Dowager Yan, another Master of Energy, had also launched a sneak attack on Yang Qi.
She had used her Deep Earth Energy Art, which allowed her to fuse her true energy into the ground itself, then give it a shape such as a spike, which could kill the enemy before they knew what hit them.
Unfortunately for her, Yang Qi's senses were too acute.
He had sensed the energy vibrations beneath his feet, and had stomped the spike out of existence, simultaneously shoving the true energy back toward its source in a backlash attack.
Three months ago, he had been able to kill all of the chief elders from the Chen Clan, including the Hundred-Armed Demonoid Chen Tianxiong. So what was he capable of now, three months later? During that entire three months, he had focused wholeheartedly on cultivation. His understanding of energy was at the very peak, and his Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth had reached the point of perfection. He was so strong that not even a hundred demons could hurt him.
One simple move had completely defeated Dowager Yan, and even injured her.
After coughing up a mouthful of blood, she clutched her hands at her chest, as though her heart might explode at any moment.
“Why the sneak attack, Dowager Yan?” Yang Qi said, his voice laced with anger. “I didn’t kill Yang Shi and the others. Nor did I cripple anyone. I merely asked that they swear loyalty to the clan lord, thus strengthening our clan. Is there really a need for such ruthless tactics on your part?”
Yang Qi wasn’t bothering at all to be polite.
After all, Dowager Yan’s attack had been merciless; were it not for Yang Qi’s powerful defensive energy arts, he would definitely have been killed. From that, it could be seen how dead set Dowager Yan was on killing him.
And there was no way Yang Qi would be polite to someone who wanted him dead, even if that person was a senior member of the clan.
At this point, Yang Zhougong stepped in front of Yang Qi. Glaring at him, he said, “What do you think you’re going to do, Yang Qi? Don’t tell me you think you’re going to kill Dowager Yan?”
“No, I’m not going to kill her,” Yang Qi replied coldly. “But I can tell you this. If I find out anyone else is harboring malicious intentions, I'm going to run out of patience. I don't want to do anything to harm the clan. I want to restore us to glory. Father has already become a Master of Energy, and is also the clan lord. What’s so wrong about asking everyone to follow his orders?”
“Fine. What do you want, Yang Qi?” Yang Xingshi said. “What are the rules here?”
By this point, the astute Yang Xingshi could sense that Yang Qi really hadn’t been possessed. If he were, then considering the level of his cultivation base, he could have crippled or killed everyone present. Instead, he captured a few people; he had fought with propriety and restraint.
“Simple,” Yang Qi said, with a decisiveness that could sever nails and chop iron. “Our clan must remain united, with my father as its heart. Yang Xu, Yang Shi, and Yang Zhen must all give him their allegiance, and swear an oath to that effect in front of the clan shrine. Henceforth, they must focus all of their thoughts and efforts on supporting the clan as a whole, on defending it from external threats, and on upholding its honor and glory. If they do that, I’ll let them go. If not, I’ll cripple their energy arts immediately!”
“That’s it?” Yang Xingshi and the other chief elders exchanged glances, and then began to transmit a conversation amongst themselves.
A bit of time passed, then Yang Xingshi said, “If you really have no demon inside you, Yang Qi, that means you’re a consummate prodigy the likes of which only appears once every thousand years in the Rich-Lush Continent. However, in the past, your aptitudes could only be considered average. Therefore, we chief elders would be remiss not to ask some questions. How about this: can you tell us exactly what happened? Convince us to back you, and we will. We’ll even agree to let you be the next clan lord.”
Yang Zhougong nodded. “Exactly, Yang Qi. You definitely have to tell us what good fortune you came across. If it’s some consummate technique, then you have to offer it to the clan as a whole. You keep saying that you’re part of our clan, so why don’t you show it by action? Sharing with the clan is the proper thing to do.”
Yang Zhan let out a cold harrumph. “Yang Honglie acquired the royal-class energy art Violet Sunrise Divine Art, and a Violet Sunrise Pill that can provide sixty years of longevity. Why didn’t he hand those over to the clan? Well, whatever. Qi’er, you make the decision.”
“Okay, Father. The good fortune I encountered was extraordinary, to say the least. It involves a mysterious secret the likes of which could lead to the destruction of our clan if word got out. Therefore, now is not the time to reveal it publicly.”
“So, you’re saying you’re not going to tell us?” Dowager Yan said venomously. “That just proves you do have a demon inside you. Your mother was a freakish hellion, and—”
“Shut your mouth!” Yang Zhan shouted.
“What did you just say?” Yang Qi growled. Considering what Dowager Yan had just said, and how his father had reacted, numerous puzzle pieces suddenly clicked together in his mind.
He had been wondering about his mother for a long time, but Yang Zhan had always been very tight-lipped. But now, he was starting to understand some of the situation.
If information about his mother was involved, Yang Qi didn’t care at all about clan rules. Enraged, he sent true energy exploding out of him in the shape of an enormous clawed hand, like that of an eagle or a tiger.
“Tell me what you mean!” he said loudly.
“How impudent!” Yang Xingshi bellowed. Then, he and all of the other chief elders attacked at the same time.
Their energy arts joined together like a river, a host of deadly weapons and creatures that bore down murderously on Yang Qi.
“Be destroyed!” Yang Qi shouted, so loudly that even the clouds above were disturbed by the sound waves. Then, he swept his hands through the air in a ripping motion, causing innumerable images of palms to shoot out toward the river of energy arts.
