Chapter 39: Melody Star and Luminous Star
Yi Ping of course was not thinking when he had made the bold challenge. He only said that in a moment of anger!!
For a moment, everyone was stunned even as Yi Ping had already stepped forward and had extended his hands in a combat stance!
Ji Lingfeng was the first to recover her wits as she stepped forward besides Yi Ping, saying weakly, “Yi Ping, I am willing to fight alongside with you!”
Yi Ping was touched. Just as he was about to speak, Yu’Er and Mei’Er had also stepped forward as they cried out empathically, “Master, we are also willing to fight alongside with you!”
Ding Yun wanted to step forward too but her modesty held her back…
Lie Qing’s heart was wrenched and she was trying extremely hard to hold back her tears because she knew that Yi Ping’s very act was suicidal. She wished silently that she had her internal strength back again…
Lele was looking emotionlessly at Yi Ping and was surprised that so many maidens were willing to disregard their lives for him.
The onlookers were envy at the sight.
Gongsun Jing, Nangong Le and Qiu Wufeng may be envy but they were not jealous of Yi Ping. In fact, the maidens were not jealous of one another. They had been through much together in these past few days and had helped to pull one another till this point.
Even Lele who did not go through life and death with them, could see the spark of life in their eyes when they were looking at Yi Ping.
Yi Ping held Ji Lingfeng, Yu’Er and Mei’Er hands one by one as he said, “Everyone…Life and death is predestined. You should treat your internal injuries first lest it worsens.”
Ji Lingfeng muttered, “What is the point if you have died?”
Yu’Er said melancholy, “Mast…”
She gulped and said gently, “Yi Ping…I’m so sorry…actually Protégé Mistress, she is still alive…”
Yi Ping smiled gently as he patted her shoulder, “Yu’Er I know. Maiden Ding has told me the truth already.”
Mei’Er had already burst into tears as she flew into his embrace, sobbing. “Master Yi Ping, evil cannot triumph over good. Remember it.”
Yi Ping turned and said gently to Ding Yun, “Yun, protect them…don’t let the flying swords of the Virtuous Palace accidentally hurt them. You are the only one that knows this technique well enough…”
Ding Yun nodded silently as her eyes swelled. It was because she would rather fight alongside with him!
Ding Yun whispered, “Be extra wary of Xiao Da. While most of us only know one stance from the Unbreakable Hands which is the Penetrating Hand, Xiao Shuai has taught him the Breaking Hand and the Eighteen Folds of the Unbreakable Hands.”
Yi Ping nodded.
Ding Yun added, “And that Xiao Fei, he is also an extremely formidable fighter. Many fighters that were stronger than him were killed by him in the past.”
While Ding Yun was whispering to Yi Ping, Ji Lingfeng looked at Lele with pleading eyes. “The Celestial Envoy, I hope that you can assist Yi Ping.”
Lele said coolly, “Are you threatening me again? I have already helped you the last time. Remember your promise to the Celestial Palace.”
Ji Lingfeng became quiet.
Actually among all the maidens, Lele was the most intimate to Yi Ping. Only Ding Yun knew about their special relationship. It was just that Lele did not feel comfortable to disclose it.
Lele said coldly, “Since he likes to be a hero, let him be.”
Yi Ping sniffed deeply and smiled. Even though Lele appeared to be cold, he was actually glad at heart. It was because he really did not want her to risk her life.
Even though Lele was acting cold but she was actually sighing to herself, “I know that you don’t want me to fight but do you think I will watch by the fence and do nothing?”
Jue Yuan interrupted by shouting, “Young rascal, you have thought too highly of yourself! You can’t even defeat me and you wanted to challenge the entire lot of us? What a joke!”
Jue Yuan had already stepped forward and had raised his martial power, displaying his famous martial feat, the Merciless Palms!
Yi Ping did not waste a moment more as he quickly dashed forward to meet Jue Yuan headlong!
Because Jue Yuan had underestimated Yi Ping the last time and did not use his full strength, he was determined not to make the same mistake again. Therefore he had raised his martial power to the fullest while shouting to Yi Ping, “Rascal, do you dare to take a blow from my palm?”
Yi Ping did not hesitate at all as he shouted back, “Who is afraid of you?”
