Chapter 995: A Dragon Trapped in a Shallow Pool of Water

“Did you sense it too, Jadefall?” the immortal-slaying clone asked. Quite a few people had taken to calling the clone ‘Exalted Immortal-Slayer’ recently.

“Yang Qi’s trapped somewhere,” she replied, her eyes flickering with anxiety, “and he's facing some sort of big tribulation.” [1]

“Yes, he's dealing with a disaster,” the clone said, shaking his head. “Unbeknownst to neither him nor me, cultivating the True-Devil Unspoiled-by-Myriad-Kalpas-and-Tribulations Body and the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth at the same time has led to a big problem. Right now, his will is trapped in his sea of consciousness, and if he continues his cultivation, he’ll end up turning into little more than a statue.” He went on to provide some more details about the situation.

“So what do we do, Exalted Immortal-Slayer?” Jadefall said. “Do you have any ideas at all?”

“He and I started out as exactly the same person. Although I'm an independent entity now, I still have a connection to his will and essence. And in the future, we’ll need to work together to deal with the resurrected King Immortal-Slayer, whose first act will be to try to possess me. Obviously, if Yang Qi experiences cultivation deviation, my future will be a bleak one. Unfortunately, I don’t have any good ideas. The upside is that Yang Qi’s will is very strong, so I'm sure he’ll survive.”

“Why can’t you just bring him here to the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart, then search for some pieces of this Mahātmā Jade? After all, time isn’t a problem inside the chart.”

“I can’t. The Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart can’t open a passage into that prison. Even if I had the spatial coordinates, which I don’t, the restrictions are too powerful for me to break through. Perhaps I should take a trip to the Will Manifestation Heaven Sect and see if I can get my hands on the psychic scaling systems! Those systems should relieve Yang Qi’s situation and allow his psychic powers to grow again.”

Nodding, the immortal-slaying clone suddenly faded from sight.

The immortal-slaying clone had a very refined cultivation base, as well as the Engine of the One God, King Heaven-Devourer’s talismans, the godhood stars from the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart, and numerous other magical treasures. Right now, he was so strong that he might not even lose in a fight against Yang Qi.

**

Back in the prison, Yang Qi sat there quietly, having just received a message from the clone about the current plan.

“Well, boy? You're already having trouble circulating your true energy, aren’t you?” The Wretch God Apostle laughed. “My Wretch Spirit Needle stimulated your nascent divinity a bit, but the effect will fade. You may as well be trying to transcend some tribulation right now. Once it's over, you're going to lose your mind and turn into nothing more than a statue.”

“Transcend tribulation?” All of a sudden, Yang Qi was hit with a bolt of inspiration. ‘How could I have forgotten? My cultivation base actually isn’t at the Grand Emperor level! I'm only on the fourth stair of the Deathless Heavenly Stairway, the Stair of Endurance. There are plenty more stairs for me to climb! Becoming a Grand Emperor should automatically improve my psychic scale. The heavens never truly bar one’s way!

The Godmyth level involved rising from the first division to the ninth. Then, as a Chaos God, one would face the Deathless Heavenly Stairway. Afterward, everything was a matter of developing the will.

Valor. Wisdom. Strength. They were all expressions of the nascent divinity, will, and psychic power. Afterward came other levels, including Endurance, Fearlessness, and the True Void.

After transcending the tribulation to become a Grand Emperor, everything was about improving the will.

Perhaps an ordinary Grand Emperor in Yang Qi’s situation would be completely stuck. But he wasn’t actually a Grand Emperor. His actual level was still low, and he could still summon the tribulation to improve his level, reach the Stair of the True Void, and become vastly stronger.

Unfortunately, this was also a case of treating the symptoms, but not the root cause. After becoming a Grand Emperor, there were no higher levels to reach without becoming a god. Therefore, if he wanted to continue cultivating his Unspoiled Body, he would eventually have to get some of the Mahātmā Jade.

Once he had the will of a true Grand Emperor, Yang Qi knew that he couldn’t push his mastery of the tribulation characters past a hundred. If he did, he would end up right back where he was now.

Approaching the level of a hundred tribulations would be incredible, and would put him in a position to crush virtually any enemy.

