Who would have thought that an Incarnated God fiend-devil would come out for a negotiation? At first, a thoughtful smile had appeared on Yang Qi’s face. After all, there was no doubt that this devil, Jade-in-Stone, had techniques that could help him get stronger. But asking a tiger for its skin was always dangerous.
So he refused the offer.
“Really? You're really rejecting my offer?” Jade-in-Stone seemed genuinely surprised. “I suggest you think the matter over again. I can guarantee that, after I'm free, I won’t do anything to you. If you don’t believe me, I’ll use a heart-devil enchantment to swear an oath to that effect. And not only will I help you with your cultivation, I’ll let you make three demands of me. I'm making this offer in good faith. You’re right, devil-ghosts are usually untrustworthy and multifarious. But I’ll remind you that I'm a combination of god and devil, and I don’t want to be constrained by the limitations of an evil heart.”
‘He’ll swear a heart-devil oath? And bind himself with an enchantment?’ Yang Qi thought for a moment. ‘And he’ll even let me make three demands of him? I have to admit it’s a very tempting offer. Unfortunately, I'm still going to have to refuse. I don't put much faith in heart-devil oaths. And why would I hand a person a sword hilt first? However, I should probably see what else he’s willing to offer.’
Frowning, as if he were struggling to decide what to do, he said, “If I want to reach the Godmyth level, I would need a lot of power. And enlightenment of the cultivation levels. If you’re really willing to help with that, maybe we can work together after all. Maybe I can free you. After all, if I became a Godmyth, then at least I wouldn’t have to be scared about you going back on your word since I would be strong enough to fight you.”
“Well, that’s obvious. Working with me will come with many advantages and absolutely no disadvantages!” Eyes glittering with delight, Jade-in-Stone continued, “And of course I can get you the power you need. Look around you. Do you see how many Incarnated Gods are sealed here in Castle Heaven-Devil? I'm a king among devils, and all of them are subordinates of mine. I can easily grab a few of them for you to use. What do you say? Think about it. Do you know how much you would benefit if you could assimilate an Incarnated God? They’re vastly more powerful than that bloodsea heaven-devil you got your hands on. In terms of increasing your cultivation level, I can give you a godseal technique from the dao of devils, which will impart to you my lifetime of experience surpassing tribulations. You’re smart, so achieving multiple breakthroughs with that knowledge shouldn’t be a problem.”
“Well said,” Yang Qi said, clapping softly. “Now I know that you actually have no intention of cooperating with me in good faith. I’ll be leaving now. Try to stop me if you dare. I'm fairly certain my God Legion Seal is more than enough to crush your divine will.” With that, he turned to leave.
“Hold on!” Jade-in-Stone said urgently. “What do you mean I have no intention of good faith cooperation? What makes you say that?”
Yang Qi snorted coldly. “Do you think I'm a three-year-old child or something? In order to do all of those things you just mentioned, you would first need to be freed. And like I said, the first thing you would do would be to kill me. Doesn’t sound like a particularly good deal to me. If you believe I'm going to free you before getting any benefits, well, you’re just indulging in wishful thinking.”
Yang Qi had known from the beginning that this fiend-devil was trying to pull a fast one on him, but he still wanted to see if he could benefit from the situation.
“Oh? My, you’re really mistaken! Look, how about I first help you become an immortal marquis? Then will you trust me?”
Even as the words left his mouth, he waved his hand, sending a bright beam of light flying over.
Yang Qi didn’t dare to touch it. Swishing his sleeve, he stopped the light in its tracks, revealing an enormous finger filled with powerful streams of godpower. It appeared to have been recently severed from a hand, and even dripped with blood. It was the color of jade and was apparently sealed by a kingdom of devilishness. Were it not sealed, it would likely have flown up to create an immortal world around it, complete with living things.
“That’s the severed finger of an ancient god called the Jade Emperor. Seek enlightenment from that and try to absorb its deathless godliness. The only thing in heaven that can assimilate godliness is your God Legion Seal, right? So take it. And if you free me, you’ll benefit even more. Don’t you want to know what else I have?”
Jade-in-Stone was obviously working very hard to convince Yang Qi to trust him and free him.
