Chapter 19: Hunting Demonlings
The silverback devilwolves weren't startled at all by the sudden presence of a human. One of them, a particularly large male, extended his paw in Yang Qi's direction and then beckoned at him, as though saying, 'Bring it on, you little punk!'
The scorn and bald-faced ridicule in his eyes were clear.
It was a very strange scene.
Not many people in the world could understand what it would be like to have a wolf look at you with scorn, and tell you to attack it. This wolf had long since become fully sentient, and was as intelligent as a human. The only thing it lacked was the ability to speak.
As for Yang Qi, he remained completely calm in response to what was happening.
After all, there were demonlings in the Blackcorpse Mountains who were even more intelligent than these wolves, and some of the old ones were at the Master of Energy level.
He remembered his father telling him a story back when he was young, about how the clan had once been chasing a golden rhino in their hunt in the Blackcorpse Mountains, and ended up going deeper into the forest than they expected. That was when they suddenly ran into a powerful divine ape whose cultivation base was well into the Master of Energy level. The ape even managed to injure one of the chief elders in the resulting fray. Thankfully, the creature wasn't murderous in nature, otherwise the entire Yang Clan might have suffered a fatal blow.
"You beasts!" Yang Qi suddenly shouted.
As would be expected, the leader of the devilwolf pack understood, and was enraged. He threw his head back and roared, then swiped his paw out, causing a ball of intensely hot energy to appear. As it flew through the air, it swelled in size, transforming into a wind weapon.
"The power of gale force winds…?" Yang Qi instantly realized that the devilwolf cultivated a formidable energy art, and was in the sixth phase, enabling it to create weapons from energy. More weapons appeared in the air; axes, sabers, swords, hooks, spears, tridents…. Most people who faced an array of weapons like this would be transformed into corpses.
In the deep forest, one could kill an enemy without anyone ever knowing; therefore, Yang Qi wasn't worried about the possibility of his secrets being revealed, and had no qualms about using his Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth.
Looking at the incoming wind weapons, he coldly chuckled, then shoved his hand out, causing a divine shield to shoot out in front of him, completely crushing all of the weapons.
Then, the energy continued onward, slamming into the wolves, causing them to wail in fear and pain, and prostrate themselves on the ground. Apparently, the hell-crushing power of a godmammoth was particularly effective in dominating wild demons and devils.
In a blur of motion, Yang Qi jumped toward the leader of the pack and struck him with his right hand. The wolf instantly flew off to the side and slammed into a tree, dissolving into a mass of blood and gore.
The other silverback devilwolves were instantly thrown into chaos, but had no time to react before a hail of fist strikes instantly killed them.
Normally speaking, wolves had very strong heads and backs, and needed to be struck in the belly to do any damage. But Yang Qi didn't need to worry about that. After all, one of the stances of his Invincible King's Fist technique was No Stronghold Too Powerful.
It only took about five breaths of time before all of the devilwolves were transformed into corpses.
The head of each wolf, upon being broken open, revealed a thumb-sized silver pellet, which was none other than a demon core, pulsing with true energy. As of this moment, Yang Qi now had thirteen demon cores. Silverback devilwolves were rather unique, and on the black market, their demon cores were considered hard currency.
Top experts could use them to forge divine weapons, or embed them in suits of armor. Some people would even harvest the true energy from inside of them.
Of course, before absorbing the true energy from the demon cores, they would have to be purified. By skipping that step, one would run the serious risk of experiencing cultivation deviation.
"What a pity. Their pelts are pretty valuable, but I don't have any way to transport them." It really was a pity; silverback devilwolf pelts could be sold for at least a hundred or so energy convergence pills.
In addition to the wolf corpses, there were also the human corpses that the wolves had been feeding on. There were four, all of them mangled nearly to the point of being unrecognizable. However, it was still possible to tell that three were male and one was female, all of them young. Presumably, these were young lords and a lady from some rich and powerful clan, sent here on training.
After checking the corpses, Yang Qi found some weapons and armor, as well as a bag containing a few dozen demon cores. Clearly, this group had successfully hunted down quite a few demonlings before meeting their end. They also had some banknotes on them.
Yang Qi took all of the demon cores, as well as the banknotes, which were worth about ten thousand energy convergence pills altogether.
Unfortunately, all of the actual energy convergence pills they had possessed had been consumed by the devilwolves.
Demonlings couldn't concoct medicinal pills; they could only practice instinctual cultivation. As such, it was easy to imagine how much they coveted energy convergence pills.
