Chapter 555: Status

Social standing in the immortal worlds was a very strict affair. And most of the populace was made up of serfs who couldn’t reach the Demolishing level, or immortals who were only immortal soldiers. The truth was that any nation, small or large, would have a large base of low-class citizens.

Those whose cultivation made them immortal warriors were like the landed gentry of the mortal world, and even that only gave them middling status at best. They had limited power and wealth, but no more.

Only the immortal officers could be considered influential rulers. Immortal generals would lead troops into battle, and when it came to immortal marquises, well, they were truly powerful government officials.

People like that were few and far between in the immortal world.

Upon leaving the Stormwind Plains and entering Stormwind itself, it was possible to see the complex nature of the city and its structure. Immortals were everywhere, and Yang Qi could immediately sense a flourishing energy that nothing in the mortal world could compare to.

The city was protected by warding spells that prevented flight, but Yang Qi had his imperial snakecharms and the Heaven-Devouring True Energy they provided, which negated such restrictions.

He also had three godworms, which inherently understood the most fundamental and mysterious aspects of space, and Angel Wings that made him capable of seemingly impossible speeds.

In fact, if he wanted to, he could cloak himself in invisibility, enter the city, and look around without anyone being aware of his presence.

However, he didn’t choose to sneak around in such a way. Based on the divinations he had performed with the Wheel of Fate, he knew that something big would happen to the Titan Emperor Heaven soon. And if it were to fall, he wanted to find the heart of the immortal world and gain access to its essence first, which would be of great benefit to his cultivation base.

He passed through Stormwind, whereupon he reached a seemingly endless sea that Titan Duelbringer explained was called the Crystal Ocean. It had been created by the immortal Waterfolk and was covered with a vast array of islands. Of course, each of the islands was as large as a sprawling continent from the mortal world. In the depths of the water, there was a crystalline palace that was apparently a mansion grotto of some sort.

The Crystal Ocean was even larger than the Stormwind Plains, and had even more violent storms. There were also sea monsters and demonlings in its depths that would attack and kill immortals whenever possible.

Armed forces patrolled the surface of the sea and would do their best to kill any of the beasts they could.

At one point, to Yang Qi’s amazement, he saw a group of immortal soldiers surrounding a nine-headed sea snake. Shockingly, the snake was a third stage Thought-Demolisher, the level in which ‘one thought could create a world’.  That was the level of the immortal officers, yet the snake was so strong that it could equal dozens of immortals of the same level as it. As the battle raged, it devoured hundreds of immortals before the army forces finally created a spell formation strong enough to capture it.

Scenes like this played out all the time in various locations in the immortal world.

Titan Duelbringer sighed. “The Titan Emperor Heaven started descending into chaos hundreds of years ago. How could the local demonlings be so powerful and out of control? I wonder if it has something to do with our old rival, the demon-immortal world called the Hanging Heaven.”

“What? Hanging Heaven?” Yang Qi immediately thought of the holy land of the Demonfolk, the Hanging Mountain. Stunned, he asked, “What’s the situation?”

“The Hanging Heaven and the Titan Emperor Heaven have a longstanding grudge,” Titan Duelbringer explained. “However, it's a complicated issue, far beyond anything an insignificant imperial clansman like myself would understand. Supposedly, when the Hell of Euphoria attacked the Titan Emperor Heaven in ancient times, the Hanging Heaven helped in its defense. But later, there was a falling out. In any case, the Hanging Heaven is a kingdom of pure Demonfolk.”

“So, that’s how it is.” Yang Qi didn’t ask for any further details. Instead, he focused on navigating the Crystal Ocean.

Eventually, they reached a mountain range in which the peaks soared to unimaginable heights. In fact, they were so high that even immortals would likely find them impossible to scale. Demonlings and immortal creatures were everywhere, and baleful energy drifted to and fro.

At one point, Yang Qi saw an enormous toad demonling lurking in a swamp, exhaling vital energy that caused the surrounding mountains to tremble.

“That's a primeval toxitoad,” Titan Duelbringer said. “Be careful, even certain powerful immortals would find it impossible to deal with. These mountains are called the Endless Forest, and supposedly the demonlings multiply here without end. The imperial court has tried dealing with them permanently, but simply can’t. They’re not even able to establish outpost cities here.”

Ignoring Titan Duelbringer’s advice, Yang Qi reached down and grabbed the toad, and before it could even struggle he shrank it down and refined it. Moments later, it was nothing more than a tiny trinket that emanated powerful magical fluctuations.

“That was a divine ability from the primeval infernal deities,” Yang Qi said. “Netherworld Soul Trinket Refinement. You can use it to refine toxic demonlings into their fundamental essence. Here, take it.” He tossed the trinket to Titan Duelbringer.

“This… this is at least a high-grade immortal item!” he said, clearly delighted.

