“The princess has returned!”
“The princess is back!”
Voices rose up everywhere as an immense, grandiose energy suddenly began weighing down on the mansion.
Yang Qi shivered, acutely aware that this was something he couldn’t possibly fight against.
Titan Duelbringer dropped to his knees. “Princess Jadefall… she’s returned?”
Yang Qi quickly followed suit and fell to the ground. For now, he would keep a low profile and wait until he had a secure position in the immortal world. Only after he passed his heavenly tribulation would he consider making more of a scene.
The energy he was sensing was the type that could cause heaven and earth to shake violently, and seemed completely invincible. It surpassed anything he had ever sensed before, and he knew that if it descended to the mortal world, could wipe out tens upon tens of thousands of planetary systems with no effort whatsoever.
Up above, an enormous door appeared.
As countless soldiers and generals bowed in the direction of the door, a host of servants appeared, carrying lamps, parasols, incense burners, and various other ceremonial gear.
Next, a palanquin appeared, within which sat a young woman.
As soon as she appeared, the sky went dim, and all the vital energy in the area began flowing toward her of its own accord, as if she were the ultimate, most domineering entity in all heaven and earth.
She wore simple, but elegant palace attire and looked like a goddess who had just stepped out of an ancient myth. Although her aura was otherworldly, she seemed to radiate power beyond comprehension.
She was none other than Princess Jadefall.
Yang Qi could tell that she was incredibly strong. At the very least, she was too strong of an opponent for him to deal with.
He immediately wondered what her cultivation level was. Seventh stage of Demolishing? Eighth stage? Ninth?
Of course, the sovereign of heaven in this immortal world, the emperor, was no higher than the ninth stage, so there was no way this woman was a Godmyth.
As she entered her mansion, everyone else dutifully bowed low and didn’t dare to look up. There was something about her that seemed to hint of godliness, as though she had a god item on her person that was tightly sealed up.
It was something that ordinary immortals would be unable to detect, but because Yang Qi had his God Legion Seal, his senses were far more acute than those of others and he noticed the clues.
Of course, he had his own aura sealed tight for fear of anyone noticing anything unusual. If he attracted the wrong attention from Princess Jadefall, it would be a very bad situation. She was too terrifyingly strong for him to fight, and besides, he was hoping to work for her.
And yet, as soon as she entered the mansion, she actually walked in their direction.
As she neared, the steward called, “Welcome back from court, Princess. Have things taken a turn for the better? If they have, perhaps you can lighten your workload. Considering how many military responsibilities you have to attend to, it's a pity you’re always occupied with affairs of state.”
“How could things take a turn for the better so quickly?” she said, her voice as charming as pearls. “No, things are getting worse.”
As Princess Jadefall neared, Yang Qi again felt his heart pounding, as if with excitement. ‘Her life force substructure is so strong!’ Yang Qi thought. ‘She’s definitely not an ordinary cultivator. She actually reminds me of that kid in yellow! Based on her aura… wait. Don’t tell me she's a Future One! No. Her aura is different from that of a Future One.’
Looking over at Yang Qi and Titan Duelbringer, she said, “Two imperial clansmen? What are they doing here?”
“Er, it's like this. These two are down on their luck right now, and are hoping to make a comeback. That’s why they’ve come here looking for work. I was planning to assign one of them to a mission or two. I already looked into his background. This here is Titan Dragonguard, who has a particularly strong aura. He promises to work hard for you, and the nation as a whole.”
“Oh really?” Princess Jadefall's gaze locked onto Yang Qi.
Instantly, he could sense her peering deep into him. Thankfully, he had already pulled his true quintessence energy into the God Legion Seal and used the abilities of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth to disguise his meridians and sea of energy to make them seem weaker than they were.
A sudden burst of psychic power flowed through his flesh and blood, and even peered into his vital energy. A moment passed, and Princess Jadefall nodded. “You’re right. Not bad at all. Nowadays, most imperial clansman are lazy buffoons who don’t know how to truly practice cultivation. It’s unusual to find geniuses who have pursued cultivation to this level. Send him to the Special Reconnaissance Division and see how he does.”
“Sir, yes sir!” the steward said with a nod. At that point, Princess Jadefall moved on, and the three of them rose to their feet.
“Princess Jadefall is very strict with how she runs the army,” the steward said. “The Special Reconnaissance Division is focused on spying and gathering information. They also go behind enemy lines and act as scouts. Joining them will be good experience, and you’ll have the chance to perform some very meritorious service. Come on, I’ll take you to the barracks. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a mission waiting for you. With every mission that you accomplish, you’ll earn military credit, and once you have enough you can apply for a promotion.”
Yang Qi nodded. “Yes sir!”
“Are you interested in enlisting too, Titan Duelbringer?” the steward asked.
