Yang Qi had won the title of Emissary of Radiance and Light, a position that came with much power. He would lead the Army of Radiance and Light, with only one superior giving him orders and many subordinates who followed his. He knew that Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven wasn’t going to just let him do his own thing. The man wanted to have everyone under his control—including Yang Qi.
Of course, Yang Qi had his own plans for Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven. Usually, power struggles like this ended in the death of one party.
It was like that with emperors in the mortal world, and it was even more so the case when it came to control of the Dao Defense League. After all, the league-lord was the top individual among countless immortal worlds, a position of power that vastly surpassed the emperors of mortals.
For now, Yang Qi wasn’t in the position to compete.
But he had two fragments of the Cruiser of Civilization, including the vivicreation systems and the genetic systems. The next thing he planned to do was go to the Dragonfolk temple and get the Engine of the One God. Once he had that, he would be in a much better position to face off with Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven.
As he sat on his throne, he watched the competitions play out for the dharmarajas and god-generals. He wished that disciples from the Sage Monarch Heaven could compete, but unfortunately they were currently too weak.
At a minimum, the old-timers present were Chaos Gods, and some of them were half-Deathless and already on the Deathless Heavenly Stairway.
After seven days and nights, the positions were filled. Leaf Dao-Denier got a spot as a dharmaraja and was given the title of True Raja Dao-Denier. The emperor of the Tusita Heaven also snagged a spot and was named Violet Raja Tusita. August Patriarch Sword-Burier took a spot and was named Sword Raja Immortal-Burier. The rest of the spots went to other mysterious and powerful old-timers: Asura Raja Devil Smasher, Saber Raja Rising Sun, Formation Raja Worldwide, Specter Raja Austerity, Assassin Raja Formless, and Knight Raja Righteous Energy. The nine of them formed a very powerful group.
All of them were people who won their spots through impressive sessions of combat and had fully won over the crowd.
Yang Qi was frankly shocked at how strong they all were. He could tell that if he wasn’t careful, it would be easy to fall into a deadly trap at the hands of these obstinate and unruly people, many of whom envied his position.
Few of them could be considered loyalists to Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven.
Even if Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven were stronger than he was, it would be difficult for him to fully control so many old-timers. Other than Leaf Dao-Denier, most of them were people who were actually contemporaries of Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven and had known him in years past. Although none of them matched up in terms of cultivation base, they were all backed by powerful organizations, and all of them longed to be the league-lord. For now, though, they had no choice but to settle for being dharmarajas or god-generals.
And if Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven had tried to insert one of his own confidantes into the running, it would have led to widespread anger, especially after Yang Qi vanquished Daoist Great Void.
For example, one of the nine dharmarajas was Assassin Raja Formless, who came from a thirty-second ranked immortal world named the Formless Heaven. He was known to be a consummate assassin, and was widely feared for the way he killed people in mysterious ways. As a king of assassins, how could he possibly agree to be a lackey of Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven?
Yang Qi could already tell that, although the Dao Defense League now had a semblance of order, the competition going forward would be fierce. There was going to be a redistribution of wealth, with many sects being disbanded, and new sects formed. Medicinal pills, spirit stones, power stockpiles, magical treasures, and daoist texts and the like would all be shuffled around. Unless he played his cards just right, it would be difficult to form the army he needed to.
With the nine dharmarajas set, it was time for the competition for the twenty-four god-generals. Many experts took to the stage, and a huge variety of magical treasures, god items, and godly-class energy arts were put on display.
Some of the old-timers came from thirty-first ranked immortal worlds, such as God-General Heart-Smasher and God-General Nine-Peaks, who came from the Heart-Smashing Heaven and the Nine-Peaks Heaven, respectively. They were true patriarchs who were around even back when Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven previously held power.
One of them was a woman, God-General Ying Ning. She had a special constitution, making her a Tranquil One. Supposedly, Tranquil Ones were perpetually in a state of deep tranquility that would ensure that their energy arts contained no impurities. They could cultivate any energy art they came across and push it to a higher level, just like the saying indigo blue is extracted from the indigo plant, but is bluer than the plant itself. They usually had higher levels of enlightenment than experts of the same level.
The god-generals weren’t easy people to deal with, either. They were elites who rose to the top from the billions of trillions of old-timers that existed as a whole. They would serve as the backbone of the bureaucracy and would be among the most powerful officials in existence.
And they wouldn’t stand for constantly being told what to do.
