Chapter 42: The Clan’s Autumn Hun
As he thought about it, Yang Qi realized that it really didn’t make sense for the Yan Clan to make their move when everyone was out on the autumn hunt.
Besides, Yang Zhan was a Master of Energy now. And considering that Yang Qi was in the eighth phase, he could use Thousand Kilometer Soul Locking. Therefore, it would be a simple thing to leave a scrap of true energy behind in the clan, to provide an instant notification if anything happened.
And with his Fiend-Devil Wings, Yang Qi could return very quickly if necessary.
After considering all of those things, he nodded in agreement.
With that, father and brothers headed toward the Blackcorpse Mountains.
As they sped along, Yang Qi realized that his brothers didn’t have enough true energy to get even close to the speeds he was capable of. “Eldest Brother, Second Brother, let me give you a hand.”
With that, he sent some of his own true energy into them.
Instantly, their clothing billowed as they accelerated rapidly.
“Third Brother, your true energy is so powerful!” Yang Yunchong exclaimed. He had been working on his cultivation with his father recently, and had also used the Chiliocosm Mirror. Thanks to that, and some amazing medicinal pills they had acquired from the Chen Clan, he had sped through what normally would take twenty years of cultivation to achieve, and reached the seventh phase, the Energy Manifestation level.
Of course, compared to Yang Qi, his true energy was like a firefly compared to the full moon.
Thus, the four clansmen flew along, following the Yan River toward the mountains. In a very short period of time, they were fifty kilometers away.
To Yang Qi, though, that was still a bit slow. Looking around to confirm that there was no one else present, he turned to Yang Zhan and said, “Father, I know how to fly. How about we speed things up a bit?”
“What?” Yang Zhan said, shocked. “You can summon true energy wings?”
Then, he watched as a pair of black wings sprouted out of Yang Qi’s back, dozens of meters wide. The slightest flap of those wings sent the Yan River water churning, and the creatures within swimming away in terror.
All of a sudden, Yang Qi looked majestic to the extreme, like some deity from the most ancient times. The mere sight of him caused Yang Zhan’s breath to stick in his throat.
“What type of energy art is that?” Yang Zhan blurted, shivering. “That’s not first-class, is it? Royal-class? No, wait… don’t tell me that it's a legendary imperial-class energy art? Qi’er, what good fortune did you come across? If word of those wings got out, I'm afraid the Yang Clan would face complete and utter extermination.”
“Don’t worry, Father. I won’t let anyone see this.” With that, he flapped his wings, and in the blink of an eye, they were dozens upon dozens of kilometers away.
In the shortest of moments, they were nearing the source of the Yan River, the Blackcorpse Mountains.
Numerous waterfalls, springs, and other bodies of water in those mountains eventually met and became the mighty Yan River.
At a certain point, Yang Qi retracted his wings and pulled in his true energy. Then, he and his father and brothers sped through the mountains on foot for about an hour, until they reached a certain valley.
By the time they arrived, there was already a sizable group gathered there.
All the experts of the Yang Clan were present, from the young to the old.
Roughly thirty were white-haired and older, and that group all sat cross-legged in meditation. As they went about their breathing exercises, the fluctuations that rolled out confirmed that they had profound cultivation bases.
They were none other than the Yang Clan’s council of chief elders.
The enormous golden eagle was present, as was Yang Zhougong, who had appeared during the clan forum.
However, Yang Zhougong’s cultivation base was not the most powerful among the chief elders. Although he was at the peak of the eighth phase, there were two others who were Masters of Energy.
One of them was tall and well-built, with such a full head of white hair that he looked like a lion. He was the most powerful expert in the Yang Clan, and was even mightier than Chen Tianxiong had been. He had reached the Master of Energy level seventy years before, and was supposedly at its peak, constantly attempting to break into the Lifeseizing level.
His name was Yang Xingshi.
He was a beast of a man, and although he was old, his skin had no age spots, but instead, was as smooth and lustrous as jade.
Sitting off to the side was a female Master of Energy, an old woman who was just as tall as Yang Xingshi. She wore green garments, and resting next to her on the ground was a dragon-headed walking stick forged from metal.
She was known as Dowager Yan.
She was a matriarch of the Yang Clan who had already lived more than one-hundred and fifty years. People had long since forgotten her full name, and thus took to calling her Dowager Yan.
Yang Xingshi and Dowager Yan were the two strongest individuals in the Yang Clan.
Also present in the valley were Yang Zhen, Yang Shi, and Yang Xu, as well as other leaders from smaller subsidiary branches. And of course, the elite young ones were all there, including Yang Honglie.
Surprisingly, Yang Honglie was now in the eighth phase; his eyes flickered with violet light, and he was surrounded by a medicinal aroma. Even more noteworthy was that there was also a slight, violet hue to his face, apparently the manifestation of violet energy inside him.
He had obviously used a powerful medicinal pill recently, and had not yet fully absorbed it.
Suddenly, Yang Qi heard his father projecting his voice into his ear using true energy. “Qi’er, it looks like Yang Honglie used a medicinal pill that contained violet energy. I'd say it’s highly likely he used a legendary Violet Sunrise Pill. Consuming that pill is equivalent to practicing cultivation for a full sixty-year-cycle. I would never have guessed that he would encounter good fortune like that.”
“Don’t worry father,” Yang Qi replied with a cool smile. “Even if he did use a pill like that, he wouldn’t be a match for me.”
“I know, I'm not worried.” And that was the truth. After all, considering his son’s strength surpassed his own, what was there to be scared about?
Yang Zhan’s entrance into the valley immediately attracted the attention of the council of chief elders.
“Yang Zhan?” Yang Xingshi said by way of greeting. “So, you actually reached the Master of Energy level?”
