Chapter 967: Working with the Seal

‘There’s really a tribulation with every character!’ Yang Qi thought. A seemingly endless stream of characters were flowing through his sea of consciousness, each of them a tribulation. Despite how they assailed his nascent divinity, his will was strong and he was skilled at fighting knowledge-devils. Then the Devil-God Seal appeared, and he used it to shape the tribulations into the form of a spherical devil embryo.

Unfortunately, the devil embryo was not something he could assimilate, as it was something akin to the will of the Great Necropolis.

Although he had laid eyes on all of the characters that made up the sheepskin scroll, he didn’t have full enlightenment of them, and thus couldn’t assimilate them. Even just trying to assimilate a few, he found that the true energy of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth within him began dissipating. Apparently, if he fully assimilated the new technique, his old energy art would vanish.

Unfortunately, it would be troublesome to have knowledge-devils in his sea of consciousness that he couldn’t get rid of.

‘I get it. Merely looking at the sheepskin scroll will cause you to automatically begin cultivating the technique. And even if you somehow don't cultivate it, you’ll begin gaining enlightenment, which will cause damage to your quintessence-blood, and possibly even kill you. That mahātmā is a real schemer, isn’t he? He just watched me read the entire sheepskin scroll, with its one tribulation per character. He knew that every character I read would damage my Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, eventually dispelling it completely. For all intents and purposes, my energy arts would be crippled and I would be completely at the fiend-devils’ mercy. Well, it's not like I’ll just let that happen. I can use my Devil-God Seal to seal the knowledge-devils. Even though I won’t be able to assimilate them, I can at least save them for later. That said, I still need to put on a bit of an act....’

He was already coming up with a counter-plot, and was forcing his complexion to alternate between bright red and pale white, as if he were hovering on the brink of death. At the same time, he was carefully sealing away all traces of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth in his sea of energy, to make it seem like he had lost it.

Of course, the truth was that his powers were actually growing more refined because of the process.

The Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth spun smaller and smaller until it was in a tiny, pulsing dot.

If someone were to closely inspect his sea of energy, that pulsing dot would shift to his Chest Center acupoint. In turn, if someone shifted the focus of inspection to the Chest Center acupoint, the pulsing dot would move to the Life Gate. [1]

And if someone tried to assess his true energy in general, that pulsing dot could fly out of his body, which was something he couldn’t do in the past.

After perusing the sheepskin scroll, he could make his true energy a part of the void. He could connect his vital energy to the universe itself, becoming one with all creation.

“The kid’s energy arts are dissipating,” the mahātmā said. “The side-effects of the sheepskin scroll are kicking in.” He exchanged a glance with the scholarly fiend-devil and Dream Mintdance, and they were all pleased that the plan was working.

“Once the effects are complete, he’ll be no threat to us,” the mahātmā continued. “Did he really think the sheepskin scroll would be so simple to study? Even if Proud Heaven were here with his one-third of the God Legion Seal, he would have to pay a heavy price to study the scroll. And it would be a very difficult task to gain enlightenment of it. This boy only has a bit of Proud Heaven’s true energy, so what could he possibly accomplish?”

How could he have any idea that Yang Qi had spun a completely fabricated tale about Proud Heaven, and that he actually had the God Legion Seal and the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth?

Yang Qi had beaten them at their own game.

All of a sudden, he opened his eyes. Face ashen and filled with an expression of astonishment, he said, “My techniques! My energy arts! They’re all gone!”

Laughing heartily, the mahātmā stroked his beard and said, “Congratulations, boy! You've lost the true energy of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth and gained the techniques from the sheepskin scroll. The time has come to accept a boundless devil body!”

“You...” Yang Qi said, plastering grief and indignation onto his face. “You tricked me! How crafty and murderous, Mahātmā! Before, I had a chance to stand up to you, but now that you’ve taken away my true energy, I'm no threat to you at all!”

“I'm helping you, boy,” the mahātmā said, not making any attempt to be courteous now that he thought his plan had worked. “With that true energy in you, Proud Heaven could have taken control of you at any time. After all, it wasn’t yours to begin with. Furthermore, Proud Heaven could have taken it away at any time he wished. What use is true energy like that? Once you cultivate an Unspoiled Body, you can simply imitate the true energy of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth. That should make it much easier to strike Proud Heaven when he’s not expecting it. Even if you don’t kill him, you’ll seriously injure him, at the very least. Furthermore, the true energy isn’t completely gone, it’s just been converted into fuel for your Unspoiled Body. What, did you really think you could cultivate both of those techniques at the same time? Who do you think you are? King Immortal-Slayer? A godmammoth? The Sovereign Lord? The exalted True Devil?”

