Yang Qi looked down at the hand-written letter from his father. Heart pounding, he murmured, “My mother's nickname is Greensura?”
Most shocking of all was the last line that mentioned being the ruler of the entire Rich-Lush Continent. A host of feelings rose up in Yang Qi’s heart. Only an extraordinary person could possibly rule the entire Rich-Lush Continent. Right now, that ruler was the emperor of the Sage Ancestor Dynasty.
Although the dynasty was on the decline, there was still an emperor who had occupied the throne for more than a thousand years already. Although he rarely made public appearances, and left most affairs of state to the imperial princes to handle, the dynasty was still widely respected and feared.
The emperor’s cultivation base was mysterious and unfathomable, although, it was known that it had already been a thousand years since he became a Legendary.
Considering how much time had passed since then, it was impossible to say his current level. Perhaps he had gone beyond the Legendary level, and had surpassed the mortal and entered the saintly. For all anyone knew, he was in the Great Sage level or even higher.
Considering how much Yang Qi had progressed in cultivation, he already knew that after the Lifeseizing level was the Legendary level. Although he wasn’t sure how many sub-levels were in that level, he did know that progressing through them was incredibly difficult.
Beyond Legendaries were the Great Sages, invincible individuals who were essentially saints, and were powerful beyond imagination. In the distant past, when the Demonfolk ran rampant, some of their most powerful experts reached the Great Sage level and left the world to roam space-time.
As for what lay beyond it, Yang Qi wasn't sure.
In any case, if someone wanted to become the ruler of the entire Rich-Lush Continent, they would definitely have to wipe out the Sage Ancestor Dynasty and execute its emperor.
And that meant that such an individual would definitely need to be as strong as one of those Great Sages from the distant past.
‘Who exactly is my mother? She must be very important if the prerequisite to see her is to be the ruler of this entire continent. How did she end up involved with father? In terms of status, the two of them are about as different as heaven and earth! Well, once my cultivation base is high enough, I’ll go to the Hanging Mountain and ask her myself.’ Filled with more questions than answers, Yang Qi waved his hand, causing the letter to burst into flames.
Because of the important secrets it contained, Yang Zhan had specifically directed him to dispose of it after reading it.
Calming himself, Yang Qi looked out at the beautiful scenery which surrounded his temple, as well as the abundant spirit energy. In the middle of the temple was the energy formation of the dao of monarchs, which he found to be particularly intriguing.
It was a formation created out of pure energy, designed to temper the physical body, strengthen the cultivation base, improve the meridians, and build up the energy of the dao of monarchs.
Remaining in the formation for long periods of time could even affect one’s personality and thoughts, causing one to think like a monarch. It could make one’s thoughts more clear, one’s vision more expansive, and could help a person to become a better leader.
Thus were the marvelous abilities of an energy formation of the dao of monarchs.
Unfortunately, ordinary Lifeseizers would be incapable of putting such a formation together. Besides, they required massive amounts of resources and true energy to construct.
Despite two months of intensive study, Yang Qi only had a vague understanding of how they were made.
He had attended many classes regarding spell formations, and thus knew much more about them than he had in the past. For example, he knew that many energy arts could be used in conjunction with spell formations. That included the Four Seasons Swordplay, which he could now use in a way that was ten times as powerful as the art normally was.
In the two months since he had become an elite student, Yang Qi had progressed rapidly.
He knew ten times as much as he had in the past, perhaps even a hundred.
And of course, his Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth was growing even more refined. In fact, he was fairly certain that he would soon have enough life force quintessence built up to achieve Secondary Lifeseizing.
When working on his cultivation in the energy formation of the dao of monarchs, he could sense subterranean spirit lodes. When it came to the so-called spirit energy of heaven and earth, heaven had the free-flowing spirit energy, and the earth had spirit lodes. Usually, locations with spirit lodes were the best place to practice cultivation, build mansion grottos, and circulate energy.
And of course, the Demi-Immortal Institute in general was built in the best location possible. It was located in the very middle of the Rich-Lush Continent, on top of an enormous spirit lode. And it was that very energy that Yang Qi could sense below him.
On a few occasions, he had attempted to tap into it, but it was too powerful, and eventually, he was forced to give up.
After all, that was why the College of Elite Students had energy formations of the dao of monarchs to begin with. Unfortunately, he wasn’t allowed to bring his four friends in to use the formation. If he did, and it were found out, he would be severely punished.
Therefore, he was doing his research into spell formations in the hope of setting up small-scale versions for them on the outside. If they had energy formations of the dao of monarchs, they would definitely advance much more rapidly, and would soon be able to reach the Lifeseizing level themselves.
‘The true essence of the dao of monarchs, encapsulated eternally in a spell formation.’
