The two flower goddesses, Jade Nightqueen and Snowlotus, were both glaring sharply at Yang Qi, scarcely able to believe that a measly god-general prisoner would dare to behave so impudently. He had even gone so far as to summon a virtual table and tea set, complete with a little clay heating furnace to warm the tea. It was almost as though he thought himself to be the ruler of the entire Joyflower Palace.
“You!” Jade Nightqueen barked and prepared to attack, but Snowlotus held out a hand to block her path.
“Wait,” she said quietly. “Let’s see what he’s up to.”
“There’s no need for alarm,” he said. “You see, I’ve come here today to help you. Maybe we can even work together. Please, have a seat and try some of my tea.” He waved his hand again, and two chairs appeared. Meanwhile, wisps of steam rose from the furnace as the tea boiled and a fragrant aroma soon filled the area.
Snowlotus sat down in one of the chairs, waving her finger to send a stream of white energy toward the furnace.
“Hmm?” Yang Qi waved his own finger, sending out an opposing stream of energy. When the two energies collided, Snowlotus simply sat there unmoving, whereas Yang Qi shivered a bit and seemed to turn slightly transparent.
“The tea’s not done yet,” he said. “Please, wait another moment.” Although he was obviously in the inferior position, he didn’t seem worried at all, and even acted as though nothing had just happened. A moment later, he placed a teacup in front of Snowlotus and poured her some tea.
The steam from the tea swirled up in the shape of immortal cranes, phoenixes, and butterflies, creating a very pleasing image.
Almost at the same time, Jade Nightqueen and Snowlotus uttered exclamations of shock.
“You really are a power double!”
“That’s the Dream Butterfly Energy Art! Are you connected to Zilin somehow?”
Snowlotus could tell from the slight transparency of Yang Qi’s body that he really was a power double. However, it was only because of their clash moments ago that the transparency had become apparent. Normally speaking, there would have been no way to tell. And that indicated that his true self must surpass her, which meant that she was in a very tricky situation.
As for Jade Nightqueen, she could see from the shape of the tea’s steam that Yang Qi was using the godly-class energy art that was the signature ability of Zilin.
Both flower goddesses were shocked, although for slightly different reasons. The fact that they were dealing with a power double meant that any threats they might try using on him would be completely useless. Even worse, if he was allied with Zilin, they would have to be even more careful. All of the top leaders in the Joyflower Palace knew that Zilin was the most powerful of the consorts. Although Leaf Dao-Denier was currently rising in both power and favor, the difference between him and Zilin was like the difference between an imperial spouse and a mere concubine.
Although the power of a concubine might temporarily eclipse the imperial spouse, the latter occupied a profoundly significant position that could not be changed.
Seeing their reaction, Yang Qi chuckled and said, “Well, now that you can both see I'm a power double, we can get on to more important business. Don’t forget, killing this power double won’t affect me at all. As for whether or not I work for Zilin, that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I can help both of you improve your standing in Joyflower Palace. If you don’t, it’s entirely likely that Leaf Dao-Denier will eventually have you killed. He's a very ambitious person, and to be honest, I'm not sure why your empress favors him so much. That said, if he gets powerful enough, he’s going to lord it over all of you.”
“Leaf Dao-Denier....” Upon hearing his name, Snowlotus and Jade Nightqueen reacted with visible disdain and, at the same time, fury. To them, he was like a pig or dog who had somehow elevated himself to a high position in the court.
After all, to the women of the Joyflower Palace, men were animals who couldn't compare at all to women.
As for Yang Qi, he knew what kind of person Leaf Dao-Denier was. He was arrogant, conceited, sinister, treacherous, distrusting, and supremely ambitious. Unfortunately for him, he would never be popular in the Joyflower Palace, considering he was a male consort.
“So you’re saying you want to ally with us against Leaf Dao-Denier?” Jade Nightqueen said. She chuckled darkly. “Ah, Yang Qi. How could we ever have guessed that you would be up to business such as this? You're the measly ex-leader of the Dao Defense League, which can’t even compare to a third-rate sect from the Ancient Road to the Gods. And yet, the fact that you’ve infiltrated the Joyflower Palace like this indicates that Orchid Purity isn’t even close to your level. So why did you back down to her?”
“Because I have important plans of my own,” he replied, not bothering to mince words. “And for the time being, I'm not strong enough to handle your Empress Joyflower, although it's not as if she could kill me, either. Aren’t you going to try my tea?”
“Fine,” Jade Nightqueen replied. “Let’s see how skilled you are at manipulating virtual power.” Without further ado, she drank the tea. As she did, warmth flowed through her, as if the tea itself had come from the god world. If she didn’t know any better, she would have guessed it was real tea, not a product of virtual power.
