Chapter 557: The Mechfolk

Thus Yang Qi became Titan Dragonguard, imperial clansman. He went from being a wanted criminal from the lower world to someone of incredible importance in the Titan Emperor Heaven.

And it was all thanks to Titan Duelbringer.

The entire process revealed to Yang Qi just how corrupt this immortal world was. With enough immortal stones to pave the way, anything was possible. It was even possible to purchase new identities.

Of course, this level of corruption was a big indication that the imperial dynasty was on its last legs. Otherwise, how could a fugitive like him so easily infiltrate the imperial ranks?

Official documents were generated, as well as an identity medallion. They also received new sets of clothing. The story was that Titan Dragonguard was the descendant of a brave hero who died in battle. That hero’s descendants eventually fell from grace, mixed with the common people, and were forgotten. Years later, the Department of the Imperial Clan revisited the matter and tracked down the hero’s final descendant, who was none other than ‘Titan Dragonguard’.

As for Titan Duelbringer, it was a much simpler task to simply wipe his record clean based on ‘meritorious service’ in the lower world. Once again, Titan Duelbringer was now an official son of the imperial clan.

“Milord, you have a new identity, but unfortunately you’re somewhat lacking in cash. You see, here in the Titan Emperor Heaven, we don’t just use immortal stones for currency. Because we’re a member of the Thirty-Six Thousand Immortal Worlds Coalition, we use an immortal currency called brahmanints. Like this.”

With that, he pulled out a metallic coin. It looked exactly like coins from the mortal world, with a round outer shape and a square center hole. [1]

However, the coin had been sealed with an immortal skill, transforming it into a magical treasure.

“Milord, you have a lot of power stones, but considering they’re all formed from the power of the Tusita Heaven, they’re too eye-catching. If we can convert them into hard currency, it will make things a lot easier, whether we’re here in the Titan Emperor Heaven or in other immortal worlds.” He thought for a moment. “Our next step is to infiltrate the mansion of Princess Jadefall and try to get information about Proud Heaven. So we definitely need to make sure we’ve thought everything through beforehand. Princess Jadefall is not one to take lightly. She’s immensely ambitious and commands entire armies of elite soldiers. Her forces have kept enemy invaders at bay for years and years. Once we're in her mansion you absolutely, positively must not reveal any of those power stones. It would be far too suspicious.”

“Thirty-Six Thousand Immortal Worlds Coalition, huh?” Yang Qi murmured. The mere name was somewhat frightening. Considering that he couldn’t perform a thorough search of the mere Titan Emperor Heaven in even a hundred years, how could he possibly handle a coalition of thirty-six thousand immortal worlds? All of a sudden, he was struck with awe at how large the universe was. No matter how powerful one’s divine abilities and magical powers, they were still a drop of water in the ocean at best.

Taking the brahmanint, he sent some divine will into it and found the immortal skill that had sealed it. Because of it, the coin emanated immortal might, and he could tell that if enough were gathered together, millions upon millions, it would be enough to release power fatal to immortals.

That said, releasing that power as a weapon would destroy the brahmanint.

Seeing how Yang Qi was studying the coin, Titan Duelbringer continued to explain, “Milord, brahmanints are miraculous things. They’re actually a core element of the Thirty-Six Thousand Immortal Worlds Coalition and are distributed by the Brahman Society. The seal inside the coin is actually a brahman skill. One of the key functions is how the coins can be pooled together to unleash explosive power. That said, they’re precious, and therefore most people would never use them as a weapon unless absolutely necessary. It would be too much of a waste.”

“Yes, I can see that,” Yang Qi said. “These brahmanints contain incredible power. It seems to me they were created by a godly-class energy art from the ancient legion of gods, the type that could be the foundation of a major sect or organization. My guess is that the Brahman Society must have something to do with the ancient buddhist schools. If I have a chance, I should go look into them.” [2]

“We’re a long way off from becoming members of the Brahman Society,” Titan Duelbringer said. “Even the lowest member of that society outranks the emperor of heaven here in the Titan Emperor Heaven, and he's the lord of an entire immortal world!

“Milord, let’s go exchange your power stones for brahmanints. The imperial city is a major center of commerce, and there are plenty of shops to be found that specialize in currency exchange. And truth be told, the chaos in the Titan Emperor Heaven means that business is booming. That’s what often happens when war strikes immortal worlds. Goods exchange hands on a daily basis, especially imported goods. Actually, Milord, if you want your lower world to transform into an immortal world, you might as well start sending down building materials now.”

“Not a bad idea,” Yang Qi said, turning his eyes up in thought.

Although he had a mystical network of laws in place below, he wasn’t particularly rich in resources. The treasures he had couldn’t even match up to the mere soil of the immortal world around him.

And his kingdom in the Hell of Mahānata was by no means perfectly complete. Sending down building materials from the immortal worlds would definitely be a big help.

With the power of faith, combined with building materials from an immortal world, perhaps he could build an Altar of Faith for cultivation purposes.

Furthermore, immortal materials could probably help his immortal clone to further perfect his five godly-class energy arts.

“Alright, let's get going,” he said, tucking away his identity medallion. As Titan Dragonguard, imperial clansman, he now had nothing to fear and could freely move about the imperial city. Getting information would be a lot easier.