Both Yi Ping and Jue Yuan had raised their palms and clashed mightily at one another as everyone held their breath!
There was a thunderous clap that exploded mightily as Yi Ping took three steps backward before he could steady himself!
Jue Yuan took six steps backward dazedly and at the end of the sixth step, he coughed out blood!
Yi Ping took a deep breath and circulated his intricate energy with the Divine Revelation as he calmed his heartbeat down. He was otherwise unharmed!
Lu Baiyun immediately caught Jue Yuan in his arm as he said, “Master Jue Yuan, are you alright?”
Jue Yuan simply could not believe that this young man Yi Ping’s martial power had surpassed him by such a wide gap even as he stared furiously at him!
The fighters from the Honor Manor were stunned that Master Jue Yuan, one of the top exponents of the Honor Manor could not take one blow from Yi Ping!
Jue Yuan wiped away his mouthful of blood with his sleeve as he took out his prayer beads as he shouted, “Tianyi and Brother Lu, what are you waiting for? Attack him!”
Lu Baiyun and Zuo Tianyi immediately stepped forward with their long swords.
Xiao Da smirked, “It seems that the Honor Manor may need some help after all.”
Xiao Da was the young master of the Virtuous Palace and the only successor to Xiao Shuai now after his brother Xiao Yuanjia had died. It was not wrong to say that he represented the Virtuous Palace in the absence of Xiao Shuai!
At this moment, he was looking intently at Ji Lingfeng. It was because she was the very reason why the Virtuous Palace was here. Upon receiving news that she was sighed in the vicinity, Clan Protégé Master Xiao Shuai immediately dispatched him with the highest urgency to bring her back alive to him.
He was wondering why his father was so eager to have her. After seeing her exquisite alluring beauty, he was gritting his teeth. Even though he was unwilling to hand her over to his father but he was fearful of him.
Moreover, his father had sent Yuan Shao who was also the Elder of the Virtuous Palace to keep watch on him. Therefore he could only secretly sigh.
But he was quickly looking gleefully at Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Ding Yun, Lie Qing and Lele.
This was not gone unnoticed by Nangong Le who had clenched his fist and had wished that he could punch him right into his face!
Jue Yuan, Lu Baiyun and Zuo Tianyi were now encircling Yi Ping!
Zuo Tianyi said to Yi Ping, “Yi Ping, you have better drawn your sword. In the past, we may have fought to a draw but today, you are not my match.”
Even as he was saying this, his sword seemed to be shimmering and his frightening sword energy began to spread out in all directions!
Even Yuan Shao and Xiao Da were startled at this phenomenon!
His sword energy was so powerful that it lifted the frightening malevolent air that Yuan Shao had exuded!
Indeed, it was the Infinity-One swordplay!
The Infinity-One swordplay was the highest epitome of the Infinity Swordplay. The Old Sword Saint spent decades pondering over the mysteries of the Infinity-One. While the Infinity-Two was the merging of sword and intricate energy which was called sword energy, the Infinity-One was the act of actually discharging it into deadly sword energies!
The Old Sword Saint had used the later part of his life to research the mythical Infinity-Zero but had failed. Only in his dying days, he had grasped part of the Infinity-Zero. And before he had passed away, he had instructed Zuo Tianyi on the possible intricate formula of the Infinity-First and the Infinity-Zero.
The Old Sword Saint had not expected Zuo Tianyi to grasp the full understanding of the Infinity-Zero for decades to come.
But Zuo Tianyi had.
That was because he had witnessed the duel between two super exponents, Lie Qing and the Celestial Fairy which greatly increased his understanding. Coupled with the near death experiences with Yuan Shao, he had finally grasped the Infinity-First!
Yi Ping could sense the terrifying sword energies that exuded from Zuo Tianyi’s sword.
Zuo Tianyi said coldly, “You won’t be so lucky this time.”
Even as he had said that, he had hacked at Yi Ping with a downward slice.
Even as Yi Ping had parried it with his emerald phoenix sword, he could feel the cold beaming energy that pierced through his sword to his arm!
Yi Ping could sense his sword arm weakening but he quickly raised his martial strength and immediately retaliated with the Divine Horizon Hand with his left hand but Zuo Tianyi avoided it by taking a step back.
