Chapter 77: The Prime Celestials
They were seated in two rows and were facing the Jade Emperor.
There were beautiful wines and aromatic food but Yi Ping’s mind was preoccupied with many questions.
Yi Ping was curious why the eyes of the Jade Emperor were crimson now but was not earlier. And of course, what was going on around here? Earlier, he had expected a deadly duel with the Dark Celestials but now he was actually sitting with them in the same hall!
Now that Yi Ping had found Lele, he was relieved that she was safe but at the same time he was feeling awkward. It was because he had found himself sitting face to face with the Celestial Liege, an opponent that he had fought twice against.
At the same time, this did not help him at all when Shen Xingyue, Youxue, Lie Qing and Lele were all giving him the cold shoulders. It was because Yu’Er and Mei’Er were deliberating sitting beside him and not giving anyone else the opportunity to get close to him!
Lele was overheard muttering, “I don’t mind at all. I am a highly attained Celestial.”
However, she was chilly and she was cold towards Yi Ping.
Shen Xingyue and Lie Qing never even took a glance at him and they were deliberately chatting happily with each other as though he was not there!
Youxue was wrapped in her cold demeanor, not talking to anyone except Yunzi.
The Celestial Liege was also looking at Yi Ping in an awkward manner.
It was because both Lie Qing and Youxue refused to look at him and had also pretended he was not there.
Ye Ling whispered to him, “You seem to mind the two maidens a lot.”
The Celestial Liege smiled bitterly, “I am not.”
Ye Ling turned away quietly, “You lying…”
As when she was about to rebuke him further, the Jade Emperor had interrupted her and was saying to everyone. “Welcome to the Celestial Palace. I hope that this banquet is pleasing for everyone.”
The banquet of the Celestial Palace was more than magnificent. In fact, none of them had ever seen another grand feast such as this. There were all types and kinds of aromatic food that were being laid on the table one by one by dozens of serving attendants!
Only Yixian and Shen Xingyue were unmoved.
They were content with simple food and were vegans so they were not tempted.
Even though Yu’Er and Mei’Er were also vegans, their eyes were glowing at the aromatic honeys and wines that were being displayed!
Lingfeng was quiet and was lamenting softly to herself but nobody knew what was in her mind.
The Jade Emperor said to the guests, “By now, you should have already been acquainted with three of the Prime Celestials of the Celestial Palace, the Joyful Goddess, the Celestial Liege and the Confession Lady.”
The Confession Lady of course was referring to Ye Ling.
Ye Ling gave a smile as she winked coyly at Yi Ping, “I am new as a Prime Celestial. My experiences and martial skills are not as plenty as my predecessors.”
Yi Ping had noticed her wink and was smiling bitterly as he thought, “Lele has told me before that in order for one to be appointed as a Prime Celestial, they have to be extraordinary martial exponents and have the backings of the elders or else it will be hard for them to keep their appointments within the Celestial Palace. She isn’t from the same clan as Lele yet she is a Prime Celestial. Does it mean that she must have extraordinary skills or else that wouldn’t be possible?”
The Jade Emperor looked wryly at Yi Ping as he said, “There are many others here but they are in a slumber. When there are opportunities, I will introduce you to them. You must have many questions to ask me, am I right? Perhaps I can clear the doubts in your mind.”
Yi Ping asked quite bluntly, “Why aren’t your eyes crimson? Are you a Dark Celestial? Are all of you Dark Celestials?”
The Jade Emperor laughed, “Practitioners of the internal martial arts are able to suppress their internal strength and even their state of divinity. Therefore this is not a real surprise at all.”
Shen Xingyue was silent. It was because it was easier said than done. Even though her Divine Rejuvenation Force was an epitome internal skill, it was unlike the absorbing skill of the Celestial Force which could suppress even the practitioner’s own martial strength. Moreover, to be able to do so was an indication of the practitioner’s level. Even for the Celestial Liege and Lele, they were not able to accomplish that.
Yi Ping could only groan quietly at that.
The Jade Emperor added a smile after noticing Yi Ping’s expression, “Am I a Dark Celestial? What do you really think?”
Yi Ping turned to look at the Celestial Liege and Ye Ling before he sighed, “I really do not know.”
He was not sure either and dare not make quick judgments!
The Jade Emperor gave a soft sigh before saying, “I have almost become a Dark Celestial if it wasn’t for the timely arrival of Huan Lie.”
Huan Lie was the real name of the Celestial Liege.
