Chapter 73: The Ancient Celestials
At the mere mention of the Heavenly Relic, Old Matriarch Wen and Old Yang instantly knew that she harbored no good intents. Therefore they immediately attacked her!
Throughout the years, they had collaborated on numerous times against many much more powerful opponents. The deadly combination of Old Yang’s Dragon Claws and Old Matriarch Wen’s Eternal Explosive Hands were powerful enough to cripple any opponent. And today, they were using these two secret techniques at the same time!
The maiden in scarlet fluttered her velvet cloak, rising her slender fingers as she moved quietly between her two opponents. There was a red blinding flash as Old Matriarch Wen and Old Yang cried out aloud at the same time; there were blood in their eyes and they were rolling on the ground in agony!
Old Yang was trembling in disbelief, “What manner of sorcery is this?! What skill is this?”
He could not believe that anyone could strike so fast that even with his years of fighting experiences that he could not see how she had executed her strokes!
The maiden in scarlet enthralling replied softly and unhurriedly, “This is my Starlight Divine Finger. This is but a small punishment for trying to hurt my sisters and my beloved.”
She smiled and took a glance at Yi Ping, who was standing in a flustered manner.
Lingfeng had purged out most of the venomous toxins from his body and she was sitting in a mediation pose with her eyes closed. Her battle with the venoms had not ended though and there was beads cold sweat on her forehead!
Xiao Youxue was also looking flustered and her cold demeanor had vanished. She appeared coy and called out, “Sister Xingyue, you are finally here! It is a good thing that you are here or we will meet with mishaps!”
The maiden in scarlet whose real name was Shen Xingyue said, “I have warned you all not to take any actions on your own. You have no idea how many strong opponents there are in the martial fraternity. What if you have met a Dark Celestial?”
Xiao Youxue pointed at the corpse of the Venomous Evil and said, “We have already met one. He is just so and so. Yi Ping had already dealt with him.”
Shen Xingyue looked quietly at Yi Ping and Lingfeng before sighing to Youxue, “You call their situation something that you are in control of? What about the injuries on your arm?”
Youxue protested, “Injuries are common occurrence in a fight or else next time when we have met with a better exponent, we won’t be at a complete loss. Every fight that is won is experienced gained!”
Shen Xingyue continued to sigh softly to herself but it was clearly audible to everyone, “But when you have lost even once, all your experiences will come to naught.”
But before Youxue could protest further, Old Matriarch Wen was already cursing aloud. “You are so despicable, resorting to such underhand means to blind us! You are a completely disgrace on the martial honor of the martial fraternity! I will surely shame your name to the entire fraternity!”
Shen Xingyue said gently, “Up to you. I don’t care…”
But before she could finish, Old Matriarch Wen and Old Yang had stood up again to attack her once again. This time all their strokes were even more deadly than any of their previous strokes as they disregard their defenses; even if they were to die, they must bring her down as well!
Shen Xingyue brandished her Blue Heavens Divine Sword and there were a brilliant bluish white flash as cold beaming piercing sword energies rippled through. Immediately, Old Matriarch Wen and Old Yang collapsed onto the ground, never to get up again!
Shen Xingyue said softly, “This is your just desserts.”
Yi Ping went up to her and was trembling, “Xingyue, why are you here? Do you know if Lele is alright?”
He pointed at the dead body of Sikong Zhai and his eyes were watery, “This old man here, he has claimed to have killed a maiden from the Celestial Palace. Other than Lele, who else could she be?”
Yunzi was solemn as she said, “It shouldn’t be Lele. There are many others like Lele in the Celestial Palace.”
Yi Ping muttered, “But there are few maidens like Lele that can come and go in the Celestial Palace…”
Shen Xingyue interrupted softly, “I doubt it is Lele. It is because I have just seen her just a few days ago.”
Yi Ping was startled, “Where is she and where are the others?”
Shen Xingyue said, “That is why I am searching for you so franticly. They have decided to make their way to the Celestial Palace to obtain the Heavenly Relic. I couldn’t stop them.”
Yi Ping was stunned, “They are going to the Celestial Palace?! Why didn’t you stop them? Lele is a traitor of the Celestial Palace and the Celestial Palace won’t be kind to traitors…”
Shen Xingyue sighed softly, “Do you think I didn’t try? You expect me to subdue them using force or diplomacy? I have tried both means and it didn’t work.”
Yi Ping was silent.
