Yang Qi felt the blood rushing to his head, and could even hear grinding sounds as he gritted his teeth. His hands were clenched so tightly into fists that blue veins bulged out on his wrists and forearms.
This was his first time laying eyes on her after her betrayal.
The events had occurred more than half a year ago, and yet, her face had remained imprinted in his heart and mind the entire time. In fact, he couldn't even count how many times he could see her staring at him contemptuously as he fell asleep at night, or when he went about cultivation. She was beautiful, but at the same time, despicable. Many times during the clan warfare he had participated in, when he saw the mangled, screaming, blood-soaked enemies, he had daydreamed of seeing her in such a state one day.
Now they were in each other's presence again, and the hatred was nearly overwhelming him. However, he knew that he couldn't actually attempt to take revenge right now; he just wasn't strong enough. Not by a long shot.
After all, he was also in the presence of a Lifeseizer, Chu Tiange.
The sword technique Chu Tiange had just used was so powerful it could encompass an entire city, and had been able to kill scores of vampire brigands with almost no effort. Yang Qi could tell that he was not a match for that.
This was his first time witnessing the might of a Lifeseizer.
Before, he had assumed that they were simply a bit more powerful than Masters of Energy; but now, he could tell that the disparity was the exact opposite of small.
In fact, the mysterious sun-like sword energy that Chu Tiange had unleashed had even seemed to contain the spirit energy of heaven and earth, and could lock down the sky and the land in all directions.
That was what happened when one could absorb the spirit energy of heaven and earth.
Yang Qi knew that eventually, when a person was powerful enough, he could absorb both the spirit energy of heaven and earth, as well as the quintessence of the sun and moon. Because of that, it wasn't necessary to only use energy convergence pills.
After all, medicinal plants and vegetation could absorb such energies. By taking such ingredients and using them to make medicines, one could then acquire that energy to bolster one's own true energy.
Only by reaching the Lifeseizing level could one 'seize energy' by forcibly taking it from heaven and earth.
Energy was life. Life was energy.
As some people said: without energy, life will end.
There were countless types of spirit energy within heaven and earth, and innumerable quintessences. However, experts in the Energy Arts level couldn't absorb them. It was something only Lifeseizers could do.
And that was why that level was such a major step up.
'My cultivation base is in the eighth phase, and I have the power of ten ancient megamammoths, but I still would die if I fought a Lifeseizer. If I could achieve another breakthrough, and become a Master of Energy, I would be able to use the Hellfire Crucible, and then I might have a chance…. Wow, Yun Hailan is so powerful! She's not a Lifeseizer, but it looks like she's already a Master of Energy! Well, I guess that's what comes from consuming a Latent Dragon Pill.'
Yun Hailan's aura was so powerful that Yang Qi was almost certain he could see the image of an enormous blue ocean made of true energy behind her, within which dragons swam. Apparently, that was the power of true dragons.
Her exquisite blue clothing made her look like an immortal that had just stepped out of the ocean. She seemed free of all mortal impurities, and even prettier than she had in the past. Virtually any man who saw her would want to worship her.
At the moment, she wasn't looking around at the others present, but rather, was focusing her attention on Chu Tiange.
"Elder Brother Chu, your Cosmic Sunflare Sword technique has reached the point of absolute perfection. I think it won't be long before you reach Secondary Lifeseizing. At that point, you'll be twice as powerful as you are now!"
Yun Hailan's voice was so soothing and natural that everyone who heard her speaking would instinctively relax. With the exception of Yang Qi. To him, it was the sound of profoundly sinister schemes and plots.
Chu Tiange shook his head. "Not necessarily. The Lifeseizing level is broken up into nine stages, each one of which involves seizing life from the heavens and significantly increasing one's own life force. But the spirit energy of heaven and earth will fight back, and many people who have lost control during that process end up being ripped to shreds. Secondary Lifeseizing is no joke, and can't be rushed into."
At this point, he smiled warmly, making him seem completely different from the man who had just slaughtered countless enemies. "But you're different, Junior Sister. You have the blood of a sea god in you. As a descendant of a god-spirit, you can progress much more rapidly than me. In fact, many of the professors in the institute think that you're more of a genius than me. I expect it won't be long before you become a Lifeseizer as well."
"Thank you for your kind words, Elder Brother," Yun Hailan replied, looking like the picture of elegance. "Well, having killed all of these vampire brigands, I'm sure you'll receive a hefty reward of merit points."
"I don't care about the merit points, Junior Sister. If you could use the demon cores, they're yours."
He waved his hand, and numerous blood-colored demon cores flew up from the corpses and into a sack which he offered her.
"Well, many thanks to you, Elder Brother." She waved her hands, and a young man stepped forward to take the bag for her.
That young man was none other than Song Haishan, clad in a suit of white armor. Unexpectedly, during the short half-year he had been in the Demi-Immortal Institute, he had already raised his cultivation base to the Master of Energy level as well. Normally speaking, that would take an ordinary individual an entire sixty-year cycle to accomplish.
