They had three days until the war games, and Yang Qi was very excited.
Hopefully, he would get a look at Proud Warpatience and learn something about him. In turn, that might give him clues about Proud Heaven. Perhaps getting a glimpse of Proud Warpatience’s energy arts would give him an idea of how to deal with Proud Heaven.
“Captain,” Yuan Kuohai said, “the war games are in three days, so perhaps we should go to the business district to buy some immortal items, magical treasures, and medicinal pills. The Special Reconnaissance Division is always in need of new equipment and we never have enough funds to do it. Considering your resources, Captain, do you think you can help?”
Titan Duelbringer snorted coldly. “What good would immortal items, magical treasures, and medicinal pills do? My lord is plenty rich, and if he wants to increase his fighting prowess, he wouldn’t resort to things like that. He would go straight to god items. Unfortunately, you people are too weak to use god items. Why not go to the Mechfolk instead, and see if they have any mechas that we could use against Proud Warpatience’s forces?”
“What? Mechfolk mechas?” Yuan Kuohai was visibly taken aback. “But those things are incredibly expensive! Even a low-level mecha would be far beyond our budget.”
“Forget about the budget,” Yang Qi said. “Let’s go take a look. In this case, money isn’t an object.” Yang Qi had been thinking for a while about going to the Mechfolk emporium to learn more about their terrifying mechas. He had long since learned about how the ancient mechanical civilization used mechas to enable even the weakest of humans to kill immortals and challenge the legion of gods.
Although the Mechfolk didn’t have access to the most profound secrets of that ancient mechanical civilization, the information they did have was immensely powerful. And the mechas they created didn’t run on magic, but rather power stones.
In other words, as long as you were inside a mecha you wouldn't need to use any true energy at all to unleash incredibly destructive power.
Virtually any cultivator would love to have an item like that.
Besides, Yang Qi wanted to see what the Mechfolk were like in general. Perhaps he could acquire some of their legacy and make his own mechas.
If he could, then his lower world would yet again become more powerful.
Flicking his sleeve, Yang Qi left to find the Mechfolk emporium.
As soon as they arrived at the business plane, they saw soldiers hurrying back and forth everywhere. All of the shops were crowded, and money and magical treasures were being handed back and forth like mad.
Titan Duelbringer led the way. “Milord, the Mechfolk emporium is called the Lost Civilization Consortium. It’s right over there. As you can see, news has spread of the conflict between Princess Jadefall and Proud Warpatience and people have already come to start preparing for the war games. Everyone is here in the business district, hoping to find something that will give them an advantage.”
“Captain, look over there. See those fellows in sky blue armor and clothing, with the ancient characters for ‘war’ and ‘patience’ on them? Those are Proud Warpatience’s men. And see everyone in the yellowish armor, with the golden-green aura? Those are Princess Jadefall’s troops.”
Yuan Kuohai pointed out a few of the people he was referring to.
‘Too bad Proud Warpatience isn’t here,’ Yang Qi thought, scanning the crowd for powerful auras, but not finding any.
Before long, they were standing in front of an immense castle that didn't resemble anything from an immortal dao civilization, but rather some lost civilization of the past.
“Here we are,” Titan Duelbringer said. “The Lost Civilization Consortium. The Mechfolk set really high prices, so usually only rich and noble people come here. They sell mechas, weapons, and battleships, the type that very few people can afford. Not even the imperial court is rich enough to buy a true fleet of battleships. You know, some of those battleships have plasma cannons that can break through the greyspaces of immortal worlds!”
“Interesting. Come on, let’s go in.”
As soon as they were inside, Yang Qi finally saw the Mechfolk. They had very low cultivation bases, to the point where they didn’t emit magical fluctuations. They were physically small, with abnormally large heads, and just looking at them they seemed unusually intelligent. In fact, they actually pulsed with what seemed to be unusual psychic abilities.
“Mechfolk have cultivation bases so low they’re not even worth mentioning,” Yuan Kuohai explained. “Generally speaking, it would be hard to find one who was a Demolisher. And those who become immortal officers are viewed the same as we would view a sovereign of heaven. However, you absolutely, positively must not underestimate them. They possess precious treasures from the ancient mechanical civilization. Even just one or two such items can give them fighting prowess millions upon millions of times their actual level. All said, they’re one of the most terrifying races in all of the immortal worlds.”
Yang Qi nodded. “I'm getting that sense already.”
As soon as they entered, one of the Mechfolk hurried over. He was short, but very energetic, almost as if he couldn’t stand still.
