‘Trying to make things hard for me, you crappy Heavenly Workings Tribulation? Don’t make me laugh. Just watch how I unlock the workings of heaven and smash you to bits.’
Yang Qi remained unflustered as he faced the Go board formed by the magical laws of the tribulation. As he went about destroying it, he was also contemplating the profundities of the workings of heaven, and both efforts came with ease.
Moments later, the Go board exploded and he absorbed all of the resulting energy as he entered the Heavenly Workings Step. Now that he was in the sixth step, his power levels didn’t increase dramatically, but his energy arts grew more refined and his life force flourished. The Hellfire Crucible shattered, then formed anew, even stronger than before. It was the same with the Infernal Deity Spear, Hell Portal, and Angel Wings. Yet even as they reformed, they shattered again, before forming back together.
Flames flickered as the process went on over and over again, while Yang Qi used his true energy to make himself more complete and perfect, without the slightest weakness. That was the power of the heavenly workings, which so few people could even contemplate, much less understand.
The “heavenly workings” were truths that governed vital energy and its structure, as well as various complexities of magical law. Coming to understand such things would lead to a much more stable physical body, increased longevity, and the ability to defy heaven with impunity.
As Yang Qi became a Heavenly Workings Sage, his immortal clone on Planet Sage Monarch sensed the change, and more satellites popped into being around the planet, conforming to the design of powerful spell formations.
Exhaling deeply, the clone sent a stream of jade-colored true energy out to form a series of spell formation charts, each of them hundreds of thousands of kilometers across. Unexpectedly, he was making significant progress with the Jade-Emperor Profound-Welkin Exalted-Celestial God-Dao.
The godly-class energy art he cultivated had many levels, each one with new powers and abilities. The ability to make spell formation charts and transform them into lineaments of the dao of heaven indicated that he had made a major breakthrough. As of this moment, Yang Qi’s clone was strong enough to defeat third order Profound Demi-Immortals.
Of course, that would only be the case if the Demi-Immortal in question didn’t cultivate a godly-class energy art.
As of this moment, Planet Sage Monarch’s rotation conformed even more with the dao of heaven.
As the satellites orbited around it, they began forming nexuses connecting it to an immortal world, a plane called the Jade-Emperor Exalted-Celestial Heaven. Connecting to it provided power in the form of a jade liquid that was perfectly suited for use in cultivation.
Planet Sage Monarch continued to get stronger and stronger as time marched on. It was also expanding, and the jade-like vital energy that filled it caused new satellites to spring up left and right. As the process continued, a small planetary system began to form. And of course, the energy arts of the inhabitants also grew more powerful.
‘My true self is a sixth step Great Sage, so now I can adjust the orbits of the satellites to conform to the dao of heaven. Next up is the Planet God Step, which will be a major advancement. At that point, I’ll be able to use the godpower of the trillions of heavenly bodies in the universe to start forming a planetary system. After that comes the Without Limit and Epic Saga Steps.’
The clone could hardly wait for all that to happen.
‘My son is really advancing by leaps and bounds,’ the Holy Mother thought. 'Considering what’s been happening with the Sage Monarch Continent, it seems he finally got to the Hell of Mahānata and is facing his tribulations. I wonder how far he’ll go. Wherever he ends up, he’ll definitely surpass me.’
Back in the Hell of Mahānata, a host of planets appeared overhead. Some were dark gold, some were the color of blood, some were verdant and green, and some were as white as bones. All of them were part of the Hell of Mahānata.
The Hell of Mahānata had a sky, a void, a planetary system, a universe, and heavenly bodies of its own. It was like a unique chiliocosm of worlds with more planets than the mortal world could ever contain. Yang Qi could see one up above that was larger than ten thousand Quake-Dawn Continents put together, and was made entirely of bone. If someone who cultivated bone-type divine abilities could practice breathing exercises on a planet like that, their cultivation would quickly reach extraordinary levels.
There were other strange planets too, far too many of them to count.
There could be no better place to break into the Planet God Step than this location, especially considering that Yang Qi had ensconced his nascent divinity here.
‘Time for the Planet God Step!’
Another tribulation began.
This time it was the Planetary Armageddon Tribulation, in which countless planets would sense his breakthrough and unleash baleful energy in the form of planetary projections. Those projections would then attempt to crush his soul, nascent divinity, and fleshly body out of existence.
Another name for this type of tribulation was ‘Fury of the Planet God’.