All of a sudden, Lu Baiyun the Heartless Scholar had seized the attack opportunity to come from his back, as was Jue Yuan with his prayer beads!
The Heartless Swordsman was a master swordsman and was ranked at one of the top exponents of the martial fraternity.
Lie Qing could not help shouting aloud, “Look out!”
Yi Ping immediately whirled his long sword and displayed the Horizon Swordplay, parrying the attackers.
In an instant, Yi Ping, Lu Baiyun, Jue Yuan and Zuo Tianyi were attacking so fast that there were waves of windforce and cold beaming sword energy everywhere!
In all, they had exchanged more than one hundred strokes in a short while!
The onlookers were amazed as they could sense Zuo Tianyi’s sword energies were getting more powerful while Yi Ping’s martial power was also increasing!
All of a sudden, Yi Ping gave a loud shout even as a dozen Horizon Sword Strokes were exchanged in the intermediate!
Ji Lingfeng gasped, “The Asper Continuum Horizon Hands!”
But instead of the Asper Continuum Horizon Hands, Yi Ping had merged it with the Horizon Swordplay!
Lele had almost dashed into their midst because she knew how deadly sword energy in its physical form really was. She was startled that this Zuo Tianyi had actually attained such a high state of divinity.
Just as she was about to dash into their midst, Yi Ping had dispelled the seeming impossible to block sword energies with multiple waves of martial power windforce!
She thought, “When did Yi Ping learn how to merge his Divine Horizon Hand with his Horizon Swordplay? And that enemy swordsman, he has actually such a high state of divinity but he will soon trigger the Divine Calamity and will die very soon. At this point, his blood and heart is the most precious to the Celestial Palace…”
But she continued to be nervous. It was because she knew that Yi Ping could not sustain his martial power for long and would eventually be defeated!
All of a sudden, Jue Yuan was forcefully pushed back by the rippling windforce of the Horizon Swordplay and he was torn apart by the cold piercing waves of Zuo Tianyi’s sword energies!
Lu Baiyun barely escaped even as he parried dozens of forceful windforce coming from Yi Ping and the sword energy arcs that had circulated from Zuo Tianyi at the same time!
He was struck on his chest by the Asper Continuum Horizon Hands and was mortally wounded by three piercing sword energies!
Even as Lu Baiyun fled back to the safety lines of his camp in startled shock, “Zuo Tianyi, you have dared to kill Master Jue…”
Before he could finish, he was forced to take three additional steps backward as another powerful bout of windforce struck him!
Everyone was gasping at the death duel between Yi Ping and Zuo Tianyi, forcing to move backward even as they watched!
They could only see two dark shadows in the middle, the shrieking clanging of the swords and the thunderous explosive clanking sound of their blows. The windforce that were generated, were unlike any that they had seen before!
Yu’Er and Mei’Er had leapt forward as they raised their fingers as they displayed the Divine Emerald Skill, shielding their companions from the deadly cold energies that had flew in their direction!
The other side was not as fortunately as a dozen of the onlookers were killed instantly even though they were all standing a good distance. This immediately caused a panic and many of the fighters of the Honor Manor began to retreat hastily to a safer position!
Only Xiao Da, Xiao Fei and Yuan Shao remained on their ground and were watching the duel with eager anticipation.
Xiao Fei said, “I didn’t know that the Honor Manor has such a highly skillful fighter on their side. I have thought that the young protégé master of the Infinity Sword Clan is just a useless thing. Now, this is interesting.”
Xiao Da hummed coldly, “Xiao Fei, let’s add something more interesting and create some havoc before I get bored.”
Yuan Shao looked sternly at Xiao Da but Xiao Da already thrust four long swords onto the ground!
In split second, he had already drawn up the long sword one by one as he sent it spinning into the other side, displaying the Flying Sword Technique of the Virtuous Palace!
Ding Yun had already anticipated it as she quickly threw her sword into a flying spin as the first sword was deflected!
Yu’Er and Mei’Er had raised their long precious swords and had deflected the second and third flying swords!
The forth flying sword was deflected by Lele.
Xiao Da laughed as he said to Xiao Fei, “What do you think?” Even as he was speaking, he had already thrust a dozen swords in front of him!
