To most any cultivator, the aura of the Hell of Mahānata would be the most deadly poison. Not even Demi-Immortals would be able to stay there long-term. During the Hanging Mountain's training competition, the Great Sages had all received a measure of protection from the immortal world. Without it, they would have been quickly devilized.
But the nearly liquid devil energy was quite pleasing to Yang Qi, and the magical laws of space, and the sprawling lands around him, filled him with a sense of wonderment.
High above, a dark golden sun crept across the sky, casting burning heat onto the hell below. This place was enormous, so much so that even the mind-bogglingly large Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart couldn’t compare.
After all, the Hell of Mahānata had been born from the magical laws and great daos of the most ancient universe.
King Immortal-Slayer. King Heaven-Devourer. King Mourn-Parting. In their effort to fight the legion of gods, they had all worked together to create the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart. Yet in the end, they all perished. In contrast, the leader of the Hell of Mahānata was also in opposition to the legion of gods, and yet was very much alive. The difference between the two places was obvious just from that.
The legion of gods and the various hells had always been diametrically opposed.
‘After countless trials and tribulations, at long last, here I am in the Hell of Mahānata.’ He took a deep breath, causing golden vital energy to rush toward him from as far as thousands of kilometers away.
He stomped his foot, causing crevices to open and reveal veins of ore, then, with the wave of a hand, he caused numerous sagely-, heavenly-, and godly-grade spirit stones to form mountainous heaps beneath his feet. He even snagged a few immortal stones.
The riches buried within the Hell of Mahānata surpassed that of nearly all the immortal planes.
There were thirty-three ranks to classify immortal planes, and in that ranking system, the Titan Emperor Heaven would count as the lowest, whereas the Hell of Mahānata would be somewhere in the top five.
The difference was almost impossible to quantify.
Yang Qi set up a spell formation to seek out more subterranean resources. The lands of the Hell of Mahānata went down for billions of kilometers, and all of it was the same deep gold color. And there were many layers to the lands, including spatial rifts and nests of hell-born fiend-devils.
But when Yang Qi’s will descended, even the Demi-Immortal fiend-devils were killed, and their quintessence energy sucked into the grand spell formation.
He also used the Hell Portal to summon them from more distant regions. Now that he was in hell itself, the Hell Portal was even mightier. Furthermore, it had been bolstered by the godworm’s spatial powers. As a result, it could operate a hundred times more efficiently than before.
“Twin Hell Portals!” Yang Qi shouted, and all of a sudden a second, identical Hell Portal appeared. Being able to summon a second Hell Portal was an advanced transformation of the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth. In fact, as Yang Qi reached higher levels of enlightenment, he would be able to unleash even further instances, enabling him to summon even more fiend-devils.
Yang Qi was already undergoing rapid and dramatic transformations thanks to being in the Hell of Mahānata.
Because of the spell formation, the baleful energy in the area swept back and forth and space-time distorted, creating a complex labyrinth around him that would ensure that no one could possibly be able to get close to him, at least, not unless they had a primeval godworm of their own.
Yang Qi was calling upon the same methods that were used to create the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart.
‘Alright, the time has come for the tribulations to begin. Before, I might not have had enough power to reach the Demi-Immortal level. But with the nine mammoth tusks I acquired, I should have more than enough.’
When Yang Qi increased a level, he required many millions of times more vital energy than an ordinary cultivator of the same level would require. For an ordinary person, rising from the second step of the Great Sage level to the third would probably require about a hundred heavenly-grade spirit stones. But for Yang Qi, it would require around ten billion of them. It was a number that would likely cause most cultivators’ jaws to drop.
The nine mammoth tusks shot out into the spell formation and burst into flames as their quintessence energy flowed out.
Almost instantly, tribulation lightning formed above. There was lightning formed from earth, water, fire, and wind, as well as the magical laws of space and time. All together, they formed a massive tribulation cloud filled with images of immortals, monsters, ghosts, and demons.
Yang Qi’s infernal looked on with shock, fully aware of what type of tribulation this was. ‘Human Ghost God Grand Tribulation!’