She was right. If Lele the Joyful Goddess wanted to do something, nothing could stop her from doing so. Moreover, there were still Lie Qing the Heavenly Temptress, Shui Yixian the Celestial Fairy, Shui Yujian the Eclipse Heaven Goddess and Shui Meijian the Axis Heaven Goddess.
Yi Ping murmured with a throbbing headache, “Why didn’t Lie Qing and Yixian stop her?”
Shen Xingyue said, “They didn’t know how long it will take to find the Heavenly Relic. They also didn’t know how long it will take you to find Lingfeng. The only place they know where the Heavenly Relic can be located is at the Celestial Palace. They want to save you some troubles and they have perfectly good intentions.”
Yi Ping smiled bitterly, “Now I have perfectly plenty of troubles. Quick, we must hurry!”
He was reluctant to go to the Celestial Palace and he had repeatedly warned Lele not to go back there. It was because a year ago, he had fought with the Celestial Liege who was a Prime Celestial from the Celestial Palace and it was a fight that still dreaded him to this day!
By now, Lingfeng had opened her eyes and she had walked weakly beside YI Ping, saying gently to him. “Let’s hurry then.”
When Yi Ping saw her weakened state, his heart was aching and he said. “Lingfeng, are you alright? Why don’t you find a haven to recuperate first? I will surely get back to you in no time…”
Lingfeng shook her head gently, “I am as worry for the rest as much as you do. My physical condition is nothing to worry about. Have you forgotten that I am protected by my Divine Invigorate Skill?”
She paused before looking melancholy at him, “We have been through much together…are you are thinking of leaving me alone and go off to fight the Celestial Palace alone?”
Yi Ping sighed heavily, “You didn’t tell me when you go off to look for the Heavenly Relic either.”
Lingfeng hummed coldly, “This is just trivial. Why did you put that in your heart? I know you are a petty man! I know that you don’t feel comfortable in taking the Heavenly Relic from the others. That is why I have asked Yunzi and Youxue to come along. Do you know why Lele and the others have also taken the initiative to go to the Celestial Palace on their own? It is because they know that you are reluctant to risk anyone of us. But do you know that anyone of us will be glad to give up our lives for you and the other sisters?”
Yi Ping was startled and he was quiet all of a sudden.
Six months ago, Yunzi and Youxue had successful overcome the Divine Calamity with the guidance of Lingfeng the Heaveness, Yixian the Celestial Fairy and Lie Qing the Heavenly Temptress.
It was not easy for them though and they had almost lost their lives.
Yi Ping had taken the Divine Calamity at the same time as them, taking the blunt for them. This time round, he was truly a Celestial and did not resist the Divine Force unlike the last time.
Lingfeng was the only one left that did not attempt the Divine Calamity. She did not have to for she had awakened as a Celestial on her own.
She was the Heaveness and her true name represented the Heavens of this realm! In this realm, the Divine Calamity would not be able to affect her and she had all of eternity to ponder over the mysteries of the universe.
Her race was the Ancient Celestials who aspired to be Celestial Sages for they knew of another realm that existed above this realm. That place was to be called the Ninth Heavens or Beyond. To mortals, that place was called the Celestial Realm.
Eventually, the Ancient Celestials discovered the means to traverse to Beyond. To traverse to Beyond, they had to ascend! To ascend, they had to undergone the tribulations of the Divine Wrath and a majority of the Ancient Celestials perished during the tribulations!
Before the Ancient Celestials departed, they left behind their heart intricate formulas and other divine skills so that one day, the mortals would gain the knowledge of attaining as a Celestial and ascended to Beyond.
A long time had passed in Beyond and the Ancient Celestials were eventually joined by other Celestials from the lower realm. But it was not before long they had found that the Celestial Realm was not the Heavenly Realm that they were looking for but a transiting realm to yet another realm, the God Realm!
The Celestials were at a complete loss how to reach the God Realm. The only clues to reach the God Realm were in the Stellar Sanctuary and the Astronomic Stellar Formation. Already many Celestials had been killed in an attempt to storm these two places.
The Celestials did not have a choice for them to take the risk for many of them had reached the limits of their state of divinity. Without a breakthrough and without a new divine intricacy formula, sooner or later they would be killed by the Divine Wrath which got more powerful after each tribulation.
Eventually, there were just a few of the Ancient Celestials that were left and even their Divine Wrath tribulation had transformed into the Heavenly Wrath, which was even more terrifying than the Divine Wrath!
