“What? You want us to kowtow to Yang Zhan from here on out? Treat him with imperial etiquette? We’ve never had any rules like that before!”
The chief elders were all flabbergasted by Yang Qi’s demands.
After all, they ranked higher than Yang Zhan according to clan seniority. They were like patriarchs, or even higher, enigmatic figures who spent their time in cultivation. If they had to follow imperial etiquette, that would make them like government officials who had to show utmost respect to Yang Zhan. Not only would they have to kowtow to him, but he would also hold their lives in his hands. How could they possibly accept an arrangement like that?
“I make the rules from now on,” Yang Qi said coldly. “Refuse to comply, and have your martial arts crippled. Besides, this new arrangement will be good for the clan. Before, we were as unstable as a plate of sand. Everyone was constantly scheming and plotting to get ahead. Eventually, it would have led to the clan falling apart.”
Yang Qi knew that he couldn't back down when dealing with this group of old-timers.
If he did, things wouldn’t end well.
However, simply slaughtering them wasn’t an option. On the other hand, he had to be sure that they wouldn’t spread word of what had happened on this day. If that happened, then Yang Xu’s threat could become a reality, and some of the major sects could intervene. And Yang Qi would have a hard time coming out on top if people like that came after him. Besides, there was still the matter of him killing those disciples from the House of Spring and Autumn.
Furthermore, he didn't want his father dragged into the situation.
And that was not to mention the House of Shadowblight.
If he didn’t get this group to capitulate, they would become like termites eating away at the foundation of the clan, leading to inevitable disaster.
And thus, Yang Qi drew on all of the strength he could possibly muster to deal with the situation. As for Yang Zhan, he looked on as his son revealed how he had surpassed everyone in the clan, and nodded in satisfaction. ‘Can you see this, Greensura? Your son has become so powerful. He's growing up. Perhaps he hasn’t reached the point of being worthy among you Demonfolk, but his potential knows no bounds. He's not even twenty, and can already defeat any Master of Energy. One of these days, he's definitely going to come looking for you.’
“Yang Qi!” Yang Shi shouted furiously. “You've obviously become a freakish hellion, the vile spawn of a monster! If you’ve got what it takes, just kill everyone in the clan! None of us are going to follow your orders. You just wait. Eventually we’ll get someone to come kill you, you demon!”
“If that’s what you want, then fine.” Yang Qi could tell that Yang Shi’s animosity ran too deep, and not only would he never submit, but would definitely cause problems later. A burst of true energy suddenly erupted from Yang Qi.
Yang Shi grunted as all his meridians exploded, and his sea of energy cracked open. Instantly, all of the frigid true energy he had inside him erupted into his body, freezing him in the blink of an eye.
Immediately, the other members of the Yang Clan began to whisper among themselves.
“Yang Shi is dead? He killed him!”
“Yang Qi caused a backlash of true energy that turned him into ice!”
“How cruel…. It seems nobody can do anything about Yang Qi now.”
“What do we do? If we fight back, he’ll kill us all. His cultivation base is so powerful that not even the chief elders can deal with him.”
Suddenly, one of the members of the younger generation stepped forward, dropped to his knees, and kowtowed to Yang Zhan.
“Clan Lord, I'm willing to comply with the new clan rules.”
This young man was one of the elite young ones in the clan. He was twenty years old, with fifth phase energy arts, and was named Yang Yang. 
“Good. Very good.” Yang Qi said, nodding in approval. “Thank you for your good intentions, Yang Yang. You clearly have the interests of the clan at heart. So, you’re in the fifth phase, well on your way to the Energy Weapon level. Excellent. As a reward, I will help you advance your cultivation base a bit. That way, we can work together for the glory of the clan, our heads held high.”
Yang Qi placed his palm on the top of Yang Yang’s head, who shivered in response. He suddenly felt as though he were being burned with fire that cleansed the impurities in his body. It was as if his flesh, blood, and meridians were being bound with steel reinforcements, making them terrifyingly sturdy.
At the same time, Yang Qi sent some of his true energy into Yang Yang’s sea of energy, bolstering it, strengthening it. In that short moment, Yang Yang experienced the same benefit he would have by working hard at his cultivation for twenty or thirty years.
As soon as Yang Qi’s palm left his head, Yang Yang leapt to his feet and waved his finger, causing a stream of sword energy to fly out, carving a deep crevice in the ground.
Yang Yang burst out in exuberant laughter. “I’ve reached the sixth phase! I can form energy into weapons! That’s years of hard work, dispensed within a moment!”
In response to this development, everyone looked over at Yang Qi with complete astonishment.
Normally speaking, using one’s own vital energy to help further another’s cultivation was extremely harmful, and potentially even deadly. And yet Yang Qi had done just that in very casual fashion. It hadn’t even seemed to take any effort on his part; he'd done it as easily as spitting onto the ground.
“I'm willing to follow the new clan rules!”
“I submit, too.”
One by one, other young elites rushed out to kowtow to Yang Zhan, treating him the very same way that an emperor would be treated.
This was real power.
