As of this moment, fear gripped the heart of Patriarch Frost-Drake. No longer did he harbor any thoughts of taking the Ice-Soul God-Sword. After all, he knew that his life was in the hands of his opponent. “Just who are you? How are you so strong? Why do you want information about the Shroud-Heaven Alliance?”
“I’m the one asking the questions here,” Yang Qi replied coldly. “Tell me what I want to know.” Keeping his grip tight on Patriarch Frost-Drake’s neck, he added, “Otherwise I’ll detonate your sea of energy. And you know what will happen if I do that.”
“Y-yes, yes, of course….” Patriarch Frost-Drake stammered. “The Shroud-Heaven Alliance is a coalition personally put together by Young Master Shroud-Heaven. There are already hundreds of smaller organizations throughout the seas who have joined up. The alliance headquarters is on Heavenly Demon Island in the middle of the Sea of Chaos. People say that Young Master Shroud-Heaven is actually the son of the immensely powerful Great Sage Shroud-Heaven from the Hanging Mountain. The Young Master is a Legendary, and he came here with the specific purpose of forming an alliance of forces to bring great transformations to all heaven and earth. He’s going to change the entire Rich-Lush Continent! Oh, and he’s also come for revenge.”
“Revenge?” Yang Qi asked. “Revenge against whom?”
Patriarch Frost-Drake didn’t hesitate at all to answer, almost as if he were worried he might be speaking too slowly, and that Yang Qi would impatiently kill him as a result. “Supposedly, this isn’t the first time Young Master Shroud-Heaven came here. Years ago, on his first trip, he encountered the Crown Prince from the Demi-Immortal Institute. When they fought, the Young Master lost, and was forced to flee back to the Hanging Mountain.”
‘The Crown Prince again?’ Yang Qi thought. ‘Well, if this Young Master Shroud-Heaven is against the Crown Prince, then that’s a good thing for me. Then again, he’s a demon-devil. Different races think differently, so it’s not like I can just become friends with him right off the bat.’
Knowing that his life was on the line, and not wanting to hold anything back, Patriarch Frost-Drake continued, “The Crown Prince Society is huge, and has connections to many of the major organizations in the lands. That’s why Young Master Shroud-Heaven is forming a coalition, to have enough people to fight the Crown Prince Society if necessary. During the Inter-Institutional Martial Arts Competition, Young Master Shroud-Heaven will make his move, formally challenge the Crown Prince, and kill him. That will earn him a reputation that will last for all time.”
“Hm, I see,” Yang Qi said. “Excellent. By the way, what were those medicinal pills I just took off of you? They don’t seem like something that a Lifeseizer could concoct.”
“Those were a gift from Young Master Shroud-Heaven. They’re called Nascent Divinity Pills, and their base ingredient is a divine medicine from beyond the heavens. You’ll never find pills like that in the Rich-Lush Continent. Our continent is just too low-level.”
“I see,” Yang Qi said. Now that he had the answers to his questions, he needed to think about what they implied.
As for Patriarch Frost-Drake, he said, “Please, spare my life. It hasn’t been easy to practice cultivation down to this point. I don’t want to die! I can be your servant! I’ll work myself to the bone for you!”
“I would feel a bit uncomfortable having a servant as powerful as you,” Yang Qi said with a chuckle. “But I’m not going to kill you. Of course, I can’t just let you go. I’m going to take away your sword energy so that you can’t perform any more evil. The Shroud-Heaven Alliance was founded by one of the Demonfolk, so there’s no way they’re up to any good. From here on out, you’re going to be my eyes and ears there. If you do a good job, eventually, I’ll unseal your sword energy.”
With that, he sent a powerful stream of true energy into Patriarch Frost-Drake.
Patriarch Frost-Drake shrieked as seven tiny swords of true energy appeared in his dantian region, which represented his seven killing moves of Freezing Night, Flying Stars, Rustling Wind, Broken Moon, Shocking Clouds, Ravage Law and Ravish Heaven. That was all of the sword energy that he had painstakingly cultivated over the years.
Yang Qi wanted to master those same seven sword moves, and if he had to practice them the normal way, who knew how long it would take him to do so. But if he simply extracted the sword energy, then he could master them in only a few days.
Most people couldn’t do such a thing; the heterogeneous true energy conflicts would be too severe. But with the Hellfire Crucible, it would be an easy thing for Yang Qi.
Without any hesitation, he extracted the seven tiny swords from within Patriarch Frost-Drake, who then sagged as limply as a deflated balloon. Although he was still a Nonary Lifeseizer, it would be hard to find another Nonary Lifeseizer weaker than him. In fact, it would probably be easy for a peak Octonary Lifeseizer to defeat him in battle.
Yang Qi had raked the firewood from beneath the kettle, and there was no way that Patriarch Frost-Drake could prevent animosity from flashing in his eyes as a result.
