Chapter 74: The Celestial Divinity Stages
The Celestial Palace was said to be located somewhere in the misty Nirvana Mountains, a region of mountains that were as enormous as the vast expanse of the Central Plains itself!
When Yi Ping saw the map that was drawn on a piece of goat skin, he was speechless. It did not take a bright person to figure how daunting his task was in locating the mysterious Celestial Palace.
It was no wonder that the one year ago the Honor Manor and the Virtuous Palace saw the need to muster the entire martial fraternity on a secret expedition against the Celestial Palace. By all appearances, the expedition was against the Holy Hex Sect but in secret, it was also a master plan to draw the attention of the Celestial Palace.
Plan A was designed to lure the martial exponents of the Celestial Palace into revealing themselves so that the Honor Manor and the Virtuous Palace could at least have someone to interrogate on the exact whereabouts of the Celestial Palace.
Failing that, Plan B would be to expose the Celestial Palace as a direct threat to the martial fraternity and muster all the martial clans to comb the Nirvana Mountains for the mysterious Celestial Palace.
Plan B of the Honor Manor and the Virtuous Palace was not without its flaw and it was a plan that Xiao Shuai the Protégé Master of the Virtuous Palace had hoped not to see in action. His objective was simple; seize the Heavenly Relic and the Holy Maiden from the Holy Amalgamate Sect, invoke the Divine Calamity under an auspicious omen for ascension as a Celestial. He had no real wish to provoke the Celestial Palace until he was more confident.
Previously, there were many expeditions that were undertaken by the various martial clans to gain a foothold in the vast Nirvana Mountains. None had ever returned and not even an outpost had survived!
Yi Ping smiled bitterly as he asked, “So which way do we go?”
Yunzi replied, “There is a small borderland town that is the nearest to the Nirvana Mountains. If we want to know the whereabouts of Lele and the rest, we may find a clue in that town. However there is a possibility that Lele may not go that way and heads toward the Celestial Palace directly.”
She took a glance at Shen Xingyue who nodded quietly to her.
Yi Ping nodded as well, “If there are any clues to the Celestial Palace then that town may have some information for us there. Let’s go and hurry then!”
It took just two weeks for them to traverse past the wilderness before they caught sight of the small borderland town.
The borderland town was serene. There was a river in front and lofty mountains surrounded it on all sides. Along the river bank was tall bamboos, plum blossoms and willow trees.
This was far from the deserted and barren town that Yi Ping was actually expecting. After all, the name of this town on the map was really called Borderland.
Lingfeng took off her veiled straw hat as she eyed the beautiful town as she smiled at the beautiful sight.
Yi Ping asked her, “Lingfeng, why did you take off your straw hat?”
Lingfeng smiled and asked, “Why not? Why can’t I take off my straw hat?”
Yi Ping adjusted his straw hat uncomfortably and sighed, “Your crimson eyes. You can easily scare off the others…”
Lingfeng interrupted with an alluring soft laughter, “Have you ever seen a freak that is as beautiful as me?”
Yi Ping smiled bitterly.
Indeed, no one would describe Lingfeng the Heaveness as a freak. She was more of the epitome of a heavenly fairy!
Shen Xingyue chuckled softly as she took off her veiled straw hat, “I don’t have crimson eyes so I can at least meet some people.”
Yi Ping smiled even more bitterly.
Shen Xingyue’s eyes were gray and most people would be captivated by her enchanting demeanor than noticed that her eyes colors were slightly different from the others!
Youxue adjusted her veiled straw hat and said coolly, “It doesn’t matter to me. At most, I can wait to have a decent meal until we can find a cozy room.”
Yunzi nodded and said, “We also cannot rule out the possibilities that the Celestial Palace have their lookouts in this town. We must take extra precaution.”
Yi Ping said with some irritation to Lingfeng, “Lingfeng, put back your straw hat…”
Lingfeng laughed cheerfully, “Hmph! You seem to have forgotten that I am also the Heaveness. I am your Grand Protégé Mistress!”
Yi Ping smiled bitterly, “That was in the past…”
Lingfeng hummed, “Even now, I am still your Older Protégé Sister. So you got to listen to me and not the other way round!”
Yi Ping was feeling giddy, “We can’t go in the town like that. You will attract too much of an attention.”
Lingfeng sighed softly, “Oh well…”
All of a sudden, her eyes were black again!
She winked at Yi Ping, “How about this?”
Yi Ping sighed as he looked dazedly at her.
She was the only one in their group that was able to disguise the coloring of her eyes. She was able to do so due to her high state of divinity.
Shen Xingyue was a highly attained Celestial and her state of divinity was also astonishing. But even for her, she was not able to tell the extent of Lingfeng’s state of divinity!
By now, she had already known that Lingfeng was the mythical Heaveness and her divine aura was incredible commanding. In the end, she concluded that Lingfeng was trying to mask her celestial state for an unknown reason.
Even though they had all tried on numerous times, especially Lele to query her on what the upper realm was like but she had always declined to answer politely by saying. “Heaven’s secret is not to be divulged. It is best to wait until you are there. All these are but tribulations to a higher state of divinity.”
Mei’Er the Beautiful Sword Fairy, who was also the Axis Heaven Goddess, was not shy to ask. “Why can’t you tell us? Why are you being so secretive about it? You don’t trust us or you are looking down on us?”
Despites Mei’Er constant taunts, Lingfeng said nothing and was unconcerned.
Whenever she was asked the same question, she seemed to be in a place far, far away and her alluring eyes would be melancholy.
Yixian the Celestial Fairy simply said to Mei’Er, “Some things are best not known. You should be more concerned in trying to attain your divine state.”