“Greetings, honored customers! Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Mech Tremor of the Mechfolk. Welcome to the Lost Civilization Consortium. I’d be happy to show you around and help find whatever it is you need!”
“I'm interested in purchasing some mechas. Mind helping me out?” Yang Qi's eyes slid past Mech Tremor to look at all of the various objects that apparently came from the ancient mechanical civilization. None of them had the auras of magical treasures, but instead were machines that pulsed with raw power. They were things which could pierce through space, slash open the void, reverse space-time, and perform incredible teleportations.
And some of the weapons were obviously rare items with outrageously powerful energy functions.
“The mecha gallery is a place for nobility,” Mech Tremor said. “Everything is very expensive. After all, each mecha is handcrafted by one of our people’s grandmasters.”
“Money’s not a problem,” Titan Duelbringer said, producing a money purse, “as long as the price is reasonable. Here, take a small gratuity up front.”
Mech Tremor accepted the money purse with a smile. “Ah, so you are nobility. Big spenders. Please, come with me.”
With that, he led them deeper into the castle, to a unique plane of existence, formed from spatial manifestations that looked like crystal. Countless mechas hung suspended in the air within enclaves of crystal, with displays listing their various functions and abilities.
“Our mechas are divided into twelve specific classes. Starting at the bottom, we have zodiacal, starry, moonlit, and sonic. Next come terrestrial, celestial, earthly, and heavenly. And finally: primeval, archaic, universal, cosmic. The cosmic-class mechas are the top-of-the-line models, with universal and archaic below them. And so on down through all the other classes. The most basic models are the zodiacal-class, which, when fully powered, are equivalent to Demolishers. As for the cosmic-class mechas, they’re as strong as Godmyths. There are even some models that can rival the legion of gods. Unfortunately, we’re out of stock of cosmic-class.”
“I understand,” Yang Qi said. “What’s the highest-level model you have in stock?”
“Those would be the sonic-class mechas, the pride of our emporium here. We have three of them, which I suppose is fortuitous since there are three of you. We also have ten moonlit-class mechas, although, if you need more we could probably transfer some in from another location.”
“I see. And how strong are the sonic-class mechas?”
“When fully powered, the sonic-class mechas are equivalent to immortal marquises. The moonlit-class correlates to immortal generals, and the starry-class versions are the same as immortal officers. Incidentally, the sonic-class mechas have elemental cannons which are strong enough to at least injure immortal paragons.”
“Elemental cannons?” Yang Qi said. “Can I take a look?”
“Of course.” Mech Tremor led Yang Qi to one particular crystalline enclave filled with dazzling light and impenetrable mist. He waved his hand and the mists faded away, revealing a towering mecha covered with designs resembling primeval godlings. It had a protruding horn which was also covered with complex designs that harkened back to the mysterious mechanical civilization of the past. That ancient civilization had clearly been incredible; the mecha pulsed with destructive power that, if unleashed, would definitely be capable of destroying humanity.
“Such power!” Yuan Kuohai said. “This mecha is a real treasure. It’s far stronger than any of the immortal armor I've seen.” 
“Well, that goes without saying,” Mech Tremor said. “By means of our eternal shrines, we Mechfolk have access to billions of ancient engineering skills. We use building materials in the form of all sorts of metals from various immortal worlds, and we imbue our power sources with all of the five phases. And we fill our mechas with genetic technology that allows them to repair and heal themselves automatically.”
Eyeing Yang Qi for a moment, Mech Tremor went on to say, “The sonic-class mechas go for fifty billion brahmanints. No haggling.”
“This thing is amazing,” Yang Qi said, breathing a sigh of admiration. Although the price was staggering, he could see why.
However, even as he was considering the matter, a voice suddenly reached them from outside.
“Fine. If the price is fifty billion, then fifty billion I’ll pay.”
A group of Mechfolk appeared, clustered around a handful of military officers.
Almost immediately the gazes of all the officers locked onto Yang Qi and his group.
The person who had spoken just now was a young man.
“Sixtieth Young Sir Proud, do you really want to buy that mecha?” one of the Mechfolk said. “Sir, as the sixtieth son of Proud Warpatience, I know that you have plenty of money, but this mecha—”
“I know. Fifty billion brahmanints. You're right, I can’t afford to pay that much. But I also happen to know that you Mechfolk love power stones. Take a look at these ones and tell me what they’re worth?”
He held out his hand, revealing a violet power stone. It was one of the immortal stones that Yang Qi had condensed from the magical laws of the Tusita Heaven.
Recommendation: If you haven’t read the Robot series by Isaac Asmiov, it should be on your “must read” list. Check it out here.