Chapter 395: Entrance Ceremony

After hearing the explanation, Yang Qi understood.

The entrance ceremony was an opportunity for leaders to identify potential new recruits. At the same time, it was a chance for new students to achieve incredible progress.

Those who did not stand out would become low-ranking students with meaningless responsibilities.

Obviously, he had gotten lucky. By earning a reputation that spread far and wide, he attracted the attention of the Invincible Society and became a disciple there before even participating in the entrance ceremony.

“Junior Brother,” Yan Weiyi said, “even though master already decided to recruit you, you still need to do a good job in the entrance ceremony. Nobody in the Invincible Society is a loser, so you absolutely, positively must not lose face for master. Otherwise he’ll expel you. There’s only one rule in the Invincible Society, and that is: Live for Glory. No matter where you go, and no matter what you’re doing, you have to preserve the glory of the Invincible Society. Remember the name of our society: Invincible.”

“Yes sir!” Yang Qi had assumed that life in the Titan Emperor Collegium would involve a lot of complicated rules. How could he have guessed that the Invincible Society actually had only one rule? 

Preserve glory.

Oftentimes, rules were fetters that held back, and therefore, this single rule of the Invincible Society actually suited Yang Qi quite nicely.

Yan Weiyi smiled. “Junior Brother, I bet you’re thinking that the Invincible Society doesn’t have enough rules. But that’s just how we are. If we die, we die standing up! Other societies are different. They have all sorts of complicated customs. For example, the Righteous Energy Society has a rule prohibiting men from having contact with women. They don’t drink alcohol, they don't dance, they don’t talk loudly, and every year they have to pay dues to their society. Even worse, they’re always forced to actively further the interests of their society. If they find treasure, they have to hand it in to be divvied up equally, and their disciples aren't allowed to keep even the slightest secret from their superiors. With thousands and thousands of rules like that, you’re always in danger of making a mistake.”

“With so many rules, are there even any students who want to join them?” Yang Qi said.

“Of course there are,” Sword Seventeen said. “It’s actually because they have those rules that they have so many disciples. You see, they get supposed benefits as well. For example, the way they confiscate treasure ensures that the society as a whole is very wealthy, and therefore, all of their disciples get rations of cultivation resources no matter what. In contrast, our Invincible Society doesn’t have a hoard of resources built up. We disciples further our cultivation through hard work and we get our own resources. We would never let trashy moochers like the Righteous Energy Society has into our society, no matter what. They sit around all day consuming heavenly-grade spirit stones like rice. That’s not the type of cultivation we practice. The Invincible Society doesn’t have complicated rules, we don't have a lot of members, and we don’t have a bunch of resources sitting around to dole out.”

“Okay, enough talk,” Yan Weiyi said. “Junior Brother, you head into the square and wait for the ceremony to start. We’ll wait outside.” With that, Yan Weiyi sent a string of heaven motes swirling out of him to form a minor world where he, Sword Seventeen, and Flower Fern would wait and observe the ceremony.

Upon becoming a Demi-Immortal, one’s sage domain would transform into a minor world. Legendaries had personal domains, Great Sages had sage domains, Demi-Immortals had minor worlds. Time could move differently inside minor worlds. Demi-Immortals were already capable of trifling with the magical laws of time, and thus, in their minor worlds, time could pass faster or slower than in the outside world. Perhaps seven days inside would be a thousand years outside, or a thousand years on the inside would be only a few days on the outside.

Unfortunately, using such time altering capabilities always drew heavily on the Demi-Immortal’s life force and had limitations. There were even some experts who had passed away in meditation in their own minor worlds. Therefore, those capabilities were never used casually.

Led by the guard, Yang Qi entered the square and selected a pillar to sit under.

As soon as he did, pure vital energy began to flow out of it and into him, strengthening him. It really was ten times as effective as normal cultivation. He even sensed musical notes coming from the pillar and entering his sea of consciousness, forming a resonance with his true energy and making him feel like he was one with all creation.

The guard looked enviously at Yang Qi and said, “Junior Brother, the Auspicious Titan Hall has a grand spell formation that’s called the Heaven and Earth Titan Intersection Formation. Heaven Below, Earth Above; When Heaven and Earth Intersect, That is Titan. It’s a divination sign from an ancient immortal daoist scripture, and it represents everything going smoothly. Not even ordinary students can practice cultivation in the Heaven and Earth Titan Intersection Formation. That would be a violation of the rules.”

‘Heaven and Earth Titan Intersection Formation. Heaven and earth intersecting. Heaven below and earth above. Flipping heaven and earth around represents everything going smoothly? And it’s called titan?’ Yang Qi could sense a heavenly dao in the formation, as well as immense profundities. However, he didn't understand it. Apparently his current cultivation base wasn’t high enough to understand what it meant when heaven and earth were flipped around. [1]

Perhaps he would understand the matter when he reached a higher level of cultivation.

Almost as soon as he sat down, a number of the other new students in the area looked over at him, their gazes flashing like lightning. Clearly, they were trying to pick some of his secrets out of him.

Then a cold snort echoed into his ears, almost like thunder, shaking him down to his nascent divinity. It was almost as if someone were trying to damage his soul.

