Volume 1 –
Chapter 78: Sage Devil
“That’s a Sage Devil Painting!” Yang Susu said, her eyes wide. The painting was the size of a large rug, and contained thousands upon thousands of Master of Energy demon cores, as well as one that was from a Lifeseizer demonling.
“Aunt Susu, my cultivation level is too low to be able to use all of this spell formation. Do you think you could operate it?”
“The Sage Devil Painting is an immensely powerful magical item. It tells the story of an ancient Great Sage who fell from grace and became a devil. Throughout history, there were many experts from the dao of devils who sought to create an object like this, but only a cold-blooded murderer could do it. To succeed, one would have to kill countless humans and then use innumerable innocent souls to craft the design itself. Qi’er, look at the canvas of the painting. That’s not demonling hide; it’s stitched together from patches of human skin.”
“Human skin….” Yang Qi murmured, shivering. Sending his true energy into the thick canvas, he realized that there must be thousands upon thousands of unique pieces of skin inside.
“Yes, human skin. And two particular types. One is human skin from someone born in a yin year, yin month, yin day, and yin hour, and then became a devil. The other is human skin from someone born in a yang year, yang month, yang day, and yang hour, who became a sage. See? The Master of Energy demon cores all contain the bitter aura of vengeful souls. This is really some high-level devilish sorcery.”
With that, Yang Susu sent some true energy into the Sage Devil Painting, whereupon all of the more than ten thousand Master of Energy demon cores suddenly began to shift and glitter, revealing distorted, bizarre human faces within them. Then, the entire painting began to transform, right in front of their eyes.
Vicious scales rippled out to cover the benevolent sage, who also grew a long tail. At the same time, bone spikes jutted out from his back.
In the blink of an eye, the sage transformed into a fiendish monster who seemed ready to send the tiger it was riding leaping out into the open.
To Yang Qi’s shock, the Sage Devil Painting then floated up into the air, pulsing with so much killing energy that it seemed capable of slaughtering anyone it encountered.
This painting seemed so powerful that Yang Qi was certain that Jing Wuxue could have used it to kill him effortlessly.
But then, why would the man keep it in a treasure-house instead of carrying it on his person? For one thing, the painting was designed to be placed on a wall. The only reason Yang Qi had thought to take it was because he knew he could put it in his ring of holding.
“This Sage Devil Painting actually isn’t complete,” Yang Susu said. “There is one last thing that needs to be done before finishing it, and Jing Wuxue was probably waiting for his secondary Lifeseizing before doing so. No wonder he led all of those vampire brigands on their campaign of devastation in the northwest. Supposedly it was to cultivate their blood demon energy arts; but the truth is that they were killing people to make this Sage Devil Painting. In only a few short years, the vampire brigands wiped out nearly all living beings within five hundred kilometers of Krorän. They didn’t leave anyone alive. And it was all for this painting…. I can’t believe you actually stole it, Qi’er.
“Look at those Master of Energy demon cores. They have at least a thousand vengeful souls in them. If you activated all of them at the same time, everything for dozens of kilometers, maybe even hundreds, would become a land of haunted ghosts and opened gates of hell. All the lands would be cast into darkness, and anyone caught in the trap would be killed by the sage-devil. Even a Lifeseizer would be in big trouble. However, the painting still isn’t complete. And the final step doesn’t require souls, but rather, a massive influx of true energy.”
“So what does that mean? Aunt Susu, if you can break through to secondary Lifeseizing, do you think you could complete this treasure?” Yang Qi clicked his tongue. “If you become more powerful, your place within the academy will become even more stable. How about this. Why don’t I give you the painting?”
“Give it to me?” Yang Susu said, clearly surprised. “It’s a rare precious treasure from the dao of devils, probably the only of its kind. Jing Wuxue risked universal condemnation to make it, and sacrificed countless lives to do so. If I had that painting, I could definitely complete it. But my goal wouldn’t be the painting itself, but rather, to use it as a basis to succeed with one of the Demi-Immortal Institute’s most supreme energy arts, that of creating a second nascent divinity. The Sage Devil Painting has the fundamental qualities of both sages and devils. If a sage can become a devil, then I can turn a devil into a sage. With the help of my master, I might even be able to achieve multiple lifeseizings.”
“This thing is that powerful?” Yang Qi said. “Well, then, take it Aunt Susu. Use it to make your second nascent divinity. If you power up enough, maybe you can become a conclave student. That will be a major improvement in your standing. As for my own cultivation base, treasures like this won’t help it much. I just need lots of life force quintessence.”
