The power of the Epic Saga Step was completely beyond anything beneath it. It was filled with the most primeval and ancient of auras, the type that could easily vanquish most opponents. Only by becoming an Epic Saga Sage would one truly come to understand what was ancient and archaic.
Yang Qi looked up at the ancient, godly image above, and he knew that victory or defeat would be determined very shortly. Of course, this was just the appetizer. The true meal came with the Demi-Immortal level.
Yang Qi unleashed a fist strike at the godly image, yet it didn't shatter! Instead, yin transposed with yang, reversing the effects of the attack. However, Yang Qi made adjustments conforming to the dao of heaven.
The godly image erupted like a lamp, sending flames leaping toward Yang Qi. He flicked his finger, sending sagelight out to meet them. The fire then transformed into a long spear which stabbed toward the pit of his stomach.
Yang Qi adjusted again, grabbing the spear, shattering it, and unleashing another attack. In response, the godly image grew larger and a massive, mystical army appeared within it, filled with celestial soldiers and generals bearing deadly weapons of all sorts.
“Talisman of the One God! Execute all Traitors!”
Suddenly, a mighty heavenly soldier appeared. He had three heads, six arms, and was mounted on a dragon-horse, with an executioner’s axe in his hands.
Yang Qi didn’t even look at him. With a slap of the Hand of the One God, he reduced the soldier to a bloody paste.
But then, things went crazy. More celestial soldiers poured out to surround him as if he were the incarnation of some primeval monster. All of a sudden, he felt like he was in the ancient era, when mortals and immortals mixed freely and the Heavenly Court was still taking shape.
‘This is what primeval times felt like,’ he thought. ‘This is the tribulation of the Epic Saga level. Well, it’s not that bad. Heavenly Court? Celestial soldiers and generals? I’ll destroy them all! They’re mere tools of the immortal world, whereas I carry on the teachings and doctrines of the legion of gods. I am the Sovereign Lord incarnate! How dare they try to wage war on me! This is profanely disgraceful!’
He began singing the Eternal Heavenly Aria, causing numerous halos to spring out around the heads of his enemies. Almost immediately, the celestial soldiers and generals began to fade out of existence.
At this point, the tribulation changed again. Tribulation clouds roiled out of the godly image, within which were immortal kings, some clad in yellow robes, some wearing imperial regalia, and some wearing armor.
As they rushed forth to attack, Yang Qi attacked with the ruthlessness of a wolf or tiger. Drawing on the Hand of the One God, he started with Creation, then went on to Destruction, Nature, Undying, and Aeon. He even used the sixth stance, Reincarnation.
Countless black holes appeared, except they weren’t pitch black. There were actually six different versions, each of them a different color. Some were bright and some were dark. Some seemed violent and some seemed peaceful. They represented none other than the six daos of reincarnation, those being the daos of devas, humans, evil spirits, asuras, hells, and beasts. 
After all, the sixth stance of the Hand of the One God was about the power of reincarnation. As the move was unleashed, the godly image shattered and the celestial soldiers, celestial generals, and immortal kings were sucked into reincarnation, never to appear again.
The godly image began shrinking in on itself and Yang Qi’s true energy became more ancient and archaic. The ultimate meaning of the Epic Saga level was alive in his soul, and his cultivation base was reaching unprecedented heights.
Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop!
The final group of one hundred million particles woke up inside of him, prompting him to throw his head back and let loose a long cry. At long last, all eight hundred forty million particles were awake. At the same time, a shadowy image of him could be seen within the greyspace of the Hell of Mahānata.
His psychic level was now so far beyond that of an ordinary cultivator that no such person could ever do anything to him.
As an Epic Saga Sage, Yang Qi could easily kill sixth or seventh order Demi-Immortals.
He was now worlds apart from his previous level of second step Great Sage. His old self could be considered as laughable as an ant. Yet he had only progressed from being an ant into a snake. If he wanted to be a dragon, he needed to reach the Demi-Immortal level.
‘Is it really going to be that hard to reach the Demi-Immortal level?’ He reined in the aura of the Epic Saga Step and closed his eyes to gather his thoughts. Around him, the spell formation continued rotating within the confines of the God Legion Paradise.
After a long moment of contemplation, he realized that it was not the time to proceed with powering up. Although he wanted to reach the Demi-Immortal level as quickly as possible, he needed to rest for a short time. He had just gone directly from the second step of the Great Sage level to the ninth, a leap of seven levels that would leave even immortals shocked.
He was innately skilled, and had the Physique of the Sovereign Lord, but even he could get tired. And right now, he very much needed to stabilize himself before attempting further transformations.
‘Time to leave! Considering the level of my cultivation base, I can get back to the Hell of Mahānata much more easily than last time. I need to go rest for a bit.’
