Chapter 4: The Three Goddesses of Judgement
The atmosphere is getting tenser and tenser every minute!
“Is this some kind of a joke? If it is then it is such a bad joke!”
“I have thought that this kind of thing will only happen in anime and in science fiction stories…”
The Goddess Celestial Alice heaves a melancholy sigh, “Many of you won’t be able to make it back but this sacrifice of yours is a necessary justification to the greater plan. So take courage if you want to survive.”
As she says that, there are rumbling throughout the city!
And everyone can see dozens of black monuments rising like a pyramid from different parts of the city and every of the black monument appears to have four entrances at the end of the pyramid steps!
Yi Mu can see that the black monument that is nearest to him is numbered 7 and there is a black reflective entrance in the middle.
He could not see what is beyond the reflective entrance.
The Goddess Celestial Alice says, “The rules are simple. Make it to the 10th floor of the Araphel underground citadel then your bravado will be extolled in all the heavens. Your divine redemption for achieving this feat will be that of an eternal life as an immortal practitioner and your name will be sung in the exalt hall of the Seventh Heavens for all eternity.”
Yu Mu is perplexed, “Eternal life? Immortal practitioner? She can’t be serious? Or are we still in-game? This is part of a quest dialogue?”
But somehow he is electrified by her enchantingly voice and did not doubt her.
However he is not the only one and the thousands of players are already looking at her with anticipation for further answers!
The Goddess Celestial Alice says, “You can enter the Araphel Citadel via any of the twenty-eight constellation ways or choose to remain here in the city. On each level there will be a floor boss that is more powerful than any of the denizens that you may encounter. So be warned. However the braves shall receive their deserved rewards. Naturally the first one to clear the floor boss will receive the best rewards. Note that once a level is cleared, there is no return to the lower level and an opened level will remain passable for only twelve hours before it is sealed again.”
Yi Mu is already looking at the black pyramid monument that is in front of him as he strategizes in his mind, “I cannot stay behind to wait. It is because while those are first take the most risk but they may very well be the finest players and they have the best chance to succeed. Moreover, I think that this is still a game or else why did they designate a safe zone for the players? For all we know, this may very well be a joke. We are all here to experience the gameplay so there is no reason for me to stay behind.”
The Goddess Celestial Alice lifted her translucent robe and jumps on her crimson phoenix as she says coolly, “Good luck brave adventurers.”
And the crimson phoenix becomes a streak of stunning crimson light as it disappears upward!
Yi Mu is already on the move as he rushes to the stairs of the black pyramid monuments with many others!
In that single instant almost everyone is caught in a mad rush toward the nearest black pyramid steps!
Many in the maddening crowd are shouting excitingly, “The game has started! The game has started! The fun has begun!”
For a moment the situation did not seem to be as tense as before and everyone is actually excited.
To many, this has to be a quest line and not to be taken seriously!
Moreover there are nearly a hundred thousand players!
Yi Mu is naturally one of the first to ascend the stairs; it is because he has a Speed Affinity of S. He smiles wryly as he resolves to himself, “I want to be the first to storm the Araphel Citadel then the other players will know that I, Yi Mu is the best player!”
All of a sudden he was a little startled to see a beautiful girl leaping next to him and in the next instant she has already hopped to the steps in front of him!
Yi Mu is startled for several reasons.
Firstly, she is really stunning and because the program makes use of facial recognition for the players, he knows that it is how she looks like in real life.
Secondly, he did not see her coming and her movement speed exceeds his own!
He mutters to himself, “If I got a S for Speed then she must be a SS…is it even possible? I got a SS for my Sixth Sense so this may not be entirely impossible.”
He catches sight of her name that flashes on top of her as he muses, “Setsuna. So that is her name. I wonder what’s her age? I will remember your name. Hope that we can party someday.”
He did not think much of it as there are at least dozens others that are rushing at the same time. His objective for now is very clear; be one of the first to explore the Araphel Citadel.
He is actually a solo player and did not like to party with the others.
