Chapter 5: Yang Clan Forum
For three nights in a row, Yang Qi would slip out unnoticed to cultivate his Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth. During the daytime, he would pretend to convalesce, doing nothing to reveal his true state. As far as everyone could tell, he was a cripple, unable to recover from his injuries.
Fundamentally speaking, people who had their energy arts crippled would never be able to recover.
If he had done so suddenly, and even advanced by leaps and bounds with no explanation, it would definitely arouse suspicion. If experts from the city magistrate’s mansion began asking questions, and his Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth were discovered, it could lead to the complete eradication of the entire Yang Clan.
The more Yang Qi cultivated this technique, the more he realized how profound and shocking it was.
He definitely needed to reach a much higher level of power before revealing anything about it.
During his three nights of cultivation, he grew stronger and stronger, as did his cultivation base. Virtually every move he made was capable of rending apart rocks and even metal. Although he still hadn’t unlocked a second particle, and with it the power of a second ancient megamammoth, he had already far surpassed ordinary masters of the fifth phase.
In fact, even if an entire group of fifth phase masters joined forces to fight him, he would cut them all down.
And the terrifying nature of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth was only beginning to be revealed.
As soon as Yang Qi reigned in the technique and hid it, his meridians would wither up, and his vital energy would vanish, leaving his sea of energy completely empty.
Of course, the truth was that it was hidden within that single particle that he had awakened.
In some ways, his body was currently like the depths of hell, pitch black in a way that made it impossible for outsiders to gauge the level of his cultivation base. Anyone who examined him would think him to be nothing more than a cripple.
It was the power of the godmammoths, and the profundity of hell.
Considering how his cultivation was progressing, it wouldn’t be long before he reached the sixth phase, the Energy Weapon level. At that point, he would be able to use energy to form corporeal weapons, to use forces like sword energy to pierce powerful armor.
The Energy Weapon level far surpassed the fifth phase, and could unleash devastating force that was on a completely different level. Some experts who reached the fifth phase would be stuck there for their entire life, and would never enter the Energy Weapon level. Others who did reach that level would end up spending a decade or even longer before being able to form weapons with energy.
As for Yang Qi, despite being one of the elites of his generation, not even he was very familiar with how powerful Energy Weapon experts were.
During his three nights of cultivation, he made more attempts to establish communication with the golden imp in his forehead. However, the imp remained completely motionless, and didn’t respond at all.
Although the imp definitely existed inside of him, it almost seemed to exist in a different time and place, and would communicate with him only on its own terms.
“What’s the deal with this thing? It’s living in my forehead, and even gave me the matchless Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth. Is it alive? Why is it ignoring me? Am I just too weak to communicate with it?” Questions piled upon questions in Yang Qi’s heart and mind.
In the end, there was nothing he could do about the fact that the imp was ignoring him.
Eventually, he gave up, and sat there in his room contemplating the profound mysteries of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth.
On the morning after his third night of cultivation, the sun slowly began to rise.
The eight gates of Yanhaven opened, whereupon a caravan of horse carts began to thread through the city toward the Yang Clan mansion, which immediately aroused the attention of the cityfolk.
“What’s going on? Why are all those caravans heading toward the Yang Clan? Who are they?”
“Ah, you must not have heard. Those are the subsidiary branches of the Yang Clan. Look, do you see that caravan? That’s the Yang Clan branch from Zhaoluforth, led by Yang Zhen, the younger cousin of Yang Zhan. And see that caravan with the white tiger banners? That’s the Yang Clan branch from Baishiville, led by Yang Shi…” 
“Something big happened three days ago in the Yang Clan. Yang Qi, the son of Clan Lord Yang Zhan, stole a valuable treasure from the city magistrate’s mansion. His martial arts ended up being crippled, and the city magistrate demanded the Yang Clan pay for the stolen treasure. That single treasure is as valuable as a whole city, so the Yang Clan obviously can’t afford to pay for it. They’re having a forum now to try to figure out what to do.”
“Pay for it? Can the Yang Clan’s chief elders actually figure out a way to do that? What a humiliation for them. Forget about the compensation! The Yang Clan is definitely going to be on the decline after this.”
“Why did Yang Zhan have to beget such an unfilial son…?”
The metal wheels of horse carts clattered across the stone roads of the city as they headed toward the Yang Clan.
The caravan with the white tiger banners was the first to come to a stop in front of the main gate of the Yang Clan mansion.
Then, the curtain of one of the carts parted as a middle-aged stepped out, clad in richly embroidered leather, and a long cloak embroidered with golden thread. Although the sun was already hot in the sky, he radiated a chill that caused everything within a hundred paces of him to turn very cold.
This person cultivated energy arts based on frigid coldness, and had already reached a very high level with them.
He was the leader of the Yang Clan branch from Baishiville, Yang Shi.
Even as Yang Shi stepped out into the open, a few more carts came to a stop outside the gate, whereupon a young man and a young woman stepped out, who were his children. They were both considered young elites in the clan; in addition to their sharply glittering eyes, they had profoundly advanced cultivation bases.
