Yang Qi had known that he wouldn’t be able to maintain full control of the universal fortune forever, and had long since warned the old-timers about this. The overall plan was to infiltrate the Joyflower Palace, steal their treasure, and destroy them. Then, afterward, he would retake the Dao Defense League.
As for the women from the Joyflower Palace, all they cared about was the universal fortune, not the minor power struggles within the league.
“Very well,” said Orchid Purity with a nod. Pleased with the attitude of the leaders of the Dao Defense League, and the shift in universal fortune, she continued, “Henceforth, all former members of the Dao Defense League will take orders from the Joyflower Palace. You are all loyal members of the Joyflower Palace, with no affiliation whatsoever with the old alliance. Understand?”
“We will follow all of your orders, Flower Goddess,” said Yang Righteousness, the former Grand Emperor Ragefire Broilheaven. “From here on out, we belong to the Joyflower Palace.”
Yang Unrestrained, Yang Mahānata, Yang Misery, and Yang Never-Ending provided further assurances, as did the dharmarajas and god-generals. It was all very pleasing to Orchid Purity and the others.
“We heard that you control a powerful army,” Orchid Purity said, looking over at Yang Qi. “Now that you've joined the Joyflower Palace, why not call them out?”
“That goes without saying,” Yang Qi replied. Waving his hand, he sent a white paper talisman flying over to Orchid Purity. “I acquired an army of holy angels from an ancient godrelic. You can use that commander’s tally to control them.”
“Oh?” Orchid Purity said, looking at the commander’s tally, which resembled a white feather. After taking control of it, she felt the faith of hundreds of billions of angels suddenly flowing toward her.
Face falling, she quickly rejected the faith, not daring to be stained by the karma that would come with it. That said, her cultivation base was still strong enough to control the talismans. She exerted a thought, and countless angels appeared, filling the temple hall, their wings fluttering as they knelt in front of her and said, “Greetings, oh boundless Lord!”
“These angels are nice, but their cultivation level is too low. That said… they should prove useful in the overall conquest. And their faith is very pure.” Smiling, she suddenly pointed at Yang Qi and said, “Kill him!”
“Yes ma’am!” the angels shouted, and immediately launched a host of deadly attacks at Yang Qi.
Looking very shocked, Yang Qi drew on the power of his cultivation base to defend himself.
“What are you doing!” he shouted, visibly stunned. Of course, inside he was laughing coldly at how obvious Orchid Purity and her people were in their attempt to test him. The truth was, they were slowly but surely placing themselves firmly within his control.
“Cease the attack!” Orchid Purity commanded, and the angels immediately complied. Smiling even more broadly, she said, “Excellent. It’s good to know this wasn't some sort of trick. You really did hand over your power!”
“You were testing me?!” Yang Qi exclaimed, looking shocked, but relieved at the same time. Thanks to his excellent performance, Orchid Purity and the other women were finally starting to let their guard down.
“That's right. It was a test.” Flicking her finger, Orchid Purity said, “If that talisman had failed to work, or had been some sort of trap, I would have killed you instantly.”
“Yes, yes of course,” Yang Qi said, nodding obsequiously. “I can only hope that I've proven my sincerity. That said, I fear my actions will provoke a response from the Cipher-Devil Sword Sect….”
“That doesn’t matter. With us here, what is there to fear from the Cipher-Devil Sword Sect? For now, you shall go to the Joyflower Palace headquarters to begin your service as a god-general. Before long, you’ll rise to the rank of court… er, court officer.” To those in the know, it would be obvious that she had been about to say “court eunuch” instead of “court officer”.
Yang Qi nodded. “Great!”
“Incidentally, these god formations of yours are far too weak, and the immortal worlds you have are spread out too far. I’ll reorganize things and redo the formations, but first I need your spell formation charts. Shrinking everything down will make it much easier to defend against invasion. After I'm done, not even a large-scale attack by the Cipher-Devil Sword Sect will do anything.”
The truth was that she was actually impressed by Yang Qi’s spell formations and wanted to see the spell formation charts to learn more about them. That would not only give her deeper understanding of the Dao Defense League, but would also help her investigate Yang Qi’s secrets.
“Alright,” Yang Qi replied. He knew that when you stand under low eaves, you have no choice but to bow your head, so he quickly handed over some spell formation charts.
