In the face of four Lifeseizers, and numerous other Masters of Energy, Yang Qi and his friends subconsciously backed up.
Unfortunately, Chu Tiange had extremely sharp eyes and immediately noticed Yang Qi.
“So, it’s you,” he said. Yang Qi had made a strong impression on him when he defeated Song Haishan. Later, he had promised Yun Hailan that, if she agreed to owe him a favor, he would kill him for her. Of course, she had other plans and had refused his offer.
Interest piqued, Chu Tiange landed on the ground and looked over at Yang Qi.
Of course, he had no idea that Yang Qi was the same person who had interfered with his duel with Jing Wuxue. If he did know, he would likely vomit blood.
That day had been snow-packed, and Yang Qi had used his Four Seasons Swordplay to cloak himself with a snowstorm, plus he had his Infernal Deity Plate Armor. No one could possibly have pierced that disguise. Besides, he had pulsed with the baleful energy of a devil-god from hell. Because of all that, Chu Tiange didn’t even suspect that his mysterious opponent was a student from the Demi-Immortal Institute.
One of the elite students looked at Yang Qi and his group and said, “What’s going on, Chu Tiange? You know this guy? He’s just an outer campus student. Come on, let’s go. We need to find that ripple in space in the Fiendcorpse Mountains that leads to the Heavencorpse Dimension. The zombie horde will be rising up soon, which is nothing to take lightly.”
Eyeing Yang Qi’s friends, Chu Tiange said, “These four are nothing more than bugs.” Smiling enigmatically, he looked at Yang Qi and continued. “But don’t underestimate this one. Back when he was in the eighth phase, he defeated a Master of Energy. Furthermore, Yun Hailan hates him to death. She’s very influential in the College of Elite Students, and is being mentored by the Crown Prince. It won't be long before she's a Lifeseizer as well. According to the rumors, the Crown Prince gave her three drops of life force springwater.”
“Salutations, Elder Brother Tiange, ladies and gentlemen,” Hua Yinhu said. “We dare not interfere with whatever important tasks you have at hand.”
With that, he and the group turned to leave.
“Hold it right there!” Chu Tiange said, his voice grim.
Heart pounding, Yang Qi stopped in place. He was very familiar with Chu Tiange, and didn't have a good impression of him at all. And now, it seemed like he might be trying to pick a fight.
Before Yang Qi could do anything more than think briefly about the situation, Chu Tiange said, “Yang Qi, you defeated the ninth phase Song Haishan when you were only in the eighth phase. Now, you’re a Master of Energy, so presumably, you’re even more powerful than before. I heard it had something to do with an airmastery plant, is that correct? Instead of leaving everything up to rumor, why don't you just show us if you really have some potential? If you do, well, you never know. These three here are experts from the Gentlemen’s Society. They might be interested in recruiting you.”
“Oh?” the leader of the Gentlemen’s Society students said, his eyes flashing with interest. “So, you used an airmastery plant? And you defeated a ninth phase expert when you were only in the eighth phase? That seems to indicate you have potential. How about this: give us a demonstration of your energy arts, and if we're impressed we’ll give you an official test. If you pass, and you can prove your loyalties, you can join the Gentlemen’s Society.”
‘A test? Prove my loyalties? Join their society?’
It took only a moment for Yang Qi to realize what Chu Tiange was up to.
In the Demi-Immortal Institute, the Gentlemen’s Society was second in place only to the Crown Prince Society. Joining them would definitely bring benefits. However, they would obviously have very stringent requirements to join, and it would definitely involve indoctrination into their society. Yang Qi wasn’t interested in being held back in that way.
Besides, they would also force him to take a very brutal test, and Chu Tiange hoped that he would be killed during the process. Chu Tiange wasn’t from the Gentlemen’s Society, but his words still carried a lot of weight. And obviously, he was indicating to the leaders that they should allow the so-called test to take place in the Fiendcorpse Mountains.
If Yang Qi refused to join, it would be an open insult to the Gentlemen’s Society. And if he did that, who knew if he would make it back to the institute alive.
Chu Tiange was killing two birds with one stone. He had spoken only a few words, and yet forced Yang Qi into a very difficult position.
Furthermore, from the sinister glint in Chu Tiange’s eyes, it was obvious to everyone what his true goal was.
“Come on, Yang Qi,” Chu Tiange said coolly. “Let’s see if you have enough potential to join them. What do you say? Do you know how many students in the institute are dying to get into the Gentlemen’s Society?”
Chuckling coldly in his heart, Yang Qi said, “Sorry, I'm not interested in joining the Gentlemen’s Society. I’m used to my freedom and independence.”
Almost immediately, the atmosphere grew tense.
One of the inner campus students in the other group stepped forward. “You've really got a lot of guts, don't you, punk? We're giving you face and you’re refusing to take it? Do you know how powerful these three Elder Brothers of ours are? They’re Lifeseizers! Elite students! They stoop to honoring you, and you throw it back in their face?”
The three Lifeseizers from the Gentlemen’s Society all looked visibly irritated. One of them, a middle-aged man, stepped forward and said, “Fine. We won’t force you. If you want to refuse a favor from us, so be it. Come on, everyone, let’s go. There’s no need to waste time on a nobody like this.”
The three Lifeseizers flew up into the air, letting out cold snorts that slammed into Yang Qi and his friends, sending them stumbling backwards before losing their feet and thumping down onto their rear ends. Yang Qi’s face turned ashen, and his four friends all coughed up blood.
Of course, Yang Qi’s reaction was an act, but not his friends’. They had been deeply shaken by the sound wave.