After studying the spell formation for a bit longer, he suddenly produced a handful of white demon cores from his thumb-ring. Crushing them, he took the resulting white energy flow and sent it swirling into a very specific pattern.
He did not seal the energy, but let it continue to flow. At its current level, it was almost like the power of a dozen Lifeseizers all working together, causing powerful winds to scream through Yang Qi’s temple.
Just like that, a small version of an energy formation of the dao of monarchs took shape, the result of Yang Qi’s two months of research into spell formations.
Spell formations could be used at any time. In fact, some spell formation masters could create spell formation cycles that could be placed into the internal organs, muscles, and bones, to make themselves far stronger than ordinary.
Furthermore, demon cores were often used in formation deployment.
The cores he had just used came from demonlings in the Master of Energy level, which he had acquired from the treasure stores of the vampire brigands.
Almost immediately, the small spell formation began to absorb the local energy of the dao of monarchs.
Besides, Yang Qi could sense that it was also drawing upon the vital energy from the subterranean energy lodes.
‘Most Lifeseizers cannot control the vital energy in the subterranean spirit lodes. In fact, their true energy would be completely destroyed by it. But with my Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, I have unique control over the ground beneath my feet. Now, I can actually connect to the subterranean spirit lodes. This technique makes me like the lord of earth!’
As he drew upon the quintessence of his energy arts, true energy gathered above his head in the shape of a godmammoth, whose trunk then slammed into the ground and immediately connected to the spirit lode beneath. If other top experts in the institute could see what was happening, they would be completely shocked. As for the spirit energy that flowed up, it was almost pure white, indicating how incredibly strong it was.
“The lord of the earth!”
The words actually echoed out from the true energy godmammoth itself.
The lord of hell would naturally be the lord of the earth. 
The pure-white subterranean spirit energy flowed into the energy formation of the dao of monarchs, causing the smaller formation Yang Qi had created to grow larger, until it actually contained the entire true energy godmammoth.
‘For now, I can store the formation in my thumb-ring.’
The dimension inside his thumb-ring was definitely big enough to contain the formation, and once inside, it wouldn’t dissipate. In contrast, if he left it in his room and didn’t watch over it constantly, it would gradually fade away. And making another one would be quite troublesome.
Even inside the ring, it still continued to absorb the subterranean vital energy and convert it into the energy of the dao of monarchs.
‘If I leave it in there for too long, it might develop a spirit of its own. I'd better get it to Li He and the others as soon as possible.’
Deactivating the larger spell formation in his room, he blurred into motion, heading out of the College of Elite Students and toward the Outer Campus.
Meanwhile, in another location in the College of Elite Students, someone watched as Yang Qi left.
The observer was none other than Gu Fenxian, who Yang Qi recently humiliated.
He was with several other elite students, all of them members of the Crown Prince Society. Considering the shifty glints in their eyes, it seemed they were hatching some scheme or another.
“We’ve been secretly watching Yang Qi for almost two months now, Gu Fenxian,” one of the students said. “Have you seen anything suspicious? I have this feeling that he’s actually a lot stronger than he’s letting on. He's definitely talented, so it wouldn’t be a bad thing to accept him into our Crown Prince Society. However, considering how many invitations he’s turned down from us over the past months, it seems he’s the ambitious type who doesn’t want to acknowledge allegiance to anyone. If he's going to cause problems for us in the future, the best thing would be to get rid of him now. The Crown Prince himself has taken a liking to Yun Hailan, and she hates Yang Qi to death. Why don't we just finish things now?”
“Get rid of him?” Gu Fenxian growled. “I doubt we could assassinate him. He's an elite student now, and the higher-ups in the institute are no fools. They would definitely suspect us right away. And the punishment for killing fellow students is severe. Even if the Crown Prince interfered, I’d bet they'd still cripple our martial arts. And that would be a fate worse than death.”
“Well, there’s no rush,” another student said. Eyes flickering with sinister light, he continued, “We’ll figure out something eventually. Students die all the time. There’s no way the institute investigates all of the deaths in detail, right? Why don’t we get someone else to do the dirty work? For example, the inter-institute martial arts competition is coming up. What if we got a student from one of the other institutes to do it for us?!”
“Good point. The Crown Prince Society has been in operation for years, and we have agents in all the other institutes. We should be able to arrange something like that easily….”
And thus, their discussion continued….
Thanks to everyone who reports typos. I'm doing my best to keep up by reading ALL comments, but not sure how long I'll be able to do that. It's easy to get behind. One trick for those of you who do report typos is to use the "report" function on your own comment. Just make the comment in the comments section, then report yourself and put "typo" into the report. Officially reporting a comment will send a push notification to my desktop, so I will definitely see such reports. Just an idea. 😅