As they approached the gate, a guard said, “Pay up! It’s ten godstones per person to get into the city.”
However, when the man saw Yang Qi and his group, he realized that their dignified and imposing air identified them as being something other than common Despots and suddenly became a lot more courteous. Obviously, they were Quasi-Gods who could release godpower externally, and also seasoned killers.
Of course, this city was administered by gods, and Yang Qi knew that it wouldn't be a good idea to cause problems by trying to force his way in without paying the tax. So he handed over the godstones and was given an identity medallion in return. With that, they entered the city.
As soon as they stepped inside the city, they felt a lot more relaxed. Snow was blowing around in the sky, but the spell formation prevented it from getting into the city.
Of course, not everyone in the area lived in the city. There were villages and houses around the outskirts, and in bad weather like this, the residents had no choice but to come to the city for refuge.
The local residents weren’t required to pay a tax to enter the city. However, they had to follow the rules of the city. For instance, they had to live in the emergency housing set up in one corner of the place.
The city was huge, and as a result, it wasn't crowded, not even with the influx from the snowstorm or the numerous Quasi-God experts converging on the city. In fact, business was booming.
Lightning Dragonriser knew that Yang Qi wanted to avoid any delays, so he hurried through the city toward a particularly large building, where they caught sight of a line of Quasi-Gods waiting outside.
There were also guards, clad in green garments, bristling with killing intent and immense cultivation base fluctuations. Although they weren’t full gods, they were obviously extremely dangerous.
When one of the green-clad guards saw that Yang Qi’s group was bypassing the line, he shouted, “If you’re here for the Bloodgore Trials, then get in line! Pay your godstones, otherwise we’ll cut you down without asking any questions!”
“It’s me,” Lightning Dragonriser said, handing out his novice disciple’s identification plaque. “I'm here on orders from Elder Sun, so I’ll just go in through the back. Alright?”
“Oh, it’s you, Lightning Dragonriser,” one of the disciples said, smiling. “So these people are with you? Well, that makes things easier. You’re welcome to skip the line. Go ahead into the main hall to register.”
With that, they went inside.
Although the other Quasi-Gods waiting in line were furious, they couldn’t say a word. They knew that the House of God Ordainment would punish them severely if they did. Not even gods would dare to defy the House of God Ordainment.
“Who are they? And why do they get to cut in line? Well, they’re obviously weaklings. If I run into them during the Bloodgore Trials, I’ll just slaughter all of them.”
Quite a few people were saying such things.
However, other people were saying things like, “They must be really strong, especially their leader. Look at how he walks! He's as majestic as a dragon or tiger. Terrifying!”
Of course, the ‘leader’ they noticed wasn’t Yang Qi, it was Lightning Dragonriser. Yang Qi and his people were so powerful that they were one with their surroundings, and didn’t reveal anything about their cultivation bases.
Inside the hall, Yang Qi and his group caught sight of several old men presiding over the registration process. When they saw Lightning Dragonriser lead a group inside, they nodded in greeting. “Are you here to join the Bloodgore Trials, Lightning Dragonriser?”
“That’s right. And these are some friends of mine who would also like to join. Elders, do you mind putting them into different groups so that we don’t end up fighting and killing each other?”
He accompanied his words with a large bag of godstones.
One of the elders took the bag, hefted it to get a sense of what was inside, then said, “Excellent. Come, use your energy to inscribe your name on this jade amulet. That’s all you need to do to register. Don’t worry, we’ll put you in separate groups. Now take these identity medallions and head back out into the city. Rest up, enjoy yourselves, and don’t go anywhere. You’ll be notified when the trials begin.”
Upon inscribing their names and taking their identity medallions, they left. The registration process was as simple as that.
With that, they found a tavern in the city where they secured lodgings and settled down to wait for news. Thanks to the spell formations in the tavern, its interior was as warm and cozy as a spring day. However, it cost quite a few godstones. In this city, the hard currency was the godstone, as godnotes were simply too valuable. Generally, godnotes were reserved for use in auctions and similar situations.
“Well, we’re all registered,” said Lightning Dragonriser. “As you all already know, the Bloodgore Trials have groups of ten thousand people all fighting each other. Those who survive become official disciples of the House of God Ordainment. I'm a novice disciple right now. Although I already have some measure of authority, once I enter the Bloodgore Trials, all of that goes away. Right now, we have a week or two before the trials begin, so is there anything in particular you need to do ahead of time?”
After what had played out so far, it was finally dawning on Lightning Dragonriser that Yang Qi seemed to have an unending supply of godstones.
‘If this guy is so rich, what was he doing in a tiny place like the Lightningbolt Continent?’ he thought.
Glancing at Lightning Dragonriser, Yang Qi said, “We don’t have anything important to do right now. Let’s just stay here and work on our cultivation. After the training of flying over the ocean through the snow, we’re all a lot stronger. We could slaughter gods if necessary, so what do we have to fear from these Bloodgore Trials?”