Knowing that the next time the Heavenly Wrath were to strike would also be their last, the Heaveness, the Universal Old Man and the Great Sage Lord took a calculated risk to descend to the lower realm in an attempt to find fresh clues that would help unravel the mysteries of the Stellar Sanctuary. It was because during an expedition to the Stellar Sanctuary, they had found clues that the Dark Lord of the Chaos Cosmos, the only one that had successfully ascended to the God Realm had made a trip to the lower realm for a search.
The trip to the lower realm was not easy and not without great risk for no one had ever attempted it before except for the Dark Lord of the Chaos Cosmos. He had left behind the means to do so in the Stellar Sanctuary via the Cosmos Stellar Formation.
The Cosmos Stellar Formation was complex even to the three Ancient Celestials and their hearts sunk. But left with no other choice and finding it meaningless to meditate for another millennium years, they decided to attempt the Cosmos Stellar Formation.
During the attempt, the Great Lord Sage lost his life as he sacrificed himself to bring the Heaveness and the Universal Old Man to the lower realm.
His death was a great blow to them, especially the Heaveness. It was because they had known each other for as long as they could remember and had been through numerous tribulations. She had also admired him for a long time…
When they had descended to the lower realm, it was thriving with numerous celestial sects and martial clans. It was also during this sojourn that the Heaveness and the Universal Old Man had secretly helped many worthy mortals to be a Celestial and many Celestials to ascend. As for their origin, they did not disclose to any of them except for their celestial names.
It was also at that time that they had decided to pick a young lad, the future White Sage to be their protégé. The Heaveness had picked him because this young lad was in many ways similar to the Great Lord Sage when he was young and they shared the same beaming eyes.
Time passed but still they had no idea what the Dark Lord of the Chaos Cosmos was searching for in the lower realm.
Faced with the prospect of the Heavenly Wrath descending upon the lower realm and wrecking destruction upon the innocents, the dispirited Universal Old Man decided to return to the upper realm to look for new clues.
The Heaveness had grown fond of the lower realm. She had yearned to experience the emotions that she never had. She wanted to be a mortal and to die in the place where she came from. To her, that was her true home and not the God Realm.
Not wanting to invite destruction upon the innocents, the Heaveness had chosen a self-sacrificing path as a mortal. For that, she was willing to give up being a Celestial!
She had never expected that she would have such an interweaving destiny with the young lad that she had taken in as a protégé who was the future White Sage who had awakened her memories.
Not only had she awakened as a Celestial, she had also discovered that the Dark Lord of the Chaos Cosmos had actually went to the lower realm in search of the Universal Force which was non-existent in the Ninth Heavens!
The Heavenly Earth Sword was the only celestial sword that could unleash the Universal Force and now it was with the Celestial Fairy!
However, her awakening had also brought about an unintended consequence; her cycle of tribulations would begin anew and she was faced with the prospect of an occurring Heavenly Wrath!
Because of this, she had to leave the lower realm to the upper realm where she could face the Heavenly Wrath.
So she had said to Yi Ping, “I have to leave now. I do not belong to this world and you should know this. If I do not leave, numerous lives would be lost as a result of the approaching Heavenly Wrath.”
Yi Ping was stunned.
He had quickly said, “Lingfeng…we have been together for so long and you are leaving me alone? Can I come with you?”
Lingfeng put on a smile, “You still have the others. Certainly you may have forgotten about me after some time. My presence here will only endanger the lower realm. It is best that I go back to the upper realm where I belong. If you want to see me again, it is best that you put all your efforts towards divine attainment. But with so many distractions, it may be hard on you.”
At the moment, she was suppressing her divine state with her Divine Invigorate Force and had only limited her divine strength to that of the crimson level. After the crimson level was the gray level and then it would be the golden level. After that was the green-golden level and finally the red-blue level. Celestials of the green-golden level were able to revert their eyes to that of a mortal.
As one of the most powerful Celestials in Beyond, the Heaveness was naturally on the blue-red level.
Yi Ping sighed and everyone could clearly see how downhearted he was.
She turned to ask Yixian the Celestial Fairy, “I wonder if I am able to borrow your Heavenly Earth Sword?”
Yixian smiled gently as she took slow glances at everyone before saying gently, “I refuse.”
Lingfeng smiled too. It was because she did not expect Yixian would adhere to her request. So she replied gently, “I understand…”
But Yixian interrupted with a gentle smile, “But on one condition though.”
Lingfeng was startled, “On what condition will you lend me?”
Yixian replied, “You must take us to the upper realm with you.”
