Yang Qi remained completely calm in the face of Yang Kui’s flying eagle attack.
Waves of energy battered against him, but he stood as still as a reef in the ocean, completely unmoving. Then, just before the attack hit, he twisted to the side, slipping out of the way like a fish, and causing the eagle attack to hit nothing but air. 
Energy surged in all directions, and Yang Kui’s aura pulsed with power. He currently occupied the high ground, so yet again, he curled his hands into eagle claws and then slashed them at Yang Qi. Clearly, he would not give up until catching him.
From the perspective of the onlookers, Yang Kui looked like a mighty eagle, soaring through the air, slashing down over and over again with unimaginable force.
In contrast, Yang Qi was like a fish, slipping amongst the waves of energy, facing danger over and over again, and yet always managing to evade it. As this process continued, Yang Kui’s true energy drained away with every moment that passed.
This wasn’t a case of the eagle lacking in might, but rather, the fish being too evasive.
“How can this brat be so agile? How much of this can his fleshly body handle? How could he possibly push the One Hundred Transformations of the Fish-Dragon to such limits?”
Of course, everyone in the audience was equally stunned.
The Hundred Transformations of the Fish-Dragon that Yang Qi was using was actually a first-class technique of the Yang Clan, the type that only top masters would study. Normally speaking, even people in the sixth or seventh phases wouldn’t be able to do what he was doing; it was simply too much of a strain on the body. In one moment he would seem as tough as iron, in another, as flexible as a bowstring, and after that, he would be as soft as cotton.
“Good. Great. Excellent….” Yang Zhan murmured, his eyes shining with delight. By this point, his other two sons had regained consciousness, and although they were still afflicted with shadowblight, the sight of Yang Qi fighting Yang Kui made it impossible for them to conceal the shock they felt.
“Father, wasn’t third brother’s sea of energy destroyed?” the eldest brother managed to say.
“Something marvelous happened to your third brother,” Yang Zhan said. “Something marvelous and extremely important. The heavens have spared our bloodline. Just when everything seemed on the verge of falling apart, hope appeared. Your third brother might have come across some miracle, but the difference between the fifth and sixth phases is enormous. What if…?” Yang Zhan’s eyes suddenly flashed as if with fire. “It doesn’t matter. Your third brother’s aura is deep, and his true energy seems to have no bounds. Yang Kui is doing little more than flailing about; the battle will end soon. Attacking like this is a huge drain on true energy. At the worst, it will end in a draw.”
If Yang Zhan could analyze the fight in such a way, then Yang Kui could do so even more accurately. He had hoped to teach Yang Qi a lesson with his Insane Devil Energy Art, but only ended up unable to touch him, over and over again. And as the saying goes, if you ride a tiger, it's hard to get off. As his true energy reserves ran lower and lower, the danger he faced increased.
For someone in the sixth phase to be defeated by someone in the fifth would be a huge loss of face. If that happened, he would never again be able to hold his head high in public.
“DIE!” he shouted. Biting his tongue, he spat out some blood, which shot toward the top of his head like a flying arrow. There, he catalyzed it with his energy arts, causing it to explode, creating a blood mist that completely surrounded him, and caused the whole area to smell like blood.
Within that blood mist, his powers of attack were significantly enhanced. Without a pause, he splayed his five fingers out, causing his fingernails to grow out into what looked like iron scythes, each of them a meter long, which he then slashed toward the ground.
“Righteous Bloodshed Energy Art!” he shouted.
The experts of the Yang Clan all rose to their feet. “Yang Kui has actually been forced to use his Righteous Bloodshed Energy Art! That damages the meridians and burns one’s sea of energy, damaging the cultivation base. Nobody would use that unless there was no other option at hand.”
“A fifth phase fighter has forced a sixth phase fighter into this position? Of all the geniuses I've seen in my life, I've never seen any of them who could do this.”
“Yang Zhan has turned a disaster into a blessing. When the council of chief elders finds out that he has a son like this, they’re going to shower him with even more approval.” The opinions of many of the neutral clan members were now being swayed.
“Things are definitely going to end soon. Now that the Righteous Bloodshed Energy Art is in play, that brat Yang Qi is definitely finished.”
By this point, Yang Shi’s eyes were sparkling with killing intent. Considering how outstanding Yang Qi was, he knew that if he wasn't killed now, then he would continue to advance, and become more and more of a problem.
However, in the moment that the killing intent appeared, Yang Zhan glanced over at him, eyes flashing, and he knew that he couldn’t act.
“Stand down, Yang Qi!” Yang Kui shouted angrily shooting down toward the ground, the five iron scythes that were his fingernails completely locking down Yang Qi’s avenues of retreat. As of this point, if Yang Qi wanted to keep fighting, it would be very risky.
‘Time to go for broke!’ Yang Qi thought. It wasn’t a time to worry about every little detail. It was a life-or-death moment, and therefore he drew deeply upon his energy arts, and reached out to the lightning mammoth inside of him. Clenching his hands into fists, he punched out at the eagle-claw-scythes.
The lightning mammoth erupted with power, sending a mighty stream of electricity to cover Yang Qi inside and out.
The flow of electricity instantly dispersed Yang Kui’s Righteous Bloodshed Energy Art, smashing into him and sending him flying back into one of the supporting columns in the hall, where he then slumped down onto the ground, muttering in pain.
Then, the electricity slowly faded away from Yang Qi.
