Chapter 21: Seventh Phase Breakthrough
As Yang Qi threw his palms out, he unleashed two rumbling attacks whose sounds rivaled the very waterfall they were fighting nearby.
When they hit the mountain, it shattered, becoming like a heavenly net covering everything below it.
Tendrils of water then snaked through the air, wrapping around Yang Qi’s limbs. Clearly, this white ape’s energy arts really had reached the point of perfection, as revealed by his Mind Incarnation abilities.
Each of the projected water tendrils was covered with serrated barbs that allowed them to latch onto a target with tenacious force and drag it about. They were essentially endless ropes covered with razor-sharp teeth!
It was the type of force that could tear through any defensive energy arts that got in its way.
At the moment, Yang Qi was surrounded by water, which was slashing at him and trying to rip him apart. There was so much water that he couldn’t even see where the white ape was, and could sense his defensive true energy trembling wildly.
Furthermore, the white ape wasn’t going all out; he wanted to capture Yang Qi and extract his energy. He didn’t want him dead.
Anyone else in this situation would already have been torn to pieces. Luckily, Yang Qi was Yang Qi.
“Hell-crushing godmammoths can crush mountains and level seas! They can scare all demons and devils into submission!”
In this moment of extreme crisis, Yang Qi slipped into a deeper state of existence. The quintessence of the lightning mammoth flowed through him with greater speed than ever, replenishing his true energy and stimulating the particles that represented the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth, prodding them away from their state of slumber.
The white ape was on the outside, fueling the streams of water with his energy arts, confused as to why Yang Qi wasn’t weakening, but instead, seemed to be getting more powerful. This ape had never been in a situation like this, in which a human in the Energy Weapon level could stand up to his eighth phase Energy Incarnation abilities. And that was especially the case considering that he was a demonling at the peak of his level.
Just when the ape was about to pour more power into his attack, Yang Qi’s true energy ran out, and a shocking aura erupted within him.
Thanks to the incredible pressure, he had just absorbed another full portion of the lightning mammoth, causing a fifth particle within him to wake up, unleashing the power of a fifth ancient megamammoth.
All of a sudden, Yang Qi himself seemed like an awakening megamammoth from ancient times. He shivered as energy flows erupted all around him, exploding with power as they destroyed the water that surrounded him.
Because the true energy now flowing through him was simply too forceful, his meridians began to crystallize. At the same time, the flows of true energy began to atomize, becoming liquid inside of him, transforming into something viscous within his sea of energy, something ten times as powerful as before.
In fact, Yang Qi could actually close his eyes and peer into that true energy liquid in his sea of energy and see creatures appearing and disappearing, beings like cranes, tigers, dragons and also, megamammoths….
In this moment of grave crisis, he achieved his breakthrough, rising into the seventh phase of energy arts, the Energy Manifestation level.
When entering this level, one’s true energy would change on a fundamental level. The most obvious change was how it became liquid, making it of a far higher quality than the state it had existed in before.
It was a watershed that most experts spent twenty or thirty years trying to pass, and in fact, many didn’t.
With every higher level one reached with one’s energy arts, it was like stepping into a new world. As for the seventh phase, in any aristocratic clan in the Rich-Lush Continent, people of that level were treated with utmost respect.
Telekinesis. Flying through the air. Converging energy into corporeal form…. There were all sorts of abilities that only came when one broke through into the Energy Manifestation level.
And now, thanks to the violent pressure provided by this white ape, Yang Qi broke through into that level that he had dreamed of day and night.
Because of that, his true energy dramatically rose by ten times. With a casual swipe of his hand, he destroyed the water around him, transforming it into nothing more than countless water droplets. Then, in shocking fashion, he seemed to completely defy gravity as he remained hovering in place in midair.
Suddenly, two magnificent wings spread out behind him.
They were completely formed from true energy, and were as pitch black as the depths of the universe. At the same time, they were covered with innumerable mysterious magical symbols, as well as images of powerful devils. They surged with a fiendish aura, which caused everything within a hundred paces to suddenly be cast into utter darkness, as though hell itself were being pulled into the world of men.
These wings were sinister, but at the same time majestic and unsurpassably mysterious.
Compared to the Roc Wings or the Wings of the White Crane, they were far more powerful. In fact, when facing the pressure of the Fiend-Devil Wings, the white ape’s Roc Wings instantly began to dissipate.
As the Fiend-Devil Wings slowly flapped back and forth, Yang Qi hovered in the air, looking every bit like a devilish god. And when his cold gaze latched onto the white ape, the ape felt as though it were being stabbed to the core.
The ape bared its fangs and roared in ferocious fashion; clearly, it was not any more fearful of Yang Qi than it had been before his breakthrough. Reaching out, it yet again summoned its enormous water cudgel, as large as a tree.
“Infernal Deity Spear!” Yang Qi growled, standing his ground. When the long, devilish spear appeared in his hand, it was longer and bigger than before, and pulsed with black mist. When he stabbed out with it, the wails of hellish ghosts and deities could be heard, and all of the floodwaters in the area turned dark. At the same time, the black mist streaming off of the spear transformed into what appeared to be a being from hell itself, clad in a long black robe, an infernal deity the likes of which governed matters of both life and death.