Soon, he and Titan Duelbringer arrived at a plane specifically set aside for business purposes.

Troops were on patrol everywhere, but considering the two of them now wore the clothing of imperial clansmen, complete with identity medallions, no one stopped them.

Even down-and-out members of the imperial clan were still considered wealthy experts who ordinary soldiers wouldn’t dare cause problems for.

The streets and shops in the business plane seemed endless. Just about everything was available, shipped in through space-time wormholes from places near and far.

On one occasion, Yang Qi saw a procession of chariots emerging from a certain wormhole. The chariots themselves were crystalline and dazzling in nature, and they were each pulled by eight horses. The horses were marvelous; they glowed with bright white light and had horns on their heads, as well as halos.

“Milord, look!” Titan Duelbringer said. “Those are ultra-radiance godhorses! They have particularly noble blood and are rare mounts even here in the immortal world. They’re incredibly fast and strong, and can absorb spatial power via breathing. They can even create natural greyspaces, and their passage will create deadly tempests. The nobility in many immortal worlds prefer them as mounts, although they’re very rare. Here in the Titan Emperor Heaven, you have to reach the immortal officer level to even have a chance at getting one. And the only place to purchase them is the Heaven Spring Consortium.”

RUMBLE!

They watched as the chariot procession went along through the business plane until it reached a particularly large mansion. Obviously, they were delivering goods, although it was hard to say exactly what.

A moment later, more rumbling sounds could be heard as another wormhole opened up.

This time, a host of vessels appeared that resembled snakes.

Each one was fully five hundred kilometers long and wreathed in crackling lightning that formed wings on either side.

“Those ships belong to the Mechfolk. They’re called Lightning Snake Battlecruisers. The Mechfolk don’t belong to any particular immortal world, but you’ll find them just about everywhere. They’re very skilled at equipment forging, the creation of machinery, and the assembly of magical treasures. Normally speaking, it takes a lot of work for immortals to make magical treasures. But the Mechfolk can make them in batches of thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands. Then they’ll use ancient spell formation charts to piece them together into larger machines. The result is a power that could never be unleashed by a single magical treasure. See, the Lightning Snake Battlecruisers are actually made from over a million different immortal items. Even just one of those battlecruisers could cause big problems for an army from an immortal world. The Titan Emperor Heaven isn't powerful enough to create such battlecruisers, so you can imagine what would happen if they crossed the Mechfolk. They would get destroyed. The imperial court has purchased a few, but they’re so expensive that the fleet is almost nonexistent.”

“Nothing short of miraculous,” Yang Qi said, his eyes glittering. The workmanship that went into the Lightning Snake Battlecruisers was incredible, and almost seemed like something from a different, more fascinating civilization.

And with his Lord's Eye, Yang Qi could see that the ship had enormous cannons on it that could surely unleash devastating power. The entire ship looked like something from a lost civilization.

Truth be told, legends spoke of an ancient mechanical civilization whose people were physically weak, and rarely lived more than a hundred years. However, they were particularly intelligent, creating machines so powerful they could kill immortals and even threaten the legion of gods.

The Mechfolk actually inherited the legacy of that ancient mechanical civilization.

One could imagine what would happen if two immortal worlds clashed, and one brought a disorganized fiendslave battalion while the other brought immense warships. Obviously, the disorganized army would be ripped to pieces.

Flesh and blood couldn’t possibly be a match for advanced machinery.

‘I think I need to pay a visit to these Mechfolk,’ Yang Qi thought. ‘I wonder if I can buy some of their battlecruisers and send them to the lower world….’


1. Throughout history, the round coin with a square hole was the common currency in China. The hole in the center made it easy for them to be strung together into “strings” of cash of larger denominations, from 10, to 100, to 1000. Here’s an image.

2. The real-life connections between Brahmanism and Buddhism are far too complex to get into here. And as I always say, the real-life details are usually not relevant in fantasy novels like this. That said, if it interests you, check out these articles about Brahma and Vedic religions.

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Deathblade's Thoughts

Chronicles of Baby Deathblade: It's been a while since I mentioned BDB in any of my updates. A few minutes after uploading this chapter, we're heading off for his first official day of preschool. And we're only a few weeks away from his fourth birthday. It's hard to believe it's been nearly four years from the day I blearily posted ISSTH chapters from the hospital the day he was born. After moving from China to America, he went through a few months in which he refused to speak Chinese. However, when his grandmother visited from China (she can't speak more than a few words of English), he finally gave up and went back to speaking Chinese as well. Now he can switch back and forth between both languages easily, and even interpret. One funny thing is that considering I work from home, he's very familiar with my own 'workplace' terminology. He will say things like 'dad, did you launch your chapter yet?' He's terrifyingly clever and logical, and extremely cute. For example, he'll oftentimes ask us complicated questions that he already knows the answer to, just to see if we will respond correctly. Oh, and he likes knock-knock jokes, especially the one about the interrupting cow. Lol. Alright, enough for that update. I occasionally provide minor updates or funny stories about him on my Twitter, so check the sidebar or follow me on Twitter if you haven't already.