Chapter 43: A Slap on the Face
What type of person was this Yang Shi?
He was considered one of the most powerful experts in the Yang Clan, a man who had long since reached the eighth phase, and could perform Mind Incarnation. He was someone that numerous younger ones looked up to. Three months before, Yang Qi had been in the fifth phase of energy arts, the Energy Eruption level. How could he possibly have reached the point of being able to fight Yang Shi? It was simply not possible.
Even most of the chief elders seemed to think that Yang Qi was being too arrogant and conceited.
“Quiet, Yang Qi, your superiors are talking,” Yang Zhougong said. “Don’t you know how to follow clan rules?”
“Clan rules?” Yang Qi replied, his tone of voice just barely hovering on the edge of being disrespectful. “This Yang Shi has repeatedly plotted against my father, the clan lord. He even said that I've been possessed by a demon. If I don’t speak up in my own defense, I might end up crippled again. Don't tell me it's against clan rules to defend oneself against slander?”
“What nerve you have!” Yang Xingshi said, his gaze turning as cold as ice. “We can easily check to see if you've been possessed! Yang Zhougong is ranked higher than your own grandfather! What gives you the right to be so disrespectful?”
“Because there’s a thing in the world called logic!” Yang Qi turned to look at Yang Xingshi. As of this moment, Yang Qi looked very domineering; considering how strong he was, his confidence was understandable. Sounding completely unruffled, he continued, “I'm just speaking logically. Can you point out anything I said that was disrespectful?”
His calm tone of voice only stoked the fury of Yang Shi and those who sided with him.
“You dirty little swine!” he shouted. “I can’t believe you’re actually being disrespectful to Great Uncle! Is this how Yang Zhan raises his sons?”
In that very moment, Yang Honglie stepped forward. Facing Yang Xingshi, he said, “Patriarch, it was only three months ago that Yang Qi and I agreed to have a martial arts match during the autumn hunt. And now here he is being disrespectful to you seniors. However, there’s no need for any of you to do anything. I can teach him the lesson he deserves.”
With that, he turned toward Yang Qi and began to circulate his energy, causing violet-gold light to swirl around him.
Immediately, the experts of the Yang Clan began to discuss the matter.
“No wonder Yang Honglie is considered the top genius in the clan. Look how quickly he reached the eighth phase! I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a Master of Energy even more quickly than Yang Zhan did.”
“This is what I'm talking about. Have Yang Honglie teach that brat a lesson.”
“Yang Qi is just too arrogant. Not only did he bring catastrophe to the clan, he even dared to insult the members of the older generation. I guess he thinks Yang Zhan will protect him now that he's a Master of Energy. Considering both Yang Qi and Yang Honglie are in the younger generation, Yang Zhan has no legitimate reason to interfere.”
“Remember how Yang Honglie found that rare manual out in the mountains once? It was the Violet Sunrise Divine Art, a royal-class energy art! Now that he used the Violet Sunrise Pill, he's taken another step toward reaching the highest level of enlightenment.”
“That brat Yang Qi has no hope of coming out on top.”
As far as these experts were concerned, Yang Honglie was the top genius in the clan, and even more relevant, had a royal-class energy art.
For many years, the Yang Clan had never possessed any royal-class energy arts, which were the only way to practice cultivation past the Master of Energy level and into the Lifeseizing level.
“Yang Qi, the time has come for me to teach you a lesson,” Yang Honglie said. “Not only will I punish you for your disrespect for the senior generation, I’ll also drive the demon out of you. Strength should come from personal accomplishments, not because of the help of a demon. That path will only lead to you becoming a monster.”
“Oh, really?” Yang Qi replied. “Alright, make your move. I’ll give you three chances.”
“Three chances?” Yang Honglie burst out laughing, as if he had just heard the funniest joke in the world. “Who do you think you are? How about instead, I give you three chances?”
Yang Xu and many of the other experts in the clan were shaking their heads, convinced that Yang Qi had been possessed, and that he was being exceedingly arrogant.
“Bring it on!” Yang Qi said, beckoning at Yang Honglie with his finger.
Yang Honglie’s eyes flashed with killing intent, and violet light erupted from his forehead. Waving with his finger, he turned the light into sword energy, and then sent it shooting toward the pit of Yang Qi’s stomach. Unexpectedly, he was using a deadly move!
He had transformed violet energy into sword energy, which cause the air to fill with sword projections, all bearing down onto Yang Qi.
“Violet Energy from the East!”
A moment later, the violet sword energy slammed into the ground about three paces behind Yang Qi. It had completely missed him, and no one saw how he evaded it.
“Eee?” Yang Xingshi murmured, his eyebrows shooting up.
“That was your first chance,” Yang Qi said calmly. “You have two more, Yang Honglie. Better make the best of them.”
“This is absurd! DIE!” Face twisting into a ferocious expression, Yang Honglie lunged forward, his forearms forming a cross in front of him as he summoned a projection of the word for DIE — 杀.
It was a powerful energy art that surged with violent energy so explosive it blasted a crater open into the ground.
However, Yang Qi was not in the crater.
“Second chance.” Yang Qi said. This time, he was standing right behind Yang Honglie.
Without even thinking, Yang Honglie spun around, curled his fingers into claws.