The Infernal Deity Spear stabbed toward the floodwater cudgel, and before the two could even make contact, the cudgel seemed to shrink back in fear, and then collapse into pieces.
“Thrust of the Infernal Deity!” Yang Qi shouted. His Fiend-Devil Wings flapped, and he hefted his Infernal Deity Spear as he stabbed it toward the white ape’s chest.
Howling, the ape yet again summoned a wall of water, formed of many layers. However, this time, that wall did little good. The Infernal Deity Spear destroyed it like a hot knife slicing through butter. In the blink of an eye, the spear was right in front of the ape.
White hair was stained crimson as the spear stabbed into the ape, and blood sprayed out like a geyser. Then, the will of that infernal deity from hell immediately latched onto the ape’s soul.
Never in ten thousand years could the white ape have guessed that the opponent who moments ago had been a fish in a barrel would suddenly turn the tables and actually harm him. Enraged, he employed an evasive move to leap out of range of the spear, then turned and fled into the waterfall.
“Hmm?” Yang Qi murmured, shocked that the white ape apparently had some sort of tunnel dug into the mountain behind the waterfall.
This enormous ape was definitely no joke. He had profound energy arts, had constructed a lair, and had even reached the level of Thousand Kilometer Soul Locking. Yang Qi knew that if he didn’t end him now, and the ape came after him later for revenge, it could end up being the end of the Yang Clan.
And if he broke through to the ninth phase, the Master of Energy level, he would be even more terrifying.
To top it all off, the white ape had been the one to start the fight, hoping to capture Yang Qi. And after wounding him, Yang Qi could see the hatred in his eyes, and knew that leaving it to fester could have horrifying results.
In both his guts and his brain, Yang Qi knew that he had to face this danger head-on, and try to kill the white ape. That would be the only way to ensure there were no future repercussions.
After all, this white ape was more intelligent than the average human, and would not let a defeat and a humiliation like this go unavenged.
“Infernal Deity Aegis!” Yang Qi said, causing energy to swirl out and surround him with an iron-clad vortex that was almost like a shell. Protected in this fashion, not even water could touch him from outside.
This defense mechanism would not only negate most attacks that were sent his way, it even had the potential to send out backlash attacks in response.
This was essentially the most powerful type of protection there was.
Compared to the Infernal Deity Aegis, the Golden Bell Rampart he had faced in the past was as weak as a piece of paper.
With that, Yang Qi slipped like a fish through the waterfall and into the tunnel beyond.
His foot touched solid ground, which was slippery stone. The tunnel was large, as tall as five or six people, and definitely spacious enough for the white ape. Apparently, it had been carved right into the mountain itself, and was almost like the entrance to some sort of palace, right behind the waterfall.
Painted on the walls were various images of apes and monkeys, some of them sitting in meditation, others practicing sword techniques or training with staffs. There were even glowing meridian diagrams with instructions for various energy art techniques. Shockingly, all sorts of martial techniques for apes and monkeys were stored here.
On the ground were some splatters of blood, the evidence of the white ape’s passage.
As of this moment, Yang Qi was both skilled and confident. He had pushed his cultivation to the seventh phase and had his Fiend-Devil Wings, his Infernal Deity Aegis, and the power of five ancient megamammoths. Add in the fact that the white ape was now at a serious disadvantage, and Yang Qi didn’t hesitate at all to follow the trail of blood deeper into the tunnel.
Before long, his eyes glittered as he entered a large chamber, within which stood the white ape, an enormous golden cudgel with complex floral patterns in his hands. Just looking at it, it was impossible to tell how heavy it was.
This chamber was large enough to hold a thousand people, and was filled with stone bookcases, which were packed with books, papers, bamboo slips, antique items, leather-bound scrolls, metal and stone plaques, as well as weapons of all sorts.
Even odder was that, on the south side of the chamber, next to a burning fire, was a huge pill furnace.
From the look of it, this white ape knew how to concoct medicinal pills.
Not too far from the pill furnace, there was a long, seven-string zither. This place actually looked more like the mansion grotto of a scholar who had achieved his dao, not the home of a demonling. 
The white ape currently stood in the middle of the mansion grotto. His wound had already stopped bleeding, although his fur was still matted with blood. He seemed to be in high spirits, his true energy surging, his eyes shining with a ferocious glint. As soon as he saw Yang Qi, he spoke to him in a voice that resembled a human’s.
“I can’t believe you actually chased me in here, you little punk. Sadly for you, there won’t be any escaping.”
“I can leave any time I want.” Yang Qi said, apparently not impressed at all by the ape. Smiling, he continued, “But will you promise not to come after me for revenge?”
“No human has ever pushed me into a corner like this before, you brat. So no. I’m going to exterminate your entire clan! I’m going to eat your family! That’s the only way to wipe out this humiliation!” With that said, the white ape let out a furious roar.
1. After going back and forth a lot, I’ve decided to NOT capitalize “dao” in this translation. Although it is generally capitalized in English, I was able to find some texts where it is not, so there is a precedent for using it this way.
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