Shortly before Yang Qi debuted his army, Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven was in the depths of the Heaven-Dao Operation God-Temple, conferring with a group of about a thousand old-timers.
Flanking him were his close confidants, including the Emissary of Darkness and Gloom, Devil Empress Wave Charm.
“Why haven’t you joined my Deathless Corps?” he asked the old-timers. “Are you thinking of haggling about compensation? Or asking for more power? You're all members of the Dao Defense League. Don’t tell me you’re not willing to make contributions to the greater good.”
“It’s not that, League-Lord,” one of the old-timers said with a cold smile. “These are times of chaos, and although we all joined the Dao Defense League to seek safety, things have changed too quickly. The Dao Defense League is growing, and now you're asking us to join your Deathless Corps, except there’s no upside for us. It doesn't seem reasonable at all.”
Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven gave a cold harrumph. “Well, what’s the upside for me? The mere fact that I asked you to disband your previous organizations? I don’t want cliques and factions among my subordinates. Everything needs to go according to my will.”
“We want God Pills of Fate!” one of the old-timers said. “The same ones that you used to have in the ancient Heavenly Court!”
“How impudent!” shouted one of the confidants. It was none other than Daoist Great Void. “I can’t believe you would dare speak to the league-lord like that. Not interested in staying alive, are we?”
“There’s no need to raise your voice, Daoist Great Void,” another of the old-timers said. “We're all the same cultivation level here. Are you trying to convince us that the Grand Emperor would really execute us or something? The Dao Defense League was established with rules and regulations, and the league-lord isn’t allowed to just go around killing people. There would need to be a trial before anything like that happened. Furthermore, we’ve done nothing to disrespect the league-lord. We just want compensation for our services. In the mortal world, emperors provide salaries to government officials for the services they provide. It’s the same in the armed forces. Without such arrangements, revolt would be a foregone conclusion. Did the league-lord really think it would be a good idea to set up another Heavenly Court that only made demands and never offered reciprocation? Didn’t he learn anything from how the first Heavenly Court fell apart?”
“That’s right!” another old-timer said. “Back when the four Grand Emperors ran the Heavenly Court, they arrested experts with strong destiny and threw them into furnaces to create the God Pills of Fate. They succeeded in that, but it caused such dissension and discord that rebellion eventually broke out and the Heavenly Court collapsed. The God Pills of Fate can be used for the purposes of godly ascension, and if we join the league-lord we want to benefit from some of their profundity.”
“You people have a lot of gall,” Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven said with a cold, grim smile. “In fact, you have too much gall. I can’t believe you’re asking for God Pills of Fate. They were vitally important back in the Heavenly Court and were only given as rewards to the most loyal of individuals. If you want them, fine. Get on your knees and swear an oath to stick with me no matter what. Give me your faith and pray to me on a daily basis for three years. At that point, I’ll consider giving you God Pills of Fate. Agreed?”
“Uh….” The old-timers exchanged awkward glances; giving their faith to another person was something they would never consider doing. However, the league-lord seemed very dead set on the matter, and apparently, if they refused to go along then things could turn deadly.
Years ago, during the days of the Heavenly Court, Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven had been known to be a decisive killer. It was impossible to say how many famous figures had died at his hands, so although these old-timers were supposedly only here to talk, they were still feeling nervous.
“What, not willing to go along?” Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven rose to his feet. “Don’t tell me you really planned to hoodwink me! Well, fine. Since you want to haggle, I’ll give you a chance to think. Just remember that, as the league-lord, I won’t tolerate being disrespected. For now, the lot of you will stay here and think things through. After you’ve reached the right conclusion, you can leave.”
The old-timers’ expressions flickered. “Grand Emperor, are you saying you’re arresting us?”
“Oh no, I’m just giving you some time to cool your heads. The league-lord doesn’t tolerate disrespect. And since you disrespected me, I have the authority to keep you on lockdown! The next time we have a session of court, there will be plenty of witnesses to see how the law treats people like you.”
Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven was truly furious at their veiled threats and was planning to kill a chicken to frighten the monkey, making sure people realized he wasn’t weak. In fact, the moment this group had dared to start haggling, he decided that they needed to be executed.
It was in that moment that boundless radiance and light seeped into the Heaven-Dao Operation God-Temple, accompanied by holy hymns. In fact, as soon as the light touched the Emissary of Darkness and Gloom, she shivered and began emanating black smoke.