He looked over and saw that the person who had just snorted was a Great Sage sitting beneath a nearby pillar. He was burly, with veiny, copper-like skin and an aura like the sun. Clearly, he had a very masculine and yang-oriented energy.

He wasn’t an ordinary human, but some mutant human species from ancient times, with a unique body constitution similar to the Seven Apertures Sprite Body or the Nascent Divinity Starlight Body.

Yang Qi had spent nearly a year in the Hanging Mountain with his mother, Yan Wubing, and other experts, and had learned a lot during that time. For example, there were certain types of people who were innately strong and large when they were born. As for this burly man, he was actually from a race that bore the Bright Sun Truebronze Body.

It was as famous as the Nascent Divinity Starlight Body, and made the muscles and bones as tough as ancient true bronze. By the cultivation of yang-oriented true energy, this body type would provide raw power surpassing that of giants.

The burly man’s cultivation base was also high; from his aura, it seemed that he had access to magical power without limit. Shockingly, he was an eighth step Without Limit Sage, which made him strong enough to be the chief of an entire people.

He clearly despised Yang Qi, although it was impossible to say exactly why. That snort just now had been a subversive attack that would have caused an ordinary second step Great Sage to cough up blood and sustain injuries to the soul and cultivation base.

Although Yang Qi planned to ignore him, Yan Weiyi’s eyes widened and he said, “How dare he use a Destructive Sound Wave to try to harm my Junior Brother’s soul!”

“Elder Tenth Brother, you can’t interfere,” Sword Seventeen said. “That fellow is an expert from the Truebronzefolk in the Waste-Wilds. His name is Tai Cangyi. I heard he wanted to join the Invincible Society, but Master didn’t think much of him. He must have heard that Yang Qi got picked instead of him, and thus has it out for him.” [2]

“Oh? Well, a lot of people want to join the Invincible Society, so it’s only natural that people will be jealous of Junior Eighteenth Brother. He’ll just have to deal with the situation, I guess.” With that, Yan Weiyi closed his eyes.

Meanwhile, the brief incident was already being discussed by the other students present.

“That Yang Qi is definitely strong. Tai Cangyi’s Destructive Sound Wave can wipe out ghost-gods, and yet Yang Qi just shrugged it off. It seems he’s going to be a formidable opponent in the ceremony.”

“I heard that he caught the attention of the Invincible Dugu. Supposedly the Invincible Society is going to have eighteen disciples now, which has never happened as far as I know. For Yang Qi, the entrance ceremony is just a formality.”

“Maybe, maybe not. The people from the Invincible Society are all elites among elites. If someone beats him up badly enough, he’ll lose face for the Invincible Dugu. And if that happens, there’s no way he’ll be let into the Invincible Society.”

“Well, that’s true. The people from the Invincible Society have a reputation of being invincible fighters with consummate techniques. Lots of people want to join them, but they hardly let anyone in. In fact, for years and years, they’ve only had seventeen disciples.”

“No, you’re wrong about that. There were times in the past when the Invincible Society had more than seventeen disciples. Don't forget, the Titan Emperor Collegium has been around for hundreds of thousands of years. Anyway, long, long ago, the Invincible Society did have more students, but some died and others ascended to higher levels. In fact, there are previous society chiefs who actually rose to the immortal world. That said, they always keep recruitment low.”

“Quiet down, people! Nobody in this entrance ceremony likes each other. There’s definitely going to be fierce fighting going on.”

Yang Qi ignored the conversations and simply sat there cross-legged, focusing his attention on the profundities of the Heaven and Earth Titan Intersection Formation. Circulating his true energy, he worked on the Fist of the Halls of Heaven. As he did, he realized that the halls of heaven represented radiance and light and hell represented darkness and gloom. However, they did intersect. It was a case of heaven on the bottom and Earth on top, an intersection that led to the auspicious titan divination sign.

Days passed, and occasionally more students entered the square. Eventually, a month had gone by. Then the tolling of bells could be heard, and the students present all rose to their feet.

The ceremony was about to begin.

Shadowy figures appeared up above, and rumbling sounds echoed out. Then, a middle-aged man descended, clad in a voluminous robe. Yang Qi immediately identified him as a Demi-Immortal, and one of the grand elders of the Titan Emperor Collegium.

“Ladies and gentlemen, you are all winners of various training competitions held by the immortal world. Today, you have the honor of joining the Titan Emperor Collegium. As you well know, there are elders here who will select disciples for their societies. Do your best, and don’t hold back. Some elders even wish to select successor apprentices, who will achieve meteoric progress. Those who perform badly will be freshman students who live a life of misery. Understand?”

“Yes sir!” the disciples cried back.

“Very well. In a moment, you will all enter the training facility, the World of Mirages!”

1. This passage about the heaven and earth being titan is weird. Some of it has to do with the fact that the character technically means “peace”. However, even that knowledge doesn’t make this passage any clearer. I originally thought it was something about the characters themselves, but that’s not it. As the passage points out, even Yang Qi is confused by the explanation. I honestly think this passage is just supposed to sound mysterious and incomprehensible.

2. Tai Cangyi: Tai is a surname which means a ton of things, most notably “highest, greatest, too (much), very”. Cang means “dark blue, deep green, ash-gray” and also can be combined with other characters to poetically imply “heaven”. Yi means “one”.

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