In a moment of utmost danger, Yang Qi opened his mouth and spoke.
When he said ‘in the name of the Lord’, he had spoken very quietly, to the point where no one could hear him clearly. But when he said ‘be deprived’, everyone could hear it. It was almost like a clap of thunder that rolled out across the parade ground, causing the ground to split and crack.
The surface of the parade ground was specifically designed to be extremely durable, yet the mere sound of Yang Qi’s words actually broke it. His voice was not the manifestation of some energy art or daoist technique. It was just his voice, projected from within his body.
A moment later, everything went silent.
Grand Duke Bloodstabber’s move of Stab Myriad Archaisms; Blood-Form God-Dao stopped, right there in front of Yang Qi. Even as Grand Duke Bloodstabber stared in disbelief, his true energy began to pop and crack, almost like fireworks.
Next, a stream of magical symbols flew out of him, then faded out of existence.
Shockingly, he had just been deprived of the Murky Cavern Never-Dying Sanctuary Energy Art, which he had painstakingly cultivated over countless years.
“What’s going on here? My energy art just left me?” Without hesitation, Grand Duke Bloodstabber shot backward across the field of battle. No longer was he interested in killing Yang Qi. No, he knew that of the thirty-six stratagems of war, retreat was often the best option. Only a moment ago, he had been brimming with confidence in his ability to kill Yang Qi. Who could have guessed that, only a moment later, this would happen?
However, even as Grand Duke Bloodstabber fled, hoping to escape the battlefield, Yang Qi spoke again. “Plummet!”
Instantly, a thumping sound could be heard as Grand Duke Bloodstabber tumbled out of the sky like a kite with its string cut.
Numerous onlookers were so shocked their eyes nearly popped out of their skulls.
As for Proud Warpatience, he was the picture of burning fury.
“Get over here!” he shouted, leaping out into the middle of the parade ground and sending an enormous hand shooting in the direction of Yang Qi and Grand Duke Bloodstabber.
But then Princess Jadefall flicked her finger, sending a beam of light out that was the color of both gold and jade. “Please, Proud Warpatience, can you refrain from such shamelessness? This is a formal competition! Chalk death up to fate, and honor as the blessing of heaven.”
The light slammed into the enormous true energy hand and a huge shock wave rolled out.
“You think you can save your minion so easily, Proud Warpatience?” Yang Qi said loudly. “Well, you’re gravely mistaken!” Taking a step forward, he said, “Melt!”
An agonized scream rang out, like one would expect if a living person were doused in boiling water.
It was spine-tingling and terror-inducing. Everyone watched as Grand Duke Bloodstabber, who had only just fallen onto the ground, began physically melting. A moment later, he was nothing but blood streaming out on the ground, with only his head remaining intact.
His expression was one of both fury and torment as he screamed, “I surrender! I admit your superiority, Titan Dragonguard! I’ll join your side! Even being a servant would be worth it. Just spare me!”
“Spare you?” Yang Qi thought about it for a moment. Then, face completely expressionless, he once again said, “Melt!”
The head sank down into the blood, which Yang Qi subsequently assimilated, causing himself to shine briefly with a blood-colored glow that gradually faded away into something pure and holy.
‘What an incredible energy art,’ he thought. ‘The Murky Cavern Never-Dying Sanctuary Energy Art is miraculous, to be sure. As of this point, I have seven godly-class energy arts. That combination will make my people in the lower world even stronger than before. They’ll be virtually indestructible.’
It had taken quite a bit of effort to use the Glad Tidings of the Lord on Grand Duke Bloodstabber. In fact, it had drained him of a lot of Blood of the One God. However, after absorbing the man’s quintessence-blood and life force, he was able to restore some of what he had lost.
After all, Grand Duke Bloodstabber had some deathless godliness built up, the result of godrelics which he had obviously come across in the past. Not only was that godliness helping Yang Qi to recover from the drainage he had experienced moments ago, it also went to further refine his cultivation base.
In fact, the Blood of the One God in his forehead was now at the terrifying level of ten ten-thousandths. It was actually a big boost. After all, back in the mortal world, his blood had been at the level of two ten-thousandths. 
“Princess,” he said, “now that I've slaughtered Grand Duke Bloodstabber, I doubt any other evildoers will dare rise up and oppose the imperial court. Any who defy the imperial house will die.”
His voice resonated out in a very intimidating fashion.
No one made even the tiniest peep. Everyone had been thoroughly cowed by Yang Qi, to the point where even Grand Duchess Violet-Moon and Princess Jadefall were flabbergasted.
As of this moment, everyone completely and utterly believed in the invincible power of Yang Qi’s words.
No one dared to step forward to challenge him, and even Proud Warpatience was inwardly shaken. After all, he had no idea how Yang Qi was doing these things. Not even the Murky Cavern Never-Dying Sanctuary Energy Art had been sufficient to defend against him.