Glancing at them, Orchid Purity could see that they contained profundities of heaven and earth, and truths of the god world. Expression flickering, she said, “Don’t mention any of this when you get to the Joyflower Palace, alright? After I accomplish my goals here, I’ll return and reward you well. Don’t worry, I’ll make the people there take care of you.”
“Yes ma’am,” Yang Qi said, nodding thankfully. “Many thanks for your patronage!”
“Junior Sister Graceful. Junior Sister Mist. Take him back to headquarters. While you’re there, get some magical treasures to help shrink the Dao Defense League down. There’s no question that the Cipher-Devil Sword Sect will attack us sooner or later. The universal fortune from here is absolutely crucial to us, so we can’t let anyone interfere.”
Yang Qi couldn’t help but inwardly laugh at how perfectly his plan was working so far.
He was temporarily abandoning the Dao Defense League, mostly because maintaining and growing it would be very difficult right now. Even if he somehow managed to rebuff the Joyflower Palace, there were plenty of other powerful organizations on the Ancient Road to the Gods who would come along to cause problems. It seemed a lot easier to just give in to the Joyflower Palace temporarily and allow them to focus on defending the league and slowly conquering the immortal worlds. Besides, shrinking and consolidating the Dao Defense League would have been very difficult for him to do on his own. Once they had done all the hard work, and the Dao Defense League was in a good position, he would just use the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart to take it back.
In the end, he would take out the Joyflower Palace in one fell swoop.
Right now, he was laying the foundation of his trap and secretly preparing to take down these arrogant women, trapping them like turtles in a jar. When it came to scheming, they simply couldn’t compare to him.
“Let’s go! Follow us to the Joyflower Palace.”
The two young women flanked him on either side, almost as if they were keeping him under arrest. And he did nothing to resist them as they flew off into the distance.
When they were gone, Junior Sister Fragrant said, “Elder Sister Purity, it seems to me there’s more to that Yang Qi than meets the eye. Why are you going so easy on him? We should’ve pushed him much harder and forced him to give us everything in his possession. I refuse to believe he's being honest about everything.”
“Going easy on him? How is that even possible? Just wait until he's at the Joyflower Palace. It will be a lot easier then. He’ll be a dragon in the shallows or a tiger on the plain. Did you really think we would just let him do as he pleases in the Joyflower Palace? God-generals have no choice but to follow orders, and he’ll eventually become a court eunuch. At that point, he’ll have no choice but to loyally serve the Joyflower Palace.” 
“Eldest Sister,” one of the other young women said, “you definitely know what you’re doing. Once he's a god-general, he’ll be tortured, brainwashed, and will eventually be a completely loyal slave.”
“Exactly. And now the time has come to take control of everyone else in the Dao Defense League. They too will become loyal servants of the Joyflower Palace. Then we can send the armies out to expand our territory and conquer everything around us! At the same time, we’ll continue strengthening the spell formations to make sure that we soundly vanquish the Cipher-Devil Sword Sect when they come.”
“Yes ma’am,” the young women said, and they immediately got busy. Instantly, drastic transformations occurred within the Dao Defense League.
For now, the Dao Defense League was part of the Joyflower Palace and had nothing to do with Yang Qi.
Just like that, the work of Yang Qi’s own hand was taken. Even as he headed into the Great Necropolis, he shivered as he could see the drastic transformations with his mind’s eye, and could sense the flower-like vital energy spreading about, changing both the atmosphere and the hearts of the people.
It was all part of the price he needed to pay. However, it would only be a matter of time before he returned and took everything back.
Apparently, the two women escorting him noticed the look on his face.
Smiling coldly, one of them said, “Let’s go, God-General! Remember, you’re part of the Joyflower Palace now. The Dao Defense League has nothing to do with you anymore.”
“Your flesh, blood, and soul all belong to the Joyflower Palace,” the other one said. “You serve us, understand? With everything!”
Yang Qi simply nodded as he followed them into the Great Necropolis.
They followed a complex route for some time, heading through numerous pathways and planes of existence. Eventually, a new universe appeared in front of them, seemingly endless and filled with the fragrance of flowers. Within its depths were entire planets made of flowers, and in the center of all of them was a huge palace of similar construction.
It was none other than the Joyflower Palace.