"I suppose I should give you a proper burial," Yang Qi murmured. With that, he carved out a pit, arranged the four corpses inside, and then buried them.
Having accomplished these things, he stood, and then shot into motion again, his feet blurring as he raced through the trees. After traveling some distance, he found a good spot to sit down cross-legged and do a bit of cultivation. Adjusting his energy arts, he did what was necessary to keep himself in top condition.
Technically, he was still on the edges of the Blackcorpse Mountains. In their depths, danger increased; demonlings like the silverback devilwolves were more common there, and there were also things like the eighth phase golden rhinos, which were even more powerful.
Golden rhinos were strange creatures, and their demon cores were particularly valuable, selling for hundreds of thousands of energy convergence pills.
As Yang Qi rested, he contemplated how he was going about his cultivation, and came to a conclusion. "This type of killing isn't enough to draw out my potential. And it's not helping me absorb the lightning mammoth. It seems I need to put myself in greater danger. The more dangerous the situation, the faster I'll get to the seventh phase."
With that, he headed deeper into the mountains, hoping to encounter larger groups of demonlings, and thus advance more quickly toward his breakthrough.
In the blink of an eye, three days passed.
Throughout that time, Yang Qi worked his way deeper and deeper into the Blackcorpse Mountains. In fact, he even reached areas that the Yang Clan had never traveled to during their hunts.
He encountered countless groups of demonlings: blood boars, giant bees, flying tigers, vampire bats, shadow mastiffs, devil-hunting spiders, man-eating ants, and more. Many of them were equivalent to humans in the seventh phase of energy arts, and yet Yang Qi killed them all.
On a few occasions, he found himself in great danger.
For example, the time he fought a massive colony of man-eating ants, each of which was the size of a human fist. They were fierce to the extreme, and would kill and eat anything in their path. Thankfully, Yang Qi was strong enough to fight through them and escape with his life.
He remained on guard at all times, and ate energy convergence pills when he got hungry. When he was thirsty, he would drink spring water, and would sleep with one eye open, ready to fight for his life at a moment's notice.
Thankfully, his Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth was particularly effective in this situation. The lightning mammoth continued to deliver him the quintessence of its life force, enabling him to push far past normal human limits. On some occasions when his energy arts reached the limit, power would suddenly erupt within him, like floodwaters breaking through a dam, and he would experience profound transformations.
Soon, the signs of an imminent breakthrough grew more apparent.
One day, rain began to fall, rapidly turning into a downpour that soaked everything in the area. The intense heat vanished, to be replaced by water, thunder, and lightning.
Silver snakes danced in the sky, lightning that would occasionally smash into the mountains below. Yang Qi was seated cross-legged on a tree, circulating his energy in a way that caused the falling rain to be flung off to the side, and keeping himself completely dry.
The sound of the thunder was like music to his ears, and as his thoughts roamed, he slowly became one with creation. It was as though he had fused with the lightning, with the thunder, and with the wind.
As the lightning crashed, it soon became possible to see sparks of electricity entering him, fusing with the membrane under his skin, and inciting his life force.
Ever since he had been struck by lightning, he had found that practicing cultivation in stormy weather was particularly enjoyable.
Gradually, electricity reached his forehead, and the golden imp that resided there.
Suddenly, Yang Qi realized that the golden imp was absorbing the lightning, making him seem almost alive.
"Senior? Senior…?" Yet again he tried to communicate with the imp, but was ignored. Suddenly, the lightning above ceased, and the golden imp went completely still.
In fact, he almost couldn't sense its existence.
After a bit of time passed, the storm continued, making the forest a world of water. Water pooled into lakes, and dripped off of the trees, to the point where Yang Qi could see fish everywhere, eating the insects in the area.
There were also devillings crouching in hiding, concealing themselves from the fury of nature.
As Yang Qi waited for the rain to stop, he continued with his cultivation. In his left hand was a demon core about the size of a longan fruit, which came from a seventh phase devil-hunting spider that he had killed the night before.
Devil-hunting spiders were chaotic, primeval creatures who naturally developed energy arts as they grew larger. Eventually, they would become big enough to eat humans, or shoot silk up into the air to snag massive flying birds.
Normally speaking, the most elite young members of the rich and powerful clans would have to team up to handle a devil-hunting spider. Even top experts in the eighth phase, like Yang Shi, would have trouble dealing with one. After all, their silk was particularly powerful.
But when that devil-hunting spider was ambushed by Yang Qi, his Infernal Deity Spear ensured that it didn't even know what hit it.
After he got back to the clan, he would be able to sell its demon core on the black market for at least three hundred thousand energy convergence pills.