“Alright, who’s up next? Anybody dare to fight me?” Yang Qi said loudly. “I honestly can’t believe that trash like you would dare to oppose Princess Jadefall’s army. Are you all suicidal? If so, I can make your wishes come true.”
Sixtieth Young Sir Proud was there among the troops and was literally weak at the knees. ‘How could this be happening? How?! That was Grand Duke Bloodstabber, one of the most powerful fighters in the entire army! Not even a seventh stage Wilds-Demolisher should have been able to kill him. I heard people saying that once you fully cultivate the Murky Cavern Never-Dying Sanctuary Energy Art you can summon twenty-four heavenly dharmic guards, which you can use to escape death twenty-four times in a row. Even after all twenty-four of them die, you can make them again, as long as you put enough effort and resources into it. But Titan Dragonguard killed him with a few words. Just what exactly is going on here? If he had tried to kill me during our encounter, what could I have done to protect myself? Nothing.’
That thought caused Sixtieth Young Sir Proud to break out in a cold sweat.
In sharp contrast, Princess Jadefall looked quite pleased. “Very well done, Titan Dragonguard. You’re truly an invincible vanguard. The imperial house is blessed to have someone like you in it.” She had previously assumed that Yang Qi had a secret magic of some sort. However, after seeing him kill Grand Duke Bloodstabber, she knew that whatever secret magic it was, it surpassed anything she had imagined it might be, and was definitely nothing to take lightly.
“Well. What do you have to say for yourself, Proud Warpatience?” Princess Jadefall said, her voice echoing out across the parade ground. “Your army is in chaos, and its morale has dropped out of existence. Why don’t we end these war games? You’ve lost, and even if we agreed to another competition at a later date, there’s no way it will turn out any differently. I have Titan Dragonguard, who can defeat anyone you throw at him. Think about it. Not even Grand Duke Bloodstabber could stand up to him, and Grand Duke Bloodstabber should have been invincible to a seventh stage Wilds-Demolisher. He dropped like a fly, which means that Titan Dragonguard is stronger than immortal ancestors. And how many people like that do you have in your forces?”
In response to her words, Proud Warpatience’s face turned bright red, then ashen white, then sickly green, and finally a mottled blue.
At this point, it was obvious that he was caught between a rock and a hard place. It wouldn’t even help if he took action personally; that would be too much of a loss of face. Besides, he had no idea whether or not he might suffer the same fate as Grand Duke Bloodstabber.
Snorting coldly, he said, “Let’s go. Sound the gongs of retreat. You win, Princess Jadefall. At least this time. Next time I’ll be the victor, and I’ll make you pay for this little incident with full interest!”
Gongs were sounded and Proud Warpatience’s troops slowly retreated like an ebbing tide.
Soon, only Princess Jadefall’s forces were left on the parade ground and the tense mood faded. Everyone breathed sighs of relief, then started cheering. Yang Qi alone had struck fear into the hearts of the enemy, defeated numerous opponents, and had earned the respect and admiration of everyone present.
Furthermore, he had resolved a situation that would have surely led to fierce and bitter fighting, and most likely casualties. In the end, the overall strength of the dynasty as a whole would likely have suffered a big blow.
‘He’s going to rise to the top after this,’ Yuan Kuohai thought. ‘Rise to the top for sure!’
That was what all of Yang Qi’s subordinates were thinking. As of this moment, they were completely and utterly devoted to him. Even without devil seeds, they would swear loyalty to him and would never betray him.
His actions were far more effective than any devil seed. A single word from him could kill his enemies, which was something unheard of and terrifying to the extreme. There was no doubt that he would be greatly rewarded. After all, it was widely said that Princess Jadefall was a very generous leader.
In fact, as the cheering died down, she raised her voice and said, “Listen up, everyone. All divisions will prepare for an immediate strike on the Hanging Heaven. Before we leave, I’ll reprovision all troops. Prepare to strike a stunning blow for the immortal world, and prove to everyone that we're not to be provoked. Titan Dragonguard, you come with me for a private audience. You’ll be rewarded handsomely for your services. The example you’ve set will be an inspiration to everyone in the armed forces.”
She was absolutely right. Not a single soldier among her troops remained unconvinced of Yang Qi’s strength. And in the years to come, all members of Proud Warpatience’s forces would tremble at the mention of his name.
1. I know that “ten ten-thousandths” is somewhat odd, and yes I'm aware that 10/10,000 is the same as 1/1,000. In Chinese it makes a lot more sense. For now, I’ll stick with the Chinese way, so that the specific power levels will be very clear. When appropriate, I’ll switch to a more common method of percentages.
Greetings, sages and monarchs: If you enjoy this story, I would love it if you could recommend it to someone you think might like it. To make that easier, I registered the domain SageMonarch.com. Instead of going through the complicated process of telling people about Wuxiaworld, you can just direct them to SageMonarch.com to read the novel. It will link right back here to Wuxiaworld, but makes for a much easier way of explaining the title.