“Nah,” Titan Duelbringer replied, smiling. “I’m not suited for all the fighting and killing. The Department of Internal Affairs has some work for me. Stuff related to purchasing and business. If you have any issues with logistics, just let me know.”
“Right, you’ve got a lot of connections. Alright, if I end up needing help with any business situations, I’ll be in contact. Take care.” Waving his hand, he said, “Men!”
Two burly heavenly soldiers entered.
“Take him to the Special Reconnaissance Division! These orders come directly from the princess, and must be followed! Understand?”
“Sir, yes sir!”
“Come on, let’s go.”
With that, Yang Qi was escorted away toward the Special Reconnaissance Division. The two men led him to a twisting, winding wormhole that eventually opened up to a military camp in another plane of existence. As soon as he stepped out of the wormhole, Yang Qi felt killing energy buffeting his face.
There were a host of camps set up in all directions, as well as countless wormholes leading here and there. And there were as many experts as the sky had clouds. Almost instantly, he felt numerous streams of divine will sweeping over him, the type that no demon, devil, ghost, or monster could repel.
Kill! Kill! Kill! It was as if an innumerable host of warriors were all shouting into his mind at the same time.
One of the soldiers who had escorted him from the mansion raised his voice and said, “Princess’ orders! This is Titan Dragonguard, sent here to join the Special Reconnaissance Division.”
“Bring him over!” someone shouted from further in the camp.
Eventually, Yang Qi found himself in front of some sort of general or officer, who had eyes like a tiger, a long beard, and big hands. He was also a hunchback.
“This is General Yuan Kuohai, who leads the Special Reconnaissance Division. Hurry up and offer respects!” 
“Greetings, General!” Yang Qi said, offering a quick salute.
General Yuan Kuohai snorted coldly. “An imperial clansman who wants to join the army? It’s not easy to serve in the Special Reconnaissance Division. All of our scouts are tough soldiers who can operate on their own, infiltrating enemy strongholds, assassinating important people, and the like. They have to be able to get to places other people can’t reach. Can you do all that?”
“Yes sir, I can!”
Even as the words left his mouth, he realized that he had not responded correctly. Based on everything he had experienced in life, including fighting endless swarms of heavenly soldiers and commanders, he knew that things worked differently in the armed forces. One needed to puff one's chest up and impress others right away. Therefore, he continued on and said, “Sir, I'm here to bring glory to the imperial clan. To fight! To rain blood down on the enemy! You need ambitious soldiers working for you, right? People who will fight hard no matter what? Well, sir, I might be a nobody from the imperial clan, but I know full well that the empire only exists because of the army! If you think I'm not worthy, general, then give me your most dangerous mission. If I fail, then I don’t deserve to live. I’ll take any position you offer me!”
General Yuan Kuohai’s eyes glittered as he realized that Yang Qi was neither servile nor obsequious. With a firm nod, he slapped the table in front of him and said, “Excellent. I like you, kid! I can tell you’re confident, and that’s a good thing. In that case, I'm not going to give you a hard time. Right now, there are a lot of open missions here in the Special Reconnaissance Division, and I know of one that’s perfect for you. Not too far away in the Endless Forest, the demonlings have been particularly active recently. It seems likely they’ve fallen under the influence of demons from another world, specifically the Hanging Heaven. According to what we know so far, a demon-immortal from there arranged for an altar to be set up and is using it to gather the local demonlings into an army. I'm assigning you to one of our crack teams, the Obliterators. Your mission is to get into the Endless Forest, gather some specific information, and destroy the altar!”
“Sir, yes sir!” Yang Qi replied in a loud voice.
“Alright. Men, bring the Obliterators in.”
“Sir, yes sir!”
A moment later, devilish light flickered and an aura like that of endless waves of blood filled the encampment. Five armor-clad soldiers appeared, all of them tall, strong, and clearly very experienced as fighters.
“These are the Obliterators, one of the elite teams we have here in the Special Reconnaissance Division.” Looking at the team of five, he said, “You have a new team member now. This is Titan Dragonguard, an imperial clansman. The six of you will head into the depths of the Endless Forest, scout out the location of the Hanging Heaven’s altar, and destroy it. Good luck.”
“What?” one of the soldiers said. “This kid wants to join us, the Obliterators? Everyone knows that we’re fiendish killers! We used to have a lot of members, but most of them were eliminated on the countless missions we’ve accomplished. We five survivors are the best of the best. And now we're supposed to add a newbie?” Looking over at Yang Qi, he said, “Aren’t you afraid of being eliminated too?”
The soldier's armor was covered with countless vicious-looking spikes, and he had triangular, compound eyes that seemed to indicate he cultivated a powerful vision technique. Anyone who looked into those eyes would feel their hair standing on end, the same way one would feel when staring into the eyes of a deadly viper.
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