“What. You hate me to death now? That’s fine. I’m also going to place a sealing mark in you so that you can contact me if necessary. At the same time, if you harbor any thoughts of crossing me, you’ll be done for good.” With that, he sent some of the true energy of the God-Devil Seal into Patriarch Frost-Drake.
He was already in complete despair. Even after circulating his own true energy through his body, he had no idea where that sealing mark was. And yet, he could sense that Yang Qi truly did have ultimate control over him.
From now on, it would be impossible for him to work against Yang Qi. He could only do what he said, and hope that Yang Qi somehow ended up getting himself killed.
With that, Yang Qi flew up into the air, and right before he disappeared into the sea of clouds, said, “Take care of yourself, Patriarch Frost-Drake.”
Patriarch Frost-Drake slumped down onto the ground of the island that he had just nearly destroyed with his sword energy. As of this moment, he was crestfallen, and almost felt like drowning himself in the water to commit suicide.
However, after some time passed, he decided that killing himself probably wasn’t the best thing to do. Flying into the air, he headed off into the distance.
And thus, Yang Qi managed to place a pawn into the Shroud-Heaven Alliance.
That pawn would surely be useful in the future, especially when conflict broke out between the Crown Prince Society and the Shroud-Heaven Alliance. It was just like the old adage, when the sandpiper and the clam fight, the fisherman benefits.
Feeling very pleased with how everything turned out, Yang Qi headed back in the direction of the Demi-Immortal Institute.
Thanks to the way things had played out, he could now openly show power that was much closer to his true level.
The combination of the Cosmic Sunflare Sword with the Ice-Soul God-Sword, and the other seven techniques he had acquired, would enable him to dominate and likely kill anyone in the Lifeseizing level, even a Nonary Lifeseizer.
He could now destroy anyone in his cultivation level without relying on the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, which meant that putting all the other students in the Demi-Immortal Institute in their place would be no difficult task.
Of course, the Demi-Immortal Institute was a mysterious, unfathomable place, and there were plenty of experts among the conclave students, some of them probably more powerful than the rogue cultivator Patriarch Frost-Drake. Therefore, he couldn’t let his guard down. But in his current state, he was confident that he would still be able to surpass any of them.
As he flew back, he took the seven streams of sword energy that he had taken from Patriarch Frost-Drake and refined them in his Hellfire Crucible. Soon, they became parts of his own sword technique.
Now, he truly was a master of the sword, just the same as any other swordsman who had spent a hundred or more years immersed in the study of the weapon.
It didn’t take long for him to leave the East Sea and reach the Demi-Immortal Institute. He didn’t make a big scene, but instead, returned to his quarters and sent a message to Li He, He Jili, Hua Yinhu and Liang Dong. All four of his sworn brothers were Lifeseizers now, and were elite students. The entire time since being promoted, they had stayed in the College of Elite Students, making it impossible for Yun Hailan or the Crown Prince Society to do anything against them. After all, killing was prohibited there.
It was for that very reason that, not too long ago, Jiang Fan, Gu Fenxian, and the others had taken Yang Qi out of the College of Elite Students before trying to do anything to him. Otherwise, they would have been punished.
As soon as he sent his message, his four friends arrived at his temple, all of them very excited.
“Brother, have you heard?” Li He said. “Something big happened! Song Haishan and Gu Fenxian are dead! They went out with another elite student named Jiang Fan, and got ambushed and killed by some demon-devils. There was already an investigation, and Jiang Fan and some other members of the Crown Prince Society were punished because of the matter. Of course, for us, it’s a great thing.”
Yang Qi nodded. “You’re right, that is a good thing for us. I guess they dug their own grave.” Of course, he didn’t say anything about his involvement in the matter. If they knew, and then the matter came to light, they couldn’t deny being involved. And the fewer people who knew about the truth, the better. After all, if they got captured by the wrong person, it was possible that soulsearching energy arts could be used to extract the truth from them.
Sounding very authoritative, Hua Yinhu said, “It seems the institute knows about Chu Tiange’s death as well. The Hall of Corrections assigned several elders to investigate. They already interrogated everyone from the Gentlemen’s Society who was present that day. Thankfully, they all told the same story. After entering the Fiendcorpse Mountains, they parted ways from Chu Tiange, and never saw him again. I guess no one brought up the encounter with us, because the elders never came to ask any questions. It seems we’re really in the clear now.”
Yang Qi nodded. “Alright. For now, let’s keep our heads down and focus on our cultivation. On my trip back home, I came across some treasure that should be of help to all of you. And I also found some good fortune of my own that will help during the martial arts competition. It will be the perfect opportunity to make a name for ourselves.”
With that, he prepared to take out some life force springwater.
But then, he stopped moving and said, “What Elder Brother has come for a visit?”
Something like a gentle breeze could be heard from outside, accompanied by a voice. “We’re from the Gentlemen’s Society. Junior Brother Yang, please come out for a quick conversation.”