A long moment passed in which Chu Tiange apparently put some thought into the matter of the Crown Prince. Then, he shifted the topic of conversation. “Junior Sister Hailan, presumably you want to use Jing Wuxue’s blood demon core to force a breakthrough into the Lifeseizing level, right? Don’t forget, he’s a Lifeseizer. Even if I managed to kill him, you wouldn’t be able to absorb his demon core any time soon. It would burn your five yin organs, and throw your meridians and sea of energy into chaos.” 
Yun Hailan smiled. “Oh, I have a plan, Elder Brother Tiange. Don’t you worry. Take a look at what I have here, and you’ll understand why I have no reason to fear a blood demon core.”
Even as her energy arts continued to transform the quintessence of the snow into magical symbols that entered her body, she rose to her feet and extended her hand, within which rested a pearl.
It glittered so brightly that it was difficult to look at, and was clearly filled with immense power.
The holy, silvery light which shone off of it rose high into the sky, driving the snow away from it.
Just barely visible within that silver light was what appeared to be a divine dragon, swirling about and roaring. All of a sudden, it felt as if there really were a dragon present, making it almost impossible to breathe.
Song Haishan immediately began to back away, his eyes wide with disbelief; clearly, he had no idea that Yun Hailan possessed such an item as this.
This was a legendary treasure!
“A dragonpearl!?” Chu Tiange blurted in shock. He immediately circulated his true energy as if he were about to attack her and steal it. But then, he thought of the Crown Prince, and settled his energy. Letting loose a low whistle, he said, “I can’t believe you have a dragonpearl. They’re so rare that I'm not sure if even the institute has any. Where did you get it, Junior Sister?”
“I found it on a sightseeing trip at the ocean,” Yun Hailan said casually. “Dragonpearls contain the will of a divine dragon, and can suppress all types of wretch-devils. Fortunately for me, I also acquired a Latent Dragon Pill in the past, giving me some of the blood of a divine dragon. With such blood, I can link myself to the pearl, making it the perfect treasure for me. After I get Jing Wuxue’s blood demon core and use the dragonpearl to suppress it, I can then use it as an ingredient to use to create an out-of-body incarnation of myself, a second nascent divinity if you will. In any case, I don’t plan to absorb it. What do you think, Elder Brother Chu Tiange? Truth be told, the moment the Crown Prince met me, he saw my dragonpearl, which was why he took an interest in me. In fact, he was the one who taught me how to make the second nascent divinity to begin with.”
“The Crown Prince taught you how to make a second nascent divinity?” Chu Tiange said, clearly shaken. “No wonder. That’s a secret legacy energy art of the Demi-Immortal Institute; not even I know how to do it.”
He then looked deeply at Yun Hailan. “That’s a royal-class energy art that would normally cost over ten thousand merit points to acquire from the institute. It's also forbidden to pass it on to another person. If they found out, they would cripple the energy arts of whoever did it…. but the Crown Prince is an exception. The normal rules don't apply to him, and no one would dare to accuse him of a crime. You’re extremely lucky to have attracted his attention, Junior Sister Hailan. Very well. I’ll help you to kill Jing Wuxue. I just hope that when you have a chance, you can put in a good word for me to the Crown Prince.”
“That goes without saying. By the way, the Crown Prince mentioned that he would personally help me to break into the Lifeseizing level.” Seeing that she had thoroughly cowed Chu Tiange, Yun Hailan smiled faintly. As she did, the dragonpearl sank down into the milky white skin of her palm.
Apparently, the dragonpearl wasn't corporeal, but rather, existed in spirit form, which allowed her to store it in her sea of energy.
All of a sudden, Song Haishan began to laugh loudly. “I never could have guessed that you would have a treasure like that, Hailan. No wonder you despise Yang Qi so much, that little punk. That airmastery plant doesn't even count for one one-thousandth of a dragonpearl.”
“Quiet!” Yun Hailan barked. “Focus on your cultivation, and on figuring out how to kill Yang Qi! You know what? Maybe you should get your own revenge on him. The whole reason he could come back for revenge is that you beat him up to begin with, giving him the drive to advance his cultivation. You could learn a thing or two from him.”
“Alright,” Song Haishan said meekly. He was her older cousin, so technically, he should be the one to rebuke her if he felt like it. But right now, he couldn’t even talk back to her. He knew how devious and cunning she was, and considering her connection to the Crown Prince, she was the type of person who no one could afford to offend.
There were a few other students on the mountain peak who had been in the middle of feeding their griffons, and had overheard the conversation between Yun Hailan and Chu Tiange. Now, their eyes shone with both fear and veneration of her.
After all, anyone who was closely connected to the Crown Prince was in a position of incredible glory.
“Eee?” Chu Tiange said. He waved his hand, sending out some true energy to create a map, which floated in the air in front of him. There on the map was a blood-colored light, blinking brightly. “Got it! Blood demon aura, coming from the northwest. There’s a large group of vampire brigands there and Jing Wuxue is definitely with them. Come on, let’s go!” 
Some of the students made as if to mount their griffons.
However, Chu Tiange waved his hand. “The blood demon encampment is going to be very dangerous. Even though the lot of you are all Masters of Energy, you're still too weak. The last thing I need is for you to be getting in my way. Got it?”
“Yes sir!” the students said, including Song Haishan. After all, when someone as powerful as Chu Tiange gave orders, who would dare to talk back?