“What do you have?” Yang Qi said. Whatever it was, he knew that it would incredible. “Don’t tell me it’s—”
“It is!” Jade-in-Stone jumped in. “I have the body part of an ancient god! The Jade Emperor’s arm! The arm of a god! Because of being sealed in this tomb, I can’t do anything with it or tap into its boundless power. Originally, it was used to seal me, but after all of these millions of years of confinement, I had a bit of a revelation and used the power of jade to gain control of it. Well, what do you think? Free me, and you can absorb the entire arm of the Jade Emperor. Just imagine how powerful you would become!”
‘So the Jade Emperor’s arm was severed in a fight with King Life-Killer in ancient times and has remained here ever since, suppressing this wretch-devil.’ Already, Yang Qi’s heart was pounding. Back in the Titan Emperor Heaven, they had an eye of the great god Titan, which was the foundation of their entire immortal world. His God Legion Seal could assimilate body parts of gods, but he couldn’t do that with the eye, otherwise the entire Titan Emperor Heaven would go up in smoke.
‘Should I do it?’ he thought. Getting a big boost to his cultivation base would obviously be a good thing. However, breaking the seal and freeing Jade-in-Stone would be extremely dangerous. On the other hand, if he didn't accept the offer, he had no idea how many months, or years, it would take for him to reach the Godmyth level.
Jade-in-Stone was also in a very nerve-wracking position, thanks to the God Legion Seal. If any other person had come here, he wouldn’t have come out to negotiate, but would have just killed them instead.
Another factor at play was that Yang Qi knew that Jade-in-Stone was not really a transcendent being. By using his Lord's Eye and the Wheel of Fate, he could see that, deep inside, he was a profoundly evil entity that surpassed most ordinary fiend-devils. It seemed almost a guarantee that, if freed, he would immediately turn on Yang Qi and try to kill him. The bones scattered around the jade-colored tomb were a testament to that.
After some thought, he said, “Alright! I agree!”
The truth was that, inside, he was thinking, ‘This fiend-devil is plotting against me, so it's only natural that I should plot against him. Rewards come only with risk. I’ll assimilate that finger, then decide how to proceed.’
“Great!” Jade-in-Stone said. “I hereby swear a heart-devil oath that, if I plot against you after emerging into the open, the rest of my life will be plagued with misery.”
“Okay.” Yang Qi reached out, and golden light glittered as he used the God Legion Seal to take the finger.
Godpower surged into him; the finger of the Jade Emperor seemed to be a never-ending source of it, to the point where he felt like he might not have enough room inside of him for all of it.
He wasn’t sure how much time passed, but during the process of absorbing the godpower from the finger, Jade-in-Stone didn’t do a single thing. He simply sat off to the side, watching. Of course, Yang Qi was keeping half an eye on him the entire time, and was ready to open a passageway to the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart at any moment.
Considering that Jade-in-Stone didn’t know about the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart, it was Yang Qi’s biggest asset.
‘Time to become an immortal marquis!’
Catalyzing the power within himself, he began pushing his cultivation base to a higher level. Instantly, numerous passageways opened and heavenly tribulation rumbled down. Clouds covered his head, along with immortal lightning and destructive godlight.
‘Such an intense tribulation!’ Jade-in-Stone thought. ‘That could destroy gods!’ The tribulations smashed through the devil energy. Shockingly, some of the tribulation even contained the will of heaven-devils from the Unrestrained Heaven. Yet, in the end, the God Legion Seal vanquished them all.
A few days later, the tribulations vanished. Yang Qi had successfully reached the immortal marquis level, and when he opened his eyes, they shone as if with lightning. All of his abilities had improved, including his Blood of the One God.
And that was just from one finger. What exactly would the entire arm do? Even more astonishing, Yang Qi had only used one-fifth of the godpower in the finger. The rest he had saved up inside of himself; it would likely be enough to push him past the immortal paragon level and into the immortal ancestor level, assuming he had the requisite enlightenment.
Thanks to his true self breaking through, his immortal-slaying clone in the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart smiled coldly, sat down cross-legged, and began a session of cultivation. Soon, heavenly tribulation formed for him, including the power of monarchs. When it was over, an auspicious cloud could be seen overhead, within which the soul of King Immortal-Slayer could be seen. 
It was a remarkable new ability from King Immortal-Slayer.
Yang Qi’s immortal-slaying clone had absorbed the godpower of August Patriarch Fire Dragon, advancing by leaps and bounds. When the critical moment came, he would be the one to deliver a fatal blow to Jade-in-Stone.
1. I bet most of you have seen “auspicious clouds” before. Here is a quick google image search of the term in Chinese. You’ll see what I mean.