Xiao Fei said coolly, “It seems that the other side has only four persons that could handle your flying swords. Of the four, only the Celestial Envoy seems to have the martial level to truly take your blow. The other three are not your match.”
Even as Xiao Fei was talking, Xiao Da had thrown more than six flying swords to the other side!
Xiao Da said coolly, “Xiao Fei, come in and join in the fun.”
Xiao Fei said, “We may hurt the twin sisters…”
Xiao Da said, “There is nothing to worry. We are not aiming at them. They can choose not to deflect our flying swords and avoid it entirely.”
Yu’Er, Mei’Er and Ding Yun had already expended most of their martial strength to deflect the flying swords and had already taken several steps back!
Qiu Wufeng and Nangong Le had tried to deflect one of the flying swords but instead of stopping it, it sent them flying backward!
Ji Lingfeng caught of Qiu Wufeng and Nangong Le as she said hastily, “Everyone back!”
Luckily, the flying sword was deflected in a nick of time by Lele even as it flew past Nangong Le and Qiu Wufeng or else the consequences would be disastrous!
In the meantime, Yi Ping was fighting with his life as he displayed strokes after strokes with both his sword and palm. It was because if he stopped his martial force now, then he could not stop Zuo Tianyi’s sword energy from hurting him.
Zuo Tianyi was not having an easy time too. He had thought that he could end Yi Ping’s life with his Infinity-Zero with just a few strokes but Yi Ping’s martial power was startling.
What Yi Ping lacked in techniques, he made it up with his extraordinary martial power.
Both Yi Ping and Zuo Tianyi were sweating heavily and panting breathlessness. It was because they were both fighting with all their martial powers and executing dozens of strokes at every instant. The first one to stop would lose!
Zuo Tianyi shouted as he displayed a barrage of strokes, “Yi Ping, why don’t you give up!”
Yi Ping raised his martial power again with the Divine Revelation as he sent powerful rippling windforce with his sword towards Zuo Tianyi, “It is because I have people to protect. I cannot lose.”
Zuo Tianyi hummed coldly, “What a noble mission. Nevertheless, it is still foolishness. You need skill to protect. If you beg me now, I may still let you live!”
Yi Ping raised his sword as he counterattacked with three rippling sword strokes even as he shouted back, “Zuo Tianyi, why are you on their side?! I have thought that you are my friend! Why did you do that to Ding Yun?”
Zuo Tianyi said, “It is because I don’t want to die yet. As for Ding Yun, I am really disappointed with her…”
Yi Ping shouted in disappointment, “You don’t have the right to criticize her!”
Zuo Tianyi laughed coldly, “I can even tell you this. I am also the one that have led the Honor Manor and the Virtuous Palace here.”
In his moment of rage, Yi Ping had a momentary lapse in concentration and his left shoulder was pierced by Zuo Tianyi’s Infinity-Five piercing stroke!
Just as Zuo Tianyi was about to attack Yi Ping again with another follow up attack, Lele had flew with startling speed towards them and interrupted his attack, slashing and slightly wounding Zuo Tianyi on his chest who was caught by surprise by her sudden appearance!
Yi Ping was startled as he shouted hastily, “How did you get into here? Get out of here now! It is far too dangerous!”
Lele had shocked and stunned everyone by moving into the death zone of the duel all of a sudden!
Everyone had expected her to be torn apart by the sword energies and the ripping windforce in the middle. But somehow she had made it to the middle unaffected, raising eyebrows from even Yuan Shao, Xiao Fei and Xiao Da.
Lele had reached the Transverse state of divinity of the Celestial Divinity. At this divine state, she could see the invisible waves of the dangerous sword energies. Moreover, the Divine Celestial Force was a defensive martial skill that could neutralize offensive energies. Lele present state of divinity with the Divine Celestial Force was such that she could disregard Zuo Tianyi’s sword energies completely.
Lele ignored his warnings and threw the Divine Echo to him, “Yi Ping, use this sword!”
As Yi Ping unsheathed the sword, there was a low hymning sound as it shattered the surrounding sword energies, knocking Zuo Tianyi a few steps backward!
Zuo Tianyi was startled, “What kind of a sword is this?”