Leaping to her feet, she blurted, “What’s that?”
A moment later, Yang Qi’s voice could be heard as he made his announcement.
Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven shivered and stalked out of the Heaven-Dao Operation God-Temple to see the God Palace of Radiance and Light off in the distance, and the army of angels streaming into it.
He watched as Yang Qi demonstrated his primeval god skills, and saw the stunned reaction of the old-timers. At that point, his rage truly began boiling.
As for the old-timers in the Heaven-Dao Operation God-Temple, they knew that things were going south for them, so as soon as they saw an opportunity to escape, they rushed outside.
“Let’s go! The Emissary of Radiance and Light is so powerful! We need to join him!”
“We want to join you, Emissary of Radiance and Light! Please, take us in!”
Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven was trembling as he fought the urge to unleash a deadly attack on Yang Qi right then and there. Meanwhile, the Emissary of Darkness and Gloom flew over and said, “Grand Emperor, you can’t just start killing people. If you do, the Dao Defense League would collapse into rebellion. Although this Yang Qi is obviously setting himself in opposition to you, and we have no idea where he got that Army of Radiance and Light, we can still continue playing the game. You're the league-lord! You have the official authority and power! But don’t do anything to erode your own authority.”
Only then did Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven grow a bit calmer. “I will kill this boy!”
Yang Qi was quite surprised to see so many old-timers streaming out of the Heaven-Dao Operation God-Temple and loudly crying out that they wanted to join him. However, he quickly deduced that they must have offended Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven in some way and were hoping that he would offer them a measure of protection.
In the blink of an eye, even more old-timers joined Yang Qi.
Destiny swirled around him, forming something like a shining beacon above his head.
That said, Yang Qi could see the murderous look in Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven’s eyes. The man was one of the ultimate founders of the Dao Defense League and had worked very hard to bring it to its current state. It was little wonder that he hated Yang Qi, who had quickly come to be a thorn in his side, even threatening his position as league-lord.
Yang Qi stared right into the league-lord’s burning eyes, showing no hint of weakness. In fact, his expression made his attitude very clear: Bring it on, Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven. I accept your challenge! It won’t be long now before I take the title of league-lord from you. You might be a Grand Emperor who arose in ancient times, but that doesn’t mean I’m scared of you. Things change, and the time has come for me to rise to glory. I suggest you simply retire….
Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven stalked back into Heaven-Dao Operation God-Temple where he angrily struck one of the thrones, reducing it to dust.
“I'm gonna kill him!” he roared. “That boy must die. I won’t let him off the hook. Can any of you think of a way to deal with him?”
“Calm yourself, League-Lord,” Daoist Great Void said. “It won't be long now before Grand Emperors Myriadmagic Heavenspan, Heavenearth Vastocean, and Ninelimits Paragon all come out of their sessions of cultivation. When the four of you pool your power, you can easily kill him. In the meantime, you could try luring him into a trap in some remote area, then blaming the future world.”
“That does seem to be the only option,” said the Emissary of Darkness and Gloom. “The only thing is that he’s not going to be easy to kill. Wait. Isn’t there supposed to be a duel between him and Sectlord Nine Yangs? The fact that Sectlord Nine Yangs has disappeared seems to indicate he's no match for the brat. But whoever was backing Sectlord Nine Yangs must be incredibly strong. Maybe you can recruit him. And of course, my father, the devil lord of the Unrestrained Heaven, will soon be back. Maybe he can help you.”
“That would work too!” Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven said. “Okay, first see if you can find Sectlord Nine Yangs. Bring him in for an audience with me!”
Already, a plot was unfolding.
Meanwhile, Leaf Dao-Denier and Emperor Tusita were hidden in a far corner of the Dao Defense League, watching things play out. And they were very pleased.
Smiling viciously, Leaf Dao-Denier said, “Come on and start fighting. If they hurt each other badly enough, we can swoop in and take control. Yang Qi is really suicidal to be picking a fight with Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven.”
“I don’t think so,” said Emperor Tusita. “We can't afford to underestimate how strong that brat is. He's a schemer, and he’s come out on top against you several times. Haven’t you learned your lesson? I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually forces Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven to abdicate. It might be smart to smooth things out with him.”
Young Master Leaf shook his head. “Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven is obstinate, self-opinionated, and tyrannical. I don’t think we should be currying favor with him. Besides, once my cultivation base is high enough, I’ll be able to contend for the spot of league-lord.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter