In a certain pavilion in the depths of the Heaven’s Net Consortium, Yang Qi and Titan Duelbringer sat with Sir Sun, talking business. They were on the top level of the pavilion, looking out over the bustling city, an amazing view that was simply impossible to take in with a single glance.
“As a supervisor here in the Heaven’s Net Consortium,” Sir Sun said, “your humble servant has a bit of power, including the authority to authorize big business deals. What exactly did the two of you have in mind? As long as there’s profit to be had, the Heaven’s Net Consortium won't turn down a good deal. We’ll even purchase god items, if you have them. By the way, I'm Sun Jianhou.” 
Gesturing slightly with his finger, he sent out an awe-inspiring and righteous pulse of sword might, indicating that he cultivated a consummate dao of the sword. Clearly, he had immortal bones and also had extraordinary genes.
‘This guy is actually an immortal warrior!’ Yang Qi thought, surprised. ‘He's a second stage Space-Demolisher, with sword bones like Sword Seventeen’s. He’s clearly a sinister schemer, and won’t be easy to deal with. However, if he thinks he can keep us in check with the dao of the sword, he’s just looking to get killed. Let’s see if I can trick him into revealing how many imperial snakecharms the Heaven’s Net Consortium has.’
As the bitingly cold sword energy weighed down on them, Yang Qi and Titan Duelbringer exchanged a glance. Then Yang Qi let out a stream of warm energy that instantly negated the sword will.
Visibly stunned, Sun Jianhou said, “Shouldn’t people as amazing as you be famous? How come I've never heard of you before?”
“Famous?” Yang Qi replied. “Considering the chaos and war around us, what would be the point of that? Haven’t you heard the saying people should fear fame like pigs fear being fattened up?”
“Well, that’s true,” Sun Jianhou said. “Danger abounds in the Titan Emperor Heaven nowadays. If things turn really bad… the famous people will be the first to die.”
“Let’s get back to the topic at hand. I have a lot of power stones, and I want to know how much you’re offering for them.”
With that, he waved his hand and produced a spatial crystal, within which was a mountain-like pile of power stones from the Tusita Heaven.
Because Yang Qi had his nascent divinity ensconced in the Tusita Heaven, it was a very easy task for him to open a passageway there. Although he couldn’t travel through the passageway, he could extract power and magical laws from it. That made it possible for him to create what were essentially the rarest type of immortal stone.
In the Titan Emperor Heaven, people would devolve into fighting to get such stones.
“So many immortal stones!” Sun Jianhou said, gasping. Eyes flickering with greed, he said, “I just don’t get it. How did you acquire so many immortal stones like this? And how could they have such powerful magical laws? Which immortal plane do they come from?”
“I’ll be straight. They’re from the Tusita Heaven! You see, I do a lot of traveling, and I recently found a godrelic on the edges of our immortal world, inside of which was a huge stash of immortal stones. I suspect that an immortal in ancient times had been collecting them to make an altar, but was killed before beginning the work.” Yang Qi didn't hesitate at all to make up a complete lie. “Even a tiny scrap of power from the Tusita Heaven is thousands of times more powerful than anything from the Titan Emperor Heaven. We both know that, so please dispense with the rigmarole of trying to trick me into underestimating their value.”
“You’re right, they’re definitely very valuable,” Sun Jianhou said, his heart starting to pound with fear as he realized what type of person Yang Qi was. Although he was sorely tempted to try to take the power stones by force, he didn’t dare. First, he wasn't sure how strong Yang Qi was, and second, he couldn't forget that he was dealing with two imperial clansmen, which meant that he couldn’t just kill them outright. “Well, how many brahmanints do you want per stone?”
“A hundred thousand. Look, I'm not interested in haggling. I have ten thousand of these stones, which means that I want a billion brahmanints. Surely you can part with a bit of change like that. Truth be told, ten thousand is only a fraction of what I have access to. But the main question is, can you even afford ten thousand power stones like this? Or would you like to pay for a portion with something more valuable than brahmanints? For example, I heard rumors that the Heaven’s Net Consortium has imperial snakecharms, which are considered to be powerful enough to shake three thousand chiliocosms of worlds.”
“What did you just say?” Upon hearing Yang Qi ask for a billion brahmanints, Sun Jianhou initially looked a bit embarrassed. After all, he didn’t have the authority to make a business deal that immense. But then he heard Yang Qi talking about imperial snakecharms, and his expression flickered. “Where did you hear about the imperial snakecharms? That’s top-secret information! Please, tell me the details, otherwise I might get in big trouble.”