“You’re on your own now, punk,” Chu Tiange said. “I gave you a chance and you threw it away. Pretty soon, you’ll know how stupid that was of you.” With that, he flew deeper into the pitch black Fiendcorpse Mountains.
After a long moment passed, Yang Qi crawled to his feet, his eyes flashing with killing intent. Waving his finger, he sent four streams of soothing true energy into his four friends, healing them.
Li He shook his head, his expression the picture of bitterness. “Yang Qi, that Chu Tiange is a real son of a bitch. Thanks to him running his mouth, we’ve offended the Gentlemen’s Society. That’s going to make things difficult going forward.”
“Don’t worry,” Yang Qi replied. “Chu Tiange is going to eat his own words sooner or later.” With that, he sent some vibrations out to clean all of the mud and filth off of his clothing.
This close to the Fiendcorpse Mountains, the ground was rife with toxins and pollution, and smelled like rotting fish. In fact, the sludge almost seemed like decaying flesh, and provoked the urge to vomit. There were even occasional bones sticking out of the mud, the remains of people who died there at some indeterminable time in the past. It was only recently that Yang Qi had learned about the occasional zombie hordes that would sweep out of the mountains and invade the world of the living, hoping to feast on their flesh, produce more zombies, and strengthen the corpse energy in the mountains.
Based on his experiences in the Blackcorpse Mountains, he knew that many mountain peaks were, in fact, the tombs of illustrious individuals from the past, places filled with treasures of all sorts.
Of course, also buried out in these mountains were students from the Demi-Immortal Institute who had ventured into the wrong place and never left.
After regaining their composure, the group of five activated their defensive shields, which manifested as semi-transparent, egg-like barriers around them. It was a common art from the institute which used true energy to defend against all sorts of vile entities.
As they proceeded along, the toxic energy, corpse energy and baleful energy all grew stronger.
It was almost a surprise that trees could grow in this place. Of course, they were completely strange and bizarre, with no leaves, and a color that resembled bone. It was almost like they were actually made from bones.
“Bone trees are native to the Fiendcorpse Mountains,” Hua Yinhu explained. “Be careful of them, and definitely don’t get too close. They can shoot out bone spikes that pierce most types of defensive true energy. Many students have died because of them.”
Even as the words left his mouth, one of the nearby trees suddenly shot out dozens of spear-like bone spikes that swirled through the air at top speed.
At the same time, skeletal hands suddenly reached up from within the sludge, grabbing Yang Qi’s ankles and trying to drag him down into the mud.
Yang Qi unleashed his energy arts, shattering the bone spikes. Then, he stomped his foot down, destroying the skeletal hands. Floating up into the air, he unleashed a palm strike that smashed into the bone tree and wrenched it out of the ground.
From the resulting hole in the ground belched black smoke; apparently, it was a passage leading to parts unknown.
“Why don’t you all head over to that mountain?” Yang Qi suggested, pointing off into the distance. “From there, you can get a better idea of what's going on. I’m pretty sure there was some mysterious power controlling that bone tree, and that it was coming from underground. Perhaps it’s a corpse king? I'm going to head down and check it out, see if there’s any treasure.”
“Alright, Brother Yang. We understand.”
After a quick discussion to all get on the same page, Yang Qi flew into the dark tunnel. Meanwhile, his friends headed off toward the mountain he had indicated.
The moment Yang Qi entered the tunnel, he could sense a sinister wind that immediately raised his hackles. The tunnel went down and down, bending, twisting, and turning like a maze. It really did seem like the passageway to a tomb.
Eventually, the rotting smell faded away, and the walls turned into stone. Apparently, these were the catacombs of some ancient and forgotten empire, which had since been buried by the sands of time.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
The following note was left for VIP readers on 4/19/19. It's not relevant any longer, but I'm leaving it here for "historical" purposes:
Something happened that I always dread. Several hundred chapters into the novel, there is a complex play on words with the term I’ve been translating as “inborn energy”. At first, I thought I could somehow tweak the translation so that it would still make sense. But then I came across a second play on words connected to the first play on words. And all of it is tied into higher cultivation levels, explanations about the magical mechanics of the book universe, etc. In the end, I came to the decision that I need to change the term “inborn energy”.
To give some context, I should explain that the term is actually a real-life word sometimes used in Chinese medicine, and in the dictionary, “inborn” is listed as a definition. It also makes sense in the context of the story, as it’s supposed to be the energy specifically related to a single entity. However, this time, my instincts led me astray.
From here on out, there will be no “inborn energy” only “true energy”. As for why it’s called “true energy”, you’ll have to wait for a while before there’s an explanation. In any case, the basic function of this type of energy is as I described above; it is connected to a specific entity.
On a side-note, I am currently both translating ahead and also reading ahead. I have a strict daily schedule in which I always read more than I translate, which means that every day, I get further and further ahead of the live, translated chapters. I also have the entire story in a single document that I can use to search for terms. By combining those two tools, I have mostly been able to identify certain plays on words, or complex explanations of various terms that come up in the story. I really don’t like going back to change things, especially something that has been used for almost a hundred chapters. And this author has complex ways of tying together all of the names, techniques, magics, etc. in a way that surpasses anything I’ve translated before. It’s turning out to be very challenging, but at the same time, very cool. It’s like putting together a puzzle in which some of the puzzle pieces are set, and some have to be given shape by me. Unfortunately, if I pick the wrong shape for a certain puzzle piece, I might not realize it until much further down the line.
Anyway, it is what it is. I will go back to change all of the previous “inborn energy” over the course of the next several days before the translation goes live.
I hope everyone is enjoying the story, and I apologize for messing up on this term. Fingers crossed that it won’t happen again.