Even now, he had only cultivated twenty-four tribulations, but was still in a very good position. Secretly circulating his true energy, he prepared to attempt a breakthrough, but then paused as he realized the magical laws around him were so tough that he couldn’t sense the dao of heaven.

Frowning, he thought, ‘It seems I can’t work on my breakthrough here. I have to figure a way out, first.’

The Wretch God Apostle had no idea what he was thinking, and assumed that he was having second thoughts. “Well, have you decided, boy? I can help you cultivate a very powerful divine ability focused on psychic power. You don’t even have Terrifying will convergence, but you’ve reached the level of twenty-four tribulations. What if I could improve your psychic scale to the point where you could reach thirty tribulations? What do you think?”

“Alright!” Yang Qi said. “But don’t even think of trying to pull a fast one on me. We’re helping each other out, okay? I know that those chains make it impossible for you to use all of your divine abilities, but I can help you break some of them. Maybe I can even help you get out of here!”

“Break the chains? Leave? You think this is some kind of kid’s game? This place is as dangerous as a dragon’s pool or a tiger’s den! Maybe if I cultivated a bit of the True-Devil Unspoiled-by-Myriad-Kalpas-and-Tribulations Body, then I might have a shot at breaking us free. Do you know how many hundreds of millions of years I've dreamed of trying to escape?”

“You want the Unspoiled Body?” Yang Qi asked. “Aren’t you worried about the same thing happening to you that’s happened to me?”

“Of course I am! But this is my only hope of escaping. Look, tell the truth. Do you have that sheepskin scroll? If not, then you could at least transmit some of its power to me. Considering you’ve already cultivated the power, I should be able to accept it. And it would reduce the restrictions you’re suffering from. Remember, we’re both locusts tied to the same rope here. We can’t escape, so our only hope is to work together. One thing is for sure, the executors are never just going to let us go.”

“That's a good point,” Yang Qi said. “With your psychic power, you could probably reach the level of fifty tribulations. And then you could easily break us out of here. Okay, how about this. You give me some of your power first, and I’ll use it for my cultivation.”

His plan was to use the power to connect to the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart, and the sheepskin scroll within it.

The immortal-slaying clone wasn’t in the chart at the moment, but could still exercise control over it. And this would give them a chance to see what the Wretch God Apostle’s true energy was like. That seemed like the safest alternative.

“Alright!” the Wretch God Apostle replied immediately, much to Yang Qi’s surprise. And immediately, Yang Qi got the sense that he had misread the situation.

Narrowing his eyes, he said, “You know where some of the Mahātmā Jade is, don’t you?”

The Wretch God Apostle’s eyes went wide, then he laughed. “You're smart, boy. You can really put two and two together. Yes, I have a clue about the Mahātmā Jade. Finding it won't be easy, but you're obviously no slouch. Why don’t the two of us team up to hunt for it?”

“First tell me about this clue!” Yang Qi said.

“Hmph! That relates to the biggest secrets of the Hell of Sages and Mahātmās! In other words, we would have to travel there to get more information, so telling you now won’t do any good. Look, the Executors of the Ancient Road are just looking for an opportunity to assimilate me. If that happens, you’ll never escape. They’ll eventually destroy your will and turn you into an empty husk. Let me batter you with some powerful tribulations so you can further your cultivation. Once your will convergence improves, you can deal with the magical laws here much easier.”

“Alright,” Yang Qi said, nodding. “Our top priority right now is getting out of here. And I don’t really need to worry about you revealing my secrets considering that you need my sheepskin scroll to cultivate the technique. And I need you to find the Mahātmā Jade. Alright, let’s work together.”

A host of complicated expressions played out on the Wretch God Apostle’s face. Obviously, he wanted to kill Yang Qi, but knew that he couldn’t.


1. I'm leaving out a line of text that I'm fairly certain was filler added after the first draft of the chapter and has literally nothing to do with the chapter itself, yet is kind of important. Right in the middle of the conversation between the clone and Jadefall, the clone said, “Your porcelain godspore seems to be just on the verge of hatching. Whatever comes out, it’s sure to be at the peak of the Destabilizing level, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it had a power index of three thousand.” It completely breaks the flow of conversation and isn’t relevant at all to the situation with Yang Qi.

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Deathblade's Thoughts

I'm curious if many people will share my opinion about the problem when Westerners write wuxia/xianxia. Video here.