It was with the utmost rapidity that Yang Qi broke through into the fourth Legendary transformation.
There were a total of nine transformations, and the first three were about piercing through space, which was a profoundly difficult task. The next three were also grouped together, and were about forming a personal domain. In some ways, the Five-Phases Transformation and the Yin-Yang Transformation were actually somewhat easier than the final Personal-Domain Transformation.
Therefore, considering that Yang Qi had plentiful spirit stones, achieving success in this situation was nothing remarkable.
Besides, he also had the golden seed, the heaven-demon seed, and the Wilds God seed, just waiting to be absorbed. From the look of things, he had completely succeeded, whereas Ghost Emperor Yama had lost miserably.
“You ruthless little punk!” Ghost Emperor Yama growled as he watched Yang Qi’s aura growing more powerful by the moment. In the blink of an eye, his true energy seemed twice as powerful as before, enough to operate the Grand Emperor's Pagoda at a much higher level.
This true energy was becoming more true and real, which was one of the benefits of five phases power. Now that Yang Qi was a Five-Phases Legendary, his cultivation could truly draw on its potential to use the various aspects of his true energy to summon half god items.
The Infernal Deity Spear was a half god item, as were his Angel Wings, Hellfire Crucible, God Legion Battle Robe and God-Devil Seal. They were all formed from true energy. However, if they could become real, then their effectiveness would advance by leaps and bounds.
Only the Hell Portal was different; it was still limited to being able to summon Astral-Star fiend devils.
The only way he could change that was to reach the Personal-Domain Transformation, and summon the God Legion Paradise. At that point, he could target Never-Dying fiend-devils, and possibly even Half Sages.
‘It won’t be long before I can reach the Yin-Yang Transformation, and then, break through to the Personal-Domain Transformation. At that point, I’ll be able to take on Great Sages if I go all out. I really need the God Legion Paradise before I can truly unleash my might.’
Even still, he was feeling quite pleased.
Looking over at Ghost Emperor Yama, he extended his hand, palm up.
“What are you doing?” Ghost Emperor Yama said.
“You owe me,” he said. “You might think that if you leave a sealing mark or warding magic on that motherspring seed, I’ll experience cultivation deviation later when using it. But that would be very shifty, wouldn’t you say? Besides, you saw what I'm capable of just now.”
“You’re good, I’ll give you that, punk!” His eyes narrowed hatefully for a long moment, before he decided that violating his oath wasn’t an option. Taking out the motherspring seed, he looked at Yang Qi. “Be careful with this thing, brat. It’s as heavy as an entire river. Ready?”
Yang Qi smiled and extended his hand further. Ghost Emperor Yama placed the seed onto it, whereupon the power of a million megamammoths shot forth to support it.
‘He's so strong!’ Ghost Emperor Yama thought.
Obviously, the power of a million megamammoths was more than enough to lift a river. In fact, it could handle small-scale oceans.
Yang Qi lifted the motherspring seed up and down a few times, and could already sense the powerful fluctuation inside. The life force energy it contained seemed to rival that of a Great Sage.
After all, it wasn’t a drop of life force springwater. It was the quintessence of the stuff, the motherspring itself, the source of all the power of such water. It had been enough to injure Ghost Emperor Yama years ago, albeit not kill him. In any case, it was obvious how beneficial it would be to Yang Qi if he absorbed it.
Inside, Ghost Emperor Yama’s heart was dripping with figurative blood. ‘Not only did the brat not reveal any weaknesses, he actually won my motherspring seed, which means he’s only going to get stronger. Sadly for him, it doesn’t matter how profound his techniques are, until he’s a Great Sage, he won’t be a match for me. I can kill him any time I want. If it weren't for that God Legion Seal, I could kill him ten times over.’
‘Alright,’ Yang Qi thought. ‘With this motherspring seed, I can become even stronger, and can reach the Yin-Yang Transformation even faster. In fact, the Personal-Domain Transformation shouldn’t be too far off. But right now, my top priority is to kill the Crown Prince as quickly as possible!’
With that, he sucked the Grand Emperor's Pagoda inside of him, and then left the Heavencorpse Dimension crumbling behind him.
The first thing he did on the outside was send a message to Hua Tianxiong via paper talisman. However, he got no reply. Instantly, he started to get worried. ‘Did he and Young Master Shroud-Heaven already go to the Superheaven Badlands to kill the Crown Prince? If that’s the case, I need to get back to the Demi-Immortal Institute to find out what the latest news is. Maybe that will also be my ticket to getting rid of this stalker Ghost Emperor Yama. He’s really terrifying, and I definitely won't be a match for him until I'm much stronger.’
The mere thought of Ghost Emperor Yama shadowing him wherever he went made him feel nervous. Besides, what if a fight did break out with the Crown Prince, and he interfered?
With such thoughts on his mind, he began flying in the direction of the Demi-Immortal Institute. Upon passing Capital City, he released everyone he had picked up in the Western Continent, including members of the imperial trading caravan, and other important people from big organizations. Most of them were Lifeseizers, which meant that, as a group, they were quite powerful.
Yang Qi told them to do their best to support his friends and family if they could find them.