Just as Yi Ping was about to seize the opportunity to retaliate against Zuo Tianyi with the emerald phoenix sword and the Divine Echo, a flying sword flew with startling speed in front of him!
Even as he had raised both his swords with all his martial power, he was still knocked back a few steps backward.
Lele swung her long scythe to deflect the flying sword in time as she asked softly, “Yi Ping, are you alright?”
Xiao Fei, Xiao Da and Yuan Shao were now besides Zuo Tianyi!
Even Yuan Shao was asking, “What is this sword?” It was because he had never seen a sword that could hymn by itself and could even dispel sword energies!
Lele said coolly, “It is the Divine Echo.”
Yuan Shao was startled. It was because the Divine Echo was a divine sword of legend and legends had stated it was the possession of one of the Divine Star Fairies. Even though Yuan Shao had read of it but it was after all just a beautiful legend and nobody had really seen it.
Even Xiao Fei and Zuo Tianyi were slightly taken aback.
Xiao Fei said coolly, “It is named after a sword of bygone days and is not the original.”
Yi Ping said coldly, “Good, all of you have decided to join in the fight. What are we waiting for?”
Yuan Shao said coldly, “This maiden here. She claims she is from the Celestial Palace yet she didn’t know the rules of the martial fraternity? Yet she has interrupted the duel.”
Lele replied coldly, “This is just a vanity to seek honor and glory for all of you. For me, I intend to just fight alongside with Yi Ping.”
Even as Lele was speaking, she had dismantled her long scythe into two sickles in both her hands and dropped the long black metal pole on the ground.
Yi Ping was touched but he stepped in front of Lele as he said, “Lele, step back. These opponents are far too dangerous for you.”
Lele said softly, “Even knowing you may die? Why are you so foolish? Why are mortals so foolish and waste their lives in this manner? Why do you insist on being a hero? If we join hands, then we can still have a glimmer of hope.”
Yi Ping said quietly, “It is because I want to protect all those that are dear to my heart.”
Lele shook her head as she held his arm, sighing melancholy, “I don’t understand why you are willing to forsake your precious life. I am an icy divine star from the heavens. Can you hear… the light stirring of my heart, do you know…what stirs my heart…you have awakened my emotions and filled my lonely life. Our hearts have exchanged intricate with each other…can you see the transparent mirror in my heart?”
Even though she was soft spoken but her slow, unhurried words were heard crystal clear by everyone and it was so heart wrenching that many fighters were moved to tears.
At this moment, everyone could sense the emotion stirrings of her heart!
It was because due to her Divine State of Transverse, she had unwittingly affected everyone with her emotions.
Even Zuo Tianyi, Yuan Shao, Xiao Da and Xiao Fei were moved quietly by her and did not interrupt her.
Priest Liu Qingcheng was startled as he looked at Yu’Er and Mei’Er, “Isn’t this emotion similar to the highest level of the Dual Heart Intricate? I have…actually witnessed it…”
Lie Qing, Ji Lingfeng, Yu’Er, Mei’Er, Nangong Le, Qiu Wufeng and Gongsun Jing were stunned at the sentiments that the Celestial Envoy was displaying openly for Yi Ping.
Ji Lingfeng was the most bewildered. She had asked the Celestial Envoy to aid Yi Ping and the Celestial Envoy appeared to be the most reluctantly to help. When she had seen the way Yi Ping and Lele looked at one another, she knew that their affections were real.
Ding Yun had quietly walked next to Lie Qing…
As Lele looked at Yi Ping, her silent tears dipped onto the Divine Echo as she said. “There is a seal in the Divine Echo. Only the tears of a heavenly fairy can break this seal. The Divine Echo is now yours…”
Yi Ping was trembling as he muttered, “Lele…don’t cry…I can feel your heart…I can feel your very heart…the emotions and your heartbreaks…don’t cry…we will fight together as one… ”
Lele smiled softly, “Really?!”
When she smiled, it was like the arrival of spring and the darkness was dispelled sending gladness into the hearts of everyone!
Yi Ping nodded.
Lele cried softly, “That’s wonderful. Even if I am turn to dust and into nothingness, I will always remember you…”
She had silently unblocked all the forbidden celestial channels in her body and had raised her Divine Celestial Force to the highest level as she smiled at Yuan Shao, Xiao Fei, Zuo Tianyi and Xiao Da. To protect Yi Ping, she was willing to sacrifice her own life and even retorted to use the Heavens Earth Sundering Skill of the Divine Celestial Force.
