‘Is that really the corpse of Chu Tiange? The famous energy arts master who cultivated the Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique? Killed by Yang Qi?’
That was what everyone was thinking. They almost could not believe what they were seeing. Then, they noticed something else. There, in the mangled remains of Chu Tiange, was a tiny little sword, glittering brightly.
Li He recognized immediately what it was. Shaken, he sent out a stream of energy to pull the tiny sword into his hand.
“An animadestiny sword manifestation!” 
It was only about three inches long, and seemingly made of either metal or jade, and yet, was clearly neither of those. In fact, it almost seemed to burn with an inner fire, indicating how incredibly powerful it was.
“That’s the true energy quintessence of Chu Tiange’s Cosmic Sunflare sword,” Liang Dong said. “An animadestiny sword manifestation of his own creation. We could use this little sword to acquire Chu Tiange’s sword technique!”
“Great!” Yang Qi said. “Why don’t the four of you share it, one part each?”
With that, he flicked his finger, causing the animadestiny sword manifestation to shatter into four parts, each of which became a stream of sword light that poured into his four friends.
Sword energy flowed through them like fire, causing their true energy to thrum as they gained enlightenment of the fundamental nature of the Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique.
Now, each of them had part of the technique, and if they joined forces, could unleash it in full to much the same effect as Chu Tiange.
Yang Qi didn’t need the animadestiny sword manifestation himself; it was better used divided among his friends, who could use it to fight a Lifeseizer.
“This sword technique can shake heaven and earth to the point where ghosts and gods weep….”
It took some time, but the four of them managed to absorb all of the sword energy, whereupon their eyes snapped open.
“It’s too bad we don’t have the full technique,” Li He said with a sigh. “We need to get enough merit points to buy it from the Scripture Pavilion back at the institute. Then, we’ll really advance by leaps and bounds.”
The future cultivation path of these four was now clear: they would work on the Cosmic Sunflare Sword, a royal-class technique that was considered top-rate even among Lifeseizers.
Cultivating it would save the four of them years of hard cultivation, and would also give them a much better chance of reaching the Lifeseizing level.
As for Yang Qi, once he cultivated the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth to the proper level, he could extract memories and thoughts from the soul of someone he had killed.
Devil-ghosts in hell were adept at controlling the souls of humans, and considering that he cultivated the boundless power to crush hells, it was only natural that he would have an ability like this. Unfortunately, he wasn’t quite powerful enough to do it yet.
“You’re exactly right,” Yang Qi said. “With enough merit points, we can acquire the secret cultivation method to the Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique. Before long, the four of you will have surpassed Chu Tiange.”
In response, his four friends’ eyes went wide with disbelief. They simply couldn’t understand why Yang Qi would say such a thing so confidently.
At that point, Yang Qi smiled and pulled out the sun gem.
“Allow me to explain. The Cosmic Sunflare Sword is focused on absorbing the quintessence of the burning sun to form a great sun sword soul. Using this sun gem will save you years and years of cultivation. Furthermore, we can turn in this gold and jade garment to the institute to get a huge sum of merit points. It should be more than enough to get the full Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique.”
Gradually, Li He was coming to realize that Yang Qi just wanted to maximize their profits in every way possible.
“Alright, the matter's settled,” Yang Qi said. “Let’s get back to the institute. If there are any repercussions because of Chu Tiange’s death, we wait until things calm down. Then we can turn in the gold and jade garment and King Huaiyin’s demon core for even more merit points.”
After discussing the particulars, the group of five left the Fiendcorpse Mountains and headed back to the Demi-Immortal Institute.
The mountains weren’t very far away, so it wasn’t long before they were back in their rooms, working on their cultivation.
As outer campus students, cultivation went a lot more smoothly than back when they were freshman students. Although their formations of spirit convergence were nowhere close to being as effective as formations of vital convergence, or energy formations of the dao of monarchs, they still benefited greatly.
As for Yang Qi, now that he had his Hellfire Crucible completed, and the Fire Dragon of the Great Sun trapped inside, he could slowly melt it away and transform it into the life force quintessence that he needed.
Because of that, he wouldn’t need the help of any sort of magical treasure to make his breakthrough into the Lifeseizing level.
As for the gold and jade garment, Li He and the others were working on a plan to turn it in for merit points without attracting suspicion.
Gradually, an entire month passed by. No one realized that Chu Tiange had been killed; it was common for elite students to come and go unpredictably. For one of them to stay out of the institute for even several months was nothing out of the ordinary.
It would only be during the annual Elite Student Convention that his absence would be noted, or perhaps the inter-institute martial arts competition. At that point, an investigation would likely begin.
Unfortunately, by that time, it would be incredibly difficult to dig up any relevant clues.
In the end, Li He and the others sold the gold and jade garment to a powerful clan in exchange for a host of less valuable treasures. Then they turned the treasures in to the institute for merit points, which they subsequently used to get the full Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique.
At that point, they went to work full bore on their cultivation, of course using the sun gem to speed the process along.
By adding the quintessence of the sun into their sword energy, their meridians improved dramatically, and they quickly reached the ultimate peak of the Master of Energy level.
By now, they were able to unleash a level of power equivalent to half of Chu Tiange’s Cosmic Sunflare Sword.
Back when Chu Tiange had been cultivating it, he had no sun gem, and therefore, went a lot slower.
During the month that went by, the bitter cold that had gripped the lands began to fade away as spring approached, and life once again began to flourish.
Colorful flowers and medicinal plants were blooming everywhere in the Demi-Immortal Institute. As the pollen drifted through the air, those who breathed it in would suddenly feel much more relaxed and nourished.
On one spring evening, Yang Qi opened the window before sitting down cross-legged to meditate. The only thing that remained of the dragon in his Hellfire Crucible was a stream of golden light that was now flickering on the verge of fading away. The dark golden blood that coursed through his veins now contained some of the quintessence of the sun, making it even more scintillating and powerful.
As life force quintessence poured into the twenty-first particle within him, it slowly edged toward waking up.
Yang Qi breathed steadily, and a vortex appeared near his window, which drew in the life force aura that existed in the Demi-Immortal Institute. Pollen and petals alike formed a resplendent stream that slowly flowed into him.
Furthermore, a glittering demon core rested on the ground in front of him, which also pulsed with life force.
After crushing it, he put it into his mouth and swallowed it.
The true energy inside of the demon core immediately flowed into his sea of energy, and the Hellfire Crucible, which converted it to the true energy quintessence that it had once been!
He was directly consuming a demon core!
If a Lifeseizer could see what he was doing, their face would light up with shock, and they would likely assume that they were looking at a devil-god.
1. This ‘animadestiny’ is actually a term that I used to translate as ‘life-essence’. It refers to something connected specifically to one’s own personal being and destiny. In this case, anima is essentially referring to the fundamental essence of a person. The reason I'm ditching ‘life essence’ is that although it sounds kind of cool, it is completely inaccurate, as the term does not use the word for “life” or “essence” and both of those words come up a lot in cultivation novels.