Chapter 1536: Army Pressure

The hearts of the people had been won by Yang Qi.

Before the war had even started, the Sage Monarch Empire made a deadly move. Under normal circumstances, it might not have been so dramatic. But for it to happen just as the two sides had swords drawn and arrows nocked and were about to fight to the death ensured that it was deadly to the extreme.

As a result, the Sage Monarch Empire’s destiny completely and utterly surpassed that of the Central Dynasty.

The pieces of Yang Qi’s plan were slowly clicking into place. He was truly full of craft and cunning. Even Proud Central, who had survived the Sovereign Lord’s schemes, had been played like a fiddle by Yang Qi.

Overnight, his destiny was growing like an inflating balloon. And of course, his borders were expanding. The Everlasting Aegis was growing as well, keeping everything inside completely safe.

None of the other three dynasties had nets of law as sturdy as this, nor anything like an aegis to protect them. They had spell formations, big ones too, but none that could cover an entire empire.

Treasures like the Myriad Dragons Lair and the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart were few and far between.

After all, the aegis grew stronger along with Yang Qi.

Creak. Crack!

As destiny flowed into Yang Qi, the sage monarch magistrates proliferated, their numbers climbing from two hundred million to two hundred ten, two hundred twenty.... As the destiny of the empire grew, so did they.

Most empires had problems with destiny, because as new people joined the empire, they came along with spies and profiteers, people who weren’t truly loyal.

But Yang Qi wasn’t worried about that.

Given the strength and numbers of his sage monarch magistrates, they could get rid of any such people. The people who joined the empire and became part of the system were sent through a system of education that involved training, cultivation, classes, propaganda and the like. Their spirits were cleansed, and they were taught how to pray to the empire.

Praying to an empire was different than praying to an individual, just as faith in an empire was different than faith in an individual.

Empires couldn't be infected by the karma of those who prayed to them. An empire was made up of all the living beings in it. In some ways, the people were the empire. From a certain point of view, when people prayed to the empire, they were praying to themselves.

Yang Qi was waiting for the big battle to begin.

He sat on his imperial throne, watching as his sage monarch magistrates handled everything and led the experts in prayer.

It was actually a very unique thing; among all the civilizations that had ever existed, only Yang Qi had ever thought to do it. Temples were erected for the people to pray, not to the emperor, but to the empire; thus, the people were praying to the people.

The empire was Yang Qi’s home. His property. And he would protect it with his life against any enemy. It took a lot of work to build an empire, and it was just as important as personal cultivation.

So he sat and watched from outside the circle of karma.

As he continued gazing out over his empire, he felt like a thought was growing within him, and suddenly remembered the ocean of faith back in the Halls of Heaven.

It had been huge, being composed of the faith given to the Sovereign Lord by the legion of gods. The Sovereign Lord hadn’t taken it into himself, but stored it as an enormous ocean.

All of a sudden, Yang Qi realized that it was a major weak spot for the Sovereign Lord.

The Sovereign Lord had been forcing people to worship himself! He had hoped that by putting it in the ocean, he would free himself from its downsides. But in the end, he was infected by karma, then killed.

‘Now I understand!’ Yang Qi thought. ‘Transcendence isn’t a purely personal matter. It's about leading the entire god civilization to transcend. The god civilization is the highest of civilizations. The lesser martial civilizations. The middle martial civilizations. The greater martial civilizations. The truth cultivation civilizations. The immortal dao civilization. And the god civilization. That’s it. There are no further types of civilization. But if someone could lead that most ultimate civilization into transcendence, then all people in it would succeed. That’s the grandest aspiration there could be. If all people open their hearts, and the god civilization transcends, reaching a higher level of civilization, that’s what it means to be Annulled....’

At that moment, Yang Qi realized what he needed to do.

He would remain free of karma. The karma belonged to the people, and they would have to deal with it. He would unify the god world, make it one enormous empire, and lead it into transcendence. Raise the legion of gods to a higher level.

Of course, he was a long way from even being able to talk about doing such a thing.

But now that he had achieved this enlightenment, he had a great dao to follow. His ideal. His ideal of transcendence. He would surpass the Sovereign Lord. His temples wouldn’t contain divine likenesses of himself, but would guide people to pray to the empire instead.

Having a goal was essential in making progress, otherwise one would wander aimlessly into ruin. And now he had a goal.

The Sovereign Lord had walked the wrong path. So had King Immortal-Slayer. But Yang Qi knew the correct way. He had a direction.

‘Now that I know all of this, does it mean I should absorb that ocean of faith? Or rather, absorb it into my empire? It's full of so much raw power that if an individual absorbed it, thereby accepting all the karma of the people who had offered the faith, then he would surely perish. But if a nation were to absorb it, for instance, into its net of law.... The karma of a people will be accepted by a people. It seems doable. Unfortunately, it obviously comes with the caveat that if the empire can't sustain the karma, it will perish.’

Yang Qi had his great dao. And considering the vast potential of that ocean of faith in the Halls of Heaven, he couldn’t help but start wondering about using it. And of course, there was also the broken Ancient Road to the Gods at the bottom of it.

Maybe if he drained the ocean of faith, he would be able to repair the Ancient Road to the Gods.

Of course, it was all just wishful thinking right now.

For now, he had to lead his army to crush the advance of the three dynasties. Once he defeated them, he would truly be invincible. Then he would have time to do more research, and likely take everything in the Halls of Heaven for himself.

RUMBLE!

Looking over, he saw something that looked like a black cloud that could blot out the sun rumbling in the direction of his empire.

The destiny of the three dynasties had reached the Everlasting Aegis, and was clashing with the destiny of his Sage Monarch Empire. When the two destinies clashed, massive shockwaves rolled out through the god world, destroying and creating entire continents.

The power being unleashed here went beyond anything the Sovereign Lord could have done.

“The war is starting,” Yang Qi said, rising to his feet. “Warriors of the empire. Citizens. Prepare for war. The Sage Monarch Empire will triumph in every battle. Soldiers. Magistrates. Get ready to fight!”

RUMBLE!

His people flew out, ready to fight for their empire.

Yang Qi led them, including all of his friends and family, backed by destiny. When they reached the Everlasting Aegis, they looked out into the big bang explosions that were occurring everywhere, and saw that the aegis was teetering.

Farther out were hordes of troops filling space like the eternal sands, who had come to destroy the Sage Monarch Empire.

Among them were Proud Heaven, the nine Dugu patriarchs, Yang Chiliocosm, Hailan, Yang Voidprime, and other experts. There were numerous individuals with psychic scales of a hundred billion, and they had come to fight.

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