There was no way for her to prevent shock from gripping her heart. Yang Qi had obviously perfected the skill to create something that seemed real out of nothing, which was a skill, not from the dao of immortals, but rather the dao of gods.
It caused a grim expression to appear on her face as she realized that this man was obviously not slave material, but was instead an enemy she needed to be very careful around.
“Well, what do you think? Now do you have an inkling of how powerful I am?” Yang Qi’s months of cultivation hadn’t just involved slowly drawing on the godhood to increase his power, he had also gained enlightenment from the virtual god world in the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart, as well as the Life-Death Void-Destruction God-Lightning.
“I have to admit that you’re very strong,” Snowlotus said. Exchanging a glance with Jade Nightqueen, she continued, “But what exactly is your plan? Are you really trying to take down Leaf Dao-Denier?”
“Exactly. And it seems to me that you two would like to do the same. The only reason you haven’t already is because he’s the most favored consort of the empress. You see, Leaf Dao-Denier is keeping a big secret, and that secret is the key to gaining the upper hand.”
“A secret?” Jade Nightqueen said. “Considering he’s the favored consort, knowing a secret about him isn’t going to be enough. What game are you playing at here? It’s not revenge. Any grudge in the world can be dispelled one way or another. But profit. Profit will always motivate action.”
“Why don’t you wait until I tell you the details of this secret,” Yang Qi said with a faint smile. “Presumably, the two of you are aware of a certain item from the god world, blessed by the legion of gods and gifted by the Sovereign Lord. It represents the devotion of the legion of gods, and at a certain point in history, was broken into three parts....”
“The God Legion Seal?”
“Don’t tell me that Leaf Dao-Denier has one of the God Legion Seals!”
Both Snowlotus and Jade Nightqueen completely lost their composure.
“I never said he has a God Legion Seal,” Yang Qi said, doing his best to keep the two flower goddesses in suspense for dramatic purposes. “But in my dealings with him in years past in the Dao Defense League, I came to the realization that he has information about it. And I bet your empress also realizes this, which is why she’s been doting on him.”
“So that's what’s going on....” The two flower goddesses exchanged another meaningful look. Neither of them had been able to deduce why an ant-like cultivator like Leaf Dao-Denier, a person who wasn't even a Grand Emperor, had experienced such a meteoric rise in barely a year’s time. During that short period, he had reached a status nearly equal to Zilin and had even benefited from bits of godhood given to him by the empress. They had believed all along that something fishy was going on.
Of course, Yang Qi was like the thief crying “stop thief!”, and was using the craftiest plots and machinations he could think of to throw suspicion off of himself. Yang Qi was quite adept at turning the tables, making black into white and vice versa.
“That’s quite the monumental secret,” Snowlotus said. Her main inclination was to seize Yang Qi and interrogate him by force, but she knew that doing so would be useless considering he was a power double. Furthermore, it would make any cooperation between them impossible and would turn him into a true enemy, which wouldn’t help at all in dealing with Leaf Dao-Denier.
Projecting a message via divine will, Jade Nightqueen said, “What do we do, Snowlotus? Don’t tell me we’re really going to have to work with this despicable man.”
“I don’t see any other option,” Snowlotus replied. “Don’t forget that Leaf Dao-Denier has the full favor of the empress. Although he isn’t an immediate threat to us, we obviously can’t have him killed. Right now, the only thing we can do is work with this Yang Qi. When the time is right, we can take advantage of the situation to come out on top, and, after the dust settles, have Yang Qi eliminated. No one will be the wiser, and we’ll have the best of both worlds.”
“Yes, but given the fact that this version of Yang Qi is only a power double, it’s obvious that he’s not one to take lightly. He won’t be a weak opponent.”
“We’ll be fine,” Snowlotus said. “It’s not like it’s just the two of us. For now, we’ll pretend to work with him, all the while running an investigation to locate his true self. When we find him, we can gather a whole host of experts to go kill him.”
“The God Legion Seal. If we can get the God Legion Seal, who would we possibly need to fear? The treasures and secrets it contains defy imagination. It can absorb godliness, and even be used to summon hordes of fiend-devils from hell.”
With a brief interchange of divine will, the two flower goddesses hatched a vicious plot.
Of course, Yang Qi didn’t even need to eavesdrop to come to the conclusion that they were going to help him get rid of Leaf Dao-Denier, then turn on him. It was a classic case of one con artist trying to con another. He himself had done the same thing in the past, so there was no way he would be so easily fooled.
In fact, he was planning to push all of the blame for Leaf Dao-Denier’s death onto these two. Few people could match Yang Qi when it came to recognizing a situation of the mantis stalking the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind.
Before any further conversation could play out, a young woman rushed into their presence. “Exalted Flower Goddesses, some of Leaf Dao-Denier’s servants are here requesting a meeting.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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