Hopping back onto his griffon, Song Haishan glanced cursorily at Yang Qi and his companions and said, "You freshman students came to try to kill vampire brigands? How reckless! These vampires are the work of the Blood Demon Grotto, a subsidiary organization of the Hanging Mountain. They all cultivate using blood demon energy, and are experts at sucking the blood out of living beings. You're no match for them, so get back to the institute immediately. That way we won't be troubled by having to save you again."
The only people who could use griffons were either outer or inner campus students, which meant that they were beyond the compare of mere freshman students.
Hua Yinhu had long since come to the conclusion that they needed to leave. Grabbing Yang Qi, he said, "Come on, let's get out of here."
It was only at that point that Yun Hailan finally looked over at them. When her gaze came to rest on Yang Qi, a strange expression appeared on her face, including a hint of disbelief.
Song Haishan noticed her strange expression, and followed the line of her gaze to Yang Qi, whereupon his eyes lit with surprise. Then, he sneered viciously and said, "Yang Qi! It's you! You joined the Demi-Immortal Institute?"
"That's right," Yang Qi replied in a sonorous voice that everyone present could hear. "I'm a student now too. Surprised, Song Haishan? After being crippled, I experienced a complete recovery."
From the way he spoke, it was also obvious that he held Song Haishan in complete contempt.
Keeping his voice calm, he looked over at Yun Hailan and said, "It's been half a year since we saw each other last, Yun Hailan. Congratulations on the progress you've made, I guess that Latent Dragon Pill worked out well for you."
Yun Hailan had already recovered her composure, and it was now impossible to tell what she was thinking or feeling. Smiling faintly, she said, "You're in the eighth phase, Yang Qi. Seems you must have encountered some good fortune of your own. Well, it's good to see you again. Who would have thought that you would also end up in the number one educational establishment in all the lands? Focus well on your studies, and be a good student. Don't try to show off. Eventually you can go back to Yanhaven, get married, and live out the rest of your days in peace."
There were volumes of meaning contained within her words; she was reminding him that he was lucky to be alive, and at the same time, warning him to know his place.
"Live out the rest of my days in peace?" Yang Qi replied, smiling. "If I can break through to the Lifeseizing level, and increase my longevity, maybe I could eventually live forever. Then, I could enjoy all the wonderful aspects of life for all time. There are a lot of things I want to do, and I'm definitely not going to stop until I reach the ultimate pinnacle. However, listen well, Yun Hailan. Relying on treacherous schemes won't get you to the top. True strength comes from the heart!"
"What gall!" Song Haishan shouted, leaping off his griffon and then flying down from the city wall. Striding toward Yang Qi, he said, "Who the hell do you think you are? You're nothing more than a measly freshman student! How dare you talk to Hailan that way! She's an elite student!"
"What," Yang Qi replied, standing his ground, killing intent swirling in his heart. "You think you're going to teach me a lesson or something, Song Haishan?"
"Teach you a lesson?" At that point Song Haishan laughed loudly. "You think you're worthy of me? Let me tell you, Yang Qi, you've been nothing more than a bug to me from day one. Things haven't changed. You're nobody. You think because you got some good fortune and reached the eighth phase that you suddenly have the right to be a boorish philistine? Some people are born geniuses, and some people are born trash. And you're the latter: Trash! You'll never change that. I guess that's something barbarians like you will never understand!"
Seeing how things were developing, and worrying that Yang Qi would come out the worst of it, Li He leaned over and whispered, "Brother Yang Qi, let me handle this. This Song Haishan is at the very least an outer campus student. He completely outranks us. Whatever grudges you held in the past, you should just let them go."
Then, he stepped forward and addressed Song Haishan. "Elder Brother Song, it seems that my Brother Yang Qi has a beef with you. But we're all Demi-Immortal Institute students now. As the saying goes, it's best to turn weapons of war into gifts of jade and silk. What do you say? Why don't you give us some face and—"
Before he could finish speaking, Song Haishan stepped forward as quickly as lightning and slapped him across the side of the face, causing blood and teeth to spray out of his mouth as he was knocked to the ground.
Then, Song Haishan spat on him. "Give you some face? Who the hell are you? You're nothing but a measly freshman student. How dare someone like you talk about face to me! You think I owe you face?"
Not even Yang Qi could have guessed that Song Haishan would actually strike Li He.
He could have intervened, but was not blind to the fact that Chu Tiange was staring at him closely, forcing him to expend almost all his effort on concealing the evidence of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, and revealing only his Invincible King's Fist and Golden Bell Rampart.
However, the sight of Li He laying there on the ground caused his killing intent to begin to burn.
Stepping forward, Yang Qi helped him to his feet and then sent some true energy into him. A moment later, the swelling on his face was gone.
As for his missing teeth, they would grow back eventually.
After all, energy arts masters were far beyond ordinary people, and could circulate their energy in a way that would mend bones and cause broken teeth to grow back.
"Many thanks, Brother Yang," Li He said with a wry smile. "I really made a fool of myself, didn't I?"
"Don't worry, Brother Li. I'll help you pay back that slap with plenty of interest." Yang Qi's voice then turned as cold as ice. "Nobody hits a brother of mine. He broke some of your teeth? I'll break every bone in his body!"