Of course, the people who had been with him in the imperial trading caravan had long since come to view him as a deva from heaven. Considering he had escaped Great Sage Pure Emptiness, and then survived a huge adventure in the Quake-Dawn Continent, they all viewed him as being a nearly mythological figure.
As such, they would obviously comply with his wishes.
He didn't spend too much time interacting with them. Considering the current level of his cultivation base, allies like this weren’t particularly important. However, it never hurt to build relationships.
As for the mercenaries, they simply remained in the Grand Emperor's Pagoda, ready to follow his orders, and simultaneously benefiting from the cultivation they could practice there.
However, he did call out Lady-Princess Silvermoon to act as an attendant, which she was perfectly willing to do. Not that her being unwilling would have changed anything. And when she saw that he was with Ghost Emperor Yama, she broke out in a cold sweat.
After all, Ghost Emperor Yama had been famous in the ancient past; even people in the Western Continent had heard of him. The Great Sage experts from there all considered Yama Mountain in the Heavencorpse Dimension to be a dangerous, forbidden region that they would never dare to enter. The fact that an entity like that was following Yang Qi around with seeming meekness was terrifying to Lady-Princess Silvermoon, and further reinforced her decision to never cross him.
And thus, Yang Qi entered the Demi-Immortal Institute.
He had all his ducks in a row, and now, he needed information, and the latest news.
The moment he entered the institute, he realized that the place felt odd. Instead of the excited buzz he remembered from the past, the students walked around in silence.
Of course, Ghost Emperor Yama had his aura suppressed, and emitted no devil energy. He looked like nothing more than an odd old man, a person nobody would suspect of being a powerful expert. He almost looked like an attendant to Yang Qi.
After looking around, he clicked his tongue disapprovingly and leaned over to Yang Qi. “This institute of yours looks pretty impressive, but to me, it’s about as intimidating as a chicken or dog. I could destroy the entire place in a single breath. Lifeseizers? Legendaries? Minorcosm World? Nothing here could stand up to me.”
“Yes, yes, you're amazing. Now keep quiet.” The last thing Yang Qi needed was Ghost Emperor Yama making a scene.
Soon, students noticed Yang Qi, and they began to talk amongst themselves.
“Yang Qi’s back!”
“Really? He actually came back? I heard that he went to the Western Continent and crossed some Great Sages. So, he's really returned? That was pretty fast. I guess those Great Sages never caught him. That’s pretty surprising considering the ruckus he caused over there. He actually destroyed Silvermoon.”
“And here we all thought he had died in the Western Continent. Who could ever have guessed that he would actually come back?”
From the reactions of most of the students, it seemed they viewed Yang Qi as some sort of plague to be avoided at all costs.
It was actually surprising to him.
“Well, he won’t be around for much longer. I heard that the Crown Prince really powered up recently, wherever he's practicing his cultivation. He killed Young Master Shroud-Heaven as well as the Sun Moon Institute’s Hua Tianxiong. He's already broken through all the shackles to reach the Great Sage level, and he’ll be back within a few days.”
“Yeah, the Crown Prince is a Great Sage now. The people from the Gentlemen’s Society and Divine Ability Society have already gone into hiding. Master Wind Gentleman and Unparalleled Lightning officially dispersed their societies, and according to what I've heard, have acknowledged allegiance to the Crown Prince. Once the Crown Prince is back, he's going to kill everyone who ever opposed him! You know his attitude. Submit to me and prosper, or oppose me and perish.”
“Yeah, that's for sure! But I heard that Yang Qi is backed by someone stronger than a Great Sage.”
“We’ll see. Maybe he has a strong backer, but he’s incredibly weak.”
“It's going to be a fierce battle, you can bet on that.”
“Hey, look at that! See that woman walking behind Yang Qi? Is that Lady-Princess Silvermoon? She’s known to be a fiendish killer from the Sky-Heaven Dynasty in the Western Continent! He got her to work for him as a servant girl? And look, who’s that old man?”
“Look, it doesn’t matter. Yang Qi won't be around for more than a few days. Just sit back and enjoy the fireworks. By now, all of the elders in the institute have joined the Crown Prince Society. Even the prime elders in the Minorcosm World are preparing to receive the Crown Prince with full honors.”
The news Yang Qi was hearing battered at his mind like bolts of lightning. Never in his wildest dreams could he have guessed that in the few short months since he left for the Western Continent, all of these things would occur.
Young Master Shroud-Heaven had been killed!
Hua Tianxiong was dead!
The Crown Prince had become a Great Sage!
Could it all be true?
If it was, then it seemed everything was about to come crashing to an end. Originally, it was supposed to be five years before the Crown Prince returned as a Great Sage. Although it had seemed a foregone conclusion that he would come back sooner than that, less than a year was too soon. Now it seemed as though all of Yang Qi’s plans might be for nothing. He had come back with grand ambitions and endless confidence. But now, the situation looked grim.
Ghost Emperor Yama suddenly burst out into cackling laughter. “Your archenemy is now invincible, brat! He's a Great Sage! There’s no way that you're a match for him. Unless you get help from me. What do you say?”