“Junior Sister Hailan, you might as well dispense with riding a griffon. I know how much power you have at your disposal. If you use the might of that dragonpearl, your true energy will essentially never run out.” Suddenly, a beam of sword light appeared beneath Chu Tiange’s feet, which wrapped around him, and then shot off into the snowy sky.
Yun Hailan smiled faintly, sending a stream of draconic true energy out, which swirled around her and lifted her up into the clouds. A moment later, she was gone.
Song Haishan stared mutely at the spot she had just occupied. It was as if he was seeing his younger cousin for the first time.
‘My cousin played you like a musical instrument, Yang Qi. You really thought that the two of you were meant to be? How could a good-for-nothing yokel like you even dream of being with her?’
Growling, he unleashed a fist strike at the snowy ground, carving out a sizable crater.
“Alright, everyone. Let’s go kill some vampire brigands and get some merit points.”
“Whatever you say, Brother Haishan.”
Considering that Song Haishan’s cousin was so closely connected to the Crown Prince, it was no wonder that they treated him with such respect. Although his humiliating defeat at the hands of Yang Qi ensured that they actually despised him, they didn’t dare to let that show.
“Brother Haishan,” one of the students said, “there’s no need to feel discouraged. That punk Yang Qi is only a freshman student, and can’t compare at all to people like us. We're like the heavens, and he’s like the earth. Once we get back to the institute, we can call in some favors. Trust me, there are plenty of ways we can drive him to an early grave.”
“Many thanks to all of you.” Song Haishan said, his eyes glittering with sinister light.
With that, the entire group vanished into the snow.
Meanwhile, Yang Qi and his four friends were resting in a majestic villa they had come across, which was nearly buried in the snow by this point.
The various servants, maidservants, handmaidens and soldiers were all waiting on them hand and foot.
Outside of the manor were piles of vampire brigand corpses, which were slowly disappearing under the snow.
By chance, Yang Qi and his friends had come across the place right when it was being attacked. They intervened, slaughtered the brigands, and saved everyone.
Without them, everyone inside would have become desiccated corpses.
One old man present was in the seventh phase of energy arts. When he realized that this group of five was from the Demi-Immortal Institute, he set out a lavish banquet for them.
“Villa Lord, why don't you move?” Yang Qi asked. “The northwest is overrun with vampire brigands. If you stick around, you’ll end up getting killed sooner or later.”
The villa lord looked like he wanted to cry, but had no tears to shed. “Move? To where? We would be complete strangers wherever we went. And besides, how do you move such a large group of people? All my wealth is tied to this land, and the spirit herbs that grow in the nearby mountains. Without that, I would have nothing. Sir, I'd be willing to part with half of everything I own if you would be willing to help protect us.”
“We’re students from the Demi-Immortal Institute!” Li He said. “We fight for justice, so slaughtering wretch-devils is part of our tradition. We don’t need any rewards. Besides, our entire purpose in coming up here is to clear out the vampire brigands, not for a reward from you locals.”
“Many thanks, many thanks! You Demi-Immortal Institute students truly live up to your reputation of being wise and sagely!”
“Villa Lord, do you happen to know of any other vampire brigands operating in the area? We’d love to clear out the entire area.”
At this point, a young man who was apparently the villa lord’s son approached. “Oh, holy ones, according to local rumor, the ancient city of Krorän is located about fifteen hundred kilometers away from here. It was once the most prosperous city in the northwest, and supposedly, was about to make a big comeback. But then, the vampire brigands came along and slaughtered the entire city. That’s their main encampment. If that main group were to be wiped out, the vampire brigands wouldn’t be a threat anymore.”
‘The ancient city of Krorän?’ Yang Qi had heard the name before, and remembered that it was reputed to be the capital of the richest nation in the northwest plains.
“In that case, there’s no time to lose,” Liang Dong said. “Let’s go scout it out.”
“Hold on a moment,” Hua Yinhu said. “That city is where the Lifeseizer Jing Wuxue should be. He’s the top expert among the subordinates of King Blood Demon, and we’re definitely not a match for him in an open fight. Besides, Chu Tiange is definitely going to try to kill him. Maybe we can kill some of the other brigands in the area, but there’s no way we can take on Jing Wuxue.”
1. In traditional Chinese medicine, the internal organs are organized into five viscera and six bowels. In the past, I often translated this as “five yin organs and six yang organs” because of how the various organs are related to yin and yang elements. From here on out, I will use the more proper “five viscera and six bowels” even though it sounds a bit more gross. The actual terms do not contain the characters for yin and yang, and since the terminology in this translation is very complex, I don’t want to insert meaning into a given term that strays too far beyond its literal translation. The five viscera are the heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys, and each one is associated with one of the five elements (also known as the five phases. I'll be using "five phases" in this translation, something I will talk about later). The six bowels are the gall bladder, stomach, large intestine, small intestine, bladder, and “triple burner” which is basically connective tissue that Western medicine doesn’t consider an organ. These organs are also associated with the five phases. For more information, you can check out the wikipedia article here.
2. Sorry to have not pointed this out earlier to anyone not familiar with my translations, but “eee” is a transliteration of a very specific sound that is used in the Chinese language. It sounds just like it’s written, and is used to denote surprise. It is similar to “ai” or “aiya” in that it is very unique to the spoken Chinese language, and thus, I try to keep it around to add to the Chinese flavor