Yang Qi was feeling more than a bit excited. This immortal world was incredible. He could casually grab a passing demonling and turn it into a precious treasure that would be a thing of dreams in the mortal world.

After passing the Endless Forest, Yang Qi continued on toward the imperial city. The imperial city was the core of the Titan Emperor Heaven, and the location where he would hopefully be able to make great progress in his search.

He had no idea how much distance he had traveled. He passed countless cities and regions, including the Scorchflame Plains, the Ice Kingdom, the Alkaline Wastes, the Bloodgore Marshes, Lightshine City, the Jadeite Municipality, the Proterozoic Mines, and more. Only now did Yang Qi finally grasp just how rich and prosperous the immortal worlds were. Eventually, he found himself in front of the imperial city, which was grand and magnificent in every aspect of the word.

It looked like it had been created by the legion of gods itself, and towered so high it could touch the dome of heaven. It appeared to have been crafted from jadeite and was holy, pure, and pulsing with immortal energy.

It was impossible to count how many palaces and structures made it up, or how many streets wound their way through the city. Immortals flew here and there, and the tides of people were so vast it was stunning.

“Here we are, Milord,” Titan Duelbringer said. “The imperial city!” Mixed emotions could be seen on his face, including fear and reverence. “It’s fully half a light-year tall, and contains so many levels you couldn’t walk them all in a lifetime. Right now, we can’t fly in, otherwise the warding magics might melt us into nothing. We have to land, approach on foot, and submit to inspection. Don’t worry about that. As an imperial clansman, I know plenty of rogues and scoundrels in the city. I can definitely get us inside, and get you a new identity, without a problem.”

“In that case, I’ll follow your lead,” Yang Qi said. “That said, I’ll definitely use the Strength of the Hell-Crushing Godmammoth to change my facial features. It's a given that the immortal world knows what I look like, and has me listed as wanted.”

“Not necessarily,” Titan Duelbringer said. “Milord, you caused a huge ruckus in the lower world, but to be honest it’s not really something that the immortal world would worry much about. What you did would be akin to someone in the mortal world killing a few people. Sure, it’s a crime. But right now, the Titan Emperor Heaven is completely focused on defending against incursions from other immortal worlds, and definitely aren’t paying much attention to the mortals. That said, it never hurts to be careful.

Nodding, Yang Qi drew on his energy arts to transform himself into a slender and elegant-looking young man. “From now on, my given name will be Dragonguard. Remember it! Don’t go around calling me ‘milord’. Just stick to the story that you stumbled across some good fortune in the lower world, and that I came to your aid.”

“Yes sir!” Titan Duelbringer said, nodding his head.

With that, they landed and walked down the road to the entrance of the imperial city, which was extremely wide and made of gold.

If gold from the immortal world made its way to the lower world, it could be used to make all sorts of deadly immortal items. But here, it was paving material. Yet again, the wealth of the immortal world was clearly on display.

Almost as soon as they started walking, a passing patrol of about ten heavenly soldiers noticed them.

“Halt!” one of the immortals said. The entire group was clad in armor, clearly not cannon fodder from a fiendslave battalion. Their quintessence energy thrummed with power and they possessed consummate magical laws. “Who are you people? State your names and show us your identification.”

Snorting coldly, Titan Duelbringer pulled out an identity medallion. “I'm an imperial clansman. I was out on a mission and am back for my debriefing. How dare you get in my way!”

“Imperial clansman?” The soldier was visibly shocked, but after looking closer at Titan Duelbringer, recognized him. “Titan Duelbringer!”

“Huh?” Looking somewhat taken aback, Titan Duelbringer looked closer at the soldier, then exclaimed, “War Violence? It's you! When did you get promoted to captain?”

“Hey, didn’t you get sent down—” 

Before he could finish speaking, Titan Duelbringer stepped forward and pulled him off to the side. Lowering his voice, he said, “Look, it's a long story. I could really use your help here, I'm in a tough spot.”

“Ah, gotcha,” Captain War Violence replied. Obviously, he was more than just a passing acquaintance of Titan Duelbringer. Waving his men off, he said, “Continue on the patrol. This is a friend of mine and we need to catch up.”

“Yes sir!” the troops said, and then they were gone.

**

Some distance away in the command center, Titan Duelbringer, War Violence, and Yang Qi all sat down to talk.

Already, Yang Qi was feeling very pleased that he had chosen to spare Titan Duelbringer. The young man was already proving very useful. Although he wasn’t a very important person, he had connections that would make it much easier to acquire a new identity.

Looking contemptuously at Yang Qi, War Violence said, “Brother, what are you doing traveling with a serf? Who is this guy? I heard about how you ended up getting sent to the disgusting lower world. According to the rumors, you actually got killed by someone down there. What are you doing back here?”

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