A Martial Odyssey is written back in 2013 before Xuanhuan Cultivation becomes so popular. I know that many readers thought that they are reading a Xuanhuan Cultivation and is looking for a grading system. This is wrong.
AMO isn't a Xuanhuan story btw. It is actually Xianxia (heroic swordfighting/martial arts with celestial clans).
The story takes place in a typical wuxia world (ancient chinese martial sects setting) with many hints to indicate that actually this was once a xianxia world (except that the celestial clans are mostly wiped out by a heavenly disaster).
Every chapter was carefully drafted to have at least 1 martial fight intentionally. It was painstaking to design and concept (laughs). The original AMO actually undergone 3 drafts (In the first draft, Celestial Fairy Shui Yixian actually dies). I've got a tendency to go into tragic until my friends and readers stopped me.
The story follows Yi Ping as an interested rookie martial artist who is searching for battle experience, superior masters and super martial arts. Because in the world of wuxia, that is the only way to improve one's combat level from a third rate to a first rate fighter.
Some readers complaint that Yi Ping is OP but he has never trained. (This is not cultivation xuanhuan or IET novels where every kid is shown training body strengthening skills and never train when they are grown up. This is a martial world of wuxia. Of course Yi Ping practices martial arts since young. He trains really very hard but isn't very good for obvious reasons.) *Ahem* in wuxia and xianxia, almost all the martial artists train very hard, you know to have a martial art foundation. In fact, body strengthening art is taken from wuxia martial foundation training. It is just fillers for xuanhuan cultivation to talk about.
In fact Yi Ping is crazy about martial arts and fighting stronger opponents. I read comments, why Yi Ping is rushing at opponents who are stronger than him. Yes, I know when the readers say that, they are drunk on reading too much cultivation stories when the strong is strong, the weak is weak. In wuxia, it is about fighting a worthy opponent to gain strength and to learn lessons from defeats. Yi Ping had a special trait as hinted in the chapters. He has a resilient endurance and isn't afraid of pain plus he is always mentally prepared to fight. Although he isn't too smart but he will risk his life for his friends. After all, in the world of wuxia, a martial code of honor exists between friends. That's the Xia's spirit.
Some readers comment: There aren't a cultivation system in the story. It is confusing because they had no idea how strong is everyone. *Laugh* Again, this is a wuxia/xianxia and not xuanhuan cultivation. Superior martial skills must be tested against the fortitude of the users. Sometimes they win, sometimes they can lose.
In the second part of the story, Yi Ping through the Divine Calamity has found out that there is a celestial realm where past martial experts have ascended to be celestials. Second part is more xuanhuan.
The state of divinities in AMO are used to grade the high enlightenment and low enlightenment of the celestial practitioners in their various paths. Again this is wuxia/ xianxia where experts pitted against each other with their strongest state of divinities and superior skills against each other.