“As they say, preparedness averts peril,” Lightning Dragonriser said. “I have an idea. Why don’t we go to one of the big auctions they have here in Triopolis? We might find something useful. With the right magical treasures or medicinal pills, wouldn’t we be even more confident?” He sighed. “There are going to be countless experts participating in the Bloodgore Trials. And Triopolis is located near a few dozen other harbor cities. The business consortiums all trade with each other, stocking up on good magical treasures that the Quasi-Gods could use in the fighting. We could definitely make ourselves into a much bigger threat.”
“I really don’t understand,” said Patriarch Annalist, shaking his head. “The Bloodgore Trials are obviously a huge massacre. Out of ten thousand people, only one survives, and the others all die? I can’t believe people will scramble like a flock of wild ducks to join a competition like that. Do they all think they’ll survive?”
“People are motivated by profit. Do you know how much you can benefit from being an official disciple of the House of God Ordainment? At the very least, you can reach godly ascension! Become deathless! Even Quasi-Gods eventually die of old age, and most of those who join the contest have no hope of making further breakthroughs. Some already have one foot in the grave, while others are just wildly ambitious and willing to take the risk. Others are from aristocratic clans, where the competition to reach godly ascension is even fiercer. The possibility of becoming a god in the House of God Ordainment is just too enticing. Official disciples from the House of God Ordainment only need to practice a bit of cultivation, and they’re guaranteed to reach godly ascension.”
“Well that's a good reason,” Yang Qi said. “Where are these auctions? Which company runs the biggest one?”
“That would be the Archaean Trading Company,” Lightning Dragonriser replied. “I'm not sure how many godstones you have, but you’re obviously very rich. It seems like it would be a big waste not to buy some god items and medicinal pills to boost our fighting prowess. The more prepared we are, the more likely we’ll all become official disciples.”
“Alright,” Yang Qi replied. However, he didn’t rise to his feet. “We’ll go tomorrow. Right now won’t do, we’ve all been flying for days on end. Let's relax and clear our minds first. Remember, it’s important to balance work and leisure.” 
“Okay.” Of course, Yang Qi’s followers knew what he really meant. He needed time to study godstones, and possibly gain more understanding regarding godnotes.
Everyone retired to their rooms to rest. They had just spent half a year working extremely hard under intense pressure, so they welcomed the chance to relax and recover.
Lightning Dragonriser could sense that there was more to the story than what he understood, so he also retired.
Once he was alone, Yang Qi waved his hand, sending out a mist that filled the room and protected him from any prying eyes. Then he examined the transformations within him and saw that his godpower was already crystallizing. The crystals resembled very small taiji symbols, constantly spinning and turning. However, as they converged in his sea of energy, they entered his virtual godhood and slowly began turning it into something true and real.
“God Legion Seal!”
The seal emerged from his forehead, becoming a golden stream of vital energy that surrounded him and started drawing on the essence of the god world. No one in Triopolis could sense what he was doing. After all, he wasn’t drawing on the vital energy of the god world, but instead, essence godpower.
Essence godpower and god world vital energy were as different as a person’s blood and nascent divinity. The vital energy of the god world was everywhere, and was like blood. The essence was like the nascent divinity of the god world.
Only someone at an extremely high level could sense the essence of the god world. Normally speaking, not even Lesser, Common, or Greater Gods could do so.
Yang Qi hadn’t rested at all during the half-year of cultivation and travel. He had worked harder than any of his companions, and had gained valuable experience as a result. He was now completely different than when he had first arrived in the god world. In fact, it would be impossible to find anyone else in the god world who had an aura like his. He was so closely tied to the god world now that no one could break that connection.
He extended his hand and a godstone appeared on his palm, glittering and solid, obviously of good quality. However, he wasn’t content. He exhaled, causing scorching fire to envelop the stone and melt it, slowly transforming it into what looked like a banknote covered with complex designs. It looked exactly like a godnote! He had only just recently come to the realization that godnotes were transformed godstones. They were convergences of power, which was why they could create such dramatic explosions when destroyed.
He was already exploring the possibility of forging his own godnotes!
1. The saying it’s important to balance work and leisure is actually quite complicated in the original form. The direct translation would be: the dao/path of Wen (culture/literature) and Wu (martial/war) is that of drawing and relaxing. The “Wen” is actually referring to King Wen of Zhou, and the Wu is referring to King Wu of Zhou (a father and son, both of whom were famous rulers of the Western Zhou dynasty in the 1100’s BC (about 3,000 years ago). Both of them are considered heroes and model leaders. The “drawing and relaxing” is referring to drawing a bow (in preparation to shoot), and relaxing the tension on a bow (so as not to shoot). The more full explanation of the idiom is that these two rulers knew how to be both strict and lax in their rule, as circumstances required. Nowadays, the expression basically refers to being able to balance work and pleasure.