Yang Qi’s actions had terrorized the masses to the point where no one dared to step forward to fight him. He had a divine ability that allowed him to kill people with a single word, and at the moment everyone was busy trying to wrap their minds around that. As for Princess Jadefall, her eyes were glittering with delight.
These war games had originally been held for the two armies to stage a large-scale contest, yet Yang Qi had single-handedly routed Proud Warpatience’s forces. Proud Warpatience had endless numbers of top experts working for him, including plenty of people whose cultivation level vastly surpassed Yang Qi’s, yet not even they dared to make a move against him.
Yang Qi had just wiped out nearly the entire Ninja Division, striking a major blow against the army as a whole. In fact, their morale was so low it was almost nonexistent, making it nearly impossible for them to hold their own in a fight. If looks could kill, then Proud Warpatience’s gaze would have burned Yang Qi out of existence where he stood.
“Who dares to step forward?” Yang Qi taunted. “Anyone?” He had made a huge impression, and was taking every opportunity to needle the opposing army. In some ways, it was reminiscent of his days in the mortal world, when he single-handedly vanquished an immense fiendslave battalion and subsequently used their corpses to fortify his kingdom. Even to this day, not all of those corpses had been fully refined.
And he was far stronger now than he had been in those days.
He was going all out in his attempt to piss Proud Warpatience off, and hopefully learn a bit more about him by doing so.
After calling out some more taunts, and seeing no one step forward, Yang Qi laughed coldly. “I honestly can't believe that scum like you would dare to challenge the imperial clan. Whether you live or die, your souls belong to the Titan Emperor Heaven. So why are you following a rebel like Proud Warpatience? Doesn't that make you criminals? You know, even if nobody else stood up to you today, I would. I’m committing all of your faces to memory, so if you don’t step forward to renounce the darkness and seek the light, then I’ll eventually track you down and kill you. Beg Princess Jadefall for mercy, and perhaps you’ll survive. I’ll give you ten breaths of time to step forward and renounce membership in Proud Warpatience’s gang of villains.”
“Two.” Yang Qi wasn’t beating around the bush, and he wasn’t scared either. He had outright called Proud Warpatience a rebel and villain, a person who everyone had the right to punish.
Even Princess Jadefall was visibly stunned at what this ‘imperial clansman’ of hers was doing.
Yang Qi’s countdown finally pushed one of the top experts among Proud Warpatience’s forces over the line.
A cold snort echoed out, filled with volcanically destructive quintessence energy. At the same time, the empyrean winds in the sky above the immortal world parted and a figure appeared.
He was clad in a boa robe and had a golden crown on his head. Glittering on his forehead was a magical symbol that resembled a tadpole, except that it was actually a third eye, something that could grant eternally long life and protect against calamity of all sorts. 
Obviously, he was a very important person!
“A duke! He’s an official duke appointed by the imperial court!”
“That’s Grand Duke Bloodstabber, who some people call Immortal Paragon Bloodstabber. He’s a sixth stage Abstrusity-Demolisher!”
“Now he’s a top expert. I heard that Immortal Paragon Bloodstabber cultivates a bizarre godly-class energy art called the Murky Cavern Never-Dying Sanctuary Energy Art. He can produce never-dying calamity-reversing godcharms, which can stand in place for him in death. In other words, nobody in the world can kill him!”
“Yeah, that’s right. I heard that on one occasion, he infiltrated another immortal world to gather intelligence and ended up fighting a seventh stage Wilds-Demolisher. And he survived the battle!”
“I heard about that, too. Because of the fact that not even an immortal ancestor was able to kill him, he’s considered truly invincible. When he returned with the intelligence report, he was rewarded by the imperial court, given a dukedom and the title of grand duke. Now he’s a true noble of the court, with an immense official stipend.”
“Forget all that. The mere fact that he's an immortal paragon makes him a big shot around here; he’s far more important than the inspector generals or governors of the lands.”
“Let’s see whether or not this imperial clansman Titan Dragonguard can kill someone like that.”
“He definitely can’t. Grand Duke Bloodstabber cultivates the mysterious Murky Cavern Never-Dying Sanctuary Energy Art! Considering he’s ‘never-dying’, how could someone possibly kill him?”
“Well, let’s wait and see what happens. Who’s going to be stronger, Titan Dragonguard or Grand Duke Bloodstabber?”
Yang Qi’s eyes locked onto Grand Duke Bloodstabber, and he could instantly tell that he was no slouch. He was a sixth stage Abstrusity-Demolisher who vastly surpassed Immortal Paragon Night-Kṣetra. He also had a godly-class energy art, whose function was similar to the Wheel of Fate. It could produce magical charms that could be used to stand in his place in death. In other words, no matter how anyone tried to kill him, he could avoid death.
Godly-class energy arts like that were definitely a rarity. It begged the question of where it came from. After all, Yang Qi had never heard of anything like it before. But based on the buzz of conversation, he knew it was called the Murky Cavern Never-Dying Sanctuary Energy Art and had gained a smattering of information about what it could do.
“Listen up, boy,” Grand Duke Bloodstabber said. “You might be able to kill some operatives from the Ninja Division by shouting a bit. But I can tell that you’re using some sort of godly-class energy art to do it. And imperial clansmen don’t have access to consummate techniques like that. Must have come across some good fortune somewhere, am I right? Perhaps a hoard of power stones that have magical laws from a high-level immortal world like the Tusita Heaven. You found a godrelic, didn’t you? Well? I can read you like I can read the back of my hand.”