“We're from the imperial clan,” Yang Qi said with an enigmatic smile. “We control the entire Titan Emperor Heaven, so what is there that we don't know? Look, do we have a deal, or not? I have plenty of power stones, and all of them are packed with magical laws. Seal this deal, and think of how many top experts in your consortium will be able to achieve spectacular cultivation progress.”
“I don’t have the authority to make a decision like this on my own. I have to report it to my superiors.” With that, he rushed off.
“Milord,” Titan Duelbringer said quietly, “you can see in his eyes how vicious this guy is. Do you think he's going to try to pull a fast one? There’s no doubt that he's greedy, and we can't forget that the Heaven’s Net Consortium is the most untrustworthy group around.”
Yang Qi chuckled coldly. “It's fine. I could tell from the beginning that this place is full of scoundrels. And it seems he’s still trying to be slippery. Well, he's going to get more than he bargained for. For now, I just want to see how many imperial snakecharms they have. Every single one I get is a boost of power. And they definitely have a larger collection than mine….”
"In that case, Milord, congratulations. Whenever you set your sights on something, you get it.” Titan Duelbringer seemed to be laying it on quite thick.
“I actually used a technique of the primeval infernal deities to put a bit of divine will on him. Nobody will notice it, but it’ll let me spy on his every move. If he’s plotting against me, I’ll bury him. Besides, Sword Seventeen could benefit a lot from his sword bones.”
Shortly thereafter, Sun Jianhou returned, smiling broadly. “Brother, those power stones of yours are really precious. We agree to purchase them. If you have ten thousand, then we can definitely pay a billion for them, cash up front.” He held out a purse, which clinked as though it contained a massive assortment of coins.
Not bothering to look inside, Yang Qi nodded. “Fine. A billion brahmanints. So, your Heaven’s Net Consortium really is rich after all.”
With that, he took the purse and handed over the immortal stones. Then he continued, “Now, what about the imperial snakecharms?”
Instead of answering the question, Sun Jian said, “Brother, don’t tell me you also have some imperial snakecharms? If so, then why not sell them to us as well? We’ll give you an amazing price for them. Perhaps we could interest you in some god items?”
“Unfortunately, I don’t have a single imperial snakecharm. But I have plenty of immortal stones, as many as you want, if you’re up for a deal.” Swishing his sleeve, he turned as if to leave. “Farewell. I think our business is over now.”
“Please come back soon,” Sun Jianhou said, all smiles as he escorted them out.
Once they were gone, Sun Jianhou hurried to a location hidden deep in the Heaven’s Net Consortium, a place protected by powerful spatial warding magics. There, an altar had been set up that pulsed with godliness, as well as something faintly demonic. It also had strange, totemic designs on it.
Surrounding the altar were seats occupied by figures in voluminous black cloaks, complete with hoods that concealed their facial features, who were muttering divine incantations.
Interspersed among the figures in black were a handful of people in cinnabar-colored clothing, one of whom looked up and said, “Was your report accurate, Sun Jianhou? Does he really have some imperial snakecharms?”
“Yes he does. Sir, there’s absolutely no way that the imperial clan knows of our collection. That guy definitely used his own snakecharms to sense the presence of ours. That said, his cultivation base is exceptionally high. It's going to take some top experts to kill him.”
“I see,” said another of the figures in cinnabar. “Excellent. Now that this altar is complete, we can continue with our plan to destabilize the Titan Emperor Heaven. The imperial snakecharms are elements of a boundless god item created by the ancient King Heaven-Devourer. Each charm contains the quintessence of a primal-chaos elder-snake, specifically designed to devour the heavenly will of immortal worlds. Once the Titan Emperor Heaven is shattered, its heavenly will shall be fully released, at which time we can use the imperial snakecharms to devour it. That is the mission of our grand leader, and we can’t allow any slipups. He’s been planning this affair for years. Thankfully, you can wear out iron shoes in a fruitless search, then find what you're looking for without even trying. And sure enough, this boy showed up at our doorstep to help us. We can’t let him get away! Get his imperial snakecharms! If we do, our leader will reward us greatly. Understand?”
“Yes sir!” Sun Jianhou said. “But they’re both imperial clansmen. If we kill them, it could cause big problems.”
“This is about imperial snakecharms!” said another of the figures in cinnabar. “We can deal with any potential consequences! Each talisman from King Heaven-Devourer represents a greater ability to devour the will of heaven!”
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