The Jade Emperor said solemnly, “In order to become a Celestial, first know how to cultivate as a human sage. That is what Huan Lie has said to me…”
He stole a glance at Lie Qing who nodded discreetly at him before saying, “Without the timely advice of Maiden Lie Qing to Huan Lie, I would have turned into a Dark Celestial. The Celestial Palace and the Invincible Divine Clan have been sworn enemies for a long time…”
Lie Qing interrupted casually, “That is in the past.”
She pretended not to be concerned but she was in fact was still grieving for her clan demise or else, she would have forgiven Huan Lie already.
The Jade Emperor could sense that she did not want to bring up the past so he said, “That requires a lot of willpower. I have almost perished in my Divine Calamity a year ago and that advice sustained me to the very end. But I can’t say the same for many of us here.”
The Jade Emperor was suddenly grave and his eyes were melancholy.
In the past one year alone, more than half of the protégés of the Celestial Palace had perished and many of them were in fact killed by him!
One year ago, the Jade Emperor had said to them. “From now on, I will no longer aid you in your Divine Calamities or else it will be detrimental to your future cultivations. Everyone has to die eventually. Many of you have already prolonged your lives long enough at the expense of others. What we did cannot be forgiven so easily. We should turn back now and right the wrongs that we did.”
That caused a furor and immediately the Celestial Palace was split into two warring factions.
The Dark Celestials of the Celestial Palace that refused to turn over a new leaf was eventually defeated. Most were killed and quite a few had escaped.
These Dark Celestials that had escaped would one day stir new troubles for the martial fraternity; their secret martial knowledge would make them formidable foes!
The Jade Emperor explained to Yi Ping patiently that from now on, the remnants of the Celestial Palace would embark on the correct path and would not do anything that was considered unrighteous in the martial fraternity.
When he had said that, even the Celestial Liege and Ye Ling were both solemn. It was because unlike the Jade Emperor who had managed to overcome the Divine Calamity through his own efforts, the rest of the Dark Celestials of the Celestial Palace had not. When it was time for the Divine Calamity to descend upon them, most of them would not survive!
That was why many of the Dark Celestials of the Celestial Palace had resisted the call of the Jade Emperor to embark on a new path and had even rebelled!
It was because this new path was a self-destructed path that could spell the end for them!
After hearing this account from the Jade Emperor, Yi Ping’s heart began to calm down and his enmity against the Celestial Palace was dropped. Similar to Lie Qing, Yi Ping’s martial clan had a grudge against the Celestial Palace.
In fact, he had also gained a little respect for the Jade Emperor who had taken such a drastic measure to correct his wrongdoings. He knew that most of the Dark Celestials in the Celestial Palace was actually his kin and therefore it was a painful decision for him.
The Jade Emperor tried to lighten the mood of the atmosphere by changing the conversation, “For many years, the Celestial Palace is the most powerful martial clan as well as the most powerful celestial clan in the fraternity. But now, it is not the case anymore.”
Yi Ping asked curiously, “Surely it is still the most powerful clan in the fraternity? The martial skills of the Celestial Palace are also the quintessence of the martial skills of the fraternity.”
The Jade Emperor said solemnly, “You may not know that there are also many other celestial clans in the fraternity, am I right?”
Yi Ping was startled, “There are other celestial clans in the martial fraternity?”
The Jade Emperor said, “Indeed there are many celestial clans in the fraternity but in order to ascend as quickly as possible, most of the celestial clans do not want to meddle in the affairs of the martial fraternity. I know that there are at least two prominent celestial practitioners in the Universal Truth Sect and the Infinity Sword Clan.”
Yi Ping was surprised, “The Infinity Sword Clan also has a celestial practitioner?”
The Jade Emperor was solemn, “There may be more but the majority of the Infinity Sword Clan may not be aware of their presence. But they may be making their presence known very soon to you.”
Yi Ping was getting more and more bewildered as he muttered, “Huh?”
The Jade Emperor pointed at Shen Xingyue, “She has taken their Blue Heavens Divine Sword. It is not something that they will give up easily even if they are highly attained celestial practitioners who have no mortal wants.”
Shen Xingyue said coolly, “It is not something that I will give up easily either!”
The Jade Emperor smiled at her, “I expect so too. I have heard that Maiden Shen is also a secret celestial practitioner from the Honor Manor and your level is pretty high too. I will like to exchange pointers with you sometimes.”
Shen Xingyue pretended not to hear. Even though she did not show it, she still bore a grudge against him for laying his hands on her when they had fought earlier!
Yi Ping was beginning to understand more and more now. Even though Shen Xingyue was Han Shaodong’s protégé mistress, he had never expected that his protégé mistress to be a celestial practitioner and was really surprised when he had realized it!