“Are you saying you want to fight me?” Yang Qi said coolly.
“I didn’t come to fight you. I came to give you some advice.” Eyes sparkling with blood-colored light, he continued, “I heard your lunatic ravings a moment ago. Let me tell you, Proud Warpatience is completely loyal to the Titan Emperor Heaven. Everyone praises his integrity, except you, who dared to call him a traitorous villain. It doesn’t matter if you’re an imperial clansman, words like that make you worthy of death! In fact, your actions also implicate Princess Jadefall. Has the time come for us to purge the court? You have one chance to get out of this alive. Step forward, admit your crimes to the exalted Proud Warpatience, and beg for forgiveness.”
“How impudent!” Princess Jadefall said. “Titan Dragonguard, this Grand Duke Bloodstabber is a famous individual in the Titan Emperor Heaven, and a top expert from the imperial court. You’ve done enough today. You’ve already performed immensely meritorious service in front of everyone, earning the right to request any reward you wish. Grand Duchess Violet-Moon, step forward to relieve Titan Dragonguard. Let him rest up a bit.”
“Yes ma’am.” A young woman flew out in a swirl of violet garments, holding a sword in her hand, her expression calm and focused.
Landing next to Yang Qi, she looked at him with a gleam of approval in her eyes and said, “You did well. I never would have guessed that we had someone like you in the imperial house. You truly have the spirit of our ancestors. Unfortunately, your daoist techniques are a bit lacking. There’s no way you can stand up to Grand Duke Bloodstabber.”
“Oh really?” Yang Qi said, not moving a muscle. “Much respect, Grand Duchess Violet-Moon, but why don’t you stick to the sidelines for a moment longer? Grand Duke Bloodstabber might have a ferocious reputation, but even he will die if he tries to fight me. I understand that he has his Murky Cavern Never-Dying Sanctuary Energy Art. Sadly for him, whoever defies my will is doomed to die. Anyone in heaven and earth that I decide to kill will end up dead, no matter where they run to.”
“Oh?” Grand Duchess Violet-Moon’s pupils constricted. “You have that level of godly-class energy art? You can really kill anyone by just speaking a word?”
“If you don’t believe me, Grand Duchess Violet-Moon, just wait and see what happens next. If this Grand Duke Bloodstabber formally challenges me to a duel, he’ll die. Godly-class energy art or not.”
Grand Duke Bloodstabber was initially shocked by Yang Qi’s confidence, but quickly recovered. He knew that in this situation, he absolutely, positively could not afford to look weak. If he lost face, he would never recover from it. Besides, he was very confident in his Murky Cavern Never-Dying Sanctuary Energy Art.
“Stop trying to act tough, boy. You think you can scare me with talk like that?”
He had gone through countless trials and tribulations throughout the years, yet never once had anyone managed to beat his energy art. Therefore, he simply didn’t believe that this Titan Dragonguard would be able to kill him.
How could someone like that possibly exist in this immortal world? If he were really that strong, he would be an unstoppable force.
‘There’s no way someone as freakish as that could possibly exist.’ Grand Duke Bloodstabber thought. ‘It would create too much imbalance in heaven and earth. He just got a legacy from a godrelic, nothing more.’
“Come on!” he said loudly. “Are you really that tough? Or are you all talk? I hereby challenge you to a duel. Well? Can you really talk me to death?”
Even as the words were leaving his mouth, Grand Duke Bloodstabber leaped into action.
“Stab Myriad Archaisms; Blood-Form God-Dao!”
A streak of blood-colored light shot through the air with unstoppable momentum, completely surrounding Yang Qi and leaving no avenue for escape. Grand Duke Bloodstabber clearly knew of the old adage: Strike first, achieve lethality. Strike second, meet calamity.
He was hoping to wipe out Yang Qi with one devastating move, before he could use his speech-based attack.
Who could possibly have predicted that a top expert like Grand Duke Bloodstabber would resort to such a sinister and underhanded trick? First, he talked about giving Yang Qi a chance to use his ability, yet before he could, he struck a mortal blow. No one could argue the fact that it was a disgraceful move.
“Not good!” Grand Duchess Violet-Moon blurted. Unfortunately, even she had been caught off guard and couldn’t react in time. As Grand Duke Bloodstabber closed in, he resorted to a second move, causing a stream of blood-colored light to erupt from his forehead, locking Grand Duchess Violet-Moon in place and making it impossible for her to come to Yang Qi’s aid.
In the blink of an eye, his Stab Myriad Archaisms, Blood-Form God-Dao was right in front of Yang Qi. It was also in that moment that Yang Qi spoke in a voice that could shake the universe.
“In the name of the Lord. Be deprived!”
1. A ‘boa robe’ is a type of garment worn by certain officials in ancient times. They are called ‘boa robes’ because they’re embroidered with golden snakes. If you look closely, you’ll see that the ‘snakes’ actually look like dragons. According to the explanation I found in Chinese, the fact that they only have four claws means that they are not true dragons, but instead ‘boa snakes’. Here is a picture of the robe being worn, and here it is laid out flat. The rules defining dragons by their claws varied throughout history.