before it succeeded, light flashed and the vision ended.
Yang Qi had just glimpsed the ultimate meaning of the imperial snakecharms.
It was a shocking revelation. The ancient snake that was King Heaven-Devourer had destroyed numerous planes of existence and shaken even immortal worlds. In fact, he was so large and powerful that he could consume low-level immortal worlds. In his name, the ‘heaven’ aspect referred to immortal worlds, thus consuming heaven meant consuming immortals. King Heaven-Devourer had been just as famous as King Immortal-Slayer, and had been a royal individual and an immortal. His will was focused on waging war on the godmammoths and consuming them!
1. The traditional Chinese zodiac was grouped into the Twenty-Eight Mansions, or constellations (which are organized under the four divine creatures, the azure dragon, black turtle, white tiger, and vermillion bird). Here’s more info.