Chapter 44: The Chief Elders, Astonished
Yang Xingshi’s shout had absolutely no effect whatsoever on Yang Qi.
As soon as the sound waves entered his mind, the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth neutralized them. Despite that, Yang Qi still stopped moving, and did not cripple Yang Shi's energy arts.
He first wanted to hear what Yang Xingshi had to say.
After all, Yang Qi was still a member of the Yang Clan, and Yang Xingshi was the most powerful of the clan’s chief elders. He ranked higher than even Yang Qi’s grandfather, and therefore, it was proper to give him a bit of face.
Keeping his foot pushed down onto Yang Shi’s torso, he respectfully said, “Did you have something you wanted to say, Patriarch?”
Yang Xingshi looked at Yang Qi’s foot resting on Yang Shi’s torso, and frowned. “What were you planning to do, cripple him and then discuss the matter? He's still your uncle, you know. Is that how you treat an uncle? He attacked you from behind, but isn’t he still your senior? And you didn’t get hurt. Crippling his energy arts would be a bit excessive.”
“I didn't get hurt? That’s because I’m stronger than him. Way stronger. If I weren’t, then I would be dead right now, wouldn’t I? Would you have spoken up for me then like you’re speaking up for him right now?” There was no way Yang Qi was going to let Yang Shi off the hook. Therefore, he unleashed a biting retort onto Yang Xingshi.
At this point, the scholarly-looking Yang Xu stepped forward. Pointing his fan at Yang Qi, he angrily said, “You dirty little swine! How dare you talk back to Great Uncle like that? You're nothing but a disgrace and a rebel. In the end, you didn’t get hurt. And Yang Shi is one of the leaders in our clan, far above you in terms of seniority. Even if he did end up killing you, his punishment would come from the council of chief elders, not someone in the junior generation. What gives you the right to talk about crippling him?”
“That’s right,” Yang Zhen added. “If clan rules were violated by Yang Shi, then the council of chief elders should make the decision about what to do. It would be the same if something happened to your father; they would make the decisions for the clan in that scenario. Right now, Great Uncle is the leader of the council of chief elders, and he has the power to make all rulings and decisions. He just ordered you to release Yang Shi. Are you really going to defy him? Are you really going to go against the clan?”
One of the other chief elders frowned and said, “Yang Shi suspected you of being possessed by a demon. That’s why he attacked you. He was essentially trying to rid the world of devils. That’s not a crime, that's a contribution to society!”
“What’s that supposed to mean, Yang Wangxi?!” Yang Zhan said. “Are you saying my son is a demon?”
Yang Zhan was the clan lord, and was now a Master of Energy too. As such, his position was incredibly high. In the past, he had been forced to always concede to the council of chief elders, but now he was powerful enough to argue with them if he wanted.
As for Yang Wangxi, he was an eccentric old man in the peak of the eighth phase, who came from Yang Shi’s side of the clan. He also had it out for Yang Qi.
Yang Wangxi slowly rose to his feet. “What’s this, Yang Zhan? Do you truly dare to defy the orders of the chief elders? Don't think that just because you're a Master of Energy, you can do whatever you want. Your son is strong enough to defeat an eighth phase expert, and you're trying to get us to believe he did it on his own? He's obviously been possessed by some freakish hellion! Furthermore, why didn’t you do anything when he tried to cripple Yang Shi? You’re simply allowing him to become a monster and harm the Yang Clan?”
Turning his attention to Yang Qi, Yang Wangxi went on to say, “Back away from Yang Shi, you dirty little swine. Get on your knees and allow us to extract the demon from you and cripple your energy arts. If you don’t let us expel the monstrosity within, then don't blame us for putting you to death.”
“That’s right,” Yang Xu said. “As long as that demon is in him, he's going to keep causing disasters.”
All of a sudden, Yang Zhen made a proposal that fairly boiled with malice. “Great Uncle, considering you’ve already reached the peak of the Master of Energy level, you could probably use the hellion inside of him to create a medicinal pill that would help you break through to the Lifeseizing level.”
Yang Xingshi frowned in thought.
He had been about to point out that Yang Qi didn’t have any demon inside of him, but now he was starting to wonder if perhaps he did.
At this point, Yang Qi suddenly burst out laughing. Eyes flashing, he looked over at Yang Wangxi and said, “Don’t think that just because you’re a chief elder I'm scared to make a move on you. I’ve had enough of your nonsense. You claim I’m a freakish hellion? Fine. Say what you want. But if you think I'm just going to sit around and let you cripple me, you can forget it.”
Yang Qi thrust his palm out, spreading his fingers wide, causing his true energy to swirl out into the form of a net that shot in Yang Wangxi’s direction.
Shockingly, he was actually attacking one of the chief elders!
The audience immediately erupted into shouting.
“How dare you, swine!”
“You’re attacking a chief elder?!”
“Have a death wish?!”
Yang Xingshi took action immediately. Roaring like a lion, he summoned a massive vortex behind him, from within which emerged an enormous white lion made of true energy. Then, he struck out at Yang Qi.
“On the ground immediately, boy!”
“I think not,” Yang Qi replied calmly. With the wave of his hand, he sent some true energy out, creating something like a bolt of lightning.