She smiled to herself, “We will become dust together then…”
“Not so fast.”
Lie Qing had walked quietly next to Yi Ping!
Yi Ping was startled, “Lie Qing, you have not recovered from your injuries and shouldn’t be here. Go back quickly!”
Lele gasped softly, “Luminous Star…”
Lie Qing smiled enchantingly as she swung her long black sword effortlessly, saying gently. “Yi Ping, worry for yourself first. Your wounds are still bleeding now. I am alright now.”
Yi Ping was startled, “You have recovered your martial strength?”
Lie Qing smiled, “I have not only recovered my martial strength but my Invincible Divine Force as well.”
All of a sudden, there was a burst of marital force that was exuded from around her!
Yuan Shao and Xiao Da said at the same time, “The Invincible Divine Force?!”
They could see seven bouts of circular faint blue light around her!
It was barely noticeable to anyone but the practitioners of the Divine Virtuous Force had recognized what it means!
Yuan Shao had prided himself on his mastery of the Divine Virtuous Force and he could release just five bouts of invisible force around him and that was already extremely powerful.
Xiao Fei and Xiao Da could only managed three and that had already propelled them as the super exponents of the martial fraternity. Just their level of attainment alone was enough to resist the powerful sword energies of the Infinity-Zero!
Yuan Shao asked, “How did you know the Invincible Divine Force?! Who are you exactly?”
Lie Qing said coldly, “Have you heard of the Heavenly Temptress?”
Yuan Shao nodded, “You are related to her?”
Lie Qing said coldly, “What do you think?”
Yuan Shao said coolly, “Very good. Today, we have finally found the successor of the Heavenly Temptress. No wonder you have dared to call yourself the New Virtuous Palace…”
Yi Ping interrupted Yuan Shao, “Are we still fighting or what?”
All of a sudden, Yuan Shao had turned around and began to walk away as he was heard saying coldly. “I don’t believe true love exists between the heavens and the earth. Three days. In three days, we will be back to claim your lives. In three days, if you do not hand over the Holy Maiden quietly to us, don’t blame us for being ruthless.”
Everyone was stunned that Yuan Shao would actually walk away just like that.
There were shouts and cheers from both sides. It was because both sides had been too weary and that too many had died.
Even Xiao Da was startled. He took a lingering look at the Celestial Envoy before he walked hastily after Yuan Shao.
Zuo Tianyi said coldly to Yi Ping before he left, “You got only three days more.”
Xiao Fei was looking quietly at the other side. His childhood friend, Ding Yunzi had collapsed in the embrace of the Holy Maiden. He had seen Lie Qing and Yunzi holding hands before she had passed out.
All of a sudden, he had remembered the legends of the Red Eye Clan; the Red Eye Clan had taught the Divine Virtuous Force to the practitioners, only to drain them of their intricate energies at an opportune time to further their Invincible Divine Force. For them to accomplish their vile purposes, they had founded the Virtuous Palace.
He had no doubt that this Lie Qing knew the Invincible Divine Force or else she would not be able to recover her martial strength at such a short notice. He could only say quietly to himself, “Yunzi, do you know what you have done? You may have endangered the Virtuous Palace.”
If anyone had though that Yuan Shao really had a change of benevolent heart then they must be greatly mistaken!
It was because Yuan Shao was still his ever cold and calculating self. He was confident of taking Yi Ping and the Celestial Envoy until Lie Qing had stepped in.
There were three main reasons why he had given them three days.
Firstly, the practitioner of the Invincible Divine Force of course may have already mastered the Golden Invincible Body. Therefore he needed time to instruct Xiao Da, Xiao Fei and even Zuo Tianyi on the weakness of the Invincible Divine Force and the Golden Invincible Body.
Secondly, they had a long battle earlier and most of them had already expended most of their martial strength. Therefore they needed the time to recuperate and regained their martial strength to be in their best condition.
However, the above was still not the main point. Thirdly, he needed an opportunity to drain her Invincible Divine Force in order to advance his martial progress. That was his main purpose!