Among the group, Yixian was the most unconcerned. It was because she had pushed herself too hard in the past and after ascending as a Celestial, she had grown much wiser. She guessed that Lingfeng did not want discourage them and was goading them toward a higher state of divinity. What better motivation was there other than the unknown and the desire for knowledge?
“Hmph, what are you thinking? Why are you in a daze?”
Yi Ping was jolted as he panicky explained, “I am just thinking of something…”
Lingfeng interrupted unhappily, “You are thinking of something or someone? You are not even paying attention to me.”
Youxue looked at Yi Ping quietly before she said, “So are we going into the town or not?”
Yi Ping sighed heavily as he looked at the four maidens at the same time.
There were seven celestial divinity; Genesis, Enlighten, Emotion, Transverse, Seventh Sense, Crisis and Ascend in order to transcend to the Heavens. Yi Ping was a prodigy. Each of the celestial divinity had a lower, intermediate and upper stage.
He had quickly overcome the Genesis Stage and had now reached the Upper Enlighten Stage. Soon, he was about to reach the Emotion Stage. That was a most critical stage for him as he had to discard away his emotional attachments. This was something that was extremely hard for him to overcome.
Even though he was the White Sage but he had little memories of the White Sage. All his past memories were memories of guilt he had towards the rest of the maidens that he had known through the Emptiness Translucence, a martial heart intricacy skill.
In this present timeline through an impossible probability of coincidences, they had met again. None of them had past recollections of their past except for Lingfeng the Heaveness and Shen Xingyue the Fiery Phoenix.
Shen Xingyue had another fraternity name and it was the Dark Enchantress. After she had lost the Divine Sword the Perpetual Darkness and had perfected her Divine Rejuvenate Force, she had changed her fraternity name to Fiery Phoenix. She was also the highest level Celestial, having just overcome the Lower Crisis Stage and was now in the Intermediate Crisis State.
Youxue, Yunzi, Mei’Er and Yu’Er who had also overcome the Divine Calamity were all at the Enlighten Stage.
Yixian the Celestial Fairy and Lie Qing the Heavenly Temptress had progressed at an even astonishing pace. Both of them had already reached the Emotion Stage!
At that Yi Ping sighed heavily. It was because the Emotion Stage was sometimes also the most dangerous and critical stage to overcome for most Celestials.
Yixian may be the coldest maiden that everyone had thought her but that was not true. It was because she was not willing to display her affections and because the heart intricacy formula of the Icy Heavenly Tears required the practitioners to be cold and emotionless. Even when she knew that her Divine Calamity was going to difficult to overcome, she was not willing to tell anyone.
As for Lie Qing, she was a most sentimental maiden who had pledged her heart to him. But because she was now at the Emotion Stage, she was forced to withhold her affections. That proved detrimental to her and may be fatal to her at this point.
Yi Ping was really worried that Lie Qing may not be able to overcome her tribulations well and may die.
As for Lele the Joyful Goddess, she was the second highest level Celestial and was in the Lower Transverse Stage. It had taken her approximately two hundred years to simply overcome the Emotion Stage and her progression was already considered fast!
Even though there were just seven celestial levels but the difference between each level was so vast and dangerous that many Celestials perished. It was estimated that only roughly one third of the Celestials at each staging were able to overcome their tribulations!
So how could Yi Ping not be worried for them?
He took a quick glance at Shen Xingyue who was also looking at him at the same time. Even though she did not say anything, Yi Ping knew that her tribulations were terrifying at her celestial level. It was because the tribulations were a test on their limitations and it was never going to be easy!
All of a sudden, Shen Xingyue whispered. “Someone else is approaching and from his steps, he is no ordinary exponent!”
Youxue nodded as well. Her hearing was not as good as Shen Xingyue but she had detected the presence of a somber air in this tranquil place.
True enough, an old man had appeared and had walked quietly towards them.
He had a solemn expression and even the alluring beauty of both Lingfeng and Shen Xingyue did not seem to have any effect on him.
Yi Ping eyed him with caution but he did not say anything for he did not know his intentions yet.
The old man simply looked at Yi Ping and asked him, “Are you the young hero Yi Ping?”
Yi Ping said, “I may not be a true hero but I am Yi Ping. How did you know my name?”
The old man said, “Then follows me! My Master is expecting you!”
And he had turned around without waiting for Yi Ping to reply!
Youxue hummed coldly and she made sure that the old man could hear her, “What an insolent old man!”
But the old man did not have any reaction as he continued to walk away!
Yunzi shifted uneasily. It could be a ruse to ambush them if they were to follow him.
Yi Ping shouted, “At least you should tell us your name, who is your master is and why we should go with you?”
The old man paused in his track for a while to say, “My name isn’t important. But my master is someone you know and he is expecting you somewhere not far away from here.”
Yi Ping asked, “I know your master? I didn’t know I have any friends here.”
The old man laughed, “I don’t know his name either. But his fraternity name is the Celestial Liege!”
Immediately, Yi Ping, Youxue, Yunzi and Lingfeng turned pale!
Shen Xingyue noticed their reactions and immediately, she garnered a guess that this Celestial Liege must be a terrible opponent!
Youxue said coldly, “Good! I have been waiting to settle a score with him for a long time!”
Yi Ping said solemnly, “All the more I won’t go with you. Please tell your master that I have no wish to meet him!”
The old man laughed, “Young man, don’t be hasty first. If you want to see your baby girl again, then you have to come quietly. The Celestial Palace does not take kindly to rejections.”
Yi Ping turned pale immediately!