Yang Qi sighed deeply. “Oh well. Whatever. A wise man submits to the circumstances, right? Considering the genius I am, I was well aware of how unideal the previous situation was. And in the end, better a bad life than a good death. What orders do you have for me now, Mahātmā?”

The scholarly fiend-devil laughed heartily, clearly happy to have taught Yang Qi a lesson. ‘This kid is smart,’ he thought. ‘And flexible. He could definitely be useful to us. Considering he’s a pawn of Proud Heaven, we can definitely use him as our pawn against Proud Heaven.’

Clearing his throat, he said, “That’s exactly how you should think about it, boy. Do exactly as we say, and things will turn out well for you. You think you’ve lost your energy arts? Just wait until you finish cultivating the True-Devil Unspoiled-by-Myriad-Kalpas-and-Tribulations Body. Then your bitterness will turn to joy, and you’ll be thanking us from the bottom of your heart.”

“Fine,” Yang Qi said. “I’ll do things your way. As long as I can live through this without becoming a puppet, I’ll help you any way I can. I won’t even ask for any further benefits. I just want to kill Proud Heaven and win my freedom.” He was really laying it on thick.

“You’re quite the genius, boy,” the mahātmā said. “How could we possibly consider killing or puppetizing you? As a puppet, you wouldn’t have any thoughts of your own, which wouldn’t benefit us at all. We need you to make progress and advance our agenda of dealing with the Executors of the Ancient Road. Very well. Go stand by that sealing mark. We’ll pour power into you and help you absorb the devil formation and the devil vitality. Once you reach a higher level of enlightenment, you’ll be vastly stronger than you are now.”

Not bothering with words, Yang Qi leaped up onto the altar and sat down in the middle of the enormous magical symbol inscribed on it.

The other fiend-devils present were all thinking roughly the same thing. ‘So, he still has some other energy arts left. And he’s still fairly strong. He really isn’t an ordinary person. Thankfully, his other energy arts don't seem to be specifically designed to deal with fiend-devils. Now we don't have to be so afraid of him.’

Crash!

All of a sudden, an enormous pillar appeared behind Yang Qi, which thrummed with domineering might and protective powers. It was none other than the Martial-God Hegemon-King Heaven-Propping Pillar. [2]

‘What?! He knows the consummate arts of the Martial Tyrant Cadre? Their leader has an incredible cultivation base! Is this guy somehow connected to him?’ More so than ever, the mahātmā suddenly realized that Yang Qi was a very mysterious figure.

“Boy,” he said, “you can’t use other energy arts when cultivating the True-Devil Unspoiled-by-Myriad-Kalpas-and-Tribulations Body. Don’t worry, I’ll set up a devil formation to keep you safe.”

“Alright!” Yang Qi said, dispelling the pillar. He had only revealed that energy art to reinforce to the fiend-devils that he still had some fighting prowess.

Closing his eyes, he sent his divine will into the sealing mark, and instantly sensed as though he were sitting on an enormous sea of blood amidst a vicious conglomeration of devil energy.

Furthermore, the sealing mark really did contain enormous godhood.

The sealing mark was like a huge curtain made of blood, burning endlessly, causing anyone who sat atop it to feel intense heat. It was actually very uncomfortable. However, Yang Qi was able to use a certain art to send the energy flowing through his meridians to be assimilated, boosting his own power.

He nodded as he finally got a sense of what the Executors of the Ancient Road were capable of. After all, this sealing mark was their work. Apparently, their handiwork was compatible with the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth!

Meanwhile, the mahātmā was leading the other fiend-devils to pool their energy arts. The fiend-devils present had power indexes anywhere from two to four thousand, yet they all knew that the mahātmā was the strongest of them all. Thus, they followed his directions without question.

BOOM!

At a certain point, the mahātmā waved his hand, causing the sheepskin scroll to fly up into the air and unfurl.

Then, he spoke directly into their seas of consciousness. “Use your various techniques and magics to power the devil formation. And follow my orders down to the last detail. If you don’t, you know what the consequences will be.”

“Yes,” the scholarly fiend-devil said. “Allow the mahātmā to control the formation. Anyone who doesn't follow orders will be punished immediately. Understand?”

“Hurry up, everyone!” Dream Mintdance growled.

Under the urgings of the three most powerful fiend-devils, the devil formation quickly took shape, making it seem like a devil from the distant past was being summoned.


1. The Chest Center is a real acupoint located, fittingly, in the center of the chest. The Life Gate is located between the kidneys.

2. This pillar was introduced in chapter 942.

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