The entire hall was blanketed by deep silence, and the eyes of everyone present flickered with astonishment.
What is the greatest mistake one can make? Forgetting that if someone is strong enough, they can make up for any deficiency. That is a truth that can never be changed.
“An energy art that contains lightning? Our Yang Clan has never had any energy arts like that, have we? Of all the countless sects and clans, only a very few have the ability to absorb the quintessence of lightning and turn it into true energy. How did Yang Qi do this? Could it really be true that he underwent a major transformation because of that lightning strike?”
After a very long moment passed, people began to recover and react. Yang Xu leaped into the air, flying over to Yang Kui to help him to his feet. After checking his injuries, he found that they were minor. However, his true energy had been drained so severely that it would likely be ten days or even half a month before he recovered.
Everyone was now eyeing the freakish Yang Qi as he stood there stock still, eyes closed as he examined himself internally. The lightning mammoth was still active, sending a stream of life essence energy out into his meridians and bones. As that happened, the second particle within him began to stir as if it might awaken.
To his inner view, it was like his body consisted of those eight hundred forty million particles, scattered throughout a vast universe. They were like stars, each one of which contained a megamammoth in embryonic form, waiting to gain consciousness.
“Good! Once that second particle awakens, my true energy will become doubly powerful, like that of two ancient megamammoths. That major transformation will let me step into the sixth phase, the Energy Weapon level. Then everyone will be really shocked.”
Everyone was already in a state of complete astonishment because of the events of this day. One could only imagine what the reactions would be like when he reached the sixth phase.
In most situations it would take twenty or more years of painstaking cultivation to push one’s energy arts from the fifth phase to the sixth. And Yang Qi would likely do it in only a few days? To most people, it would seem completely impossible.
This fight, this true energy conflict, had allowed him to absorb more of the lightning mammoth, which was the only reason why he could possibly make such shocking progress.
At this point, a young man strode out of the crowd, faced Yang Qi, and clapped in applause. “Cousin Yang Qi, the fact that you, with a fifth phase cultivation base, managed to defeat an expert in the sixth phase, is completely spectacular. To call you a genius is not an exaggeration in any sense of the word. It’s been a long time since I've been in a fight myself, and seeing your performance makes me itch to have a go. What do you say we exchange some pointers?”
Yang Qi looked over at the young man and recognized him as one of the top geniuses in the clan, Yang Honglie.
“Well, if it isn’t Cousin Honglie,” he said. “If anyone in our generation deserves to be called a genius, it’s you! You stepped into the sixth phase long ago, and I bet you’re getting close to the seventh phase. If I remember correctly, you're over ten years older than me, right?”
Yang Honglie was indeed well over ten years older than Yang Qi, and had stepped into the Energy Eruption level when he was only fifteen years old. Now, several years later, he was still making rapid progress, and was closing in on the seventh phase, the Energy Manifestation level. In that level, one could give true energy a corporeal form, which was nothing to look down upon.
Based on his progress up to this point, Yang Honglie was likely going to reach the eighth phase, the Energy Incarnation level, before he was even thirty. At that point, he could unleash the energy art of Mind Incarnation.
Anyone in the Rich-Lush Continent who could reach the eighth phase before the age of thirty was considered to be a true genius.
At the moment, Yang Qi knew that he wasn’t a match for someone in the seventh phase. His sudden defeat of the sixth phase Yang Kui had been completely unexpected, and had been possible because of the power of the lightning mammoth, and the way it manifested lightning as true energy. Furthermore, Yang Kui wasn’t even ranked highly among sixth phase experts.
And the seventh phase was absolutely and completely different from the sixth.
And yet, with the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, Yang Qi was fairly certain that it wouldn’t be long before he could defeat Yang Honglie and become the number one expert of his generation in the clan.
“Qi’er, come over here,” Yang Zhan said. “You’ve brought a lot of honor to your father by what you've done today.” Sending out some glowing energy, he pulled Yang Qi back to his side. “Don’t push yourself. Cousin Honglie is over ten years older than you, with very profound cultivation base and energy arts. You have to admit that.”
“What?!” one of the other young elites said. “Weren’t you just running your mouth, Yang Qi? You defeated Yang Kui of the elder generation, but now you’re too scared to fight one of your own peers?”
Another young man stepped forward and added, “Yeah, that’s right! What happened to all your showboating from moments ago?”
“It’s only reasonable for the young ones to interact and learn from each other,” said a grim-faced old man.
All of them knew that Yang Qi had just secured a reputation as a consummate genius. However, the fact that he was now in the limelight only prompted them to try to cut him down a notch.
“Yang Qi, isn’t Honglie more than ten years older than you? Maybe you should wait ten years before you try to take him on. Of course, he’ll still be ten years older than you then, so maybe that excuse isn’t a very good one to rely on.”
Everyone started laughing.
“Ten years?” Yang Qi said, his voice cold. “Nah. How about three months? Yang Honglie, I hereby challenge you to a competition during our Yang Clan’s autumn hunt in the Blackcorpse Mountains, three months from now. Why don’t we see which of us will come out on top there?”
1. This combination of the fish and the eagle is actually a bit more complicated than it seems. It’s a reference to a poem written by Mao Zedong, although I don’t think the point of the poem is particularly relevant to this section of action. The author actually takes a line from the poem, splits it in two, and uses them to describe the movements of Yang Qi and Yang Kui.