Yang Qi exhaled slowly, then took a deep breath, sucking all of the Nine-Yang Immortal Energy in the valley back into himself, mingling it with the evil life force quintessence that was belching from the Hell Portal. The combination was like yin and yang; when the righteous and the wretched combined, it led to profound transformations.
One particle after another woke up within him, to the point where even Yang Qi was startled at the quantity. There were dozens, pushing him to the point of having the terrifying power of two hundred ancient megamammoths.
He felt like he was about to burst, and yet, it only served to strengthen his fleshly body; his skin, blood vessels, sea of energy, meridians, five viscera and six bowels, all became even stronger than before.
Cracks spread out on the ground as baleful energy surged up, taking the form of various monsters that instantly besieged him. Heaven-devils descended from above, and the wail of ghosts and scream of gods could be heard everywhere. Fire dragons and flame serpents rose up, all of them dead set on killing Yang Qi.
It was a tribulation of vital energy.
Lightning appeared, forming a heavenly blade that slashed down at Yang Qi with the force to split mountains and divert rivers.
This grand tribulation of heaven and earth was none other than Liberating Weapon Tribulation.
According to the rumors, when vital energy became strong enough, it would unleash a tribulation, which no ordinary cultivator could possibly come out of alive.
The ‘weapon’ aspect referred to how the vital energy of heaven and earth would transform into weapons that could slash through anything and everything.
The ‘liberating’ aspect referred to the target being freed from mortal constraints. In other words: death. Cultivators who faced Liberating Weapon Tribulation had reached such heights that they could avoid facing death.
The heavenly blade landed onto Yang Qi, and yet, did not slash him to bits.
Next, a spear appeared which stabbed toward his head in vicious fashion.
A white beam of light shot out of the top of Yang Qi’s head, which smashed the spear to bits. Next, countless flying swords appeared out of thin air, which swirled together into a sword formation.
He clenched his hand into a fist and punched out, shattering the sword energy.
However, the resulting fragments swirled about with such vigor that heaven and earth seemed to have become a world of swords, or even, a universe of swords. Because of Yang Qi’s familiarity with sword techniques, the Liberating Weapon Tribulation had become a tribulation of swords. Unfortunately, even if the vital energy had been stronger, against Yang Qi, it could do little more than be destroyed.
In the end, he threw his head back and roared, opening the Hell Portal as wide as he could, causing a gravitational force to spring up that sucked in all of the energy weapons.
Soon, a stream of sword energy was pouring toward the Hell Portal, almost like a river. As it was shattered into bits, it then tumbled into the Hellfire Crucible.
‘Life force quintessence!’ Yang Qi sent a fist strike out, which slammed into his four sworn brothers, awakening them from the trances they had slipped into. When they looked around at all the shocking things happening, it was almost as if their own souls were fighting with the forces of hell, tempering and strengthening them.
The Euphoria Godstone had been refined into the Hell Portal, belching out the true energy of the Hell of Euphoria that Yang Qi then went on to transform into incredible power to benefit his sworn brothers.
It was no small matter; all four of them were now being pushed rapidly toward Quinary Lifeseizing, and thus the position of conclave students.
The stronger they got, the more seriously people would take them. Although their standing in the Demi-Immortal Institute was now tenuous, if they ever joined the forces of the Sage Ancestor Dynasty, they would be highly respected right off the bat.
The process continued for a day and a night. It was impossible to say how much of the vital energy of heaven and earth was channeled into them. However, it was obvious that Yang Qi’s Octonary Lifeseizing tribulation was actually more powerful than Holy Daughter Manyflowers’ Legendary tribulation. And yet, all it did was give him more fuel for his Hell Portal.
With his Hell Portal, he could communicate with that mysterious Hell of Euphoria that existed in some unknown aspect of space-time, and even use the vital energy from there in offensive fashion. Furthermore, the Hell Portal could be used for other purposes; it could pierce through space-time to connect to other locations.
Unfortunately, Yang Qi wasn't strong enough to use it in such a way. Right now, it was not the full and complete version of the Hell Portal.