Yi Ping thought, “It seems that even the celestial practitioners do not trust their own. Alas, these conflicts and bloodshed, when will it ever end? It seems that it is easier to guard against an enemy than a friend. These celestial practitioners will rather endure countless years of solitary than risk having their years of celestial cultivation destroyed by a betrayal. But of course if there are other secret celestial practitioners in the fraternity, then there must also be dark celestial practitioners too which they must be wary…”
The Jade Emperor added, “Other than the secret existence of the celestial clans, the martial skills of the various martial clans are also not to be underestimated. Take for example, the secret skills of the Virtuous Palace and the Eternal Ice Palace among many others. Who knows, these clans may also have their own secret celestial practitioners somewhere.”
Yixian immediately raised her eyebrow as she began to tremble lightly as she thought, “There are others like me from the Eternal Ice Palace? Where are they?”
The Jade Emperor looked at Yi Ping before saying, “The Divine Horizon Hands also cannot be underestimated.”
He paused for a while to look at everyone, lingering at Lele before saying. “The Celestial Palace has no lofty ambitions to dominate the martial fraternity unlike the Dark Celestials. On the other hand, the Celestial Palace has much to fear from the heretic sects that are led by the Dark Celestials especially from those that are previously from the Celestial Palace. They know too much and may collaborate with our enemies for their own gains. ”
Lele was melancholy as she muttered, “Grandpa, don’t be sad…”
The Jade Emperor smiled fondly at Lele before he said, “You have grown up and have become a true celestial. I have no other qualms anymore. But remember, the upper realm is much more dangerous than the martial realm here. Grandpa can no longer take care of you anymore. There are many other celestial practitioners out there and it is a place that I hope that I may go one day. So don’t die there.”
Lele looked away quietly. It was because she did not want her grandpa to see her quiet tears.
The Jade Emperor turned and looked at Yi Ping intently, “So take care of Lele and I will take care of your child for you. One day, we may meet us again.”
Yi Ping stammered, “You are willing to lend us the Heavenly Relic?”
The Heavenly Relic was a prized artifact. No one would be willing to give it away so readily!
The Jade Emperor nodded, “Even though I had in the past gone through many hardships in order to obtain it and it is also important to me but I believe that your cause is more worthy.”
He smiled wryly as he looked at Lingfeng, “What an astonishing maiden. I may not know who you really are due to my ignorant but I hope that one day when I am able to transmigrate to the Ninth Heavens, you will be able to lend me a helping hand. After all, I may be a powerful celestial here but I can’t say the same when I am on the other side.”
Lele had already told him that Ji Lingfeng was actually a celestial practitioner and that her celestial name was the Heaveness.
As a matter of fact, Lingfeng had previously pointed out to Lele what went wrong with the intricate formulas of the Celestial Force and had even resolved some of the tricky difficulties that were plaguing the celestial practitioners of the Celestial Palace. Lele had used some of that knowledge gained to help her grandpa resolve his own difficulties.
The Jade Emperor was astonished that Lingfeng knew so much about the various intricate formulas. That was why he was willing to give Yi Ping the Heavenly Relic. But that was not the main and only reason.
He was simply content that Lele was able to go to the Ninth Heavens and that she was able to fulfill his lifelong dream for him. Even though he was secretly reluctant and afraid, he did not want to reveal it to her. It was because there must be a strong enough reason that only celestial practitioners who were ready were allowed there. Deep in his heart, he knew that Yi Ping and the rest were not ready yet but he was also not willing to discourage them.
Lingfeng was trembling lightly. She looked at the Jade Emperor intently with a soft sigh, “You, you are really willing to lend us the Heavenly Relic?”
The Jade Emperor laughed and confirmed the answer, “Why not?”
Lingfeng nodded in appreciation. Words simply could not describe her gratefulness!
The Jade Emperor was suddenly solemn, “But there is one thing that I am curious in. I have heard that when a celestial practitioner transmigrated to the Ninth Heavens, metallic materials are destroyed in the process and sometimes under rare circumstances, metallic residues such as the Heavenly Relics will be left behind when precious metals are destroyed.”
He looked at Yujian, Meijian, Yixian, Shen Xingyue, Lele and Lie Qing with a curious look, “Divine weapons and Heavenly Relics won’t be destroyed but it can’t transmigrate together with the celestial practitioners either. But from what I know from Lele, the reason why you need the Heavenly Relics is to substitute it as a divine weapon to form the Celestial Star Formation so that transmigration to the Ninth Heavens would be made possible. Surely you are not thinking of giving me all these divine weapons and Heavenly Relics afterwards?”
Lingfeng smiled mysteriously, “What do you think?”