Bam. Bam. Bam. Bam! Bam!!!
All of the chief elders were shoved backward, their faces draining of blood. Even Yang Xingshi staggered back more than twenty paces until his progress was halted by a tree. As of this moment, he had lost all face.
Meanwhile, Yang Qi took a step forward and made a grasping motion, causing Dowager Yan to be grabbed up as easily as a baby chick by an eagle. “Spit it out. Who was my mother? Or should I just cripple you? You think your little council of chief elders is a match for me? By the way, do you want to know why the Chen Clan’s council of chief elders never showed up? Because I killed them all.”
Yang Qi wanted to purge the clan of all opposition, and establish his might beyond the shadow of any doubt.
He was done with being vague.
Several of the younger clan members dropped to their knees. Others were so struck with terror that they couldn’t even react. Yang Qi had single-handedly defeated more than twenty experts from a council of chief elders?
Yang Xu, Yang Shi, and Yang Zhen did not shout or yell. They were struck mute from fear.
As for Dowager Yan, her expression was that of complete dread; she had originally assumed that if the council of chief elders all attacked together, they could defeat him. But instead, it was to her utter disbelief that not even that level of force did anything.
Yang Qi’s words were simply too astonishing. If he took out the Chen Clan’s council of chief elders, that meant that he had also killed the Hundred-Armed Demonoid Chen Tianxiong.
That meant that his cultivation base was already at the legendary Lifeseizing level.
“Talk,” Yang Qi said, not giving her any more time to deal with her shock.
“Your mother was a daemon!” Dowager Yan blurted. “You were born with the blood of daemons in you. Yang Zhan somehow stumbled into the holy land of the Demonfolk, the Hanging Mountain! That’s where he met that daemon and got that airmastery plant. If it weren’t for that, there's no way he would have become a Master of Energy so quickly!” 
“My mother was a daemon?” Yang Qi shouted. “Are you feeling suicidal, Dowager Yan? Don’t think for a minute that I won’t kill you.”
“Enough, Qi’er!” Yang Zhan said, his tone somewhat bitter. “Let her go. She’s telling the truth. I’d hoped to keep the details from you until your cultivation base was higher, but we’ve passed that point now. I might as well just lay things bare. Your mother is a very important person. She’s a princess of the Demonfolk from the Hanging Mountain.”
“What?” Hand quivering, Yang Qi let go of Dowager Yan, allowing her to drop to the ground. “What's the Hanging Mountain?”
“It’s not in the Rich-Lush Continent. It’s part of another world.” Yang Zhan shook his head. “When your cultivation has reached a higher level, you’ll understand.”
“Another world?” Yang Qi was shocked, but considering how deeply focused he had been on cultivating the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, he was privy to some secrets that others were not. He knew that the Rich-Lush Continent was like a drop in the ocean compared to how many other places existed.
The very existence of his godly-class energy art itself pointed to the fact that there was a world of gods, and also a world of hell. And if the Rich-Lush Continent was tiny and insignificant, then Yanhaven was even more so.
Yang Zhan nodded. “Qi’er, when your cultivation base is high enough, you can go to the Hanging Mountain yourself. And considering that you are already much stronger than a Master of Energy, I'd say that that day isn’t too far off.”
‘The Hanging Mountain, huh?’ Yang Qi made sure to imprint the name deep in his heart.
A long moment passed in which no one spoke.
Then, Yang Qi said, “Enough is enough. Yang Xu, Yang Shi, Yang Zhen. And all of you chief elders, including you Yang Wangxi. I'm giving you one more chance to declare allegiance to my father. If you refuse, then you know what will come next.”
“I'm willing to swear allegiance,” Yang Zhen said bitterly. He was now convinced that he wasn’t a match for Yang Qi, and that if Yang Qi wanted, he could actually exterminate everyone in the clan.
“Very well then. You’re free to go.” Yang Qi waved his hand, allowing Yang Zhen to drop to the ground. Face completely expressionless, he said, “Now get on your knees and kowtow to my father. From here on out, you need to treat him the way that ministers of old would treat the emperor.”
Imperial etiquette was different from clan etiquette. In an imperial dynasty, even close relatives had to kowtow to the emperor.
Yang Zhan frowned for a moment, but then accepted the idea. After all, centralizing power would serve the interests of the clan as a whole.
“What? Not going to follow along, Yang Shi? Yang Xu? And what about you, Yang Wangxi? You might be a chief elder, but you still need to respect the clan. From now on, the position of clan lord surpasses your own. My father is like the emperor, with complete power over life and death, even that of the council of chief elders. Without rules, nothing good can be accomplished. The rules of an imperial dynasty are perfectly suited to our clan. If we’re not unified, if we allow for internal power struggles, how can we succeed in anything? Cities everywhere are struggling to found nations, and sooner or later, our Yang Clan might do the same.”
1. As I mentioned before, I’m trying to use unique words for all of the terms in Chinese. In this novel, I’m using hellion, monster, and daemon as very near synonyms, and are basically just terms to refer to generic monstrous creatures. Hellion and daemon both contain the character that, by itself, I usually translate as demon. And monster contains the character that, by itself, I usually translate as devil. In any case, they are mostly just used as generic terms. In fact, when I originally translated this chapter, I had Dowager Yan say “Your mother is a monster.” I later changed it in editing because I really want to keep the terms separate like in Chinese. This story has A LOT of terms, and I think keeping them separate and identifiable is important.