Only if a cultivator could resist the fury that the god-spirits of planets could unleash would they possibly be able to control an entire planet.
Of course, there were more planets in the Hell of Mahānata than could be found anywhere in the mortal world. And when they unleashed their fury, it was unimaginably intense. Any cultivator who faced it would find it to be brutal to the extreme.
One after another, projections of planets appeared in Yang Qi’s sea of consciousness, bashing him with immense force. However, his sea of consciousness was broad and deep, and he had enlightenment of the grand will of the Hell of Mahānata. In fact, his sea of consciousness was so deep that it could easily contain countless fallen planets, along with every other manifestation of nature.
Closing his eyes, he began meditating, completely unfazed by the assault of the planets. The more planets a cultivator faced when reaching the Planet God Step, the stronger the result would be after the breakthrough.
Normally speaking, cultivators in the mortal world who faced the tribulation of the Planet God Step would only face a maximum of one hundred twenty-nine thousand, six hundred planets. After all, that was a prescribed number affixed by heaven. 
But as Yang Qi sat there meditating, hundreds of thousands of planets unleashed baleful energy to attack him. Then the number climbed to a hundred million. Then two hundred million. Three hundred million….
One billion. Ten billion.
There seemed no end to them, as if they were the eternal sands of the universe. Eventually, another mammoth tusk crumbled and became part of Yang Qi’s bones. Yet the planets were still angry.
After an indeterminable period of time, the tribulation ended and Yang Qi’s true energy capacity rose again.
As he made his initial foray into the Planet God Step, power poured through the wormhole and into Planet Sage Monarch. As it did, his immortal clone rose and inhaled, causing hundreds of satellites to come into existence. The nascent planetary system expanded and vital energy grew more abundant.
At the same time, many individuals experienced breakthroughs; for example, Ghost Emperor Yama reached the Demi-Immortal level.
Rapid advancement was occurring on both sides of the wormhole. Of course, Yang Qi wasn’t slowing down at all. He was heading toward the Without Limit Step, the eighth in the Great Sage level. Successfully passing the tribulation would mean that his divine ability and magical power would be without limit.
Yang Qi threw his head back and howled as tribulation clouds formed above him, within which lurked the projections of immortals. At the same time, devil kings, devil emperors, and devil suzerains appeared in the depths of the hell around him. Foul winds screamed and blood rained from the sky. Shockingly, each of those drops of blood was a minor world, and each of them contained a heaven-devil.
“Unrestrained Heaven-Devil Blood Immortal Tribulation!” the infernal mouthed. He was already numb to what was happening, having seen numerous tribulations that he considered legendary, and things that would normally never appear in the mortal world.
The blood rain turned into a world of blood and the heaven-devil blood immortals appeared, burrowing into Yang Qi’s acupoints and attacking the very cells that made up his body as it tried to turn him into a lifeless husk.
This was a devil tribulation that came, not as an external attack, but as a parasitic invasion. Each drop of blood was called a heaven-devil blood immortal, unfettered within the world, thirsting to devilize with devilblood and transform their victim into a new heaven-devil blood immortal.
However, Yang Qi had immense willpower. Drawing on his energy arts, he ignited his true energy and the particles within him erupted with glorious light. The heaven-devil blood immortals were set on fire and began to burn away. Instead of devilizing him, the devilblood was serving to increase his power.
The blood rain fell harder and the attack intensified. But it was to no avail. Yang Qi slowly rose to his feet, allowing himself to be baptized by the tribulation.
An aura that seemed to contain no limits appeared in his sea of energy, which already contained a fledgling projection of the Hell of Mahānata.
He was now in the Without Limit Step, meaning that he could generate true energy without limit.
Another mammoth tusk collapsed, pouring more power into his sea of energy. As a result, the particles within him surged. Six hundred million. Seven hundred million. Seven hundred forty million! When the process stopped, he was only one hundred million particles away from full awakening.
His clone sensed the change, yet didn’t take immediate action. Instead, he bided his time, waiting for the proper moment to explode into action.
‘The Without Limit Step was simple. Now for the Epic Saga Step!’ As he focused on the matter, a primeval image appeared in the sky above, which was none other than a deadly tribulation.
It was the final step in the Great Sage level, and was so named because one’s true energy would become like something from the distant past. One had to understand what it meant for a boulder to melt away from the passage of time, and the result would be a profoundly ancient true energy, something completely different from anything that had existed before.