He brandishes his long sword high and swings it as he shouts excitingly, “Out of my way! Out of my way! I am coming! Hooray!
There are many similar shouts and cries of excitements!
Elsewhere on a high platform that is overlooking the city, there are three heavenly maidens that have gathered.
One of the heavenly maidens is the Goddess Celestial Alice and the crimson phoenix that is behind her is stretching its flaming wings with a mighty shriek!
The other heavenly maiden is the Goddess Xiang and she is asking the other heavenly maiden, “What is wrong, Asura? You are not yourself today.”
The Goddess Celestial Alice smiles, “Our Goddess Asura seems a little out of focus today.”
The Goddess Asura says quietly, “Nothing. It is just that I have a familiar feeling today. Can it be?…”
The Goddess Xiang yawns softly, “You are thinking if your bloodline is here among the players? That is impossible. You very well know that your son perishes in that battle. I was there and I am so sorry for arriving late.”
The Goddess Asura nods, “I don’t blame you. That is his destiny and he is immortalized as a hero. Because of that I am content that he will be reincarnated in the Celestial Realm as a saint. Someday, I will be able to see him again.”
The Goddess Celestial Alice says imperturbably, “That’s so and so be it then. That is part of his heavenly tribulation. One day in the heavens is a hundred days down below. While there is plenty of time for them but time is running out for us here.”
The Goddess Xiang nods melancholy, “I wish we don’t have to do it but we do need as many fighters as possible for the upcoming battle with the Desolate Immortals.”
The Goddess Celestial Alice replies, “The whole earth is now corrupted by their reliance to technology. Very few saints are able to ascend to the Celestial Realm now and most are not the fighter types that we are looking for to ascend to the Immortal Realm. We have never expected that the Desolate Immortals have such a far reaching influence on the affairs of the mortals.”
The Goddess Asura says quietly, “Because of this, we are now empowering the mortals with our divine strength. What they did not know is that they are all chosen to be first of the new immortals that will be chosen in this manner.”
The Goddess Celestial Alice interrupts unemotionally, “They are the first and the last. We have come up with this in desperation before the last mortals can be genetically modified by their food or by their technologies. Also, we must be extremely cautious about this experiment.”
The Goddess Xiang asks, “You mean that there are agents or bloodlines of the Desolate Immortals here?”
The Goddess Celestial Alice has lifted her fingers rapidly and says, “Indeed. Look at my calculations.”
The Goddess Asura sighs softly, “But we have no other choices, do we?”
The Goddess Celestial Alice nods, “A little over a year ago, the mortals have advanced rapidly in their knowledge and have begun to detonate their atmospheres, oceans and earth with thousands of atmosphere nuclear testing, swaying the pillars of heavens and causing the great mountains of the Celestial Realm to rock.”
The Goddess Xiang interrupts unhappily, “I was away for a little while and it still baffles me why they are destroying themselves in this manner!”
The Goddess Celestial Alice replies, “They are experimenting with their newfound powers, desolate powers that can be used to destroy the Three Known Realms.”
The Goddess Asura says, “Do you need me to destroy the mortals? Their technologies have no effect against us. I don’t mind sacrificing myself even if the Great God Pangu disallows it. No matter what is going to happen next, we must let the Great God Pangu become the future Universal Ruler. Only then can peace prevail in the heavens.”
The Goddess Celestial Alice looks at the Goddess Asura coldly and says, “Forget about it. You know that it is already too late. Before you can really act, the Divine Wrath will destroy you first. How many nations can you destroy before the Divine Wrath destroys you? There are dozens of nations with destructive potential and their lethal arms are all over the earth.”
The Goddess Xiang moves her fingers rapidly and says to the Goddess Asura, “The great cleansing of the earth will soon starts all over again. This isn’t the first time that the earth will be destroyed but is already the fifth time. Let the Divine Calamity handles it. You very well know that this will happen soon. Or are you missing the present earth?”
The Goddess Asura lifts her divine staff the Symphony of Destiny and whispers softly, “Yes, I am in love with the present earth and I don’t want it to be destroyed.”