“Father,” the young man said, “this is the opportunity we’ve been waiting for. Hmph. Yang Zhan has been leading the clan for ten years already. How could he possibly have the face to try to keep his position now?”
“That’s right, Father,” the young woman said.
Yang Shi waved his hand to forestall any further comments from his children. “We’ve arrived. We can talk more about it inside.”
As they all stood there in front of the mansion, they faced six enormous stone guardian lions, which seemed to stare at them with flashing eyes.
At that point, a voice floated out from another caravan, which had just arrived. “So, Yang Shi, you also have your eyes set on the leadership of the clan.”
A middle-aged man appeared, clad in a suit of armor that appeared to be crafted from jade and adorned with strips of silk. It was in fact nephrite, and was so strong that it could deflect all types of weapons, and even defend against energy art attacks.
This was Yang Zhen, who led the Yang Clan in Zhaoluforth.
“Unless Yang Zhan is deposed,” Yang Shi said, “all other talk is pointless.” He flicked his finger, causing a glittering, crystalline light to shoot out, smashing into the stone ground and leaving behind a host of ice-filled holes.
Yang Zhen in his nephrite armor definitely seemed impressed by Yang Shi’s frigid ice energy art. Waving his hand, he sent a blast of warm air out, melting the ice on the ground.
“Impressive. How advanced is your frigid ice energy art by now? Seventh phase? Eighth phase? Regardless, you can’t let your guard down. Yang Zhan’s cultivation base has long since reached the eighth phase. He can definitely use the Mind Incarnation ability!”
At this point, another caravan arrived, and a scholarly-looking man stepped out into the open holding a folding fan. “Why are the two of you talking things out already? Come on, let’s go inside. Don’t give the city folk any more reason to deride us.”
The Yang Clan was definitely a rich and powerful clan, and the large square outside of their mansion was large enough to hold thousands of people. The green limestone slabs were scrubbed by the servants every day, leaving them shining and spotless.
“Yang Xu!” said Yang Shi, turning to face the man who spoke. From the look of things, he wasn’t quite ready to let things drop. 
Yang Xu snapped open his fan. “Yang Zhan’s useless son has caused a big disaster for our clan! Not only are we a laughingstock, we’re in great danger. Before worrying about outside aggression, we need to settle our internal affairs! What’s the point of fighting amongst ourselves? First let’s give Yang Zhan a chance to explain things.”
“Fine, let’s go,” Yang Shi said, his face softening a tiny bit. Without any further ado, they entered the Yang Clan mansion.
As more and more of the Yang Clan subsidiary branches arrived, powerful experts began to gather in the main courtyard in the mansion. There were even chief elders who normally spent their time traveling and practicing cultivation afar who had hurried back to the clan because of the situation, although they didn’t show their faces in public.
This clan forum would be attended by all of the clan’s most powerful leaders.
Meanwhile, in a certain room in the depths of the mansion, Yang Qi sat cross-legged, meditating. Suddenly, the servant girl Little Yan hurried in. “Young Master, this is bad! Experts from all the subsidiary branches are gathering in the main courtyard to discuss the clan’s situation with Lord Yang Zhan. He sent me to tell you to head the courtyard immediately!”
“They’re all here already?” Yang Qi said, slowly rising to his feet. “It’s time to see how this thing is really going to play out.”
“Be careful, Young Master,” Little Yan said.
Yang Qi nodded, and once again made his way through the mansion to the meeting hall, where the other clan members had been led once the entire group assembled.
There were already about thirty adults gathered there, Yang Zhan included. Also present were a host of the clan’s elite young ones, nearly a hundred of them, standing behind the older ones.
Thankfully, the hall was actually large enough to fit hundreds, and therefore, didn’t feel crowded at all.
Despite the large number of people present, there was no din of excitement; the atmosphere was so tense that it was almost foggy.
As soon as Yang Qi stepped inside, well over a hundred pairs of burning eyes swiveled to lock onto him. Some of those eyes belonged to experts with such powerful energy arts that they could literally kill people by looking at them.
However, in response, the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth that was hidden deep inside of Yang Qi stirred, and negated the effects of all the gazes within him.
Godmammoths could crush hells, and hells contained all sorts of devils and ghosts, as well as the pressure they could unleash. Although Yang Qi had only awoken a tiny portion of the power within him, it was still more than enough for this situation.
At that point, Yang Zhan let out a cold harrumph, a sound backed by his energy arts, which completely dispelled the power of the gazes in the room.
Apparently completely unfazed by it all, Yang Qi walked over to stand next to his father.
Next, Yang Zhan spoke, his voice booming to fill the hall. “My son’s martial arts have been crippled, and yet the lot of you still gang up on him like that? Don’t tell me you want him dead?”
1. Yang Zhen: Zhen means “real, true”. Yang Shi: the Shi means “rock, stone”. Zhaoluforth: Zhaolu means “morning dew, ephemeral”. Baishiville: Bai means “white, pure” and Shi means “stone, rock.” If you analyze all that, you will see that there is a bit of synergy between Yang Shi and Baishiville in terms of the “stone” character, as well as the “white” character because of the white tiger banners
2. Yang Xu: Xu means “dawn, rising sun”
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