They were angry and unwilling, but the threat of Yang Qi, and the prospect of improving their cultivation bases, ensured that in the end, they agreed to the change in rules.
Personal interest would often trump all else. Energy arts and cultivation base lasted for a lifetime, and were the source of all possible honor, glory, and position. For those things, anyone could deal with a difficult situation. Many people would do anything to acquire wealth, and that was even more the case with energy arts and cultivation base.
“Very good,” Yang Qi said, pouring true energy into all of the young ones who had just stepped forward.
All of them immediately broke out of the fourth phase and into the fifth. That, of course, was a watershed. Reaching the Energy Eruption level meant that they could release their true energy outside of their body to use in a fight.
Everyone present was completely shaken.
Next, higher ranking members of the clan stepped forward to kneel and kowtow.
Yang Qi did not bless them with true energy; that was something he reserved for the young elites. The crafty, powerful older ones were not worth wasting vital energy on. And using the carrot and stick approach was often the best way to deal with a large group of people.
Up to this point, the chief elders still had not taken action. But now, they exchanged awkward glances.
The expressions on the faces of Yang Xingshi and Dowager Yan were extremely unsightly; to them, kowtowing to Yang Zhan was a fate worse than death.
In the end, Yang Zhan didn't want to push things too far. “Very well, the council of chief elders doesn’t need to kowtow. An ordinary salute will do.”
His words eased tensions a bit. Yang Zhougong nodded and then gave him a salute. “I'm willing to follow the new clan rules.”
He couldn’t help but look over at the frozen corpse of Yang Shi, whose energy arts had been at the same level as his own. And yet, Yang Qi had killed him as easily as slaughtering a chicken, leaving Yang Zhougong with the feeling that he had just barely escaped a similar fate.
After him, more chief elders expressed their willingness to follow the new rules.
Yang Qi looked on, very pleased with how he had forced everyone to submit by pure strength alone. Nothing compared to strength; not wealth, not position, not influence. Only by being strong could one be truly invincible.
In the end, it was only Yang Xingshi and Dowager Yan who still had not submitted. Because they were Masters of Energy, they simply couldn’t bring themselves to salute Yang Zhan as a superior.
Up to this point, they had been the true leaders of the clan; how could they so easily submit to a new leader? How could the ultimate figures in any organization suddenly agree to work for someone else?
“What,” Yang Qi said in a voice as cold as ice. “Yang Xingshi, Dowager Yan, don’t tell me you're not willing to accept a rule that can further the glory of the clan? You’re not willing to be a good example for everyone?”
Earlier, he had addressed Yang Xingshi as a patriarch, but now, he didn't show him any politeness. By now, he realized that politeness wouldn’t do any good. Strength was the only way he could force these people to submit.
And he was also willing to kill if he had to, to protect his father’s authority.
“You….” Yang Xingshi very nearly had an energy spasm in response to Yang Qi’s words. And there was nothing he could say by means of retort, especially considering the icy killing intent within Yang Qi’s eyes.
‘This kid is terrifying. He's only in the eighth phase, but he can already dominate Masters of Energy. If he reaches the ninth phase, does that mean he’ll be able to defeat invincible Lifeseizers?’ Finally, Yang Xingshi looked away from Yang Qi and saluted Yang Zhan.
“I, Yang Xingshi, offer greetings to you, Clan Lord.”
This was the first time he had submitted to another person in such a way.
“What about you, Dowager Yan?” Yang Qi said, his voice cool. Of course, everyone realized that since she was the only one left, if Yang Qi wanted to, he could kill her with impunity.
It was in this manner that true might and majesty were established.
“I’ll respect the clan rules,” Dowager Yan said, and then forced out a salute. The truth was that she was absolutely terrified of Yang Qi; when he had grabbed her moments ago, she had been powerless to fight back or flee.
“Well, that's good,” Yang Qi said. Then, he clapped his hands together once and smiled, dispelling some of the somber mood. “See, that wasn't so hard, was it? The corruption in the clan has been removed, and we've turned over a new leaf. On this day, the Yang Clan is born anew. We've centralized our power and established a new level of authority for the clan lord. By the way, Yang Xingshi and Dowager Yan, don’t harbor any ill thoughts. Soon I’ll be a Master of Energy, and then you’ll know what true power is. After all, you two still have hope of reaching the Lifeseizing level.”
His words seemed to wake Yang Xingshi and Dowager Yan up from a dream.
Dowager Yan’s face softened a bit; no amount of words or tokens of respect were more important than the marvelous Lifeseizing level. They were approaching the end of their longevity, and only had about twenty or thirty years before their energy and blood ran dry, and they died.
Therefore, they would kowtow to Yang Zhan ten thousand times, and even call him ‘daddy’ if it meant they could seize life from the heavens. Respect was almost like nothing compared to life and power.
Yang Zhan couldn't have been more pleased with how Yang Qi handled everything. As a father, there were few things that made him happier than seeing his son succeed.
“Father, shouldn’t we start the hunt? All we're waiting for is the word from you.”
“Right,” Yang Zhan said. Waving his hand solemnly, he said, “Let the autumn hunt begin!”