In the end, the big meeting was like a grand banquet. Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven got the biggest chunk of meat as the league-lord. Next was Yang Qi, who, as the Emissary of Radiance and Light, got the largest bone. Everyone lower was still important, but had to struggle for whatever scraps they could come across to stabilize their foundation, or perhaps win the loyalty of other, even smaller organizations.
Soon, some old-timers were visibly in despair as they realized they were unable to secure positions of power. Some of them even wished they could leave the Dao Defense League, but none dared to follow through. The group of thirty-six leaders had been established, and although there would surely be fierce competition between them, they would still advance the interests of the Dao Defense League as a whole.
And they wouldn't tolerate rebellions.
A bell tolled, quieting down the temple. Then Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven raised his voice and said, “The general power structure of the Dao Defense League has been set. The top patriarchs have revealed themselves, and we now have emissaries, dharmarajas, and god-generals. Soon, we will organize the armed forces. That said, there will be no draft. The leaders must recruit the normal way. And now, the time has come to establish some of the base rules.
“First. Once you join the Dao Defense League, you can’t leave it. Those who try will be executed. Second. Everyone must respect the chain of command and follow orders from superiors. That’s assuming the orders fall within the realm of reason. Obviously, superiors should not be giving random orders for personal gain. I will soon erect a Dao Bell here in Heaven-Dao Operation God-Temple. If a subordinate has a complaint about a superior, along with evidence, they can ring the bell to give voice to their grievances. Then we will hold a formal meeting to investigate the matter. If guilt is proven, punishment will follow! It goes without saying that the bell should only be rung for important reasons.
“Third. If personal grudges arise in the Dao Defense League, it is prohibited to solve them with private duels. Any who attempt to do so will be punished! We will erect God-Dueling Arenas in various locations where public duels can be fought to resolve issues, with specific rules governing the combat. Fourth. Now that leadership has been established, resources need to be distributed. Underneath the god-generals will be many types of elders, including elder kings, prime paragon elders, paragon elders, prime elders, grand elders, and of course, ordinary elders.
“No one is permitted to recruit personal armies or create private power structures. Everyone present is required to attend any military councils that are held. Furthermore, you must all disband your previous sects and organizations. Disperse all of your core disciples! They’ll be members of the armed forces going forward, understand? It is not permitted to foster personal power in the Dao Defense League!”
His words were spoken with deadly determination, especially the final stipulation, which was the harshest. No one was allowed to keep their previous sects in place, and were required to have their disciples join the armed forces.
Although many of the old-timers had known that this was coming, it was a bit different to have it actually happen. And many balked; however, Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven spoke with a decisiveness that could sever nails and chop iron, making it clear that everyone had to follow the rules whether they wanted to or not. Of course, there was some leeway. Although the sects had to be disbanded, they could still remain loyal to whichever emissary, dharmaraja, or god-general they had originally clung to.
For example, if an old-timer was the leader of a twentieth-ranked immortal world, it would be impossible to ‘disband’ that world. He could simply have the disciples of that world join the army of whatever god-general came from there.
Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven was no fool, and he knew that it would be impossible to stop such things from happening. However, his main goal now was to just get the Dao Defense League unified and set it against the future world. Later, he would slowly but surely purge any dissenters, gradually consolidating his power to a further degree.
It was a slow process that couldn’t happen overnight.
“The Dao Defense League will hold court just like the emperors in the mortal world. It will be held once per month, and any patriarchs who are particularly busy can send a clone to attend in their place.” Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven went on to elaborate more about the rules, which were being recorded by some of the other old-timers to be kept in the temple for reference.
In this fashion, the Dao Defense League became a formally united body.
The next phase would be to redistribute resources and recruit subordinates.
“I have one final announcement. The army that I will directly command will be called the Deathless Corps, and I encourage all elders to apply immediately. This branch of the armed forces will be tasked with enforcing the law.” His announcement caused many of the old-timers to perk up. Obviously, working directly for the league-lord would be much better than siding with a god-general or dharmaraja.
‘Very clever,’ Yang Qi thought. ‘That said, this guy seems somewhat unpredictable. I bet many of the old-timers won’t want to get too close to him.’ As for Yang Qi, he didn’t need to rely on any other person to staff his army. All he had to do was open the way to hell and summon endless fiend-devils, then convert them into angels.
They would form the core of the Army of Radiance and Light.Previous Chapter Next Chapter