The next day, the vital energy tribulation faded away. Yang Qi retracted the Hell Portal, and smiled. For some reason, he seemed a bit taller, and thrummed with an indescribable aura, as though he had been further blessed by the legion of gods.
His four sworn brothers sat in meditation, their energy arts advancing rapidly. They had benefited greatly, therefore, it would take them time to fully assimilate everything.
After collecting himself, Yang Qi projected his voice into the minds of his sworn brothers. “Brothers, I'm heading to the Heavendawn Quarry now. You stay here and work on your cultivation. I've used my energy arts to remold your physical bodies. You're no longer mortals, but rather, are progressing toward the level of god-spirits. Your life force might not be a perfect match with those of true god-devils from hell, but you are at least strong enough to survive in any hostile environment.”
Flying into the air, Yang Qi vanished into the clouds, completely confident that his sworn brothers would progress well in their cultivation.
He headed west, moving so quickly that it almost seemed like teleportation. With the power of his Hell Portal, he couldn't quite pierce through space, but he could move much more quickly than before.
Infernal Deity Spear. Infernal Deity Plate Armor. Fiend-Devil Wings. Hellfire Crucible. Hell Portal. With those five abilities, and the power of two hundred ancient megamammoths, his attacks could devastate the land, air, rivers and seas.
He was now an Octonary Lifeseizer, and so much more powerful than he had been during the martial arts competition that it was difficult to quantify. At the very least, he could fight against low-level Legendaries, and thus, this mission to the Heavendawn Quarry seemed less intimidating. Perhaps he would be able to get his hands on that magical treasure after all.
In all fairness, despite the fact that he wasn’t able to decipher the purpose of this mission given him by the chancellor, he felt confident that he wasn’t being plotted against. Why would a Great Sage, someone with a cultivation base so vastly beyond his own, resort to such tactics? It seemed more likely that the dangerous mission was really a test.
Although it would likely be a very dangerous test, it wouldn’t be impossible to succeed. If the chancellor was trying to see how he compared to the Crown Prince, then perhaps that meant it would be possible to gain his support.
If worst came to worst and he simply abandoned the mission, the chancellor would probably just ignore him.
Therefore, it made sense to at least go to the Heavendawn Quarry and look around. If he succeeded, the reward would surely be on the same level as the Gate of the Great Void.
Besides, the mine was also occupied by all sorts of demon-devils. If he could kill some of them, and use their demon cores to get more life force quintessence, it would also advance his cultivation. The sooner he got to Nonary Lifeseizing, and beyond it, the Legendary level, the better.
Time was of the essence.
He needed to achieve that next major breakthrough before the Crown Prince tried to kill him.
The Heavendawn Quarry was a huge mining district in the west, although it no longer was used to produce spirit stones. That said, there were still lingering veins of spirit energy in its depths, as well as the occasional pocket of spirit stones. Thus, it was the perfect location for demon-devils to further their cultivation.
The Rich-Lush Continent was a huge place, filled with a multitude of rivers and mountains. Despite how fast Yang Qi could move, it still took him about a day to reach the location of the mine.
It was actually so near the sea that he could see the water off in the distance. It was a place filled with countless towering mountains, and was riddled with all sorts of caves, tunnels, boulders, gullies, and the like.
In the very depths of the mine was a passageway to an alternate dimension, something like an ancient teleportation portal, although its exact location was unknown. There were also countless streams of demon energy wafting to and fro, as well as gigantic hellions lurking in the shadows.
From the levels of power that he could sense, Yang Qi was fairly certain that there were Legendary-level monsters here.
That didn't frighten him, though. After all, he had tangled with the Crown Prince. Therefore, fighting some Legendary hellions would be good training.
The nine transformations of the Legendary level all involved great changes. It wasn't as simple as the Lifeseizing level. No, each transformation involved gaining enlightenment of various magical laws of heaven and earth. None of that was to be taken lightly.
Unfortunately, Yang Qi was not well-versed in what those various transformations were, as such matters were kept secret by the institute.