Although he could use it as a magical item if he reached the Lifeseizing level, the truth was that once he was in that level, his Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth would be able to destroy anything in his path.
Things were different for his Aunt Susu, who would benefit much more, especially in terms of her standing in the institute.
“It’s settled, Aunt Susu. The Sage Devil Painting is yours. Get the help you need from your master to make your second nascent divinity and break through to your secondary Lifeseizing. Also, take any of these medicinal pills that could be of help. As for me, I’ll go back and work as hard as I can to break through to the Lifeseizing level.”
Rising to his feet, he then added, “There’s no time to lose. It’s just too bad I didn’t do so already, otherwise I could use my unique true energy to help you.”
Because of what had occurred with Yun Hailan, he found it impossible to truly trust women. But his Aunt Susu was an exception. They had essentially grown up together, and there was unique emotional connection between the two. When it came to familial love, blood was thicker than water.
“That sounds good to me, Qi’er. Just wait until I have my second nascent divinity, and achieve my next breakthrough. Once I’m a conclave student, no one will ever dare to even think of harming you.” Waving her finger, she sent a stream of true energy to wrap the painting up.
With that, they continued to catch up on old times until night fell.
At that point, under the cover of darkness, the two of them flew out of the College of Elite Students.
Yang Susu headed to see her master, and Yang Qi went back to the Outer Campus.
In reality, it didn’t matter how close two students were, it wasn’t permitted for outer or inner campus students to stay long-term in the College of Elite Students. If the matter were reported, it could lead to severe punishments. After all, if all elite students helped their family out in such a way, how could order be maintained?
Earlier, Yang Susu had implied that he should stay in her temple to work on his cultivation. Although she could probably rely on her master’s influence to make something like that work, he knew that Yun Hailan would be taking advantage of every possible opportunity to make a move against him. She was a merciless, venomous schemer, of that he was certain.
Besides, once she became a Lifeseizer herself, she might go after Yang Susu.
The best thing to do right now was make sure that his aunt grew more powerful as quickly as possible, so that Yun Hailan didn’t turn out to be a problem.
The Sage Devil Painting was a magical item that essentially shouldn’t even exist. It required killing nearly one hundred million people to produce, as well as thousands upon thousands of Master of Energy demonlings, plus a Lifeseizer.
However, it was possible that because of the unique qualities of the treasure, Yang Susu could transform proverbial devils into sages, and thus gain access to incredible power.
Yang Qi took advantage of the darkness of night to slip back into his residence. Now, he realized how inferior his formation of spirit convergence was to an energy formation of the dao of monarchs. Of course, it was still better than practicing cultivation on some random mountain in the middle of nowhere.
Taking some medicinal pills out of his thumb-ring of holding, he identified which ones were ideal for life force quintessence, and began to consume them one by one.
As the pills dissolved, they would be refined by his true energy, and would become medicinal energy that would flow into the embryonic Hellfire Crucible.
One by one, the power of those medicinal pills flowed into the lava-like true energy in the crucible, where they became life force quintessence, which would then continue on into his meridians. Slowly but surely, the twenty-first particle within him was beginning to wake up.
These were all rare medicinal pills, each one of which could provide the benefits of dozens of years of hard cultivation to ordinary individuals. However, because Yang Qi cultivated a godly-class energy art, his body surpassed those of ordinary individuals by hundreds or thousands of times. To him, such pills provided the benefits of ten days of cultivation, or at best, two weeks.
Thankfully, he had plundered a huge stockpile of them from the treasure stores in Krorän. As such, the medicinal strength flowing through him was significant.
As the life force quintessence flowed through him, the twenty-first particle began to twitch and wriggle, almost as if an ancient megamammoth were struggling to breathe. It was obviously just on the verge of waking up.
The true energy surging through him caused rippling, golden halos to spring up around him. They surged out, then shrank back down, gradually transforming into the shape of a door behind him.
The inside of the door was the color of black gold; black represented the devil-gods of hell and gold represented respect and nobility.
Together, they made black gold, the color that represented the supreme leaders of hell.
When the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth was cultivated to the ultimate degree, it could summon a gate to the netherworld.
Supposedly, that made it possible to communicate directly with hell itself, and to draw upon the immense power of ancient devil-gods. It was even theoretically possible to summon the heroic souls of such beings, and use them to crush any and all resistance.
Of course, Yang Qi was very far away from that level.
Right now, he needed to become a Lifeseizer, and eventually, reach the Legendary level, the same as the Crown Prince.