Lingfeng was startled, “That’s impossible…”
Yixian sighed softly, “Normal ascension is impossible to take the Heavenly Earth Sword with you. When my celestial protégé mistress the Stellar Heaven Fairy had ascended, she couldn’t bring the Heavenly Earth Sword to the Ninth Heavens because of its weight. If I am not mistaken, you do know of another way but you are not telling us.”
Lingfeng was silent for a while. In the end, she could not fool the Celestial Fairy.
Even Lele, Lie Qing, Yujian and Meijian were astonished. “There is another way to the Ninth Heavens?!”
Yunzi and Youxue looked curiosity at Yixian…
Shen Xingyue was trembling. No one else other than her knows how arduous it was to reach her present state of divinity. She had been through many close encounters and even though she did not show it, she was even afraid to ascend.
It was not because she feared death. She feared losing Yi Ping and having to bear with an eternity of loneliness. Among the eight maidens, she had the highest state of divinity and she may be the first one to start the ascension. But of course, it was easily said than done and it may take her a long time.
Shen Xingyue asked, “Lingfeng, you know a way to get us all to the Ninth Heavens?”
Lingfeng froze and after a time, she nodded before saying solemnly. “Yes I know. But it is extremely dangerous. I come here via the Cosmos Stellar Formation and I can use the same formation to ascend back to the upper realm. However, I have never tried using the Cosmos Stellar Formation more than twice and in a scale like this.”
Yi Ping’s eyes were beaming and he said, “Quick, we can try!”
All of a sudden, the baby in Lele’s comforting arms was crying as though she could sense that her parents were about to abandon her.
Lele began to comfort her baby, “Poor child. Be quiet. You can understand huh?”
Yi Ping was overwhelmed with guilt all of a sudden.
Yixian looked at Shen Xingyue as they nodded silently.
The two of them were the most talented celestial practitioners of their generation. Out of ten celestials, only one or two may eventually ascended to the Ninth Heavens. And both of them hold the most promise.
Shen Xingyue said to Lingfeng, “Can you show us the Cosmos Stellar Formation? With so many of us here, it may not be difficult for us?”
Lingfeng sighed, “What is so good about reaching the upper realm? It may be a place that you may loath as time passes.”
Lingfeng was saying it from the bottom of her heart. In Beyond, all the Celestials guarded their celestial skills zealously, not wanting their rivals to overtake them. And the same goes for here too.
But not Lingfeng.
She began to explain the intricacy formulas of the Cosmos Stellar Formation to everyone.
Everyone was dumbfounded and at a loss to understand the Cosmos Stellar Formation.
Yi Ping had broken into cold sweat while Youxue and Yunzi had nearly fainted. It was because with their present state of divinity, it was still beyond them to apprehend it!
Even Shen Xingyue was silent!
After some hours, Yixian was the first to say. “This Cosmos Stellar Formation has similarities to the Celestial Star Formation. Look at this part here and this part.”
Lele and Lie Qing immediately exclaimed aloud, “That’s right!”
Lingfeng was surprised, “Even for me, I don’t understand these two parts of the formation. Is it possible for you to share with us on the intricacies of the Celestial Star Formation?”
Yixian nodded and she quickly drew the Celestial Star Formation on the ground and explained it. Even though she was a late comer to the Celestial Star Formation compared to Lele, she had grasped its intricacies quickly.
Shen Xingyue was astonished how readiness the Celestial Fairy and the Heaveness were willing to share with them two of the most extraordinary celestial formations. It was something that not even celestial protégés of the same clan would be privy to.
In the end, they discovered that they could use the Celestial Star Formation to move the Cosmos Stellar Formation at a considerable lower risk. Even if it failed, they would still able to stall the fallout of the Cosmos Stellar Formation and escaped from it if they were quick enough.
But there were another problem. In order to traverse from the Celestial Star Formation to the Cosmos Stellar Formation, they would need nine divine relics to act as catalyst for the transmigration for each one of them. The Heaveness was the exception because of her elevated state of divinity.
Yixian had the Heavenly Earth Sword, Shen Xinyue had her Blue Heavens Divine Sword, Yu’Er had her Harp Whisperer, Mei’Er had her Lyrical Whisperer, Lie Qing had the Perpetual Darkness and the White Phoenix Sword while Lele had the Divine Echo.
That was seven divine relics in total in their possessions!
In the end, they only needed to find two more divine relics. Divine and Celestial Swords were almost impossible to find so in the end they had turned their search towards the Heavenly Relics.