It was the Four Seasons Swordplay, shooting through the air like a thunderbolt.
The two blasts of true energy collided, and a massive explosion rocked the valley. The white lion shattered into bits, and Yang Xingshi staggered backward by about ten paces, crushing the stone floor of the valley with every step he took.
Yang Qi, on the other hand, didn’t even move. He simply stood there calmly, his foot still on Yang Shi.
It was immediately obvious who was more powerful than whom.
“Get over here, Yang Wangxi,” Yang Qi growled, continuing to propel the attack he had unleashed earlier toward Yang Wangxi.
Yang Wangxi’s eyes were bloodshot as he tried desperately to fight back. But Yang Qi’s command of Silk Rain of the Spring Silkworm was beyond perfection, and could be used to capture even the most powerful beasts of ancient times. How could Yang Wangxi possibly do anything to break it?
In the blink of an eye, he was wrapped up, and was dragged over to Yang Qi like a captive bug.
“Not even Great Uncle can get the upper hand?!”
“How is that even possible? Is Yang Qi human? How can he be fighting Great Uncle?”
Moments before, several of the chief elders had been preparing to join forces to attack Yang Qi. But after what had just occurred, they were now too frightened to follow through. Yang Xingshi, the top expert in the Yang Clan, the bold and powerful fighter known as the Lion King, the man who had been famous for a hundred years, and was at the peak of the Master of Energy level, had actually been shoved backward across the battlefield by one of Yang Qi’s palm strikes.
What did that imply?
That Yang Qi was actually a Lifeseizer?
After all, only people in the Lifeseizing level should be able to do what he had just done.
Everyone who had just been about to jump into the fight suddenly began to edge backward and rein in their energy. Some people were even so shocked that they contemplated fleeing.
“Nobody move!” Yang Zhan shouted. Turning to Yang Xingshi, he said, “Great Uncle, my boy offended you. Please, I hope you can forgive him.” His words immediately served to defuse some of the tension which had built up moments ago.
It took Yang Xingshi a moment to bring his energy under control. After all, he hadn’t held back at all during the interchange with Yang Qi. And the feeling he got after the impact was definitely not that of someone from the younger generation. It had felt like exchanging blows with an enormous, demonic creature from ancient times.
He had also felt a sensation of impending death.
In that instant, he had the heart-pounding realization that this young man definitely had the capacity to kill him.
Suppressing his shock and anger, he said, “Excellent. Stupendous!” Staring at Yang Qi, he continued, “Boy, that demon inside of you is incredible. Why don’t you allow it to come out and introduce itself?”
“There really isn’t any demon inside of me,” Yang Qi said. “But if there was, I definitely wouldn’t let it out so that you could try to take control of it. Besides, perhaps I can accept being insulted by everyone in the clan, but a demon couldn’t. It would kill Yang Shi, and then do whatever else it wanted regardless of what you said.”
“Great Uncle,” Yang Zhan said, “I can guarantee that Qi’er has no demon inside of him. His strength is all due to his own hard work and good fortune.”
“Impossible!” Yang Xu shouted. “If there’s no demon inside him, then how come he's so fiendish and murderous? Great Uncle, if we can’t drive this freakish hellion away, then call one of the great sects to exorcize whatever demon or devil haunts him!”
“Have a death wish?!” Yang Qi growled, his anger spiking. Things had reached the point where Yang Qi was done holding back.
Energy erupted out of him as he waved his palm out in another attack. As for Yang Xu, he had no time to even react before he was slapped off of his feet.
Next, Yang Qi said, “And I've had enough of your mockery and ridicule, Yang Zhen! On the ground, immediately!” He let loose another slap, which Yang Zhen couldn’t dodge. Even as he was knocked off his feet, he screamed, “Monster! You're a monster!”
“I'm sick of all four of you!” Ignoring their curses, Yang Qi sent out Silk Rain of the Spring Silkworm, binding up Yang Xu, Yang Shi, Yang Zhen, and Yang Wangxi. For good measure, he added Yang Honglie in as well.
That group of five included a youngster, some clan lords, and a chief elder, and now they were hanging in mid-air, trussed up like chickens.
At this point, the unconscious Yang Honglie finally woke up, and looked around to a sight so shocking that he immediately coughed up blood.
“Top genius in the clan, Yang Honglie? That’s a joke if I've ever heard one.” Yang Qi shook his head. “Well, that’s fine. I’ll just leave you hanging there until you’re capable of acting sensibly. And as for you three, Yang Xu, Yang Shi and Yang Zhen, I want you to swear oaths that you’ll acknowledge allegiance to my father. From here on out, you need to be completely loyal to the clan. Do that, and I’ll let you go. The alternative is that I cripple your energy arts. And now you know that I can follow through with that threat if I feel like it.”
All of a sudden, the dirt beneath Yang Qi’s feet erupted as a spike broke the surface of the ground right between his legs.
It was impossible to see who had launched the attack, but it was vicious to the extreme.
“How impudent!” Yang Qi yelled. Stomping down, he destroyed the spike, and sent a blast of energy through the ground toward its source. A moment later, Dowager Yan coughed up blood and staggered backward.