Blurring into motion, he burrowed through the greyspace of the Hell of Mahānata, reappearing outside a few moments later. Looking back down at the dark golden greyspace, he nodded in satisfaction.
He was now vastly stronger than before, and, with his godworm, could easily get in and out of this greyspace. After resting and recuperating his vital energy, he would return and climb to the Demi-Immortal level. Besides, having ensconced his nascent divinity here, and now that he knew the spatial coordinates, he could use the Hell Portal to open a passageway any time he wanted.
The Hell of Mahānata may as well have been his backyard, putting him in a true position of invincibility. After all, if he ended up fighting an opponent who was too strong for him, he could just teleport inside and not even powerful immortals would dare to follow him.
Then he could work on his cultivation inside and come out stronger to defeat his enemy.
With eight hundred forty million particles awake, Yang Qi knew that he was on a peak path of power.
Using the same teleportation route as before, he returned to the Invincible Society.
Upon returning, he found that Sword Seventeen was almost finished with his tribulation. He was currently beset by heaven-devils, yet every slash of his sword cut them to bits.
He had benefited greatly in the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart, and now he was drawing on all of that to achieve heaven-shaking, earth-shattering results. His sword energy blazed dazzlingly as sword crypts appeared all around him, destroying the heaven-devil tribulation with impunity.
One Sword to Break Heavenly Tribulation!
Two Swords to Become a Demi-Immortal!
Three Swords to Break the Vault Above!
Four Swords to Rend the Universe!
Five Swords to Become a Godmyth!
Six Swords Corroborates the Deathless!
Sword Seventeen rose to his feet and slowly exhaled, sending a stream of sword energy out that swept the area clean of the vital energy of the tribulation. At the same time, intense rumbling sounds echoed out, confirming that he was now a Demi-Immortal. His godworm larva had also grown significantly and had fully fused with him. With his sword technique, he could now create wormholes, making him deadlier than ever.
“Congratulations, Elder Brother!” Yang Qi said. “You're a Demi-Immortal now, which means you’ll be promoted to royal student.”
Sword Seventeen opened his eyes. “Royal student? Hah. We in the Invincible Society don’t care about that stuff. We get our own resources and further our own cultivation. We don't need to rely on the bureaucracy of elders in the Titan Emperor Collegium.” Looking over, he narrowed his eyes and performed a quick test to check the limits of his cultivation base. A stream of true energy snaked out of his forehead, but was incapable of entering Yang Qi. It was almost as if Yang Qi didn’t exist to it.
At the same time, Sword Seventeen could tell that there was something powerful in Yang Qi, like the rage of lightning—something that could slaughter any individual who didn't respect the legion of gods.
Obviously, Yang Qi was far stronger than him.
Not even his most recent breakthrough had pushed Sword Seventeen’s level past Yang Qi’s.
“Did you finally reach the Demi-Immortal level, Junior Brother?” he asked.
Yang Qi chuckled. “No. I'm just an Epic Saga Sage. I can reach the Demi-Immortal level any time, but I decided it would be better to let my vital energy build up a bit first. And now I can get back to the Hell of Mahānata any time I want, so I'm not in a hurry.”
“Only a ninth step Great Sage and you’re that strong?” Sword Seventeen said in naked astonishment. “What will you be like as a Demi-Immortal? Just how strong are you?”
“Strong enough that I could kill seventh order Demi-Immortals without using a magical treasure,” Yang Qi replied casually. “Even a Revered Demi-Immortal with a godly-class energy art wouldn’t be a threat to me. If I relied on magical treasures like my imperial snakecharms, then I could definitely decimate an eighth order Demi-Immortal. As soon as I step into the Demi-Immortal level, my guess is that I could defeat Universal Demi-Immortals. I’ll essentially be indestructible at that point and could even escape alive from immortals.”
“My god! You’re just about as strong as Elder Second Brother!” Sword Seventeen looked him up and down, then suddenly burst out laughing. “We can do whatever we want in the Titan Emperor Collegium now! We’re strong enough that not even the elder kings would dare to cause problems for us without thinking long and hard about it first. And I bet you have some tricks up your sleeve to use in a pinch.”
“That’s right. I still have some of those mammoth tusks left, which means I could get a big boost of power, if necessary. And my seventh stage mother godworm is building up power as well. By the way, have any of our other Elder Brothers and Sisters returned?”
“No,” he said with a concerned shake of his head. “I have the feeling that they’re all stuck in the Myriad Worlds Monarch Chart.”
1. The “six daos” of Buddhism have long been the bane of my translation existence, going way back to the days of Patriarch Six-Daos in ISSTH. It's hard to get good information on the six daos in English, and this is the first time I've seen them explained clearly in any of my translations. According to what I understand, they represent six paths that can be taken by beings in the cycle of existence according to Buddhist belief.