“Heart-Piercing Strike!” At the same time, he poured true energy into his fingernails, causing them to transform into meters-long blades that shot directly toward Yang Qi’s heart.
Sadly for Yang Honglie, though, Yang Qi merely stepped out of the way.
The Heart-Piercing Strike didn’t strike anything except air.
“Third chance. Now it's my turn. Better watch out, Yang Honglie.”
“You punk!” Yang Honglie shouted. “Fine, I'm gonna show you a real royal-class energy art. Violet Sunrise Divine Art!” He lunged backward, sending several streams of violet light out, which swirled together into the shape of an enormous dragon. “Rise of the Violet Dragon!”
Everyone looking on was shocked.
“Rise of the Violet Dragon? I can’t believe he's using that move. It's so powerful.”
“Look, its ripping crevices open in the ground.”
Sure enough, crevices were opening up in the ground as the violet dragon behind Yang Honglie continued to power up.
“Rise of the Violet Dragon?” Yang Qi said. “Alright. So can I go now? That’s your most powerful move, right?”
Even as the words left his mouth, he swept his hand out in a slapping motion.
Then, as everyone looked on, an enormous hand materialized in the air, which then smacked Yang Honglie across the side of the face.
He let out a bloodcurdling scream as his violet dragon was shattered, and his violet energy was completely vanquished. He was thrown off of his feet, blood spraying out of his mouth as he then slammed onto the ground, his face already swelling up.
The move he had been using was strong enough to tear the ground open, and yet Yang Qi simply slapped him and knocked him onto the ground.
“Useless piece of trash.” Yang Qi said, shaking his head and clasping his hands behind his back. “Can’t even stand up to a single slap from me. Top genius in the clan? Consumed a Violet Sunrise Pill? It would have been better to not waste that pill!”
“You….” Yang Honglie grated. Still not quite convinced that he had been beaten, he tried to struggle to his feet. However, trying to circulate his energy through his meridians filled him with agonizing pain.
Thankfully for him, Yang Qi had actually held back, and had not used a deadly move. He wanted to hurt Yang Honglie, not kill him. Otherwise, he would have been ripped to pieces.
He was doing his best to show mercy, and refrain from killing as much as possible.
“Three months of rest and you’ll be fine. You’re a member of the Yang Clan, after all, so I didn’t cripple you.”
‘I hate you….’ Yang Honglie thought. However, the pain and humiliation were so intense, that at that point, he simply passed out.
“Freakish hellion!” Yang Shi shouted. “How dare you harm a child of the Yang Clan! Thousand-Kilometer Glaciating!”
Yang Shi immediately resorted to his frigid ice energy art, causing frost to spring up everywhere. Worse, he was attacking from behind Yang Qi.
It was a completely unexpected move, something that Yang Shi had clearly been planning to do from the beginning. Like the strike of an assassin, it was vicious and ruthless. Not even Yang Zhan could react in time.
This was Yang Shi’s most powerful move, Thousand-Kilometer Glaciating. By accusing Yang Qi of being a freakish hellion, he could later use the excuse that he was ridding the world of a demon or devil, not a true child of the Yang Clan.
“Qi’er!” Yang Zhan shouted, but he was too late to interfere.
Neither could the clan lords of the subsidiary branches do anything, nor the chief elders.
However, when the Thousand-Kilometer Glaciating hit, it didn't hurt Yang Qi at all. In fact, the energy simply shattered as surely as if it had encountered a warm spring breeze.
And then Yang Qi made his move.
The enormous hand of true energy sprang into being, then moved with lightning-like speed, instantly connecting with Yang Shi’s face.
The suit of ice armor he had been wearing collapsed into pieces, and he toppled head over heels off to the side. Most of his teeth flew out of his mouth before he slammed into a boulder and then slowly slumped down onto the ground.
Before Yang Shi could do anything else, Yang Qi flew through the air toward him, and then placed his foot onto his dantian region.
“You asked for it, Yang Shi. As a member of the senior generation, I honestly can't believe that you would attack me from behind like that. Are you even human?” Looking down at Yang Shi’s now toothless mouth, he said, “You’re just like Yang Honglie. A useless piece of trash.”
“Yang Qi… how did you….” Yang Shi was pinned to the ground by Yang Qi’s foot, unable to move. It was a complete humiliation. And he simply couldn’t understand how Yang Qi could be so strong. A single slap had knocked him out of the fight. And it didn’t seem like Yang Qi had even used an energy art. He had already reached the point of being able to turn ordinary actions and moves into nearly magical abilities.
“Can't figure out what's going on? You thought that because you’re in the eighth phase, you could crush me? Well, I don’t need help from anyone to crush you, not even my father. Want to usurp my father and take his place? I guess I should cripple your energy arts, that way the clan will be peaceful and stable going forward.”
With that, Yang Qi drew on his true energy and prepared to send it into Yang Shi’s sea of energy.
“Stay your hand!” someone shouted. It was like the roar of a lion, filled with boundless majesty, a sound that shook everyone so deeply that they went stiff from fear.
This was the Lion’s Roar, unleashed by the highest-ranking patriarch of the Yang Clan, Yang Xingshi, a move so powerful it could shake the soul.
Anyone with weaker energy arts than the person who unleashed that shout would have no choice but to comply with the orders they heard.