Dowager Yan also turned her gaze onto Yang Zhan.
Considering that both of them were Masters of Energy, it was no surprise that they could detect the aura of another Master of Energy.
Experts in the ninth phase of energy arts were impressive figures, to say the least.
“What? Yang Zhan is a Master of Energy?” Yang Zhen, Yang Shi, Yang Xu, and the experts from the other subsidiary branches were all visibly shocked.
Yang Zhan offered a respectful salute to the two most powerful members of the clan. “That’s right. Great Uncle, Dowager Yan, I'm now in the Master of Energy level.”
“Considering your cultivation base, it should have taken you another thirty or forty years,” Yang Xingshi said. “What medicinal pill did you use?”
“You’re very perceptive, Great Uncle. I used a Golden Nine Transformations Pill.”
“A Golden Nine Transformations Pill….” Dowager Yan said, clearly surprised. “That pill provides a significant boost to both energy and blood, and also increases longevity.”
Yang Xingshi rose to his feet, looking very much like a mighty lion in human form. Glaring over at Yang Qi, he said, “Yang Zhan, according to the rumors, some major events occurred recently. Your prodigal son apparently shoved the direct bloodline into complete bankruptcy. Is that right? I also heard that your other two sons were poisoned, although it looks like they’ve recovered.”
“Great Uncle, your information isn’t completely accurate,” Yang Zhan replied. “The direct bloodline is actually stronger than it’s ever been. We exterminated our rivals, the Chen Clan, and have doubled the level of our previous wealth. We're also in the middle of recruiting a large army. It won’t be long before we have it out with the Yan Clan over control of Yanhaven.”
Yang Shi suddenly burst out into laughter. “Could you blow your own horn any louder, Yang Zhan? The Chen Clan is one of the most powerful clans in Yanhaven, and their council of chief elders has a Master of Energy, Chen Tianxiong, the Hundred-Armed Demonoid. You’re trying to tell me that he would just sit on his thumbs while you exterminated his clan?” Yang Shi had actually heard rumors about the conflict with the Chen Clan. However, because the direct bloodline had such a poor relationship with the subsidiary branches, Yang Zhan hadn’t even bothered to notify them of the latest developments. Therefore, Yang Shi believed the rumors to be mere exaggerations.
“There were plenty of eyewitnesses in Yanhaven,” Yang Zhan said coolly, “so what's the point of jabbering about it? Besides, it happened three months ago. You must have heard the news by now.”
“So it’s true?” Dowager Yan said.
“I would never joke about something so important. That said, the Chen Clan’s council of chief elders never showed up. They went missing three months ago, and we’re still waiting for them to make their counter strike.” Obviously, Yang Zhan wouldn’t go to the extent of telling everyone that his son had killed the Chen Clan’s entire council of chief elders.
Although, no one would have believed him if he had.
Eyes flashing, Yang Xingshi said, “Yang Zhan, you’ve done well with these two sons of yours. One is in the seventh phase, and the other, the sixth. I heard that your third son was crippled, but then got struck by lightning, and recovered. He even beat Yang Kui in a fight, is that correct? Don’t you find that to be a bit odd? Has he been possessed by an old demon? Things like that have happened in these lands. However, when freakish hellions like that suddenly have a massive increase in their energy arts, they always end up turning into monsters.”
As he spoke, he looked at Yang Qi with eyes that seemed capable of piercing into the soul itself.
Of course, Yang Qi had long since concealed the nature of his cultivation base. Anyone who looked at him would take him to be an ordinary person.
“He’s definitely been possessed by a demon,” said Yang Shi. The fact that his son Yang Feng had been defeated by Yang Qi caused hatred for him to seep down into his very bones. “Great Uncle, you should cripple his energy arts again. Now that he's been taken over by a demon, he’ll definitely turn into a monster sooner or later.”
“How dare you, Yang Shi!” Yang Zhan said loudly. “If you dare to touch my son, I’ll take your life!” With that, he unleashed some of the fluctuations of his cultivation base, causing Yang Shi’s face to turn pale.
However, Yang Shi still managed to laugh coldly and say, “Oh really? Don’t tell me you’re feeling guilty, Yang Zhan? Sadly, no matter how remorseful you feel, you can’t cover up the truth. Your son bankrupted the clan, and was then possessed by a demon. Did you really think he's some sort of energy arts genius? If he was a genius, why did he go steal a Latent Dragon Pill from the city magistrate of Yanhaven, and then drag the clan into ruin? And now you’ve gone and wiped out the direct bloodline of the Chen Clan. Their council of chief elders is definitely going to come for revenge, and that’s going to lead to an even worse catastrophe. Do you realize what you've done?”
Yang Zhan was about to say something when Yang Qi stepped forward. “Father, there’s no need to respond. Yang Shi, you say I've been possessed. But what evidence do you have to prove it? I'm no hellion. You can tell just by examining my true energy. If you want, you and I could have a little contest to see the truth.”
“You’ve really got some guts to say something like that, you cretin!” Yang Shi shouted. “Have a contest with you? Are you hallucinating? Have you forgotten your rank in the clan? Or the level of your cultivation base? Yang Zhan, you’ve raised a son that doesn’t understand how seniority works. Great Uncle, considering the ravings of this brat, I'd say it’s obvious that he's been possessed by a demon.”
1. Yang Xingshi: Xing means “awake” and Shi means “lion”. There is one line of text I'm leaving out of the translation in which there is a play on words describing his name, using the characters for “awake” and “lion”. It sounds pretty cool in Chinese, but silly in English
2. Dowager Yan: Her surname is a different Chinese character from the Yan Clan. Don’t forget that in Chinese culture, women don’t change their surname upon marriage. So the fact that she has a surname other than Yang indicates that she most likely married into the clan at some point