The Human Ghost God Grand Tribulation was something that only appeared for the most heaven-defying individuals, the type of people who could conquer and unite numerous planes of existence.
Yang Qi floated up into the air, continuing to absorb power as he smashed his fist into the tribulation cloud. The cloud dispersed and the demons, devils, ghosts, and monsters scattered. Moments later, the power of the tribulation turned into a torrent of sagelight that rumbled loudly as it descended onto him.
“Longevity like the eternal sands, a heart like dust.”
All of a sudden, the power of the heavenly tribulation caused Yang Qi to physically explode, transforming into a constellation chart filled with orbiting stars as numerous as sand on the seashore. Each one of those stars was like a particle that contained an ancient megamammoth bursting with power.
In the blink of an eye, Yang Qi broke into the third step, making him an Eternal Sands Sage. He knew how to transform his body into dusty sand that could shine with the profundities of the stars.
The breakthrough process had been as easy as taking a drink of water. However, the simplicity belied the increase in power. Fueled by the power of the tribulation, particles began to wake up like mad inside of him.
Within the shortest of moments, he reached the level of three hundred million megamammoths. It was almost as if he had traveled back into the primordial chaos, where he could command countless living beasts to conquer innumerable planetary systems. 
Of the three hundred million particles that were awake, one hundred million were dracomammoths, while the other two hundred million remained at the level of megamammoths. Already, he had the same power levels as an ordinary Demi-Immortal.
As his true energy surged within him, his Blood of the One God grew stronger and he was fairly certain that he could sense joy pulsing in the God Legion Seal in his forehead.
Without any hesitation, he pushed on toward the True Real Step.
That step involved taking all of one’s illusory true energy and transforming it into something true and real. If Yang Qi succeeded, his energy arts would immediately receive a significant boost.
The True Real Step was very important to Great Sages; once they reached it, their energy arts would be so powerful that not even armies of lower-level Great Sages would be a threat to them.
‘Alright, the time has come for the fourth step. I need a lot more energy than before, but thankfully that shouldn’t be a problem. And once I break through, my Infernal Deity Spear, Hellfire Crucible, Hell Portal and even my Eternal Heavenly Aria will progress by leaps and bounds!’
Another immense tribulation built up, this one fully ten times the level of that which had come for the Eternal Sands Step. Within the tribulation was something that seemed reminiscent of immortals, devils, demons, and ghosts, and yet was none of those things.
‘Heavenly Tribulation of the Radiant King!’ The infernal was so shocked by what he was seeing that he nearly passed out.
Heavenly Tribulation of the Radiant King was a fabled type of tribulation that was described in certain ancient daoist texts. However, there was no recorded history of anyone surviving it. It was sent against those who challenged the heaven above and was said to be able to turn anyone into nothing more than dust.
Instantly, the void began to solidify. A radiant king became visible, reaching out with hands that could crush worlds out of existence. Shockingly, his hands had nine fingers each and were surrounded by shining halos. They were primeval god skills, including the Light of Weakness, the Light of Destruction, the Light of Devastation, and more.
This heavenly tribulation contained primeval god skills!
‘Great! Wonderful!’ Shooting up into the air, Yang Qi began singing the Eternal Heavenly Aria and the halos collapsed. Then, shockingly, he began consuming the resulting fragments of light! In the blink of an eye, Yang Qi had become like a primal-chaos elder-snake that wanted to devour all heaven and earth.
The Heavenly Tribulation of the Radiant King seemed fiendish and vicious to the extreme, yet he devoured it in a single bite! Then, as the resulting power surge flowed through him, he began transforming. Now, his energy was filled with the most ancient of auras.
At the same time, the two Hell Portals began to crumble and reform, with the bones that made them transforming into something new. Now, they looked like stone covered with fresh blood.
He was now in the fourth step, making him a True Real Sage.
1. The term ‘primordial chaos’ is different from ‘primal-chaos’. However, the two basically refer to the same thing, that being the chaotic essence that existed at or before the creation of the universe. The reason I hyphenated the latter is because I wanted it to stand alone as a unique word/term. For the former, the primordial chaos, it will become relevant later and will be involved in certain plays on words.